From planning to drafting, design to delivery, a good social media post takes time. Social media managers have to worry about text, photos, links and hashtags for each post they create; and, if that wasn’t enough, every channel, topic and region has its own peak time to adhere to.
Juggling all of this in real-time is, quite simply, impossible. Not to mention inefficient. For instance, according to Sprout Social, the best time for tech companies to post on Instagram is on a Wednesday from 6 am to 9 am – before the working day has even begun.
That’s where the scheduling platform comes in; providing all the tools that you need to execute a successful social media strategy while remaining productive. Not only will they help you to plan ahead and save time, they can provide analytics, publish across multiple channels, create approval workflows, and much more.
There’s a great number of scheduling platforms out there that can make social media management easier for tech B2B content marketers. So, why reinvent the wheel?
To find out which platforms work best, we analysed 17 articles – that’s three pages of Google Search results (by the fourth, it was time to let it go) – and made a list of all those that came recommended. This exercise provided us with no less than 56 schedulers, which we then ranked in order of popularity, before analysing the features that made the top platforms most popular.
|Number of recommendations||Platform||Number of recommendations|
At the top of our list was Buffer, an easy-to-use platform that everybody knows and loves. This intuitive tool has a drag-and-drop calendar to make life easier and will alert you to the best times to post based on your followers’ activities.
Free plan: This provides access for one user to manage three social accounts and schedule 10 scheduled posts per month.
Added extras: Buffer has a Chrome extension that allows you to share links, images and videos directly from the web.
Sharing the top spot is Hootsuite, another well-known platform. What makes this one special is its compatibility with a wide range of social platforms and the ability to oversee multiple accounts at the same time.
Free plan: One user can manage three social profiles and schedule 30 posts per month.
Added extras: Hootsuite’s strength is its analytics. You can see your results, build custom reports and download them in PDF, Excel, PowerPoint or CVS format.
The team player
Second on our list is Sprout Social, a platform renamed for its team interaction. Here you can grant user-level permissions to everyone involved in managing a particular account, changing publishing permissions, reporting access and features control depending on the needs of each individual member.
Free plan: 30-day trial.
Added extras: Built-in image editor in its Asset Library, where you can store brand images.
What works best for you
One conclusion to take from this research is that there are many scheduling platforms to choose from, and our advice is to sign up to a few and give them a try. Based on our findings, Buffer, Hootsuite and Sprout Social are good places to start – but almost all of them offer a free version or trial, so you can continue to explore before making any commitments.
Do you have any other recommendations or a favourite scheduling platform to share? We would love to hear, get in touch on firstname.lastname@example.org.