For savvy business owners who are short on time but prefer to manage certain aspects of digital marketing in-house, social media schedulers are a must. This innovative software is often cost-effective and simple to use – enabling companies to outsource smaller portions of promotional activity and maintain a positive presence online. Here we provide a run-down of four popular social media schedulers and reveal the pros and cons behind each to help you to make an informed decision.
Buffer is by far the simplest and most ‘user friendly’ scheduling software on the market. Its ‘drag and drop’ format and clean interface makes scheduling posts quick and easy – and interpreting analytics is just as simple. Buffer incorporates several handy tools to help you to make the most of your social media presence – such as Optimal Timing, which indicates the best times to post based on your current followers and demographic. Buffer is actually free for a limited number of accounts and posts – with a small monthly fee payable if you require additional capacity.
Hootsuite is another popular scheduling platform – and not without reason. Compared with Buffer Hootsuite’s dashboard is more complex – but this reflects a greater number of capabilities that make it a preferred choice amongst more informed amateur social media marketers (and professionals). More advanced functions (such as delegating wide-scale message response to team members securely) make Hootsuite popular with agencies and larger companies. Hootsuite’s higher cost reflects this.
Like Hootsuite and Buffer, SocialOomph enables you to schedule social media posts ahead of time. However SocialOomph is mainly geared towards avid Twitter users, featuring a range of add-ons that won’t necessarily be of use to companies that don’t use the network on a regular basis. If you do find Twitter is a viable sales channel then SocialOomph’s autofollow, manual unfollow and direct messaging management will likely appeal to you.
Like Buffer, one of Sprout Social’s principle advantages over more ‘advanced’ software is its user-friendly interface. A clean, clearly arranged dashboard makes learning how to use its technology fairly quick and simple. You can also handle messages, so it represents a ‘halfway house’ of sorts between the more basic Buffer and the more complex capacities of Hootsuite. One particularly attractive feature is Sprout Social’s ‘Discover’ – which shares relevant accounts of interest so that you can smartly follow or interact with followers from key competitors or partners.
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