How many times have you left your social media feed empty?
Let me guess. You somehow couldn’t find the time to post? Or, maybe you wanted to post something but you didn’t know what to post?
Let me calm you down. We’ve all been there. I know I have.
That’s why social media management tools were created.
To save you time. To help you stay on track. To make sure you stay consistent.
Consistency is one of the major factors in keeping your social media engagement rates high. The key to the loyalty of your fan base is providing valuable content on a regular basis.
There’s almost no way you can do that without a pre-defined schedule and a little help from social media management tools. Especially as the time is so hard to come by when your main focus is but one – to develop your business.
My tool of choice. I’ve used Buffer for many years, and I can say it’s one of the best free social media management tools out there. You can use it to push posts to Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, or Pinterest.
With the free version, you can add one profile per platform, schedule up to 10 posts, use link shortening (even with your own short domain), and optimize your posts with their Optimal timing tool.
You can bump up almost everything for as little as 10 bucks per month. If you buy an agency account, you’ll also get access to powerful social analytics.
How Buffer works is you first add your social accounts you want to post to. You can add new posts within the app, use their browser extension, or by clicking the Buffer share icon (like the one I have on the left side of this blog post). Then, you have the option to post immediately, post next according to your schedule, or add it to your queue to post after all before entered posts have been published.
You can assign the same post to all platforms, or make different posts for each social media platform.
Here’s an example of my Buffer queue.
And here’s an example of a Buffer calendar.
A similar tool to Buffer is Hootsuite. Some prefer it over Buffer, others not so much. I’ve tried it, but I find Buffer’s user experience and design much better. In any case, you can choose either, but I recommend Buffer.
AgoraPulse is a solid social media management tool. Besides scheduling and publishing posts, you can also manage messages, and build reports.
When I first tried AgoraPulse, they integrated only with Facebook. Since then they’ve also added Twitter and Instagram.
Basic features are available at $19/month. To enjoy the standout features you’ll need to get on a $79 plan. With an advanced plan, you’ll get stunning reporting options, user profiling, Facebook ads monitoring, and Facebook apps. Considering everything included, $79 is still a great deal.
They also offer some great free tools. I particularly like their Facebook Page Barometer and Timeline Contest Manager.
Here’s an example of how I used Timeline Contest Manager.
Sprout Social is an excellent social media management tool. Publishing is only a small part of the app. The standout feature is surely the social CRM.
A streamlined inbox, which pulls all messages into a single feed, is a nice feature. Similar to AgoraPulse, they have some neat reporting options. The app also calculates optimal posting times, a feature they named ViralPost.
Here’s how the streamlined inbox looks like.
Pricing starts at $59 per user/month. If you’re a solopreneur, you might look for cheaper alternatives. On the other hand, if you own an already established business and are looking how to get most of your social media relationships, Sprout Social just might be the tool for you.
Even though Edgar is a relatively new social media management tool, there was a lot of hype surrounding it in the past 18 months.
That’s because the app was built by Roeder Studios owned by Laura Roeder, a known social media expert. It also got a lot of attention from other social media and online marketing influencers such as Amy Porterfield, Chris Ducker, and Donna Moritz.
So, what’s the deal with Edgar?
You can share updates to Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. That’s the same as with any other tool. But where Edgar stand out is the ability to recycle your old posts.
How exactly does it work?
You fill up your library and arrange your updates in categories. You’re free to create as many or as few as you like. The library can take up to 1,000 updates, or 5,000 if you’re on a Premium plan. Categories can even be shut down, if they’re, for example, season specific. Once you have your updates ready, Edgar makes a schedule for the next two weeks. Of course, you can remove or rearrange scheduled posts.
The great thing about Edgar is that it never stops posting. Even when it’s used all your posts, it will recycle your old posts and use them again.
You might be thinking that’s not a good idea since people would have already seen your old posts.
Well, think again.
Most of your posts are seen only by a fraction of your audience. Facebook organic reach is down to 4% or lower, and half-life of a Twitter update is only 24 minutes.
I’ve personally never used Edgar, but I’ve heard plenty recommendations. It’s priced at $49/month but is supposedly worth every penny.
What’s your preference when it comes to social media management tools? Do you use other tools, such as Sendible, Oktopost, or even CoSchedule, that are not mentioned in this blog post? Write in the comments below.
Also, share this post with a friend who is struggling with staying consistent and posting regularly.