What’s the Best Social Media Planner? Here are my favourites
We’re often told to use a social media planner to save time, energy and resources with social media marketing. But there are so many different planners out there, how do you know which one to choose?
There are a couple of key considerations, such as:
Which platform you’re using for your marketing? Different planners work best for different social media channels.
What do you want to achieve by using the planner? Each planner has a different range of features so some might be better suited to your needs than others.
Do you want to pay for the planner? Some free planners are very basic and you might be better off paying for advanced features.
Are you better going native? A lot of platforms, like Facebook and Twitter, have their own planning tools that are free to use. Sometimes, these can be better than the third-party options.
Essentially, you’re going to have to do some research to find the right planner for you and knowing the answers to those questions will help you to focus on what you’re looking for and need to support your social media marketing efforts.
There are a lot of options, but I want to share with you my favourites and why to give you a bit of a head start with your research!
A very popular scheduling app and planner, Hootsuite has been around for many years and has grown to have a solid reputation. However, last year they did make some changes to their free version which means there are a number of restrictions in place including limited scheduling. Some people have said the interface is clunky and tricky to use at times and there are some bugs with photos not appearing as they should on LinkedIn.
I do find Hootsuite easy to use and helpful with my marketing and it’s certainly a good option to explore with their free version so you can figure out if it’s right for you or if another social media planner would suit you better.
Buffer is the main competitor to Hootsuite and also has an excellent offering. Where Hootsuite limits you to scheduling just 5 posts in advance (at time of writing), Buffer still allows you to schedule far more. So, if you plan your social media monthly rather than weekly, Buffer is probably going to be better for you.
Buffer also works better with LinkedIn than Hootsuite, there aren’t any issues with the photos appearing as they should. A lot of business owners I talk to say they prefer Buffer because it’s intuitive to use, easy to understand quickly and has good analytics.
Instagram is such a unique social media platform that it needs a specific dedicated social media planner to get the best results from it and for me Later does just that. Later does include all the major social media platforms (including Pinterest) so if you focus on Instagram but dabble with the others from time to time, this could be the planner for you.
Later uses a visual-first approach which means you can focus on what the post looks like – vital for grabbing attention in busy social media feeds! This can be particularly beneficial if you’re not much of a wordsmith and want to let your photos do the talking.
Contentcal is a social media planner by Adobe and was designed with creative agencies in mind. That probably means it’s not going to be a good first choice for many solopreneurs however if you do outsource any of your marketing to a VA, Online Business Manager or Marketing team, the “team approach” with Contentcal could make it a good option for you.
This team-based planner means inboxes, mentions and messages can be shared easily, so your VA could share with you a comment that you need to address sooner rather than later, or vice versa, for example. It also means that you could upload the photo, your copywriter could add the text and your marketing consultant can give the final edits and schedule.
Social media planners can help you know what to publish too
Coming up with new ideas of what to share in your social media posts can be difficult to do, especially when you’ve been in business for several years!
Luckily, this has been considered by some helpful people who can provide you with ideas and templates to stir your creative juices!
The 2022 Content Tool Kit by Contentcal has key data, expert guides and templates to help you get ahead with your social media marketing and is one that I personally find fab to use.
For awareness days, I also visit the Days of the Year website which can help you find when the days specific to your business are so you can easily plan ahead.
If your business has a more holistic approach or you want to use moon manifestation, looking for a planner that links to your interests is great, so check out websites that relate to your sector as there are lots of these out there.
Don’t forget the simple spreadsheet for tracking content and repurposing it. A good approach is to write your posts in a spreadsheet and colour code how well they’ve performed the following month. Those that did well you can use again where appropriate and those that didn’t you can tweak and repurpose until you hit on the winning formula.
I know that social media marketing and planning can feel like a huge drain on your time and resources but I hope my suggestions here will help you reduce the workload while improving your marketing success.