Whether you run your own business, work in an agency or in-house time is money. Creating and sourcing content to distribute through your channels is time-consuming and after all that you have the task of scheduling it all.
It is important that you are getting the best return on the time invested, and that’s why streamlining the scheduling process is important.
Manually going into each channel individually or using multiple free tools, can be an inefficient use of time. Especially when there is a range of tools out there that make the process quicker and easier.
There are plenty of premium tools on the market designed to help save time and stay organized, allowing you to schedule posts, monitor mentions, community manage and gain valuable insight.
The list of social media scheduling tools seems to be increasing daily so for the sake of your sanity, I will be covering two of the most popular platforms Hootsuite and Buffer.
Hootsuite is much more than just a scheduling tool and provides for a host of needs including:
- Publishing & scheduling
- Curating content
- Responding to your followers
Hootsuite supports Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, Foursquare, Instagram (New), WordPress and Mixi.
Its ‘Pro’ paid plan offers support for up to 50 social profiles, 1 enhanced analytics report and allows for advanced message scheduling. The collaboration function allows an additional 9 more people to be added team.
Hootsuite’s bulk scheduling feature makes it easier for mass posts to be uploaded at once. A CSV file full of prepared posts can be uploaded with the dates/times you want them to be published, which can save valuable time.
The platform has an unlimited number RSS feeds for content curation and an auto-scheduling feature saving you the need to individually select times and dates for each post.
Compared to Buffer you get a lot more for your money but this comes at the cost of usability. The platform takes a little time to get used to, but Hootsuite offers a training programme to help you master the tool.
Buffer is one of the easiest tools to use when it comes to scheduling. It may seem to lack features, but its simplicity is part of its charm. Buffers auto-scheduling function spreads your posts throughout the day or week so that you don’t have to be at a computer all the time.
Its analytics feature allows your to see how well your posts are doing giving you the option to re-post (re-buffer) high-performing content.
Buffer currently supports Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and App.net with the paid version offering Pinterest support.
The ‘Awesome’ paid plan supports double the amount social profiles, provides better analytics and allows up to 90 more posts to be scheduled than its ‘Free’ offering.
Its RSS feed function provides up to 15 direct feeds, reducing the time it takes to curate content.
Although Buffer is an effective Scheduling tool its features are limited and you can’t view your Twitter feed or directly interact with your followers.
So which one is better?
Both these tools are amazing and which one you choose will depend on your specific needs. Each can reduce the time and effort needed to manage your social profiles.
It all boils down to features vs simplicity:
- If you are looking for a solid scheduling tool that is easy to use Buffer may be the one for you.
- If you are looking for more than just a scheduling tool Hootsuite’s additional features may fit your needs.
This is a basic analyse of two popular platforms and I would suggest further research be carried out.
There are plenty of other platforms out there to choose from, and it’s always a good idea trial the product to see if it fits your needs.
Which one do you think’s better?