The ultimate guide to social media scheduling tools

Sunitha Raghunathan

16 min read Last Updated May 24, 2023

This image depicts a woman working on scheduling her social media posts

Including social media in your marketing strategy is crucial to maximizing your leads. However, running a business can be time-consuming, and implementing social media plans may require assistance. Posting consistently is the number one way to achieve your goals on social media. Dedicated social media scheduling tools can help businesses save the day by automating social media posts across multiple platforms and freeing up more of your essential time. 

In this blog post, we’ll discuss the top scheduling tools you can leverage and explore how utilizing the right one can make social media management much more efficient.

What is a social media posts scheduler?

Social media scheduler tools are incredible assets for businesses and marketers alike– with them, you can schedule multiple posts across multiple social media accounts. They are digital calendars that allow businesses to map out social media content and schedule them in advance without manually posting content each day for each account. 

Some social media scheduling tools also offer analytics and insights into your brand’s social media performance. This allows businesses to create content that resonates with their audience and build successful social strategies.

The need for a social media scheduler

The challenges of the “always-on” mode of social media are countless. It’s nearly impossible to stay constantly active on different social platforms while focusing on marketing strategy and creating engaging content. These challenges also increase when you bring multiple social media profiles into play. 

Each social media platform has different optimal posting times based on when their users are active. Additionally, each platform uses a different algorithm for promoting content and boosting growth. 

To stay on top of all these factors, there is a need for an effective social media scheduler tool to support businesses in timely content scheduling across all platforms from a single interface. Social media scheduling tools offer several advantages, such as:

Saves time

Social media scheduling tools allow you to upload all your content in one go and schedule it for posting as needed. This means ensuring consistency across your social media handles and building a routine is much easier. You can carve out one day a week to schedule all posts and not have to worry about that as the week progresses. You can then focus on engaging with your audience. 

Social media scheduling tool snapshot

Increases productivity

With a social media scheduling tool, you plan in advance, give more thought to your content and have it ready to go in advance without scrambling at the last moment. 

As a result, social media posting no longer takes up a huge chunk of your social media manager’s day, and they can spend more time on strategies, creative tasks, responding to queries/comments, and so on. 

Social media management is more than just posting content-it is staying active, engaging with the followers, looking for opportunities, and responding to any inquiries that may come. A scheduling tool allows the team to be truly productive without being overwhelmed.

Improves consistency

Social media scheduling tools can help you maintain a consistent social media presence by ensuring you post regularly and at the best times for each platform. Most marketers plan and schedule social media posts a month in advance so that if the unexpected happens, it doesn’t hinder continued engagement.

Provides analytics

Most social media scheduling tools offer built-in analytics tools that help you track your social media performance. This can help you know what’s working and what’s not so you can adjust your social media strategy accordingly.

social media guide

11 top social media scheduling tools

Currently, various social media scheduling tools are available for businesses to streamline their social media postings. These tools allow businesses to automate the process of logging into individual social media channels and manually publishing each piece of content. 

Let’s dive into popular social media schedulers’ features, benefits, drawbacks, and costs so that you can make an informed decision.

1. Birdeye

Birdeye Social landing page

Birdeye Social offers an all-in-one digital customer experience platform for businesses with multiple locations to simplify social publishing and reputation monitoring. With Birdeye Social, businesses can automate content creation and publishing for each individual location from a single dashboard instead of investing time in the manual process.

Birdeye’s platform is utilized by more than 100,000 local brands and businesses to handle their online reputation effectively, establish connections with potential customers via digital channels, and obtain valuable insights into customer experiences.

Features

  • Single dashboard to view all the social media feeds and respond 
  • Intuitive visual calendar with advanced filters 
  • Content planner 
  • Visual editor 
  • Social media publishing built for multiple social media profiles and multi-location businesses
  • Automated review sharing with custom templates on social media platforms from other connected sites
  • Social monitoring tools 
  • Inbox service to manage DMs
  • Reporting to measure top-performing content, social reach, engagement, and audience growth by location or region
  • Unlimited users 

Trial period: 30 days

Subscription plan minimum cost: Birdeye’s pricing is based on the number of locations a business has with a unique social profile. Connect with a Birdeye product expert to learn more. 

Suitability: All types of businesses

2. Later

Later landing page

Later is a social media scheduling tool that allows businesses to create content, plan their content calendars, and schedule content across locations and platforms. While it supports Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, TikTok, and LinkedIn, it lends itself best to Instagram with its media-centric publishing procedure and collaboration features. 

To use Later, it’s important that you have professional/creator/business accounts on social media platforms, as applicable. 

If you are a multi-location business, you must pay for the advanced plan as the starter, and basic plans support only one set or three sets of profiles across the mentioned platforms. 

Features

  • Analytics
  • Management tools
  • Unlimited content scheduling
  • Instagram Conversations for advanced plans 
  • Customizable link in the bio page 

Trial period: 14 days

Suitability: Medium-sized businesses

3. Buffer

Buffer landing page

Buffer is a social media scheduler with four plan options. The tool offers a free basic plan to manage up to three channels and works best if you have a low posting volume or are a small business. For multi-location businesses or businesses that need professional insights for more than three social channels, essentials, team, and agency plans are available. 

Features

  • Visual content calendar
  • Analytics
  • Integration with apps for media creation 

Trial period: 14 days

Suitability: All businesses can pick the plan that works best for them 

4. Zoho Social

Zoho Social landing page

Zoho Social is a social media scheduler tool that offers a free trial period of 15 days. This social media scheduling tool has several subscription plans, starting at $10 per month, which vary in the number of social media profiles, users, and features available. 

Features

  • Lead ads
  • Bulk scheduling
  • Scheduling retweets

Trial period: 15 days

Suitability: Small to medium-sized businesses

5. Sked Social

Sked Social landing page

This platform is an Instagram-first social media scheduling tool. Businesses can also schedule their content on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, TikTok, LinkedIn, YouTube, and other platforms using Sked Social. It offers drag-and-drop features for content, a visual calendar, auto-posting, and detailed analytics. They offer a maximum of 10 social media profiles per account. 

Features

  • Photo Editor
  • Instagram bio-links
  • Templates
  • Unlimited users 

Trial period: 14 days

Suitability: All business types

6. SocialBee

Social Bee landing page

SocialBee makes social posting easier by providing a lot of support outside of scheduling as well. The scheduling tool includes a social media posting planner, allowing you to create, schedule, manage, and analyze content from a single dashboard. You can manage up to 25 accounts with SocialBee if you choose their enterprise plan. 

Features

  • Content creation
  • AI post creation
  • Content ideas

Trial period: 14 days

Suitability: Small to medium-sized businesses

7. CoSchedule

CoSchedule landing page

CoSchedule is a marketing platform with a social media calendar and scheduler tool. This social media planner app provides a free marketing calendar. You can upgrade to an advanced marketing calendar with limitless publishing from $29 per month. CoSchedule’s extensive marketing calendar and collaboration tools make it a good choice for businesses looking to improve their collective marketing efforts.

Features

  • Social media campaign templates
  • Content ideation insights
  • Content optimization tools

Trial period: There is no free trial period.

Suitability: Small to medium-sized businesses

8. Agorapulse

Agorapulse landing page

Agorapulse is a social media scheduler tool that provides you with publishing, reporting, monitoring, and team collaboration tools. This content scheduling tool offers multiple subscription plans and a free plan with some basic features.

Features

  • Unified publishing calendar
  • Advertisement comments monitoring
  • Automated inbox assistant

Trial period: 30 days

Suitability: Medium to large enterprises

9. Hootsuite

Hootsuite landing page

Hootsuite’s interface, collaboration, and post tools make it a popular social media scheduling tool. It has a free trial period to test its features and functionality. Following the trial period, you are presented with various subscription options that differ in their included features, number of social media profiles, and users.

Features

  • Free integrations
  • Bulk scheduling
  • One inbox

Trial period: 30 days

Suitability: Medium to large enterprises

10. Sprout Social

Sprout Social landing page

Sprout Social is a marketing scheduler tool that allows brands to integrate their accounts to a single platform, manage their content with their visual calendar, and schedule posts for the future. 

The tool offers a media library and the ability to tag products, campaign tags, and add links to your posts. This content planner lets you categorize messages, schedule posts on all platforms, and optimize team workflows.

Features

  • Competitive reports
  • Trend analysis
  • Automated link tracking
  • Optimal publish times

Trial period: 30 days

Suitability: Large enterprises

11. HubSpot

Hubspot landing page

HubSpot is a marketing platform that includes a social media scheduler tool. It offers a free basic plan with others having a trial period of 14 days. The social feature is included in their professional plan with limited features. 

Features

  • Custom reporting
  • Hierarchical teams
  • Custom behavioral events
  • Posts review feature
  • Analytics 

Trial period: Free basic plan with 14 days trial on a few plans

Suitability: Mid-sized businesses to large enterprises

social media toolkit

Master social media scheduling for the best engagement and reach

Social media scheduling can be a game-changer for businesses in increasing engagement and reach. It is a powerful tool that allows you to plan and schedule social media posts in advance so that your posts go live when your audience is most active. 

Here are some tips to help you get the most of social media marketing scheduling

Know your audience

The first step in mastering social media scheduling is to know your audience. Understanding your target audience’s preferences, habits, and behavior is essential to creating a successful social media strategy and schedule content. Knowing when your audience is most active can help you determine the best times to post your content and boost engagement. 

Tailor your content to each platform

Different social media platforms have different audiences and content requirements. Make sure you’re creating content tailored to each platform. For example, Twitter posts should be more concise, while Instagram posts should include visually appealing images. Also, videos have different optimal posting times compared to photo posts. Knowing these can help you schedule the right content at the right time. 

Incorporate user-generated content

User-generated content is any content (text, images, posts, reviews, videos, etc.) created by an individual rather than the brand. This type of content e is a powerful tool for building brand trust and increasing engagement. 

In fact, reports show that 79% of people believe that user-generated content highly impacts their purchasing decisions. Consider incorporating user-generated content into your strategy to boost positive brand mentions and add authenticity to your content. 

Experiment with different posting times

While knowing when your audience is most active on social media is important, it’s also essential to experiment with different posting times. Testing different posting times can help you identify the best times to post for maximum engagement and reach. 

Engage with your audience

Engaging with your audience is crucial to building a solid social media presence. Responding to comments, asking for feedback, and starting conversations can help you connect with your audience and increase engagement. 

Additionally, engaging with your audience can help you identify what types of content resonate with them and adjust your social media strategy accordingly.

CTA Banner for Social media strategy template

Maximize productivity with the right scheduling tool

Choosing the right scheduling tool is crucial to maximizing productivity. Here are some features to look for in a social media scheduling tool:

Multi-platform support

Look for a tool that supports multiple social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

Advanced scheduling options

Choose a tool that offers advanced scheduling options, such as recurring posts, time zone customization, and bulk scheduling, like Birdeye Social,  which allows you to bulk post across all location-specific pages, post specific content to specific locations, and edit posts in accordance to your branding guidelines from the in-built visual editor. 

Analytics and Reporting

Look for a social media scheduler that provides analytics and reporting features, so you can track the performance of your posts and adjust your strategy accordingly.

Collaboration

If you’re working with a team, choose a tool with collaboration features, such as team member access and approval workflows. If you have multiple social media pages dedicated to multiple locations, choosing a tool that allows specific user access is also extremely helpful. 

Customer support

Choose a tool that offers reliable customer support to get help when needed. Birdeye highly values customer delight and has a dedicated support team to handle all customer queries and concerns.

Social media scheduling tools for multi-location businesses

For businesses with multiple locations, social media scheduling tools are crucial for managing a consistent presence across platforms. Multi-location businesses should look for tools with:

  • Multi-platform management to manage their presence on multiple social media platforms from a centralized dashboard
  • Advanced scheduling features like custom scheduling, bulk scheduling, and recurring posts to streamline social media management
  • Content planning and collaboration to plan and create content in advance, collaborate with team members and align social media strategy with overall marketing strategy
  • Analytics and reporting to know how the content is performing and share the reports with the management 
  • Integration with other tools like customer relationship management, email marketing, or content creation tools

Social media scheduling tools for enterprise businesses

Enterprise businesses need social media scheduling tools that can manage their social media presence across multiple teams and regions from a single dashboard. Large enterprises should look for tools with multi-team and multi-location management and customizable scheduling tools. These features promote centralized control, improved collaboration, and increased efficiency. 

Automated social media management processes save time and resources for enterprise businesses, allowing them to focus on other aspects of their operations. Additionally, media scheduling tools with multi-location and multi-team management features provide better insights, helping businesses refine their social media strategy and achieve better results.

Social media scheduling tools for small businesses

Social media scheduling tools help small businesses efficiently manage their online presence. Small businesses should look for tools with: 

  • A simple and intuitive interface that makes navigating and using the tool easier 
  • Affordable pricing
  • Social media platform integration with popular social media platforms 
  • Basic scheduling features like scheduling posts in advance, setting post frequency, and posting at optimal times 
  • Analytics and Reporting

How to use Birdeye Social for scheduling 

Birdeye’s social media software is a powerful tool for scheduling and managing social media posts across multiple locations. This software can help businesses save time and streamline their social media efforts. Here are step-by-step instructions on how to use Birdeye’s social media software for scheduling:

Step 1. Log in to your Birdeye account and navigate the social media dashboard.

Birdeye Social menu

Step 2. Select the locations you want to schedule social media posts.

Step 3. Choose the social media channels you want to post to and create your content, including any images or links. If your link needs to be shortened, you can do that before you schedule the post. 

Birdeye Social dashboard for creating and publishing content

Step 4. Set the date and time for your post to go live or save your post as a draft to use later. 

Content Calendar on the Birdeye Social dashboard

Step 5. Preview posts to make sure it looks the way you want them to.

Step 6. Schedule your post and relax, knowing your social media presence is being handled.

Step 7. For a bird’s eye view of your week or month, navigate to the date ranges to see queued posts. 

Step 8. For a detailed view of each channel’s performance, use the Engage, Listen, and Analyze tabs to effortlessly monitor the progress of your content within your chosen date range.

Using a social media scheduling tool that makes publishing and monitoring effortless can go a long way in optimizing your social media management efforts. 

FAQs about social media scheduling

Can I use a social media scheduling tool for free?

Yes, there are many social media scheduling tools available for free. However, the features and limitations of the free version may vary depending on the tool. Research and compare different tools to determine which fits your business’s needs best.

What challenges do you expect to encounter as a scheduler?

Common social media scheduling challenges are: staying current with the latest trends and algorithms, tailoring posts for each social platform, and measuring results.

What do you look for in a scheduling tool?

When looking for a scheduling tool, it’s important to consider features offered, ease of use, pricing, automation capabilities, analytics and reporting, the ability to collaborate with team members, customer support, and integrations. 

What are the benefits of using a scheduling tool to post content?

Using a scheduling tool to post content has several benefits, including saving time and effort, ensuring consistent and timely posting, allowing for planning and organization, and enabling analytics and optimization. 

Simplify and scale social scheduling with Birdeye

When it comes to growing a social audience, consistency is key. With Birdeye Social, you can schedule multiple posts across accounts and networks simultaneously and track them through a calendar — filtering by date, status, channel, location, and region. 

Book some time with a Birdeye product expert to learn more about how Birdeye’s unified platform for publishing, engagement, listening and reporting across brands and locations.

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Originally published