In last week’s post, I wrote about how to generate a week’s worth of content for your Facebook page (or any other social media account) in one day.
And while the post is really specific about how to generate that content, you’ll notice that I did not give you the tools to actually schedule said content ahead of time.
There are many different tools that will schedule your posts ahead of time. But, since I have personal experience with only a handful, I’m going to stick to writing about the tools that I know and love.
And yes, I do mean tools in the plural. Unfortunately, there is no one tool that will allow you to pre-schedule a post to all 4 of the major social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+) at once.
With those two caveats in mind, let’s take a look at the tools I use to schedule my social media updates in advance.
Hootsuite – Facebook, Twitter, and a Google+ business page
Hootsuite is a free web-based tool that allows you to post to your Facebook page, your Twitter account, and your Google+ business page. Setting up a free account takes about 15 minutes, after which you’ll need to spend about 10 minutes connecting your Hootsuite account to each of your social media sites.
Pros: Free! Easy to use, web-based, and there’s an app for your smart phone, which means you can access it from anywhere in the world with an internet connection. It automatically shortens links for you, and you can reply to Tweets and Facebook updates from right inside Hootsuite.
Cons: Hootsuite is great for posting updates to Facebook, but it’s a terrible interface for interacting with your Facebook fans. Also, they have a lot of nifty reports, but none of them are available at the free level.
Pingraphy – Pinterest
It took me a while to find a site that would let me pre-schedule my pins on Pinterest and track the results. But I found Pingraphy a few weeks ago, and I’m hooked! It lets you upload pins in bulk and you can pre-schedule them through an intuitive, easy-to-understand interface. Plus, it tracks the likes and shares your pins receive, and even tracks your top pins and the status of individual boards. Neat!
Pros: Web-based application, so you can access it anywhere that there’s internet. You can even add a pingraphy button to your internet browser toolbar, which allows you to pin an article or video instantly.
Cons: Unlike my other favorite tools, Pingraphy is not free. (Basic accounts are $15/month). The scheduling options are great, but you have to upload an image in order to pin it at a later date. This rules out pre-scheduling YouTube movies. And, if you’re re-pinning images directly from the Pinterest website, there’s no way to schedule them to be pinned in advance.
Do Share – Google+
Do Share is an extension that you can add to the Chrome internet browser. Unlike Hootsuite, which deals only with Google business pages, Do Share allows you to post to a personal Google+ profile and Google+ communities. Since I exist on Google+ as a personal profile, Do Share is an easy way for me to pre-schedule personal updates, interesting articles, and links to cool YouTube videos.
Pros: Free! Easy to use, intuitive interface makes pre-scheduling a breeze. Probably its biggest pro is that it’s one of the few free tools out there that works with personal profiles as well as business pages.
Cons: It only works on the Chrome browser, and your computer has to be turned on when a post is scheduled to go live. Also, you cannot upload any media files, which means unless you can link to a picture online, sharing photos via Do Share is not an option. There are also no tracking capabilities.
There are, of course, many other free tools out there. You’ve probably heard of Buffer and TweetDeck, both of which allow you to schedule material in advance for Facebook and Twitter. I have never used either of these tools, so cannot speak from personal experience. But, if Hootsuite doesn’t float your boat, definitely keep them in mind as other options.
Do you have a free social media tool that you absolutely love? Leave me a comment below and tell me about it!
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