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The low down on social media schedulers

May 10, 2018

 

Scheduling your social media is a HUGE time saver. And given that we never have enough hours in the day, this should be welcome news for most! I spend a day a month scheduling all of my Facebook posts and mapping out Facebook Group contributions. I am yet to move to Instagram scheduling (but I am well on the way).

 

With Instagram’s recent announcement on the ability to schedule and publish posts via third party apps, I thought that this would be a great opportunity to share with you my research into a few different social media schedulers, their costs and functionality.

 

Important note: Whilst many third party apps have been posting to Instagram on your behalf, these have been against the rules of Instagram. Every social network has an API which is a series of procedures allowing third party applications to post on behalf of a user. Until now, Instagram did not allow this to happen. In many cases Instagram ‘scheduling’ still requires some manual intervention on your behalf. You need to click on a notification sent to you to be able to post at the right time.

 

The right application for you will depend on whether you manage others’ accounts, how many profiles you have and your budget. I have focused on apps that provide Facebook and Instagram as part of their offering, as I figure that if you’re going to pay for a scheduling tool, it may as well cover your two main bases. Here are some of the big names and what you can expect from their cheaper versions.

 

Hootsuite

 

Number of social media platforms supported: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn to name a few. 35 altogether.

Cost: from $25pm

Number of profiles: 10 profiles, unlimited scheduling, one user

Able to post to Instagram: Yes, but you need an Instagram business profile. Videos are via notifications. Still many glitches being worked through

Free version available: Yes – 3 profiles, 30 scheduled messages

Comments: Contains real time analytics across all platforms

 

Buffer

 

Number of social media platforms supported: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google +

Cost: from $15pm

Number of profiles: 8

Able to post to Instagram: No – notifications sent to you

Free version available: Yes – 3 social accounts, doesn’t include Pinterest, only 10 scheduled posts per social account, no analytics

Comments: Can only schedule up to 100 posts per social account for $15pm. Increases to 2,000 on $99pm plan

 

Later

 

Number of social media platforms supported: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest / 100 posts on each per month

Cost: from USD$9pm. Annual billing options

Number of profiles: 1 per platform

Able to post to Instagram: Not fully automated yet, you receive a notification when it’s time to post

Free version available: Yes - can’t post videos, limits on number of posts per platform per month. This app started as Instagram scheduler, but has transformed into other platforms as well

Comments: Not as big a jump to next tier in pricing which is USD$19pm then USD$29 which is good if you’re planning on taking on managing client social media

 

Sprout Social

 

Number of social media platforms supported: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google +

Cost: USD$99pm per user 10% discount paid annually

Number of profiles: 10

Able to post to Instagram: Not fully automated yet, you receive a notification when it’s time to post

Free version available: No – but 30 day free trial on all tiers of pricing

Comments: If you’re looking for analytics, reporting and insights, this is your app.

 

Mav Social

 

Number of social media platforms supported: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube

Cost: from $19pm. Pay annually for 2 months free

Number of profiles: 10

Able to post to Instagram: Unclear

Free version available: Yes – just supports Facebook and Twitter, 10 posts per day

 

Sendible

 

Number of social media platforms supported:

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, plus many more integrations

Cost: from $29pm. Pay annually for $24pm

Number of profiles: 4

Able to post to Instagram: Yes. Videos require notifications to be sent

Free version available: No free version. 30 day free trials available on all tiers

Comments: Sendible is one of the very few apps that have a fully integrated Instagram publishing feature

 

Remember to always read the fine print as each app considers the definition of ‘profile’ differently.

 

So, the low down is this. If you’re looking for a Facebook-esque version of scheduling and publishing for Instagram, you may need to wait a little while yet.

 

If you’re interested in finding out who can officially schedule with Instagram, check out the list here.

 

If you need help creating consistent content and scheduling options for your business, make sure you visit my packages page or drop me a line.

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