It's 2:00 AM. On your way to the fridge for a late-night snack, your best tweet ever pops into your mind! What should you do? Post it right then and there when the world is sleeping (and risk almost no one seeing your brilliance), or wait until the morning when you're busy getting ready for work (and possibly forget to post it at all)?
No need to worry about this ever again! When you use an auto-poster like Hootsuite, TweetDeck, or the new kid on the block, Buffer, you can engage social media followers and customers around the clock. Schedule messages and campaigns on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn at the perfect time.
These aggregator apps help you use your time more efficiently (and schedule those amazing late-night tweets for the next day). You can sit down, write a week's worth of tweets, and load them up. You won't need to log in again all week. Your social media accounts will remain active without your presence. (You'll still need to comment and interact as needed, but that's the fun part!)
Let's take a look at THE BIG 3 apps:
Arguably, this is the most popular social media posting application. Hootsuite has integrations for most major social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook Profiles and Pages, LinkedIn Profiles and Groups, and Google +).
What makes Hootsuite the Cadillac of autoposting programs is the social analytics. There are a whole slew of reports you can use to track your shareability and success.
Hootsuite does have a Bulk Uploading tool, but it's clunky. Unless you want to brave the difficulties of CSV exporting, you'll need to schedule your posts one by one.
If you upgrade to a paid plan ($5.99/month), you can add a team member to handle your social media management. You can monitor their upcoming posts, and approve or discard them in advance.
Like Hootsuite, the TweetDeck application lets you view feeds from multiple social media accounts on one dashboard. You can post to different accounts on different platforms with just a click.
Unlike Hootsuite, which is a browser-based application, TweetDeck can be downloaded onto your computer. If you want the ability to compose and schedule tweets while you are offline, and upload your work later, TweetDeck is the way to go.
I suggest creating a column for your competitors, so you can monitor their activity. Create another column for power Twitter users that also speak to your type of audience. You can use this feed as a ‘swipe file’ to get ideas for your own posts.
The newest addition to the social posting arena is Buffer. You can only add the three major social media platforms (Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook - including brand pages) but what Buffer lacks in integration, it makes up for in ease of use.
Select an account in Buffer, and write post, after post, after post. Share all of your links. The application will automatically ‘buffer’ them to be separated according to a default time spacing (for example, posting every 4 hours), or you can adjust the ‘buffers’ as you like. You can also reorder your upcoming posts with a drag and drop interface.
You can Buffer any cool article you find into your feed with a single click by using a browser extension. As you surf the web, you can update your weekly social media activity with almost no effort.
What’s your favorite social media tool? Let us know in the comments below.