Social Schedulers Reviewed
Social media networks offer a great opportunity for you to showcase your practice and share your message. Social media can also be a huge time trap. That is where social schedulers come in. Social schedulers give you the freedom to batch schedule your social posts in one sitting. Instead of posting everything in the moment (and completely missing weeks on end when you slack off), you decide when to set aside a block of time to get your social strategy mapped out and ready to roll on automation.
Below I review 3 of the most popular social schedulers: Hootsuite, MeetEdgar, and SmarterQueue.
Hootsuite is a tried and true social scheduler with widespread popularity. In a single dashboard, you can post to multiple social media networks. As of May 2018, Hootsuite supports Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, and Instagram.
The large number of supported networks is a big benefit of Hootsuite. The other schedulers are lagging behind in their abilities to support Pinterest and Instagram. Hootsuite is the only (of the 3 platforms reviewed here) that is able to post directly from its dashboard to all of the listed networks—even Instagram. (you will see below that SmarterQueue requires a mobile app for Instagram posting)
In Hootsuite, you are able to tag other Facebook pages or mention Twitter accounts. You do this by typing @… into a post when you create it. Hootsuite also has a browser extension to make it easy for you to add content directly from the web into your social schedule.
Another important benefit of Hootsuite is that the social posts do not say that they are posted “by Hootsuite.” This is good for your reputation, because it looks like your organization is doing the posting natively on each social platform. (the others say “posted by MeetEdgar” or “posted by SmarterQueue”)
The price of Hootsuite is right. As of May 2018, you can post to 10 different profiles for a mere $19.99 per month.
The only real downside of Hootsuite is that it does not allow for recurring posts. Each post you create will schedule to post only one time. That means that if you schedule a month of posts and then sit back to relax, you better remember to jump back in there and schedule your next series of posts a month later.
I have used Hootsuite (and still do to post my clients’ Instagram photos). But I found that I was spending hours on end scheduling posts that should have been in a recurring queue. Because Hootsuite only allows for one-time posts, this social scheduler has fallen from its top position of my faves.
MeetEdgar was a pioneer in providing a way to schedule recurring posts. The idea of recurring posts is that much of your content is probably “evergreen.” The content is relevant today, it was relevant yesterday, and it will be relevant tomorrow.
When you have evergreen content, there is absolutely no reason you should post it only one time to your social media platforms. Estimates say that only 5% to 10% of your followers on Facebook will see any given post. This is particularly true since Facebook has changed its algorithms to favor posts from family and friends over posts from business pages in the news feed.
MeetEdgar offers the ability to schedule a post and then save it to post again later. You can save a “library” of posts and keep them organized in “categories.” You might have a category of blog posts, inspirational quotes, and promotional offers, for example.
Then you have a “schedule,” where you decide which category of content will be posted to which social networks and when. MeetEdgar pulls from the library at each scheduled time. The benefit of MeetEdgar is that it can save you loads of time by recycling your old posts.
MeetEdgar is somewhat limited by the number of social networks it supports. As of May 2018, it only supported Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. They say that Instagram and Pinterest are coming soon.
I have been using MeetEdgar for one of my clients and have been disappointed that they removed the ability to tag other Facebook pages (this is an important way to reach a larger audience!). Another bummer is that they do not have the ability to recycle Twitter posts, so it is only Facebook and LinkedIn that get re-used.
Another downside is that MeetEdgar is priced to favor larger organizations or agencies. They offer only one pricing plan that includes 25 social profiles at $49 per month. The limitation on certain features and the pricing make MeetEdgar not so much of a fave.
Enter my current fave. SmarterQueue is very similar to MeetEdgar. It allows you to create a library of social posts, organize by category, and schedule on a recurring basis. I recently opened a SmarterQueue account and, from what I can tell, it offers all of the features of MeetEdgar and more.
In its favor, as of May 2018, SmarterQueue supported Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram (with the mobile app). They say that Pinterest and Google Plus are coming soon.
Also in its favor, SmarterQueue allows for tagging other Facebook pages, Instagram profiles, and Twitter accounts. This is an important part of a social media strategy because it makes your content visible to followers of other businesses.
SmarterQueue is the only scheduler (of the 3 reviewed here) to allow for Twitter recycling. That is a big bonus because it means you can recycle content on all of the networks supported by SmarterQueue.
When you create a new post in SmarterQueue, it is easy to customize your message or image or tagging for each of the different social networks—seamlessly in a single entry. The process is more streamlined than in MeetEdgar, where you need to enter separate posts if you want to customize for different platforms.
SmarterQueue also has content curation tools included in the platform. They help you find relevant and popular content to share with your audience.
The pricing of SmarterQueue depends on how much you need. You can use SmarterQueue for 4 social profiles at $19.99 per month or 10 profiles at $39.99 per month. I doubt you would need 25 social profiles, but if you do, the cost of SmarterQueue is $79.99 per month (higher than MeetEdgar).
Because of its range of features, ease of use, and flexible pricing plans, SmarterQueue has risen to the top of my list of faves.
Loomly. Loomly is similar to Hootsuite, in that it allows only for one-time posts (no recurring schedules). A unique feature of Loomly is that it allows for collaboration and approval of posts. This feature is really helpful if you have a staff member drafting social media posts, but you want to approve them before they go live. A downside of Loomly is that it is a bit more complicated to navigate. The many features make it a bit clunky and confusing. But, the price is right. If you are only a single user, you can get 10 social profiles for just $15 per month.
RecurPost. RecurPost is similar to MeetEdgar and SmarterQueue, in that it allows for recurring posts of evergreen content. It supports Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, and Instagram. You can get a free account if you want to login and have a look at the features. The pricing is dependent on your needs, and only $25 per month for 10 social profiles.
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