A Guide To Social Media Scheduling

A Guide To Social Media Scheduling

You will have no doubt heard about social media scheduling, and been encouraged to use it. As I’m having a break with my family this week, social media scheduling is currently saving me from disappearing from the blogging community! (We wouldn’t want that now, would we?!)

Social media scheduling is one of those things where you may catch yourself wondering where to start, and what to use. So, let’s explore the options and to try to provide some answers.

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Tweetdeck

Tweetdeck

Pros of Tweetdeck:

  • You can schedule an unlimited number of tweets. I must admit, Tweetdeck was a lifesaver when I did the 24 hour Twitter chat, because it meant I could set all my questions up the day before. I wouldn’t have been able to do this on the other options because of the restrictions.
  • You can have streams for Home (your timeline), Notifications, Messages, so you’re kept up-to-date at all times.

Cons of Tweetdeck:

  • It’s for Twitter only, whereas other options link to other social media platforms.
  • There’s no longer a mobile app, as Twitter wanted to push users towards the normal app.
  • Setting up your tweets on here feels more tedious compared to other tools, in my opinion.
  • The streams can be distracting. I tried to turn off auto-refresh but it didn’t work, so they were constantly moving. In the end, I removed them.

Top tip: If you want to improve productivity, if you’re using a scheduling tool which has streams, remove them so you only have your scheduled column. This means you can focus on the task of scheduling content, rather than getting distracted by tweets and notifications.

Hootsuite

Hootsuite

Pros of Hootsuite:

  • You can schedule posts to Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and more.
  • You can set up streams, in the same way as Tweetdeck.
  • It has an auto schedule which apparently sends it a time for “optimal impact.” I haven’t tried this feature but if you’re unsure about posting times, it could come in handy.
  • Convenient mobile app, in case you need to tweak times, or add new posts. On the rare occasions I’ve remembered to schedule things for Instagram, the mobile app has been great for this!

Cons of Hootsuite:

  • You can only schedule 30 posts without upgrading.
  • Plans are expensive. The basic one is £25 a month – 10 social media profiles, 1 user, unlimited posts.

Buffer

Buffer

Pros of Buffer:

  • Easy to use.
  • You can connect Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and more.
  • Similarly to Hootsuite, it has a good mobile app.
  • If you go to Settings > Posting Schedule, you can select the times you’d prefer for your posts to go out. This is useful as it means when you press “add to queue”, you don’t need to think about a time to set. Don’t worry, though, you’re not stuck with the times you set up. If you needed to send something at a different time for a particular reason, you still have the option to set a time.
  • I like the fact when you paste your link into the box, it shortens it and pulls images from your post so you can select an image.

Buffer Shortened

Cons of Buffer:

  • You can only schedule 10 posts per social media platform, which would be fine for the likes of Instagram and Facebook, but not Twitter. I generally schedule 4 promo tweets per day, so it’s not going to get me far.
  • You need to upgrade to be able to post more, and it’s $15 a month.

Of the three, I tend to use Hootsuite. I personally don’t enjoy using Tweetdeck, although I can’t put my finger on why. It seems a little outdated and less intuitive than the others. Buffer, in terms of usability and features, is my favourite, but too restricted. With Hootsuite, I can set things up for a whole week, which is an important factor for me.

Top tip: While using a social media scheduling tools like these keeps everything together in one place, you can schedule posts on Facebook itself. There have been rumours and debate as to whether this enables better organic reach, but it’s hard to prove that, given the varying factors which impact a post’s success.

Facebook

Tailwind*

Tailwind

I haven’t tried Hootsuite or Buffer for Pinterest because Tailwind* takes the crown for me when it comes to Pinterest scheduling. It’s one of the tools which took my viewers to 1 million in less than 3 months. There’s a lot to it and it could probably do with a post of its own, but I’ll try and cover some basic points.

Pros of Tailwind:

  • As you can see from the image, it gives you handy facts and figures to consider, including how many repins your pins have had, pins from your site and the growth in followers.
  • Tailwind Tribes – these are similar to Pinterest group boards. You can pin your own content to them, have them repinned by fellow users and find new content to repin to your own boards. You can access these even with a free account.
  • It’s approved by Pinterest, so there’s no risk of your account being suspended for using this automation tool.
  • Similarly to Buffer, if you go to Publisher > Your Schedule, you can select times you want to post. When you add a pin to your queue, it will go to the earliest available slot. Again, you can set a specific time if you’d prefer. Tailwind suggests times to pin, based on activity on your account:

Tailwind Schedule

The slots which are coloured in are times I have selected. The white ones with the dotted line are recommended by Tailwind. Of course, you don’t have to select them all, you can play around – select new ones, deselect old ones and see how you get on!

Cons of Tailwind:

  • You have to pay to get the best of it. I do believe it’s worth it, and it’s one of the best investments I’ve made for my blog, but it’s not necessarily an outgoing everyone can afford.
  • The mobile app is pretty hopeless, so you really need to access Tailwind through a browser on your computer.
  • If you pay monthly, you can pin 400 times a month, whereas if you pay annually, you have unlimited pinning. It does work out cheaper if you pay all at once for the year ($9.99 a month rather than $15 a month) but this involves dropping $119 in one go. If you decide to go for a paid plan, you can use my referral link* to get $15 credit.

There are other social media scheduling apps out there, but these are the ones I have the most experience with. If you find none of these are right for you, a quick Google search for “social media scheduling tools/apps” will bring up lists with other options to try!

How many posts should I schedule?

This depends on the platform.

  • Facebook – once a day, twice MAXIMUM.
  • Twitter – As I’ve mentioned, I have 4/5 promotional tweets set up a day. These are spread throughout the day. I also try to tweet/retweet other things in between so my profile isn’t full of my own links.
    My times are like this:

    • 3am – to reach my American friends
    • 8am – to catch those on their way to work/looking for something to do
    • 1pm – lunchtime
    • 6pm – most people have finished work and are free to check things out
    • 9pm – after kids have gone to bed and the grown ups have some time to themselves
      You could go with similar times, try your own, or go on what Hootsuite/Buffer suggest. If you wanted to go with your own, make sure you take a look at your audience first. Check your stats to see where your views are coming from. The majority of mine are from the UK and US so I based my times on this information.
  • Instagram – I hardly ever schedule my posts on Instagram, because I shove them on there as and when I feel like it. I am considering starting this up, though, because I’ve been quite inactive on there lately. I’d say once a day is plenty, but it depends on your preference.
  • Pinterest – as you can see from my Tailwind schedule, I have A LOT of pins scheduled. I pin around 50 times a day. You don’t have to dive into this commitment straight away but try to schedule around 30 pins, throughout the day, to start. If you have a spare few minutes, you could use the Pinterest app on your phone to pin manually to bump up the number.

What do I schedule?

If you’ve recently published a new post, then that’s obviously where to start. But, what else can you schedule?

  • Have a list of your old posts (including guest appearances on other blogs) and cycle through them. This brings life back to your old work. As you will hopefully have gained followers since you published some of your posts, you can get it in front of a new audience. Make sure to include some RT accounts and hashtags, too.
  • Other social media links. So, share your Instagram link in a tweet, or schedule a Facebook post to encourage people to follow you on Twitter. You get the idea.
  • Other people’s content. Read a blog you LOVED? Get it set up! This is a nice break from self promotion, and a great opportunity to do something nice for another blogger.

But, why bother with social media scheduling?

The number one reason I encourage people to use these tools is this:

If all of your promo is set to go out on auto-pilot, your time on social media can be used to interact, engage and network. You don’t need to stress about sharing your blog posts, because they’re set up and ready to go.

People always seem to worry about the best times to post on their blogs, but here’s the truth: it doesn’t matter. You can post whenever you want, it’s when you promote that makes a difference.

Other than that, it saves time and stress in the long run, and gives you a consistent presence online. Sure, it takes a chunk of time to get it set up for the week ahead, but I promise, it’s worth it!

Social Media Scheduling

36 Comments

  1. 27th August 2018 / 11:36 am

    Great guide! I love your suggested schedule for Twitter. Out of these I’ve only used Buffer. I started using it recently just to schedule three or four tweets each day (it’s been a bit of a life saver while my son has been off school). I’m curious as to when bloggers do their scheduling, do you set aside some time each day to schedule or is it something you do once a week etc?

    • ruthinrevolt
      Author
      27th August 2018 / 11:40 am

      I have time set aside each day to do it, just to keep on top of it, but I know other bloggers do it weekly which works as well 😊

  2. 27th August 2018 / 12:23 pm

    Such a helpful post Ruth! I’ve never scheduled anything, I think it’s because I never know where to start but this post has given me so many great ideas. I really need to work on Pinterest, so Tailwind sounds like the most useful tool. Do you pin lots of different pins everyday or repeat the same pins at different times through the day? Once I am able to, I think I’ll go for the paid version and I’ll definitely use your referral link. It sounds like scheduling takes some time & effort but is worth it in the long run. Thank you for sharing another super useful post 💖 xx

    PS. I just realised I only follow your Blogging Buddies group board, can I join up please? ☺️

    Bexa | http://www.hellobexa.com

  3. 27th August 2018 / 1:35 pm

    I couldn’t survive without social media scheduling tools for work purposes. Managing your own social media without a schedule is fine and dandy… but when you have multiple campaigns on the go … you are a brave soul to go it alone *shudders*

    It’s a great way to allow clients to see their campaigns all in one place before going live too 🙂

    I find Buffer quite glitchy with LinkedIn / Instagram posts?! Maybe that’s just me? Those platforms seem to disconnect a lot.

    You are so right about tailwind. It’s so good for Pinterest. I love tailwind tribes 🙂

    Rach

    https://rachaelhope.co.uk/2018/08/05/tweetdeck-vs-buffer-how-should-you-schedule-your-tweets/

  4. 27th August 2018 / 1:50 pm

    This is such an informative guide and much needed as my plan for this week is to look into social media scheduling 😊 you have given me a lot to think about so thank you 😁 🖤

  5. Kim
    27th August 2018 / 2:06 pm

    Fantastic guide to scheduling tools. I’m just starting to get serious about the whole blogging/social media world, so it’s great to get a real user experience for guidance. Many thanks

  6. 27th August 2018 / 2:06 pm

    Wow I didn’t know anything about this, this post is really helpful and is going help me out a lot now I know about it.

    It’s so hard to manage a blog and social media when you have such a busy lifestyle or bad signal 🙈

    Thanks for sharing!

  7. 27th August 2018 / 2:30 pm

    What do you think about tailwind for Instagram? Been considering lately but am worried that switching to a business account on IG will affect my reach. Thoughts? Currently, I’m try planoly.

  8. 27th August 2018 / 8:11 pm

    I found this really helpful Ruth, I have briefly used Buffer but Hootsuite sounds like a better option. I’m way behind the game on Pinterest though, one day I’ll find the time to do everything!!

  9. 27th August 2018 / 8:19 pm

    I mainly use buffer and hootsuite. Also like tailwind but not loving it. Great summery 👍🏼

  10. 27th August 2018 / 9:48 pm

    Great post I personally prefer buffer. I also have a custom short domain I have purchased and added to bit ly so my links are more on my brand. You can do this on bit ly free tier then configure buffer to use that domain. Next add to google anyletics so you can track your campaigns etc.

    GR | https://www.thegreat.uk

  11. 28th August 2018 / 1:23 am

    I’ve never used social media scheduling, but I can see the advantages. Thank you for doing the research and the trial and error, AND sharing your experience! Much appreciated, Ruth!

  12. 28th August 2018 / 4:12 am

    Thanks for the sample schedule! I’ve been trying to figure out when to tweet and pin, and how often I should do it.

  13. 28th August 2018 / 6:40 am

    Great post full of great advice Ruth. I have Hootsuite but haven’t really used it much, it’s on my to do list… just have to actually DO it!

  14. 28th August 2018 / 10:16 am

    Woah! I need to up my scheduling game then! I use Buffer and Tailwind at the moment… I am in LOVE with Tailwind. Always loved Pinterest but struggled to use it for scheduling blog post promo, so it’s been helping me get into it!
    I use Planoly for my Instagram posts if you ever want to get into Instagram scheduling, that seems to be the only one that actually auto posts properly for me.

    Katie | https://katielclark.co.uk

  15. 28th August 2018 / 3:54 pm

    Such a lovely guide! My social media promotion is something I definitely need to get on top of because it makes such a difference when it’s done right. I personally love Buffer, and loathe Tweetdeck, but the others all sound so intriguing!

    Cordelia || cordeliamoor.com

  16. 28th August 2018 / 3:56 pm

    Really helpful post girl! I think is time for me to start scheduling too 🙂

  17. 28th August 2018 / 10:39 pm

    Fab guide. I always schedule and then run out of steam. I’m just really unorganised tbh. Personally, I use crowdfire and I have a premium plan. I got it on offer but don’t think I’d pay full price for the service. Tailwind appears to be excellent, though personally, to take on pinterest too would be far more than I can chew, so I just settle for twitter and facebook.

  18. 30th August 2018 / 11:58 am

    Ruth this post is so helpful – thank you so much my dear!

    Hope you’re having a wonderful break with your family – you deserve it!

    Nati x | http://www.naticreates.com

  19. 2nd September 2018 / 1:46 pm

    Thank you for giving pros and cons on some of the scheduling apps. I’ve only just Started to schedule and currently use Hootsuite. It really does help take the stresses off remembering to promote yourself on the social media platforms. I really find Pinterest quite complicated but am slowly learning. Thank you for the guidance and information, have a lovely week.
    Kate x
    http://www.katesbeautyhome.com

  20. 3rd September 2018 / 8:07 pm

    This is such a great post, although I would be slightly worried about all the costs!

    How much do you spend on apps to schedule posts? Feel free to message me instead if it’s too private to share! I’m just extremely curious!

  21. 4th September 2018 / 9:56 am

    Great post! It’s really useful! Thank you for sharing!
    So far I’ve been using the free version of Buffer for my scheduled tweets (I can plan 5 days with 2 promo tweets a day) and tweet manually in between.
    I got the monthly paid plan of Tailwind but I still need to make my way around it hahaha Still so much to learn!

  22. 5th September 2018 / 1:28 pm

    This is so helpful especially if you’re blogging while being a fulltime worker. I’ve been thinking on upgrading my tailwind account but I’m still on the fence about it.

    • ruthinrevolt
      Author
      7th September 2018 / 3:16 pm

      I do think Tailwind is worth it, but it depends on your circumstances. If you don’t want the extra expense, then you can still do well with Pinterest, but it probably takes longer and a bit more work!

  23. 6th September 2018 / 6:01 am

    I have not yet tried any of these, so this post was very helpful! You have laid it all out in a very organized and informative manner. It’s been challenging for me to focus on social media promotion and the blogging equally. I think I’m on twitter way more than I write blog posts, lol.

    A very eye opening post! Thanks for sharing your experience with these scheduling tools, Ruth! I would love to see more info about the different levels of cost – do some applications offer a free version?

    • ruthinrevolt
      Author
      9th September 2018 / 10:08 am

      I’m so glad you found it helpful. I believe they all have free versions, yes! The only one I’d say SHOULD be paid for to get the best from it is Tailwind. With the others, you can get by on free versions.

  24. 6th September 2018 / 12:15 pm

    Your blog looks so good on mobile! Top notch.

    So you currently have two tools you use. As a whole do you reckon it’s worth the investment? I’m looking at introducing one for twitter. Does Hootsuite not cover Pinterest?

    • ruthinrevolt
      Author
      9th September 2018 / 10:10 am

      Tailwind has been worth the investment, and that’s the only one I’ve paid for. I believe Hootsuite does cover Pinterest, but I was using Tailwind before I started with Hootsuite so had no reason to try it. 😊

  25. 6th September 2018 / 4:39 pm

    Great post! I’ve meaning to do more social scheduling but life seems to get in the way. But in order to save time, I guess I better make time. Oooh! I should put that on a t-shirt. Thanks, Ruth!

    • ruthinrevolt
      Author
      9th September 2018 / 10:11 am

      It happens to all of us, but it’s worth squeezing it in somewhere if you can!

  26. 6th September 2018 / 11:43 pm

    This was a great post. I was thinking about this the other day. I ended up with Hootsuite

  27. 24th September 2018 / 5:27 pm

    Thanks for this post! Social media is taking up a lot of my time but since I also work full time, I could use some help. I already use Tailwind and I agree, it’s wonderful. My Pinterest would be suffering without it. I just need to find the right solution for Instagram and Twitter!

    • ruthinrevolt
      Author
      25th September 2018 / 10:33 am

      No problem! I tried a few before I settled on Hootsuite, and even that isn’t perfect, but it does what I need it to, and for free. 🙂

  28. 29th November 2018 / 11:15 pm

    Finally, a pros and cons post! So informative and helpful! I really need to get onto social media scheduling and you have answered my thousands of questions and eased some doubts! Thank you 😀

  29. 30th November 2018 / 6:04 pm

    Ruth this post made me smile because I was just thinking how I need to schedule tweets, especially in December, one of the busiest times of the year for me. I like how you post the times you schedule. I never thought about a time frame. Going to did on my stats and work something out for myself over the weekend and see how it goes 😁

    Natonya | https://www.justnatonya.wordpress.com

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