When you run your own business or online hustle you know how crazy busy you are ALL THE TIME. You’re trying to wear a million hats. Everything from accounting and bookkeeping to graphic design and website maintenance.
Then you get these free webinars and downloadable goodies that you never seem to be able to make the time for. Courses, that will make you millions or ebooks that will make you the queen of social media and you have to have it right this second. Shiny New Object Syndrome has gotten me quite a few times.
Then when you FINALLY sit down to map out your strategy you realize that you’re going to have to have help and that’s all there is to it. No matter what we may think there are only 24 hours in a day and 7 days in a week. Some things need a personal touch and others can be automated.
That’s what I want to talk about today AUTOMATION, particularly social media automation. I’m here to help. I am here to tell you.
- What options are out there
- What they offer
- What they don’t
- How much it’s going to cost you
That way you can decide on the right tool with the right options at the right price. Here it goes in no particular order:
Where you see the (*) sign denotes affiliate links. If you purchase through these links you may save some money and I’ll receive a commission or receive discounted or free services. It will not affect your price except for instances of discounts given.
Sendible is a one-stop social media scheduling tool for agencies. If you’re doing social media management this is the perfect tool for you. I’ve been using the program since the end of November and I love how easy it is to set it and forget it. All you have to do is set up your feed (http://yourwebsite.com/feed). Not only does it display WordPress, but also: Blogger, WordPress.com, TypePad, Medium and even more!
Pegged as a social media productivity tool, Sendible has over 20 integrations with key social media networks, blogs, social sharing sites and even the communication tool, Slack. Sadly, they recently announced that they can no longer schedule to Pinterest and that’s a big issue for me.
The thing that I love most about this is being able to schedule for both of my websites at the same time. I’m using the ADVANCED plan and you can connect up to 100 social media platforms and have 4 users.
The Content section of the dashboard is a gold mine as it houses your content suggestions, RSS feeds, and the content library where you can store evergreen content you can use again and again, or the content you simply want to keep for later. The tool will search the web for articles on relevant topics for your business and can be sorted by influencers as well. You can also subscribe to the RSS feeds of your favorite blogs and news sites, then share posts automatically as soon as they’re published or approve them before they go out.
All posts are edited in the intuitive Compose Box where you can select the social network you’re posting to (you can select multiple if you wish), and schedule them as far ahead as you like. Sendible’s sophisticated algorithms can also predict the most optimal times to post on your social media networks to maximize engagement. What’s more, you can group social media posts by theme and queue them to go out at random times – this is ideal for shares from other websites and content that’s not time-sensitive.
Plans & Pricing
- Lite – $49 per month, 1 user, and 20 services
- Advanced – $199 per month, 4 users and 100 services
- Pro – $499 per month, 10 users and 300 services
- White Label – fully customized dashboard with API access, contact for pricing.
Sendible offers a 30-day free trial for all plans.
- No longer schedules for Pinterest.
- It’s a little pricey for an entrepreneur or small business owner, but for Social Media Consultants and Managers, this could save you a TON of time!
- Integration with all key social networks (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Google+) and blogs (Medium, WordPress, Blogger.com).
- Makes it easy to keep your social media calendar busy with an RSS Feed poster, content suggestions, in-built content library and easy access to the design tool, Canva.
- Bulk-scheduling content with images via uploading a CSV file.
- Has handy automation tools that drive engagement and increase your following on Twitter and Instagram.
- Visually stunning and accurate reports that can be created in 15 minutes or less, plus the ability to create custom reports with your logo and the modules you need.
- User permissions and team workflows are easy to set up.
- Mobile app available for iOS and Android.
Planable is another great tool for the social media manager or consultant. These companies make it simple to take care of multiple sites all at the same time saving you time and money. We get in the habit of saying “oh it’s just my time” I’m spending and I’m saving all of that money but that’s the wrong way to look at it. Your valuable time is money lots and lots of money. If you charge $50 an hour and you charge two hours to schedule posts for a whole month, but it actually takes you 5 hours to do the scheduling you’re wasting $150 every single month which comes to $1800.00 in lost revenue every single year.
With Planable you can add your social media platforms and the platforms of all of your clients and manage it all from one central dashboard.
Planable is the command center of social media campaigns, bringing all of your people and content in the same place. It’s a platform that allows agencies, social media managers, freelancers, marketing and communication teams worldwide to create social media campaigns and exchange feedback in the most visual way.
We started Planable out of our own need for better social media collaboration. Every single social media project we were ever involved was complete chaos in terms of collaboration. We were using spreadsheets for social media content review, PowerPoints for showcasing content to clients, Dropbox or G Drive for transferring files, fake Facebook pages for previewing content, Buffer or Hootsuite for scheduling it once it was approved. This mishmash of tools was confusing. Feedback was scattered across back and forth emails. And the exercise of imagining how a carousel or link post is going to look like after publishing on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn was simply frustrating.
As of now with Planable you can have:
- Your social content in the same place, perfectly organized and visually rich
- Preview the content exactly like it would look after publishing so no misunderstandings can happen
- Feedback exchange and real-time iteration
- Approvals, with one single click, dead simple
- Schedule, to all your social pages, on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Linkedin
Here’s a short video about the platform:
- With everyone in the same place content can be completed, scheduled, and approved at a much faster pace.
- See the content the content as it’s going to look on social media so no surprises later.
- They offer a great free plan as well as several options for larger businesses.
- Does not connect to WordPress
- Cannot schedule on Pinterest
Planable is offering my readers an awesome discount on new services for up to 10 people.
Use the coupon code: “planable-loves-rena” to save 33% FOR LIFE!!!
Do you need to post to Facebook groups regularly? Up until now, you could only post to groups that you own or are an administrator for. No more! Now you can post to groups that you belong to where posting is allowed saving you loads of time.
The pros that I’ve noticed right off the bat are:
A ONE-TIME PAYMENT! NO MONTHLY FEES! If you’ve been using scheduling tools you know that the monthly fees are a big hit to your income and they continue to go up and up every single year. I remember in 2014 I was paying roughly $8 a month, now in 2019, I’m paying $50! I love the idea of paying once and done! They have three plan sizes to choose from.
Post to groups you’ve joined without having to be an admin!
Schedule Your Posts
Post whatever you like!
Option to post now or schedule
Option to repeat post
Live preview of posts
Post to multiple accounts at the same time
Post to Pages, Set Delay, …
Safe for work, Free from Bans
- Use with 1 Facebook account
- Upload Images & Videos
- 24/7 email support
- Use with 3 Facebook accounts
- Upload Images & Videos
- 24/7 email support
- Use with 7 Facebook accounts
- Upload Images & Videos
- Premium Customer Support
- Specialized suggestions for your business
CoSchedule is another of my favorites and one I used until recently. The fact that it is a WordPress plugin sold me on its features in the beginning, but I quickly found out that there is so much more to it. They have added some great bonuses like saved templates, headline analyzer tools, and so much more.
You can schedule everything from your WordPress post page and never have to leave your own website. You can schedule social media for Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Linkedin, Pinterest, and now Instagram. CoSchedule is a plugin that gives you an editorial calendar right inside your website’s backend. You can schedule all of your social media as soon as you finish your post.
- You can save loads of time by scheduling all of your social media posts right inside your WordPress dashboard.
- Create social media templates that you can use over and over again saving you even more time.
- Lot’s of extra features like keyword search and headline analyzer.
- Pricing – after a recent price hike (and canceling the affiliate program) it has become out of reach for most entrepreneurs or small business.
- Features for smaller packages are a bit limited.
Grum is an Instagram scheduler only, but its one of the best I’ve ever seen. I use it to schedule all of my Instagram posts. It’s very easy to use and you can have several Instagram accounts on the same Grum plan. Its intuitive dashboard makes it easy to schedule and add hashtags or the verbiage of your choice from any computer (not just mobile).
- Allows you to schedule Instagram straight from your computer vs. mobile only.
- Pricing is very reasonable.
- Can only schedule on Instagram.
Next is Hootsuite.com. I use them for some of my clients and while at first, it was extremely overwhelming it did become easier the more familiar I became with it. I like that I can schedule posts for more than one account at a time. That saves me lots of time. They do offer lots of free resources to help learn more about social media marketing and how to use Hootesuite. The next step up is a paid subscription where you can hook up 10 social media accounts for $9.99 a month.
HootSuite offers a free plan and with that allows you to hook up three social profiles, basic analytics, content scheduling, limited content suggestions, lead-capture campaigns, you can hook up two RSS feeds, access to 150 free and paid APPS, online help center, and FREE social media courses!
I think that Buffer is a great product for the price. It’s the only one I’ve seen lately that still allows you to pin to Pinterest. As you can probably tell, Pinterest is a biggy for me. It offers a free account where you can hook up to 3 social media accounts (not including Pinterest) and their bigger plan runs $10 a month and does let you schedule to Pinterest.
Boardbooster is a Pinterest only social media scheduling tool. I like it because it’s easy to use offers not only pinning capabilities but also will clean up your boards for you with their “Pin Doctor” feature. It’s very affordable and starts out only $5 a month and their other features are only .01 a pin. There is also a looping feature that will repin over and over.
directly from native Pinterest® app or website. read more
Streamline group board contribution
Effortlessly contribute to group boards with campaigns
Improve pin quality
Test your pins for broken links, duplicates, and more
Clean up your boards
Split a board or remove all unwanted pins in one click
Host top quality group boards
Rank your contributors on performance, volume, and more
Optimize your strategy
See your best performing boards, best time to pin, and more
Social Oomph says that it can boost your social media productivity — it doesn’t have to be a manual time-consuming process! Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Tumblr, RSS feeds, blogs, and Plurk! Easily schedule updates, find quality people to follow, and monitor social media activity!
After searching their website for over 20 minutes I couldn’t find anything about the price. They do have a free version that will schedule for Twitter only, but their Premium plan (price unknown) includes everything (even Pinterest).
MavSocial is not one that I’m very familiar with, but it seems to have pretty good reviews and is not crazy expensive like some of the others out there. It doesn’t schedule to Pinterest, but it does publish to Instagram and even YouTube.
Last but not least is IFTTT. It stands for “If This Then That” meaning if this happens then I need you to do that. I’ve recently become a convert to IFTTT. I’m still learning about it, but it works by creating “Applets” much like Zapier’s Zaps. You can hook up your Instagram, Facebook, Google Docs, Evernote and much, much more and while this won’t deal with all of your social media I like it for the organization that it provides. It makes my OCD mind very happy. I can have emails automatically put into a spreadsheet, a doc, or even on Evernote. It is a free service.