No matter if you’re a business, brand, public figure, influencer, or content creator, you’ll need to boost your social media presence if you want to be able to tap into your target audience and generate real-world success.
It can be time consuming to maintain an active social presence that inspires your followers and target audience, but social media scheduling tools can make the job much easier.
Your fan base expects you to be reachable and active on social media; it’s been shown that customer expectations for response time on social media range from immediately, to within the hour, to sometime that same day.
The global culture of “now” means that you need to stay active and engaged on social media.
Sometimes, between content creation, editing, posting, captioning, and all other things you are busy with, responding to users on your social media channel is at the very bottom of the totem pole.
If you want to streamline your workflow and get your content out on time, social media scheduling tools can help.
Not only will many be able to help you schedule, preview, and post your content for as far out as you’d like, many will also be able to help you to organize your social inboxes and offer a much better flow for responding to all of the people reaching out to you.
In this post, we’re going to explain a bit more about what social media scheduling tools do and how they can serve you.
We’ve also researched aspects of different social media scheduling tools available today and will provide you with the best ones at your disposal.
What are Social Media Scheduling Tools?
Social media scheduling tools help you to organize your workflow and ensure that all of the most important tasks related to content are completed on time and at the highest level of productivity.
The different types of features you can expect to see from social media scheduling tools include the following categories:
- Scheduling and Publishing: social media scheduling tools will help you to visualize your content calendar all in one place. You can also automate posting across channels, create multiple profiles, schedule out posts as far in advance as you like, and other calendar features that make posting content to social channels easier.
- Social Monitoring: if you want successful content, it’s important to understand keywords and what people (and competition) are saying about your brand so that you can keep your reputation on track and understand what your audience really needs.
- Integrated RSS Feeds: this feature can allow your blog posts to automatically post to your social networks; it may not be applicable to all, but if you need it, keep an eye out for it.
- Custom Reporting: if you’re a social media manager or have a hard time keeping track of your social media analytics, you may want to keep an eye out for social media scheduling tools that can provide you with custom reports that make monitoring progress easier.
- Unified Social Inbox: connect with those contacting you via social media much more easily when you have a unified social inbox; avoid spending time toggling back and forth between social channels and respond to everything from all in one place.
- Competitor Analysis: understand what your top competitors are doing to stay on target and also understand your competitive advantage.
- Campaign Tracking: when your marketing strategy depends on ads, posts, and website traffic, you may want to consider using social media scheduling tools with features related to these areas.
There are many different types of social media scheduling tools out there; if you’re only worried about post scheduling, you can look for a tool that is based only on that.
When you want to streamline everything and have a hub of social media management, you may want to look at some of the tools that include more features.
We’ll get started on introducing them all in the following section.
Top Social Media Scheduling Tools
Below we’ll outline all of the different features and functions of the best social media scheduling tools.
You’ll discover what to expect when you work with each tool, what they offer you, how much they cost, and which one might be the best option for you.
Let’s check them out.
Later is an excellent social media scheduling tool if you’re looking for something that is optimized for Instagram.
Later offers post scheduling for Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok, and Pinterest. They are official partners of both Instagram and Pinterest.
The great thing about Later is that you can organize and schedule your Instagram posts using their visual schedule planner, which uses images instead of text to keep everything easily identifiable.
You’ll upload the photo to Later, then create the caption, and once it’s scheduled, you can view everything in a preview of how your Instagram feed will appear once all of the posts go live.
This is simply how the Instagram scheduler works, but you can also use their scheduling tools for the social media networks discussed above.
Later is a tool that allows you to post directly to Instagram, but not all types of content can be auto-published.
That is true of any social media scheduling tools; the way that the Instagram API works doesn’t allow third party tools to auto-publish content for all different format types.
Another highlighted feature of Later is the media library. You’ll be able to upload images for each post and they will remain in that media library.
You can add notes to those items, star images you want to focus on, as well as edit and filter your images. In addition, you can do the same with video if you have Later’s paid plan.
Later offers a quick-schedule queue, adding your content to the next available posting time available. You’ll only be able to manage your Instagram comments if you have the business plan.
Pricing depends on the features and social sets you want to access. A social set is a set of social profiles, including one of each social profile that Later services, including Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, TikTok, and LinkedIn.
The first plan is free; they then offer the following pricing plans:
- Basic: $8/mo
- Starter: $15/mo
- Growth: $25
- Advanced: $40/mo
Advanced is the only one with unlimited posts per social profile. This is really the selling point of Later.
A company that has over 13 years providing social media scheduling tools, SocialOomph started out as a pioneer for Twitter scheduling.
While they now have expanded to all social platforms, including Discord, Facebook, LinkedIn, Mastodon, Pinterest, Reddit, and StockTwits, they continue to be one of the leading providers for Twitter.
If you’re looking for Instagram, you’re out of luck with SocialOomph as they don’t offer services for this platform, nor do they offer services for TikTok.
They offer a 30-day trial that allows you to check out their different features, including:
- Precise scheduling
- Post queues
- RSS feeds
- Tagging posts for collaboration
- Self-destructing posts
- And more
When you use their paid plan, you can control all tweets and other posts from within one place. You can see what you’ve posted, look for posts by specific words, and more.
The self-destructing posts that will disappear automatically after a certain time period can also be useful, especially if you’re offering discounts or other time-sensitive information that aren’t going to apply after some time.
The paid plans for SocialOomph are plenty, with three pricing tiers:
- Advanced Suite: $15/mo
- Professional Suite: $25/mo
- Business suite: $30/mo
When you test out their social media scheduling tools for 30 days, you’ll have access to their Business Suite plan.
The motto of CoSchedule is, “Get more done in less time with the only work management software for marketers.”
They’ve got a pretty good tagline, and they make it easy for you to manage different elements of your marketing with their social media scheduling tools.
Entrepreneurs and influencers alike will find different tools available to coordinate their social media posts, and possibly even blog posts.
Other marketing efforts can be managed via CoSchedule, and it’s a great option for social media managers that have many different tasks at hand.
You can use CoSchedule to manage and publish all blog content and social media promotions, as well as create social campaigns on their own or add them to individual projects.
It’s also very easy to collaborate with other team members through the CoSchedule platform.
You can test out their services through a demo, and you can also use their trial feature to test it out. The CoSchedule marketing calendar is available for $29/mo.
There is no free option, so if you need low-budget social media scheduling tools that get the job done, you may need to check out another one on our list.
They do offer a Marketing Suite that you can contact sales about if you’re looking for large-scale services, which can be good for larger teams or endeavors.
Buffer allows 10 posts to be scheduled for free, which is the same offered by Later’s free plan. Unlimited options are available for all paid plans.
The good thing about this style of social media scheduling tools is that beginners can try out different services to see exactly what meets their needs and which paid plans are worth the investment.
Buffer helps you to create a collection of posts that you want to schedule for posting at the best posting times for you.
With the basic Buffer plan, you’ll get the chance to manage up to three channels with basic publishing tools, landing page builder, and a few other very simple elements.
The good news is that Buffer only has two pricing tiers, so their Essentials plan, which costs $5/mo per social channel, offers all of the more expansive features, including planning and publishing tools, analytics tools, engagement tools, as well as the landing page builder.
With planning and scheduling, Buffer will allow you to do many things, like:
- Set posting schedule
- Tailor posts for each channel
- See all of your content scheduled in a calendar format
- Tag users on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook
- Hashtag suggestions
- And more
As you can see, Buffer is a pretty comprehensive tool for scheduling and planning; it’s not as visual as Later, but it offers a wide range of features.
If you’re looking for a unified inbox, you’ll need to keep looking. They are geared mostly around planning and scheduling.
The social media channels they service are Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
ContentCal is a content marketing management tool that will help you get your marketing planning and implementation in place.
The goal of ContentCal is to take care of the logistics so that you can focus on “strategy and creativity.”
There’s no doubt that ContentCal is an intuitive and useful tool for planning social media content in advance, and even doing so on the go. It works well for individuals, agencies, and businesses as well.
If you work on your own, you can manage everything yourself; if you collaborate with team members or managers, you can use the permissions and approval processes to make teamwork easier than ever.
You’ll be able to track your content performance and even improve in the future with the ContentCal Analytics and Respond feature.
Other tools include:
- Preset times
- Approval workflows
- Web clipper
- Category tags
- And more
There are social media scheduling tools focused around publishing as well as engagement tools and IQ tools.
You’ll be able to generate hashtags, royalty-free images, and create long and short form content that are based on your own personal keywords. This is a comprehensive tool that can take you beyond social media.
ContentCal integrates with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and others. You can book a demo, and you can also try it for free.
There are three pricing tiers:
- Essential: $30 / mo
- Advanced: Quote
- Expert: Quote
There are no other prices given for higher-tier services with ContentCal, so if you have a larger need, you’ll have to contact them directly for other options.
Crowdfire is a great pick among social media scheduling tools because it will help you to not only schedule content, but also discover content.
You can manage all of your social media accounts from one place, which definitely helps to save time.
Crowdfire breaks down their services into four different categories:
- Content: you’ll be able to curate articles and images for your social accounts with this category of tools. You can add any RSS feed to your dashboard, curate shareable images for Instagram, as well as connect outside accounts like Shopify, YouTube, and more if you want to schedule in announcements and product updates.
- Publish: Schedule and publish content on social networks, including Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Pinterest, all from the same platform. You’ll have post previews, as well as custom best times to post with recommendations.
- Analytics: using analytics from Crowdfire, you can measure, track, and better understand your return on investment. Your social channels can be added into a single report, and you can select the data points and metrics that matter most to you. Great for social media managers, you can download PDFs and PPTs to share with others; individuals can save them for later reference and easy analytics at-a-glance.
- Mentions: a customer service tool that is designed for integration, you’ll be able to track all of your mentions, comments, and replies in your team inbox. You can send replies instantly, and it can be done via mobile as well, including images, GIFs, and videos.
Crowdfire is a comprehensive option among social media scheduling tools, providing you with many different functionalities all under the same roof.
There are three pricing tiers from Crowdfire:
- Free: mostly for testing it out
- Plus: $7.48/mo
- Premium: $37.48/mo
- VIP: $74.98/mo
The above prices reflect the discount that you’ll receive if you pay annually; if you’d like to pay monthly, it costs a bit more every month. This is very common among all different scheduling tools.
Loomly is a powerful social media scheduler that helps to make brand and content management easy, especially for marketing teams.
You can effectively collaborate and set up your schedule, view analytics, and so much more.
You don’t have to deal with any spreadsheets when you use Loomly. For content planning and scheduling, you’ll be able to access both a list view as well as a calendar view.
You can also view post overviews and send notifications to email, push, Slack, and Microsoft teams.
If you need post ideas, you can check out different sources:
- RSS feeds
- Twitter trends
- Events, holidays, and other date-related celebrations
- Social media best practices
- Custom post ideas
You’ll also have a media library similar to what Later offers, allowing you to store photos, videos, notes, links, and post templates, as well as video slideshows from multiple photos. You can see everything in the Asset View.
When you’re geared towards marketing and ads, you can get some assistance in creating the most effective posts and ads using Loomly Studio, Hashtag Manager, and the UTM parameters generator.
There are integrations with Unsplash and Giphy as well.
Before you publish, you can see post and ad previews of all different content formats. If you collaborate, before going live you can implement an approval workflow or use the commenting system to make any last-minute changes, with version logs included.
You’ll also get a unified inbox called Interactions that will allow you to respond to all messages, comments, and reactions on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
With analytics as well, Loomly is a very comprehensive tool for anyone looking to up their social media game.
Loomly offers 5 different pricing tiers:
- Base: $34/mo
- Standard: $76/mo
- Advanced: $159/mo
- Premium: $332/mo
- Enterprise: quote
You can save 25% when you pay yearly and enjoy a 15-day free trial.
Sendible helps you to “grow your audience, attract new customers, and reach your social media goals with an all-in-one platform.”
It’s an official partner of LinkedIn, Facebook, as well as Instagram. They service all of those platforms, as well as Twitter, Google My Business, and Pinterest.
They claim to offer you more supported integrations than other social media tools, which means you’ll have a wide range of possibilities when you use Sendible.
You can write and schedule posts for multiple social media platforms at one time, and then publish them using the Compose feature.
They will even adapt your posts for each social media platform, saving you time and getting your content out when it matters.
Sendible also implements a visual content calendar that can help you to see things in a visual way, and there’s even an integration with Canva to help you optimize your content with one of the best graphic design tools on the market.
Without a doubt, Sendible is one of the best social media scheduling tools on the market today. Don’t miss out on their analytics tools that can help you to expand your content strategy effectively.
You can access a free trial for Sendible, after which you can choose from 4 different plans:
- Creator: $29/mo
- Traction: $89/mo
- Scale: $199/mo
- Expansion: $399/mo
You can save 15% on monthly prices when you pay annually.
MeetEdgar offers you the possibility to schedule content across Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn.
As you can see, most social media schedulers will help you with these five platforms; Later is the only one that has anything about TikTok implemented in their services.
You can automate your recurring tasks through MeetEdgar to help you save time and ensure you don’t miss any of your important tasks.
This will make sure you’re always organized and have posts coming out exactly when you need it.
You’ll get unlimited post scheduling with MeetEdgar so you don’t have to worry about any limits or monthly maximums. You can do A/B test variations as well as monitor your engagement across networks all in one place.
One great feature of MeetEdgar is the way that it recycles and stores your old posts, making it very easy to repost evergreen content.
After a 7-day free trial, MeetEdgar offers two pricing options:
- Edgar Lite: $19/mo
- Edgar: $49/mo
At this time, there are no annual discounts available for MeetEdgar.
If you’re looking for agency solutions, you’ll like what Promo Republic has to offer. They’ve built a platform made for volume, and they claim that you can “easily manage 100s of social media pages in one place.”
That doesn’t mean they’re only built for agency— they’ve also got plans available for enterprise as well as small businesses. You can easily book a demo of their tools right on the home page.
Promo Republic automates social media publishing for content as well as scheduling.
You’ll be able to put in all of your posts and visuals and then post them automatically to a handful of different social media networks, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
We can now call these “the famous five,” as they’re the standard with social media schedulers.
You can also generate post ideas with Promo Republic, edit graphics, check out analytics and reporting, as well as use AI suggestions for smarter posting.
Promo Republic offers different plans; if you’re a franchise or direct sales company, you’ll want to contact their sales department. For most businesses and agencies, you’ll choose from 4 plans:
- Solo: $19/mo
- Pro: $49/mo
- Agency: $119/mo
- Expansion: $199/mo
Prices can drop as much as 50% when you pay annually.
Social media management doesn’t have to be tedious and time consuming; when you use the right tools, you can set yourself up for success and get into a flow that makes all of the necessary, menial tasks get done at the blink of an eye.
It’s easier not only to manage your workflow, but it’s also easier to understand exactly what you have on the docket, how things are going to look, as well as monitor your strategy and understand the results you’re getting.
It’s not against any rules to use these backend social media scheduling tools, and they can help you immensely in saving time and optimizing your social media strategy.
We highly recommend that you assess your needs, test out some different tools, and find the one that feels like a good fit for you personally.
Remember, just because someone else loves working with a particular tool doesn’t mean it’s the one that feels best for you.
Select a social media scheduling tool that offers you the features you need, meets your budget, as well as offers a reasonable learning curve so that you’re not spending more time trying to figure out how it works.