No one has the time to sit in front of the computer all day and post information at two- to three-hour intervals. Once you’ve curated your information, spend five minutes scheduling it throughout the day by using applications designed to do that for you.
There are two exceptions. Facebook has its own scheduling feature, which I urge you to use instead of an application. In addition, there aren’t any applications as of this writing for auto-posting to Google+ profiles. But you can schedule your tweets, posts, updates and even your Pinterest pins for the entire day or week.
A Word About Automation
Some people become carried away and go so far as to automate their direct messages on Twitter to new followers. Don’t do this. First, most Twitter users rarely read direct messages. Secondly, if you want to acknowledge a new follower, personalize your message. Follow their link to their blog or website and comment about that. Or if you’ve read one of their books, tell them how much you liked them.
Applications to Fit Every Desire (& Budget)
Writers new to social media tend to start with the free version of Hootsuite. It is easy to set up and will allow you to post to Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter as well as some LinkedIn groups. You can set up your feeds and use Hootsuite to keep in touch with your friends, fans, and Tweeps. It’s a very user-friendly application. The paid version will post to Google+ pages and provide analytics.
TweetDeck is a free download offered from Twitter. You can check your Twitter account from your desktop and respond to Mentions, Direct Messages, Retweets and Messages as they arrive. It’s the easiest tool to set and use but it only allows scheduling to Twitter.
Similar to Hootsuite, you can use this application to manage multiple social media platforms and schedule messages. It’s free plan allows 5 posts daily. Its $15/month Pro Plan allows unlimited profiles, up to 100 scheduled posts, and analytics.
SproutSocial offers many benefits. You can schedule your posts, including to your Google+ page, connect your account with the URL shortener Bit.ly to track click-through-rates (hits to your website), and unfollow users on Twitter. It also provides outstanding analytics. The monthly fee starts at $39/month.
This application interfaces with Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, and offers plans that range from free to $199.95/month. The free plan allows up to five Twitter accounts and 10 scheduled tweets and will help you to find new friends to grow your following.
MediaFunnel will help you to distribute your content on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Tumblr, and WordPress.com. In addition, you can use MediaFunnel to manage your brand and engage with your followers. For $5.95/month you can manage 10 social media channels, schedule your posts, and use a variety of URL shorteners to track your click-through-rates.
This versatile dashboard will download onto your PC and mobile devices (tablets, smartphones) to keep you up-to-date while you’re on the go. Use it to keep track of news and trends and to monitor your accounts.
Sysomos provides real-time coverage with hourly updates from blogs, forums, news sites, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Flickr, LinkedIn and other social network services. It will auto-moderate comments on Facebook and provide comprehensive analytics. Subscription prices aren’t listed on the website so expect this service to be pricy.
SocialOomph is a scheduler on steroids. It will allow you to schedule your social media posts, set up recurring tweets and LinkedIn posts, track your click-through-rates and keywords, and provide some basic analytics.
The free plan will allow you to schedule 4 tweets daily. The beauty of this application is that you can connect it to SocialBro, which analyzes your Twitter feed and determines your optimal tweeting times. If you’d like to schedule 8 or more tweets daily, you’ll need upgrade to the $10/month plan. With this application, you can also post to LinkedIn, Facebook, and Google+ pages. Unlike SocialOomph, you won’t be able to schedule recurring tweets.
Available from iTunes, this application integrates with Bufferapp. Use it to follow or unfollow users, view profiles, view conversations and open links without leaving the application.
This free and user-friendly program will schedule pre- and post-dated tweets and send you milestone reminders – all from your desktop.
Once you write and schedule your blog post, Dlvr.it will automatically post it to all of your social media profiles, including your Google+ page. The free plan allows you to post to Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter only and will provide you with click-through-rates.
Also available from iTunes, you can use this free application to connect with you your social media networks via your iPhone. You can post via Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, Constant Contact, email and MailChimp. You can even select and modify templates this application provides. Images formatted using Glyder will not distort when viewed on mobile devices or desktops.
This free service allows users to schedule messages on Twitter. With this application, you can schedule recurring tweets, a great time-saving feature.
Formerly called Twaitter, use Gremlin to schedule your Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook posts and to calendar your recurring posts. You can also monitor your newsfeeds with this application. Gremlin offers a free plan that allows users up to five social profiles. Gremlin uses the brev.is link shortener to monitor click-through rates.
This application will give you a secret address you can use to email your tweets to Twitter. This is probably the easiest scheduling application on the market. All you need to do is write buffer in the subject line of your email and you can schedule up to 15 tweets per email.
LaterBro is another Web application for updates to Facebook and Twitter. It’s similar to Twuffer and has a built-in URL shortener. To start using this application, just sign up with your Twitter or Facebook account, set your time zone, and start to schedule your posts.
Tips for Increasing Engagement
You want to post when you audience is online. So use one of these applications for finding out what the best times are for posting with your Twitter audience.
SocialBro will determine the best times throughout the day to schedule your most important tweets. Using this application will help you to track the growth of your followers, create insights about your audience and define the right people to engage with. Pricing starts at $6.95/month.
This free application will help you to discover the times of days when most of your followers are online. Unlike Facebook users, your followers on Twitter won’t spend time reviewing tweets posted within the past few hours. Twitter is an immediate platform so you want to get the attention of your followers by posting during the times of day when most of your followers are using Twitter.
For $9/month, this tool will provide real-time audience reach and engagement metrics, tailor recommendations for your Facebook and Twitter accounts, schedule your posts, provide weekly summaries and provide Live Chat online support.
Which applications do you like to use?