If you aren’t on social media, are you even a company? Of course, this is merely a jest, but you will find that fewer and fewer companies are ignoring the power of social media these days. The challenge for many who dive into social media is that it takes a considerable amount of time and resources to get the greatest ROI.
In the past few years, a number of social media scheduling tools have hit the market, or have been added to the most popular social platforms to make the process easier. But is a scheduling tool right for your company?
Like most things, there are both pros and cons to implementing these tools, and ultimately the decision is based on what makes sense for your company at any given time. Our goal is to help you weigh the benefits and drawbacks so that you can make an informed decision.
Tools don’t exist just because they are designed to serve a distinct purpose and generate a return on investment for the end-user. Scheduling tools are no different, and here are some of our favorite benefits.
If time is money, the value that convenience brings to the table is worth its weight in gold. Look at Hootsuite, Social Pilot, ZoHo, or even the native tools on Facebook, and convenience is a central theme. In many ways, this makes sense because you aren’t likely to use a tool if it makes your job more difficult.
But how do these platforms make the process easier? Most notably, they allow you to schedule posts ahead of time. This means that you can knock out a week's worth of posts in a relatively short period of time instead of having to remember to log in to each platform and post your content.
This benefit only increases as you dip your toes into more social media platforms or move to paid advertising in addition to organic growth. One platform to easily manage all of your social media sites is a pretty big weight to tip the scales in favor of scheduling tools.
Convenience not only impacts the amount of time that you have to spend on setting up and posting content, but it also frees up time to generate better content. If you don’t have to spend several hours each week posting and managing your social media pages, that time can be used to capture videos of your products, build marketing strategies around new initiatives, and engage with your audience.
Keep in mind that engagement is one of the most important pieces of any social media algorithm. Ignoring engagement can make or break how successful your company will be when utilizing social media, yet many companies fail to engage with comments on a daily basis. We covered this and more in a recent article.
Those that are regular subscribers to this blog know that the HAW team are data-loving nerds, making this aspect of social media scheduling tools one of our favorite. One of the first things that you should look at when executing a social media campaign is the data, so additional reports and data points are essential.
One of the best is smart scheduling. Platforms like Hootsuite will highlight the best times to post, and because you don’t have to set an alarm to post on the day of, you can meet your audience at the time of day that they are most active.
As your company grows, there is a good chance that more than just one person will be involved in creating social media content and managing your pages. Any platform that you might look at offers a great option to increase collaboration, without the need to designate twenty people as an administrator on your Facebook account.
Beyond simply granting access to your scheduling tool, the ability to create drafts for approval is something that our team finds essential. For managers, this means the ability to delegate the task, yet still have a hand in the process.
Additionally, the engagement piece we just described falls under this category. If your social media leader is out on vacation, your team can easily carry the torch and engage across all of your platforms.
Thus far we have been focused on why you should consider adopting a scheduling tool in your social media strategy. But we have to acknowledge that there are a number of drawbacks that can be prohibitive for companies, especially as they are just getting started. Here are our top three disadvantages.
It should come as no surprise that that cost is the first drawback. Yes there are tools in the Meta suite that are free to use, but they don’t extend outside of that social sphere. If you are looking to manage a wide number of social media sites, you are likely looking at a paid platform that has the integrations you desire.
Many of the top platforms do offer a freemium version, but again these will be very limited. It isn’t until you get into the paid subscriptions that you get the full benefit of the system.
Not all platforms offer the same functionality that you will find in the native platform. For example, the ability to mention someone on LinkedIn through Hootsuite simply isn’t available. This can be a bit frustrating, especially as it is one of the best ways to boost engagement and reach a wider audience.
This might not be an issue if you are only leveraging one or two platforms, but as you expand into other areas, it can prove to be problematic and time-consuming to either post individually, or go back and edit posts on each social media platform.
Integrations are what just about every scheduling platform will sell you on, but don’t be fooled, they don’t all connect to every social media site. Sure you will find that most scheduling tools connect you with the most popular social media platforms, but it isn’t a given.
A prime example of this is TikTok. Only recently has the platform been opened up to a wider number of scheduling tools, and even then it pales in comparison to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. If your company is looking outside of the biggest social media platforms, you might have to do a little digging to find a scheduling solution that will work for you.
As previously mentioned, the ultimate decision of whether or not you should be using a scheduling tool comes down to each company. At the very least, we do recommend that you tap into the native tools, like those on Facebook, because hey why not, they are free to use. As you expand outward, our best advice is to do your due diligence and find a platform that can both meet your current needs and grow along with your business. For more social media tips and tricks, make sure that you are subscribed to our blog.
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