If you’re ever overwhelmed by how much time social media takes, the great news is that there are some fantastic social media tools that make the job so much easier. However, there is one big problem. There are so many tools, it can be hard to decide which one to use. In this video and article, I get into how to choose the best social media tool FOR YOU.
The Right Social Media Tool FOR YOU
While I will share with you the social media tool that I ended up choosing, my purpose is not to tell you to use that tool. Instead, the goal is to equip you to choose the best social media tool FOR YOU. I get into the process that I went through so you can apply the same process to make your decision.
Step 1: Determine What Matters Most To You
The various tools have various features. So the first step is to determine what matters the most to you in a social media tool.
What I recommend doing is to create a table where you can list out the various tools you want to check out, as well as the various features that matter the most to you.
For example, as you can see in the table pictured above, I have a column for the tool, and I include room to make note of the following:
- Entry level price
- What platforms the tool posts to
- The maximum number of scheduled posts, profiles, etc.
- Growth potential
- Recurring option
Let’s dive into these a little.
Pricing and Growth Potential
While I have these two areas separated out on the table, I want to address them together here, because they are related.
A big mistake that people often make is they look at the starting price for a tool, and make their decision based on that. And while the entry level price certainly matters, it’s important to consider the options you’ll need as your business grows, along with the cost of upgrading. This is important because hopefully, where you’re at in your business today is different from where you’ll be in the future. Keeping this in mind when choosing a social media tool matters because sometimes a tool that starts off cheap gets expensive really fast.
For example, you can see that Buffer starts off at $10 a month, but if your business grows much at all, before you know it, you’ll need to upgrade. And the next level for Buffer costs $99 per month. This is a huge jump compared to the other tools I checked, so I consider Buffer to be a tool with limited growth potential, at least when keeping cost in mind.
It’s also important to consider the platforms that the tool posts to. For instance, you’ll see that at the current time, Post Planner posts to just Facebook and Twitter. (More platforms are in the works.) Buffer and Smarter Queue post to pretty much everything. So if it’s important to post to multiple platforms, then Post Planner may not be best for you – unless you don’t mind waiting a bit for the addition of more platforms.
By the way, don’t make your decision to, for example, shun Post Planner based on the limited platform integrations unless posting to something like LinkedIn is a huge part of your strategy. More isn’t always better if you don’t actually use the other platforms in a way that requires scheduled posts.
Number of Posts and Profiles
Since a big reason for using a social media tool is to make life easier, it’s important to consider how many social media accounts you can connect to, and the number of posts you can schedule at a time. This matters because if you’re like me, one of the most efficient ways to work is to block out a bunch of time and schedule posts for the next month and beyond.
These posts can add up if you post to multiple profiles, and even more so if the tool you choose allows you to recycle your posts. Potentially you get to the point where you have a year or more posts scheduled, and if the social media tool you has big limitations on the number of scheduled posts, you’ll use up your allotment in no time.
Finally, the last thing on my chart is whether or not the tool allows recurring posts. What this means is the ability to automate the recycling of posts. This option matters a lot to me because I want to load a lot of posts in, and not have to worry about reposting them later.
Step #2: Pick Three to Five Social Media Tools
Once you’ve determined that matters to you, the next step is to pick three to give social media scheduling tools to research. There are a ton of tools out there. Since I had already eliminated a couple of them such as Hootsuite and Edgar, I decided to research Post Planner, Buffer, and Smarter Queue. I added those three tools to my table.
Step #3: Fill in the Information
Finally, it’s time to fill out the information for each of the tools you decided to research. While I didn’t do it this time, I often add a field for notes on a table or spreadsheet to make additional observations.
My Own Process and the Social Media Tool Winner
First, let me say that I had previously used Buffer and it’s a great tool. But the big price jump from $10 to $99 per month was something I wasn’t too keen on. I also didn’t like that the posts don’t recur, so I eliminated that one from the options. I then just had to decide between Post Planner and Smarter Queue.
Smarter Queue vs. Post Planner
A friend recommended Smarter Queue to me, so I decided to do the free trial. First let me say that from what I could see during the trial, Smarter Queue appears to be a great tool. But for whatever reason, it just didn’t resonate with me.
At the same time that I tested out Smarter Queue, I tested out Post Planner as well. I found Post Planner easier to jump right into than Smarter Queue. Also, with Post Planner, I can have up to 1,000 posts scheduled with the most basic plan (for $11 per month). Compare this with 500 posts in the queue with Smarter Queue for $19.99 per month. To get the same 1000 posts scheduled option with Smarter Queue, I’d have to upgrade to the next level and pay $39.99 per month. Since building a bank of recurring posts is a big part of my strategy, Post Planner is the better option for me.
By the way, the social media tool you use may be different than what I choose. That’s totally fine! The main thing is to find one that works for you. But if you by chance decide to go with Post Planner, I’d appreciate it you’d use my affiliate link: http://www.professionalcontentcreation.com/postplanner. It will cost you the same as if you go directly to the Post Planner site, and I’ll get a small commission.
What matters the most to you in a social media tool? Leave your thoughts or questions in the comments below.