Are you looking for a more efficient way to publish your social media updates?
Perhaps you need a way to publish posts when you’re offline, but your audience is online?
You need a social media scheduling tool.
There are thousands of social media tools which all do things slightly differently, so we’ve narrowed down the field for you.
In this post, you’ll find the best social media scheduling tools that can help you save time and publish a balanced mix of content across the social networks to engage your audience at the right time.
And because we’re all different, we’ll help you choose the best social media scheduling tool for your situation.
The best social media scheduling tools for 2021
Sendible is an all-in-one social media management tool designed to help solopreneurs and agencies manage and amplify their brands.
Social media scheduling is one feature out of an extremely deep feature set. While some all-in-one tools have limited scheduling functionality, Sendible is the opposite.
You can schedule social media posts individually, through queues or in bulk.
As you create content, you can use the ‘Smart Posts’ feature to tailor posts to each social network with relevant captions, hashtags, and emojis.
If you’re planning an entire campaign, you can create your content and schedule offline and then upload it in bulk to Sendible’s scheduler.
Everything is stored in the interactive calendar, so if anything needs adjusting, you can move the content around without any fuss.
And once you discover your best-performing content, you can recycle it with repeating schedules.
Sendible’s standout scheduling features:
- Schedule social media posts, images, and videos individually or in bulk.
- Plan an entire campaign offline, then import in bulk to the scheduler.
- Tailor content to each network to maximize organic reach.
- Group posts into campaigns and schedule on separate queues.
- Recycle your evergreen posts with repeating schedules.
- Visualize and rearrange content on the interactive publishing calendar.
- Curate and share quality content with the RSS Auto Posting feature.
Sendible offers a range of subscription plans based on the number of users and services that you require. And there’s also a fully-customizable, white-label solution for larger teams and agencies.
- Prices start from $29/month or $288/year and include all the scheduling features plus a complete social inbox.
Agorapulse is another all-in-one social media management tool that includes excellent scheduling functionality.
Agorapulse’s flexible publishing options allow you to schedule your content in advance at a preselected date and time. Then you can choose whether to publish once, schedule again, or program your posts to republish regularly.
You can publish your best-performing evergreen content again and again with the queue function, so you maintain a steady stream of content.
The ‘Queue Categories’ let you organize and categorize your queued content by time slot and topic so that your team always knows what content is going out when.
If you don’t want to schedule post-by-post, you can plan and schedule a campaign offline – e.g. image posts, text/link posts, or posts from your favorite RSS feeds – and then bulk upload in one CSV file to the platform.
Agorapulse’s standout scheduling features:
- Share your evergreen content again and again with the queue function.
- Organize and categorize your queued content by time slot and topic.
- Bulk upload content in one CSV file.
- View everything on the unified color-coded, content calendar.
- Create, assign, and approve content with team workflow.
- Schedule and queue content on your Android or iOS device.
AgoraPulse has a range of subscription plans for small teams through to large enterprises. Each plan can be customized by adding additional users or profiles, rather than paying for features you don’t need.
- Free plan offers 3 social profiles and 1 user.
- Paid plans start from €99/month or €79/month when paid annually, and include all the scheduling features.
SocialBee is a powerful social media scheduling platform that goes beyond scheduling and includes features like competitor research.
Since they’re an early-stage startup, they have quite an extensive product roadmap, which means their focus is on rolling out new features. While the more established tools tend to slow down on adding new features.
But for now, their main scheduling feature revolves around category-based evergreen posting. When you schedule posts in different categories, it creates a balanced mix of various types of content. For example, you could have categories for curated content, industry news, and self-promotional topics.
Taking this one stage further, you can recycle your top-performing evergreen content to save time scheduling the same posts again and again. Select which categories you want to be evergreen and SocialBee handles the rest.
Staying with the evergreen functionality, SocialBee also lets you set posts to expire on a specific date – e.g. end Christmas posts on 25 December – or set posts to expire after a specific number of times – e.g. stop posting after three times.
SocialBee’s standout scheduling features:
- Create a balanced mix of content with category-based scheduling.
- Save time with evergreen posting.
- See all scheduled posts in the visual calendar.
- Preview each scheduled post before publishing.
- Book concierge services to help with social media management tasks.
SocialBee has a choice of three subscription plans based on the number of social profiles and content categories you require.
- Prices start from $19/month and include all the scheduling features.
Social Media Poster allows you to draft, schedule, and post content on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Instagram (scheduling only, no posting), directly from the SEMrush user interface. (Guru and Business accounts can also schedule posts to Google My Business).
For each social profile, you can create a posting schedule with the same times every day or at different times on weekdays and weekends. Links get shortened automatically with the bitly integration, and you also have the option to add UTM parameters.
When you create content, you can add it to your queue, so it’s scheduled for the next time slot. The built-in analytics allows you to check on your best-performing content so that you can schedule it again as a one-off or regularly.
The interactive calendar allows you to set the dates and times of your posts, make drafts, and create a queue. And as you create content, you can edit your images inside SEMrush.
If you’ve already planned a campaign in a spreadsheet, you can quickly upload all of your posts with the Bulk Scheduler.
SEMrush’s standout scheduling features:
- Plan and schedule content with the interactive calendar.
- Automatically queue content to simplify your posting schedule.
- Find your best performing content to schedule again.
- Create posts while surfing the web with the Chrome extension.
- Edit images without leaving SEMrush.
- Import posts from CSV files.
- Collect content ideas with the RSS feed.
SEMrush has a range of subscription plans for freelancers through to agencies, plus customized plans for large enterprises. Every plan includes the social media poster tool.
Prices start from $119.95/month, or save 16% when paid annually, and include all the social media scheduling features.
MeetEdgar is a purpose-built social media scheduling and automation tool that makes it easy to publish your content on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
MeetEdgar lets you schedule, share, and recycle the posts you want, when you want.
It uses category-based scheduling like ‘Motivation on Mondays’, ‘Blog Posts on Tuesdays’, and ‘Inspiration on Fridays’. Each category has its own color-coded queue, so it’s easy to see at-a-glance what type of content is on the schedule.
MeetEdgar continues to publish and reshare content, even when you reach the end of your queue. It simply goes back to the beginning and starts again.
But Twitter’s rules prevent you from reposting the same content, so MeetEdgar created its ‘Variations’ tool to help you reshare the same content with a unique twist.
You can add as many variations as you like to keep your posts fresh. And if you want some inspiration, MeetEdgar’s ‘Auto Variations’ tool automatically generates a selection of quote-worthy text from articles or blogs that you can use.
MeetEdgar’s standout scheduling features:
- Upload your content manually using bulk import.
- Import blogs or articles automatically via an RSS feed.
- Organize your content with color-coded categories.
- Schedule different categories for set times.
- Use auto-generated content to keep scheduled content fresh.
MeetEdgar has two monthly subscription plans – Edgar Lite and Edgar.
- Lite – $19/month
SmarterQueue is a purpose-built tool for scheduling your social media updates on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest.
SmarterQueue uses categories to manage different types of content; e.g. blog posts, questions, quotes, self-promotion, etc. Each category has its own queue with its own posting plan. Putting this all together means your scheduled posts provide the right mix of content to your audience.
Recycling times for evergreen content is separate for each category. So, for example, your ‘quotes’ might get recycled every 45 days while your ‘blog posts’ repost every 30 days.
And when you add evergreen content to your schedule, you can set it to expire after being posted a specific number of times or after a particular date.
SmarterQueue’s categories are also color-coded, so you can see at a glance what your schedule looks like in the calendar. If anything needs adjusting, you can drag-and-drop a post to a revised date and time.
The built-in ‘Analytics and Reports’ provide actionable insights such as your optimal posting schedule based on how your content performs on each social network. Plus, you can also see which hashtags get the most engagement.
SmarterQueue’s standout scheduling features:
- Use content categories to schedule the best mix of content.
- Save time reposting with evergreen recycling.
- Visualize scheduled content in the drag-and-drop calendar.
- Analyze your performance to fine-tune your schedule.
- Discover the best-curated content to share with smart search.
SmarterQueue offers a choice of flexible subscription plans based, so you only pay for what you need, whether you’re a solopreneur or an agency.
- Prices start from $19.99/month or $16.99/month when paid annually, and include all the smart scheduling features.
7. Buffer Publish
Buffer is a software application for web and mobile that lets you schedule content to Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Linkedin from one dashboard.
It has limited scheduling functionality compared to purpose-built tools like SmarterQueue and MeetEdgar, or even all-in-one tools like Sendible and AgoraPulse, but it’s simple to use.
For starters, you can create a preset publishing schedule for each social account, so content always gets posted at the optimal time. And you can tailor your content for each network, so you can customize the tone, emojis, and hashtags to fit each one.
Scheduled content is added to your calendar so you can see at-a-glance what’s lined up for each social network.
Buffer is great for scheduling Instagram content. You can either schedule directly to the network (including a first comment where you can add hashtags, etc.) or plan posts in advance and get reminders to post natively
Buffer’s standout scheduling features:
- Create a preset publishing schedule for each social account.
- Tailor your posts for each social network.
- View all the content you have lined up in the calendar.
- Choose your Instagram scheduling – direct or native.
- Collaborate on content with your team.
Buffer has a range of subscription plans based on the number of social accounts, scheduled posts, and users you require. For instance:
- The free plan includes 3 social accounts, 10 scheduled posts, 1 user.
- The premium plans start at $15/month or $144/year and include 8 social accounts, 100 scheduled posts, 1 user.
TweetDeck is a social media dashboard application for managing Twitter accounts only.
Originally an independent app, TweetDeck was acquired by Twitter in 2011 and integrated into their interface.
TweetDeck allows you to tweet messages immediately or schedule them for later delivery. Scheduled tweets get published even if you’re not running TweetDeck at the time.
You can also add images, videos, and GIFs to your message, just like you can when you’re publishing a regular tweet. And if you need to edit a scheduled Tweet before it’s published, then you can easily dive in and make the necessary changes.
The best way to manage your scheduled Tweets is by adding a ‘Scheduled’ column to your TweetDeck dashboard to give you a visual timeline of what’s planned.
Note: If you manage multiple accounts through TweetDeck, you have the option to schedule Tweets for each of them. If you’re using TweetDeck as part of a team in a corporate environment, then you’ll be able to see all scheduled Tweets for all accounts connected to your TweetDeck, so this might be a reason not to use the app.
If you’re using TweetDeck as part of a team in a corporate environment, then you’ll be able to see all scheduled Tweets for all accounts connected to your TweetDeck, so this might be a reason not to use the app.
TweetDeck’s standout scheduling features:
- Manage scheduled Tweets via their own dashboard column.
- Manage multiple accounts through one TweetDeck.
- Include images, videos, and GIFs on your scheduled Tweet.
- Edit scheduled Tweets before they’re published.
TweetDeck has limited scheduling features but its’ FREE. It’s available as an Android, iPhone, Mac or Web app, and Chrome extension.
Choosing the best social media scheduling tool for you
To help narrow down your selection here are some different scenarios:
Want an all-in-one social media tool with powerful scheduling features?
Using an all-in-one tool for social media is convenient and can save hours.
It used to be the case that all-in-one tools had basic scheduling functionality, but that isn’t the case any more.
For example, we use Sendible to manage our social media efforts. We can schedule posts using queue’s, view a calendar of our scheduled content, find new content to share, and more.
Since Sendible is an Instagram partner, they also support direct scheduling (including videos). And in terms of other features, you get a unified social inbox, keyword monitoring, reporting, CRM, task assignments, client management, and more.
AgoraPulse is another solid option here as it offers a similar level of all-in-one functionality.
You want a tool that’s 100% focused on scheduling
SocialBee might be newer than some of the tools on this list but it’s focus on scheduling, affordable pricing and its focus on adding new features makes it a great choice.
They go beyond social scheduling and have audience engagement functionality that most other tools on this list don’t have. And their team can create the social media content for you – ideal if you’re short of time.
You’re a freelancer or agency with plenty of clients…
If you have clients, then your needs may be slightly different. For example, the cost of each profile may be more of a deciding factor.
In which case, a dedicated scheduling tool such as SocialBee, MeetEdgar, or SmarterQueue may be better suited.
That said, a tool like Sendible may still be a good option in this scenario for a few reasons:
- Cost isn’t based on number of social profiles – It’s based on number of services, which is a one-way interaction with a social network. So, for example, if scheduling is all you need, it can work out more cost effective.
- Client management functionality – You can set clients up with their own accounts which can add an extra selling point to your services.
- Additional services you can offer to clients – With a tool like this, you will be able to offer additional services to your clients. This includes social media reporting, and keyword monitoring.
For those who want a free scheduling tool…
Buffer Publish has a limited free plan that you can get some good use out of. It’s an incredibly simple scheduling tool but sometimes that’s exactly what’s needed.
If you just want to schedule tweets, TweetDeck is the best option. It’s functionality is limited compared to other tools but it’s 100% free and you don’t need to sign up for an account since it’s part of Twitter.
Wrapping it up
It’s not easy choosing the right social media scheduling tool – there are plenty of good options on the market.
Take your time, work through our guide, and most importantly, take a few social media marketing tools for a test drive to see if you feel comfortable with them.
Most of these tools offer free trials, and for those that don’t, they’ll have a free plan you can use. In the case of MeetEdgar, they offer a 30-day money back guarantee instead.
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