Social media scheduling tools are important to keep up with your business pages. To get a competitive edge over other skincare businesses, you need to post consistently on social media. It is tedious to create content for social media. And posting is just one aspect of this form of online marketing.
The hassle gets bigger because most business owners have over one social media account to maximize content distribution. So, what happens when you need to post on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook on the same day. It is easy to get overwhelmed in no time.
A few years ago, most people had to use the normal, boring routine of posting: design content, log in to each account, write captions, add hashtags, and post image / video.
If you were more tech-savvy, you could do all those tasks at once and create a content calendar on Canva or Microsoft word. More productive, right?
Keep reading to know how to schedule posts and save massive time.
What are social media scheduling tools?
Content is super important on social media, but consistency is way more important. Most business owners find it hard to post online consistently, when their target audience is most likely to be active on social media. This is understandable because you have a business to run and can’t spend all your time on social media.
That’s where scheduling tools come in. Not only will these tools make your life easier, and some are even free to use. You get to stay on top of your marketing strategy.
Social media schedulers allow you to schedule posts in advance, manage your social profiles in one place, track key metrics of your marketing, and the benefits go on.
Difference between social media scheduling tools and social media management tools
Social media scheduling tools allow you to schedule posts that can automatically post to your business profiles on social media. You can also track insights with it.
But social media management tools are more robust because they have more features. You can use them to automate publishing, schedule posts, track your messages / comments about your brand, collaborate with your team, manage content, engage your customers, and analyse how your content did on each social media platform. You can read more about social media management tools here.
Best free social media scheduling tools 2020
Some of these tools offer more than just a scheduling feature, but the focus will be on the scheduling aspect in this article. To make it easy for you to choose, I have created this list of 5 free social media posting and scheduling tools for your skincare business.
- Facebook Creator Studio
1. Facebook creator studio
Facebook Creator Studio is a native tool designed by Facebook and it has made it super easy to post on Facebook and Instagram pages from a computer. You can use the creator studio to post on Instagram feed or on IGTV without logging on to Instagram.
How do I schedule Instagram posts on Facebook Creator Studio?
- Set up your Facebook business account.
- Then go to https://www.facebook.com/creatorstudio/.
- Connect your Instagram business account to creator studio.
- Tap on Instagram icon on top of the page.
- Click on “pen icon” to create a post on the left side of the page.
- Choose Instagram feed or IGTV.
- Write captions in the text box and add relevant hashtags.
- Add a country or city as location.
- Tap on ‘add content’ and choose content from file upload or from Facebook page.
- You can also tick the box beside your page name to post on your Facebook page.
- Click on the down arrow beside the blue publish button.
- Click on schedule and choose a future date and time to publish your post.
- Tap on the down arrow and click the blue ‘schedule’ button.
Facebook creator studio’s scheduling features
- You need not login to any third-party app.
- There is no limitation on the number of posts that you can schedule.
- You won’t face much bugs that usually affects other third-party scheduling apps
- It is not yet possible to schedule Instagram stories.
- You can’t use the creator studio if you don’t have an Instagram business account.
- If you sell products on Instagram, you can’t tag products in your catalogue.
- Once you schedule a post, it is impossible to edit that post, but you can do it in the Instagram app. Rather add it as a draft instead.
Facebook creator studio pricing
It is free to use the creator studio. No subscription, no payment plan.
Later is a great platform that allows you to schedule posts to social media and customize each post for each social media platform. It is a visual planner that makes it easy for you to plan the look of your feed.
How do I schedule posts with Later?
Later’s scheduling features
- You can add up to 4 social media profiles.
- The web and mobile interface are easy to use, and you can easily plan content for your social media profiles.
- With the free version, you can schedule up a lot of posts per month.
- There is a “saved captions” feature, which makes it easy to add captions to posts.
- Later offer training in the form of guides and video tutorials about Instagram marketing and how to use Later.
- It takes a while to get used to the interface. On the mobile version, it is hard to schedule posts to my profiles all at once – it’s not exactly as intuitive as the web version.
- You can’t schedule carousel and video posts with the free version.
- Some scheduled posts won’t post automatically and you might need to copy and manually post it on Instagram.
- It is hard to reschedule a post on the app after receiving the notification to publish it.
- Frequent need to refresh your connection to the social media profiles.
There is a free version but you can only add 1 profile per social media platform. You will only be able to schedule 50 twitter posts, 30 Facebook posts, 30 Instagram posts & stories, 30 Pinterest posts per month. The paid version starts at $7.5/month, or $90/year.
Buffer has been around for a long time. It makes it easy to plan your content ahead and schedule them based on the best posting time for each platform.
How do I schedule Instagram posts with buffer?
- Sign up for an account and connect 3 accounts (Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter).
- Install the buffer app to receive notification when scheduled posts don’t post.
- Choose Instagram on the left-hand-side panel.
- Click on any schedule time slot to schedule your post
- Tap on the image icon to upload image or video
- Add captions and hashtags in the text box
- If your best posting time differs from the one on buffer, edit the time on post schedule.
- Click on the ‘schedule post’ button.
Buffer’s scheduling features
- It is easy to use, and you can connect up to 3 social media accounts on the free version.
- You can schedule as many posts as possible per month.
- In the queue tab, Buffer shows the best posting times for each platform.
- You can’t save a list of hashtags.
- You can’t schedule posts for all the social media accounts at once.
- You need to schedule posts more than once in a month (2 times or more to stay within the limit of 10 scheduled posts at once).
- Issues exist with auto publishing of posts to Instagram.
- The app experiences posting issues on Instagram, and you will have to keep reconnecting your profile.
Buffer has a free version but you can only add 3 social media accounts. You will only be able to schedule 10 posts at once. The paid version starts at $15/month.
Hootsuite is a popular scheduling tool for multiple social media platforms, though it is the #1 tool for twitter marketing. I love twitter, but it can get intense without a tool like Hootsuite – imagine having to log in and manually post a tweet every 3 hours.
How do I schedule posts on Hootsuite?
- Create an account and add your social media accounts.
- Tap on ‘new post’ on top of the page.
- Choose a social media account in the ‘post to’ area.
- Add captions and hashtags in the text box.
- Click on the upload icon to add image or video.
- Click on ‘schedule later’ and add future date and time.
Hootsuite’s scheduling features
- You can add three social media profiles on the free version and schedule 30 posts at once.
- There are a lot of resources to familiarise you with Hootsuite and social media management.
- It has basic analytics feature, which allows you to track social conversations, followers growth, and other aspects of your marketing strategy.
- The dashboard can seem overwhelming at first.
- You can’t post pictures and videos directly to Twitter. It posts as owl.ly links.
- Most times, you have to manually publish scheduled Instagram posts.
Hootsuite has a free version (add up to 3 social media accounts). The paid version starts at $25/month.
Pinterest has a scheduling tool that allows you to schedule pins for a later date. You can also do a bulk upload by batching your content with a .csv file.
How do I schedule pins on Pinterest?
- Log in to your Pinterest account and go to settings.
- Claim your website and other accounts (Instagram, Etsy, YouTube).
- Go to home feed and click on the red ‘create pin’ button.
- Tap on the upload icon to add your image or video or you could save from your website.
- Add title and description of your pin.
- Add a destination link (website link) to direct traffic to your website.
- Click on ‘publish at a later date’ and add a future date and time.
How do I schedule bulk video pins on Pinterest with a .csv file
- Log in to your Pinterest account and go to settings.
- Click on ‘bulk create pins’ on the left-hand side.
- Upload your image or videos to your website and create a google spreadsheet.
- Add details for video pins in the spreadsheet. Get a copy here.
- Download the spreadsheet in .csv format (comma-separated values).
- Go back to bulk create pins on the settings page.
- Upload the .csv file and Voila.
Pinterest’s scheduling features
- Bulk pinning saves time
- You don’t have to pay to use, and it is easy to use.
- No limit on the number of posts that you can schedule.
- You need a Pinterest business account to schedule pins.
- If you make a mistake on the spreadsheet, your pins won’t upload and you will get an error when uploading it on Pinterest.
- You need a website where you can upload the videos and get the URL.
It is free to use the scheduling feature on Pinterest. No subscription needed.
There are so many options out there. To try advanced features, you can sign up for the free trials of the paid version. This way, you can choose the best tool for scheduling social media posts. For me, I am sticking with Facebook Creator Studio and Pinterest for now.
Which social media scheduling tool do you use? Leave your answers in the comment section below.