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Over the past decade, a business’s online presence has been revolutionized from a single website to a complicated mix of social media platforms. Usually “complicated” is the kind of word that packs just enough negative connotation to make you cringe and shy away. But never fear! In this case, complicated is good. This complicated mix allows consumers the opportunity to interact with your business in a lot of different ways –  with each medium offering a unique perspective on what your brand is all about. If executed properly, your social media mix can be the key to putting your brand ahead of competitors.

That all sounded great, right? Well here’s the catch: obtaining and maintaining an amazing online presence won’t happen overnight. Curating a social media mix that benefits your brand and suits your needs is the first obstacle, but then comes the challenge of managing all those separate accounts. In addition to a website, most businesses will have accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, LinkedIn and more. One will find that effectively managing all these mediums on their own can be extremely time consuming and stressful. That my friends, is where social media scheduling tools come in.

With the right tool, or mix of tools, you can schedule out posts for weeks in advance, freeing up your schedule and reducing stress. Without further ado, here are a couple of our favorite social media scheduling tools for your business:

Hootsuite 

  • “Do more with social in less time”
    • Save time by managing all your social media marketing efforts from a single dashboard. With Hootsuite’s platform, you get the tools to manage all your social profiles and automatically find and schedule effective social content.
  • “Measure your social ROI”
    • Make smarter, data-driven social media marketing decisions with confidence. Hootsuite’s real-time analytics let you spot trends as they develop and drill down for insights on how your social content is performing.
  • “Protect your brand on social”
    • Improve your reputation while protecting your brand on social media by tracking messages and mentions. Hootsuite’s robust message approvals and permissions workflows cut internal risks. Profile protections and access controls guard against hackers and other external threats.

If you’re not convinced Hootsuite is right for your business, not to worry! You can try their limited (3 social profiles) free plan, so you can get familiar with their platform. They also offer a 30 day free trial for most of their business plans to test their social media management offerings. After that, business plans range from $19+ per month.

Buffer

  • “Drive more clicks and traffic”
    • Buffer helps you reach your audience at the right times, driving more clicks on your posts and traffic to your site.
  • “Increase fan engagement”
    • Buffer makes it easy to consistently schedule content on social media, increasing your reach and fan engagement.
  • “Save time on social media”
    • Powerful publishing tools make it easy to share content across multiple social networks with one click.

While Buffer offers team and agency plans starting at $99 per month, they do have a free and $10/month pricing for limited social media networks. Buffer also offers a free trial for businesses looking to test out their full-fledged services.

While Hootsuite and Buffer are great options for a business seeking to get control of their online presence, it is important to note that these tools are by no means the only ones that can benefit your brand. There is an abundance of other resources available that can assist you in taking your online presence to the next level (to read about some of those, click here). Hootsuite and Buffer were chosen because they are fairly simple to use, and they do it all.

What tools do you find most helpful? Comment below!