Social media is a constantly evolving landscape that can be hard to keep up with. Some people love it, some hate it. But no matter how you feel about it, you can’t deny that it can play a valuable role in connecting with your audience and expanding your brand.
Once you’ve decided which social media channels make sense for your firm to utilize, you’ll want to figure out the best way to simplify the publishing process going forward.
Pro tip: Even if you don’t publish on all social media channels, set up a profile on all of them. You may decide to publish there someday, and you don’t want anyone taking your firm name or—even worse—setting up a fake account under your firm’s name.
Sure, you could publish your posts directly on each channel, but if you want to be able to schedule your posts ahead of time across all your channels from one place, you’ll need to enlist a social scheduling app.
Today, we want to look through some of the most popular social media scheduling apps advisors use today, and the pros and cons of each.
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Hootsuite is by far the most robust and user-friendly option on the list, but it is also among the most expensive.
At one point, Hootsuite offered a free plan, but they don’t anymore, so you’re not getting in for any less than $49/month.
Hootsuite goes beyond post scheduling and allows you to respond to public and private messages directly on the platform and view streams with the hashtags or tags of your choice, which comes in handy when you want to do competitor research.
The analytics dashboard within the platform provides valuable insights that can’t be matched by another scheduler from what I’ve seen.
A recurring trend you will notice about social media schedulers is limitations with video. Videos take at least 5 minutes to post after the time you’ve selected, and that’s on a good day.
Another downside with Hootsuite is the inability to schedule content for LinkedIn Stories, Twitter Fleets, Instagram Stories, and Facebook Stories.
We use Buffer and we love it, for the most part.
Buffer is bare bones, simple and capable. It doesn’t bother with any of the fluff you get with some of the other options available—just straightforward social scheduling.
Unlike Hootsuite, Buffer has a free tier. But like most free tiers, it’s only mildly useful. It allows you to connect three social accounts, which may be enough for most firms, but it only allows you to schedule up to ten posts at a time. If you’re posting as frequently as you should, you’ll have to refill your Buffer queue every couple days.
The first paid tier allows up to 100 scheduled posts and comes in at just $15/month.
One strange feature of Buffer is that when you upload a video to post on LinkedIn, it won’t post natively. Rather than playing directly in LinkedIn, videos open and play on a separate page hosted by Buffer.
At its core, Loomly is a social media scheduling app, but it comes with a lot of other bells and whistles, like:
Social ads creator
If you’re looking for a little more help with your social media scheduling, Loomly is the place to go.
Hubspot is increasingly popular as an all-in-one sales and marketing tool for advisors. Their social scheduling tool is only available as part of a much larger package.
First up: Yes, Hubspot is expensive. Their social media scheduling tool is only available at the Professional tier—which starts at $800/month—and above.
But when you consider everything you get at that level, the cost might start making sense depending on your firm’s needs. In addition to scheduling your social media, Hubspot serves as your email sender, landing page creator, blog, CRM and much more. The convenience of using one tool for all of those areas
Side note: Michael Kitces did a great interview with Shannon Tingom of Heritage Financial Strategies on how she uses Hubspot—and several other tools—in her unique tech stack.
New to the mix is Canva’s Content Planner, which is an effective tool for firms that are already using Canva’s software for graphic design. I can’t imagine anyone using the Adobe Creative Suite or other software to create shareable images and videos would upload their creations to Canva for scheduling.
One downside of the Content Planner is that your posts need to contain an image, gif or video from your Canva account. So, if you want to post something from your blog, for example, you would need to post a design with it, making the graphic the focal point of the post, not the blog link.
Something else to keep in mind is Canva’s media license agreement. We may or may not have received a Copyright claim on YouTube for using one of Canva’s audio files. (Don’t worry – we revised and reuploaded).
This one doesn’t necessarily fall under the “most popular scheduling apps for advisors” category, but it offers a valuable, unique capability you won’t find in any of the other tools listed here: automatic posting.
Basically, you build a content library of posts, set a schedule of when you want to post across your social channels, and Edgar randomly grabs posts to keep your social channels fresh at all times.
A word of caution: Don’t try Edgar until you have enough content. I used it at a former company and after a few weeks, it was clear we didn’t have enough content to use it. It kept posting the same blogs and posts over and over. You’ll want to spend the time to build up a content library of posts, ebooks, videos, etc. and then write multiple iterations of posts about each piece of content before setting Edgar loose on your followers.