Social media marketing can be tedious and time-consuming. It seems like every social media platform wants you to be active 24/7 and stacks the algorithm in favor of people who are constantly posting and engaging.
Social media scheduling tools are the answer to this problem. Here are some of the advantages of using one.
Save time by batching content creation and scheduling.
Automatic posting means you don’t have to remember when to publish your content.
Schedule and post without logging on to your social media accounts to help you avoid distractions and stay focused.
Allow team members to post on your behalf without giving them access to your social accounts (a big plus if you have sensitive stuff in the DMs).
Some scheduling tools allow you to set up recurring evergreen social media content—a huge time-saver.
Some scheduling tools offer advanced social media analytics, which can help you fine-tune your strategy.
Ready to streamline and automate your social media posting? Here are six of the top social media scheduling tools for solopreneurs and small businesses.
Later is my favorite social media scheduling tool for Instagram. It also allows you to schedule content on other platforms—Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, TikTok, and Pinterest—but Instagram is the main focus and it’s the only thing I use it for.
Later allows you to bulk upload media (images and videos), write captions, add hashtags, and schedule your posts. It completely streamlines the content creation process.
You can choose whether to publish posts automatically or have a notification sent to your phone. Autopublish is available for photo and video posts. It is not available for carousel posts or Instagram stories.
One of Later’s best features is the grid preview. This allows you to see what your grid will look like once your scheduled posts are published. Way to keep that feed aesthetic!
Later has three features that can help you improve your hashtag game.
Hashtag Suggestions - Enter a hashtag and you’ll get tons of related hashtags in return. Just beware that the usage count is extremely inaccurate. (One search said the hashtag #smallbusinessowner has roughly 2 million posts. The real number is almost 14 million.) This feature is only available on paid plans.
First Comment - If you check this while creating your post, your hashtags will automatically be published as a comment instead of in the caption itself. You should know that Instagram has said this practice can negatively impact your visibility in search results, so proceed with caution.
Saved Captions - You can save your captions (with all of your hashtags!) to make the scheduling process faster and easier.
Later gives you more insight into how your posts are performing. The amount of data you can view depends on your plan. If you want full access to analytics, you’ll need to be on the Growth plan or higher.
Personally, I don’t put that much effort into my Instagram and I feel that Instagram’s built-in analytics provide enough information for my purposes but this feature can be helpful if you’re serious about growing your Instagram account.
Later has an amazing feature called Linkin.bio, which allows you to create a custom Instagram links page that makes your grid clickable.
Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of advantages of hosting your Instagram links page on your own website...but it’s also a lot more time-consuming to update. Using Later’s Linkin.bio feature will make the process of adding links much faster.
Later Plans + Pricing
Later has four plans ranging from free to $40/mo. You can save 17% if you pay annually.
Most solopreneurs will find the free plan adequate for their needs but if you’re serious about Instagram, you may want to consider upgrading to the Starter plan ($15/mo or $12.50/mo paid annually). Here are some reasons to upgrade:
Instagram stories scheduling
Carousel post scheduling
Hashtag suggestions tool
Suggested times to post
Access to email support
If Instagram plays a major role in your business, it might be worth looking into the Growth plan ($25/mo or $20.83/mo billed annually). Some advantages of this plan include:
Access to all Linkin.bio features
Full analytics, including hashtag performance data
3 users included for a small social media team
The Advanced plan is really designed for larger brands and costs $40/mo or $33.33/mo billed annually. It includes features like
Live chat support
6 users included
While other social media scheduling tools try to do it all, Later is really good at one thing. No other platform is better for scheduling Instagram content.
Tailwind specializes in Pinterest and Instagram scheduling. And while it’s strong in both categories, Pinterest is where it shines. Since Later is my top choice for Instagram scheduling and Tailwind charges an additional fee for adding this to your plan, I’m going to focus on its Pinterest scheduling features.
The Tailwind publisher has five amazing features that will make it 10x easier for you to succeed on Pinterest.
SmartSchedule automatically chooses the best times for you to post. All you have to do is specify how many times per day you want to post and SmartSchedule does the rest.
Board lists allow you to organize your Pinterest boards by category. Rather than selecting boards individually, you can schedule a pin to publish on all the boards in a category with one click.
Interval pinning allows you to quickly schedule a pin to publish to multiple boards spread out over time. For example, you can schedule a pin to publish to a list of five boards over a period of five days rather than all at once.
SmartLoop allows you to auto-publish pins on repeat. For example, you could set a pin for a web design blog post to publish every 30 days to a different design-related board. Just beware that the Pinterest algorithm prefers new content. SmartLoop repins your existing content, offering convenience at the price of reach.
250 active SmartLoop posts are included in your plan. If you have more, you can purchase SmartLoop PowerUps, which cost anywhere from $59.88/year to $359.88/year.
The Tailwind Chrome extension works much like the Pinterest extension but instead of pinning directly to Pinterest, you can add content to your schedule or just save it in drafts until you’re ready to deal with it.
Tailwind offers detailed analytics that can give you valuable insight into how your pin strategy is working. This includes a broad overview with information on follower growth, engagement, and virality. It also includes more specific insights into board performance and specific pins.
This goes way beyond the basic information provided by Pinterest Business analytics and can help you hone in on the strengths and weaknesses of everything from your pinning schedule to your pin design. You can use this information to refine your strategy.
Tailwind Create allows you to design a whole collection of unique pins for your piece of content in less than 60 seconds. Yes, you read that right!
All you have to do is upload a photo, add your text, and choose a color palette. Unfortunately, you can’t add your own brand colors but you can choose from an extensive list of pre-designed color palettes or use a color palette pulled from the photo you uploaded.
You can design 15 posts per month free or upgrade for more. Tailwind Create plans start at $6.17/mo.
Tailwind communities make it easier to find content and share your own content with other people in your niche.
Honestly, I’m not a huge fan of this feature. The content I share in communities doesn’t get re-pinned that much and community content tends to be repetitive.
You can join 5 communities for free and share up to 30 pins per month across all of your communities. If you want to join more communities or share more pins, you can upgrade starting at $4.99/mo.
Tailwind Plans + Pricing
Tailwind is a bit like buying cable. There are a million different channels you can subscribe to and lots of different ways you can rack up a hefty bill.
Pinterest Plus pricing is $14.99/mo or $9.99/mo billed annually.
Add on SmartLoop PowerUps, Tailwind Create, and communities, and you could be looking at a bill as high as $100/mo, which is bonkers. There is a bundle that includes unlimited SmartLoop PowerUps and communities for $39.98/month but this is a) not at all obvious and b) does not include Tailwind Create.
I love Tailwind but if there was an award for most confusing pricing model… 🙄
If Pinterest plays an important role in your marketing strategy, Tailwind is the uncontested social media scheduling tool of choice.
Now that we’ve covered some of the more specialized social media scheduling tools, let’s move on to those all-in-one tools that will allow you to schedule everything in one place. These are a great choice if you’re active on many different social media platforms.
Sprout Social is an advanced social media scheduling tool designed for teams and larger brands. This is probably not the best choice for bloggers and solopreneurs.
You can connect Sprout Social to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, LinkedIn, Google My Business, Glassdoor, Tripadvisor, and Google Analytics.
Sprout Social has a robust publisher that allows you to schedule posts, create campaigns, create workflows for posts created by team members, and find third-party content.
You can bulk schedule posts and organize them using tags and campaigns. You can also optimize your post times using ViralPost, which tells you when your posts are most likely to have higher engagement.
Sprout Social has a special feature called SproutLink in bio, which allows you to create a custom Instagram landing page. This is very similar to Later’s Linkin.bio.
Sprout Social has advanced analytics to satisfy everyone from solopreneurs to big brands. You can view post performance across social networks, see reports on each social media profile, track competitors, and even measure the results of your Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn ads.
Listening - allows you to monitor social media chatter about specific topics or keywords related to your business.
Reviews - Monitor reviews from your Facebook page, Google My Business profile, Tripadvisor, or Glassdoor.
Feeds - Monitor your Twitter feed from your Social Sprout dashboard.
Tasks - Coordinate your social media team and assign/prioritize tasks.
Smart Inbox - Manage and reply to your comments and DMs from your Sprout dashboard.
Sprout Social Plans + Pricing
Sprout Social is on the pricier side and has 3 plans ranging from $99/mo to $279/mo.
The Standard Plan is $99/mo or $89/mo billed annually and includes 5 social profiles and some pretty advanced features including an all-in-one social inbox, review management, and paid promotion tools.
The Professional Plan is $169/mo or $149/mo billed annually and includes 10 social profiles plus more advanced features including competitive reports, custom team workflows, and response rate analysis.
The Advanced Plan is $279/mo or $249/mo billed annually and includes 10 social profiles plus even more advanced features like a digital asset and content library, message spike alerts, and automated link tracking.
Click below to try Sprout Social FREE for 30 days!
SmarterQueue is designed for bloggers, small business owners, and content marketers who want to automate their evergreen content.
You can connect SmarterQueue to:
You can also connect Bit.ly to collect click data.
It’s important to spread out your social media content and not post too much of one thing. For example, if you constantly post promo content, people will unfollow you. If you only post educational content, people will never buy from you. Balance is key.
That’s where categories come in. SmarterQueue allows you to create categories for your content. You could have categories for promos, educational content, behind-the-scenes, inspiration, and more.
You can create evergreen categories with content that runs all year round or seasonal categories that run during a certain time of year. You can also pause a category at any time to prevent posts in that category from being published.
Once you’ve created your categories, you can make a posting plan. This tells SmarterQueue what types of posts should be published each day. Here’s an example of what your posting plan could look like.
You might want to share content from other sources. This can help you build connections and goodwill with people in your industry and provide more value to your audience.
SmarterQueue has an amazing tool that helps you find and share content from around the web. You can pull content directly from a website, curate content from social media, find free images, and import Feedly bookmarks.
Here’s an example of some content I pulled from my friend Christy’s website:
SmarterQueue’s analytics give you insight that allows you to hone in on which posts and post categories are most popular with your audience. This is valuable information that you can use to refine your social media strategy.
SmarterQueue has an integrated inbox that allows you to reply to messages from Facebook and Twitter directly in your dashboard.
You can also engage with other social profiles by saving Twitter profiles, searches, or timelines, retweeting Twitter posts, liking Facebook posts, and discovering new feeds to engage with.
SmarterQueue Plans + Pricing
SmarterQueue has 3 plans ranging from $19.99 to $79.99/mo.
The Solo Plan is $19.99/mo or $16.99/mo billed annually. This plan includes 4 social profiles, 10 posts per profile per day, 10 content categories, 500 queued posts, and basic analytics.
The Business Plan is $39.99/mo or $33.99/mo billed annually. This plan includes 10 social profiles, 20 posts per profile per day, 20 content categories, 1k queued posts, and intermediate analytics.
The Agency Plan is $79.99/mo or $67.99/mo billed annually. This plan includes 25 social profiles, 40 posts per profile per day, 50 content categories, 2,500 queued posts, and advanced analytics.
You can also create a custom plan to fit your exact needs starting at $19.99/mo or $16.99/mo billed annually.
Click below to try SmarterQueue FREE for 30 days!
Zoho is designed for brands and businesses that are focused on growth. It has more powerful analytics tools than most other social media scheduling tools and it’s one of the few tools that allow you to schedule YouTube and Google My Business content.
Setting Up Your Brand
In Zoho, your brand is a collection of social media channels that are managed through one dashboard. You can manage the following types of accounts:
Google My Business
YouTube (Premium plan only)
When you add a new post in Zoho, you have the option to schedule it for a specific date, add it to a queue, or choose a SmartQ slot. You can set up your queue to publish at recommended times or set your own custom schedule. SmartQ is a feature available on the Premium plan that generates specific time suggestions when your audience is most likely to engage with your post.
The post scheduler is actually pretty robust. If you’re on the Professional plan or higher, you have the option to publish Instagram hashtags in the first comment instead of in the caption. There are multiple settings for YouTube videos. You can add a button to your Google My Business posts. And you can add multiple images or videos to one post.
If you’re on the Professional plan or higher, you can manage your Instagram DMs directly through Zoho. This is a fantastic feature that makes it much easier to stay focused and avoid going down the Instagram rabbit hole!
This feature allows you to easily monitor activity on your social networks. This includes Google My Business reviews and questions, YouTube comments and activity, Instagram hashtags, and more.
If you’re on the Professional plan or higher, Zoho allows you to see your most engaged followers across all of your social media channels. This unique feature provides a great way to make connections and find leads.
If you have a team of multiple social media managers, you’ll find that the Premium plan has everything you need to collaborate. You can have team discussions, approve drafts, and view reports right within your team dashboard.
Zoho offers robust analytics for every social media account. You can view information about reach and engagement, follower/subscriber demographics, and more. You can also create custom reports or scheduled reports if you’re on the Premium plan. This makes it easy to figure out where your strategy is working and where it needs improvement.
In addition to their social media scheduling tool, Zoho also has a CRM. If you’re on the Premium plan or higher and you run Facebook or LinkedIn Lead Ads, you can connect leads from these ads in real-time and push them to Zoho CRM.
Zoho Plans + Pricing
Zoho Social has 3 plans for businesses and 2 plans for social media agencies.
The Standard Plan is $15/mo or $10/mo billed annually. It includes one brand, one team member, and all of the standard content scheduling features you would expect.
The Professional Plan is $40/mo or $30/mo billed annually. It includes additional features like YouTube live streaming, repeat posting for evergreen content, Instagram messages, the ability to block/mute accounts, the ability to pause and resume scheduled content, the ability to post Instagram hashtags in the first comment, and more.
The Premium Plan is $65/mo or $40/mo billed annually. It includes additional features like YouTube management, 3 team members with advanced team management capabilities, custom reports, Zoho CRM integration, and more.
The Agency Plan is $320/mo or $230/mo billed annually. It includes all of the Premium Plan features + 10 brands, 5 team members, portal customization, and agency-branded reports.
The Agency Plus Plan is $460/mo or $330/mo billed annually. It’s identical to the Agency Plan except that it includes 20 brands.
MeetEdgar is one of the best tools for automating your evergreen content. If you’re a blogger or small business owner with a backlog of content to share, this was made for you.
You can use MeedEdgar to push content to the following types of social profiles:
Like most broad social media scheduling tools, MeetEdgar doesn’t have the same powerful suite of tools as Later or Tailwind for scheduling Instagram or Pinterest. That said, it does allow you to post automatically to Instagram Business accounts without the annoying notification on your mobile device.
Like SmarterQueue, MeetEdgar allows you to sort content into custom categories. There are limits on the number of categories you can create depending on your plan.
When you go to schedule, you can choose whether to post a piece of content once or on a recurring basis. You can also add variations and set an end date for recurring content. All of this content will be added to your library.
You can schedule content to post at a specific time or you can add content to your library. Once you have content in your library, you can set up your automated posting schedule. MeetEdgar will suggest a few optimal posting times but you can completely customize this.
Let’s say you wanted to post educational content to your Instagram account every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 10am. Once you set your schedule, MeetEdgar will automatically pull a piece of educational content from your library to post at the right times.
You can see exactly which content will be posted next in the queue. You can pause your queue at any time. This is helpful if you’re doing a launch or event and want to stick to publishing content related to the event for a period of time.
MeetEdgar Plans + Pricing
MeetEdgar has two plans. Edgar Lite is $19/mo USD and includes:
3 social accounts
Unlimited scheduled posts
10 weekly automations
4 content categories
Note that the Edgar Lite plan content categories are NOT customizable. You have to use the default categories, which are:
My Blog Posts
Promotions & Specials
Edgar Lite is really only suitable for people who are just getting started. If you’re a small business or established solopreneur, you’ll probably need the full Edgar plan, which is $49/mo USD and includes:
25 social accounts
Unlimited scheduled posts
1,000 weekly automations
Unlimited customizable content categories
Click below to try MeetEdgar free for 7 days!