Social media is a complex beast. Each site has its own best practices for reaching your audience, and they are constantly changing things up. So if you can simplify using social media, you should.
One way you can do this is by using programs to schedule your social media posts. These programs allow you to plan out your posts as far in advance as you like, so you can complete a lot of work in just one sitting rather than constantly returning to each account throughout the day. Some of these programs are platform specific, while others work with multiple social media sites. Check out our top 5 programs to use to schedule social media below.
In terms of flexibility and value—you don’t need to pay a cent to use it—it is hard to beat Hootsuite. So if you are looking for somewhere to start, this is it. You get the most options when using their desktop and web-based apps, which allow you to schedule posts to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, WordPress, and Foursquare, among others. Their mobile apps only work with Twitter and Facebook.
This is a free option, but you will need to secure an invite to use it. The goal of this program is to allow you to send out tweets frequently. You create the posts and then tell the program how often you want them posted, and just like that, they will post, keeping your profile active.
This is similar to the option above in that it lets you schedule your posts to go out based on intervals rather than an exact time and date. This takes some of the stress and planning out of posting. However, Buffer works with more than just Twitter, making it a good option for those who want to focus on more social media sites.
This program does a lot, going beyond merely scheduling posts to doing things like tracking keywords, providing DM inbox cleanup, and more. Because it offers more features, it is more complicated to use, but if you are willing to learn the system, it comes with plenty of payoffs. This program works with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Plurk, and your blog.
This is another slightly more complex option, but it is a good one. This program is used by big names, including Mashable and The Washington Post. In addition to scheduling and posting, it helps you determine when is the best time to post your content based on a variety of factors, ensuring you get the best results for your needs.