Posting on social media takes time and effort but there are plenty of time-saving social media tools to help us.
There are too many tools to mention here so I’ll just talk about a few of those I used myself. I’m attracted to online resources like a child to favorite toys (or dangerous implements), so I’ve discounted more than I remember. Some were no good, some no longer exist, some tempted me to free trials but were too expensive to continue. Others I definitely do not recommend.
Why We need Time-Saving Social Media Tools
- Manually posting the amount of recommended updates takes away precious time from actively connecting with your friends and followers.
- Scheduling is vital when our time zones differ from our intended audience.
- Although social media channels have inbuilt search tools, sometimes these aren’t enough for us to find the right people to see our messages or those who’ll engage with us.
- If you’re inclined to head off into non-work related areas of interest when visiting Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and all, publishing at arms-length saves you a lot of time. I know as I am a master of being sidetracked.
- Problogger recently posted about the 80/20 rule applying to our blog posts. That is, spending 20% of our time on writing quality content and 80% in promoting. A large part of that is social sharing.
- It’s quicker and simpler to automate the process of sharing one particular piece of content across multiple networks.
- A text message posted to Facebook might be right for Twitter.
- A blog post or image posted on Facebook can be added to Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Google Plus.
- Reposting content is valuable for popular posts and images, promotions, and links to our blog posts. (Try adding different titles and descriptions to see which work best.) Reposting content from influencers is good for getting their attention.
Recommended Time-Saving Social Media Tools
Buffer is an invaluable tool for scheduling posts to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Google+. The free version allows for one account/page per network. The pro version allows more accounts and longer history, which is useful for re-posting (rebuffering). The rebuffering feature allows for changing descriptions and adding different images.
Use Buffer’s browser extensions to schedule posts while visiting websites, on Twitter itself, or adding posts directly from your Buffer account page.
Pablo by Buffer
Pablo is Buffer’s Image Editing app accessible from the Pablo site, or through the Buffer Dashboard.
- Add your own text to images (search from 600k images), or upload your own.
- Scroll through inbuilt quotes and add to your image.
- Insert a Logo or Graphic.
- Download your image or Share, or schedule with Buffer, to: Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram.
(Canva, another great photo editing app) lets you share only to Facebook and Twitter)
Hootsuite lets you add content to post or schedule to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+, and YouTube. By bringing in feeds from each of these networks you can comment/share/like directly from your Hootsuite dashboard.
The free version restricts you to only adding 5 social profiles, pro versions (starting at $9.99 a month) allow more profiles, auto scheduling, and analytics.
IFTTT stands for “If this then that”. Including a large number of networks, it allows you to automate posting from one to another using “Recipes” Example: IF it is one of my Facebook posts, THEN also post to my Twitter account.
Zapier is similar but it’s advanced features aren’t free.
Take care you know exactly what a recipe does, or remember to check it out when posting starts. Only last week I set up a formula to thank new Twitter followers, thinking this would be via private message. Instead, they all appeared on my timeline. Considering I was in the midst of actively working on increasing followers, I had to delete masses of posts. Not exactly time-saving!
Tailwind is a scheduling tool for Pinterest. Although I only discovered it recently, it’s quickly become one of my vital timesaver resources. Although Buffer schedules posts to Pinterest, Tailwind is quicker to schedule a lot of posts at a time, it has extensive stats, and has a better visual interface. It also allows Pinning from Instagram. Like Buffer, you can post from the site or from any website using a browser extension.
Buffer recommends posting to Pinterest 5 times a day: more than other networks. Check out their infographic on How Often Should You Post on Social Media? Tailwind will help you reach this target.
Your first 100 pins on Tailwind are free, after that you need to upgrade at a cost of $9.99 per month. PAC member, Jacs Henderson talks about Tailwind and other Pinterest posting apps on 5 x Efficient Pinning & Scheduling Techniques for Pinterest
Instamate is a Chrome browser based app which lets you use Instagram via the web from your computer, rather than mobile devices. It’s ideal, if like me, the majority of your images are on your computer, and you don’t like typing descriptions and hashtags on mobile keyboards. My follower count has increased by 1000% since I started using it 2 months ago, without resorting to spammy type hashtags.
Instamate schedules posts but, unlike similar apps, you don’t have to approve the posting on your mobile, it’s automatic. I often schedule Instagram posts during our Australian night time, so I don’t want to be awake when the time comes to post.
Not just a scheduling tool, Instamate features include reposting other people’s content (don’t forget attribution!), finding and posting trending posts, user and hashtag searching. It’s a great time-saver.
I talk in detail about Instamate in my post: Instamate Review – Use Instagram On The Web from Your Computer
Social Media Tools For Finding Content to Post, Increasing Followers and Engagement
Caution! Only use tools that bring you targeted followers and those that don’t fill your feeds with irrelevant content.
LikeforLike, InstaFollow, Follow Back, Auto Comment, Buy Followers ….
These are all tempting and it’s natural to want thousands of followers. But what’s the point if they have absolutely no interest in what you post, and they don’t comment, like or share. Worse still if their comments are obviously from auto-bots, as is common on Instagram. Early on in my Facebook days, I bought some followers – oops. I don’t think one of them understood English. Removing them all was definitely not time-saving.
Most apps where you earn points by liking, tweeting, or following people are similarly indiscriminate. These followers will likely never even visit you.
There are some exceptions:
CoPromote is a cross promotion resource for content creators. For each post you share you gain points for sharing your own posts. It supports, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumbler, and Vine.
What I like about this tool is the ability to choose the categories/keywords of posts that interest you. You then share targeted content, of interest to your social media audiences. Those sharing your own posts are interested in your content. Not only are your posts seen by a much wider audience, you pick up the right sort of followers too.
I’ve had success with increasing my followers and engagement with CoPromote
Post Planner is a scheduling and content discovery tool for auto posting to Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Find the top performing content on the web, based on any keyword or list of topics, and post to your profile or page. The PostPlanner status idea section gives you lists of questions and status ideas ready to post. Social media expert, Kim Garst, says ” “I would have to pay thousands of dollars in ads to get the same results I get with Post Planner.
You can try Post Planner for free and plans start at $7 a month ($5 with the October discount code MYLOVE60 entered at checkout). Donna Merill wrote about how Post Planner Connects You To Influencers here on the PAC blog.
Commune. It is a social media tool with a host of features to help you build your connections on Twitter.
Grouping your feed into Influencers, Top supporters, and Engaged Twitter users, it’s easy to see where best to build relationships. A “consider to follow” feature recommends people based on your history. Similarly, there are “consider to unfollow”, “consider to reply” and “consider to thank” sections.
Auto features including Follow Friday posts, and thanking new followers, influencers, and supporters.
There are restrictions with the free version and the calls to upgrade are a little annoying, even if you’re a basic pro-member.
I’ve only just started using Commune.It, upgrading to the pro version for a discount price offer which you get as a free member. It’s too early for me to tell how useful it will be but the signs are good.
Online Communities as Social Media Tools
Online communities are a great way to connect with others who will engage with you on social media. Here are my favorites:
Power Affiliate Club
Not strictly a social media tool but a wonderful way to meet helpful, like-minded people who will follow and engage with you. The PAC Fan Page Share Facebook group uses a rotator system for group members to visit other member’s pages, like comment and share.
Social Network Marketing with Jacs Henderson
PAC member, Jacs Henderson, runs a Facebook Group where members are encouraged to share their social media network links.
These are just a few available tools. Do you use any of these? If you have suggestions for other time-saving resources please let us know in a comment.
Wishing you success in your social media efforts
Learn more about Sue Bride on her PAC Member Profile
powered by bloggers, member driven