• Bubblegum and Duct Tape on Facebook
  • Black Instagram Icon
  • Jacqueline Stone - LinkedIn

©2019 by Bumblegum and Duct Tape

The Skinny on Social Schedulers

Doing research on social media schedulers: who ever thought this would be my livelihood? It’s so fascinating where life takes you sometimes. Although it’s not always glamorous, creating quality content and doing it consistently is the key to a successful marketing plan. It helps with your search engine optimization, as you slowly, but steadily increase your digital footprint and build your engaged tribe. Finding the right scheduler is key, you have to find one that you truly enjoy using. While some others might have more bells and whistles, I encourage you to find one where you absolutely love the user interface. Fun is the fuel for success. Trust me on this! You need to enjoy the process just as much as the end result. It’s all about the journey, or so I’ve heard. Here is my take on some of the most popular social media schedulers out there right now.


Have one you love and don’t see it on my list? I’m happy to take a look. Please email me at hello@bubblegumandducttape.com.


Social Bu

www.socialbu.com

Social accounts supported: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn

Instagram direct automation: Yes

Instagram first comment automation: Yes

Response Feed: Yes (with paid plans)

Pricing:

Free - $0/mo - 2 Accounts, 0 Feeds - No CC needed

Basic - $4.99/mo - 4 Accounts, 1 Feed

Standard - $12/mo - 10 Accounts, 4 Feeds

Plus - $49/mo - 25 Accounts, 10 Feeds


PROS - Seamless integration with social media applications


CONS - Bad analytics, can’t see images in history - hopefully this is fixed in the future, can’t adjust Instagram images to be squares (need to upload them in this format)


Overall Grade: B-

This platform is perfect if you want just the basics. It’s extremely easy to set up and use and so far, no glitches. The bad news is that their analytics are poor (don’t imbed the post into the analytics interface, have to click on each link individually) so it’s impossible to take a quick visual glance at what’s working and what isn’t. However, I do appreciate the straightforward simplicity and the reasonable pricing.


Stencil

www.getstencil.com

NOT a social media scheduling application as originally thought

This platform allows you to create content that you would then upload to each medium directly

Pricing:

Free - $0/mo - Save 10 images a month

Pro - $9/mo - Save 50 images a month

Unlimited - $12/mo - Save unlimited images


PROS - Huge photography library included with the cost of each plan


CONS - Not offering as many features as Canva so doesn’t motivate me to make the switch


Overall grade: D

Not really understanding the benefit of this application. There is no integration into any of the social media channels. Canva does this much better. Hoping they partner with an actual scheduler in the future. That would be worth investigating!


Buffer

www.buffer.com

Social media accounts supported: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn

Instagram direct automation: yes

Instagram first comment automation: yes

Response feed: yes, for an additional fee

Pricing - Publish ONLY

Pro - $15/mo - 1 User, 8 Social Accounts

Premium - $65/mo - 2 Users, 8 Social Accounts

Business - $99/mo - 6 Users, 25 Social Accounts

Pricing - Reply only

Pro - $50/mo - 1 User, 1 Social Account

Business - $225/mo - 1 User, 1 Social Account - More reporting


PROS - Fairly easy to use interface, calendar and suggests ideal times to post. Facebook has a content inbox (RSS feeds) so you can showcase your expertise in your field. I also love that you can post the first comment on Instagram directly in the platform making it easier to include your hashtags without ruining the integrity or aesthetic of the actual post.


CONS - Pricing for additional features is not providing significant ROI, Noticed many software issues over the past 12 months where accounts get disconnected, work is lost and reconnection is necessary


Overall Grade: B+

I’m a loyal fan of Buffer. I’ve always enjoyed the user interface and it’s extremely easy to use. I’m a big believer if it isn’t fun than it’s just not worth it. For example, you might get more robust analytics on another application for free, but it doesn’t matter if I don’t find the application fun to use. Think about it. If you aren’t having a good time you content is probably going to reflect that vibe and your audience isn’t going to be as engaged. Who cares about the analytics is the results are worse! Put the cart before the horse. I hope that Buffer considers bringing over some of the badass features from their original platform to the new version (drag and drop being one of them).



Promo Republic

www.promorepublic.com

Social media accounts supported: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn

Instagram direct automation: yes

Instagram first comment automation: yes

Response feed: yes

Pricing

Personal - $9/mo - 1 User, 3 social accounts, Smart Posting, Stats

Small Business - $39/mo - 1 User, 10 social accounts, Smart Posting, Stats

Professional - $72/mo - 15 Users, 30 social accounts, smart posting, adv. stats


PROS - FINALLY, a social media application that got it together. This scheduler is a combination of an easy-to-use interface AND a Canva-like application. They give you a graphics editor that allows you to create content directly in the platform and schedule it at the same time. An incredible tool for all business owners, but especially for those like me who manage many different accounts at one time. Bonus? You can work with your clients (just in like Buffer) to have them review all your content, make comments/edits or approve them for deployment. I’m a fan.


CONS - They seem to still be working out the kinks for Instagram direct scheduler but hope to have this fully functional in the next couple of weeks.


Overall Grade: A-

I’d give them an A but they are still working out some kinks. This software is brand new and I think is a total game changer. Not only can I edit content directly in the scheduler (i.e. create graphics and size content appropriately per platform), but they give me a feed of suggested content. They are constantly creating graphics for various industries which helps you formulate ideas and adjust it ever so slightly to be in line with your brand. They also suggest the right times to post and give you prompts, such as “Promotional Post” or “Informational Post.” I’m really excited about this new tool and can’t wait to use it for some of my client accounts.


Hootsuite

www.hootsuite.com

Social media accounts supported: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Youtube

Instagram direct automation: yes

Instagram first comment automation: yes

Response feed: yes

Pricing

Professional - $29/mo - 1 User, 10 social media profiles

Team - $129/mo - 3 Users, 20 social media profiles

Business - $599/mo - 5-10 users, 35 social media profiles


PROS - Ok, it’s been a minute since I’ve tried out this bad boy. I’d say they are the king of analytics but the wicked step-sister of user interface. However, I’m impressed at how far the interface has come. It’s not as clunky as it once was. They have definitely buddied up with our pals at Facebook as you can do ads for both FB and Instagram directly in this application. This is extremely helpful if you are managing a ton of accounts as well as ads. Honestly a huge win.


CONS - Interestingly enough the data is terrific, but they don’t offer visuals of the top performing posts. They provide the copy and you need to click on the post link to see the full thing. Not extremely helpful to this visual learner. There is no RSS feed feature at all (well it’s there but disabled). Meaning if you want to discover incredible articles about your industry and share them with your audience, you’ll need to go hunting yourself. They do however have tons of plugins available that offer features such as this. I would equate Hootsuite with Wordpress. A developers dream come true, however most of us in the marketing space are storytellers and creatives. I’m not a fan of this platform at all. Sorry guys!


Overall Grade:C+

Hootsuite you are the O.G. of the social media scheduler parade, however I wish you would think more like a creative. I want to have fun while I’m building content all day long for my clients. I want it to feel like you are my friend and quite frankly, I feel like you can be a bit condescending. Sure you have all the things I need but why are you making it so hard for me to navigate and figure you out? Stop using your intelligence to dazzle and instead humble yourself to play on the everyman’s level. I’m happy to give you my two cents for what it’s worth about your interface. Call or email anytime.



Later

www.hootsuite.com

Social media accounts supported: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest

Instagram direct automation: yes

Instagram first comment automation: yes

Response feed: yes

Pricing

Plus - $9/mo - 1 User, 1 profile per each channel

Premium - $19/mo - 2 Users, 2 profiles per each channel

Starter - $29/mo - 3 Users, 3 profiles per each channel

Brand - $49/mo - 5 Users, 5 profiles per each channel


PROS - Later started out only with Instagram in mind. They really thought through what we need to create dynamic and powerful content. You can tag products (however need to use their internal shop with your products - i.e. does not direct traffic to your website), you can schedule Instagram stories and you can preview your grid. They even offer hashtag suggestions as well as the best times to post. Not too shabby!


CONS - While Instagram has been thoroughly flushed out, unfortunately they haven’t put too much effort into the other social media channels. It’s helpful that I can also post on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, but does help much if I can post URLs. As you know FB, Twitter and Pinterest allow live links in each individual post, but Later isn’t giving you this option. You can only post photos/creative in each of these mediums. Also they do offer pretty great analytics for Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter, however nothing is available for Facebook. Um, really?


Overall Grade: C-

Later is brilliant if you are only using it for Instagram. Instagram only it gets an A+, nobody does Instagram better. However, who has time to login to several different social media scheduling applications for different channels?! If you are also posting on Facebook on the daily you have to use something else to get live URLs as well as those all important analytics. I manage dozens of social media accounts and unfortunately don’t have the time. I would love to see Later flush out the features for the remaining social channels. If they put as much time and effort getting to know Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest as they did Instagram, well they would be aces in my book.


Conclusion

So who is my ultimate fav? I’m still enamored by Buffer, however Promo Republic might steal me away from my main squeeze. The fact that I can create content directly in the system is pretty dope and I like the interface. If they sort out the kinks with Instagram direct scheduler it might be a done deal. I’m so sorry Buffer. We had some good times didn’t we? It’s not me, it’s you. Stop trying to nickel and dime me for each feature separately. Lame.

What is YOUR favorite application to use? Please let me know if you agree with my reviews or not in the comments below!