Save Time with These Twitter Scheduling Tools

Anyone who uses Twitter for marketing, outreach, or networking knows that you can spend a lot of time there. The more you’re genuinely engaging with others and sharing helpful information, the more you get in return. But no one has limitless resources, especially not a small business owner or startup organization. You’ve got to draw a line somewhere on what you’ll do on Twitter and how much time and money you’ll spend in the process.

One great way to save some time in your daily Twitter efforts is to schedule some tweets in advance. It’s important to keep in mind that while scheduling saves time, you shouldn’t just stage your tweets and then walk away. Listening is the most important aspect of any good social media strategy because you can respond to others and identify ways to be of value. Just remember, you want to keep the number of tweets you schedule to a reasonable level. You probably can’t stay logged into Twitter all day long, so the smart use of a scheduling tool can be a huge time and money saver.

Nearly every week there are new tools emerging for marketers and social media strategists. Some of these tools are very promising. For now, I’ve selected five tools that are free or low cost and have been around long enough to have a good track record of usefulness to their customers.

 

7_p0KjzMBuffer

  • Tweets can be scheduled on a case-by-case basis as they are composed or on a pre-established schedule that you can customize.
  • There are limitations to the number of accounts and items that can be stored with the free plan. So if you jump to the lowest priced paid plan (the Awesome plan), it is $10 per month (this is what we use for Bay Leaf Digital) and allows for more accounts and storage. Buffer also offers Business plans starting at $50 per month, where storage is unlimited and detailed analytics are provided.
  • Per tweet analytics are available in the dashboard for all plans.
  • Automatic link shortening is included via Buffer or Bit.ly.
  • Buffer does not include social stream browsing in its interface, so when logged in, all you see are your queues and account information.
  • In addition to Twitter, posts can be scheduled to other networks such as
    • Facebook
    • LinkedIn
    • Google Plus
    • App.net
    • Collaboration is available with the number of authorized users varying by plan.
    • Buffer is available via apps for smartphones and offers a user-friendly Google Chrome extension for buffering directly from your browser (useful for sharing blog posts and other items you discover online). It also boasts integrations with dozens of other software and web applications such as Pocket, Feedly, WordPress, and more. Buffer also has a relatively new feature in “Feeds.” This allows for setting up RSS feeds of your favorite blogs/sources (15 with the free plan, 15 per network with the Awesome plan, and unlimited with Business). This can allow for even faster discovery and content sharing. In case you have a tweeter’s block, the Buffer team offers up to 25 daily suggestions of tweets that are available for sharing via their browser dashboard, smartphone apps, or Daily app.

 

hootsuiteiconNEWHootsuite

  • Tweets can be scheduled one at a time with the Free plan or on a pre-established schedule with Pro that you can customize.
  • The Free plan allows for management of up to three social networks while the Pro plan starts at around $10 per month and allows for 50 or more profiles to be connected.
  • Basic analytics are included with the Free plan whereas more detailed reporting is available with Pro.
  • Automatic link shortening is included via Ow.ly in the Free plan. The Pro plan offers vanity shortened URLs.
  • Hootsuite’s browser includes the ability to view streams from your connected social networks. Streams are set up at user’s discretion and filterable by criteria such as user, activity type, and so on.
  • Collaboration is available with a number of authorized users varying by plan.
  • In addition to Twitter, posts can be scheduled to other networks such as
    • Facebook
    • LinkedIn
    • Google Plus
    • Foursquare
    • WordPress
    • Mixi
    • Hootsuite offers a user-friendly Google Chrome extension for tweeting directly from your browser. It also boasts integrations with over 100 software and web applications as well as an RSS feed feature that allows for auto-scheduling content based on parameters set by the user. Overall, Hootsuite is a popular choice for Twitter browsing via its mobile apps.

 

20110427-tweetdeck2TweetDeck

  • Tweets can be scheduled one at a time only.
  • Multiple Twitter accounts can be connected.
  • No analytics are available.
  • Automatic link shortening is included via Twitter or Bit.ly.
  • TweetDeck’s browser includes the ability to view streams from your connected Twitter accounts. Streams are set up at user’s discretion and include options such as home feed, user, mentions, search term, etc.
  • Collaboration is not available.
  • TweetDeck is exclusive to Twitter.
  • Several years ago, TweetDeck was available as a smartphone app (at the time it was my favorite). Twitter has since bought out TweetDeck, and it is now only available via web browser or Google Chrome app. Still, TweetDeck is a popular choice for those who prefer straightforward functionality and Twitter browsing. Also, very recently Twitter began returning “Collections” in search results. Collections are still a little known feature and are created exclusively (for now) via TweetDeck.

 

brandSwayy

  • Tweets can be scheduled one at a time only.
  • Only one Twitter account can be connected with the free plan but multiple accounts can be connected with the Pro, Business, and Agencies plans.
  • Per tweet and charted analytics are available.
  • Automatic link shortening is included via Swayy.
  • Swayy does not include Twitter browsing in its interface. Instead, the dashboard includes suggested content based on users’ preferences. Content can be shared directly via the dashboard or opened in a new browser tab.
  • Collaboration is only available via paid plans.
  • In addition to Twitter, posts can be scheduled to other networks such as
    • Facebook
    • LinkedIn
    • Swayy does not integrate with other services or come in a smartphone app, but it does offer a Google Chrome extension. Although Swayy has only been around for a little over a year, it has enjoyed a steady growth in users and a growing reputation for quality.

 

twitter-1024x1024Twitter/Twitter Ads

  • Tweets can be scheduled one at a time only via its Ads interface.
  • The Twitter Ads interface does allow for switching between multiple Twitter accounts set up by the user.
  • Per tweet and report based analytics are available.
  • Twitter automatically curtails the length of URLs in tweets whether scheduled or real time.
  • Twitter Ads is part of Twitter but does not show the Twitter stream on its dashboard.
  • Collaboration is available in the sense that if you have other users connected to an account, they can view and make changed to scheduled tweets.
  • Scheduling via Twitter is a native function, so it does not support other social networks.
  • Scheduling via Twitter Ads is done via web browser. There is no mobile app at present, though, the interface is responsive to screen size. This scheduling method appeals most to those who want to collaborate for free or (most often) to those who want to pay to promote tweets. As a tweet is composed and scheduled, it can be easily added to a campaign for paid exposure.

 

Do you schedule tweets in advance? Have we missed your favorite resource here?

With so many options out there, we’d love to know what you think. Tweet us at@BayLeafDigital or @ChristinKardos and let us know!

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