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Social Media Scheduling - Hootsuite or Buffer

 

I recently wrote about why I schedule some of my social media posts. What I didn’t write about is how and what I use to do the scheduling so I’ve decided to put that right. There are lots of tools to schedule social media out there so I've decided to explain why I use the ones I use.

When it comes to Facebook I don’t use a third party app at all to schedule. There seems to be a generally held belief that Facebook penalises posts that aren’t created and scheduled within the platform. When it comes to Facebook you need all the help you can get to achieve good organic reach. To be fair, it is easy and straight forward and the posts look good.

I’ve been using Hootsuite to schedule tweets in particular since I joined Twitter. I continue to use it and it is one of the few applications I pay for. I particularly like Hootsuite for 2 reasons.

I can upload a whole lot of tweets at once in the bulk schedule feature.

This uses a csv file and I find it a great way to schedule tweets. I can work out a whole series of tips and then upload them once I’ve checked the spelling. I can also upload them to more than one Twitter account as well as LinkedIn and Google+ if I choose to do so.

The other advantage of Hootsuite is that it lets you see at a glance what is going on.

There are a number of preloaded tab suggestions. You can see your posts, mentions, retweets and messages all in one place. You can also see your lists and searches which are particularly useful. To be able to see all at once is a much better way to keep in touch with what is going on.

However Hootsuite does have disadvantages.

It is slow to include changes that Twitter makes, with it taking weeks or months for changes to be incorporated if at all. Currently it still includes links, images and user names in the total characters of the tweets. Something that Twitter has recently stopped doing. To be fair this may not be the fault of Hootsuite. The main competitor to Hootsuite is Tweetdeck, an application that was bought by Twtter in 2011. It is only natural and good business sense for Twitter to favour its own product. I know the solution is to use Tweetdeck, I did try but I couldn’t get on with it.

Hootsuite also provide an extension called Hootlet. This gives you a simple way to share articles. However it doesn’t pull through an image which is a big disadvantage.

If I’m honest I began to get frustrated with Hootsuite earlier in the year. There seemed to be a bug that made it difficult to upload the csv file. Hootsuite help did come up with a work around for me when I asked but it was a pain to implement. Recently this has been resolved and a new bulk schedule interface is in Beta and I like it much better than before. However this and the inability to use new Twitter features maent that I looked around for alternatives.

I found an alternative in Buffer.

I currently only use the free version but the advantages of Buffer for me is the buffer extension. I now only share articles via Buffer because it includes images from articles and it lets me input the times I want posts to go out. I’ve also started scheduling LinkedIn posts more because Buffer displays the image, which Hootsuite didn’t.

I can also schedule Retweets and replies in Buffer

I use Twitter itself to reply and Retweet other posts. I can do this and then use Buffer to schedule them so they don’t all go out at once. I can do this within Hootsuite too, but at the moment I’m not finding it as easy to do this, probably because it won’t let me send anything with more than 140 characters.

So these are the tools I use to schedule. Do you agree with my observations of Hootsuite and Buffer? What do you use and why

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