The holidays are busy. Between shopping, wrapping, decorating, cooking and visiting with family, there’s little time left for anything else — let alone updating your Twitter account or posting to your company’s Instagram.
But letting your social media go by the wayside isn’t an option in this day and age — especially during the holiday season. Not only does it put you in danger of irrelevance, but it also hurts your ability to capitalize on the millions upon millions of dollars typically consumers spend this time of year.
Don’t you want those people buying from you, not some other business up the road? Wouldn’t those revenues be a nice way to start off the New Year?
Social media helps keep you top of mind during the holidays, and it’s what can separate you from the pack of competitors at your heels.
And though it may be hard to manage your various social accounts as the festive season hits full throttle, luckily, you don’t have to go it alone. Just use these handy tools to automate your posts and keep your social presence at full speed all season long – no matter what the holidays throw at you.
Planoly is a great way to manage your Instagram account, plan and schedule your posts and discover curated content that your followers might be interested in. It even has built in analytics, so you can check out how you’re doing (and make changes to improve your strategy.) The best part? It uses a simple, drag-and-drop visual planner that makes it easy to ‘gram no matter what your tech skill level is.
Price: Planoly is free to use on one Instagram account, though you’re limited to 30 photos a month and you can’t post videos or gifs. Larger accounts with more post flexibility range from $7 to $159 per month.
Facebook: Facebook Scheduling Tools
If you have a Facebook business page, you can easily schedule posts out today, tomorrow or every day for the full season. Just add your post into the “Write Something” area of your page, and hit the down arrow next to “Publish.” You should see an option to “Schedule” your post. Hit that button, and you can select the exact date and time you want your post to go live. You can even set a date and time for your post to expire, too, if you don’t want it showing up in newsfeeds two weeks after the fact.
Price: Facebook’s scheduling tools are free and work with any active Facebook page.
TweetDeck is Twitter’s own management system. You can use it to watch your messages, mentions and retweets, you can follow trends or lists, and most importantly, you can schedule out your posts, images and even direct messages by exact date and time. Once you’ve scheduled out all your future posts, you can add a “Scheduled” column to your TweetDeck to see the full digest of upcoming content.
Price: TweetDeck is free and can be used with any active Twitter account.
LinkedIn has become a veritable powerhouse for content marketing in recent years – particularly if you’re in the B2B world. With PostCron, you can keep your LinkedIn strategy up to snuff all season long with its handy post scheduling tools and management dashboard. PostCron also works with Facebook Groups, Google+, Twitter and other platforms, and it has a feature that lets you automatically watermark any images you use – a huge plus if you’re creating custom graphics.
Price: PostCron ranges from $12 to $219 per month. The lowest tier account allows for 10 social accounts and 200 scheduled posts.
All of the Above: Hootsuite
If you’ve got quite a few social media accounts under your purview, HootSuite may the tool for you. It works with Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+ and even LinkedIn, and lets you customize and schedule posts across all platforms. There’s also a mobile app, which is great if you’ll be traveling this season, and there are tools that let you monitor keywords, brand names and conversations that you might be of interest to your followers.
Price: The basic version is free, but you only get three profiles. If your brand is on more than three platforms, you’ll want to upgrade to the pro plan, which allows for 10 profiles and unlimited scheduled. It’s $19 per month (but free for the first 30 days, so you can try it out.)
Blogs, Content, Social Media: HubSpot
Want to schedule more than just social posts? HubSpot is your key. A start-to-finish brand management system, HubSpot will let you plan out your Facebook, Twitter and social posts AND make scheduling future blogs and content a breeze. You can also use HubSpot to plan out your email funnels and autoresponders over the holidays; this is a must if you’re running any seasonal specials or promos!
Price: The basic HubSpot platform is free, though it doesn’t include social media features. For that, you’ll need at least the Basic package, which runs $200 per month.
Bonus Tool: Buffer
Buffer’s similar to Hootsuite in that it works with virtually every social media platform out there – including Pinterest, LinkedIn and Instagram. Buffer comes in a number of different apps, including browser-specific ones and mobile ones for Android and iOS devices. It also lets you analyze the performance of each post, as well as follower trends and other important data.
Price: Buffer is free to use on one social platform, though it limits you to just 10 scheduled posts. For $10/month you can upgrade to 10 platforms and 100 scheduled posts.
Too Busy to Tweet?
If you know the holidays are going to be too jam-packed for you to properly manage your social accounts, then be proactive, and use one of these handy tools to help. Regular engagement on social media is vital to customer satisfaction, and it’s also a great way to drum up some extra sales during this busy buying season. Want more help managing your social media marketing? Contact Outlet Creative Group today.