Practical Ecommerce

5 Tools to Plan and Post Social Media Content

Planning social media content across multiple platforms can be complicated. Social media schedules typically include multiple events and wider marketing initiatives; a seemingly simple social media plan can quickly turn complex.

In this post, I’ll describe five tools to organize your social media content and create an easy-to-follow posting schedule.

Free Tools

In my experience, free tools can be just as valuable as paid versions. Free tools are the starting point for most social media schedules. They offer basic features and are less likely to roll both planning and scheduling into one.

  • Excel and Google Docs. Most web marketers are familiar with Excel and Google Docs. The challenging part of using them for social media planning is setting up a usable template. Thankfully Hootsuite and CoSchedule, among others, provide some handy choices.

The biggest drawback of using Excel is that it’s not conducive to a team, as different versions of a calendar can easily get confused as changes fly back and forth. Google Docs solves this drawback, but users must be online to use it.

Bob Angus, a Practical Ecommerce contributor, offers a free Excel editorial calendar download on his blog. Another helpful template is The Marketing Game Changer Kit, by Web.Search.Social, a marketing firm.

There are some helpful printable templates — for pen and paper — such as this PDF from Colourvale, a resource for photographers.

  • Trello. Trello is the most helpful to me in my day-to-day social media work. It’s a free tool with many features. I use it for my own to-do lists (using columns to indicate progress and cards for individual pieces of work), as a wider team workflow tracker, and to store social media content. Trello can also be customized to create a content library and keep track of images you’ve posted or want to use later.
A Trello board, with lists (columns) and cards.

A Trello board, with lists (columns) and cards.

It is easy to tag content to make it searchable and the column system means you can divide into different areas of interest or types of content. I use a new card for each piece of content, which I then share for feedback with our team.

Switch Trello into a calendar mode to plan content on a daily basis. But you can visually lose track if more than two posts are planned for any one day.

Trello doesn’t link to your social profiles, to publish. So, as with Excel and Google Docs, with Trello you would need a separate scheduling tool, such as Hootsuite or Buffer.

Paid Tools

There are many paid planning tools. They all promise to streamline the planning process and integrate social media posting and, often, blog scheduling.

  • Divvy. Divvy focuses on streamlining the workflow for teams that manage content and social media marketing. Divvy may be unnecessary for smaller businesses. Pricing: 14 day free trial; $25 per month minimum afterwards.
  • CoSchedule. CoSchedule includes social media scheduling and WordPress integration. Optional advanced analytics tracking will increase your monthly fee. But CoSchedule is still one of the most cost effective options, and the most interesting option for small businesses looking to streamline their social media planning and scheduling. Pricing: 14 day free trial and then from $9 per month for individual blogger accounts.
CoSchedule can help small businesses streamline their social media planning and scheduling.

CoSchedule can help small businesses streamline their social media planning and scheduling.

  • GatherContent. GatherContent was developed for marketing agencies, those with high-volume needs. Thus the monthly fees are higher than other tools. GatherContent was designed to help plan website content. But it can be just as useful for social media posts. Pricing: 30-day free trial and then from $79 per month.

Which tools do you use to plan your social media content?

Samantha Collier

Samantha Collier

Bio   •   RSS Feed


email-news-env

Sign up for our email newsletter

  1. euhero June 2, 2015 Reply

    This is a great list but I think Mass Planner should be their in the paid tools. Nonetheless this was pretty informative.

  2. Gail Gardner June 7, 2015 Reply

    Just thinking about using a spreadsheet gives me a headache. Like you, I use Trello for strategy, planning and keeping track of everything.

    But, to manage all your images and schedule them in posts out to social media, MavSocial is the best solution I’ve seen.

    Upload your images and videos into your MavSocial digital library. Then create a Master campaign, attach your media, choose which social networks you want to push your image or video and content to and schedule them using the built-in calendar.

    You can schedule to send to all platforms at the same time, or to each social network individually. Up to 50 social networks can be attached in their Pro version.

    The free version allows you to attach one Twitter and one Facebook, so it is free to find out if it is for you or not.

    Oh – and you can source free images already scaled and resized, edit them right in the MavSocial dashboard if you wish (or use them as is), add text to them, and save them in your digital library for re-use. (So you can promote your evergreen content regularly.)

    There is a post on my blog about it and I’m working on another plus two walk-through videos.

    In the dashboard there are how-to videos in each section to make it easy to learn – way easier than Hootsuite, TweetDeck or Oktopost for less money and with the ability to push images and videos natively to Facebook.

    • Sam Collier June 15, 2015 Reply

      Hi Gail

      I’m not familiar with MavSocial but it’s definitely one I’ll be checking out. Those walk throughs sound super helpful, finding your feet on these platforms can be the biggest challenge!

  3. Steve June 13, 2015 Reply

    I would add Mr. Social http://mrsocial.me to this list

    • Sam Collier June 15, 2015 Reply

      Thanks Steve, another one to add to my list of tools to try out!

  4. Jenny Woods December 16, 2015 Reply

    Hi Sam,

    Check out zaapt.com. Definitely one to add to your list! It’s a brand new social media planning tool to help make the processes of building content calendars, obtaining approval and scheduling the content far more efficient and collaborative!

  5. Digisha May 27, 2016 Reply

    Thanks for sharing this list of tools Samantha! Also, i would like to recommend Socialpilot (https://socialpilot.co/) It helps you to visualize your future post, re-share your past post, re-schedule for multiple social networks and create a new post directly from your calendar all at one place.