What do marketers want from social media in 2019?

Based on what we saw in 2018, the answer is surprisingly simple.

More ROI and less wasted time.

That’s where today’s suite of social media scheduling tools can save the day.

Hey, we get it. Marketers want as many shortcuts as they can get.

Having the right scheduling tools on deck can help you save time and push out more content to your audience. The more of your social strategy you put on autopilot, the more time you have to connect with your followers in real time.

Sounds like a win-win, right?

Picking the right social media scheduling tools for your business

Make no mistake: not all social media scheduling tools are created equal.

Marketers today are hungry for simple, straightforward solutions that they can roll out ASAP.  Meanwhile, different businesses have different priorities in terms of their schedulers.

Maybe you’re laser-focused on analytics. Perhaps you have a massive team that needs to collaborate more efficiently.

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Looking toward 2019 and beyond, we’ve broken down the features and benefits of the top social media scheduling tools available today.

1. Sprout Social

Hey, you can’t blame us for taking the top spot on our list, can you?

Seriously, though. Sprout Social represents a solution that meets the needs of small businesses and big brands alike.

The ultimate all-in-one platform

Sprout keeps marketers from juggling between software, while its easy-to-use interface and powerful features set it apart from the pack.

Get your hands on the last social media scheduling tool you’ll ever need by signing up for a free trial or requesting a demo today.

For starters, jumping back and forth between networks is a huge time-sink. Consider how the bulk of brands out there are publishing content to multiple social platforms.  With Sprout, you can publish your latest Facebook post, Instagram photo or Pinterest Pin simultaneously.

The ability to both schedule and post across multiple networks keeps your social strategy from taking forever. In 2019, embracing social media automation is an expectation for businesses rather than an exception to the rule.

Beyond scheduling, Sprout is an awesome tool for collaboration among marketing teams. User-level permissions provide specific access to marketing managers, writers and everyone in between to contribute to your social media calendar.

And speaking of calendars, Sprout’s calendar feature provides your team a bird’s eye view of what’s being published and promoted on any given day. This ensures that each and every piece of content you craft gets the attention it deserves.

Social media scheduling isn’t just about publishing content, either. Consider how features such as Sprout’s social media analytics and trend reports clue you in on how you can grow your following as well.

From analyzing hashtags to your top-performing posts, Sprout represents the ultimate optimization tool for brands looking to fine-tune their social presence in addition to scheduling content. Recently, Sprout rolled out social ad reporting for marketers hunting for a greater ROI from their paid campaigns, too.

The ability to schedule content in advance means perfectly timing your posts for maximum likes, comments and shares. Sprout’s ViralPost feature helps hone in in optimal posting times, removing the guesswork of when you should post.  This sort of feature is why most brands want to invest in social media scheduling tools in the first place.

2. Later

Instagram is a strange beast when it comes to social media scheduling tools.

How so? Well, third-party solutions which publish directly to Instagram were once prohibited. Fast forward to present day where Instagram automation is possible via Sprout among other social media scheduling tools.

Later has the distinction of being an official partner of Instagram. In addition to real-time text notification posting that’s been the traditional workout for Instagram scheduling, the platform allows for true automated publishing on single-photo posts.

Later is an ideal option for brands specifically working with visual content and focusing heavily on growing their Instagram presence.

Additional features such as real-time post previews, hashtag curation and basic analytics help brands save time publishing to Instagram while also uncovering opportunities to optimize their posts. The tool’s drag-and-drop preview is likewise a nice touch for brands who are crazy about visual content.

Want to keep all of your scheduling in a single platform, though? Check out Sprout’s Instagram scheduling solutions as well!

3. CoSchedule

The common thread between pretty much any social scheduling tool is the same.

Saving time.

CoSchedule emphasizes efficiency for marketing teams and individuals alike. Integrating with company blogs via WordPress, the platform allows brands to publish and push content to social media simultaneously.

Additionally, CoSchedule provides a comprehensive “Top Content Report” which documents social shares and engagement. This is a fantastic feature for content creators looking to figure out which pieces are resonating most with readers.

Unlike other social media scheduling tools, CoSchedule primarily focuses on content versus solely social performance. Features such as the “ReQueue” Bucket allow teams to recycle and schedule their best messages automatically without having to lift a finger. This results in more fresh content in your brand’s feed faster.

4. Feedly

There’s no denying that one of the biggest challenges of social media scheduling is content curation.

Digging for fresh pieces of content can be both time-consuming and tiring. Meanwhile, you don’t want to solely post your own stuff over and over, right?

That’s where Feedly comes in.

Feedly’s platform automatically curates content to fill up your social media calendar. Instead of scrambling for news or relevant pieces to publish to your audience in-between your own posts, Feedly does the legwork for you.

Again, managing your social feeds shouldn’t eat up all of your free time. Tools like Feedly take the pressure off of marketers to constantly save and bookmark content for future sharing.

Oh, and Feedly integrates instantly with Sprout Social. Nice, right?

5. Airtable

If you can’t tell by now, social media scheduling and content creation go hand in hand.

Every time you sit down to knock out a blog post, you probably already have your audience in the back of your mind.

You want to craft pieces that have potential to get shared around like crazy. You want to get as much mileage as you can via social sharing so that piece of content is seen by as many people as possible.

That means planning out your content, plain and simple.

Airtable brings the processes of content planning and social media scheduling together. The platform can be used among teams or individuals to not only plan out future pieces of content but how those posts will be promoted across various social sites.

Another nice bonus of Airtable is its asset manager. This feature affords users a sense of consistency across your campaigns and ads prior to hitting “publish.”

In short, Airtable allows you stay one step ahead by assessing what your social media posts will look like before your content even goes live. Never hurts to be prepared, does it?

6. Tweetdeck

Looking for a seriously simple scheduling solution that’s only focused on Twitter? Check out Tweetdeck.

Integrating with Twitter in an instant, Tweetdeck represents a straightforward scheduling tool that allows you to queue tweets across multiple accounts.

Set up your Tweet, pick a time and watch it go live. Nothing fancy, but effective nonetheless.

Despite its simplicity, Tweetdeck also boasts a comprehensive Twitter dashboard for users. You can see your live feed in addition to notifications, mentions and other activity all in one place.

Tweetdeck represents a totally free upgrade to your Twitter account. Even if you use another scheduling tool, you might consider toying around with the platform just for fun.

7. Planable

Planable boasts many features typical of today’s’ social media scheduling tools with an emphasis on teamwork and collaboration.

Most notable is Planable’s commenting and approval system for scheduled posts. Team members are able to go back and forth with comments to fine-tune scheduled content before it goes live. Users can then approve the posts internally or wait for client approval if working as part of an agency team.

Roles and permissions allow different departments to collaborate so that everyone is on the same page. This leads to fewer bottlenecks and greater transparency as a post moves from Point A to Point B.

8. Sked Social (formerly Schedugram)

Although Sked Social is no longer Schedugram due to its recent rebrand, their Instagram features are definitely ones worth noting.

Sked Social’s content queue allows users to prep photos, captions and hashtags for repeated use. Much like Later, the platform provides a real-time, drag-and-drop preview of your Instagram posts before they go live. This allows for quick and easy changes if you’re not happy with your feed’s aesthetics.

Built-in post templates and a variety of photo editing filters are nice creative touches to help your posts pop, too. The platform itself is highly intuitive for those working with visual content on Instagram.

9. Post Planner

Looking at the best times to post on social media, there’s a clear expectation for brands to push out a ton of content.

In addition to scheduling posts as normal, Post Planner assists with the process of content curation. Again, you can’t just blast your own content over and over if you want to grow your following.

Post Planner curates posts based on specific hashtags and keywords, assigning star-ratings to pieces based on how relevant they’d be to your audience.

The tool also picks the best times to post based on audience data. The planning section also highlights the different types of content you’re posting (article, video, photo, etc) and how each piece if performing. Like other social media scheduling tools, Post Planner allows users to repeat and recycle top-performing posts, too.

And that wraps up our list!

How are you taking advantage of social media scheduling tools?

Brands of all shapes and sizes are using social media scheduling tools to grow their followings, save time and push out more content.

And given the fast-paced nature of the web at large, having these tools on deck is crucial for keeping your business’ content from getting lost in the shuffle.

We want to hear from you, though! What features do you find to be most important for a social media scheduling tool? If you haven’t gotten started with social scheduling, what’s holding you back? Let us know in the comments below!