Social media management takes up so much time– a lot more than anyone likely could have ever predicted when businesses first started joining Facebook several years ago. You’re expected to actively promote your business without over-promoting it, build relationships, and continue to create great content.
It’s exhausting and at times it can be overwhelming. It’s no wonder that many social media managers and small business owners find social media scheduling software, often included in social media dashboards, to take on the brunt of the work.
SmarterQueue is a popular example of social scheduling software that many small businesses are using. It can help you create, curate, and schedule social posts long in advance to make social management significantly easier. It is, without a doubt, a great tool. There are several SmarterQueue alternatives that may be a better fit for small and medium businesses. We’re going to look at three of those social media tools today, each of which has unique benefits that can benefit your business in different ways.
You might already be using some of these tools – Maximize Social Business uses all three! But you might not be using their smart social media scheduling functionality, so let’s take a look at how they stack up for this specific functionality.
How to Choose Which Tool is Best for You?
Before we get started on the list of SmarterQueue alternatives, it’s a good idea to quickly go over how to decide which tools are best for you.
There are several things you should take into consideration, including:
- Primary pain point. What is your biggest struggle with social media scheduling and management right now? Is it creating a cohesive schedule? Sharing your content to your social media site effectively? Finding other posts from other sites? Focus on that big pain point, and look for a tool that will address it specifically.
- Features you need. While the primary pain point should take center stage when choosing a social scheduling tool, you should also look at all of the features you need or would like. Some tools put more of an emphasis on social management, while others may have better curation tools.
- Potential automation. How hands-on do you really want to be? Some tools, like Agorapulse and SEMrush, have big potential for increasing scheduling and publishing automation, which can save you a significant amount of time (though you can still carefully manage everything if you choose).
- Budget. This is a pretty big one. Unsurprisingly, you aren’t going to get too far with a tool that’s $400 out of your price range– and many just might be. When you’re looking at cost, don’t just look at the basic plan price and go from there– make sure the specific features you need are included in a plan that you can afford, otherwise you’ll be back to square one.
Because a lot of tools offer a lot of exciting features, it’s often a good idea to sit down and decide what you need and what you can afford ahead of time. That’ll make it easier to find what you want the first time around.
Got your list? Ready to go? Now let’s go ahead and take a look at the 3 SmarterQueue alternatives I’d recommend for small and medium businesses.
Some SmarterQueue customers seem to be using the social scheduling software to try to make their content marketing and social media marketing a little more seamless. In reality, however, SmarterQueue is not the best option for this purpose. A tool like CoSchedule is.
CoSchedule is a platform is an outstanding social scheduling software, but it’s connected heavily with content marketing and your on-site blog.
In addition to being able to create social schedules and calendars, you can also integrate it with your WordPress site to make content distribution much simpler and more automated. You won’t need to copy and paste the link of your new blog post and make sure it’s timed right for the social post to go up after the post. Instead, you can enter in individual copy for Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn posts and set them to go live within set time frames after the post does.
CoSchedule makes automation easy, and their add-on ReQueue feature is a hyper-intelligent system that will automatically post queued content after taking the rest of your calendar and its content into consideration. Note that you’ll want to be careful with this feature on Twitter, since they’re cracking down on automated content being republished from automated services. Still, this is a great option for Facebook and LinkedIn.
CoSchedule starts at $40 a month for a single user, but if you upgrade to just $60 a month you also get email marketing automation and up to three users.
Summary: CoSchedule has a great automation tool, and they’re an excellent choice for businesses who want to streamline their content marketing distribution and schedule more social content at the same time.
SEMrush is best known for their SEO features, like their site audits or keyword research tool (both of which I personally use and heavily recommend). Late last year, I discovered two of new social scheduling tools: their Social Media Tracker, which is heavy on analytics, and their Social Media Poster, which is their scheduler.
Their Social Media Poster is most similar to SmarterQueue, so we’re going to focus on that for this article (I also personally prefer Agorapulse’s analytics much more, which we’ll touch on in a bit.) This tool lets you post to Facebook and Twitter at once, and you can schedule posts and create queues of evergreen content long in advance, which will be placed in open, pre-determined slots if nothing is already filling it.
This tool is really easy to use, and you can hook up as many Facebook and Twitter accounts as you choose. There aren’t a lot of advanced features (which may change as the tool is so new), but it’s affordable and reliable, making it a good options for small businesses who want something simple.
All of SEMrush’s plans include their Social Media Poster and Social Media Tracker, including their Pro Plan, which starts at $99.95 per month.
Summary: SEMrush is tool that’s simple to use but effective, giving you the ability to create a social schedule for multiple Facebook and Twitter accounts, including automation on queued items.
Agorapulse is an all-in-one social media scheduling tool, and it’s often my first recommendation for businesses of any size when they’re looking to get some help with social marketing. I even use it for all of my clients unless they have a specific tool they want to work with instead.
Agorapulse has everything you need to excel in both social scheduling and social marketing. You can post to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+, and they now even have direct posting to Instagram, offering a full range of posting options for all the major social platforms you’ll need to be on. As your content is published, you’ll get alerts on the desktop site and mobile app letting you know when you get comments or messages you need to address.
In addition to easy scheduling (which allows you to schedule a single post for one platform or multiple platforms all at once), they also have exceptional queueing capabilities.
You can create different categories of queued content, and then designate specific time slots for different categories. You could, for example, have a queue of evergreen promotional content, blog posts, and content from industry peers, and have queue slots for each based on the rest of your content calendar and the balance you want to strike of the different types of content. This gives you full control over your social calendar while simultaneously automating it.
As your social calendar is published, remember to take a close look at Agorapulse’s exceptionally detailed analytics to see what’s working and what isn’t. You’ll gain incredible insight into everything from your top hashtags to best engaging content, and you can adjust your queue and your calendar accordingly.
Agorapulse starts at $49 per month, though I recommend immediately choosing at least the $99 per month plan, as you’ll get 6 months data retention for reporting instead of 2 months, along with ads monitoring.
Summary: Agorapulse is an excellent, full-service social media scheduling and social management tool that comes with in-depth analytics. It offers a great combination of features that allow for full control and excellent automation at the same time.
The New Twitter Rules to Keep in Mind
As we’re wrapping up, there’s one more thing we need to discuss when it comes to social marketing automation.
Twitter is now requiring posting tools to stop publishing the same tweet on multiple accounts they control. This is being done in attempt to fight spam, generate more conversation, and make room for more authentic content. They are actually cracking down on this and enforcing this rule strictly.
Included in this, you’re also not allowed to schedule the same tweet to be published multiple times again and again. Instead, you’ll need to create new content for each individual tweet.
So what does this mean? Repeat posting or mass posting to multiple accounts on Twitter is officially out (though you can still use this strategy on other platforms). Instead, make sure you’re creating original content for each account and each tweet so you don’t find yourself in hot water.
SmarterQueue is undoubtedly a big name, and it’s also undoubtedly a great tool. Even with that in mind, however, it won’t be the right tool for every business. Many small and medium businesses need to find tools that can address their specific needs and pain points, and in many cases, I believe either one (or several) of the SmarterQueue alternative tools discussed in this post would be a better fit for many of them.
Which social media scheduling tool do YOU currently use?
FTC disclosure: This is a sponsored post. I only work with products, events and/or companies I believe my readers will benefit from. All opinions are mine. This is disclosed in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.