Blog Smarter, Not Harder: My Top Social Media Tools For Bloggers

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Blog Smarter, Not Harder: My Top Social Media Tools For Bloggers | KeatingBartlett.com

I’m a strong believer in making investments in your blog or business in order to grow and get to where you want it to be. While I’ve made a ton of investments in this blog since I first started it, some of the best investments I’ve made are in my social media tools and scheduling apps. Consistency is so important on your social media platforms, but let’s be real here. No one has time to spend all day, every day on social media. If you spend a good majority of your day glued to your iPhone, scheduling out content then it’s going to take away from all the other blogging and business tasks you have on your to do list. So it’s really important to use the best tools! Here’s what I use to keep my social media running smoothly:

COSCHEDULE.

Uses: Editorial calendar/WordPress, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, LinkedIn and Tumblr.

First and foremost bloggers need to stay organized and have a great editorial calendar. I began using CoSchedule* about a year ago and instantly fell in love with it. First off, what is CoSchedule? CoSchedule is an easy way to organize all of your blog’s content and social media promotions all in one place. Pretty straightforward. It’s really THE best editorial calendar I’ve come across and I couldn’t imagine using anything else. It’s amazing!

RelatedHow To Plan Out Your Editorial Calendar For The Entire Year

CoSchedule uses a drag and drop format to make it easy for you to set up your calendar and make changes as you go. It integrates with WordPress allowing you to easily make changes to your calendar without having to go into each individual blog post and make the changes manually. If you drag and drop a post from Monday to Thursday, CoSchedule syncs with WordPress and makes all those background changes for you so you don’t have to. No need to go into those posts and update them with the new date and time you have them scheduled for because CoSchedule already did it!

Not only does CoSchedule help you build your editorial calendar, it also helps you to schedule out your social media as well. It connects to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, Tumblr, and Google+, allowing you to schedule out all of your social media content in a single place. So if you want an app that manages absolutely everything, this is a great option!

BUFFER.

Uses: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, and LinkedIn

I’ve been a long-time fan of Buffer. I use it for Facebook and Twitter and it’s super easy to use! Using the Safari plugin, I’m able to add just about anything to my queue with one simple click which saves me a ton of time. Rather than spending hours on the weekend trying to gather content to share to my various platforms, I can save content as I go so scheduling out my week takes next to no time every weekend.

BOARD BOOSTER.

Uses: Pinterest

While I use Buffer and CoSchedule for a good majority of my scheduling, I do not use them for Pinterest. Pinterest is my top source of traffic for my site and with it not technically being a social media platform, I don’t see the point in using a social media scheduler for it. Not all platforms are created equally so it’s important to me to be using schedulers and tools that are made specifically for each platform rather than using one tool for all of them.

With that said, I use  Board Booster* to completely automate my Pinterest profile so I’m not having to spend all my free time on it. It has a great scheduling system, but the only feature I use on Board Booster is its looping feature. What’s this looping feature I speak of? Well, it’s this awesome life-changing tool that takes pins from your boards and re-pins them to that board starting with oldest content first and working its way to the newer content. It then goes back through and deletes the original so that my boards aren’t filled with multiples. That way your pins are consistently showing up in people’s feeds without you having to do all the work. Pretty cool, right?

Related: How To Grow Your Blog With Pinterest

TAILWIND.

Uses: Pinterest and Instagram

Another great tool that I use for Pinterest is Tailwind. Tailwind is absolutely amazing in that it schedules your pins AND has this awesome thing called Tailwind Tribes which is pretty much like group Pinterest boards. So it’s a great way to get your content seen by others as well as re-pinned. Now as for the scheduling part of Tailwind, this scheduler gives you a list of the best times to pin based on YOUR profile and audience. So ignore all the infographics out there that gives you specific time slots of when you should be posting to all your accounts. This really varies by audience so be sure to be looking at your analytics on a weekly basis.

Between Board Booster and Tailwind, I sit down every Saturday or Sunday and spend maybe 30-45 minutes scheduling out my Pinterest for the ENTIRE week. Sometimes two weeks. That way I don’t have to sit on Pinterest all day, every day pinning a bunch of new content. This includes about 75 to 100 pins a day. And thanks to this system, I’m able to drive a ton of traffic to my site every single day with little to no effort.

PLANOLY.

Uses: Instagram

Now that we have my blog posts, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest covered, the last platform I use is Instagram. Like Pinterest, Instagram isn’t a platform that I want to be using a generic scheduler for. Platforms like Buffer, Tailwind and CoSchedule just don’t have the advanced features for Instagram that a tool like Planoly has. Planoly not only schedules out my Instagram posts, it gives me a great visual of what my feed looks like (or will look like) before I commit to posting a new image. That way I can make sure my feed looks consistent in editing style.

Another great feature of Planoly is that it allows you to insert placeholder images. For bloggers who want more consistency in their feed, this feature is awesome! I can make notes of images I want to take for my feed and move them all around to find the best posting order. I use this feature as a way to remind myself what images I need to take and upload to the app for scheduling.

Lastly, this tool can be used on desktop in addition to being a phone app! So there’s no more having to transfer images to and from your iPhone and computer in order to post them to Instagram. With Planoly, I can upload photos taken with my Nikon from my desktop into the app, add the caption and hashtags and then officially post it later from my phone. How could it get any easier? Out of all the Instagram scheduling apps I’ve tried, Planoly is by far my favorite one.

While it may seem like I use a lot of tools, they’re all essential to keeping my social media consistent and running smoothly every week. Thanks to having the right tools, my social media takes me maybe an hour or two to schedule out for an entire week (sometimes two) thus allowing me to be present in my everyday life and focus on other tasks. Having great tools is essential to a blogger’s success (and sanity)!

What are your top social media tools for blogging?

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  • Love this blog post! I use Tailwind and Board Booster too, and I’m really trying to find the best strategy that works for me. Question for you…is there a reason you don’t use the Board Booster campaign feature? Do you like Tailwind more?? I definitely go back and forth between like them.

    • Thanks Katherine! I actually just haven’t even explored the campaign feature on Board Booster yet. I signed up for it simply because of the looping feature so as of right now, that’s the only part of it I use. As for Tailwind, I do feel that it looks better and is a bit more user friendly, but I wouldn’t say I like it more than Board Booster. The scheduling on it is just so easy and I love using Tribes as well. I honestly couldn’t pick one over the other which is why I use both! And the system I’ve had in place this year has been amazing for gaining new followers and driving traffic to my site.

  • I need to try Tailwind. I just heard it is on the expensive side. I’m also not focusing on Pinterest. I’m sure when I do, I’ll check that one out. I do love using Buffer!

    • Tailwind is super affordable (to me, anyway. I’m all for making those investments). I think I only spend $10-$12 a month on it or something like that. You should definitely start looking into Pinterest and using it to your advantage though. It has been a HUGE game-changer for me. It would be a big mistake for me to stop using it at this point. I couldn’t recommend it more.

  • Lane & Holly @ With Two Spoons

    Such great ideas! I’m going to Pin this for future reference!

  • my social media sucks! i used hoot suite for twitter for a while, but then i was over it. i schedule some posts on FB using the FB scheduler but I feel like I could use my time and energy better. i’ve heard amazing things about board booster and tailwind. i need to grow my pinterest more!

    • Social media can definitely be challenging sometimes. Especially when life gets in the way. I’m horrible at keeping up when life gets busy. It’s one of my weaknesses haha but having great tools is so helpful and makes it a little easier as well.

  • Candice Schenk

    I needed all of this info! Thanks so much for sharing! I’m pinning for future reference!

  • Jordan Collie

    Thanks you for this, there are a lot of useful tools here! Definitely saving this, my social media needs some work.

    • I’m glad you found this helpful! Social media is so easy to let slip sometimes. I’m guilty of it as well. But these tools make it so much easier for me 🙂

  • It’s bout time I start using some of these I’m doing all my social media accounts by myself. I never have anything done in advance to schedule though haha so maybe I should work on that first. Thanks for the info!

    • I schedule blog post related content usually the night before the post goes live (or whenever I finish and schedule that particular post). But everything else I’m scheduling for social media are things that are already done like archived posts, my email list, affiliate links, content from others, etc. So it’s super easy to have all the scheduled out in advance. Then I’ll just fill in the blanks later when I go to schedule my newest posts 🙂 it definitely takes some time and practice to create a system that works for you!

  • Tailwind is one of my favorite tools ever! All of these are so great.

  • These are great suggestions! Always looking for new ways to streamline my blogging processes!

    • Thanks Carrie! I’ve found that having awesome tools helps me tremendously. It just makes my day so much easier and less stressful.

  • These are great suggestions! I’ve been meaning to check out CoSchedule and Buffer but I definitely love Tailwind.

    • Thank you! I’m actually sightly debating on dropping Buffer and sticking solely with CoSchedule for my editorial calendar, Facebook and Twitter, but I haven’t decided yet. Buffer is just too easy to use and integrate with my web browser. So we’ll see! And Tailwind is fantastic! Definitely one of my favorite tools 🙂

  • Christine Keys

    I really need to get more organised with these. There’s just always distractions with a 2 year old and 6 month old as well!

    • I can imagine! haha I know bloggers who work from home full-time and have multiple kids under the age of 5 and I don’t know how they do it! Having a great schedule in place as well as awesome tools probably helps tremendously.

  • Allyson

    This is amazing advice! I can’t wait to try some of these to get more traffic to my brand new blog!

  • Tiffany Campbell

    board booster and planoly are my jam. I actually have no idea what I’d do without Planoly

  • Kate

    I need coscheduler in my life! I’m about done with my tailwind free trial and I think I may ended up signing up for it, it’s a huge time saver!

    • CoSchedule is amazing! It really just makes my life so much easier. Creating my editorial calendar for the month or even the year takes little to no time and making changes later on is quick and easy 🙂

  • Mary Duggins

    I’ve never heard of Planoly but I think I need to go sign up/download it! These tips were awesome! Thank you for sharing(:

    • Planoly is fantastic! I’ve used a couple other Instagram schedulers in the past, but this one definitely tops them all for me 🙂

  • Brittany Daoud

    Thanks so much for sharing these awesome resources!

  • I had no idea some of these even existed! I just finally upgraded my CoSchedule and I’m loving that I can now use it for Pinterest!

    • The number of tools I’ve tried out over the last couple years is insane haha I’m constantly asking around for recommendations. But these have been my go to tools for months now. I love them!

  • Oyinkan Ogunleye

    Pinning this! I’ve heard about buffer before but this provided more context on it. I’ve also heard about coschedule.

  • I used to be the same way! Even now, if I get off track even a little bit, I’m screwed haha it definitely takes some time to develop a great routine and some great tools to help make it all a bit easier.

  • Samantha Krause

    Hi Keating,
    Your blog was just the answer I needed for work! I recently started managing the blogging process for a client and with this I also manage their social media accounts. I had been working off of a Google Spreadsheet for the editorial calendar and a social calendar. As you already know, way too time consuming!

    I am definitely going to check out Coschedule and Planoly. Also, I love how you added tweetable quotes. Can’t wait to read more of your work.

    • I’m so glad you found this helpful, Samantha! I attempted using a Google spreadsheet at one point and it just did not work. I spent way too much time setting it up and trying to find a way to make it work for me and it never did haha scheduling apps are such life savers. I’d much rather pay for a service that makes it easier on me so I can have more time in my day.

  • Samantha Krause

    Question, I signed up for Planoly, but it it looks like it requires me to approve a push notification from my phone prior to publishing. Did I do something wrong, or is this how the service actually functions?

    • You didn’t do anything wrong! Make sure you enable those notifications. Instagram doesn’t allow schedulers to automatically publish to Instagram so when the scheduled time comes around, the app will send you a notification letting you know it’s time to post. From there, it’ll load the photo and caption into Instagram and all you have to do is click ‘publish’! 🙂