The best social media tools for handmade shops

Sep 5, 2018 | Marketing Tactics

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Who’s got time for social media? No one? That’s what I thought.

It can be overwhelming and time-consuming so it makes sense to use schedulers… And that’s what I want to talk about today.

You can watch the video, or read the post below.

Trust me, I’ve tried A LOT of schedulers and tools over the years:

  • Hootsuite
  • Cocheshedule
  • Edgar
  • Requeue
  • Boardbooster
  • Tailwind
  • Buffer
  • Later
  • and more.

Now it’s time I share what I’ve learned (no affiliates links, just my honest opinion) and what I recommend you use.

Multi-platform schedulers

They let you schedule on a variety of different social media platforms at the same time. I’m sure you’ve heard about at least some of them: Hootsuite, Sproutsocial, Buffer, Coschedule etc. They usually operate on a freemium model, so they start as a free service/ app/software and you can pay to get more features.

You might think that one scheduler to rule them all would be a great idea, but honestly, I actually would recommend against it. It’s coming back to too many social media platforms being connected to this one scheduling account which becomes overwhelming and inefficient. If you only post a little bit of each every day or every week without actually logging in to each platform and interacting with people, you’ll simply be inefficient and distance yourself from the platforms. Scheduling everything in one place just lacks that engagement that you need to have. Honestly, it’s also a bit lazy (and I know everything about it because I was that lazy person myself). I used to try everything so I wouldn’t have to not be involved in social media and still get results from it. It’s just not possible.

Those multi-platform schedulers would be great if you have an intense social media plan and it just helps you to schedule out the content, but then you still need to log in and be social on each platform for it to work. That’s why I wouldn’t really recommend them for handmade shops, they’re more suited for big companies.

One more issue with that kind of schedulers is that there’s too often an issue with graphics sizes. You can upload the correct size for, let’s say, Facebook, and when it goes out, the graphic looks nothing like what you uploaded. It doesn’t look good, screams “I’m using a scheduler” and is not engaging. If you create a beautiful social media graphic or take a photo you might as well display it correctly.

It all comes back to “one or two social networks at a time” strategy instead of trying to be everywhere. If you want to grow on social media you need to engage and spend time on the platform, not in a scheduler. Once you focus on a specific platform, you’ll start realizing that those big, multi-platform schedulers are not really helping you do that. So… NO.
It won’t help you grow your social media following, it’s lazy (I‘ve been there) and will only “distant” you from each platform and the people on it.

Disclaimer: I still use Coschedule. I used to use it for everything (remember? Lazy girl!) then one platform after another I slowly stopped using it and at the moment I just use it for my Facebook group because it has a cool feature where it pre-populates posts from Monday to Friday with the picture and post times, and I just go in each week and tweak the actual text/captions. It saves me time, but I pay for it and probably won’t pay for it when it’s time to renew it just for that one feature (just writing this for full transparency).

So, what I am using? Well, remember that I said you should focus on 1 or 2 platforms at a time, so I use a specific tool for each platform.

Facebook

For Facebook, I use the free publishing tool within Facebook itself. Is the reach higher when scheduling from Facebook? Well, there are a lot of rumors on the Internet. The only experiments were done by a third party like Buffer, Hootsuite etc., and they said it doesn’t change a thing. On the other hand, Facebook experts say it does change things. So…. I am not going to say here something I can’t be 100% sure of. What I know is, if there’s a chance it could affect your reach, and there’s another, as simple, way to do things – then why not do that instead? That’s why I’d recommend you stick to FB page publishing tools.

 

Honestly, you can do so much with publishing tools, including scheduling, that there’s no real reason to use another tool than the one Facebook is giving us. Plus, you can preview how your post will look like exactly on Facebook, something that we talked about earlier is not so obvious with multi-platform schedulers. The thing I like the most about using Facebook publishing tools is that it forces you to log in to Facebook and go into the “backend” of your page, it forces you to check on your “insights” and stats and understand what is working and what isn’t. It’s something you just wouldn’t do if you were using another scheduler (let’s be honest).

Instagram

For Instagram, I use Later, but I don’t have anything against Planoly or any other approved scheduler. I started using Later and I like it so I never felt the need to dive into other schedulers, that’s why I don’t have extensive knowledge about them. Later runs on a freemium model so you can decide to upgrade for more features, but honestly, you can do so much with a free version you don’t really need to upgrade. I’m still on the free plan.

With Later, you can automatically post to Instagram (if you have an Instagram business account) or get a notification to post the premade post yourself. Another very neat feature is that you can organize and see your feed visually which is pretty important on Instagram. I know that other Instagram platforms let you see that as well, so pick the one you like the most.

One important note here is, whatever scheduler (no matter the platform) you use, please make sure it’s an approved partner of that platform. It just means that the company that makes the scheduler and the social media platform it’s for have an agreement and work together. It ensures that anything you do in the scheduler won’t get you in trouble with the social media platform (see below).

Pinterest

Not so long ago, Boardbooster, which was a very popular scheduler for Pinterest, got shut down, because it was not an approved partner. I as well as MANY other people used it and had results with it, so I thought it can’t be an issue. That was until it stopped working and I lost a lot of reach and got pretty scared. That is why I ask you to always pick an official partner.

Now I use Tailwind and I fell in love with it. It’s the best tool for Pinterest out there. It lets you schedule your pins to your own boards and other people’s boards and AUTOMATE your pinning, which is honestly the key to having a successful Pinterest strategy.

Tailwind isn’t free – it’s $9/month if paid annually or $15/month paid monthly, but let me tell you: it is WORTH EVERY PENNY. You simply can’t win at Pinterest without it and there are no real other options that are an official partner with similar powerful features.

After the Boardbooster shut down and I started using Tailwind, I am back on track and probably even better than I ever was before. I actually plan on doing a course for you about using Tailwind soon. It will be available in the membership I’m launching really soon. If you’d like to know more and get a better deal once it’s open, you can go HERE and sign up for the waitlist.

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