Ashley Smith-Hammond

How can you get out in front of social media? Preschedule posts so you don’t miss out, even when things get busy.


social media planners

Social media management tools help you to be more organised and more engaged. They help you move from being reactive to being proactive.

Whether your organisation uses a couple of Twitter accounts to get its message out, or marshals a vast constellation of social media, tools like Hootsuite or TweetDeck can help you stay on top of your posts and conversations. You can see how people are responding in real time, harness analytics and make faster, more effective conversations with your followers par for the course.

Tweet deck

If you’re managing multiple Twitter accounts and need to keep an eye on developments, TweetDeck is a good option. Used exclusively for Twitter, the interface lets you keep track of an unlimited number of accounts or hashtags. You can view the timelines that are most relevant to you all in one place, keeping track of conversations in real time.

One of TweetDeck’s biggest selling points is just how accessible it is. First, it’s free. (Although the company is making noises about changing this – you’ll want to keep an eye out!) Second, all you need to start is an internet browser. With just a few clicks, your organisation’s accounts are plugged in and you’ll soon feel more in-charge of your overall Twitter presence. Scheduling future tweets is no-nonsense.


Hootsuite, on the other hand, is designed for cross-channel reach. From Facebook to LinkedIn to WordPress, Hootsuite lets you monitor, analyse and engage across 35 social media channels – ideal if you’re a cultural organisation with a strong and varied online presence (or want to be).

It is free for up to three accounts. The paid version offers more profiles and some baked in analytics tools. Hootsuite has smart features like AutoScheduling for tweets and posts, and also allows integration with other networks like YouTube, Instagram and SoundCloud, which might be useful if your organisation has a strong multimedia presence.

The key thing is, it puts all your social media activity in one place, with an focus on business reach and ROI. (If you want to know more about comparative pricing there are several useful articles breaking down costs and benefits you might want to explore.)

The first rule of choosing a social media management tool is to match the solution it offers to your business needs. There’s no point jumping on board with the latest new platform if it doesn’t sync with your staff’s own expertise.

Our experience

For the moment we’re using both tools. It lets us minimise costs and of course we have an in-house analytics tool that we’re happy with. If your organisation is having trouble choosing a platform, a blended approach like this is perfectly viable. Find what works for you and your team.

Main image credit: Hootsuite Office - Owl Mural by Hootsuite (CC BY 2.0)