By Marisa DiPaolo
Have you ever found yourself slacking on social media because you couldn’t find the time to post, weren’t in a creative headspace, or simply forgot to hit “share?” If you’re still planning and posting to social the old fashioned way (in real time), you’ve likely struggled with all of the above. Scheduling social posts ahead of time can be a total game-changer. It can help eliminate the pressure to be constantly creative, prevent those busy weeks when you just don't post at all, and allow you more time to focus on your other responsibilities day-to-day. All you need is an online scheduling tool!
There are many social media scheduling tools that all promise the best features and user experience, but one of the very best — and most user-friendly — is Later! Later is both a website and smartphone app that provides easy-to-use scheduling tools for all of the most popular social networks, plus advanced Instagram analytics to help you perfect your posting strategy.
Later offers four different plans, and their base package is free to use. Features vary by plan, but the free version offers up to 30 uploads a month per social profile, the ability to upload and schedule posts for Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn, editing tools, and Instagram analytics. Compared to other scheduling apps and websites, you can’t beat these features!
And if you choose to upgrade to a paid plan, there are options that include additional monthly posts on all platforms, hashtag suggestions, advanced analytics, best times to post, and more.
Once you’ve picked a plan and signed up, the rest is easy. Later can be used from your phone or desktop, making it a breeze to plan and publish your content from wherever you are. After creating your account, link your social media profiles, and be sure to download the app to your phone for easy posting.
Once you’ve created Instagram content to post, you can drag and drop it directly into your Later content library from your desktop or upload it from your smartphone camera roll into the app. From there, you can drag and drop that content into your Later calendar at the exact time you want it posted and add a caption, hashtags, location, tags, and even a first comment.
When it comes to your publishing cadence, it’s all about consistency! Remember, it takes 8 to 10 touchpoints to convert someone into a paying customer. Determine your posting schedule across platforms and stick to it. For example, we recommend posting to Instagram Stories daily.
When creating or editing a post within Later, you can schedule posts to publish at whatever date and time you wish. You can elect to have your content auto-post at that time, or request a push notification sent to your phone as a reminder to post manually.
Unfortunately, the option to auto-post only exists for Instagram feed posts. For this reason, and because it’s always a great idea to be present online to engage with your followers, sticking with push notifications is recommended.
But don’t worry — setting push notifications will still make posting a breeze! When you elect to receive push notifications, Later will send you a reminder when it’s time to post, and all you have to do is open your app and click “Publish.” The photo(s) or video(s) you scheduled will immediately be saved to your camera roll, and your caption and hashtags will be copied to your clipboard. All you have to do is open Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, or whatever platform you scheduled the post to, upload your content, and paste in your caption. It’s that easy!
When planning future posts, it’s so important to recognize what went right — and wrong — in the past. That’s why Later’s in-depth analytics are such a huge bonus. All Later plans come with Instagram analytics, and paid plans include them for Twitter and Pinterest, too.
To view your personalized analytics, log into Later on your desktop browser, select “Analytics” from the left side menu, and choose your social network at the top of your screen.
Note: Analytics are only available via desktop, not the Later app.
You’ll see everything from your overall reach, impressions, and website clicks over the past year, to your very best performing posts. You can also access detailed audience insights like demographics and a heat map of the times they are most often online.
Be sure to check in on your Later analytics regularly and use them to inform your social strategy moving forward. You’ll be amazed how your engagement improves when you give your audience what they want, when they want it!