It takes seconds to browse a social media feed, but crafting a good post takes a lot longer. The sheer amount of posting brands must do to stay relevant—across multiple channels—can quickly get overwhelming. Social media scheduling tools make this task much easier, which is why we spent hours analyzing features and reviews across dozens of social media scheduling tools. Ultimately, we determined that Zoho Social is the best choice for most users, as it offers diverse features at excellent prices.
The Best Social Media Scheduling Tool for Most
Whether you’re the leader of social media marketing at your company or a content creation agency that manages multiple brand accounts, Zoho Social helps you get the job done without straining the budget. For just $15 a month—or $10 a month billed annually—Zoho helps you push content to seven social media channels: Facebook pages, Facebook groups, Twitter, LinkedIn profiles, LinkedIn company pages, Instagram business profiles, and Google business listings.
On its base plan, Zoho Social lets you edit images, create posts, map out a publishing calendar, and schedule your content ahead of time. Step up to $65 a month and you’ll add Pinterest and YouTube to your channels, plus you’ll be able to take advantage of Zoho’s team collaboration features. And it doesn’t stop there. Get even more power with Zoho Social for Agencies, allowing you to manage over 50 brands from one platform.
The Best Social Media Scheduling Options to Consider
- Zoho Social – Best for most
- Nextiva – Best for social media reputation management
- Sprout Social – Best social listening tools for big brands
- Loomly – Best for generating fresh ideas
- Agorapulse – Best for engaging with followers
- Adobe Express – Best for creating and scheduling image posts
When It Makes Sense to Invest In Social Media Scheduling Tools
Social media can be a time suck, and not just for the legions of users scrolling endlessly through Instagram. Creating high-quality posts, publishing them at the right time, and engaging with followers takes a lot of work and attention.
Scheduling tools save you time in several ways. They’ll help you map out a whole month—or more—worth of content in a day or two, leaving you with plenty of time to get more important tasks done. And they’ll enable you to respond to comments and messages from within the platform itself.
You can do these without ever stepping foot on the actual social media sites, preventing you or your social media team from getting sidetracked by doomscrolling through feeds.
If you’re a freelancer who gains clients from social media, you can set aside one day per month to create your content calendar for the entire month, then schedule it and return your focus to client work or other important tasks.
A marketing agency that handles social media for multiple clients can also use a scheduling tool to juggle everyone’s needs and social post scheduling in a way that keeps things from getting complicated.
And a big business with tons of competition could benefit the most from a social media scheduling tool that not only schedules and publishes posts, but also compares its social media content with competitors’ feeds.
There’s a wide range of feature sets and pricing options in the tools we’ve chosen, so any organization can find a tool that matches their needs and their budget.
#1 – Zoho Social — The Best for Most
Zoho Social impresses us with its ability to accommodate a wide range of needs. You can start with its free plan, a solid starting point for anyone who’s just learning about managing multiple social media channels, then upgrade or jump right to the full power of its paid plans.
Paying for Zoho Social unlocks a bevy of features across four categories.
It starts with scheduling tools, allowing you to draft and schedule content to be published on a desired future date. This is the basic expectation of social media scheduling tools, but you can also use Zoho Social’s SmartQ tool, which suggests optimal times for your posts to go live. With the drag-and-drop publishing calendar, it’s also easy to preview and reschedule posts on the fly.
Next are the monitoring tools. Zoho Social’s Professional and Premium plans include a live stream, which functions as a dashboard that puts all of your post engagement in one place and makes it easy for you to quickly respond. Zoho Social also helps you create listening columns to track other brands or specific keywords and hashtags.
As with many Zoho products, there are useful collaboration tools included. The Premium plan includes three team members and a suite of features to help you work together from anywhere. Assign roles to each team member and set up a workflow for each task. Export and discuss posts as you work together on them, and utilize audio and video chat if you work remotely.
Last, Zoho Social’s tools for analysis can let you know whether your posts are hitting the sweet spot with your target audience or tell you how many new followers you’ve gained. With its in-depth analysis and reporting tools, you can create reports to improve future campaigns and to inform stakeholders and other members of your organization.
One drawback to Zoho Social is its lack of customer support, which is limited to business-day emails. Live chat support would be a welcome addition to Zoho Social.
We briefly mentioned a couple of Zoho Social’s pricing tiers, but let’s break them down in full.
The Standard plan runs $10 per month billed annually or $15 billed monthly. It allows for one team member, one brand, and coverage of seven social channels: Facebook pages and groups, Twitter, LinkedIn company pages and profiles, Google business listings, and Instagram.
Professional costs $30 per month billed annually or $40 billed monthly and adds live stream, notifications, bulk scheduling, repeat posting, and the monitoring dashboard to all that comes with the Standard plan.
While Professional keeps you at one team member for one brand, the Premium plan expands that to three team members for $40 per month billed annually or $65 billed monthly. This also adds features like SmartQ, content approvals, custom roles, audio and video chat, and integration with other Zoho tools.
Agencies have two pricing options that include all the features of Professional.
The base plan of Zoho Social for Agencies is $230 per month billed annually or $320 billed monthly for five team members and 10 brands. Agency Plus expands the number of brands that can be managed to 20 for $330 per month billed annually or $460 billed monthly.
You can add team members and/or brands to any of these plans for reasonable prices. If you serve more than 20 brands, Zoho Social can work with you to create a custom pricing plan to fit your needs.
#2 – Nextiva — Best for Social Media Reputation Management
Nextiva delivers everything you’d expect from a social media scheduling tool. Rather than having to manually post content, the platform makes it easy to schedule those posts in advance. That’s ideal for bulk content delivery and maintaining consistency in your messaging.
However, the built-in features for reputation management are what makes Nextiva rise above other social scheduling tools.
The software comes with social media listening, monitoring, and review management, all from a single source of truth. In addition to managing your content, you can manage your brand’s image and get deeper insights into what’s being said about your company across all social platforms.
Businesses also love Nextiva’s all-in-one social inbox. This tool makes it really easy to view and respond to messages from within a single dashboard, ensuring your customers get the fastest possible responses to their comments, questions, and concerns. You even get AI assistance in the form of suggested responses and automated replies.
Other perks of using Nextiva for managing your social media include:
- Performance dashboard
- Analytics for post and channel performance
- Ticketing and help desk features
- AI-powered review management
- Custom workflows and routing
- Custom tags and alerts
Overall, Nextiva is definitely one of the more advanced tools in this category. It’s a great option for more than just scheduling your posts out a month in advance—the included tools for reputation management simply aren’t offered by similar software. You’re getting an all-encompassing social media solution.
There are three different plans to choose from: Standard, Growth, and Enterprise. Standard and Growth start at $149 and $299 per month, respectively, with the option to add more team members at a rate of $99 per user. Enterprise pricing is completely customized, so you’ll need to contact a Nextiva sales rep to learn more about that specific tier.
#3 – Sprout Social — Best Social Listening Tools for Big Brands
What do Trek, Cinnabon, Shopify, and Subaru have in common? They all use Sprout Social for social media management.
In addition to offering scheduled posting, a unified social inbox to communicate with followers, and team workflow tools, Sprout Social shines when it comes to its social listening and analytics tools.
This platform can:
- Generate keywords and hashtags relevant to your audience
- Easily track mentions and help create connections with influencers
- Analyze post performance and measure it against competitors
- Help you evaluate brand health and glean industry insights
- Assess comments, messages, likes, and shares to understand your target market’s sentiments toward your brand
- Measure the success of ad campaigns
All of this and more allow you to gain analytical insights into your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and TikTok accounts—all from Sprout Social’s reporting suite. We love its support for TikTok and Instagram stories in particular, as short-form video is some of the most effective content these days.
Sprout Social doesn’t skimp on analytics for these video-forward social media channels, either. It’ll help you visualize how many people replied to your stories, tapped backward to re-watch something, tapped forward to skip a portion, or exited altogether.
Sprout Social has a decent interface, although it could be cleaner and a bit easier to learn. In addition, while the company advertises full chat, phone, and email support, the reviews we studied repeatedly expressed frustration about the lack of timely and helpful assistance. It’s also one of the more expensive social media scheduling tools on the market.
Still, thanks to its comprehensive social listening and analytics tools, Sprout Social is an excellent option for brands with robust budgets.
Pricing starts at the Standard plan, which is $249 per month. That allows for one user, five social profiles, keyword monitoring, a social content calendar, and an all-in-one social inbox that fields messages from TikTok, WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin.
The next step up is Professional for $399 per month. That expands to unlimited social profiles and adds custom workflows with approvals, optimized scheduling, and competitive reports for Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook to everything in Standard.
Advanced runs you $499 per month to unlock message spike alerts, a digital asset and content library, and chatbots with automation tools.
Sprout Social offers a 30-day free trial that allows you plenty of time to test out the platform and see what it can do for your organization.
#4 – Loomly — Best for Generating Fresh Ideas
Whether you’ve been in the social media game for weeks or years, coming up with new post ideas can get difficult. With Loomly, you never have to worry about running out of imagination.
Loomly scours the internet, using insight gained from RSS feeds, social media best practices, events happening in your company, holidays, and social media trends to give you custom post ideas, complete with relevant hashtags.
Post inspiration is a big part of what makes Loomly an excellent tool, and it’s prominently displayed whenever you log in to your dashboard.
Loomly will give you a relevant hashtag and a short prompt to help you get started. You can also click on the “i” button next to each hashtag to see real-life posts featuring it and scan examples of how it’s gaining attention.
What we really love about this feature is that, when you create a social media calendar, you can click on a future date and Loomly will give you at least four to five ideas relevant to that day.
We love that this post ideas feature can help make creating relevant posts ahead of time so easy. Adding that capability to Loomly’s drag-and-drop calendars and collaborative review makes it a cinch to schedule out powerful social content well ahead of time.
Loomly also includes approval workflow, optimization tips, previews, analytics, messaging, and automatic posting to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Google Business profiles.
Here’s a snapshot of what each pricing plan gets you:
- Base: $26/month billed yearly or $35/month for two users, 10 social accounts, unlimited content, core features, hashtag suggestions, post ideas, and chat support
- Standard: $59/month billed yearly or $79/month for six users, 20 social accounts, and all features in Base, plus advanced analytics, content exporting, and instant messaging integrations
- Advanced: $129/month billed yearly or $172/month for 14 users, 35 social accounts, and all features in Standard, plus custom roles, custom workflows, and two-factor authentication
- Premium: $269/month billed yearly or $359/month for 30 users, 50 social accounts, and all features Advanced, plus custom branding
- Enterprise: request a quote for pricing information to handle 31 or more users, over 50 social accounts, and dedicated customer support via a Loomly account manager
Start your 15-day free trial of Loomly now with no credit card required.
#5 – Agorapulse — Best for Engaging with Followers
If your top priority is communicating quickly and easily with your social media followers, Agorapulse is the best tool for you.
With Agorapulse’s social media inbox, you’ll see all of the communication you receive from your followers on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Instagram, plus those who interface with your Google business profile. This also includes any comments posted under paid ads on both Facebook and Instagram.
The influx of messages won’t overwhelm you because Agorapulse’s Inbox Assistant automatically organizes your messages, sorting them into categories that let you easily review, assign, and bookmark them.
Once you’ve taken a look at each comment or message, you can label any piece of communication by language, theme, or any other useful category to make it easy to find later on.
Agorapulse also helps you understand your target audience better. Each time someone communicates with you, you’ll see the person’s name and social profile. Jot down notes for your team members so they can respond in the best way possible to each and every commenter.
If you commonly receive similar questions, Agorapulse can save you time (and answer questions lightning fast) by saving stock replies that can be sent with just one click.
In addition to its excellent communication tools, Agorapulse offers quality publishing, monitoring, reporting, and ROI-assessing tools.
The pricing is on the expensive side, but reviewers report that Agorapulse has outstanding customer service that helps users quickly navigate any issues. The Pro plan is $79 per month when paying annually ($99 per month otherwise) and the Premium plan is $199 per month billed yearly ($249 when paying month-to-month).
There is also a free-forever plan that can work for individuals and freelancers, but it only allows you to manage up to three social profiles.
Agorapulse also offers a custom-priced Enterprise plan for eight or more users and 40 or more social media profiles.
You can use the free plan for as long as you want or test out Agorapulse on a paid plan with their 30-day free trial.
#6 – Adobe Express — Best for Creating and Scheduling Image Posts
Best for Creating and Scheduling Image Posts
If images and graphics are important to you, Adobe Express helps you make and store beautiful images for your posts. In the spring of 2022, Adobe Express added a content scheduler, making it simple for you to schedule the posts you create on Adobe Express to your Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram accounts.
Adobe Express is widely known as a high-quality graphic design tool that anyone can learn to use. But, in December of 2021, Adobe Express acquired ContentCal, a social media scheduling tool, and turned it into the Adobe Express Content Scheduler.
Available with the Adobe Express Premium Plan, this social media scheduling tool is Adobe’s response to customers who expressed their desire for a centralized tool where they could create fantastic graphics and schedule them to post to their social accounts.
The Content Scheduler is a relatively new addition to Adobe Express. The company expects to expand its social media scheduling and management capabilities as it continues to incorporate ContentCal’s suite of tools.
For now, it’s an effective tool to plan, preview, schedule, and publish social media posts to the big three of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. If you’re already using Adobe Express to whip up awesome graphics and imagery, this is a boon.
You’ll have to purchase the Adobe Express Premium plan to wield the content scheduler, but it’s fantastically affordable compared to some other options: just $9.99 per month or $99 for a full year.
If you’re not ready to take the plunge right away, test out the Adobe Express Premium plan with a free 30-day trial.
Methodology for Choosing the Best Social Media Scheduling Tool
How can you confidently pick the best social media scheduling tool for your needs? It all comes down to three core criteria: the platform’s user interface, supported social media networks, and prioritized uses.
Let’s take a look.
When you’re trying to run several social media accounts at once, the last thing you need is a social media scheduling tool that looks cluttered and complicated. That’s why we love Zoho Social in particular. With a simple, intuitive interface, it’s easy for anyone to figure out how to start using Zoho Social’s scheduling and social media management tools. Loomly also excels at this.
When you’re testing out different free trials, gauge how easily you can perform tasks on the platform (or how easy it will be for your team members). Is there a drag-and-drop feature to easily reschedule posts? Can you preview content before you publish? Does the dashboard feel intuitive and easy to navigate? Can you quickly locate the tools you need to use, or do you spend precious minutes searching for them?
All of the products above offer free trials that don’t require you to enter your credit card information. This means you can test their UI out without worrying about having to cancel your subscription before the first billing period.
Supported Social Media Networks
Make sure that the social media scheduling tool you use supports all of the social media channels you use.
Some of the options above just cover the basics: Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Others open up opportunities to monitor, post to, and manage Google business profiles, LinkedIn, or even TikTok and YouTube.
Zoho Social covers many of the essentials, but if you lean heavily on TikTok, Sprout Social is the tool for you. If you’re pushing a lot of content to YouTube, Agorapulse can handle everything you need on that end. Do you get a lot of love on Pinterest? Then Loomly’s got you covered.
Before you choose a tool, ask yourself what you need the most. Is it swift communication between you and your followers? Then take a look at Agorapulse. Does your brand focus heavily on creating bright graphics with catchy fonts? Adobe Express can help you make those and schedule them ahead of time, too.
It’s also important to think about what you won’t use a social media scheduling tool for. If you’re a freelancer or small business who doesn’t rely heavily on in-depth analytics and social listening, why pay for a Sprout Social account when Zoho Social, Adobe Express, or Loomly can give you the basics for less?
The better a tool fits your intended use, the more you’ll get out of it and the happier you’ll be with what you’re spending on it.
The Top Social Media Scheduling Tools in Summary
From individuals to bigger companies, Zoho Social can meet most social media scheduling needs. It’s affordable and simple to learn, and it integrates with the most relevant social media channels for most businesses.
But if you feel that Zoho Social doesn’t quite fit, you’ve got other strong options to consider. We suggest using the methodology above to help you find out which social media scheduling tool is best for you.