What Social Scheduling Platform Should You Use?

Finding the Right Social Scheduling App for Your Business

Instagram. TikTok. Facebook. Pinterest. GoogleMyBusiness. LinkedIn.

Social media is a great way to interact with your current customers and reach out to future customers. Not to mention, it’s completely free. If you’re a small business owner, the thought of running all of these separate channels can feel overwhelming. Just remembering when to post a picture on Instagram or upload trending video to TikTok is practically a full time job in itself.

Thankfully for all of us (and that includes people like us where posting on social media is literally our full time job) there are tools you can use to keep everything organized. Since the advent of social media, third party companies have built apps and platforms that take the pain out of posting. 

But which one is right for you?

There are dozens of social scheduling platforms and social scheduling apps available. We are going to focus on five of the biggest on the market. All of these are capable of performing almost every function you will need (except one, which we will get into later!) We’ll examine each social scheduling platform by looking at their ease of use, level of detail, capacity for channels and users, and finally their cost. 


Buffer is a great place to start if you’re dipping your toe into the social media waters. The dashboard is simple and clean. You can schedule photos and videos that include tags and hashtags. You can even respond to comments through Buffer. 

However, where Buffer really shines is in their analytics. You can compare growth from month to month in every imaginable statistic; likes, comments, reach, engagement, impressions, you name it. Buffer will even suggest the best time and best types of content to post to maximize your visibility.

We use Buffer as our main scheduling platform for the majority of our clients. There is a free tier with limited features that is a great starting point for newer brands or individual accounts. Buffer additionally has the option to grow with you, all the way up to agency and enterprise solutions.


Another popular option for social media management is SocialPilot. The engineers behind SocialPilot put a lot of effort into functionality and design. Everything from their analytics reports to the ability to crop and edit photos on their platform indicate a high level attention to detail. 

SocialPilot has all of the capabilities of Buffer, with a few add-ons. For example, you can bulk upload up to 500 posts. Yeah, that’s a lot of posts.

SocialPilot aims to be a one-stop shop for all of your social media needs, including integration for Ad Accounts, which let you boost posts right from their dashboard. 

While it all looks beautiful, there are some shortcomings. This is mainly felt in the analytics department which only enables you to look back at the last 30 days on Instagram and the last 3 months on Twitter. The ability to customize analytics reports might be a reason to pass on SocialPilot. 

Additionally, there is no free plan for SocialPilot. There is a 14-day free trial to test things out and their cost for team plans is average compared to other social scheduling platforms.

Later and Link In Bio

Sometimes a company just needs to do one thing and do it really well to be a success. That is exactly what Later set out to do. We’ll cut to the chase on this one: if you are only scheduling for Instagram, Later is the right choice for you.  

Visually, Later is the best at laying out your Instagram grid. The platform launched in 2014 to support Instagram scheduling and they have been finetuning their product ever since. Even if you are not a social media manager, you have likely heard of Later via its Linkin.bio tool. This tool is so popular it has evolved to a slang phrase used on Instagram. Instagram does not allow clickable links in captions or comments, so the most common way to direct followers to the clickable link on your profile. This is undoubtedly the biggest benefit of the Later platform as Linkin.bio is the gold standard for turning your grid into a link page. However, it is losing some utility as other companies like Linktree are starting to pop up.

The pricing for Later is relatively steep, so make sure this is the one for you before entering your credit card. One user costs $18 per month, and there is only a slight discount from that on their mid-level plan ($40 per month for three accounts) and top-level plan ($80 per month for six accounts).


You know that classic car that everyone loves? It doesn’t have the best gas mileage or auto-pilot, but everyone turns their head to admire it when it rolls down the street. That’s Hootsuite.

Launched in 2008, Hootsuite was one of the first social scheduling platforms available. If you’re counting at home, that’s two years before Instagram existed and eight years before TikTok. Their platform is one of the most professional out there. 

To continue the vintage car metaphor, Hootsuite costs about as much as one. Their pricing starts at $49 for a single user and will run your team $739 per month if you want to run more than 20 social accounts.

If your focus is on ad campaigns and sales above all else, Hootsuite has the tools that you are looking for. However, if you’re just looking to keep your social channels active and respond to occasional DMs, you can settle for less expensive options. 

Native Scheduling with Meta Business Suite

Meta’s new native scheduling platform for Facebook and Instagram is fine. It does not have the bells and whistles of platforms like Buffer, Social Pilot, or Later but it has several factors pulling for it.

There is never an issue with connecting your account because you use your account to access Meta Business Suite.

You can schedule posts in advance. Even better, you can schedule boosts for those posts in advance. If you are spending any significant money on boosted posts, this is invaluable.

Remember when we said earlier about the one function you want that few social scheduling platforms have? It’s time for the big reveal. 

As great as Buffer, SocialPilot, Later, Hootsuite, and countless other scheduling platforms are, they all lack one major component: the ability to auto-post stories to Facebook and Instagram. If you rely on stories to promote your business, you might want to check out social scheduling through Meta Business Suite.

Just like Facebook and Instagram, scheduling through Meta Business Suite is free! Unfortunately, you get what you pay for—or rather, you don’t pay for. The functionality is limited and collaboration is practically non-existent. And if you have an issue and need to reach out to customer service? Good luck with that; it will likely be quicker to open an account on one of the third party platforms we’ve highlighted and ask them!

Still Can’t Decide on a Social Scheduling Platform?

If you’re looking for help deciding on the best tools for your social media presence, Meerkat Media Group has you covered! With experience in ecommerce, hospitality, food, and more, we have the know-how to reach the audience you want in the way you want. Contact us today for more information on taking your digital marketing to the next level.