You might be surprised to learn that many estate planning and elder law attorneys actually come to enjoy creating social media posts, as this process allows their knowledge and skills to shine. But scheduling and coordinating social media posts, especially if you are posting on different platforms, may not be as rewarding. There are a number of tools that will help you manage posts, schedule posts and keep track of the big picture.

Here’s an overview of the most popular social media scheduling systems:

Hootsuite is perhaps the best known social media management platform. It lets you manage all of your social media channels, allowing campaigns to be executed across multiple platforms from a single web-based dashboard. Hootsuite allows you to create Teams that will let you map individuals to their own specific tasks. It also pulls together analytics data from social sites. Hootsuite offers a free version that many smaller firms use, but pro and enterprise versions are also available.

Buffer is more of a content publishing platform, helping to publish and schedule content to social networks. It also provides a single access dashboard, detailed analytics and the ability to gather statistics and other analytics data. The free version only allows posts to be scheduled for a single profile, and limits users to ten posts at a time. But the free version does give you access to almost all of the paid features, including integrating to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Google+, and a useful timing tool. Buffer has a built-in image creator that lets you create content to post within the app.

Another highly popular tool, and one that Integrity Marketing Solutions utilizes with the Essential Solution program, is IFTTT–If This Then That. IFTTT does not use a dashboard, but instead a system of triggers and actions used to create “recipes.” You set up your rules, so that if you were mentioned in a Facebook post (“THIS”), then you’d like to receive an email (“THAT”) to alert you. For law firms that schedule many social media posts, this may be the ideal tool .IFTTT also works well with Hootsuite and Buffer to enhance these tools. It has been described as the most technical.

SocialOomph’s free version works only with Twitter, so you’ll need to upgrade to use other social media platforms. However, if Twitter is your main platform, you’ll like its ability to let you manage up to five Twitter accounts to schedule tweets and track keywords. SocialOomph also lets you manage direct messages from within Twitter. You can use it to save and recycle social posts.

There are many other platforms: Agora Pulse, EveryPost, SocialBro, Crowd Booster, Social Flow and Socedo, to name just a few. Before making a decision on which social media management tool to use, you’ll want to have a sense of what you want to accomplish and realistically, how many platforms and posts you’ll be managing. Note that there is a learning curve involved and it does take time to become accustomed to the ins and outs of each one.

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