There are absolutely loads of social media and content management tools out there. Each one promises to save you time and effort by taking care of your content scheduling, freeing you up to focus on far more important things like sharing the latest memes.
We manage the social media profiles of a lot of clients so we take content scheduling incredibly seriously. We are often asked about our tactics for sharing content and it’s a topic we could discuss all day. I’ll try to keep this brief.
Our media manager, the one and only Steven, undertook the mammoth challenge of trialling various different scheduling platforms to find the one that would be used by every account manager at JC.
Whilst we trialled many platforms, when giving ContentCal a go something just felt right. Steven dug deeper and tested extensively before presenting his recommendation to the team: that ContentCal was the one for us. The team thanked Steven for his gallant efforts and we made the switch. Here’s Steven’s review of ContentCal.
Media manager Steven’s review of ContentCal
For the uninitiated, ContentCal is a content management tool that helps users efficiently plan and schedule social media content. As a social media agency managing hundreds of social media profiles, a tool like this is essential. Over the years we’ve tried dozens and used two or three extensively so we like to think we know what makes a great scheduling tool.
Let’s set the scene
For our team of social media managers, it’s crucial that the tools we use to represent our clients are slick and save time. A rock-solid foundation is the basis from which we can be creative and dream up campaigns that stand out. We don’t want to be spending all day posting content; we want it to be something that runs smoothly in the background without us even noticing.
Before making the switch, we were starting to get frustrated with the scheduling tool we were using (which I won’t name, because it’s not our style). It would regularly disconnect with our multiple Instagram profiles, meaning posts weren’t sending when they should. Reconnecting social media accounts after losing connection became tedious and we didn’t like the thought of our well-planned posting schedules not being stuck to.
What do we look for in a content scheduling tool?
Many agencies, businesses, and individuals will have tried different methods for planning and scheduling content, whether that’s using Excel spreadsheets, having shared calendars, or using various other management software programmes.
In an ideal world, each person involved can see exactly what a social media post will look like when it’s shared. They can see what time it will be posted, how the images or videos will render and how the caption will format. They can see where the hashtags will sit and how it will look on each feed.
Where there are multiple sign-offs required, the process can become complicated. Drafts get lost and it’s unclear which need checking. Sign-off processes can mean content planning gets messy and efficiency starts to fade when communication and feedback become intertwined with emails and calls about content management.
Many agencies send content to their clients for approval via email. They might talk to their team members about content using project management tools such as Teamwork or Slack. Creating a few simple posts in this way can mean a disproportionate amount of admin which detracts from creativity and makes each update a hassle. It doesn’t need to be this way.
How does ContentCal help?
ContentCal’s purpose is to make the process of planning, creation and publishing as efficient as possible for individuals or teams. Most tools don’t take into account that agencies might require one or two levels of approval, especially when working with global brands, but ContentCal aims to streamline the planning process, creation and publishing of content.
Let’s talk about features
At the centre of ContentCal is the calendar feature, where teams can create, edit, comment, share and send content for approval to their clients, managers or team members within one space.
It’s simple to use and laid out in a visually-pleasing way, meaning you spend less time navigating confusing tools and more time creating content. By mapping out and planning content in a calendar format, you have a clear view of what you are creating along with anyone else reviewing it.
Pinboard and Content Hub
ContentCal’s Pinboard and Content Hub lets you store assets (such as your brand’s fonts, colours, patterns, shapes) and media (logos, banners, videos) which can be dragged and dropped straight into the calendar whenever you need them for content. These features assist planning and mean any ad hoc ideas can be jotted down and saved for a later date.
ContentCal’s approval workflows, once set up, let you draft content to your heart’s content. Once your content is ready it can be sent to a manager, team member or client, and they will be notified that the work is ready for their approval.
Having used all sorts of processes for approval in the past, including Excel spreadsheets, Microsoft Word comment boxes and lengthy email threads, we know it can be tricky to interpret feedback and then send v2. ContentCal handles this problem with a comment function, built into its approval workflow. Team members or clients can add comments on individual posts and the content creator can incorporate the feedback. It keeps all communication in one place and ensures nothing gets missed.
Collaboration with others
ContentCal works well for team collaboration because its features allow multiple people to create and manage content together. Let’s say you’re in charge of Monday motivation posts and someone else is in charge of fun fact Friday; both team members can add their respective posts to the same calendar and have full visibility over the other’s work.
The calendar for each client updates in real-time, so the whole team has a live overview of the latest edits and comments to ensure that no one is in the dark or has a need to send chaser emails. Different people can have different permissions for each client.
Is ContentCal for you?
ContentCal is a great fit for any business or agency with teams that are creating and managing content. As a fairly new tool, ContentCal is investing in new and improved features all the time. We regularly send ideas to the ContentCal team on ways the tool could be improved or new features we would like to see, and so far they’ve been great at taking them on board.
ContentCal’s support team are always on hand to help with any questions and the platform offers a 14-day free trial with no credit card required to begin your trial.