April 27, 2020

Social media marketing is here to stay. Whether you are running an e-commerce store, a brand or SaaS, it's hard to exclude social media from your marketing strategy.

With so many social media platforms available in the market now, it can feel like you need an extra pair of hands just to manage it all.

Thankfully though, social media scheduling tools like Buffer and Later take away the manual work of scheduling posts one by one, saving you time while optimising your reach.

But, which of these popular social media scheduling tools should you use for your business?

Today, we're putting the cheapest plans of these two social media scheduling giants head to head to answer the question: which social media scheduler should you use for your business?

Later vs Buffer: The Showdown

Later Plus vs Buffer Pro:

Comparison Summary

Feature

Later Plus

Buffer Pro

Pricing

US$9/month

US$15/month

Social Media Accounts

1 profile per social platform

8 social accounts

Scheduled Posts

100 scheduled posts per social platform

100 scheduled posts

Users

1

1

Instagram Direct Posting

Available

Available

Instagram First Comment

Available

Available

Instagram Stories Scheduling

Available

Not Available

Instagram Link-in-bio

Lite

Not Available

Integrations

Zapier Integration

No Zapier Integration

Sign Up Link

Pricing: Later Plus is Cheaper for Single Brands, Buffer Pro Cheaper for Multiple Brands

If you're looking for a social media scheduling tool for 1 business, Later Pro's plan is very attractive. You can add 1 profile per social platform and schedule 100 posts per platform.

In comparison, Buffer Pro's offer feels more limiting with just 100 scheduled posts in total across all your social profiles. On the flip side though, you can add up to 8 profiles to your Buffer account. If you are managing more than 1 brand, Buffer Pro gives you more bang for your buck as you'll need to pay Later US$5/month for every additional social media profile you add.

Both plans include just 1 user, however, and isn't ideal for teams.

Instagram Scheduling: You Can Do More With Later Plus 

Direct Posting to Instagram (with first comment)

Because of Instagram's strict API regulations, few social media schedulers allow you to post directly to the app. Luckily for us, both Later and Buffer are Instagram's trusted partners and its users can post directly to Instagram.

This is a crucial feature missing in most social media scheduling tools in the market. With either Later Plus and Buffer Pro, you can automate the process 100%. You can not only schedule the main content, but even the first comment too!

The catch though, is that you'll only be able to do so from an Instagram Business account. So make sure to convert your personal account to a Business one so you can take advantage of this feature.

Instagram Stories Scheduling

Instagram stories have become a favourite among IG users worldwide. With Later Plus, you can access the Lite version of Later's IG story scheduling tool. On the Buffer Pro plan though, you won't have access to Buffer's IG story at all.

If you want a 360-degree scheduling tool for IG on a budget, you'll be happy with what Later Plus offers.

LinkedIn Post Scheduling: Only Buffer Can Support Your Business

Unfortunately, for B2B brands where LinkedIn is an integral part of your marketing strategy, Later does not offer scheduling for LinkedIn. If you need LinkedIn scheduling, Buffer will be the only choice between the two.

Integrations: Buffer's Zapier Integration Game is Stronger

Being one of the pioneer of social media scheduling, Buffer integrates with a lot of apps through Zapier. One of my favourites is the Airtable-Buffer integration which enables me to sync my social media plans to Buffer. 

Sadly, Later isn't integrated with Zapier yet. 

If you're a Zapier enthusiast, Buffer will have you happily zapping away!

Looking for Later and Buffer Free Instead? Compare Here

Later's Free Plan is More Generous

If you're just starting out, and not quite ready to invest in a paid plan with either scheduling tools, their free plans are great to start with.

While free plans do come with feature limitations, I found Later's to be pretty generous. With Later free plan, you get:

  • 1 profile per social platform
  • 30 posts per social platform

In comparison, you get 3 social accounts with only 10 scheduled posts on Buffer's free plan.

If you're not a heavy user, Later's free plan is a pretty good choice. Sign up for it here.

Conclusion

Later and Buffer are industry titans when it comes to social media scheduling. Though, Later can offer a more wallet-friendly solution for single-brand users with higher scheduling needs.

While pricier, Buffer has its strengths in LinkedIn scheduling and an extensive integration library on Zapier.

For business owners without a high marketing budget, getting on either Later or Buffer's free plans can help you save hours every month without spending a dime.

With that being said, you really can't go wrong with either Later or Buffer. Both are solid social media scheduling tools with a lot to offer across popular social media platforms of today.

Over to you: Have you tried Later or Buffer? Which do you like better, and why?

About the author 

Lu Wee Tang

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