If your audience is Gen Z and Millennials, then you know just how important Instagram marketing is. And don’t forget that 23% of Baby Boomers now also use the platform.
While it’s still not quite as popular as Facebook, the last few years have seen a major market shift towards Instagram adoption, especially among younger users.
That’s why marketers have spent billions purchasing Instagram ads and even more designing complete campaigns.
Used by 3,000,000+ brands and influencers including USA Today, Lonely Planet, and GQ Later is an Instagram (plus Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest) scheduler, analytics, and brand monitoring solution you can use to drive more value out of your social campaigns.
It’s also very affordable, with both a limited free plan and standard offering from just $7.50/month.
Explore everything you need to know in this ultimate Later review.
What Is Later?
Later is a web-based social media platform that helps you plan, schedule, manage, and evaluate posts across the leading social networks.
Later is fairly easy to use and a great fit for solo marketers, influencers, brands, and agencies looking to organize content, create posts, and auto-publish from a convenient dashboard as well as a mobile app.
It also has a wide variety of features you’d expect from an SMM tool these days like recommended scheduling times, analytics, brand monitoring, and engagement tools.
Overall, Later is a solid and affordable option well-suited from SMEs and marketers managing single brands.
- Post scheduling
- Multi-account support
- Customer targeting
- Customer engagement
- Media library
- User-generated content advertising
- Instagram feed preview
- Drag-and-drop design
- Mobile app
- Flexible pricing
Getting Started With Later
Later offers a free limited plan that you can get try out within a few minutes. After providing your name and email and setting an account password, Later will then ask you a few questions to help tailor the service towards your needs.
Then connect your social accounts and start using some of Later’s features. Unfortunately, Later doesn’t offer a free trial for its premium plans. But it’s not a major investment to upgrade to see all of Later’s features for yourself.
Setup with Later is a little difficult compared to other SMM apps. If you want to be able to auto-post to Instagram, you may have to take a few additional steps, including converting your Instagram page to a business page and linking a Facebook. This is actually Facebook’s fault but is frustrating, nonetheless.
For example, if you want to use the Scheduler even without auto-publishing, you’ll have to download and sync with the mobile app. Annoyingly you can’t even preview the feature until you do this.
Setting up Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest accounts is comparatively easier, and once you do overcome the initial hurdles, the app is quite straightforward to use.
Later offers four plans from free up to $30/month. Pricing is set by features and the number of social sets and users. A social set includes 1 Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter account. If you’re managing two separate Facebook accounts, for example, then you’ll need two sets.
Here’s a basic breakdown of what each plan includes:
- Free: 1 social set, 1 user, 30 posts per social profile, Lite Analytics, no additional user
- Starter: From $9/month (or $90 annually): 1 social set, 1 user, 60 posts per social profile, lite Analytics, Instagram Stories Scheduling, Instagram Best Time to Post, Hashtag Suggestions, $9 per additional social set, $5 per additional user
- Growth: From 15/month (or $150 annually): 1 social set, 3 users, 150 posts per social profile, Analytics, Instagram Stories Scheduling, Instagram Best Time to Post, Hashtag Suggestions, $15 per additional social set, $5 per additional user
- Advanced: From $30/month (or $200 annually): 1 social set, 6 users, unlimited posts per social profile, Analytics, Instagram Stories Scheduling, Instagram Best Time to Post, Hashtag Suggestions, $30 per additional social set, $5 per additional user
Overall, Later pricing is pretty good for small brands and influencers, but it starts making less sense for marketers and agencies. For example, if you manage three different brands, you’ll then need to pay at least $27/month.
Compare this Buffer, which gives you 8 accounts for a larger array of platforms for $15/months. The same goes for other SMM tools as well. We’ll go into more detail about this later.
At the core of any app like Later is the ability to schedule posts. Once you’ve gotten over the setup challenges, you can start creating and scheduling posts.
Assembling posts is easy, especially once you’ve uploaded your media assets, then you can add tags, locations, and users. From the Growth Plan onward, Later will also advise you the best time to publish based on your engagement history.
Here are some of the other Later features you’ll find yourself often using:
Later makes it easy to manage your Instagram comments and respond to all of them from your computer or mobile. It also includes key information, including a commenter’s Instagram bio and their number of followers, so you can identify potential influencers to interact with.
All Later plans include analytics. On Standard and Free, you’ll have access to Lite Analytics, which gives you basic insights on post-performance and engagement.
From Growth Onward, you’ll be able to get much more detailed data like the automatically calculated engagement rate, Story analytics, Impression, Reach, and Linkinbio data.
It’s not the most robust data out there, but it’s definitely better than built-in BIG data and quite a bargain compared to Later’s competitors.
3. User-Generated Advertising
In addition to paid campaigns, how about having some of your users do the advertising for you? Later has a variety of features as well as tutorials to encourage your users to get the word out there for you.
To be fair, other SMM tools do this, but with Later’s media library, you can both create a place for users to access and post content as well as add their own materials. Whether you go with Later or a competitor, be sure to check out more info on this approach on their blog.
4. Mobile App
Since Later helps optimize your social campaigns, it only makes sense that you can manage everything from mobile. With the app, you can preview, manage, and schedule posts. You can also set up auto-publish and engage your audience.
It’s not only useful but an integral part of using Later since you’ll need the app to set up your content calendar.
5. Collect Media
Collect Media is one of the cooler Later premium features. With it, you can collect relevant media from Instagram posts you’re mentioned in, as well as search hashtags, and review contributors. This is extremely useful for not only increasing engagement but also facilitating the ideation process.
Who Should Use Later?
Later is a solid Instagram scheduling tool. It’s nice that you can also use it for Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, but these services definitely seem like an after-thought. Most of the features we described above only apply to Instagram and not the rest.
So, if Instagram is your bread and butter, then Later is definitely worth considering. It is one of the few SMM tools out there that can auto-post directly to IG for you (though with a few of the workarounds described above).
On the other hand, if you need robust feature depth across multiple platforms and want tools like social listening and advanced analytics, then you’re not going to find it here. But you can tell this from the pricing as well. Even the most expensive Later plan is less than the starting pricing for enterprise-oriented options out there.
Is Later Worth It?
It’s always difficult to argue with any service that offers a free plan. How can that not be worth it? This is enough for budding influencers and beginner marketers to get much better scheduling compared to just using Instagram.
Likewise, all of the paid plans are remarkably affordable, given the broad range of features they have. This is doubly true if you’re only focused on one or two brands.
However, serious marketers will likely get better value from one of Later’s competitors. To start, it doesn’t even cover LinkedIn, which is essential for targeting B2B clients. Likewise, while the packaged services make it not only more expensive but a little cumbersome to seamlessly manage brands.
- Auto-publishing features
- Can direct publish to IG (many other SMM have to send push notifications)
- Decent analytics
- Includes engagement tools
- Great blog
- Pleasant UI
- Free plan
- Mobile app
- Well-suited for IG-focused marketers
- Setup is a little difficult
- Pricing is based on social sets so can get expensive if you manage multiple accounts from the same platform
- No support for LinkedIn or YouTube
The SMM playfield is crowded with all kinds of alternatives to Later. Whether you want something focused solely on one platform like Crowdfire, another Instagram tool like Iconosquare, or a full-fledged option like Sprout Social, there are enough choices to make your head spin.
To make your life easier, here are two Later alternatives SMM solutions that you should also check out.
MeetEdgar is not your run-of-the-mill SMM tool. In addition to being excellent scheduling, it also has a content library and automation tools to help make your social media posting more efficient and organized. You can link your RSS feed, link content, and more. It’s definitely well-suited for agencies with their main plan costing just $49/month for up to 25 social profiles.
As its name suggests, SE Ranking focuses on search engine ranking and SEO. In addition, it also has an effective SMM tool built-in that includes analytics and auto-posting. If you want comprehensive SEO and SMM in an affordable and easy-to-use package (plans start from $18.60/month), then be sure to try out SE Ranking. The only downside is that SE Ranking only currently supports FB and Twitter.
Later: The Verdict
If you’re primarily focused on Instagram marketing and looking for an effective scheduling tool with a few other good features, then Later is definitely worth looking into. However, if you’re focused on cross-platform marketing or managing multiple accounts, you may want to look to one of Later’s competitors instead.
Ease Of Use
Later is an Instagram scheduler and social media platform that aims to help you plan, schedule, manage, and evaluate posts across leading social networks. Later claims to help streamline your social media strategy so you can set yourself up for more sales and success. Later’s features focus on visual scheduling, media management, marketing, and analytics. Their goal is to simplify Instagram marketing and make it accessible to all businesses. Read our review of Later and see if it is the right choice for you.