How to choose the right social media management tools to give your social media a boost
Few brand managers have the time to manually post content to all the various social media platforms, multiple times each day. Which is exactly why businesses and agencies rely on social sharing platforms, where posts can be uploaded for distribution even weeks in advance. The trouble is, there are endless options for tools to manage your business’s social media distribution.
So how do you find the best social media management dashboard for your business, without wasting valuable time and money?
Here are some pros and cons of each social media sharing platform.
HootSuite is one of the most popular and robust tools for social media management. Their free program allows users to track up to five social profiles, with two RSS feeds. If working with a social team, the ability to delegate to team members (up to nine with the Enterprise account) makes managing your pages much easier. Recently HootSuite acquired social analytics platform uberVU, which provides real-time social data from over 100 million sources and 26 platforms. By integrating uberVU’s technology into HootSuite’s standard analytics testing and reports, users are left with a more in-depth and competitive analysis of their data.
Posting Platforms: Posts to Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, WordPress, Tumblr, Vimeo and more, depending on which plan you choose. As a whole, HootSuite works with 25 social networks.
Cost: For $8.99 a month, you can track 100 social profiles, with nine team members, delegating responses with fans and followers. For unlimited access, we’d recommend the enterprise option, which is customized by price for each user.
- Ability to manage up to 100 social profiles with nine team members viewing multiple streams
- Write, send, schedule and track posts from same interface
- Great analytics and monitoring features to track brand growth, measure what people are posting to each account, identify influencers, searches by geolocation and monitor growth trends for each profile.
- Lacks the ability to have images appear as image previews in Twitter feed as opposed to collapsed links.
- Uses ow.ly as link shortener rather than bit.ly
- More robust social media reports cost extra
Yakkety Yak says: HootSuite is the best platform for managing multiple accounts.
Send Social offers users a 14-day free trial and various marketing options, including social media, e-mail, SMS messaging, so it’s a great one to try out and see if it works for your marketing business. The app features a dashboard that tracks various metrics including fans/ followers over time, engagement, klout, sentiment and more. For those tracking e-mail and social media campaigns, Google Analytics is integrated directly into Send Social for monitoring traffic. Finally, Send Social has various link shorteners including bit.ly, goo.gl and more, and will track all clicks to site via the URL’s.
Posting Platforms: Posts to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Ping, Flickr, Instagram, YouTube, WordPress, Gmail Squarespace, Tumblr and more.
Cost: Bronze package starts at $39/month for 100 profiles, Silver package for $79/month for 200 profiles, Gold package $99/month for 300 profiles and Ultimate for $199/month for unlimited profiles.
- Post to over 100+ social networks with multiple accounts for each service
- Robust analytics program — every message sent from Send Social is tracked with likes, shares, clicks, open rate, referrals, and more
- Read and respond to comments via social posts
- Comes equipped with e-mail templates, scheduling system and tracking program, and is also optimal for e-mail & SMS marketing
- High price point
Yakkety Yak Says: Send Social is one of the best platforms for tracking analytics.
Social Oomph started exclusively as a management tool for Twitter, but has grown into much more. It’s a popular app for marketers nowadays because of the ability to auto-load messages and replies, schedule in bulk and utilize unlimited Twitter profiles. The scheduling extends further than social media posts, with the ability to schedule and publish blog posts from unlimited blogs. Analytics aren’t as in-depth as other social platforms, but you can track keywords, view mentions and RTs, track competitors following and run searches to find new followings on Twitter. The price is right, the platform is attracting a lot of attention and for those looking to improve their Twitter marketing, Social Oomph is the best option.
Posting Platforms: Posts to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, RSS feeds, blogs, Purk and app.net
Cost: They offer free trials, a $14/month pro plan and a $25/month professional edition.
- You can easily load and schedule Tweets in bulk, but also make them recurring, which avoids ongoing scheduling for certain content
- Schedule and publish blog posts from unlimited blogs
- Target users to follow, set up auto-following, auto-direct messaging and auto-responding
- For analytics, you can build a “click summary” report and easily export it into an excel doc for sorting
- Not the most aesthetically pleasing website design
- Doesn’t show Twitter feeds
- Doesn’t post to Instagram, Pinterest, Vimeo and more
Yakkety Yak Says: Social Oomph is the best platform for posting to Twitter.
Buffer may be the best option if you don’t have many profiles to monitor on social media. Very reasonably priced with plenty of upgrades and updates, it’s a simple and effective tool to schedule, post and monitor content. If you share a lot of content in addition to posts on social, Buffer is great because of its plugins with extensions like Chrome and Firefox, where you can send articles and have them sent to social in various time increments. Thanks to rich analytics, Buffer users are able to quickly view how many people liked, commented, clicked and shared posts alongside the ability to see how many people potentially could’ve seen the post.
Posting Platforms: Supports multiple Twitter accounts, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and App.net
Cost: Free services allows for two profiles / 10 updates OR for $10/month, you have unlimited updates and up to 12 profiles
- Ideal for content sharing and creation – by installing Chrome or Firefox plugins, you’re able to read an article on an app like Pocket or Feedly, send that article to Buffer which then automatically posts the articles to preferred social networks at specific time
- Great mobile application: simple app design that’s perfectly suited to mobile
- Doesn’t have same quality of monitoring discussions on social as its competitors
- Doesn’t show updates or feeds from various social networks
- Not compatible with Instagram, Pinterest or Vine
Yakkety Yak Says: Buffer offers the most competitive price point.
Sprout Social is a very popular tool because its simple navigation, scheduling and analytics. There is a shared content calendar, which proves particularly helpful if working with a team on multiple brands and accounts. Users are able to connect to Feedly for quick sharing of articles off RSS feeds and there is also a Sprout queue, where you’re able to view lists of optimal posting times and set up scheduling in advance.
The analytics reports are extensive and include specific trend reports which show what’s being said about your brand on Twitter and who’s saying it. You can also view trending topics, hashtags, chart relationships, likes, clicks, shares and keep an eye on people who mention you. One unique additional feature of analytics is the engagement report with team interaction. You can view how your team members are responding to complaints and see how you stalk up against profiles or competitors with similar message volume.
Posting Platform: Posts to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+
Cost: With a 30-day free trial and a $9/month professional membership, monitoring and posting for your brands comes at a relatively inexpensive price. $39/month gets you 10 profiles, $59/month 20 profiles and $99/month 50 profiles and more
- Clean interface and user-friendly dashboard with six tabs, including home page, messages, feeds, publishing, discovery and reports.
- Analytics report is clean, easy-to-read, colorful and provides significant data research for each brand and profile
- Schedule posts, monitor and customize content and view competitive insights
- Unable to shorten URL’s within app
- Slower load time within navigation features
- Only compatible with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+
Yakkety Yak Says: Sprout Social is the best platform for working with a team, and also offers one of the best analytic measuring tools.