Managing social media campaigns can easily get better with a few helpful social media management tools. These tools let you simplify your social media management tasks from one single dashboard. They let you painlessly promote, listen, respond, react and be more organized across multiple networks. Just to remind you that social media is the heart and soul of any digital strategy of a given digital networking firm. It decides your success or failure whether you are promoting your brand, your company, your ideas or listening to the trends, or even hearing opinions. What’s most interesting about this particular topic is that I’m in the driving seat; so brace yourselves for some detailed grokking on proper tools to organizing your networks.
Promoting and managing multiple social profiles and networks is a major time-sucker. Prioritizing and scheduling your tasks smartly, and channeling your resources and time can eventually get you on the right track. But before you jump straight into it, you need to understand the best social media management tools a little better. Recent research indicates that an average of 2 hours and 25 minutes per day is spent on social networks and messaging – a figure that continues to increase. Here’s why this number is rising:
- There are 2.5 billion social media users in the world. This is precisely, 1/3 of the globe’s population.
- Social engagement has become more functional… a kind of habit that fulfills both engagement and entertainment.
- Interestingly, almost 98% of digital consumers are social media users.
- Generation Z are more likely to use social media than a search engine.
- Social customer service is taking a bigger role.
- Businesses are keener on social ads – the very fact being there are nearly 6 million Facebook advertisers and 2 million Instagram advertisers.
- Mobile social media users are increasing phenomenally.
- Real-time collaboration in social media is the new way to reach customers.
Do you believe that this mind-numbing time spent on creating content, posting, viewing shares etc. is getting nowhere near to creating a positive impact on your social media campaign efforts! The perfect social media management app in 2019 should help (or automate) a handful of tasks that once took far too much time to execute manually, such tasks may include:
- Scheduling your social media posts days, weeks and even months ahead of time
- Sophisticated audience, activity, and engagement analytics
- Simple and presentable reporting features
- Monitoring profile notifications, and audience sentiments
The best social media management app should integrate with several social networks including their associate sites (not just the major players, but also helpful platforms like Yelp and Google Analytics). This way your entire marketing team can cohesively manage all your social profiles on one platform. Finding this perfect app can be a cumbersome task as there are hundreds of social media management apps you will need to sift through.
At first you’ll need to find the tools that are available and then experiment with them to see if they work for you. To help you find the right apps for managing social media at the right price, below we’ll jump into each tool and the features they possess. Inclusive also are the advertised and true cost so that pricing is transparent and you can easily choose one that is within your budget and meets all your needs.
From a feature perspective, it’s better than anything on the market.For example, if you are looking for a social media management app that provides some of the best analytics you should use Agorapulse. You can use it to schedule on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin, and Google+. After the posts go live, you can track their presence using their wonderful analytics. You can also use it to track various other things like hashtags and competitors. They too have a social inbox feature that can help with customer service. While communicating with customers, Agorapulse can also help you identify key influencers so that you can connect with them better.
For A Small Agency: Smaller agencies can purchase their “Large Business” plan and expect to pay $159/month. You can add 25 social profiles and 6 team members. Additional social profiles and team members can be purchased here too.
For A Growing or Established Agency: Mid-sized agencies should get their “Enterprise” plan which costs $239/month. You can add 40 social profiles and 12 team members here. Additional social profiles can be purchased for $6/profile.
For its price, it is by far the most feature-packed option on the market, letting you schedule contents across every platform all in one place. It also has dynamic reports on three social networks and bonus features such as running social promotions and managing your social media inbox and not to say the least, they offer a 15-day free trial. Here’s why it is the most preferred, you might be asking;
- The pricing is reasonable given the rich list of features, starting as low as $49 a month.
- The content publishing features are the best in the market, with beautiful visual previews of all content, and a robust evergreen content publishing system that will save you tons of time.
- The social media inbox lets you quickly go through incoming messages across any of your social accounts, check them off, and keep the mess out of your personal email box.
- The reporting is easy to customize, looks awesome, and you can export reports as a PowerPoint presentation, which is especially good for agencies and in-house reporting requirements.
- Visual Previews of All Social Media Messages, a Robust ‘Evergreen’ Content Publishing System. This powerful feature enables you to create a library full of evergreen content and re-publish it based on a predetermined schedule. It’s as easy as creating categories for your content: And then choosing timeslots during the day for this content to be published: This feature alone will save you hours and hours every week, not to mention it has the potential to increase your followers and dramatically increase traffic back to your website by re-sharing evergreen content over time.
- Easy/Beautiful Reporting
The analytics reporting with Agorapulse is simple enough for any social media manager to make sense of it no time, but it also provides enough meaning to articulate the value of social media to key stakeholders. These are just a few of the many powerful features Agorapulse has to offer. Add to this ads monitoring, competitor analysis, social listening, a social media calendar, a Chrome extension, and team workflows, and you are left with one behemoth of a social media management tool. It’s quite amazing that its pricing is so competitive. Unlike the other tools on this list, Agorapulse is an all-in-one solution and you won’t need to patch together 3 or 4 different social tools to achieve the same outcomes.
It thus sound too good to be true, are there any cons to this offer? The only (minor) downfall of Agorapulse is the same reason it is such a powerful option, and that is its lengthy feature list. For a first-time social media marketer, the extensive feature list may be too much to grasp initially. There is a bit of a learning curve to extract all of the possible value from this tool. So if you’re new to social, it might not be the best starting point. But if you’re ready to take your social media game to the next level and want to save a bunch of time in the process, sign up for Agorapulse
2. Sprout Social:
This is quite similar to Social Report in the features they offer, but for this purpose let’s stick with this one. Sprout integrates Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin and Google+.You can schedule and publish posts to all the aforementioned five social networks very easily and smoothly, as they have a nice and responsive interface.They also have a tool called “Landscape” that makes it easy to resize images you want to attach to your post, as well as a content calendar where you can view all the posts you have scheduled.To help you execute social media customer service efficiently they have a social inbox where all messages accumulate, and they integrate with Zendesk too.And of course to help you track the performance of your posts, Sprout Social comes with a fair amount of analytics. You can use to not only track your social media followers and their engagement, but to also assess the performance of team members.
For Small Teams: Sprout Social is a bit on the expensive side. Their most comparable plan for small teams is labeled as the “Premium” plan, which allows you to add up to 10 social media profiles to it and costs $99 per user/month.
For a Growing Team or Established Agency: They also have more intensive plans at a price point of $149 per month and $249 per month, which offer more in-depth analytics and reporting.Free Trial Available: Sprout offers 30-day free trials for each of their plans.
Sprout Social is an extremely powerful tool in terms of integration. What makes it different to the other options on this list is its special affinity for digital agencies due to its team collaboration features, next lever reporting, and multi-account abilities.
Launched in 2008 by Ryan Holmes and was developed as a complete Twitter application. Today, the application is used by an estimated 16 million plus global users reaching more than a 175 plus countries and crossing 2 million app installers.
The tool lets you to manage your social media strategies across multiple networks from one single dashboard. You can schedule, publish, source content, respond and easily monitor all your social media activity with this tool. You still have the option of collaborating with other members at your disposal. The Hootsuite auto-scheduler even understands the optimal time to post on your social networks and schedules your post accordingly. With Hootsuite it is easy to manage your social marketing, social selling and social customer service on a new level, devoid of any friction.
As one of the oldest social media managing app, it hasn’t got the most updated interface, but still enjoys popularity within the circle. You can use it to schedule posts as well as to perform other important management tasks. Their major feature which simplifies social media management is the‘streams’. Now this is where you create different streams for different social media activities. For example, for Twitter, you can create streams for your tweets, tweets of people you follow, direct messages you get, direct messages you send, etc. this is also applied to the other networks: LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Google+ and YouTube.This makes it easy to neatly organize and manage your activity plus a detailed analytics tool for monitoring with easy to read charts
Hootsuite is basically an enterprise level social media management tool used professionally by over 10 million personnel.Here’s the thing: Hootsuite has been around for a long time now, and it has a comprehensive feature set. But it’s slow moving. The interface has barely been updated since it was released. Sure, its social streams are a helpful way to track relevant social media activity and engage with your audience. But their scheduling and planning functionality is a little outdated.They do, however, have a free plan (30-days) for you to take it for a spin. So, by all means, try it out and see if it fits your budget.
Social Networks Supported by HootSuite
- Twitter profiles
- Google + Pages
- Google+ profiles
- Instagram profiles
- Instagram business profiles
- Facebook profiles
- Facebook Pages
- Facebook groups
- YouTube channels
- LinkedIn profiles
- LinkedIn Company Pages
- com blogs
- Individual – Limited free plan for individuals – Up to 3 Social profiles, message scheduling, basic analytics. The basic range of plans includes a free option for individuals, followed by a $25 a month option for up to 10 social profiles.
- Professional – One user, 10 social profiles, real-time analytics, auto content scheduling, bulk scheduling, social sweepstakes, unlimited RSS integrations, 150+ free and paid apps, in-dash live-chat support.
- Team – 3 users, 20 social profiles, customized analytics view, automatic and bulk content scheduling, team assignments, 6 contest templates (1 user), custom branded URL, 150+ free and paid apps, In-dash live-chat support, 1 social media certification.
- Business – Minimum 5 users, 50 social profiles, advanced analytics with data exports, automatic and bulk content scheduling, publishing approvals and assignments, 150+ free, paid and premium apps, 6 social campaign templates (multi-user), customized and shortened URLs, platform & social marketing certifications, 24/7 priority support, extended 1-on-1(60 minutes) training, 4 social media certifications.
- Enterprise – Hootsuite allows Enterprise users to use a list of extensions and applications to create a customized experience. This plan allows custom teams and features.
Buffer is a fairly popular app for managing social media. You can use it to schedule on the regular platforms. They’re known mostly for their clean and simple branding – which sits well with the visually driven social media managers.
Using one of the cleanest interfaces around, Buffer allows you to schedule and publish text updates, links, images, gifs and videos. To help you create images they also offer a free tool called, “Pablo.” You can either upload images or use the images they provide and then modify them with filters and overlay text and schedule them onto your social networks connected to Buffer.
In addition, Buffer integrates with RSS feeds to make it easy for you to find content to share. You can check your performance with their detailed analytics; integrate Bitly for shortlink tracking and more. It’s truly a great platform for the social media managers operating on a single level.From a user experience perspective, Buffer is a great tool to manage your social media posts. It’s easy to use, and visually one of the nicer looking tools on this list. You can share posts to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+, and Pinterest.
Where does it err? It has to be with the feature list. Buffer is a social media scheduler, and that’s about it. Their business plans have some analytics, but in reality, the platform doesn’t have the same robust functionality to that of Agorapulse, or even Hootsuite. The best thing Buffer has going for it is its marketing, and they do that well than anyone!
For a Small Team: Buffer has a “Free” Plan for individuals and then paid plans kick start at $15 a month for 8 social profiles.
For a Growing Team/Established Agency: Buffer also has a range of “Business” plans that offer analytics and team collaboration. The prices vary between $99 and $399 per month.Free trial available: All of Buffer’s business plans include 14-day trials.
A content marketing tool that can be implemented for social media management. CoSchedule is patronized primarily by bloggers as they offer the ability to schedule full blog posts to Word Press. In addition, it can also be used to schedule to the regular social networks plus Pinterest. Usually offered as a standalone tool at a separate price, CoSchedule provides a feature called “ReQueue” that lets you schedule evergreen social media updates-essentially a bank of posts that can be easily republished as needed to reach a new segment or more of your audience.
All the social media updates you schedule will be neatly organized into one, simple calendar, where you’ll be able to get a clear overview of what’s in place and easily edit as you see fit. Once your posts go live, their social media analytics tool will track post performance and show you results within the dashboard. Their presentation is very aesthetically pleasing, perhaps one of the bases for increased patronize.
For Individuals & Small Teams: CoScheduleoffers $40 a month plan for individuals, which jumps to about $60 a month upon adding new users and managing more than one site.
For a Growing/Established Agency: Their agency plans range from $60 to $300 per month depending on your capacity. Free trial available on a 14-day offer, freebased on their available plan.
On Closing…,Have an understanding, a think about exactly how you plan on using social media, what gaps you have in terms of skills, and where you can automate activity to save time. Then, revisit this post to pick the tool(s) that best suits those needs.
These are the top apps for managing social media for teams and agencies. Anyone of these apps can help you execute all social media marketing tasks as a team, but you have to make sure that the app you decide to move forward with has all the features you need (as not to cost you more by having to pay for additional tools down the line) at a fair and competitive price.
Of course, all of the platforms I’ve listed offer a free trial. If you’re an agency, or even a business looking to find out if a platform is worth its weight in social media gold, then sign up and test drive it until you can make an informed decision that fits both your needs and your budget.