Oldie but goodie (posted this on LinkedIn 2017)
Social Media Management can be overwhelming if you need to be somewhere doing other important things like strategizing, campaign planning and the likes.
Especially if you a social media manager managing multiple accounts or a small agency. How then do you manage your time, keep your platforms updated all the time, while also being productive in other mental/physical tasks? How do you juggle?
Because it’s a lot to do, content creation and posting, reposting, following, engaging followers, sharing others content, interacting and on and on. Trust me I have been down that road, I was always checking my social media feeds, everywhere I find myself, and sometimes when the ‘Almighty’ network decide to fly away, you get stranded and become unreliable both to yourself and your clients.
So you can imagine my joy when I discovered (in 2013) I could actually schedule all my posts for a week, with or without network, and all I need to do was just engage with people or post some spontaneous posts here and there. Social media management tools are basically the most effective way to manage social media and improve your efficiency. It’s a must for any Social Media Manager or Agency
So my top 3 tools for Social Media Management (used and tested) in order of preference are
This was the first scheduling tool I used and I fell in love straight away. It was easy to use, straightforward and it could forward content to a lot of platforms apart from Instagram due to Instagram’s policy then. Buffer works by sending out the posts in your queue, or ‘Buffer’, at your set time
Buffer works with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ and LinkedIn, they just started pushing to Instagram last year, even though the policy is still intact, so what they do is send a notification to your device when it’s time to post. They have 5 plans and the lowest which is free, allows up to one account per social network, 0 team members, up to 10 scheduled posts per profile.
I think, the saying about first love is what got me hooked to Buffer and the way they called their plan ‘Awesome’
Hootsuite is what I presently use, their Pro plan, with over 50 social accounts allowed. Funny enough, I knew about Hootsuite long before Buffer, but I think the simplicity of Buffer got me. Hootsuite does the same thing as Buffer, it helps you schedule and analyze your social media marketing campaigns.
The only bad side for me would be their reporting and analytics, it is not as simplified as Buffer, nor as detailed as Sprout Social. But for scheduling content, they deserve A+ for that and in a way better than Buffer in that regard. Hootsuite can be used with Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, WordPress and Youtube, they also just came up with own version of Push to Instagram and notifying you when it’s time.Furthermore, Hootsuite is better suited for smaller agencies than Buffer is in terms of organization and neatness.
Sprout Social does what Buffer and Hootsuite does but in a more complex way, but this platform is best for small – large agencies as their analytics feature beats Hootsuite and Buffer hands down. They provide full reporting details for their premium members, breaking down each account in bits. You can even compare your competitor’s figure and see where they are and how best to tackle them. It’s that deep.
The down side with Sprout Social is the fact that it is far more expensive than Buffer and Hootsuite put together and they have no free plan, just a 30 day trial.
Sprout Social works with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Google+.
So there you have it, which have you tried and which are you willing to try?
Update: I started using SproutSocial fully in 2018 and to be honest, I will go with SproutSocial anytime any day. The e might be a little worrisome, lol, but it is worth the investment
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