If you want to build a strong following online, staying on top of all of your social media marketing tasks is essential. But the workflow – from creating and publishing content to analytics and reporting – can be overwhelming.
This is where social media management programs can help you. With the right tools, you can schedule regular posts, reach the right audience and boosts traffic at optimal times.
There are many social media management options out there. To help you sort through the noise, we’ve rounded up three of our favorites.
For straightforward social media scheduling, Buffer is your platform. One of the longest-running social media tools, it supports Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Pro users – customers who buy a monthly plan — can schedule Pinterest updates, too.
The way it works is very intuitive: simply write your post, then click Add to Queue to schedule. The service creates four slots per day — morning, noon, mid-afternoon, and evening for the time zone you’ve selected – although you can tweak the times and even disable entire days according to your preference.
Buffer spans mobile apps for both iOS and Android, so you can manage everything on the go; and browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and Safari. You can access the queue, sent posts, and posting schedule at any time. Insights into post performances are rather limited – Buffer is primarily a scheduling tool – but you can still see the number of impressions your post achieved, the number of clicks on any links you included, comments, shares, and overall reach. Alternatively, for an additional fee, the recently released Buffer Analyze, delivers in-depth analytics on social performance.
Prices: Forever Free plan; or paid plans for US$15, US$99, US$199, and US$399 per month (with a 14-day free trial). Free users can connect up to three social accounts, including Facebook pages and groups. Paying users can link up from 8 to 25 social accounts. More expensive plans let you add team members to help manage your posts.
Hootsuite provides everything you need for social media management: collaboration, stock photography, multiple streams, smart scheduling, monitoring, and analytics. And thanks to its all-in-one services, it’s one of the most popular social media management tools, used by over 18 million people and companies worldwide.
The service is compatible with over 35 social networks, including favorites like YouTube to Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. It also enables users to create fully customizable schedules for queuing posts, or use the AutoSchedule function to share updates at optimal engagement times. Bulk-scheduling of social media posts is another of Hootsuite’s features: you can upload a CSV file with pre-prepared updates, and fill your queue for days, weeks and even months. Meanwhile, a visual Content Calendar lets you keep track of your outgoing posts, and reorder them as you see fit.
For those keeping close tabs on growth, Hootsuite offers an efficient analytics dashboard with more than 200 performance-measuring metrics and easy-to-understand reports.
Lastly, Hootsuite can also help monitor your online presence – what the service calls “Social Listening” — through customizable feeds, which track mentions, new followers, search terms, hashtags, engagement, and more. That way, you can better serve your existing customers or identify gaps in the market.
Prices: From US$25 per month. The Professional plan includes one user, 10 social profiles, and unlimited scheduling. Team plans start at US$109 per month, and include 20 social profiles, three users and unlimited scheduling. Business plans are US$599 per month and are compatible with 35 social profiles, allow access from five to 10 users and unlimited scheduling.
3. Sprout Social
Sprout Social, another comprehensive social media management tool, provides social media scheduling, monitoring and reporting for Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest accounts. It features a full suite of scheduling tools, which enable you to stick to your own timing or have Sprout Queue automatically schedule posts at the best time for your business.
Among the highlights, Sprout Social enables users to tag posts for tracking, so that you can easily find them later, check how your campaigns has performed, and analyze your return on investment. It also offers handy customer relationship management (CRM) features, which provide contextual information about your clients once they engage with your posts.
To that end, the platform is also great at “Social Listening” — it can build queries for keywords, hashtags, mentions, and more, to help you adapt your social presence. Sprout Social is highly collaborative, too. Team members can view or reply to messages in real-time, collaborate on drafts, assign each other tasks and divvy up permissions to ensure you have a clear workflow.
Users also love the Asset Library — included in the more expensive plans — which enables you to store, edit, and publish visual content alongside your copy. From images to videos, response templates and evergreen posts, it streamlines several aspects of the process.
Analytics-wise, Sprout Social tracks dozens of metrics and generates reports, so you can measure everything from Facebook page impressions to fan growth to Instagram trends. You can export these reports as PDF and CSV files, brand them with your company’s logo, and share them with clients and team members.
Price: Sprout Social is one of the more expensive social media management tools. Standard plans start at US$99 per month and include five social media profiles. Professional and advanced plans cost US$149 per month and US$249 per month, and include 10 social media profiles plus perks like competitive reports for IG, FB and Twitter, custom URL tracking, surveys and trend analysis.
Need help with your social media management or simply keen to book a consultation? Hit us up at firstname.lastname@example.org.