How to Manage Social Media
Social Media Management tools are a necessity right now. It doesn’t matter whether you manage a single brand or company or hundreds of brands. These tools help you in getting your message across on time, without delay, on multiple social media channels, and with minimal effort. Therefore, the efficiency and significance of these social media management tools is undeniable, especially in the marketing department.
But, it is not the case that all tools are equally good. That is however, depending on user’s needs. Every tool is different in terms of its features and its unique offerings. Hence, what is the best social media management tool?
In this article we evaluate and compare 5 social media management tools in SocialBee, Hootsuite, MeetEdgar, Sendible, and Buffer. We do not intend to write comprehensively on each tool’s features as there are always other sites that you could cross reference from. We are writing based on what feature we feel makes that tool great. It’s a comparison of usability against pricing to help you quickly think about that ‘ideal’ social media management tool.
Social Bee is one of the top social media management tools available online. It has a simple pricing structure, but more about that later. Right now, let’s take a look at the up and downsides to using SocialBee.
Scheduling Content – SocialBee offers some excellent content scheduling features. You can save time by creating categories and managing their schedules instead of doing it individually for each post. You can view previews and set email notifications for them as well.
Analyzing Competition – SocialBee allows you to track competition, especially on Twitter. It gives you key insight into your competitors, and helps you create an audience that really resonates with your brand.
URL Shortening – Another interesting feature is SocialBee’s seamless integration with URL Shortening tools like Rocketlink and Bitly. This saves precious time and makes things go faster.
Mobile App – While its good to have, allowing users to work-on-the-go, the features are really lacking. Users can only connect to Instagram and Facebook to post photos and videos. That’s it.
Reports – There are no PDF reports on SocialBee which is a bummer considering everyone wants crisp data and solid reporting to gauge performance and efficiency.
Limited Competition Analytics – The competition analysis feature really only works for Twitter.
It offers three types of subscriptions.
- Bootstrap (US$19/mo) – 1 Workspace, 1 User, 5 Social Profiles, 10 Content Categories
- Accelerate (US$39/mo) – 1 Workspace, 1 User, Social 10 Profiles, 50 Content Categories
- Pro (US$79/mo) – 5 Workspaces, 3 Users, 25 Social Profiles, Unlimited Content Categories
14-Day Free Trial Available.
30 days money back guarantee available.
Currently used by around fifteen million people worldwide, Hootsuite is the real deal when it comes to social media management. So, here’s a look at the tool’s pros and cons.
Comprehensive – Hootsuite’s biggest accomplishment as social media management tool is its comprehensiveness. It has all the essential features that are required for the effective and optimal implementation of social media marketing plans whether that is for individuals, small businesses or large enterprises.
Streams Feature – Hootsuite comes with an exclusive ‘streams’ feature which allow users to monitor and respond to all relevant activity on your posts irrespective of whether it’s on Facebook, Pinterest or any other platform for that matter. You can do it from the comfort of your Hootsuite window.
Reporting & Analytics – The tool provides hands-on reporting on the performance of your social media posts and profiles. It gives you comprehensive and accurate information about traffic, likes, comments, shares and other forms of engagement.
Add-ons – This is just a small downside. Hootsuite gets stronger and more powerful for users when you integrate various add-ons which are called apps. However, some apps come at a cost, and hence may represent a downside when it comes to Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).
Limited Features – Hootsuite tends to save the most interesting features for its enterprise plan, greatly limiting the potential for users on the professional, team or business pricing plans.
Hootsuite has four plans. Pricing below is based on annual billing.
- Free – 1 User, 3 Social Profiles, and 30 messages
- Professional (US$49/mo) – 1 User, 10 Social Profiles, and Unlimited Scheduling
- Team (US$99/mo) – 3 Users, 20 Social Profiles, and Unlimited Scheduling
- Business (US$599/mo) – 5+ Users, 35 Social Profiles, and Unlimited Scheduling
- Enterprise – Customized Solutions for a Customized Price Plan
30 days free trial available.
Up to 50% discount for nonprofit organisations.
MeetEdgar takes social media management to a whole different level making it very easy to keep your profile pages fresh and imbibed with content.
Automation – MeetEdgar does a remarkable job when it comes to automating social media posting. It allows you to create content libraries with several categories, and schedule entire categories. It automatically pushes new content on those specific dates from your library and keep your social media pages going with fresh content.
Unlimited Content Library – MeetEdgar saves every social media post that you make in, what it calls, its content library. It can retrieve posts from these libraries and post them, if you want it to, in such a way that it avoids repetition.
A/B Testing – You can post two variants of a similar kind of post and monitor the kind of response they generate. This way you can optimize your social media marketing performance in the longer run.
Reporting – MeetEdgar lacks seriously when it comes to analytics. The reports are mostly in stats only. No charts or graphs. Others in this list easily surpass it in terms of detail.
Limiting Pricing Plan – MeetEdgar initially had just one pricing plan, and although they’ve introduced the Edgar Lite plan, there still could be a third payment plan option for more versatility.
- Edgar Lite (US$19/mo) – 3 Social Profiles, 4 Content Categories, and Unlimited Scheduled Posts
- Edgar (US$49/mo) – 25 Social Profiles, Unlimited Content Categories, Unlimited Scheduled Posts
7-Day Free Trial Available.
Discounted plans available for nonprofit organisations.
It is another better alternative to the many social media management tools that are out there on the market – Strong analytics and reporting being its key feature.
Powerful Reporting – Sendible is perhaps the strongest when it comes to analytics in this list. It provides excellent reporting and is probably the reason why its reports are tied in with the different pricing plans.
Mobile App – It has a handy mobile application which allows you to post, manage and track performance seamlessly from the palm of your hands.
Easy Publishing – Sendible’s dashboard is very simple and allows increasingly easy publishing features which are so user-friendly that even a child can use it. Just kidding.
Complicated Pricing – Sendible has four different pricing plans mentioned below. It can get very tricky for users to select the perfect plan due to their plan limitation by number of reports and post queues. Users probably only know the amount of usage after using.
Integration Problems – Unlike other platforms listed here, Sendible is very limited when it comes to integration with third-party apps. We hope this could be improved further to make Sendible powerful for long-term usage.
Sendible has four plans. Pricing below is based on annual billing.
- Starter (US$24/mo) – 1 User, 12 Profiles, 8 Quick Reports, and 10 queues
- Traction (US$99/mo) – 3 Users, 48 Profiles, 15 Quick Reports, and 30 queues
- Growth (US$199/mo) – 7 Users, 105 Profiles, 35 Quick Reports, and 70 queues
- Large (US$299/mo) – 12 Users, 192 Profiles, 60 Quick Reports, and 120 queues
14-Day Free Trial Available.
Buffer is one of the veteran platforms in this list. It has been around for a long time and is considered a trustworthy and reliable social media management tool.
Drag-and-Drop Scheduling – Buffer has an easy drag-and-drop interface which allows extremely easy scheduling of posts. It provides a clear and concise overview of your social media plan and requires absolutely no prior knowledge for anyone to use it.
Seamless Integration – One of the most interesting features with Buffer is its seamless integration with third-party applications. It maximizes Buffer’s efficiency and effectiveness with the help of dedicated third-party apps.
Ease-of-use – Buffer takes pride in the fact that it is built to be extremely user-friendly and there is very little to actually learn when using the tool.
Advanced Analytics – Buffer supply its users with detailed analytics only at a separate fee. Then, users can get analytics on the usual clicks, likes, shares on top of audience demographics, hashtag performances, AI suggestions for improving the posts etc.
Analytics at Separate Cost – Big Downside! The other 4 tools mentioned above provides some sort of analytics. Buffer have none included in the paid plans so you got to use some other tools or manually keep track yourself. If you want analytics, pay for it. Check the pricing below.
Publishing and Scheduling Features Only
- Pro (US$15/mo) – 1 User, 8 Social Profiles, and 100 Scheduled Posts
- Premium (US$65/mo) – 2 Users, 8 Social Profiles, and 2000 Scheduled Posts
- Business (US$99/mo) – 6 Users, 25 Social Profiles, and 2000 Scheduled Posts
14-Day Free Trial Available.
- Pro (US$35/mo) – 8 Social Profiles, and Unlimited Reports
- Premium (US$50/mo) – 10 Social Profiles, Unlimited Reports, and Stories Analytics
All these tools are really useful for any social media marketer. It helps in scheduling posts, so that your outreach is constantly updated with new content with the most minimal effort possible. Yet not all tools are the same. Some may have advanced analytics, or are focused on competitor analysis. Others have real potential to be the leader as a social media management tool with its comprehensive list of possible integrations that extends its features.
We say, look back to what you need and weigh them against your budget. Consider which tool is the best that you could use for the long term without switching. For, switching means re-learning and adapting to using again and really not the best for productivity. Also, review the ‘self-help’ resources available. We are always more comfortable when the tool has its own online courses, documentations and community forum for their users, which makes it easy to use and learn at the same time. Go try!
How is your experience in social media management? Have you tried out any SMM tool? COMMENT below.
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