Managing your company’s social media accounts can be tricky; between Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and whatever other platforms you may be operating on, finding the time and resources to manage all of your accounts can be overwhelming.
Luckily, along with increasing popularity of social media, online tools have emerged in order to help manage multiple social networks and engage your audiences. Social media managing tools can help save time, stay organized, and optimize efficiency.
Here is a look at the Top 3 online social media management tools available.
|HootSuite||$8.99/ month for Pro version||Manage all your social networks in one spot, in a multi-columned design that lets you see several feeds at once.||Small/ Medium business|
|Buffer||$10/ month for Full version||Queue and schedule content with ease.||Small/ Mediumbusiness|
|Sprout Social||$59/ month for Standard plan||Manage, post, monitor, and analyze multiple social media accounts from one location; Sprout also offers analytics in order to see significant metrics.||Small/ Mediumbusiness|
HootSuite is the most popular social media management tool for a reason; besides being able to execute campaigns across multiple social networks from one web-based dashboard, you can also manage social media, track conversations, and measure campaign results. HootSuite also offers a custom built-in analytics system and the capability to schedule posts on all platforms.
HootSuite offers both a free version and an affordable Pro version that allows you to manage all of your social media accounts in one user-friendly location.
Price: Free, $8.99/month for Pro Version
HootSuite is the most popular social media management tool today; it is best for actively-managed accounts because its design focuses on streams, which are housed in customizable tabs. You have the flexibility to organize tabs by account, network or content, making it easier to monitor a specific type of feed more closely.
What You Get (with Pro) for $8.99/month:
- Unlimited Number of Social Profiles
- Analytics Reporting
- Advanced Scheduling (Manual & Auto-Scheduling)
- Monitoring & Publishing Tools
- Unlimited Apps (To connect with other social networks like Instagram, YouTube, Tumblr, and Evernote) & RSS Feeds
- Mobile Apps
- Multi-Columned Streams: The multi-columned design makes it easy to monitor many social media components on one screen.
- Apps to Connect with Other Social Media Networks: HootSuite seems to be the only social media account management tool really giving you lots of app add-on options
- Costly Analytic Reports: Many of HootSuite’s analytic reports cost money and can get quite costly, with some hitting the $50 mark.
- No Content-Grabbing Extension: Some other social media management tools have browser extensions that make it easy to bookmark and queue articles across the web for sharing, unfortunately HootSuite does not.
Price: Free, $10/month for Full version.
Buffer is one of the most popular social media message scheduling and sharing applications available. With one click you’re able to share content and schedule posts via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+. Basically, it allows you to stagger content throughout the day so that social media feeds have consistent updates. And, there’s analytics about engagement and reach of your posts.
What You Get with Full Version (the “Awesome Plan” for $10/month):
- 12 profiles (Twitter, FB, LinkedIn)
- Advanced Post Scheduling
- Schedule Retweets
- 2 Team Members
- Simple Analytics
- Buffer Extension Button for Chrome and Firefox to easily share articles
- No Limit on Buffer Posts
- Easy & Simple Interface: Clean presentation and easy to use.
- Great Segmented Scheduling: Schedule times to repeat throughout the week or adjust according to different days.
- Easy to share content that you’re reading (right-click)
- Simple Analytics: Bare-bone analytics offer only the essentials.
- Not an All-Encompassing Social Media Management Solution: If you’re looking to better manage all of your social media accounts, Buffer provides only one piece of the puzzle.
Price: Starts at $59/month
What You Get with the Standard Plan for $59/Month
- All-In-One Social Inbox
- Real-time Brand Monitoring
- Advanced Publishing & Scheduling for Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn & Google Reader RSS
- Social CRM Tools
- Comprehensive Reporting Tools
- Complimentary Training & Support
- Manage Up to 10 Profiles
- Sprout Social Browser Extension for Easy Article Queuing
- Mobile Apps
- Interface: Sprout has a crisp, clean, and clutter-free layout.
- Customer and Tech Support
- Headache Free: Sprout Social isn’t as customizable as other social media management tools, but that also means it isn’t as complicated; Sprout’s interface is natural and intuitive.
- Scheduler: While Sprout Social has a nice queue system and scheduler, they don’t allow for the same kind of systematic, repeated scheduling as Buffer.
- No Google+: Another significant issue is that Sprout Social doesn’t have Google+ integration.
Still Not Sure? Try Them Out For Free!
The best thing you can do when deciding on which social media management software to choose for your business is to try the tools yourself, taking into account your business’s individual demands and needs.
- HootSuite:Try the Free Plan or do a 30-day trial of Pro [Pro trial requires credit card].
- Sprout Social: 30-Day Trial for any of the three plans [no credit card]
- Buffer: Try Free Plan
If none of these tools caught your eye, here is a summary of some other social media management tools in a nutshell:
SocialOomph: Schedule tweets for the entire day and auto-follow your new followers.
Pricing: Free, Professional $17.97 for 2 weeks
SocialBro: A high-powered social media community management tool for Twitter (Twitter only)
Pricing: $6.95/month for Premium, with three higher options
Crowdbooster: Focuses on gathering data from your Facebook and Twitter feeds; able to analyze impressions, total reach, and engagement.
Pricing: Starting at $9/month