Top 3 Tools To Manage Social Media
If being more strategic on social media is on your 2017 to-do list, getting the right tools in place is a key component. A good social media tool can help you streamline your marketing, maintain a consistent schedule, and reach the right audience – as well as save you time.
The right social media tool should make your life EASIER and allow you to have a solid social media presence without spending hours upon hours managing your pages. .
There are approximately 1 bazillion social media management tools on the market, all boasting different functionality and capabilities. How do you choose the right one?
Here are 3 top choices to consider trying out:
Hootsuite is probably one of the most well-known social media tools. It’s been around for a while now and is very easy to use.
Supported Channels: Facebook profiles, pages and groups; Twitter; LinkedIn profiles, company pages and groups; Instagram; YouTube; Google+
Why we love it
Hootsuite has all the basics covered. You can easily schedule your content, monitor your feeds, interact with your audience, and check your stats.
Scheduling: Hootsuite has several options for scheduling your social media content. You can create your content one at a time, or use the bulk upload feature and schedule a whole slew of content at once.
Hootsuite’s ‘auto-schedule’ option takes the guesswork out of when to post. Simply select ‘auto-schedule’ when adding new content and you’ll have posts going out throughout the day when your audience is most active. For example, if your audience loves scrolling through Facebook on their lunch breaks, Hootsuite will post then so the most eyes can see it.
Publishing schedule page in Hootsuite
Another convenient feature is the ‘hootlet’ browser extension. With this plugin, you can share any article you find automatically. It makes sharing other people’s content a breeze, which helps you to mix up your social media calendar and keep a constant stream of interesting content.
Monitoring: You can keep an eye on all your social channel feeds right in Hootsuite. Set up streams for your Facebook page, your Twitter accounts, even Twitter searches and lists. This makes it super easy to keep up with the things you care about.
Interaction: You can reply to people directly from Hootsuite, right in your streams. If someone shares your tweet, you can see it, like it, and reply to them. You can also retweet an influencer in your niche. This eliminates the need to access multiple social media accounts to keep engaged – saving you time.
Metrics: Find the important metrics like your follower counts, engagement numbers, and click throughs to your website. You can purchase more in depth reports, but a basic account will give you an overview of how your content is performing. If you want to really get a sense of your accounts, you’ll have to shell out some extra cash or use a secondary tool.
If you’re looking for a tool recycle and re-post your content throughout the year, you might want to look elsewhere as Hootsuite doesn’t recycle your content.
FREE. Hootsuite has free plans if you don’t need to add team members or manage more than 3 social accounts. Pro plans have more bells and whistles and they start at just $10/month.
Who Should Use It
If you are looking for an all-around tool to monitor your accounts and schedule messages, Hootsuite is your go-to. Hootsuite is a great option for logging in once a week and seeing the whole picture of your accounts. Get all of your engagement and scheduling done in one place.
Buffer is a super easy-to-use social media scheduling tool. This fast-growing startup also has an amazing marketing blog to help you improve your social media efforts.
Supported Channels: Facebook profiles, pages and groups; Twitter; LinkedIn profiles and company pages; Instagram; Pinterest; Google+
Why We Love It
Buffer is so user friendly, anyone can have a social media schedule up in minutes.
Scheduling: Your schedule is fully customizable in Buffer. Choose the times that you want to post each day and voila! All the content you add to your queue will automatically go out, one-by-one, at the times you select.
A nice feature of Buffer is that you can easily recycle content. You can “re-Buffer” your top performing posts – meaning you can add them into your queue again.
Curating Content: If you’re always looking for other people’s content to curate and post, Buffer’s ‘Content Inbox’ is a feature you’ll love! You can add your favorite blogs, websites and feeds to your Buffer account. When you check your Content Inbox, just click ‘Add’ next to an article you want to share with your audience and it will be added to your queue. Easy peasy.
There is also a Buffer browser extension, much like the Hootlet plugin for Hootsuite, that allows you to add content from any website right to your feed. So if you’re browsing online, and you come across something you want to share, you can add it to your feed by the click of a button.
Metrics: Buffer keeps it simple so you can see what you need to know about each piece of content. Below your posts you’ll see all the metrics for engagement on that particular post, so you know what your audience is interacting with and what they’re scrolling right past.
Sharing Custom Images: This is really cool! Buffer built an additional tool called ‘Pablo’ that allows you to quickly create social media images and schedule them to your accounts. It’s so easy to use – just pick an image from the library, add your text, choose a font, and schedule it. You can even pick the image size based on the social channel you are sharing to.
The free plan is very limited so you won’t have much to work with if you don’t want to pay. They do offer a 14-day free trial, so you can try it out before you pay.
There is no monitoring or engagement in Buffer, so you can’t reply to comments or tweets within the tool.
Buffer has a free plan limited to 3 profiles and 10 queued items. The Awesome Plan is only $10/month and gives you much more functionality, including access to Pinterest scheduling.
Who Should Use It
Buffer is a great tool if you’re looking to streamline a lot of your social scheduling (and easily add images to your posts). With the tools available in Buffer, you can pop into your account once a week or so and create a full calendar of great content.
Edgar is a great tool for those with a lot of content looking to save time on their social media scheduling.
Supported Channels: Facebook profiles, pages and groups; LinkedIn profiles and company pages; Twitter.
Why We Love It
This tool automatically recycles your content so your social accounts never go quiet. Imagine all the time you could save by writing your messages once!
Scheduling: You can build up a content library in Edgar of your blog posts, promotional messages, curated articles, and inspirational messages. You can add any categories you like and as much content as you like. There are no limits!
Once you’ve created your content library, you simply set up a schedule for each of your social accounts. You can choose which category Edgar should post from at certain times of the day. The calendar is completely customizable so you are in control of what your audience sees each day.
Now Edgar does its magic! Based on your content library and schedule you’ve created, Edgar will randomize your content and create a stream of outgoing messages. Edgar is smart, too. “He” won’t repeat your content too close together so your audience doesn’t get sick of seeing the same blog posts.
Currently Edgar only supports 3 social channels, which will be limiting if other channels are part of your marketing strategy. There is also no monitoring in Edgar, so you’ll have to log in to Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn to see what kind of engagement you’re getting.
As for reporting, you’ll have to connect a bit.ly account and check in there to see how your content is performing.
Another drawback is that there is no ‘seasonal’ or ‘campaign’ option, so if you have blog posts relating to holidays, times of year, or temporary promotions you’re running, you’ll have to remember to go back in and delete them from your library so they don’t go out 3 months later.
Edgar is on the pricier side at $49/month for up to 10 accounts.
Who Should Use It
Edgar is a great option if you have a large library of content. If you’re new to sharing content and don’t have a lot, the content will be repeated very quickly and your audience will get bored and Edgar is not the best choice for you.
Now I’d love to hear from you!
What social media tools do you use and how’s it working for you? If you’re not yet using a social media tool, which of the ones above do you think would be a good fit for you?