There’s a lot to consider when it comes to posting on social media. Each social media platform serves a specific type of customer. Odds are that platform isn’t going to connect with all of the customers you want to reach. To make sure you’re getting the full impact of your social media marketing, you usually need to make sure you’re covering more than one channel, consistently. In other words, you can’t just post on Facebook. You need to post on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and others and you need to do it daily.
Sadly, that’s just to post! Then you have to interact with the comments on your social media accounts. Answer questions as they come in. Then look at and like the pictures that other people post with your products.
That ends up being a lot of time spent on social media each day. If you’re like me, you often think, there has to be a better way! And there is.
Opt-in Monster took the time to look at more than two dozen social media marketing tools. They determined that Buffer was the best of the best. According to Opt-in Monster, “you can schedule any types of posts across any platform you want, even specifying patterns of posts, such as ‘every day’ or ‘weekdays’.”
Buffer’s free account includes the ability to manage three social accounts with 10 posts in advance per account. Only one login is allowed on the free option. With the free account, you’ll also receive basic analytics. As I explained in a previous post, basic analytics can help you personalize your marketing and grow your sales if used correctly.
After that, price ranges from $15/month for individual professionals to $399/month for businesses with large marketing departments.
Hoot Suite tops Word Stream’s list. Like many of the top options, there’s a free version and a paid for version. The paid version ranges from $29/month for solopreneurs to $599/month for large businesses.
According to Word Stream, the free version has plenty to get you started. Including the ability to manage three social media profiles in one place. Plus you can schedule up to 30 posts in advance. There’s also basic analytics.
Sprout Social is one of the best Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools according to Forbes, but the really cool thing is that it also does social media scheduling. Through Sprout Social, you can manage and schedule your posts, create a social calendar, and get that ever important CRM data. It’s the data that really sets Sprout apart from the rest.
The only problem is that it’s pricy. There’s a free trial that allows you to make sure Sprout Social meets your needs, but all of its offerings require a monthly fee. The base level is $99 per user/month and prices go all the way up to $249 per user/month.
This one makes the list because using scheduling tools for Instagram can be especially tough. According to Sprout Social, Later is your best bet for working with Instagram because it’s officially linked to the social media platform. Instagram is becoming more and more essential to brand marketing, so you want to make sure you use something that’s going to work with it.
Later offers basic analytics and help with hashtag creation. It also links to all the major social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram, obviously). There’s a free version with a limited number of posts on each platform per month. There are also paid plans that range from $9 to $49 per month.
This one isn’t really about content management, but it’s great because when it’s set up, you can share your favorite posts on Twitter and Facebook with a push of a button. Feedly is also able to connect to your other social media management platforms like Hoot Suite and Buffer, making your job even easier.
A great deal of content generation can be solved by sharing content produced on other sites that are relevant to your followers. That’s why Feedly is so great.
Neil Patel, a top online marketing expert says Feedly, “…is a great way to know what niche influencers are talking about, to join the conversation and to stay up to date with the latest industry trends. Staying up to date with the latest current events helps guide your own content strategy and social media posting schedule.”
All of these tools are designed to make your social media management as streamlined and simple as possible. As you’re shopping for one that’s going to work for you, think about what social media sites you use the most. Also consider what you want out of a social media management platform, i.e. scheduling, a content calendar, the ability to do anything from your mobile device, etc. These are things that will help you choose the right social media management tool for you.
Written by Erika Towne