Running several social media channels for your business can be a time consuming exercise, so to avoid using up all your resource on updating your status or posting tweets, here are a few of the best social media management tools so you can achieve your social media objectives and concentrate on other aspects of your business as well.
Several of these tools have free and paid for packages. Most of the free packages will suffice for low level social media marketing, but once your social media channels pick up, it might be wise to invest and upgrade to a paid for package depending on your requirements. I've tried to list as many of the free and paid for features so you can make the best decision for your business.
Hootsuite is probably one of the most best social media management tools, with the ability to connect to over 35 channels including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google +, LinkedIn and YouTube. You could manage your entire social empire from this one programme including monitoring engagement, social listening and reporting, all in one place. You can set up streams to watch your followers, influencers and mentions so you can grow your channels from the a personalised Hootsuite dashboard.
Hootsuite has 3 plans available:
- Free plan - connect 3 profiles, schedule posts and access basic analytics, which is probably sufficient if you are just starting out
- Pro plan - all free features PLUS up to 50 profiles, enhanced analytics reports, bulk scheduling, and access premium apps. You can get a 30 day trial, but then it's £6.99 per month, per user.
- Business - all free and pro features PLUS real time analytics, social media certification, vanity URLs and 24/7 support from the Hootsuite team. Hootsuite will quote you for this service.
Buffer is great for scheduling and was the first to introduce the queue publishing system allowing you to schedule posts for the most popular social channels except Instagram. Plus with the newly introduced 'respond' software, you can now reply and monitor your engagement.
Buffer has 5 packages:
- Individual (free) - 1 profile per platform, schedule up to 10 posts, connect to twitter, Facebook, Google + & Linked In, plus access to the image creator (Pablo) and a video/GIF uploader.
- Awesome ($10 per month) - all free features plus, up to 10 profiles, scheduling for Pinterest, schedule up to 100 posts, and more.
- Small team ($99 per month) - all above features plus 25 profiles, schedule up to 2000 posts and social analytics. You can get a 30 day free trial.
- Medium team ($199 per month) - all above features plus 50 social profiles.
- Large team ($399 per month) - all above features plus 150 social profiles.
The new buffer respond feature has a free plan, pro plan for $39 per month and an enterprise solution which requires a bespoke quote.
3. Sprout Social
Sprout Social is a fantastic tool, especially for reporting and monitoring as you can see social content and monitored keyword searches in bespoke streams and it supports Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+.
Sprout social has 3 plans (all come with a 30 day free trial):
- Deluxe ($59 per user per month) - social messaging inbox, brand monitoring, scheduling, reporting and 10 profiles
- Premium ($99 per user per month) - all deluxe feature plus, advanced reporting, help desk integration and 20 profiles
- Team ($500 per month) - all above features plus 3 users, advanced publishing, 24/5 support, custom branding and 30 profiles.
4. Social Bro
Social Bro is one of the best social media management tools for twitter only. Even though it's only for Twitter, it's incredibly in depth. You can analyse your community, segment your audience, optimise engagement based on insights, implement campaigns and use twitter advertising.
Social Bro will quote you based on your requirements.
Sendible is another of the best social media management tools and is similar to Hootsuite and Buffer in it's concept, but also includes some more in depth features for advanced users. It supports 30 + networks, you can manage messages and social content, social contacts, content discovery, engagement, blog content and promotion, monitoring, and analytics.
Sendible has 4 available packages:
- Startup (£39 per month) - get up to 30 profiles, automation tools, reporting, Google Analytics integration and 2 users
- Business (£69 per month) - all startup features plus 60 profiles, team collaboration tools, email support, additional reporting functions and 4 users
- Corporate (£89 per month) - all above features plus 90 profiles, workflow, live support, 120 lists, additional reporting functions and 6 users
- Premium (£299 per month) - all above features plus 360 profiles, dedicated support, unlimited custom reporting, 20 users
Schedugram is dedicated to Instagram, which is useful if you've already selected a social media management tool that doesn't support it. You can upload images or video, schedule for later and connect multiple accounts.
A 7 day trial is available and you can build a bespoke package based on your needs. You can either use their calculator to build a package or contact them for a custom quote.
On average, connecting 1 account with less than 10,000 followers will cost around £12 per month and you can pay annually to make a saving.
So there you have it, these are my favourite social media management tools. How have you been managing your social media channels?
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