With so many social media platforms out there it can be a huge time suck to effectively market on all of them. So I love it when I can find a productive and cost-effective solution for managing all my social media marketing efforts.
If you’re just starting out you’re probably still jumping from one social media platform to the other individually. That may be manageable at first but before long it’s going to consume a huge part of your day.
That’s where a social media management platform comes in. It’s an app that will allow you to manage all your social media accounts in one place.
Things to look for in a good social media management app:
- Post scheduling – a feature that lets you schedule posts ahead of time to multiple social networks.
- Analytics – Sophisticated analytics that show engagement activity, audience breakdown, etc.
- Good Reporting – You want high quality and beautiful reporting that you can print off and download in various formats. Preferably with the ability to white label (if you need it).
I can remember trying out various platforms and apps when social media management was just becoming a thing. There were a handful available then but nothing like now in 2018. Trying to find the right one can be daunting as there are literally hundreds of apps available now at various price points.
To help you find the right app for your social media management needs, I put together this list of 4 apps I think standout from the pack. I chose these 4 because they are packed with features but are still affordable.
I did not choose these platforms because I’m being paid. I’m not being compensated in any way. I chose these because I genuinely think they are useful and a good value.
Sendible is a fairly new platform but is gaining traction with a lot of social media managers. It has some great features and is very affordable.
It can be used to schedule posts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Google+ and others. It has a nice looking calendar that makes it easy to stay organized with your scheduling.
One of the features I really like is the relevant content suggestions it offers when you’re scheduling posts. It offers you content suggestions it thinks will increase engagement based on the kind of content you’ve been posting.
Sendible also integrates with Google Images, Flickr and Canva so adding images to your posts is a breeze.
It also comes with analytics so you can measure all your activity and allows you to integrate with Google Analytics as well.
Pricing – Plans start at $29 a month and you can manage up to 12 social profiles. The largest plan is $299 a month and allows you to manage up to 64 social profiles.
Hootsuite has been around a long time. They were one of the very first apps for social media management back when it was just becoming a thing.
For me the interface is pretty dated, but it’s still a very useful platform. It’s main purpose is scheduling posts to various social sites. You manage all your accounts through “streams.” You create a different stream for different social media activities.
For Twitter, you can create a stream for your tweets, a stream to monitor direct messages, a stream to monitor people you follow, etc.
It sounds like a lot but it’s actually a very effective way to manage things. Hootsuite works with Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Google+ and YouTube.
Pricing – Hootsuite offers a basic plan that is free for individuals. Then it jumps to $25 a month to manage up to 10 social profiles.
Sprout Social is my favorite social media management platform. It’s the one I personally use every day. I actually wrote a post a few weeks ago that goes in depth on the features in Sprout Social. It has by far the easiest to use and best looking interface.
Sprout offers integration with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+. The scheduling and calendar features make publishing posts to all five social networks very easy.
They have a “Viral Post” feature when you’re scheduling that lets a proprietary A.I. analyze your feeds, then decide when the best time of day is to post your content for maximum engagement. It learns over time and your engagement gets better and better. I have all my scheduled posts set to Viral.
Sprout also has really great analytics and lets you expand them further by integrating with Google Analytics. Of all the apps I’ve tested they have the best reporting features. You can create beautiful white label reports and download or email them.
Again, for more on Sprout Social read my previous post.
Pricing – Sprout is a little pricier than some of the other ones but I feel the features make it worth it. Their basic plan is $99 a month and lets you manage up to 10 social profiles. All their plans come with a free 30-day trial with no credit card required.
This is probably my 2nd favorite social media management app behind Sprout Social. It’s packed with features and is a little less expensive than Sprout. With Agorapulse you can schedule posts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.
They have the best analytics out of any platform listed here or any platform I’ve used. They also have a social inbox feature to help you communicate with customers. It can also help you identify influencers that you might want to connect with better. You can also track hashtags, competitors, and other things of interest.
Pricing – The entry level plan is $39 a month and then it jumps to $79 a month for a medium plan. Like with all the apps listed here they have agency and enterprise level plans as well.
There is no one-size fits all approach to social media management platforms. All of the ones listed here (and many not listed here) offer a free trial. Take the trial and see which one fits your marketing needs and works best for you.
Really kick the tires and dig into all the features to make sure the one you choose has all the features you’re looking for. You want to avoid having to pay for additional tools down the road if you can help it. The free trials are an awesome way for you to be able to make an informed decision on what’s best for you and your business.
***Have you tried any of these before? Is there another social media management tool you prefer? Tell us in the comments.