Social media is a huge part of marketing these days and if you’re one of the few companies not currently investing in this marketing medium, this needs to change. For a lot of companies, it’s simply the lack of time that prevents them from effectively managing their social media channels but the thing is, there are a lot of tools out there to help you with this side of things.
I know it might seem daunting to have to manage your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and various other social media platforms but if you choose to use one of the many social media management tools out there, a lot of the process can be automated (or at least simplified).
But what are the best social media management tools? Let’s find out.
Hootsuite is perhaps the most well-known, and most widely used social media management application and it’s easy to see why. The functionality of Hootsuite is extremely diverse and essentially, it allows you to manage a number of different social networks including Twitter and Facebook.
One of the great things about Hootsuite is that it is actually available to use free of charge as they have a free plan for those looking to get started. Sure, its functionality is a little limited compared with their paid plans but for anyone new to the world of social media management, it gives you a great opportunity to get used to the Hootsuite platform without any associated risks.
With Hootsuite, you can schedule and manage tweets, Facebook status updates, Google Plus updates and tonnes more. If you wanted to , you could even schedule all your updates at the beginning of each week and leave Hootsuite to do all the work for you.
With the paid plans, you can incorporate Google analytics, Facebook Insights and tonnes more into your strategy. Paid plans are available from £7.99 per month and are well worth considering.
Much like Hootsuite, Spredfast allows you to manage just about any of your social media accounts from just one location, helping to simplify things for you and your business. However, unlike Hootsuite, Spredfast has actually been developed to help you monitor what’s being said about your brand/company and ultimately, get involved in the discussion.
Within the Spredfast interface, you will be able to view all the conversations that might be taking place concerning your brand from all of the various social networks out there. These are collated into an inbox where you can easily manage, view and get involved in said discussions.
Essentially, Spredfast allows you to generate more leads for your company by constantly monitoring any conversations surrounding your brand. The idea that you can reply allows you to connect with your customers and ultimately, provide a higher level of customer service and convert leads into customers.
On the face of it, SproutSocial is extremely similar to Spredfast but it does have a few unique features thrown in too. SproutSocial essentially allows you to manage and view all of the conversations surrounding your brand form the various social networks (much like Spredfast) but it also has a feature called the Sprout Queue View.
Basically, this is what makes SproutSocial so unique as the Sprout Queue View will allows you to manage the messages that you want to send out on the various social networks with ease. The messages are basically arranged into a queue and from here, you can rearrange messages in the queue, edit them and ultimately, change when you’d like them to be sent out.
It’s a pretty simple concept but in practice, it works extremely well and allows you to send messages out at more appropriate times and manage your accounts with greater ease than with other tools. What’s more, the overall design of the interface within SproutSocial is very clean and easy to use, making this the perfect platform for a lot of businesses.
SproutSocial monthly fees start at $39 per month but there is a free 30-day trial available.
Sendible is another absolutely fantastic option for businesses of all sizes when it comes to effective social media management. Essentially, Sendible was created to save you time by automating a lot of tasks and allowing you to manage all of your social media accounts from one location.
One of the cool things about Sendible is that you have a lot of control over where your content is posted. For example, from within the Sendible platform, you might want to choose to send a status to your Facebook page, a LinkedIn group or even just create a Facebook note. All of this can be done from one location which obviously, saves you a huge amount of time.
Sendible also allows you to monitor conversations on various social networks for keywords of your choice. For example, if you were a printing company, you might want to look out for keywords such as “banner printing” or “business card printing” so that you could then actively engage in those conversations and create leads for your business. Sendible allows you to do this and best of all, allows you to set up email alerts for your keywords.
Sendible is available from £9.99 per month, although there is a 30-day free trial if you’re looking to try out the platform.
If you’re looking for a great social media management tool, you won’t go far wrong with any of the tools listed in this post. They all allow a huge amount of control over almost all social media platforms and they will certainly save you a lot of time when it comes to the management side of things.
What’s more, they are all available for relatively low monthly fees and most of them offer a free trial too. Plus, Hootsuite is free for life if you choose their free plan, so there’s no reason not to give them a shot.
Josh is a social media manager currently working for Discount Banner Printing in the UK. He helps to manage the Facebook, Twitter and various other social profiles on behalf of the printing company.