Effective social media management provides a business with the ability to engage with the community that surrounds it, while also being a powerful content distribution tool. When I say content distribution, I don’t mean simply posting out various offers and promotional material.
Social media provides you with the opportunity to put across your brand’s personality by sharing funny memes, if that’s your thing, along with links to blogs you’ve written, product videos, press coverage, and other articles your audience is likely to find interesting. After all, you should know your customers better than anyone else. What makes them engage with you?
Managing social media content, conversations, queries, and mentions can be time-consuming and there are various tools that allow you to work smarter rather than harder.
To help you narrow down your search for the ultimate social media management tool, I thought it’d be useful to put together a list of those we’d recommend considering.
If you’ve not heard of Hootsuite, I assume you’ve been hiding under some kind of rock. Hootsuite is one of those tools that has been around for yonks. It’s often the “go-to” in terms of social media management, which is understandable, since it launched way back in 2008!
Since its launch, it has changed somewhat. On April 5th 2021 Hootsuite made further changes to its free plan. Rather than being able to manage up to three social accounts and schedule up to 30 posts, those on the free plan are now only able to manage two social accounts and schedule up to five posts, which isn’t ideal.
One of the best things about Hootsuite was its free plan, which has attracted thousands of businesses to its platform, which is likely why they offered it originally. This move may see many businesses move away to other platforms, but I’m sure many will already be familiar with the UI and simply upgrade their plan having seen the benefits, of which there are many.
Hootsuite is still a great option, with their professional plan allowing a business to schedule an unlimited number of posts across 10 social accounts for just £39 per month. You also get detailed metrics across your networks via Hootsuite Analytics.
It’s simple to use and allows businesses to schedule posts to publish across multiple platforms at the click of a button. What’s more, it has pretty good reporting capabilities, which you can analyse and review to ensure future activity is as effective as possible.
They’ve continued to develop the platform and have set the standard when it comes to managing social media effectively. When looking at other tools, they’re quite often compared to Hootsuite.
We’ve said plenty about Hootsuite, but what about its competitors? Well, Buffer is one of the other big players in the social media management space. It’s quite similar to Hootsuite in terms of features. You can schedule posts across various social platforms, review analytics and respond to comments on posts. It also has a free plan that allows users to manage three channels and schedule 10 posts.
One feature that stands out, and one that Hootsuite doesn’t offer, is the ability to request approval for posts before they’re published, which is great for ensuring all content is proofed and signed off. It’s ideal for teams, but for agencies, it does require a workaround as you need to set clients up with Full Posting Access, which you can find out more about here >
If you’re looking for something really modern, that offers a whole host of benefits, including full approval processes, change history, integration with tools such as Canva and loads more, I’d recommend looking at HeyOrca. They market themselves as “the most collaborative social media calendar tools for agencies”, which it is and I’ll come on to this in a moment, but it is also great for medium and large businesses that want a tool that makes social media management easier. It’s well worth trailing to see how your business could benefit.
In terms of agencies, HeyOrca is pretty darn good. You can enter any important events in your calendars, rather than having to go back and forth from spreadsheets and it also makes it easier to manage client communications.
Where this tool excels is its ability to provide accurate mock-ups of what your posts will actually look like once they’re published. And, the approval process. The process to get approval on content that’s ready to review is by far one of the best I’ve seen. Once you’ve submitted content for a client to approve, all comments are tracked so all changes can be seen, proving a full history so over time you can learn exactly what your client is looking for.
The Canva integration is pretty cool too – you’ll have to get a trial to check it out.
The team at HeyOrca are also really proactive. If you have any feedback on any of the features, they’re very open about their development roadmap and happy to submit requests and respect any input you have.
Want something that tracks more than just your social media activity? Check out HubSpot. If you sign up for the Marketing Pro plan, you get access to their social media management platform, along with ad management, live chat, email marketing, and of course, their CRM platform, so you can monitor each interaction and what it equates to in terms of ROI.
It’s much more of an investment, but if you’re looking to streamline your marketing activity, it’s ideal and it provides so much in terms of tracking capabilities and processes to manage contacts in your sales funnel.
If your team is still managing social media manually, one post at a time, invest in a tool that will save you time and provide you with insights that can help you improve on your social media performance to delight customers, attract new leads and build a community that will champion your business!
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