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A Review of Social Media Management Tools

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A Review of Social Media Management Tools

So you want to engage your audience with social media. Great! Your audience loves all of your great and exciting posts. You already know how important and effective social media marketing can be and you want to make your efforts even more streamlined and efficient. The only problem is the time it takes each day to create and get those posts up on your accounts.

So now the big question would be how often do you post to social media to get the most out of your efforts? A few times a month? Once a week? Every day? The answer to this question really depends on a lot of factors including what industry you’re in and who your target demographic is.

Also keep in mind that your posts need to be quality content, sharing gorgeous, authentic pictures, engaging the audience, and using specific hashtags with great captions that lead the audience to your brand and products. You’re running a business. How can you possibly find time to manage your social media posting every day on top of everything else? Enter, social media scheduling tools.

Social media scheduling and posting tools are really great for saving time and energy on social media marketing.  They can do all sorts of things to help make marketing on social media even more effective. You can use them to organize your content and posts in advance and they even suggest the ideal times of day to post to get the most engagement.

Many scheduling tools come with analytics features to tell you how effective your efforts are as well as ways to share the work with your team. Some of them are free but with limitations on use and/or multiple levels of payment options to really hone in on the features you need. So, which is the right social media tool for you?

Free Social Media Management Tools:


HootSuite

  • Cost: Free 30 posts/mo, more with payment options
  • Multiple Accounts? Yes
  • Teamwork? Yes
  • Analytics? Yes
  • Platforms? Most are available

One of the best things about HootSuite is that it lets you create posting schedules for pretty much all of the social media platforms. Is there a particular social media platform you like the most? HootSuite has you covered.

It is also quite nice in that it can monitor your competitors to size up the competition as well as your own branded hashtags to see how well they are doing. You can see their performance and your posts right on your accounts dashboard.

And the best thing about HootSuite is that it offers a free account option for up to 30 posts a month! If you don’t have very many accounts to manage, you can get by with this free option.


Later

  • Cost: Free 30 posts/mo, more with payment options
  • Multiple Accounts? Yes, with payment
  • Teamwork? Yes
  • Analytics? Yes, with payment
  • Platforms? Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest

As far as free tools go this one is up at the top of the pack. It is limited in the same way as others with the free option by only letting you post 30 times per month. It is very popular with over a million of the world’s top brands using it regularly. Some of its features include a post previewer, a calendar view of scheduled posts, bulk uploads of multiple posts, analytics for Instagram, and the ability to search your content by likes or hashtags and the ability to repost them.

They’re payment options start out pretty low at only $9 per month. If your budget for a social media assistant is nothing, though, then this is the tool for you.


Buffer

  • Cost: Free 10 posts/mo, more with payment options
  • Multiple Accounts? Yes, with payment
  • Teamwork? Yes
  • Analytics? Yes
  • Platforms? Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest & LinkedIn

As far as the free options go this one isn’t quite as nice as the others. While the other options let you post 30 times a month for free, Buffer only lets you do 10 posts a month. If that isn’t an issue for you then you can still consider this one unless, of course, you are planning on going for a paid account in the first place.

One great thing about Buffer that sets it apart from the others is its Pablo image editor. It helps you create and edit images with over 50 thousand free images to use as well as 25 nifty fonts to make custom and engaging images.

Paid Management Tools


OnlyPult

  • Cost: 1 User-$10, 2 Users-$17, 3 Users-$34, 5 Users-$55
  • Multiple Accounts? Yes
  • Teamwork? Yes
  • Analytics? Yes
  • Platforms? Most social media platforms

There is no free option for OnlyPult, but like the saying goes you get what you pay for. Sometimes it is really worth it to get quality features and tools for the right money and this auto poster is a nice and powerful one.

One of the really cool things about OnlyPult is that it not only lets you post to your Instagram feed but also your Instagram Story. That makes it perfect for you if you want to take advantage of Instagram Stories (as most brands should). Since a post to Story disappears after 25 hours you can plan out a whole story ahead of time and schedule it out in advance.

Some of the powerful features of OnlyPult include managing up to 40 social media accounts at once, allowing multiple users on your team to collaborate, monitoring your content’s performance, tracking your growth and even your competitors’ growth. If you are looking for a good tool that isn’t free, this is a solid option.


Tailwind

  • Cost: $15 per month, $9/mo if annual
  • Multiple Accounts? Yes
  • Teamwork? Yes
  • Analytics? Yes
  • Platforms? Instagram & Pinterest, separate products though

If Pinterest is your main go-to platform for posting your content and creating a social brand, Tailwind is probably the right tool for you. It is one of the most popular social media management tools. Recently they also made a tool to post to Instagram, the only downside is that they are separate products. The cost is nothing to laugh at though with a very low price. If you pay for Tailwind by the year, it works out to a mere $9 a month.

Tailwind is also very easy to navigate. It lets you upload in bulk as well as schedule posts using a drag and drop feature. The best part about this tool is their Smart Schedule tools and analytics. Tailwind will suggest the best times and days to post your content for you automatically bringing you the best engagement for each of your posts.


Hopper

  • Cost: $16 per month
  • Multiple Accounts? Yes
  • Teamwork? Yes, unlimited team members
  • Analytics? Yes
  • Platforms? Instagram, Twitter, Facebook

Hopper is one of the top-rated and reviewed tools out there. It is sleek, efficient, and very easy to use and understand. It has all the bells and whistles you could want out of a social media tool. It can edit your images, upload them from any cloud storage, track your progress with analytics, collaborate with your team with multiple users, bulk upload and bulk edit posts, preview posts with a mobile view, and it even lets you post videos and carousels which not a lot of tools let you do.

There is a reason Hopper is one of the top rated tools. Free is something that you have to pay with your own time. So even though there is no free option for Hopper, it more than makes up for it with its efficiency and tools that you will save money over time.


ViralTag

  • Cost: 1 User-$24, 3 Users-$79, 5 Users-$250
  • Multiple Accounts? Yes
  • Teamwork? Yes
  • Analytics? Yes
  • Platforms? Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn & Tumblr

ViralTag is one of the more pricey tools, but it does have a few cool features that let it stand out. It pretty much lets you post to all of the social media sites there are. It has all of the regular features that the other tools have like bulk uploading and using images from cloud storage. It has analytic tools, repost scheduling, and team collaboration. It can also let you post to all of your favorite social media sites in one go with unique captions and content for each site that you edit.

One of the really neat things about ViralTag is that it can fully integrate with Canva, one of the easiest to use online photo editing tools. So it can be really nice to use Canva to edit your images and then use ViralTag to schedule and post them. If you use Canva on a regular basis, this is one tool to definitely consider.


CoSchedule

  • Cost: 1 User-$20, 3 Users-$100, 5 Users-$300
  • Multiple Accounts? Yes
  • Teamwork? Yes, a whole dedicated package for it
  • Analytics? Yes
  • Platforms? Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn & Tumblr

CoSchedule Is the ultimate place for all things marketing and content related. It has quite a few different package options that can fit your business needs. It is one of the more pricey tools, but all the features and tools might be worth it depending on your needs. It does have a free 2 week trial so that’s something to consider!

CoSchedule can easily integrate with WordPress, Social Media, Google Calendar, Analytics and everything in between. It is probably the best tool for very large teams as well and it even has a package tool designed specifically for a large team to coordinate with each other. The time you save and the vast amount of tools that CoSchedule gives you is definitely worth it. The only major thing that it doesn’t do is let you do bulk uploads similar to other tools. It also kind of has an odd pricing system if you don’t know what the differences are between the packages.


Conclusion:

There are nearly as many social media management tools as there are social media platforms. Don’t let yourself get overwhelmed. At least you can filter some of them out by which platforms they can work with as well as what their prices are. If your budget doesn’t allow for a paid tool, I recommend you go with HootSuite or Later. If your budget is low, then go with Hopper or OnlyPult. And finally if you have a pretty good budget and have a large team that needs a management system, then go with ViralTag or CoSchedule.

It can be a bit of a hard choice overall though so a good tip is to try out the trial versions of the tool of your choice first to see if you like its ease of use and user interface. Good luck and keep up the great content!

If you liked this and want to continue the conversation, consider joining SprySpace – the Facebook group where digital marketers go for education, support, and virtual giggling.

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