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Are you’re looking to get control of your social media accounts but don’t know where to start? Or maybe you’re using a social management tool now but want to see what else is out there. Either way, this article is for you. We breakdown some top contenders in the social media management realm so you can decide for yourself which tool is right for your unique needs.
Buffer isn’t technically a full social media management tool, but it’s worth mentioning. It’s really just a dedicated scheduler and a pretty good one. You can post to just about every social network, including Pinterest, and access detailed reports. Currently you can’t use Buffer for engagement, but the acquisition of Respondly by Buffer may change that in the future.
- Free for one social account
- Sophisticated scheduling
- Wide range of social networks
- Third party tool integration
- No means for engagement (currently)
- Basic reporting
- Expensive business plan
- Free for 1 platform (Individual)
- $10/month (Awesome) plan – for individuals
- $99/month (Small) – For teams
- $199/month (Medium) – For teams
- $399/month (Large) – For teams
Hootsuite is the biggest social management tools and has been the most popular, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are the best. Hootsuite users have an overview of their social media accounts using columns that display news feeds of each account or specific topics within that account. One caution here: these feed columns can get unwieldy and fast. Without a linear approach to sifting through all the noise, it is difficult to know where to focus or what has already been reviewed.
- Multiple column view
- Wide range of social networks
- Mobile support
- Interface is not intuitive and buggy
- Multiple columns get distracting
- Reporting is basic and overpriced
- Does not integrate with bit.ly but rather charges $580/year for url shortening
- $9.99/month (Professional) – For individuals
- $34.99/month/user (Team)
- request a quote (Enterprise)
Sendible has the largest number of social integrations including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, Tumblr, Flickr, WordPress, Blogspot and more. It offers geo-targeting to reach specific groups. It integrates with Google Drive, Dropbox and Canva, a tool for adding some flair to your posts. It allows companies to white label Sendible as their own product. However, understanding pricing gets confusing as Sendible’s plans are based on what they call services, so for Twitter you may need 2-3 services in order to post, monitor, and view lists.
- Huge number of social integrations
- Social inbox that prioritizes messages for you
- Good analytics
- White label options
- Geo targeting
- Complicated plans
- Less intuitive than other tools
- $59/month (Startup) – 2 users and 30 services
- $139/month (Corporate) – 6 users and 96 services
- $499/month (Premium) – 20 users and 360 services
Sprout Social is a great tool that integrates with Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, and Instagram. It offers beautiful analytics reports to all plans and uses a social inbox workflow so you can go through posts, comments, shares, etc. in a linear fashion. However, it has a unified inbox, meaning that it combines all messages, comments, and mentions in one stream, though there are filtering tools to isolate specific social networks.
- Inbox workflow
- Team delegation
- Beautiful analytics
- Bit.ly support
- Great mobile app
- Does not connect to content networks (YouTube and Pinterest)
- $99/month/user (Premium)
- $500/month (Team)
- $1500/month (Enterprise)
AgoraPulse recently became the highest rated tool of the bunch, according to G2Crowd. It has competitive prices and offers many of the tools its competitors have but in a slightly different way. Agora uses an inbox style workflow that’s separated by social network. It provides nice-to-look-at, comprehensive analytics. It provides comment monitoring “dark” posts so you can see what posts or ads do well before running a major campaign.
Agora also offers team delegation tools to keep everyone on the same page. One of the best parts about Agora is that it has a user-focused model, and you can see who your major influencers and brand ambassadors are. Oh, and I almost forgot to mention that one tool allows you to monitor your competitors’ metrics, too.
- Social inbox workflow
- See unpublished or “dark” posts with comments
- Automated moderation rules to filter out spammy direct messages and mentions
- Syncs perfectly
- Schedule posts
- Unlimited access to reports
- Team member support
- Competitor comparison
- Facebook ad monitoring
- Great price
- Does not display social feeds
- $49/month (Small) for individuals
- $99/month (Medium) for small businesses
- $199/month (Large) for agencies
- $299/month (Enterprise) for large organizations
To wrap things up, remember that every tool here is different. If you are a certified control freak, you might prefer something like Hootsuite where you can have tons of feeds, all customized and filtered to your preferences. On the other hand, you may just want to get to “Inbox 0;” in that case AgoraPulse, SproutSocial, or Sendible may be more your style. You can also check out G2’s comparison tool for more info. If you need help with your social strategy or getting your social accounts up and running, feel free to give us a shout at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 303.664.1687. We’d love to be of service!