Image by: Simon
By Dexter Lunde
You’ve got meetings, employees to manage, a personal life to manage, reports to go over, marketing techniques to implement, research and development to oversee… How do other businessmen make the time to manage their social media accounts too?
Well, lucky for us, there are a plethora of apps, programs, and companies that are willing to manage our business’ social media accounts for us or (at the very least) lend us a hand with them. Let’s check out some of the social media management tools, programs, and services that are making a presence in 2014.
I first heard of Web.comon a television commercial. Before jumping on the Web.com bandwagon, I decided to do a bit of research. I was…surprised with what I found. Consumers were surprisingly torn about the website. If the website wasn’t rated with a 1-star, it was rated with 5-stars.
The commercial had claimed that it would manage your social media accounts for you but the website is just a web-building tool. Taking that into account, I searched the site and finally found a Facebook Boost option.
Conclusion: If you let them host your website, they claim to boost your website’s Facebook presence. Reviews are torn, ranging from comments about not getting their money’s worth to “good web servers and security”. Do your research first.
HootSuite has been around for a long time. They’ve got their loyal followers. Their services allow you to manage multiple social networks, schedule messages and tweets, update your status, track how often your brand is mentioned, and analyze your traffic.
They also have various plans ranging from free to professional to enterprise. How special is enterprise? This membership allows you to get enhanced technical support, professional services, compliance integrations, geo-targeting, and a custom invoice. Plus unlimited use of most of their services, which the other memberships limit. Like the number of social media profiles you manage and app integrations.
If you’re looking for a free service, this may be the service for you… if your business is tiny. If your business grows quickly, you will need to move to a different membership or somewhere else all together. The free version is quite limiting but you get what you pay for when it comes to HootSuit.
Conclusion: They have over 8 million users, which should speak volumes on its own. If you’re looking for advanced analytics, it can be pricy at $100 for two reports. There have been some reviews of Facebook Image problems. However, HootSuite does display multiple streams (from multiple accounts) well. If you’re willing to spend the extra money to go to Pro or Enterprise, it will be worth it.
#3) Sprout Social
Sprout Social costs about $40 a month and boasts a single stream inbox, seamless posting, unlimited analytics reporting, keyword monitoring, contact records and notes, collaboration between team members, and a mobile version for on the go management.
There is a 30-day risk-free trial, which is a plus. I believe that their advantage is its simple interface. While other programs muddle information and streams, Sprout Social is easy and also has easy-to-read analytics reports. They also have a customizable inbox and they will allow you to compare your social media profiles with your competitors. Handy, right?
Conclusion: They provide a great service that is specifically designed for small business social media feeds. The biggest downside is their price (after the 30-day free trial). They are considerably more expensive in comparison to their competitors.
CrowdBooster isn’t as much a management tool as it is an information-gathering tool. So I cheated a little bit… Their focus is on social media analytics. Their cheapest plan is $9 a month (for up to 50,000 followers).
Conclusion: When it comes to certain programs, it is not always best to go with a “jack of all trades”. CrowdBooster doesn’t claim to do a bunch of different things. Instead they focus on doing one thing (analytics).
Everypost is a free iTunes app that will allow you to post to all of your social networks from one place – which is extremely convenient. It is free, so it doesn’t have all of the other options that the programs (listed above) will do.
Conclusion: For free, this app is pretty handy. Not only that but it has a cool function called the Twitter text shortener, which will shorten up your message to 140 characters. You may have to tweak it a bit, but it is a great option. Especially for a free app.