Social media is no longer innovative or trendy because everyone is using it. It has become one of the main channels that individuals, small businesses and larger corporations use to interact and engage with one another. Because social has become so necessary in communications for agencies and corporations, there are now many different social media platforms that can streamline and make your social media management easier and more efficient.
Recently, many of our clients have been asking us for our insight on what social media management platforms are available and which ones we would recommend. This question is not easy to answer, but if you perform a needs assessment and figure out your objectives then the answer becomes a lot clearer.
We analyzed four very popular social media management platforms, including Hootsuite, Postling, Sproutsocial, and Google’s new Wildfire. All can be considered useful platforms, but which is the best for your organization? You decide…
Hootsuite is a basic, inexpensive, easy-to-use platform that would work well for any organization. It manages the social presences of Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Foursquare, WordPress, Mixi, and App Directory. You can schedule the time of your posts to certain social media outlets, yet still engage with them immediately from your laptop, tablet or mobile device. You can also monitor ad campaigns and your company’s brand sentiment. However, unlike some of the other platforms, there is no competitive-based tracking feature.
This platform seems like a great starting point for agencies or businesses; however, it’s inexpensive because you “pay for what you get.” If you want to take advantage of the analytics reports, you have to pay for each one individually. It’s one of the more basic platforms, but if simplicity is all you need then it’s perfect for your company.
Postling is another basic, easy-to-use social platform. It’s a great platform for creating content and keeping your social profiles organized. Postling is especially helpful for small businesses eager to grow a social audience. The platform can manage Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, WordPress, LinkedIn and YouTube. It’s also an inexpensive platform, and you can manage up to five accounts for only $10 a month, like Hootsuite. There is no real difference or feature that allows Postling to stand out from Hootsuite. What I really like about both of these platforms are the social sites that they manage. Currently, they seem to be the most commonly used among individuals or companies who participate in social media.
Sproutsocial is my favorite platform for larger companies that are a bit more established. About 25% of Sproutsocial’s clientele are agencies and public relations’ groups, and the other 75% are enterprise corporations. The main features of this platform are the outstanding publishing features, the engagement opportunities, and the availability of analytics reports. Additionally, the CRM system and the shared workflow aspect are extremely advantageous. What I really found beneficial about the analytics feature is the competitive tracking system. Additionally, you have eight different styles to choose from for your analytics reports. They also have a really unique feature called ViralPost, which scans for your most active followers or engagers on social media and sends them personal messages in order to make them feel involved and keep them engaged. The main downfall of Sproutsocial is that it only manages three social presences: Facebook, Twitter and Google+. Today, most individuals who are active on social media have more than three social profiles. Therefore, they are more likely to utilize a platform that has at least five social profiles.
Wildfire is an extremely advanced social platform, making it useful for large companies who are willing to spend a few thousand dollars per month on social. The platform manages Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google + and Pinterest. Companies who invest in this system likely already have a large social audience and are looking to execute ad buys, produce campaigns, build apps, or engage in more mobile opportunities. Wildfire starts at $3,000 a month—you can do the math.