Promoting your business effectively on the Internet is the key to success of any business. With social media taking over the advertising segment with a storm, promoting your business online has become simple and easy. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are some of the major players in the social media segment and it is important for every business to create an efficient promotional strategy to increase their brand value with these social media sites. However, while using these social media sites, shuffling through multiple accounts, managing your followers and posting updates on a real time basis is not an easy task. This is where social media management tools come to your rescue. These social media tools not only manage your social media accounts in an efficient manner but also save a considerable amount of your time, enabling you to manage your core services effectively.
According to the study by Towers Watson, as quoted in Business Times, “More than two-thirds of the firms planned to increase their use of social media tools over the next 12 months though many question their cost effectiveness.”
Today, there are several social media tools available in the market, making it difficult for you to choose the best one among them. Here is a review of seven social media tools to help you with Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
Postling is one of the best social media tools available today. This social media management tool is the brainchild of Chris Maguire and Haim Schoppik, co-founders of Etsy, a popular online handmade marketplace along with David Lifson, CEO of Postling. David Lifson, who was the head of the product management team, left Etsy in 2008 along with Chris and Haim to start Postling. Postling is a one-stop solution for all your social media needs. It helps you to efficiently manage all your social accounts from a single dashboard. This application not only allows you to post updates from a single dashboard but also enables you to efficiently track your social media activities with ease. Moreover, these updates are delivered directly to your inbox. People who want to use Postling as a time management service can use the free version, saving time and money. Postling Plus package allows three accounts at $9/month and for premium version the charge is $49/month with five accounts and five brands.
- Enables users to manage all social accounts from a single dashboard.
- Allows you to schedule your tweets or updates according to your business needs.
- Day-to-day social activity reports are delivered right into your inbox.
- Instantly updates about comments or reviews on your business which can be very helpful for an efficient customer relationship management.
- Enables you to create blog posts and post them onto your WordPress sites along with the required formatting with ease.
Free version of Postling does not offer detail analytics and people who want a detail analytics needs to subscribe to their service.
HootSuite is another good solution to handle multiple social media accounts with ease. This amazing application is the product of Invoke Media, a popular digital agency which provides various e-commerce and CMS applications. Ryan Holmes is the founder of Invoke Media and the HootSuite Social media dashboard. The best thing about Hoot Suite is the ease with which you can customize tracking campaigns for each account and add multiple admin accounts to monitor the social media activities throughout the day. The HootSuite iPhone App is another good solution to manage your social accounts on the move. A free account allows you to add up to 5 social media accounts and two RSS feeds along with free analytics. However, if you subscribe to this application at $5.99/month you can manage unlimited social profiles.
- Offers multiple user accounts to track the social media campaigns.
- Customizable entity to organize separate campaigns for multiple accounts of clients.
- Enables scheduled tweets and posts.
- Easy to use application navigation.
- Offers a mobile app to manage your social accounts on the move.
While you can connect a Facebook fan page to Hootsuite, there are few instances wherein people haven't experienced difficulty to do so. Contacting the HootSuite helpdesk can get you out of this.
Cotweet, the business front end of Twitter and a comprehensive social media management tool, offers useful services for individuals as well as businesses of all sizes to effectively manage their Twitter accounts. This Web-based application allows you to add up to four Twitter accounts. Kyle Sollenberger, Aaron Gotwalk and Jesse Engle are the co-founders of this amazing management tool. The Web application was created in early 2009 and was acquired by Exact Media in 2010. The good thing about Cotweet is the facility to allot specific roles to different people in your company while controlling their accessing entity.
- Excellent choice for businesses which use Twitter alone.
- Simple user interface with very useful features.
- Allows you to assign tasks for various social media managers to handle separate accounts.
- Displays Onduty status to let you know who is managing the task at a specific time.
This Web application serves only Twitter accounts. For other social media profiles, you have to search for other tools. While there is a basic version, most of the powerful features are incorporated into the enterprise version at $1,500/month which can be pushing out small and medium businesses.
Dlvr.it, a service I have used for a long time, is a powerful social media tool which publishes your content on your desired social networks on a real-time basis. This application is the product of Pheebo, a powerful advertising and content stream management company and is created in 2009. Bill Flitter and Charles Smith are the two revolutionary entrepreneurs behind this successful company. This powerful publishing tool adds a great value to your business by providing a great customer relationship management. The striking feature of this application is the option to publish different versions of content on different networking sites.
- Excellent option for bloggers and businesses to post their content on all social networking sites instantly.
- You can control the content being published on different networking sites. For instance, publish a small title for twitter and long title for Facebook for the same post.
- You can schedule posts and track the results with ease.
- With little settings, it is easy to install and free of cost.
- Good integration with bit.ly.
At times, posts are published with a slight delay. However, the delay time is negligible.
Sprout Social is a powerful and intuitive social media dashboard offering value added services to users while managing their social contacts in an efficient manner. Founded in 2010, this amazing social media tool is rapidly increasing its fan base across the globe, under the efficient leadership of its CEO, Justyn Howard. At an affordable price of $9/month for a professional membership and $49/month for a business membership, this Web application is worth the price. (You can do a 30 day trial run for free.) The best thing about this Web application is the analytic report it generates in a colorful design while providing a competitive insight.
- It offers competitive insights wherein you can check how your competitors are moving forward.
- Delivers colorful and customized analytic reports with lead generation details.
- Enables you to monitor your brand across all major social media sites.
- Allows you to customize the content delivered to your inbox.
This Web application misses on the sentiment analysis feature. Shortening URLs is not allowed too. At times, the navigation features load slower. However, considering the overall features at an affordable price, Sprout Social adds value to your brand.
SocialOomph is another power social media management tool to manage all your social activities with a greater efficiency. This social media tool, also known as TweetLater, is created by Dewald Pretorius. This Web application not only takes care of updates on social networking sites but also helps you in posting content to your blogs. You can now manage multiple fan pages, Facebook accounts, Twitter accounts and other social media profiles to perfection. While the basic version is free, the professional version charges you with $29.99/month. You can try a 7 day free trial offer.
- It offers scheduled posting in a better way. You can predefine a vast amount of tweets and schedule them to be posted at a specific time and then save them and repost them as and when required.
- Recurring updates option enables you to post updates every 2-3 days.
- The user interface is simple and easy, enabling the user to better understand what is happening around.
The website design is not attractive for many people and they leave the site before exploring the vast features available inside. Few tasks like Facebook tagging, editing tiles and links is not possible with this application. With Twitter, tasks like unfollowing users after a specific period is not very effective.
NutshellMail is another social media management tool to help businesses keep track of all their social activities. David Lyman and Mark Schmulen are the two revolutionary entrepreneurs behind the creative innovation of NutshellMail, founded in 2009. It was acquired by Constant Contact Inc. in 2010. This Web application takes care of your day-to-day social activities on several social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Yelp and Foursquare at zero cost.
- Updates users with followers and unfollows to reciprocate without requiring to sign into the account.
- Allows users to schedule posts and updates throughout the day.
- Free of cost and easy to use.
- Updates are delivered right into your e-mail and you can specify the time and content of the reports.
During the peak activity hours, there are times when NutshellMail misses out on some updates.
Whichever tool you use, it is important to use some tool as managing a variety of Web pages by going to the social media networks directly is a time consuming pain. While free is nice, you'll find that paying a bit extra for some services might be worth it.