Andrea: Tell your friend this whole Jerry Maguire thing’s not gonna work on me.
There are a ton of Social Media Management platforms out there, and they’re all really good at trying to sweet talk you. Some look so pretty you think they must know what they’re talking about, and if you use their services your posts will reach more people, have higher engagement levels, and maybe even go viral! But the truth of the matter is, even if you have the RIGHT platform, you’ll still need stellar content to get any of that – but we’ll get into content later.
Right now, you already know how many accounts I have to manage. This is important – SMM platforms vary on how many profiles they allow you to manage (how many individual Facebook, Twitter, Google+ pages, etc.), and if you’re managing the social outlets for multiple businesses like I am, you will quickly outgrow the “free” and “intro” levels on many platforms.
As you begin to look at different SMM platforms, keep in mind how many profiles you have to manage. The next thing you want to know, is what features do you absolutely have to have? With so many options, including add ons and plug-ins, gadgets and gizmos aplenty, plus whozits and whatzits galore, its easy to feel like you’re drowning.
For me, the number one feature I have to have is a Bulk Tweet Uploader, because frankly, I do not have the time to individually schedule tweets for five different accounts when I tweet a minimum of 5x a day (175 tweets per week). To figure out which SMM platforms I want to try out, I’m reading the Ultimate List of All in One Social Media Tools. This article was written in December 2014, and is one of the most up-to-date lists I’ve come across. (Make sure when you’re researching that you check the dates on articles; they may come up on the first page of a Google search, but they aren’t always the most recent.)
From this list, I’ve decided that my top choices are:
- Hootsuite – my current platform
- Sprout Social – my first 30 day trial
- Buffer – I’ve only used this briefly before, but I’ve heard good things
- Digimind – sounds promising
- Social Oomph – hmm, maybe not
- Sprinklr – again, looks promising
- Falcon Social – quite possibly my favorite platform… a girl can dream
Obviously, this isn’t my first time researching SMM platforms. When I first looked for a platform, I didn’t have a lot of requirements, or as many social accounts to manage. But things changed, and while Hootsuite has a lot of great features (more on that later), there are some major drawbacks when it comes to analytic reports – and those are another absolute must have. To fill in the gaps left by Hootsuite’s lack – or rather, expensive – analytic report options – I use SocialReport. They’re very affordable, and their monthly packages are set up by project – i.e. you get to group all of your social profiles by business (project). That, in itself, may have sold me on their services. You can publish to roughly the same amount of social sites that every other management platforms allows, but they track and analyze traffic for more sites than most.
Simply stated, they’re a lot of bang for your buck. Later on I’ll show you some of their reports, and compare them to other platforms.
I also looked Adobe Marketing Cloud. Creative Approach, if you forgot, is a graphic design and printing business. We basically live, eat, sweat, dream and swear by Adobe and Apple products. Unfortunately, the way their platform pricing was explained to me (and I spent several hours on the phone with these guys) was a bit pricy – as in each business had to license the software and pay a monthly fee, which was too high (by a lot) for small businesses.
I was disappointed, but hey, this is an adventure!