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What are social media management services?
No matter the size of your business, social media is one of the most effective ways to move traffic towards your website. Crafting a presence on all the major sites, including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, is the easiest way to gain visibility online. We must admit, juggling a multitude of presences can be tiring, even when the company has a community manager whose job it is to create an online presence. Now however, businesses can turn to social media management services!
But since there are so many social media management services on the market, how do you decide which is the best option for your business? You must consider aspects such as what the program comes equipped with, including marketing software, dashboards and publishing devices. Read on to find all the details regarding social media management tools and the best services on the market!
What is a social media management service?
Although your business or enterprise may already have dabbled in the waters of social media, you may have access to a ton of business-critical data and no idea what to do with it. Even if you work directly in marketing or as a community manager, you may not be a social media expert and lack the basic understanding of what to do with all this information.
Luckily, social media management services exist! These services offer business owners the tools to streamline and consolidate multiple social media accounts and marketing tasks. Choosing a service will directly depend on what type of data you are looking to understand, as well as what social media platforms you want managed.
There are core tasks that social media management services offer, and these could include anything from having a better understanding of your competitors, your customers, or being aware of any online chatter regarding your business. Also, most of these services complete a competitive and community analysis while offering a home base for content creation and social publishing.
Also worth mentioning is that the following tools can be used in tandem with one another. Sound like something your business could utilize? Read on to find the best options on the market!
Top 4 Social Media Management Services
Currently, Hootsuite is probably the most popular of the social media management services on the market. This tool is used collaboratively for both businesses and individuals who are looking to host executive campaigns across multiple social networks. Hootsuite is most notable for its accessibility, as it can easily manage multiple accounts, as well as its SaaS (Software-as-a-service) social media analytics tools, tracking conversations as well as measuring the results of running campaigns.
The account interface is straightforward and easy to use and the service offers a free or pro account, as well as the enterprise option for businesses with a large framework of social presence. The pro account has a more detailed analytics tool, which provides metrics, reports and visual streams for multiple profiles. There is no limit to how many accounts can be managed at one time. Other features include enhanced analytics, the integration of Google Analytics and Facebook, as well as advanced message scheduling.
Sprout Social is growing in popularity, as this sleekly designed suite of tools will offer you strong analytic capabilities. The marketing-novice may find this service slightly overwhelming initially. However, Sprout Social is different in that this social media management service focuses on the idea that customer communication and engagement should be open and more in-depth. This service supports all the major social networks, as well as having Google Analytics integrated into its reporting.
The beautiful design of this service's interface makes it appealing, alongside the well-thought out lineup of partners, networks, strong analytics tools and easy-to-digest pricing. Sprout Social is great because you can try it for 30 days and decide if it’s worth shelling out the cash. If you’ve settled on the service, there are 4 pricing tiers, and the amount you spend will be directly dependant on the number of profiles you will be able to manage as well as the additional features available to you. Unfortunately, this service is not available in as many languages as Hootsuite, but can connect with Google Translate to translate those missing languages.
Buffer takes on a bit of a different form, and acts as a competent publishing platform for major social media sites. As it develops, it gains more and more analytics features alongside these capabilities. This service should be considered by start-ups rather than full-blown enterprises, as it has limitations regarding outward-facing analytics. Its interface is exceptionally user-friendly, it has excellent publishing capabilities, and is an excellent option for the social media savvy small business.
Like Sprout Social, the more money you spend, the more social profiles and members you can add to an account. There are 3 tiers of social media management plan, and all 3 have the same core functions, including scheduled posts, RSS feed integration and access to your analytics. Buffer is easy to navigate, allowing you to make your social media posting more efficient. Recently, its use has grown in popularity based on the mobile app and the browser extension, making it easy to share content while in transit.
Social Pilot is another social media management service that allows you to set up and sync several social media accounts as well as schedule posts. Social Pilot connects with just a few of the major social media channels, including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. This service is also available as a Chrome extension and can be accessed from any browser.
The dashboard is exceptionally easy to understand, and out of all of the social media management services listed, Social Pilot is the least expensive of the bunch. If you are part of a smaller company and are only looking to spend minimally on social media management, then Social Pilot is recommended. The one downfall of this service is that Social Pilot does not connect to all social media sites, and another service or program may be necessary if your business is looking to complete specific tasks that it does not have.
Other examples of popular platforms include Zoho Social, Synthesio, Everypost and more. Although we have only featured 4 social media management services in this article, each platform offers a variety of different tools and tricks, so make sure to do extensive research before settling on one!
These services can be useful for brands and companies of all sizes, as they help save time and potentially even money, as employees have more time to devote to other tasks. Even community managers, whose full-time task consists in taking care of a company's social media, will be able to make the most of these tools, finding ways to expand online presence and community interactions.
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