Nowadays, almost everyone is on social media, and numerous social media platforms are competing for everyone’s attention. Developing an online presence is challenging, but will benefit you to be consistently active on all relevant channels to your business. That said, it can be overwhelming as there are so many social media platforms to post on.
This is where social media management tools come in. Social media management tools are built to allow the user to track, publish, monitor and manage one to many social media channels in one place. They are designed to make you and your team’s lives much more manageable and help you to keep everything organised in one place.
You will be able to schedule multiple posts efficiently, to be posted minutes to months in advance (although posting so far in advance may not be the best idea – as you want to be reactive to developments within your industry). These handy platforms prevent you from having to constantly set reminders to post. For example, you could dedicate a day to scheduling a month’s worth of posts so they can be assigned automatically while you get on with more pressing business matters.
The tools should also help you keep track of conversation and social listening and make your life easier. In this blog, we go through some of the most well-known management tools at your disposal for small to large businesses, free and paid. We also give a shout out to the array of social media management packages on offer from all digital marketing agencies alike. Continue reading for the ultimate guide to social media management assistance for your business!
The Top Social Media Management Platforms
HootSuite – TrustRadius 8 out of 10 (987 reviews and ratings).
This is likely the first platform that springs to mind. It is among the most popular, used by 18 million people across 175 + countries, and a handy tool that won’t break your bank. Hootsuite is a social media management tool perfect for building awareness of your brand and an online presence.
Hootsuite boasts that you can publish and schedule your posts with great ease, engage customers, monitor activity and advertising content, and analyse results all within the platform.
It starts from £39 per month for individuals, all the way up to £569 for businesses. But it doesn’t stop there – and you can enquire about taking it further and upgrading if you need it, yet no price is explicitly stated, as this would purely depend on your needs.
The services it has to offer include the ability to bulk schedule, host multiple accounts, analytics, all the while being easy to use, which draws people to the platform.
Meltwater – TrustRadius 7.4 out of 10 (149 reviews and ratings)
Meltwater is a sophisticated social media management tool, an all-in-one media intelligence platform offering much more than simply posting on social media. It is visually well designed for multiple functions within organisations, from PR to general marketing and more.
It is better suited for more enterprise-sized corporations. For example, Meltwater claim they are trusted by renowned companies such as Ogilvy, H&M, Google and The Economist.
Some of the services they provide are:
- Media Monitoring
- Social Listening
- Journalist Database & PR Outreach
- Social Publishing & Engagement
- Newsletter & Newsfeeds
- Consumer & Audience Insights
- Social Influencer Management
- Reporting & Analytics
As you can see, there is a lot more than just social media management on offer, which makes Meltwater ideal for large-scale organisations with multiple functions who want to reduce the amounts of different software they have to use.
Content Cal/Adobe Express -TrustRadius 8.8 out of 10 (112 reviews and ratings)
Content Cal has joined forces with Adobe (responsible for photoshop, illustrator and other famous creative platforms). You can create visually dynamic and engaging assets on Adobe Express within the platform.
Like Hootsuite, you can schedule posts on a calendar (Content Scheduler within Adobe Express), where you can use social media features and sophisticated design templates.
What’s more, this platform is more affordable than alternatives, with a free plan, and the paid premium version for around £10 a month. That said, there are limited features compared to Hootsuite.
MailChimp – TrustRadius 8.1 out of 10 (2365 reviews and ratings)
The automation tool offers a wide range of services but is most known as the go-to email marketing campaign software. It is an all-in-one platform for communications to clients, consumers and stakeholders.
You can create beautifully designed and dynamic emails for your email campaigns on MailChimp. You can see how the emails perform by tracking open rates, click-through rates, and more. Prices range from free to approximately £300. Some features you will be able to take advantage of depending on the chosen plan are:
- Marketing CRM
- Creative Assistant
- Email & landing page templates
- A/B testing
- Customer journey and branching points
- Advanced segmentation
- Comparative reporting.
Sprout Social – TrustRadius 8.4 out of 10 (453 reviews and ratings)
This all in one social media management platform is a top-rated tool which boasts user-friendliness and simplicity. Sprout Social claims to be a leader in usability, customer support and satisfaction, ROI and user adoption.
Sprout Social allows you to manage multiple social media platforms in one place for scheduling, tracking, and easy to digest, well designed reports on how posts and campaigns have performed.
HubSpot – TrustRadius 8.6 out of 10 (1977 reviews and ratings)
HubSpot is definitely more suited for larger companies, HubSpot has a lot to offer and a wide range of packages depending on what meets your organisation’s needs the most, from digital marketing to Customer Relationship management.
Beyond scheduling posts, HubSpot has packages to fit all marketing functions. They include:
- Marketing Hub – This is for post scheduling, growing traffic, and converting leads.
- Sales Hub – For your sales-oriented marketing, the Sales Hub aims to assist you close deals quicker with various boosting tools for your operations.
- Service Hub – Closing the gap with customers, this platform is designed to assist in meeting your customer needs and aims to turn happy customers into growth.
- CMS Hub – This content management system is a place where you can create and manage websites while optimising for SEO.
Hubspot is known to be very easy to use but may lack some personalisation features in some areas.
Social Media Management Platforms: An Overview
All the aforementioned platforms are great, but each will meet your organisation’s needs differently. Do put in the research to see which is the best fit; many of them, in fact, offer free trials so you can actively decide which is the best match. The benefits of using a social media management tool seem to outweigh the cons for most.
One benefit is the time factor, and as a social media manager or marketer, your work is already stacked full. Planning campaigns online take so much work, especially with multiple functions at play. You will unlikely have the time (or memory!) to post every piece of content on the correct day. Having everything in one place, with access for multiple colleagues, can streamline processes massively.
That said, the budget does not always allow some to fully use the software, especially for small businesses, and the free versions are often very limited in what they offer. Before you finalise your decision on what software to invest make sure it has the bare minimum capabilities to:
- Publish content – The absolute minimum is to be able to post on multiple channels in one place. Check what tool is compatible with the social channels you want to post on. You should be able to create the post and preview what it will look like before publishing. This is particularly handy when organising the aesthetic of your Instagram feed!
- Schedule in advance – Being able to schedule posts for the future is handy and time-saving – but remember not to overdo it and plan too far in advance, as this will reduce your adaptability to changing trends and what is currently relevant in your industry.
- User friendly – The platform you choose needs to be easy to use and intuitive. You cannot always be there to show your team how to use every single feature. Training is necessary, but you and your colleagues shouldn’t feel out of your depth when utilising the platform. It is supposed to make your life easier, not more difficult!
- Reuse organic content – Repost some of your organic content when necessary, so that you do not have to create brand new unique content each time, as that can be time-consuming. That doesn’t mean constantly reposting; as we’re sure you know, it pays well to be original. When you repost, make sure you are intentional with it and not just doing it for the sake of it. If you are unsure if it will add value, it might be best not to.
- Track, analyse and provide metrics and insights – If you cannot track or set relevant KPIs as a goal to work towards or to achieve results that are better than last time, there is, frankly, little to no point. Ideally, your metrics need to be easy to read and understand, but more importantly, they need to be accurate. Sending inaccuracies or distorted data to your manager or client can hugely harm your credibility.
Types of Social Media Management Packages
Managing social media, even on the abovementioned platforms, can feel overwhelming, especially if you have little marketing experience or a small marketing team. Many find that acquiring help from social media experts to be the best way forward. But what packages do they have to offer, and how can they help your business? It would largely depend on the agency size and services that they specialize in. First, they might provide consultation to understand your needs, which, in our opinion, should be free at first! After all, you need to try before you buy.
The core focus of most agencies will be to ensure that you build brand awareness and interest, connect with your target audience, develop a loyal online following, and develop brand advocacy, setting you apart from your competitors. To achieve the above, agencies that provide social media management will include a range of specific services – often as part of a package. As with most other services, there will be different options based on price. For example, a ‘premium’ social media package may include copywriting services, in addition to basic social media strategy and content creation. Other full-suite agencies may also offer in-house SEO optimization as another potential expense. Standard social media agencies will generally offer the below – yet, naturally, package deals will vary based on hours spent per month, in direct relation to price.
Social Media Strategy
Social media strategy is one of the most critical components of social media Management. At this stage, an audit takes place to see where you are now: what type of content you are sending out, and how well it performs, whilst comparing results against the industry standard. A complete competitor analysis will help provide insight on how to position your business at a competitive advantage by resonating with your target audience better than your competitors. Once audits are complete, agencies will use the information to assist in planning content and tactics moving forward. This might include the type of content to create, recurring themes, what mediums are used and when and where to post.
Content that resonates with the consumer is the best way to attract users. This is why researching and learning what your customers like and the platforms they are active on are essential in achieving positive results. At the same time, keeping up to date with trends within your industry is beneficial to ensure you come across as current and in the know. Content can include anything from informative articles and entertaining blogs, to reels on Instagram, to engaging visuals for Facebook and short form videos for TikTok. Frankly, the possibilities are endless. Whatever the goal, and whatever the platform, it is vital that the agency understands your brand, tone of voice and core values to ensure these are consistently replicated when out in the wild!
Social media is built around communicating and socialising digitally. High-quality content is one thing, but joining the conversation is another. Engaging with users is another avenue which can help attain and retain followers whilst contributing to your engagement rate. Whether you are B2B or B2C, liking, commenting, and messaging will contribute to building an active community within your space and brand while positively impacting the digital version of word of mouth.
And it really doesn’t stop there. As mentioned earlier, agencies small and large can offer further services in SEO, PPC, email marketing, strategy and consultation, and many other above and below-the-line tactics.
We hope this blog post was insightful and helped provide information on the type of software and social media packages out there within the loud digital climate.
To peruse the range of social media management services on offer at our full-suite digital marketing agency, click here. We hope to hear from you soon