It seems that social media planning apps are everywhere with the growth of platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. In a simpler time, marketing experts would write an article, add some graphics and make sure that the piece was optimized for the search engines by appropriate use of keywords and link building.
A few adventuresome souls would post the piece to article and PR submission sites but, by and large, the success of the post was determined by how it ranked in the search engines.
But it’s no secret where most of the action is today. There’s a social media revolution going on and, if you want you get paid to get your content noticed or simply want to attract subscribers to your website, you certainly can’t ignore the social media bandwagon.
To be effective and efficient in dealing with social media planning, many marketers turn to social media sharing tools that can schedule, re-post, respond to followers and analyze the data for better results.
What follow is a compendium of review excerpts of some of the top social media managers on the market today. I have chosen the #1 selection of each review and have provided links to the full review and/or top 10 list.
Hootsuite has a special place in my heart, likely because it’s the first social media management platform that I used at my very first job as a Marketing Assistant. At the time, I was managing the company’s social strategy before social advertising had really taken off. I can still remember the hours upon hours I would spend putting together a posting content calendar and setting reminders for myself to tweet at certain times. This was until I discovered Hootsuite and my life as a frantic Twitter bird instantly changed. So what does the Hootsuite free plan include? The free plan is decently robust with the ability to:
Manage 3 social profiles in one place
Schedule 30 posts in advance
Generate leads with social contests
The free plan also includes basic analytics for tracking followers and various growth and content statistics and two RSS feed integrations. Not too shabby!
Read more at Margot da Cunha – Wordstream
Agorapulse is first on the list because it’s the social media planning tool of choice here at JeffBullas.com. For its price, it is far and away the most feature-packed option on the market.
Agorapulse lets you schedule content for Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Google+ all in one place. It also has dynamic reports on three social networks and bonus features such as running social promotions and managing your social media inbox.
Why Agorapulse wins the social media management race:
The pricing is reasonable given the rich list of features, starting as low as $49 a month.
The content publishing features are the best in the market, with beautiful visual previews of all content, and a robust evergreen content publishing system that will save you tons of time.
The social media inbox lets you quickly go through incoming messages across any of your social accounts, check them off, and keep the mess out of your email inbox.
The reporting is easy to customize, it looks awesome, and you can export reports as a PowerPoint presentation, which is especially good for agencies and in-house reporting requirements.
Read more from Jeff Bullas – jeffbullas.com
Sendible makes it easy to engage with your audience, monitor your brand and track results from one dashboard.
The Priority Inbox brings all your social messages from multiple networks and profiles into a single stream. From there you can identify important messages and take action. Only the unanswered messages remain in the inbox.
Sendible lets you schedule your content either individually or in bulk. Everything is stored in the interactive calendar, so if anything needs adjusting you can drag-and-drop the content accordingly. Once you discover your best-performing content, you can recycle it with repeating schedules.
Sendible also takes care of content curation. The content recommendation engine analyzes posts already shared on social media and suggests the best content most likely to generate high follower engagement.
There’s also an RSS Auto Posting feature so you can publish relevant quality content to social networks at regular intervals throughout the day from your blog and other favorites.
Sendible has a range of pre-designed templates to help you create in-depth social media reports for your clients and team members. The ready-to-go social media reports provide an instant snapshot of your social activity. Alternatively, you can create your own report by choosing from over 250 modules. Once your reports are looking good, you can arrange to send them via email on a regular basis.
With Sendible you can connect to most social networks including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube and more. On the advanced plan, you can even publish directly to WordPress, Blogger, and Tumblr.
Sendible offers a range of subscription plans based on the number of users and services that you want. They also offer a fully-customizable, white-label solution for larger teams and agencies. If you’re not sure what you’ll need, you can start with a 30-day free trial and then upgrade or downgrade as required.
Prices start from $29/month or $288/year (basic plan offers scheduling with re-queue functionality and a complete social inbox)
Read more from David Hartsone – Blogging Wizard
Sprout Social represents a solution that meets the needs of small businesses and massive brands alike.
An all-in-one platform that keeps marketers from juggling between software, Sprout’s easy-to-use interface and powerful features set it apart from the pack when it comes to social media scheduling tools.
For example, the bulk of brands out there are publishing content to multiple social platforms. Jumping back and forth between the likes of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn is nothing short of exhausting, right?
The ability to both schedule and post across multiple networks keeps your social strategy from becoming a massive time-sink. After all, it’s 2018: embracing the growing trend of social media automation is becoming an expectation for today’s brands rather than an exception to the rule.
Beyond scheduling, Sprout is an awesome tool for collaboration among marketing teams. User-level permissions provide specific access to marketing managers, writers and everyone in between to contribute to your social media calendar.
And speaking of calendars, Sprout’s calendar feature provides your team a bird’s eye view of what’s being published and promoted on any given day. This ensures that each and every piece of content you craft gets the attention it deserves.
Social media planning isn’t just about publishing content, either. Consider how features such as Sprout’s social media analytics and trend reports clue you in on how you can grow your following as well.
From analyzing hashtags to your top-performing posts, Sprout represents the ultimate optimization tool for brands looking to fine-tune their social presence in addition to scheduling content.
Read more from Brent Barnhart – Sprout Social
Buffer’s real strength is in its intuitive drag-and-drop social publishing and scheduling capabilities. Buffer for Business is designed to create, adjust, and post social content in a naturally fluid way. When scheduling a post, you start by toggling whichever social networks you’d like that post to go out to, or create a group of networks to send specific types of posts to.
After writing the post and dropping in a link, you’ll see one of thefavorite publishing features in Buffer: the ability to edit the display of the link preview—the title, description, and image contained on the content card that shows up in Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter feeds, for example. If the link doesn’t automatically pull an image, Buffer lets you upload and format your own in addition to adjusting the link preview’s title and descriptive text. Buffer also includes GIF functionality, allowing the social curator to replace the link preview with a GIF or video. Buffer’s built-in video player also grabs a screenshot from every 15 seconds in the video for use as a featured image when promoting the post. The image-focused posting features are the best of any third-party social publishing platform I’ve used, and uploads happen quickly with few or no errors. Buffer is also the only platform I tested that gives you multiple link shortening options—you can choose between the company’s in-house buff.ly links or bit.ly and j.mp options, both of which can link to an existing Bitly account. I use bit.ly links and can then track clicks and reach in both Buffer and Bitly.
In the Schedule tab, Buffer for Business allows users to set specific posting times for each day of the week, toggling each day’s post schedule on and off if, for instance, there’s a weekday holiday. You can set different time zones for different accounts if your business is operating social presences on more than one coast or country. Buffer also offers an Optimal Scheduling tool, which recommends the best times to share content on social media and will adjust the daily posting times according to your schedule so posts aren’t going out at exactly the same times each day….
Read more from Rob Marvin – PC Magazine
PostPlanner is a Facebook and Twitter automation and marketing tool.
It can help page administrators and group administrators automate their Facebook property and there are tons of helpful features help users to make most out of their Facebook and Twitter marketing efforts.
Let’s take a look at a quick feature list of this useful social media planning app:
Post queue: You set a time for posting, and add status updates in the queue. With two hours of work, you can easily automate a month’s work on your Facebook pages.
Targeting: This is of the most notable features of this app. Apart from queuing your post, you can also set a target audience for your post. For example, you can target a country- specific audience while scheduling or queuing your post.
Post link as image: Images work much better than direct links on Facebook, and with one click you can publish a post link as an image. This will not only increase the visibility of your link, you will also get more CTR.
RSS feed automation: You can automate publishing from the RSS feed. This is handy, but somehow I prefer manual posting to auto-posting. It is a good idea to link your feed with your Pocket app feed, and use it to share your best content.
Status idea engine: Status idea engine will help you to post quick updates using PostPlanner status ideas. There are unlimited questions and status ideas that can be used. The best part is that this will help you to increase engagement and communication, and thus obtain more “Likes”. The perfect way to beat Facebook EdgeRank!
Trending content: Using this feature, you can find the top trending content on the web based on any keyword. This is very helpful toward finding readable content on your pages and groups.
Post to the list: If you administrate many pages or groups, and you want to share the same content on all of them, you can can use this feature of PostPlanner to do exactly that. Simply create different list,s and share the same content on all of them. You can also manually share the same content on multiple pages or group, if you choose, and you can post to the groups that you have joined.
These are just few of the many features offered by this app.
For those who use Facebook pages and groups as serious marketing tools, the GURU plan is recommended.
Read more from Harsh Agrawal – ShoutMeLoud
No doubt there are favorites not mentioned here. Additionally, white these reviews highlight the best of the bunch, you will discover that while these social media planning apps can be extremely robust in their variety of features, there is often one favorite element found in one that will not be found in the others.
If you are serious about finding a soical media planning tool that will accomplish all your needs and will fit within your budget, it’s recommended that you perform due diligence and examine each at your leisure.
Each of these has a free trial period offer and there are usually online coupons to help sweeten the price. Indeed, some have a free offer if you are uncertain about your needs or future commitments.
Lastly, if there is one thing that is certain about social media planning apps, its that there will be new crop available in the weeks and months to come. You might also be interested in Social Media Marketing: Turning Lemons Into Lemonade and Social Media Marketing For Fun And Profit.