Are you making the most out of your social media strategy? It goes beyond just having the latest and greatest tips at your disposal, or even posting every single day. Sure, both can help you, but you have to be able to measure your results to adjust your tactics and grow.
You also need a way to post efficiently and quickly, or you will end up spending hours on your social marketing. Social dashboards are no longer a nifty luxury, but an absolutely essential tool.
Even small blogs or websites should have some kind of dashboard to optimize their social postings, and scale their efforts based on the valuable metrics they provide.
Knowing the popularity of these tools, they have been sprouting out of the ground like weeds. How do they measure up?
Which one will be best for you? Here are eight of the biggest names compared.
The Pro version of the tool has more advanced scheduling, search and monitoring tools. You can add more apps to customize it to your needs. You add networks, then create streams for each one with different segments like Retweets, Twitter Lists, Direct Messages (DM's), Scheduled Posts, and more.
You can also create streams with constantly updating hashtag or search monitoring, or general keywords. Three can be added per stream. A Pro account comes with three free analytics reports that regularly update. These are for Facebook, Twitter, and Ow.ly. But you can add additional reports using credits. To add more credits you can pay a bit more.
The benefits of the credit system is that analytics is as in depth as you want it to be. You don't have a lot of frills you don't need, and it keeps costs down. Paid plans start at $9.99 per month.
The downside to Hootsuite is that they no longer support Pinterest, though there is an app for integrating with Tailwind (another tool on this list)
If you need a basic understanding what social media tasks you are going to be dealing with, check out this detailed guide that takes you right through essential basics.
As mentioned before, Pinterest is not a supported platform on most social dashboards, though it used to be. This is an annoying (but workable) solution. Tailwind provides a number of helpful tools for planning, scheduling and monitoring pins. In this video Ms. Ileane shares 5 Ways to Use Tailwindapp to Scheduled Your Pins.
Tailwind also offers Instagram scheduling and this Hashtag finder is very unique.
When you hear 'all-in-one', this is what you expect to find but Cyfe is a unique entity that actually delivers on the promise. It isn't just about social marketing, but also sales, support and infrastructure.
You can use both pre-built widgets and customized data reports to monitor everything in your company from the same platform. It creates different dashboards for each need, so users can switch between them without getting overwhelmed.
They have a free version, with a paid membership $19 per month ($14 per month paid annually). It is perfect if you are needing to export a lot of data for later use.
Oktopost is the only truly B2B dashboard on this list. It's all built around the ability to manage the team effectively. It even has an option to manage interns or newer employees giving you the ability to approve their update queue.
It has one of the most powerful conversion tracking functionalities I am aware of: You are able to see which exactly social media update let the customer convert and even previous messages that user saw and clicked. It's incredibly useful for understanding what led the customer to the final conversion.
[tweet_box design="box_04"]MavSocial seems to be the perfect solution for a visual marketer.[/tweet_box]
It has a strong support for visual updates (You can upload an image to with each of your campaigns) and it supports YouTube, Instagram and Tumblr.
It would be a perfect tool for me only if it supported Pinterest. I love visual marketing and MavSocial is all about it but Pinterest is a huge part of visual marketing for me!
There's no Google Plus support either (which I still love using)!
Otherwise, the functionality is just awesome... And free!
SproutSocial is very similar to other social dashboards in that it offers most of the same features. You can discover, search, plan, post and monitor from a single account. It allows you to add plenty of different networks.
But it has two focuses that make it a bit different: relationship building, and adaptability for different devices. You will be getting more in depth with SproutSocial than with most others.
For teams, their software is pretty customizable. So if flexibility is more important to you in how your team interacts and works together, this might be a better option than the more rigid Hootsuite. Though you are going to pay a higher price, with paid plans starting at $59 per month for the first tier.
Is measuring ROI alongside your social strategy important to you? If so, this tool is great. Sendible is a social media management tool that has a surprising number of compatible sites (Pinterest and Flickr included). You can even compose blog posts from right there on your dashboard.
It is a bit more expensive than most, but if you are willing to pay the $59 and you have a blog, this one might be a good option. Their lowest plan allows up to 30 services to be added. It is compatible with group work.
Find the best way to publish posts on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter and more. Get the best hashtags for the content, and improve your overall engagement with users. Pinterest is an interesting platform, as it doesn't often engage on a deeper level than pinning.
This could potentially up your chances of finding that deeper involvement.
But it doesn't stop there; you can also improve your marketing to help drive lead generation, or for direct engagement with either your customer base or influencers.
Their free version is limited. But their basic plan is only $29 per month and it supports Tumblr! Watch Ms. Ileane demonstrate why you should Schedule Your Pins With ViralTag
Schedule Instagram Posts with ViralTag too!
Buffer is unique. It doesn't just give you scheduling, but an easier way to constantly update. Where tools like Hootsuite are a well rounded dashboard, this is a simple tool.
You fill up your queue, set the times it should release content, then let it go. It has limited applications, but if your goal is to remain active and build a follow base as a consequence, it has what you need.
Try this Buffer Tip for Finding Top Tweets
Also, I prefer those shorteners that use 301 redirect (moved permanently) to my URL. That means, if someone use that shortened link in the article, my URL still gets all the credit. This tool is a quick way to check that out:
Which ones do you choose?
|Cheapest monthly price||Supports||Best for...|
|Hootsuite Pro+Tailwind||$9.99||Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google Plus||Monitoring and contributing/scheduling to multiple Facebook business pages and Google Plus pages.|
|+$9.99||[Integrates with Hootsuite to add Pinterest to it]|
|Cyfe||$19||Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus, Instagram, Pinterest, Slideshare, Flickr, Vimeo, Youtube||Monitoring basic social media stats of your team members, archiving social media search results, managing your brand|
|Oktopost||$55||Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Google||Best for B2B business (agencies providing social media services)|
|MavSocial||Free||Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram and Tumblr||Great for lots of purposes. It's a very robust and user-friendly solution, especially if you are into visual marketing.|
|Buffer||$10||Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Google Plus, Pinterest||Quickly creating social media editorial calendars (especially if you are getting ready to your travel season!)|
|SproutSocial||$59||Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.||Managing a team working on a social media campaign together|
|Sendible||$59||Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook||I haven't tested this one enough|
|ViralTag||$29||Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, Linkedin, Pinterest||I haven't tested this one enough|
Any dashboard you think belong on the list? Have experience with any you want to share? Let us know in the comments!
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