I have spoken with many small business owners and have worked with many clients who are not familiar with the many faucets of the social media world. They desire to be a social media influencer and own their brand online. This is where my services come into play as I work with them to create an online presence that is both valuable and influential. It takes a bit more than just having a basic social media account though. In this post, I will explain why you need a social media management software and the best software for the job!
Most small businesses and bloggers have more than one social media account. My clients often start with the basic three which are used for both SEO and community; they are Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus. I highly recommend an Instagram presence but this is an add-on service because it requires much more time and strategy to become an established influencer.
Social media management softwares help you develop a posting strategy while keeping organized by storing all analytics in one place. This makes it’s easy to create a schedule based on optimized posting days and times to gain the broadest reach and most engagement.
When trying to establish a social media presence, it won’t take long to realize that things can quickly become chaotic. For instance, if you want to keep up with trending hashtags on certain days of the week (i.e. #WednesdayWisdom or #ThrowbackThursday), you will need to know which social media platforms these are trending on, what time is best for posting, and what content does best on each platform (GIF, short video, image, etc).
Then, you will need to create the content and upload it in advance. It is incredibly hard – even working with one social media account – to remember to post at the optimal time and include all relevant hashtags and information.
A good social media management software will help you keep organized by allowing you to upload content in advance. This will leave time for you to interact with potential customers and perform audience growth by networking and establishing relationships instead of trying to post to all of your accounts every single day.
There have been conflicting articles that discuss SEO tactics and third-party scheduling services. My research has been about 50/50. 50% of digital marketers claim Facebook and Instagram penalize the reach of posts that are scheduled by a third-party software. The penalty claimed to be around 5%. If this is true, that means that because you choose to schedule posts on a third-party software, they will have a shorter reach than those you post live or schedule directly on the social media network (Facebook allows you to schedule posts ahead of time on business pages).
Through my own research, I have not found that this is the case. In fact, I used Hootsuite to schedule on Facebook for a few months while my colleagues scheduled directly to Facebook. The analytics showed that my posts were doing significantly better than those of my colleagues. If you choose to use a third-party software to schedule, keep a close eye on your analytics so that you can make changes if you start to see your posts being penalized by obtaining a significantly lower reach.
Hootsuite is one of the cheapest social media management softwares on the market. Their smallest package is free! While their platform is plain and visually unappealing, they get the job done. The great thing about Hootsuite is that it is very basic and straight forward. They offer a calendar system so that you can view a months worth of scheduled posts, which is great for organization and planning in advance.
The downside to Hootsuite is that you may find yourself buying many more additional third-party softwares to make up where they are lacking. For example, you may need to buy another scheduling service for Instagram as Hootsuite doesn’t offer this feature. You will also want to buy another analytic service so that you can generate more accurate and easy-to-read analytics to create SEO tactics. In the end, this service may not be the cheapest option but I do highly recommend them as a starting point!
I’ll admit, I found CoSchedule quite confusing. I would say that CoSchedule is Hootsuite’s more attractive (and more expensive) sister. The interface is inviting and looks user-friendly; however, I found the terms they used to be most confusing. What I do like about CoSchedule is how they connect directly to WordPress. This is great for bloggers! You can promote your blog posts more easily over social media platforms by simply connecting your CoSchedule account to WordPress. You can create a calendar that lists your blog posts and their publishing dates and create different graphics to correlate on social media networks. CoSchedule offers a one month free trial, which I strongly suggest for bloggers who use WordPress!
And finally, the mother of all social media management softwares. Sprout Social is my absolute favorite. Yes, they are on the higher end of the financial scale; however, with Sprout Social you will not a third-party analytic service like Rival IQ. The analytics on Sprout are in-depth and include everything you need to know to create a great SEO plan for your social networks. They offer an Instagram scheduling service that isn’t quite ideal yet but knowing Sprout Social, it will be soon.
Sprout Social saves me loads of time because their scheduling calendar is incredibly user friendly and easy to move around. It has a click and drag feature that allows you to move things around without manually changing the date and time (Hootsuite does not offer this feature), which really will save you a lot of time in the long run.
It’s my favorite because it is user-friendly through and through. The tutorials they offer will help you make the most of your experience by showing you what numbers to look at when it comes to analytics and even creating optimized posting times so that you don’t have to keep a separate document to track when to post. I could sing their praises forever. I fell in love over my one month FREE trial and highly recommend you utilize the free trial to see for yourself!
When it comes to social media management software, make sure that you have the basics covered. You will need a platform that you understand, can easily use, and that allows you to create new strategies as you grow. I hope this post has shed some light on these services. Do you have a favorite posting software? Let me know in the comments, I am always on the look out for the next best thing!