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Tips for choosing the social media management tool that’s right for you
Whilst all the tools here can save you time, they do have different strengths. Think about which social media channels are most important to you when selecting a tool.
All the tools outlined have Free versions. You get more functionality with the paid versions. Consider signing up for a free trial to try them out before committing.
Both Hootsuite and Post Planner offer discounts if you pay yearly. Try a monthly payment plan before committing to an annual plan, you can make sure your tool of choice works for you.
Hootsuite is a brilliant all round tool if you’re managing a range of social media sites.
Social media sites you can manage in Hootsuite include:
- Facebook (personal profiles, groups and company pages)
- LinkedIn (personal profiles and company pages)
- You Tube
Hootsuite key features
Posting and Scheduling
You can add text, photos and videos to your social media accounts and schedule your posts in advance.
Monitoring your accounts
It’s easy to keep track of your posts, messages and people who’ve mentioned you. If you’re a Twitter lover, you can also track hashtags about different topics.
For Bigger Businesses
Hootsuite’s team facility lets multiple staff members access and manage accounts.
What Hootsuite is great for
Managing multiple social media accounts in one place and keeping track of who’s saying what on social media.
The Pro version lets you connect up to 50 social media profiles. At £11.99 a month, it’s affordable for most businesses.
What’s not so great about Hootsuite
Not technically savvy or completely new to social media? Hootsuite may not be right for you. There’s so many options it can be overwhelming. Speed can also be an issue on slower internet connections.
Options for including images is limited. A particular issue is with posting multiple images to Facebook. Hootsuite lets you do this, but creates multiple individual posts.
At the time of writing, Hootsuite doesn’t work with Pinterest.
The Free version lets you add up to 3 profiles. You can also schedule posts and get basic analytics.
With HootSuite’s Pro plan, you can add up to 50 social media profiles. Also included is one “enhanced” report. My favourite feature is the bulk scheduling. You can download a template, create content offline then upload all your posts in one go.
You’re restricted to one user with the Free and Pro plans.
Also available from Hootsuite are Business and Enterprise plans. Pricing details for these plans aren’t published on the site, you need to arrange for a demo.
You can find full details on their plans page.
IT’s super easy on Buffer to schedule your social media content.
Buffer allows you to publish to:
- Facebook (personal profiles, business pages, groups)
- LinkedIn (personal profiles and company pages)
Key features of Buffer
Posting and scheduling
What’s great about Buffer
Buffer is very user friendly, so even if you’re not technically savvy you should find it easy to use. It’s a great option if you’re new to social media.
Another nice feature of Buffer is Pablo, a free tool to create social media images.
Buffer’s customer service is brilliant! Their team answer any queries quickly. They’re are the only company I’ve ever dealt with who sent me a very friendly thank you email whenever I paid them!
What’s not so great
The fact Buffer doesn’t let you keep an eye on what other people are saying and respond.
If you’re managing multiple profiles, there’s quite a hike in price between their “awesome” plan and the lowest level business plan.
Billing is in dollars, which isn’t ideal for UK users.
Buffer has a free plan, an “awesome” plan at $10 a month, then three business plans at $99, $199, and $399 per month.
You can find full details of pricing plans on their pricing page.
Post Planner key features
- Popular content suggestions, including images, humour, quotes and business
- Ideas – popular ideas for your own posts, ranging from questions to contests
- Post scheduling
- Integration with social media image creation tool Canva
What’s great about Post Planner
If you’re struggling to get going with Facebook, or looking for inspiration, then you may love Post Planner. There’s a lot of articles out there reporting big increases in Facebook engagement from businesses that use it.
What’s not so great about Post Planner
There are a few things I didn’t like about Post Planner.
- I found it far more difficult to learn than either Hootsuite or Buffer
- With a less than ideal internet connection it was really…..really….really slow!! In fact some functionality didn’t work at all.
- There are loads of ideas on Post Planner for social media content. But, I found many of them very US focused, a potential problem for UK users
- Too much marketing! Loads of emails. And regular messages when logging in encouraging upgrade to a more expensive account
Post Planner Pricing
Post Planner has a free plan, a “Love” plan at $9 a month, “ Guru” at $19 and “Master” at $49. You’ll get a discount if you pay annually.
You can find full details on their pricing page.