Wait, how do you know people are conversing about your products, services, or even brand on social media? Perhaps, if they did tag your profile you will know it after checking your notifications. If they forgot or didn’t tag you knowingly you will have to search on all the social media platforms to find out. Very tedious! But there is a better way to do it, using social media management tools. Today, there are countless social media sites: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, QZone, TikTok, Linkedin, WeChat, Tumblr, just name them. Consequently, there is an increased use of social media and this has been a critical contributor to the rise in the number of devices – laptops, smartphones, tablets, et al. – connected to the web across the globe. Users can have multiple accounts on the same device as there are no restrictions on using several social networks. The ideal marketing strategy for businesses is to devise ways of managing multiple social media accounts to reach out to various demographics in these channels. And that’s where social media monitoring tools such as Buffer, Postfity, Hootsuite, Hubspot, etc. come in. These are user-friendly tools that allow people to handle several accounts and business profiles/pages from a well-structured user interface.
There’re tools particularly designed to assist in picking out the relevant conversations and some of them can monitor even a couple of social media platforms from one place. Others allow users to monitor different trends and keywords. Buffer is a renowned social media tool that is used by pro-marketers to share posts and even set timings to achieve incredible results and drive a great deal of traffic to their blog. Buffer allows scheduling of content across multitudes of social media channels through a single dashboard. This wonderful tool began as a scheduling enabler for Twitter and later became very helpful among the other Twitter tools in the marketing industry. With time, Buffer has undergone various transformations. Today the tool comes with features such as a comprehensive feed for various social networks, compatibility with various social networks, a visual calendar, and the ability to re-buffer published posts.
Besides, Buffer is preferred by individuals and business owners operating small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The tool is easy to configure and navigate with advanced capabilities and reliability. It features Pablo, a content creation enabler which is a handy inclusion to this tool and assists in making up its lack of integration with Google Drive. Buffer can be used for scheduling posts in advance in order to keep social media platforms thriving as well as in the measurement of success with the help of the analytic features offered by the tool. The tool addresses the requirement to stay active and be a champion on social media, particularly in competitive industries. Unfortunately, the analytics tend to be a bit expensive; the upgrade required in order to make access to the analytics is quite costly. Also, the tool doesn’t come with a media library. A media library enables users to upload photos they aren’t using right away in case they need them in the future. Although Buffer offers a variety of flexible plans like a free trial, small business owners might find it hard to leverage the credible capabilities of the tool without investing huge sums of capital on subscriptions. Instead, they opt to use other monitoring tools – Buffer alternative – to take care of marketing activities such as post scheduling, creation of content, analytics, and even publishing. These include Postfity, Hootsuite, eClincher, HubSpot, Keyhole, CoSchedule, Agorapulse, Socialbakers, Zoho Social, Sendible, and Brand24 among others.
Postfity is by far the slickest, easiest-to-use, and cheapest internet social media scheduler provider that enables business owners and individual account owners to stay atop of their social media efforts.
Postifty is a social media management tool that allow you to publish content to 5 main social media platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Vkontakte – and soon also Pinterest. You can also schedule videos to Twitter and LinkedIn, and soon to Instagram stories and Pinterest as well! It also allows you to analyze the results of the posted content – the number of likes, comments and shares on each post.
What’s different from Buffer?
Apart from a lower price, Postfity also has a few interesting features that other social media schedulers do not.
Since it was designed especially for small business owners that do not have a lot of time to create content, it actually has two ways to suggest content to its users:
One such functionality is Post Ideas: a ready-to-use, curated list of articles on different topics that you can share to your accounts when you don’t have any other content.
Another is Social Tips Calendar, which literally gives the users ready-to-use post templates with motivational quotes and engaging questions for every day of the week:
Also, Postfity boasts an in-built photo editor with a directory of free stock images.
Another unique feature is the option to schedule Facebook covers:
Functionalities & Benefits
Analyze: with this platform, you can easily keep track of your audience to engage and develop. You are only required to choose one of their premium plans and be provided with advanced analytics that assists you in knowing your target. Users can get insights on their social media activities, compare different data types such as clicked links, comments, shares, et al. They can also plan, schedule, and line up content with their workmates/peers creating a team.
Manage: it has partnered with several social media platforms and pooled them into a single, user-friendly platform. By launching their application/software/program/website, you can easily link up to multitudes of accounts that you can monitor from a single interface.
Time-saving: without Postfity, probably you would spend hours every day posting content in your social media accounts. But thanks to this wonderful app as it can assist you in scheduling posts for a whole week in minutes saving you time.
Postfity offers three plans for subscribers to choose from and a generous 30-day no-card, no obligations trial period.
Mini: supports up to 15 social media accounts and 100 pending posts. Monthly subscription fee is $9.99.
Professional: supports up to 30 social media accounts and 1,000 pending posts. Monthly subscription fee is $24.99.
Agency: supports up to 200 social media accounts and 10,000 pending posts. Monthly subscription fee is $79.99.
Postfity is available in English and Polish language versions.
Pic Courtesy: postplanner.com
It’s a cloud-powered social media management tool for SMEs and large establishments. It analyzes and predicts management activities on social sites allowing users to find quality information, publishing calendar, managing posts, and sales. Users can add their social accounts to their social feeds, or pull images and blog posts from the feeds and rate them depending on the engagement. Post Planner can be accessed using PCs, tablets, and smartphones and supported by the majority of operating systems – Windows XP, Vista, 2000, 7, 8, 10, and Mac OS.
Post Planners offers a variety of packages for users to choose from depending on their needs. The available ones are:
- Starter pack at $3 per month,
- Love package at $11 per month,
- Guru package at $24 per month,
- Master package at $59 per month, and
- Agency package at $125 per month.
Pic Courtesy: hootsuite.com
It’s one of the best monitoring tools for the creation and management of marketing campaigns. Rather than managing different platforms manually, with Hootsuite, you can handle all of them from a dashboard. From the dashboard, you can schedule messages, track conversations, manage a couple of business profiles/pages, among other business activities. The web-powered tool can be used with different social media channels. It offers some free courses to assist users to get started with business campaigns. Hootsuite also comes with a limited free plan.
Free Trial, enterprise pricing, $19 monthly, $99 monthly, and $499 monthly.
Pic Courtesy: eclincher.com
It’s a robust monitoring tool with multitudes of features that can be used by SMEs to simplify their presence in social media. eClincher is renowned for its user-friendly monitoring of social media and comes with a centralized inbox. This tool features properties like scheduling, engagement, keyword tracking, marketing automation, publishing, team collaboration, analytics, and content curation among others. eClincher is popular for its feature, pocket integration which is used for sharing any content that is kept in your pocket account.
14-day free trial, base subscription starting at $59 monthly.
Pic Courtesy: coschedule.com
This tool is undoubtedly one of the best monitoring tools. Actually, it’s a business calendar used to manage projects from a single dashboard. With CoSchedule, it’s easy to share and publish content at the same time hence saving time. It allows users to monitor social media activities from an integrated platform. It’s an organizer tool that integrates various social networks and assists SME owners with a wide range of features such as analytics, automatic notifications, content and campaign management, custom branding, reporting, statistics, and 3rd party integrations among others.
at least $120 monthly for social organizer plans supporting up to three users. Top-tier accounts support up to ten users and you’re required to pay extra to include more users.
Pic Courtesy: agorapulse.com
It’s regarded as an all-in-one monitoring or publishing tool and comes with capabilities like engagement, comment moderation, visual calendar, analytics, scheduling, follower profiling, unified inbox, suggesting relevant hashtags, and keyword monitoring. The inbox gathers all your mentions in social media accounts while the listening feature enables users to search for URLs, keywords, et al. The tool enables users to keep track of comments on social media ads.
14-day free trial, Solo plan monthly subscription of $79
Pic Courtesy: .socialbakers.com
It’s an AI-powered marketing and analytics tool that allows SME owners to publish their content/information at the appropriate time to attract maximum hits. It comes with a user-friendly interface that allows easy measurement, comparison, and optimization of marketing campaigns. Its capabilities include reporting, posting, analytics, Ad insights, data integration, and predictive intelligence. It allows the IT team to analyze metrics in a single platform. Its filtering functionality and capability to retrieve reports are extremely valuable.
free-trial, and starting price of $200 monthly subscription
Pic Courtesy: zoho.com
It’s more of a social media monitoring tool meant for small and medium-sized enterprises and agencies. This tool proves to be a suitable Buffer alternative with incredible capabilities like SmartQ prediction. The tool predicts the appropriate times to post to get maximum hit and engagement. With this tool, you can perform scheduling and publication of posts, monitoring of social activities, team collaboration, custom reporting, social media listening, and analyzing your performance on social media. In the dashboard, you can receive real-time updates on how your brand is being reviewed.
15-day free trial, $200 monthly subscription supporting five users.
Pic Courtesy: sendible.com
It’s a social media monitoring tool that’s used for amplification and management of several brands on social networks. Sendible is built for SMEs and agencies that often have multitudes of clients. Its key features include social listening, integrated social inbox, team collaboration, content calendar. Custom reporting, publishing, scheduling, and lead generation. Also, users can respond to messages and comments, monitor keywords, and their rivals on social media. Comparing Sendible with Buffer, the latter is designed to necessitate social media marketing management while the former goes beyond that, it’s meant to also track online campaigns outside the social media spectrum. Its CRM functionality makes it stand out among other monitoring tools.
Free Trial, enterprise pricing, $19 monthly, $99 monthly, and $499 monthly.
Pic Courtesy: keyhole.co
Instead of finding individual mentions in social media, Keyhole offers trends, insights as well as for analytics to preferred keywords, hashtags, and accounts. Ultimately, the users can gather and report results rather than just responding to mere mentions on social media.
Pricing starts from $165 per month
Pic Courtesy: hubspot.com
It’s an automation application that covers all sorts of content from social media to SEO. Hubspot unifies various marketing segments offering a better position of monitoring leads and clients on social media.
Its features are included in plans that start from $200 monthly.
Pic Courtesy: brand24.com
It’s a powerful yet cheap management tool for people who want to monitor content on social media. Besides its operation on social media platforms, the tool can be used to monitor blogs and forums or any other sites where your brand is mentioned. The tool gathers your mentions and allows you to respond to them in addition to analyzing your reach, interactions, and sentiments on social media.
there are different packages, a $49 monthly subscription, a $99 monthly subscription, and a $399 monthly subscription.
There you’re and you already got it. Sure, Buffer is one of the most commonly used social media monitoring tools but is enabling business owners of small and medium enterprises to get better features at even competitive prices. For you to build a solid strategy, you’re required to get the appropriate tool and with the above list, it’s easy for you to make a good decision on which tool to adopt.
Rithesh Raghavan is the co-founder of Acowebs, an online store for eCommerce plugins with 25000+ satisfied customers across the globe. Having a rich experience of 17+ years in Digital Marketing, Rithesh loves to write up his thoughts on the latest trends and developments in the world of IT and software development.