Top Tools for Social Media Management

For companies who have dived into the new and exciting world
of social media, it is very likely that they will have more than just one
account on one channel to manage, and getting content out in a timely and
ordered manner on multiple channels is a struggle for most. That is why so many
turn to social media management tools which allow you to link up most, if not
all, of your accounts on various channels and use the tool to schedule when
posts will go out and on what channels, as well as monitoring the activity
across all the channels in one easy to manage place. But what are these
magnificent tools we speak of, and who is already making the most of them?
The Top Tools

Hootsuite 

Features:
One of the top freemium tools on the market, Hootsuite
is fast becoming the top social media management tool on the market. It has got
ahead of the game by offering management of more niche channels, including up
and coming Google+, Foursquare and YouTube, as well as the staple Facebook,
Twitter
and LinkedIn. You can also
post to popular blogging platforms including WordPress
and Tumblr, as well as incorporating
tools such as MailChimp and SocialFlow.
Other features include team collaboration, which allows you
to add team members to allow multiple colleagues access to specific accounts,
and vanity URLs, which is ideal for tracking analytics and branding,
geo-targeting for optimised location based marketing and built in analytics to
keep track of it all in one easy place.
Pros:
They have mastered an excellent mobile and tablet app. Apps
can often be criticised for being too scaled down and buggy, but Hootsuite have
near perfected theirs, as they have managed to incorporate all the most
important aspects of their desktop into the app with flawless results.
The pricing starts at nothing, as this is a freemium
product, but be warned that there are many limitations and the majority of the
useful features do not come under this price bracket. The low budget Pro
account drip feeds in some of the basic features allowing for a small company
or individual to get by for just $5.99 per month, plus $15 per team member
added.
Cons:
The downfall of Hootsuite is the large price difference
between their Pro and Enterprise accounts. If you can afford the $1,499.99 a
month Enterprise plan, then this where all the main important features such as
geo-targeting, vanity URLs and analytics are included, but the majority of
small to medium businesses wanting to use Hootsuite will not be able to afford
the huge step even as they grow, and therefore will most likely outgrow
Hootsuite and have to then search for a less pricey alternative higher plan.
Who is using it?
Well known users of Hootsuite include eBay, MacDonalds,
Tiffany and Co, HP, Porsche, Panasonic, UPS, IBM, Gap, Kelloggs, Sony Music,
Virgin, and Mashable to name but a few.
 Pete Cashmore, CEO of
technology and social media news website Mashable says “HootSuite is an
essential tool for managing social networks by allowing teams to efficiently
track conversations and measure campaign results.”
TweetDeck

Features:
TweetDeck
is Hootsuite’s main rival in the stakes for the top social media management
tool, and it is a software download as opposed to being an online application.
Although originally created to be used solely for Twitter, it now incorporates
other popular social networks such as Facebook and LinkedIn.
Pros:
The program is completely free and does not have any paid
plans, so all features are included up front with no hidden charges. It is an
easy to use streamline program, and is most useful for monitoring activity and
posting tweets and status updates both in real time and scheduled.
You are able can segment Facebook users into groups, a
useful feature for business users to keep track of their professional contacts,
and who is a potential, current or former client so you can tailor your
interactions with these accordingly. 
Cons:
There is no built in analytics so a separate application
would be needed for this purpose, and it doesn’t incorporate more niche social
networks such as Google+ and YouTube.
The Facebook contact segmentation is something that could be
useful on other networks, especially for LinkedIn as this is where the majority
of business contacts are based, but unfortunately this feature has not yet been
transferred onto other networks.
The browser app and mobile/tablet app is unfortunately
flawed, making it difficult to get full usage out of the program away from your
desktop, not ideal in an on-the-go society.
Who’s using it?
Well known users of TweetDeck include Reuters, Yahoo, Audi,
Louis Vuitton, Heineken, Dell, Hyundai, Gillette, Nestle and Smirnoff to name
just a few.
The above tools are just the main ones, and there are others
available that are tailored for more specific needs. For that reason, many
companies opt to use more than one social media management tool, so they can
make the most of the unique features of each.

For more useful tips and tools for online marketing, check out the Evonomie News section.

Which social media management tools do you love and hate? Share your
thoughts in the comment section below!
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