Top 3 Social Media Management Tools

A strong social media presence can do wonders for your business, but keeping up with posting on multiple social platforms can become a chore. Social media management tools help you to manage all of your profiles and pages in one place, so you can spend more time on other aspects of your business. These tools are designed to save you time and help you build an audience.

In this post we compare the top 3 social media management tools, Buffer, Sprout Social, and Hootsuite, noting where each one excels and which one might be the right fit for you.

What makes a great social media management tool?

The 3 social media scheduling tools that we selected cater to a broad range of social networks, particularly the 4 most popular: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. 

One of the main reasons people turn to social media management tools is for queuing and scheduling posts. This makes it extremely easy and convenient when coordinating autonomous campaigns that run according to a schedule of your choice. 

Given the ability to schedule and post across multiple of your chosen social networks at once is a BIG time saver – especially when you wear many hats within a business. You can even customize each post to suit the platform you are targeting.. Like tagging locations for Facebook and adding relevant hashtags on Instagram.

Top 3 social media scheduling tools

Buffer

Buffer is the best social media management tool for straightforward social media scheduling. It is one of the longest-running social media tools aimed primarily at scheduling posts. One major bonus is just how simple and straightforward it is to use, while also giving you flexibility. Buffer also gives you the ability to measure your performance, create reports, and get insights to grow reach, engagement, and sales.

This service supports Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn, and pro users can also schedule Pinterest updates.

Buffer can be collaborative – but only if you are willing to pay for a more expensive plan that eliminates the need to pass around login credentials and allows you to approve new posts before they’re added to the queue.

Buffer’s free version includes one user, 3 social media accounts and 10 posts per profile. The Pro plan is ideal for those who are just getting started. This plan is $15/month and includes one user, up to 8 social accounts and 100 scheduled posts. An option for growing brands would be the Premium package where you can add up to 8 social accounts, schedule 2,000 posts and have 2 users. Now, Buffer has an ideal option for larger teams coming in at $99/month that includes up to 25 linked social accounts, 2,000 scheduled posts and 6 users.  

Sprout Social

Sprout Social is probably first and foremost known as a one-stop shop for managing and scheduling all of your social media accounts through one simple-to-use platform. 

Sprout Social handles team interaction very well. You can see when other team members are viewing or replying to messages in real-time. You can also turn items into tasks and assign them to other team members. Several team members can collaborate on drafts before they hit the queue, and you can distribute permissions or request approval before posts are published so that everything remains to your liking.

Although Sprout Social is the best social media management tool for team-based social media management, you have to pay the monthly fee per user.

Sprout Social offers a free 30-day trial. If you like it, prices then start from $99 per user per month for up to 5 different social profiles, with additional plans offering more profiles, scope and features.

Hootsuite

Hootsuite is the best social media management tool for all-in-one scheduling, monitoring and analytics. This app is compatible with over 35 social networks including the top 4 – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. 

With any of Hootsuite’s plans, you have the option to schedule posts from multiple profiles across multiple social media sites. This allows you to ensure any marketing campaigns are properly timed and targeted when and where you need them to be. 

One of Hootsuite’s strongest areas is analytics. The tool helps you understand social results by drawing on more than 200 metrics to measure performance. Once you’ve generated reports, you can export them as Excel, Powerpoint, PDF and CSV files for use within your organization. 

Hootsuite is built to work for teams, not just individuals. You can assign access to various team members to avoid handing out passwords, with custom permission levels on a per-user basis. Your team members can use Hootsuite’s included content library to compose updates with on-brand assets of your choosing. You can even assign specific tasks to your team members (like responding to comments or incoming messages), then approve the outgoing responses before they’re sent.

There are 3 different plans available that include unlimited scheduling, where the difference lies in the amount of users and number of social profiles that can be connected. Professional, Team, and Business plans allow 1,3, or 5-10 users as well as up to 10, 20, or 35 social media profiles to be managed accordingly.

Which social media tool is best for you?

Hoostuite takes the cake at being the all-in-one tool that has the biggest list of compatible networks. It offers more power-user tools that go just beyond scheduling your own posts. The business plans are moderately priced, so if you’re working for a large organization with many separate teams, it’s likely worth it. For no-frills social media management, Buffer offers a clean user experience that focuses on sharing your own posts and easily manages a small team. With it’s cheaper priced business plans, it is ideal for a business that is just getting started and doesn’t have a ton of resources to devote to social media. Sprout Social has the best collaborative features of the three but comes at a premium price point.

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5 Social Media Marketing Secrets Nobody Has Told You About

Surely and quickly, social media marketing is becoming one of the most important ways for businesses to reach their target market. But why? 

How does social media provide such incredible benefits? It wasn’t too long ago that social platforms were only used to connect with family & friends.

The truth is, over the past few years, things have changed… A lot! Today, over 90% of marketers have noticed how social media has significantly increased their exposure. And this can only mean 1 thing: if you’re not using social media to your advantage, you’re missing out on an incredible marketing opportunity. 

That in mind, here are 5 “secrets” about social media marketing that no one’s telling you about: 

1. Social Media Marketing can help your SEO

What does social media have to do with search engine optimization? The idea is simple: search engines know which pages on your website are getting traffic and which ones aren’t. This means that, each time your content is shared on social media, traffic will be sent to your website that tells the search engines your website is still relevant, helping you to maintain your rankings or climb faster in the search engine results pages. The more shares you have on social media, the more opportunities people have to see your content and link to it.

2. Social Media helps you know your target market

By taking an interest in your “fans” on social media, you can easily find out who your target market is! By simply looking at their profiles and seeing what other brands they follow, you can learn what products they buy, what their hobbies are and maybe even what they like most about other brands. The more you know about your audience, the better you can market your products or services.

3. A Social Media presence helps you increase your brand awareness

People don’t look at Facebook or Instagram and see a marketing platform. They see a social network! That in mind, the more you interact with everyone, the sooner you can start building a relationship with your audience and grow as a brand. Social media is a great platform for brands to maintain customer relationships, while also having the opportunity to be found by new leads. 

4. Social platforms allow you to target and RE-target to your audience

Did you know you can narrow down your audience on social media and target only your ideal customers? Not only that, but Facebook allows you to retarget your products and services to anyone who was “this close” to becoming your client! If someone visited your website, but left before making a purchase, you can add that person to your list of “almost clients” and deliver your ads to them in the hopes that they convert.

5. Social Media Marketing is cost effective and fair

Did you think you’d have to spend a fortune to market your business on social media? Creating a business profile is free and so is being active. And if you decide to advertise on Social Media, you can always start small if you don’t know what to expect.

One of the best things about social media is that it’s a fair way to market your business. Sure, bigger brands have some advantages like bigger marketing budgets and better name recognition. But everyone can create a social account for free and dedicate their time to engage with their audience.

 

If you need help with social media or even just want it done for you.. contact us at IFTS!

Visit our website for more information!

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What is the Best Time to Post on Social Media?

 

What is the best time to post on social media? 

This may sound like a ridiculous question, but there absolutely is a right time to post on social media. Finding specific times that your audience is most likely to see and engage with your content is key. More likes, comments, and shares can result from a well-timed post, although timing can vary depending on industry and your specific audience. 

At the end of this guide, you will have a better idea on how to experiment with your social channels to find the perfect time to engage with your audience on those that you appear.

How to find the best time to post on social media

Know your audience

How old are they? Where do they live? What do they do for work? What social networks do they use? Do they scroll through their feeds on a mobile device or the computer? These are all questions that you need to be able to answer to develop the best publishing schedule for your content to be seen by your anticipated audience.

Test different times with similar content

Consistency with testing is going to accurately measure results. Use the same or very similar content when it comes to testing out different times. This way, a less than engaging post shared at a high-traffic time won’t skew the results.

Keep an eye on your competition

When are your competitors receiving a high amount of likes, shares, retweets, and comments? Test those times as well as an opposing schedule for yourself. Do you also see a boost at the same time? Or do you get more engagement on the weekend when your competitors are quiet? 

Take note of what the leaders in your industry are doing. Larger organizations with sophisticated social strategies are great examples to help you find a starting point for your posting schedule. Take your cues from the leaders, but it is best to always run tests to optimize for your own audience.

Continue testing 

Find the times that work best for you, but never stop testing. Factors such as audience habits, as well as network algorithms are always changing. 

An easy way to keep track of when you get the most engagement for each posting time is to create social media reports for yourself and determine how often you’ll rerun experiments on your social channels.

The best times to post on social media 

Hootsuite was able to compile data from 300 brands on social media to identify what day/time of the week is the best to post, and receive maximum engagement. They have also broken the data down by social network and divided the results into B2B and B2C industries.

Generally, their data shows that the best time to post on social media is between 9am and 12pm early in the work week. 

The best time to post on Facebook

For B2B brands, the best time to post on Facebook is between 9am and 2 pm on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday.

For B2C brands, the best time on Facebook is 12pm EST on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday.

Things to consider when posting on Facebook

The best time to post on twitter

The lifespan of a tweet is only 18 minutes, so timing a tweet to reach the correct audience matters more on this network than others!

B2B brands: The best time to post on Twitter is between 9am and 4pm EST (emphasis on the 11am to 1pm window) on Monday or Thursday

B2C brands: The best time to post to twitter is at 12pm or 1pm EST from Monday to Wednesday.

Things to consider when posting on Twitter

The best time to post on Instagram

The Instagram algorithm favors recency when it determines the posts that show up in your feed. Newer posts are more likely to appear at the top of your feed as it is designed to constantly show you fresh content that you are likely to engage with. 

Hootsuite analyzed the top 20 Instagram accounts in 11 different industries over the span of 18 months to then figure out which of their posts received the most engagement.

Professional Services Industry

Data has shown that the best time to post on Instagram for professional services is early in the workday on Fridays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays between 9 and 10 am.

Professional services usually post informative, educational content such as links to videos and blog posts. This is content that people are more likely to interact with earlier in the day while they’re at work.

It is suggested that if you are just launching your social media accounts, avoid posting on the weekends and evenings unless your internal data tells you otherwise.

The best time to post on LinkedIn

Hootsuite was able to determine the best day of the week to post on linkedIn. Combined with their own internal data of what times they get the most engagement on this platform, they were able to state the following:

The best time to post on LinkedIn is 7:45 am, 10:45 am, 12:45 pm, and 5:45 pm. For B2B brands, Wednesday was found to be the best day to post. As for B2C brands, the best days to post on LinkedIn are Monday and Wednesday.

Amanda Wood, Social Marketing Lead at Hootsuite says “The Hootsuite social team posts on the 45-miute mark because most brands are posting on the hour.” This is interesting because it offsets your posts from being thrown into the mix with competitors, giving you an opportunity to be seen outside of those flooded peak hours.

Things to consider when posting on LinkedIn

All of these timing recommendations can be used as starting points, then supplement internal data that you have found through testing to maximize your engagement.

If you need help with posting on social media or would even like it done for you, contact us at IFTS.

 

Sources: 

https://blog.hootsuite.com/best-time-to-post-on-facebook-twitter-instagram/

https://blog.hootsuite.com/best-time-to-post-on-instagram/

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