The advent of social media platforms has completely revolutionized the way customer perceives and interacts with companies and brands. Social media has helped reduce the chasm that historically existed between both companies and customers.
Businesses both small and enterprises should now take social media more seriously than ever. This article acts as a guide that helps you decide on the best social media management tools and how they rank against each other in terms of unique features and pricing.
TweetDeck is one of the earliest and the most powerful real time Twitter management and tracking tool. TweetDeck’s intuitive and comprehensive features allows you to,
Manage multiple timelines:
TweetDeck allows you to manage and multiple columns of timelines in a single interface. The columns might include
1. The twitter timeline of products or services that you manage.
2. The timeline of your competitors.
3. Mentions of the products or services that you manage.
4. Mentions of your competitors.
5. Timeline of saved custom searches, this might include the any niche specific keywords that your customers are searching for. The saved searches can also include your niche specific hashtags that your customers use to interact and reach out.
6. Tweets from the custom lists that you’ve created.
7. A column that lists your followers
8. A column that helps you manage all the Direct Messages that you get.
9. A unique column that helps you track all the tweets that are trending now.
10. You can also create a custom bookmark column that helps you collect and list all important and favorite tweets that you can refer and get back to in the future.
TweetDeck being a comprehensive Twitter management tool, you can tweet and engage with your customers right within the TweetDeck app. You can schedule tweets at a particular date and time for greater engagement and reach.
Setup alerts and notifications for new mentions and direct messages that help you to be on top of tweets at all times.
TweetDeck enables you to export custom build Twitter time lines that could be exported and used on websites.
Real Time Management:
TweetDeck is a real time Twitter account management tool that helps you to track and follow tweets in real time as and when it happens. This is a great feature for eCommerce companies running marketing campaigns, now with real time tracking, marketers could clearly see how customers are engaging.
Klout is a simple web based social media management tool that started off and gained traction as a social media profile ranking and analytics tool.
Klout has now grown into a full-featured social media tool that enables you to manage your social media accounts by,
Klout helps you manage social media at one common and centralized location. You can schedule content and updates across different social media channels with the click of a button. Klout also recommends best times to schedule the updates for maximum reach and engagement.
Intelligent Content Recommendation:
One of the most important and unique feature of Klout is its content recommendation. You can predefine the content by entering keywords to track and Klout lists you with the most popular content on that topic for you to share.
As mentioned previously Klout started off as a powerful social media analytics tool that that acted as a benchmark for any one who wants to measure their authority and popularity on the network.
Apart from the metrics that helps measure popularity, Klout also helps measure the popularity and the reach of each and every social media update you post on the channel.
Supported Social Media Channels:
4. Google Plus
HootSuite is the most powerful social media management tool that is used by more that 9 million people.
HootSuite integrates with more than 20 social networking platforms, and enables you to manage them all in a single, easy to use platform.
Manage Social Media Engagement – Build Meaningful Relationships With Customers:
HootSuite not only helps you to manage social channels, but also helps you to interact and engage with your customers with the click of a button across different social channels.
The other features that help you manage social media engagement are,
1. Schedule social updates across channels with a single click.
2. HootSuite’s inbuilt algorithm helps you to select the best timings for scheduling posts for maximum reach and engagement.
3. Do reply to repeatedly asked questions by proactively creating a list of canned replies so that you can use them as and when it is needed.
4. HootSuite helps you to engage with the right audience by letting you select and target the appropriate demographics, language and geography.
In any business, one of the most important and strategic processes that help lead and steer the company in the right direction is listening to your customers.
With the advent of social media channels, the customers are now empowered to reach out to companies directly as never before. It is now highly imperative for any business to invest in time, energy and tools that help make “listening” easier and actionable.
With HootSuite’s proprietary UberVu you can now listen to customers feedback from more than 100 million sources and 26 social platforms. HootSuite’s powerful analytics tool helps you to find influencers and also helps you to measure the efficacy of various social media marketing campaigns that you run across various channels.
Powerful Social Media Measurement:
HootSuite’s powerful analytics tool does more than just measurement, its actionable metrics helps you to efficiently gauge how efficient and popular your brand is over a period of time. It also helps you to measure the reach and effectiveness of your marketing campaigns.
You can now visualize and get insights on various social metrics with the help of HootSuite’s infographics.
As a business it always helps if you keep in touch with your influencers and brand evangelists. HootSuite helps you to find and engage with such influencers
Social Media Management, The Enterprise Way:
HootSuite caters to the need of enterprises with big teams who lays more importance on structure, control and policies.
HootSuite helps you manage your social media team, by creating teams, assigning roles and controlling the access.
You can now create marketing tasks, plan, collaborate, create and update content on the fly all within the same interface.
One can even say, it all started with Buffer. Buffer is one of the first apps that commercialized and made people appreciate the importance of scheduling social media updates.
Its Basic Features include,
Buffer enables you to schedule social media updates across various platforms. You can either schedule it to a pre-define timetable of schedule or schedule posts on the fly with the custom scheduler.
Buffer analytics gives a reporting dashboard that helps ascertain the popularity of your social media updates. The basic metrics include total number of retweets, favorites, mentions, clicks and total approximate reach.
Buffer also has enterprise plans that helps manage bigger marketing teams. You can bring in more team members, assign appropriate roles and have a control on the access levels.
Buffer provides with a free browser plugin that enables you to schedule and share with your followers with the click of a button right there on the browser. Buffer also has a mobile application that helps you to manage and engage with customers on the go, any place, any time.
SocialOomph is yet another simple and easy to use social media management tool that helps you to,
1. Schedule tweets catering to the needs of customers across different timelines for maximum reach and engagement.
2. Track Keywords: You can now track niche specific keywords and SocialOomph will send you a digest of important social media happenings based on that keyword.
3. You can now save and create a draft of all the commonly asked questions as readymade FAQ’s that can be used easily as canned responses on various channels.
4. Purge Tweets: This is a unique SocialOomph feature that enables you to start over again, by deleting all tweets. You can also do this for direct messages.
5. SocialOomph now allows you to automatically follow those who follows you, this greatly helps in increasing engagement.
6. You can now add more personalization by automatically direct messaging your followers with a custom made welcome message.
7. SocialOomph has feature that helps mimics the follow pattern of any twitter account. You can now add a twitter account and automatically follow the followers they follow.
8. Follow Suggestions: SocialOomph filters and gives you a list of prospective followers to follow on various channels.
Social Media Channels Supported By SocialOomph:
SocialOomph is more than just a social media management tool, you can now integrate as many blogs as you want with social media channels and automatically update these channels as and when a blog is published. It supports almost all major blogging platforms that includes, Blogger, WordPress, Movable Type and Tumblr.
Mass Social Updates:
SocialOomph even allows you to bulk upload tweets from a text file and schedule it over a period of time.
Social Media Team Management:
SocialOomph allows you to manage a bigger social media team by adding team members and having the complete control over their access powers. Effective team management helps bigger teams to delegate work across team members.
Sproutsocial is a worthy alternative to HootSuite that is definitely up to the mark when it comes to features.
The essential social media management tools features and functions include,
Multi Platform Customer Engagement:
A single window portal for all your social media networks. Manage, track and engage with your customers on various social media channels on a single platform.
Schedule social updates such that the reach, views and the engagement on that update is higher. You can now integrate all the major social media tools like twitter, Facebook and Linkedin to Sproutsocial.
Sproutsocial’s powerful reporting tool measure all the essential social success metrics that helps you to ascertain the efficacy of all your social media campaign efforts.
As a business it always pays to invest time, money and energy in measuring the pulse of the brand on the market amongst customers. You can now track them by adding relevant and niche specific keywords to track conversations and feedbacks
Manage Customer Relationships:
Sproutsocial can also be used as a basic social CRM. You can now view all the past conversations with you’re the specific customer, add all contextual data about the customer to the customer contact fields that can used during follow up of customers.
Nowadays businesses and customers alike use social channels to reach out to each other. Social channels have become the most easiest and direct way of reaching out to companies for customer support.
Sproutsocial now integrates with some of the best help desk systems like Zendesk and Uservoice. You can now covert a customer query that came via tweet into a support ticket and assign it to the concerned department for resolution.
Everyone who has read the article would now be more than convinced about how powerful each and every tool is in providing a complete social media management system in a single, easy to use portal. More than just managing different social media channels, these tools offer a wide array of features that helps automate one process or the other that helps teams by saving valuable time and energy. Most of the tools mentioned above has a free limited access plans that are more than sufficient for startups and small and medium enterprises.
Have we missed any awesome tool that you think needs a worthy place on the list or do you want to suggest a better alternative for any of the above listed tool, feel free to share it with us as comments.