Which Social Media Management Tool Is Right for Your Business?

Your business finally has a professional looking presence on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+, but it’s not enough to have a virtual storefront, now comes the challenge of managing all of your social networks on a daily basis.  Should you connect your accounts to HootSuite, Sprout, or Tweetdeck and attempt to manage it yourself? Should you hire someone to manage it for you? With so many different Social Media Management Software (SMMS) options on the market today, it’s no wonder business owners have their heads spinning.  As a Social Media Manager, I manage hundreds of social accounts, but there are two SMMS platforms that I rely on: Sprout Social and PropelSOCIALSUITE.

Sprout Social

Image

Sprout Social is a SMMS tool for the more advanced social media user. It has many of the same features as HootSuite, but in my opinion it is much easier to navigate and looks great! With Sprout, you can connect your Facebook account or fan page, Twitter, LinkedIn, or blog. All of your contacts and notifications will be synced to one place. This eliminates the hassle of having to log in and out of many different accounts. On the home page you can see your latest stats at a glance – how many people like your accounts and how influential you are. In the messages tab, you can easily track and respond to your latest messages across all of your social networks.

The scheduler allows you to schedule all of your posts for the week or month in advance. You can add photos, links, and even schedule your message to be sent out across multiple networks at the same time. Sprout has also added a new feature called the Sprout Queue. This icon can be easily installed in your browser’s navigation bar. As you surf the web you can share content with the click of a button or “Queue” it up to be sent later at an optimal time based on your prior audience engagement.

Sprout has also made it easy to conduct lead and reputation searches based on keywords for your business or industry. Let’s say you are a Realtor and you want to conduct a search on Twitter to find out who in your geographical area is talking about “buying a house”, Sprout will let us save that specific search and refresh it each day to find new leads. You can then log-in and message or follow those talking about “buying a house”.

As an agency, I can create groups of all my client accounts in Sprout and toggle between them without ever having to log out. Businesses with large teams or multiple people handling social media can assign users to different accounts and assign tasks that need to be completed.  Finally, Sprout’s reporting feature takes all of your social insights and organizes them into very attractive and easy to understand reports that can be easily white labeled with your logo.

Overall, Sprout is clean, easy to navigate and highly efficient. Unfortunately, the platform does not yet have the ability to connect with Google+ accounts or LinkedIn Company Pages, however Sprout has informed me that they are working on integrating more social networks. It also requires the user to be fairly savvy with social media and SMMS.

PropelSOCIALSUITE

Image

For the SMMS beginner, PropelSOCIALSUITE is the perfect solution. Unlike Sprout, HootSuite and other more advanced SMMS platforms, PropelSOCIALSUITE is so easy to use even someone who has never been on Facebook or Twitter can use it. When you first create an account, you will receive a brief tour around the platform to help you get familiar. On the home page is where you will find your “Inbox” with all of the notifications from your social networks. PropelSOCIALSUITE is compatible with Facebook accounts, Fan Pages, Twitter, LinkedIn, blogs and soon…Google+!  The inbox you will notice is set up to look like your email inbox (this is very much deliberate). Most people are familiar with how to navigate and respond to emails and SOCIALSUITE works the same way.

Since this platform is designed for the social media beginner, when you first log in, you are asked to select your general industry and a plan (beginner, intermediate or advanced). The plan will guide you with how often you should be posting and when. The user is held accountable to complete a designated number of tasks or posts each week. The platform then takes all of those hard to understand insights, charts and graphs and assigns you a letter grade based on your progress. If you are getting an “A” it could be time to move up to the next plan, if you are getting a “C” it might be a sign that you might not be able to manage social media on your own and perhaps you need some extra help.

The best and most unique thing about PropelSOCIALSUITE that other SMMS platforms do not have is the custom content library. Stuck for ideas of what to post? Don’t have hours to scour the internet for content relevant to your business? Choose from hundreds of hand-selected articles, across multiple categories, then easily schedule and share across all of your social networks with the click of a button. Want to write your own content? Check out the Guidance section for some cool ideas.

Like Sprout, PropelSOCIALSUITE allows you to conduct lead and reputation searches, monitor all of your social streams in one place, and schedule posts. As a business owner you are probably very busy. With this tool you can spend twenty minutes a week on social media, freeing up the rest of your time to do what you love.

I would highly recommend both of these tools to any business owner who thinks they can manage social on their own. If you try it and still find that you don’t have the time or it’s too hard, call in a professional! If you have any questions or would like a free social media consultation, please feel free to email me at MMastro@propelmarketing.com.

Advertisements

Comments

  1. Michelle

    Thanks for the review of these tools. I’ve been perplexed as to how an agency is managing multiple accounts across multiple industries. The information shared certainly help clarify this. (Even though the theme of this post appears more oriented toward the business owner who wants to manage their own social media activities.)

    After reading through your content, a few questions came to mind.

    For the scheduler, it sounds like you’re taking a library of content and scheduling it in advance. My question here is, do you ever alter whats going out based on news events? For example, one of the financial services I used has a Twitter feed of contributors. When the school shooting occurred in Connecticut, the tone of the Tweets changed. We could assume all the Tweets were in real time. But assuming some weren’t, wouldn’t it be appropriate to change the Tweet?

    You mentioned creating groups of clients. How are you grouping these clients? Is it by industry or some other similarity?

    I can see were the content library and guidance section of PropelSocialSuite would very useful. It would help some small businesses with bridging the gap between just having a social media presence to actively using it. For example, some of the questions I hear from clients are,

    “What am I supposed to tweet about?”
    “What am I supposed to post on my wall?”

    In my mind, I kept thinking that the client has to create completely original content. But what I take away from this post, you can search a library of content for information that might be useful and informative to your fans or followers. For example, a Realtor could tweet an article created by a third party concerning shopping for the best interest rate. While the Realtor isn’t tweeting their own material, they are sharing information that would be helpful to their clientele.

    Very help information! You should be charging for this!

    Tim

    • Thanks Tim! I thought I would write it as I would a real blog targeted towards a specific audience. To answer your questions, yes you can alter what is scheduled at anytime if there is something more timely you want to post. It is nice to schedule some “evergreen” content that can be shared anytime and supplement that with topics that are relevant or trending. People don’t expect you to share ALL original content on social networks. It is good to mix it up and share any information that might interest your audience (even if it comes from a competitor). People will appreciate you being a resource. The content library is meant to help the business owner come up with some content to push out there. I like to think of the Content Pyramid. Share something that plays on Emotion (monthly), something that inspires (b-weekly), start a conversation (weekly), teach how to do something (2x per week), and provide relevant information (3x per week).

      Thanks for your comments!

      Michelle

  2. Excellent overview, Michelle! So happy to hear you’re enjoying Sprout Social and really appreciate you sharing your experience with our application. Thank you!

    Brit Thompson | Social Marketing Manager at Sprout Social

  3. Excellent overview, Michelle! So happy to hear that you’re enjoying Sprout Social and appreciate you sharing your experience with the application. Thank you!

    Brit Thompson | Social Marketing Manager at Sprout Social

  4. Thank you for the insightful blog post. I was somewhat familiar with these types of tools from reading through our texts for this course, however, you really brought it to life, especially with the inclusion of image examples. What really stood out to me was the custom content library that you mentioned as a tool offered by PropelSOCIALSUITE. It definitely sounds like a way to improve efficiency while staying connected. Have you found, in your experience, that the targeted articles that it feels are relevant to you are, in fact, to the level of quality that you would choose to share with your audience or is it more of a batch list of articles that may or may not fit the bill for what you’re looking for?

    ~Chris V

  5. Excellent post Michelle. I really enjoyed reading and learning more about it.

    Would you say these two applications are more for SMB or could larger fortune 500 companies also use these?

  6. I’m truly enjoying the design and layout of your site. It’s a
    very easy on the eyes which makes it much more pleasant for me
    to come here and visit more often. Did you hire out a designer to create your theme?

    Exceptional work!

    • Thank you! Nope, this was one of the free templates on WordPress. I hired someone to design the logo, but that is all. Try to keep it simple and clean 🙂

      Michelle

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: