I’m excited to say I’ve partnered with G2Crowd to provide a really helpful infographic on the top 4 Rated Social Media Management Tools for 2015. The results come from detailed customer reviews from G2Crowd, and cover a variety of information including user satisfaction, product direction, how easy it is to learn to use the platform, level of support, usability and more.
I’ll discuss the findings below as well as looking at alternative tools, what a social media management tool is, the struggle to find the perfect tool and finally more information G2Crowd.
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Hootsuite was founded by Ryan Holmes, back in 2008. Originally, HootSuite integrated with Twitter only and was called BrightKit. It now integrates with all the popular social networks including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Instagram. They also have an app directory which extends the number of social networks you can manage within Hootsuite. Hootsuite has a free plan as well as paid pro plans and an enterprise plan. For reports, you get 3 basic ones for the free plan, and 3 basic ones and 1 enhanced report for the pro plan. You can pay extra for more reports. 2 team members (including yourself) are included in the pro plan, and you can pay extra for each team member up to a maximum of 10 users.
Hootsuite scored #1 for market presence since it has the largest market share, company size and social presence. Hootsuite also has the least expensive base plan. For user satisfaction, Hootsuite came into 3rd place (92/100) below Sprout Social. Hootsuite came 4th for product direction (8.4/10), being easy to learn (8.6/10), support (8.0), usability (8.6/10) and meeting requirements (8.3/10).
Agora Pulse is not as well known as Hootsuite, but is starting to grow in popularity. It was founded back in 2011 and originally integrated only with Facebook. Since then, its feature set has grown and it now integrates with Twitter, Facebook pages and Instagram. Agora Pulse handles engagement very intelligently and shows very clearly which mentions and comments you have responded to. It also allows you to build Facebook apps and displays Facebook dark posts with their comments which you can respond to. You have full access to the reports and analytics and each plan allows unlimited team members.
Agora Pulse scored top for user satisfaction (98/100), product direction (9.6/10), customer support (9.6/10) and meeting requirements (8.6/10). It was slightly behind Sprout Social in 2nd place for both being easy to learn (9.0/10) and usability (9.1/10). Since Hootsuite and Sprout Social clearly have the biggest market share as well as being the larger companies, Agora Pulse is 3rd in the market presence category. For price, Agora Pulse is in 2nd place after Hootsuite with a base plan of $29/mth.
Sprout Social was founded back in 2010 and has a popular user base. It integrates with Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and Instagram. All users get full access to the reports and analytics. Additional team members are charged the same amount per month.
Sprout came top for being easy to learn (9.1/10) and usability (9.2./10). It came second for user satisfaction (95/100), support (9.3/10) and market presence. Sprout Social came 3rd for product direction (8.9/10) and meeting requirements (8.3/10). It has the joint most expensive base price with Sendible.
Sendible was founded back in 2009 by Gavin Hammar. It integrates with a large number of networks including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram and more. Plans include a number of “services” instead of social networks. So publishing to Twitter is a seperate service to monitoring a Twitter list or your mentions. The basic plan includes 1 user, and you get additional users by upgrading to higher plans or you can pay for extra ones.
Sendible was in 2nd place for product direction (8.9/10) and meeting requirements (8.5/10). It was 3rd for being easy to learn (8.6/10), support (8.7/10), usability (8.7/10). It has the joint most expensive base price with Sprout Social. It was 4th for user satisfaction (66/100) and it has the smallest market presence out of the 4.
As I’ll explain later, we couldn’t include all social media management tools in the infographic, but I wanted to mention a few below which may be worth checking out depending on your social media needs.
MavSocial was founded in 2012 by Matthew Holden. Fairly recently, MavSocial announced that they were to give away the majority of their features for free. There is a generous free plan and an enterprise plan. MavSocial integrates with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr and YouTube. It has a digital assets library where you can store your images and videos and you can even licence stock images through various stock libraries including free ones (there are over 50 million to choose from). The free plan allows you to connect with up to 50 social networks, have unlimited reports and up to 1Gb of file storage.
Jollor was founded in 2014 by Jakub Hrabovský. It integrates with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube as well as the Russian networks VK and Odnoklassniki. They have some enterprise features such as team and role management and delegation. They have a transparent pricing scheme starting from $5 per network, and you can add extra team members for $5 per month as well as other features.
Oktopost was founded in 2013 by Daniel Kushner and is social media management tool primarily built for Business to Business (B2B). It supports Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. There is a free trial and paid accounts range from $49/mth to $249/mth.
Mesfire was founded in 2012 by Eli Israel and has team collaboration at its heart. It Only supports Twitter but integrates with Buffer so you can post and schedule to a larger number of networks. Meshfire also integrates with both bit.ly and Feedly. Prices are $8/social network and you you can have unlimited team members.
Rignite was founded back in 2011 by Glen Kosaka. Rignite puts managing social media campaigns at the heart and integrates with Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and Instagram. Prices start from $28/user/mth.
Do you Struggle to Manage to keep on top of your Social Media Empire?
If so, you’re not alone! Many of us struggle to keep on top of all the tasks required to be effective in marketing our businesses on social media. When it comes to social media marketing, there are many jobs including…
- Publishing and schedule quality content
- Engagement – responding to all the mentions and comments
- Monitoring – keeping on top of all the mentions of certain hashtags and keywords for you and/or your competitors
- Analytics and Reporting- to check how effective you’re doing with your social media efforts, digging deep into the data and making decisions on improving your strategy and systems.
- The ability of working within a team- to delegate engagement to team members.
Tools to the Rescue?
So, maybe social media tools can come to the rescue here?
Well, kind of…
They’re certainly not going to solve all your problems.
They’re not a replacement for planning and implementing a social media strategy.
However, the right tool or series of tools can help you become much more effective and productive. It can also help you make smarter decisions and be quicker at reacting to opportunities, events and situations. Make sure you have a plan and a strategy first, but having the right tool or series of tools at the heart of your work is going to be vital – particularly as you scale things upwards.
What is a Social Media Management Tool?
There are so many social media tools out there. Many of us feel overwhelmed and confused by the choice. Many tools promise to solve all your problems without really explaining how they actually work.
The “Social Media Management Tool” is a particular type of tool that tries to do it all. It aims to be “The One Tool that Rules them all”. Such social media management tools will allow you to publish and schedule content and help you engage with your mentions and comments across all your social networks. They aim to help you monitor important keywords and hashtags, whether that be your business, brand or product name or perhaps a certain hashtag or even words to do with your competitors.
Social Media Management Tools also aim to help you analyse how you are doing by providing analytics and reports for you to study. This can also communicate the effectiveness of your social media use to your team.
In Search of the “One Tool”
I’ve mentioned quite a few jobs and features there! Does this “One Tool” actually exist? A tool that will integrate with all your social networks and fulfil all the jobs you want it to.
Well, no… there is no perfect tool out there. I think you expected me to say that, but there are many tools that try, and there are some that do a pretty good job.
The problem is, that it’s a tricky job to find the best tool for your business. It’s a topic I recently spoke about at the New Media Europe Conference in Manchester, UK on “How to Find the Best Social Media Management Tool for Your Business”. I’ll be writing an article on that very topic in the future.
I hope that the infographic will help you in your journey to find your One Tool!
What is G2Crowd?
On their about page, G2 Crowd, describes themselves as “the world’s leading business software review platform, leveraging its 37,000+ user reviews read by 300,000 software buyers each month to help them make better purchasing decisions.” All the various B2B software technologies are listed by industry (email marketing, CRM, Social Media, etc.) and reviewed by their own users.
Is It Reliable?
G2Crowd have a strict authentication system for their reviewing system. This makes sure each review actually comes from a real user of the respective software. It definitely takes effort to leave a review on G2Crowd, but this means that the review can be trusted as from a real user. Business buyers now have transparency when evaluating their next B2B software subscription.
How did we choose the tools to create this infographic?
We used information from the this quadrant published by G2Crowd
I wouldn’t class all the tools listed in the list as true “Social Media Management Tools”. As I mentioned above, Social Media Management Tools have to offer the following features:
- Monitoring / Responding to Social Media fans & followers
- Measuring / Reporting
- Team Management and Workflow
- Available for several Social Networks
As a consequence, in producing the infographic, we eliminated the tools that were providing only publishing features (Buffer, for example) or only managing one Social Network (Tweetdeck or Facebook Pages Manager, for example).
In addition, we have only included tools that offered self-service access and transparent pricing. Tools such as ViralHeat, that require a demo and do not provide public pricing (enterprise tools usually above $1,000 per month) have not been included.
Finally, we looked at the G2 Score for all the eligible tools. Hootsuite, Sprout Social and Agorapulse were clearly ahead of the crowd. To pick the 4th tool among Sendible, MavSocial and GroSocial, we’ve conducted extensive research including their traffic as reported by Alexa and the number of backlinks pointing to their domain as reported by SEMrush. Based on these 2 criteria, Sendible was really ahead, and closer to the numbers found for the 3 leaders.
Based on these criteria, the 4 tools we’ve included are Hootsuite, Sprout Social, Agorapulse and Sendible.
What is your biggest priority when it comes to choosing a tool that manages your social media efforts? Have you found your “One Tool” or have you had to compromise by using a selection? As always, I’d love to hear from you. Let me know by commenting below.