In this age of app abundance, there’s no shortage of software solutions designed to help you be successful online. While it’s good that so much help is available, when you’re not sure how to navigate the choppy waters of social media, a dilemma remains: Which tools are best for your business, and why?
In this article, we’ll look at six top social media scheduling tools. Here are some key distinctions between Zoho Social, Oktopost, Buffer, MeetEdgar, Hootsuite, and Sprinklr.
Although it can also be used on its own, Zoho Social is part of Zoho’s larger all-in-one Customer Engagement Suite – the only suite of its kind.
Zoho Social’s offerings are quite robust considering its affordable pricing plan. One notable feature is that Zoho Social can integrate with Zoho CRM. This social/CRM integration creates a combined platform that can help turn your team into a social selling powerhouse.
Zoho Social with Zoho CRM helps businesses generate new leads across Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Google+.
You can engage with your leads and refer potential customers to the CRM platform.
Zoho also provides a feed of brand mentions you can respond to and lets you track revenue earned from social media marketing.
Pricing: Free for one team member, one brand, with paid plans starting at $10/month.
A platform with a decidedly B2B slant, Oktopost supports some fancy enterprise-friendly features, including employee advocacy leaderboards, asset libraries, conversion tracking pixels, and auto-schedule-able posts bundled into “campaigns.”
The social listening capabilities make Oktopost an excellent tool for monitoring the conversations and engagement around your brand.
It lets you separate the “white noise” from the meaningful bits of engagement that are important to your business. The platform also enables you to discover and share valuable content that’s relevant to your audience.
Another distinctive aspect of Octopost is its ability to integrate with other third-party business tools. Feedly is one such tool, which enables Octopost users to find and share relevant content online. Oktopost can also integrate with Zapier so you can automate marketing activities without coding skills. Other integrations include Marketo, Hubspot, Bitly, Salesforce, Google Analytics, and many others.
Pricing: Individualized pricing plans based on your business.
A key differentiator of Buffer is the number of posts it lets you schedule ahead of time. This tool allows you to schedule as many as 2,000 posts in advance for each of your social accounts. This is a big difference compared to the typical 100 posts.
The number of connected accounts is another popular feature.
You’re able to connect and group up to 150 social accounts with Buffer’s Large plan, 50 accounts on the Medium plan, and 25 with the Small plan. Further, you can invite team members to contribute and manage your accounts.
Buffer is also known for its browser extensions for easy integration with Chrome, WordPress, RSS feeds, and others.
Pricing: Free for limited use, with paid plans starting at $10/month.
If your business creates and publishes evergreen content, the MeetEdgar app could be valuable to your social media efforts. Designed to be “the social media scheduling tool that manages itself,” MeetEdgar automates the re-sharing of content.
You simply create a categorized content library and then create a content schedule that tells the app when to post from each category.
Once the app has posted everything from a content category, it re-shares older posts that your audience may have missed the first time. As more and more valuable content is re-shared, your brand gains new traffic.
MeetEdgar can post to Facebook pages and profiles, Twitter accounts, LinkedIn profiles, and LinkedIn company pages. It also supports native video uploads for Facebook and Twitter.
Pricing: One plan, priced at $49/month.
The sheer number of networks and third-party integrations is what many consider to be Hootsuite’s most important benefit. By using Hootsuite, you’ll be able to integrate with over 100 apps, including MailChimp, StumbleUpon, Reddit, Instagram, Vimeo, Slideshare, Tumblr, and Flickr.
Many social media managers love using Hootsuite to reply to interactions with just one click – including comments, messages, and brand mentions across all networks. Another popular feature is Hootsuite’s collaboration capabilities.
You can work independently, or you can assign messages to the right team members so customer interactions reach the appropriate people in your business.
Pricing: Free for limited use, with paid plans starting at $19/month.
While Sprinklr is probably not suited for the majority of small-sized to mid-sized businesses, some of the world’s largest brands – including NASA, Nike, and Cisco – have benefited from this platform. It provides end-to-end social-media management capabilities and enables team members to collaborate smoothly from the same digital workspace.
Sprinklr supports over a dozen different social platforms, integrates with CRMs, and can assist with persona development by aggregating data from those who engage with your posts.
The cornerstone of the Sprinklr platform, however, is the “Social Experience Core,” a system of 12 advanced modules that help manage enterprise-level social media. These modules assist with content planning, engagement, reporting, automated workflows, team governance, asset management, audience management, and campaign setup.
Pricing: By request.
What’s Best for Your Team
As you can see from our brief look at the above social tools, no two solutions are the same. Nothing is one size fits all, so it helps to know what you’re looking for and to understand which tools are likely to fit your needs.
Don’t judge a tool merely by its popularity, and don’t invest time and money blindly. It helps to read reviews, study a tool’s website, and get familiar with a platform’s functionalities and capabilities.
Also, if there’s a free trial of an app, take advantage of it before making a purchase. Ask your team what they like about the platform, and if there’s anything they wouldn’t like about it if they were going to use it every day. Today’s testing and research are tomorrow’s success.