In an ideal world there would be one perfect management platform for all of my social media needs. It would be beautifully designed, easy to use and would give me more analytical data than I could hope to understand. Unfortunately, we do not live in that world.
There are many different platforms and services out there, but your specific needs and preferences probably won’t be found all in one service. You have to recognize what matters most to you and give up some other things that would just be nice to have.
For those of you not using any social media management tools, you should really get that figured out. There is so much noise and clutter, especially on Twitter, it’s necessary to sort your feed based on what’s important to you or relevant to your business. Aside from getting organized and cutting through the clutter, management tools keep an eye on your analytics, interactions and scheduled tweets.
Pros: Hootsuite is ideal for managing multiple profiles at the same time. Hootsuite makes it easy to compile lists of relevant profiles and content to see what’s going on without having to shuffle through an endless stream of tweets, many of which probably don’t matter much to you. Hootsuite also gives you customized analytics data. This data is great for finding out what your audience is connecting with and interested in. Although this is a pro, it leads us to the cons of Hootsuite.
Cons: The analytical data is great, but can be costly if you are ordering reports outside of what is offered for free. You do get some data through the free version, but not nearly as in depth as the paid reports. Another con with Hootsuite is the learning curve for those unfamiliar with it. There is a lot going on in the dashboard and until you get it figured out, it’s a little confusing. My issue with Hootsuite is the inability to schedule tweets with photos. This is a little picky, but the sun would shine just a little brighter if I could schedule any content my heart desired.
Pros: Tweetdeck is an easier to use and more friendly on the eyes version of Hootsuite. The dashboard is clean and sleek, and easy figure out. TweetDeck will also notify you if someone is interacting with your profile with a gentle desktop reminder, meaning that no matter what you’re doing on the computer, a notification will appear and let you know someone is talking to or about you.
Cons: TweetDeck doesn’t have as many functions as Hootsuite. Depending on what you’re looking for this could be a pro or a con. The platform is limited to Facebook and Twitter which leaves out a few other important social channels. The capabilities are more limited and do not offer as many accounts to manage as Hootsuite. For a beginner or for those following a smaller number of people, TweetDeck would be ideal.
Pros: Buffer does a great job of suggesting optimal times for posting. It will help you set a schedule and find out when you usually get the most interaction on Twitter. Buffer also integrates everything in one place, you can link together Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and G+.
Cons: As great as all that sounds, these tools can sometimes blanket the real interactions and leave you with generalized insights. Just because it works for someone else doesn’t mean it’s right for you. Don’t just follow along behind blindly because the computer tells you when to post, the beauty of twitter is how easy it is to have a human connection through social media. Twitter doesn’t exist on a hard clock, things will change and shift. It might be nice to use Buffer as a guide for times to reach out, but staying to a set schedule kinda defeats the point of social media.
There are so many others but these are the most popular. All said and done, I would love to pick and choose my favorite things about all three of these and make the perfect social content monitoring system but that’s not how things work. Yet. For now, I’ll stick to Hootsuite for large uploads and going straight to Twitter for real time photo tweets. For more on this subject check out these social media time savers. Don’t spend hours a day sending out tweets and posts, get ahead and stay up to date.