The Hit List: The Twenty Best Social Media Marketing Systems
PROS: SocialFlow is an expert at analyzing online traffic (just look at its client list). Even perfect content can be overlooked if a fan isn’t using social media when a business posts it. SocialFlow takes scheduling to the next level in order to prevent this from happening.
CONS: SocialFlow’s price point is out of reach for many customers and there is no small business option.
RECOMMENDED FOR: Media enterprises that post diverse, constantly changing information and need to hold fans interest over a long period
PRICE POINT: SocialFlow costs between $4000 and $6000/month (unlimited profiles).
BEST FOR B2B
Oktopost is a social media management system optimized for business-to-business (B2B) sales. Oktopost is focused on tracking conversions and, therefore, identifying which social media campaigns lead directly to sales. Not only is Oktopost integrated with social networks Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google+, it is also integrated with marketing software like Salesforce, Marketo, Act-On, and Hubspot. Oktopost represents a marriage between social media and hardcore digital marketing.
PROS: Oktopost is tailored for the B2B market and includes unique tools, like content recommendations and conversion tracking that are particularly helpful to B2B brands.
CONS: Oktopost lacks integration with social networks outside of the big four of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+. While many businesses aren’t present on other social networks anyway, Oktopost does not support complex social media strategies over diverse platforms.
RECOMMENDED FOR: B2B businesses
PRICE POINT: Oktopost Basic (up to 15 profiles) costs $55/month. Oktopost Basic+ (up to 25 profiles) costs $125/month. Oktopost Business (up to 50 profiles) costs $475/month. Oktopost Enterprise is available on a quote by quote basis.
BEST FOR TWITTER
Tweepi is a dedicated Twitter management system that lets businesses target potential customers in multiple ways (by searching through a competitor’s followers, for example). Once the business has built up a following, Tweepi provides tools to manage followers such as purging those that don’t follow back, purging inactive accounts, reciprocating followers, and forcing trolling accounts to unfollow you. Tweepi features an online dashboard to manage multiple Twitter profiles at once.
PROS: Tweepi is one of the web’s most comprehensive Twitter follower managers. Its features allow a business to curate an audience, reaching out to new potential customers while, at the same time, weeding out dead ends.
CONS: Tweepi’s functionality is very specific and, although its price point is incredibly reasonable, it is not worth the cost for businesses who do not have trouble obtaining quality followers.
RECOMMENDED FOR: Businesses that hyper-target potential customers due to product niche, etc.
PRICE POINT: Tweepi Silver (up to 100 users per page) costs $8/month or $75/year. Tweepi Platinum (up to 200 users per page) costs $15/month or $150/year.
2. SocialBro is a Twitter dedicated system that includes a number of analytic features meant to optimize a business’s Twitter strategy. These features include a list of key influencers in your industry, tweet schedules that post when follower traffic is highest, a database that quickly compiles the hashtags your followers use most often, and automated high-fives and DMs. This highly intelligent system is integrated with the more comprehensive systems Hootsuite and Buffer.
PROS: SocialBro boasts the net’s best Twitter analytics. As an official Twitter partner, its methods are network approved, but still incredibly powerful at attracting new followers and engaging with existing ones.
CONS: SocialBro is focused on marketing statistics more than content generation. It, therefore, works best when combined with integrated system Hootsuite or Buffer.
RECOMMENDED FOR: Businesses that depend on Twitter for a significant portion of their social media campaigns
PRICE POINT: SocialBro Twitter Analytics for personal use (a single profile with up to 5,000 followed/followers) is free. SocialBro basic (5 profiles with up to 20,000 total followed/followers) costs $14/month. SocialBro Professional (50 profiles with up to 50,000 total followed/followers) costs $40/month. SocialBro Business (40 profiles with up to 100,000 total followed/followers) costs $150/month. SocialBro Enterprise is available by quote.
3. TweetDeck is Twitter’s native management system. This dedicated system has both online and desktop interfaces that consolidate, schedule, and filter Twitter feeds so that a user can manage multiple accounts without navigating between profiles. Microblogging’s fast and frequent updates can be difficult to stay on top of, but, through the use of filters, TweetDeck pushes what matters to you to the top of the sea of tweets. The system also tracks mentions, keywords, lists, and hashtags for analysis.
PROS: TweetDeck is a dedicated and complementary Twitter service. Because it is the official Twitter management system, it is seamlessly synched with all Twitter features and updates.
CONS: TweetDeck lacks in-depth analytic tools. While other social media management systems offer tools that compare performance across networks or offer integration with Google Analytics and Facebook Insights, TweetDeck lacks even in-depth dedicated analytics. This means you will need a separate program if you want in-depth information about fan response.
RECOMMENDED FOR: Dedicated Twitter users looking for a sleek way to manage multiple accounts
PRICE POINT: TweetDeck is free for all Twitter users.
4. ManageFlitter is a Twitter dedicated system that manages multiple accounts and those accounts’ followers. ManageFlitter generates lists of following/followers based on popular criteria like whether or not those a user followed follow back and whether or not followers’ accounts are active. It also lets users track profiles that unfollow them, a unique feature that gages the negative response to social media campaigns, in additional to the positive response.
PROS: ManageFlitter is one of the web’s most comprehensive Twitter follower managers. As reflected in its price point, ManageFlitter has a greater level of professionalism and customer support than low budget alternative Tweepi.
CONS: ManageFlitter does many of the same things as Tweepi, just for more money.
RECOMMENDED FOR: Businesses that hyper-target potential customers due to product niche, etc.
PRICE POINT: ManageFlitter Freebie (a single profile) is, obviously, free. It lacks many features and is intended as a trial account to get used to the interface. ManageFlitter Pro (up to 50 profiles) costs $12 to $190/month depending on the number of profiles. ManageFlitter Business (up to 50 profiles) costs $50 to $750/month depending on the number of profiles. For more than 50 profiles, contact ManageFlitter for a quote.
5. SocialOomph is a social media management system with a long list of novel functions aimed at improving its users’ productivity on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Plurk, and App.net. Its stripped-down online interface is optimized for managing Twitter direct messages (DMs) and feeds and lets users schedule tweets, track keywords, send an automated DM to new followers, auto-follow those that follow your accounts, auto-follow promising leads, and so on. Easy to read statistics let users know what works and what doesn’t.
PROS: SocialOomph is a powerful tool that will attract new followers (by hook or by crook) to your business’s accounts. The system’s functions are specific and unique.
CONS: SocialOomph doesn’t do much besides schedule posting for networks other than Twitter. SocialOomph’s auto-follow and auto-DM features have earned the ire of Twitter users and, consequently, Twitter has banned them. Use at your own risk.
RECOMMENDED FOR: Businesses with a Twitter-centric social media strategy that are looking to manage a high volume of DMs and increase followers inorganically
PRICE POINT: SocialOomph basic (5 Twitter accounts) for personal use is free. SocialOomph Twitter Unlimited (unlimited Twitter accounts) is $7/two weeks. SocialOomph Professional (unlimited accounts) is $18/two weeks.
BEST FOR FACEBOOK
Facebook Pages Manager is a native, simple, and intuitive online system that lets Facebook users manage up to 50 pages simultaneously. For marketers working for a third party client or with a team, the system makes granting and removing administrator rights easy. Its features include the option to delete comments, view hashtag feeds, schedule posts, view simple analytics, and boost posts. It is particularly useful for Facebook advertisers, as it includes targeting statistics.
PROS: Because it is the official Twitter management system, it is seamlessly synched with all Twitter features and updates. It includes capabilities like tagging other pages in posts that other systems (ahem Social Studio) lack.
CONS: The biggest drawback of Facebook Pages Manager is that it only manages Facebook. For businesses with profiles across multiple social networks, Facebook Pages Manager does nothing to make the volume of profiles more manageable.
RECOMMENDED FOR: Marketing firms that handle multiple Facebook pages for different clients
PRICE POINT: Facebook Pages Manager (up to 50 pages) is free.
BEST FOR GOOGLE +
Friends+Me is a social media management system that cross-promotes Google+ content on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, App.Net, and Tumblr. Google+ is a tricky network to master. Since it’s synched with YouTube, it’s obviously incredibly important for marketers, and yet, outside of YouTube, it’s very difficult to reach Google+’s infamously disengaged users. Friends+Me takes the frustration out of Google+ marketing with sophisticated scheduling, SEO (the system takes advantage of the fact that Google indexes all public Google+ posts), a useful Chrome extension, and administrator rights that are easy to add and remove.
PROS: Friends+Me is the best social media management system for the difficult Google+ network. It takes advantage of Google+’s strengths (Google search privileging, YouTube synching) while cross-promoting on, let’s admit it, better social networks.
CONS: Friends+Me privileges Google+, which could be a risky social media strategy.
RECOMMENDED FOR: Businesses that want to optimize the spread of YouTube content and Google search results
PRICE POINT: Friends+Me Just+Me for personal use (up to 10 profiles) costs $9/month. Friends+Me Business+ (up to 20 profiles) costs $30/month. Friends+Me Agency+ (up to 60 profiles) costs $60/month.
BEST SEARCH TOOL
Social Mention is a social media search engine that scrapes social networks in real time to deliver useful analytics. It crawls more than 100 sites including Facebook, Twitter, FriendFeed, Google+, and Digg looking for whatever keywords the user inputs. Social Mention can be used to determine trending keywords or to track the success of marketing campaigns across all networks. It is, basically, the Google Trends of exclusively social media.
PROS: Social Mention efficiently collects and analyzes a huge amount of data. With a single click it generates statistics like the number of unique profiles discussing a keyword, keyword reach, frequency of mention, and sentiment. It also suggests trending related keywords.
CONS: Unlike other subscriber tools, Social Mention cannot be targeted to, for example, your followers. The statistics it generates, then, are sometimes too general to be relevant for smaller campaigns.
RECOMMENDED FOR: Businesses conducting large campaigns not targeted towards a specific niche
PRICE POINT: Social Mention is a free tool.
BEST AUTOMATION TOOL
IFTTT, which stands for If This Than That, lets user automate their social media responses, reducing the time spent updating multiple profiles individually. With the IFTTT app, users can, for example, automate congratulations for LinkedIn work anniversaries or automatically send a tweet whenever new content is added to the business blog. It is integrated with 230 diverse channels including social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Sina Weibo, and Foursquare. It can be used by itself, or in conjunction with Hootsuite or Sprout Social.
PROS: IFTTT reduces the time users spend replicating posts across social networks and posting banal updates like new website content. Automating social media responses lets the user do more (like stay on top of birthdays and anniversaries) without investing more resources.
CONS: IFTTT is by no means a total social media management solution, nor is it intended to be. IFTTT is a specific tool dedicated to Internet automation in general and, while managing social media is a useful function of IFTTT, social media is not its primary objective.
RECOMMENDED FOR: Businesses that share identical content on multiple online platforms
PRICE POINT: IFTTT is free