Social media is a powerful tool for small businesses. You can use it to find new customers, drive traffic to your website, and keep in touch with existing clients. But managing all the different social networks using their consumer apps is, at best, time-consuming and slow, and, at worst, next to impossible.
Because of the differences among all the social networks, it's mostly an either-or situation. The apps that make it easy to post on Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit simultaneously don't offer the deep analytics that a Twitter-focused app does. The different social sites just don't give developers the same tools across the board (social media, social media manager, social media management, social media accounts, social media managers, social media marketing, social media strategy, social media platforms, content calendar, new york, social media profiles, account manager, social media account, public relations, target audience, social media specialist, social networks, social media presence, manager jobs, social network, social media specialists, community manager, social media networks, social media audit, brand awareness, social media directory, social media users, influencer marketing, social accounts, customer service).
For good social media marketing, you need to be able to assess how your different updates perform in general, and compared to each other. Every app on this list on the updates you post with it, so you can see what works and what doesn't. Some go further and let you analyze your followers and other details from your social media accounts.
Free users can connect up to three social accounts, including Facebook Pages and groups. When you first connect a social account, Buffer will create a schedule for you. By default, Buffer creates four slots per day: in the morning, around noon, late-afternoon, and later in the evening for the time zone you've selected.
We tested the i, OS app and found it easy to add updates using the Buffer Extension, which lets you "share" content directly to Buffer from virtually any other app. Your queue, sent posts, and posting schedule are all accessible from the app, and composing an update is a matter of tapping the big plus button at the bottom of the screen.
Buffer can be collaborative—but only if you're willing to cough up for a more expensive plan that removes the need to hand out credentials and allows you to approve new posts before they're added to the queue. With Zapier, it's easy to link any other service you use to Buffer.
When it comes to social monitoring, Zoho Social again sets itself apart from many other social media services in its price bracket. On your home page, you can see a Live Stream of how people are interacting with you online. If someone tweets at you, comments on a post, or sends you a DM, you'll see it instantly.
When you click Auto-Generate Variations, Meet, Edgar will create four possible updates based on the contents of your link. You can edit them, delete them, or add your own manual variations, and then click Save to Library. This is the only tool we came across while researching that actually creates your content for you.
Another standout feature is the ability to categorize your updates. Add different types of content to different categories, so you can better space out content types over the course of your schedule. You may want to create one category for blog posts, another for how-to posts, and another for promotional material.
On your dashboard and when you create a new post, Loomly presents you with a number of post ideas. They can be related to your industry (which you select when you set up a calendar for the first time), things trending on Twitter, current events that Loomly's team thinks are newsworthy, or just random ideas.
If you want to look into the future and plan your social media in advance, go to your calendar and click into the Ideas view (it's the little lightbulb icon). Loomly will then present you with a calendar of upcoming events, holidays (big and small), and other things for post ideas.
No service would be complete without a full set of analytics tools, including a Google Analytics integration to help measure the effect that social campaigns have on website traffic. The app comes with some ready-to-run reports, or you can craft your own if you're on the Traction plan or higher.
You can easily change the date range for displayed data in the top-right corner. There are several different pages of these graphs to browse, including Engagement, Reach, and Community. Download any of these in CSV or PNG format by hovering over the download button and making a selection. Some of the more useful charts include "Most engaging media" on the Engagement tab, "Age and Gender of your audience" under Community, and detailed story statistics under Stories.