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Iceni Magazine | April 9, 2020

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Do you need help managing your social media platforms? Social Media Management Tools could be the answer

Article by Paul Kirk – www.paulkirkdesign.co.uk

Are you struggling to juggle all your social media with different logins and dashboards for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn? Are you frustrated that you can’t schedule a tweet within Twitter? Do you want more in-depth data on the success of your post/tweet or reach of your social media profile? Well there’s a solution…

They’re called social media management tools/applications and there’s a variety of free and paid versions available to help you not only manage your Twitter account but also other popular social media platforms all from the one application. The free versions are obviously limited in their functionality/reporting and paid versions can be expensive – so which one’s best for you? Here’s my rundown of two I think you should consider.

1. HootSuite https://hootsuite.com/
HootSuite is a great platform for managing a variety of social media accounts and has lots of great features including scheduling of tweets/posts – this alone probably makes it perfect for most twitter users who need more control. It also offers iOS and Android applications, in addition to the desktop version, to enable you to manage your accounts wherever you are.

The free version offers manual individual scheduling of tweets/updates to multiple social media platforms and free basic reporting.

HootSuite offers two paid versions starting from just $8.99 per month and in addition to the features of the free version, offer more detailed free reports, optional additional paid reports and the ability to be able to bulk upload tweets via a .csv file among other features.

The downside of using HootSuite
Any tweets sent outside of HootSuite are not tracked and neither is using another url shortener other than their own ow.ly url shortener. More detailed analytical reports cost $50 each and if want detailed reports (you may need 2 per month) it can be costly. Probably the biggest issue with using HootSuite is that photos are displayed as text links rather than embedding them visually into the followers tweet timeline like Twitter does.

2. SproutSocial https://sproutsocial.com
It’s an unusual name but it might be the the alternative you’ve been looking for to HootSuite as it allows you to embed photos in your tweets and, just like Twitter itself, they’re visible directly in your followers tweet timelines – which is a huge benefit for scheduling eye-catching updates. In addition to this it also integrates with bit.ly (the URL shortener) allowing you to track clicks and popularity of your tweets.

It doesn’t have a free version but three paid versions offering increasing levels of data analysis and reporting options. Don’t worry though it they offer a free 30 day trial, the usual iOS and Android apps and access to some great webinars.

All reports available on your plan are free (unlike HootSuite) – no matter how many times you create them. The most popular plan is ‘Deluxe’ which offers a comprehensive range of reporting options, but if you’re serious about tracking your reach and engagement (essential if you’re running a high profile event) then the ‘Professional’ plan is for you as it offers viral scheduling and the new ‘Twitter Trends’ report that allows you to see ‘how’ people are talking about you not just who’s talking about you.

The downside of using SproutSocial
Well it’s probably the price – with plans starting at $39 per user/month you have to be sure you’re going to use the platform to its full potential. Apart from that, it’s hard to see a downside to this application.

That’s a quick rundown of two social media management applications, obviously other options are out there – just be sure to do your research and try the free trials before deciding which one works best for you.

If you need support with your social media don’t hesitate to get in touch with me at http://paulkirkdesign.co.uk

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