5 Social Media Management Tools You Should Consider

social media toolsHave your social media activities spiraled out of control?

Are you looking for tools to simplify the management of your social media marketing?

Would you like better insight into your audience or the ability to compare your social activities against the competition?

These are some of the capabilities you’ll discover in the five social media management tools listed below.

In this article I reveal five social management tools that just might make your life a bit easier.

Check out what they have to offer and see if they are a good fit for your business needs.

#1: Sprout Social Helps You Engage Followers and Respond in Real Time

One of the best things about Sprout Social is the user interface. Many people find it easier to process and digest data when it’s presented graphically. That’s one of the strengths of this tool—you can quickly check data and figure out how to respond to it.

Sprout Social summary demographics

Sprout Social gives you the information you need in an easy-to-read graphic format.

Another important aspect of Sprout Social is the Smart Inbox. It’s designed to help you respond quickly and easily from different social media accounts (Twitter, Facebook, etc.), post different message types (mentions, direct messages, wall posts, etc.) and even sort by brand keywords.

Sprout Social respond to messages

Sprout Social offers different tabs for you to respond to messages.

There are a wide variety of ways you can use Sprout Social to manage your campaigns, but one of the best is the Twitter Comparison Tool. It’s a great way to compare your Twitter usage to that of your friends and competitors.

Sprout Social Ian Cleary engagement influence

Use Sprout Social’s Twitter Comparison Tool to compare yourself with others.

Sprout Social is ideally suited for people who like to digest and process information visually. It can be used by individuals or teams and has very solid reporting and analytics.

The cost is reasonable and their free 30-day trial is perfect for people who are interested in taking it out for a spin.

#2: MarketMeSuite Provides an Easy-to-Use Dashboard That Works Like Email

If there’s one thing everyone reading this article has in common, it’s that we’re all comfortable using email. A message comes in, you open it and then you respond.

That’s the approach MarketMeSuite uses for its social media management tool. The dashboard is designed to work the same way an email inbox works. You can look at messages in the preview pane, and then open them up to explore more about the person who sent the message.

Marketmesuite preview

MarketMeSuite is designed like an email inbox.

If you’re like many people, you’re busy trying to run the day-to-day operations of your business, so sitting down and learning a new tool by trial and error is time-consuming.

One of the strengths of MarketMeSuite is that it has a built-in tutorial to walk you through the basics of using the platform. The tutorial guides you through a simple 9-step process to help you get up and running fast.

Best of all, it takes the guesswork out of trying to figure out all the bells and whistles—just complete the tutorial and you’ll have a great foundation to work from.

Marketmesuite Tutorial

MarketMeSuite has a built-in tutorial.

MarketMeSuite has plenty of other strengths, too. Their geo-targeting feature allows you to locate customers using social media who are near your business. It allows you to manage multiple social media profiles. And you can schedule messages across social networks with just one click.

You might be interested in taking advantage of MarketMeSuite’s free service as you make up your mind about which of their fee-based programs suits your needs.

#3: Sendible Provides Brand Monitoring and Sentiment Analysis for Businesses

Here’s a question: If you found out that 70% of your customers described your product as “cheap” while only 30% described it as “a good value,” would that be important to your business? Absolutely. And that explains one of the strengths of the Sendible platform.

With its 360° brand monitoring and sentiment analysis feature, you’re able to read and respond to what people are saying about your brand across the web. Plus, if you want to really be proactive, you can monitor what people are saying about your competitors’ products, too.

That way, when someone posts an update about a negative experience with a competitor, you can gently (and politely) introduce him or her to your brand. (Note: Be cautious with this tactic, because if you’re too aggressive, it can backfire.)

Sendible

Sendible allows you to monitor both positive and negative sentiment about your brand.

Like other social media management platforms, Sendible provides a wide variety of features at an affordable price. You can engage with new and existing customers across multiple platforms, analyze and track your social media and email campaigns, measure the success of the content you share and a multitude of other things.

Sendible is terrific if you’re a data junkie; there’s a lot of information to plow through with their platform. The user interface isn’t as elegant as some of the other options mentioned here, so if “look and feel” is important to you, it might not be perfect. But if you’re more focused on content, then Sendible has plenty of data that can be put to use for your business.

#4: Socialbakers Provides Large Amounts of Data in a User-Friendly Interface

If you want to combine the data available in Sendible with the user interface available with Sprout Social and MarketMeSuite, then you might want to check out Socialbakers.

It’s the most expensive of the tools reviewed here, but it may be worth the price. (Note: It’s just the most expensive of the batch here. There are more expensive tools aimed at big brands.)

Socialbakers tracks fan growth across multiple platforms so you can determine which content was the most well-received by your audience.

It also allows you to analyze fan growth by days of the week and times of the day. That way, you can track when your audience is most likely to respond to your content.

Socialbakers tracking

Socialbakers gives you a lot of data in an easy-to-read format.

Are you interested in tracking how your social media campaigns are performing compared to your competitors? You’ll like some of the tools available with Socialbakers.

You can compare how you stack up on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube and see all of your competitors’ pages, profiles and channels in an easy-to-understand dashboard.

Best of all, you can analyze the content that prospective customers find most engaging, which leads to better content from you.

Socialbakers Comparison

Socialbakers lets you compare results.

Socialbakers also has a number of reports available on their website, including statistics from Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+ and LinkedIn. It even breaks some of the data out by country, making it perfect for the international crowd.

#5: Crowdbooster Does Much of the Thinking for You

Is the idea of drilling down into vast amounts of data and analyzing what to do with it is a bit daunting? Enter Crowdbooster, a social media management tool for people who want their tools to make recommendations for them.

With Crowdbooster, you can check the number of retweets, replies, impressions, likes and comments by date range or in real time. You can also drill down to see who retweeted you, how many shares were organic and how effective your campaigns have been.

Crowdbooster Graphic

Crowdbooster provides you with the data you need to determine the success of your marketing campaigns.

One of the strengths of Crowdbooster is that it provides email alerts that are dropped into your inbox each day. The alerts give you a summary of the data that Crowdbooster collected and, best of all, provides recommendations on how you should respond.

That way, for example, when someone with a high Klout score follows you, Crowdbooster will recommend that you follow her back and engage with her.

About the only weakness of Crowdbooster is the fact that it currently only supports Twitter and Facebook, so if YouTube, LinkedIn, Google+ or any of the other social media platforms are an important part of your mix, Crowdbooster may not be for you. But if you like the idea of having a tool that provides data and recommendations, then you’ll want to check it out.

Which Social Media Management Tool Is Right for You?

The tools listed above have a lot of great qualities. There are still others out there that you may want to investigate, including SproutLoud, Wildfire, SocialBro, MediaFunnel and others.

No matter which approach you take, if you’re ready for a more robust platform, you can’t go wrong with the tools mentioned here.

What do you think? Have you used any of these tools? What would you recommend? Leave your questions and comments in the box below.

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About the Author, Jamie Turner

Jamie Turner is the Founder of the 60 Second Marketer, a winner of Social Media Examiner’s Top 10 Social Media Blog award. He is also the CEO of 60 Second Communications, a digital marketing agency based in Atlanta. Other posts by »




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  • Maria Ahmed

    Great post, I haven’t actually come across one that delves deep and offers a variety. I have become so used to Hootsuite that I wasn’t even sure is anything else existed!

  • Emeric

    Great post Jamie! Probably took you a lot of time to test these out. I have a couple of clients who have used socialbakers, but they thought the amount of data was overwhelming for them and they did not have the time to review it all and take action. Also, their pricing has went way up recently.
    For positive / negative sentiment, the feedback I’ve always had was that it was far from accurate and sometimes created more problems (with false positive) than solutions. What’s your experience on that with sendible?
    Finally, sprout is a good solution for Twitter, I use it myself :-)

  • http://www.SelfEmployedKing.com/ Mike Kawula

    Nice Post. Last week I heard @KevinSelhi speak in Newark NJ and with so many different management tools to consider, he really stressed just finding one and learning your own Analytic numbers. Great tools mentioned!

  • Suri

    Great post!
    Buffer and Polarbear are also great social media tools.

  • http://www.EntrepreneurOnFire.com/ John Lee Dumas

    Great post Jamie! Thanks for sharing these social media management tools! I’m sure every online marketer will find them very useful :-)

    Have a rockin Wednesday everyone!

    ~John Lee Dumas

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  • http://www.intervistedisuccesso.com/ Leonardo Plebani

    Never used one of those. Thanks for sharing, they look very helpful!

    _Leo

  • http://www.60SecondMarketer.com Jamie Turner

    Glad you enjoyed the post, John. It’s getting harder and harder to stay on top of things, so these tools are great time-savers, too!

  • http://www.60SecondMarketer.com Jamie Turner

    Glad you enjoyed it, Suri!

  • http://www.60SecondMarketer.com Jamie Turner

    Very good point, MIke. Embrace one tool and go deep with it. That’s a prescription for success!

  • http://sproutsocial.com/ Brit at Sprout Social

    Happy to have you with us, Emeric!

  • http://www.60SecondMarketer.com Jamie Turner

    Hi, Emeric —

    Great to hear from you. Your overall point is a good one, which is that each tool has its strengths and weaknesses and the best approach is to find a tool that works for your specific needs. Socialbakers might have too much data or Sendible might send false positives. So, the solution is to test your way to success and find the tool that’s right for you.

    I would like to point out that your company http://www.AgoraPulse.com has a terrific set of social media tools. You’re too humble to mention AgoraPulse in your comment, but I know a lot of people who recommend it highly.

    Thanks for stopping by!

    – Jamie

  • http://www.60SecondMarketer.com Jamie Turner

    For some reason, I haven’t been able to wrap my mind around HootSuite, although everyone who uses it loves it. I’m a TweetDeck guy, when I’m not using the tools mentioned above.

  • http://www.60SecondMarketer.com Jamie Turner

    Glad you like them, Leo. The key is to give one a try and see if it’s a fit. If so, great. If not, work your way down the list.

    Thanks!

  • Premierbranded

    We have looked at some many sites as well as people to get our media running better. These look like they might fit the bill.

    we are @ facebook: Premierbranded. We have a new blog connection on our web site plus twitter,you tube bing +.

    Thank you for this article.

  • Nancy Roberts

    I use Sprout Social and find it very useful, particularly for coordinating tasks among a cross-department team. The interface is clean and attractive, unlike Hootsuite, which gives me a headache.

  • http://twitter.com/VGamble13 Vincent Gamble

    @jamieturner:disqus Yea I have to say I love Hootsuite… and it’s free. I use it to take care of all my Social Media work: ie set up auto Posts/Tweets, track interactions, and a few other things.
    If you have trouble with it holler I can give you a run down via G+, or you might want to look into the Hootsuite University. I loved it, and once I got certified through Hootsuite Univ I had an even better understanding. -Vince

  • http://twitter.com/lovedbyGod2 Lee

    Love SproutSocial! I would consider myself a very basic techie and even I found Sendible overwhelming. Might try some of the others you mentioned. Sprout has a good discount for nonprofits, and that’s basically what I manage.

  • http://twitter.com/Dpuiatti Daniel Puiatti

    Great post, thank you for this Jamie. However, are there any free tools or a collection of tools that may duplicate the functions of paid services?

  • Emeric

    Hi Jamie, thanks for your kind reply :-) You’re right, there is not such a thing as a “one size fits all” in Social Media Management Tools, everyone has to test things our to see what really fit their needs. That’s not always easy for the users as this requires to invest a lot of time in testing things out…

    And I’m probably the least self promotional person I know of, so I rarely mention my own stuff, thank you for doing it for me ;-)

  • http://www.thesocialmediahandyman.com Paul Chaney

    Happy to see Sprout Social first on the list. I’ve tried several different platforms and always come back to it. I don’t know why I love it so, but I do.

  • http://www.60SecondMarketer.com Jamie Turner

    I really like the Sprout Social user interface. Glad to see you like it, too.

  • http://www.thomaswooldridge.com/ Thomas Wooldridge

    man i can’t keep with these tools.. So far i use commun.it but now i gotta play with these others

  • http://www.lucrazon.com/blog Alice Ly | Lucrazon

    Personally I use a mix of HootSuite (free version), Buffer, and Google Analytics.

  • http://www.60SecondMarketer.com Jamie Turner

    Hi, Guest. Many of the tools mentioned above have free versions, although we intentionally focused on tools that were a step above the free tools like HootSuite and TweetDeck.

  • http://www.60SecondMarketer.com Jamie Turner

    Thanks for the great tip about HootSuite University, Vincent!

  • http://www.60SecondMarketer.com Jamie Turner

    I’m a big fan of Sprout Social, too!

  • http://www.60SecondMarketer.com Jamie Turner

    I must admit, Nancy — HootSuite gives me a headache, too. But Vincent mentioned HootSuite University in a comment above. That might be a good solution for people who really want to give it a shot.

  • http://www.60SecondMarketer.com Jamie Turner

    Glad you liked the article. Thanks!

  • http://www.60SecondMarketer.com Jamie Turner

    Glad you liked the post, Brittany. You guys have a really easy-to-use interface. Keep up the good work!

    – Jamie

  • Alisha john

    Very nice post and very interesting, i liked it

  • http://twitter.com/admom1 SocialK Comm.

    Jamie, you and I must be on the same track. ;) I never got into HootSuite, either, and then used TweetDeck until I discovered SproutSocial. I really like their iPhone app, too; it makes it very easy to manage multiple social accounts. (I’ve heard from other people that it can be easy to post from the wrong account w/HootSuite.) Also, Sprout has good reporting for each account that’s linked (Twitter/FB/GoogleAnalytics) and great support. Good article; had not heard of Socialbakers. Thanks!

  • http://sproutsocial.com/ Brit at Sprout Social

    Thanks so much for the kind words! Much appreciated and happy to hear you’re loving the management features, mobile app, reports, and support.

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  • jamie9millar

    Hi Jamie.

    Sprout’s awesome! I came across this interview with Justyn Howard:

    “There’s another feature I’d love to mention as our customers are begging for it. Unfortunately, I’m not allowed to talk about it and contractually we can’t even say that it’s almost finished. Aside from that, we’re totally revamping our reporting engine and opening up some internal tools that we’ve built. We’ve had a very aggressive roadmap the past two years, but 2013 will bring twice as much new functionality.”

    WHAT COULD THE NEW FEATURE BE?!

    Read interview here: http://doeswhat.com/2013/04/22/interview-with-justyn-howard-sprout-social/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+doeswhat+(DoesWhat%3A+Interviews+with+tech+founders+and+CEOs)

  • http://twitter.com/KimTrinity SieanyeneKim Trinity

    Great article, thanks for sharing. I like sendible

  • http://www.danielmelbye.com/ Daniel Melbye

    Yes I wish they would improve the user interface it is so clunky. Sprout Social is so much prettier

  • http://www.danielmelbye.com/ Daniel Melbye

    Unfortunately Tweetdeck is disappearing. Hootsuite allows the widest range of social channels and integartion of apps.

  • http://www.JamesMGc.co.uk/ James MG Cavanagh

    I wrote something a little more brief like this the other day. I prefer Hootsuite as my method of social media management.

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  • Brooke Wright

    What tools do you recommend for someone helping a few small businesses out with their marketing? Should I create my own account to manage all of theirs, or should I create accounts separately for each business within one of these tools?

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sendible-Web/585241329 Sendible Web

    Great list Jamie! Thanks for including Sendible on your list, we’d be happy to provide online training to anyone wanting to learn more about our dashboard. Just get in touch :)

  • Tammy Kahn Fennell

    Thanks so much for including MarketMeSuite! So much in store for 2013!
    ~Tammy, CEO @MarketMeSuite

  • James Watt

    Thanks! Will do!

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  • http://twitter.com/ToddCopen todd copen

    Hi Brooke, my name’s Todd. Did you ever get a response to your question? Manage each business with their own account? or manage all businesses from one account?

  • http://twitter.com/ToddCopen todd copen

    Jamie I too am just getting into the social media world on a professional level, any start up advice you may suggest aside from the tools mentioned here to check out?

    I do share a question alongside Brooke,

    If you wish to manage several small businesses, is it best to manage individual business media streams from an account of their own? or all of the businesses in one account? I guess I’m asking for how others organize their campaigns.

    What are your experiences? If others wish to chime in too on what you may suggest or have experienced please do so!

    Thank you for your article, and time!

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  • EllieTruffle

    It’s not disappearing is it? I thought it was just closing its mobile end so they could focus on their desktop app?

  • EllieTruffle

    Would love to hear which tools were mentioned!

  • http://www.SelfEmployedKing.com/ Mike Kawula

    Ellie – Kevin was very big with measuring your own stats pulling in data from Google Analytics and not solely trusting the data shown for instance in Facebook. Suggested also using a service like Hootsuite for few weeks and analyzing your own data often (ie what resonates with your own community as for time of day & type of content). The presentation was great and he’ll email the dec if you send him an email at : kevin@outbrain,com

  • http://www.danielmelbye.com/ Daniel Melbye

    Last I read it was planning to completely shut.

  • Rich Korzeniewski

    What tools do you suggest for Non North American users i.e. to use VK.com in Russia etc.?.

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  • GrrrlRob

    I want to thank you and all the commenters, this was very helpful! I am changing careers after 20 years and doing an internship at a PR firm. I was told to go find the social management tool i wanted to use and report back. I was clueless!
    For ease of use I will probably use hootsuite for now but I was very impressed with Socialbaker. It seems to be the only one that incorporates youtube and the side-by- side competitor-real-time-comparison seemed very cool.
    I bookmarked the list to refer back to and signed up for your newsletter, too. I need all the help I can get :) Thanks again!

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  • GrrrlRob

    Wow! I dashed off an email to kevin@outbrain.com yesterday, thinking there was no way would he respond but this morning he sent an email with 20+links to articles about SEO and Social! What a nice guy. So glad I stumbled across this site and thanks Mike for pointing me in Outbrain’s direction

  • http://www.60SecondMarketer.com Jamie Turner

    Hi, Todd –

    Generally speaking, I would suggest using a tool like Sprout Social or MarketMeSuite to run multiple accounts.

    I hope that helps!

    Cheers,
    Jamie

  • http://www.60SecondMarketer.com Jamie Turner

    I’d go with Sprout Social, which will work as well in Russia as it will in the U.S.

    Thanks!

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  • http://www.eBizROI.com Rick Noel, eBiz ROI, Inc.

    Excellent post Jamie. I dig the feature comparisons as well as your analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of each of the 5 social media management platforms. You also provide valuable info on the context where each tool shines to help determine which platforms are most relevant to a readers needs and situation. Definitely some good food for thought and motivation to take some of the 30 day test drives offered by many of the platforms you covered. Thanks for sharing.

  • niki

    I actually spent $800 on a white label with Sendible and interface and customer service is horrible, the software is always breaking, links not working. Themes not showing up right. Ive had it for almost three years, no clients will use it because it too confusing to use. Im ready to walk away $800 and nothing. Looking for a better one, I think I might try Sprout and see if they have a affiliate or something, no more white labels for me. waste of money.

  • http://bloggingengage.com/ Dok Simon [Blogging Engage]

    Great post .. looks old but it is fresh and important !!







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