5 Social Media Management Platforms for Small Businesses

  • SumoMe

Social Media Management ToolsSocial Media and Digital Media Managers need effective tools for managing multiple social media accounts whether they are for their own companies or they are working with clients. As tools are always upgrading and new ones continually coming onto the market, managers get comfortable with specific ones. Different tools are needed for different levels of management. It is not always easy to know which to use or try.  As I have tried many of them, I want to mention a number of the major ones that are more affordable to micro and small businesses.

1) Buffer: https://bufferapp.com

Comment: The sign up free version gives you a little taste of how the app works and no credit card is required until you decide to go to the Awesome version. These are both “personal” or 1 business versions.

The free 7 day trial for Business versions requires no credit card which is always nice because at the end of the 7 days if you have decided you do not care to continue with it, it will drop back to the free version. No harm done!

Benefits:

  • Schedule Posts.
  • You can aggregate content from RSS feeds and share content directly from them on the paid business and awesome versions.
  • They have an app for Android and iOS.
  • You can que posts from your email.
  • It posts images as inline images on Twitter.
  • You can use a personal domain for link shortening.
  • Time saving when using to post to social media platforms.
  • Has a built in URL shortener.
  • Has analytics depending on version.

Challenges:

  • You can only schedule posts to TW, FB LI, G+ and App.net. on the free version.
  • Tagging is only available with Twitter.
  • The individual plan can only connect one of each social profile so it is just for sole-proprietors or personal use. This doesn’t give you a good picture of how the social media management side truly works and 7 days of free use for businesses means you have to make good use of those days to see if it is something you really want to pay for.
  • No Dashboard – as in overall view of everything going on with any particular social media account. You have to click on each individual account to see what was posted and it also shows analytics.

Cost:

  • The Awesome version starts at $10/month and includes 200 posts, 12 social profiles and 2 team members.
  • Small business plans start at $50/month and include 25 connected social accounts, 5 team members, unlimited scheduled posts, RSS feeds and rich analytics along with all standard features.
  • They have a transparency policy as far as where your fees go when paying for any business version of Buffer and show you here https://bufferapp.com/business.

Free version or free test period:

  • You can sign up for Buffer and use a very limited versions for free.
  • The business plans have a free 7 day trial.
  • Non-profits get a 50% discount.

Support:

  • Unknown.
  • On the free version support is reached either through Tweeting to them or through an internal email.
  • They have quite an extensive FAQ page for general assistance also.
  • They have several “how to” videos on their YouTube Channel.
  • Support appears to be all email.

 2) Hootsuite: https://hootsuite.com/

Comment: For $9.99 a month a social media manager for small businesses can maintain several social media accounts and see how the platform really works. Their 30 day trial also gives you a good amount of time to try either the Pro or Small Business Plans.

The free version only allows posting to three platforms, making that basically for the casual user.

Benefits:

  • Schedule posts.
  • You can aggregate content from RSS feeds and share content directly from them on the paid business and awesome versions.
  • They have an app for Android and iOS.
  • Geo targeting for Facebook and LinkedIn pages.
  • It has an app directory with a collection of extensions and applications business professionals can add to their Hootsuite dashboard to create a customized experience. http://appdirectory.hootsuite.com/
  • You can use a personal domain (vanity url) for link shortening.
  • Time saving when using to post to social media platforms.
  • Has a built in URL shortener.
  • Has analytics depending on version.

Challenges:

  • You can only schedule to 3 platforms on the free version.
  • Due to LinkedIn changing their API frequently, Hootsuite tends to drop connection with those accounts off and on.
  • It posts images as inline images on Twitter only from the Pro paid version or above.

Cost:

  • The Free plan allows up to 3 social profiles, no team members and 2 RSS feeds.
  • The Pro Plan costs $9.99/month with  50 social profiles, 1 team member and unlimited RSS feeds.
  • Their Small Business Plan is $49/month includes all Pro features with extras like One hour 1-on-1 dashboard setup and training session, 1 additional Enhanced Analytics Reports, Enhanced technical support and Hootsuite University on-demand training.
  • Hootsuite offers a discount to non-profits.

Free version or free test period:

  • They do have a free version for personal use.
  • They have a 30 day free trial on the Pro Plan and Small Business Plan.

Support:

  • Good.
  • They offer you to send them feedback to any of their many social media channels.
  • They offer support through their Twitter Account and you can contact sales at another one of their Twitter Accounts.
  • They also have an online Help Desk that seems to have good search capability.

3) TweetDeck: https://about.twitter.com/products/tweetdeck

Comment: Tweetdeck is currently owned by Twitter. In my observations, when the social media platform owns a posting or photo platform, those are the ones you tend to give better results with.

Tweetdeck is an online / mobile app, which differs it from Hootsuite which is an internet based platform.

Benefits:

  • Scheduled Tweets.
  • TweetDeck is set up to use Twitter to it’s fullest capabilities via searches, listening and more.
  • It posts images as inline images on Twitter.
  • You can add multiple Twitter accounts.
  • Tweet, monitor and follow new accounts from all—or just one of your accounts.
  • You can set up alerts.

Challenges:

  • This is a Twitter Specific posting platform. It does not post to any other social media accounts.
  • If you use TweetDeck it would be in addition to whatever other platform you are using to post to your other social media accounts.
  • You need to use Google or another URL shortener if you wish to shorten links.
  • No analytics – you need to use Twitters analytics or another product.

Cost:

  • Free

Best Use:

  • If you want to schedule your Twitter posts and want them seen as if you posted them directly to Twitter, this is the app to use.

Free version or free test period:

  • As TweetDeck is free you can test it all you would like.

Support:

  • Unknown
  • If you wanted to forward an idea to them for improvement or have an issue with the app, they have an account on Twitter along with Twitter itself has a Support account to be reached at too.
  • There are many tutorials on YouTube by others on how to use TweetDeck.

 4) SocialOomph   https://www.socialoomph.com/

Comment:

They can automate their Twitter accounts to automatically send welcome DMs to their new followers. This is an intrusive way to welcome people on Twitter. It should be done through the feed. It takes several steps on Twitter to opt out of this.

Benefits:

  • Monitor many social media channels all in one place.
  • Schedule posts.
  • You can aggregate content from RSS feeds and share content directly from them on the paid business and awesome versions.
  • Could not find if the have an app for Android and iOS.
  • Time saving when using to post to social media platforms.
  • Integrate blog and social media updates
  • Has a URL shortener.
  • Has analytics depending on version.
  • Employees can email tweets.

Challenges:

  • In the professional version it has many automated items you may not want. I’m not sure if you can turn these off and on easily.
  • You have to use their in-house URL shortening service, dld.bz.

Cost:

  • The Free version only handles up to 5 Twitter accounts and no other social media channels.
  • The Professional version starts at $35.94/month billing $17.97 every two weeks.
  • If you need to connect more than five Twitter accounts, then their SocialOomph Twitter Unlimited subscription is your solution at an additional $6.97 every two weeks.

Best Use:

  • Social Media Monitoring and post scheduling
  • Software created heavily around Twitter Use

Free version or free test period:

  • Free Version for Twitter only
  • 7 day free trial on Professional Level

Support:

  • They have a forum.
  • They prefer to correspond by email. They favorite reply is We will need to investigate further.
  • 302-261-5717 Number Listed but it is noted – (Please do not call this number for user support, questions, or inquiries. You will get much faster response by submitting a support ticket using the link above.)  support@socialoomph.com
  • Self help center only list basic questions.
  • YouTube how to videos done by others.

5) Send Social Media: – This is first hand experience a few months ago. It may have or have not improved since.   https://sendsocialmedia

Comment:

Send Social Media is a very robust social media management platform. Small to mid size companies and social media managers would find this platform exceedingly useful in monitoring, posting, analytics and much more for their social media channels / clients.

Benefits:

  • Supports 30+ networks.
  • Create SMS Text campaigns.
  • Email auto responders.
  • Monitor your brand / reviews across the internet.
  • Manage accounts for multiple clients and assign to team members.
  • Monitor many social media channels all in one place.
  • Schedule posts.
  • You can aggregate content from RSS feeds and share content directly from them.
  • Has mobile apps for Android, iOS and Windows7.
  • Time saving when using to post to social media platforms.
  • Integrate blog and social media updates.

Challenges:

  • You have to purchase additional credits to use the email and SMS features.
  • There is a learning curve as this platform can do so much.
  • Starts at $39/month for up to 100 profiles at Bronze Level.

Best Use:

  • Social media scheduling and keyword monitoring.

Free version or free test period:

  • They give a 14 day free trial on their plans.

Support:

  • Poor customer service.
  • Phone number is an answering service. I never received a return call.
  • They have submit a request via email on their site.
  • They have a YouTube channel with “how-to” videos.

 A Couple of Other Helpful Sites:

Buzzsumo

Buzzsumo has all types of great plans to pull alerts and mentions and much more. But they have a free one that you can create and account and use to manually search. You can find any type of top content or influencers and see what is getting top shares and on what sites, use it to manually post to your sites and see who has shared the information. It is a really strong site for the free version to help you find content to share or to blog about.

Cyfe

This is an all in one dashboard that gives you at-a-glance statistics on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+.  Cyfe markets itself as social media, analytics, marketing, sales, support, infrastructure… monitor everything! I believe it can if you purchase the paid version which is only $19/month.

There are so many apps and programs on the internet now to help you manage your social media and to be used in managing clients’ social media it is hard to even begin to list them. It can be really confusing filtering through all of them; believe me I know. I search through them daily.

The ones I have listed above are some of the main ones used for micro and small businesses, along with social media managers that have a small number of clients they are working with.

There are many robust platforms that run in the hundreds of dollars a month for large companies and corporations. You may have run into some when looking for one for yourself. This is why I wanted to get this information out to small businesses to let them know that there are many that don’t have to break the bank, but that work really well, and others to watch out for.


Colleen Gray and the Social Media Management Certification Class – Boomerang Social http://Boomerang-Social.com

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