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Comparing Social Media Management Tools for Businesses

Benefits & Comparisons between top-rated social media management tools of 2020

Comparing social media tools
Whether your business has 2 social media accounts or 25, your life will be much easier if you manage all of your accounts from one place using a social media management tool. In case you’re wondering what a social media management tool is, it’s software that allows you to manage and share posts across multiple social media accounts and includes other tools to monitor and optimize analytics on those accounts. These days, there is a multitude of social media management tools to choose from (some you can use for FREE!), so it can be overwhelming to decide which is best for your brand.
 
In this post, we’ll take a look at some of the best social media management tools currently available to help you choose which will most benefit your brand.
 
To compare these tools, we’ve divided them into categories according to business type and their unique differentiators, including cost.
 

Top social media management tools for small-medium businesses:

 
Buffer:
Unique product attributes: With Buffer, you have the capability to create and schedule posts for each social network, all in one place. Account subscribers can produce and share content for Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn, “all from one simple dashboard.” As well, you have the power to analyze the content you put out into the world from in-depth insights and  measure social media performance, create reports and obtain powerful information to grow reach, engagement and sales. Buffer also has an incredible library of free resources across their blog posts on topics ranging from video marketing to tech.
 
An important factor to account for if you’re considering Buffer is that you can choose between 2 distinctive account subscriptions that are priced separately: content creation and publishing accounts or analytics and reporting.
They also offer a Brand Building account option that includes the best of both worlds, publishing and analytics.
 
Pricing:

Buffer for Brand Building account offers the best of both worlds – capabilities for publishing and analytics priced at $85 per month.

Buffer Publishing accounts: A dedicated content creation and coordination hub.

           1. A Pro account is $15 per month (all of their accounts include a free 14-day trial)
           2. A Premium account is $65 per month
           3. A Business account is $99 per month
  • Buffer has a FREE account option after your trial of one of their account subscriptions, but it offers dramatically less features. Check out all of their account plans here.
Buffer Analytics accounts: A dedicated social media analytics and reporting hub to measure the output of your content creation.
               1. A Pro account of this type is $30 per month
               2. A Premium account is $50 per month
 
Hootsuite:
Unique product attributes: While Hootsuite allows you to manage a variety of social media accounts from one dashboard and create posts on those social accounts with multiple users, their accounts include both content publishing and analytics software, as opposed to Buffer. Notably, Hootsuite frequently offers new features and integrations for users to seamlessly optimize use of the platform, for example:
  1. Hootsuite has over 250 app integrations that account subscribers can apply as 1 complete suite of tools (such as Smart Moderation and Adobe Stock).
  2. As of August 2020, Hootsuite offers users a new competitor-monitoring app called Synapview, which monitors Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Reddit and blogs. Synapview is free for HS Enterprise account holders and $7 for other users.
  3. Hootsuite also offers a Social Selling tool called Amplify, for account holders to sell products via their social channels.
  4. Even if you aren’t subscribed to Hootsuite, the company offers an array of educational resources pertaining to social media marketing and industry-recognized courses and certification programs.
Pricing:
  1. A Pro account plan is $29 per month
  2. A Team plan is $129 per month
  3. A Business plan is $599 per month
  4. Hootsuite offers custom Enterprise options, priced upon inquiry
  5. Hootsuite offers a FREE 30-day trial for their Pro and Team account plans.
  6. There is also a “limited” FREE plan, which, like Buffer, is vastly limited in comparison to the monthly account plans, but seems like a better option than Buffer’s free option (imho). Read more about Hootsuite’s prices and capabilities here.
CoSchedule:
Unique product attributes: If you’re considering CoSchedule, a distinction to this platform is that its subscription service offers a blog calendar which integrates with WordPress to organize your blogging schedule. The more premium subscription option is the Marketing Calendar, which includes the aforementioned blogging tools. The Marketing Calendar boasts itself as a “marketing tool,” which includes task management and email marketing tools, along with the traditional content scheduling across social media channels. There are a number of software integrations included with the Marketing account subscription, including Mailchimp, Bitly, Hubspot and Dropbox. Another major distinction to account for with CoSchedule is that it does not include analytics capabilities.
Coschedule product pricing
In all, CoSchedule is more organizationally-oriented and a less technical, in-depth social media management tool than Buffer or Hootsuite. Lastly, I will mention that we at Dekaf Digital currently use CoSchedule and have been happy with its interface and functionality thus far.
Pricing:
  1. A Blog Calendar account costs $14 per month
  2. A Marketing Calendar account costs $29 per month.
  3. Each account option offers a FREE 14-day trial – no credit card required. Read more about their account options here.

Our recommendation: For small to medium businesses, we recommend Buffer for Brand Building.

Buffer product pricing

Here’s why: The breadth of content sharing and analytical capabilities offered by Buffer for Brand Building make for a well-rounded powerhouse of tools to set your business up for success. Compared to the other tools shared in this category, Buffer has the best prices and features all-in-one – it’s a great “bang for your buck,” if you will. Get better acquainted with its benefits here.

Top social media management tools for enterprise-level companies

 
Sprinklr:
Unique product attributes: Sprinklr is a robust social media management platform or what the company itself refers to as being a Customer Experience Management (CXM) platform. As an overview, Sprinklr offers a multitude of content marketing features beyond social media management – from competitive AI-powered content insights to collaborative content calendar functionality, to ideation insights and analytics, to performance metrics and milestone tracking. The list of subscription offerings goes on for pages, so I would strongly advise speaking to a member of their sales team to ensure you comprehend the depth of Sprinklr’s capabilities before investing.
 
Pricing: Sprinklr only offers pricing information based upon request. Then again, we are online sleuths, so after some online digging we estimate that it runs upwards of $50K+/year depending on features. For serious inquiries, contact them directly here.
 
Salesforce:
Unique product attributes: Salesforce has a powerful, comprehensive marketing cloud that breaks into separately-priced, highly-customizable, concentrated components for your specific brand needs. The Marketing Cloud system offers a plan for B2B Marketing Automation, Email, Mobile and Journeys, Social Studio, Advertising Studio, Audience Studio, Datorama, Google Marketing Platform and an Interaction Studio. Salesforce also offers an Analytics Cloud subscription, which includes an options called Tableau or Einstein Analytics, each with individual pricing.
 
Pricing: The Salesforce marketing’s plans are so customizable and varied that I would advise you to contact their sales team for serious price inquiries, but here’s a quick overview of one piece of their pricing structure:
What Salesforce calls its Social Studio, is broken down into 4 subscription options, not including analytics, which are:
  1. A Basic account costs $1000 per month
  2. A Pro account costs $4000 per month
  3. A Corporate account costs $12,000 per month
  4. An Enterprise account costs $40,000 per month.

Dig deeper into their pricing structure here.

Hubspot:
Unique product attributes: Hubspot, much like Salesforce and Sprinklr, offers an array of heavy-duty digital marketing and analytics tools. The presentation and description of the many Hubspot tools offered between each subscription plan are especially very user friendly, compared to its aforementioned competitors – less industry jargon that could potentially be confused while speaking to a sales person. A user-friendly user experience is key for every company, so I feel that serves as an asset to Hubspot because it is probable that the quality UX will translate across the application and use of the platform. Additionally, Hubspot offers dedicated CMS subscriptions; a completely unique and powerful feature, not offered by Salesforce or Sprinklr. With a custom CMS and the other subscription tools offered by Hubspot, your company can be holistically in control, with cohesive integrations to facilitate collaboration across teams.
 
Pricing: While most other social media management platforms that offer a FREE option tend to hide it in tiny print at the very bottom of the page, Hubspot promotes both its suite of subscription-based software as well as its FREE CRM and marketing tools all in one place; very transparent of the Hubspot folks. Another unique and gracious quality of Hubspot is that it guarantees its FREE features forever, with unlimited users and the ability to save as many as 1 million contacts and companies in your account. Now, a clever company knows humans don’t usually “buy the cow, if you can get the milk for free.” So ultimately, if your company has a serious need for digital marketing growth and analytics, a paid subscription is likely the better call here.
The subscription plans are separated into 4 different categories:
1. Marketing:
  1. The Starter account priced starting at $50 per month
  2. The Professional account priced started at $800 per month
  3. The Enterprise account priced started at $3,200 per month
2. CRM & Sales:
  1. The Starter priced started at $50 per month
  2. The Professional account starts at $500 per month
  3. The Enterprise account priced starting at $1,200 per month
3. Customer Service:
  1. The Starter priced started at $50 per month
  2. The Professional account starts at $400 per month
  3. The Enterprise account priced starting at $1,200 per month
4. CMS:
 This is a new option, as of August 2020:
  1. The Professional account starts at $300 per month
  2. The Enterprise account starts at $900 per month
  • If you need more than 1 of these subscriptions, Hubspot also offers “bundle” subscriptions, which include multiple abbreviated versions of each account type, all in one cohesive account. Read more about Hubspot here.
Our recommendation:
A tough choice, indeed – for enterprise-level companies, we recommend using Hubspot’s Enterprise Growth Suite (Bundle).
Hubspot enterprise product pricing
Here’s why:
The range of features included in this bundle (and the others) provide a powerful depth of control and insights for your business. When you do the math, the prices are comparable, but we feel the capabilities are particularly exceptional with Hubspot (did we mention it includes a Service Hub?). And again, the UX on their website was most appealing to us, after combing through details between each of these platforms. Create the best Enterprise Bundle for your enterprise company here.
 
Remember, this is a guide and overview of each of these platforms. It’s important to do your homework while keeping your marketing and analytics needs and budgets at the forefront while deciphering which, if any, of these platforms is best for your brand.
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