Buffer Alternatives 2018

Alternatives to Buffer for Social Media Automation 20187 min read

As the old saying goes, time is of the essence. It is and has been true at all

As the old saying goes, time is of the essence. It is and has been true at all times, but it is especially relevant in today’s world when everything is fast-paced and everyone has too much on their plate. When faced with such difficulties in the social world, companies turn to automation and social media management tools that relieve them off at least some of their burden.

Managing multiple social media accounts is a relentless task that requires certain qualities and can seem overbearing and overwhelming at times. Keeping track of all that it takes to create a well-liked social media account can get difficult. Hence, the use of social media management tools like Buffer and Hootsuite.

Buffer Logo

Buffer is one of the most used tools in this niche. It offers you a “better way to manage your social media”. Buffer provides you with the service of scheduling posts, analysing performance, and managing all your social accounts from a single dashboard. Using the tool not only saves your time and effort, but also saves you the trouble of logging into all your social media accounts one by one as it allows you to manage every social profile from a single dashboard.

Other useful features of Buffer include tracking engagement, generating reports, browser extension, RSS feed. Buffer also comes with a video and GIF uploader that helps you in incorporating the two formats in your content. It also offers the services of Pablo Image Creator for you to create dynamic visual content for your social profiles.

However, if Buffer does not seem like the right fit for you, check out other options available in the market since several of them offer similar features to Hootsuite and some of the tools even provide extra features along with automation using artificial intelligence.

1. Agorapulse

Agorapulse Logo

Agorapulse is a tool that allows you to “harness your social media content and engagement” easily and affordably. Like other management tools, Agorapulse has most of the features you need for social media marketing, monitoring, and management.

Agorapulse offers tools like moderation, publishing, and analytics. The tool also allows you to categorise your audience and lets you see who engages with you the most and who posts about you the most. Agorapulse also finds out the best time for you to tweet or send a post on Facebook through the statistical analysis of your content’s past performance.

Price – Agorapulse offers a variety of plans, namely Small, Medium, Large and Enterprise. You can find out more about the plans and their respective features here.

Pros – The tool makes generating reports a hassle-free task. It is also less pricey than the other tools available. It is best suited for small and medium businesses that have do not have large budgets for social media marketing and offers them features that are at the disposal of the major leagues.

Cons – One negative aspect of the tool is that Agorapulse does not allow scheduling of videos on Instagram anymore whereas you can still do so from other management tools.

2. Sprout Social

Sprout Social Logo

Sprout Social is a powerful social media software with an easy-to-use and intuitive interface. It offers features like scheduling, monitoring and analysing of all your posts from a single platform. Just like other tools in its niche, using Sprout Social’s services will help you in saving time and money on social media management and it’s marketing strategy.

One of the most useful features of Sprout Social is its compose window, which, with its advanced tools, helps you in creating quality content for your social profiles. Sprout Social has other useful features like inbuilt image editor and asset library, custom tags, analytics, URL tracking, report generation. Sprout Social’s Smart Inbox is a valuable feature. It brings all the messages from all your profiles on to a single platform from where you can reply to and interact with your audience.

Price – Sprout Social offers 3 different plans, namely Premium, Corporate, and Enterprise. You can find out more about the plans and their respective features here.

Pros – Sprout Social offers one of the most sophisticated and detailed reports which you can use to improve or change your social media marketing strategies. It is best suited for well-established or bigger brands and businesses.

Cons – One major drawback of the tool, though, is that it has no free plan available and the cost of the paid ones is too high. For those who are just getting started with social media, the price can be a bit steep. Sprout Social also does not offer the ability to track or monitor a trending topic, auto-management of comments and messages, which are useful features to have.

3. SmatSocial

SmatSocial Logo

SmatSocial is an artificial intelligence powered social media marketing tool. It is the best ROI driven social media marketing tool, as described here Like other tools in this area, it offers scheduling, advanced composer, and analytics along with useful features like hashtag recommendation, CTA on link shares, reposting old posts at best times, spreading marketing messages on relevant posts, recommending influencers, auto-replying to comments, lead generation and conversions. It can also be integrated with most social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+. You can connect SmatSocial not only with your social channels, but also with your output channels like email or Slack for sending notifications.

SmatSocial allows you to increase your customer engagement by correctly analysing the responses of your followers. The tool can correctly detect and identify positive and negative sentiments, suggestions, complaints, questions, comparisons, spams and abusive comments. It can also understand misspelled words, shortcuts and bilingual (Hindi and English) remarks. SmatSocial allows you to set up automated actions, for instance, replying to or liking a comment of a follower or sending them a direct message. The tool will automatically reply to the comment based on the aforementioned parameters.

SmatSocial also allows you to create dynamic content for your social media profiles. The tool keeps you updated on the trending topics in your niche. SmatSocial’s content recommendation service will help you post the trending topics to garner more followers. After you share 100 posts using SmatSocial, its AI recommendation improves significantly.

SmatSocial also automatically recommends relevant brands and influencers for you to follow. This feature enables you to reach the right people so you get followed back and when you do, you open yourself to their followers following you. SmatSocial also offers round the clock support.

SmatSocial also comes with its very own chatbot, SmatBot, which brings seamless user experience at your doorstep. It helps in generating leads by automatically interacting with your followers on social media and websites. SmatBot also helps you convert followers into customers by chatting with them. It recommends products and services based on the preference of your followers. Through its SmatBot webhooks, it also answers questions for you and enables you to automate the lead follow-up like quotation generation, relevant recommendation through email or text message, uploading to CRMs. You can learn more about SmatBot here.

Over the years marketers have been trying to monetise social media. One significant outcome of this is social commerce which is the fusion of e-commerce and social media. Chatbots have become essential to this strategy as they help in enhancing the purchase cycle experience, sales optimization, and business model innovation. SmatSocial’s SmatBot acts as an advocate for your brand and helps you in engaging with your customers even in your absence.

Price – SmatSocial not only offers all the features that major automation and scheduling tools do, but it does that at affordable prices. It offers two plans. The first one is the Basic plan the cost of which starts from $15/month which comes down to $9/month when billed annually. The second plan is the Standard Plan and is more popular than the first one. The cost of this plan starts from $45/month and comes down to $27/month when billed annually. It offers all the features in the Basic plan along with content recommendation which is not included in the Basic plan.

Pros – SmatSocial is a single stop for all your social media automation needs. With its AI-driven automation techniques, SmatSocial is a complete package for marketers requiring features like content creation, monitoring, management, lead generation, analytics and conversions through conversations at affordable prices.

Cons – A small disadvantage of using the tool is that its auto-reply to comments feature is only available for Facebook at the moment. However, SmatSocial plans on expanding it to other major platforms like Twitter, Instagram, YouTube very soon.

Conclusion

Choosing the right social media management tool for your business is not the easiest task, but it is imperative to get it right. Depending on your needs and requirements, you should browse the web for different tool and choose the one that suits you the best.

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