The world of marketing is heavily dependent on social media. So much so, that has become virtually impossible for a company or a brand to remain isolated from the world of social media anymore. If you have a company, you are more than likely to not only have a website of your business, but also have accounts on various social media platforms. These include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube among others.
The benefits of having accounts on social media for a brand are countless. From having the opportunity to engage with followers and potential customers to build an image of your brand, social media helps you do it all. To engage different demographics, you have to be present on various platforms. While this does work in creating your presence across the social media world, it can get a tad tedious. Working on different social media profiles of your company is both essential and time-taking, but it can be simplified using a social media automation tool.
Hootsuite is one of the major players of this game.
They offer great services like automation, scheduling posts, team management, publishing approval, app integration, and analytics. However, one major drawback of the tool is that it is very expensive for bulk profile management. The free version of the tool only works for 3 profiles. For $20 you get to add 10 profiles, but for 20 profiles you will have to pay somewhere around $100. You only get 50 profiles even when you pay $500. That’s pretty hefty. So, if Hootsuite seems unaffordable to you and you want more features around the same price, 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.
Buffer offers you a “better way to manage your social media”. Like other tools in this niche, Buffer also provides you the service of scheduling posts, analysing performance, and managing all your social accounts from a single dashboard. It saves you the trouble of logging into all your social media accounts.
Other useful features of the tool are 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. You can use Pablo Image Creator on Buffer to create dynamic visual content for your social profiles.
Price – Buffer offers its users a variety of plans ranging from $15-399/month. It also offers a free plan with limited features. You can find out more about the plans and their respective features here.
Pros – Using Buffer will make it easy for you to maintain your presence on social media and help you build your following and influence. Due to its simplicity, it is best recommended for small business owners.
Cons – One major drawback of the tool is that it does not send any notification and provides no option to interact with the followers directly. Buffer also does not have the ability to monitor topics, hashtag recommendations, audience comments, and the reports generated are limited in nature. It is not a comprehensive solution for a business looking for end-to-end social media marketing.
Sprout Social is a “powerful social media software” with an easy-to-use and intuitive interface. The tool allows you to schedule, monitor and analyse all your posts from a single spot. Like other such tools, even Sprout Social helps you in saving time and money on social media management and it’s marketing strategy.
Other useful features of Sprout Social include the compose window that comes with advanced tools, 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.
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 other channels like email or Slack for sending notifications.
SmatSocial allows you to increase your customer engagement by correctly analyzing 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 visitors 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.
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.
There are several automation tools available in the market and they all have their own limitations. While tools like Buffer fail to notify the users and lack the ability of direct interaction with them, others like Sprout Social can leave a big hole in your pocket. You have to choose the tool that fulfills your requirements and works best for you.