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Social Media Management Platforms, an ICUC Perspective

Even the casual social media user finds it challenging staying on top of more than one platform, but it’s a challenge that businesses must overcome to find social success. Fortunately, several social media management tools help companies share effectively while monitoring engagement and reach.

When choosing the right social media management system for a company, many variables come into play. How many team members need access? What access control features might be required? Are reports critical? If so, what kind, how detailed, and how frequently do they need to happen? How many platforms are in use? What level of draft-writing and scheduling is necessary?

Depending on goals, audiences, and team size, mileage does vary with all the common tools available for social media management. Here are some services we’re quite familiar with, and a few reasons their users enjoy their systems.

Spredfast

Spredfast is popular with teams of 10 and under but is still a useful tool for larger teams too, thanks to how quickly it generates reports useful for strategizing and planning. Multiple dashboard pages also add oomph to those reports, thanks to how they break down insights into categories like platform analytics, influencer identification, consumer insights, competitor monitoring, and other helpful information. Spredfast also boasts an easy-to-use search engine that isn’t too finicky, along with content albums that allow at-a-glance viewing of all shared content.

The influencer identification page, for instance, allows users to enter keywords they’re after in an influencer’s biography, plus whether they’re verified and how many users the influencers have, along with common hashtags and other search terms routinely employed. Then, Spredfast scours platforms and provides influencers matching these criteria. These leads can be helpful, but the game is changing and these metrics are not as valuable as they once were, given we’re learning how rampant bought followers are amongst influences. Plus, there are other aspects that should be considered when choosing a personality to suit a brand – like the reach their followers may also have. Still, it’s a good starting point for teams to consider.

For those who’ve used Spredfast over the long haul, they say they love how the app continuously brings in new features and refined performance. For example, in May 2018, Spredfast launched a feature called “Vault,” a browser plug-in allowing team management to grant credentials access to multiple members without handing over the kingdom’s keys through account passwords. This means some actions that need direct access, like ad management and deleting posts, can now be completed securely through Vault, while member access can be controlled through time limits. Also handy is that team managers can use the “audit trail” feature to monitor who’s used access and when.

Sprinklr

For large enterprise teams accustomed to deep-diving into complex workflows where collaboration is key, Sprinklr is a great social media management tool. Its dashboard screens are both many and comprehensive. It shines in planning, where it allows teams to create high-level campaigns featuring monthly, quarterly, and annual views. It offers the opportunity to define tasks and assign them to specific team members, while having shareable comments and ways to establish quality guidelines within campaigns.

The analytics are great for both internal and external data. If you’re after tracking your competitor’s best-performing posts, this will do that for you. It also helps to monitor media types, content topics, and engagements that drive traffic to you. Monitoring allows you to track audiences, sentiment, moods, and even market trends. Platform integration is thorough too, as it works with everything from Twitter to Survey Monkey.

Sprinklr is one of the more expensive solutions, but it offers a good variety of customer service that seems to keep most of its users happy.

Hootsuite

One of the most popular social media management systems around, Hootsuite entered the social management game early. Today, it’s useful across all sizes of teams, including enterprise teams where delegation is critical. Its pricing is considered competitive and flexible, from teams of two to ten under Hootsuite Pro, or larger groups, which are priced as Hootsuite Enterprise. Its workflow is designed for groups, such as how specific engagements can be assigned to a one member to deal with, and other engagements assigned elsewhere, ensuring the person with the right know-how handles the right questions, as well as avoiding multiple replies on the same matter. This makes Hootsuite especially suited for customer service and oversight.

Where Hootsuite gets big points is in allowing multiple social platforms to be managed from one page. In fact, multiple streams from a single platform can be included on that page with others, too, so teams handling multiple accounts can stay plugged into several at once. Hootsuite’s social scheduling tool has been popular with users for years and has only improved with time. This is integral when looking for best reach, since data shows that specific content types and messages with perform better when broadcasted at select times, making Hootsuite’s scheduler perfect for selecting the best times for tweets, posts and updates to go live. You’ll never miss that high-performance window. It’s an especially handy feature when company holidays and vacations are coming up.

Adobe Experience Cloud

Those familiar with the Adobe brand know it’s built powerful products like their Creative Suite with Photoshop and their omnipresent PDF Reader. This is their social solution, which can work hand-in-hand with Adobe Analytics, but reporting isn’t as strong without subscribing to Analytics as well.

But for those not seeking an enterprise-level product, this can be a great social management system. It’s got at-a-glance visualization and monitoring of several social feeds on a single dashboard. Its reliability is good for small teams, as is Social’s customizable templates for use with posting, which cuts down the workload in getting polished posts prepared quickly.

Sprout Social

Sprout is very popular with its users, getting high marks for its ease of use and straightforward, user-friendly design. For teams who work with others, Sprout is geared toward collaboration. This is especially noticeable with its “smart inbox” that allows for forwarding and routing of private messages across all your social platforms, ensuring you stay abreast of all communications with a minimum of fuss.

Sprout is big on clean, appealing and intuitive design, and this ticks the boxes for its users. They also love its scheduler for its simplicity, and especially its ViralPost option for “optimal send time,” which uses an algorithm to take guesswork out of when best to post a tweet or update. Sprout’s clients also like the custom reports options and the analytics it involves. The product lacks a little in the listening department, but Sprout is reportedly working on this and makes up for it with attentive, quick, and thorough customer service.

And Then There’s Social with ICUC

SocialPatrol

Our global team uses our proprietary software SocialPatrol for all aspects of social media, but we play well with others, too. Our tech-agnostic team does wonders in increasing our clients’ social savvy no matter what platform they use in-house.

Because social is the heart of everything we do, we’re plugged into all the social platform APIs with direct paid access, giving us accurate data and analytics as quickly as the social platforms themselves get them. This direct access also means we adapt to the ever-evolving APIs and their shifting permissions and algorithms far more quickly than third-party apps can, thanks to our pay-to-play rights and being able to modify SocialPatrol’s algorithms and processes ourselves, whenever required.

When we built SocialPatrol, we used all the savvy we’ve gleaned from monitoring and listening to social media’s pulse since 2002. We’ve evolved with the online world every step of the way and we understand the power of messaging and the possibilities in managing communities. We know the range of data that’s out there, and how to extrapolate and interpret it across all the social platforms.

That’s why we made sure SocialPatrol was built to efficiently rock completing all those tasks in real-time. Because what’s the point of being data-driven in the social world if you’re not working on current information?

It’s also the reason we’ve made SocialPatrol highly tweakable for custom reports and analytics. And just like SocialPatrol, we’re experts at listening, too, so if we hear about promising features coming out elsewhere, we dig in to see what it can do for us, and for our clients.

Because SocialPatrol is our owned platform, and because we’ve integrated paid access to platform APIs where possible, we control data retention, data logging, and all the other security features that have become so critical as privacy concerns escalate.

Beyond sharing, there’s listening, and SocialPatrol lets us monitor the whole world’s online conversations 24/7/365, thanks to its deep learning abilities. While we believe in having technology complement our human experts’ skills, we’re proud of SocialPatrol’s ability to understand context and sentiment, and how it escalates engagements that need human judiciousness while taking care of those that don’t.

We know, you’re thinking, “But SocialPatrol is your proprietary in-house tool.” This is true, but our team’s working on making SocialPatrol even better by creating client-facing dashboards that sport in-depth reports while providing data on demand. When all that data can be pulled up so easily, we’re confident our clients will love what SocialPatrol does.

Ultimately, we’re happy to work with our clients no matter what social management tools they’re employing. We’ve got team members around the world trained to specialize in third-party management systems, and we know how to get the best out of those while enhancing them with our social powerhouse, SocialPatrol.

If you’d like to learn more about how SocialPatrol and ICUC can take your social game to the next level, we’re happy to chat with you.