Business is never too “boring” for social media. Today, every firm – irrespective of size and industry – has to get on social media to boost its online presence. In the last 5 years, businesses have converted social media into a powerful tool to build a community of loyal customers and to sell. But to be able to sell on social media you can’t be inconsistent with your social media strategy. Inconsistency won’t help you to drive website traffic and generate leads. Businesses ought to be consistent with the quality and quantity of their posts.
In an age of automation, planning the social messages way ahead in time is possible – and in many aspects, it is crucial. Once you decide the messaging that has to be sent out and the social platform on which the messages will be sent, you must plan an appropriate frequency of posts.
This is because there is no end to how much you can share and frankly speaking, over-sharing will prompt your followers to unfollow you because no one likes to have their timelines or feeds spammed!
Everyone must have heard and used Buffer, Hootsuite or Sprout Social at some or the other points in their lives. Sure – they are amazing tools and offer solid features but they are not everyone’s cup of tea.
The good news is SocialPilot is. Hear me out:
Founded in 2014 by Jimit Bagadiya, Shailesh Mistry, and Tejas Mehta, this tool was initially quite a “hit” amongst the blogging community, and it gradually found its way into the hearts of small businesses and marketing professionals.
It is a social media scheduling and marketing software which allows the user to reach all the social platform using only one account. SocialPilot, the Buffer alternative, is a great tool because it offers easy setup process, attentive after-sales support, well-designed user interface, and detailed analytics reporting to name a few.
There are 9 platforms that SocialPilot supports, and they are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, Vk.com, and Xing.
Let me run you down through all the features of this tool:
1. One dashboard, multiple social profiles
You need only one account on SocialPilot. All you need to do is connect all the social profiles to your account and start posting – all from a unified dashboard. The best part is you can even post a single post multiple times across different social platforms!
2. Schedule across different time zones
Automation is certainly a boon for social media marketers. Most of them may even manage accounts of clients across the globe – and keeping track of so many time zones is a little tricky.
3. Comprehensive analytics reporting
Other social scheduling tools don’t provide analytics for the social messages posted from other tools such as the social website itself! But with SocialPilot you get reports for all the posts on your page, group or account – irrespective of the tool used to post them.
The analytics reports touch upon six major elements:
- Best time to post
- Customer engagement
- Audience demographics
- Comprehensive analytics
- Content engagement
- Top influencers
On Facebook, for instance, it tells you what content worked best and why apart from giving an account overview. The same goes for Twitter. The tool helps you to pinpoint the tweets that are doing extremely well and the audience interaction level.
4. Social calendar
SocialPilot offers a calendar to help the user keep track of its posts. You can use the social calendar to see if you are not ignoring any of the accounts. You can also drag and re-schedule any posts. If you are running a campaign, you can easily take a quick glance at your social media marketing strategy to know what’s being posted and when for the entire campaign duration.
5. Custom Facebook branding page
All businesses whether a B2B business or a B2C industry – it is necessary for each of them to get on Facebook and reach out to their customer base.
But scheduling on this channel via third-party tools is not free from flaws. Have you noticed the name of the scheduling tool flashing on the post just right beside the time of publishing? Yup – that’s right. This is exactly what we are talking about.
6. Schedule in bulk; save time
With SocialPilot you can save time as it allows you to upload an infinite number of posts at the same time (depending on the package you have opted for) using the bulk scheduling option.
7. Easy team collaboration
You can invite your team members to collaborate on SocialPilot. The invitees can easily contribute and schedule posts; however, the onus of reviewing and managing their releases stays with you.
This feature is best for small and medium-sized businesses, and digital marketing agencies and PR groups that have to schedule posts for their clients on a daily basis.
The team collaboration bit comes in three stages:
- Account owner – He or she is the one with all the administrative rights, including adding or deleting team members and managing access.
- Manager – He or she can schedule posts but doesn’t have the liberty to remove connected social media accounts from the system.
- Content scheduler – This person can only create and schedule a post but not delete anything that has already been scheduled.
Buffer alternative – SocialPilot surely knows how to make different teams work together in the smoothest way possible!
8. Content recommendations
If you have run out of topics or ideas to share on social media, SocialPilot can make suggestions to you. Choose content from a variety of categories such as travel, technology, business, and startups, among others. You can also add favorite RSS feeds to the tool, just to make it a tad easier for you to always share fresh content on social platforms.
9. Client management
With SocialPilot you do not need the client social media credentials. All you have to do is invite them to the tool, and once they have connected their accounts with SocialPilot, you get the authority to upload, manage and schedule the posts.
Just add your company name and logo to the client management dashboard as well as the emails sent to the customer from your team. This way, you can do your work in time, and the interests of both the parties can be met without the exchange of emails – wasting time by asking for the credentials.
10. Shorten the links
Link-shortening tools such as Bit.ly, Rebrandly, Snip.ly and StartAFire can be integrated with SocialPilot. You can select a default URL shortener to make the whole process easy. SocialPilot also gives you the option to add badges, CTAs and custom domains to those shortened links. Add value to your social media marketing efforts. Drive maximum traction to your website. Get more people to see what you have to offer to your business.
11. Download extensions on the browser
To research for an upcoming blog or to write a case study or even to scoop for content for social media – surfing on the internet is important. With browser extension of SocialPilot you can easily create social media posts with a single click and schedule the queue for your accounts. You can even share images from Canva through the extension.
The web extension is available on all leading browsers such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Safari.
12. Download the mobile app
SocialPilot is available on the mobile medium as well. You can use the tool on both Android and iOS to share the content you stumbled upon while surfing the web on your smartphone. So get things done while on-the-go.
Project Manager, Bit.ly, Snip.ly, Canva, Rebrandly, Start A Fire, Zapier, TweetApp, iPhone/iPad App and Android App, along with Chrome, Safari and Firefox browsers can be easily integrated with SocialPilot. As the tool is ever-expanding, more integrations can be expected soon.
SocialPilot has four models for every user type:
Available at $83.33 per month, this allows the user to connect up to 100 social media profiles, 1000 posts a day- which is a lot and 10 Facebook ad accounts. It provides bulk scheduling, RSS feeds, content curation and client management functionality.
2. Small Team
This package allows the user to connect up to 50 profiles, 5 team members and share 500 posts a day. The user can schedule upto 5000 posts.
This package allows the user to connect up to 25 profiles, and share 200 posts a day. The user can schedule up to 2500 posts. Upto 3 team members can be invited to work on the account.
Update: SocialPilot is GDPR and CCPA ready and if you want to know more about the significant changes they have made you can visit their website. It has a detailed overview of how to manage the rights of your data subjects, privacy impact assessment, the obligation of processors and other details.
Buffer is one of the most popular tools to schedule, publish and analyze posts on social media. Every marketer – irrespective of work experience and expertise – has tried his or her hand at this tool. Buffer integrates with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus, Instagram, and Pinterest.
Now that we have discussed the features that SocialPilot has to offer, let us do a comparative analysis of how good (or bad) Buffer is.
1. Clean and simple user interface
There’s no way you can get lost on a Buffer dashboard because everything is right there in front of your eyes! The only drawback is that it doesn’t let you see all the posts scheduled on a single screen.
You have to keep resorting back to each profile page to see the upcoming posts. Moreover, there is another excellent feature called “Re-buffer” which allows the user to simply schedule a previously-published-post on Buffer.
2. Facility to connect multiple accounts
As mentioned earlier, only 3 profiles can be added to the account. But in the Awesome plan, it is possible to add 10 social media profiles, and it allows 100 posts to be scheduled on a daily basis. So for more flexibility, you will have to upgrade to the Awesome plan and packages after that.
3. Options to schedule posts
Firstly, Buffer doesn’t have the option of bulk scheduling. In the free version, you can’t schedule more than 10 posts for each profile – in totality. To schedule more, you have to spend some money and upgrade to either of the premium packages.
Another feature of Buffer is the Optimal Timing Tool which picks up time slots during which the posts did particularly well. So if your time slots and number of daily posts are set, then Buffer will automatically schedule the posts as per those timeslots.
4. Reports on analytics
Buffer offers comprehensive analytics in charts and figures that involve total posts, new likes, new followers, new comments, etc. You get a clear idea about how well or poorly your posts performed.
If one of the profiles is connected to a Google Plus profile – then it allows Google Analytics to keep track of the responses generated by newer posts.
5. Pricing packages
In the free plan, you can connect up to 3 social media profiles. There are three other packages as well for marketing agencies, namely: pro, premium, and business – available at $15, $65 and $99 a month respectively when billed monthly. Besides this, there are no RSS feeds syndication.
Buffer alternative – SocialPilot is certainly a cheaper option with a widened access to features.
Buffer alternative – Hootsuite is another social media management software that takes pride in making the lives of marketers easier by allowing them to schedule, publish and analyze posts in a cost-effective fashion. Hootsuite integrates with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus, Instagram, and Pinterest. It also allows the integration of a management tool called FourSquare.
1. Bulky user interface
Hootsuite allows the user to see various streams such as scheduled posts, published posts, mentions, etc. right on the dashboard. It is very easy to monitor all the posts that have already been published, the posts that are scheduled, comments posted, mentions made by other accounts, etc.
2. Management of multiple accounts
The free version allows the user to connect not more than 3 social media profiles, along with a very basic real-time analytics report. It is pretty easy to upload the images, write text and schedule the posts on this tool. However, Hootsuite lacks super cool and handy feature such as “re-buffer.”
3. Number of scheduled posts
Unlike Buffer – which has an upper limit of 10 scheduled posts a profile – Hootsuite doesn’t have any such limit. You can schedule as many posts as you want – even if you use the free version.
4. Real-time social media analytics
Hootsuite enables the user to schedule posts at optimized time slots, one can be assured of the fact that the tool knows what it is doing. Its reports offer elements such as a complete overview of key metrics and measurement of team performance.
5. Pricing plans
It may be costlier than Buffer, but it is cheaper than SocialPilot. Apart from the free version, there are four other premium versions of Hootsuite, namely: Professional, Team, Business, and Enterprise.
Update: SocialPilot strictly comply with GDPR and CCPA law passed by the European Union and now the users of SocialPilot tool can follow the practices mentioned under the new version of GDPR and CCPA, all detail about this is mentioned here.
Buffer alternative- Planable
Planable is a social media management tool that allows organizations to create, schedule and manage their social media accounts without any hassle. It also provides a shared space that allows you to collaborate with your team, your clients and invite their feedback.
How is Planable a better Buffer alternative?
The interface of Planable is much refined and accurate than Buffer. The one significant advantage of Planable is that one can review posts in an environment similar to the relevant social networking sites.
With Planable you can connect all your social media accounts with just one click. Your team can join you in seconds without training or technical onboarding.
Buffer alternative- Loomly
Loomly is another social media calendar tool that helps freelancers, agencies to schedule their social media posts. It is a great buffer alternative that allows social media managers to take care of the entire internal workflow of their social media post scheduling.
Features of Loomly:
- Social media management: It provides a single dashboard where users can quickly view all of their social media post schedules. It also provides the necessary tools to make the management much easy.
- Optimize live posts: The real-time analysis feature of Loomly help you to find if a post is a good fit for social media or not. It also provides users with suggestions on how to make a post more impactful.
- Metrics: Loomly also offers its users with analysis on how their posts are performing and what type of content performed best. Based on these details one can plan their future posts.
- Multiple platform view: Loomly gives its users the ability to see a post preview and find how it looks on all social media channels.
Unfortunately, Loomly doesn’t have a lot of integrations. It offers integration only with Buffer while integrations with Hootsuite and Oktopost are underway.
Loomly doesn’t offer a free plan rather they have a 14-day free trial. There are 5 priced plans as mentioned below:
- Free trial
- Base: $25/month or
- Standard: $57/month
- Advanced: $119/month
- Premium: $249/month
- Enterprise: Contact the sales team
All the above prices are based on annual billing.
Buffer v/s Loomly:
When compared to Buffer the interface that you get with Loomly is much easy to comprehend and navigate. Also, with loomly one can easily do the live post optimization that is not possible with Buffer.
Over to you
Now that you have studied SocialPilot, Buffer and Hootsuite – which one do you think is the best? I think, in all honesty, SocialPilot takes the cake. It is comprehensive, user-friendly, and cost-effective and perhaps, has one of the best analytics support system.
If you have used SocialPilot I would like to know what you think about it? Drop-in your comments in the box given below!
Questions related to selection of Buffer alternatives:
What is Buffer used for?
Buffer is a social media management tool that helps to create and manage your social media channels and help with audience engagement.
Which is better, Buffer or HootSuite?
If you are just getting started with your business and do not have any complex requirements then Buffer is perfect. But, if you have a large organization with multiple teams then HootSuite is worth investing in.
What are the best free alternatives to Buffer?
Some good alternatives are SocialPilot, Agorapulse, Sproutsocial.
How does social media tools help with social media management?
You want to reach your audience through all the social media channels but it is not possible to post content consistently. With social media tools you can post your content at the most appropriate time when it is most likely to reach your audience.
What is SocialPilot?
It is a social media management tool that helps professionals to automate their social media marketing efforts.
Which is the best social media tool to build an audience?
The best social media tool to build an audience depends on how we leverage these tools for our benefits. Although some good options are HootSuite and Agorapulse.