Marketing

3 Best in Breed Social Media Calendar Management Tools

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The rise of social media has been quick but steady. Till a few years ago, people were grappling with multiple social platforms and were trying to understand how it could be of value to their businesses. Today, most companies have multiple social media accounts that are being used to share information with their target audience and to sell ultimately.

Therefore, it is isn’t surprising when you feel the need to manage all platforms efficiently to increase exposure and relevance of the content that’s going out “socially.” That’s where the use of social media calendar enters the picture.

To maintain consistency and significance, it is the best feature we currently have to manage our social media accounts from one central application. In the product review, I take a look at the top social media calendar management tools in use these days and see how they compare to each other and the market.

I will also take an in-depth look at the features, customer base, and the pricing of each tool to determine which one stands out. Come on, let us dig deep to decide which social media calendar is the best to use:

A) Loomly

Loomly is a social media calendar management software for individuals, social media managers, and agencies. It’s a straightforward tool which allows internal fluid workflow for making and posting social media updates.

Users can maintain ideas for social posts, get live post optimization tips, examine social media posts, oversee approval workflows, and automate post scheduling & analytics. They offer integration with the primary social media networks including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ and LinkedIn.

Sounds good, isn’t it? It is!

1) Features

As you can see below, Loomly offers some features to assist with social media posting and seamless scheduling. Many users have been quite impressed with its monthly master calendar feature which provides excellent visualization of scheduled content and upcoming activities on the accounts.

As a user, you can post ideas in your content library, have access to various editorial calendar templates, manage multiple accounts from a single dashboard, receive post optimization tips, get assisted in fixing the right target audience for a specific post, automate publishing and derive insights from advanced analytics.

I feel Loomly is a great tool to start with if you are new to social media. It covers the end-to-end process of social media calendar management. Additionally, it is helpful to teams and allows your posts to be reviewed by your collaborators before getting published. There is also a commenting system for more transparent communication amongst the collaborators.

2) Pricing

The team at Loomly offer five different types of plans according to the needs of an individual or a group.

  • The $12 p.m. “Solo” plan is perfect for one user and allows him or her to manage up to 10 social accounts.
  • The $36 p.m. “Pro” package can accommodate up to 5 users and manage up to 15 social accounts.
  • The $72 p.m. “Small Team” option is perfect for a start-up which can have up to 10 users and manage up to 30 social accounts.
  • Then come the $128 p.m. and $320 p.m. pricing plans that can accommodate team members up to 40 and give access to up to 140 social media accounts.

The pricing plans offered by the social media calendar are just beautiful. Have a look at the consolidated screenshot below:

3) Integration

Though it may not offer as many integrations as many of its competitors they’ve at least tapped into the core applications that most social media managers would need access to. Loomly seems to put less emphasis on encompassing every single social media channel and instead focuses on what they are good at, and that’s what counts!

Loomly currently integrates with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google Plus, Pinterest, and Buffer. I feel it covers the primary platforms, to begin with. What do you think?

4) Type of customer base

Loomly is an ideal solution for freelancers and individuals who don’t want to spend time figuring out user interfaces and complicated automation scheduling. The idea is that anyone should be able to use and that also within the first time of setting it up.

Loomly is clean and has an easy-to-understand dashboard with a healthy content calendar function. The calendar can be exported easily to send to clients or other departments of the business. Managers and department leaders will surely appreciate the tool as it focuses primarily on scheduling and reporting. Analytics is what everyone is looking for at the end of the day.

B) Sendible

Sendible is a well-known social media monitoring tool that offers excellent service and functionality. They’re known for having one of the highest numbers of integrations of any social media monitoring tool on the market right now. With superb reporting and creative posting options, it’s no wonder they tend to be high on everyone’s list. Sendible is one of my favored tools, and I have reviewed it earlier.

1) Features

Like most social media monitoring tools, the features are what makes you want to continue using the software. Sendible is no different and offers a plethora of features that make it a desirable means to implement. The following functions can be found on Sendible:

a) The Social Inbox provides everything in one place for social media calendar management. It helps keep out the clutter and sorts out your social stream in minutes. You are notified of the tiniest of engagement taking place on either of the social media channels such as “like,” “comment” or “share.”

b) The social media calendar offered by Sendible is quite interactive and rearranges social media campaigns using the handy drag-and-drop feature. You can even add visual elements from royalty-free sources like Flickr and Google Images.

c) Sendible allows seamless collaboration with clients. They can see your campaigns and give prompt feedback or suggestions using the “custom workflows” feature.

d) The social media tool has 250+ modules for reporting. The user can create presentation-ready reports for managers, departmental heads, and clients for review. Google Analytics is the core of Sendible’s campaign performance capability.

e) Sendible also has a robust social listening feature that allows marketers to track everything on how the customers are engaging with the product or service. The feature could be handy for B2C companies where every word from a customer matters more than anything else.

social-media-management-tool-sendible

f) Sendible’s mobile app sends push notifications to keep the users updated about essential messages so that they can respond on-the-go if they like!

2) Pricing

The team at Sendible offer five different types of plans for every customer. Their plans can be upgraded, downgraded or canceled at any time, so that’s a good thing.

  • Micro ($29) – Manage a maximum of 12 services and add up to 4 social profiles and one user
  • Small ($99) – Ideal for small businesses. Manage a maximum of 48 facilities and add up to 16 social profiles and three users
  • Medium ($199) – Ideal for a growing company. Manage a maximum of 105 services and add up to 35 social profiles and seven users
  • Large ($299) – Ideal for a large business. Manage a maximum of 192 services and add up to 64 social profiles and 12 users

Have a look at this screenshot to learn more about the features available in each package.

social-media-management-tool-sendible-pricing

3) Integration

One of the essential elements when choosing a social media calendar management tool is to be sure that they support all the systems and apps you currently or plan to use. Sendible has one of the highest numbers of integrations on the market right now. So if you are worried about this function, don’t be!

The tool even lets you publish directly to WordPress, Blogger, and Tumblr. Sendible can be currently integrated with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Dropbox, Flickr, Pinterest, Google Plus, WordPress, Canva, Tumblr and more. What else can a user want? I can’t think of anything else!

4) Type of customer base

The beauty of Sendible is that they cater to a variety of clients. They are known for being one of the most popular social media calendar management tools on the market. Besides offering some different plans, they also offer custom business solutions which can be modified to your unique requirements.

Report Hub - Sendible

Sendible offers moderately priced plans and can satisfy the needs of different types of users, from freelancers and start-ups to established corporations and businesses. Though Sendible does seem to have an idea for everyone, it falls a bit short for established entrepreneurs or freelancers.

social-media-management-tool-sendible-report

The first plan doesn’t offer as much compared to its customers. One of the best features of using Sendible is the reporting function. However, it comes into its own when you need to present the information to other stakeholders, and that’s not right.

C) SocialPilot

I like SocialPilot! Founded in 2014, it is way ahead of the competition because of an array of features such as after-sales support, attractive UI, natural setup process, detailed analytics and reporting and what not. Currently, it serves to more than 500 clients, and this is proof to the fact that SocialPilot is doing pretty well for itself.social-pilot-feature

1) Features

There are many features of the tool, but I am only going to discuss the ones specific to SocialPilot. Have a look:

a) Scheduling on Facebook using a third-party tool isn’t free from flaws. Have you noticed the name of the device used to program and publish just beside the time of publishing? That doesn’t happen if you use SocialPilot to automate.

b) SocialPilot allows the user to upload an infinite number of posts simultaneously using the bulk scheduling option. All you have to do is upload the CSV file containing all jobs, and the tool will do the rest for you.

c) If you have run out of content ideas, SocialPilot will make suggestions for you. Content recommendations are a boon when you don’t know what your follower base wants to read. SocialPilot does the hard work all the way!

d) Sharing the social media tool with clients could be tricky. If you use SocialPilot, you can do so with a restricted social media calendar management toolkit. Just add the company name and logo, and share the platform with the clients.

social-pilot-calendar

They will not be able to see anything except for what you have shared with them. This way, both the parties can do the job without worrying too much about data control.

e) You can download the web extension of SocialPilot on all popular browsers such as Mozilla, Google Chrome, Safari so that you can schedule and share stuff from the platform without having to worry about opening up the calendar.

2) Integration

Snip.ly, Project Manager, Bit.ly, Canva, Zapier, TweetApp, Rebrandly, Start A Fire and more. As the tool is ever-evolving and ever-expanding, more integrations can be expected soon. Stay tuned. I am sure they will add more tools soon.

3) Pricing

There are four types of models offered by SocialPilot – the most famous being “Growth Hacker.” The pricing package allows the user to connect up to 100 social media profiles, and share up to 200 posts a day – which is frankly speaking a good number! The package is available at $20 per month – which is a fairly reasonable amount to invest every month. Do you agree?

4) Type of customer base

SocialPilot is perfect for individual professionals, start-ups, midsize businesses, and large corporations. Its pricing packages have been created keeping the diversity of its customer base in mind. You will have a great time using it – no matter what space you are in. What are your thoughts about using SocialPilot? I think you won’t regret it.

D) Loomly vs. Hootsuite

Hootsuite is a fan, and anyone having any involvement in social media would have come across Hootsuite at some point in their career. However, there are now some competitors in the market providing better quality software at an even higher economic rate.

Hootsuite offers necessary scheduling and posting updates to profile or company page on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram, WordPress, and other platforms. Most users start out with the free version which then lets them upgrade as required.

There are some features that Hootsuite offers such as automated scheduling, visual and web analytics, mobile integrations, campaign analysis, and calendar management. When it comes to integration, Hootsuite doesn’t fall short. From the basics to just about any paid or free application can be found to integrate with Hootsuite.

The list includes the likes of Buffer, MailChimp, Marketo, LinkedIn, Zapier, Zendesk, Slack, WordPress, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, and more. It also has some pricing options such as Professional, Team, and Enterprise – all offering numerous features.

The beauty of Hootsuite is that once you get the hang of it, it’s got a great interface that allows you to connect to multiple channels seamlessly. Due to the ease of use, their customer base spans most demographics. From freelancers just starting out all the way to some of the largest MNC’s.

We touched upon Loomly earlier but now let’s go into further detail and see how it measures up against the competition.

1) What makes Loomly awesome?

With the widespread use of social media, there are now plenty of options in the market for social media calendar management tools. Every day, new tools are being released with even better features than before. Loomly is one of those social media calendar management tools that flies under the radar but still manages to have an impact.

The tool also provides social media calendar management solutions to some of the biggest MNC’s in the world such as L’Oréal, BMW, Henkel, LVMH, and Porsche. Now that we’ve had an opportunity to compare the aforementioned social media managing tools, it’s now time for a head to head to see how Loomly does against Hootsuite.

So what makes Loomly better than Hootsuite?

a) Social media calendar

Let us start with the best feature and then work our way back from here. Almost everyone that’s used Loomly has had the same reaction, “we love the calendar feature.” This is what makes Loomly a step above the rest. In fact, it’s become so integral to Loomly’s identity that it’s often marketed as a social media calendar tool.

The master calendar feature lets users oversee multiple social media calendars, calendar views and post summaries. Content such as photos, videos, post templates, notes, and links can also be stored and accessed from the user library. Moreover, Loomly offers automated scheduling and publishing options and an analytics system which helps users measure their posts’ performance.

b) Cost

The cost is one of the primary factors when deciding to make any purchase. And when it comes to the value, Loomly has maintained its significant low presence and its price accordingly. Their basic plans start at $12 p/m which is quite reasonable as compared to many of their competitors.

Loomly is an excellent value for money, and they even offer a 15-day free trial where you don’t also need to provide your credit card information. Easy and free signups without providing any information is undoubtedly a boon for anyone who is looking to convert as a customer.

c) Content tips

A feature that many Loomly users rave about is the content tips option. Once you’ve installed the software, you can then choose which content categories you are interested in, and Loomly will send you daily tips on the type of content to cultivate and share. It’s a great feature that saves you the hassle of having to search for relevant content manually.

Loomly tends to stick out from the crowd because of how well it helps you personalize all the functions of social media. What do you think? Have you used the tool before?

2) What makes Hootsuite so great?

First and foremost, Hootsuite is one of the better-known content marketing tools on the market right now. Hootsuite has a strong brand presence, and you’ve most likely seen that owl somewhere online. It was launched in 2008 by Invoke Media and since then has accumulated a notable array of features.

They’ve been around for a while and have established their presence via their software, webinars, blogs, and guides. Whether you are a social media manager or an entrepreneur, you would have to have a basic idea about how they perform, and I am sure you do.

a) Social media applications

Apart from supporting the standard social media apps such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Google Plus and more. Hootsuite goes a step further and offers integration to a whole host of the social network, some free and some paid. The list is quite extensive, and we have discussed most of them under the “Integrations” section.

b) Team cooperation

One of the features that stands out in Hootsuite is the ability to look after your team with Hootsuite efficiently! The tool lets you add several team members to the social media accounts of your choice, allowing you to see who is posting what content and who have scheduled posts. You can also regulate tasks, add collaborators, and edit posts as you see fit.

3) Who wins?

After reviewing the pros and cons of both Hootsuite and Loomly, it’s time to see who comes out on top. Both platforms have their strengths which are mentioned above. However, according to my research and feedback, it looks like Loomly offers a better overall product to its customers.

When comparing the features, you get for the price you’re paying Loomly offers much more value. No doubt you can still get the similar features on Hootsuite. However, you will need to upgrade your plan to have access to that, and that’s bit irritating when you want to get started with analytics sooner.

There are other areas where Hootsuite falls short compared to Loomly. The overall analytics offered on Hootsuite is quite rudimentary and only if you upgrade to the premium plan do you get access to their full reporting features.

Endnotes

Like I mentioned before, the rise of social media has been quick but steady. People were trying to understand how it could be of value to their businesses till a few years ago. Since most companies have multiple social media accounts, you also can’t be left behind – no matter what profession you are.

After carefully reviewing Sendible, Loomly, and SocialPilot, I was able to analyze the features and benefits of each tool to get a better all-around picture. It’s important to note that there isn’t ever going to be a ‘best tool over’ when it comes to social media calendar management.

The key is in understanding what your business requires and then choosing a tool which integrates seamlessly with your company. Even though Hootsuite has established itself as one of the leaders in the industry, it still tends to lack the full solution that most businesses are looking for.

When compared to Sendible, SocialPilot, and Loomly, Hootsuite did have some positive attributes, but it still didn’t match up when it came to overall usability. It’s also important to mention that Sendible and Loomly are not the perfect solutions. However, they do offer a great product which looks like it’s only going to get better as time goes along.

What are your thoughts? Which social media calendar management tools have you used?

Ankit is a Technology Entrepreneur. Technology Entrepreneur. Co-founder #Aritic, Founder #EasySendy.

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