In this time and age, no business can deny the importance of social media. Whether it is an eCommerce store or a brick-and-mortar company or a content-based website – leveraging the power of social media has become a norm for every kind of business. These statistics will tell you why:
- 34% of buyers would rather engage with a brand on social media than visit their physical store.
- Twitter is considered to be the perfect platform to interact with brands. Around 42% of users learn about products and services on Twitter.
- There is an impressive number of 94% of B2B marketers using LinkedIn to distribute content across the platform.
- The recall value of an Instagram sponsored post is 2.8x higher than that Nielsen’s norms for online advertising.
- 60% of users discovered new products on Instagram.
- User who saw Promoted Pins observed a 40% increase in awareness of new products on Pinterest.
So it’s proven – social media is indeed a powerful tool for boosting brand visibility and driving revenues. And since the scope of work is vast in the social media landscape, it makes sense for any business – irrespective of size and industry – to hire a marketing agency.
Agencies have multiple resources at their disposal – a team of campaign planners, writers, visualizers and graphic designers, account managers and more. Providing social media marketing services seems like a job full of funand excitement, isn’t it? Yes, it is but it also comes with a baggage:
Most common problems faced by marketing agencies
1) Working with tiny client budgets
Clients are never generous with their budgets; and they want quick results. They would want 60 leads from a Facebook campaign, 1000 new followers on Twitter and an ROI of 15% – all within a budget of $10,000.
Their money is at stake which is why they are not generous with the budgets and for them, every penny counts. Marketing agencies have to achieve with whatever they have and ensure they generate revenue from each activity.
2) Lack of communication with clients
Planning social media campaigns is not easy. It involves the agencies to consistently stay in touch with their clients so that both the parties are on the same page. However, there are times when there is little or no communication during campaign planning.
At the end moment, the clients may come back with faults in the content or might want to scrap the complete campaign altogether. This is a big hassle for both the parties.
3) Over-involvement of clients
Of course! While some clients may give complete freedom to the agencies to carry out tasks in whichever way they want to, there are some who want to be included in every stage of the planning process.
This hinders the workflow of the agency as they don’t get the required flexibility to carry out tasks necessary to achieve client goals. The decision-making process slows down.
Social media management tools are a boon for agencies. Recently, I posted about a list of must have tools for digital marketing agencies.
Yes, agencies manage a lot of work and this can get overwhelming not only for them but also for the clients. With social media management tools, the agencies can:
- Manage multiple client accounts
- Organize timely conversations with the prospects
- Schedule posts ahead in time
- Curate quality content that resonates with the audience
- Monitor keywords for generating leads and gathering valuable information
- Analyze campaign results
- Achieve pre-decided ROI for the clients
Do you run a marketing agency? Are you also looking to integrate a tool in your workflows that will help you complete your tasks better? I can help you make an informed choice:
Top 5 social media management tools for agencies in 2017
This is a social media management tool for agencies. It allows the teams to manage social media activities for multiple clients – all from a centralized hub. Sendible is equipped with an easy-to-use dashboard, a social CRM, analytics, and a full-fledged publishing system.
Managing social media is a time-taking process. The main aim of this tool is to enable the team members to spend time on what truly matters – content creation and client pitch preparation.
> Agency features
a. A single inbox for each brand
Multiple brands have multiple social accounts. To avoid chaos, Sendible has a Priority Inbox that keeps the respective teams focused by bringing all social media messages from a specific client’s multiple accounts – under the same roof. It doesn’t matter how members are in a team or how many client social channels one is handling, Sendible makes it fairly easy to not only manage but also derive excellent results.
One of the best features about Sendible is that even if someone has not tagged a company yet is talking about it, Sendible will let the company know. This functionality helps bring more users on board – without being mentioned or tagged.
b. Streamlined scheduling and publishing
Simplification of the publishing process is enabled by scheduling social media posts, images and videos either individually or in bulk. It allows the user to keep his best-performing content scheduled on repeat so that the social media profiles are always active, and churning quality posts.
Sendible consistently analyzes the social media profiles of the clients to suggest content that will best resonate with the audience. It also suggests an optimal time to post.
c. Social collaboration made easy
Sendible helps turn social interactions into actionable tasks. It helps the team leader to supervise his team’s social media posting activity. Sendible allows others to contribute to the Content Library and create the best content together as a team. Due to its transparent and easy dashboard, Sendible enables the creation of smoother workflows.
d. Detailed progress reports
Sendible delivers dynamic reports featuring social media analytics data in easily an digestible format. From Facebook and Twitter to Instagram and LinkedIn, it generates in-depth reports that helps the users in spotting trends easily.
Google Analytics forms the foundation of Sendible. It helps tracks the impact of social media activities on website visits, landing page views, content popularity, demographic performance, and more.
e. Social prospecting
Sendible’s CRM is so advanced that it enables the users to target and collect prospects through social media on the basis of specific interests and their level of influence. On Twitter, this social media management tool searches for most relevant prospects and starts conversations even when the user is not on his desk. Sendible is not just a social media management platform but also a lead nurturing tool.
> Customers using Sendible
Sendible is currently being used by more than 20,000 brands, and caters to a variety of clients including Isango!, JWT, Qebot, Idunn, Pan Macmillan, VisitBritain, Queensland University, Kings Hill Directory and Cruise Planners.
Sendible offers three types of packages for – growing brands, small teams and big brands. Depending upon the size of the team, the user can opt for a 30-day trial to see if Sendible is apt for his team. In case the scope of work increases or decreases, the user can upgrade or downgrade (and even cancel) the account at any point of time. Check out the pricing plans:
Sendible integrates with a number of systems and applications such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google Analytics, WordPress, Pinterest, Canva, Tumblr, Google Drive Flickr, Google Plus, Dropbox and more.
This is a social community and moderation tool that helps businesses manage all their social media accounts from a single dashboard. AgoraPulse is user-friendly, flexible and has a top-notch customer support. The tool ensures the user doesn’t miss a tweet, comment or even a message.
AgoraPulse is well-equipped with tools that help gather critical data such as statistics and reporting necessary to devise quality social media campaigns.
> Agency features
AgoraPulse patches content from everywhere in one place so that it is easy for the user to reply, review, assign or tag. The tool also syncs with Facebook’s Marketing API and Graph API so the comments are in real time.
b. Multi-platform publishing platform
AgoraPulse allows the user to publish on multiple social accounts from one place on timelines set by him. Top-performing content can be queued repeatedly so that the social accounts never lack good content. The AgoraPulse dashboard allows the user to take a glance at all his published, scheduled, queued and yet-to-be approved posts.
c. Social media monitoring
From the moment Agorapulse is connected with the social media networks, it is possible to monitor all kinds of activities such as comments, tweets, messages, hashtags, etc. This information can be further used to improve social strategies and start a conversation with the customers.
d. Analytics and reporting
AgoraPulse highlights the ROI with instant report generation on audience, social engagement and brand awareness. This social media tool for agencies also gives a report on trending hashtags and content tags. AgoraPulse also gives a bird’s eye view on competitor analysis and performance.
> Agency features
a. Client involvement
Used by global brands such as CGR Communications, Digital Republik, Ogilvy, TBWA and Geeky Brands, AgoraPulse allows even the clients to be a part of the social media strategy. They can be invited to approve the draft posts and give feedback. They can be assigned questions to answer so that the tasks are completed on time.
b. Restricted access for teams
It is not necessary for everyone on the team to have the same access to social media accounts. Some members would have greater flexibility than others. AgoraPulse understands that and therefore has this feature specifically for agencies.
There are four kinds of payment options offered by AgoraPulse: small ($49/month), medium ($99/month), large ($199/month) and enterprise ($299/month). All the subscriptions are on a monthly basis and the user can cancel anytime. AgoraPulse also has a 100% no-questions-asked refund monthly subscriptions. Here’s a screenshot of its payment plans:
Check out the complete pricing details here. AgoraPulse works best for small and fast-growing agencies and it is equipped with many features favourable to an agency.
> Free tools
As a tool, AgoraPulse is inventive. The social media tool for agencies offers three free tools to further improve social media marketing results of the agencies.
a. Facebook page barometer
This tool gives a clear sense of a page’s reach and engagement level in comparison with competitor pages.
b. Twitter report card
Just like Facebook, this tools enables the user to compare tweets of one brand to its competitors. It also provides inputs on areas where further improvement is required.
c. Facebook page contests
Ran a contest but are facing difficulty in selecting a winner? This tool helps manage contests like never before. The user can pick three templates – quiz, photo contest or sweepstakes.
AgoraPulse integrates with a number of business applications and systems: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google Apps, Flamory, LinkedIn and Google+.
This is a social media tool for agencies that lets the user create targeted and automated social media campaigns for the clients with a focus on blog posts. The user can review, approve the social updates pre-filled with quotes and images and schedule posts for the next 12 months.
Remember how Buffer pulls out images from the link inserted in the dialog box? That’s how Missinglettr works but here it pulls out content from within the blog and converts the text into an image. I can’t think of any other tool that allows the users to maximize the engagement potential of every blog post published.
> Agency features
a. Supreme hashtag functionality
Missinglettr has the ability to determine the popularity of hashtags used on Twitter. One of the biggest concerns for any marketer is to choose the right hashtags to boost audience engagement. With Missinglettr, it is possible to note which hashtags perform the best based on the number of retweets.
b. External approval
The involvement of clients is important even if the agency is just promoting their blog posts. With Missinglettr’s “external approval” feature, the user can send the client link to the social campaign and get subsequent feedback or approval.
There is no hassle of creating a separate Missinglettr account for the clients. They just need the link to make an informed decision. This way, the clients can never be left behind in the campaign planning process. Plus, both the team can enjoy a greater level of transparency. There will be smoother and faster communication.
c. Easy social media connection
With Missinglettr, it is easy to promote published blogs consistently across all social media channels – all year long. This tool enables branded content that are designed to specifically encourage clicks.
Continuous promotion of blog posts through major social media platforms ensure increased website traffic and growing audience engagement.
d. YET TO BE RELEASED: Custom campaigns
Missinglettr is in the process of creating a custom campaign option where the user will be able to tweak durations, frequencies, and auto-repeat rules on his posting activities.
Missinglettr caters to two kinds of end-users – individuals and teams. Since my focus is on agencies, I will discuss pricing options for small, medium and large teams. In each of the options, the user can link unlimited websites, and enjoy the benefit of external campaign approvals by the clients.
For each plan, it encourages a 14-day free trial without credit card details. The user is free to cancel his subscription at any point.
Missinglettr integrates with the following social media networks: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+. Missinglettr will also soon get integrated with Pinterest. But for now, it is only these four major social media channels.
Twitter is a tough social platform to crack. Since the timeline is changing rapidly, it is difficult to ensure the tweets reach the right kind of audience. This is where Commun.it enters the picture.
Often called the ONLY CRM of Twitter, this social media management tool helps the user in identifying influencers, prospects and interested audience. This means Commun.it is a boon for marketing agencies as it enables them to drive traffic, boost audience engagement and grow followers and likes for their client brands.
Commun.it is currently being used by more than 1 million users across 175 countries. Some of its major customers are Nike, Cisco, SONY, TEDx, Coca Cola, SAP, TNW, Microsoft and Lenovo.
> Agency features
a. Free Twitter analytics
Since the core of the tool is Twitter, this social media management tool offers actionable insights on Twitter followers and measures social engagement (followers, RTs, likes) for each client brand.
b. Multiple Twitter profiles
The comprehensive dashboard of Commun.it allows the user to better manage all Twitter profiles and schedule tweets easily – all from a centralized hub. The user doesn’t need to go back and forth on the client Twitter profiles. Commun.it allows the user to invite team members to manage and view reports or analytics.
c. Identify valuable members
One of the best features about Commun.it is that it not only focuses on the general Twitter engagement, it also puts emphasis on influencers, engaged members and supporters. It understands how important it is to engage the audience interested in the content being posted on Twitter.
Commun.it groups the interested audience on the basis of engagement history, followers/following ratio, retweets and brand mentions.
d. Prioritize and schedule weekly posts
The user can schedule “thank you” tweets for top three most engaged followers on a weekly basis. This is a great feature to boost audience interaction with a simple tweet.
e. Social intelligence
Thanks to the detailed dashboard, the user would instantly know who to follow, respond to or thank. The campaign insights helps in making changes to the strategy.
There are three types of payment options offered by Commun.it – pro, business and business plan. The most popular one is the business plan and currently, it is running an offer of 60% off. All the plans are perfect for an agency – depending upon the scope of work and team strength.
Commun.it also has a limited free plan where it allows only one social profile to be integrated. Since it is Twitter-specific, it is best if the user tries the tool before making a purchase.
What commun.it does, it does well. It focuses majorly on management and automation of Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook. It doesn’t allow integration with any other social network like YouTube or Google Plus.
If it’s just Twitter is the focus of all social media activities of the client, then Commun.it is the right choice as it is equipped with the right reporting abilities; otherwise skip it.
The core of this social media tool is Twitter and it empowers the user with the most apt set of tools to work better with Twitter. Used by brands such as TechCrunch, TNW and Shorty Awards, it sorts out followers, finds influencers to follow, tracks down unfollowers and ensures easy management of Twitter accounts.
> Agency features
This feature helps the user circulate important tweets that “actually” get seen by the followers. Getting people to see brand tweets is challenge but not with this social media management tool. PowerPost has a simple interface that allows the user to identify the best to post Tweets based on the profile, quality of previous posts and followers.
The Twitter Analytics tool helps increase user engagement on the campaigns being run for specific brands. This functionality also identifies long term trends to ensure the content goes viral.
This one’s an awesome tool and works with thousands of accounts in a matter of seconds. This functionality highlights the accounts who the brand has followed on Twitter but hasn’t been followed back, are dormant, have no profile picture or are protected accounts. In such a scenario, the brand can choose to unfollow profiles based on different criteria.
This functionality allows the user to filter and copy another profile’s followers (this helps if the profile in question is a competitor) or follow those accounts already following the brand.
Finding relevant people on Twitter for newly founded brand is difficult. This tool helps such new brands establish a powerful follower base by identifying profiles most relevant to the brand. The “Search” tool filters by followers, location, keywords, and others.
With popular customers like Razorfish and KTTV FOX Television, ManageFlitter offers three kinds of pricing plans – Freebie, Pro and Business. The last option is apt for agencies managing multiple client Twitter profiles.
This specific plan has a feature called “Remote Account Management” (RAM) wherein the user can set up specific rules informing ManageFlitter Account Managers on who to unfollow or follow for the brand.
The social media management tool only integrated with Twitter. However, the user can also enable public Google+ posts to automatically appear on Twitter. ManageFlitter shortens the Google+ posts to 280 characters and tweeted – linking back the Twitter post to the original update on Google+.
Sendible vs AgoraPulse
Sendible is definitely much more than just posting and sharing on social media. It has all the relevant functionalities related to publishing, analytics, auto-response and following, and much more. The user can easily track social media activities such as tweets, comments and follows, upload HTML for email campaigns and set auto-responses on emails.
The biggest advantage of using Sendible is that the user can manage multiple client profiles – all from a single dashboard. It’s cost-effective and its free plan is for 30 days which is enough for any agency to gauge the scope of work. The user can start a monthly plan – Lite – for just $49.
Speaking of AgoraPulse, its social inbox is more organized as it allows a single inbox for every social media channel. With this social media management tool, everything is grouped properly. The messages sent to the user and posts mentioning the brand go in separate boxes. AgoraPulse enables the user to analyze the competitor’s social activity.
The cheapest pricing option of AgoraPulse starts at $49 per month. However, it’s most popular package can be availed at just $99 per month just like Sendible.
Over to you
Choosing the right social media management tool can be a hassle especially if your agency is growing at a rapid pace. If the focus of most of your clients is on Twitter, then choose a tool which specializes in this social media channel. If you are looking at larger teams, multiple clients and several social media channels, then choose a tool that can sustain your requirements.
What are your thoughts on these social media management tools? Are you also struggling to buy the most appropriate tool for your team? I hope this review can help you make an informed decision.
Is there a tool that didn’t make it to this list? Let me know.