In today’s technology-driven world, social media makes it easier for companies, especially small businesses with limited resources, to unlock consumer insights to drastically enhance the company’s ability to increase revenue. With our clients’ wants and needs always in mind, we strive to find high quality resources, while keeping within the client’s budget parameters. This is why for many of our clients we have been using several different social media app platforms. While they all offer similar features and pricing, we tend to use Hootsute for clients who are small, new to social media, or have a minimal budget. Until recently, Hootsuite offered a free version; however, now their free plan limits the number of posts that can be scheduled in advance. Since our company’s process is to help clients plan a content schedule a month in advance, it is more efficient to use a platform that has the capability to schedule thirty days out and still offers the lowest price possible.

With the change in Hootsuite’s pricing, additional social media platforms have been reviewed to determine if upgrading to Hootsuite’s pro plan ($19/month) provides the most benefits to clients, or if a better alternative exists. Ultimately, we decided to utilize Buffer (link to company website) (at their “Awesome” plan level for $10/month) for many clients that previously used Hootsuite.

What follows is a quick review of the features of some of the top platforms and their corresponding pricing levels.

Buffer
Buffer strives to get the most out of each social media post by optimizing the time of day the post goes up to increase the opportunities for fans and followers to view the post. Users can also request Buffer to upload their social media posts automatically; so that they can enter their posts for a given time period and not have to log back in each day to upload them. One of Buffer’s unique features, and what sets it apart from competitors, is its browser extension and downloadable mobile app. With these add-ons, users are able to make updates anytime, anywhere.

Buffer offers users a free fourteen day trial to begin. If you are satisfied and want to continue using this platform, the pricing levels are:
• Individuals – free for one social media account
• Awesome – $10/month for up to ten social media accounts
• Small – $99/month for up to twenty-five social media accounts
• Medium – $199/month for up to fifty social media accounts
• Large – $399/month for up to 150 social media accounts

Hootsuite
Possibly the best known of the social platform companies, Hootsuite offers an extended thirty day trial to reel customers in. Hootsuite offers users many similar features found on other platforms including: scheduling, content curation, analytics, and social media topic monitoring. Hootsuite is unique to offer the ability for posts and comments to be delegated to specific team members. They also provide the ability to host social media contests across multiple networks and platforms.

Hootsuite’s plans include:
• Professional – $10/month for up to ten social profiles (1 user)
• Team – $99/month for up to twenty social profiles (up to 3 users)
• Business – $499 for up to fifty social profiles (up to 10 users)
• Custom solutions at the Enterprise level are also available

Agorapulse
AgoraPulse is another marketing software platform that allows clients to run in-store promotions, generate coupons, and identify engaged users. AgoraPulse manages social media messages with an inbox feature that captures customer’s questions and comments so that customers are well-served. Many international and billion dollar companies, such as Volkswagen, Pepsi, Yahoo, and McDonald’s, use this platform to monitor social media responses. In a comparison between AgoraPulse and Hootsuite, users reported high satisfaction ratings: 100% satisfaction rating with AgoraPulse to Hootsuite’s 99%.

AgoraPulse is a little more expensive than most other platforms for less social media accounts, but all plans include: scheduled posts, Chrome extension, mobile app, content queue, drag and drop content scheduling, evergreen content management, automated moderation, and Facebook ROI calculator.

Package costs are:
• Small – $49/month for up to three social profiles (1 user)
• Medium – $99/month/month/month for up to ten social profiles (up to 3 users)
• Large – $199 for up to twenty-five social profiles (up to 6 users)
• Enterprise – $299/month for up to forty social profiles (up to 12 users)

MavSocial
If the client needs to interact with other potential clients using visual content MavSocial may be the marketing software best suited to their needs. MavSocial offers users a Digital Library that coordinates with other important features. These features provide brand-based permissions and the ability to add stock images acquired through the platform. This platform is used across a wide array of company sizes and industries. They serve small to medium sized businesses, as well as large enterprises in a number of areas: educational agencies, financial services, healthcare, hospitality, retail, and eCommerce. This makes them very flexible to meet the client’s particular needs. MavSocial supports both infrastructure work and campaign-based social media marketing. This means that the platform is able to create, publish and monitor social media marketing and also rise to the challenge of supporting a complex social media campaign. When a company uses this platform for a campaign, they are able to measure the performance with the platform’s reporting functionality. MavSocial also has many custom scheduling features that can be personalized to meet the user’s needs.

MavSocial offers a free trial and the following pricing options:
• Small Business – free for up to two social profiles (1 user)
• Advanced – $19/month for up to ten social profiles (1 user)
• Pro – $59/month for up to fifty social profiles
• Agency – $199/month for up to fifty social profiles (up to 3 users)
• Customization is available

All of the social media scheduling apps reviewed in this article were designed to alleviate some of the stress and time it takes to manage across multiple social media accounts. These apps also provide customer analytics that can be used to create engaging social media campaigns. When analytic data is available, businesses can direct their marketing efforts to effectively increase customer engagement and revenue.

Because each platform provider offers similar features and pricing packages, we discuss the specific needs of each client in order to choose the platform that works best for them and their budget. If you’re ready to drive business growth by implementing strategic social media marketing initiatives, fill out a Contact Form and one of our Social Media Advisors will be in contact with you within 24 hours.