Social Media Newbie? Try These Tools.




  • June 22, 2016

    Being a social media newbie can be frustrating, daunting, and require a LOT of research.


    Whether you’re trying to figure out which platforms to use for your business or brand, or which social media management tools are best to get the job done, it can feel like you’re stuck in fact-finding mode forever!


    Hopefully, blogs like ours can help ease overwhelm with posts like this one — where we’re going to recap which social media tools are getting the highest marks.


    social-media-newbie-tools


    Last year we shared a post about some of the top-performing social media tools from our friend Ian at iag.me.


    He’s at it again this year with stats on top-rated social media management tools.


    Social Media Newbie? Try These 5 Top-Rated Tools


    Methodology


    First, it’s important to know that Ian didn’t pluck these ratings out of his rear.


    For the ratings, data and stats, he partnered with G2Crowd, which according to their own website is:



    ” … the world’s leading business software review platform, leveraging its 80,000+ user reviews read by nearly 600,000 software buyers each month to help them make better purchasing decisions.”


    Together, Ian and G2Crowd rated the five social media management winners based on 8 segments:



    1. User satisfaction: how satisfied the users are with each software (on a scale of 1 to 100)
    2. Product direction: vendor’s ability to meet the latest features and trends (on a scale from 1 to 10)
    3. Maintenance (easy-to-learn): is the software easy to set up and use (on a scale from 1 to 10)
    4. Support: ability of each company’s customer service team to resolve questions and issues (on a scale from 1 to 10)
    5. Usability: ease-of-use and ability to improve productivity (on a scale from 1 to 10)
    6. Meet requirements: ability to meet business needs (on a scale from 1 to 10)
    7. G2Crowd rating: the average rating from G2Crowd users (based on a scale from 1 to 5)
    8. Number of ratings: number of customer reviews for which this ranking was based

    Infographic & Rankings


    The Best 5 Rated Social Media Management Tools Infographic brought to you by Seriously Social and G2 Crowd


    Ian gives plenty of his own thoughts around these ratings on his blog — be sure to check it out.


    Our Thoughts


    Every social media newbie has to start somewhere, and we 100% think these are the tools you should test first.


    As some of you know, the B Squared Crew have been avid users of Sprout Social for over four years.


    I have also had the pleasure of testing out AgoraPulse since I occasionally write for them.


    Whether you’re a veteran, or a social media newbie, here are our opinions on these top-rated tools …


    Sprout Social


    Admittedly, Sprout is our main squeeze.


    They have more than met our business needs, so I’m not 100% on why they scored low there (but my guess is that it has to do with pricing).


    Additionally, I think they’d score higher marks on product direction if the public knew what was on their roadmap, but unfortunately, they tend to keep that private.


    As a Sprout All-Star, I am privy to that roadmap and the upcoming updates, but I’m not allowed to share with anyone (bummer!!).


    All I can say is that they have some seriously savvy social updates coming soon.


    If your social media team consists of just you or one other person, the platform may be a little too robust or pricey for your needs.


    Overall, if you have a social media team (3+ members) or deal with mid-market and large brand clients like we do, I think Spout is the way to go as they also allow for client access, which some larger clients require.


    AgoraPulse


    AgoraPulse is a fantastic social media management tool and has much lower price point than Sprout.


    I also love the filtering they allow so you can decide which mentions you want to see and which you prefer to keep silent.


    They recently released a free Twitter tool that allows you to spy on the competition (they have a couple of other free tools worth checking out) — who doesn’t love free tools?!


    Since we don’t use AgorePulse “full time” and have only tested the platform for writing gigs, it’s not fair for us to say much more.


    Overall, if you’re looking for a top-rated social media management tool at a low price, this is definitely the way to go (at least from what we’ve seen)!


    Buffer


    Not much to say here other than Buffer seems like software that is really meant for individuals versus teams (or larger teams).


    Hootsuite


    I used Hootsuite — and was even Hootsuite certified — at the beginning of my social career, but quickly learned that it was too clunky for my personal workflow style.


    Sendible


    We haven’t used it, so we can’t comment!


    IMPORTANT NOTE


    If you’re a social media newbie, my best advice is to test out several social media management tools before you find the one that fits your needs.


    Ian and I have given you our opinions, plus the opinions of hundreds of other users who have tried out each of these tools, but really, the tool has to fit YOU and not the other way around.


    And remember, you could outgrow your social media dashboard — much like I did with Hootsuite.


    I also recommend conducting a tool audit from time-to-time.


    Last year we compared Sprout to AgoraPulse and ultimately decided Sprout fit our needs, but it’s still a good idea to keep testing tools to make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck.


    Did we leave any tools out that you think are a “must try” for any social media newbie? Be sure to let us know in the comments section below!

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