Any social marketer knows that social media can be overwhelming. After all, there are so many social platforms to keep up with. In January of 2018, it was reported that 94% of marketers use Facebook and between 50%-65% use Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Social media marketing is crucial to the digital presence of a company, but it’s more than a full time job to keep up with every social platform, especially as your business and audience grows.
One of the best assets a social marketer can invest in is social automation tools. Depending on the automation tool, they can perform a wide array of services, including social planning, monitoring activity, and even creating and sending out template comments and responses to other users. Most social automation tools are designed for the main social platforms, but today let’s just focus on Twitter.
Twitter is a great platform for short, quippy, to-the-minute statements that relate to your business. But it’s been around for awhile (12 years, gasp!), so the automation tools that worked well several years ago might not be your best bet now. In 2018, you might need to reevaluate the automation tools you use for your Twitter strategy.
Boost Your Social Media with an Inbound Plan!
By now you probably know how much DCDS loves HubSpot. We use it as our content management system, but they also have a function for planning social media postings. If you have a HubSpot account, you can link all your social accounts and schedule posts, including all photos and links you might have (though you can’t schedule any videos, which is a bummer). HubSpot also monitors activity like new followers and mentions, allowing you to then reply directly through HubSpot. In addition, there are basic analytics available so you can track your followers and the contacts created through social.
HubSpot offers a variety of packages, but to get the benefit of social planning and monitoring, you need to get the Professional package, which runs for $800/year. This might seem a little pricey, but with all the benefits of contacts management, website forms, and email marketing, you are actually getting a pretty good deal.
The social tool that has been predicted to rule in 2018 is Agorapulse. This tool supports six different social media platforms (including Twitter) and has a wide array of features, including:
- Tracking all Twitter mentions and allowing you to respond from their page
- Schedule social posts and make a social calendar
- Repost previously posted content
- Share your social responsibilities within your company
- Allows you to use templates to reply to tweets
- Tracks all tweets that share an article or page from your website or blog
- Offers a Chrome extension for easy scheduling and monitoring capacities
Agorapulse offers different pricing plans based on the size of your business, ranging in price from $39 / month to $239 / month, but they also offer a 14-day free trial, no matter what plan you are interested in. They also allow you to pay either monthly or annually, giving you flexibility depending on your business.
When it comes to social media, most people focus on the actual number of followers you have. This isn’t necessarily the best measure to focus on for the success of your social accounts, because after all, it’s not good if you have a lot of followers but they don’t engage with you. However, follower numbers does have a place in your social strategy, especially with Twitter, which is why Rewst is a great tool to use. This tool is specifically designed to help grow your Twitter audience and engagement. They do this by monitoring and suggesting topics that interest your followers and helps you track down followers they think will be interested in your account.
Rewst allows five users to access the account and offers two subscriptions, a $150 / year and $15 per month, but if you sign up for the yearly one you get the first two months free.
Hootsuite is a more widely known social planning platform. It says on its website that it “makes finding, scheduling, monitoring, and reporting on social media content easier”. Again, this is a tool that works for a variety of social accounts, but it’s loved in the Twitter community and is great if you are only managing a few Twitter accounts. In addition to the typical scheduling and reporting we’ve seen before, Hootsuite also allows you to follow content and topics that are of interest to you and your company, making sure you are in the know with all key conversations going on in your field.
The best thing about Hootsuite is they have a free version (or freemium version) that actually gives you quite a lot of their tools. However, you can upgrade to more advantage tools through paid plans, which go for $29 / month upward. But if you’re interested just sign up for the free version and get a feel for the platform.
Another well known social tool is Buffer. Buffer is known for allow you to schedule tweets (and other postings) in a simple, efficient way that is super comprehensive for even non-technical individuals. Buffer allows you to schedule tweets and spread them out throughout the day to make sure they are getting posted at the optimal time for your business and your audience. They’re analytics are also great and allow you to see if your tweeting schedule is successful or not.
Like Hootsuite, Buffer offers a free version, but this only allows you to monitor three accounts and only allows you to schedule 10 posts in advance at a time. However, Buffer has both Starter plans and Business plans, all of which specifically cater to a different group. The Buffer Pro Starter is $15 / month while Business plans range from $99 / month to $399 / month.
Hypegrowth is a newer automation platform that specializes in Twitter and Instagram. Everything is done through a simple plan that you can cancel at any time, perfect for trial and error. Some of the services offered are an assigned personal manager for your individual account, campaign growth, account audits, research, and support through email and live-chats. With the personal manager and support services, Hypegrowth really differentiated themselves from their competitors.
Something to note is that you can’t get to Hypegrowth’s prcing page unless you create a login on their site. But for the sake of transparency we’ve included that for you. Their Twitter plan is $59 / month, Instagram is $99 / month, and both are $149 / month. So it’s a bit more expensive but you get extra benefits so you’ll have to weight the costs yourself.
Narrow.io is another automation tool just for Twitter, perfect for a business only looking to grow one or two social accounts. Their key features include targeting following, audience research, analytics, and managing multiple Twitter accounts. This is a smaller site but on their website they do include testimonials from past clients and news articles in which they’ve been mentioned.
Narrow.io has an interesting pricing system. Each plan they offer has the exact same features, they just differ with the number of accounts you can connect. The Basic plan allows you to connect one account and is $19 / month, the Pro plan is for 3 accounts and is $49 / month, and the Business plan is for 10 accounts and is $99 / month. If you only need help with Twitter, or you manage multiple Twitter accounts, this might be the one for you.
By this point, all of these tools seem the same, and while it’s true that SocialOomph has similar features to AgoraPulse, Hootsuite, and Buffer, they are a bit different. SocialOomph is also a comprehensive platform, but in addition to the normal tools, SocialOomph also offers programming automated direct messages to followers (something that is not recommended by Twitter themselves, but you can be your own judge). In addition, with SocialOomph you can automatically follow new followers, communicate with recurring tweets, and highlight your new content.
SocialOomph offers a basic plan that is free, but if you want a more advanced tool then the Professional version is $35.94 / month, or pay for a specific Twitter Unlimited plan for $13.94 / month.
It’s a fact of life that most companies now use some automated tools to help them with their social media strategy, especially for Twitter. These tools can help you with everything from planning and scheduling social posts, to monitoring activity, to sending automatic messages to followers. What tool you decide to use depends on how you want to run your social media. While some people might love automatic replies, others might find it impersonal. Where some people love having a detailed and planned posting schedule, others might prefer having a more spontaneous and eclectic mix of tweets on their feed. Either way, you need to choose the right platform based on your needs as a company, and we welcome you to try different tools until you find that perfect platform for you.
In addition to web design and development, DC Dev Shop offer inbound marketing services, including social media content creation and consulting. Make sure to follow DCDS on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.