Third-Party Posting Platforms Reviewed
Let’s be honest. Social media is a lot of work for any small business.
It takes time, research, creativity, and even more time to analyze and update. When you can tap into tools that allow you to manage your business faster, it just makes sense to go that route. Social media management tools, also called third-party posting platforms, can do a lot of the heavy lifting for you, at least when it comes to posting and managing the process.
What Is a Third-Party Posting Platform?
Third-party posting platforms can do many of the tasks you need to do to keep your social media marketing on target. That includes streamlining your workflow and even ensuring that the content you post makes it to the ideal customer. Most are rather easy to use, though some are more robust than others.
Think of third-party posting platforms as the Swiss Army knife of social media management.
They work to help you in numerous ways:
- Set up posts in batches, so you don’t have to manage the process daily.
- Have one place to go to manage all of the inboxes for your accounts instead of several different locations.
- Post the same type of message across all platforms without all of the time-consuming work that goes into it.
- Set up and manage your social media content well in advance, so you schedule it out where you think it is most effective.
- Use the scheduling, publishing, and analytical tools to help you reach the maximum ROI for each platform you’re on.
These applications are streamlined and efficient, but not all are the same. In many ways, it’s critical that you select the best choice (or let your social media marketing nerds do the work for you).
Why You Need to Care
It’s a misconception that third-party posting platforms are unwieldy or problematic. Some rumors out there indicate that the use of these tools can interfere with engagement with your customers or clients, and that would hamper your digital marketing efforts.
Countless times, though, this has been proven to be inaccurate. More importantly, using these tools wisely can help you to engage your audient far more fully and even help you to achieve better long-term results.
Top Third-Party Posting Platforms You Should Consider
You can always reach out to your digital marketing company to learn more about the options in third-party posting platforms that may be best for you. However, here are some platforms to check out to help you get started.
Price: Starting at $5 per month
Buffer is one of the most notable of the options (having been around for a long time). It offers a number of benefits, including competitive costs and complete access to social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
- It’s rather easy to use.
- There’s a 14-day free trial to test it out.
- Plans are inexpensive, starting at $5 per month.
- They often suggest topics for you.
- Is not as robust in terms of working with all platforms.
- If using the lower tiers, you can only link three social profiles to it.
Price: Starting at $49 per month for professional level
Probably one of the more recognized names in social media management tools, Hootsuite is a reliable option. Hootsuite is particularly beneficial because it offers a good number of analytic tools that can help you to see trends and how effective your engagement efforts really are.
- There’s a 30-day free trial to check it out.
- A free plan is available, but it’s limited.
- You can link as many as 20 social networks to it.
- The professional plan (generally the best starting level for companies, is $49 per month).
- Not all analytical reports are available without added cost.
Price: Starting at $89 per month
Another easy-to-use system for managing social media is Sprout Social. It is a bit more refined in the way it works, making it a bit easier to use overall for those who are just getting started in the process. It has good publishing features and streamlines the process. It also offers excellent analytics insights for most social media platforms. Link up to 10 accounts in one place and use tools like the social content calendar and time analysis reports for actionable steps to improve campaigns.
- Super easy to use for all social networks, including its analytics tools.
- A free 30-day trial is excellent.
- Offers SEO tools that could be beneficial to many campaigns.
- Plans have limits on the number of social profiles that may be linked to them.
- The highest level and the most functional plan is expensive at $249 per month.
Price: Starting at $42.50 per month
Social Pilot is another option and tends to be rather affordable for social media marketing success. One of the key benefits is that using the small team plan allows you to establish three separate users to manage the accounts, which means you can get the whole team working on the process. It offers nice features like bulk scheduling and a browser extension. It also offers unlimited scheduling and a good, responsive customer support team.
- An affordable option for those who want more robust tools with a 14-day free trial available.
- Use it to link up to 10 social media accounts with multiple users on your accounts.
- Higher-end features provide better client management tools for larger organizations.
- Lower-tiered plans have far fewer services, which can be limiting to some businesses.
- Have to pay a year at a time for the lowest-tier plans.
Price: Starting at $29 per month
Sendible may be a bit less known, but it has some great features that make it one of the best choices for many companies today. That includes nice integration tools since you can use them with a lot of tools like Google Analytics and Canva – that makes designing cool posts far easier to do. You can also use it for just about any type of social media marketing and planning, as it’s quite comprehensive overall.
- Lots of integration to speed up and make creating posts easier to do.
- Manage the entire social media campaign easily on one dashboard.
- A 14-day free trial is available, and a 15% savings option is available for buying a year at once.
- The basic plan doesn’t offer as many features.
- Can be harder to learn due to all of the integrations that are available for it.
Price: Starting at $19 per month
SocialBee is an option for those who want affordability but is easy to use at the same time. It has an intuitive interface that can provide lots of helpful insights and support as you learn and grow in your social media use. The base plan provides you with the ability to manage up to five social media profiles at one time.
- A content calendar that is easy to use and offers real-time previews of posts.
- Canva integration is an excellent benefit because it makes adding graphics easier to do.
- Super easy to customize and manage the platform for various types of businesses and provides ample automation to streamline the process.
- Doesn’t offer as many high-end features as other providers, including no integration with YouTube yet.
- It is best for smaller businesses rather than large accounts with multiple social media profiles.
Price: $199 per month
Though more expensive than most other options, Agorapulse is an excellent choice for a few key reasons. First, it is a full CRM with a social media scheduling tool, which gives you more of the tools you need in one place. You will also find that it does more of the work for you thanks to its listening tools. Listening tools help you collect information about topics posted on social media to help you “join” the conversation. You can collaborate rather easily using it as well.
- Label content and manage databases with ease, often speeding up the process of creating content.
- Built-in CRM helps to streamline the process.
- Customizing its functionality to fit each of your needs is easy to do.
- Is more expensive than other products available.
- Does not offer a lot of reporting features overall.
Finding the Right Tool for Your Needs
As you work to create a social media presence for your business, something that you will need to do with Facebook advertising, Instagram, and other platforms, you will find that utilizing these platforms is a necessary investment.
Far and away, the biggest benefit to using these platforms is that they will save you time- a ton of it. In fact, the majority of these platforms take your “posting” time down from whatever you’re spending now to an hour or two a month.
Look beyond cost when choosing one, though. You want to be sure the tool can help you create content that meets and exceeds your expectations but also content that you can watch to see how it performs.
At Make It Loud, we are here to help you. As a full web design, SEO, and digital marketing firm, we can work closely with you to ensure you have content that is working to not just keep your social media profiles full but help you to engage with your customers and build your sales. Reach out to us today to learn more about how we can help you with social media marketing.
Cliff Tillery, MBA is the Chief Operating Officer at Make It Loud which is a digital marketing firm located outside of Atlanta Georgia. He is also the Director of SEO. More than 14 years ago, he started search engine optimization at this agency and has taught digital marketing skills to business owners at the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce, the Gwinnett Entrepreneur Center and other groups.