When you’re choosing tools for B2B social media measurement … I recommend choosing lightweight vs. heavyweight. Choose agile, affordable and eager. Choose the underdog with something to prove — the company committed to continued improvement.
I use several tools for publishing to the various social media channels. For some things, posting directly to twitter.com, facebook.com, plus.google.com, linkedin.com, etc. is still the best way to go. But most of your outbound content can be automated for free with little effort thanks to a tool called Buffer.
When I am scheduling content one week to one month in advance for anywhere from five to ten companies every week with two to six outbound messages per day across five+ platforms, all I care about for social sharing is ease of use.
I was a card-carrying believer in the tool Sprout Social. I have only recently fallen out of love with the platform, but I’ll still do a write-up of it in the future, because I still think it’ll do the job on the cheap for some people.
Sprout Social lost me because it is impossibly slow and difficult to schedule a large number of posts.
And that’s all that Buffer does: Scheduling, sharing and post-level analytics to show you which of your messages are performing well across which channels.
Once a message performs well, Buffer makes it really easy to drag and drop the message to one of your social profiles for instant re-sharing.
The fact is … Buffer’s dashboard is beautiful, simple, and preposterously easy — almost fun — to use. It takes a second for each message to be added to your Buffer and you can easily drag and drop to move messages around for sharing or choose to “send now” for any message in the queue with one click.
All of the multitasking tools I have used — Sprout Social included — are “good” at each one of these things — monitoring brand mentions, scheduling posts, analytics, etc.
But that’s what we’re talking about here — there are lightweight social tools that do each one of those things in a way that makes your social content sing.
The time you supposedly waste visiting more than one URL per day is saved tenfold by the ease of each platform and the quality performance of each tool.
What Does it Cost?
Nothing, if you want. There is an “Awesome” version of the platform that lets you have 12 social profiles, unlimited posts and two team members for collaboration that costs $10/month.
I have not needed to pay up to Buffer yet, but starting next month, I’m going to start paying for the premium plan anyway just to show them my support.
Did I mention they are awesome via social media for customer service as well?
Also — sometimes you need a sophisticated solution for monitoring, scheduling, analytics and social CRM. We’ll cover those as soon as we get done with these epically affordable — if not free — tools.
Have you used Buffer? Do you like it?