Small businesses that have been around social media for any length of time have heard about, checked out, considered using or used one of a handful of social media management tools. Many of these tools offer free options or a window of time where you can test them for free before signing up for a paid plan.

This week G2 Crowd published their “Spring 2015 rankings of the best social media management tools, based on user reviews.”

What is a social media management tool?

For those who may not know what a social media management tool is, it is software designed to allow the user (you) to publish to, monitor and manage one or more of your social media networks from one interface. This not only makes it easier for you to share and schedule to share content to your social networks from one place, it makes it easier for you to respond to customers who make a comment on something you post or message you direct. It can also make it easier for teams to work together in managing one or more social streams.

Some social media management tools are set up so you can manage most, if not all, of the major social networks from your account. BufferHootsuite and Sprout Social fall into this group.

Some social media management tools only support one social network, like TweetDeck, which is designed to work with Twitter alone and the Facebook Page Manager, which only works with a Facebook Page.

The right social media management tool for your business will:

  • be easy to use
  • offer the options and flexibility you need to manage your social networks
  • fit your budget

The Social Media Management Tool Winners?

 

G2 Crowd’s software review platform relies on customer reviews of the various social media management tools to determine ratings. Their recently released report stated, “To qualify as a Leader, a product must receive a high customer satisfaction score and have substantial market presence.”

The next category is High Performers and G2 Crowd say that these social media management tools “have high customer satisfaction scores with a smaller market presence than Leaders.”

The Leaders are said to be:

  • Sprout Social (pricing starts at $59 per month with a 30 day free trial).
  • Hootsuite (free plan available, paid plans start at $8.99 per month with a 30 day free trial).
  • TweetDeck (free – only for Twitter only).

The High Performers are said to be:

  • AgoraPulse
  • Sendible
  • Viralheat
  • Buffer
  • GroScocial

Overall, Sprout Social earned the highest overall customer satisfaction score. Although, for the small business owner, from a pricing, options, features and convenience standpoint, Hootsuite – which is rated in the top three – is an excellent choice.

TweetDeck, unless one is using Twitter exclusively, isn’t really an equal product. It is more like comparing apples (Hootsuite and Sprout Social) to oranges (TweetDeck).

To learn more about how consumers rate various social media management tools, about the products themselves and to compare the various tools, click here to visit the Social Media Mgmt Tool Software  section on the G2 Crowd site. You’ll also find ‘Social Media Mgmt Experts’ providing opinions on a few questions provided by G2 Crowd.

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