There are a few prominent social media platforms on the market at the moment, some free, some not so! But which is the best for your business, and equally – which is the best for you? We’ve rounded up the top three on the market and reviewed their features, flaws and other factors…so you don’t have to!
Tweetdeck is one of the most popular tools on the market at the moment, and it is easy to see why. It is free (hurrah!) and available as a coherent Desktop and Mobile platform.
It is nicely organised into easy to use columns, tailored to however you want and need it to!
Facts: Tweetdeck syncs together your Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Myspace (how very retro!), Buzz and Foursquare accounts into one easy to manage location. You can similtaniously update cross-network with a click, and
Fun Features: One of the best tools Tweetdeck has to offer is the ability to track words, phrases or hashtags – which is marketing gold dust when planning a social media strategy. Track indirect company mentions (not using an @) or scoping out products or services and potential business opportunities. You can also sync to your Bit.ly account for simple tracking of any links you post.
Flaws: Although it does provide scheduled updates, the word on the web is that they can sometimes be a little unpredictable. It could be due to updates or bugs ironed out (or of course, the ultimate of software glitches, a user error!) but is worth noting when using the tool. Tweetdeck seems to also have mixed reviews depending on whether you are a Mac of PC user, similarly for Android and iPhone, however for a free tool – it is worth checking out, even just to see if the usability is right for you.
After a recent purchase from our friends over at Android, the Seesmic we used to know and love has been replaced by a much simpler version. Gone are the columns of yester-seesmic, and replaced with a functional operating window that anyone can figure out and use.
Facts: Seesmic supports the main social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Tumblr) and provides one single tab/box to navigate through. You can schedule posts easily, adding links and images and selecting specific pages/profiles accordingly.
Fun Features: Its pretty hard to pick out one particular feature, as the new version is so stripped back it really only has the basics to speak of (that is of course, unless you opt for the paid upgrade version).
Flaws: Although the scheduling is reliable, it is not always instantaneous and doesn’t display as well cross platform on multiple updates (namely Facebook/Twitter). Its pretty basic, and to pay for an upgrade you’d be better looking at other platforms available, as they are still new and finding their feet – as a whole, they don’t overly stand out.
Unlike the others, Hootsuite is the main platform which although free initially, has a full paid upgrade option to access more features and tools within the different packages, and although as a whole we prefer to maximise the free tools available (who doesn’t!) Hootsuite really comes into its own on the upgrade.
Facts: Hootsuite as a platform can integrate all Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Myspace, WordPress, Foursquare, and most importantly – Google Plus (with the pro account), the only platform to include the newest Network to their proceedings. It is laid out with easy to view columns which can be customised to view as best suited to your needs.
Fun Features: There are two key areas where Hootsuite stands out above the rest. Firstly, its reporting features and social analytics options which are invaluable to any social media campaign. Secondly, their apps, letting you customise and add extra networks such as You Tube and Tumblr, as well as integrating tools such as MailChimp, Social Flow etc.
Flaws: On an otherwise almost flawless system, the main downside to Hootsuite is the need to reach into your wallet. Of course, if social strategy is something your business wants to particularly focus on it is without doubt worth every penny. However if you aren’t going to use the analytics package, or don’t have Google+, then it is not a platform that stands out more so than any other.
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