Want to save time on social media? Consider investing in a management tool — especially if you are managing more than two platforms.
Such software provides a range of tools: social media monitoring, content management, or analytics. Two comprehensive tools to help you monitor and manage your platforms you should consider: Oktopost and Sprout Social.
Both Oktopost and Sprout Social have listening capabilities. However, the feeds on Oktopost are much more customizable, akin to Hootsuite; Sprout Social only allows you to view your traditional social-media feed, which limits what you can track — no hashtags, keywords or separate feeds for lists.
On Oktopost, you can also follow content categories that can easily be scheduled into a post. Sprout Social allows you to sign up for an RSS feed, which can work in the same way.
Both Oktopost and Sprout Social allow you to schedule posts at times of your choosing. You may also create an automated schedule to queue your posts with pre-set time slots. Both packages have a calendar view, which is helpful at a glance.
Oktopost allows you to organize your posts by campaign, a small but powerful feature that’s useful for analyzing results at the end of a campaign. You can filter what you see on the calendar by campaign as well.
The platform also has a “pause campaign” button — the perfect tool to use to suspend a post in event of a tragedy or unexpected news event. Unfortunately, you cannot drag and drop posts to rearrange them, even though the format has that design feel.
Besides the calendar format, Sprout Social lets you view your scheduled posts in post queue. This feature is beneficial because it shows you the posts in multiple ways, making it easier to spot typos or errors. Sprout Social also has a mobile app so you can post on the go, unlike Oktopost. In contract, LinkedIn and Facebook groups are not supported by Sprout Social and are by Oktopost.
Both Oktopost and Sprout Social have customer engagement tools and one common inbox–making it efficient to respond to any customer comments and concerns. Oktopost’s inbox software is fairly straightforward; however, you can only track conversations once you start using the software.
On the other hand, Sprout Social automatically pulls all of your current customer messages into one inbox as soon as you sign up. Sprout Social’s inbox is its best feature as it integrates with the workflow section of the platform. You can mark complete, flag or assign a message to ensure nothing falls through the cracks. This is especially helpful paired with their app, so when you see messages when you are on the go, you can set reminders on taking care of them later, so you do not forget.
Both companies offer analytics but approach measurement in their own ways.
Unfortunately, Oktopost does not provide any significant analytics until you start scheduling with the platform, so there are no examples from my trial. That isn’t to say the analytic reports are shallow. Oktopost covers the following categories: Acquisition, Engagement, Audience, Content, Advocacy and Reports. You can export any of these data points as a PDF.
The biggest benefit of Oktopost is if you are a B2B company that also works with a customer relationship management (CRM) software such as Salesforce because you can integrate the two programs and track a customers path down the sales funnel.
Sprout Social grabs users initially with colorful audience demographic graphics. It then has a report tab with the following categories available: Twitter Profile, Twitter Comparisons, Twitter Listening, Facebook Pages, Engagement, Team, Task Performance, Trends, Instagram Profiles, Tag Report and Sent Messages. The Team and Task Performance categories are not ones that I’ve seen in other management programs and would be incredibly helpful if you are managing a team of social-media folks.
In conclusion, both Social Sprout and Oktopost are strong options for any brand to consider — depending on what needs the company has. Oktopost starts at $400/month, so it is best for those B2B companies who need to be active in LinkedIn groups and track their path to purchase. On the other hand, Sprout Social starts at only $59/month, so it is a great price point for the average brand. Note that team features are not available until the $500/month package.
These are not the only two platforms out there, but they are great places to start. Many programs offer free trials, so be sure to sample the software to decide which one is right for your company.