Updated: Jul 24, 2020
Maximising your reach on social media can be so much easier if you know what peak times your audience will be online or what hashtags are performing better for you. Understanding and assessing the analytics behind the results you want can be a daunting task but there are tools available out there to help us get the answers we need to bolster results from our social media use 👇🏼
‘Tough to quantify’
Facebook and Instagram provide their own ‘insights’ for free, which give you a basic overview of how many people you’re reaching, if you’re following has gone up or down and an idea of what times will be best for you to post. The volume of data these methods provide you with can be rather overwhelming and delving into the detail of what’s working and what isn’t is tough to quantify.
This problem has opened a window of opportunity that a variety of social media analytical tools have been filling to help you out.
‘Try before you buy’
Getting good insight into how your content is performing requires investment, although most of the tools available offer the chance to a free trial period before you need to spend any money. This also opens the opportunity to try before you buy and see which tools best provide the specific results you’re after.
As we’ve mentioned, there are a variety of tools available and they’re not a one fits all fix. Everyone has specific targets and uses different social media platforms, so an analytical tool churning out the answers for one person, may not necessarily do the same for you.
Some tools focus their analysis on only one or two platforms, such as Tailwind which assess Instagram and Pinterest, or SparkToro that only focuses on Twitter. Or if your focus is on social media campaigns, then Shorstack will be the platform for you.
The platform you select really does depend on your need and style of social media use. For the purposes of this article though, lets look a little deeper into the two top hitters out there who manage social media platforms across the board, Sprout Social and Hootsuite.
‘Sprout Social or Hootsuite’
The most popular social media management tools that will lead your Google searches will be Sprout Social and Hootsuite, which analyse all the main social media platforms, (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Linkedin with Hootsuite also throwing in YouTube for good measure. Both tools provide 30-day free trials which can be followed by paid options, with the premium packages on offer at £520 per month on Hootsuite and £316* per month on Sprout Social.
Now before you start making a call based on those prices, there are many other options available and based on expensive starting packages, its Sprout Social that trump this one, (£100* per month, more than Hootsuite’s starting deal). All features are available on both platforms during your 30-day trial and reports, team performance and key metrics are all presented to you to see where your successes and failures lay before committing to a paid deal with your preferred platform choice.
How many social profiles can I manage? 🤷🏼♀️
Understanding what package will suit you will depend on the amount of social media accounts you are managing and the demand you have for helping these processes run more efficiently. With Hootsuite, you can manage up to 35 social profiles with up to 5 users through their premium package. There is an enterprise option too, where Hootsuite can tailor your needs for a greater monthly price.
Sprout Socials premium package, the ‘Advanced’ option, offers up to 10 social profiles per month but if you were to select a cheaper package, they also offer an option of purchasing additional social profiles during your subscription at an extra cost of £20* per month.
So how much does that work out at per Social Profile?
If we’re comparing price per social profiles between the two platforms, based on their premium packages, it’s Hootsuite that offer the better value, providing a social profile for just under £15 against just under £32* per social profile with Sprout Socials Advanced package.
Ok, so Hootsuite are ticking most of the boxes here on price but if you’re an agency, Sprout Social might be the better way to go and here’s why. Sprout Social have partnership packages available that tailor a price to your agency needs. As well as helping you grow your business, Sprout Social also offer reward incentives on their partner packages, so if you’re looking at scaling up your business then this may be the social media management platform for you.
So, in conclusion, both platforms offer competitive deals and promise you pretty much the same outcomes, which is helping find the results you want to know from your social media use. Who you select may well just come down to your budget rather than anything else.
As you can tell, the package options available on both platforms vary in price quite significantly, so both appeal to a wide market and help people at various points of the social media spectrum achieve their goals.
My advice at this stage would be to give them both a try by taking advantage of their free trials and weigh up the pros and cons before committing to the package and provider that suits you.
If it's all a bit too much to take in and you need a little help with your social, I'm here to help 😊
*conversion from US dollars at the current rate at the time of writing this article.