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social media management apps

The Best Social Media Management Apps (Bonus: Apps that Manage Instagram)

Let’s face it. With all the platforms available today, social media can sometimes feel a little overwhelming.

After all, you have to create content for Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn – and don’t forget Pinterest and Instagram.

Managing all of your social media accounts can be a lot of work.

The good news is, social media management doesn’t have to be hard.

With so many tools available at our fingertips, it’s never been easier to create and schedule amazing social media content. You just have to choose the right apps for you!

And to make it a little easier, we’ve put together a break down of some of the best social media management apps.

Grab your free copy of our easy-reference sheet for the best social media tools!

best social media management apps

The Benefits of Scheduling Out Your Social Media Using Tools

In case you needed a little convincing to get on-board with the social media management apps, here are a few benefits of scheduling in advance:

  • It creates consistency. One of the most important things when it comes to social media is consistency. You don’t want to pull a disappearing act by forgetting to post. You want to make sure you stay top-of-mind for your followers by posting on a regular basis. By scheduling your social media posts in advance, you’re able to do this.
  • You create better content. When you plan your updates in advance, you’re more likely to put thought into the updates you’re creating as opposed to the ones you craft on the fly. Your audiences expects to see the best and they deserve it, too. Make time to schedule so you can plan posts that your audience will enjoy and that your brand will benefit from.

Your Best Social Media Management Apps

To help you decide which app is right for you, we’ve rounded-up some of the best social media management apps to help you take control of your Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Instagram profiles.

1. Buffer

Here at Express Writers, our go-to tool is Buffer. We use it to manage our many Twitter accounts, plus Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn. That’s not all it does! It also handles scheduling for Pinterest and Instagram.

The great thing about Buffer is that it’s incredibly easy to use. There’s really nothing complex about it! Both their website and mobile app (for Android and iOS) make it a breeze to schedule updates for any platform.

Check out our scheduled social media feed on Buffer (we have a lot of posts and profiles):

buffer

While you can use Buffer absolutely free of charge, you’d be missing out on some of the main features this social media scheduler has to offer.

The free plan limits you to scheduling only 10 updates at a time per account and you’re unable to add multiple accounts for each type of platform. (This means that two Twitter profiles or two Facebook pages would be out of the question.)

The good news is, Buffer’s “Awesome” plan is pretty affordable at only $10/month.

Buffer provides built-in analytics that give you insight into how well your posts are performing. You’re able to see which posts are actually resonating with your audience and which ones aren’t. This is essential so you can adapt your social media strategy for maximum results.

To make scheduling even easier, Buffer also offers an extension for your web browser. If you see a blog post you’d love to share with your followers, all you have to do is use the extension to quickly and easily add it to your Buffer queue without ever opening their website.

And finally, another great option on Buffer is their Optimal Timing Tool. What will this do for you? Well, you’ve probably seen all kinds of studies that show the best times to post on Twitter, Facebook, etc. While those studies are helpful, those times aren’t unique to your social media profiles. Buffer’s Optimal Timing Tool calculates the best times for you to post based on your own audience.

From its features and affordability to how easy it is to use, it should come as no surprise that Buffer made our list of the best social media management apps. It’s definitely one to check out if you haven’t already tried it.

Note: Buffer also provides plans for Teams & Agencies ranging from $99/month to $399/month, depending on your needs.

2. Hootsuite

When it comes to scheduling tools, Hootsuite is comparable to Buffer when it comes to price. Hootsuite offers a free plan that allows you to add three social media profiles. If you need a little more, you can upgrade to their Pro account for just $9.99/month, which allows you to add up to 50 social media profiles. It’s another great option if you want something that will get the job done without breaking the bank.

Here’s what a dashboard in Hootsuite would look like:

example hootsuite

Courtesy of matthewfarmer.com.au

Hootsuite provides scheduling for a variety of platforms, including: Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

However, one thing they do differently is that they offer support for YouTube scheduling. By linking your Hootsuite account with YouTube, you’re able to schedule and share your YouTube videos right from Hootsuite. This is definitely convenient for video creators.

One of the great features about Hootsuite is that it’s more than just a social media scheduler. You’re actually able to monitor and engage in conversations with your followers directly from the Hootsuite website. Their engagement tools ensure you’ll never miss an important reply from someone.

Like Buffer, you also receive access to analytics on Hootsuite. You can use this information to see which posts are performing well on each of your platforms. With a Pro account, you’re able to go even more in-depth to improve ROI and analyze campaign performance through your analytics.

Note: Hootsuite also provides plans for small businesses and agencies. You can sign-up on their website to learn more about pricing.

3. Edgar

You can’t talk about the best social media management apps without mentioning the powerhouse that is Edgar.

edgar-schedule

Courtesy of Problogger.net (Darren Rowse)

While Edgar is certainly pricier than Buffer and Hootsuite, coming in at $49/month, it comes packed with features the other two platforms are lacking. It’s the only tool that will back you up in case your post queue goes empty.

Edgar is designed so that you add updates to your “library.” You can choose which platforms you want each post to be shared on, plus you’re able to save each one in a certain category. For example, you could create a category for “Blog Posts,” where you’d save any posts that link back to your blog. If you’re a big fan of sharing cat photos, you could even create a category for that, too.

Then, your next step is to create a posting schedule. You get to tell Edgar which types of posts you want to share and at what time. So, if you want to share a link to a blog post every Tuesday at 10 AM, you can do that no problem. Edgar will pull a post from your “Blog Posts” category and share it for you.

Edgar pulls your social media content straight from the library you’ve created. Whenever something has been posted, it goes back into your library at the bottom of the list. When Edgar runs out of content, he starts all over by pulling from your library. You’ll never have to worry about your queue going empty and not having something to share with your followers. Talk about making social media easier!

If Edgar sounds like one of the best social media management apps for you, you can give it a go with a free trial. Edgar currently works with Twitter profiles, Facebook profiles, Facebook pages, Facebook groups, LinkedIn profiles, and LinkedIn pages. It may not provide scheduling for as many platforms as Buffer and Hootsuite, but it sure packs a ton of value with its library feature.

Bonus: Tools That Manage Pinterest & Instagram

Now that we’ve given you scheduling tools for Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn, let’s talk about Pinterest and Instagram. First up, Pinterest!

4. Pinterest Scheduling: BoardBooster & Tailwind

First, you can use Buffer to schedule posts to your Pinterest boards (for paid accounts only). This is quite handy if you’re already using Buffer as your primary scheduling tool. You wouldn’t have to pay for something else and you’d have everything right in one place. However, if you’re looking for a tool with a few more features, you have a couple great options.

BoardBooster and Tailwind are both powerful tools for scheduling your Pinterest content. They each offer a free trial so you can see which one fits your needs and purchase from there. Both tools allow you to schedule your pins and have them post at optimal times for your account. If you’ve been seeing lackluster results on Pinterest, one of these tools could be just what you need to step up your presence there.

With Tailwind, you’re able to see a visual representation of your Pinterest queue before it posts. It makes it easy to see how many pins are in your queue and what’s coming up next. You can also schedule certain pins to be shared at specific times, which is quite convenient if you want to time a pin for the same time your latest blog post goes live.

To use BoardBooster, the application sets up a secret board on your current Pinterest profile. You pin to that secret board, then BoardBooster moves your pins from there to the public board throughout the day. In your “Board Performance Report,” you’ll be able to see exactly what BoardBooster has posted for you, plus a few stats on each pin. You’re also able to “loop” old pins by reposting them and you can pull popular pins from another user’s board.

Tailwind’s most affordable plan is for bloggers and small businesses. It comes in at jut $9.99/month. BoardBooster’s plans are set up differently in that they’re based on how much you pin per month. If you pin only 500 pins each month, you’d end up paying only $5/month, which is quite a bargain.

Instagram Scheduling

The tricky thing about Instagram scheduling is that the platform doesn’t allow third-party applications to access its API. What does that mean? None of the scheduling apps can actually post for you. Instead, you can schedule posts within the tool of your choice, which then sends a notification to your phone as a reminder to post. There are applications that post to Instagram for you, however they technically go against Instagram’s rules and we’d advise not using them. There are a few great options to consider for your Instagram scheduling that are absolutely safe to use.

5. Later

Later (formerly Latergramme) is a nice tool for scheduling your Instagram content. You can easily upload images and captions via desktop or through the mobile app for Android or iOS. One of the handy things about scheduling with Later is that you can actually upload multiple images and save them in your library. So, you don’t need to have your post planned out right away. You can save images and move them from your library to your queue later on.

6. Buffer or Hootsuite

Both Buffer and Hootsuite provide scheduling for Instagram. If you’re already using one of these tools for scheduling on other platforms, you may want to stick with them just to keep everything in one place. It’ll make things much easier for you!

Using The Best Social Media Management Apps To Your Success

By putting your social media management under one application umbrella, you save yourself a great deal of time, management, and trouble.

It’s a necessary step for the modern content marketer!

Take that a step further and hire a social media manager expert from our hand-picked, expert team! We’ll manage your profiles, create custom imagery, and write original, creative posts. Visit the Content Shop.

perez hilton social media

10 Books, Celebrities, & TV Shows that Started with Social Media

If you ever stop the important business you are conducting in order to shoot off a tweet or two because your boss (or your PR agent or the research you did on the web) told you it was important, and it makes you question whether any of this is really necessary, then you need to read this post. Also, you should read it just because it’s really interesting too. (But that’s just my opinion.)

Ten Stars in the Social Media World

If you ever ask yourself whether social media is an important marketing tool, you should step back and think about the following books, TVs shows, blogs, and unexplainably famous pop star who all were first noticed through social media. We’ve got ten here who were highly successful through their social media.

  1. Dear Girls Above Me. If you have ever had loud upstairs neighbors, then you know Charles McDowell’s pain (and if you are the loud upstairs neighbors, we all beg you to please quiet down). After dealing with the noisy girls upstairs for too long, McDowell decided to make his ire known on a public forum: Twitter.He started an account that chronicled the girls’ conversations and his thoughts on the matter. And the next thing he knew, people were listening, though lucky for all of his followers, none of those people were the girls upstairs.His Twitter account became so popular, that he was offered a book deal. Which is how the book Dear Girls Above Me was created. And if you haven’t read it, you should. Because it’s pretty funny.
  1. SH*T My Dad Says. Remember that TV show starring William Shatner that lasted for hardly anytime at all? Well, it started out as a book. And that books started out as a Twitter account hosted by Justin Halpern, who was chronicling the comments of his colorful father. After the success of his first book, Halpern wrote a second book, I Suck at Girls, and got a second TV show out of it, which also didn’t make a full season.So why is he making this list if both his shows flopped? Well, have you turned being forced to move back home with your parents and having girlfriend problems into successful books and two TV deals, one of which starred William Shatner, successful or not? I sure haven’t. So I call Halpern a social media success story.
  1. Joshua Marshall. Here is a social media success of a more professional nature. Circa 2000, Josh Marshall decided he was going to start a political blog. So he did, and he called it Talking Points Memo. This blog uncovered several big political scandals as it grew in prominence, and it gained more and more followers.Soon, TPM turned into more than a blog; it became TPMcafe.com – a website hosting multiple blogs on politics and foreign and domestic affairs. For its coverage of a US Attorney’s scandal, it was nominated to the Time 100. It does all of this with a very small staff (a seven man staff according to the all-reliable Wikipedia).Many large corporations have tried to buy Marshall out, but for now, he is happy being an independent, social media success.
  1. Hyperbole and a Half. Allie Brosh decided to give the world a little insight into her life from childhood to now. So she decided to create a blog and web comic, which she called Hyperbole and a Half.Hyperbole, both the blog and the drawings, struck a chord with readers who decided that Brosh was pretty funny. She expanded the blog into an also popular web series, and a few of her drawings became viral memes. She got a humor column on the blog The Gloss. And then she got a book deal.One of her most famous posts was on her struggles with depression, and that was lauded to be one of the most insightful depictions of this disease to date. And nobody would have known about it if it was not for social media.
  1. When Parents Text. Recent college grads Lauren Kaelin and Sophia Fraioli decided to open a Tumblr account. They needed something interesting to tumble about, though. Then, they had it! Why not write out some of the hilarious fails parents make when they try to text? So they did. And it turned out that this was a winning formula. Apparently, people like making fun of strange texts they received from their parents.The popularity of their Tumblr account did not go unnoticed by the publishing industry who are quick to pounce on anything they see that appears to be working in this arena. So, they offered the girls a book deal, and that is why we can all go over to Amazon and purchase When Parents Text. They were even in talks for a TV show for a while.
  1. Perez Hilton. If you want to find out all of the latest celebrity gossip in the most snarky manner possible, where do you turn? To Perez Hilton, of course. He tried acting, and it wasn’t for him, but blogging seemed easy, so he thought he’d give it a try. Lucky for him because it drove him right out onto the paths of infamy.Hilton is always on top of every celebrity scandal, and he reports it in the funniest, if also the meanest, way possible. He not only reports the scandal, though, he is not above causing a little controversy himself.Whether you like his style or hate it, the fact is that Hilton’s blogging success has gotten him book deals, notoriety, and TV appearances. – and even celebrity status if  MTV’s Celebrity Rap Superstar can be believed.
  1. Gawker. How much do you think Gawker is worth? If you guessed upwards of $300 million, then you might just be right on the mark. It is considered to be one of the most successful blog-oriented media companies. It also was headquartered in Nick Dalton’s personal residence in SoHo at one point.
  2. Drunk History. Have you ever seen the Comedy Central show Drunk History? This show, which makes me laugh almost every time, has drunk people relate stories throughout history, History Channel documentary style, and has different celebrity guest stars act out the drunk tellings.The show started out as a web series, on the website Funny or Die, created by Derek Waters and Jeremy Konner. The series performed so well that it got picked up by Comedy Central, and, perhaps more importantly, got discussed by me in this very post.  
  1. Heather Armstrong. Heather Armstrong is another famous blogger. She got some attention when she got fired from her job reportedly for including stories on her blog, apparently not flattering stories, about her coworkers. So instead of finding another job, she just started blogging fulltime. She writes about her life and experiences, no matter how mundane or personal they may seem.Through her blogging, not only has she earned a respectable living through advertising and book deals, as well as other sources of bloggy income, she has also won actual Bloggies, the prize of the Weblog Awards, including a Lifetime Achievement Award. She was also named one of the thirty honorees on Forbes “Most Influential Women in Media” list in 2009.  
  1. And Now for All the Beliebers Out There. And what good list of social media celebrities would be complete without an appearance by everybody’s favorite pop star to despise and mock: Justin Bieber. You might know him for
  • His adoring young fans,
  • His sensationalized relationship with Selena Gomez,
  • His mentoree relationship with Usher,
  • His many stints going against the law,
  • His Comedy Central Roast,
  • His general annoyingness,
  • His appearance beside the Burger King mascot as part of Floyd’s entourage at the Mayweather vs. Pacquiao fight, or
  • Maybe something boring like his music

You might be aware that he came to us from Canada, but were you aware that his mode of transportation from Canada to here was social media? That is right, he started out as a YouTube star.

Beiber’s mom recorded then 12-years old Beibs singing in a competition and uploaded it to the popular video site. She continued to do this for other songs he performed. If you have ever heard preteen girls squeal his name in delight, you will not be surprised to know that people seemed to like these videos.

However, pure popularity is not all that got Beiber discovered. He also got helped with a little bit of luck when a So So Def marketing executive accidently stumbled upon an old video of Beiber while looking for another musician. And thus, Beiber Fever began.

Successful People Through Social Channels: You Can Do It Too

So there you have it, all of these people, books, blogs, etc. became uber-successful through social media channels. And if they can do it sitting in their living room with no marketing backing or advice, why can’t you? I’m sure you are just as talented, and probably have better resources.

So next time you feel that social media is not important, think about Justin Beiber. Because if it can launch him to the level of success that it has, then, really, what can’t it do?

Photo credit: Huffingtonpost.com

 

 

adagio teas social media

7 Ways Adagio Teas Wins at Awesome Social Media

Social media can be a tricky field for many businesses, but there are some out there who know how to use it, and they use it well. Have you heard of a smaller, yet big-reach company that has a powerful social media campaign—Adagio Teas?

Adagio Teas is a wonderful place with both a physical location on the East Coast, as well as a major Internet presence. They work diligently to bring in more online customers through their social media campaign. Let’s take a look at how Adagio Teas uses social media and see just what you can learn from this small business.

A Social Media Success: Adagio Teas

I am going to take a look at the top ways Adagio Teas wins at social media, with a few things hopefully you can takeaway for your own social media campaigns.

  1. They Have a Great Social Media Presence With Twitter. Adagio Teas knows that the place they are going to get their clients is through social media, and they make sure to have an incredible Twitter presence. When you take a stroll on their Twitter feed, you see the company consistently tweeting about offers, contests, as well as re-tweets from their followers. In fact, Adagio regularly encourages people to use Twitter and it is always nice when you get your tweet re-tweeted by the company. I am going to look into their usage of Twitter further on in this blog, but they do have an incredible presence there, and one that is definitely a great inspiration for small businesses.Twitter is an amazing social media site for small businesses because it allows you to talk to your clients in “real time” and it makes the interaction feel more personal. When it comes to other social channels, people are used to having to wait for a response, but Twitter is where the action is at. If you don’t have a Twitter account, set one up, and get to tweeting and talking to build great relationships with your clients.
  1. They Utilize Pinterest to Share Teas, Recipes, and Quotes. While they have a great Twitter presence, they also make sure to utilize their Pinterest account. Pinterest is a great place to share a wide variety of content all the way from memes to product pictures, recipes, and even quotes. Adagio Teas knows how to use Pinterest well and they regularly update with some great photographs of products. They also share some fun, cute little sayings that always involve tea and sometimes include the one thing that pairs with tea nicely – books.Pinterest isn’t a social channel for every business, but it can be useful for some. Many people use this site as a place to collection great DIY tips, as well as fun quotes, sayings, and recipes. If you are in a niche market that can give people DIY tips such as how to brew the perfect oolong tea, then this is a great site for you. If you are in the financial industry, Pinterest might not be the social channel for you. It is always best to keep your channels down to what you will use as well as what will give you the best impact.
  1. Adagio Creates Fun Contests Involving Social Media Channels. Back in February, Adagio Teas created a great contest for their fans about the teas people love. The contest rules stated people had to create an individual Pinterest board titling it “I <3 Adagio Teas” and then share the top ten items they loved from Adagio. This was a great marketing ploy because it got hundreds of people to share their favorite products, which meant all of their followers saw it. But how did Adagio make it worthwhile for clients? Obviously not everyone could win the grand prize, but if you created a board, you could email them with a link to your board and get a $10 gift certificate. Overall this was pocket change compared to what Adagio could make with this promotion, and it made all of their clients pretty happy.This is a perfect example of not just setting up a contest or giveaway, but also making it worth your clients’ time and energy. Not many people would have made a board if it weren’t for that gift card. Give your clients something free when you run a promotion to spice things up and add a favorable image of you in their minds. This will help produce customer loyalty, and happy, loyal clients are more than willing to help promote a business that helps them. As Social Media Examiner writes, you don’t always have to use Pinterest; Facebook, Twitter, or any other social channel can work just as well for a giveaway or contest!
  1. Tweet About Adagio and You Get Points! One of my favorite ways Adagio uses Twitter is that they encourage people to tweet to receive points. These points add up to a money value, which can take a significant amount of money off of an order. You can only tweet about them once a day, but this is a great incentive for clients to promote a company while getting something in return. Again, this is another great example of encouraging your clients to help promote you while making it worth their time and energy.
  1. Allot Points for Social Media Reviews. Outside of just tweeting on Twitter, Adagio also offers points if you review a product and post it to their Facebook page. Facebook reviews can really help a company out, and many people are willing to do this for a business they like. You will find that they are definitely willing to review things if you give them something in return. Each review gives the reviewer 6 points towards a gift certificate that can be used together with the points mentioned above. Everything about Adagio is about promoting the company while helping the customers, which creates an incredible atmosphere for the workers and clients alike.
  1. Adagio Knows that Email is Still Vital. While not a specific social channel, email does have a social quality that many people end up ignoring. Many think that it is a thing of the past when it comes to marketing, but that is simply not so. Adagio understands this and sends out great emails to encourage their clients to try new teas or products. When they send out an email, it isn’t the typical mass generated one that every single client gets. In fact, it is tailored to what the client has purchased. Let’s say you purchased a cinnamon apple Rooibos tea, Adagio will follow up with an email about a cinnamon tea you might like. A few weeks later, they’ll share an apple tea, or they might just say that they’ve randomly put a free sample into your cart for you to have next time you check out. All of this is communicated through email, and it is a pretty wondrous thing to open your email and see you have a free sample of tea waiting for you.A takeaway from this for you is that you should still be using email in your marketing campaigns. It doesn’t have to be done just like Adagio by making it user specific, but this shows just how vital email is in 2015. Think about it – what is one of the first things you do in the morning? You check your email. The same thing happens all over the world as people stretch their feet to the ground and groggily pick up their phone as they head to the kitchen for a cup of coffee or tea. Outside of morning email checks, we all find ourselves checking our email for work purposes or waiting for orders to arrive, making it important for businesses to use email.
  1. They Favorite, Re-tweet, or Respond. Adagio Teas also understands one of the most vital aspects of social media – engagement. They’ve worked hard to get decent engagement on their sites, and now that they have it, they make sure to maintain it. They do this by responding to their clients on Facebook and Twitter, as well as by re-tweeting images, or by marking “favorite” on a tweet. This helps promote further engagement because people simply love knowing that someone is going to respond to their comments and tweets.In order to have a great, successful social media presence, you need to make sure you are regularly engaging. Yes, getting engagement can be difficult up front, but there are several things you can do to promote it. Once you get it, you need to make sure you work just as hard to keep it by responding to comments, re-tweeting, and just engaging overall with your clients.

Grab a Mug of Tea and Get Social!

These top points are great things to add to your own social media campaign, helping you get the most out of it. It can be daunting to be a small business and using social media when all you see are tons of very successful large businesses. However, if this small business can have an incredible social media campaign, so can you!

Photo credit: Adagio Teas on Twitter