What is your favorite social media platform? Mine is Instagram, although I’ve noticed it’s shifting to Twitter and LinkedIn as I focus on my professional career.
Not all social media is created equal, and managing social media professionally is vastly different from checking in on your friends and family. And proper social media management can drive traffic to your site and improve your relationships with customers.
It Already Worked on You
I created the above poll before I even wrote this article because I already knew the answer. In fact, I might be the only person who accesses my website by typing in the URL and the same may be true for you.
We access websites through three primary methods:
- Our personal bookmarks.
- A google search.
- Clicking a link on another website or social media.
Considering you can’t control a user’s first two methods, your best bet is to drive traffic to your site through links on social media.
Why You Need a Social Media Manager
As I mentioned above, different demographics use social media differently. You probably won’t see a 14-year-old on LinkedIn, and the chances of catching your grandparent updating their Snapchat daily are slim.
You can choose to keep your business relegated to one platform, but every good business owner knows the importance of exposure.
This is where a social media manager excels.
What Does a Social Media Manager Do?
Social media management platforms let you compile all of your accounts easily into one app or website. You can compose posts to your various social media accounts, track post engagement, and schedule posts to update at a certain date and time.
This means that you can interact with every demographic of potential customers and drive traffic to your site even if you aren’t near a device or internet connection.
There are a number of social media management tools available, but Hootsuite and Buffer are two top compenders. For this article, I tested the free versions of both accounts. There are, however, more features available on both platforms for a monthly subscription.
Let’s examine what they have in common:
- Post on up to three separate social media accounts from one app or website.
- Schedule posts so you never miss peak engagement times for each platform. Or you could set-up your manager to post for you while you are on vacation.
- View post engagement to determine which posts have yielded the most interaction.
Now let’s dive into how they are different.
The primary feature Hootsuite offers that Buffer doesn’t compete with is the ability to view all your social media under different parameters called Streams. You can see your Twitter mentions, Facebook feed, Instagram likes, and more.
- Hootsuite has a clumsy mobile interface, though their website is easier to use.
Starting at $29/month, billed annually.
Unlike how Hootsuite allows you to view your Streams, Buffer only shows you preliminary stats on posts that are made from the app.
Buffer’s app has a clean feel, and the dark theme of the app reduces strain on your eyes. Their website is simple and easy enough to use, but the functionality leaves something to be desired. It is clear that Buffer was created and designed to be an app first and a website second.
Buffer also offers an in-app link shortening tool to keep your posts concise and easy to read.
- Can’t modify streams and can only view basic post engagement.
- Clumsy desktop version.
Starting at $15/month, billed monthly.
The Winner: How Social Media Marketing Worked on Me Too!
I have to admit that I originally decided on Buffer because of the user interface of its mobile app. However, while casually browsing Facebook at the end of the day, I came across an ad for a 90-day free trial of Hootsuite Professional, and the added features swayed me to the Hootsuite side.
So don’t quit using individual social media platforms for personal use!
That experience is a perfect example of how social media marketing works!