There is a plethora of reviews on the Internet, and to be honest with you, you never really are told what goes into a review. By that, I mean you will see a score or a rating, but that is as far as it goes.
Have you ever wondered how they came up with this mystical scoring or star rating? Well, you are not the only one as we do too!
So, with our reviews we wanted to give meaning and understanding to how we arrived at our scores, and by that we decided to break each social media management review down into 5 sections (Monitoring and Analysis, Features, Usability, Pricing, and finally Support).
Each section will get a score of between 1 (extremely poor) and 10 (of the highest standard). We then average out the 5 sections to arrive at an overall score for that specific tool, which is the score you see right at the very top of each review.
Below is an in-depth explanation of each section and how it was scored.
Monitoring and Analysis
Every social media manager or operator will know just how important monitoring their brand and tracking conversations is. They will also know that analysing the results is at the forefront of improving strategies and maximizing the potential behind each social network.
We judged this section on how well, and how just how easy, each management tool is at monitoring and analysis.
Monitoring – Can the tool effectively monitor a range of the top social media networks, allow you to track conversations using search functions, and ultimately allow you to engage in conversation in the easiest and most efficient way possible?
Analysis – We want to see if a social media management tool has the function and ability to track clicks from URL’s, integrate with Google Analytics, and report key metrics for each social network which will in-turn help a user plan a more targeted social media strategy.
In this section, we wanted to highlight how easy it would be to use the program without any prior knowledge. We looked at where the navigation and features were placed, whether everything you needed was located in one interface, one central place.
Basically, could you hit the ground running, or would you need to put your head in a manual for a few hours to try and work out how to use the tool.
With every social media management tool there are a few key features that are needed, and anything else is a bonus. Therefore, we compiled a list of features and described what you can expect to see from them.
Social Media Networks – Are Facebook, Twitter and other social media outlets easily integrated into the tool?
Message Scheduler – Can you schedule messages; if so is there any option to schedule in bulk?
Team Management – Does the tool have the ability to add team members and/or groups so you can assign tasks to them?
Tracking – Can you track click performance, and monitor social media development within the tool?
Analytics – As well as built-in analytics, are you able to connect with Google Analytics?
App Directory – Can you make use of an App Directory to add more social networks and tools to your social media management console?
Create Content & Publish – Is there a feature where you can create content and then push that content to a Content Management System such as WordPress?
Integrate Emails – Can you integrate your email account into the programs and send out newsletters?
Reports – Are you able to pull down in-depth reports that can be sent to clients?
URL Shortener – Can you add your own URL shortener?
Engagement – Is there a function where you can interact and join conversions with people from on central place?
The all-important pricing aspect can either put people off or keep them transfixed. We look at the pricing packages that are available to each social management platform and if there are any hidden catches.
What we are ideally trying to look for here is if the social media management tools come with a free 30-day trial or even a 14-day trial, so you can fully test the system and see if it’s right for you. If some of the tools do not give a trial, request credit card details, or ask you to request a demo then these tools are marked down.
We also want to see how fairly priced these services are and if they offer a range of packages that suite individuals, small business, or large organisations.
When it came to support, we wanted to see how easy it was to contact the company behind the social media tool, but also if they had a knowledge base or help centre available that you can use at your disposal.
There were a few things that we tested on this, the first was to send off a support email to the company and see how long it took them to reply (we aren’t looking for an automated reply here, we want a manual one).
We also thought of various basic questions and then looked through the knowledge base (if applicable) to see if an answer was present.
Finally, social media is everything these days and if you are building a social media management tool then we wanted to see that company working actively to answer people’s questions on there.
Primarily we looked for Twitter and Facebook profiles and if the company regularly utilised them.