Every social media marketer knows that it’s pretty impossible to post content in the moment unless you’re going live, at a tradeshow, or having a company culture event. Between the hours spent researching new social trends and then incorporating said trends into your meticulously planned content calendar, time is of the essence; and one thing we don’t have time for is bugs in the tools we use. Once those start popping up, it’s safe to say that I’m immediately ready for a change. So am I shocked that I’m ready to ditch our current social media scheduling program? No. Am I disappointed because I thought I found the one? Yes. Here’s a front row seat to the ups and downs of social media management tools we’ve used in the past, and what we’re planning for the future.
First, there was Buffer. At the time, they were new, hip, and had the dopest booths at tradeshows so I was sold. But after the honeymoon phase wore off, I started to notice posts failing for ‘unknown bug’ reasons and inconsistent data that didn’t provide meaningful metrics. Needless to say, I was done and ready to move forward. So I buckled down and did my research for alternatives and landed on what I thought was my social media holy grail, AgoraPulse.
Things were looking up with AgoraPulse. There were a few hiccups in the beginning, but I overlooked them like you do in any relationship because I was in love—with the data reports, that is. The platform allowed you to pull assorted reports with custom date ranges that tracked key metrics, response time to help with customer service, competitor analysis, and my favorite, detailed demographics from your channel’s engagement. There was love in the air.
So, like, what happened? When did things go wrong? In August, AgoraPulse sent out an email about testing their new features via Beta. Queue the groans and eye rolls. Feeling obligated, I tested it out and saw some minor bugs but decided to continue the relationship nevertheless. In some areas of life, second chances are okay, but this was not one of those situations. The bugs got progressively worse, and while I can sit here all day telling you about AgoraPulse’s shortcomings, I’m going to narrow it down to three:
- Branded short links stopped autogenerating, forcing me to manually create short links within Bit.ly to copy & paste into AgoraPulse. The problem doubled my workload and the amount of time spent scheduling content. Not cool.
- Video thumbnails selection is still not a feature AgoraPulse offers. I had sent the suggestion (among others) a few times when I first started using AgoraPulse and got the typical “It’s on the roadmap” answer. Still waiting.
- The biggest bug of them all (side note, I just googled largest bugs to provide you an example but got way too grossed out) there was a 50/50 chance the post would not be aesthetically pleasing. When you attach links in posts on Twitter and Facebook, meta descriptions get pulled as well as images. I’d paste the copied branded short link into the window and upload a custom feature image from my computer which matched our social media branding guidelines. But sometimes, the posts would go out with a thumbnail of the selected photo and larger box to its side with the entire meta description. Not pretty.
Yesterday, I drew the line and revved up my research. So far, I’ve found two great candidates that have the potential to make my social media management dreams come true.
Let me start by introducing you to MeetEdgar, which I found via Jimmie Lanley’s blog. Aside from the cute octopus mascot and beautiful UI, it’s moderately priced and offers all the features you’d expect. But I truly swooned when I came across their library feature which I honestly cannot wait to test out. You can store all of your posted content within MeetEdgar to use in the future which is dope, but my OCD heart nearly exploded when I read you can categorize it by content type AND account.
Edgar’s runner-up has got a whale of features. But seriously, their mascot is an Orca. I had never heard about HeyOrca until one of my friends, who also works in social media, suggested it. While they don’t have too much pricing info on their adorable site, the features page is over-whale-ming, but in a good way. The one I’m most excited about is that you’re assigned an account manager who’s porpoise is to make sure you’re happy. It’s safe to say I’ve got a Blue Crush on HeyOrca.
As my relationship with AgoraPulse ends, I’m totally jazzed about testing out new candidates and seeing what the future holds. Social media is an around the clock job and it’s easier to sleep at night knowing that your carefully crafted content is going out as planned. Over the next few weeks I’ll be making my pro/con lists for MeetEdgar and HeyOrca so that when it’s time for you to choose a social media manager, you can refer to my research. As the highly logical April Ludgate from Parks & Rec stated back in 2014, “Time is money, money is power, power is pizza and pizza is knowledge” and tbh, pizza rules the world. So order some pizza and stay tuned.