Welcome to 2017!
In 2016, we compared five social media managers: Buffer, CoSchedule, eClincher, Hootsuite, and Edgar. In one year, there is many feature updates as well as many worthwhile contenders. Consider this the update to our 2016 article, including introducing you to many more social media managers (including our two favorites who aren't even from the original article!).
The Original 5
In early 2016, Skill Space compared and graded Buffer, CoSchedule, eClincher, Hootsuite, and Meet Edgar. Of the five, only Hootsuite received a grade of an "A." Buffer and eClincher received "B" grades, CoSchedule received a "C," and Edgar made a "D."
You can read more in the original post, however today we will simply touch on program updates before re-grading the original five amongst seven new programs.
Honestly, Buffer has continued to improve their program, smartphone app, culture, etc. But the mainstay features have remained the same. And, why not? It works! We graded Buffer a "B" however because although it's easy-to-use and has a great pricing program, it lacks in advanced features that are sometimes needed for freelancers, entrepreneurs, small business owners, creatives, bloggers, etc.
We used CoSchedule as our paid social media manager in the past, before Skill Space and on a WordPress platform. We were head over heels with it at the time. It is a beautiful all-in-one program that integrates with Google docs, Evernote, and more. It is great for team collaboration and workflow management. However, as a social media manager the pricing points are on the higher end for the same advanced features it's competitors offer for cheaper.
**An update from 2016: CoSchedule now supports Pinterest and Instagram.
eClincher is a program that continues to be competitively ahead as much as possible. Last year we graded eClincher a B, and we continue to be very impressed by eClincher. They offer so much more than just social media scheduling including access to an image library and Canva, analytics, monitoring and engagement, increasing reach on Facebook with Facebook Boost, and more all within a very affordable price program. We can easily upgrade their grade this year and state that the entire program is well worth it as an all-in-one tool for social media.
Hootsuite was the only manager of the five we reviewed in which we assigned the grade of "A." Hootsuite remains a force in the social media marketing world with numerous advanced features, many of which you might not even use but have available to you (like running a sweepstakes or content campaign). In addition to that, Hootsuite University is an excellent educational tool.
However, as much as we love Hootsuite, they line item a lot of the advanced features that you can get elsewhere for free or included in paid packages. Therefore when doing a side-by-side comparison, Hootsuite actually doesn't measure up quite as well as other options.
Ah, the program that seems to have so many entrepreneurs and bloggers under their spell. It is easy to see why! They rolled out this "content recycling" and "evergreen content" concept that is a big hit and major timesaver. However, we actually graded Edgar a "D" in 2016 for lack of advanced features at it's quite high price point.
Our main issue remains at the lack of options with social media channels: Edgar only connects with Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIN with it's cheapest package starting at $49 per month.
Did our opinions change on the original five?
Yes, but only slightly. When Skill Space was looking to invest in a social media scheduler in fall 2016, we revisited these five. However, we simply couldn't commit to any one of these (Hootsuite and eClincher were tied in second place to the platform we ended up going with).
We continue to part two on Thursday, January 12 with seven new social media management platforms for you to discover.