Top 10 social media management platforms for charities

Social media is integral to charities’ digital marketing strategy. But its use does not always go to plan, which is why using a social media management platform can be a real advantage for charities.

Through better planning these tools can help avoid social media posting becoming an afterthought, with website content appearing a week later on Twitter or Facebook.

Social media tools can also tailor posts to the different needs and tastes of platform audiences. For example, the professional focused LinkedIn audience is looking for ways to improve their business, as well as job opportunities. Meanwhile, Instagram audiences prefer more light-hearted, personalised campaigns.

Scheduling is also important. Twitter followers, for example, may engage well with a strategically timed post on their commute or lunch break, but be less receptive to posts at busy times at work.

Charities may also need to help to avoiding ‘spamming’ content and risking users pressing the mute button.

Here we look at a raft of social media management platforms to help charities schedule, plan and monitor their campaigns effectively.

Buffer

Benefits of using social media management platforms like Buffer include being able to plan and schedule posts across social media platforms.



Buffer also offers in depth analysis to help measure the impact of posts. This includes strategy recommendations, analytics as well as reports on performance. For a higher fee charities can analyse e-commerce account Shopify and Instagram.

Hootsuite

Hootsuite is suitable for larger charities looking to generate different posting schedules and content across a wide range of social media platforms. It can do this across 35 platforms with features including scheduling, analytics and controlling individual user access rights.



It also allows users to upload video content to platforms such as Youtube.

Latest features include auto-publish function to LinkedIn’s personal and company pages.

Lightful

Charities including London’s Air Ambulance and The Big Give have benefited from voluntary sector specialist Lightful’s social media platform, which looks at scheduling, access rights and content. Analytics is also provided.

Features include a social media calendar to build charity awareness days into social media marketing campaigning. Another is access to more than half a million images for social media posting. Free and paid plans are available.



Its worth noting that Lightful has produced free video resources, including webinars, to help charities get the most out of social media. These are available via its Youtube channel.

SocialPilot

More than 115,000 organisations use Social Pilot to manage their social media scheduling and content. This includes offering analytics and web, mobile and browser extensions.

Features include offering content suggestions “to never let your queue empty”. There are three main plans: for small organisations; marketing teams; and enterprises.

Its social media analytics includes downloadable and shareable reports in PDF format.

TweetDeck

Twitter is a key platform for charities, especially amid the Covid-19 pandemic. According to a Charity Comms and Media Trust survey from April, 78.5% of charities use the platform for their communications.

Tweetdeck helps charities to use Twitter through a dashboard to manage multiple accounts, including for senior staff, frontline workers and departments within a charity. This ensures consistency and clarity in posting. Features include scheduling posts and monitoring.

More advanced features through this Twitter tools include organising tweets according to topics, events, interests and specific conversations.

Charities can also search by sentiment around a topic, by searching for happy or sad emoticons in posts for example.

Planable

Social media management tool Planable looks to differentiate itself from many other platforms by focusing on team collaboration in creating social media content.

Teams can create and preview posts in context to see how they will look. Content can then be tailored for different platforms and spruced up with emojis, GIFS and hashtags.

Later

Later is a planning, scheduling and analysis management tool for Instagram. According to Later, a week’s worth of Instagram posts can be planned in 20 minutes, via drag and drop tools.

It offers a limited set of features with a free account, with a range of advanced plans also available, for multiple users and offering more posts for each Instagram profile.



Support with using hashtags on Instagram are also available through Later.

Loomly

Loomly is another platform to offer collaborative content management as a way making social media posting easier and more effective.

As with many social media management tools, Loomly looks to cut down on the time and work spent on producing engaging social media content. Through one platform charities can schedule and manage content and get notified every time someone in the team using it comments on a piece of content.



It also gives advice on posting, including Twitter trends, RSS feeds and events, holidays and other date related celebrations. Advice on social media best practice is also given.

Sprout social

Publishing, scheduling and analytics are among the features for charities looking to use the Spout social platform. Among analytics features is the ability to track real time results as well as keeping tabs on latest trends in marketing, to identify latest influencers on social media platforms.

Sendible

Collaboration is a strong theme to Sendible’s features for managing social media marketing content. This includes giving charity marketing teams the ability to assign and approve posts and customise access among team members.

It also has a mobile app so that team members can publish content and manage posts remotely.

Plans start at £25 a month for solo social media managers, rising to £245 for large teams.

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