Social media management tools are used by millions of users around the world to streamline their social media workflow.
Some of the biggest names in this space include Hootsuite and Sprout Social, both of which are used by many Social Status users to plan content, schedule social posts and manage multiple social media accounts in one place. But recently we’ve been hearing about another social publishing tool gaining more and more traction: SocialPilot. So we decided to see what all the fuss was about and give it a trial run for ourselves. Needless to say, we were initially impressed with its pricing model. Comparing plans, its several times more cost-effective than Hootsuite and Sprout. Furthermore, SocialPilot is feature-packed with integrations into Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Tumblr, VK and Google My Business. There’s functionality for boosting posts, message management, bulk scheduling, content curation and even analytics too. In this review, we’ll focus on a handful of features we thought were really useful and that set SocialPilot apart from other tools.
Setting up the account was a breeze and we were up and running in no time after connecting our Facebook and Instagram accounts. SocialPilot has a really comprehensive Getting Started guide which runs through all the platform features in one place. We connected our Facebook page, Instagram profile and created a new “Social Status” group. This grouping functionality is great for agencies who need to organize their social accounts across lots of clients. SocialPilot also enables agencies to invite their clients to collaborate on their specific group and manage content approvals.
When it comes to the actual content scheduler, SocialPilot offers a full-featured composer which supports rich media (images, video and GIFs) and native Facebook functions such as organic audience targeting and location tagging. This is really handy for brands with global fans on just one Facebook. They can publish country-specific content relevant to location-based audiences.
In the screenshot below you can see we’ve composed a Facebook post and used the audience targeting feature to organically target Australian users in the Facebook News Feed:
On the composer toolbar, you’ll notice a really unique integration with Canva, which enables you to quickly launch the tool in an overlay modal window and create images directly in Canva. Once you’re done, you can click “Publish” in the top right and the image automatically embeds into your draft post in SocialPilot’s composer:
Coming up with interesting visuals and eye-catching content is often the hardest part about social publishing and we think this Canva integration makes it simple and quick to create visually captivating content for all your social channels.
When it comes to the actual scheduling part, SocialPilot offers a unique set of options:
- Add to Queue: schedules the post according to your pre-defined time slots (more on this below)
- Share Now: immediately schedules the post
- Share Next: slots the post into your queue in 2nd place
- Schedule Post: define a custom day/time to publish
- Repeat Post: set up repeat posting at given intervals for a set amount of time (especially handy for Twitter)
Pre-defined time slots
This is a great feature of SocialPilot. When you connect a social account, you can define specific days and times to post. Once you’ve done this for each social account, its just a matter of loading up your queue with content and then SocialPilot will post at your pre-defined days and times. You can always adjust these settings and your post scheduling will adjust accordingly. We really like this feature because marketers have a pretty good idea about what days and times work best for them (If you don’t know this for your social accounts, login to Social Status and check Profile Analytics for your post performance split by day and time). By setting up these pre-defined time slots, it removes much of the repetition involved when manually scheduling posts:
Content curation & RSS
Functionality for effective content curation is lacking in many social publishing tools. We really liked SocialPilot’s functionality to follow RSS feeds and automatically publish new content to your social channels based on timing criteria. In the screenshot below, you can see we’ve created an RSS feed for Social Media Today which checks for new posts every hour and publishes no more than 1 post at a time directly to our Facebook Page appending the hashtags #socialmedia and #socialmedianews:
Here’s an example of a resulting post on our Facebook page:
Another feature we like is SocialPilot’s support for multiple URL shorteners. Rather than forcing you to use their own, SocialPilot supports multiple 3rd party URL shorteners such as Bitly, Rebrandly and Sniply – all of which are solid options for URL shortening. For best practice link sharing on social media, you should create unique URLs for each social channel with full UTM tracking using Google’s Campaign URL Builder, then shorten the URL with one of the aforementioned shorteners.
Facebook Lead Ads integration
When initially launched, Facebook Lead Ads were more of a B2B ad type but these days they are used more broadly by all marketers to capture user details such as email address and any other qualifying information. SocialPilot recently integrated with Facebook Lead Ads so you can create and manage these ads all within SocialPilot. For more information check out their article about Facebook Lead Ads setup.
Try SocialPilot free for 14 days
Like Social Status, SocialPilot offers a free 14-day trial so you can test it out for yourself and see how you like it. We believe its the best social media management tool for the price and you won’t find anything else that can compete feature-vs-feature at the price point they offer. In fact, here’s a price comparison straight from their website:
Let us know what you think in the comments!