A few years ago, at Social Media Marketing World, I met with the incredibly kind and brilliant Emeric Ernoult – founder and CEO of Agorapulse. The Social Media management tools market is crowded. Granted. But Agorapulse treats social media as corporations need it to be… a process.
It’s become harder and harder to select the right tool (or tools) for our needs. For anyone (like us) trying to manage multiple accounts that are battered and made noisy with SPAM and sales pitches, Agorapulse breaks through the noise. To make it worse, tool vendors change their offerings and pricing models a lot, usually raising prices or moving from affordable self service to high end enterprise rates.
Agorapulse is a Social Media management tool that I believe really gets it right. Here’s why I’m trying it out…
Simplified Social Media Management
Don’t we all spend too much time managing our incoming Social Media messages, comments and mentions?
Agorapulse has structured its Social Media Inboxes to help you achieve Inbox Zero quickly and easily. All new messages, comments and mentions, for Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, are displayed by default in a to review filter to help you focus on your latest items and they stay there until you review each one or review all with one click of a button.
No more Inbox chaos. Each time I log in I get a clear view of each account’s inbox with an indication of the number of items waiting for me to review.
- Identify your best Fans & Followers – This unique feature is a killer: quickly identify the users who have interacted with you the most on each social account. This can come very handy if you want to identify your ambassadors and make sure you engage with them on a regular basis.
- All-in-one suite – Agorapulse is hellbent on making itself the one platform for all your Social Media needs. It’s an ambitious claim, and even if they are not yet offering all the features that we all need, it already covers a decent amount of them.
- Affordable pricing – More importantly, Agorapulse wants to offer its services at a cost every small or medium sized businesses/agency can afford and stay there. With a pricing model ranging from $29 to $149 per month (average), we’re far away from the hundreds or thousands of Dollars enterprise solutions charge.
Let’s take a closer look at its features.
A Social Media Inbox designed to save you time
When looking at your Facebook, Twitter or Instagram feeds, you have access to the typical actions (such as delete, hide or retweet), but Agorapulse allows you to review a tweet or a Facebook comment in order to remind yourself (or your team) that it’s been taken care of.
This is how I keep my Social Media Inbox clean. Within this filter I only see the tweets or Facebook comments that have not been handled or reviewed yet. This is the only way to get that empty inbox feeling I don’t get with other tools.
Here’s another feature you won’t find anywhere else- comments on unpublished (or dark) Facebook posts will be visible in your Inbox too! If you’re advertising on the newsfeed, you probably have no idea how many useful comments show up on your dark posts!
When I look at a tweet or Facebook comment, I can instantly see the previous conversations I’ve had with the concerned user. This is possible because Agorapulse (unlikeHootsuite or Sprout Social) stores all of our fans’ and followers’ past activity. Seeing my history with each commenter is extremely useful for providing a more personalized response.
One Agorapulse’s main features is their catalog of advanced Facebook applications. It allows you to run sweepstakes, photo contests, quizzes and up to 15 other applications. They’re easy to setup and manage, and their integration with Canva makes it easy to create good looking visuals even if you’re on a budget.
These apps are designed to work on mobile devices, and if you’re wondering, like I was, about their qualities and capabilities, brands such as Yahoo, Nivea and Playstation have used them.
Agorapulse also offers a free tool to manage Facebook Timeline Contests. It’s definitely worth checking out:
Statistics and reporting
Two essential things I like about Agorapulse’s reports that I haven’t seen anywhere else are:
- The ability to download them in Powerpoint format (a big time saver)
- The ability to show community management actions (such as the number of Facebook comments approved or deleted, or the number of replies sent, among others).
This kind of data makes it easy to show the work done by the person managing each account. A big plus for agencies or freelance community managers.
If you need to have an idea of how your Facebook page is stacking up against the competition, Agorapulse has two solutions:
- The first one is its free Facebook Page Barometer. This tool allows you to benchmark your main page’s metrics against the average metrics of pages in the same size range. Now we can really know if our 10% organic reach is a blast or a fail!
- Agorapulse’s page manager allows us to go one-on-one against specific competitors (or successful pages of any industry) to figure out what they are doing better and adapt, while community managers who are getting better performance metrics can spread the word on the positive effects of their efforts.
What’s missing in Agorapulse?
More social networks. Agorapulse is currently a one stop shop for Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and they’re adding LinkedIn and Google Plus later this year, but if you need the latter two right now and can’t wait, it won’t help.
Another missing item is a full blown Social Media publisher. They do offer a publishing tool, but I would prefer to have more options (such as a queue a-la-buffer, the ability to publish my content on several accounts at once and the ability to create drafts). For now, I’ll have to keep using Jetpack publishing integration on WordPress as well as native apps for my publishing needs, until Agorapulse’s super publisher is ready (later this year).
Finally, I’d love to have a mobile app to manage my social media accounts on the go, and they told me that would be available this summer. So if you mainly need a web based tool for Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and are already using buffer to publish content, you will be OK.
How does it stack up against its competitors?
If you look at Agorapulse’s competitive landscape, you’re looking at different types of competitors. For the Facebook apps, you’re looking at services such as Shortstack or Woobox, for the reporting and Social Media Inbox, you’re looking at services such as SproutSocial orHootsuite .
But, so far no one else is providing all these features together.
The first benefit of Agorapulse is that one-stop-shop aspect. If you need to manage the engagement on your Facebook page, Twitter and Instagram accounts, get valuable metrics and reporting on them and run contests and promotions on Facebook, you’re set here, and you won’t have to pay for multiple tools to get the job done.
Agorapulse’s second main benefit is its pricing. One monthly subscription of $29 to $149, depending on your number of accounts and their size, and you have everything you need for Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Agorapulse doesn’t charge per user, (Hootsuite or Sprout Social) so if you’re managing as a team, you’ll save a lot of money (up to several hundred dollars per month) with Agorapulse.
Comparing Agorapulse withHootsuite :Hootsuite is definitely not free or cheap if you need more than their basic stuff, but all of Agorapulse’s features come with a standard subscription.Hootsuite charges around $30 per report, whereas Agorapulse includes unlimited reports within your standard subscription.
Only the enterprise version ofHootsuite will let you have more than 10 team members and retain historical data from your accounts, so if you want to look at past interactions from a Facebook or Twitter user, you can pay $1,400 per month toHootsuite or your standard subscription beginning at $29 per month to Agorapulse.
Another added bonus: you can search for specific twitter followers or Facebook fans with Agorapulse, because they store your data. This also allows you to tag users or their content to easily find them later and get valuable metrics on those tags. This is not available anywhere else.