Social Media Management and Scheduling
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If you have ever suffered through the arduous task of trying to come to terms with Hootsuite then you will know; what I’m about to tell you is going to rock your world. Are you getting the impression I am not a Hootsuite fan? You bet. Here are just a few things I find completely frustrating about Hootsuite:
- It is SO not intuitive – trying to work out how to perform straight forward tasks is incredibly hard, even for a digitally savvy person
- Even though they charge for their PRO plan you don’t get training tutorials – you actually have to PAY to work out how to use their system in addition to paying for their system - that is SUPER crazy
- You cannot integrate with Pinterest properly on Hootsuite, you used to be able to use the Viral Tag plug in to do this but that has since been pulled
- It is so god damn unnecessarily complex, have I said that already?
So you can imagine my joy, but also my reservation, when I heard there was a new kid on the block. I heard Mass Planner was:
- Easy to use
- Provided FREE tutorials
- That you could schedule across multiple platforms including Pinterest
- That there was even functionality to help with engagement over multiple platforms
- AND that the customer service team were responsive and ready to help
Could this really be true?
So I decided to try out Mass Planner review the functionality and put it to the test.
It is costing us $7.33 a month to sign up and use the software but there is a free trial period included, so you can sign up, give it a go and if you’re not happy cancel before your payments start kicking in.
Firstly there is a platform limitation. I have been using the system on my PC, our junior strategist Isha tried to start using Mass Planner on a Mac and although they suggest this is possible, we had difficulties. Apparently the only way to do it is to set up a virtual PC on your Mac – this will put Mac users off. According to Mass Planner they will in time release a Mac version but right now their focus has been on PC. The advantages of Mass Planner are such that we have decided Isha will simply use a PC when using the software rather than not use it at all.
The first thing you will notice about Mass Planner is how simple the interface is compared to Hootsuite. Once you’ve put in your email details it will immediately pick up all of the social profiles associated with that account.
Warning – You need to make sure that you put in the email address on sign up that is associated with all your social media accounts. When Isha put in the email address of our MD rather than the email address of our Marketing Manager we could not find a way to alter the email address, so it picked up all of his social accounts rather than the Zuni social accounts. This involved a support request into Mass Planner in order to change the account.
The first step is to set up all your social profiles, if it has not automatically picked them up.
Mass Planner will allow you to integrate Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, Google+, Pinterest and although there is some functionality with Instagram, it won’t allow you to schedule onto Instagram as that is forbidden by Instagram themselves, regardless of what social planning tool you use.
One of the fantastic things about Mass Planner is the functionality you get with Google + and Pinterest. It will pick up all your boards and all your google + communities and pages.
Now you can start organising your destination lists. With Mass Planner it is so easy to select multiple social destination lists that can be saved and re-used. For example you may want to send a particular post to just Facebook and Linked In. Or Facebook, twitter and one of your Pinterest boards. Or Facebook, a Pinterest board and one of your Google + communities. Mass Planner allows you to organise this simply and efficiently and save those multiple destination lists which is fantastically useful if you have several Pinterest boards and are part of several Google + communities.
When you go to make a post the functionality is simple and efficient, unlike Hootsuite. I can view my character count across the different social platforms (Hootsuite also has this) but I can also add my source HTML for Pinterest, if you are posting there, to make sure your posts bring people back to your site.
The scheduling system is very easy to use and you can set up frequency of each of your posts if that is required. You can see the system posting out your content and can get history and reports if required.
When we have needed to lodge a support request to clarify something or get assistance the customer service team responds promptly and are very helpful.
Basically in a couple of hours you can master this system. Magic right!?
Well I haven’t even gotten to the best bit.
As you are probably aware one of the biggest challenges with social media is not the ‘broadcasting’ of content, the crucial element is the engagement. Anything that helps with engagement over social media is a huge plus in my book. Where Mass Planner helps with this is a nifty little “Finder” and “Joiner” tool. What it allows you to do with Facebook and with Google +, is to search for groups or communities that are based around specific keywords. Let’s say for example that we are interested in joining and participating in communities that deal with digital. We can input the keywords “social media”, “content marketing”, “customer relationship management” etc. Mass Planner will go out and find all the groups and communities for you and come back with a long list.
My advice when using the “Finder” and “Joiner” functions is to set the limit of your list, start off with 30-50 before you get a system going for how you work with this functionality on an ongoing basis. When your list comes back you can quickly check out the different groups to verify they are communities you want to participate in, and then you can either delete them, ignore them or add them to the “Joiner” list. Mass Planner will then automatically send out a request to all of those groups and communities for you to join. This is a great tool to help with engagement, you can now join multiple groups at the drop of a hat and start interacting and engaging with those groups.
Visually Mass Planner does not look as polished as Hootsuite and you don’t see all the streams related to each social profile in Mass Planner like you do in Hootsuite but I have to say I haven’t missed that. There is a browser button throughout Mass Planner so if you want to see the live stream you can do so easily.
Depending on your requirements Mass Planner may be a godsend to you, like it has been for me. If you have a content tagging requirement I don’t believe Mass Planner is set up for that at this point but the system seems to be improving and adding functionality on an ongoing basis, so it wouldn’t surprise me if this came later.
If you need something simple and efficient that allows you to schedule across Pinterest, Google +, Linked In, Facebook and Twitter, AND helps you to engage over those platforms then Mass Planner is your perfect solution.
So fly away Hootsuite and welcome Mass Planner J
If you found this Mass Planner Review helpful please let us know. Please share your experiences if you have also been using Mass Planner.