Social media dashboards make it easy to monitor and manage a myriad of social channels so your business can easily scale its online marketing efforts. But with as many dashboards as there are social media channels, finding the right one for your business needs isn't easy. When it comes to evaluating social media dashboards, the following four criteria matter most: (1) ease of use for team member collaboration; (2) campaign customization; (3) advanced analytics reporting; and (4) streamlined automation.
Wondering which dashboard is right for your business? Read on for a comprehensive evaluation of three of the best dashboards around: Cyfe, Sendible and HootSuite.
Cyfe's best feature may be that it allows users to stay on the pulse of their business with real-time information. The detailed analytics to clients show immediate, measurable results. Plus, by enhancing situational awareness, you know exactly what's happening for multiple organizations at any given moment.
- Ease-of-use: Anyone with basic web skills can use Cyfe, although a basic knowledge of Excel is beneficial to ensure proper data source formatting.
- Campaign customization: If you're an agency that manages multiple clients, Cyfe's custom dashboards make it easy for your clients to monitor their data and they cut down on the need for you to provide multiple reports. Cyfe's hallmark are its multiple dashboard widgets that allow for full customization above and beyond social media. The dashboard recently introduced a QuickBooks widget, Xero widget and Shopify widget. However, if you only need a dashboard for social media monitoring, you may find Cyfe's plethora of offerings to simply be too much.
- Advanced analytics reporting: You want data on it; Cyfe delivers! In fact, you may even find the deluge of data to be a bit overwhelming initially. As an added bonus, Cyfe can also be used as an alternative to AdWords dashboards. This is especially valuable since a dashboard that gives you insight into all your business efforts at the same time makes it easier to streamline and manage your overall strategy.
- Automation: Cyfe goes one step beyond social and search, enabling you to integrate your CRM, email marketing and blog data and automate these reports.
- Ease-of-use: Whether you're an agency with multiple clients or a small business just getting started with social media, Sendible offers the reliability and functionality necessary to easily manage all your social media accounts from one place.
- Campaign customization: Sendible allows for dashboard customization so you can monitor your most important feeds from a central point.
- Advanced analytics reporting: Unlike Cyfe, Sendible (along with Hootsuite) focuses solely on social media analytics - you won't be able to use the platform as an alternative to AdWords, for example. However, if you only need social media reporting data, you'll find plenty of it here.
- Automation: Post automation is arguably Sendible's best feature. The streamlined dashboard consolidates your efforts into a single platform, and Sendible's proprietary algorithm is generally pretty accurate when it comes to predicting the best time for scheduling posts.
Hootsuite Pro is designed specifically for small and medium-sized companies and allows businesses to manage up to 100 social networks across multiple channels, schedule up to 350 messages in advance for streamlined campaign planning, and delivers comprehensive analytics reports to demonstrate ROI across multiple social media networks. Hootsuite Enterprise is similar to Hootsuite Pro, with the addition of enhanced campaign collaboration across workgroups, departments and regions, thanks to the addition of unlimited Team Members. Hootsuite Pro also allows users to schedule custom analytics reports to run in advance.
- Ease-of-use: It doesn't get much easier than HootSuite! Hootsuite Enterprise is an especially popular and effective choice for easy collaboration and streamlined workflow across multiple departments and larger companies.
- Campaign customization: HootSuite's dashboard is can be customized to meet your specific campaign needs. One option is to dedicate the different HootSuite tabs to a single social network (e.g., Twitter) and use these tabs to monitor your home feed, direct messages, favorite tweets, hashtags and mentions. Alternatively, if you're running a campaign across multiple networks, you can combine different streams for a bird's eye view of the entire campaign.
- Advanced analytics reporting: HootSuite's basic reports provide a general overview of your social outreach, while the enhanced analytics reports are customizable and give you an in-depth look at social data. The advanced reports don't come cheaply, however; only one is included with the Pro package (you can add up to 10 for an additional fee). Unlimited reports are available with the enterprise package.
- Automation: HootSuite's message scheduling allows you to advance schedule social media posts using Auto Scheduler. The pro package includes up to 350 messages at a time; enterprise is unlimited.
If you're a smaller business that needs only social media monitoring, Hootsuite or Sendible may be right for your needs. If you'd like a more comprehensive, integrated approach that includes SEO, then Cyfe may be a better option. When first getting involved with a social media dashboard, start with a free trial and then upgrade to a larger plan as needed. This will give you time to familiarize yourself with the dashboard and determine if it's the right fit for your needs.
What dashboard are you currently using to manage your social media marketing efforts?