Editor’s note: This is a sponsored post about MavSocial. I thought it was worthwhile given how even-handed Peter treats the subject and how I recently explored the pretty weak choices of Hootsuite alternatives in another piece.
Recently I was invited to try out MavSocial Social Media Cloud software and was given access to the PRO+ plan. There are other versions available, including a free “starter” plan, so you have no reason not to test it out right away. Full disclosure: I am being compensated for this review.
Great features, dashboard could be improved
MavSocial is a social media marketing management and publishing platform with some great features. You can currently manage your profiles and pages on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Tumblr, and popular Chinese networks like YouKu and Weibo.
My previous experiences with social media tools on the desktop include the likes of Hootsuite and Buffer. Both do a good job when it comes to publishing, scheduling and analytics. But, there is room for improvement, especially when it comes to the need for simplification by using one app as a dashboard for all of your networks.
And of course several of the top networks browser-based versions, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, and the rest. Browsing your feeds on each social networks desktop version is doable, but none of them provide easy access to the others data. When it comes to publishing all seem to be sufficient, which is to be expected as each is optimized for its respective network’s content types.
You get a high level of control in one complete package. Social media content management, publishing, engagement, plus analytics and reporting.
The PRO+ version: optimized curation
The MavSocial PRO+ plan ($99 per month) is their flagship offering and it comes with 100GB of Amazon cloud storage for all of your visual assets, including images, audio and video. In addition to uploading your own media, you also can purchase usage rights to images as needed. Under “Stock Images” you have access to 70 million of photos from Getty Images and Bigstock so far. You also get some editing tools as well.
Digital asset management is a breeze with the Digital Library. You can easily upload your own images (jpg, png, gif), audio files (mp3, mov, wav) and videos (mov, mp4, m4v). The maximum file size is 1GB. You may add metadata such as title, description and tags, to make your visual content easier to find later on. After you upload content, you can then create a new gallery or add it to an existing one.
The RSS Content Manager makes adding RSS feeds is a breeze. Simply add the desired RSS feeds URL and give it a unique name as well. Pick a pre-populated category from a drop-down menu or add your own custom one. You can add pretty much any RSS-enabled feed including your company blog and others in your niche or industry. This makes content curation and sharing a breeze. And you can dial in to the sweet-spot ratio of sharing your own content 20 percent of the time and have easy access to stories your audience will be interested in to fill out the other 80 percent.
Leverage your owned media assets with MavSocial. Curate and manage your website or blog’s RSS feed to publish later. Connect your Facebook, Twitter, YouTube channel, and LinkedIn accounts. Eight different social networks are supported now. Within Facebook you can also select which pages to connect. For LinkedIn you can also select from your pages and groups.
The “Post Manager” lets you compose your posts from scratch or pull in content of your choosing from one of your RSS feeds in the “RSS Content Manager. In addition to text and links, you can add images, video or audio files from your computer, the “Digital Library,” or one of the stock image resources. After choosing to preview your post on a connected social network you can even schedule your posts to go live on a specific time and date.
It is easy to create and edit your campaigns with the “Campaign Manager”. In a list or calendar view, you can edit or create new campaigns within the “Campaign Planner”. Once you are inside of a specific campaign in the “Campaign Planner,” you can create and add a new post. Post status, scheduled date and analytic reports are also available.
View all of your connected social feeds conversations, engagement, history and comments in one place. You can also select to view one network at a time. This information is viewable for the current month, today, yesterday, or custom time periods. You can also view all campaigns or just an individual campaign’s posts. The Social Inbox also lets you search your feeds. And you can view likes, favorites, comments, retweets, and more.
Analytics and customer support
Preset analytic reports are available in the “Reporting” section. Reporting by network, campaign and visual content is available. Reports are available for the Digital Asset Library, Campaigns, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Short URL.
One of the most popular reports is Facebook. You can get a daily snapshot of what is happening on your Facebook channel. A large brand with 10 – 20 comments per day really needs to see this. Custom reports can be had in the Enterprise plan.
Good customer support for the software is available by forum, email and phone at the PRO+ level. The free version offers the same less the phone support.
One very important capability for “future-proofing” is simply keeping up with all of the changes to the major supported social networks. It is key to make sure that the software is updated quickly. Being cloud-based and accessible with a web browser is a big plus to make this to happen. One benefit is the ease of implementing software updates and fixes without any user intervention required. Secondly keeping the infrastructure up to date to ensure high performance for users is also very important. And finally, they were very responsive to my questions. By being a company that is open and listens to user feedback for both improvements and new features will keep MavSocial on the cutting edge.
I was very impressed with MavSocial. The capabilities are both extensive and useful. The addition of more social networks like Pinterest, Instagram and Google+ will add to its usefulness. Connections to other services for storage like Dropbox or Google drive would be very nice to have. A mobile app for iOS and Android platforms would be great too. The option to use more URL shortening services like bitly or custom links would be nice to have. Try MavSocial out for free today –http://www.mavsocial.com/sign-up/
Disclosure: Writer was compensated for this review.