Switching software that’s used for a large, critical part of your business (including SAS like Hootsuite and Edgar) can be a lot of work, so it’s not something I take lightly. You have to consider how the learning curve will impact short term productivity, how the software will integrate with your existing workflow, and what other systems may be impacted,.
We recently went through this process when switching from Hootsuite to Edgar for managing our social media. Fortunately, despite the numerous advantages Edgar offers over Hootsuite, the switch was surprisingly pain free.
Don’t get me wrong—Hootsuite isn’t horrible. In fact, it served our needs quite well for many years, but as we grew, we quickly realized it’s shortcomings.
The first was that since we manage a very large number of social media accounts—hundreds of accounts including our own and our clients, efficient management required a separate user for each client. We also had to pay extra to add extra social media accounts. That quickly inflated the price from less than $10/month to around $200/month.
If that were the only issue, we would have stuck with Hootsuite, but unfortunately, it was just the begining.
We typically scheduled posts for a week at a time. At first, we would open our clients blog posts in dozens of tabs in Chrome, schedule each post using the Hootlet add-on, then close that tab. It was a slow, inefficient process that we eventually replaced with a more streamlined bulk upload process, but this also had limitations.
You can only upload 350 messages per account across all social networks. This may not be an issue for most people, but a few of our clients are franchise companies and we manage social media for the parent company and their franchisees. We manage more than 34 social media accounts for one of these clients, so the 350 message limit makes bulk uploading virtually useless because we would only be able to upload about 11 posts per social network at a time.
To make matter worse, regardless of how posts were scheduled, they frequently failed to send, and contacting support never resolved anything. Instead, we would receive replies saying “We’re sorry, that must be very frustrating. We’re looking into it and will get back to you.” Except they never did, even after more than six months of dealing with the problem.
Eventually we decided to research other options and someone recommended Edgar. (Thanks, Kellie!)
Edgar saves the day!
Edgar works out to be slightly more expensive, but they are more upfront and transparent about their pricing in my opinion. It’s a flat $49/month with up to 10 connected accounts and 1,000 stored updates, or $99/month with up to 25 connected accounts and 5,000 stored updates. In our case, this means we have to set up a account for each client, but that’s OK because we were already doing that with Hoosuite anyway.
Besides, their most valuable feature more than makes up for the added expense…
Edgar lets you categorize your social posts, which are then saved in your library to automatically post based on a schedule you create. Once created and scheduled, Edgar will continuously cycle through your posts with no further effort on your part.
If you had been paying a virtual assistant $20/hour to manage your social media, estimating a very conservative 2 hours/week, you’ll save $111 every month by switching to Edgar. But more important than the cost savings is the fact that your social media is on auto pilot, constantly engaging your followers and putting your valuable content in front of them. And every single engagement creates small, but exponential growth for your exposure.
This feature eliminates the problem most small business owners face—letting your own social media slip through the cracks because you’re too busy taking care of your customers. This was the biggest selling point for me.
It lets us efficiently maintain active social media accounts (ours and our clients) no matter how much we have on our plate, while spending more time creating killer content that followers will engage with, share, and link to—and that is the key to successful online marketing.
Other benefits include:
- A simple user interface
- A handy browser add-on for Chrome, and a bookmarklet for Firefox and Safari
- A responsive support team
- A robust help portal
The only downside I’ve found so far is that Edgar doesn’t integrate with Google Plus and there is no target date on the horizon. If you need that capability, you can try using IFTTT to copy Facebook Business page posts from Facebook to Google Plus, or post manually. I plan to test out the IFTTT method of automation—once I do, I’ll edit this post to share my findings.
If you’re starting fresh or have been using any other software for social media, you need to give Edgar a try. They even offer a free 30-day trial. We did and haven’t looked back. Now we’re looking forward to reinvesting the time we’re saving towards creating more killer content!