- Simple, straightforward interface
- Various ways of posting and scheduling
- Unified inbox for Facebook accounts
- Visual editor in the mobile app
- Highly informative reports
- Free trial for all plans
- Complicated way of posting to Instagram
- Heavy limitations on cheapest plan
Managing social media accounts and remembering what needs to be posted, where, and when can be a logistical nightmare even for the smallest of businesses. What’s even worse is that hopping between all those accounts and passing around account credentials to other employees heavily influences business productivity – in the wrong way. That’s why it’s such a relief that social media manager tools like the appropriately-named SocialPilot exist. However, this particular software isn’t just a unified interface for scheduling posts on various social media platforms; it also has a powerful set of features with which social media management can be even more effective. Whether it’s creating groups of similar accounts, managing Facebook pages from a single account, or getting detail-rich reports regarding your performance, SocialPilot is tailored in a such a way that you can make the most out of your and your clients’ social media pages. And we haven’t even mentioned the extras, such as the mobile app with the splendid visual editor or the clever browser extension with the instant post creation option…
Straightforwardness is definitely SocialPilot’s forte for many reasons. For starters, it has a simple interface, whether we talk about the dashboard – which contains the most important information like daily usage and post history – or any of the tabs hiding the different features. Speaking of which, all features are arranged in a logical manner, allowing users to quickly find what they are looking for.
What’s even more impressive is that SocialPilot was able to add convenience features to the mix as well, notably the Groups tab. With this feature, users can create groups with different social media accounts, which can significantly speed up the posting/scheduling process for those who need to upload content to similar sites at once. Thankfully, all other features are treated in the same careful manner, meaning that adapting to SocialPilot is never a challenge. Those who are still in doubt about the features can always turn to the FAQs tab or can have a chat/email conversation with SocialPilot’s support team.
It’s worth adding, however, that while the most important features are available for everyone within a team, the assigned user role heavily limits what you can actually use. Content schedulers, for instance, need their posts to be confirmed by the account manager, while managers can see the Analytics tab and manage associated social media pages. However, connecting social media accounts or accessing the social inbox – which we’ll talk about later – are only available for the team leader.
Social Media Scheduling
Creating a post and then scheduling it is child’s play in SocialPilot. Not only are there multiple options available for making a post stand out – like adding pictures, videos, and even GIFs via the built-in search engine – but you can also quickly select the right accounts based on different criteria like custom groups, the account’s name, or the social media platform. Once the post is ready, it can be shared right away, scheduled manually, or added to the queue – although it’s worth noting that this way of queuing only works if a custom schedule is set up for the account to which the post will be uploaded under the Accounts tab. Posts already in the queue can still be rescheduled manually or by dragging and dropping them to their new timeslot in the calendar view, which by the way, showcases all scheduled entries in a well-arranged, easily digestible format.
Alternatively, posts can be scheduled in bulk, for which SocialPilot provides a sample .CSV file. Granted, there is the option to use your own custom CSV file for bulk scheduling, but the only way to guarantee that the would-be posts appear the way they are intended to is by using SocialPilot’s template. It’s also important to respect the post limit; if you need to schedule more than 500 entries, two CSV files have to be created and then uploaded.
Although scheduling is a breeze most of the time, when it comes to Instagram posts, things can get confusing. Due to the API limitations, posts intended for Instagram aren’t actually scheduled. Instead, SocialPilot creates a reminder for the chosen timeslot, and when the time for posting comes, you actually need to head to the mobile app and hit ‘Share on Instagram’ to copy and paste the post into Instagram.
There is no social media management tool without analytics and SocialPilot definitely delivers in that regard. In fact, reports – available for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest pages – are beyond detailed, since they contain virtually everything a social media manager needs, whether that be a quick overview of the chosen page’s performance, a diagram of the audience’s growth, or even a demographic breakdown. By default, analytics are web-only, but higher-tier users can download reports in PDF format as well, which is quite useful for those who have clients whose social media pages are managed via SocialPilot.
There are three additional features, the RSS feed, curated content, and the social inbox that show SocialPilot’s true capabilities. With the RSS feed the formula is simple: once the URL of the right feed is found, it can be added to the SocialPilot dashboard, from which it can be properly viewed and shared. As for curated content, it’s basically an advanced search engine where you can search for posts on other sites to be shared on your pages based on various criteria like keywords and publication date. Social inbox, however, is a real jackpot; it’s a unified interface for all Facebook pages connected to SocialPilot, where not only can all posts featured there be viewed, but you can also interact with visitors by replying to comments as well as private messages without needing to visit the original Facebook pages or constantly switching between them.
Mobile & Add-ons
Whereas many apps and add-ons serve no other purpose than complementing the default software, SocialPilot managed to include some useful features in its mobile app and browser extension. The add-on, for instance, is a button that upon being clicked, automatically creates the base of a post by including the meta title and the URL of the site you navigated to. This alone speeds up the creative process, but what’s more impressive is that this button also appears under social media posts and on pictures found on the web, providing an even more convenient method for quick sharing.
As for the mobile app, it provides two additional tools besides the default features of the desktop version. Firstly, there is the Instagram notifications tab that automatically notifies you of posts that need to be copied into the Instagram app in order for them to be properly published. Then there is the visual composer, which is a playground for creativity, especially in the picture department. As a matter of fact, not only can you apply filters to pictures that are reminiscent of those of Instagram, but there is also the option to add quotes, your own text, or watermarks to the picture as well.
Though SocialPilot can perfectly serve its purpose without any upgrades or additional tools, there are several ways which the use of the software could be smoother. This is the reason the company joined forces with three URL shortener apps – Bitly, Rebrandly, and Sniply – that can be easily integrated into SocialPilot by giving the necessary permissions. Once that’s done and the default URL shortener is chosen, all URLs pasted into SocialPilot’s post creator will be automatically shortened and/or customized according to your predetermined settings.
This is already a huge help, but what SocialPilot can do with Feedly and Zapier is even better. With Feedly, all feeds collected by the program can be quickly turned into a post with SocialPilot – but only after enabling the custom sharing option in Feedly. Admittedly, this is an effective way of speeding up the process of creating social media posts, but it still requires some form of intervention on your behalf. With Zapier, however, you can actually make SocialPilot perform a specific action should it be triggered by another connected app, essentially leading to partially or even fully automating posting on your social media sites.
The cheapest plan by far is SocialPilot Individual that costs only $8.33 per month on an annual basis, but due to the heavy limitations regarding connectible social media accounts, the number of daily posts, and many more, it isn’t wholeheartedly recommended. The Professional plan – available for $25 a month if paid annually – is way better as a ‘starter set’, since it can handle 25 accounts, provides the bulk post scheduling, plus allows three people to join the team and manage posts. However, to increase the number of accounts, posts, and team members, as well as to enjoy additional features like managing your clients’ social media pages, generating PDF reports, and getting social inbox, upgrading to Small Team for $41.66 a month or Agency for $83.33 a month is a necessity.
It’s worth mentioning that with the exception of SocialPilot Individual, all plans can be paid for on a monthly basis – although this automatically results in losing the 17% discount the annual plans provide. Another thing to note is that all plans come with a 14-day free trial regardless of the chosen subscription period, giving you plenty of time to consider whether the chosen plan is sufficient or not.
Although there is nothing wrong with SocialPilot’s customer support – which is proven by the informative and courteous answer we got to our enquiry – it’s far from being perfect. The biggest issue is that reaching the company’s staff is limited to email and live chat – which didn’t work for us – and SocialPilot’s Facebook and Twitter pages. Thankfully, regardless of the chosen communication channel, answers can be expected within one business day.
The on-demand support options aren’t that versatile either, but using them can save you lots of trouble. In fact, it was by going through the detailed help page that we finally learned how to schedule Instagram posts, which would’ve been a nightmare without this crucial information. Those who are looking for answers in another format or who just want to broaden their social media knowledge can choose from the video tutorials or visit the company’s blog.
It’s easy to see why SocialPilot is one of the best tools for managing different social media accounts. Granted, it’s not perfect – which is proven by the clunky nature of scheduling Instagram posts – but its imperfections are easily overshadowed by the smoothness and variety regarding the creation and scheduling of posts. The fact that the desktop software is already tailored for simplicity is a huge advantage, but additional tools like the visual editor in the mobile app or the quick post drafting option provided by the browser extension only add to the overall usability of SocialPilot. And while it’s true that all of the plans are a bit expensive – even when the annual subscription discount is applied – when all advantages are combined with the sweet 14-day free trial, it’s safe to say that SocialPilot is indeed a powerhouse that is definitely worth every penny.Visit SocialPilot14-Day Free Trial