When Sprout Social and Simply Measured combined forces, you knew it would only be a matter of time before a great social media management platform for $25 a month or so was a pipe dream. Sprout immediately jumped to $99 per month as an entry point and the combined forces offering positioned the duo as a strong large-to-enterprise solution.
The array of what’s left for the lower budget crowd is dotted with less-than-idea social media management solutions that have one or two pieces of the puzzle, but not enough to come without considerable frustration. Which is why I was pleasantly surprised when I took StatusBrew for a test drive recently.
For $25 per month, a single user of StatusBrew can get five social profiles and five sources of content (think RSS feeds) in a full suite of social media management that includes all the basics and a lot of the advanced features. It has:
- Calendaring and scheduled posts for Twitter, Facebook Pages (not individual profiles), Instagram (sorta), Google+ and Google My Business
- Content queues which can be divided by type with differing schedules for trickle-out posting of content over time
- CSV upload ability for mass content queuing for scalability or campaign approaches
- Source suggestion area to refer to chosen RSS feeds for content curation and easy click sharing
- Tracking and reporting divided by category, queue and channel for analysis after
- Twitter audience analysis and management tools to enable mass follow/unfollow, etc.
- In-platform engagement for all connected networks to keep your work within the platform
- Audience and engagement insights tracked for reporting purposes
For just $100 per month, you can add two team members and double the number of users and sources. The team functionality expands out to include content approval queues and tiered reporting levels as well.
Enterprise pricing can be had with a consult.
Overall, I liked the platform and it was intuitive enough that I didn’t need hand-holding to find anything, set it up or get it working. So the UX design is strong. While the graphic look of the tool is rather stark and minimalist, most won’t find that off-putting.
The feeds input needs to be cleaner and easier to figure out — it wasn’t super obvious how to add a new RSS feed to the system, but once you figure out the first one, the rest are easy.
One content feature I’ve always enjoyed in the past was one that allowed me to queue up old posts of my own to share at a pre-set schedule, then simply regurgitate that list randomly until I added to or removed from it. StatusBrew’s site, however, explained Twitter’s February new guidelines expressly prohibited such activity with or without the use of automation. So that’s a bummer.
The connectivity with Instagram is crappy, as it is with most third party apps. It sure would be nice for the Instagram folks to get on board with this. StatusBrew essentially pre-loads everything into your IG account, but then makes you open it up on your phone and post from the app rather than managing it from the tool. Lame. (But not their fault.)
The platform even has some keyword tracking and topic listening areas as well that make for finding and adding followers on Twitter, hunting down content and more. So it’s got some nice features for something so low-cost for a single user.
Compared to the old first-run versions of HootSuite and even SproutSocial, StatusBrew has a nice feature set. It compares favorably to competitors like Agorapulse. It appears to run well, be versatile and get done what you need to get done for the basic to modest social media management needs.
Check them out at StatusBrew.com.
Disclosures: I was simply given a business account for two weeks to evaluate. I have no financial interest in the company, nor did I benefit from this review.