Three community management tools in comparison
Which community management tool is right for you? We’ve taken an in-depth look at 3 market-leading options.
In our search for a suitable platform for internal and external social media management, we took a closer look at three market-leading providers in an in-depth test. The tool landscape in the area of social media is very extensive overall; but when it comes to a fully-fledged, qualitative solution with planning, moderation and analysis functions, basically only a handful of options remain.
This is how we have judged
The following criteria with a focus on community management were relevant for us to evaluate:
- “State of the art” platform with a clear, practical and appealing user interface that is a pleasure to work with.
- Factors influencing workflow, such as fast loading times or quick switching between (customer) accounts, as well as particularly well-functioning bulk processing of tickets
- Tagging, automation and analysis features
In the following, we will go into a few soft facts in this article, which primarily shaped our subjective first impression. In addition to a conclusion, we will also provide a tabular list that provides a quick overview of the range of functions.
As the provider with the longest market presence (since 2011), Facelift impresses at first impression with what we consider to be the most appealing and modern-looking system. The same is true of the app, where users can swipe to mark posts as “done” or “flag” them for later editing. In the moderation area, Facelift provides a good overview of the individual workflows in the team. However, the display of the individual tickets is a bit too large for us, so that the clarity decreases with an increased ticket volume. Compared to other providers, the analytics section is less intuitive and sophisticated. Exported PDF reports are (still) relevant for us and are rather small in the facelift, since “update icons” from the dashboard version are taken over unnecessarily, among other things.
Falcon is comparatively the oldest provider on the market (since 2010). Through the connection to Cision and the recent acquisition of the monitoring provider Brandwatch, Falcon has become the largest provider at present. We were able to identify a key differentiator in the moderation area: Instead of incoming comments, the associated posts are mapped as tickets. With this Facebook-like display, it is possible to maintain an overview of discussion progress even with a high interaction rate. Furthermore, the platform has an integrated support chat for basic assistance, similar to FaceLift. The app version of the platform is small compared to the other providers due to the limited range of functions. For this reason, Falcon only ranks 3rd in our comparison of the respective app applications.
The platform was initially built as a custom development for a large drugstore chain and has been on the market since 2013. SocialHub has a small range of functions and a fundamentally simpler structure. The platform is therefore particularly clearly structured and intuitive to use. In addition, the collection of predefined evaluations in the analytics area is positive to note. We were also impressed by SocialHub’s app application due to the simple ticket processing via swipe gesture. Customer service regarding assistance within the application is only provided via e-mail (no live chat), but the fast response rate and extensive assistance of SocialHub’s telephone support convinced us in this evaluation category.
Functional scope at a glance
Each of the three platforms mentioned has extensive options for efficiently managing, editing and evaluating various social media channels.
Overall, no clear recommendation can be made, as the individual application purpose should always be considered. For example, the use case in an agency with a large team and connected customer users is different from that on the company side in a small social media team. For this reason, we highly recommend an extensive test phase of all preferred tools!
Facelift Cloud – for the design-savvy user who particularly values a mobile app solution and is looking for a perfectly arranged team workflow
Falcon.io – for users who like to have everything at a glance (#Feeds), want to keep track of particularly high comment volumes and prefer an all-in-one solution with integrated online monitoring
SocialHub – for the pragmatic user who is looking for a well-functioning and easy-to-use solution that requires less explanation and also comes with significantly lower costs
Last but not least: Data privacy
After consultation, we can give the all-clear on this topic, which is generally unpopular with marketers, as all providers have adapted to the strict requirements of EU/DE GDPR guidelines. Moreover, with public authorities, public broadcasting, and large international brands, particularly demanding customers are represented at all providers. As a side note, our daily work is anyway about handling personal data as sparingly as possible (e.g. in product complaints).
We hope that this small excerpt from our three-week test provides a good overview. Of course, we are always available for detailed questions on the subject of community management and welcome any queries! We would also be happy to support you in all matters relating to modern consumer communication.
We will keep an eye on further market developments and will also report on them here.