AgoraPulse

Services Offered: AnalyticsAutomated PublishingContact ManagementContent ManagementConversion TrackingKeyword FilteringMulti-Account ManagementPost Scheduling

Channels: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram

AgoraPulse is a fully featured social media management program with an extremely user-friendly interface. It has considerable power yet has clear help tutorials to assist you in learning how to turn its features into benefits.

The heart of AgoraPulse is its Inbox. Although the exact function differs for each social network, it shows your comments, mentions, conversations, and reviews relating to each of your social accounts. You have an Inbox Assistant that allows you to set rules that automatically clean up and organize each account’s inbox. You can assign messages to other relevant team members when needed.

The Social Listening section is especially important for firms wanting to keep an ear open for mention of their brand name (or any other term, e.g., their competitors). You can create new searches for words, phrases, hashtags and user names.

As with all these social media management apps, AgoraPulse provides a variety of ways to publish content. The default Publishing tab takes you to a calendar, showing the current period (weekly by default) and the social messages you have scheduled, queued, published, sent to approval, had assigned to you, or failed.

You can schedule a post simply by clicking on the appropriate time slot. The Publish screen offers all relevant social accounts – you can pick a selection if you want your post to go on multiple networks. It’s intelligent enough to know illegal combinations (e.g., you can’t publish a post to multiple Twitter accounts, due to Twitter’s rules). You can easily add emoji, hashtags, images, videos, and links to your posts, making any customizations you may desire for each network.

However, AgoraPulse has more power when you use its bulk publish feature. This lets you import a series of posts from a CSV file, a website using RSS feeds, or as a group of pictures to transform into posts. You can use these to create a queue (dropping new content into your queue as needed). You can also use AgoraPulse’s Chrome add-on to grab additional content.

One of AgoraPulse’s more unusual features is that it gives you the ability to take a close look at your fans and followers. You can click on your more active followers, label them however you like, view your past activity with them, and add relevant notes.

Finally, AgoraPulse provides an extensive array of reports, both globally about your social account usage, and about specific items of content.


Summary: Quick Jump Menu


Pricing

As a SaSS platform, access to AgoraPulse is sold on a monthly basis. AgoraPulse offers four paid plans after a 28-day trial. If you feel you need more evaluation time AgoraPulse is happy to extend your trial by another two weeks. The figures given below assume monthly payment. You receive a discount of up to 35% for annual payment. You can purchase additional profiles for a monthly charge of $4 - $12/mo (price varies by plan) and additional users, $39/mo.

  • Medium, $99/mo – 10 social profiles ($12/mo/extra profile), 3 team members, social inbox (advanced sync), listening, publishing, 6 months reporting, user profiling, competitor analysis, 300 active ads per profile
  • Large, $199/mo – 25 social profiles ($9/mo/extra profile), 6 team members, social inbox (advanced sync), listening, publishing, 24 months reporting, user profiling, competitor analysis, 600 active ads per profile, team workflow
  • X-Large, $299/mo – 40 social profiles ($6/mo/extra profile), 12 team members, social inbox (advanced sync), listening, publishing, 24 months reporting, user profiling, competitor analysis, 1,000 active ads per profile, team workflow
  • Enterprise, $499/mo – 70 social profiles ($4/mo/extra profile), 20 team members, social inbox (advanced sync), listening, publishing, 24 months reporting, user profiling, competitor analysis, 2,000 active ads per profile, team workflow

The Details

AgoraPulse is clearly designed to make life easy for the end user. It has probably the clearest and most-straightforward interface I have reviewed. Yet they clearly aren’t satisfied to rest on their laurels and in the process of introducing an updated version now.

AgoraPulse begins the setup process by guiding you through step-by-step. Compared to some of the opposition apps this is an extremely straightforward process. You start by entering a few details; about yourself and your organization.

You then move onto connecting your social profiles. Again, this must be one of the least confusing social media management platforms, even with Facebook and Instagram.

In no more than a couple of minutes you are ready to move to your home screen, which looked like this when I began to write this review:

As I mentioned previously, AgoraPulse has just announced a forthcoming update (which you can try now). The Home page of the updated version still looks like the previous version, although the main menu has moved from the top to the left-hand side:

The rest of the screenshots are from the older version, but you shouldn’t have much difficulty comparing once they fully implement the updated version.

One of the nicest implemented features of AgoraPulse is its Inbox. This makes it so easy to read all the messages you receive on your social sites. You can take action, without having to leave AgoraPulse.

Social Listening works in the same way, and you can clearly see your backlog items in both your Inbox and Social Listening modules to check each time you open the software.

You can work through all your social mentions, across all your social accounts in one place if you so choose. When you click on a message, the full clickable message appears beside it, with an opportunity to like or reply to the mention. If the mention includes an action you have to take such as the TrueTwit Captchas, you can click on a link in this pane, and a new screen will open up for you to make the necessary action.

You will also notice the useful column of data about the person who has messaged you on the right-hand edge of your page.

You can click on this and gather even more information – showing their other recent posts. This can help you build up an idea of the influencers in your sector.

Social listening works comparably. Here you set up searches for keyword mentions. You can modify your searches to exclude irrelevant results, over time building up a good guide to when people mention you socially.

The Fans & Followers section lists your most engaged followers. This will differ for each of your social accounts. You can listen and filter your top followers in multiple ways. AgoraPulse splits the top followers/fans into Ambassadors, Engaged, and Influencers, depending on how they have interacted with you (and their social standing).

The central part of AgoraPulse, however, must be its Publishing section. It has one of the most extensive ways of finding content of all the social media management platforms. The central calendar color-codes and shows posts: scheduled, queued, published, to approve, assigned to me, and failed.

Alternatively, you can click on each of those terms (except Failed) and receive much more detail about your posts.

You can schedule and publish directly from the calendar (or from a variety of other ways). When you create a post to publish you can select multiple profiles and modify and preview each network’s version of the post. AgoraPulse is intelligent enough to know combinations that don’t work (for example attempts to tweet the same post to multiple Twitter accounts).

You can customize your posts, so they are slightly different for each social network. For instance, the above screenshot showed a post scheduled for Twitter. The same post intended for Facebook could look like:

You can set your preferred posting times fist, if you prefer, enabling you to queue your content and AgoraPulse to determine which post goes in which slot.

Creating each post from scratch can be time-consuming, and experts suggest you want to share content from others as well as yourself. AgoraPulse’s Bulk Publishing feature provides you with useful options for this.

When you click on the bulk publishing button you have three choices:

  1. Import from a CSV file
  2. Import from a Website (via RSS)
  3. Import your images

These give you tremendous scope for finding content for your posts. They’re also extremely straightforward and easy to do.

The CSV file is an excellent way to upload your evergreen content. Simply paste your text into Column A and your post link into Column B. You can create a CSV file with up to 100 lines and import 100 posts at once. It will automatically find the relevant image from your link.

People with graphical minds will love the opportunity to upload your images and make posts from these. This is particularly useful if you’re active on Instagram. You can then either schedule your new posts or add them to a queue.

I was initially disappointed that there didn’t seem to be a straightforward way to reshare your tweets vis AgoraPulse. However, I was wrong. If you download the AgoraPulse Chrome extension, you can share virtually any webpage, including tweets.

The last section of AgoraPulse is Analytics and Reporting. You can find data that is both global (related to each social account as a whole) and content-specific (showing how each post performed).

You will find some handy stats amongst these, including the best days and times to post for each of your social accounts.


Conclusion

I was extremely impressed by AgoraPulse. It does virtually everything you can wish for in a social media management program. The native app includes enormous capabilities, and the Chrome add-on catches the remaining features I was looking for.

They even send you regular emails reminding you that you have items in your inbox to review or that your queues are empty and need more content. At one point while writing this review, I switched over to the preview of the updated version to take the screenshot used above and then switched back again. As a result, I received an email from AgoraPulse asking me for my reasons for reverting to the old-style interface.

Perhaps the only niggles I have about its features are the lack of Pinterest connectivity, and that you can’t use it to schedule posts for your blog (in the way that you can do so with Socialoomph).

The one concern I have is the price. When I started writing this review there were four plans, ranging from Small at $49/month) to Enterprise at $299/month. By the time I had finished this review, AgoraPulse had clearly reviewed their pricing plans. They have effectively abandoned the Small plan, with their bottom plan now being their $99 Medium plan (previously their second cheapest option). They now state that this Medium Plan is “best for small businesses”). Similarly, the Large Plan is now the second-to-bottom plan and is now described as being “Best for Agencies.” The former Enterprise plan is now called X-Large, and the new Enterprise plan is upscaled and priced accordingly.

Maybe, AgoraPulse found that there is a demand for fuller-featured plans, offering more social accounts and other capabilities. My concern, however, is that $99/month is very steep for a small business or freelancer. It is dearer than some of the competing apps charge for their highest tiers. Ironically, AgoraPulse describes itself as “…  the easiest and most affordable social media management tool on the market,” directly above its prices.

Services Offered: AnalyticsAutomated PublishingContact ManagementContent ManagementConversion TrackingKeyword FilteringMulti-Account ManagementPost Scheduling

Channels: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram

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