One thing that every Digital Marketing plan needs is a decent Social Media Management tool. That’s why there are just many of the damn things! Some are amazing, whilst others aren’t worth the price of the domain the owner is using!

Marketing Labs have now created their own Social Media Management tool, which I came across through one of their tweets. As there was a free trial, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to give it a try and see how well it works! Especially since they are really pushing the idea of it being optimised for use on mobile devices. So, shall we get on with the review?

Installation

Whilst I can’t really comment on installation since the tool is web-based, I can comment on the sign up process. Like most, the sign up is pretty simple. However, with a lot of Social Media Management tools, all you need to do is sign in with your Twitter, Google or Facebook account to get started. This isn’t the case with Marketing Labs’ tool. I’m also not entirely sure why I’ve been signed up to both Marketing Labs and another tool called Social Server.

Symantec UK
You need to create a profile using your email address, which slows the process down slightly. Then, you need to put in your name, company and position before you are even giving the option to connect your Social Media profiles… That, also, brings us to another issue. Whilst I am sure not everyone will have this problem, I tried 5 times to connect my Facebook account before finally giving up! It simply would not load Facebook for me to authorise access. So instead, I was limited to connecting my Twitter account by itself.

Personally, I think the sign up process is convoluted and doesn’t need to be. If other major Social Media Management tools just need you to log in with Twitter or Facebook, I don’t see why Marketing Labs’ tool wants so much more!

Effectiveness

The effectiveness of a Social Management tool is pretty much limited to how easy it is to schedule posts and to see what is being shared by your target market. Marketing Labs’ tool is able to schedule posts very well, with a simple interface. It works great on mobile devices, as you can see from the image above. However, apart from the fact that the tool uses a full responsive design, there’s nothing that really sets it apart.

In fact, whilst scheduling posts is really easy, there is one major thing that is missing from the mobile… There is no option to have a stream of other people’s shares! To be honest, on mobile devices the tool is more a scheduler than a management tool.

When competitor tools let you create streams based upon specific hashtags or topics so that you can keep on top of targeted social interaction, it seems strange that Marketing Labs’ tool doesn’t include this when accessing the tool on mobile devices. They’re Content Research tool is available through the Desktop version of the tool, though. So whilst it does exist, you can’t use it when out and about.

Usability

As mentioned previously, the tool is built on a responsive design, which means that it is really easy to use on mobile devices. The interface is really stripped back so you can see exactly what you need to in order to schedule posts. In terms of usability, it’s actually really good!

 

Fiverr.com
The colour scheme is basic, meaning that you don’t get distracted by the interface, and uploading images is really easy. On Desktop devices, you even get access to a tab called Visual Composer, which comes with a number of stock photos for you to use! Also, when on the Desktop version of the site, you get access to Streams and Content Research (just not on mobile as mentioned earlier).

However, the Streams are limited to your own content streams, rather than other profiles or hashtags. On top of that, the Content Research section only allows you to see content either from Facebook searches or from within predetermined options. There’s still no way to create a search on Twitter, Instagram or other major networks for specific topics and hashtags… And that brings us to the last aspect of Marketing Labs’ tool that we’re going to look at; the price.

Cost

Marketing Labs allow you to pay both monthly and annually, which is really good as the price is actually pretty high! Coming in at £16.66 per month if you pay annually, or £24.95 if you choose monthly payment, it’s more expensive than Hootsuite! In fact, that price point brings it more in line with tools like eClincher, which still offer more features…

That’s why, unfortunately, I cannot bring myself to recommend Marketing Labs’ tool… I just don’t think it’s worth it when Hootsuite’s Professional package is cheaper… But you don’t need to take my word for it. They have a free trial going so you can try it out for yourself and make up your own mind. As for me? 1 day into my trial and I’m going back to Hootsuite…

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