If you have been managing social media for a while, you are probably wondering, “Are native tools for social media management better than using a management tool?” (This question comes up a lot!) Many rumors are floating around—like the social media algorithms will penalize you for using tools or that native tools are better because they are free.

Is that true? What’s the verdict on which is better? Let’s look at some pros and cons with social media management tools as well as native tools to see which really works better.

What Are Your Social Media Goals?

To make a decision about whether to use native tools or social media management tools, the first question you need to answer is what your goals are. And what is most important to you? Knowing that answer will help you evaluate all your options realistically.

Some important considerations are:

Who on your team needs to have a part in your social media efforts?
How important are team management and tracking?
Do you need to track conversion to sales through social media?
Is the growth of your follower account important?
Are you on a tight budget?
What types of content do you want to share with your audience?
What analytics are important for you to track?
Which social media platforms are you using?

Start by doing a social media audit to see where you stand right now, and where you would like to go in the future.

Do Social Media Management Tools Hurt Reach?

One of the biggest concerns I hear about using social media management tools is that social media platforms know you are using a tool and will penalize you in the algorithms.

That rumor is something that Agorapulse has tested and retested. The good news: Posting with social media tools actually performed 22.61% better than posting natively on Facebook.

native tools, social media management

Instagram is now also encouraging third-party posting by allowing direct posts to Instagram, which used to be impossible. Twitter also has shown no preference for native versus scheduled posts.

The bottom line is that you may actually do better with a social media management tool than with native posting.

And an important note: If using a tool makes it easier to schedule and post content, you are more likely to do it.

Will Social Media Management Tools Seem Less Authentic?

Another concern is that if you use social media tools, your voice will seem more automated and less like a real person. This argument is limiting the scope of social media tools to only the function of scheduling and posting content.

A great social media tool will also allow you to:

Collaborate more effectively as a team
Track important statistics
Create reports for your social media
Allow you to review the effectiveness of hashtags and content types
Give you information about your audience

None of those features will affect your authenticity. In fact, many of those tools will make you faster and more efficient, giving you more time for real interaction and engagement.

But what about voice? Will you sound like a robot if you use a tool to post content?

That depends, not on the tool, but how you use it. Whether you are using native tools to schedule or management tools, you will want to watch carefully for the following things in your content:

Don’t overuse evergreen content; make sure to keep it fresh!
Use a conversational and brand appropriate tone in all your posts.
Keep an eye on current events, and be prepared to react appropriately.
Use questions and other methods to create posts that encourage engagement.

As long as you are applying these best practices, your audience will still feel connected and engaged.

free trail of social media management tool

Are Native Tools Really Free?

The last thing that native tools have going for them is that they are free. You can look up your reach in Facebook, create and post on Twitter, and manage comments on Instagram directly.

However, how much time is that taking you and your team?

native tools and time cost

Let’s say that using all the native features is adding 5 hours per week to the time you are spending on social media per team member and that there are 3 team members working together to create content and manage your accounts. That means you are losing a minimum of 15 hours per week.

What are you getting paid per hour? How much value is that costing?

That is why once you crunch the numbers, it is usually easy to justify spending the money to invest in good social media tools for your business. If you need your boss’s approval, check out this article on making a good case. And if you need to dive deeper into deciding the best social media management tool, the Buyers’ Guide on Ian Anderson Grey’s site can help you discern what will work best for your needs.

Read more: agorapulse.com