If you do a lot of social media work, chances are you’ve been targeted by ads on Facebook for the new social media tool Edgar (“Meet Edgar”). The ads promise an update scheduler unlike any other. However, if you’ve been using Hootsuite, Buffer, or any other similar tool, you’ll notice that there isn’t a huge difference in the list of features. They all schedule posts to major social media sites at specific times, while implementing URL shorteners and some form of statistics. Matter-of-fact, you’ll probably find that other social tools have MORE options; however, I’ve learned that more doesn’t always mean useful. I’m always on the lookout for something that will make my work easier, so I decided to give Edgar a try.
I’ve been marketing via social media for 5 years now. Most recently, I was using Hootsuite and had 6-8 accounts running through it with three being very busy. I’ve tried numerous other tools, but was never happy with their limitations or features. Each one seemed to be lacking at least one feature I really needed. Hootsuite wasn’t perfect, but it had the most features I wanted. However, I found myself going back to using the main dashboards of Google+, Facebook, and Twitter, especially after Facebook added scheduling. I eventually stopped scheduling all posts, except Twitter, through Hootsuite, because I still found the bulk scheduling of Tweets useful.
The main reason I wanted to try out Edgar was the Library feature. Edgar keeps all of your posts in a library, which it pulls from when it fills the posting queue. When I was using Hootsuite, I kept 3 different Excel sheets (for variety) with multiple updates for each day of the month. I would update one sheet of over 150 posts and re-upload every single month. This got to be tedious. Even though I write mainly green blog posts for my day job, meaning that the information in them will be just as useful in 6 months as it is now, I have numerous inventory type pages that I need to keep current and multiple new blog posts to add per month. My Excel sheets were getting longer and longer even though I wasn’t sharing the same posts each month.
Edgar’s Library feature allows you to store updates with pictures in different categories. This allows me to quickly find the pages that need to be updated or removed. If you use it, I suggest making separate categories for Facebook posts and Twitter updates, because they need to be formatted differently. It has a bulk upload tool and creating the spreadsheet for it wasn’t at all complicated. You have to schedule the text first and then add the pictures later, but the spreadsheet lets you automatically add the posts to categories. You also have the option to schedule posts that will only run once and won’t be recycled later on. These go in the “Use Once” category provided by Edgar.
The scheduler is easy to use. Once you upload all your content, you create time slots for categories or you can choose to post randomly. If you already have established social accounts, you can use Tweriod and Facebook stats to figure out the best posting times. If you don’t have established accounts, Edgar provides some sample schedules. It would be nice if they include something like Tweriod in the future, rather than directing users to other sites.
Over the holidays, I added extra time slots to cover the periods when I usually post fresh content manually. This took a fraction of the time as it did in the past, because all I had to do was choose a category and time. When I clicked on the next day, the time was already pre-loaded and I just had to click “Save”.
One detail that I wasn’t expecting, but I was super excited to see is how Edgar posts pictures to Twitter. Some tools will post them as a link. This prevents the picture from showing up in-line with the feed, so other Twitter users don’t see the picture until they click on it. Edgar makes it look like I’m posting straight through the Twitter dashboard.
I’m a bit disappointed by Edgar’s Statistics feature. The display is pretty weak. As of the date of this post, all you get is a list of your updates for the last 30 days and the number of Likes, Comments, and Shares. That’s good info to know, but if you post a lot, as I would expect someone who would pay for this service would be, that’s a lot of info to dig through. It really needs some graphs and categorizing. I didn’t like the reports in Hootsuit, because they required you to pay extra for multiple reports that appeared to be just info they regurgitated from Facebook and Twitter.
I also wish that Edgar worked with Google Plus. Right now, it only works with Twitter, Facebook Personal Accounts, Facebook Pages, Facebook Groups, LinkedIn Personal Accounts, and LinkedIn Business Pages. I’m pretty active on Google Plus and I hate that I have to manually repost my updates there.
Finally, my biggest complaint about Edgar is the price. It’s $50/month for 10 accounts. I was paying $10/month with Hootsuite and was able to connect more accounts, including Google Plus. Hootsuite also has the viewer where you don’t even have to go to each individual site to see the updates of the people you’re following. While I stopped using those features of HootSuite, I don’t think I should have to pay 5X more than Hootsuite when the system has less features. I’d be willing to pay more just for the storage my updates are filling, but not 5X more. I also don’t foresee myself using all 10 accounts when there are only 3 social sites supported.
Edgar is still a young tool, so I’m hoping they add more features and accounts, and adjust their pricing. I think they’re on to something with the Library and scheduler, but I’m not sure it’s different enough to reign in the amount of users they need to be successful. I know that this is the combination of tools that I need, but I’m still contemplating if I want to stick with it. I love the amount of work it took off my hands and how reliable it has been so far, but it’s a strain on my budget.
Have you tried Edgar?