Social media planning tool ContentCal gets four stars

Here's the latest of PRmoment's Tool Reviews where an independent PRmoment reader reviews a PR tool. Thanks to Amy Macdonald, from Cartwright Communications for this week's review.

Tool name

ContentCal

What this tool does

ContentCal is a visual calendar for planning and auto-publishing social media content. Its key feature is that it offers an approval process whereby agencies or businesses can ensure content is seen and approved by appropriate people before going live. It works across key social media channels such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook and helps to manage all of these accounts in one central location.

Price as reviewed

ContentCal offers three tiers of subscription: Company, Premium and Custom. We use a Custom account, but have detailed the Company account information below:

£29 per month for two users and two calendars. For additional users you pay £5 per month and for extra calendars £10 per month.

This package allows you to:

  • Connect multiple accounts
  • Approve workflows
  • Post comments and collaborate
  • Use analytics with PDF export
  • Upload video
  • Gain support through live chat

What we asked this tool to do

For the test we used ContentCal to share a social media post across all of our social media channels: Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram.

How it performed

We used the post editor to create a post for one channel, including @ handles to link to our employees’ social media accounts. This editor is really useful as it shows a word count for each social media post, allows you to upload images – and even upload an image via a link – and categorise the post with tags. Although we didn’t need to, you can also easily upload video directly into ContentCal.

It’s really easy to duplicate posts across channels and tweak dates and times, which is how we created additional posts for our other channels.

Another great feature is the approval process and comments, whereby a senior team member (or in some cases a client) can have a final proof of a post before it goes live and also leave a note for another team member.

There are a couple of features which we think could be better, as although tagging works well for Twitter, ContentCal struggles to pick up user tags on Facebook and LinkedIn, which can cause problems and make content take longer to manage and edit.

Similarly, we have yet to set-up the additional iOS app for Instagram which enables posts to be scheduled on Instagram through ContentCal. Without this, we are still having to manually add posts on Instagram rather than using ContentCal (which is partially our fault, but worth noting there is another process when posting to Instagram).

Likes

  • The UI on ContentCal is straightforward, it’s easy to figure out how to draft posts for different channels and send them for approval.
  • The visual calendar makes it easy to see how social media posts will look, we especially love the ‘preview’ option where you can see how a post will look on each platform. This is useful, as you can spot if an image isn’t the right resolution etc, before it has gone live.
  • The approval workflows are fantastic as they ensure content is fully approved and seen be appropriate people before they are shared publicly.
  • The basic analytics on ContentCal are useful, as you can spot which posts have done well across all channels in one place, rather than having to log in to each channel’s dashboard.
  • The customer service is excellent. There is a live chat function on ContentCal where its team are always on-hand. This is helpful and the type of service you expect for a premium marketing tool.

Dislikes

  • As outlined in the test, the additional posting step for Instagram isn’t ideal and is a slight deterrent – we haven’t yet gone through this additional step so aren’t able to comment on how easy this is.
  • Video cannot be scheduled to LinkedIn via ContentCal, however LinkedIn currently does not allow any third-party apps to post a native video, so this isn’t a problem with the ContentCal alone.
  • As we have found, tagging user accounts or pages is a little hit and miss on ContentCal, which sometimes means a post goes live with a tag that doesn’t work… which isn’t ideal!
  • ContentCal doesn’t have an emoji keyboard that is integrated into its post editor, so we’ve had to use third party websites to copy and paste them into posts.

Star rating (out of 5)


Written by Amy Macdonald, PR and marketing manager at agency Cartwright Communications