If you’ve tried your hands at content marketing or blogging, you’re likely already familiar with the wonderful benefits of BuzzSumo. It’s a great tool for spotting trending content ideas, popular and emerging influencers, as well as plenty of content engagement insights.
Nevertheless, its sky-high costs have often compelled new content creators and marketers to look for suitable BuzzSumo alternatives.
While many content marketing tools have been pitched as BuzzSumo alternatives, Social Animal stands out from the crowd.
I’ve been using this platform for quite some time now and in this blog, we’ll delve deeper into the features and functionalities of Social Animal and find out whether it’s worth the hype.
So, let’s get started.
Social Animal: A Closer Look
Simply put, Social Animal is a straightforward and easy-to-use content marketing tool. You can use it to identify top-performing content and emerging content opportunities in your niche.
Additionally, you can find and share trending content related to a particular keyword. Also, you can monitor how a competitor’s content marketing strategy is performing.
While I started using Social Animal as a cheaper BuzzSumo alternative, I quickly realized that it offers various unique features.
For instance, its “Deep Search” feature scans the body of a blog post to find matches for your keyword. This is a feature that BuzzSumo doesn’t offer. Moreover, it lets you analyze the headlines of top-performing articles and optimize your headlines to get more clicks and shares.
Apart from social share and engagement metrics, I also use Social Animal to compare various keywords, articles, and domains.
It also shows all the Twitter users who shared a particular piece of content.
The best part is that you can filter the results based on various parameters, including the date range, content type, sentiment, language, etc.
Here’s a cool fact – Social Animal uses a database of more than 90 million articles and over 3 million keywords to find relevant and best-performing content in your niche.
It provides numerous insights including the most effective social media channels and the best time to post for a specific type of content.
Moreover, its sophisticated Influencer Search algorithm has come in handy to help me find popular influencers who’re sharing content related to my keywords.
The best part is that Social Animal collates relevant information related to your keywords and competitors in its Daily Email Digest. Nevertheless, Social Animal lacks certain advanced features of other online content marketing tools.
But before I discuss its pros and cons, let me quickly delve right into the key features that set it apart from other BuzzSumo alternatives.
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Features & Benefits
Social Animal offers a plethora of useful features for content marketers and social media marketers. From identifying trending content to finding the best time and day to publish a blog post – you get access to plenty of insights.
In the following sections, I’ll highlight a few distinguishing features of Social Animal that are useful for bloggers and marketers.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could find the top-performing content for relevant keywords in your niche? That’s exactly what Social Animal helps you with.
For any given keyword, it reveals popular blog posts along with various powerful insights and analytics.
Apart from engagement metrics, such as social shares, you can analyze the keywords, domains, sentiments, and headlines of various articles. This helps me gauge if the post is actually performing well enough.
You can even compare different articles to understand why they’ve performed better on specific social media channels. Based on this analysis, I determine which post might work better for me.
Likewise, you get access to various metrics such as optimal length, the best day to post, etc. for a particular keyword. Also, you can set alerts for your target keywords to receive regular updates.
These insights help me optimize my content for better reach and engagement. As a result, it helps me grow my brand further and boosts my ROI. I can also reach out to the top domains for guest posting to power up my reach even more.
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With Social Animal, you get a ton of filtering options to find the most meaningful and popular content for your keyword. You can filter the results based on the date of publishing, content type, author, domain, length, etc.
These filters help me identify the right sort of content for my blog posts. This works well as my content ends up replicating the success of the content that’s already published.
The best part is that you can share relevant content on your social media profiles directly from your Social Animal dashboard. I use this feature regularly to share insightful content with my social media followers. This helps keep them engaged and informed. It also helps in placing me as a thought leader in the niche.
Social Animal uses an advanced algorithm to help you identify the right influencer outreach opportunities.
The “Popular Influencers” feature on your dashboard even lets you identify popular Twitter influencers who’re already sharing content related to your keyword. If you’re planning to launch an influencer campaign, these should be the people you should be reaching out to, and that’s exactly why I love this feature. It helps me network with these like-minded individuals too.
However, I find the influencer insights and data to be fairly limited compared to other tools. You can only see the number of followers, tweets, and listed on data. Also, the inclusion of YouTube influencer data would be a nice touch.
Social Animal reveals the best-performing Facebook posts for any keyword. I regularly use this feature to get post ideas. Content that’s performing well might do well for me too.
Also, it lets you identify popular and relevant Facebook pages that are sharing content related to your keyword. These are the pages you can leverage to broaden your reach. I regularly reach out to such pages with useful content. This helps boost my reach and also gives them good content — a win-win for all!
You even get plenty of audience insights including the best time to post and their preferred sentiments. I find these insights very helpful as they help me time my posts such that I can get the most engagement out of them.
This is likely the feature I find myself using most frequently. With Social Animal, you can easily identify your competitors’ top-performing content assets and best authors. It works exceptionally well as I’m able to keep tabs on their content and this allows me to strategize better.
You can even find the distribution channels they’re using and when they’re publishing their content on various platforms. Also, the Daily Digest Email gives you a glimpse of their latest content and mentions on social media.
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Any content marketing tool is only as good as the quality of customer support it provides. The good news is that Social Animal offers round-the-clock customer support via email and live chat.
In my experience of using Social Animal, I’ve always got quick resolutions to all my issues with customer support. The support reps are fairly experienced and resourceful. You can even reach out to them via Twitter.
The only slight catch is the lack of phone support. Also, while the knowledge base is extensive, I feel that more information needs to be added to it.
Social Animal offers three different pricing plans starting at $49 per month (billed monthly). While it doesn’t have a free version, you can leverage the 14-day free trial before signing up for a paid plan.
Now that you know the amazing features of using Social Animal, you must be yearning to get started. However, it’s essential to carefully weigh its benefits and shortcomings before using it.
While evaluating my options for BuzzSumo alternatives, I did some digging to find genuine Social Animal reviews from real-life users.
Let’s take a look at a few of them:
Image via G2
Image via G2
Image via Capterra
Image via Capterra
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How to Use Social Animal?
Social Animal is an easy to use platform and the intuitive dashboard makes the entire process of using the platform simple.
What I like the best about it is that you can seamlessly navigate to the various sections of the tool directly from the navigation bar on the dashboard. This makes it extremely easy to use.
It also provides a search bar at the top using which you can search for influencers, Facebook posts, articles, insights, and more.
Additionally, in the Trending section, you’ll be able to search various trending topics so that you can create around them. I find this handy as it helps me create content around topics that can help my blog gain traction.
Also, you can seamlessly create projects within a few clicks. To get started, click on Projects and then click on Add Project.
Once you’ve done that, you’ll be able to add articles to track. This can help you build your content library. All you have to do is click on Add articles to track and add the URLs of the articles.
I primarily love this feature as it helps me track the progress of a post over a long time. Based on this analysis, I’m able to derive a lot of insights on which post works better in the long run.
Similarly, you can go to the Influencers tab and then search for the influencers relevant to your brand. All you’ve to do is click on Influencer search. This helps me keep track of influencers who are talking about my content or other relevant content.
In the same manner, you can look for Facebook posts for your project and add them. The ideas that I gather from these posts come in handy for preparing my content calendar and strategy.
The dashboard also lets you track your brand mentions with ease. For this, you have to click on Mentions and scroll down to see all the latest mentions of your brand over the past month.
It helps me figure out who’s talking about my blog and this feature also comes in handy for link building if I’ve not received a backlink for the mention.
Similarly, I can check mentions of other keywords and find trending topics.
Finally, the dashboard is the spot where you can get an overview of everything. From seeing your competitors to the recent popular articles, influencers, domains, and Facebook posts, you can find it all here.
So, what are you waiting for?
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Pros & Cons
Let’s now take a look at the various pros and cons of Social Animal.
1. Affordable Pricing: Social Animal is extremely affordable even for bloggers and small businesses. The pricing starts at $49 and goes all the way up to $416 per month for enterprises. This is in stark contrast to the pricing of other competitors that have significantly higher pricing for the entry-level plans.
2. Deep Search: A powerful feature that Social Animal has is the deep search feature. It not only lets you search the titles of the posts but also allows you to search and find words in the articles and displays them.
3. Domain & Keyword Comparison: One of the best features offered by Social Animal is the domain and keyword comparison feature. Using it, you can take a keyword and then compare two domains for their performance with the keyword and see which one performs better.
4. Excellent Filtering Options: Whether you’re searching for articles, influencers, or even Facebook posts, there are numerous filtering options that can help you find the right content. You can filter articles by author, domain, the number of words, language, etc.
Similarly, you can filter Facebook posts by date, post type, and even language.
5. Proactive Customer Support: Social Animal delivers a powerful user experience thanks to its customer support. Whenever you encounter any problem, you can visit the support center which is filled with numerous guides to help you out. And if that’s not all, you can get in touch with their support team through both live chat and email. In my experience, the support staff has been extremely prompt in responding to and addressing the queries.
1. No YouTube Influencer Insights: Unlike other competing tools like BuzzSumo, Social Animal doesn’t provide any insights for YouTube influencers. It mainly targets Facebook and Twitter.
2. Influencer Data is Limited: While the influencer search lets you find a lot of relevant influencers on social media, the data that Social Animal has on them is pretty limited. Other competing platforms do provide more in-depth data.
3. Lacks Backlink Analysis Feature: While Social Animal does help you with content discovery, it lacks the backlink analysis feature that other platforms like BuzzSumo sport. As this feature is missing, you need to leverage another tool such as SEMrush or Ahrefs to analyze the backlinks.
BuzzSumo vs. Social Animal
BuzzSumo is the most popular platform when it comes to content discovery, influencer search, competitor intelligence, content strategy, etc. It’s got many takers because it brings these vastly different features all under one umbrella.
So how does Social Animal fare when compared to BuzzSumo?
Let’s find out.
For one, Social Animal is priced at a significant discount to BuzzSumo. It’s starting price is $41/month (You get a 20% discount over this with my code “MASTERBLOGGING”). On the other hand, BuzzSumo starts at $99/month, which is more than double that of Social Animal.
However, when it comes to enterprise plans, the price difference isn’t so vast. In fact, Social Animal costs $416/month while BuzzSumo costs $499/month.
Considering the pricing, Social Animal might be a good option for starters but for enterprise plans, it’s better to go for BuzzSumo.
Social Animal and BuzzSumo both offer a wide range of features from finding new content ideas to relevant influencers for your brand. However, BuzzSumo has the edge here.
When it comes to influencers, Social Animal is pretty restrictive as you can only find influencers on Facebook and Twitter. On the other hand, BuzzSumo lets you find influencers on other platforms like Instagram too.
Additionally, as mentioned above, BuzzSumo provides backlink analytics but Social Animal doesn’t. This would mean that you’d need another SEO tool to take care of that feature.
On the flipside, Social Animal provides great features such as deep search that lets you dig out words from articles and not just from the headlines.
At the same time, you can compare two domains for a particular keyword and then check out why one is performing better than the other.
However, given the price point, if you’re a beginner, it might be a better idea to start with Social Animal as it’s affordable (Even more with my 20% discount code “MASTERBLOGGING”) and easier to learn than BuzzSumo. Once your requirements grow, you can move to BuzzSumo.
The Final Verdict: Conclusion
Social Animal is a powerful BuzzSumo alternative. It packs powerful features that let you find Facebook posts, influencers on Twitter and Facebook, and even discover trending content topics.
And that’s not all.
This tool also lets you do content research and allows you to find relevant content to curate. Also, you can monitor your brand mentions and see how well you’re performing online.
Additionally, you can conduct competitor research and get detailed insights into their content strategy. Based on these insights, you can modify your approach to outrank them.
Finally, this platform is affordably priced so that even those with lower budgets can take advantage of the insights offered by it.
So, wait no longer.
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