Social media management is easing up a bit as competition within this sector thins out. The social media management landscape has changed. There was a time when social media seemed like the Wild West of marketing, but the days of rookies taking pot shots from all angles are behind us. It’s no longer a question of why you should do it; instead, it’s time to figure out how you’re going to do it.
But fear not: we're here to help.
The purpose of this article is to make your decision easier by offering you a range of potential tools and explaining what each one can offer. We'll also take a look at some general trends in the industry. By the end, we hope you will have gained some clarity on what is right for your organization or brand. We've listed these tools in alphabetical order to make them easier to skim, but there's no need to read through all twenty if you don't want—simply jump ahead to the ones that seem promising!
4 things that make a great social media management tool
When we first started looking for a social media management tool to test, we had some pretty specific criteria in mind. CMS's are not typically our area of expertise so we really wanted to find something that had all the tools we needed right out of the box without having to add or edit anything. Although posting and scheduling social media posts is pretty straightforward, there are many other features available in each site manager that can make the job much easier. That's why we chose to focus on these specifics when comparing:
- Each app had to support multiple social networks, though preferably more than Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.Support for other networks or services was a benefit, but it wasn't required for acceptance.
- Social media management can be time consuming. It's distracting to check feeds, schedule posts and engage with your followers. A tool should help you stay on top of your social media presence by allowing you to schedule future posts, engage with your followers without distracting you from the task at hand, and make managing your profiles a priority in your workflow.
- Social media marketing can be a crapshoot. But if you use the right tool, it doesn't have to be. Make sure to look for analytics capabilities when choosing your social media management software so you can track what content engages best with your audience
- Designers, freelancers and small business owners need powerful tools to help them manage social media marketing across multiple networks, but without the cost and complexity of enterprise-level software. We looked for solutions that cover the core functions you'd expect from a social media management platform, like posting and scheduling content.
Social media has evolved an incredible amount over the last decade, and the best tools are always looking to keep up. But what exactly should you be expecting from a good social media management tool? It's more than just a scheduling service; while that may form the backbone of what the solution does, there are plenty of other functions you should consider before picking one.
Choosing the right social media management tools can be hard work.
No matter what your budget is, there's a social media management tool for you. The goal for any business is to find the most cost-effective solution that provides the most value. It might take some testing and tweaking to determine which type of software works best for your organization, but this guide should help you in the decision process.
Top 12 tools for social media management
Buffer is a popular social media scheduling tool that has been around for a long time. You don’t need to log in on this page, though — if you’re not already familiar with Buffer, there’s no real reason to set up an account just to check this page out. Chances are, you already know what Buffer is because you’re reading this blog post. If you want to take a look at the latest updates from Buffer, though, they do share those on Twitter and Facebook.
One thing to keep in mind about scheduling posts is that you can change your process at any time. Buffer's actions are remembered from session to session on the web, so you can start and stop whenever you need. iOS and Android also allow scheduling on-the-go, though you can't edit your schedule on mobile as easily as you can on the web. Be thoughtful about how many tweets, Facebook updates, and Instagram posts it takes per day to cover your social bases—and don't forget that LinkedIn is there too.
With over 2.5 million users, Buffer is one of the most popular social sharing tools available out there. It allows you to schedule updates to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and more in just a few clicks. There are also a number of free apps available which work across multiple mobile platforms (iOS, Android, BlackBerry) and help you to schedule updates anywhere you go.
As a free user, you can schedule and publish one post or update from each social media account at a time before you have to log in again in order to manage another platform. That's about what you'd expect for a free plan — there are no limits as far as account management is concerned, but the social publishing aspect is limited. If you don't mind that, though, this tier is enough to get started and will help save you some cash on a social media scheduling solution.
Buffer Price:The free plan includes one user, three accounts, and ten queued posts per profile; the Essentials plan is $6/month per social channel and includes unlimited queued posts per profile; the Team plan costs $12/month per social channel and includes unlimited users.
At the core of it, Mention is a social media and web monitoring platform. The tool lets you not only keep track of all your social media mentions but also monitor web conversations in real-time. This incredible feature makes it great for social listening—or gathering insights from online discussions about specific topics.
Mention has a free plan that comes with limited features but paid plans start at $25 per month and are affordable to most small businesses.
SocialOomph is a powerful social media tool that allows you to schedule, manage and track your social media posts across multiple social networks. It also has some cool features like being able to set up automated messages, so you don’t have to be at your computer when someone follows you on Twitter.
You can use SocialOomph for “unlimited” accounts, however the free version only allows you to connect one account from each platform. For example, with the free version of SocialOomph you can only connect one Twitter or Facebook account (but not both).
Hootsuite isn’t just another social media management application. It’s a platform that manages every aspect of your social marketing, from scheduling and publishing to analytics and measuring results. With Hootsuite, you’re able to manage multiple networks, create branded
pages and accounts, upload content across websites, schedule posts for the future or past (up to two weeks), track performance beyond likes and retweets, and more.
Some social media management tools let you post across multiple channels on the same schedule. In Hootsuite, you can create an unlimited number of profiles under a single plan. Each profile gives you the ability to make updates through their native platform, rather than having to enter them into a third-party app and then use that application to make the post from your queue. You also have the freedom to set up custom posting times for each profile, so you can target audiences in different regions of the world with different schedules.
The Hootsuite analytics dashboard is one of the tool's strongest areas. It offers a suite of data for measuring social results, drawing on more than 200 metrics to measure performance. The results are presented in easy-to-read charts, tables, and pie charts. They can be exported as Excel or PowerPoint files as well as PDF and CSV files that you can use within your organization.
Using Hootsuite's powerful yet simple-to-use social media dashboard, you can schedule posts to go out at a future date and time.These configurable feeds keep track of mentions, new followers, search phrases, hashtags, interaction, and more on the social web. Using their advanced analytics, you can track your performance and see which posts are performing best. For those with multiple social accounts, it's very difficult to find time to manage them all. With the Hootsuite app for Android, it's easy to stay on top of your messages from anywhere.
Hootsuite is hands down the best platform for managing social media. It's geared towards big businesses, but I find that it fits small businesses as well. There is a free version of Hootsuite which includes 3 Social profiles and 10,000 pages views each month. For a one time payment you can upgrade to the Pro plan which enables you to connect unlimited social profiles and access analytics data in the Reports tab so you are able to track the progress of your social media accounts. There is also the Enterprise plan for larger companies that need an easier way to manage their employees' profiles on behalf of their brand.
Hootsuite Price: Hootsuite's premium tier is ideal for small to medium businesses that need more advanced scheduling and social media analytics tools.One user, three social profiles, and 30 planned updates are included in the free plan; Professional plans start at $39/month (paid yearly) and include one user, ten social profiles, and unlimited scheduling; team subscriptions start at $129/month (billed annually).
Viralwoot is a tool that helps you increase Pinterest engagement and traffic. You can use it to schedule pins, auto-repin content, promote your content on Pinterest through promoted pins, get more followers and repins, analyze your content via pin statistics, and even sell products with buyable pins. It’s a great tool for anyone who wants to use their social media presence to drive traffic back to their website or blog.
One of the great things about managing your own social media accounts is that you can respond to customer questions and complaints at any hour. But if you've hired a team to do it for you, that's a luxury. Many teams charge in increments, with a minimum of $50 per month per account. However, the Small Team plan at SocialPilot gives you access to two users for 25 total social media accounts for just $50 a month (paid annually). That's a pretty solid deal in our opinion.
So far, I've found SocialPilot to be a great tool for managing my social media accounts, specifically Facebook and Twitter. It's really easy to quickly schedule posts or bulk upload links. There are also a lot more options for connecting with Buffer and Hootsuite, which is nice for when you need to switch back and forth between tasks. The team tab makes it easy to assign tasks across multiple users in your organization, but there's no way to have different permissions between two members on the same network (like being able to see only their networks). It would also be nice if you could enter a post template inside of the team section and make that available as a suggestion, but that's not currently an option. And as of right now, there's no way to connect WordPress or Tumblr accounts directly through the dashboard.
A large part of what SocialPilot allows you to do is tailor the experience to your team's needs. This is done via roles. Simple tasks, like creating a new post, can be delegated to members of your team. For example one of your contributors might be responsible for creating content, but not posting it on social media until you or another team member has looked over it.
Social Pilot Price: The Professional plan starts at $30 per month, while the Small Team plan with three users and 25 accounts costs $50 per month.
MeetEdgar is a social media management tool that helps you schedule posts to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram. It's like an automated assistant that manages your social media accounts without requiring much knowledge of the marketing world.
MeetEdgar is an online social media scheduling tool designed to save you time by helping you recycle your best content. Simply tell Edgar what categories your updates fall under, and he’ll share them for you; as you add more updates, he’ll automatically re-fill the queue so you never run out of content. Then, whenever your new followers go back and dig up old posts, they’ll find fresh material rather than content that was just posted once. MeetEdgar ensures that your social media marketing efforts are always on-going and easy to manage.
MeetEdgar allows you to create and schedule social media updates to be posted automatically. You can also put potential updates in a library and have Edgar publish them continuously by reusing your best posts, filling in any gaps with your latest content. Edgar's categories feature lets you upload different types of content and assign it a color-coded category so you can better space out content types over the course of the schedule.
MeetEdgar lets you schedule Facebook and Twitter posts. Your updates will be delivered automatically while you are busy doing other things. When Edgar posts your updates, he includes a unique link back to your account so you get more followers and more traffic to your site.
MeetEdgar Price: Edgar Lite costs $19 a month and includes three social media accounts, an unlimited media library, four categories, and limitless support.
Sendible is a social media management and scheduling platform that offers both in-depth engagement tracking and effects analysis as well as streamlined interactions. These combined abilities mean you can easily draft out posts, schedule when they go live and reply to and keep track of comments, messages and mentions across multiple networks, all without having to leave the platform.
Sendible is an intuitive, easy-to-use social media management tool. It has everything you need to manage multiple social media profiles and get the most out of your link building and SEO campaigns. Some of Sendible's top features include a smart queue system, built-in agency features, and a free Instagram scheduling app. Plus, it's available on desktop, iOS, Android and as a Google Chrome extension.
Schedule content across all your social networks, blogs, and rss feeds with Sendible's new redesigned calendar. Visualise all of your pending updates with the click of a button and view individual updates on your wall post editor. You can also choose to connect RSS feeds to automatically curate future content based on your interests.
You can browse the list of relevant keyword results from your dashboard or have them automatically emailed to you on a daily or weekly basis. You can even choose to just receive the positive or negative alerts.With email alerts, loads of dashboard extras, and dozens of free real-time apps like Google Analytics, YouTube, Facebook and SoundCloud (to name just a few) you can include all the tools you'll need to build communities and engage with your customers.
Sendible is a social media management tool that helps businesses and marketers manage their social media. Users can monitor brand mentions, schedule posts, engage users, and report the performance of campaigns. The platform helps to collect all the data and information regarding your various social media accounts in a single place and allows you to access it easily anytime.
Sendible Price: The Creator plan, which includes 1 user, 6 services, and 100 daily postings, starts at $29 per month.
The best thing about Agorapulse is how easy it is to use while still maintaining a powerful feature set. When you first log in, you are immediately presented with the dashboard, where you can quickly schedule new posts or go right into monitoring conversations.
- Schedule your content for publishing on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
- Monitor keywords and mentions across social networks including Facebook pages, groups, profiles and events; Twitter; Instagram; YouTube; Pinterest; Google+ pages and communities; LinkedIn pages, groups and personal profiles
- Manage multiple Facebook Pages, Twitter accounts and Instagram accounts from one place
Sprout Social is a platform that helps you manage your social media presence. You can use this tool to publish, engage, and measure across all your social networks. Sprout Social also has tools for social care, listening, and reporting.
Zoho Social is a social media management tool that connects with other Zoho products and analyzes your performance across social networks.
Zoho Social has a free starter plan; however, its features are limited and it doesn't have an analytics section. But if you're looking for an affordable option to get started with a quality product, Zoho might be the tool for you.
- A publishing queue to help you stay on top of all the things you need to post on social media
- A bulk scheduler that allows users to create multiple posts at once.
- A social inbox that helps teams collaborate and respond to customers in real-time.
- Analytics, including stats on engagement rates, follower growth, and competitor analyses. * A mobile app (iOS/Android)
Loomly is the BEST team collaboration tool out there. It's so easy to use and so many great features, it's hard to believe it doesn't have a bigger user base.
But then you see how many people are on other tools and think—why do they need Loomly? But we're here to tell you that you don't need them!
Loomly is all you really need. When you're managing projects, managing teams, managing your calendars, and scheduling meetings all in one place, it's just so much easier than juggling several different tools.
You get a lot of power with Loomly because it's all in one place, but easily accessible on your computer, tablet or phone. You can even keep your plans up-to-date on the go by using our mobile app. You can also easily share plans with colleagues and clients.
These tools will help you make easier for everyone on your team
“Social media is a marathon, not a sprint.”
Those are some words of wisdom. Social media marketing doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time to grow your following and build awareness around your brand, but there are tools out there that can make the journey much easier. So if you’re looking to make social media easier for everyone on your team (and yourself), here are 20 social management tools to get you started:
What to look for in a social media management tool?
The best tool for your team will depend on your team requirements and what they need most support with. But it's important that you understand what exactly those needs are before you start looking at tools—otherwise it's easy to be swayed by a pretty interface or flashy features that don't actually do anything for you. To get started, ask yourself these questions:
- Do we need more than one person contributing content?
- How often will we post?
- What kind of content do we need?