Social media can be a very effective and affordable way to market your brand. But it can also be very time consuming. Posting on multiple social media platforms, responding to comments, and keeping up with the latest trends and hashtags is easily a full-time job.
If you don’t have the budget to hire a social media manager, or if you’re struggling to keep up with several accounts, a social media management tool could be the answer.
These tools make it easier for you to plan and monitor your social media content and audiences. Many tools work with several social media platforms so you can schedule all your content from one place.
The first step is deciding which tools you want to use to manage your social media accounts. There are hundreds of tools out there, all offering different features and benefits. Some are designed for single users and small businesses, while others are powerful enough for enterprises and large teams to manage their entire social media marketing campaigns.
So what makes a good social media management tool? Managing your social media accounts is more than just scheduling and automating posts. A true management tool offers a way to monitor engagement across your social media accounts, and reporting tools to measure the success of your content too.
Some tools are designed to work with one particular social media platform like Instagram or Facebook, while others can integrate with multiple platforms. For this reason, you might find that a combination of different tools is the best option for you if you need specific functionality.
We’ve chosen a selection of social media management tools across the board. These tools offer the best value for money and most generous feature set, in our opinion. They also have great user reviews and customer support.
Sendinblue is an all-in-one platform for businesses to manage their email, SMS, chat, CRM, and Facebook marketing.
The platform includes a drag and drop tool for designing marketing emails and landing pages. There are also advanced personalization and segmentation options and a marketing automation workflow builder.
Specifically for Facebook, there’s a tool that will help you to design the perfect Facebook ad, find the best leads to target, and analyze your ad performance across each campaign.
Sendinblue offers quite different and specific functionality to other social media management tools. If you’re looking for something to schedule and manage all your social media content, you’ll need another tool. But if you want to optimize your Facebook Ads and integrate them with your email, SMS, and on-site campaigns, this is the one.
Pricing: The free plan allows you to send up to 300 emails a day. Paid plans start from $25 a month. To get access to the Facebook Ads tool, you’ll need to sign up to the Premium plan at $66 a month.
Hootsuite is one of the most popular social media management tools around, and with good reason. Combining powerful functionality with ease of use and integrations with over 20 social media networks and dozens of apps, you can pretty much do whatever you want with Hootsuite.
- Collaborative calendar to view and manage all your social media content in one place
- Automatic scheduling of posts
- Multi-platform post composer, which integrates with stock and asset libraries
- Integration with Drop Box, Google Drive, and other cloud-based storage platforms
- Collaboration and approval processes for teams
- Monitor brand mentions and trends on social media
- Respond to all incoming messages from multiple platforms in one place
- Manage ad campaigns
- Measure and analyze post performance and calculate ROI
Pricing: The free plan allows a single user to manage up to 3 social accounts. Pricing for paid plans starts from $25 a month for a single user with up to 10 social media profiles. Team accounts start from $99 a month.
Sprout Social is one of the social media management tools that’s been around the longest, has amassed a user base of over 25,000 users and has continued to add new functionality every year.
Sprout integrates with all the major social media platforms and enables you to plan and organize all your posts across multiple networks, platforms, and campaigns with a visual calendar.
An automatic scheduler makes it easy to automatically publish content at the best times for engagement and integration with a central library of multimedia assets means that creating and scheduling social media content is streamlined and efficient.
Other features of the platform include:
- Content suggestions for easy re-posting of curated content or inspiration for your own content
- Message approval workflows
- Shared content calendar
- Detailed analytics for all platforms from one central dashboard
- Compare the performance of your content to that of your competitors
- Monitor social activity and incoming messages in one place
- Review management
- Chatbot builder
- Task and workflow assignment
- Integration of social message platforms with your help desk
- Audience and competitor analysis
- Influencer recognition
Pricing: From $99 per user, per month for up to 5 social profiles.
Oktopost is a social media management platform designed specifically for B2B marketers. The platform includes tools specifically designed for businesses to manage and monitor social media activities in order to meet B2B marketing goals.
Some of Oktoposts features include:
- Automatic post scheduling for optimal times
- Visual drag and drop content calendar which enables you to plan your content across multiple networks
- Curation tool for discovering thought leadership content in your industry
- Lead generation tracking
- ROI calculator
- Engagement insights by network, channel, and time of day
- Audience trends and insights
- Monitor employee advocacy results including employee engagement, content performance, and ROI
- Easy management of global social media teams with content approval processes and crisis management features
- Seamless integration with your CRM
Pricing: Contact Oktopost for a demo and quote
Loomly is a new kid on the block when it comes to social media management. Founded in 2016 at the height of the influencer marketing boom, it is designed to help businesses and agencies concentrate on building a brand and eliminate the need for multiple spreadsheets, calendars, and communication platforms.
Loomly generates post ideas based on trending topics and related RSS feeds so you’ll never run low on content inspiration. The post composer includes live optimization tips and will help you to create the best possible content and see exactly what your posts and ads look like before they go live.
Built for teams, you can plan all your posts and ads for multiple platforms on a single editorial calendar. Collaborative review, approval, notifications, and post history is built into the workflow. There’s also a post scheduler to automatically post content.
The analytics feature allows you to see account, post, and link metrics at a glance and track your performance over time.
A community management tool makes it easy to monitor and respond to messages from your followers across multiple networks.
Pricing: From $25 a month for up to 2 users and 10 social accounts with unlimited content and an ad cap of $500.
Buffer offers two distinct social media management platforms designed for growing brands to plan content and analyze campaigns.
Buffer Publish is a tool for planning and publishing all your content for Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn from a central dashboard.
There’s a visual content calendar, post scheduling, reminders, and additional tools to plan Instagram stories and drive traffic to your shop.
Buffer Analyze is designed to make it simpler for you to measure your social media performance, grow your brand, and gain audience and engagement insights.
You can see at a glance the best time to post, how frequently you should be posting for maximum engagement, and the type of posts that perform best. Once you’ve set up your reports they’ll be updated daily.
Pricing: Buffer Publish starts from $15 a month for a single user with up to 8 social accounts and 100 scheduled posts a month. Buffer Analyze starts from $35 a month for up to 8 social accounts.
SocialPilot is designed for marketing teams who want to hit their goals without spending a fortune on tools and software. It includes functionality for publishing and scheduling content, analytics, Facebook ads, social conversations, and team management.
The social media calendar gives you an at-a-glance view at the content you have planned for the day, week, or month. You can filter calendars by account or group and reschedule by simply dragging and dropping content to a new date.
There’s a bulk scheduling feature and flexible scheduling options so you can reach your whole audience across multiple time zones.
Other features include:
- A content curation platform for ideas and inspiration
- Integrated analytics across all your social accounts
- Influencer detection
- Content performance
- Audience insights
- Facebook Ad management
- Social inbox to respond to Facebook messages from multiple pages in one place
- Role management, task assignment, and team workflow tools
Pricing: From $30 a month for up to 25 social media accounts, 3 users, and 200 posts per day.
Zoho Social is a suite of tools that’s ideal for teams to manage their social media content across multiple platforms. It also integrates completely with other Zoho tools such as Zoho CRM and Zoho Desk, so if you’re already using Zoho software for your team, it’s well worth considering.
The content planner and calendar makes it efficient to schedule and queue up content in advance, and you can bulk schedule as many posts as far in advance as you wish.
A social listening dashboard makes it easy for you to monitor and participate in conversations about your brand and a live stream means you can engage with your audience in real time.
Collaboration features mean that teams can keep all their communications in one place and roles and permissions make workflow management simple.
There’s also a detailed analytics platform to analyze your brand, content, and Facebook Ad performance.
Pricing: From $10 a month for up to 7 social channels and 2 users.
Agorapulse is another hugely popular social media management tool that boasts some major companies such as Dove, Deliveroo, and Vanderbilt University on its roster of clients.
The platform includes flexible scheduling options for time-sensitive, queuing or bulk upload of posts, a social inbox to manage conversations and monitor brand mentions, one-click reports, team collaboration and management tools, and a built-in CRM.
Agorapulse also includes some unique features that aren’t available on other platforms including:
- An automated inbox assistant to moderate, sort, or assign messages
- Full coverage of static Facebook and Instagram ad comments
- Organize queued content by time slot or topic
The social inbox and CRM features of Agorapulse certainly make it an attractive option for businesses that are concentrating on providing excellent customer service and improving their social engagement.
It also has a flexible pricing structure, which can make it more affordable for teams than some other options.
Pricing: From $79 a month for up to 10 social profiles and 2 users
Effective social media management is essential for businesses of any size that want to make the most of their social media platforms.
These tools can help you to grow your following, increase engagement, drive more traffic to your site, generate leads and sales, and – importantly – save you a lot of time.
So which is the best social media management tool? As always, there’s no simple answer. The best tool for your or your business will depend on your individual needs and goals.
If you’re a small business or agency looking for an affordable tool to help you manage all your social content and ads, Loomly, Zoho Social and SocialPilot are all very budget-friendly for solo users or small teams. They have slightly different feature sets so take advantage of the free trials to see which one works best for you.
Buffer is also very affordable for their most basic plan and offers useful tools for planning content on Instagram. However, you’ll quickly outgrow the post limits if you’re managing content for multiple clients. If you need analytics or to add additional users, the price adds up.
For B2B marketers, Oktopost is specifically geared towards lead generation and conversion and includes some unique features that aren’t included in other platforms. It’s well worth further investigation if you mange multiple marketing and sales teams or you’re focused on B2B social lead generation.
Those who focus their strategy mainly around email marketing and Facebook ads will appreciate the functionality of Sendinblue.
For larger businesses and agencies that need more power and integrations and a budget of $100 a month or more, consider Sprout Social or Hootsuite. The feature lists on these platforms make them difficult to beat but they come with a price tag to match.
Finally, Agorapulse has a similar feature set to the big players and may work out more affordable for your business, as they offer a more flexible pricing structure.
What is the best free social media management tool?
Sendinblue, Hootsuite, Buffer, and Zoho Social all have free plans that are limited to one user and a certain number of scheduled posts per month. These free accounts are a great way of trying out different platforms and may be enough for you if you only need to manage social media for a single business and don’t post more than a few times a week.
Do I need a social media management tool?
If you only post on social media for fun then no, you don’t need one. However if you’re a freelancer or agency managing the social media for several clients or you’re trying to grow your business on your social platforms, you can definitely benefit from using a social media management tool to save you time and see better results.
What social media tools are the most useful for business?
Any of the tools we’ve included in this post would be a great asset to any business, big or small. You might also want to consider using some other tools to help you with social media such as graphic design tools for creating better images.
What should I look for in a social media management tool?
It depends what your needs are. Most social media management tools include features to help you plan and publish content more efficiently, automatic post scheduling, analytics to measure the effectiveness of posts and campaigns, and tools for monitoring and responding to conversations on social media.