Updated November 2016
Smart businesses know that social media is a power to be reckoned with: social media channels create a direct line of communication between your company and consumers, and they give anyone with an Internet connection instant access to the latest buzz around your products or services. But a social media manager has a million balls to juggle at once, so using that direct line of communication effectively can be a major achievement.
The good news is that as social media has grown up, so have the tools that are available to help you master it. Here are 15 of our favorite social media tools for saving time, getting better results, and making the most of every single social interaction.
The 15 tools below will help you and your social media manager take on the complexity of the job.
Hootsuite allows you to manage multiple social content streams from Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and more. Working across multiple networks with a social team can be difficult, and Hootsuite makes it possible for you and your team to delegate between responses to fans and followers, eliminating the stress of coordinating responses and potentially overlooking valued fans. In the past, one of the biggest frustrations with Hootsuite was how it handled social media images. The good news is this issue is now fixed on Twitter, so scheduled posts will show up to four images directly in the feed.
- Free – Up to 3 social profiles + basic reports and scheduling.
- $8.99/month: Up to 50 social profiles, one additional team member, and advanced scheduling and reporting features.
- Enterprise (custom pricing): Unlimited.
Posting most updates or sharing a piece of content once just doesn’t cut it these days, which is why MeetEdgar recycles social content for you. Meet Edgar will schedule and automate re-posts of your content for you, helping get your posts in front of a larger percentage of people. The tool works by enabling you to build a library of social media updates that are then organized into a publishing queue. Posts can be tagged and separated into different categories to ensure that different types of content are evenly spread out in your queue.
MeetEdgar only allows access to users that request an invite to the platform, which you can sign-up for here.
Like many of the other tools on this list, Sprout Social allows you to schedule updates to your social media accounts. However, there are a couple unique features that set Sprout Social apart. In addition to monitoring and managing multiple social networks, SproutSocial’s clean interface also delivers deeper analytics. For example, Sprout gives you calculated engagement and influence scores, and if you’re using social media for customer support, it also measures your response time. You can even turn your messages into action items to create workflows or reminders surrounding your social activity – connecting the dots from the conversations happening online to real business. Another perk is the ability to discover new people to connect with and systematically remove bad connections, using the Discovery tools.
- Deluxe – $59 per user/month: Manage up to 10 profiles, 5 brand keywords, smart inbox, scheduling, brand monitoring, and reports.
- Premium – $99 per user/month: Everything in Deluxe, plus up to 20 social media profiles. Also includes additional reporting and integration features.
- Team – $500/month: Everything in Premium, plus up to 30 social media profiles and 5 users. Also includes additional team management features and 24/7 support.
Many small businesses focus only on Facebook and Twitter, so the ability to manage other platforms isn’t top of mind. Crowdbooster helps streamline your social media activity so can you pay attention to what matters most. While you can use it as a scheduling tool to post updates, the real advantage Crowdbooster comes in its ability to identify your most valuable and most active fans and followers so that you can interact with them directly. It also analyzes the data in order to recommend ideal posting times for both Facebook and Twitter.
- Bronze – $9/month: 1 Facebook page, 1 Twitter, 1 user with a limit of 50k fans and followers. Includes audience growth, reach, and engagement metrics, social media scheduler, email reports, and online support.
- Silver – $49/month: 10 social media accounts, 8 users, and unlimited fans and followers. Everything in the Bronze package, plus management for multiple users and priority email support.––
- Gold –$119/month: 30 social media accounts, 30 users, unlimited fans and followers. Everything in the Silver package, plus a dedicated account manager.
Like some other tools on this list, AgoraPulse has a robust scheduling tool, but its strength lies in the inbox-like interface it uses to help you manage conversations on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You can create filters to tag, flag, hide, or make assignments regarding content and followers. This can be useful for segmenting (by customers vs. non-customers, for example), and making it easier to find existing conversations so you can build real relationships, even when stretched thin trying to cover several accounts. The app also includes a badging system that makes it easier to alert you when an influencer or advocate has posted, as well clear analytics.
- Small –$49/month: 1 team member, 3 social profiles, plus some analytics.
- Medium – $99/month: 3 team members, 10 social profiles, plus advanced reporting and user profiling.
- Large – $199/month: 6 team members, 25 social profiles, plus other advanced features.
- Enterprise –$299/month: 12 team members, 40 social profiles, plus other advanced features.
Buffer is a simple and effective tool for sharing content through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. It’s particularly useful for small businesses that don’t have the time or resources to update their social media channels regularly, but would still like to maintain a social presence. With Buffer, you can schedule bulk posts ahead of time in a queue. It also offers a number of extensions through Chrome, Firefox and Safari that make sharing what you find on the web that much easier. Buffer also includes an image editor that allows users to created perfect sizes and formats for each social platform.
- Individual – Free: Includes 1 social account per platform and 10 schedules posts per profile.
- Awesome – $10/month: Includes 10 social accounts and 100 scheduled posts per profile.
- Small – $99/month: Includes 25 social accounts, 5 additional team members, 2000 scheduled posts per profile.
- Medium – $199/month: Includes 50 social accounts, 10 additional team members, and 2000 scheduled posts per profile.
- Large – $399/month: Includes 150 social accounts, 25 additional team members and 2000 scheduled posts per profile.
audiense (formerly called Socialbro) provides insights to your analytics, suggestions for targeting and engagement, and also helps keep tabs on your key influencers and competitors. Listening and insights tools provide intelligence into the quality of a social audience, crossover between different communities, and combines content with relationship analysis. It’s social marketing tools provide the ability to segment audiences for campaigns.
Pricing: Pricing starts at $31/month.
Tailwind tracks activity across Pinterest about your company, products and competitors. Pinterest is often overlooked when discussing tools for social media management, but depending on your business, it might be the driving force in traffic, branding and revenue. In addition to the general reporting of growth and engagement, you can connect Google Analytics to track conversions and see which activity is most profitable.
- Free: Limited profile and domain trends
- $29/month: 90-day history archive, track 2 competitors, invite 2 collaborators, basic audience IQ and more
- $99/month: 1-year history archive, track 5 competitors, invite 5 collaborators, advanced audience IQ and more
- Enterprise (custom pricing): Unlimited history archive, track unlimited competitors and more
BuzzSumo is a tool that gives you social data on top performing content and influencers based on your search queries. By entering a topic, domain or specific keyword, your results will be nothing short of relevant. Filtering your search by time frame will show you the most shared content over time, which can give you insight to trends or help with generating ideas for your own content creation! With this tool, you can view who has shared a specific piece of content and create a list of influencers based on your interest. The pro plans allow you to closely monitor keywords, domains or authors by setting up alerts when new content is published. With great data readily available, this tool is one you’ll want to use frequently to stay on top of the latest buzz in your field.
- $99/month: Ideal for small teams and content campaigns
- $299/month: Designed for Agency teams to support multiple SEO and content marketing campaigns
- $499+/month: Bespoke plans for brands and large agencies
Oktopost focuses on building your brand’s online presence by delivering your content to targeted audiences. It helps you establish and manage your most valuable content, making sure your efforts add value to your marketing strategy. Used by B2B businesses, Oktopost places emphasis on tracking conversions and identifying which channels and messaging drive results. With the recent shutdown of Argyle Social, many of its B2B clients have flocked to Oktopost. Underscoring their focus on B2B engagement, Oktopost integrates with Marketo, Salesforce, Act-On and others, directly linking social media actions to the impact on sales. One thing that places Oktopost above other tools is its ability to monitor LinkedIn Groups as well as company pages. As a whole package, Oktopost qualifies and quantifies better leads for you and your business.
An oldie, but a goodie. TweetDeck is a dashboard application that makes managing Twitter a whole lot easier. The browser-based tool provides a streamlined, simple way to watch and monitor custom segments and lists. It also provides more upfront visibility into mentions, messages, and other Twitter components.
12. Social Flow
SocialFlow provides one place to manage all paid, owned, and earned social media campaigns. It’s a smart tool that makes recommendations on which updates (across Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google +) should be promoted based off of engagement stats and other data sets. It provides advanced targeting for social ads to help drive higher conversions, and it also has its very own ad builder to make creating ads quick and painless.
Everypost has a to-the-point interface that makes social workflows so simple. It supports Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and Tumblr. It has features that let you curate visual content, schedule customized posts, collaborate with team members and analyze performance.
- Pro – $9,99/month: Includes 10 channels, 1 team member and analytics for two profiles.
- Plus – $29.99/month: Includes 25 connected channels, 5 team members and 6 analytics profiles.
- Advanced – $49.99/month: Includes 50 connected channels, 10 team members and 12 analytics profiles.
- Teams – $99.99/month: Includes 120 connected profiles, 25 team members and 15 analytics profiles.
Socedo is a social demand generation tool that helps you find qualified leads on Twitter and LinkedIn and add them to your sales funnel. Socedo automatically sources leads based off of your targeted persona and real-time social behaviors (the information they have shared about themselves, their interests and problems). It integrates with Salesforce and Marketo, making the trasition from social lead to sales funnel a smooth one.
Pricing: Custom pricing based on needs/function.
IFTTT stands for “If this then that” and it allows you to set up automated rules like “If I change my Facebook profile picture, change my Twitter profile to the same picture.” It can also automate sharing new blog posts to social, tweet Instagram posts as native Twitter photos, share Instagram posts to a Facebook page and much more. IFTTT can be a huge time saver if set up properly. You can see a list of social applets here.
Need some more help with your social media content? Check out our Quick Guide to Successful Content Marketing to learn more about creating engaging content that moves the needle.