More than half the world’s population is now active on social media, making it a critical communication tool to help build brand awareness, drive traffic, and sell products and services, making social media management imperative for everyone.
Let’s dive into details on a social media management tool, why you need it, and the best tools in the market.
What is a Social Media Management Tool?
Social media management is the process of handling your entire social media strategy. 1 In short, it is like a long list of tasks spread over multiple social media platforms. These tasks can include publishing posts, engaging the audience, strategising, replying to comments, and tracking the interactions.
Social media management tools are software designed to help you automate these tasks on the list. These tools assist you in social media creation and management, planning, collaboration, scheduling, analysis, and more.
Social media management tools enable you to schedule and share content on different social media platforms from one place. You can use the tool to manage interactions by responding to comments or direct messages. You can also use these management tools to work in a team by distributing tasks or setting up task and approval workflow.
Why Use a Social Media Management Tool?
Most of these tasks can be done manually but here is why you need the help of social media management tools:
1. Manage Multiple Social Accounts
As your company grows, you will need to interact with your audience on multiple social media platforms. It can be tricky and complicated as you will need to remember numerous login details and master various platforms. But with a dedicated social media management tool, you will have to remember one login and use a single platform to perform activities on all social media channels.
2. Save Time
Managing multiple social media platforms can be very time-consuming, especially if you need to put out multiple posts on all the social media platforms. With social media management tools, you can prepare posts in advance and schedule them for all the platforms. This way, you can better plan your content and continue with your other daily tasks.
3. Organise Conversations
Any social media manager or expert will tell you how difficult it is to converse with your audience. Keeping track of the conversations on multiple social media forums gets challenging. But with an easy-to-use social media management tool, you can keep track of all the comments and direct messages through a common platform. It will ensure you don’t miss out on any crucial information.
4. Plan a Cross-platform Content Calendar
Today’s world is conversing on social media, which means that the most important and trending topics need to be covered by you to gain their attention. If Teachers day is approaching, you need to plan the content that will go out around that day in advance. Using a tool will make this process easier as you can mark the important dates and pre-plan your content.
5. Monitor Keywords
You will always want to know what opinion the audience has for your company or what is the most trending topic. The best way to do this is through keyword monitoring. With social media management tools, all you need to do is enter the keywords, and it will keep track of what is being said on which platform. It also helps you understand the keywords you can use in your posts to get more reactions.
6. Analyse Results
Trial and error are among the best methods to understand what content works best on which platform. You can use the analysis feature of the social media management tool to understand this. Most will have a primary analysis feature, or they will offer integration with other analysis tools that can help you plan your content.
7. Makes Uniformity Easier
In some organisations, separate individuals handle different social media platforms, resulting in varied approaches and non-uniform content for similar posts. You can use the social media management tool to avoid multiple opinions and strategies. It will ensure you have a consistent message passed on all social media platforms.
8. Streamline Permissions
If your social media team has more than one member, sharing a password or getting approval for a content plan can become tedious. This is where you can use social media management tools to set up a dashboard that manages permissions and provides a unique password for the individual. It will also enable you to give permissions to team members based on their roles, ensuring that the suitable posts go out at the right time.
10 Best Social Media Management Tools
Now that you know how a social media management tool can help you, we list what we believe to be the best social media management tools.
Hootsuite was one of the first companies on the social media marketing scene and is one of the most talked-about social media management tools. Though Hootsuite is an all-in-one platform for social media management, it is vastly known for its tracking tools and analytics. According to Eclincher 2 they are also well known for content curation, organisation, scheduling, monitoring, and RSS integration.
You can connect with over 20 social networks using Hootsuite, including Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. They offer comprehensive analytics, social media tracking tools, customisable reports, bulk and auto-scheduling, social listening tools, and multi-level team access. They also have multiple options to schedule posts through different profiles and multiple social media platforms. Hootsuite also integrates with other software or tools like Zapier, Slack, Mailchimp, Trello, etc.
They do not have an auto-posting feature, influencer search, or social inbox 2 The other drawbacks include an additional cost for some analytical reports and limited tools for free plans. According to TechRadar, 3 Hootsuite can also be more Twitter-focused, so you might want to avoid it if that is not where you want to focus.
Packages: They have four paid options - Professional, Team, Business, and Enterprise. Each of these packages ranges from $49 per month to $739 per month. All plans from Hootsuite come with unlimited scheduled messages, unlimited auto-scheduling, a publishing calendar, a social inbox, and plenty of other tools. 4 You can also try two of Hootsuite’s four plans free for 30 days.
2. Sprout Social
Sprout Social is a simple yet powerful platform for managing and scheduling all of your social media accounts. They are well known for their publishing and analytical features and are best suited for agencies and mid-sized businesses.
Sprout Social is one of the best social media management tools for social media managers. It helps them monitor activities and average sentiment, schedule and preview posts, and manage their team with approval workflow. They offer individual statistics for each post and paid promotion tools that help boost meta posts. They also have a social inbox tool, social monitoring, and keyword search feature.
They don’t have an auto post with queues feature. They also have limits to how many social profiles you can manage. 4
Packages: They have three paid plans - Standard, Professional, and Advanced that range from $89 per month to $249 per month. They also offer a 30-day free trial with all of their plans.
Sendible is a complete social media management tool as it offers end-to-end solutions that include a CRM system to help interact and communicate with influencers. They are also well known for their integration and have a lower price point than most other social media management tools. They also offer a range of special tools on top of the common defaults to make it easier to control your social media posting. 3 .
The features include SmartQueue, social inbox, social listening tools, post visualisation on calendar share, social monitoring, reporting, automatic scheduling, and approval workflow. They also integrate 17 different platforms like Google Analytics, Twitter, Instagram Meta, etc. These features make it a perfect social media management tool for digital agencies, social media managers, and businesses.
They don't have an influence search feature and are not as comprehensive3 .as their other competitors.
Packages: Sendible has four paid packages- Creator, Traction, Scale, and Expansion that range from $25 per month to $340 per month. They also offer a 14-day free trial with their packages.
Buffer is one of the longest-run easy-to-use social media management tools best suited for small businesses. They are the best budget option if you want to use a post-scheduling tool, optimisation tools for tags, hashtags, mentions, and link shortener.
The simple and straightforward social media management tools enable you to analyse posts in real-time, integrate with Google Analytics, compare the performance of different content on different platforms, access the social inbox, track the success of marketing campaigns, and more.
Buffer has a limited client management support system. They also don’t integrate with as many major platforms as the other social media management tools. 3
Packages: The plans range from $5 per month to $1440 per month. The cost will change based on your requirements, and they offer a 14-day trial to get started. They also offer a free plan that lets one user access three social channels. 4
SocialPilot is a fully integrated social media management tool for small and medium-sized agencies, businesses, and enterprises. It is best suited for you if you are interested in collaboration tools, custom reporting for clientele, and creating workflows with permission settings.
They offer features like social inbox, social monitoring and listening, scheduling, analytics, post planner, priority phone, and email support. You can give different team members assigned roles based on what you want them to be able to do.5 They also integrate with Zapier, which automatically adds content to your queue.
The basic plans don’t include as many features as the advanced plans, and they don’t have an influencer search feature.
Packages: They have three packages - Small team, Studio, and Agency that range from $42.50 per month to $127.50 per month. They also offer a 14-day free trial.
6. Zoho Social
Zoho Social is a social media management tool for small businesses and social media managers. Using integration with other Zoho platforms, you can manage your social media, projects, emails, webinars, and accounts in one place.
Zoho Social has features like posting calendar, monitoring target keywords, white labeling, post insights, monitoring dashboard, URL shortener, and managing team collaboration from a single dashboard. They also offer integration with Canva.
Despite their elegant interface and Zoho integration, the social media management tool doesn’t offer as many advanced features as the other options.
Packages: Zoho Social has three plans - Standard, Professional, and Premium that range from $10 per month to $40 per month. A free plan with limited functionality is also available.4
MeetEdgar is one of the best social media management tools because of its automation and scheduling features. According to Zapier, they are the only tool they came across while researching that actually creates content for you as the app can find a quote-worthy text from links and compose updates to go along with them. 5
This social media management tool is the best fit for you if you want to generate posts, automatically curate and reshare relevant posts, set up category-based scheduling, and automatic link shortener. They also have an unlimited content library.
MeetEdgar isn’t an analytics tool; they are only a scheduling tool. They only integrate with Twitter, Meta, Pinterest, Instagram, and LinkedIn. They also don’t have a central inbox for messages or managing comments.
Packages: MeetEdgar has two main packages - Edgar Lite and Edgar; they range from $29.99 per month to $49.99 per month. They also offer a free trial for seven days.
Agorapulse is a fully integrated social media management tool designed to help businesses and agencies post and monitor their posts across different social media platforms. They are best suited for small businesses and agencies.
They have features like a flexible scheduling tool, social inbox, reporting tool, visual calendar, team collaboration, competitor analysis, asset library, Google My Business Management, listening searches, and Facebook ROI calculator. One of the drawbacks is that Agrorapulse doesn’t have an influencer search feature.
Packages: The packages range from $80 per month to $399 per month. Pricing is mainly based on the number of social profiles and users required, though the different plans also have different levels of data retention. 3
Later is the best social media management tool for managers using visual social channels like Instagram.They are best used for their visual content calendar and scheduler. Their other features include social media posting tools, scheduling, preview tool, hashtag research, and analytics. It also includes Linkin.bio functionality that creates a web- and mobile-optimised landing page laid out like an Instagram feed 6
They don’t have a social inbox or an RSS integration and are currently highly focused on Instagram and Pinterest.
Packages: Plans range from $15 per month to $80 per month.
Loomly is a social media management tool best suited for businesses with large social media teams and solopreneurs. They have features like a visual calendar, automated publishing, content suggestion, social monitoring, audience targeting, analytics interaction tracking, and post preview.
Loomly isn’t fully integrated yet, and due to their focus on content creation, they lack features like listening. They also don’t have social inbox and influencer search features.
Packages: They have Base, Standard, Advanced, Premium, and Enterprise plans that range from $26 per month to $269 per month. A 15-day free trial is also available for all the plans.
Top Free Social Media Management Tools
Most of the top social media management tools offer free trial periods, some even offer free packages, but two platforms are completely free.
TweetDeck, as the name suggests, is solely focused on Twitter. They are a free online platform that helps you manage multiple Twitter accounts from a unified interface. You can organise your Twitter account, share and schedule tweets, build Tweet lists, track results of posts and create a customised social media dashboard. They also allow you to identify which times resonate best with your target audience and get your content active anytime without uploading in real-time. 7
2. Creator Studio
Creator is a free tool by Meta that helps manage multiple Instagram and Facebook pages. You can schedule posts and post Instagram stories. Though controversial, it is an excellent social media scheduling tool for managers that heavily depend on Instagram. You can schedule posts and post Instagram stories.
In the world of social media marketing, there are hundreds of social media management tools with features capable of helping you with different aspects of your social media strategy. This makes it challenging to understand which tool is best suited for you. You can make the choices based on your requirements, budget, and your team’s size. But these were the ones that stood out for us. Which other tools do you think should have made our list?