Social media can be pretty overwhelming sometimes.
Especially if you’re running an agency or managing the social media accounts of other businesses.
How do you juggle and manage the many hats you need to wear as a social media manager?
The only way to effectively manage social media at scale is with the use of social media management tools that can improve your efficiency, and over time get you better results.
The tools we discuss below help you do that. Many of them have similar features, however, they are all different in terms of the BEST way to use them. Choose the ones that fit your needs and give them a whirl.
Here are 17 of the best social media management tools available:
Agorapulse is first on the list because it’s the social media management tool of choice here at JeffBullas.com. For its price, it is far and away the most feature-packed option on the market.
Agorapulse lets you schedule content for Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn all in one place. It also has dynamic reports on four social networks and bonus features such as running social promotions and managing your social media inbox.
Why Agorapulse wins the social media management race:
- The pricing is reasonable given the rich list of features, starting as low as $99 a month.
- The content publishing features are the best in the market, with beautiful visual previews of all content, and a robust evergreen content publishing system that will save you tons of time.
- The social media inbox lets you quickly go through incoming messages across any of your social accounts, check them off, and keep the mess out of your email inbox.
- The reporting is easy to customize, it looks awesome, and you can export reports as a PowerPoint presentation, which is especially good for agencies and in-house reporting requirements.
Let’s take a quick look at some of these benefits in action.
Visual previews of all social media messages
A robust evergreen content publishing system
This powerful feature enables you to create a library full of evergreen content and re-publish it based on a predetermined schedule.
It’s as easy as creating categories for your content:
And then choosing timeslots during the day for this content to be published:
This feature alone will save you hours and hours every week, not to mention it has the potential to increase your followers and dramatically increase traffic back to your website by re-sharing evergreen content over time.
Social media inbox
Agorapulse’s social media inbox allows you to filter all of your mentions and messages from integrated social accounts, quickly review and like the ones that don’t require attention, or assign the response to people in your team if necessary.
Easy and beautiful reporting
The analytics reporting with Agorapulse is simple enough for any social media manager to make sense of in no time, but it also provides enough meaning to articulate the value of social media to key stakeholders. Here is a look at the metrics overview and followers graph:
These are just a few of the many powerful features Agorapulse has to offer. Add to this ads monitoring, competitor analysis, social listening, a social media calendar, a Chrome extension, and team workflows, and you are left with one behemoth of a social media management tool. It’s quite amazing that its pricing is so competitive. Unlike like the other tools on this list, Agorapulse is an all-in-one solution and you won’t need to patch together 3 or 4 different social tools to achieve the same outcomes.
It sounds too good to be true, are there any cons to using Agorapulse?
The only (minor) downfall of Agorapulse is the same reason it is such a powerful option, and that is its lengthy feature list. For a first-time social media marketer, the extensive feature list may be too much to come to grips with initially.
There is a bit of a learning curve to extract all of the possible value from this tool. So if you’re new to social, it might not be the best starting point.
But if you’re ready to take your social media game to the next level and want to save a bunch of time in the process, sign up for Agorapulse and give it a whirl.
Social Report is another super awesome social media management suite, offering an incredibly wide range of scheduling, reporting, and monitoring features that are powerful enough for established marketing teams and agencies, but also user-friendly enough for small businesses and social media managers just getting off the ground.
Overall, here are a few reasons social media managers, agencies, and enterprises are falling in love with Social Report:
- Social Report’s plans are incredibly well-priced for the number of features you get (starting at $49/mo) and they include a 30-day free trial with all plans.
- These guys crush it with their scheduling features and being the first tool to introduce new features (they were the first social media management tool ever to offer direct video scheduling to Instagram).
- Social Report also includes a ton of free features that you’d typically have to pay for with other tools (like evergreen content scheduling, Instagram post previews, grid planner, and more).
- Their reporting tool is certified awesome and includes probably one of the most robust analytics pages that we’ve ever seen in one dashboard (allowing you to show your clients how your social media marketing and management skills generate actual ROI).
Here’s a more in-depth look at all the goodness Social Report brings to the table for its users:
Supercharged Post Scheduling (especially for Instagram)
On the scheduling side, Social Report allows you to directly schedule photos, videos, and other posts to networks like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Users have access to over 2000+ emojis, stock imagery, and an in-app photo editor.
As an Instagram Marketing Partner, the tool also offers direct post scheduling to Instagram (for both videos and photos). Additionally, they offer some pretty neat post previews and an Instagram grid preview that you can use to see new Instagram posts (and other social posts) as they’ll appear in your feed and on your grid before you actually click post.
A full-featured social media inbox
No social media management tool in 2019 is complete without an all-in-one social media inbox. Social Report comes equipped with a Smart Social Inbox that lets you view incoming comments, @replies, and DMs across all of your social media accounts.
You can also sort these engagements by type (you can even create custom filters) and reply to them directly from the inbox – no native posting required.
Unrivaled Reporting and Analytics
In all honesty, their reporting and analytics are superb for what’s on the market. Social Report has both single and cross-channel reports that track your growth and engagement.
You can then easily one-click export these reports to presentation-ready PDFs as well as automatically email them to clients or superiors on a scheduled basis (you also have the option to export all of your reports as raw data into Excel – if you want to crunch your own numbers).
The Greatest Pro of All
Perhaps the greatest pro of Social Report is that it offers everything you need without breaking the bank. In fact, it has a super competitive pricing structure compared to most tools its size.
Plans range from $49 to $199 per month (max), with each plan including a varying number of social accounts and addable team-members. Their strongest plan – the Pro Plan – even includes full white-labeling with a zero-cost setup fee.
Test drive any of Social Report’s plans for a full 30-days, 100% free.
3. Hopper HQ
Hopper HQ is a brilliant tool if you’re a social media manager or small business who needs to save time growing your engagement on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
It is designed primarily for scheduling Instagram posts, so if Instagram is your thing, look no further!
Why does Hopper HQ stand out from the crowd?
- It automatically posts everything for you, including video and multiple-image posts
- It schedules and automatically posts your first comment together with the post
- You can bulk upload and edit content
- It has a grid and calendar planner
- It has an extremely easy to use, visual, drag and drop design
If we had to choose one reason we love Hopper HQ, it’s the simple auto posting which lets you set and forget. Unlike other Instagram schedulers, you won’t need a mobile app and won’t get reminder notifications to publish videos or multiple-image posts at the scheduled time.
First Comment, #Hashtag Suggestions, Multiple Accounts & More
First comments, #hashtag suggestions, @mentions, account tagging, and location tagging are all key features to increase your engagement and gain more followers on Instagram. Hopper HQ has them all!
You can also create a single post then schedule it to multiple accounts, including Facebook and Twitter, which is a huge time saver,
Plan Your Calendar
Hopper HQ’s visual drag and drop calendar tool makes it easy to plan your content in advance.
You can also set your default posting times for each day of the week to save even more time scheduling content – especially if you want to bulk upload images and videos then schedule them all at once.
Instagram users often scroll through your grid when checking you out for the first time and deciding whether to follow you. Rearranging your posts with the drag and drop grid planner on Hopper HQ means you can perfect the look of your Instagram feed.
If Instagram is your focus, and you also post to Facebook and Twitter, then Hopper HQ is the easiest, most time-saving scheduling tool for you to use.
It’s great value for money because you only pay for the number of Instagram accounts you use ($19 each) and it gets even cheaper the more you have.
You can try it out with their free 14-day trial before you decide to pay.
4. Social Oomph
SocialOomph helps you re-post content on Facebook and Twitter on an automated schedule. It’s one of the most powerful social media management tools on the market, but its interface is a little clunky and old-school. If all you are looking for is a time-saving tool to repost content for you, then Oomph is worth a look. But if you want something more extensive that is easy to use, and encompasses your entire social strategy, than I’d recommend looking elsewhere.
5. Meet Edgar
Meet Edgar took the digital world by storm when it was one of the first social media management tools to popularize “evergreen sharing”. They have certainly evolved since their beginnings as a simple library of repurposed content and they deserve to rank in our list of tools. However, the other tools have caught up and Edgar’s primary point of difference is fading.
With that being said, their simple pricing model combined with an interesting integration with Bit.ly, RSS feed automation, and a number of other time-saving features means they are worth a look.
Quuu started as a “content suggestions tool”, where they handpicked content and automatically shared it to your social profiles based on a set of chosen categories. It still does that, but because of its user growth and added features you can now schedule social media messages and make the most of their content recycling feature too.
From a “fresh content” perspective, Quu is a really powerful option. It doesn’t provide all the bells and whistles that many other tools on this list do, but it’s unique. In fact, you could combine a tool like Quuu with something like Agorapulse and really ramp up your social game.
Dlvr.it was once a simple RSS automation tool that published content from blogs on a pre-set automated schedule. Just like some other tools on this list, as it gained further popularity the feature list expanded too. Now you can recycle content and bulk schedule posts using the tool.
Does it do everything you need it to? No. But it is a simple to use and beautifully designed app that will save you a lot of time. If you go down the path of combining a number of different tools to achieve your social media management needs, then this tool is worth a look.
Here’s the thing: Hootsuite has been around for a long time now, and it has a comprehensive feature set. But it’s slow moving. The interface has barely been updated since it was founded, and more modern tools like Agorapulse are staking over.
Sure, it’s social streams are a helpful way to track relevant social media activity and engage with your audience. But their scheduling and planning functionality is a little outdated.
They do, however, have a free plan for you to take it for a spin. So, by all means, try it out and see if you like it. It’s just not my choice.
From a user experience perspective, Buffer is a great tool to manage your social media posts. It’s easy to use, and visually one of the nicer looking tools on this list. You can share posts to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+, and Pinterest.
Where does it fall down? It has to be with the feature list. Buffer is a social media scheduler, and that’s about it. Their business plans have some analytics, but in reality, the platform doesn’t have the same robust functionality to that of Agorapulse, or even Hootsuite. The best thing Buffer has going for it is its marketing, and they do that better than anyone!
Compare: Hootsuite vs Buffer.
Bit.ly is a URL shortener and click reporting tool all in one. It’s great for Twitter with short posts, and also tracking the clicks to help you understand how well your content converts traffic to your website. It’s by no means an “all-in-one” social media management tool, but as a social media marketer, it will help you track the performance of your links. Which is vital.
11. Sprout Social
Sprout Social is an extremely powerful tool that integrates with Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Google+. What makes it different to the other options on this list? It’s especially good for digital agencies due to its team collaboration features, next lever reporting, and multi-account abilities.
Tailwind is a comprehensive tool to help you with your Pinterest marketing efforts. It’s an official partner of Pinterest.
Tailwind helps you create multi-board pins, bulk uploads, and calendar scheduling. They can also help you optimize the best times to send your pins to get the highest engagement.
Tailwind was designed to help teams manage multiple accounts. This makes it an ideal tool for agencies providing social media services.
Unlike the other tools on this list, Tailwind has a focus on Pinterest. So if you or your clients have a strong reliance on Pinterest then this one is worth a look.
Oktopost is a social media management tool focused on generating leads for businesses. This is in comparison to what they believe is lacking with Hootsuite – Hootsuite helps businesses schedule content, whereas Oktopost helps businesses attract leads.
One feature of Octopost that makes it stand out in the B2B marketing crowd is its robust integrations with other platforms such as Salesforce, Marketo, and Act-On.
IFTTT is an automation tool that is simple and easy to use. You just select the recipe you want in order to share your content on Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks, and this platform does the rest. If you’re familiar with Zapier then you’ll pick IFTTT up in no time.
It’s in no way a full-stack social media management tool, but it does offer some cool automated recipes that will save you plenty of time.
Tweepi will help you find targeted users on Twitter, and then stay connected to them by interacting on a regular basis. It’s your Twitter growth sidekick!
Unlike the other tools on this list, Tweepi is about follower growth rather than content management and publication.
Socedo is an automated social media lead generation tool that works with Twitter and LinkedIn to help you find the right leads from social media and then add them to your sales funnel. So if you came to this page looking for a tool to plan and publish content, Socedo isn’t your best option. But if you came here looking for a way to convert more of your social audience into business leads, then check out their data-driven approach to social media management.
SocialFlow helps you manage paid, owned, and earned social media campaigns in one place. SocialFlow recommends specific posts, pins, or tweets for you to promote. Then you can use keywords and segmentation to analyze these campaigns.
Choosing the right social media management tool for your business requires you to have a good understanding of what your needs are. While a lot of the platforms here seem very cool, you might not need all the widgets and doo-dads to succeed.
Instead, you need to focus on the tools which can improve what you are already doing on social media.
Have a think about exactly how you plan on using social media, what gaps you have in terms of skills, and where you can automate activity to save time. Then, revisit this post to pick the tool(s) that best suits those needs.
Guest author: As Founder and Director of Shout Web Strategy, Michael Jenkins is at the forefront of social media marketing. Since it’s inception in 2010, Shout has built a strong reputation as Australia’s leading social media agency.