Social media is about more than just connecting with your friends and families. In business, social media is all about engaging with, and attracting, customers. If used effectively, social media can be a significant business growth and engagement driver. The best part is the traffic could come free!
With the ever increasing amount of social platforms, it could be difficult for social media managers to keep up with the high demands of the algorithm gods. Consistently posting engaging content on multiple platforms could be made easier with the right social media management tools.
A good social media management tool does more than just let you create and schedule posts. Many of these platforms allow for multiple media accounts and platforms, track your followers, and help you build a more successful social media strategy.
In this article, we’ll look at some of the best social media management tools available right now. We’ve ranked them according to what each does best, and we’ll talk about why each tool is so good at what it does. We also specifically looking for the best social media tools for business, not just the best tools for solopreneurs.
Our rated list of the best social media management tools today:
- Sendible – Best Overall for Ease of Use and Most Useful Features
- eClincher – Best Scalability for Price & Best Customer Service
- Sprout Social – Best for Larger Businesses, Most Feature-Rich
- Hootsuite – Best for Small Companies
- SocialPilot – Best for Facebook
- Buffer – Best Free Tool & Best for Beginners
Sendible – Best Overall for Ease of Use and Most Useful Features
- Starter is $29 a month, or $288 annually
- 4.4 out of 5 stars based on 541 reviews
- Custom analytics
- Easy reporting and report tracking
- Detailed Calendar and Publishing Planners
- Multi-Platform Post previews
That list of features should make it easy to see why Sendible is one of the best apps for social media marketing. Add to that the fact that Sendible offers a free 30-day trial for new clients, and it’s easy to fall in love with this social media platform.
This is a good fit for businesses of all sizes. It’s designed to help manage and organize busy social media posting schedules across several platforms at once.
Compatible with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and more, this is a one-stop shop for your business’s social media accounts.
It’s also a good fit for companies with several social media managers and content creators. The calendars and shared features make it easy for several employees to collaborate and meet planned goals for your social media platform.
Analytics reports also make it simple to see which posts are getting the most engagement, and which posts were less successful. That helps you design a social media campaign that drives follower participation.
You can also create custom reports, usually in a matter of minutes, within Sendible. These custom reports will populate just like your other metrics from then on, giving you more ways to get insight into your followers.
Sendible also gives you the tools you need to create more engaging posts, all from a user-friendly platform. Quickly add visuals, create related posts, link to interesting content, and
- Offers custom reporting and analytics
- Compatible with most major social media platforms
- Supports collaboration
- Works with Canva
- Intuitive post designer
- More expensive than some alternatives
All Plans Include 30-day Free Trial
Read our in-depth Sendible Review.
eClincher – Best Scalability for Price & Best Customer Service
- $59 a month for Basic level
- 4.7 out of 5 stars based on 260 reviews
- Integrated with Canva
- Keyword and Hashtag monitoring
- Tracks mentions
- Post scheduling
- Engagement tools and trackers
eClincher makes the best option on our list for a good scalable platform. Some social media tools are best suited to large businesses, and others are better suited to small businesses. But if you’re in a growing industry and a booming company, you need a productivity tool that will scale with you and match your new needs and demands as you grow.
eClincher offers 3 different subscription levels, each with added features and benefits designed to meet the needs of growing corporations. You’ll start with a more affordable, but highly effective, package. As you add more features and connectivity, you’ll be able to drive customer engagement in new ways.
The suggested content feeds tool, and Facebook boost tool will help you curate and select an audience for your content. Once you have a large audience, it may be in your best interest to release different kinds of content for different kinds of followers, and eClincher will let you easily track and manipulate those metrics.
- Competitive Pricing
- Works with Canva for visual design
- Tracks keyword metrics
- Good analytics
- Post suggestion tool helps create content
- No email or phone support
- Not as many tools for Pinterest
All Plans Include 14-day Free Trial
We go into more detail in our eClincher Review here.
Sprout Social – Best for Larger Businesses, Most Feature-Rich
- $99 a month for their lowest tier
- 4.3 out of 5 stars based on 1,294 reviews
- 5-10 social profiles (depending on subscription level)
- Social content calender
- Multi-level post reporting tools
- Profile, Keyword, and Location monitoring
- Trend Analysis
Sprout Social is another scalable social media management tool. But in this case, we recommend Sprout Social as a tool for bigger businesses. At its highest subscription tier, $249 per month, this manager really provides a powerful suite of tools for large companies.
Raise your engagement rates by empowering a couple of bots to respond to chats or produce automated replies so your customers know that you see their feedback. Plus, receive alerts during periods of increased messaging.
That means you’ll know when your customers are trying to reach you, and why, that much faster.
Sprout Social also provides competitive reports across several different social media platforms. That way you’ll be able to evaluate where you get the most engagement substantively.
That means you’ll be able to track your metrics, decide where to concentrate on new campaigns and where you can experiment with new posts types.
The social content calendar is also designed to make it easier to coordinate social media campaigns across several employees, and even several offices. That means that your employees will always be in the loop and will have to spend a little less time sorting out priorities and goals, and a little more time curating your social media presence.
You can read more in our comprehensive review of Sprout Social.
- Powerful analytics
- User-Friendly Dashboard
- Multi-platform messages system
- Reports included in subscription costs
- Discovery feed shows recent interactions
- Doesn’t work with Pintrest or Instagram
- Limited number of compatible social networks
All Plans Include 30-day Free Trial
Hootsuite – Best for Small Companies
- $29 a month for their basic subscription
- 10-35 different profiles (depending on subscription level)
- 1-10 users (depending on subscription level)
- Create and Export reports and analysis
- Unlimited post scheduling
- Content management and curation tools
- Option to add monitoring apps
- Team Assignments
Hootsuite is one of the oldest and most popular social media management tools. But we recommend Hootsuite to smaller companies. Larger corporations are likely to be better served by programs with a few more features and greater functionality than Hootsuite can offer (right now).
The other reason we recommend this service primarily to small businesses is the user limitations that come with each account. Depending on your subscription type you may only be able to have 1 user, and Hootsuite caps out at 10 authorized users.
That said, Hootsuite is a powerful and versatile productivity tool. The dashboard is user-friendly and designed so that, no matter how small your social media team, you can produce a lot of high-quality content very quickly.
Social media calendars, post monitoring, and custom analytics make it easier to see what your most successful social media campaigns have been. Custom content feeds and other curated sources of information help you create better, more dynamic, more targeted posts.
The reports exporting tool also makes it easy to produce reports on your performance. Provide clear information with clean and informative visuals quickly and easily. Spend less time proving what social media engagement can do, and more time building your company’s presence online.
Learn more in our in-depth Hootsuite review.
- Works with all the major social networks
- Unlimited post scheduling
- Easy report exporting
- Additional monitoring apps add
- Custom feed curation
- Reports are a paid feature
- Hasn’t offered new features in a while
- Not designed for big businesses
- Poor Customer Service
Professional and Team have a 30 day trial, and you can request a demo version of Business.
Social Pilot – Best for Facebook
- $25 a month for lowest tier subscription
- 4.3 out of 5 stars based on 71 reviews
- 25-100 social media accounts (depending on subscription level)
- 3-10 users (depending on subscription level)
- 2-10 Facebook ad accounts (subscription dependent)
- White Label PDF reports
- Bulk Scheduling
- Content creation and custom curated feeds
If you’re looking for a social media manager that excels at creating content for Facebook, Social Pilot might be the right tool for you. This tool really homes in on what makes great Facebook content, helps you find quality content that’s already out there and just waiting for you to use, and lets you use multiple ad accounts to target your key audience. That’s what makes Social Pilot one of the best toolkits for Facebook.
It also allows for bulk scheduling, which is important. Facebook prefers content creators who release new posts on a regular basis. Facebook also asks for content to be well-designed and engaging and will help your content reach more followers when you meet those requirements.
Since Social Pilot is designed to help you do those things, you’ll find yourself quickly meeting and exceeding your social media engagement and conversion goals. It’s Facebook publishing tools are intuitive and effective.
It also provides comprehensive analytics and reporting. You’ll have instant access to post-performance, and which posts drove the most engagement. Social pilot makes it easy to create a plan based on what your followers really enjoy.
Keep your eye out for social pilot coupon codes, they offer them reasonably frequently.
Plus, a social inbox allows you to see messages from every account in your management tool, all in one place. Making it easier to engage with your customers and provide real-time responses improves your customer engagement and creates trust between you and your followers.
Read our full Social Pilot review.
- Multiple white label report options
- Makes scheduling easy and intuitive
- Accommodates a massive number of accounts
- Custom curated feeds
- Frequent updates and changes
- Other platforms offer more statistics
- Frequent updates and changes
All plans except Enterprise have a 14 day free trial
Buffer – Best Free Tool & Best for Beginners
- Has a free plan and 3 different subscriptions, starting at $15 a month
- 4.3 out of 5 stars based on 778 reviews
- 10-2,000 scheduled posts (depending on subscription level)
- 1-6 users (depending on subscription level)
- 3-25 social accounts (depending on subscription level)
- Collaborative work environment
- Includes a permissions and approval system
- Innovative Instagram features
Buffer is a good option for businesses and entrepreneurs who are new to the social media game. That isn’t a bad thing. The reason we say that Buffer is a good starter tool, and one of Hootsuite’s competitors, is that it’s incredibly easy to use. It’s also a particularly effective tool if your business is going to use Instagram or Pinterest as a cornerstone of your social media plan.
The most basic version of Buffer, their free plan, gives you a good taste of what a social media management tool can do. Instead of offering a limited-time trial, or limiting the functionality so much that it’s not useful, Buffer has created a working, valuable, free tool.
As your business, and social media plans, grow, Buffer scales up to a reasonable social media team. The collaborative work environment makes it easier for your team to create, and control, your social media accounts.
Buffer also offers an extensive knowledge base. Taking advantage of the information that’s already been curated for learners will kickstart your social media campaigns. Instead of learning on the go, you can learn proven techniques and approaches that will make social media a simple and effective growth tool for your business.
Despite the affordability of buffer pricing, Buffer is a true productivity tool.
Learn more about Buffer in our full review.
- Includes Pablo, free image creation
- Intuitive user interface
- Allows posting to Pinterest
- Share custom content across multiple platforms at once.
- No hashtag or mentions monitoring
- Re-posting is somewhat difficult
Buffer offers a free, 1 user version of their program.
All Plans Include 14-day Free Trial.
How to Identify the Best Social Media Tool for You
The biggest reason there are lots of social media tools to choose from, and the reason they are constantly releasing new features and updates, is that no one tool is going to work for every business. So, it’s up to you to decide which productivity tool is going to be the best fit for your needs.
But what do you need?
We’re going to act like you’ve never had a social media marketing manager before. Even if you have one, and are looking to upgrade, you don’t want to carry your assumptions about social marketing tools from one program to another.
You should also consider social media management pricing. Try to match the price of your productivity tool with the benefits it provides your business.
There are a few basic needs you may want to address through a social media tool, if you want better control over any of these features of social media marketing, there’s a tool for you.
- Multi-platform management
- Increase engagement
- Find new content
- Employee education
- Post approvals
- Task assignments
- Collaborative team environments
- Analytics and reporting
- Boosting content
- Follower insights
- Trend monitoring
Unfortunately, it’s not always as simple as just identifying a need. You’ll also need to know which features and tools address what problems. Here are some of the most important features you can get in a good social marketing manager, along with the needs they address.
This is the most basic function of a social media marketing tool. Calendars allow you to plan your social media posts, most include a social media scheduler to make it easy.
A library of your past posts is also standard and may also contain useful information and tools. Libraries work to help you keep content fresh and allow you to re-post popular content so new followers can access it.
Curated feeds select content that is relevant to your business and followers. From there, you can choose to pass content along or to create your own content on the same topics. You can even create content in response and start a conversation in your specialty.
Ads & Ad Analytics
There is so much content out there that careful use of ads is important for any social media plan. Ads managers provide both the tools you need to quickly create and publish ads. Analytics also gives you greater insight into the ads and ad types that are most successful with the kinds of people who follow your business.
Publishing Content Tools
These tools usually help you create more engaging content. They allow you to add images, might allow some graphic design, quizzes, and other post types to keep people interested in what you produce. Instead of a single basic post type, make your wall visually interesting.
Dashboard & Reports (Ease of Use)
Almost all social media marketing tools will have a dashboard, often with customizable content. Get the information most relevant to your business right away, in one easy to use, easy to browse location. Dashboards are particularly useful for businesses with several media accounts that all need simultaneous management.
Analytics & Reporting
Beyond simple ad analytics, there are a lot of different analytics and reports that can be useful for creating your social media plan. These reports can include information like the types of people who follow you, which posts drive engagement, and the type of engagement you get. After all, a like is not the same as a comment, is not the same as a share.
Analytics is arguably one of the most powerful social media optimization features of any social manager. Other features make posting easier and faster, but analytics make your posts more powerful.
Collaboration & Scaling
Some, but not all, social marketing managers will allow your team members to collaborate directly, whether they’re in the same room, the same office, or even the same state, or not. This goes beyond a posting schedule and a calendar with the plan to approving accounts, task assignments, and even co-editing a document in draft.
Scaling features allow your management tool to grow with you. Instead of learning a new tool and getting used to a new user interface every time you scale up your operations, take the same tool with you. That saves time and money and keeps your social media team at their productivity best.
The best social media posts aren’t just relevant to your niche and followers, they’re timely. Taking advantage of trends and social topics at the moment they’re happening is a great way to boost your social presence.
Trend reporting allows you to capitalize on those social moments. Trends let you see what your followers are thinking about, curious about, and when they want to learn more.
Plus, taking advantage of those trends makes your company seem more real and relatable. It proves that you’re reactive and engaged with the world in a way that’s similar to your followers.
This feature is especially important for businesses that are highly engaged on multiple social media platforms. Directly comparing how your posts and social media engagement is performing across different platforms will let you see where you generate the most interest.
These kinds of comparisons can give insights into where the people who follow you tend to congregate. It also allows you to tweak your posts and plan to be more platform friendly. Every social media platform is a little different and takes a different kind of engagement to be successful.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make choosing a social marketing manager is forgetting what it is you need. The social marketing manager with the most features and the flashiest user interface might not be the right tool for your business.
Social media marketing costs matter, so pick the social management tool that does what you need it to, not that does everything.
Before you start shopping for a marketing tool, take the time to think about and list the features that are most important to your business. Maybe your social media team is already incredibly organized and collaborative. In that case, you’re likely to need a tool that does a great job and analyzing post-performance rather than one with an interactive and detailed post calendar feature.
Or say you only use one or two social platforms. You probably don’t need a social media manager that can handle dozens of accounts across all the major platforms. You need a manager like Social Pilot that’s particularly good at those platforms.
Hopefully, this article not only pointed you in the direction of some great candidates for your new social marketing tool but also gave you a better sense of what features will make the biggest impact on your business.