The best social media management tools make it simple and easy to manage your marketing by using social media in a targeted way.
This is especially important as since the pandemic customers have moved increasingly online for their needs, from shopping to social. This means it has become essential for brands and new businesses to establish and maintain a good reputation with their customers, as well as find the most efficient ways in which to engage them with offers, deals, and news.
But there's no point spending time and resources on fantastic Facebook posts and tremendous tweets if you then don't know how to effectively monitor their impact and influence. Counting how many followers you have only tells part of the story, as less than 2% of those will actively engage with any content you post.
And while social media is often considered essential by businesses, they often don't realize that social media audiences are not in a transactive state of mind and so direct sales don't often work unless time-limited. However, as communication platforms for brand development social media can be very effective.
Getting the most out of your chosen social media platforms is going to be an integral part of your content marketing, as part of your overall online marketing strategy. Here then are the best social media management tools, to make it easier for you to manage your social media posting, marketing, and management.
We've also featured the best email marketing services (opens in new tab).
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Constant Contact is a well-established and trusted online marketing platform with which you can manage your social media campaigns. It boasts with a strong set of basic and advanced features as well as analytics, email automation, surveys, polls and dynamic signups. Start today and get 20% off 3-months. (opens in new tab)
The best social media management tools of 2023 in full:
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SEMrush is best known for being an inclusive SEO software platform, but it also incorporates a couple of useful tools for social media management across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Google My Business.
The social media poster allows you to schedule and posts to these different social media platforms. It includes an image editor, UTM-builder and link shortener, for customizing your posts, which you can then publish immediately or according to an automated schedule. There's also the ability to manage ads specifically across Facebook, Instagram, Facebook Messenger, and the Audience Network.
The social media tracker then allows you to track cross-platform engagement with users, allowing you to collect analytics for reports in a single dashboard. This includes both reactions to posts as well as mentions elsewhere. You can also monitor competitors to determine how often they are posting.
The biggest strength, however, is the fact that SEMrush allows you to integrate your social media management with your overall SEO and marketing strategy, and provides a useful platform that brings everything together in one place.
SEMrush offers three types of plan, with the first tier Pro package aimed at small teams and priced at around $120 / £110 / AU$180. The Pro package covers up to 5 projects, tracks up to 500 keywords and provides 10,000 results per report.
Read our full SEMRush review.
Hootsuite aims to provide an all-in-one platform for social media management across multiple sites. As expected, there's an option to search and filter through existing social media, in order to find brand mentions, insights, and demographic information.
Additionally, with any of Hootsuite's plans you have the option to schedule posts from multiple profiles across multiple social media sites. This allows you to ensure any marketing campaigns are properly timed and targeted when and where you need them to be. This is especially when posts can be tagged to ensure you store them in the right place for use at the right time.
There's also an analytics feature so you can track and measure performance against KPIs. Reports are customizable, so you can ensure you display and read the data you need to and stay focused on that. This is especially as Hootsuite is built to work for teams, not just individuals.
A number of integrations are also available, such as Asana, Slack, Mailchimp, Trello, and Zendesk, ensuring that you can work productively and efficiently when it comes to building your social media marketing and communications campaigns.
Hootsuite's cheapest plan starts at around $50 / £40 / AU$75 per month when billed annually, for one user and up to 10 social accounts.
Read our full Hootsuite review.
Sprout Social is probably first and foremost known as a one-stop shop for managing and scheduling all of your social media accounts through one simple-to-use platform. Very handy indeed for your company's social media administrator when they're trying to juggle Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and more at once.
But it doubles up as a powerful tool for analyzing your data, too. You can sort by various demographic and geographic measures to quantify exactly what content is working for which followers. Sprout can manage multiple accounts and monitor keywords across all social media so that you know when your brand is being discussed. It also helps your company respond to customers by directing messages to the people within the organization who need to action them.
You can try Sprout Social for free with its 30-day trial. If you like it, starter plans cover up to five different social profiles, with additional plans offering more profiles, scope, and features.
Read our full Sprout Social review.
Rather like Sprout Social above, Buffer is another all-rounder that lets you post to your platform and then analyze the results. One of its major plus points is just how simple and straightforward it is to use, while also giving you flexibility. The fact that it provides analytics in real-time makes instantly judging the impact of your content a doddle.
Use the "Top Post" icon to compare different forms of content to see which works best for each network. While the Buffer app also allows for seamless Google Analytics integration for tracking the success of your marketing campaigns.
Payment plans depend on whether you're looking to publish or analyze social media accounts, with different pricing for each based on the volume of accounts or published content you want to manage.
Read our full Buffer review.
Hubspot Social Media Software is a suite of social media management tools available under the Marketing Hub. The aim is to save time by prioritizing social connections you place most value on across a range of social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn.
There are various management features available, such as for publishing and sharing content, monitoring mentions, and reporting to let know know not just levels of engagement but also how these translate into actual business metrics.
These tools are available as part of the Hubspot Marketing Hub, which means you can use them in conjunction with a range of other focused marketing tools. As above, this means not simply monitoring and managing your social media, but critically also ensuring that the work you put into it translates into some form of measuring business return.
Read our full Hubspot social media management review.
Zoho Social offers a simple way to manage your brand on social media, by providing a complete social media management platform.
As well as managing multiple social media channels, there's also a posting calendar feature available so you can see which posts have been scheduled for posting. You can monitor your target keywords across conversations, and allow for team collaboration from a single dashboard.
Zoho Social also comes with a version specifically for the needs of marketing agencies, which allows for brand and communications management for client lists, while also allowing for white labeling.
Although it doesn't offer many of the advanced features that the other options to, you can expect to be able to integrate Zoho Social with other Zoho tools, such as Zoho Workspace, Zoho Campaigns, and Zoho CRM.
Read our full Zoho Social review.
Agorapulse is another dedicated social media management platform, designed specifically to help agencies and businesses post and monitor their posts across a number of social media websites.
There's a flexible scheduling tool to allow you to queue, reschedule, or bulk upload posts. There is also a social inbox for monitoring replies to your posts, mentions elsewhere, as well as other important messages. Of course, there's also a reporting tool from which you can glean analytics relating to content and engagement data, with the option to download as CSV or PPT files.
Agorapulse is also designed to work with teams, so that individual members can be assigned specific posts, comments, or other specific tasks. There's also a cool feature for building a CRM database of followers and other social media users to track, and add notes on these.
Pricing is mainly based according to the number social profiles and users required, though the different plans also have different levels of data retention.
Overall, Agorapulse offers a great platform for agencies who may have more demanding needs than the ordinary business for general management and monitoring of social media.
Read our full Agorapulse review.
Sendible offers a collaborative social media management platform for teams, which also adds a range of special tools on top of the common defaults to make it easier to control your social media posting.
As well as common scheduling, queuing, and calendar aspects for posting, Sendible also allows you to preview and customize posts on each individual platform, allowing you to optimize the content to display best on each. This is especially the case with image alignment and optimization.
Additionally, you can visualize posts on a shared calendar, making it easy to see at a glance where various client content is. And if you're short of content, Sendible provides suggestions.
Social monitoring is also a key part of the platform, allowing you to not just track your own content but also user mentions, as well as monitor competitors and targeted hashtags.
As with other social media managers, reporting is another core feature, with Sendible offering not just easy-to-produce reports but also email reporting for clients as required. There's also Google Analytics integration to track clickthroughs and user behavior for traffic that comes through from social media channels.
Sendible offers a strong suite of nicely presented tools, and the collaboration aspect of Sendible is one of its strongest features, allowing teams to work on assigned tasks and have content approved before they are scheduled, to ensure quality controls.
Read our full Sendible review.
The popular Traject Social social media management platform is now being rebranded as Fanbooster, in order to help connect marketers with a wider platform that includes SEO, reputation management, ecommerce, as well as analytics.
Fanbooster offers a white label platform covering all major social media management needs, such as scheduling, smart inbox, monitoring, and reporting. There are also team tools, custom reports, and integrations available.
Aimed at agencies, Fanbooster allows you to manage multiple platforms for multiple clients. the white label aspect is especially valuable for allowing you to not only brand your own client reports, but also allows for easy scaling across your client base.
There are also dedicated Android and iOS apps available, allowing you to schedule, review, and publish content directly from your smartphone using the Fanbooster app.
However, while Traject offers other marketing tools, these are not integrated, which is a shame as others such as SEMrush do offer this. That means Fanbooster is available to buy only as a standalone service.
SocialPilot offers a social media management platform for small businesses, agencies, and enterprises. As with similar platforms, it offers a single place from which to publish and schedule your social media posts. There's also a social inbox for monitoring replies, comments, and mentions, as well as analytics that offers white label reporting.
Users can post directly via the web or mobile, or browser extensions, and content suggestions are provided to help you develop more. Agency tools allow for collaboration among team members, along with built-in workflows. Enterprise clients enjoy a dedicated account manager along with priority phone and email support.
SocialPilot includes the ability to schedule up to 500 posts, along with images, using a post planner that allows you to easily review content and map them to the right social media platform.
SocialPilot is also able to connect client accounts directly through the software, rather than having to ask clients to provide their login details directly. In an age where cybercrime concerns are important, clients may be especially reassured by this.
All in all, SocialPilot offers another strong social media platform, which is accessible for both small businesses as well as teams within agencies.
Constant Contact easily makes the shortlist of names people think of when it comes to email marketing, and there’s plenty of reasons why. Constant Contact is easy to set up and use, offering high levels of support and security.
However, the shortcoming is that there’s nothing really setting Constant Contact apart from its competitors among email marketing services. At least Constant Contact offers a 60-day free trial, so it’s worth checking out. However, temper your enthusiasm as you can’t expect game-changing innovation at these levels.
Constant Contact can stand out with the separately featured and more comprehensive CRM (opens in new tab)(opens in new tab) plan, but as with the Constant Contact Website Builder (opens in new tab)(opens in new tab), we'll consider that in its own review.
We've also featured the best landing page creators.
More social media management apps to consider
The growth in social media has resulted in an explosive growth of apps and software for helping companies monitor their presence and manage their engagement. Here are some more tools to consider to help with that:
StatusBrew (opens in new tab) offers another social media management platform, aimed for use across sales, marketing, and customer care teams. As well as campaign management, there are also reporting and analytics features to keep track of your engagement and overall brand health. On top of that, there are a number of popular integrations available, such as Slack, Zendesk, Mailchimp, and Shopify.
Tweetdeck (opens in new tab) has become the essential Twitter management tool for many users of that platform. Provided directly by Twitter, it allows you to better filter messages from followers, as well as provide a single dashboard from which you can monitor Tweets, messages, notifications, and trending hashtags. There are also search tips, shortcuts, and various settings provided to manage your monitored content.
Facebook Pages Manager (opens in new tab) is an app for Android and iOS that allows you to directly manage your Facebook pages on the go from your phone or other mobile device. This allows you to get notifications, read and reply to messages, as well as link Facebook and Instagram accounts together. Standard page management features such as settings, performance, and reach, can also be managed by the app.
What is a social media management tool?
A social media management tool is software for users to share, monitor, analyze, and manage different social media channels from a single interface.
Social media management tools make it easy for you to schedule and publish content for multiple social networks from one hub, while allowing you to respond to comments too.
How to choose the best social media management tools for you?
When selecting the best social media management tools for yourself, begin with assessing the size of your business and what aspects of social media management you want the tools for. While some tools help with social media tracking and scheduling, others do a better job at analytics and are more scalable.
Similarly, if you have a team of people who'll be working with these tools, it'll be helpful to use one that has powerful collaboration features. Social media monitoring is also a key part of these tools because it allows you to track user mentions and monitor competitors and targeted hashtags too.
Lastly, you'll want to consider the user interface, the learning curve, the pricing plans, and customer support.
The best social media management tools: How we test
To test the best social media management tools, we looked at what features they offer, how comprehensive and diverse their services are, and what sizes of businesses they're ideal for. We evaluated how easy it was to set up these tools, their learning curve, and their interface.
We considered their collaboration features, the quality of the customer support, and the documentation available. We also assessed how scalable the tools were, how powerful their analytics were, and their pricing plans, among other things.
Read more on how we test, rate, and review products on TechRadar (opens in new tab).