Regardless of their organization’s size, social media management has become one of the core focuses for marketers.
Having an active presence on most popular social platforms is as important as learning how to manage them effectively and make the most of their features and benefits.
Managing various different networks at the same time can be challenging and that’s where social media management tools come in handy. Such platforms let you keep an eye on and promptly reply to messages on social, monitor all your social accounts in one place, schedule posts in advance, and analyze your online activity.
There are plenty of tools out there, so choosing the right one for your business can prove difficult. For this article, I decided to have a look at the top 10 most useful and popular social management tools and ease your decision of choosing the one that suits your needs.
User-friendly and clean, Buffer is great for staggering content throughout the day across multiple social platforms: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest.
If you’re looking for a simple and efficient management app for scheduling updates, helping you save time on administrating your networks, Buffer can definitely help.
Also, all available accounts (Individual, Awesome and Business) allow users to track engagement metrics such as shares, favorites, comments, and clicks, which can help you discover with little effort which are your best performing posts on social.
Buffer’s free Image Creation tool, Pablo, can help you create engaging images for your social media posts quickly, without any hassle. The app has stock images you can use, but there’s also an option to upload JPEG and PNG images. Very handy and worth trying out!
If you manage numerous social accounts with lots of followers, and have an interest in responding to comments/tweets and interacting, Buffer has its limitations, and in this case, it’s probably not the best option.
The Individual Plan is free, but you can also opt for one of their paid plans which range from $102 to $2,550 / year.
Integrated with over 25 social networks, Hootsuite is the right management tool for you if you are looking for engagement, great publishing and workflow features, analytics, and managing campaigns, all in one place.
One of its core strengths is definitely facilitating audience engagement. On a single dashboard, anyone on your team, in any region or department, can quickly respond to messages, mentions, and comments. There is also an option to save responses for future use, which can be handy.
Another useful feature is the ability to target your posts and share content with your customers based on location, language and demographic details, helping you reach and communicate with your online communities in a smart and effective way.
Due to its integration with Brandwatch (and uberVU?), Hootsuite is the ideal solution if you’re seeking to combine publishing and engagement with a social analytics solution.
Being such a complex and multifunctional platform, Hootsuite can be a bit daunting for social media rookies and it takes a bit of time to get used to. However, once you pass that stage and start exploring all its benefits, it’s all worth it.
There’s a free plan available, great for personal use, and also 2 additional options: Pro (from £6.99/month) and Enterprise, recommended for big corporations and organizations.
Spredfast allows users to monitor online conversations through keyword searches and it’s also recommended for managing multiple social media sites and its reliable publishing capabilities, as it also suggests optimal scheduling time.
If reporting is what you are looking for, Spredfast is unmatched. It provides advanced analytics reports and all data is clearly presented in formatted graphics which you can easily export.
Their dashboards are a good source for a quick reference of what is happening across your pages and it’s also very easy to track what type of content is performing best on specific channels.
For those who aren’t that familiar with social media, Spredfast requires a bit of a learning curve, and while there is an extensive amount of training documentation available, it can take some digging to find an answer to some user questions.
Using Percolate’s customizable marketing calendar, you can schedule content for multiple channels, organize and collaborate with team members on campaigns.
Its user-friendly interface makes it easy for you to find what you’re looking for. For instance, you can easily find all images that you have tweeted out or look at the calendar to find out how many times you have posted in a day across various social channels.
If one of your core focuses is content creation, Percolate is a great choice. It provides everything you need to build visually appealing content, such as access to Getty Images and your own built in media database.
The Brew, Percolate’s content suggestion feature is extremely useful for finding shareable content, which is a real time saver.
At the moment, there is no possibility to change time zones for different users, an issue which can be tricky to tackle if being part of a global team.
If you’re simply looking for a Twitter-focused managing tool, with a clean and responsive interface, Tweetdeck fits the bill perfectly.
Tweetdeck makes it easy to engage with streams and posts quickly and it is also extremely flexible, as it allows you to add all Twitter streams you’re interested to keep an eye on. Also, desktop notifications can be set up to make sure you respond to comments or questions in real time.
One of the best things about Tweetdeck is its search features. You can easily stay abreast of latest Twitter trends and join discussions about hot topics.
It is quite difficult to manage more than one Twitter account, and also, scheduled tweets including images can’t be edited. Lack of analytics can also be an issue, but I’d highly recommend this as a first Twitter management to use for beginners.