Attention is a currency. An internationally accepted unit of exchange used by brands to gain customers. As a content marketer, you know that to gain attention is to win. You want to make sure you direct your audience’s attention where it matters. The recognition of this principle is theraison d’etreofsocial media management tools.
Planning asuccessful content marketing strategy takes a lot of time. Youdon’t want to get your own attention wasted on unnecessary details. There are manysocial media management platformsdesigned to help reduce the time you spend on executing your strategy. They help you schedule and curate content, as well as manage engagement with your audience.
Even for an experienced marketer, it’s a challenge to decide which of the manysocial media management toolsis the right one. To make it easier for you to make thiscrucial brand decisionwe reviewed the top 10social media marketing platforms on the market.
Want to know which one suits your needs best? Read on!
Don’t have time to dive into details?
A handy spreadsheet listing pricing plans and key features and of the top social media management tools.
Hootsuite was one of the earliest platforms on the market ofsocial media management toolsand it continues to maintain a wide user base.
The tool boasts of supporting more than 35 social media platforms. If you’re after one of the very few tools that enables you to post on MySpace,Tumblr, and LinkedIn Pages, Hootsuite is asocial media management software for you.
Hootsuite characteristic multi-column view has many fans, but, with multiple social media platforms to manage it can easily get overwhelming. The platform offers an additional calendar view to address this.
With Hootsuite, you can schedule single posts and campaigns, and see previews of your posts before they get published. HootsuiteInboxlets youmanage interactions with your social media posts, but you can’t see all mentions and messages in one panel. This means you have to create separate streams for each platform adding more chaos to the dashboard.
Hootsuite providesaccess to a library of free imagesand to Giphy. However, you can’t create a shared library of digital assets to be used across the team.
Social media marketers will be happy to hear HootSuite allows to boost posts straight from the platform.
A transparent analytics view is only available for Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The bulk ofanalytical featuresare only available in paid plans, for example, the ability to see the performance of a single post or to download data as a .csv file.
This is where thissocial media management softwaredoesn’t deliver. Even in theTeam Plan, there is no option to set different roles or permission levels for team members—you can’t establish a publishing workflow, follow the team’s activity, or see any statistics about the team’s performance. These features do exist—which is a relief!—but they only become accessible in the, very expensive,Business Plan.
Hootsuite has earned its stripes over the years and, in the highly-paid plans offers what’s necessary to manage all your social media channels. However, despite being one of the most popularsocial media management tools,the platform lacks several key features that make the biggest difference forsuccessful teamwork and brand management.
Aimed at big brands and agencies, Sprout Social lands on the expensive end of the spectrum ofsocial media management tools. There is no free plan available, so it’s probably nota platform for small, one-person businesses.
However, you can test the capacity of the tool during a 30-day free trial.
What stands out among the publishing features of Sprout Social is the all-in-oneSmart Inbox—a feature that allows you to manage all interactions across social media channels, andViral Post—a tool analyzing your audience’s activity to determine the best posting times.
In higher plans, you have an option to integrate your helpdesk with Sprout Social to deliver customer service through your social media channels and to boost Facebook posts straight from the platform. In the most expensive,Advancedplan there is even achatbot integrationand suggested replies for Twitter accounts.
Designed for larger teams, Sprout Social has well-developed features for teamwork. Different levels ofteam permissions translate into a clear work pipeline, and you can even set custom workflows.
Tagging allows categorizing both incoming and outgoing messages—a helpful way to differentiate between feedback, and product suggestions, for example. If you aim to centralize all your company’s operations, an integrated CRM in Sprout Social will let your marketing and your sales teams work using the same platform.
Being one of the most expensivesocial media management tools, we’d expect a little more from Sprout Social analytics than the bare-bone basics. You can access basic engagement, and send messages reports, but to run extended analyses you’ll need to use Sprout Social API.
On the plus side, theAdvancedplan includesSpike Alerts— notifications based on specific keywords.
Sprout Social aims to be a one-stop shop for all teams thathandle communication with customers—from social media to customer support, to sales. With a high price tag, however, only the largest market players can benefit from this solution.
MavSocial is a relatively new player in the market ofsocial media management tools, and one that immediately became a strong competitor of well-established platforms of this kind.
MavSocial excels in image management. A stand out feature is the ability to curate a shared image library—a crucial element for those who want to maintain a consistent brand image.
Speaking of images, MavSocial is one of the fewsocial media management platformswith access toInstagram’s publishing API’s, meaning you can post to Instagram directly from the platform. Another unique feature that puts MavSocial on par with top social media management toolsis the ability to boost Facebook posts straight from the platform.
Alongside one-off posts easily visible in a clearCalendar View, MavSocial enables you to create campaigns— an ideal solution for scheduling seasonal offers.Repeat Publishing is an excellent functionto ensure your social media queue is never empty and that your top posts continue getting visibility.
MavSocial has detailed customization of team permissions. This helps set up an easy post-scheduling workflow and clearly differentiate between responsibility levels in the team.
Social Inboxallows you to see all interactions with your posts in one place—including comments, ad comments, and direct messages. It’s easy to filter messages, tag them by category, assign to different team members, and archive when necessary.
Analyticalreports are clearly readableand give detailed engagement statistics based on posts’ times. A unique feature amongsocial media management toolsis MavSocial’s analytics section dedicated specifically to the performance of images.
With its unique functions and attention to stellar customer service MavSocial rivals the most popular players in the market ofsocial media management tools.
Perhaps a slightly lesser-knownsocial media management platform, MeetEdgar targets a specific niche in the world of social media. It approaches the marketers’ need from a unique angle— focusing on evergreen content.
The structure of posting in MeetEdgar is based around different libraries. You must thematically group your posts first, and later you can set the frequency of publishing them based on category. For example, you might want to have three posts a week on your Twitter from the library “offers”, only one like that on Facebook.
MeetEdgar can also be used for one-off posts—there is a pre-set library category for those— andseasonal campaigns, as you can set an “expiry date” for each post. Calendar view allows to see your social media queue at a glance.
Thissocial media management softwarehas nofeatures to facilitate teamwork. The set up of the platform is very simple. If social media plays only a small role in your marketing strategy, MeetEdgar will make sure your feed appear busy even if you forget you had any social media accounts in the first place.
Performance metrics are collected for each post, but MeetEdgar analytics view doesn’t have clear reports section. InStatistics, you can view basic metrics for each post, filter them by type and account.
MeetEdgar is one of thesocial media marketing toolsfocused on a single problem, and, it is excellent for the niche it’s been designed to cover. It lets you recycle and republish your content, but is not the best solution for runningwide-scale social media marketing campaigns.
Buffer is one of the key players in the market ofsocial media management tools. It accommodates the needs of single users and larger teams, up to 26 people in total.
Buffer supports all of the common social media platforms. One of its primary features is the social queue where you can see a list of posts scheduled for each account. Text formatting is intuitive, and the platform supportsimages, gifs, and videos. However, there is no shared media library.
A post can be created and scheduled manually, but you can also upload a .csv file and adjust the text to suit the requirements of each social media platform. To make sure you get an even spread of posts per platform you can and establish regular posting times separately for each profile.
A unique feature among othersocial media marketing toolsisRe-buffer—it gives users the ability to add an already published post back to the social media queue. Note that re-buffer isnot the sameas a library ofevergreen content. To reuse the post you’ll need to keep manually re-adding the same post to the queue.
Buffer collects analytics for each specific post, and for each social media profile. You can filter the analytics by types of post (e.g. video, image), date, or popularity, and download the data to analyze your performance andadjust your social media strategy.
Buffer has adjusted itssocial media management softwaresolutions to the needs of larger, and remote teams. It enables a two-step content review process; a post can be drafted by one person, and submitted for review by another team member.
One of the features Buffer is praised for is its intuitive layout and, perhaps because of that, it doesn’t offer many customer support options—an extensive FAQ is supplemented with a responsive Twitter team.
Buffer is a great tool forscheduling social media campaigns, but not for engaging with your audience. Also, take note of Buffer’s rates. Payment tiers differ not just by the number of users, and the number of connected accounts, but also by the number of posts you can send from each account.
Sendible belongs to a category of large-scalesocial media management toolsand primarily targets agencies with its offering. To address the needs of a small entrepreneur Sendible has however introduced aMicro Planof $29/month.
Among the standard features, you would expect from a standardsocial media management platformseveral things stand out in Sendible.Built-in content recommendations are a time-saver,likewise an integration with Canva, which lets you design visuals without leaving the platform.
Like Sprout Social, Sendible aims to be a one-stop shop solution for the communications team. Thissocial media management softwarecomes integrated with a complete email marketing service to helpturn your social media followers into full-fledged marketing leads.
It’s easy to set up workflows in Sensible—different permissions allow to assign and delegate tasks to selected team members.Priority Inboxfilters most important messages based on sentiment analysis, making it easy to manage your brand’s image.
The abundance of features comes with a steep learning curve—it can take a lot of time to integrate the use of Sendible into your marketing strategy.
Among the manysocial media management toolson the market Sendibleimpresses with its analytical reports. The platform also calculates a metric calledContent Effectivenessto serve better recommendations in the future.
With the bulk of most useful features only accessible in the high-paid plans, Sendible remains a solution only for those with a clearly defined, long-term social media marketing strategy (anddeep pockets).
Another popularsocial media management softwaredesigned for agencies is Social Pilot.
It’s also one of the fewsocial media management toolsthat supports country-specific social media platforms, like VK and Xing.
Apart from standard scheduling features, with Social Pilot, you can also schedule posts in bulk by uploading a .csv file. The platform supports many types of content, including videos, gifs, and it enables you to createmultiple image posts—an important feature for visually-driven brands.
Social Pilot is one of thesocial media management toolswhich makes it easy to share third-party content; a browser extension enables to publish straight from the browser, and aContent Discoveryfunction lets you find content based on keywords orposts from chosen influencers.
There are only two permission levels which don’t allow to make your content marketing workflow very precise. Also, note that theSocial Inboxfeature is only available from theSmall Planup, so if you want tofocus on engagement alongside just publishing content, you will have to make a larger investment.
Even though Social Pilot supports many social media platforms, analytics are only provided for Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. WithSmall Teamplan and up you can also download white label pdf reports—an easy way toimpress your agency’s clients.
An extra perk of thissocial media management platformissocial listening—you can keep track of what other brands (including your competitors!) are posting about.
Despite targeting large content marketing players, Social Pilot doesn’t seem to have many features focused on teamwork. It can save a lot of time with the discovery function and bulk uploads if you crack the code to making them work.
CoSchedule sits in a slightly different niche than othersocial media management tools.Aside from being a publishing platform, it’s a marketing and project management software—a characteristic reflected in the price.
CoSchedule stands out among othersocial media management toolsin its variety of publishing templates. When scheduling a series of posts, each variant of copy can be saved as a template and reused. Likewise, a specific sequence of cross-platform posts can be saved as a template.
TheCalendar Viewmakes all your scheduled campaigns easily readable. In high-paid plans, you can also fill in the gaps in the posting schedule using theRe-Queuefunction.
CoSchedule is chiefly an editorial calendar designed tofacilitate the workflow between content writers and content marketers. There are five levels of permissions and an ability to assign tasks to different team members.
CoSchedule is a one-waysocial media management platform—there are no features allowing teams to engage with the audience. But, in high paid plans you can use CoSchedule together with your marketing team—the platform can beintegrated with email marketing providers.
Analytical reports are clear and easy to read—an important feature forsocial media management tools! You can quickly see your top performing posts and see live data about each post from an already running campaign.
Social media reports don’t go into the nitty-gritty of demographics but are great in demonstrating the trends of your brand’s performance. To get more of a “Big Brother feel” you can even monitor the task completion rate of your team and the performance rates of each team member.
A unique feature amongsocial media management tools, CoSchedule also has aHeadline Analyser for posts’ titlesto predict their performance based on keywords.
CoSchedule is ideal if youfocus on blog contentand work with multiple freelancers to provide it. The platform facilitates promoting your content but is not asocial media management softwarefor engaging with your brand’s audience.
Notice that with every plan you can [add extra features creating your own customized subscription][LINK TO PDF].
AgoraPulse’s offering is similar to that of MavSocial and Sendible—a one-stop shopsocial media management softwarefor publishing content and engaging with your audience. As always, the difference is in the details.
In terms of interacting with the audience, you can easily categorize incoming messages in AgoraPulse by adding tags and comments. Like MavSocial, thissocial media management softwarefacilitates Inbox Zero—messages are shown in one stream, and they are easy to act on. You can choose to archive, reply immediately, or assign them to other team members. WithInbox Assistantyou cancreate rules to handle the messages automatically.
AgoraPulse supports creating ads and boosting posts from within the platform and allows you to monitor their performance. You can track engagement with your brand to verify assumptions about your audience’s demographics, and uncover your potential promoters. The platform’sSocial Listening function can help keep an eye on your competitors.
AgoraPulse is a solidsocial media management softwarefor a medium-sized brand. It covers core functions of social media management—from publishing, to queuing, to engagement with followers.
CrowdFire is asocial media management softwarethat evolved from a tool focused on Twitter. This origin story is still visible in the depth of the platform’s current offering.
CrowdFire supports scheduling and publishing on several social media platforms but remains asocial media management software heavily focused on Twitter. It facilitates follower management, for example, it enables unfollowing inactive accounts.
The platform used to have an auto DM feature, but it had to be removed for violating Twitter’s policies. Another worth-mentioning Twitter-centric characteristic of CrowdFire arehashtag recommendations.
CrowdFire’sContent Discoveryfunction recommends shareable content based on specified keywords and the platform aPhoto Suggester specifically for Instagram. It’s also one of the fewsocial media management toolsthat links to your blog management software to help automaticallypromote newly published content.
There are no specific features directed at teamwork, and it’s only in thePremiumplan that you can add an extra team member to your user list.
Here, again, the way thissocial media management softwarehandles Twitter is what stands out. Detailed Twitter analytics help determine the profile ofmost-engaged audience members.
Otherwise, if reports are important for your social media strategy, pay close attention to the pricing of thissocial media management tool. Tiers differ by the amount of data the platform will store for you.
For small brands and solopreneurs, especially those focusing on making a splash through Twitter, CrowdFire is a goodsocial media management software. Once you start expanding your strategy you will need to start looking atsocial media management toolswith a broader offering.
We can’t choose for you, but we hope this list provided a solid overview of what you can expect from differentsocial media management tools.
Each platform comes with its own unique differentiators and targetsspecific needs you have as a brand. Before deciding on asocial media management softwareit’s important to clarify thegoals of your social media marketing efforts. This will help you specify which functions will provide the highest return on your investment.
For an easy breakdown of prices and features offered by thesocial media management toolslisted above, we prepared a simple summary.