Social media marketing has a lot of moving parts: creating, publishing, monitoring, engaging and much more. That’s why it’s important to have a social media management tool that will help you streamline all of your tasks in a single interface.
Thankfully, there’s an endless list of tools to take advantage of for any part of your social media strategy.
Throughout this article, we’ll cover some of the top social media management tools in the industry and their main features, to give you the information you need to decide which software will work best for your team.
What is a social media management tool?
In simplest terms, a social media management tool is a software designed to allow a user or users to manage one or more social media profiles across one or several networks in one dashboard or program.
It makes all aspects of social media management – creating, scheduling, publishing, monitoring, analyzing, engaging and collaborating – simplified.
Best social media management tools to use
Social media management tools assist with a variety of tasks—content scheduling and publishing, social listening, commenting and engagement, customer care, analytics and reporting, and so much more.
There are a variety of tools available to fit within any budget: from free tools for businesses on a budget to tools for agencies or smaller companies. Each includes different features and options to best suit your team’s needs.
Let’s go through each of our recommended social media management tools to help you find the best ones.
- Sprout Social
- Social Pilot
- Zoho Social
1. Sprout Social
Can’t blame us for giving ourselves the top spot, right? Sprout Social is an all-in-one social media management tool that allows businesses of any size to manage all aspects of their social media strategy.
Integrating with Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube and other platforms, you can work across your entire presence in a single dashboard. Plus, you can also manage reviews from sources like Google My Business and Facebook, and create shoppable posts integrated with Facebook Shops and Shopify catalogs.
Looking to make your employee brand advocates, as well? Our Employee Advocacy tool provides a curated feed of content for your employees to share across their social networks and amplify your business’s reach.
- Social media publishing, scheduling, monitoring, analytics, reporting and more in one easy-to-use dashboard
- Access to our ViralPost feature to ensure you publish your content when your followers are most likely to engage, boosting visibility and reach automatically
- Smart Inbox that compiles all your incoming messages from different social media platforms, giving you a complete view of all your social interactions
- The ability to identify the most relevant hashtags for your content
- Custom URL tracking to get a more in-depth insight into how your posts are performing in terms of referral traffic and conversions
2. Social Pilot
SocialPilot is a simple and straightforward social media management solution for those just starting out with a management tool. In addition to publishing and scheduling, the tool features a curated content list based on categories and keywords and will share automatically to your feed.
SocialPilot offers in-depth analytics reports to guide better strategies. From content performance and audience insights, users will be able to understand what audiences are engaging with and analyze growth patterns to continue creating content.
- Integration with several major social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and YouTube
- Ability to customize and optimize posts for multiple social networks in a single Post composer
- A content curation platform provides a list of content pieces to inspire you with new ideas
Sendible has done a great job of niching down, working to cater their social media management software specifically to agencies and other large businesses that manage a number of social media profiles. They also offer a number of helpful integrations to make social media management as easy as possible for their users.
- An all-in-one dashboard that makes it easy to see your overall social media performance at a glance
- Collaboration tools that allow your team to create content and then send it to the client or team leader for approval
- Presentation-ready reports to showcase ROI of your social media efforts to clients
- A mobile app that lets you monitor and manage your social media accounts on-the-go
KeyHole is unique from most of the tools on this list in that it boasts itself as an influencer tracking and marketing tool as well. Its Influencer Analytics feature provides marketers with the data they need to understand how each influencer is impacting their campaign goals. In fact, social media reports are their bread and butter.
- Automated social media reports that are shareable and presentation-ready within seconds
- Several reporting features, including brand reporting, campaign reporting, hashtag reporting and influencer reporting
5. Zoho Social
Zoho Social is a tool that boasts features “built for every social media feed.” The app allows you to start discussions, share reports, create team roles and encourage feedback. This makes it easy to get everyone on board with your updates, strategies and performance insights.
In addition to scheduling, the platform has its own optimized timing features similar to Sprout. Zoho Social also has built-in Instagram scheduling, allowing you to publish posts and repost user-generated content straight from your desktop.
- An instant integration with the Zoho CRM and the ability to monitor customer interactions
- Social listening dashboards to track brand reviews, @mentions and branded keywords
- Ability to collaborate with teammates within the platform via chat, audio and video calls
eClincher markets itself as a social media management platform that highlights their commitment to 24/7 customer support. They focus on the agility of their team to constantly improve their tool for the needs of their customers, with the intent to simplify and save time for users.
But what features does their tool offer? Like most tools on this list, eClincher features a cross-network social publishing tool and visual calendar, with a dedicated messaging inbox and publishing queue. Plus, it features brand monitoring across social, news, blogs and more, as well as sentiment analysis.
- Provides 24/7 customer support for its users so they can “strategize, optimize and measure ROI”
- Team collaboration with drafts, comments, notifications, tagging and assigning messages
NapoleonCat is a social media management tool that helps users and teams untangle complicated workflows and simplify collaboration. In addition to approving, publishing and scheduling, users can color-code and visualize calendars.
Probably the most unique aspect of NapoleonCat is that it’s marketing to help with ecommerce goals: posting product updates across profiles, handling customer queries and reviews, and tracking your results.
It’s worth noting that NapoleonCat only has integration with Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube – not TikTok.
- Dedicated inbox for all social media comments, messages and reviews
- Professionally designed, in-depth social media reports that will help you identify successes and areas of opportunity
- Boasts automated Facebook and Instagram comments that may help with converting comments into sales
Buffer is another social media management tool that is ideal for small businesses or businesses that are just getting started. They offer a completely free plan for your first three social media channels, making this the perfect option for setting up your Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
- Social media publishing tools that allow you to easily schedule out all of the social media content you’ve created for each channel
- A social media engagement dashboard that lets you respond to all mentions or messages online in one place
- Analytics and reporting to give you a bird’s-eye-view of how your social media efforts are performing
- The ability to create landing pages for lead generation, sales and more
Later started as an Instagram-only social media management tool and has slowly added in other platforms like Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok and more. They offer a number of features, including a link-in-bio tool, that make Instagram management an absolute breeze.
- Social media scheduling tools that let you plan out and schedule your content ahead of time in batches
- A visual content calendar that makes it easy to visualize and plan out feeds on Instagram and other platforms
- Tools to help you find and curate user-generated content that your audience will love
Hootsuite is a social media marketing tool that, like Sprout Social, is well known for original research it publishes regarding social media and digital marketing across the globe.
This tool has been around nearly as long as social media marketing has been a strategy and has evolved over the years to offer more useful features to businesses—but one thing that’s stuck around has been its dashboard that gives you a glimpse at all of your social media progress at once.
- Publish and schedule social media posts to a variety of platforms, including Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest and more
- Manage incoming messages and mentions and respond to them in a single inbox
- Monitor online conversations around your brand and industry to gather audience sentiment and stay on top of trending topics
CoSchedule began as a content marketing company and has since brought in social media management and calendar into their fold. Their overall goal is to help brands keep their marketing organized by allowing teams to schedule out all marketing content—blog content included—using their content calendar.
- A content calendar that lets you see when every single piece of marketing content will publish
- Project management tools that let you monitor the progress of marketing content and when it’s ready to publish
- The ability to manage all content creation in one single dashboard
- A headline studio that helps you to write better headlines for more traffic and attention
MeetEdgar is a lesser-known social media management tool that helps teams automatically curate their social media feeds. This is perfect for solopreneurs or businesses with small teams. Startups where team members wear a lot of hats may benefit from the features available with MeetEdgar.
- Repurpose old content and give it new life by automatically republishing it at a later date
- Scheduling tools that let you set the optimal times for MeetEdgar to schedule your content
- A/B testing so you can discover which types of content your audience loves best
Preview is a mobile app that lets you visually plan out your Instagram feed. If you’re looking to create a feed that’s based on a pattern, rainbow colors or some other Instagram feed aesthetic, you can upload as many photos and videos into the app so you can preview your feed before you publish.
- Upload photos, videos and Carousels to the Preview app to get an idea of what it would look like live on Instagram
- Schedule your content right within the Preview app so it’ll publish when you’re ready
- Plan out Reels and Stories as well as your regular Instagram feed so you know how everything will fit together
Tailwind is another tool that started with one social media platform in mind and then branched out to others. Because there was a hole in the market for Pinterest scheduling, Tailwind began to help schedule and automate Pinterest marketing for brands before expanding into Facebook and Instagram.
- Post ideas to help you always have Pinterest content in the pipeline
- A design tool to create your own Pinterest graphics and immediately save them Boards
- Automated scheduling and SmartSchedule feature that keeps your Pinterest feed full
Tweetdeck is a Twitter-owned management tool that makes it easy to monitor and engage with followers and potential customers from your target audience. It’s also a great way to participate in Twitter chats and keep up with the conversation. Simply head to tweetdeck.twitter.com and sign in with your Twitter profile to get started.
- The ability to view several feeds at once, like your home feed, notifications, a hashtag or trending topic, someone else’s profile, etc.
- Windows that let you tweet or view and respond to your own messages right from Tweetdeck
- Real-time updates and notifications that let you manage your Twitter profile easily
Oktopost is another social media management tool that has niched down to a specific audience. They serve B2B companies and have added feature that help them best serve this audience. They’re also one of the few social media management tools that offer employee advocacy features.
- Tools that let you plan, schedule and even approve social media content before it is published
- Analytics and reporting tools that help B2B teams monitor performance and adjust strategy accordingly
- A People Database that lets users turn their social audience into qualified leads in their CRM
Pallyy is a unique social media management tool specifically targeted for agencies. This tool helps agencies plan and schedule clients’ social media posts all in one place. The Pallyy dashboard is very visually appealing: a kanban-style workflow, media and folders library, and actual visual planner where you can plan your grids.
- Integration with Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google My Business, Pinterest and TikTok
- Visual planners make it easy to prepare content across platforms and grids, especially when aesthetics is high in mind
- Media storage can be organized into folders for better organization
- Collaboration with clients made easy with shareable content calendars where clients can also leave comments, make notes and approve posts.
PromoRepublic is a unique tool on this list as it highlights itself as a local marketing platform. Having a localized social media management tool is unique, especially for small businesses, franchises and multi-location enterprise organizations, who want to target their local audiences. Through its local SEO tool, businesses will be able to grow foot traffic and web traffic, and managing customer reviews and feedback will be easier in the dashboard as well.
- Best for small businesses, franchises and businesses who want to grow awareness in local audiences
- Create brand consistency with a media and asset library
- Target the right audiences through hyper-localized ads, and uncover opportunities and business insights through social listening.
Why do you need a social media management tool?
Whenever marketers tap into a new tool, they want to find one that adds value to their marketing tech stack rather than more bloat. Here are some factors to consider to narrow down your choices as you’re deciding between tools.
1. Pricing and budget
Whether or not you can get by with totally free social media management tools really depends on your business’ size and scope. For solo businesses and up-and-coming agencies, free or freemium tools might serve as a stepping stone toward paid ones.
But oftentimes, “you get what you pay for” rings true. That’s why it’s important to assess which features matter most to your business and what your non-negotiables are.
And when in doubt, testing out tools (like with Sprout’s 30-day free trial) and seeing what they can do firsthand is always a safe bet. Sprout is also the only tool on this list that provides a 30-day free trial; most of the others only offer a 14-day trial.
2. Automation and time-saving features
“How is this tool going to save me time?”
Any tool you add to your tech stack should be able to answer this question for you and your business.
Features ranging from publishing and scheduling to a social media calendar, automated responses, and content ideation can seriously free up your schedule.
Another key consideration is whether or not your tool of choice integrates with the rest of your marketing stack. This can serve as a massive time-saver in and of itself.
3. Collaboration features
From scheduling content to responding to customers in real-time, the best social media management tools make it easy to collaborate.
How many users can work within the tool at once? Can you easily set up permissions to onboard new members to your social team?
How many seats a social media management tool has is crucial, especially if you’re outsourcing part of your social or plan on scaling your team.
4. Reporting and analytics
We can’t stress enough how much analytics matter.
The easier it is to highlight your performance and KPIs, the better. Whether you’re reporting on behalf of clients or presenting data to stakeholders yourself, in-depth and easy-to-read reports are an absolute must-have.
Additionally, reporting can help highlight what’s working and what’s not in terms of your social presence. Before investing in any tool, make sure that it monitors the social metrics that matter most to your business.
Find the best social media management tools for your brand
Social media has become an integral piece of any given business today: customer service, competitive analysis, promotion and sales.
And that only scratches the surface.
Start searching for the best social media management tools for your team’s needs. After reading through all the tools in our list, take some time to mull over the best options before biting the bullet.
And remember, you can test drive a free 30-day trial from Sprout Social to get a first-hand look at our automation, collaboration and reporting features yourself.