The 9 Best Social Media Management Tools for 2020
By now, you probably know the importance of social networks in your marketing mix, but do you have a true social media strategy? Not “I post when I can,” but a strategy based on a solid content plan that encompasses scheduling posts to get the most visibility possible, monitoring social media accounts, and engaging with your followers.
Social media management is a challenge for even the best marketing teams. It’s still in the early stages and somewhat of a wild west. There’s misinformation, disinformation, promoted content, conflicting metrics, influencers, bots, zombie accounts, trolls, and a whole world of confusion. While we can’t cure social media of all its ills, we can recommend some tools that will help you organize, optimize, automate, and get the right message to the right audience at the right time — without losing your sanity.
Read on for nine of my favorite social media management tools for 2020. You’re sure to find a few gems that make your business’s social media efforts less stressful and more effective.
Hootsuite is one of the biggest social media management platforms. Apart from it being an effective social media scheduler, Hootsuite automates much of the social media marketing routine and saves you a considerable amount of time.
Hootsuite integrates natively with most common social media platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, WordPress, and YouTube. There are also 100+ integrations available as plug-ins in the Hootsuite Apps directory. With so many integrations and capabilities, Hootsuite helps with a wide assortment of everyday tasks.
Additional features of Hootsuite:
- Bulk-scheduling social media posts. With a simple CSV file, you can schedule all sorts of posts to your various social channels.
- A content calendar to help with content creation and organization. This is a great option for keeping your social media plans in one place and available at a glance.
- Hootsuite Analytics allows you to create reports and track the results of your social media efforts. It pairs nicely with Google Analytics so that you can see the full picture.
- Hootsuite’s Hootlet extension for Google Chrome allows you to share content right from browsing the web.
Every plan offers a 30-day free trial.Pricing for full-featured plans ranges from $29/month to $599/month. There is also a custom enterprise plan and a limited free plan (3 social profiles, 30 scheduled messages, 1 user).
Buffer is a social media management platform that allows you to work on content alongside your teammates. It ably handles Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and more.
Buffer’s three main products:
- Publish: “Plan, collaborate, and publish thumb-stopping content that drives meaningful engagement and growth for your brand.”
- Reply: “Respond to social conversations, resolve customer support requests, and create an outstanding experience.”
- Analyze: Measure social media performance, create gorgeous reports, and get recommendations to grow reach, engagement, and sales.”
You can customize your feature mix and plan based on what you need.
Buffer serves quite a few well-known brands such as Huckberry and Business Insider. However, don’t think this is a platform suitable for enterprise-level companies only. Pricing for small plans starts at $15/month so it’s definitely viable for startups and single-operator businesses as well. Buffer also offers a 14-day free trial.
Sprout Social is a great platform for publishing content, engaging with your audience, and analyzing data. It works with Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn, allowing you to schedule posts, track and analyze campaign performance, as well as engage with your community.
Sprout Social is unique in providing CRM (Customer Relationship Management) features, meaning that your customer care agents can also engage with the audience and help them solve their questions right there on social media. A smart move, I must say, considering your potential customers will see the level of support you provide for your existing customers.
It allows for collaboration with your team members, scheduling content that will be gathered in the united content calendar. Sprout Social offers a 30-day free trial, after which you have three standard pricing plans ranging from $99 per user per month to $249 per user per month. Plans vary based on the number of features included, and each of them can be extended by adding users without having to upgrade to a bigger plan.
Agorapulse allows you to manage social media and has a number of features making a social media marketer’s life easier.
The main features resemble those of Hootsuite and Sprout Social. As we have previously defined, the common simple social tools include post scheduling, metrics and performance analysis, and engagement tools. Social listening is catching up as well.
Agorapulse also offers the opportunity to involve your customer care team into communication with your audience in social channels.
Whether you are preparing pieces of content for the next month or fitting your blog posts into the busy content plan, scheduling meetings with your colleagues on Google Calendar is just one of the ways to organize your work. I’m positive that you will benefit more from the teammates collaboration tool that Agorapulse offers.
The Automatic Inbox Assistant tool allows you to label, tag, remove or assign key messages to your team members.
Agorapulse offers a 28-day free trial, after which you are to pick a paid plan ranging from €99/month to €499/month. They also offer annual plans to help you save up to €100 per month. The great thing is, the free trial can easily convert to your permanent account without having to start over.
Agorapulse is available internationally, and they make sure their customers get the necessary help regardless of their time zone. The support team works 24/7 (just like we do here at X-Cart!) and their response time is about 25 minutes. There is a real time chat for those on Large and Enterprise plans.
Meet Edgar. He can save you time because he is one of the most efficient (and most affordable) social media scheduling tools.
Although it is a bit less robust in terms of team collaboration than Hootsuite or Agorapulse, it still has all the features essential for social media management software. As a bonus, you can A/B test your messaging as well as shorten and track URLs.
What makes Edgar unique is the auto-variation tool. Edgar can create social posts for you and I’m serious. It automatically finds quotable text in blog posts and articles and generates up to 5 pre-written messages. You can use them with one click of a button or edit them or create your own. There is also a Chrome extension.
What’s more, when you run out of posts to share, Edgar keeps sharing and resharing your content. This feature is available for Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Twitter has its own rules and regulations, so this Variations tool is not compatible.
In regards to the social media content, with Edgar you can create an entire content library – which is a rare feature – and give your graphic designer a well-earned rest! Other social schedulers delete the posts once they are published, whereas Edgar keeps your content, to be reused and repurposed later on.
Edgar does not offer a free trial, but they do offer a 30-day money back guarantee. They only offer one plan at $49/month. However, I’ve seen that they regularly run sales, so you could start for only $29/month.
Edgar’s human support team is available Monday-Friday via email and their response time never exceeds 48 business hours. I’d say Edgar is one of the best social media management tools for small business.
If you have a bunch of posts for Instagram queued, you can always leave them for Later. It’s a marketing automation platform designed for Instagram marketers, although it also supports Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.
It’s one of the few free social media management tools that offers near full functionality on that free plan. As you grow, they have plans to match your needs, ranging from $9 per month to $49 per month. There are also additional savings for selecting an annual plan.
Being a robust tool for Instagram requires having some specific features like the ability to upload photos from a mobile device or switch between several accounts easily. Later does have these features, making it convenient to manage various accounts.
It is also equipped with the necessary tracking and analytics tools, which are essential for a good social media marketer. Additionally, they provide handy desktop and mobile apps for both iPhone and Android OS.
These features are great, but what I liked most about Later is that they provide training, guides, workshops, and the free Get Your Instagram Together 30-day challenge. If you are starting up as a social media marketer, be sure to check it out.
Octopost is an advanced social media management platform with extensive functionality. It is designed for B2B companies and allows managing, monitoring, tracking, and analyzing social activities through a single dashboard.
The platform combines three powerful solutions including social employee advocacy, and interactive social media promotions, as well as social media management services.
You can easily publish various types of content, expand your lead generation efforts with interactive campaigns, and let your employees share pre-approved content and become your most loyal brand advocates – and track all this in-app!
One of the Octopost’s strengths is that it’s readily integrated with the most popular marketing automation platforms like Marketo, Salesforce Pardot, HubSpot, etc. Octopost also wins at mobile readiness by developing its own app available on App Store and Google Play for free.
The solution itself is not free though – the pricing depends on your business requirements and is totally custom.
Another fantastic tool to develop brand awareness that allows you to share content on various social media including LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube is Sendible.
While it’s similar to the social media management tools we’ve mentioned so far, it does have its advantages. First of all, Sendible seems to have integrations with everything you might need for your business. You want to be notified on Slack whenever someone mentions you on social media? You got it. Prefer to create graphics in Canva? No problem. Storing content in DropBox or Google Drive? You got both! And of course, Google Analytics for tracking and reporting – right there in the dashboard.
They’ve also developed their own mobile app and it’s available on Google Play and App Store for free. It doesn’t reflect Sendible’s functionality in full but it is more than enough to manage posts and replies on the go. You can even access the key functions of Google Analytics reports.
Another handy function is the built-in sentiment analyzer for social listening. It can automatically highlight the most important mentions – both positive and negative.
The pricing is moderate: starting at $29/mo for solopreneurs to $200/mo for large teams. You don’t have to commit right away: they offer a free 30-day trial without having to tie your credit card to the account.
There is also a special white label solution for agencies, which means you may use Sendible to handle your clients’ social media under your own brand.
SEMrush is known for being one of the most capable SEO platforms. However, what you may not realize is that it’s also a pretty robust social media marketing tool.
It might not have the most extensive functionality in social media although it does have all the necessary functions. If you use SEMrush for your SEO efforts, be sure to take advantage of its Social Media Toolkit (and the other toolkits). They are included with your plan, so why not?
They’ve also launched another project – the Oppty lead generation and prospecting solution for digital marketing agencies and freelance consultants. If you are one of those, feel free to sign up and try the brand new solution out.
Which is right for you?
This is certainly not a definitive list of all of the social media management tools in the industry. However, as a marketing team and someone who helps address our social media presence, these are the solutions I found most robust and affordable. Depending on which features you prioritize, your “perfect solution” may vary.
Anastasia has over 8 years of experience in the eCommerce industry. Having been a Customer Care agent in the past, she knows exactly what eCommerce merchants' needs are, and uses her knowledge in Marketing to bring value to the community by sharing her thoughts on relevant topics.