We list the top 7 social media management tools and explain how you can use them to reach your target customers, and ultimately, grow your business.
What Is a Social Media Management Tool?
A social media management tool makes it easy to track your conversions, improve productivity, and monitor performance in different social media channels.
There are four basic types of social media tools: content creation, publishing, listening, and analysis platforms. When used together, they can help you reach your target audience, improve brand awareness, and ultimately, grow your sales.
4 Types of Social Media Management Tools
Content creation platforms
Some apps allow you to edit photos and create stunning videos, storyboards, templates even if you have no or little experience in visual design. Examples include Adobe’s Lightroom, Unfold, and Canva.
They help you spread and share your content across multiple platforms without having to post it manually. Percolate and HootSuite are perfect examples of publishing platforms.
They act as your monitoring tools, allowing you to know what’s being said about your brand. And with this information, you can accomplish two important things: You can regain the trust of some unhappy customers and you’ll know what kind of content appeals to your target audience.
Listening platforms can also tell you the latest industry news and trends.
Unlike the three previous tools that focus on the target audience, analysis platforms are more about your industry, competitors, and business landscape.
By knowing the industry trends and what your competitors are doing, you can fine-tune what’s working for them (i.e., improve your service or product) and find untapped opportunities.
Now that we have explained the four basic types of social media tools, we can delve into the top seven apps that can help you grow your online presence.
Top 7 List of Social Media Management Tools
Some tools are free, while others can be as high as $800 a month. Remember, the price is not the only thing you must keep in mind when choosing your social media management tools. User-friendliness, adjunct features (e.g., photo editor and free templates), and data and conversion analysis should also be factored into your decision.
The ideal social media management tool will also depend on your brand. For example, if your business requires great visuals, opt for programs that allow you to edit photos and create stunning visuals.
Lightroom (content creation platform)
This Adobe product allows you to organize and edit photos. However, its main selling point is the simple, well-structured interface that makes it easy for users, including those with no or little experience, to create stunning pictures.
Its price starts at $9.99 per month.
Falcon (publishing, listening, and analysis platform)
Falcon has tools for social listening, publishing, analytics, customer engagement, and customer data management. It also integrates with Salesforce, HubSpot, and Microsoft, promoting easy collaboration among your sales and customer support team.
Its price starts at $129 per month.
Hootsuite (publishing, listening, and analysis platform)
Being one of the oldest social media management tools, it has more than 16 million users, ranging from large enterprises to small local companies. However, it is particularly ideal for growing businesses because their solutions are scalable and customizable.
Aside from hundreds of apps integrating well with this platform, it’s also popular because of its Geosearch feature, which allows you to track trends and engage with your audience based on their location.
On the flip side, Hootsuite has an interface that requires a steeper learning curve than other social media tools.
Price starts at $129 for three users.
HubSpot’s Social Inbox Tool (publishing, listening, and analysis platform)
Considered as one of the most comprehensive social media management tools, HubSpot’s Social Inbox Tool allows you to identify user-generated content, collect information about trends and new followers, and respond to social conversations.
The Inbox Tool also eliminates time-consuming tasks through these features:
- Posting schedule
- Integration between blogs and social networks
- Monitoring of messages and mentions (for new lead nurturing)
HubSpot also allows you to integrate all your marketing efforts with your CRM, making it easy to identify and quantify the leads and customers coming from your social media campaigns.
Price starts at $800 per month (this tool is also included in the Marketing Hub Professional package).
Canva (content creation platform)
Canva is free, but its paid version, which starts at $9.99 per month, offers more powerful tools that allow users to create stunning social media graphics, templates (e.g., Facebook banners, Twitter posts, and Instagram Stories), posters, and other visual content.
Social media is a highly visual platform, making Canva and other similar apps ideal for any business. However, what makes Canva a crowd’s favorite is its user-friendly interface, a wide selection of pre-made templates, and mobile-friendliness–i.e., you can use it on your smartphone or tablet.
Later (publishing, listening, and analysis platform)
Considered one of the most popular social media tools, Later allows you to schedule and post content on multiple platforms, streamline your content creation, conduct data analysis, and integrate it with other tools.
Also, its user-friendly interface makes it easy to track, analyze, and monitor social campaigns and trends. However, most users feel that its main selling point is scheduling, which is efficient thanks to its drag-and-drop calendar and schedule integration with Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Tweeter.
Later’s free version allows you to post up to 30 content per month on one social media account. But if you’re serious about your social media campaigns, you have to choose one of its paid packages, which start at $7.50 per month.
Sprout Social (publishing, listening, and analysis platform)
If you’re a data-driven user, Sprout Social might be the perfect tool for you with its dashboard that presents data in a highly organized manner and even allows custom reporting.
This tool also promotes seamless collaboration between social media team, customer support, and sales because it integrates well with CRM systems such as Salesforce, UserVoice, and Zendesk.
Its price starts at $149 for one user.