The Best Social Media Management Tools
Running a social media account can be a lot of work, let alone working across multiple channels. Social media management tools are a saviour for social media managers, making planning your content, scheduling and analytics a whole lot easier.But, with so many tools to choose from, it’s pretty tough to know which one to go for. The best social media management tool for you depends on the features you need and those you could give a miss (for a cheaper option). We know it can get complicated, so we’ve created a rundown of all the best tools to choose from.
Hootsuite is up there as the biggest social media management tool, used by over 18 million people and more than eight hundred Fortune 1000 companies. And there’s a good reason so many people have gone for it…
It really has everything you need within a comprehensive platform, including social media scheduling, monitoring, and analytics. You can measure your social media ROI and even run social media ads which we think is pretty cool.
You can integrate your Hootsuite with a wide range of social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. However, there are platforms that you’ll need to install an application to use, notably Pinterest and YouTube. Like most social media management tools, the free version is pretty limited and the plans don’t come cheap, starting at £39 a month.
Similar to Hootsuite, Sprout Social combines all the essential features you’ll need for your social media marketing into one platform. Scheduling, monitoring, reporting, you can do it all within the platform.
What makes Sprout Social special is that it’s one of the few social media management tools that CRM features (Customer Relationship Management). Within the platform, you can store profiles of your customers and even discover new profiles in the ‘Discovery’ section.
The Discovery dashboard allows you to access information that you won’t find on other social media management tools. You’ll find a list of your followers and even people who have interacted with you on social media. You can also find out what people are talking about in your industry using the ‘Smart Search’ tool.
Sprout Social is hailed as the best social media management tool for reporting. Not only do their reporting features include all the analytics you need, but you can also download them as a fully formatted report you could send straight to a client or a manager without needing to format yourself.
Sked Social is one of the more affordable social media management tools, with plans starting from £19. Although, you can upgrade to a pricier plan for more advanced features.
Like the other social media management tools, Sked gives you the ability to schedule posts across multiple accounts and channels, providing built-in insights and an easy-to-use interface. Sked has a handy ‘Feed Planner’ tool that helps you to plan your feed for the perfect aesthetic (shown in the image above). Also, unlike some tools, you can schedule Instagram stories as well as posts. So if you’re looking for a tool that helps you to plan your content, then this might be the best social media management tool for you.
Sked is a great tool for small businesses or people managing personal accounts that are looking for more scheduling capabilities. However, the reports aren’t as comprehensive as other social media management tools.
As far as social media management tools go, Later and Hootsuite are the top dogs. They offer very similar features; however, Later is considered to be more geared towards Instagram scheduling. Instagram-specific tools include advanced Instagram analytics, hashtag suggestions and story scheduling. You can also get Instagram insights, such as a feature that recommends the best time to post to increase reach and engagement.
To make planning your feed as easy as possible Later has a built-in visual content calendar. This feature helps you to see clearly the content that you’ve scheduled and when it will be posted. These kinds of features have won Later the reputation of being the most user-friendly scheduling platform.
Similarly to Hootsuite, Later’s free plan has very limited functionality and includes no post analytics or audience insights (you have to pay for these). But, if you’re looking for the best social media management tool for Instagram management, then Later is probably your best bet.
Finding the best social media management tool is a process that requires you to weigh up the pros and cons of what’s on offer. For our clients, we recommend Sked for your simple scheduling needs or Hootsuite for a more in-depth analytics platform. However, every platform has its own pros and cons, so take the time to think about how each platform’s features could benefit your social media management and what you really want the tool to do for you.