In today’s digital world, social media is an essential part of any marketing strategy. However, managing multiple social media accounts can be time-consuming and overwhelming. This is where social media management tools come in handy.
Social media management tools help you organize, schedule, analyze, and engage with your audiences across multiple social platforms. With these tools, you can manage your social media more efficiently and make data-driven decisions to boost results.
With so many options to choose from, finding the right social media management tool for your specific needs can be challenging. To help, we’ve compiled this comprehensive guide on the best social media management tools, apps, and software to streamline your efforts in 2023.
Why You Need a Social Media Management Tool
Here are some key reasons why using a social media management platform is worth considering for your brand:
Save Time and Increase Productivity
Posting consistently on multiple social networks takes a lot of time. A good social media management tool allows you to schedule posts in advance so you don’t have to log in at specific times to update statuses. This saves you time while keeping your accounts active.
Many tools also allow you to upload content in bulk, rather than posting one update at a time. This further boosts efficiency. Smart keyword suggestions and auto-responses also help you optimize your efforts.
Gain Valuable Insights
The built-in analytics and reporting make it easy to determine the engagement and reach of your posts. You can see what content resonates best with your audience and adapt your strategy accordingly.
Many tools provide further data like sentiment analysis, competitor benchmarking, and more. These insights help you make data-backed decisions to improve results.
Engage With Your Audience
Monitoring mentions and comments across multiple networks is extremely difficult without a management platform.
Specialized tools allow you to monitor conversations, join in, and respond right from a unified dashboard. This helps you connect with your audience and boost brand loyalty.
Collaborate With Team Members
For larger brands, managing social media is rarely a one-person job. Leading tools allow multiple users and pre-defined roles, so your team members can collaborate smoothly.
Task scheduling, centralized asset libraries, and integrated approval workflows also ensure consistency in multi-user accounts.
Manage Client Social Media Accounts
If you are a social media manager, agency, or freelancer, managing accounts for multiple clients is made much easier with social media tools.
Dedicated client logins, user roles, and account grouping help you keep each client’s social presence organized and update statuses easily from one dashboard.
For the reasons above, investing in a good social media management platform is worth considering for all brands looking to streamline their efforts and boost results.
Factors to Consider When Choosing Social Media Management Tools
With an overwhelming number of options to choose from, selecting the right social media management platform can be tricky.
Here are some key factors to keep in mind while evaluating different tools:
Your Current and Future Needs
Consider which social networks you currently use, and which ones you plan to use in the future. This determines the number of platforms a tool needs to support.
If you only use Facebook now but want to expand to Instagram and Twitter later, choose a platform that can scale with your evolving needs.
Social media tools range from free to several hundreds of dollars per month. Outline your budget and choose the best platform you can afford with the core features you need.
Many tools offer monthly, annual, and customizable enterprise pricing plans. Go for a package that offers maximum value within your budget.
Ease of Use
Look for an intuitive interface that allows you and your team to use the platform easily without much training. If the tool is overly complex, it can hamper productivity.
Ideally, the platform should not have a steep learning curve. Ask for a free trial to test drive the interface.
Carefully evaluate the core features like scheduling, analytics, audience engagement, collaboration tools, etc. offered by each platform.
Prioritize must-have features over nice-to-haves so you don’t pay for unnecessary capabilities.
Choose a tool with high uptime and reliable performance even during peak usage periods. Nothing is more frustrating than a platform that crashes frequently.
Checking online reviews can help determine the real-world reliability of each shortlisted option.
No matter how intuitive the platform, you’re likely to need help at some point. So customer service quality is important when comparing tools.
Good vendors offer 24/7 live chat, phone support, extensive self-service resources, and active user communities.
By keeping these factors in mind, you can zero in on the right social media management tool customized to your specific needs and budget.
The 10 Best Social Media Management Platforms for 2023
Based on factors like features, flexibility, ease of use, and pricing, here are the 10 best social media management platforms and tools to consider for 2023:
Hootsuite is an industry-leading social media management platform trusted by over 18 million users worldwide, including brands like Pepsi, AT&T, and Airbnb.
With Hootsuite, you can:
- Manage accounts for 35+ social networks from one dashboard
- Use bulk uploading and auto-scheduling to save time
- Collaborate with team members using workflows and assignments
- Monitor keywords and hashtags to join relevant conversations
- Create social media campaigns and track performance
- Integrate with popular third-party apps via open API
- Leverage compliance tools for financial service networks
- Access detailed reports and analytics to identify opportunities
Hootsuite offers a free plan for up to 3 social accounts. Paid plans start from $49 per month. It’s a great all-round platform with a full spectrum of features for enterprises and agencies.
2. Sprout Social
Sprout Social is a powerful social media management tool perfect for collaboration. Key features include:
- Smart inbox to manage all conversations from one place
- Comprehensive analytics to benchmark performance
- Social listening to monitor brand mentions and keywords
- Advanced scheduling and publishing forqueued socialupdates
- Workflow approvals for maintaining brand consistency
- Seamless collaboration between multiple team members
- Robust reporting with custom data exports
- Integration with business systems like Salesforce and Zendesk
Sprout Social currently supports social networks like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and more.
Their paid plans start from $99 per month. Sprout Social is ideal for brands that want an all-in-one collaboration platform with robust analytics.
Agorapulse allows you to manage your social media through a user-friendly and intuitive interface. Key features include:
- Unified inbox to monitor conversations from main social networks
- Multi-profile management to switch between brands, teams, and clients
- Engagement workflows to assign responses to the right team members
- Quick creation of eye-catching social posts and stories
- Insights to analyze performance and engagement
- Powerful social listening capabilities
- Queue scheduling for planning content in advance
- Team collaboration tools for organizations and agencies
Paid plans for Agorapulse start from $99 per month with support for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. It’s a great tool for solopreneurs and growing teams.
Sendible stands out with its focus on collaboration and workflow management. Core features include:
- Unified content calendar for an organized publishing approach
- Collaboration tools like teams, client groups, and user roles
- Content approvals to ensure brand consistency
- Audience segmentation for targeted communication
- Campaign reporting with engagement metrics
- Deep social listening for monitoring brand mentions
- Auto lead capture from social networks
- Queue scheduling and bulk uploading
- RSS and email integration
Sendible offers a forever free plan for 2 social accounts. Paid plans with more features start from $29 per month. It’s a great choice for digital agencies.
MavSocial makes it easy to manage social posts and workflows. Notable features include:
- Unified content calendar to plan and schedule posts
- Collaboration tools for teams with definable roles
- Approval workflow to ensure brand control
- Advanced analytics for optimizing social strategy
- Monitoring tools for brands, competitors, and influencers
- Centralized asset library for easy content access
- RSS-to-social auto-posting from blogs
- Available for key networks like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn
Paid plans start from $19 per month. With its workflow focus, MavSocial is great for coordinating global and multi-location teams.
SocialPilot helps organize your social media teamwork and collaboration. Key capabilities include:
- Unified inbox to see messages from all social profiles
- Team workflow with assignable tasks and due dates
- Content library for quick access to visual assets
- Bulk scheduling and posting to save time
- In-depth analytics for generating actionable insights
- Account grouping to manage multiple clients and brands
- Social listening to tap into relevant conversations
- Support for major networks like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc.
SocialPilot starts from $49 per month and offers a forever free plan. It’s ideal for social media managers and agencies.
Buffer is a user-friendly social media management platform trusted by brands like Nike, Buzzfeed, and Yelp. Key features include:
- Simple cross-platform posting from one inbox
- Bulk schedule posts in advance to save time
- Curated posts from Buffer’s content library
- Actionable analytics to improve engagement
- Suite of marketing tools like Retargeting and Shareholder
- Browser extensions for quick scheduling
- Available for major networks like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn
Buffer plans start from free for 3 accounts, to $15 per month for individuals. With its intuitive interface, Buffer is ideal for solopreneurs and influencers.
SocialBee makes collaborating on social media projects simple. Notable features include:
- Unified content calendar to plan and schedule posts
- Automated exposure reports on content performance
- Team task management with due dates and assignments
- Client grouping to easily manage multiple accounts
- Instagram commenting automation based on hashtags
- Available for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest
- Zapier integration to connect with 2000+ apps
SocialBee starts at $29 per month and offers a free plan. The task management focus makes SocialBee perfect for agencies.
Iconosquare is a leading analytics and management platform for Instagram and Facebook. Key features include:
- Detailed profile analytics to optimize efforts
- Account management to schedule and publish content
- Hashtag analytics to find relevant conversations
- Audience insights like demographics and interests
- Competitor benchmarking to track performance
- Actionable recommendations to boost growth
- Shopping capabilities like shoppable posts and product tagging
- Community management tools to engage followers
Iconosquare starts from $29 per month. The data-driven recommendations make it a great optimization tool for Instagram and Facebook.
Planoly offers automated visual planning and scheduling for Instagram. Core capabilities:
- Visual planner to organize stunning feed layouts
- Hashtag suggestions to reach target audiences
- Auto-scheduling for hands-free publishing
- Collaborate with others by assigning publishing rights
- Shopping integration for tagged products
- Account analytics for data-backed improvement
- Content ideas based on competitors and influencers
- Instagram filters built right into the platform
Planoly costs $9 per month and is ideal for solopreneurs focused purely on Instagram.
This covers ten of the most popular social media management platforms available in 2023. Analyze their features against your needs and budget to select the best fit.
Many tools offer free trials so you can experience them firsthand before committing.
Key Features to Look For in Social Media Management Tools
While specific capabilities vary, most leading social media management tools offer the following core features:
A centralized dashboard to access all your connected social accounts from one place streamlines workflow. You can quickly post, engage, monitor, and analyze without constantly switching between networks.
The ability to plan, schedule, and queue posts in advance is essential for consistent social output. Scheduling eliminates the need for constant manual updates.
Look for bulk scheduling, recurring posts, calendar views, and collaboration features. Integrations with content planning tools are also useful.
Managing inbound social messages and comments from followers can be overwhelming. Tools that let you monitor conversations, assign responses, and engage right from your inbox help tremendously.
Analytics and Reporting
Accessing real-time stats and data on the performance of your social content is extremely valuable. Look for actionable analytics to identify successes and opportunities.
Customizable reports that can be shared or exported are also very useful. They help optimize your approach over time.
Social Listening and Monitoring
Monitoring brand mentions, key hashtags, influencers, and competitors is impossible to do manually across different networks.
Robust tools constantly track these conversations and keywords so you can react accordingly. Some even offer sentiment analysis.
Uploading images, videos, and other content individually to social networks is inefficient. A centralized library with drag-and-drop makes accessing assets easier.
Look for features like bulk upload, editing, commenting, version control, and permissions management. Integrations with media managers like Brandfolder help.
Account and Team Management
Managing multiple accounts and allowing collaboration between team members is crucial for larger brands.
Admin controls, different user roles, client grouping, and workflows / approval processes enable organizations to scale social media management.
Connecting your social tool with other marketing software helps build an automated stack. Look for integrations with website analytics, email marketing, community platforms, and more.
Zapier integration enables connecting the tool to thousands of other apps. An open API allows even deeper customization.
Compliance and Security
For regulated industries like financial services, features like post moderation, approval workflows, archiving, and encryption help maintain compliance on social.
Prioritize security when managing multiple team members and client accounts. Look for single sign-on, 2FA, and strong permission settings.
By evaluating features against your specific needs and workflows, you can zero in on the most suitable platform. Focus on benefits rather than the entire extensive feature list during your review process.
Making the Most of Social Media Management Tools
Adopting a specialized social media management tool can greatly amplify your efforts on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. However, you need the right approach and strategy to realize the full benefits.
Here are some tips to ensure you choose and use your new tool effectively:
Have Clear Goals
Outline what you wish to accomplish via social media before choosing a tool. Are you looking to save time, facilitate collaboration, better engage audiences, or something else?
Matching your goals to platform capabilities ensures you choose the right solution instead of getting swayed by all the bells and whistles.
Try Before You Buy
Don’t commit to an annual plan without first testing the platform. Nearly all tools offer a basic free plan or free trial for premium tiers.
Sign up to trial the interface and features firsthand. Testing ease of use and reliability trumps evaluating a specs sheet.
Train Your Team
One of the biggest mistakes brands make is purchasing a new tool and then not properly training staff on using it. This results in ineffective adoption.
Schedule a full onboarding for your team from the vendor, have everyone attend webinars, and create internal documentation on processes.
Centralize Your Efforts
Consolidate all social posting and monitoring into your new management platform. Avoid using native mobile apps or networks’ websites independently.
Centralizing all activity maintains consistency and leverages the tool efficiencies fully. Resist the urge to circumvent it.
Regularly Review Performance
Leverage your tool’s analytics reports to review the performance of your social initiatives regularly. Identify what posts, topics, and campaigns are resonating best.
Keep optimizing your approach and improving engagement. Don’t “set and forget” after launching the tool.
Investing in the right social media management platform paves the way for streamlined workflows, better audience engagement, and data-driven strategy improvement. Ultimately, this helps strengthen your brand positioning and achieve business goals through social media.
Top Social Media Management Apps for On-the-Go Use
For updating social accounts from your mobile device while on-the-go, specialized apps can be very convenient. They allow quick access without needing to log into the larger desktop platform.
Here are some top social media management apps worth checking out:
1. Hootsuite Mobile App
Hootsuite offers full-featured iOS and Android apps so you can access the dashboard from anywhere. Key features like post scheduling, inbox, analytics, workflows, and notifications are available.
2. Sprout Social Mobile App
3. Agorapulse Mobile App
Agorapulse offers iOS and Android apps that allow you to schedule posts, engage with audiences, monitor conversations, and analyze performance on-the-go.
4. Sendible Mobile App
The Sendible mobile app lets you manage calendars, collaborate with teams, approve content, monitor conversations, and more. Available for iOS and Android.
5. Social Pilot Mobile App
SocialPilot’s mobile apps enable managing accounts, scheduling, publishing, monitoring conversations, and analyzing from anywhere.
6. Buffer Mobile App
Buffer’s mobile apps for iOS and Android make it easy to quickly schedule updates, analyze engagement, and respond to messages across accounts.
7. Planoly Mobile App
Planoly’s iOS app allows you to visually plan and schedule Instagram feeds along with publishing stories. Makes managing Instagram seamless on-the-go.
8. Iconosquare Mobile App
Iconosquare’s mobile apps offer Instagram analytics and account management capabilities like content scheduling and hashtag research on-the-go.
9. Hopper HQ Mobile App
While not a full social media management app, Hopper HQ’s iOS app makes visual Instagram planning easy. It’s great for organizing aesthetically pleasing feeds.
10. Preview Mobile App
Preview also aids visual Instagram planning. The iOS/Android app provides an easy way to organize content and mock up schedules.
For social media managers always on the move, dedicated mobile apps allow you to manage workflows and engage with audiences from anywhere conveniently. They make extending your desktop tool’s capabilities to your smartphone or tablet straightforward.
Making the Switch to Social Media Management Tools
Transitioning to using a dedicated social media management platform involves changing existing workflows. Here are some best practices to ensure the switch process goes smoothly:
Gradually Shift Account Activity
Don’t immediately stop posting natively from all your social accounts. Phase their activity into your new tool steadily over 2-4 weeks. This gives you time to learn the ropes before fully centralizing management.
Seek Support When Needed
No matter how user-friendly the platform, expect a learning curve. Lean on the vendor’s onboarding, tutorials, community forums, and help docs when you get stuck. Don’t hesitate to contact their customer support.
Clean Up Accounts
Audit your existing social accounts and clean up anything outdated before integrating them into the management tool like old descriptions, incorrect branding, broken links, etc. Start with a clean slate.
Map Out New Workflows
Outline the new workflows for creating, approving, scheduling, and posting content with your team. Set new standard operating procedures with the tool features and functions in mind.
Monitor Progress Closely
Keep a close eye on your management tool activity and social engagement for the first few weeks. Identify any process hiccups or drops in performance early. Be ready to troubleshoot.
Regularly Optimize Workflows
Continuously refine your workflows around the tool’s features to improve efficiency. Learn keyboard shortcuts, enable integrations, create templates, adjust notifications, etc. to streamline further.
With preparation and learning agility, your team can smoothly transition to a more organized and productive social management setup. The benefits for your brand engagement and growth make the switch very worthwhile.
Key Takeaways on Choosing the Best Social Media Management Tools
Managing multiple social media accounts, engaging consistently with audiences, monitoring conversations, and measuring performance is extremely challenging without specialized software.
Social media management platforms make executing a strategic omni-channel presence much easier for brands and agencies. They provide a centralized dashboard, scheduling and collaboration tools, deep analytics, and more.
When evaluating options, consider your current and future needs, budget, ease of use, reliability, and specific functionality against your goals. Outline clear requirements before comparing solutions.
Leading platforms like Hootsuite, Sprout Social, Sendible, and Agorapulse cater to different use cases and budgets. Most offer free trials to test drive before purchase.
Look for core feature like conversation monitoring, media libraries, bulk scheduling, workflow management, and expansive integrations.
Dedicated mobile apps enable on-the-go social media management from anywhere. They extend your tool’s capabilities to your smartphone.
With the right adoption approach, social media management tools transform chaotic workflows into streamlined systems for organizations to scale their efforts and engagement. They are a worthwhile investment for serious brands.