In less than a decade, use of social platforms has exploded. Remember when Facebook was limited to university students and no one even used the term “social media”? Well, you don’t have to be a marketing professional to know that those days are behind us. In 2017, there were 2.46 billion social media users and that number is expected to cross the 3 billion threshold by 2021.
As you are well aware, these platforms provide a way for companies to connect with their customers in a way that never could have been imagined during the heyday of one-way advertising on television and radio. Now, however, we’ve seen a revolution in how brands and customers interact and promoting your brand has become a two-way street.
One of the biggest challenges facing digital marketers in managing multiple accounts across a range of platforms is keeping their work organized and efficient. The only way these marketers can stay on top of their game is with social media management tools.
When you’re first starting out, it’s good to focus on one platform but once you’ve built up your online presence, you’ll need to branch out onto more platforms. As a matter of fact, 91% of retail brands are active on two or more social media channels.
Buzzsumo is a content analysis tool so it’s a good place to start your digital marketing strategy. The key to content that engages your audience is writing about the topics that your audience is interested in.
Buzzsumo helps you figure out what content is performing well based on social shares. This means, as a brand marketer, you can search for relevant keywords and see who is writing content that is performing well and what exactly they’re writing about.
Furthermore, it also shows you the major players in the industry. When you see the same websites or authors constantly popping up in your niche, you know that either these are your competitors or perhaps influential authors that you should reach out to.
It’s a great service, but it doesn’t come cheap. For bloggers and freelancers, Buzzsumo offers a Micro Plan at $39/month, otherwise, their plans start at $99/month.
Another great tool for digital marketing beginners is Tweetdeck. And before you start throwing things at your computer and insisting that Twitter is dead, keep in mind that the platform had 68 million active users in the US during Q1 of 2018.
Tweetdeck provides you with the ability to easily monitor conversations on Twitter. You can set up your decks for whatever information you need, whether that’s managing multiple accounts, replying to mentions as they roll in or monitoring who’s talking about the trending hashtags in your industry.
And, like any social media management tool worth its salt, it allows you to schedule your Twitter posts in advance as well. Now, you may be wondering why you’d use a program that only works with one platform when there are other tools that can streamline your marketing activities. The answer is that Tweetdeck is completely free, thanks to being owned by Twitter itself.
For the 81% of small and medium-sized business owners using social media, you’ll definitely want to check out HootSuite. It’s one of the most popular tools for digital marketers thanks to its scalability.
With one platform, you can not only schedule your posts across multiple accounts, but you can also follow trending hashtags, manage ads and perform social listening. It’s compatible with over 30 social networks (yes, there are that many), and premium plans even allow you to bulk schedule across accounts.
Best of all, HootSuite offers plans for users and companies of every size. There’s a free plan for beginners, small and medium business plans at $29, $129 and $599 per month as well as the option for enterprise pricing. This is why HootSuite is used not just by millions of personal users, but also many Fortune 500 companies.
Much like HootSuite, Sprout Social is another tool that allows you to manage and monitor multiple social media platforms all in one place. In addition, Sprout Social is known for the quality of the reports that it generates.
Furthermore, the top-end plans offer customer relationship management (CRM) tools so that you can create comprehensive profiles of your clients in order to improve your customer service. For companies who are just starting with their digital marketing strategies will appreciate the suggested hashtags and other features that Sprout Social includes.
Plans start at $99 per user per month and go up to $149 and $249. All plans offer a 30-day free trial.
Social Pilot has gained popularity thanks to its user-friendly interface and budget-friendly pricing. It has some of the same key features as its competitors in including the ability to schedule posts across various social media platforms. And while it additionally offers analytics data, it cuts out the more complicated steps necessary for social monitoring.
Besides managing your own content, Social Pilot is also a great tool for finding the best content to share with your followers. It compiles suggestions of content based on is performing well across many industries.
Prices start very at an affordable rate for their Individual Plan at $10 per month which gives you the ability to schedule posts to 10 accounts although this plan doesn’t include analytics reports. Their most comprehensive plan comes in at $80 per month and gives access to up to 20 team members and 200 social media accounts. All plans are available to try for a 14-day period.
If you’re looking to get into the world of marketing automation and taking some of your more repetitive and tedious marketing tasks off your plate, then Zapier may be the right tool for you.
To be clear, Zapier is not a platform for creating native social media content. This means that you cannot use it to craft and schedule memes to Facebook or witticism to Twitter. Instead, it integrates with your other content streams to increase traffic and engagement to content like blog posts and emails.
For example, you can connect your WordPress account or an RSS feed of your blog posts to your Twitter and Facebook accounts and Zapier will automatically post to Twitter and Facebook anytime you have a new blog post.
Our favorite part of Zapier, however, is how these tools can be used for social listening. You can create a thing called “zaps” and that creates a notification system that aggregates mentions of your brand or certain hashtags across various platforms into a single spreadsheet.
Zapier offers three plans for personal, business and enterprise users. The personal plan is free forever although it has limited functionality and the business plan comes in at $20 per month. From there, there is a big jump to the enterprise plan which costs $250 per month.
Hubspot, often considered the gold standard when it comes to inbound marketing lead generation, isn’t blind to the fact that inbound marketing is changing. This marketing tool operates under the premise that anytime someone interacts with your brand on social media, this is an opportunity for lead generation.
With that in mind, the platform features a social inbox. This is a tool that allows digital marketers to monitor and respond to social interactions with their tweets, Facebook posts and more. Not only that, but Hubspot has promised to keep its CRM software free forever.
This is a tool that’s useful not just for digital marketers but for content managers as well. Whether you’re managing social media account or a blog on a website, scheduling regular posts is an essential part of increasing engagement with your audience.
CoSchedule gives you the ability to manage your entire marketing strategy from content creation to social media engagement. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by having too many tools, it’s worth checking out this one where you can have everything, even emails and events, all in one place.
CoSchedule offers an incredibly comprehensive set of plans with three tiers for individual, business and agency plans. Individual plans start as low $40 a month (or less if you join their referral program). All plans include a 14-day free trial.
Post Planner is a great, affordable, all-around tool for increasing the reach and engagement of your social media posts. The platform helps you with the three most important parts of your social strategy.
Firstly, there is the Find Tool which curates content from across the internet that has seen high engagement. Next, the platform includes a content calendar so you can be sure to plan what you’re writing about well in advance. And finally, the scheduling tool will ensure that you keep a consistent posting schedule.
Small Business plans start as low as $3 per month for 3 accounts and 30 posts per day. Additionally, there are Enterprise plans ranging from $59 per month for a 7-member team up to $299 per month for a 25-member team.
Between sponsored posts from influencers and ads that blend in with your feed, its no wonder that Instagram has become a powerful advertising tool, especially for companies targeting Millenials and Gen Zers. The platform boasted 104.7 million Instagram users in the United States alone in 2018, a number that is projected to increase to 120.3 million by 2020.
Later is a tool that will help you improve your Instagram game. The platform provides a content calendar so it’s easy to keep a visualization of your scheduled posts. For companies that sell products, there’s also a tool that you can use to create shoppable posts for your Instagram feed. This means that users can click on the link on the image and be brought directly to that product.
Later’s plans start with their Personal Free Forever plan which allows scheduling posts for just one platform and limited posts and their Personal Plus plan at $9 per month which allows for unlimited posts. They also offer business plans ranging from $19 per month for small businesses to an enterprise plan at just $49 per month.
Likealyzer is completely different compared to all the other tools we’ve written about for this article, but if you’re in the same situation as many brands when it comes to your dismal organic reach on Facebook as of late, you definitely need to take this app for a spin.
While Facebook is never completely transparent about the algorithm that decides which posts are shown to whom, many brands saw a drastic decline in their organic reach after the latest round of changes.
Likealyzer will analyze your Facebook page and provide you with instant scores as well as suggestions for how you can improve your reach and engagement. It’ll give you percentage scores for your Frontpage, About section, Activity, Response Time and Engagement.
For some of these sections, you can also break them down into further metrics. For example, a perusal of the Activity tab will tell you the percentages of your content, your average posts per day and average post length and more.
Performing this kind of Facebook audit is a great way to pinpoint what’s working with your current strategy and what needs to be changed.
Social media has taken on a mammoth role in the world of digital marketing. And with so many social media management tools on the market today, it can be hard to choose the best ones for your small business.
We’ve put together this list of our favorite ones, but the fact is that another person’s list may have very little overlap with ours. Testing tools out will give you the best chance of finding one that fits the needs of your business.
Not keen to take these digital marketing duties on yourself? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Contact us today and let’s chat about how we can help increase your business’s online presence.