In 2023, social media is a mainstay. If you’re in marketing, you’re using it. Full stop. Businesses leverage social media because it’s effective. After all, hundreds of millions of people use sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram daily. That’s a lot of eyeballs scrolling through media feeds. And a lot of opportunities for new customers.
But managing numerous social media profiles across a half-dozen platforms entails numerous activities. These might include writing and scheduling social media posts, replying to comments, monitoring the success of social campaigns and more.
In other words, social media management is a lot of work.
Successful social media management requires constant attention. For many, it’s a full-time job. Fortunately, there are several tools available that help with your business’s social media presence. A social media management tool can help you maximize your social presence while minimizing your efforts.
What Are Social Media Management Tools?
Social media management tools simplify your social media presence across platforms. They give you a single platform to manage all of your profiles from. And they provide some excellent tools for getting the most from your social efforts. For big businesses, they’re incredibly useful. And for small teams and freelancers, they’re lifesavers.
Some of the most popular social media management solutions feature a variety of user-friendly features to help you manage your social presence. A few of the things they offer are:
- A central tool to manage profiles across social media networks
- Planning and scheduling social media postings
- Automated monitoring and moderation
- Improved analytics
Sounds good, right? It gets better.
The Benefits of Using Social Media Management Tools
The ability to see all your social media feeds in one location is likely the biggest advantage of social media management software. Being able to monitor customer conversations and campaign performance from a single platform saves time. And probably your sanity.
You can also save time by generating social media postings in advance and scheduling them to go live at a specific time. You won’t have to stop what you’re doing throughout the day to post on multiple platforms. You’ll also be able to better plan your content releases according to optimal posting times.
Spreadsheets are popular among social media marketers for planning and managing their posts. But it’s far more effective to utilize a social media management tool. Most of them come with content planners to help you stay on top of things. They enable you to:
- Balance different types of social messaging
- Publish posts when they’re likely to receive the highest engagement
- Curate compelling content to share with your followers
- Plan for seasonal and release-specific messaging
These planners allow you to schedule posts when your target audience is most likely watching their feeds, ready to engage. In most cases, adjusting your schedule is as simple as dragging and dropping.
Analyze Social Performance
Another crucial component of successful social media management is analytics. Every major social platform offers analytics reporting that shows you how well your social marketing efforts are doing and where they need improving.
But the built-in analytics on individual platforms don’t show you the big picture of your broader social marketing efforts.
With a social media management tool, you can leverage cross-platform analytics to find out what content performs best across multiple networks. You can create custom reports based on the requirements you need rather than network-specific data.
Finally, maintaining consistency on every social network is a significant time sink. Social media management tools offer content libraries that can help keep things organized across networks. It also helps ensure your social presence is on-topic and brand consistent, regardless of the network.
Streamline Social Feeds and Messaging
Staying on top of the conversation is a cornerstone of effective social media marketing. It’s not just about engaging with your customers — you need to know what the conversation is surrounding your brand.
While many platforms allow you to filter conversations based on keywords, doing so across multiple platforms is a chore, to say the least. With a social management tool, you can listen for keywords across social networks, email lists and other channels, all from a single dashboard.
This kind of integration enables you to engage and do the following:
- Monitor post interactions, such as likes, shares and comments
- View and send messages
- Examine profiles and monitor follows
- Monitor and respond to conversations
All from a single platform. You’ll never find yourself bouncing through browser tabs again.
For bigger businesses, social management tools are invaluable. Not only do they consolidate messaging across platforms, but they also provide routing options to get each message to the appropriate person or department. All of which interface with your business’s CRM.
The 5 Best Social Management Tools for 2023
There are countless social media management tools in the wild. As is the case with other business solutions, choosing the right one depends on your brand’s needs.
Perhaps you need a tool to manage multiple profiles. Or maybe you’re more interested in content scheduling. On the other hand, you might want something that integrates with your CRM and provides in-depth insights.
Whether you’re a freelancer, a small business with ambitious marketing plans or a thriving enterprise, you’re covered. These five social media management tools have what you need.
The Best Overall: Sprout Social
Sprout Social offers robust publishing features, detailed analytics and a wealth of scheduling options. The platform supports all major social networks, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Pinterest. All in an easy-to-use package that won’t break the budget.
Some of the biggest benefits that Sprout Social offers are:
- An excellent dashboard for managing social media postings, feeds and schedules
- Tools for social media optimization
- Reports and analytics for measuring user engagement and returns on investment
- Excellent scheduling tools for batching and posting content
Sprout Social also provides great social listening features, including tools for identifying influencers. There’s even CRM functionality focused on social media contacts. Impressive analytics capabilities and an easy-to-use interface round out Sprout Social’s offerings.
This makes it a fantastic all-in-one social media management program. With a commendable balance of cost, features and analytics, Sprout Social is a great choice for most small and medium-sized businesses.
Best for Freelancers and Small Businesses: SEMrush
SEMrush is best known as an SEO platform, but it also offers extremely capable social media management tools for all the major social networks. The social management tools cover posting across networks, including automated scheduling and content editing tools. There are also ad management features for Facebook and Instagram.
SEMrush’s social media tracker enables marketers to track user engagement across networks. It covers post reactions as well as mentions across each network. It also aggregates analytics data, so you can monitor performance from a single dashboard.
Being an SEO tool at heart, SEMrush is keen on competitive analysis. As such, its social media tools include features for monitoring your competitors to see what kind of posts they’re putting up and how often.
The biggest benefit of using SEMrush for social media management is its SEO integrations. You can manage your social media presence and your SEO efforts from a single tool. And integrations between the two are robust and seamless. Perfect for freelancers and small businesses with limited budgets and manpower.
Best for Analytics: Hootsuite
Hootsuite is a complete social media toolkit with some of the best analytics available. With support for over 20 social networks and an App Directory that provides even more, you’re never left wanting. The platform also provides integrations to other popular tools, such as Mailchimp, Zendesk and Canva.
The comprehensive analytics that Hootsuite offers are some of the best available, providing detailed tracking tools, customizable reports and performance metrics. They help paint a clear picture of your social marketing efforts by pulling from over 200 metrics. Once generated, you can export the reports to Excel, PowerPoint or PDF to share with colleagues.
It’s worth mentioning that adding analytics capabilities increases the platform’s price. But for businesses that depend on social media for most of their marketing efforts, the cost is worth it.
Best for Automation: HubSpot
HubSpot is an all-in-one solution geared toward enterprises. Along with its social media marketing offerings, it provides SEO management, a CRM platform and even email services.
The biggest selling point of HubSpot is its full line of marketing integration and automation tools. While you can certainly manage your social presence with ease, the platform also has tools for:
- Editing and creating landing pages
- Content management
- Lead management
- Automated content posting on your website
HubSpot’s bulk scheduling feature makes queuing up and posting to various networks a breeze. With a provided template, you can add your batched content, select a post schedule, choose which networks to post to and select your campaigns. The template even shows you the character count of each post. When you’re ready, you can drag it back over to HubSpot and you’re all done.
From social media to web conversions, HubSpot lets you optimize every step of your sales funnel. It’ll even help you create targeted CTAs to improve ROI. There’s also full Canva integration, which allows marketers to design attractive images with a few clicks. For full-scope marketing efficiency, HubSpot is difficult to beat.
Most Affordable: Buffer
If you’re looking for a tool that’s a little less complex and a little more affordable, Buffer might be the one for you. Since it’s one of the few tools that offers a free plan, it’s a great solution for freelancers. It’s also a great option for younger businesses just getting into social media marketing.
Despite its low cost, Buffer still provides a lot of value. It supports all the major networks, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Pinterest. In addition to accessing all your feeds from the platform, you can schedule all your social media posts using a full-featured content scheduler. There’s also an optimization tool for hashtags and mentions across platforms.
A standout feature of Buffer is its available browser extension for scheduling posts. With the extension installed, you can click a browser button, compose an update and add it to a queue.
Who Should Use Social Media Management Tools?
If you spend more than a few hours per week managing social media, a social media management tool is a good idea. If you spend more than a few hours per day doing so, you need a social media management tool.
These tools are excellent for freelancers and one-person marketing teams — people who are accustomed to wearing multiple hats. When you’re juggling multiple tasks across numerous platforms, simplification and automation are essential. This gives you time to think about strategy rather than dealing with daily busy work such as posting and content creation.
For small businesses, social media management tools offer big benefits. If you have a marketing team, these tools help them collaborate better and more securely across platforms. They also give smaller businesses the power to run with the big dogs, so to speak. Even if you don’t have the staff hours to do so, you can run campaigns with daily posts.
Social media management enables secure cross-platform collaboration, CRM integration, message routing, and more for larger companies. They also provide permission controls so businesses with compliance concerns can keep PR incidents to a minimum.
The bottom line is that social media management tools provide more than just a single platform to manage your social profiles. All the tools listed here offer advanced scheduling features for managing posts. More importantly, they provide integrated analytics that can synergize your marketing efforts across networks.
In marketing, where even small improvements can equate to big returns, social media management tools are invaluable.
Your social media presence has a big impact on your brand. Social media management tools give you the power to manage, automate and optimize that presence without making it your full-time job. They’ll also provide you with insights to help amplify your brand’s impact and grow your business.
If you’re looking for other ways to free up your time so you can focus on the bigger picture, let Crowd Content help. Our team of professional freelance writers can provide you with in-depth articles, engaging blog posts, compelling web copy and more. We’ll even write your social media posts for you. In other words, we’ll supercharge your content strategy. Go ahead and take a look at what we offer or get in touch with us to find out more.