Finding the Best Social Media Management Tools
Nowadays, a brand’s success doesn’t just depend on how wide a reach it can garner through a traditional tri-media (print, television, and radio) approach. Instead, the real battle for popularity has gone online, particularly through social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Hence, your need to get the best social media tools and/or the best social media marketing tools.
Indeed, given recent metrics regarding the number of active users on the most common social media platforms, the possible impact of being able to reach out to an online audience is certainly a tempting scenario to consider:
- Facebook presently has over 890 million users worldwide according to a Statista report;
- Google/Google Workspace, while not necessarily a social media network, comes in second with nearly 360 interactive users;
- Despite the ongoing brouhaha involving Elon Musk and Donald Trump, Twitter still boasts 288 million global users; and
- While reformatting and realigned algorithms have caused issues, Instagram still has over 300 million on its media-sharing platform.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that you or your company have to have an active presence and/or a working campaign on all of these sites, as well as on specialized networks like TikTok and LinkedIn – but it does beg the question of where exactly you fit in where these networks are concerned and, of course, what tools are required to maximize your exposure on them.
But what sort of approach needs to be taken about selecting social media tools to suit one’s purposes? After all, investing in tools is no small thing and using the wrong tools could jeopardize a brand right at the onset.
This is what we intend to address in today’s feature as we talk about what businesses in all stages of growth need to look for in the best social media management tools.
First Things First: Let’s Define the Concept of Best Social Media Tools
Social media management tools are defined as single applications or software packages designed to allow users to publish content and monitor its performance and manage it on one or more social media networks from a single interface.
This makes several things easier to do, including:
- The best social media tools can share content on a regular schedule;
- Sharing the aforementioned content on multiple social media platforms;
- Quicker responses to any comments made on posts or direct messages sent via in-app / on-platform chat like Messenger or Instagram DM;
- The best social media analytics tools can use a single interface to handle responses from several social media platforms and gather data; and
- Encourage collaboration among work teams when it comes to managing a single social stream or even several at once.
Keep in mind that the best social media management tools and best social media marketing tools also come in two specific categories:
- Multiple-network tools, which can be used to handle interaction on several platforms. These include the likes of Buffer and Hootsuite; and
- Single-network tools that are used for a single platform. TweetDeck for Twitter is one, while Facebook Page Manager is another.
In addition, you will also need to consider what sort of best social media management tools you need to use to achieve certain outcomes.
Your Workflow Determines the Best Social Media Tools You Need
Before you jump right in and start buying the best tools for social media management left and right, we recommend you sit down and first consider your social media management workflow to determine what you really need.
For the most part, it helps to think of the management process as a continuous loop that consists of four primary steps. These are:
1. Creating content for your social media page or channel
Anyone who has actively managed an entertainment (or even info-tainment) channel on YouTube or TikTok knows that you need to have a steady stream of content to stay relevant in the game. But this doesn't mean that you should just keep churning; quality content is what gets you noticed. Posting it regularly helps build up your online following. In this case, you need the best social media tools, best social media marketing tools, and best social media analytics tools to properly organize your ideas and transform them into posts, and videos. The best social media analytics tools can even make graphic charts to keep your audience engaged;
2. Publishing your content
Now that you have a ready supply or scheduled slate of content, it's time to start posting. Most of the best social media marketing tools or best social media analytics tools offer an automation feature. So long as you have the material uploaded and set a schedule for posting, it's spot-on easy. However, some platforms will charge you for the privilege of using their scheduled posting option; in which case, you need to decide if you want to maximize the use of free channels or willingly pay a price to ensure regular exposure;
3. Listen and respond to your audience
Good content gets you noticed, and it will spark conversations within your audience. The big question here is: are you ready to reply or respond to any inquiries or comments? Good social media management involves a readiness to listen/read and understand your audience's responses, and engaging them further with relevant – and timely delivered – responses. This also lets you see what's a hit with your audience and adjust your online programming schedule accordingly.
4. Content analysis and comparison
Aside from focusing on your content, the best social media analytics tools allows you to gather and analyse data from social media platforms. The data can fuel your marketing campaigns, and you'll need the best social media marketing tools to push this through.
The best social media analytics tools also allow you to evaluate performance. Once you've established a steady content stream, a regular programming schedule, and a working set-up for dealing with inquiries and comments, you need to start looking at the metrics to see your hits and misses. This is the best gauge of your social media channel's performance and will enable you to calibrate your approaches better.
Our List of the Best Social Media Management Tools:
Hootsuite: Best for scheduling and publishing content across multiple platforms.
Buffer: Best for optimizing and scheduling social media posts.
Sprout Social: Best for managing large-scale social media presences.
Agorapulse: Best for social media reporting and analytics.
Zoho Social: Best for small businesses needing a comprehensive social media solution.
CoSchedule: Best for planning, organizing, and executing a content marketing strategy.
SocialBee: Best for automating social media growth and engagement.
Sendible: Best for managing multiple social media accounts in one place.
Later: Best for visually scheduling Instagram posts.
MeetEdgar: Best for recycling and categorizing social media content for maximum efficiency.
The Best Social Media Management Tools of the Trade:
Keeping all these in mind, the best social media management tools fall into three specific categories:
- Listening platforms;
- Publishing platforms; and
- Competitive analysis platforms.
Depending on what sort of social media platform you’re working with, you may need just one out of three or even all three.
1. Listening Platforms
These are defined as platforms used to monitor several best social media management tools for comments, reactions, and inquiries regarding a brand, product, service provider, or even a personality.
Listening platforms are also a great way to stay abreast regarding industrial trends, along with relevant news and developments. In doing so, these can help users understand what topics are relevant to their audience or market, along with the issues that matter to them the most.
2. Publishing Platforms
On the other hand, knowing what people are saying about you, your brand, or your company is just half the story. You will need a way by which to show off any content you’ve developed, and this is where publishing platforms come in.
These platforms enable you to share your content, even on several networks at once. These tools also offer features for setting up a posting schedule, so it's much easier to post content on a regular basis. Some of the more popular publishing platforms include Hootsuite and Percolate.
3. Competitive Analysis Platforms
Finally, we have the best social media analytics tools that are used to provide a comprehensive analysis on how your brand is performing online.
Using these will give you information relevant to your business, including how many followers interacted with your content, how frequently, and even whether or not they shared your content on their own pages or news feeds.
What are the Qualities of the Best Social Media Management Tools?
Now that we have presented what tools you may consider when it comes to social media management, we now need to answer the question as to what specific qualities you need to look at when it comes to choosing specific tools.
While there are no hard and fast guidelines, you will need to answer the following questions:
- Is the platform easy to use?
- Time is of the essence when it comes to social media where what's hot now may be lukewarm in about an hour. That said, it doesn't pay to get a tool or application that will take you hours to navigate or learn how to use. Make it a point to get the best social media marketing tools that you can use right out of the box;
- Does it offer the specific features you need to run a successful social media campaign?
- All right: the tool suite you found is loaded, sure – but can you actually use it for your social media management needs? If it's all flash and no functionality, then better pass on it; and
- Can you afford it?
- Price is one of the primary considerations when choosing the best social media management tools. This is a challenge for small- and medium-scale enterprises that may not have an adequate IT budget, let alone an independent social media team. Consider the best social media analytical tools and suites that offer a lot of bang for your buck or freeware that suits your specific requirements.
Other Key Features of Best Social Media Management Tools for Business:
Likewise, we recommend that you have a checklist of key features that will be beneficial for you and your brand’s social media presence. Your list should include the following:
- The ability to support posting and monitoring on the major social media networks;
- A social engagement function that will enable you to react and reply to reader/follower feedback in a timely fashion;
- Collaborative features that will enable your company’s teams to work on specific social media channels or collectively work on posts; and
- The best social media marketing tools need to have the ability to plan and deploy posting schedules using uploaded content.
That's all for now:
If you've read all the way through this best social media management tools, we are thankful. We hope you can now answer the question of why you should invest in the best social media management tools! We have a large collection of articles, guides, and comparison reviews of eCommerce solutions, web hosting providers, website builders, and more! Feel free to check them out;
Please share any comments below!