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9 essential social media management tools for marketers

If you’ve been in the industry for a while, you’ll know that social media management is no joke. From planning and scheduling your posts to analyzing and optimizing their performance, there’s a lot of work involved. And you can’t just wing it, hoping for the best.

In fact, social media management requires tons of strategizing and careful execution. That’s why you need to invest in the right tools that will help you do just that. To give you a leg up, we’ve put together a list of the best social media management tools to take your marketing game up a notch.

Let’s jump right in.

1: Sprout Social

As you might have guessed, we made the top of our list. But it’s not without good reason. Sprout Social’s comprehensive features give other social media management tools a run for their money.

The all-in-one scheduling dashboard gives you the freedom to seamlessly switch between platforms and manage them more effectively. Since it integrates with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest, it’s much easier to streamline your social presence through a single platform.

It lets you queue up your posts, so you can optimize the tags and captions for each platform with ease. You can also time your posts to perfection, or use Sprout’s patented ViralPost feature to ensure that you publish them when your followers are most likely to engage.

sprout compose window for posting new messagesCross-posting allows you to ramp up your posting frequency to outsmart the social media algorithmsIn addition to planning a comprehensive social strategy, responsiveness is a crucial factor that influences people’s experience with your brand on social media. In fact, the Sprout Social Index: Edition XI found that it is the top brand action that would prompt consumers to buy from a brand. So make the most of Sprout’s Smart Inbox to ensure that you don’t miss any messages from your audience.

The Inbox compiles all your incoming messages from different social media platforms, allowing you to manage them more effectively. You can look for the most relevant messages using branded keyword or tag filters. It also lets you assign the most relevant team member to handle specific messages and deliver exceptional customer service.

sprout smart inbox with messages from customersSprout lets you show the value of your social strategy with comprehensive analytics and reporting functionality. In addition to helping you identify the most relevant hashtags for your content, it gives you a detailed insight into your performance as a whole. You can easily keep track of your audience growth, impressions, post engagement and link clicks on different platforms.

sprout group report dashboard with activity overview and audience growthIt also lets you hone in on your most engaging content so you know exactly which types of posts your audience likes. The custom URL tracking feature gives you a more in-depth insight into how your posts are performing in terms of referral traffic and conversions. Combine all these insights to optimize your posting strategy and generate an even bigger impact.

Interested in trying out Sprout? Sign up for a free trial or schedule a demo today!

2: Zoho Social

Zoho Social is one of the best social media management tools for team collaboration. It allows you to start discussions, share reports, create specific roles for your team members and ask for feedback. This makes it super easy to get everyone on board with your updates, strategies and performance insights.

zoho social collaboration dashboardIn addition to scheduling your posts ahead of time, this social media tool also predicts the best time to post based on your audience’s activity. It comes with direct Intstagram scheduling, which lets you publish posts and repost user-generated content straight from your desktop.

Zoho Social gives you an in-depth insight into your audience analytics. This helps you understand how people are engaging with your posts on multiple platforms and which types of posts drive the most engagement.

3: Agorapulse

Agorapulse offers one of the most flexible scheduling options among all social media management tools. It lets you schedule and reschedule posts as well as queue them up and upload them in bulk–whichever is most convenient for you. You can even set up posts for recurring republication.

agorapulse scheduling optionsLike Zoho Social, Agorapulse also provides easy, real-time collaboration functionality. You can assign the most relevant team member to manage your draft posts, comments or messages.
One of the top highlights of this tool is its built-in CRM, which allows you to segment your audience into relevant groups. You can easily discover brand influencers and ambassadors so you can give them recognition or partner with them as part of your influencer marketing strategy.

4: Buffer

With an easy-to-use interface, Buffer is an excellent social media tool for beginners who are just getting started with third-party tools.

You can easily collaborate with your team, get feedback on drafts, review them for quality and more. It allows you to customize your drafts for each platform and get a preview of the content you have lined up.

buffer scheduling dashboardBuffer comes with direct Instagram scheduling and even enables you to include a first comment along with your scheduled posts. So you’ll have no trouble adding more hashtags or expanding on a post description through the crucial first comment.
5: CoSchedule

Another great starter tool for beginners, CoSchedule comes with an easy drag-and-drop editor. This lets you reschedule your posts and update your publishing schedule without any hassle.

Like many of the other social media management tools on the list, this tool also comes with a recommended post time feature. So rather than taking a guess at the best time to post, it automatically suggests the highest traffic times for multiple social platforms.

One of the highlights of the CoSchedule Social Organizer is the ability to create predefined social templates. You can reuse these templates and easily come up with compelling promotional messages within minutes. This reduces a lot of repetitive work and helps you save time.

coschedule social template example6: Bambu

Employee advocacy has become a vital element in the social media strategies of many brands. This isn’t too surprising considering how it gets real people with individual voices talking about your content, leading to a more organic and authentic connection. In fact, a PostBeyond survey found that there’s a 561% increase in reach for company-branded messages when shared by employees.

So if you want to take your social employee advocacy up a notch, tools like Bambu are a must-have. This tool enables your brand to tap into the audiences of your employees, helping you gain a larger, more relevant reach.

You can streamline all your vital company messages and content on a single dashboard so your employees can easily share them on social media. This is a great way to ensure that your employees share content that is authentic and on-brand.

Bambu also comes with a handy analytics feature, which helps you identify your top-performing content. You’ll be able to use these insights to understand what type of content resonates with your employees and their networks.

bambu analytics dashboard with overview of stories and shares metrics7: Later

If your social media strategy revolves around Instagram, you might not find it necessary to use a tool that integrates with multiple social platforms. So Instagram-specific social media tools like Later would make an excellent investment.

This tool is pretty straightforward to use with a visual content calendar that you can edit with ease using the drag-and-drop editor. Since you’ll be able to preview your feed before posts get published, it’s much easier to maintain a consistent aesthetic for your Instagram feed.

The main highlight of this tool is the easy content organization functionality. Later allows you to sync your photos and videos from anywhere–whether it’s your phone, desktop, Dropbox or Google Drive. You can also add tags to your content to keep them organized and find them within seconds.

With user-generated content being a vital element in your Instagram marketing strategy, the ability to discover and repost UGC is another useful feature. It lets you conduct searches using relevant hashtags and save posts directly to your content library. You can then repost these images and videos directly from the platform.

UGC search on later with the hashtag #pursuitofpink8: TweetDeck

TweetDeck is one of the best places to start if you’re completely new to social media management tools. As an official part of Twitter, the tool’s dashboard serves as somewhat of a command center for all your Twitter activity.

From here, you can get updates to the latest content, mentions and notifications. TweetDeck also lets you schedule tweets, send direct messages and keep track of trending topics using a single dashboard.

tweetdeck dashboard showing home, notifications and message columnsWhile it may not have the functionality to manage other social media platforms, it’s a great starter tool for brands whose marketing strategy revolves around Twitter.
9: Snaplytics

The tools we’ve mentioned above are mostly for managing your regular feed posts, comments and messages. But what about your Stories? With 500 million daily active Instagram Story users and 203 million daily active Snapchat users, you can’t afford to overlook Stories management.

And the best tool to do that is Snaplytics. This tool lets you schedule your Stories so they’re automatically published at the right time. This scheduling feature also ensures that you maintain a smooth content flow in your Stories before posting them.

In addition to reposting UGC to your Stories, this tool enables you to manage all your conversations on a single platform.

The analytics and monitoring features are exceptionally useful for marketers. You’ll be able to identify your top-performing Stories and determine how new followers are finding you. It also helps you understand how you perform against the competition. Use these insights to optimize your Stories strategy and gain leverage over your competitors.

snaplytics analytics dashboard with follower growth and opens and completion ratesWhich social media management tools should you use?
It’s easy to get confused since there are so many choices for social media tools in the market. Compare our list against your unique organizational needs to determine which tools make the most sense to you.
What features do you normally look for when choosing a social media management tool? Are you using any of the tools on our list? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.
 
 
This post 9 essential social media management tools for marketers originally appeared on Sprout Social.

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About Daniel Rodgers

A lot of news that you will not see in the paper. A lot of technology that is coming out that will not see in the paper.

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