Top 5 Social Media Management Tools 2019
If you've ever tried to manually manage all of your social media accounts, you know the struggle. Between content creation, hashtags, proactive engagement, remembering to post AND trying to respond to each ding as you hear the next notification, the overwhelm can often be too much.
This is where consistency falls short and as you know, consistency is the glue that holds any social media strategy together. It's the consistency that build trust between you and your buyer.
So what's an online business owner to do?
Fortunately, there are some incredible, low-cost tools that you can invest in that make managing your social media accounts a breeze.
Top Benefits of Using A Social Media Management Platform
01 | It saves you time.
By creating and scheduling content in bulk, you free up time to engage with your community and manage your to-do list in a more productive manner.
02 | It saves you money.
Time is money. By investing in a tool to help you manage your accounts, you also have more time to work on those revenue-generating tasks like sales. This means not only does it save you money, it frees you up to make MORE money!
03 | It eliminates stress and helps you avoid overwhelm.
No longer do you have to feel like a slave to your social media platforms. You can do what needs to be done in a systematic way without feeling overwhelmed trying to post in the moment each and every time.
04 | It helps you build consistency.
By implementing a social media management tool, you can set aside time in your calendar to batch create content and schedule it out throughout the week or even month. This helps your brand to build a consistent presence regardless of the chaos that goes on behind the screens.
Having managed over 100 social media accounts over the last 5 years, it's safe to say, I've tried and tested them all!
Today, I'm breaking down the top 5 social media management tools I recommend for you to take a closer look at.
Top 5 Social Media Management Tools
ContentCal is perfect for more advanced teams who manage multiple accounts or for companies that are looking to streamline their marketing campaign content in one place.
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram. Content can be planned out but not directly published on Snapchat, Wordpress, Pinterest and other platforms.
Helps you manage the entire campaign process in a streamlined way from planning, to content creation, team approval, scheduling and publishing.
Top 5 Pros
✓ Manage full integrated marketing campaigns from one dashboard in a streamlined manner from planning to creation, schedule, publishing and tracking progress via analytics.
✓ Includes a content library to store digital assets. Very few alternatives offer the ability to store all your content in one place.
✓ Extremely affordable especially when you consider the number of features included on each plan.
✓ You can plan out content for additional networks such as YouTube, Pinterest, Email, Blog and Snapchat. This ability to create, plan and store draft content helps streamline your processes and manage your entire content campaign in one place.
✓ Excellent team features helps ensure everyone knows their role and are working to manage multiple accounts seamlessly. (If you’re a Social Media Manager, you’ll know this struggle all too well!)
Top 3 Cons:
✖ No social inbox or ability to manage engagement/respond to notifications (YET!) means customer service still needs to be handled by logging into each social platform.
✖ Design isn't as simple or user-friendly as other platforms especially if you’re not very tech savvy. With that being said, Content Cal have a great set of onboarding videos to help you navigate your way around.
✖ No direct Pinterest integration. You can still plan your posts but you can’t schedule them directly.
Freemium: 4 accounts, 1 user, 50 scheduled posts
Individuals £9/month+: 4 accounts, 1 user, unlimited posts
Small Business £29/month+: Unlimited accounts, 2 users, unlimited posts
Coming soon on ContentCal
The only real downside to ContentCal is the platform’s inability to respond to notifications. This makes it a super efficient content management tool but community management still has to be managed elsewhere. However, this is something ContentCal is working on and will be launching very soon. The team at ContentCal were kind enough to share some screenshots of what the platform will look like once this feature is added.
As you can see, the social listening capabilities are powerful! This is a gamechanger especially if you have a team, are managing multiple accounts and need to streamline the entire marketing campaign process. The ability to access all these features at such a cost-effective price, for me, puts ContentCal a head above the rest.
AgoraPulse offers an all-in-one solution that is easy to use and comes with a great user design. The platform enables you to manage all the core components of your social media strategy without any distracting bells and whistles. This tool is slightly more expensive but if you can stretch your budget, this is a solid option for managing your social media marketing in one place.
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram.
Maintains a simple, easy to use design without sacrificing key customer service features such as the ability to respond to notifications.
Top 5 Pros:
✓ Clean, simple design with an easy to use interface.
✓ AgoraPulse comes with an Inbox Assistant that includes features such as automated moderations and saved replies. This helps you set up rules to filter out spam content while highlighting key messages (based on keywords) that you or your team can review or assign to the appropriate team member.
✓ Includes a ‘Social Inbox’ that allows you to respond to all your notifications in one place within AgoraPulse itself. This is great for social listening.
✓ AgoraPulse comes with more advanced analytics than the alternatives on this list. The beautifully designed charts make it easy to track your progress and highlight areas for improvement. It also comes with the ability to export reports.
✓ Queue system that allows you to recycle evergreen content from different categories.
Top 3 Cons
✖ There is no ability to view your platform news feeds limiting your social listening capabilities.
✖ Lack of integrations particularly in terms of Pinterest.
✖ More expensive than alternatives on the market with no freemium level for beginners.
Small $49/month: 3 profiles, 1 user
Medium: $99/month: 10 profiles, 3 users
Large $199/month: 25 profiles, 6 users
Enterprise $399/month: 40 profiles, 12 users
For many years, Hootsuite was the 'go-to' of all social media management platforms. It encompassed all the features you could possibly need to manage all of your platforms from a single dashboard. This includes content creation, aggregation, search and engagement features including the ability to respond to all of your notifications in one place.
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, Wordpress
A wide variety of robust features that allow you to fully manage all of your social media platforms from a single dashboard.
Top 5 Pros:
✓ Hootsuite is completely cross platform making it really easy to manage all of your social media platforms from a single dashboard. This can be a huge time saver.
✓ Social Listening. Ability to setup and monitor multiple news feed streams in one place based on your personal preferences. Other platforms do not offer the ability to view news feeds or searches and interact with conversations in this manner.
✓ The ability to respond to notifications and reply to mentions makes this a fantastic tool for managing customer service as a team with assigned roles.
✓ Can create basic Facebook Ads from your social media dashboard.
✓ Hootsuite makes it easy to assign roles to team members allowing you to streamline your entire social media strategy in a highly effective manner.
Top 3 Cons:
✖ Overwhelm. While Hootsuite packs in a lot of different features, this can be really overwhelming if you aren't tech savvy.
✖ Design. Despite several re-designs, Hootsuite’s doesn’t have the user-friendly design that can be enjoyed in other platforms. It can seem clunky largely due to all the different features Hootsuite does include.
✖ Buggy. Hootsuite has been known to be buggy over the years especially when it comes to pulling in image previews on Facebook. With visual content being such a key component of social media, this can be a big issue.
Freemium: 2 profiles, 1 user 30 scheduled posts
Professional $29/mth: 5 profiles, 1 user, Unlimited scheduling
Teams $129/mth+: 10 profiles, 5 users, Unlimited scheduling
Buffer is one of the most established social media management tools on the market. The real value of Buffer is in its simplicity. Anyone can use it. With that being said, for Buffer to maintain this ease of use, features are limited in comparison to other platforms. For example, you can't engage with your community or respond to notifications.
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Pinterest.
Incredibly simple and easy to use.
Top 5 Pros:
✓ Clean, simple design that makes content scheduling a breeze.
✓ Easily ‘Re-Buffer’ popular content allowing you to increase the lifespan and continue to drive traffic to high value posts.
✓ Highly intuitive, easy to use chrome browser extension (Check out how I use it as a low-cost @MeetEdgar alternative here!)
✓ Very affordable even on a bootstrapped budget.
✓ Can easily adjust calendars for each platform and turn off (pause) your content queue with a click of a button.
Top 3 Cons:
✖ Limited functionality. This tool is primarily for scheduling content.
✖ No social monitoring tool for notifications, searches or hashtags.
✖ Can be expensive if working as a large team.
Freemium: 3 profiles, 1 user, 10 scheduled posts.
Awesome Plan $15/mth : 10 profiles, 1 user, 100 scheduled posts.
Small Business $99/mth: 25 profiles, 6 users, 2000 scheduled posts
Medium $199/mth: 50 profiles, 11 users, 2000 schedules posts.
#5 Meet Edgar
Edgar is a fantastic social media scheduler for high-volume content creators who want to ensure they are publishing on a consistent basis and are maximising the lifespan of their evergreen content .Edgar’s automated social sharing and re-sharing based on the content categories and schedules you set up for each platform.
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram (reminders only).
Create an evergreen content library that ensures you’re consistently posting content.
Top 5 Pros:
✓ Excellent for content creators who are publishing a lot of high-value, evergreen content. Edgar allows you to increase the lifespan of this content.
✓ Batch create content into content categories in one sitting. Set your schedule for each platform and Edgar will take care of the rest freeing up time to engage with your audience.
✓ Easily manage content. You can easily upload a csv. file of content, batch move content from one category to another, you can pause your queue on or off with a button.
✓ Set expiry dates on your content. This last feature is incredibly helpful when managing a time-specific campaign.
✓ Intuitive feature that creates variations of your caption so that you can continue to share the same piece of content without it appearing like you’re repeating the exact same post over and over again.
Top 3 Cons:
✖ Limited Functionality. What Edgar does, it does exceptionally well. However, it’s not an all in one solution. The ‘set it and forget it’ approach helps you maintain consistency but you can also risk becoming disconnected from the content being published on a weekly basis which in turn, can impact the relationship building aspect of social media marketing.
✖ Very expensive especially given the limited functionality.
✖ No Pinterest Integration and Instagram isn’t a direct publication.
$49 per month: 25 profiles
All of these tools can provide tremendous value to your business. Which one should you use? Well, it depends! I know that might not be the answer you’re looking for but the truth is there is no one size fits all best tool that I can prescribe to you.
If you are just starting out and need something basic, I recommend Buffer. If you are a content creator posting a lot of evergreen content, Edgar could be your new best friend. If you want to manage all of your social media activity in one place, check out Hootsuite. Alternatively, if require a simple user friendly design and have the budget to spare, AgoraPulse is a fantastic 'all in one' solution. If you are tech savvy, have multiple team members and require a powerhouse to manage your entire campaign process, ContentCal could be a great option.
The key is to find the best tool for you!
I do hope this post will provide you some insight and value as to the social media management tool that can support you in implementing a strategy for success!