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You already have a social media strategy, right? Well, no matter how well-tuned your strategy is, it’s always critical for you to pivot that social media marketing strategy as time goes by. After all, social media is always evolving, your customers are always involved, and so are social media marketing tools. And since tools are an important part of strategy execution, the fact that these tools change is also important.
Here’s the bottom line: it’s always a good time for a social media marketer to regularly take a step back and see what is out there on the market that can help you in your publishing to and management of social media platforms. This is especially true at the end of the year when goals are being evaluated, and at the beginning of the year, when sales numbers become finalized.
With that in mind, let’s look at some social marketing tools you should consider.
What free social media marketing tools can I use to take my business to the next level?
Especially when companies are small or just starting out, it’s easy to ask about free tools. The truth is, in life, nothing comes for free. Think about it: if a company is going to give away a free tool, how will they make money to stay alive? Often, it’s through advertising or other means. But either way, you won’t get the best available product.
Free social media marketing tools, when they exist as part of a freemium model or on a very limited free trial, are very limited and should not be considered if you plan to grow your business across multiple social media platforms in a BIG way. A free trial is OK for trying out the tool, but only on a short-term basis. Consider simply exploring what it has to offer, without disconnecting your existing tool until you know you want to switch.
Here’s the bottom line: unless you are NOT aiming to build or run a 6 or 7-figure business or higher, it’s a smart move to invest $20 to $100 a month or higher for the time saved and more efficient marketing you can do with the tools on this list. At the end of the day, this is a small investment in your business’ future. Considering how important social media marketing is, you don’t want to miss out.
What are the social media tools for Facebook marketing?
Before I get started with third-party tools, the biggest social network provides a great example of how social media marketing tools can help you. In particular, Facebook has its own tools in its Creator Studio as well as Facebook Ads Manager to allow you to create, schedule, and even create and manage ad campaigns. YouTube has similar functionality in its creator studio, but it also only works within the network. Both networks let you respond to your fans and followers within the app.
However, you might want to do all of the above in a dashboard that allows you to manage all of your social networks more effectively. You can create better social media posts, and even leverage Facebook Ads tools that leverage AI to intelligently manage your ad spend perhaps better than Facebook can by using a 3rd party social media marketing tool like the ones I will present below. This often includes finding out how much your social media marketing drives traffic to your site.
What are the tools used in social media marketing?
At a minimum, social media marketing tools involve the creation of content and scheduling them in one convenient dashboard across all of your social networks. This alone saves a lot of time since you don’t need to log in and out of different social networks. In addition, there’s less need to handle a bunch of applications. Many social media marketing tools even include unified content calendars that help you see what’s getting published where, and when. If you need to make changes, it’s much easier.
On top of these basic functions, tools used in social media marketing usually feature functionality that can help you create creative content, analyze your social media marketing and provide you unique insights, help you do social listening and follower/social media user engagement, generate reports, and even help create and manage ad campaigns. In other words, many of these tools are like a Swiss Army knife: just fold out another tool and use it. Then, put the knife away when finished.
With all of this in mind, let’s dig in!
Which Are the 15 Best Social Media Marketing Tools You Should Use?
Let’s now look at a list of my top recommendations, divided into general social media management tools that will generally speak have your back covered and then specialized social media marketing tools if you are looking for a more specific solution for specific social channels. For both kinds of tools, there are different levels of functionality. When choosing between them, think about what you need and what’s affordable for your business right now. Remember, you can change later.
General Social Media Management Tools
First, let’s look at the general social media marketing tools. These typically have broad functionalities across the more popular social networks. In addition, some tools will cover more niche or newer networks like TikTok. When your social media strategy includes one of these, you’ll want to consider this when choosing a general tool. Or, you can pair it with one of the specialized tools below.
Further Reading: The 20 Best Social Media Management Tools You Need to Know
Buffer is an official marketing partner for Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. They’ll also help you manage a Twitter account. There’s a unified calendar for all networks, and there are collaboration tools for teams. You can compose posts and schedule them for publication, but you can’t do graphic design. Buffer offers comprehensive analytics tools for engagement, revenue, and audience insights. Finally, you can engage with followers in-app.
Pricing: $5 per month, per social channel. You can also pay for extra user seats through team packages.
Further Reading: How to Sell on Pinterest: A Complete Guide for Beginners
Hootsuite lets you manage over twenty different social networks, including YouTube and Whatsapp. You get comprehensive post planning and posting tools. This includes the ability to do photo editing and preview posts as they will be seen, in addition to the ability to pause posting when necessary. They also have engagement tools to help you respond to followers, analytics for planning or results in monitoring, and advertising management tools. In other words, Hootsuite has a little bit of everything.
Pricing: From $49 per month.
With SproutSocial, you get powerful planning capabilities in your social media marketing tools. Then, the application lets you compose content using a media library, storage integrations, and product links. For the latter, you can integrate Sprout with certain shopping programs to get those links automatically. Sprout helps automate posting, even assisting with the best times to post. Once you’ve posted, there are engagement tools for your staff, an excellent analytics engine, and even social listening. Finally, there’s an avenue for employee advocacy within the app.
Pricing: From $89 per month.
If you have a team, AgorPpulse is one of the best options because of its collaboration tools. Another great feature is the categorization of your publishing queues on the calendar, so you can monitor what types of content are going out when. This makes it easier to make changes when needed and helps you republish evergreen content. You’ll get an inbox for audience engagement, and social listening. Finally, AgoraPulse includes excellent analytics tools.
Pricing: From $79 per month.
For agencies, Sendible is one of the best social media marketing tools. That’s because it’s set up with agencies in mind. To that end, they have all of the comprehensive social media management tools such as posting, composition, and monitoring. An agency-friendly feature is an in-app approval process, which lets clients have more control. Finally, Sendible supports more social networks and has more integrations than its competitors. These allow for Facebook ads, WordPress, Google My Business, and more.
Pricing: From $29 per month.
Last among my comprehensive social media marketing tools is SocialPilot. With SocialPilot, it’s easy to post the same piece of content across your social media profiles. Or schedule it as an evergreen post over time. You can even schedule posts in bulk for minimum effort. Visualize your social media strategy with their calendar, and get content curation suggestions delivered to your inbox. With their social inbox, you can engage with followers in near real-time, and post Facebook ads. Finally, their analytics reports can be easily downloaded into a PDF.
Pricing: From $25.50 per month.
Specialized Social Media Marketing Tools
Next on our list are the specialized social media marketing tools. These have a specific purpose, so you’d need other tools to go along with them. However, depending on your needs, and the features of your comprehensive marketing tool, you might find them useful. Finally, a few of them are valuable in more than one area of your business or across your marketing campaigns.
Canva is a drag-and-drop graphics editing tool that allows you to make ideal posts for your social media accounts. You can make Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter graphics, in addition to thumbnails and other assets for YouTube. There are also folders where you can store brand assets and other graphics for future use, and team collaboration tools. Finally, this is a tool you can use for a variety of other assets, such as posters and flyers. Overall a highly versatile tool.
Pricing: Freemium. Paid from $12.99 per month.
This is primarily a content curation tool that you can use to fill up gaps in your content calendar. The calendar can be kept on MeetEdgar, though it doesn’t have the advanced capabilities of the comprehensive tools. Post through Edgar, or feed the found content into your more comprehensive scheduler. Finally, you can A/B test different kinds of content to help hone your strategy.
Pricing: From $19 per month.
With BuzzSumo, it’s easy to find useful things to implement your social media strategy. First, the app combs the web for great content to curate or imitate. Second, they keep track of what’s trending on the Web, which goes beyond your other analytics by pulling in competitor knowledge. BuzzSumo’s social monitoring tool lets you see what people are saying about you and your competitors. And most importantly, this is a great app to use for finding influencers.
Pricing: From $79 per month.
For Pinterest users, Tailwind is one of the best social media marketing tools. That’s because they’ll help build ideal Pinterest posts. You can craft the perfect design, then discover the right hashtags to maximize your chance of going viral. Finally, you can post through Tailwind or send it to your other social media scheduler.
Pricing: From $9.99 per month.
For B2B brands, Oktopost is a great tool to try. They have a social media posting and calendar tool that organizes everything by an advertising campaign. Analytics and listening help you track the impact your social media posts are having, and what people say about your brand. There’s an in-app engagement tool to assist with customer communication and employee advocacy functions. Lastly, there’s a CRM-like feature that helps you track people and convert them into customers.
Pricing: Not available.
Try this tool if you’d like to write automation applets for your devices and programs. These can help with a variety of social media tasks, such as automated posting. This way, you and your staff don’t have to think of everything.
Pricing: Freemium. Paid from $5 per month.
Bitly is a URL shortener, and arguably one of the oldest. However, it’s a bit more sophisticated than just shortening links. You can make branded short links with this, making for ideal social sharing tools. In addition, they have a link management function that lets you see which links get clicked on the most, and other valuable insights.
Pricing: Freemium. Paid $29 per month.
This is a password manager with robust collaboration features. Use it to create strong passwords worry-free. You can even share passwords with other members of your team: the shared password can’t be viewed, only filled into the applicable login. With business accounts, administrators control access to the passwords and extra authentication is available.
Pricing: Business plans from $4 per person, per month.
If you create and post video content on social media, Lumen5 is a tool to check out. They support YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook video types. In addition, you can use the app for all kinds of videos to be posted around the Web. Best of all, it lets you repurpose footage in a way that goes beyond what’s possible from social media creator studios.
Pricing: Freemium. Paid plans from $11 per month.
There’s little question that there are lots of tools out there for social media professionals. How you leverage these social media marketing tools to develop and manage your social media content and social media accounts will undoubtedly help you achieve your goals for social media campaigns and social media strategy in general.
If you’re just starting, I suggest choosing tools that are simple enough for beginners yet leave room for you to grow. That way, you won’t feel held back by your social media marketing tools. Then, you can go on to more complex tools that can handle more complex organizations and operations. At the end of the day, the most important thing is to have the right tools for the right tasks, at the right time.
Hero photo by Grant S on Unsplash
Social Media Marketing Tools FAQs
These are some of the best tools for social media marketing:
The five primary marketing tools are product, price, promotion, place, and people.
1. Product – refers to the goods or services that a company offers for sale.
2. Price – the amount that customers pay for a product or service.
3. Promotion – the process of communicating with customers about the products/services offered.
4. Place – distribution channel through which products or services are sold.
5. People – customers who purchase products or services.
Social media tools are any software or application that enables users to create, share or consume content on social media platforms. Common examples of social media tools include content management systems (CMS), blogging platforms, social networking sites, video-sharing websites, and forums. While each type of tool serves a different purpose, they all work together to allow users to connect and engage with each other online.
Social media tools are divided into four main types:
3. Content sharing
There are four main types of social media marketing:
1. Paid social media marketing – refers to ads that are placed on social media platforms, typically in the form of Sponsored Posts or Promoted Tweets.
2. Earned social media marketing – refers to when users actively seek out and share your content, such as when they Retweet one of your posts or leave a positive review on your Facebook Page.
3. Owned social media marketing – refers to any content that you create and publish on your own social media channels, such as blog posts, infographics, or YouTube videos.
4. Shared social media marketing – happens when users share your content with their own networks, essentially giving you free advertising.