Digital MarketingSocial Media MarketingTop 11 social media marketing tools for 2019

Top 11 social media marketing tools for 2019

Top social media marketing tools for 2019 and key points to consider for each. Hootsuite, Buffer, Lightful, Sprout Social – which is best for your business?

There are many social media marketing tools to improve your social presence. Which one is better for your business?

Social media marketing can help you improve your brand awareness, boost your engagement with your followers and even explore new opportunities with potential customers. However, it’s not easy to manage all social media platforms without the use of the right tools. There are many social media management tools to help you be more effective.

All the available options can make it hard for you to decide the right one for your business. We’ve compiled a list with 16 tools to give you an overview of some of the most popular options before you pick the best choice for your team.

Whether you’re currently using one of them or you’re looking to switch to a different one, this list with 10 social media marketing tools should be of help.

Hootsuite

Hootsuite helps you manage all your social accounts in one place. It is probably one of the most popular options in social media management and monitoring.

It allows you to publish and schedule your social media posts and you can also use it to monitor your mentions and the keywords that you want to track.

This way you can use the platform for all the stages of your content, from finding new ideas to publishing them and measuring their performance.

The paid plans allow you to integrate your boosting plans into the platform while you can even integrate hundreds of apps to make your social media marketing more effective.

It’s one of the most popular options among social media marketers and it’s also a good way to get started to social media marketing if you’re still getting to grips with it and all the tasks you need to complete throughout your week.

What you need to consider

There is a free version for those who want a very simple solution but it’s limiting the number of posts that you can schedule and the data that you’re seeing through analytics. If you want to give it a try, the free option lets you schedule up to 30 posts while you can link up to 3 social profiles.

The pricing plans depend on the features and the number of profiles and the users that you want to add. The bigger your team the higher the pricing. Some marketers don’t find Hootsuite’s UX appealing comparing to other tools while its advocates are focusing on its functionality and the features that you can have in just one platform.

The Professional plan at $19/month allows you to connect 10 social profiles for 1 user and it includes unlimited scheduling. If you want to involve 3 users, you will have to pay $99/month and you’ll be able to connect up to 20 profiles along with team message assignments, custom reports and exportable analytics.

A complaint that I’ve heard from fellow marketers about Hootsuite is that it hasn’t really changed its interface through the years and it can be overwhelming if you’re just getting started. This is not necessarily a bad thing if you can still get all the features that you need in one place, so the decision is yours!

Buffer

Buffer is a popular social media management platform that many brands use all over the world.

It’s probably the most popular option along with Hootsuite and they both have their own strengths and weaknesses.

Buffer is focusing on publishing and scheduling and this has been the main feature ever since the tool launched. The user experience is focusing on simplicity to ensure that you’re able to schedule and plan your content without having any problems.

The ability to load the posts in the ‘Queue’ help you load posts in your profiles without necessarily setting the time manually on all posts. This way you can automate your planning to ensure that you’re only picking your ideal times once through the Settings.

You can also reschedule your posts by looking at your Sent posts and picking the ones that can be loaded again to the Queue. The Buffer Chrome extension can also help you simplify the idea of curating content while you can even create quick images for your posts through their free tool, Pablo.

If you’re interested in monitoring the replies you can also sign up to Buffer Reply, which is currently an additional product for Buffer. Moreover, you can also sign up to get early access to their upcoming product focusing on analytics, Buffer Analyze.

What you need to consider

The free plan can help you get started to learn how to use the tool. However, it’s very limiting so if you’re thinking of scheduling more posts you might want to consider a paid plan. The free plan is currently let you connect up to 3 social profiles and you can schedule up to 10 posts. It’s similar to Hootsuite’s limits on the free plan, but it is limiting even more the number of posts that you can schedule (30 over 10). It also doesn’t give you access to analytics to start measuring your performance.

The cheapest option starts at $15/month and it lets you connect up to 8 social accounts for 1 user and schedule up to 100 posts. You are also able to access Post analytics to analyse the performance of your posts.

The Pro plan can be a great solution for small businesses that want to schedule their content and save time when planning ahead. You are even able to include Pinterest as an additional integration and load content to the Queue for up to 100 posts. You can also access the Content Inbox to follow up to 15 RSS feeds.

However, if you have more than one person in your social media team, you might want to consider the Business plan that let you connect 25+ profiles and invite 5/10/15 users to your dashboard. Moreover, the Business plan lets you schedule up to 2000 posts in advance and you are accessing enhanced Analytics and reports. The small business plan starts from $99/month with 25 profiles and 6 users and you can upgrade depending on your team’s needs.

Buffer’s biggest advantage is the simplicity and the UX that understands what social media managers really need. However, if you want to include the Reply feature to your tools, you will need to pay an additional amount per month, starting from $50/month.

Sprout Social

Sprout Social is another popular option among marketers for social media management. Its goal is to “deepen real connections with the people who love your brand”. The messaging is focusing on improving efficiency and communication through social media, both within your team but also with your supporters.

It is a complete social media management platform and it also provides a social CRM and an all-in-one social inbox to monitor all your messages. It can be really useful when working as a team and you’re involving social media customer service in your business.

You can publish, schedule and draft posts while you can also monitor and profiles and keywords to keep track of what’s important for your business.

Their support can also help you ensure that you’re making the most of the platform and it’s useful that their site can help you understand how to tailor the products to your needs (brand, agency, freelancer, etc)

What you need to consider

Sprout Social has many happy marketers using it. If you’re working as part of a team then you’ll certainly enjoy the collaboration features, the smart inbox and the ability to blend the social CRM with your scheduling and monitoring.

The pricing plans start from $99/month, which can be considered a bit more expensive compared to other social media platforms. This plan is limited to 5 social profiles so if you’re interested in adding more profiles and make the most of analytics, then you might benefit from the Professional plan starting at $149/month. Except for the features of the Standard plan, it also involves engagement and trends reporting, campaign planning and reporting and also reporting on your team’s productivity.

It is also offering the option to purchase your own add-ons, such as Amplification and Social Selling to improve your social media success as part of your own funnel.

All in all, Sprout Social goes beyond social media scheduling and it can help you streamline your social CRM more effectively.  It might be more expensive than other options, but it depends on the features and the tasks that you want to include in your social media marketing.

AgoraPulse

AgoraPulse is a social media management and CRM platform to help you improve your social presence. It promises to simplify social media publishing, monitoring, engagement and team collaboration. It is focusing on simplified social media publishing to help you improve the success of your social content. From content labelling to queues for evergreen posts, the goal is to be more effective either on your own or as part of a team.

It can also be a useful platform for social CRM, managing your inbox, the comments and messages that you’re receiving on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Youtube and Instagram.

You can also manage the comments from your Facebook and Instagram ads, which makes it easier to monitor all comments in one place. It can also be a useful tool when trying to find new opportunities to build relationships through listening or even to find your brand’s best ambassadors.

What you need to consider

There is a free trial option and the Small plan starts from $44/month. It allows you to connect 3 profiles and 1 user while you’re having unlimited reporting, publishing, and mentoring. It can be a good option if you’re managing the social presence of a small business. However, if you want to bring your team together, access advanced sync of inbox monitoring and the option to monitor ad comments on Facebook and Instagram, then you might need the medium or large plans at $89 and $180/month respectively. The Medium plan lets you connect 10 social profiles and 3 users and the Large plan allows you to connect 25 profiles and 6 users. It is the most popular option, especially for medium-sized teams who want to make the most of the team workflow in their content by creating their own processes for drafts and approval. It

It is also useful to note that AgoraPulse doesn’t support Pinterest, in case you’re interested in having all social platforms in one dashboard.

ContentCal

ContentCal is a visual calendar that can simplify your social media content planning. Its simple and intuitive use makes it very appealing to marketers of all skills to ensure that they streamline their planning as much as possible. Except for the usual social media planning, it offers a useful visual overview of your posts across all platforms. The calendar plays a key role in this tool and it can include your posts from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

There is the option to create draft posts and the pinboard allows you to plan your ideas and drag them to the calendar when they are ready to go live.

It also features the option to auto-publish your posts to save time while you can collaborate as a team with user permissions and post approval.

What you need to consider

ContentCal is trying to meet everyone’s needs with their different pricing plans. There is a free plan for the social media enthusiasts who want to create their own basic version of a social media calendar to connect up to 4 social profiles while scheduling 50 posts per month.

For a freelancer who wants an improved use that is still affordable, there is the Pro version at $12/month that involves one calendar and up to four social profiles. It lets you schedule as many posts as you want and there is also a monthly calendar view and the function to search for your posts in the calendar. This plan also provides access to Analytics and a PDF export.

If you have two people managing a social media calendar, then the Company plan will be a good option. It starts at $39/month and it features 2 calendars and 2 users. You can also add more calendars and users at an additional cost. The different with the Pro plan is that you can now manage approval workflows, access comments to improve the collaboration within your team and use a professional video uploader. The premium plan at $80/month is still for 2 users and 2 calendars but it also features multi-calendar posting, sending Facebook posts to drafts, training and filtering of the Analytics.

If you want an even better option to save time with your social media posting, the AutoPilot plan at $399/month is taking care of the posting for you based on your needs and the type of content that you prefer. It’s an interesting option to avoid searching for content ideas simply to approve the suggestions that you’ll be receiving from the tool.

Zoho Social

Zoho Social can help you set up a smarter social media presence through a series of features that improve social scheduling, monitoring and measuring.

It allows you to schedule your posts in the times that your audience is most active by loading your posts to the SmartQ. You can re-schedule your content at the times of your choice while you can even create posts for a specific audience based on the timezone or the location.

You are also able to save time when scheduling your content by using the zShare Browser Extension to make the planning easier in the calendar.

When it comes to listening, you can organise your listening columns based on your needs to create your customised monitoring board. You can follow real-time updates and you can even turn your followers into leads by adding details to each contact. You can improve the CRM functionality by integrating the tool with Zoho’s CRM to make social media more effective for your brand.

You can also track your social performance through real-time analytics to focus on what matters. The reports can also be automated to receive them at the frequency of your choice. Collaboration can also be part of your reporting simply by sharing the stats within your team to hear their feedback and plan the next steps.

What you need to consider

Zoho Social is a useful social media platform that blends posting, monitoring and collaboration. Its integration with Zoho CRM and Zoho desk can make it part of a wider set of tools that can streamline your marketing and customer success to improve cross-team transparency.

If you want to try out the tool, there is a free plan with very limited functionality for 1 member and 1 brand that lets you publish content or use the zShare Browser Extension. It does not include content scheduling so it’s only a good option if you want to get the first exposure to Zoho’s platform. If you want to start scheduling your content, the Standard plan starts at $11/month for 2 members and 1 brand. You can publish, schedule, use the SmartQ for the best times and use the repeat posting. You also have access to Basic Analytics and you can create 5 monitoring columns. If you want to improve the tool’s efficiency, you might want to consider the Professional plan starting at $28/month. It lets you add 3 members and 1 brand and it involves bulk scheduling, custom audience targeting, 15 monitoring columns, advanced analytics and scheduled reports.

Both the Standard and the Professional plans can be integrated with Zoho Desk and Zoho CRM to turn your social media management into a team effort. If you’re using social media for customer service or lead generation, then these integrations might be really useful.

MavSocial

MavSocial can help you simplify your social media marketing and monitoring. It involves an easy-to-use campaign calendar to plan your posts in advance while you can even reschedule your most engaging posts. Except for scheduling, it also features monitoring for keywords, tracking your messages and comments across all networks and a digital library to organise your visual content.

An additional feature is the option to amplify your reach with boosted posts on Facebook, while you can even improve team collaboration by assigning roles for your colleagues and monitor the progress of each task.

It’s a combination of social media planning and a social CRM and it involves 6 popular social networks including WeChat for some of the plans.

What you need to consider

MavSocial can be a useful and cost-effective tool if you’re the only one managing social networks in your organisation. The first plan starts at $16/month for 1 user and 10 social profiles. This plan allows you to publish on 6 social networks (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Tumblr, Instagram), it has unlimited publishing and it still lets you access your social inbox, repeat publishing and bulk uploading.

The next plan at $65/month is granting access to 3 users and up to 30 profiles and it also involves social listening and ad comment monitoring. This can be a useful plan for a small team that wants to blend social media planning and listening. If you’re part of a bigger team and want to make the most of collaboration, then you will need to pay $166/month for 5 users and up to 50 profiles. Except for all the previous features, you are also able to manage a post approval process, boost Facebook Ads and track usage permissions for UGC content.

Thus, it can be a great solution on a smaller budget, while it can still be useful at a larger budget if you want to involve team collaboration, monitoring and UGC curation in one dashboard.

Sendible

Sendible is aiming to centralise your social media management. It’s a powerful dashboard for businesses that want to make the most of social media marketing. It allows you to publish, schedule, monitor, measure, improve your social content on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

The social publishing can be easy to use and the social inbox can help you keep track of all the messages and mentions that you need to monitor.

You can also analyse the best times to share content and you can create your own reports based on your needs and your business goals.

What you need to consider

Sendible’s most affordable plan starts at $33/month and it gives to one user unlimited scheduling and 12 services (interactions per channel). You can create up to 10 queues in this plan, recycle evergreen content, bulk schedule posts, monitor keywords and access your priority inbox with a one-hour sync. You also have access to basic reporting, which makes it a useful plan for someone who wants an affordable option for social media planning and monitoring.

The Small plan costs $113/month and it involves 3 users, 48 services and 6 customised reports. It also helps you improve your team collaboration with post approval process and social profile grouping, while you also have access to 200+ charts to include in your customised reports. The Medium plan is even more powerful and it costs $219/month for brands and agencies that want improved functionalities for their social media strategies. You can invite up to 7 users in this plan and enjoy up to 105 services with custom team workflows and up to 35 analytics reports. You can also have a Priority Inbox with a 30-minute sync, integration with Bitly pro, 70 queues and a scheduled report delivery.

Sendible seems to be a useful tool for brands and agencies that want to have one platform for different tasks as part of their social media marketing but it might be more expensive for those who seek a simpler solution.

Lightful

Lightful is the first social media management tool made for nonprofits and social enterprises.

It provides an affordable solution for charities and nonprofits who want to improve their social presence.

As with other social media tools, it is offering publishing and scheduling options, a visual preview of your posts and a calendar to plan your week or month ahead.

It also features all the upcoming Awareness Days to plan your content accordingly and it allows you to load content to the Approval Queue to improve the collaboration within your team.

There is also a StoryBuilder feature to help you improve your campaign planning with the use of templates to get you started when planning the story of your campaign.

Its intuitive user experience is aiming to encourage nonprofits to embrace the power of social media marketing without necessarily needing a big budget for it.

What you need to consider

There is a free plan that lets you connect up to 3 profiles (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) for 1 user. It is ideal if you’re just one person managing your organisation’s social accounts since you can still access the platform’s features scheduling up to 50 posts.

The Growth plan ($26/month) lets you connect up to 10 social profiles and 5 users and it is ideal for medium-sized organisations who want to improve collaboration efficiency in their and social media accounts. It is featuring an additional number of Stories in the Story Builder, the option to manage and approve your posts and enhanced access to post and page analytics.

If you’re a nonprofit exploring all your options, Lightful might be a more affordable option for adding multiple users and having an approval queue for your posts among all the other features.

The integration with Unsplash and GIPHY can also be useful when planning your visual content while the Story Builder templates can be handy if you’re just getting started with social media for your organisation.

Kenshoo Social

Kenshoo Social is a social marketing platform that can help both agencies and advertisers create more effective social media campaigns. It can help you simplify your social media advertising and your social media campaigns by focusing on ROI.

Kenshoo allows you to scale both your creative performance but also your analytical mindset to be able to prove the worth of your work to the rest of your team.

Its machine-learning and automation tools can make the social media planning easier while trying to create more engaging ads. You can also improve your engagement by building customised personas to manage multiple audiences across different channels. Your audience strategy can greatly benefit from this feature and it’s certainly good to have this feature when trying to understand your audience on every channel.

You can also improve your collaboration by streamlining the workflow in the way that it’s more effective for your team and your personalised needs.

What you need to consider

Kenshoo Social allows you to connect Facebook, Instagram, Snap, and Pinterest. It’s a more creative social media platform that can also help you improve your social ads through these channels.

The pricing is available upon request and they are also featuring some great case studies from different industries. Another advantage is Kenshoo’s experience with e-commerce and search products, especially if you want to bring together all these elements as part of your company.

It’s also worth mentioning that Kenshoo Social has also been awarded in our recent Marketing Technology Awards 2019 as Best Social Platform, which definitely gives it good social proof.

Tweetdeck

If you’re looking for a free scheduling tool for your Twitter profile then Tweetdeck should be one of the first tools to try out. It is built from Twitter to provide a free solution to Twitter scheduling. It allows you to plan your content, monitor your favorite hashtags and users and keep track of your mentions.

Tweetdeck’s interface may remind you of Hootsuite but in a simpler version that focuses on the key tasks of Twitter management and monitoring. It is ideal for someone who is just getting started on Twitter to understand how to use the platform. It can help you improve your Twitter marketing experience without necessarily paying a fee for it.

What you need to consider

There are many marketers who add Tweetdeck to their list of favorite tools. If you’re new to social media management and focus on Twitter then Tweetdeck can be useful for your business.

However, if you’re looking for additional flexibility and functionality, then you may have a look at one of the other suggestions that we’re mentioning in the post.

Overview

There are hundreds of social media tools that can help you improve your social strategy. Many of them share similar features but they all stand out with their unique user experience and how they can benefit your brand.

The ultimate choice of picking the right social media marketing tool for your business depends on your own needs. When it comes to picking a social media tool, here’s what you need to consider:

  • Key features: what are the features that you definitely need in a social media management platform? Are you focusing on scheduling? Do you need a monitoring dashboard? Will you need to integrate publishing with social CRM? Do you want to involve boosting posts?
  • Ease of use (UI and UX): not everyone is looking for a complicated platform. A good UX can play a key role in someone’s decision to pick one tool over the other. If you’re new to marketing technology, then this may be a very important factor for your final decision.
  • Budget: your budget will significantly affect your choice so make sure you align your budget expectations with the tools that you can find in this range.
  • Customer support: A good customer experience can make the learning curve of a new tool easier for your team. It can even make marketers loyal to one tool so always have a look at the support and training options when picking a tool.
  • Integrations: If you’re using many different tools, integrations can be vital for your social media management platform.

What’s your favorite social media marketing tool?

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