If you’re working in digital marketing—or looking to start a career in the field—social media has a huge role to play. So: what are the top social media management tools that digital marketers should be aware of in 2023? Here’s our shortlist.
Social media was the #1 channel used in marketing in 2021. Eight in 10 companies invest in social media, and 39% plan to invest new resources in the next year. As social media has evolved over the past decade, there has been an explosion of marketing technology.
An annual study in 2020 found that marketing professionals have 8,000 marketing technology tools available to choose from, a staggering 5,333% increase from 2010. Social media technology can make our jobs easier, save us time, and help teams respond to crises with agility.
However, choosing the right tools and learning how to use them for maximum value can be overwhelming.
But don’t worry: we’re here to help. In this complete guide to social media management tools, we’ll cover:
- What are social media management tools used for? (The main features and functions)
- Our top 15 social media management tools for 2023
- How to choose the right social media management tool for you
Want to skip straight to the tools? Just use the clickable menu.
What are social media management tools used for?
In a nutshell, social media management tools are there to help social media managers and social media specialists work more efficiently. When deciding on a social media management tool for you or your organization, you’ll want to consider your budget and your main goals for using the software. Here are some popular functions you may want to consider:
You work certain hours during the week, but the social media engine runs 24/7. Using a social media management tool to schedule social media posts ahead of time allows you to be active on social media even when you’re not working! You can write and schedule posts at the beginning of a week and have them go live when you’re in meetings, on vacation, or otherwise physically unavailable. Several platforms provide post automation, queues, and visual content calendars. An example of marketing automation at its best!
Managing multiple brands/accounts
If you work for an agency or manage more than one account on each social media channel, then a social media management tool that helps you switch between accounts and post to multiple channels simultaneously is invaluable.
Measuring social engagement for marketing is on the rise, with 47% of marketers using it as a success metric in 2021, a 187% increase from 2020. A good social media management tool will give you statistics about your overall audience and performance, as well as specific post metrics to allow you to pinpoint what’s working and optimize future content.
According to HubSpot’s State of Marketing 2021, 62% of marketers use social media for social listening. What is social listening? Companies want to understand what is being said about their brand and their industry and respond to praise or complaints. Social listening enables that, and also helps brands determine their share of voice online and measure growth. Share of voice is a percentage of content for a certain industry, service, or topic that mentions a particular brand.
Customer experience management
At an enterprise level, customer experience management can be built into a social media management tool. Sophisticated tools allow users to embed multiple teams (marketing and customer service, for instance) and allow users to flag and assign individual posts or comments to different teams for a response.
The Best Social Media Management Tools for 2023
Now we know what social media management tools can be used for, let’s get to the tools themselves! Here’s our round-up of the best social media management tools for 2023.
HootSuite at a glance:
- Cost: $49-$129+ per month. The base level includes 1 user license and 10 social profiles.
- Why it’s great: HootSuite’s easy-to-use interface offers basic scheduling, responses, and analytics, bringing messages from Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Pinterest into a single inbox. Its more advanced tiers offer post assignments, team approvals, and paid social media management with an advertising credit.
- Ideal for: Small businesses and teams, freelancers, agencies.
For many years, HootSuite was the go-to free management tool for social media marketers. While the free version no longer exists, it’s still one of the most affordable tools on the market, and HootSuite still offers lots of reasons why you should invest in the platform. HootSuite’s tools can manage ad publishing on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn, all from a single dashboard.
You can learn more about HootSuite here.
2. Sprout Social
Sprout Social at a glance:
- Cost: $89-$249+/month for 1 user. The base package includes 1 user license and 5 social profiles.
- Why it’s great: Sprout Social is best known for its powerful analytics dashboard and social listening tool showing share of voice with a competitive analysis. It also offers a wide range of integrations, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Pinterest.
- Ideal for: Small to medium businesses and teams, agencies, YouTube and Pinterest users.
Sprout Social offers engagement, publishing and scheduling, analytics, social listening, and employee advocacy features in its best-in-class social media management tool. While you pay per user license, even the basic level of Sprout Social offers more advanced features including review management, tasking and CRM tools, and keyword and location monitoring. Other high-value features include a social CRM with conversation history, image reformatting, and an RSS reader for news and blogs. If you’re a user of Shopify, Facebook Shops, Zendesk, or Google Analytics, you’ll benefit from those integrations.
Learn more about Sprout Social.
Sendible at a glance:
- Cost: $29-$399+. The basic level comprises 1 user license and up to 6 social profiles.
- Why it’s great: If you’ve ever switched between platforms to upload, resize, export, and re-upload images, you’ll appreciate Sendible’s image resizing tool. Similarly, its custom editor allows you to customize posts across platforms in a single publish action.
- Ideal for: Small to medium businesses and teams, freelancers, agencies.
Sendible is a full-service social media management tool useful for publishing, collaboration, listening, and analytics. Sendible supports Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google My Business.
You can learn more about Sendible here.
Buffer at a glance:
- Cost: $0-$5+/month for 1 user.
- Why it’s great: Buffer is one of the most affordable social media management and no-frills tools for a user who doesn’t want to be overwhelmed with complex features they won’t use. In addition, the ability to add social channels to your plan for just $5/month allows users to scale gradually without jumping tiers and paying a lot for accounts they won’t use.
- Ideal for: Small business and teams, freelancers, Pinterest users.
Buffer offers an intuitive basic tool for social media publishing, engagement, and analytics, supporting Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. Its new Start Page feature allows users to build custom, mobile-friendly landing pages for their social campaigns. Take note, the free version only offers publishing and landing page creation.
Learn more about Buffer.
5. Zoho Social
Zoho Social at a glance:
- Cost: $10-$330+. The base level package offers 1 user license and up to 7 social profiles.
- Why it’s great: Zoho Social offers a flexible, affordable option that integrates with its CRM and other products designed for small businesses. Its agency-friendly pricing includes approval processes and team discussions to work collaboratively.
- Ideal for: Small to medium businesses and teams, agencies.
Zoho Social is a well-rounded social media management tool offering scheduling, monitoring, and reporting. In the tool, you can build your own lists and social listening dashboard and run custom reports. Zoho Social integrates with Facebook pages and groups, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Google My Business listings.
Learn more about Zoho Social here.
NapoleonCat at a glance:
- Cost: $21-$42+ per month. The basic level provides 1 user license and 3 profiles.
- Why it’s great: NapoleonCat gives users the basics at an affordable price, with a focus on customer response and conversation. Its social inbox is created for moderation, with tagging and template responses as well as the ability to make internal notes and assign posts to another moderator.
- Ideal for: Small to medium businesses and teams, freelancers.
NapoleonCat’s lite offerings in its lowest tier are perfect for a basic user, offering publishing, comment management, and reporting for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, and Google My Business. Its higher level builds in more advanced offerings such as Facebook and Instagram ads moderation, automatic moderation and translation, and 24-month data retention. It’s also priced for the user, with custom pricing for the exact number of users and profiles you need.
You can learn more about NapoleanCat here.
Falcon.io at a glance:
- Cost: $108+/month per user license. The basic package includes up to 5 social profiles.
- Why it’s great: Falcon.io offers insights, publishing, and engagement team-friendly features like approval workflows and content storage. Unique features include Falcon.io’s integrated audience data dashboard and competitive benchmarking.
- Ideal for: Small to medium businesses and teams, agencies.
Falcon.io is an all-in-one social media management tool that offers publishing, calendar management, engagement measurement, social listening, and ads management. Supported channels include Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, and WhatsApp. Now owned by Cision-owned Brandwatch, watch this space for deeper integrations with media monitoring, PR, and consumer intelligence.
Learn more about Falcon.io.
SocialPilot at a glance:
- Cost: $25.50-$127.50+ per month. The basic tier includes 1 user license and up to 10 social profiles.
- Why it’s great: SocialPilot’s tool goes beyond basic scheduling and analytics, helping social media marketers create better content with functions such as the Content Curation feature and integrations with Canva, Box.com, and Dropbox. Users can also use Facebook’s Audience Targeting and boost Facebook posts directly from SocialPilot’s interface.
- Ideal for: Small to medium teams and businesses, agencies, TikTok users.
SocialPilot offers social media calendar creation, scheduling, and analytics, integrating with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, TikTok, and Google My Business. Its Content Curation tool allows users to run unlimited topic and keyword searches and discover and share trending content (you can use their free ShareIt tool without an account). Another bonus feature is its browser extension, which allows for quick posting or scheduling on the go. SocialPilot is built for agencies, with an onboarding invitation feature and unlimited client accounts for all plans at the second tier and above.
Learn more about SocialPilot here.
Keyhole at a glance:
- Cost: $49-$199+ per month. The basic level includes 1 user, 3 social media profiles, 1 social listening tracker, and 5 keywords.
- Why it’s great: The QuickTrends and Fast Reports dashboards give high-level visual analysis that you can take to your bosses. It’s also one of the few platforms to offer TikTok integration and analytics.
- Ideal for: Small to medium businesses and teams, agencies.
Keyhole is a social listening and analytics platform offering performance, hashtag, and competitor analysis. It uses AI to measure sentiment, optimize posting times, offer volume and virality predictions, and predict your performance up to 30 days out. Posting and engagement are available for Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
Learn more about Keyhole.
AgoraPulse at a glance:
- Cost: $0-$159+. The free version includes 1 user license and 3 social profiles.
- Why it’s great: AgoraPulse is an affordable social media management tool that gives marketers all the basics they need to optimize their social media publishing, monitoring, and reporting. Shared calendars invite non-users to view and give feedback on draft calendars.
- Ideal for: Small to medium businesses and teams, freelancers, and agencies.
AgoraPulse is a full-service social media management tool that supports integrations with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Google My Business listings. The platform boasts ease of use and customer support, with flexible pricing supporting agencies and other businesses that may scale up or down. Take note, the lower-level plans do have limits on scheduled posts, asset library, ads comments monitoring, and data retention.
Learn more about AgoraPulse.
eClincher at a glance:
- Cost: $59-$219+ per month. The basic tier offers 1 user license and up to 10 social profiles.
- Why it’s great: eClincher is built with a wide range of integrations and products to save users time, from auto post with smart queues and RSS feeds to bulk upload and scheduling.
- Ideal for: Small to medium teams and businesses, agencies.
In addition to its publishing, scheduling, and engagement features, eClincher offers advanced analytics, reputation management, and suggested content feeds. However, eClincher’s greatest power is in the wide range of its integrations, supporting Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google My Business, YouTube, and TikTok, along with a plethora of other cloud tools. Another useful feature is its Instagram “Link in Bio” tool. Extra users and social profiles can be added on for a small fee.
You can learn more about eClincher here.
12. Salesforce Social Studio
Salesforce Social Studio at a glance:
- Cost: $1,000-$40,000 per month. The base level monitors up to 2 social accounts and 20k monthly mentions.
- Why it’s great: When integrated with the entire Marketing Cloud and other Salesforce products, it’s an extremely powerful tool for publishing, deploying campaigns, and measuring ROI.
- Ideal for: Medium to large teams and enterprises.
Salesforce Social Studio’s biggest advantage is its integration with the rest of the Salesforce universe, including marketing, sales, and service. Once set up, you can view your social performance and marketing attribution alongside your other channels in Salesforce’s dashboards. Salesforce Social Studio also offers social media listening, publishing, and engagement. Platforms it supports include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, and Google My Business.
Learn more about Social Studio.
HubSpot at a glance:
- Cost: $800-$3,200+/month.
- Why it’s great: With HubSpot, you’re getting much more than social media management—you’re getting a comprehensive inbound marketing program that integrates with your website and email marketing.
- Ideal for: Medium to large business and teams.
HubSpot Social Media Management is a feature of HubSpot’s premium Marketing Hub and supports Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter. The tool allows you to consolidate mentions into one inbox, centralize your publishing, and attribute business value to social media. Though the platform isn’t as robust as others reviewed, it’s a good option if your team is already using HubSpot or if you’re building a comprehensive content marketing strategy from the ground up. Additional value features with Marketing Hub include landing page and forms creation and blog integration.
Learn more about HubSpot.
Meltwater at a glance:
- Cost: Unknown
- Why it’s great: In addition to publishing and engagement, Meltwater offers media monitoring and social influencer management, making it an appealing choice for companies integrating their social media with PR and influencer outreach.
- Ideal for: Medium to large businesses and teams, agencies, enterprise.
Meltwater provides social media publishing, engagement, and reporting for Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. The social media listening feature goes above the major social media channels to include monitoring of platforms like YouTube, Reddit, Twitch, WeChat, Weibo, and podcasts. Meltwater’s influencer management tool allows companies to find and work with the best influencers for their industry and target demographic, with reporting and measurement for influencer campaigns.
You can learn more about Meltwater here.
Sprinklr at a glance:
- Cost: Contact for pricing.
- Why it’s great: Sprinklr is designed for agency and enterprise clients, with workflows designed to manage social media engagement across 30+ channels and large teams. For organizations with deep customer service needs on social media, Sprinklr is designed with APIs to integrate with existing CX and CRM systems.
- Ideal for: Agencies, enterprise.
Social media management is just one part of Sprinklr’s unified customer relationship management platform which allows users to integrate marketing, sales, and services when using all three. As a standalone product, Sprinklr for social media specializes in social listening and its social media ads manager.
Choosing the right social media management tool
Now that you’ve seen what the top social media management platforms have to offer, you can start to imagine the possibilities for how you can improve your social media impact and workflows with the right tool.
If you’re just starting out in the industry and want to try out several platforms, the good news is that most offer demos and a free trial for you to explore, test, and even learn a software well enough to add it to your marketing resume skills section. Choose one to try, and enjoy the discovery process!
Want to learn more about social media marketing? Why not try out this free, self-paced short course, where you’ll get a feel for social media marketing and digital marketing as a whole.
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