If you are looking for the best tools to manage your social media platforms, there are several different options available. While some of them are free, others may cost a bit more than typical software solutions. The best option is to find one that will be suitable for your needs and provide you with a complete toolset to help you manage your social media pages.
The internet is full of thousands of ‘free’ tools to help make managing your Social Media as easy as possible, but truth be told…most just don’t work. And when they do work, they’re so complex that either you need to pay someone to set it up for you or spend many hours trying to figure out how to do things yourself!
What is social media management?
Social media management encompasses many moving pieces in the process of managing online interactions and content on social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Youtube, and Twitter. It’s to create the online face of a company, promote and sell products.
A social media manager is in charge of handling social media activities with many tasks, from creating, scheduling content to analyzing data, and engaging with the audience.
Therefore, social media management goes beyond just posting things to your company’s social media accounts. It starts with determining which person you want your company to represent on social media. Then you’ll need to create appropriate content, engage with the audience, and look for new opportunities to increase visibility as well as reach out to more people.
Social media management techniques
Social media management can be time-consuming and irritating. It’s also a job that requires a wise investment and considerable efforts. And if you want to be a top-notch social media manager, here are a few of the best tips:
Consistency is the key to social media content publishing, but it would be better to have nothing rather than nonsense posts with invaluable content. Having a constant flow of updates is no more important than sharing content that delivers value. You’ll want to make sure that your content is excellent or appealing enough to be re-shared or retweeted, and your brand name is mentioned.
If you can create content that stays relevant and useful for your audience over time, there would be an influx of engagements. This tip is a way more effective to gain the audience’s attention and build a long-term bond with them across social media channels. After all, content is the core of social media marketing.
Data tracking and analyzing
Data doesn’t tell a lie, it shows your social media strategy is hitting the mark or not, which content is favorable and which one is falling. You will not know your posts have reached out to how many people and the engagement rate if you don’t look at the numbers! Therefore, tracking and analyzing data plays a vital role in social media management.
Many tools help to mine social media data quickly, such as Buffer – useful for analyzing tweets or looking at Facebook insights. You’ll get to know metrics related to every goal you’ve set for your social media strategy.
Automate repetitive tasks
Getting bored with overwhelming and mundane tasks that need to be done on social media day by day? You can stop wasting time on those repetitive tasks and save time by automating your social media efforts.
But how? Many tools can ease your social media management by various automation recipes. They are not only available for automatically sharing posts across many platforms at once, but also enabling you to find new content. One of the most recommended tools is IFTTT that we’ll discuss more in the next section.
Use essential tools
You can maximize your social media efforts by using multi-functional tools. These tools can help you manage your social media campaigns more effectively, streamline your workflows, and save hours of fulfilling your social media feeds.
Social media management tools have various functions ranging from scheduling to tracking and analyzing data. You may use different tools for your social media activities, depending on the purpose and requirements of your social media strategy. Whatever tools you use, make sure it fits your business in terms of price, functionality, usability, and efficiency. It can waste time and money if you’re using the wrong tool.
Buffer offers user-friendly social media content management tools for scheduling posts, engaging with your audience, and seamless team collaboration. Beyond scheduling, Buffer has interesting features for Instagram engagement and accelerating eCommerce sales.
- Small businesses
- Medium businesses
- Free plans available and paid plans start at around £10/month
- User-friendly content planning and scheduling
- Links with Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Twitter
- Instagram Story planning and scheduling
- Seamless team collaboration
- You’ll need to buy a separate plan for analytics
- Not ideal for enterprise or larger businesses
Keeping up with fresh content can be a pain. MeetEdgar lets you schedule unlimited posts and link an evergreen content library for automatic resharing every week. Categorise your library by format or topic and decide how often to reshare.
- Small businesses
- Small social media teams
- Brands with lots of existing content to share
- Unlimited scheduling for every plan
- Automate resharing from an evergreen content library
- A/B testing
- Limited automation and categories on lower priced plan
- Tough to scale with prices doubling between plans
- Agencies, small businesses, and enterprise
- Scheduling and analytics
- Bulk scheduling and editing
- Branded enterprise solutions
- Unlimited analytics and capabilities for agencies
- Keyword-based content curation
- Discover trending topics
- Macro and micro views within the calendar
- Small businesses might feel overwhelmed with features
- No social inbox management for the lowest priced plan
One of the most popular free social media management tools available is Hootsuite. Just like with Buffer, you can choose to have a basic account or pay to upgrade to a more comprehensive plan.
- Schedule posts
- View and manage all your content in a single collaborative calendar
- One inbox for all the messages you receive across your social media platforms
- Streams enable you to see all your social media activity from one place
- Insights enable you to spot, track and analyse trends in real-time
- Manage, optimise and report on your search and social ad campaigns
- You can monitor what’s being said about your brand and your competitors
- The app enables you to manage Hootsuite from your mobile device
Free: With the free plan, one user can link three social media profiles and schedule up to 30 posts.
Professional – $25 per month: You can connect up to 10 social media accounts, schedule in unlimited posts and have one user.
Team – $99 per month: Three users can connect up to 20 social media accounts, with unlimited posts.
Business – $520 per month: Up to 10 users can connect 35 social media accounts with unlimited posts. You can also add-on up to 15 additional users.
To compare all plans and features, you can also contact Hootsuite about pricing options if you would like to customise your plan.
- The Hootsuite Academy enables you to stay ahead with industry-leading training and certification
- Its open platform integrates with other tools including Dropbox, Google Drive, Salesforce and Adobe
- You can stream social data into your analytics and CRM systems to gain cross-channel insights
- You can request a free demo to see if it’s the right platform for your business
- The free plan is very basic. Most businesses would probably need to pay to upgrade to access more features. With unlimited posts, the cheapest package (professional) is likely to be enough for most SMEs however
- The team and business plans are quite expensive
Later allows you to plan, schedule and analyse all your social media content in one place. The free account doesn’t require you to sign up to any trials or submit any credit card details.
- Easy to use visual content calendar
- You can schedule posts quickly and easily
- You can see what your Instagram feed will look like before you post. The drag and drop feature allows you to create a beautiful aesthetic so you know exactly what your grid will look like
- You can find and repost user-generated content
- Analytics enables you to find out what’s working and what isn’t so you can grow your accounts faster
- Collaboration with team members
- Later will tell you the best times to post based on previous post performance
Free: With the free profile, one user can upload 30 posts per social media profile at a time.
Starter – from $7.50 per month: 1+ user can upload 60 posts per social media profile.
Growth – from $12.50 per month: 3+ users can upload 150 posts per social media profile.
Advanced – from $25 per month: 6+ users can send out unlimited posts.
For a full breakdown of all the plans and features, please head to the Later website.
- There are a lot of features dedicated to Instagram which is great if this is one of your preferred platforms
- Later is an Instagram Partner and uses the Instagram Graph API so you can be assured that your account is always safe
- There are plenty of guides and workshops on the website to get you started
- You can bulk upload, saving time in the long run
- Media library allows you to keep all your photos, videos and user-generated content in one accessible place
- You can save 17% with yearly billing if you upgrade to a paid account
- The plans are much cheaper than Hootsuite and Buffer
- There’s a big focus on Instagram. If your business isn’t on Instagram, this might not be the right platform for you
- You need to upgrade your account to unlock some of the more advanced features such as Instagram analytics, story scheduling and best time to post
- No access to email support with the free account. You can however use the help centre
As you probably already know, social media is one of the most powerful online marketing tools available for both established and new businesses. That being said, it’s also very time consuming to keep up with everything.