Social media is a great way to get your brand in front of potential customers. But it can also be a drain on your time, energy, and resources. With so many tools out there, how do you know which one is right for you?
We’ve reviewed all the top social media tools to help you find the best fit for your business. We’ll tell you what makes each tool special, how much it costs, who it’s designed for, and more!
Table of Contents
Social Media Tools Review
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We chose Sprout Social as our best overall due to the platform’s usability, publishing features, and analytics across all major social media platforms. This provider also offers one of the longest free trials in the business.
- Excellent user dashboard lets you manage your social networks in one place
- Utilize Social Media Optimization tools
- Analytics and reports help you manage your user engagement and return on investment (ROI)
- Scheduling tools make creating posts a breeze
- Free 30-day trial
- Expensive standard plan
- Limits to how many social profiles you can manage
We chose Sprout Social as the best option for businesses based on the array of scheduling tools and analytics they offer, their mobile app for iOS and Android, and their paid promotion tools to help you expertly boost Meta posts. One major benefit you get with Sprout Social is a 30-day free trial with any of their plans. If you’re unsure of the value of this software, this free trial gives you a full month to try it out.
This software currently supports all the major social media platforms, including Meta, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest, making it an excellent choice for all-in-one management. There are three paid plans to choose from:
- Standard: $89 per month
- Professional: $149 per month
- Advanced: $249 per month.
Sprout Social says their Professional plan is most popular since it lets you manage up to 10 social media accounts in one place. It also comes with an all-in-one social box, social content calendar, response rate and time analysis reports, analysis tools for Twitter hashtags, and plenty more valuable tools. With any of their plans, you also get a mobile app to manage your social media accounts on the go.
The Standard plan includes many of the features of the Professional plan, yet you can only manage up to five social profiles if you choose this option.
BEST FOR ANALYTICSHootsuite
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Hootsuite earns high rankings for its tracking tools and analytics. This software lets you analyze trends and engagement in real-time. Their analytics tools extend to both regular posting and social media ads.
- Professional plans start at just $49 per month
- Free plan available
- Connects with 20+ social networks
- 30-day trial available
- Some analytics reports are at an additional cost
- Plans can be costly if you have a lot of social profiles or spend a considerable sum on ads each month
- Free plans have limited tools
Hootsuite made our ranking as best for analytics because they offer some of the most comprehensive analytics and social media tracking tools on the market today, including customizable reports and team productivity reporting.
While paying more for detailed analytics and reporting can cause the cost of Hootsuite to swell, having access to this information can be crucial for businesses that rely on social media for the bulk of their marketing efforts.
Hootsuite has four paid options:
- Professional: $49 per month
- Team: $129 per month
- Business: $739 per month
- Enterprise: Varies (it’s for larger or more complex institutions)
The starter Professional plan can be a good option for small businesses because it allows you to manage 10 social profiles in one place. You also get unlimited scheduling, although you’re limited to one user. The Team plan is available for up to three users, and you can manage up to 20 social profiles in one place.
Note that all plans from Hootsuite come with unlimited scheduled messages, unlimited auto-scheduling, a publishing calendar, a social inbox, and plenty of other tools. You can also try two of Hootsuite’s four plans free for 30 days, which is a major benefit if you prefer to try before you buy.
BEST ALL-IN-ONE TOOLZoho
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Zoho stands out as an all-in-one tool consumers can use to run the social aspects of their business in one place while managing their email, projects, accounting, and webinars.
- Zoho offers a CRM product that lets you manage your email, projects, accounting, and more under one umbrella
- You can integrate their social media management platform, which works with all major social media networks
- Social media planning for individuals starts at $10 per month
- A free edition with limited features is available with an option to upgrade
- Plans for agencies start at $230 per month, which is on the expensive side
- Plans for individuals and businesses only include one to three team members, with more users requiring an additional monthly spend
Zoho made our ranking as the best all-in-one tool based on the CRM product they offer in addition to social media management software. You can utilize Zoho to store and manage your email, create and oversee products, and take care of accounting all in one place. Zoho also offers comprehensive social media management software you can buy separately or integrate for full all-in-one management.
When it comes to their social media management software, Zoho offers three plans for businesses:
- Standard: $10 per month
- Professional: $30 per month
- Premium: $40 per month
Each plan lets you publish and schedule posts across multiple platforms, access summary reports and analytics, and access a Bitly integration & URL shortener. The Standard and Professional plans are limited to one brand and one team member, but both plans let you add additional team members or social channels for an additional cost.
A free plan with limited functionality is also available. With the free plan, you get access for one team member and brand and the ability to publish multiple posts in one place. Zoho also offers social media software for agencies that manage at least 10 different brands under their business umbrella.
BEST FOR AUTOMATIONMeetEdgar
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MeetEdgar stands out due to its automation and scheduling features. They even offer continuous posting, which means they will automatically curate and reshare relevant posts on your social media accounts.
- Excellent automation and scheduling features let you set your social media and forget it
- Free trial for seven days
- Analytics for engagement and response
- Edgar Lite plan starts at just $19 per month
- Only integrates with Meta, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Instagram
- Most affordable plan only lets you work with three networks
- No central inbox for messages or managing comments
MeetEdgar wins for best automation because they are set up to help time-strapped businesses automate their accounts. This software lets you generate posts using a browser extension, set up category-based scheduling that saves you time and effort, and executes continuous posting that ensures you’re constantly engaging your audience.
With MeetEdgar, you also get access to an unlimited content library, which the platform will shuffle and schedule for you on your behalf. You can also set up your account to automatically upload your newest content, and you can use an automatic link shortener that helps you save space when you share your content on social media.
MeetEdgar offers two main plans:
- Edgar Lite: $29.99 per month
- Edgar: $49.99 per month
Both plans offer similar tools, although the Edgar Lite plan only lets you integrate with three social media accounts. The more expensive plan also offers 1,000 recurring scheduling time slots per week versus just 10 with the Edgar Lite plan. Either way, you can try MeetEdgar for free for seven days.
BEST FOR LARGE TEAM COLLABORATIONLoomly
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Loomly is our top pick for large team collaboration due to its comprehensive plans for teams of up to 26 people. All plans also come with core features such as audience targeting, post preview, automated publishing, analytics, and more.
- Try it out free for 15 days
- Base plans start at just $26 per month
- Manage and share all your social assets in one place
- Real-time optimization of posts
- Plans for large teams can be costly
- Companies with large ad spend may have to upgrade to a more expensive plan regardless of their team size
Loomly is an excellent option for large teams that want to collaborate on a social media strategy. While their base plan is only accessible for up to two users, their top-tier plan for businesses can include up to 30.
Core plans from Loomly include the following:
- Base: $26 per month (2 users)
- Standard: $59 per month (6 users)
- Advanced: $129 per month (14 users)
- Premium: $269 per month (30 users)
- Enterprise: Price available upon request
This pricing is only available if you pay for a year of management upfront; you’ll pay more if you want to pay for your plan monthly. As you compare options, you’ll also note that each tier of management software has a cap for ad spend, so you will have to use the Premium plan if your business spends $5,000 or more on ads with Meta.
All plans from Loomly let you post unlimited content and come with core features like audience targeting, automated publishing, post sponsoring, interaction tracking, and basic analytics. You’ll also get chat and email customer service with each of their plans. A 15-day free trial is also available regardless of which tier of coverage you want to try out.
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We chose Sendible as best for integration based on the sheer number of platforms you can use it with. As a Sendible customer, you can integrate with Meta, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google My Business (GMB), YouTube, WordPress, Canva, Google Analytics, Google Drive, and so much more. In total, Sendible allows you to integrate with 17 different platforms or tools.
- More integration options than some other providers
- Useful social media dashboard lets you monitor your social game in one place
- Starter plans start at $25 per month
- You can save 15% if you pay for a year of management upfront
- 14-day free trial available
- Basic plans are for one user only
- No free option available
Sendible earned the top spot in our ranking in terms of integration since it lets you sync with all the top social media networks and popular tools like Canva, Google Analytics, and more. This lets you manage almost all aspects of your social media strategy in one place, saving you time along the way.
Sendible offers four plans for companies of different sizes:
- Creator: $25 per month
- Traction: $76 per month
- Scale: $170 per month
- Expansion: $340 per month
However, you do have to pay for a year of software access to secure these low prices, or you’ll pay about 15% more for your plan on a monthly basis.
All plans from Sendible include at least 10 queues, content publishing, workflow tools, bulk scheduling, keyword tools, and an inbox for engagement and monitoring. However, more expensive plans include more queues and users, and the ability to include a larger number of social profiles for management purposes.
The good news is that all social media management plans from Sendible offer a 14-day free trial. You can also cancel at any time.
BEST BUDGET OPTIONBuffer
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Buffer scored well in our ranking because their plans start at just $5 per month. You can try any Buffer plan free for 14 days, and there’s a free plan for one user that lets you access three social channels and create 10 scheduled posts.
- Plans start at $5 per month
- Free 14-day trial available
- Free plan available
- Works for Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest
- Doesn’t integrate with as many major platforms as competitors
- Free plan limited to three social profiles
Buffer is the best budget option for small businesses with few employees that want to manage social media without a pricey management plan. They offer a free plan that lets one user access three social channels. For an extra $5 per month, a Team Pack upgrade allows for unlimited social channels and unlimited users.
Either way, you can use a 14-day trial to get started, and all plans let you directly schedule posts on the platform. Other core benefits of Buffer’s plans include a posting scheduling tool, a link shortener tool, and optimization tools for hashtags, tags, and mentions across platforms. All plans also come with a browser extension, access to a mobile app, two-factor authentication, social media and email support, and access to the Buffer community.
BEST FOR SMALL TEAMSSocialPilot
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We believe SocialPilot is best for small teams since their Small Team plan allows up to three users. By contrast, many competing software programs only allow one user on their more affordable plans.
- Most affordable plan is $25.50 per month
- Discount available if you pay for one year of usage upfront
- 14-day free trial available
- Manage a minimum of 10 social media accounts with any plan
- Must pay for a year upfront for lowest pricing
- Basic plans don’t include as many tools or features
SocialPilot is the best option for businesses that want access to affordable social media software for more than one user. Their Small Team plan lets up to three users have access for just $42.50 per month.
In total, four plans are available:
- Small Team: $42.50 per month (25 social media accounts; 3 users)
- Studio: $85.00 per month (50 social media accounts; 5 users)
- Agency: $127.50 per month (75 social media accounts; 10 users)
Remember that to access this special pricing, you have to pay for a year of access upfront after your 14-day trial.
All plans from SocialPilot come with features like unlimited scheduling, bulk scheduling, access to social media analytics, a browser extension, and customer support. Higher-tier plans from SocialPilot let you have more users, oversee more social accounts, manage more Facebook ad accounts, and gain access to special features like client management tools.
What Is Social Media Management Software?
Social media management software is crucial for businesses that want an effective social media marketing strategy. After all, social media is now used by more businesses than ever as a way to curate and engage with clients while spreading messaging about their products and services.
However, social media management programs also help businesses save time and money. Where you would otherwise have to manage each social media platform separately, social media management platforms let you create and schedule posts across multiple platforms in one place.
You can also access valuable engagement tools like idea generation, analytics, and integration with other software you use. Social media management software can even help you manage and reply to comments, gather user information for sales funnels, and target specific audiences with online ads to boost sales.
What Is the Most Effective Social Media Platform?
Different types of businesses may be better off focusing on specific social media platforms. A company that offers a budgeting app might do better with Meta since clients can click directly on ads, for example, yet a travel brand or a luxury clothing brand might do better with Instagram since it lets them lure users in with visual appeal.
Some say that Meta has a major advantage over other businesses, mainly due to the extraordinary opportunities you have when it comes to advertising to millions of potential customers in one place. Meta also offers incredibly targeted advertising tools, including the ability to create and manage multiple audiences based on customizable factors. However, the best social media platform can also depend on how businesses rely on and utilize ads.
At the end of the day, a social media management platform like the ones that made our ranking could be used to help you identify which platforms provide you with the best results. This is because these software programs offer analytics and reports on engagement, which can help you determine where your time, energy, and dollars should be spent.
What Are the Expected Costs of Social Media Management Software?
Social media management software can be free, but the free basic plans some companies offer come with minimal tools and are typically only good for one user. If you want more features and the ability to integrate with more platforms or manage more accounts, you can expect to pay $5 per month to $600+ per month. If you have a large company and you need many user profiles or access to more social media accounts across many brands, you may even need to pay more than that.
How We Chose the Best Social Media Management Software
For the purpose of this ranking, we looked for social media management software programs that let users access the broadest range of social media networks. We also checked for integration options with other tools and programs, and we gave preference to providers that let customers manage more social media accounts across as many networks as possible.
Price was also a big factor in our ranking. While we include many social media software program options that cost $100 per month or more, we gave preference to providers that offer an inexpensive or free option as well as a free trial.
free social media management tools
However, since there are so many popular social networks you need to be a part of – plus new ones are continually being added to the mix – it’s nearly impossible to manage all of those accounts manually. Fortunately, there are plenty of free social media management and scheduling tools you can use to make your job and your life much easier. Let’s take a look at the 6 most effective.
Instagram is one of the most popular social networks, with over 1 billion users active on the platform each month. Later started as an app dedicated to Instagram as a scheduling tool, but since its inception, they’ve added support for other social networks and are continuously adding new features. The app has a strong focus on visual content. Whether you want to schedule in-feed image or video posts, stories, or carousel posts — Later supports all of these options. Later has a free plan available that you can use forever, but you get features such as analytics, saved captions, scheduled stories, and more for paid plans. Their paid plans start at $9/month.
A screenshot of the later dashboard
Those who rely on Twitter to get their message across will find much to like about TweetDeck. TweetDeck is a free application that enables you to manage multiple (unlimited) Twitter accounts from a unified interface. You can create your own customizable social media dashboard that allows you to send and receive tweets and manage and monitor your Twitter profiles. You can use TweetDeck as a web app, Chrome app, or desktop app. TweetDeck can be set to post scheduled tweets, build Tweet lists, and more. And the extra special part is that it’s always free.
A screenshot of the TweetDeck dashboard
Social media is increasingly becoming more and more visual. Canva is an excellent tool for anyone managing social media accounts to use. You can create designer-level marketing assets using any of the thousands of ready-made designs they have available to you. Now, you can even connect your social channels and publish or schedule directly from Canva. They have a free version available, which gives you decent access to great pre-made templates. The pro plan gives you access to all of the templates for only $12.95/month.
A screenshot of the canva dashboard
Hootsuite is one of the most established and popular apps for social media scheduling and marketing. You can use it to schedule posts, receive in-depth reports, and collaborate with your team members, thanks to built-in teamwork features. It enables you to view multiple streams at once and monitor what your customers are saying. There is a free limited plan available for 3 social profiles and up to 30 scheduled messages.
a screenshot of the hootsuite dashboard
Buffer is also one of the best apps for managing your social media presence and scheduling your posts. The app also comes with analytics tools that enable you to track your audience’s activity and figure out when it is the best time to post in the future. We especially love its Chrome extension, which integrates itself seamlessly and never gets in the way, yet it is always there when you need it. It is a more straightforward and more effective way of managing your social media, and you are never more than a few clicks away from setting up anything you want. Buffer supports over 7 different platforms – you can add up to 4 on the free plan.
a screenshot of the Buffer dashboard
Planable is a social media collaboration tool helping marketers work together better & faster. So, if you care for efficiency, this is the tool to consider. It’s one of the most visual platforms allowing marketers to create, plan, collaborate, review, and schedule social media content. It supports the most popular social media networks: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, TikTok, YouTube, and Google My Business. Planable is 100% focused on collaboration and approval so it allows you to get feedback on each post, have conversations, request & get approval, and schedule automatically. They’ve got a free plan to get you started — so you can test all the features for the first 50 posts.
Bonus Tool: ContentCal
ContentCal is the ultimate tool for bringing your team together. You can share ideas with, create approval workflows, build your content plan and then publish that content to multiple platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google My Business, YouTube, and Medium). ContentCal’s analytics will help you understand your content performance and the latest ‘Respond’ features act as a shared inbox for monitoring and responding to mentions, messages, and comments across social media.
One of the star features is the fact that ContentCal integrates with over 2000 other applications so that you can create the perfect social media workflow by connecting ContentCal to tools you currently use (think of things like Slack or Trello) and also distribute content to channels beyond social media, like emails and blog posts. The best content is created together. Involve your team (and clients) into the content creation process, share ideas, gain feedback and watch your content performance soar!
a screenshot of the contentcal dashboard
While managing your social media presence and getting your content to reach a wider audience is a challenging task, there are some things you can do to make it easier on yourself. That includes relying on apps to help you handle the jobs which don’t require you to use your creative capacities, and that includes scheduling. We hope you will find these apps helpful. Good luck!
Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.