15 Best Social Media Marketing Tools
Social media has caused a revolution in the marketing world. Marketing has always been about communication, but communication relies as much on its format as its content. As television revolutionized advertising in the 20th century, so social media will revolutionize it in the 21st century along with social media marketing tools.
Already we are beginning to see these changes, with the advent of things like content marketing, which have to change the way a relationship is established and maintained with an audience in order to result in sales.
Unlike television, however, social media is not one format. It is many. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and more all have distinct approaches to helping people communicate, and require their own strategies for successful marketing.
Strategy is one thing, and something I’ve covered in previous weeks – social media marketing plan. But strategy cannot be employed without tools. This week, we’ll be looking at some of the best tools around to help you manage, deliver and optimize your social media marketing approaches.
We will be looking into what tools you should use, what tools you shouldn’t, and what the latest releases for this year have in store to supercharge your results.
Without further ado – here are your must-have tools for social media marketing in 2019:
Social Metrics Pro is a WordPress plugin that will track your social engagement across every major platform, and offer you analytics and reports that will help you understand how well you are trending.
- We use this, and it complements SEOPressor very nicely, helping you see the difference our optimizer makes to your posts.
- It’s helpful for identifying social sites you need to pay more attention to and which naturally lend themselves to your content.
- The control panel has a great feature that gives you a traffic light analysis of your posts, highlighting them in red when they are underperforming and green when they are performing well, based on SMP’s own broader analytics.
- The plugin can track both posts and pages on a WordPress based site to ensure you know how sales pages perform as well as content.
- All updates to the plugin are FREE for life after your initial payment.
Buffer is one of the most popular social media management tools available. It enables you to schedule your posts and distribute them across all the different social media touchpoints, including multimedia extensions that help optimize images and video for different platforms.
- It has a wonderful clean interface, and simple analytics features that make the data easy to digest and act upon.
- It enables you to sync multiple accounts across networks to share content across them all, from one central dashboard.
- They even have a Chrome extension to help you share or schedule found content on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ and LinkedIn.
- Buffer has one of the best blogs on social media found anywhere online, with detailed social media guides and case studies that can help you master your approach if you’re a newbie.
- Buffer has an extension that enables you to upload items in bulk, which is great if you produce your content in batches.
- Anyone who wants to automate scheduled publishing will benefit from Buffer.
Sprout Social shares some features with Buffer, but its focus lies in customer relationship management through social media platforms, enabling individuals to quickly manage and respond to engagements to keep customers happy.
- Sprout functions as an all-in-one social media marketing tool to help content managers control their efforts effectively. It’s not as thorough as Buffer at this, but makes up for it in other areas.
- It offers multi-level access, which means it’s perfect for businesses large enough to have teams of editors and writers. Some can have directorial control, while lower-level team members can log in to receive and update tasks.
- The detailed analytics platform helps managers keep on top of engagement, to foster and nurture it through responding quickly and effectively to comments and requests.
If there’s one tool on this list you’ve probably already heard of, it’s HootSuite. It allows you to post the same content across multiple platforms at once.
- Simple, but powerful tool for the average social media marketer. They have worked hard to overcome previous limitations of content optimization for different platforms, and now offer better control over content.
- There is now an option to schedule posts in advance on a number of different social platforms.
- Hootsuite can now help people create campaigns, competitions and curated collections of user-generated content easily and across platforms.
- There’s a cool feature introduced focused on ‘sentiment’, that allows you to see how many of the comments directed at your social media profiles are positive, neutral or negative.
BuzzSumo is a different kind of search engine, which helps you find the hottest content and search terms in your niche.
- This is one my favorites. It enables you to see what the best performing content is and take inspiration from it.
- Even better, you can search for a topic or even keywords, and see what the best performing posts look like across categories, so your search can be super specific.
- You can even see who the influences are that share successful content so you can target them and build relationships.
If This Then That is a free to use resource that allows you to find super simple ‘applets’ that create a single time-saving response to a pre-set condition.
- There are tons of great little features. Things like automatically syncing your profile images across social media platforms, or tweeting your Instagram photos as native images on Twitter.
- You can create ‘recipes’ that use multiple applets to describe more complex circumstances. So for instance, if you get a positive tweet you can auto-retweet it, where if you get a negative one, you auto-respond with a DM request.
- These are little things that can save a lot of time when combined together. You just need to form a habit of using them.
Social Clout is a social media return on investment optimizer, which aims to make sure you’re targeting your posts as effectively as possible.
- Analytics, sentiment and more comes from social listening, which includes comparative analysis of the competition.
- Importantly, you can see what demographics and touchpoints are engaging and converting, allowing you to improve your targeting to match the market that wants you.
A simpler, freemium social media manager that allows you to bulk upload updates and have them randomly distributed across different platforms.
- Good for those just starting out who want to ‘dip a toe in the water’ before committing to paying for a professional tool.
- It has all the features of something like HootSuite, while also identifying influencers to contact and following accounts that have promise, as well as time-limited recurring updates, drip feed posting and more.
Canva is the easiest way to create arresting, web-optimized graphics using images and text, and continues to be one of the most impactful social media marketing tools out there right now.
- This is my favorite tool for creating stunning images for social media posts. (Some of our featured images are created using this as well!)
- The interface is as simple as drag and drop, but with font and color control, image editing and positioning, and more, it is often used for menus, CVs and other professional applications.
- Despite pro results, it’s free to use!
- You’ll be in good company: BuzzFeed and other major outlets use it because there’s nothing easier or quicker to create great looking results. Their site has thousands of examples.
MeetEdgar is a virtual social media assistant, ideal for those with an established back catalog of work that can be made to work even harder.
- MeetEdgar independently schedules new and old content to be published at the best times.
- It analyses audience engagement on an ongoing basis to publish when its content is most likely to get responses from your audience.
- You can categorize different types of content for different audiences and target them independently, preferring those with the highest engagement.
- Old posts, once posted, go to the back of the queue to create ample space between reposts.
This is a social media management tool specifically designed for business to business companies.
- It has all the usual tools for scheduling, measuring, curating and social listening.
- Because of its B2B focus, it’s specifically designed for managing large teams, allowing for unified global campaigns for large scale businesses, or small businesses with an ambitious reach.
- With increased business focus come features like re-marketing, lead nurturing and CRM features.
Tagboard is a specialist social listening tool useful for those seeking deep insights into topic areas for research and development, innovation and more.
- Tagboard enables you to enter keywords, topic areas or even hashtags to get a collated set of prioritized insights and important takeaways on how the topic is being discussed socially.
- This offers a powerful tool for reputation management, keeping track of brand and product mentions.
- It also offers insight into not just what is being discussed, but how, helping you come up with new perspectives on key topics in your niche that will prove more engaging.
Bitly is used to shorten any URL so that it will fit nicely across every social media channel without eating up space and character counts. You can also have customized shortened URLs using the API.
- Using a Bitly link allows you to track analytics for one post using one source, instead of having to collate your click-throughs from different portals.
A Pinterest and Instagram focused tool designed to help coordinate visual marketing, particularly helpful for those selling jewelry, prints and more.
- It offers all the scheduling and analytics of other tools, with added features to help you discover content and monitor how your work is being talked about.
- It also has amplification features designed to help you reach more people and increase your conversions.
- Simple time savers include pinning to multiple boards at once, bulk uploading of collections, and a drag-and-drop calendar for scheduling.
When All You Have Is A Hammer… Every Problem Looks Like A Nail
This is a gentle reminder that there are literally thousands of social media tools and management dashboards out there to choose from. Some are more specialized than others in different social media outlets or different forms of doing business.
These are the ones I have found to be most valuable and influential throughout my work – the names that keep cropping up across industries. You may not need all of these tools, but picking just a few can drastically increase your effectiveness. Having the right tool for your needs is the most important thing. Choose wisely.
If you’d like to know what’s new for social media in 2017, check out Azfar’s blog post and see how you can benefit from there.
Are there any essential social media tools for marketing that you think we’ve missed? A tool you can’t live without? Drop it in the comments below!
This post was originally written by Joanne and published on Feb 27, 2017. It was most recently updated on September 09, 2018.
Updated: 21 March 2023
Vivian is an anthropologist lost in the world of digital marketing. She has an interest in learning about the science of marketing and the creativity that businesses use to transform themselves into purple cows.