In recent times, most businesses have started to leverage social media to market their goods and services. ScottHall.co has tested a variety of SMM software to find the best for you.
A recent survey shows that 96% of small businesses use social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and other social media platforms as their primary marketing tool.
These social media platforms have hundreds of millions of users, and proper use of these sites will help any business reach its target audience.
For a business to maximize social media use, they need to have an online presence on the different social media platforms.
This entails that the company must use and manage multiple social media accounts, create content for each of them, and schedule the content when due.
These numerous social media presences pose a considerable challenge, especially for small businesses with minimal employees.
Because of this challenge, many small companies have resorted to using social media management platforms to create a single comprehensive and encompassing management strategy for all their social media accounts.
What Is Social Media Management Software?
Social media management software is an application that businesses use to manage and implement their social media marketing strategy.
As more companies continue to rely on social media to engage with clients and reach their target market, there has been an increased need for social media management software.
Apart from the ease of integrating multiple social media accounts, this type of software saves businesses time and money by offering automation, post scheduling, and providing real-time analysis across numerous social networks.
They help communicate with users by replying to their comments, and they will allow you to increase ad conversions by gathering essential information about your target audience and channeling them into sales funnels.
Which Software Should You Choose?
We have compared all the top trending social media management platforms, assessing their tools and features.
We narrowed down the best eight platforms that we recommend for businesses to manage their online presence across several social media platforms.
We also compared their features, pros, and cons while specifying each of their competitive edges. The list includes:
Best Overall: Sprout Social
Among social media management software, Sprout Social ranks highest due to its publishing features, usability, and clearly-defined analytics across different social media platforms. Sprout Social also offers users the longest free trials.
The significant competitive edge that makes us rank Sprout Social highest is their excellent scheduling tools, user-friendly mobile app, and analytics. They also have a paid promotion tool that businesses can leverage to boost their Facebook posts and reach a wider audience. Furthermore, the 30-day free trial on all their subscription packages provides enough room for users to assess the app's functionality and decide if it's best for them.
Sprout social currently supports and allows users to integrate their Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn, for seamless all-in-one management. They have three subscription packages, namely:
According to the platform owners, the Professional plan, which allows for the management of up to ten social media accounts, is the most popular among users.
The professional plan also will enable users to read messages from all the social networks- in one place. It calculates response rate and has a content calendar, a tool that analyses Twitter hashtags, and so much more.
The best part is that you can download the mobile app and manage all your social media accounts seamlessly, no matter the plan.
The Standard plan allows you to manage only five social media accounts; it has many of the standard plans' features and costs only $99.
Best All-in-One Tool: Zoho
Among other social media management tools, Zoho offers the best all-in-one tool. It allows users to integrate and manage their social media accounts in one place while also offering email management, webinars, and project accounting.
The outstanding feature of Zoho is the all-in-one tool that combines social media management software with Customer Relation Management (CRM). Using Zoho, you can manage your business accounting, access and sort out emails and also create and supervise products all in one place. Furthermore, you could opt to buy their comprehensive software, which you can use separately or integrate for a more robust single management.
Zoho offers two social media management plans for individuals and businesses, namely:
Both plans allow you to instantly publish on multiple social media platforms and schedule posts for publication. They also provide analytics and summary reports, URL shortener, and Bitly integration.
However, the standard Package allows only two members for a single brand, while the Professional plan allows up to three members. You can also add more members or social networks at an extra cost per person or account.
Zoho also has a free plan that only fits in one team member and brand. They also have a social media software for agencies, which allows users to manage more than ten different brands affiliated with their business.
Best for Analytics: Hootsuite
Hootsuite has the best analytics and tracking tool among all other social media software. With Hootsuite, you can get real-time analysis of trends and engagements both on regular posts and sponsored ads.
Hootsuite’s competitive edge is its excellent analytics tools and social media tracking features. It offers customized reports like team productivity reports, organic ROI reports, competitive benchmarking, social listening tools, and other essential analytic reports.
Users can choose to pay for the reports they consider necessary but at an extra cost. Ideally, these reports are pertinent to assess the results of a company's marketing strategy, primarily if they rely solely on social media for most of their marketing process.
The free plan comes with limited features and only allows for three social profiles. Hootsuite’s paid subscription plans include:
Customizable plans also exist at varying prices for more extensive and more complicated businesses.
The professional plan is ideal for small businesses as it allows for integrated management of ten social profiles, with unlimited scheduling of posts. It only allows a single user. With the Team plan, however, three users can manage twenty social media profiles in one place.
All plans allow access to unlimited auto-scheduling, a social inbox, unlimited social messages, a publishing calendar and more. Hootsuite gives a 30-day free trial, during which you can decide which plan to buy.
Best Integration: Sendible
Sendible makes it to our list because it has the best integration features among other social media management platforms.
Sendible allows you to integrate up to 26 different profiles, including Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Google My Business (GMB), LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, Medium, WordPress, Canva, Google Analytics, Tumblr, Google Drive, Slack, and other essential functions.
Sendible stands out for letting users integrate more social media platforms than other software does, and they even support tools like Slack, Google Analytics, and Canva.
With this unique integration, you can handle almost all aspects of your business' social media strategy altogether.
Different plans exist depending on company size. They include:
However, these plans are applicable only when you pay for a year upfront, but paying for only a monthly package attracts a 15% extra charge.
Sendible plans come with up to 10 queues, workflow tools, content publishing, bulk scheduling, keyword tools, and an inbox for monitoring and engagements. The number of queues, users, social media platforms, and monitoring features increases with more expensive plans.
To get started, check out the 14-day free trial to decide if this software is ideal for you.
Best for Low Budgets: Buffer
Buffer is the best option for people with a tight budget. With $15 monthly, you can get on board their basic plan, and their most expensive plan costs $99 monthly.
Buffer also offers a 14-day free trial, which you can cancel at any time. The trial version supports up to three social media accounts and ten scheduled posts.
Buffer is ideal for small businesses with a tight budget and a few employees. It offers the most affordable plans for social media management. There is also a free plan where one user can integrate up to three social channels.
The pro plan allows one user to manage up to eight social networks. The premium plan allows up to two users to integrate eight social media accounts. The priciest plan- the Business Plan allows six users and up to 25 social media accounts.
Buffer allows you to create custom video thumbnails, schedule posts, perform Instagram tagging and create and view your activities using the calendar view tool.
They have top notch customer support, Buffer community, a mobile app, browser extension, and a high-security function with two-factor authentication. To get started, create an account, and use the 14-day free trial.
Best Software for Large Teams: Loomly
Loomly is the best social media software for large team collaboration. It allows up to 26 team members and includes several core functions like post preview, analytics, audience targeting, automated publishing, etc.
Loomly is an ideal social media management system for large teams looking to work together on their social media strategy. The lowest plan only allows for two users, while the premium plan allows up to twenty-six users.
The subscription plans include:
per month (2 users)
per month (16 users)
per month (6 users)
per month (26 users)
These prices, however, are only applicable for users who pay for a full year. Paying monthly attracts an extra cost.
While choosing the plan to use for your business, consider that each plan has a fixed maximum ad budget, so if your business spends up to $5,000 on Facebook ads, it'll be best for you to buy the premium package.
No matter your subscription plan, you have access to unlimited content posting and other salient features like automated publishing, audience targeting, interaction tracking, fundamental analytics, and post sponsoring.
You can also reach customer service via email and chat. All plans also have a 15-day free trial, which you can cancel at any time.
Best Software for Small Teams: SocialPilot
While the basic plan on all other social media management platforms allows a maximum of two users, the smallest plan on SocialPilot allows up to three users. This, we believe, makes it ideal for small teams.
SocialPilot is ideal for any business seeking an affordable plan for small teams. With $25 per month, you can opt for their professional plan, which onboard up to three users.
The subscription plans include:
3 team members
25 social media accounts
5 team members
50 social media accounts
5 team members
100 social media accounts
These plans are applicable when you pay for one year upfront. All plans allow access to unlimited scheduling, social media analytics, bulk scheduling, customer support, and a browser extension.
With the higher-tier plans, SocialPilot users can access features like client management tools and manage more social media accounts, including Facebook ad accounts.
However, it is necessary to note that each plan has a restriction on the number of daily posts. The Agency plan allows for up to 1,000 posts; the Small team plan lets you make up to 500 posts, whereas users on the Professional plan can only post 200 contents daily.
Best for Automation: MeetEdgar
MeetEdgar comes with the best automating and scheduling functions when compared to other social media management platforms. With this platform, you can set a continuous automatic posting, and the app also curates and re-shares important posts across your social media networks.
MeetEdgar is the best for automation. It is ideal for businesses to automate their account and do not have the time to implement their social media marketing strategy manually.
With an unlimited content library, browser extension, and category-based scheduling, MeetEdgar automatically updates your social media content, keeping your audience engaged. You can save space with the automatic link shortener and set up new content to be uploaded at scheduled times.
MeetEdgar has only two plans:
Edgar Lite- $19/month (which allows for only three social media accounts and ten recurring scheduling time slots weeks).
Edgar plan- $49/month (1000 recurring scheduling time slots weekly)
To get started, create an account and enjoy the 7-day free trial.
Which Social Media Platform Is Most Effective For Business?
Every social media platform has hundreds of millions of users, which forms the target market for different companies.
While a company that builds a budgeting app may reach its best potential via Facebook, where users can click on ads, travel agencies and fashion brands will thrive better on Instagram by posting alluring pictures.
Many believe that Facebook trumps other social media platforms because it has the highest number of users and special advertising tools that allow businesses to customize their target audience using a set of filtering factors.
However, the best social media platform depends on your company's business, target audience and advertising needs.
The good news is, with these social media management software, you can identify which platform works best for your business. They offer you analytics and engagement reports to see which platforms give you the best results and return on your investments.
Average Cost Of Software For Social Media Management?
Most social media management software has a free plan. However, the free plans only allow a single user and do not offer the advanced management tools that you may need for your business.
To get the advanced features, integrate multiple accounts, and login various users, you will need to opt for the paid monthly subscription packages ranging from $15 to $600.
Bigger companies that require more user-profiles and operate several social media accounts for their different brands may need to pay higher amounts of money.
Finding The Best Social Media Management Software For Your Business?
We have ranked several social media management software according to their unique advantages.
However, our ranking considered social media management software that allows for integrating the highest number of social media networks.
We also thought of software that incorporates other tools and programs and only ranked the software programs that enable customers to integrate the broadest tool options.
We also considered price in our ranking. We gave preference to software programs that offer free versions and free trial versions while also considering the expensive ones.
Considering all these criteria, it is now left for you to decide which social media management platform suits your business, budget and social media marketing strategy.