These are the 11 Top Social Media Management Tools for Business that I can’t Live Without.
I’ve tried and tested many tools, but these are the tools that I am using right now, every week to post and engage on social media.
Use this guide to jump in and give them a spin on the platforms you are marketing on.
I get asked to test tools all the time and there are new tools coming out every week.
So I wanted to share with you the exact tools I am using right now as of early January, 2017. It’s testament to many of the tools listed here that I have used them over not months, but years.
Because I am fussy. Damn fussy.
A couple of these tools are new to my list of top social media management tools, but that’s also testament to how good they are.
I’m including them in an arsenal of tools that’s already top-notch, so they have to be good, right?
My Criteria for Top Social Media Management Tools
To be included as one of my “wing-man” social media management tools, the tool has to be used regularly by me and my team.
We need to use it to manage the planning, scheduling and posting of social media content day in and day out (and engagement).
I look for the following things in top social media management tools:
- It should be intuitive and easy to use. One of the first things I notice about a tool is whether I can get started without complicated instructions and videos to watch. It’s not just me that needs to use it – it’s my team members. So it has to be easy to use (with a great user interface).
- It has to have great support. The culture of the company and how they handle customer service is one of the first things I look for. Every tool on this list cares about their customers.
- It should allow me to do at least two major functions really well. I am not necessarily looking for one tool to do everything (I think that’s a pipe dream) but if it can do a few things at once, then that helps. I don’t mind using a few tools as I batch my content creation, sharing and engagement so it is no big deal for me to switch tools. But I am on the lookout for tools that help you (my audience) do more.
- It has to save me time. Just about every tool on this list has saved me hours (let’s be real, it’s probably weeks and months by now). I look at my must-have tools as team members. If I had them taken away, it would feel like a hole in my business.
- Great analytics and reporting. When I use a tool I want to know how it is working, what’s not working and how I can improve my social media management. In-tool stats and reports really help with this.
- It has to be affordable. I’m lucky because I get to partner with a few of the tools I use, so I have access to many tools to test and use. But I always keep it top of mind that small business owners don’t have the funds to pay for multiple tools, especially when most are in USD and you have to take into account exchange rates. For some countries, that makes it doubly expensive. When I hear my community say that a tool is expensive, I sit up and listen.
- The company has to be forward-thinking. I like to see tool companies test and evolve. I like it when they ask their customers about what works and doesn’t work .. and involve them in innovation.
A bonus factor I look for is that the tool is well respected by the platforms it works with. Many of the tools on this list are partners with platforms like Instagram or Pinterest. That says a lot.
So let’s jump in and take a look at the tools I use right now, in my business, every week.
11 Top Social Media Management Tools I Can’t Live Without
As I said, you may only need a handful of these tools to manage YOUR social media.
So to help you choose the top social media management tools for YOU, I’ve split them up into the main platforms I use them on.
Many small business owners can’t be across more than 1-3 platforms at any one time. So while I am posting on many platforms for my business, I don’t expect you to do the same (so don’t freak out by the number of tools!).
Note: I use some tools across multiple channels. Let’s jump in and start with an all-rounder tool that I use on just about every social platform.
I’m starting off with an All Rounder tool because it is the tool I use for Social Media Engagement on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. It’s Agorapulse.
I wrote about Agorapulse here and it’s become the tool I use the most. of any of these top social media management tools.
Before using Agorapulse I used to miss so many tweets, comments and mentions. Sigh.
Now, I am able to achieve “social inbox zero” regularly and I am much better at engaging. You can also use Agorapulse to check comments on Facebook and Instagram ads.
Agorapulse is one of my top social media management tools for scheduling, posting and engaging and much more. I mainly use it across Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to manage my communities. It also allows you to:
- Plan and schedule posts – Agorapulse lets you post to Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and now Instagram (using Agorapulse to schedule and then you finish by clicking to post on your mobile),
- Filter out spam – Agorapulse has a cool filter feature that allows you to filter out Auto DMs or spammy comments.
- Evergreen content – re-schedule your evergreen posts in a queue (as many times as you like)
- Awesome reports and analytics – perfect for social media managers to track what is working.
- Discover and engage with your most valuable followers – based on how engaged they are with your content.
- Delegate tasks amongst your team or flag content to take action on later.
…and more! Agorapulse is competitively-priced given that it covers so many features and platforms. They also excel at some of the criteria I mentioned before – customer service, innovation and listening to their customers. And…. it’s slick to use.
I’ve used Tailwind for a few years now and love it. It’s my go-to Pinterest tool and I use it for:
- Scheduling pins across my boards using the queue feature (Tailwind gives you the “best times” to post). I can drag and drop my pins on a calendar and even pin content to multiple boards using the queue feature.
- Pinning from my desktop or mobile.
- Advanced Pinterest analytics that tell me the performance of my pins, including the pins being saved and re-pinned from my website.
- Ability to monitor engagement and conversations around Pins.
- Easy Content Discovery Tools that ensure I always have enough content to pin … even when I am asleep.
It’s my all-in-one Pinterest Tool and I literally couldn’t live without it.
HOT NEWS: Tailwind now has an Instagram tool. I am only just testing it out but it looks great so far. Tailwind just gets better!
#3 Meet Edgar (and an affordable alternative)
I have been using a tool called Meet Edgar for a couple of years now. I mainly use it for most of my Twitter Scheduling because I wanted to be able to re-post quality content thoughout the day.
Edgar helped me to organise my tweets into “buckets” of content, posted at specific times. You can also use it for Facebook and LinkedIn. Basically, Edgar allows you to post rotated evergreen content within categories to a schedule, 24/7.
Since using an auto-queue tool like Edgar, I always have content to share. I never run out of content and old content gets new legs.
I wrote about Edgar here as one of my top social media management tools two years ago, when it launched.
But…. as much as I love Meet Edgar and all of its features, there’s one major “con” to this tool. Edgar is a little expensive for a lot of my readers, especially now that the price has jumped from $49 per month to $79 per month.
So I wanted to search for an alternative for you. What’s the alternative? Meet SmarterQueue:
SmarterQueue is one of the best (if not better) Meet Edgar “alternatives” I have seen for re-queue scheduling of your content across platforms. You can post to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Linkedin with Pinterest coming!
Find out more about why I made the switch to SmarterQueue here in this post below.
Go here to read the post and get my full SmarterQueue review.
In my SmarterQueue review, I explain 12 reasons why SmarterQueue is a great alternative to Meet Edgar (actually to be honest, it kind of blows Meet Edgar out of the water, but I’ll let you decide).
Among some of the features I love:
- Evergreen content re-queue, category-based scheduling, and a pause feature for your content
- a browser extension
- ability to add short links and UTM codes for Google Analytics
- Date based content – ie you can post something once or X number of times or set to expire on a certain date.
- a GREAT user interface (something that I loved about Edgar)
- it’s super easy to set up your schedule, categories and add content
- SmarterQueue makes it VERY easy to import your schedule, and move your content over from Edgar or another tool (it’s a bit like magic but find out more about how they do it here.
- You can easily find content from other pages, profiles, hashtags, URLs and store it in folders SmarterQueue to easily share out.
- Awesome Analytics – something that Edgar doesn’t provide to the level that SmarterQueue does.
- The Price – it starts at 19.99 vs Edgar’s price rise to 79.
Read more about why I made the switch to SmarterQueue here.
and for ViralTag users…
You may know ViralTag as a leading Social Media Marketing Tool for sharing visuals. Definitely check them out for their scheduling features and analytics across LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr.
I also tested out ViralTag’s functionality as it compares to Edgar. It doesn’t have as many functions as SmarterQuue but it does allow you to use basic category functionality (ie posting based on categories in particular time slots) based on tagging. It has an “evergreen’ feature so certain content will only continue to post within specified category time slots if you add this feature.
This is where Viraltag begins to do what Edgar does… it’s just a slightly different way of getting there.
Need an affordable “Edgar”? Then check out Viral Tag – especially if you are looking for a tool that has great posting and functionality for Pinterest. You can kill two birds with one stone.
and for Agorapulse users…
Agorapulse is also making great moves with their evergreen re-queue tool which is another affordable alternative to Edgar.
Watch this space as they will be rolling out new features soon that will give you even more control and flexibility with how you schedule content.
Although I mainly use a re-queue tool for Twitter, all of these tools can be used for Facebook and LinkedIn too.
I’ve used Later for a couple of years now. Before using Later, my Instagram posts were very ad hoc. That was before… this is “Later”.
It’s now one of my top social media management tools.
I still like to post spontaneously on Instagram, but to keep my sanity and get work done, I do plan ahead and schedule most of my posts first in Later.
Later gives me a notification and then I just have to click a couple of times and post from my Instagram app around the time I have scheduled. Sometimes I do it immediately, sometimes I get to it when I can.
There are plenty of tools that allow you to click to post but I use Later for a few key reasons:
- they’re a well-established tool with a great reputation and they focus purely on Instagram.
- Later has a fun user interface and you can easily switch between Instagram accounts
- they have a HUGE following on Instagram (they are walking the talk all over their gorgeous feed!).
- a cool “Link in Bio” feature where you can send people to a special landing page where followers can click on any image and go to whatever link you allocate. No more invalid links.
- They have a cool planning feature so you can move images around plan your grid.
- Bulk post features, with drag and drop functionality so you can add images to pre-determined time-slots that you know will attract engagement.
- one of my favourite features – a library of saved Hashtag Groups. You can save hashtags in groups so it’s SUPER easy to add a description and instantly choose up to 30 hashtags that are relevant to each post. This feature alone is saving me HOURS!
- The team at Later is always adding new features. They definitely fit in to the “innovative” company criteria that I look for in tools.
Note: Other tools that have also introduced click to post functions include Agorapulse, Viraltag and now Tailwind and Hootsuite.
They all work in a similar way, so If you are a small business using these tools and need to watch your budget, then it might be worth using the tool you are already using.
A word about auto-posting on Instagram…
I don’t advocate the use of any tools that contravene Instagram’s terms of service. For that reason, I choose to use an Instagram partner tool like Later.
It also means that I will not use a tool that auto-schedules. It’s not worth my account getting shut down and if you are managing client or employer accounts (or your own) you’d be wise to do the same.
And besides, if you click to post on the Instagram app, you’re ready and primed to respond to comments – something you would likely miss if it were all automated.
Tack is new to my kit bag of tools. I love it and I don’t think I’ll be letting it go anytime soon. Check it out here.
I do a lot of speaking and training in the tourism industry and this tool is a well-needed game changer when it comes to harnessing the power of user-generated content … in the right way.
Tack covers off on one of the biggest issues with content sharing on Instagram: Permission.
Instagram has no “native” sharing functionality so we rely on repost apps or tagging… often without true “permission” to repost.
Yes, most Instagrammers are fine with it, but it’s always best practice to ask…and tag and give credit as well.
A lot of organisations, tourism destinations and brands share content based on content being shared under a specific and targeted hashtag.
Unfortunately, hashtags don’t strictly imply “permission”. That’s where Tack steps in.
This tool helps you to find great content (via hashtags and usernames) and then you can quickly and easily ask for permission via the app.
The permission is recorded in the app and stored in a library of media approvals. The confirmation also appears on the comments of the post in question.
It’s brilliant. It’s super simple to use, and it’s a game changer for finding and using user generated content.
I have used Tack in our Visual Challenges that we run from time to time in my free Facebook Group – to find and share content. I will be using it a LOT more this year to find and share GREAT content from this community and with my clients. Stay tuned and check out Tack here.
Note: Later is for scheduling and posting. I use Agorapulse to check and engage with comments on Instagram but you can also use Tack to respond to comments on your Instagram posts too. Instagram only allows you to see 50 comments… but by using one of these tools, you can respond to more than 50!
#7 Post Planner
If you’ve been part of my community for a while then you’ll know that Post Planner is a no-brainer for me to mention, so I had to include it in my list of top social media management tools.
Post Planner has been helping me to find, plan and post awesome content on Facebook for a few years now.
I use Post Planner in two main ways:
1 Finding PROVEN content that is already getting great reach on Facebook.
Post Planner shows you the content that is getting shared most from Instagram, Facebook, Twitter… from profiles, pages and websites. It’s like a treasure trove of content to choose from.
You can find images to share on your own feed (because if it’s already getting shared well, then it’s likely it will get good reach on your page too).
I also use it for inspiration – ideas, thoughts, quotes that I can use when creating my own content (not copied, just inspired!).
2 Posting and Scheduling content
Post Planner helps you to find, plan and post content to Facebook and Twitter. You can also use their Pin it integration to post photos to Pinterest.
You can also add content sources from Instagram (though again, make sure you have permission if it is not your own content you are sharing). See #6.
Post Planner has a cool queue function for sharing posts or images on an evergreen basis. It’s not the same as Edgar or Viraltag (see above) but it’s a handy feature to use for your posts that you want to share more than once.
#8 Facebook Scheduling Tool
You can’t go past using Facebook for Facebook. I know that there have been many discussions over the years re whether Facebook favours native content that isn’t posted with a 3rd party app… who can keep up?
But I can say that I see good results when using this tool, so don’t discount it. It can be a great way to work in teams if you don’t have the funds for expensive tools. Your admins can schedule and check posts. Here’s how it looks when you schedule a post.
Just enter your post details, text and image and then click the drop down menu on the RHS to schedule the post: A new window will open up and it’s easy to choose the publish date and time.
A cool feature is that you can also choose whether to remove the post from circulation on your newsfeed after a certain time. This could be handy for promotions or seasonal posts.
Once you have your posts scheduled, you can check them any time by clicking the link to your scheduled posts at the top of your Facebook Page Newsfeed.
This is what I love about the scheduler… if you or your team are working in Facebook anyway, it’s easy to use. And you can have an admin or team member check posts before they are published.
Note: You can use Edgar or Agorapulse or Viraltag to schedule your posts to Facebook in addition to Post Planner and the Facebook Scheduler. I use Agorapulse to check and engage with comments from Facebook as well as any comments from Facebook Ads.
I’m adding my top social media management tools for my blog here as my blog is the engine room of my social media marketing.
All great content for my business starts on my blog, and there are a few key tools that help me to plan and schedule and engage with content on my blog.
Yoast is a WordPress plugin that is my crutch when it comes to sharing content on my blog. It helps me to set everything up right – so that content can be shared efficiently.
Yoast is great for doing “SEO” even if you have no idea what it is. It guides you through the process for each post or page of your website. \But it also shines in terms of how to set your post content up (including images) so it is ready to be shared across social platforms by readers.
But it also helps you to add images to your blog posts in the right way so that they can be easily shared across social platforms by readers.
For instance, it will help you to add the right size Facebook image to be shared. Now your post will look great on Facebook with an eye-catching image for sharing.
I wrote about it in more detail in this post, so be sure to check it out.
#10 Social Warfare
Social Warfare is my go-to sharing tool for helping my content get shared to social media.
It’s super sleek, with attractive designs and has some of the best sharing buttons around.
This post shows you some ways in which Social Warfare will rock your world and bring you more shares of your content!
Once your post is shared, you need to engage with it. Disqus is my tool of choice for being able to handle blog comments. I’ve been using it since my blog started.
That’s a Wrap
These are the top social media management tools that I use every week at the moment in my business.
They may change. New ones may come on board.
The tools I use sometimes branch out and perform more functions or (gasp!) a tool I that I love occasionally starts to “drop” in quality. It could be functionality, customer service or any of the above factors that I look for in top social media management tools.
I’ll always be searching for better ways to do this, so if I repeat this post in 12 months time, there will be tools I still use, or maybe use differently, with some new tools thrown in.
What’s important is that you find the right tool for YOU! It’s my job to test tools for my audience, so I’ll naturally be using more than most businesses will.
But I think this group of tools provides you with some great options, even if you only use one or two of them.
Enjoy testing them out!
Over to You
Do you use any of these top social media management tools?
What are your top social media management tools and how do you combine them?
Let me know in the comments below.
This post contains affiliate links. If you happen to purchase any tools, programs, tickets or products via my emails, I may receive some kind of affiliate compensation. I only recommend resources I have used and truly believe in – I want you to be in good hands.
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