Social Media Management Tools

Let’s face it: there is no single tool or application that can help you manage every aspects of social media marketing and that covers all of your social media channels. While many companies are hard at work to create one, in order to get all of the functionality you need to market efficiently online, you may need to assemble a toolkit of several applications to cover your needs. These tools are constantly evolving – and some of them crash and burn – so you want to subscribe to and use the most reputable ones that have the best chance of being around over the next few years.

Social media management tools, known as social media dashboards, give you a single-screen or compact view of multiple social networks or different views of the same social network, such as your Twitter feed, direct messages and notifications on Twitter. Each dashboard tool strives to be compatible with as many social networks as possible. Forget about using a third-party tool to manage your Facebook Page posts. Even though most tools allow it, Facebook can hinder your post’s visibility, so you’re better off using Facebook’s internal post scheduler.

Some tools help you monitor and respond to multiple accounts from a single screen while others focus more on letting you schedule posts.

Look for social media management tools that can help you do the following:

  1. Handle multiple accounts.
  2. Provide a dashboard view of your social media channels.
  3. Coordinate with multiple users.
  4. Schedule tweets, posts and updates.
  5. Help you filter, manage and respond to messages.
  6. Provide tracking and measurement reports for your social media channels.

Many social media management tools are accessible on mobile devices either through a mobile-friendly website or a mobile app. Some provide a desktop client while most can be accessed on the web using a standard web browser. Look for ones that allow you multiple ways of accessing and managing your accounts.

Here are some popular social media management tools:

Hootsuite – This tool provides a free version that can work well for managing multiple social networks including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn and Google+. It's available for iOS and Android smartphones as well as a browser bookmarklet called the Hootlet that lets you share content from Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Yelp, Flickr, YouTube and more. A free version limits you to three social profiles and allows scheduling and analytics. The Professional version of Hootsuite is $9.99/month and raises the number of social profiles you can sync to ten. The Team level at $34.99/month accommodates teams of up to three users for collaboration and up to 20 social profiles.

SproutSocial – A platform that helps you monitor, engage, publish and analyze results. Monitor by Twitter keywords and Instagram hashtags and locations, and also track Twitter influencers. The tool integrates with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Google+. You can try SproutSocial for free. Premium level is $99 per user per month for up to 10 social accounts.

Other useful management tools include:

Buffer – Buffer helps you easily schedule posts in several ways and tracks results but does not let you monitor social networks. Connect Buffer to Twitter; Facebook Profiles, Pages & Groups; LinkedIn Profiles, Pages & Groups; Google+ Profiles and Pages; Pinterest Boards (on the paid plans); and Instagram Profiles. You can schedule on all these networks except Instagram because the network doesn’t allow scheduling; however, you can prepare Instagram posts and receive a reminder when you need to manually post. Buffer’s Individual plan provides scheduling for 1 social account with up to 10 posts at a time. The Awesome Plan for $10/month accommodates 10 social accounts but no team members. The Small Business Plan for $99/month covers 25 social accounts and 5 team members. Buffer is also available for iOS and Android smartphones.

Cyfe – This dashboard includes social media, analytics, marketing, sales, support, and more, and offers a free version and a premium version for $19/month. Through the use of widgets, you can pull data from many of the other apps you use like Mailchimp, Shopify, SlideShare, and Wordpress. – Helps you manage and measure the distribution of your content to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Google+.

Tweetdeck - Tweetdeck helps you manage multiple Twitter interactions or multiple Twitter accounts. It is accessible on the web using a web browser. - Monitor and get alerts, respond, analyze, and collaborate. Offers a free trial and prices start at $29/month for 1 user and 2 alerts.

Use your social media management tools to identify, connect with, and better communicate with your customers and prospects. With the increased need to listen 24/7 and to respond quickly when marketing through social media, having the right tools can relieve some of the monitoring and publishing demands.