When it comes to social media marketing, it sounds relatively easy. Just post a picture, add a few catchy words, together with a link to drive traffic – and BAM! – your social content is complete for the day.
However, if you want to discover the true power of social media in marketing, that is not the way to go!
A well-thought-out social plan doesn’t just happen overnight. It can be extremely time-consuming. It can also span so many tasks, ranging from creative jobs to data-based activities like tracking analytics.
Sounds like a big job, right?
Well, luckily, there are an extensive array of social media marketing tools out there that can make this mighty task a whole lot easier for you. Below, we will cover the top 15 social media marketing tools that can help you.
- What is social media marketing?
- 15 best social media marketing tools
- Social media planning and scheduling tools
- Social media listening and engagement tools
- Social media advertising tools
- Social media analytics tools
- The bottom line
In fact, social media marketing is the use of social networks to connect with your audience to build your brand, drive website traffic, and increase sales. This involves publishing excellent content on your social media channels, listening to and engaging your followers, running social media ads, and analyzing your results.
Social media marketing actually first started with publishing. Brands were sharing their content on social media to generate traffic to their websites, and hopefully, sales. But social media marketing has matured far beyond being just a place to broadcast content.
Nowadays, businesses use social media marketing in a myriad of different ways. For instance:
- A company that wants to publish great content that their audience likes, at the right timing and frequency (social media planning and scheduling)
- A business concerned about what people are saying about it would monitor social media conversations and respond to relevant mentions (social media listening and engagement)
- A brand that wants to reach a particular specific set of audience at scale would run highly-targeted social media ads (social media advertising)
- A business that wants to know how it’s performing would analyze its reach, engagement, and sales with an analytics tool (social media analytics)
And that’s what we will categorize in the next section, which includes 4 main types of social media marketing tools.
Social media planning and scheduling tools
CoSchedule is a popular social media tool focused on publishing and well-known for its content calendar feature.
With CoSchedule, you can manage your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Tumblr social profiles. It integrates well with other blogging tools like WordPress and HubSpot, helping you organize and publish your blogs right from your CoSchedule account.
The tool also offers a comprehensive “Top Content Report” feature to document social shares and engagement, which is excellent for content creators looking to figure out which pieces are resonating most with readers.
In addition, the tool has an intelligent feature called ReQueue, which automatically fills your queue by analyzing and rescheduling your top-performing posts from your social media planner history.
With its Kanban Project dashboard, you can see everything your team is working upon and progress each step. You can also apply custom statuses to workflows based on the way your team works.
- Blog Calendar: $19/ user/ month
- Marketing Calendar: $39/ user/ month
- Marketing Suite: custom pricing
2. Post Planner
Post Planner was designed to help social media marketers with three fundamental jobs:
- Look for high-quality content
- Plan the perfect publishing calendar
- Post consistently
You can’t just blast your own content over and over if you’d like to grow your following. With its Find tool, Post Planner curates posts based on specific keywords and hashtags, assigning star-ratings to pieces based on how relevant they would be to your audience.
The tool also chooses the best times to post based on your audience data. The planning section emphasizes the different types of content you are posting (e.g., article, photo, video, etc.) and how each piece is performing.
Like many other social media scheduling tools, Post Planner lets users repeat and recycle top-performing posts, too. It allows your marketing team to post as efficiently as possible.
- Starter Plan: $3/ month (billed annually)
- Love Plan: $9/ month (billed annually)
- Guru Plan: $19/ month (billed annually)
- Master Plan: $49/ month (billed annually)
- Agency Plan: $99/ month (billed annually)
- Venture Plan: $199/ month (billed annually)
Every time you sit down to knock out a blog post, you probably already have your audience in the back of your mind.
You’d like to craft pieces that have the potential to get shared around like crazy. You’d like to get as much mileage as you can via social sharing so as many people see that piece of content as possible.
That means planning out your content, simple and straightforward.
Airtable brings the process of content planning and social media scheduling together. The tool can be used among teams or individuals, not only to plan out future pieces of content but also to see how those posts will be promoted across various social sites.
Another nice bonus of this tool is its asset manager. This feature affords users a sense of consistency across your social campaigns and ads prior to hitting “Publish.”
In short, Airtable lets you stay one step ahead by assessing what your social media posts will look like before they go live. Never hurts to be prepared, does it?
- Free Plan
- Plus Plan: $12/ user/ month
- Pro Plan: $24/ user/ month
- Enterprise Plan: Custom pricing
Social media listening and engagement tools
Mention has the ability to track millions of content sources across 42 languages to monitor brand mentions worldwide. You can choose what content you’d like to tune out, so you are only paying attention to trends that matter.
With this tool, you’re able to view and respond to each like, tag, or mention about your brand. You can also sort mentions by importance or significance, and even set up filters, including by source or language.
There is a competitor analysis tool that allows you to compare your brand against two or more rivals. In this way, you can ensure your content is always relevant, timely, and unique to your brand when compared to other industry leaders.
- Solo Plan: $29/ month
- Pro Plan: $99/ month
- ProPlus Plan: $199/ month
- Company Plan: $450+/ month (annual billing)
Awario is a social media listening tool focused on building brand awareness. The tool works by tracking keywords in a number of different languages. Plus, it breaks down mentions into positive, negative, and neutral while showing you a list of influencers and offering reports with all the stats on the authors that mention your brand.
The tool offers everything you need to monitor and respond to comments and build meaningful relationships with your target audience on social. This tool is excellent for companies trying to grow their international customer base through social media engagement.
- Starter Plan: $29/ month
- Pro Plan: $89/ month
- Enterprise Plan: $299/ month
Hootsuite has been around in the social media world for a very long time, resulting in a large customer base with more than 16 million users worldwide. It supports major social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Youtube, and Pinterest.
This tool enables you to view and respond to all your comments, messages, and brand mentions across several social channels in a single and concise dashboard. You can also track leads and influencers in lists that can be imported and shared with others in your company.
Moreover, you can use Hootsuite to schedule posts in advance on different social platforms. Its analytics feature lets you measure content management, so you understand how your campaign is performing.
- Professional Plan: $19/ month
- Team Plan: $99/ month
- Business Plan: $599/ month
- Enterprise Plan: custom pricing
Keyhole focuses on Instagram and Twitter brand analyses, enabling you to track mentions, hashtags, usernames, and more across both of these social media platforms.
The tool also offers impressive heat maps that show how engagement and mentions with your brand differ across the world. This allows you to understand better your target audience and how to interact with them effectively.
Not only does the tool serve as a helpful social media listening tool across social media, blogs, and forums and oversee your overall brand health, but it also equips you with in-depth competitor insights. It helps you quickly compare your brand accounts and campaigns against those of major competitors.
- Basic Plan: $49/ month
- Professional Plan: $199/ month
- Enterprise Plan: Custom pricing
Social media advertising tools
Retargeting on social media platforms is all the rage for savvy lead generation, as it enables you to reach customers when they are most interested in what you have to offer.
AdRoll explains the process in simple terms:
- Someone visits your website.
- They leave your website without completing a desired action for lead generation, such as making a purchase.
- While using social media channels (e.g., Facebook), they’re presented with your retargeted ads on their newsfeed.
- They click on the ad, returning to your website to complete the desired action.
Some tools have a bit of a learning curve, especially if you come from other platforms, but AdRoll provides extensive documentation and other resources to help you get the most out of the platform.
- Starter Plan: $0
- Essentials Plan: starts at $12/ month
- Growth Plan: starts at $25/ month
Qwaya is another popular platform to manage and optimize advertising on Facebook and Instagram, created specifically for professionals. This makes it more advanced compared to other tools on this list.
One of this tool’s best features is its superb audience A/B testing that generates an advanced report with a side-to-side comparison. You’re able to filter the results using different criteria to see your campaigns’ most promising audience.
The process of creating ads with Qwaya is quite simple, as all you need to do is click through a special menu. A nice and wide collection of ad templates is available to help you with choosing a design. Qwaya also has a useful target audience search engine that finds relevant social media users based on their input.
However, choosing Qwaya is a good option only for anyone with years of experience with social media advertising. Its advanced features could easily be confusing for beginners and those lacking a lot of experience in the field. The focus on professionals also results in a very high cost of the tool, which might make it unreachable for small businesses.
- Premium Plan: $149/ month
- Business Plan: $249/ month
- Agency Plan: $349/ month
As a web-based Facebook ad manager tool, AdEspresso is a comprehensive platform for businesses. Specifically designed to create, test, and optimize ads for social media channels, AdEspresso provides advanced options like generating custom PDF reports of each Facebook ad campaign.
With this tool, you can create complicated campaigns and do A/B testing to find the best-performing versions. Running tests to check the performance of various ad elements is also available; for instance, if you add different variations of one ad in the AdEspresso editor, the tool automatically creates split tests and runs them.
- Starter Plan: $49/ month (billed annually)
- Plus Plan: $99/ month (billed annually)
- Enterprise Plan: $259/ month (billed annually)
With many top brands relying on Driftrock, including BMW and Coca-Cola, this tool must be something special. And once you learn more about its features, you’ll see that this is the case.
Thanks to the built-in Driftrock Create, you can design good-looking ads within minutes and boost them on Facebook. In addition, Driftrock also has Flow – a tool for automatic updates for Facebook Custom audiences and targeting similar audiences, and OpenBook – a tool to run a detailed analysis for Facebook ad campaigns and define ROI.
Besides, users of Driftrock can define a custom bidding strategy as well as how to pay for the ads.
Pricing plan: Contact their support team for the pricing plans.
Social media analytics tools
12. Google Analytics
While Google Analytics is not solely a social media analytics tool, it is one of the best ways to track social media campaigns and help you measure social ROI.
With this tool, you can set up reports that will help you:
- See which social media channels give you the most traffic
- See what content performs best
- Make sure you are attracting the right audience on social media with demographic data
- See how many leads and other conversions your business gets from social media channels (trials, sales inquiries, email signups, etc.)
- Calculate the ROI of your social media campaigns.
With this data, you will be able to get the most out of your social media campaigns and effectively strategize for the future.
- Free Plan
- Analytics 360 Plan: $starts at $150,000 per year and increases after your site receives more than one billion monthly hits.
13. Sprout Social
Whether you desire to dive deep into your performance on a single social network, or quickly compare results across multiple networks at once, Sprout Social has you covered.
Track Facebook Page impressions, measure Instagram follower growth, evaluate LinkedIn engagement, tally up Twitter link clicks, assess content performance on Pinterest, and much more, all from the same location.
Then Sprout Social will quickly organize and share your data with easy-to-understand, presentation-ready reports. Or, you can take it a step further with premium Analytics and create your own custom report, tailored to your organization’s KPIs.
Sprout Social comes complete with both templated and customizable reporting options. This helps you have multiple ways to gather vital social metrics and understand what they mean and present them to others.
- Standard Plan: $99/ user/ month
- Professional Plan: $149/ user/ month
- Advanced Plan: $249/ user/ month
The growth of influencer marketing has created a need for social media tools specifically tailored for influencer campaigns. TapInfluence is an analytics platform that removes many of the hassles related to influencer marketing. This consists of metrics such as reach, engagement rate, as well as the potential price tag behind any given influencer.
The tool highlights relevant influencer metrics in black and white so brands can better understand whether or not a potential relationship makes sense prior to outreach. In addition to individual influencer metrics, TapInfluence also measures the performance of overall campaigns against industry benchmarks.
Pricing plan: Contact their support team for the pricing plans.
Running a social media contest often requires an overwhelming amount of legwork. ShortStack can pick up the slack from picking a winner to analyzing engagement from a giveaway campaign.
For brands frequently running contests or giveaways, a dedicated analytics tool ensures that you are not just giving away freebies for no reason. ShortStack looks at everything from your entry data to long-term campaign performance to do that.
By analyzing your contest’s performance with ShortStack, you can see engagement metrics and identify which types of contests would work best with your audience.
- Business Plan: $99/ month
- Agency Plan: $199/ month
- Brand Plan: $499/ month
Social media marketing tools come in all shapes and sizes, and what suits you best depends on your business goals and needs. We hope we’ve managed to mention at least one tool that might suit your needs.
We want to hear from you! What features do you find to be most important for a social media marketing tool? If you haven’t got started with social media marketing, what is holding you back? You can share it with us for more discussion!