The best social media management tools 2019

Social media management is a must for any small business in 2019. Looking for an all-rounder, high-impact or budget-friendly tool? We'll help you

There was a time when people thought social media was nothing more than a passing fad – a gadget for teens, and a million miles from any business strategy.

Today, there are 3.9 billion internet users, and 2.77 billion of which have active social media accounts.

That makes social networks a fertile ground for anyone looking to raise brand awareness, and engage with new and existing customers.

It’s safe to say social media is no longer optional. But if you’re a newcomer to this space, it can seem overwhelming. What should I post? How often? When? The good news is there are plenty of easy-access tools with all the answers.

Think of social media management software like your very own marketing expert that will plan, schedule, and post your social media content across all platforms.

The best tools will break down the trickiest parts – from crafting powerful content right through to data crunching – providing you with the analytics you need to drive engagement and measure your success.

The only question you now need to ask is: which media tool is right for my small business? We conducted our own in-depth research to tell you everything you need to make the most informed decision.

Or, if you’re ready to skip ahead, just fill in the quick form above to compare quotes for social media management tools based on your company’s requirements – and go straight to the best suppliers for you.

In this article we’ll cover:


How do I choose a social media management tool?

Based on our rigorous assessment, you’ll be pleased to know the chart-toppers aren’t necessarily the most expensive – nor the best known.

Here they are in brief:

Tool Great for…? Star Rating
Sprout Social Action-packed media management ★★★★★
CoSchedule Staying on top of it all ★★★★
Agorapulse Fool-proof online marketing ★★★★
Oktopost B2B social media made easy ★★★★★
Crowdfire More followers ★★★★
Zoho Social Growing businesses ★★★★★
Hootsuite The media management celeb ★★★★

You’ve seen the full list. Now, for the breakdown…



1. Sprout Social – For action-packed media management

Sprout Social

Pros – very intuitive, easy-to-use, Digital Asset Library to store your media, clean interface
Cons – limited reporting, sometimes slow to load
Price from – $99 per user/month
Value for money – ★★★★★

What is Sprout Social?

Sprout Social is bound to impress, with one of the highest levels of user satisfaction. That must be why it’s trusted by high-flyers in the media space, including Ogilvy, Evernote and Ticketmaster.

Sprout Social makes social management easy, and lets team members collaborate over its platform, and provide stellar customer service. The software is available via web browser, iOS and Android, and supports Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Google+.

Is it for me?

If you would appreciate some hand-holding in the world of social media for small businesses, Sprout Social wins hands down for customer experience.


2. CoSchedule – For staying on top of it all

coschedule logo

Pros – swift integration with WordPress, dynamic calendar with colour coding, slick interface
Cons – limited guidance of software
Price from – $80-89/month
Value for money – ★★★★

What is CoSchedule?

CoSchedule is a project management tool for mini marketing teams. It’s a great gadget for scheduling and collaboration, and lets small businesses plan their entire marketing campaign from one handy calendar.

But it goes further. With team workflows, it’s easy to collaborate on projects and assign tasks to get more done. You can also get your hands on need-to-know data about your team’s progress to help you drive productivity.

Is it for me?

Yes, if you like staying organised. The marketing calendar is key, and shows you your entire marketing strategy at a glance. Here’s what it looks like:

coschedule calendar


3. Agorapulse – For simple social networking and CRM

agorapulse logo

Pros – feature-packed, easy-to-understand reports via PowerPoint, comes with an app, responsive customer service, handy notifications
Cons – interface can be slow, some of the reports are already available on social media platforms
Price from – €39/month
Value for money – ★★★★

What is Agorapulse?

AgoraPulse is a media management and CRM platform that lets small business owners take charge of their social media marketing.

It makes it a breeze to schedule posts, monitor social channels, and get actionable reports all in one dashboard. It’s not complicated, and should be all most small businesses need.

As you would expect, Agorapulse integrates nicely with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn and Google+, and you can dip your toes in with a free trial.

What makes it unique?

Agorapulse makes social media marketing easier and faster. It’s a great one for newcomers to the sport, thanks to its intuitive dashboard. You can see for yourself:

agorapulse dashboard


4. Oktopost – For B2B social media made easy

oktopost logo

Pros – easy-to-use, handy bulk upload feature
Cons – limited customer support
Price from – Quotes on request
Value for money – ★★★★★

What is Oktopost?

While other media management tools work towards engagement and brand awareness, Oktopost takes you deeper into the data, so you can see the ROI (return on investment) of your social media content.

This tool specifically measures your social post to lead conversion, so you can identify what’s working for you – and what content you might like to change.

But Oktopost also scores well for scheduling, team collaboration and nice integration with social networks, as well as leading ecommerce and analytic platforms.

Is it for me?

Oktopost is the only social media management tool that’s custom-built for B2B (business-to-business) marketers, and the first one to track the ROI of your social accounts. Not only that, it has a user-friendly design.

Here’s what it looks like:

oktopost dashboard


5. Crowdfire – For more followers

crowdfire logo

Pros – free for one social media account, growth focused, helpful daily reminders
Cons – the email support is only available on the Premium and higher plans
Price from – Quotes on request
Value for money – ★★★★★

What is Crowdfire?

Crowdfire claims it’s the only social media management tool you’ll need, thanks to its high number of users and focus on growth. It also offers exclusive features, including data about unfollows, and other more elaborate social media analytics.

The software has helped over 19 million users worldwide. You can schedule and publish content, as well as curate content from your Shopify or Etsy account, for example.

Is it for me?

Crowdfire is for anyone who wants a quick and easy way to get more followers.


6. Zoho Social – For growing businesses

zoho logo

Pros – user-friendly, perfect for teams, post to the minute, very responsive support, extremely cost-effective
Cons – no Pinterest integration, some features are basic
Price from – £8/month
Value for money – ★★★★★

What is Zoho Social?

Zoho Social helps small business owners grow their brand awareness on social media, using data-driven and actionable insights into their engagement.

Zoho Social is big on analytics. The real-time dashboard lets you monitor your brand’s performance on social media, and the software even suggests the best times to post. Then there’s the keyword tracker and instant notifications, to ensure you are never left behind.

Is it for me?

Not only is Zoho Social ideal for budget-tight small businesses and start-ups, you also have the option of tapping into Zoho’s vast suite of apps to manage everything – from CRM to payroll.


7. Hootsuite – The media management celeb

Hootsuite
Pros – user-friendly, great for beginners, deep-dive analytics, top customer support
Cons – platform can have glitches when posting URLs, some analytics can lag behind
Price from – £25/month
Value for money – ★★★★

What is Hootsuite?


No list of top media management tools would be complete without Hootsuite. Used by over 15 million people worldwide, it is probably the biggest tool on the market today.

This all-in-one platform lets you curate and schedule content, measure social ROI, run social media ads – and much more. It comes with default reports for all your accounts, or you can customise your own with the information that matters to you.

And, used by over 800 of the Fortune 1000 companies, it’s got to be doing something right.

Is it for me?

With a customer service that’s second to none, Hootsuite is a top option for social media novices.


FAQs

How do you choose the top social media management platform?

We honed in on the four most important aspects of social media management for small businesses and entrepreneurs. To get in our good books it needed to tick the following boxes – here’s a breakdown of our criteria:

  1. User Experience – How user-friendly is the software?
  2. Features – Just the basics or more than enough? All-you-can-eat, or all you need? Does it work with all major social networks?
  3. Price – Will it work for small businesses on a shoestring? And more importantly, does it offer value for money?
  4. Customer support – How responsive and helpful are their team?

If the software shines in these areas, it’s bound to work well for you.

How do I know which one is best for me?

Of course, all small businesses are unique. We understand there’s no one-size-fits-all media management tool. Our reviews will help you grasp the differences between the tools on offer, and what type of businesses will best suit which software.

To help you assess your own needs, just ask yourself these three key questions:

  1. What are you hoping to achieve with social media marketing?
  2. Why are you looking for a social media management tool?
  3. What are your must-have features?

Why are social media tools a must for small businesses?

Media management tools have a never-ending list of benefits for small businesses and start-ups.

A social media management tool will help you to:

socialmedia management tools benefits

1. Get organised

If you are already unlocking the benefits of social media, the chances are you’re on more than one platform. And if you’re not, the stats suggest you should be. Media management tools make it a breeze to manage all your channels from one simple interface.

2. Save time

Social media management software does the legwork for you, meaning you can multiply your reach without duplicating your workload. Plus, scheduling your posts in advance lets you tap into peaks in traffic without having to work weekends.

3. Save money

In 2018/19, UK-based small business owners were predicted to spend around 16% of their budgets on marketing. But because this software means having your very own marketing pro on board, you can spend less on hiring an ad agency or social media manager.

4. Boost sales

It isn’t enough to be present on social media to grow your business: you need to know how to get results. Media management tools are your best bet at maximising your impact. They can suggest the best times and content to help your social media posts get through to the right people.

5. Manage crises

Social media is a dream for brand building. But sometimes it’s your defence against harmful PR. Media management is a lifesaver: many tools give you live updates and alerts, so you can come to the rescue of your brand in time, and stop a bad post costing you customers.

6. Crunch data

Social media is an ever-changing jungle: you’ll need AI (artificial intelligence) expertise. And with most software offering easy-to-digest data analytics, you can go one step further. Find out which posts are working, what’s trending, and get to know your customers better.

Why can’t I just stick to the social media platforms?

Of course you could, but then you’d be missing out on the host of benefits provided by management software – from saving your precious time to boosting the impact of your posts.

Plus, media management tools offer game-changing features you can’t get on social networking sites themselves – such as letting you schedule posts in advance, and taking advantage of your all-powerful data through analytics tools.

Do I really need to fork out for media tools?

Some great social media managers like Hootsuite have free trial options. These no-commitment versions take the stress out of running several social accounts, and can be a handy first step for beginners.

But to really reach new heights with your social media marketing, it can pay off to pay a little. You may be surprised by the ROI even basic plans provide – by giving you more access to the AI marketing muscles that drive real business results.


What are the next steps?

Hootsuite is by far the most popular social media management system, and at £25 per month (or £99 per month per team), it’ll definitely pay for itself in very little time.

If you’re a B2B business, Octopost is best for you. But if costings are your biggest concern, and you have a small team, then Crowdfire (£5.81 per user per month) is the best for stretching that shoestring budget.

To compare quotes for social media management tools that are tailored to your business’ needs, take 60 seconds to fill in the form at the of the page, and you can find out your best matches today.