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The best social media management tools 2020

Social media management is vital for any small business in 2020. Looking for a budget-friendly tool, an all-rounder, or something high impact? We’re here to help

There was a time when people thought social media was no more than a fad. It was a gadget for insecure teens, and far from any business strategy.

Today, there are 3.9 billion internet users, and there are 2.89 billion people with active social media accounts.

This makes social networks ripe for raising brand awareness. It's also ideal for engaging with both new and existing customers.

It’s safe to say social media is no longer optional. That said, it can seem overwhelming. What should I post? How often? And when? Fortunately, there are many social media management tools which can help.

Think of a social media management tool like your own marketing expert. Task it with planning, scheduling and posting content across your social platforms.

The best social media management tools will guide you through what to consider. They'll help with crafting powerful content. They'll also give you data to measure your success and drive engagement.

But deciding on a social media management tool can be difficult. How easy are they to use? How much do they cost? And how do you go about hiring external help to assist you, should you wish?

We’ve compiled a guide that tells you all you need to help you decide. Each of the social media management tools below should suit small businesses.

If you decide hiring an expert might be easier, fill in the form above. This allows you to compare bespoke quotes for digital marketing agencies.  

Best social media management tools: At a glance

ToolBest forPrice range (price from)
Sprout SocialAction-packed media management$99 per user/month
CoScheduleStaying on top of it all on social mediaVaries depending on the organiser(s) chosen
AgorapulseSimple social networking€79/month (billed annually)
OktopostB2B social mediaQuotes on request
CrowdfireMore followers$7.48/month
Zoho SocialGrowing businesses£8/month (billed annually)
HootsuiteThe celebrity of social media management£25/month

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?

With one of the highest scores for user satisfaction, Sprout Social is bound to impress. That must be why it’s trusted by so many high-flyers in the media space, including Glassdoor and Vice.

Sprout Social makes social management easy. It allows team members to collaborate over its platform, and provides stellar customer service. Its software is available via web browser, as well as iOS and Android mobile apps, and it can support Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Is Sprout Social for me?

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

CoSchedule – For staying on top of it all

coschedule logo

Pros

  • Swift integration with WordPress.
  • Dynamic calendar with colour coding.
  • Slick interface.

Cons 

  • Could be easier to use.

Price from – Varies depending on the chosen organiser(s). CoSchedule offers an editorial calendar for individuals and startups. A range of organisers are available in the marketing suite of products, including a marketing calendar, as well as work, asset, content and social organisers. 

Value for money – ★★★★

What is CoSchedule?

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

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

Is it for me?

If you like staying organised, then yes! CoSchedule’s marketing calendar is key, and shows you your entire marketing strategy at a glance:

coschedule calendar


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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 – €79/month (billed annually)

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 simple 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, and LinkedIn. You can test it with a free trial before diving in.

What makes it unique?

Agorapulse makes social media marketing quicker and easier. Thanks to its intuitive dashboard, it’s a great platform for newcomers to the field:

agorapulse dashboard

Note that the price is in Euros and the sample image is in French.

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?

Other social media management tools help with engagement and brand awareness. Oktopost takes you deeper into the data. It will show you the ROI (return on investment) of your social media content.

This social media management tool measures how many leads you generate per social post. That means you can identify what’s working – and what content you might like to change.

But Oktopost also scores well for scheduling and team collaboration. It also integrates nicely with social networks, as well as its leading ecommerce and analytics platforms.

Is it for me?

Oktopost is a social media management tool that’s custom-built for B2B (business-to-business) marketers. It can track the ROI of your social accounts, and boasts a particularly user-friendly design:

oktopost dashboard

Crowdfire – For more followers

crowdfire logo

Pros 

  • Free for one social media account.
  • Growth-focused.
  • Helpful daily reminders.

Cons 

  • Email support is only available on the Premium and VIP plans.

Price from – $7.48/month

Value for money – ★★★★★

What is Crowdfire?

Crowdfire claims to be the only social media management tool you'll ever need. That’s thanks to its high number of users and focus on growth. It offers a broad array of options, including an automatic best time to post feature. You can also customise your post times. Plus, it offers post performance and engagement metrics, as well as more advanced analytics. 

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

Is it for me?

Crowdfire is for anyone in search of a quick and easy way to get more followers.

Zoho Social – For growing businesses

zoho logo

Pros

  • User-friendly.
  • Perfect for teams.
  • Precise publishing.
  • Comprehensive support.
  • Cost-effective.

Cons

  • No Pinterest integration.
  • Some features are basic.

Price from – £8/month (billed annually)

Value for money – ★★★★★

What is Zoho Social?

Zoho Social helps you grow your brand awareness using data-driven and actionable engagement insights.

Zoho Social is big on analytics. Its real-time dashboard lets you monitor your performance on social media. Its software even suggests when is best to post. A keyword monitor and team collaboration feature are also useful.

Is Zoho Social for me?

Zoho Social is ideal if you have a tight budget. You're also able to tap into Zoho’s vast suite of apps to manage everything from CRM to payroll.


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Hootsuite – The media management celeb

hootsuite

Pros

  • User-friendly.
  • Great for beginners.
  • Deep-dive analytics.
  • Free online courses.

Cons

  • Platform can be glitchy when posting URLs.
  • Some analytics can lag behind.

Price from – £25/month

Value for money – ★★★★

What is Hootsuite?

No list of top media management software would be complete without Hootsuite. Used by over 15 million people worldwide, it’s probably the biggest social media management tool available.

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 using data that matters to you.

Hootsuite is used by over 800 of the Fortune 1000 companies – so it’s got to be doing something right.

Is it for me?

With comprehensive support available, Hootsuite is a popular choice among social media novices.

How do I choose a social media management tool?

When choosing a social media management tool for your small business, you should hone in on these five important aspects. To get in your good books, the right tool should tick the following boxes and criteria:

  • User experience – consider how friendly and accessible the software is to use. Think about if you need training or advanced knowledge, or if you can simply set it up and start scheduling
  • Features – assess the features each tool offers: do you need the basic elements, or a package with plenty of options? You should also ensure that your chosen tool works with all major social networks
  • Price – will it work for your startup’s budget? And more importantly, does it offer value for money? 
  • Customer support – find out how you can contact customer service, as well as how responsive and helpful the team is
  • Goals – think about what you are hoping to achieve with social media marketing. Why you are looking for a social media management tool?

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

Pros and cons of social media management tools

ProsCons
- Get organised
- Save time
- Save money
- Boost sales
- Manage crises
- Crunch data
- Lack of strategy
- Still requires some time to manage
- Additional costs for extra features or upgrades
- No tone of voice assistance
- Have to handle worst-case situations independently
- Analysis and planning skills required to maximise reporting

If you are already unlocking the benefits of social media, you may well be using more than one platform. And if you’re not, the stats suggest you should beSocial media management tools make it easy for you to organise all your channels from one simple interface.

But how do you know if what you’re doing on Facebook will work on Twitter? Although social networks can be similar, they can differ greatly too. This is where an agency could step in to offer specific expertise. A social media management tool isn't able to give you strategy. While it's great in telling you when to post, it can’t assist you with what to post.

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

However, you’ll still need to dedicate some time to scheduling content and using the tools. Consider outsourcing social media management to an agency, who can take the task off your hands completely. 

Budget

In 2018/19, UK-based small business owners were predicted to spend around 16% of their budgets on marketing. But social media management software can be like having your very own marketing pro. Therefore, it could save you money that might be spent hiring an ad agency or social media manager.

However, you may need to budget for more than one platform to get all the features you want. You’ll also need to account for updating it as the technology develops. With a social media agency, additional costs are likely to be factored into the fee.

Growth

If you want to grow your business, it isn’t enough to simply be present on social media. 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. This could all help to boost sales.

But while the tools can suggest the best posting times, you’ll still need to create content. Content that fits your brand ethos and connects with your customers, without pushing a hard sell. A social media management tool can’t help with tone of voice, whereas an agency could.  

Crises

Sometimes, social media is your first line of defence against harmful PR. Many social media management tools give you live updates and alerts. This means you can come to the rescue of your brand at the right time and stop a bad post costing you customers.

But if the worst should happen, an agency would know from previous experiences what to do. A team would be on-hand to manage the situation. With social media management tools, you’re on your own when it comes to handling any worst-case scenarios.

Data

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

Although data is available, some social media management tools only offer limited reporting. Also, you’ll need to have sufficient analysis skills in order to use the data provided from reports. This is something an agency could help with, as reporting is often a key feature of their services.

Should I hire an agency for my social media management?

Benefits of in-house social media management:

  • Control of software used.
  • Cost-effective.
  • Focused on your company only.
  • Thorough understanding of brand values.
  • Develop internal talent.

Benefits of outsourcing: 

  • Access to multiple software packages and tools.
  • Work with industry professionals.
  • Gives you back the time to focus on other areas of your business.
  • Experience of handling social media crises.
  • Fresh, creative thinking.
  • Affordable options are available.

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The best social media management agencies

Here, we showcase some of the best social media management agencies for small businesses in the UK.

Yell – best for affordability

Yell has more than 20 years of experience connecting businesses with online customers. That makes it ideal for budget-conscious startups needing social media management. 

Yell offers the following digital marketing packages:

Package typeWhat’s included?Monthly starting price from
Promotion- Yell.com sponsored listing
- Social advertising on Facebook (a campaign managed for you)
- PPC
- Reputation manager (for accurate details online)
- Display advertising
£56
Presence- A website optimised for mobile
- Reputation manager
- Video
£60
Total marketing- Fully managed website
- Video
- Reputation manager
- Sponsored listing on Yell.com
- PPC
- Social advertising (a Facebook campaign managed for you)
- Display advertising
£84
Premier management service- Tailored to your business
- SEO audit
- SEO recommendations
- Advanced PPC campaign
- Social ads on Facebook, Instagram, Bing, Google Display Network, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest
Custom - note that the premier service is also available across all other Yell products (websites, video etc.), subject to a minimum monthly spend.

In addition, all packages come with:

  • Customer service.
  • Online account management dashboard.
  • Yell for Business app.

Since Yell offers multiple packages, not to mention low prices, we think it's particularly suited to those looking for a simple, cost-effective way to try out agency-style social media management.

Born Social – best for aspirational small businesses

Born Social works with startups through to big, recognisable businesses, including Nando’s and the BBC. Boasting seven years of experience, the agency operates using a social-first approach.

Born Social offers the following services:

ServiceExplanation
StrategyIt can outline the approach to take
CreativeIt has its own in-house content and production team
MediaIt can run paid social campaigns
Management Social media management, including project management, community management, influencer management, scheduling, and reporting – is available seven days a week

Born Social is especially suitable for small businesses who are looking to grow, and that want to put social media at the forefront of their marketing strategy. 

Contact Born Social for quotes.

Little Media Agency – best for startup-to-startup social media management

Birmingham-based Little Media Agency is listed by app media publication The Business of Apps as one of the Top Social Media Agencies of 2019. Meanwhile, Clutch – a data-focused guide for B2B ratings and reviews – also included Little Media Agency on its list of the Top UK Social Media Marketing Companies. 

Little Media Agency offers the following services:

ServiceExplanation
Social mediaWith social media, the agency can assist with content creation, management, and advertising, as well as running workshops with on-site teams
Video marketingShort video production
BloggingWriting and posting SEO-friendly blog posts

Little Media Agency is a small agency. It's perfect, therefore, if you want to work with another small business.  

Contact Little Media Agency for quotes. A free consultation is also available.

Next steps

Hootsuite is by far the most popular social media management system. With its prices starting at £25 per month (or £99 per month per team), it’ll soon pay for itself.

If you operate B2B, Oktopost is the agency for you. But if costs are your biggest concern, and you have a small team, then Crowdfire ($7.48 per month) is the best for stretching that shoestring budget.

What if you’re looking to supercharge your social media management? Then, hiring an agency could be ideal. We think Yell, Born Social, and Little Media Agency are among the best. Hiring an agency gives you access to professionals’ expertise. Not only that, but it lessens your own workload.

To compare quotes for a marketing agency, fill in the form above. It’s quick, easy, and free!

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