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The Ultimate Social Media Tools Guide

Posted October 4th, 2018 by Alison in

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25+ Social Media Tools To Help You Win Friends & Influence People

Social media tools have the ability to make every facet of the social media management process easier, more efficient, less stressful, and of higher quality! In the modern digital world, however, it seems like there’s a new social tool being released every day.

While many social media tools offer the same base functions, they each come with their own special features and flavors to suit different needs. We spent hours researching and polling the digital marketing community to develop the ultimate guide to social media tools so you don’t have to. Read on for the highest-rated social media tools to assist with:

  • Content Creation
  • Scheduling and Posting
  • Analytics and Reporting
  • Community Engagement
  • Influencer Outreach

free social media tools header

Content Creation For Content People Actually Want

Developing good content is the cornerstone of consistent and long-term social media success. Whether you’re a skilled graphic designer, trained copywriter, or teaching yourself the ways of content, we all can use a few social media tools to make life easier and more efficient. Here are the best of the best for image curation, graphic design, video development, and more!

Pablo by Buffer
The popular scheduling platform, Buffer released its content creation tool counterpart to become a well-rounded social media management tool. You can toggle quickly between Buffer and Pablo to develop your own graphics using an image library, multiple font styles and sizes, the ability to crop and resize the final graphic, and then save to your computer or post directly to social media.

Pablo Pricing: This social media tool is completely free and currently does not have additional paid package offerings.

Suggested by Natalie Athanasiadis, Founder & Head of Growth at Ormi Media

ContentFly
For those who struggle with writing copy for blog posts, social media captions, and more, this tool might be just what you need. The tool will connect your business with freelance writers best for the job at hand and provide you with on-demand copy. According to Amy Randall, “ContentFly is a service that provides a crack team of writers on-demand who are quick to pick up on [your business’] tone and style and their turnaround time is fantastic.

ContentFly Pricing:
ContentFly gives you a 14-day free trial then moves to $250/month plans which include 4,000 words, unlimited revisions, research, and imagery sourcing. They also will work with you to create a custom plan for businesses looking for a higher volume of words.

Suggested by Amy Randall, Creative Director at Less Doing

Infogram
If you have your social content on lock but need an easier way to turn your reporting data into beautiful graphs and charts, Infogram might be the social media tool for you. “Infogram is a data visualisation tool for creating eye-popping charts, graphs and maps. It has dozens of ready-made themes and an easy-to-use drag-and-drop editor. The quality of the charts and graphs will make your content stand out on social media,” says blogger Rob Powell.

Infogram Pricing: Infogram offers 5 plan types ranging from free to $149/month with an additional option to design a custom plan and pricing.

Suggested by Rob Powell

MavSocial
This social media tool encompasses scheduling, engagement, and reporting aspects, but shines mostly in its library of free stock images and videos to use when creating content. According to content specialist Steve Kurniawan, “The best part of MavSocial is the inclusion of stock images and videos library, which is now a necessity in this heavily saturated social media environment.

MavSocial Pricing: MavSocial’s pricing plans range from $19/month to $499/month.

Suggested by Steve Kurniawan, Content Specialist & Growth Strategist at Nine Peaks Media

Content Studio
Social media feeds are much more exciting when they include featured content from outside relevant sources or partners. Content Studio is a content curation tool that makes it easy to find new, engaging content from others around the world to share with your followers. Set up ongoing feeds to monitor search terms relevant to your business to easily find and share the best content on the web.

Content Studio Pricing: Content Studio offers a range of 5 different pricing plans from a free plan to $197/month.

Suggested by Ashish Goswami, SEO Specialist at Zestard

Social Scheduling and Posting Tools To Make Your Job Easier

Nothing sucks away a social media manager’s time more than having to manually post on 4+ social media platforms every day. There are much more important things to do with your time! It seems like there’s a new scheduling tool every day- so how’s a SMM to know which is right for their clients? Here are the top suggestions from the social media community.

Buffer
Buffer is one of the best social media tools for scheduling available today. It offers capabilities to link up, schedule, and post to Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram, and Google Plus. Beverley says, “The dashboard is very easy to navigate, there's no fluffy, extra functions or features that you don't require and the customer service is incomparable to any other tools I've used.

Buffer Pricing: This social media scheduling tool offers a limited free plan and 4 paid plan options ranging from $15/month to $399/month for large business plans.

Suggested by Beverley Theresa, Social Media Strategist

Sprout Social
Sprout Social is another all-encompassing social media scheduling tool, touting four primary focus areas of: publishing, analytics, engagement, and listening. Sprout can connect with Facebook, Messenger, Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram, Pinterest and Google Plus. This platform is much more involved than other options, which is reflected in kind by their pricing metrics.

Sprout Social Pricing: This scheduling tool offers 3 plans ranging in price from $99 to $299per user/month. All three plans offer a free 30-day trial.

Suggested by Ashish Goswami, SEO Specialist at Zestard

Hootsuite
Hootsuite is another of the major players in the social media scheduling world. Garnering much acclaim for being one of the first tools in the sector. They offer connections with 35+ social media platforms for scheduling and publishing, and special additional features in the content creation and analytics categories with purchase of higher-paid plans.

Business owner Faith Warren explains why she uses Hootsuite:
My favorite tool for scheduling and posting content across multiple social media platforms is Hootsuite. It’s an effective way to monitor both the brands I manage online and their competitors. Their efficient social scheduling feature is my favorite component and I can optimize a post for several platforms with just a few clicks.

Hootsuite Pricing: Two base plans start at $29/month and $129/month and an additional option to create a customized plan and pricing for larger businesses.

Suggested by Faith Warren, Owner at Kompaso

MeetEdgar
MeetEdgar is unique from other scheduling platforms in that it hosts the ability to save posts you’ve already made for reuse. It posts to all the major social media platforms, automatically sorts and organizes your library of posts, and takes out the tediousness from the rescheduling process! “MeetEdgar acts as both a digital library for our content and a scheduling platform that can link up to 25 social media accounts,” Amy Randall describes the platform, “Using it has saved me countless "posting" hours and the dashboard is so user-friendly, you can tell the founder is a woman.

MeetEdgar Pricing: This tool currently offers a plan of $49/month for 25 social media accounts.

Suggested by Amy Randall, Creative Director at Less Doing

Storrito
This social media scheduling tool is jumping on the Instagram Stories bandwagon: it allows you to create, schedule, and post directly to your Story! With a stash of templates and the same key Instagram features like location, hashtags, user tags, and polls, you can schedule out Stories in the same way you would standard posts.

This tool takes out some of the dreaded 24/7 mentality of social media these days, especially for social media managers who actually want to enjoy their time off from work. Enjoy your life while Storrito takes care of your Insta Story.

Storrito Pricing: Storrito offers a free plan, and four paid ones ranging from $5/month to $60/month with the additional option of creating your own plan at a custom price.

IFTTT
For those looking for a little more than a tool that simply schedules then posts, this social media scheduling tool takes things up a notch. This tool can be calibrated with “ripple-effects” to trigger a series of posts on various platforms based on the rules you assign it.

Here’s what content marketing manager, Kim Smith had to say about her experience with this tool:
IFTTT stands for ‘if this, then that’. With it, you can join diverse social channels together to make customized ‘formulas,’ or sets of directions for your posts on multiple platforms. For instance, you can set it to send a tweet each time you make another Instagram post.

IFTTT Pricing: This service is free!

Suggested by Kim Smith, Content Marketing Manager at GoodFirms

Analytics and Reporting: Big data is the party we all wanna be at

Reporting is a common pain-point for many digital marketing teams. It’s important to receive accurate data in order to track and adjust social media strategies. However, the reporting social media managers often get isn’t the most client-friendly to digest. So where’s the happy medium? The following reporting tools range from agency-centered to client-focused, with a few in between.

Google Analytics
This tool should be a standard in every social media manager’s toolbox. Google Analytics is a web traffic analytics tool that monitors where your business’ traffic is coming from. Based on the results you’re seeing, you can determine which social media campaigns and efforts are working well and which should be adjusted moving forward.

Digital marketing consultant, Ashley says, “You can utilize Google Analytics to see where your top referrers come from. Over time, you can start to confidently build social media campaigns that you can see drive traffic to your website.

Google Analytics Pricing: This tool is free!

Suggested by Ashley DeLuca, Digital Marketing Consultant

Funnel.io
This social media marketing analytics tool collects data from all advertising platforms and allows marketers to send and visualize this data anywhere. Funnel enables marketers to gain real-time, intelligent analysis across their entire marketing spend.

Funnel’s Head of Growth, Juuso Lyytikkä explains the ease of Funnel’s analytics process:

Currently, in order to gather data from all marketing sources, most markers must manually download CSV files from different data sources and manually map this data in spreadsheets. When a business uses 10 marketing platforms, has 5 different markets, all of a sudden you have 50 CSV files you need to fetch and map with your sales data just to get an idea of how the historical performance has been. Still, most companies are doing this because they don't know that there is a better way. Funnel replaces this cumbersome process with software that is always up to date, more detailed and less prone to error.

Funnel Pricing: Funnel offers three paid plans ranging from $299/month to $699/month with an additional customizable plan for companies with bigger needs.

Suggested by Juuso Lyytikkä, Head of Growth at Funnel.io

Buzzsumo
If you’re struggling to determine what topics and content your audience responds best to, Buzzsumo can help out! This tool analyzes your existing content plus popular related content from other to report on where you should shift or double-down on your focus to better reach readers (and potential customers!).

Buzzsumo Pricing: There are 4 Buzzsumo plan options ranging from $79/month to $500+/month.

SocialPilot
SocialPilot is another multi-functional social media tool that allows for scheduling, content curation, engagement, and analytics. It’s unique in that it offers a robust analytics reporting system for social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Linkedin based on content performance, audience insights, and best times to post.

SocialPilot Pricing: SocialPilot offers 4 plan options ranging from $8.33/month to $66.66/month

Suggested by Tejas Mehta, Co-Founder at SocialPilot

FollowerWonk
If you’re looking for a Twitter-centric analytics tool, check out FollowerWonk. This tool digs deep into your Twitter following such as who they are, where they’re located, and the subjects they Tweet about so users can better target campaigns and ads. There’s also a nifty report designer feature so you can share reports with colleagues and clients.

Rob says he likes the tool because it helps users, “Find new potential audiences by viewing overlaps in audience between different websites. It also allows you to analyze your followers by categories such as social authority, activity, total tweets, and follower count.

FollowerWonk Pricing: This social media tool offers one limited free plan and two paid plans, at $29/month and $79/month.

Suggested by Rob Powell

The Visual Marketing Index
For those more invested in their Instagram presence, you might want to look into The Visual Marketing Index. This tool develops a report showcasing your brand’s strength on Instagram compared to competitors. It’s a useful way to determine which areas need a strategy reboot so you can shift your social media priorities in ways that will actually make an impact for your business.

With 6 different metrics derived from Instagram, the tool generates a performance score using regression based modelling,” Charlie Brook explains, “This means that your comprehensive report pinpoints exactly how well your brand is performing relative to the whole array of other brands out there in terms of engagement rate, hashtag power, and top performing content.

The Visual Marketing Index Pricing: This social media tool is completely free.

Suggested by Charlie Brook, Content Marketing Associate at Photoslurp

Quintly
This social media tool is an in-depth reporting program for Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube. The software focuses on four key areas: Reporting, Analytics, Data in Depth, and API and Integrations. One of the special qualities this tool offers is the opportunity to customize your reporting dashboards based on which metrics are of value to your brand.

Quintly Pricing: Quintly offers small, medium, and large plans ranging from $120/month to $576/month as well as an option to create a custom plan.

Suggested by Ashish Goswami, SEO Specialist at Zestard

Community Engagement: You talkin' to me?

No matter how top-notch your social media posts are, they won’t make as much of an impact for conversion rates without sufficient community engagement. Responding to comments, engaging with followers’ posts, and keeping up with the needs and desires of target markets all falls under this category. It’s a big job, but can be made significantly easier with the help of a few social media tools.

Auto Text Expander
Many community engagement managers find themselves writing very similar comments throughout the day...taking up a lot of their time! To help increase efficiency in this area without losing the customized comments and responses needed to manage a social media community, social media strategist Sheryl Brown suggests using Auto Text Expander. This tool allows you to program long responses into short “codes” to cut down on typing time! Sheryl explains one of the ways she’s used this social media tool:

So for example, if I type 'HB' into an online form - I have programmed this to stand for my 'Happy Birthday' message which automatically types in the box, "Hoping your birthday is wonderful! Did you have any exciting plans to celebrate? - Sheryl Brown" and I've written something nicer than the canned verbiage "Happy Birthday!" that every other person on LinkedIn wrote.

Auto Text Expander Pricing: This is a free Google Chrome extension!

Suggested by Sheryl Brown, Social Media Strategist at Bionic Social

Zoho
Zoho is a real-time social media-monitoring tool that allows you to monitor how people engage with your brand across different networks. It has a customizable social listening dashboard that allows you to track brand mentions, places where you've been tagged and where people are discussing issues important for your industry,” says Rob.

Zoho Pricing: Zoho offers 4 plan types ranging from $11/month to $166/month.

Suggested by Rob Powell

Survey Anyplace
If you’re looking for new ways to spark engaging conversations with followers, Survey Anyplace might be the tool you’re looking for! Founder and CEO Stefan Debois breaks down how Survey Anyplace supports your social efforts:

I’m biased of course, but I recommend Survey Anyplace for boosting engagement on your social media pages. Surveys, quizzes and assessments open up two-way conversation with your audience. They provide opportunities for direct and immediate feedback on your product, service or even just fun questions! Survey Anyplace helps you create your own surveys from scratch and also offers free survey maker tools. You can personalize them according to your brand and include fun features such as GIFs and even a digital scratch card.

Survey Anyplace Pricing: This survey maker tool offers four plan options, free, $29/month, $49/month, and a customized option.

Suggested by Stefan Debois, Founder and CEO of Survey Anyplace

SocialDrift
For social media managers in search of an AI-based Instagram support for community management, it might be worth a look into SocialDrift. This social media tool is trained to engage with particular Instagram users based on likes, follows, and comments. Content specialist Steve likes the program for its highly relevant interaction for an affordable price.

SocialDrift Pricing: Social Drift has two plan options: $13/week or $39/month.

Suggested by Steve Kurniawan, Content Specialist & Growth Strategist at Nine Peaks Media

Foursixty
For ecommerce businesses looking to make a more streamlined process for followers to shop their store on Instagram, Foursixty can help! This tool links your Instagram account and website, cutting out the cumbersome process of switching between the two. Fashion brand founder Tahnee Elliott explains how this social media tool works with her business:

Foursixty enabled us to integrate our Instagram feed on our website, add shopping functionality to our email marketing, curate content, and enable user-generated content (of which 92% of consumers say is a more credible form of advertising when their peers generate product-related content). After implementing this strategy, our sales revenue tripled.

Foursixty Pricing: Foursixty offers three plan options ranging from $50/month to $300/month.

Suggested by Tahnee Elliott, Founder T.C. Elli’s

Social Mention
Social Mention collects the posts, videos, blogs, and articles your brand or keyword was mentioned in and presents them to you along with scores regarding passion, strength, sentiment, and reach. You can also determine top related keywords and the frequency with which the target keyword is mentioned online. It’s a useful tool for introductory research into target markets and to address specifically some of those harder-to-find mentions from fans!

Social Mention Pricing: This tool is free!

Influencer Outreach: Finding the In Crowd in your niche

Whether you love it or hate it, the digital world is now heavily dominated by “influencers”. Influencers are individuals with a significant social media presence (though sometimes this influences extends beyond the digital space) who partner with brands to reach a mutually beneficial promotion deal. This can include an influencer sharing an Instagram post about your brand, writing a blog about it, creating a video, and countless other ways. Not sure how to get started? Check out the following tools or reference our comprehensive guide here.

PeopleMap
A popular suggestion for connecting with Instagram influencers is PeopleMap. This tool is built on top of the Instagram API and produces influencers’ following, like rate, and engagement rate for your perusal. Social media managers can narrow their search by location and follower counts to narrow the search and find the perfect partnership for their brand.

PeopleMap Pricing: This social media tool starts at $20/month with a $10 increase per Instagram account.

Suggested by Myown Holmes, Founder at Socially Polished

Intellifluence
This social media tool is a database of social media influencers with profiles ready for brands to peruse. Brands reach out to the selected influencer with a set list of terms for the proposed partnership, and then influencers provide an honest opinion of the product or service as their end of the agreement.

Intellifluence CEO Joe Sinkwitz says, “For warm outreach (i.e. reaching out to people that have specifically indicated that want to work with brands), I have to recommend Intellifluence. It provides an extremely simple way to connect any brand (B2C or B2B) with influencers that can help with pre-launch product testing, social proof, social sales, social amplification, branding, and SEO.

Intellifluence Pricing: Base plans for this social media tool start at $99/month up to the largest plan which is $999/month

Suggested by Joe Sinkwitz, CEO at Intellifluence

NinjaOutreach
NinjaOutreach offers multiple features including connecting with both Instagram and Twitter influencers, identify leads of businesses, and automation of contact forms and outreach messages.

Sean Si says, “Ninja Outreach allows you to access millions of blogs and companies across Google, Twitter, and Instagram. This enables its users to generate leads in a fast and effective way.

NinjaOutreach Pricing: This tool offers four plan options ranging from $59/month to $599/month (each offered with a free 3-day trial prior to purchase).

Suggested by Sean Si, CEO and Founder of SEO Hacker

Have a social media tool you'd recommend that didn't make the list? Let us know in the comments!