Find & Compare Social Media Marketing Tools
Social media marketing tools make it easier for you to create and publish content and manage your brand on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Social media marketing can be difficult to get right.
Building a fanbase on social media requires a steady flow of high-grade content, plus awareness of current trends.
Creating and uploading that content takes a lot of time you could spend elsewhere, and that’s multiplied by however many sites you want to target.
That’s why we use social media tools:
Social media marketing is a very broad category, and as such there are many different services available to make specific areas more manageable.
Of course, plenty of apps fall into more than one category—it’s just an easy way to remember what they can do.
These tools are all about data. As you might expect, they track how much attention one of your posts got or how many people are talking about your brand across social media.
More importantly, they present this information in easy-to-read ways that sum up your metrics across different sites.
This lets you understand what your current situation is like at a glance.
Content is the core of any marketing campaign, and making it high quality should be a top concern.
Tools in this category include things like Grammarly, which ensures no spelling or grammar mistakes make it into your final posts.
But they can also be services which let you more easily create impressive images or animations to illustrate your posts.
Animoto, as an example, is a web editor that lets you create videos by simply dragging and dropping the right content together.
If you’re working by yourself, you have to manually put up every one of your posts.
That isn’t just inconvenient, but inefficient.
Tools in this category will automatically make posts for you at predetermined times, letting you keep up a regular schedule of content without needing to babysit your profile.
Some apps, like Crowdfire, can even use analytics from past posts to determine the best time for your content to go up on each site.
A buyer persona represents a kind of customer you expect to be interested in your business.
They’re a useful way to help you judge how well you’re serving the needs of different kinds of consumers.
Social media tools in this category make the process of creating and testing buyer personas easier and quicker.
HubSpot, for instance, offers an online persona-creator that lets you nail down your target audience’s identity.
Each social media platform is unique, and simply posting the same content on every site is a recipe for disaster.
These tools usually offer unique features that might not make it into more general-purpose apps.
If your social media strategy depends heavily on just one or two sites, these specialised tools are often among the best choices.
Some of the benefits of using social media marketing tools are obvious, like the time and money they save.
But that isn’t the only reason why they’re so popular: when it comes to implementing one of these tools into your wider marketing plan, there are several unique benefits that stand out.
Despite the importance of social media for modern marketing, it’s intimidating to jump into.
It requires a fundamentally different approach than other marketing spaces, and if you’re starting from scratch, it’s hard to get momentum.
That’s why it’s so common to see accounts that started out with a burst of content, but eventually went inactive when it took too long to get things rolling.
Social media marketing tools help get you over this initial hurdle by letting you front-load your work.
With their scheduling functionality, a week of dedicated work creating content at the start of your campaign can easily become months of regular content—more than enough time to get your social media presence off the ground.
No matter how good a marketing team is, they can’t be everywhere or see everything.
There will always be consumers talking about your brand, and knowing where they are and what they’re saying is a powerful way to build engagement or track your public image.
Analytics tools give you a sense of certainty that you’re getting a full image of what people are saying about your brand—which in turn means you can properly assess what effect your marketing is having.
All social media platforms offer a very basic form of analytics: they let you see your retweets, your likes, your shares.
But when you’re spread over dozens of different platforms, it’s impossible to get a clear image of what all those figures mean together.
The benefit of using unified social media marketing tools is that they bring all this information into one place, letting you replace vague feelings with cold, hard data.
In turn, these insights can form the basis of much more rigorous and effective marketing campaigns going forward.
Even when targeting just a handful of social media sites, it’s hard to keep your resources and style consistent across them all.
Does one site’s profile accidentally use the old version of your logo? Does one give your email address while another doesn’t?
Inconsistency looks unprofessional and leads to uneven customer stories.
Even worse, you can’t get accurate metrics on how popular you are on each platform if the playing field isn’t level.
That’s why social media marketing tools are important—they make it easy to send out the same message to every platform with no extra effort.
Check out our guide, comparing all 69 social media marketing tools to find out which is the best for your business.
Every major social media site has at least one dedicated social media marketing tool, and it’s common for those tools to actually support multiple sites.
The ‘big three’ of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are almost universally supported by any app.
Even if you want to market on a site that doesn’t have any dedicated tools, however, there are still social media tools that can help you out.
As an example, many content-creation tools, such as Canva, can be used to create images that work on any site.
The companies that produce these tools are aware that businesses have different needs—and budgets.
As such, the industry standard is a monthly software-as-a-service (SaaS) model, where you only have to pay for as long as you use the app or program.
This means you’re never locked in if a tool doesn’t work out for you: simply drop it and sign up for another.
In addition, these tools commonly lock certain advanced or powerful features behind premium plans, which cost more.
For example, Hootsuite’s basic tier starts at £25/month, but scales all the way up to nearly half a thousand pounds a month.
This means that if you’re a small company who’s just starting out, you can often get by with the cheapest tier—which, increasingly, is free, as a way to get users hooked on the product.
As a rough estimate, a 2019 Gartner study showed that most businesses spend around 10% of their total budget on advertising.
Deciding how much of that 10% to set aside for social media, and in turn your tools, depends on your wider marketing strategy.
Companies should do research on how heavily their target audience uses social media and adjust budget sizes based on that.
As a general rule, however, these tools have a good ROI (return on investment).
The monthly fees are low enough that if they save even an hour of work for one of your employees, they’ve basically paid for themselves.
Deciding what social media marketing tools to work with means juggling several different factors.
Price has already been covered, but what else should you keep in mind?
Finding the right tool for your company depends on your underlying social media strategy.
If you’re only targeting two or three sites, you might not need the power offered by a bigger all-in-one program.
Similarly, if you already have a robust analytics solution, you can ignore those apps to focus on your remaining pain points: a long-winded content-creation process, unclear buyer personas or time wasting on manually scheduling and uploading your posts.
A tool that doesn’t fit in with the rest of what your marketing team is doing is usually a bad idea.
It means you have to spend time translating its results into figures everyone else can use, and it’s an opportunity for your approach to become inconsistent.
Always check to see if the tool you’re interested in will work well with your existing technology.
This usually takes the form of out-of-the-box integration, like how CrowdFire can talk to accounting apps for easy budgeting.
Even if that isn’t present, apps that work with common file formats (like PDF or CSV) are usually easy to fit into an existing workflow.
We use social media marketing tools because they save us time and energy.
But if a tool is complicated to use, or takes a long time to learn, it’s wasting that efficiency.
Reading user reviews or watching YouTube demonstrations is a good way to see if a program’s interface is clear and easy to understand.
Remember that you and your team will likely be using these services every day for years on end.
Even minor annoyances will be unbearable after enough time.
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