Best Social Media Marketing Software 2021
Social media marketing software is a key element to a business’s success in today’s highly competitive commercial environment. In this review, we will walk you through what social media marketing tools are, the benefits of using such tools, and some criteria to look out for when choosing the right software for your company. Following that, we will introduce the top 5 social media marketing tools in 2021.
Many years ago, TV commercials and newspaper ads might have been the most popular marketing channels; but today, few channels can beat the power of social media. Many of us spend hours on our phones scrolling through Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, Twitter and Linkedin — to name a few popular social media platforms — and run into an ad every so often. And it works! Ads on social media are fun, quick, and personable. It can take the form of a blog post, story, post, or banner ads. Not only that, consumers only need to click a few buttons to buy something, which helps companies drive revenue immensely. However, since nearly every company is constantly fighting for consumers’ eyeballs, your social media content has got to stand out to make an impact.
To achieve that, you need good social media marketing tools. There are many types of social media management tools out there: some help you schedule content, some help you analyze the performance of your posts, some help you track the latest trends that people are following, and some help you respond to comments and messages. Regardless of the type of tool you use, you’re going to spend less time on processes and spend your dollars on marketing efforts that will bring you higher returns.
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Top 5 Rated Social Media Marketing Tools
Best for analyzing trends and reporting data
Sprout Social is a leading all-in-one social media management platform and trusted by 25,000 brands around the world. It has a clean user interface and shows you the information you need with easy-to-interpret graphs and charts. Not only does it track the hottest trends and help you plan your content, but you can also respond to comments and messages in a unified inbox.
Besides these features, there are a few things that have stood out to users:
- Multiple creators: With the amount of content going out on social media, it is likely that you have more than one content marketer on your team. Sprout Social allows multiple users to create, review, and publish content, helping make processes more efficient.
- Customizable reporting: You pick what you need to see and share with your team. On Sprout Social, you can quickly generate a report for a certain channel and window of time as you need it. This is very helpful for concise reporting.
- Content scheduling: Not only can you schedule posts for the future, you can also see a shared calendar of upcoming posts on Sprout Social, helping identify any gaps between campaigns. The software also suggests timely and engaging content to attract more audience.
- Free trial available, with the cheapest plan starting at $99 per user per month.
Best for content scheduling
Originally a scheduling tool for Twitter only, Buffer has grown to be a very popular scheduling tool for different platforms. Not only that, Buffer can also help you analyze the performance of your posts and gain insights to grow sales, reach, and engagement. The software has been in business for 10 years and is trusted by 75,000+ companies.
Users have plenty of good things to talk about Buffer, including:
- Chrome extension: Add awesome articles and content you see from Chrome to your Buffer queue or share content on the go.
- Link shortener: Your links will always look neat with Buffer. This matters when word count is critical on certain platforms. Feel free to connect your Bitly account with Buffer.
- Content scheduling: You can schedule to post later or at optimal times suggested by Buffer. It also allows you to directly post to Instagram and stories.
- Reply to posts directly: From inside Buffer. Pretty neat, right?
- There are different plans for publishing and analytics. For publishing, there’s a free version with limited capabilities then three paid plans, with the cheapest being $15 per month. For analytics, there are two plans available: $35 per month and $50 per month.
Best for resharing popular content
As a female-founded, bootstrapped business, MeetEdgar separates itself from the pack of social media tools with its smart optimization tool. Edgar — your personal content manager — helps you build a library of content updates, and when you have nothing planned, he (yes, the software is a he!) automatically pulls popular content from the past so that there’s always something getting published and generating revenue.
Besides resharing content, Edgar is also good at doing a few other tasks:
- Web plugin: Edgar allows you to work with Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin through a web plugin. You can easily post on your social channels with it!
- Category-based scheduling: With so much content going on social media all the time, customers can feel overwhelmed easily. That’s why you need to post strategically and a good way to do so is by mixing different content types. For example, you can personalize your scheduling calendar to post educational blog posts on Monday, promotions on Tuesday, interviews on Wednesday, giveaways on Thursdays, and so on.
- URL shortener: Long URLs are scary and ugly. Use Edgar’s URL shortener to make your posts more user-friendly. These special URLs also allow you to track activities so you know where users come from and where they go. This feature is best when used in the mobile app.
- A/B testing: See what your audience responds to best with different versions of your content. You can also tract history and performance data on a dashboard.
- There are two tier plans available, with the cheaper one at $19 per month. Free 7-day trials available.
Best for automation
With a product name that stands for “If this, then that,” IFTTT makes it clear that it’s a tool based heavily on logic and automation. This software is a powerful connector, integrating all kinds of apps and services to automate multi-step tasks. So far, IFTTT has attracted 17 million consumers across 140 countries — talk about numbers!
Here are a few special things you can do with IFTTT:
- Create automation rules: This is the magic feature on IFTTT that helps simplify processes tremendously and cut down on the time spent on repetitive, manual tasks. For example, you can create a rule such that whenever you publish a blog post, an Instagram post follows. This function is especially great for forgetful marketers or marketers who want to get more done in a day!
- Incredible connectivity to apps and brands: Not only can you use IFTTT for social media marketing purposes such as automatically posting Instagram photos on Twitter, you can also use it for everyday processes. Feel free to connect your calendar, voice assistant, music streaming apps — and almost every other app you use — to streamline processes. (Wouldn’t it be amazing if your speaker just knows to turn on and plays your favorite song when you start showering?)
- Native android and iOS apps: Because automation happens all the time, even when you’re on the go. What’s more? The apps work on smartwatches too to help you stay on top of all the things happening in your life.
- Free plan available. For more automation needs, go for the Pro plan at $3.4 per month.
Best for monitoring trends and listening to conversations
Mention is a powerful real-time social media monitoring software that identifies the latest trending topics from across the web. It’s a great tool for small businesses and agencies to see what their audiences are interested in right now. Here’s how Mention does its job:
- Scanning sources: Mention monitors over 1 billion sources such as press articles, review sites, blogs, and forums across the web daily, highlighting all the important conversations around the world.
- Social listening: Not only does Mention know what’s hot, it also looks at how people are feeling about those things. Through looking at posts across social media, Mention can uncover trends in conversation and analyze data from major social media channels for you.
- Connecting with the audience: Like many other apps, you can draft, schedule, and publish posts on multiple channels with Mention. To further boost engagement, you can respond to each like, tag, or mention right there in the app.
- Setting up alerts: If you want to be the first to know what’s happening, set up email alerts on Mention. You’ll get updates when your brand, your competitors, and any keywords are mentioned so you can plan for proper responses.
We’ve heard pretty good things about Mention’s customer service too. Their account executives are personable and are willing to spend time showing their clients how to maximize the tool.
- The cheapest plan starts at $25 per month. Free trials available for all tiers.
Our Rating Process
There are a few criteria to think about when picking a good social media marketing tool:
Can the tool identify optimal times and days that trigger the most action from users? Can you schedule to post content at a later time? The ability to schedule posts means marketing teams can accurately plan for future campaigns, especially when it comes to holiday season and tailoring content for different cultural celebrations around the world.
To help you choose the right social media management tool for your business, we’ve assessed the 5 popular tools above based on the above criteria and scored them each out of 5 points.
Frequently Asked Questions
- The best social media automation tools should help cut down on time spent on repetitive tasks significantly. You can create rules to trigger actions. For example, if someone emails about product pricing, then the system will automatically respond with a pricing email that’s previously templated. You should also be able to evaluate how effective your social marketing is with automated feedback requests.
- Some popular social media automation tools include IFTTT, Sprout Social, MeetEdgar, Buzzsumo, and HootSuite.
Many social media software are available for free. They’re best for small businesses that don’t manage a lot of accounts and have simpler monitoring and reporting needs. Some of the most popular free tools are Buffer, Later, and HootSuite.
- Many social media marketing tools out there enable you to schedule to post content at a later time. In particular, we like Buffer because it tells you optimal days and times of the week to post in order to trigger the most action.
- Another app that’s great for content scheduling is MeetEdgar. Edgar automatically pulls popular content from the past to post on days you don’t have anything planned. You can also set up a content calendar that’s category based so your audience doesn’t get bored with the same type of content!