We examined the market for small-to-medium business social media management software (SMMS) and got recommendations from the pros.


Here are the questions that we answered:

  • Do you need an SMM tool?
  • What critical functions do social media management tools play?
  • Who are the main players in the SMMS space?
  • What are the capabilities of each platform?
  • How much do they cost?
Want an easier way to compare?
We compiled a google sheet for you, comparing supported networks, features and pricing of 26 social media management tools. Click Here to Access


Of course, you can always jump ahead to see the reviews:

Do You Really Need a Social Media Management Tool?

Before you jump in and purchase, you should consider that you don’t need a tool.

If you don’t have multiple social accounts, then it may not be worth the expense.

And even if you do, would you perhaps be better off just hiring a social media manager through an agency?

If you hire a freelancer or someone in-house, you’ll likely want them to use a management tool so you can track the results of their work.

But any agency worth their salt will provide you comprehensive reports.

Obviously, I have a bias toward using a tool and doing it in-house, because, well, we sell a tool that lets you manage all your content efforts, including your social media.


But I’m not the only one. In fact, just about the same question was asked on Quora and the answer was overwhelmingly divided between either in-house or a combination.

Still, there are some distinct advantages and disadvantages to hiring an agency.

The Advantages of Hiring a Social Media Agency

  1. Experience!

    The agency should have a good understanding of best practices.

    It’s their job to stay on top of the ever-changing rules of social media platforms.

    They eat, sleep and breathe social media, so they should know how to get the most out of each platform for your business.

  2. Time Saved

    You don’t have to spend your time learning the platforms and posting. There’s a learning curve to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google Plus, etc. And you’ll need to keep up a regular posting schedule.

  3. Cost

    An agency MAY cost you less than running social media in-house. Traditional employees are expensive: if you have to hire a social media manager, an agency may cost you less per year than onboarding another employee. But hiring a freelancer or giving the responsibility to an existing employee is cheaper.

Advantages of Running Your Social Media In-House With an SMM Tool

  1. It's Personal

    People want to talk directly to you and your company, not an agency. Moreover, you’ll get a better sense of complaints, issues, customer satisfaction and opportunities when running social media in-house.

  2. Flexibility & Response Time

    Good luck getting your agency to respond right away as events happen.

    It just doesn’t work like that.

    Agencies are great at setting up campaigns and promotions, and letting them run. Last-minute changes and additions are a No No.

  3. In-depth Business Knowledge

    By keeping your social media in-house, the person responsible will have a deep understanding of your business that an outsider couldn’t hope to have.

    Hand the reigns over to an employee who has a passion for your business and engaging in conversations about it. Your social media will be all the better for it.

  4. Better On-demand Reporting & Feedback (Probably)

    Depending on the social media tool that you use, you can more easily pull all sorts of reports on demand, rather than waiting for an end-of-the-month overview.

  5. Building Knowledge

    Whoever runs your social media is gathering heaps of knowledge about engagement and community building.

    If you completely outsource to an agency, you give away the chance to build that institutional knowledge.

    If for ANY reason you need to switch agencies (e.g. the contract ends, the agency goes under, the management changes), then you lose that knowledge. Whereas internal transitions can be made much more easily.

What Critical Tasks Do Your Social Media Tools Need to Do?

  1. Let You Engage with Your Audience (Social Listening)

    At its core, social media is all about engagement.

    You need to interact effectively with your fans.

    To do that well, you need a tool that monitors ALL your social media accounts for mentions and comments, and keeps them organized, making it easy for you to respond directly from the app.

    Because let’s face it, keeping up on email is hard enough.

    When a customer contacts you on any of your properties, you’ve got to respond quickly.


    According to the 2015 State of MultiChannel Customer Service report and this HubSpot report, 33% of your customers will turn to social media to ask a customer service question.

    Jay Baer of Convince and Convert found that 42% of people expect a response within 60 minutes, no matter the channel.


    Though, if the complaint or question is asked on Twitter, a whopping 72% of people expect you to respond within an hour.

    Basically, you need to stay on top of it or you’ll piss people off. That means having a social listening tool is critical.

  2. Simplify Promotion (Social Posting & Content Recycling)

    
Organic reach keeps declining on Facebook and other channels. It’s a challenge for everyone, but an opportunity for only some.

    Your social media tool should help make sure that your content goes out to as much of your audience as possible.

    Now it’s even more important that you promote on a regular basis to drive traffic to your content and website.

    Your posting should happen at the ideal times based on the largest number of people in your audience seeing the post.

    The capability to auto-determine your schedule is key.


    Of course, you want scheduling content to be easy.

    Often you don’t want to go into the app itself, which makes a browser plugin a bonus (though some would say it’s essential).

    Because only a fraction of your audience will see your posts the first time, ideally, the software you use should allow you to automatically repost your content.


    And there should be an emergency stop button.

    Nothing’s worse than having scheduled promotional tweets, Facebook posts, Instagram, etc. when some tragic event happens, e.g. the attack on Paris.

    A post with a happy face, touting your best sale ever is now insensitive and in bad taste. Your customers won’t be happy with you if it goes out.

    You want to be able to hit pause without having to go through every post.

  3. Organize

  4. Be Easy to Learn & Set Up.

  5. Support a Team

    Working as a team is great but can also be a challenge.

    Tracking and transparently seeing what other members are working on is essential to streamline the process.

  6. Provide Insight & ROI (Analytics).

    On-demand, useful reporting to track what’s working and what’s not.

    It should also be able to relate the social numbers back to business objectives.

  7. Provide Customer Support

The Big Players in Social Media Management for Small and Large Businesses


(We won’t be looking at enterprise-only tools.)

1. Agora Pulse  

Agora Pulse

Agora Pulse is a darn good SMMS.


The social inbox can be filtered in ways that make it easy to view all your messages. Plus, you can respond directly from the app.


The social listening and monitoring section is well thought out. It will automatically display mentions, but you can also monitor for keywords. Again, you can filter and sort how the mentions are displayed.


The analytics aren’t bad. The reports are very insightful. But they’re missing some items I’d like to see, such as top posts, top category of posts, etc.

If you need to show your boss or client, you can export the reports as a PowerPoint presentation.


The social scheduling is what you’d expect. It’s functional but nothing special.

Unfortunately, you don’t get a content library and can’t recycle content.

Pros:

  • Social inbox for all your accounts
  • Monitoring of hashtags, keywords, and mentions
  • Controlled access and limitations for different users
  • Comprehensive analytics that go beyond the basics to let you analyze your audience, engagement, and brand awareness

Cons:

  • No Pinterest
  • No content recycling
  • No video support
  • No Facebook group posting

Pricing:

  • $49/month (5 social media profiles, 2 team members)
  • $99/month (10 social media profiles, 5 team members)
  • $199/month (20 social media profiles, 10 team members)
  • $299/month (30 social media profiles, 20 team members)

2. Sprout Social 

Sprout Social

Sprout Social is just nice to use.

It’s self-explanatory and intuitive.

The social media management tool lets you monitor your social feeds, see and respond to all your social messages from all your networks, and publish posts.

However, you only get limited filtering and there are no side-by-side streams.

While it’s nice to see all your messages in one place, at times it would be useful if you could see each channel separately.

An interesting and fairly unique feature is the discovery tool, which lets you analyze your social accounts and recommends new people for you to connect with.


Of course, you can schedule posts from the app and add them to your posting queue. However, you can’t recycle content for re-posting.

Moreover, you can’t set different posting schedules per day. You can only set a weekly schedule and a separate schedule for the weekend.

The variety and depth of the reports is among the best.

The analytics do more than just display facts about your posts; instead, they give you insights into engagement percentage trends and more.

You can even compare your social accounts to that of your competitors.

Moreover, Sprout Social automatically puts together great visuals and compelling graphs. Plus, you can export it all as a PowerPoint presentation.

Pretty sweet to give a presentation to your boss or to clients.


Pros:

  • Social inbox to see all activity in one stream
  • Mention and keyword monitoring
  • Robust analytics (to Excel or PDF)
  • Workflow management features, including assignment of tasks to follow up with tweets/posts
  • iPhone and Android apps

Cons:

  • No Pinterest
  • No social listening for keywords
  • No posting to Facebook groups
  • No side-by-side streams
  • Limited filtering of the social inbox
  • Can be expensive for teams as the pricing is "per seat"

Pricing:

  • $59/user/month (5 profiles)
  • $99/user/month (10 profiles)
  • $500/month (30 profiles, 3 users)
  • Enterprise plans available upon request
Neal Schaffer
Neal Schaffer
Founder, Maximize Your Social
The one social media tool that I use day in and day out and that I have called to rely upon more than any is SproutSocial.

Although Sprout Social can be used to manage many different social networks, I am most active on Twitter and therefore am a big fan of their Twitter functionality.

The key thing about SproutSocial is it allows me to go through tweets and mentions and mark things as "completed." This means I can use SproutSocial in a similar way that I use my Google Mail inbox. There is more to SproutSocial than this, but as I always like to say, "No Tweet Left Behind."

SproutSocial gives me the infrastructure to ensure that I don't miss out on any engagement opportunities when I am on travel knowing that I can always start engaging with @mentions and direct messages where I last left off.

3. Raven Tools 

Raven Tools

Raven Tools isn’t your average social media management tool.

In fact, it’s more a suite of tools for SEO than SMM software. Because of that, you get a lot of functionality for link building, SEO research and the like.

But the social aspect is only a small portion.

You can’t post to multiple networks at once. There’s no social listening, no social monitoring or even streams, and the analytics are very basic.

If you want a tool dedicated to managing your social media, this isn’t it.

However, if you’re looking for a suite of tools for SEO and only need a bit of help with your social management, then take a look at Raven Tools.

Pros:

  • Full suite of SEO tools
  • Basic scheduling

Cons:

  • No Google+, Instagram or Pinterest
  • It’s not a true SMMS
  • Only basic social media functions

Pricing:

  • $99/mo ( 4 Users)
  • $249/mo (Unlimited Users)

4. Rignite 

Rignite

Rignite was made for marketing.

The focus is building campaigns and promoting, which we consider both its strength and its weakness.


It is very easy for marketers to set up a series of posts to promote a campaign objective, which could simply be to get 100 likes.

The app also lets you easily put together social giveaways to build your following, which makes it stand out and is in keeping with Rignite’s marketer-centric spirit.

However, scheduling regular updates to your social media isn’t as easy or intuitive as with other competitors.
 Because of that, Rignite is pretty specific, but it is a great app if you’re looking to run more promotions than anything else.

Pros:

  • Built for small teams of 3-6 people, to whom you can assign tasks and track progress
  • Create campaigns and establish goals for each campaign
  • Twitter automation to help grow your social following

Cons:

  • Because the workflow is built around campaigns, it may not be ideal for everyone.
  • Doesn’t support Pinterest
  • Doesn’t offer a mobile app

Pricing:

  • $28/user/mo ( 30 profiles)
  • $49/user/mo (Unlimited profiles)
  • Enterprise pricing
Alisa Anton
Alisa Anton
Digital Marketing Strategist
After multiple trials and errors, we’ve found that one of Wesrom’s biggest issues as a company is optimal scheduling. We not only handle numerous social media accounts for other clients but, internally, we’re multiple employees in charge of our own company’s social media platforms. Talk about hectic!

Without a shred of doubt, my favorite tool is Buffer. We’re all aware of how incredibly easy it is to use, of how practical it is - and all while looking pretty darn good.

If you’re struggling with coordination, having a marketing tool such as Buffer will make content scheduling and sharing go from 0 to 100 - real quick.

5. Hootsuite 

Hootsuite

The owl is the OG of social media tools.

It’s used by some major brands and celebs to manage their profiles. But it’s also affordable enough, so lots of SMBs use the tool as well.


With Hootsuite you get social streams, post scheduling, mention monitoring and analytics.

However, you can’t monitor for keywords, and there’s no option to recycle content.

Because it’s been around since 2008, they’ve built up a killer feature set and third-party apps that integrate with the service. So, even if the functions you need aren’t built in natively, there’s a good chance that you’ll find something in the Hootsuite app directory that will suit your needs.

Pros:

  • Supports Twitter, Facebook (profiles and pages), LinkedIn, WordPress, Foursquare and Google+
  • Allows bulk updates from a spreadsheet
  • Collaborate as a team (delegate replies, tweets, mark as done, track messages, etc.)
  • Mobile apps (iOS & Android)
  • App directory

Cons:

  • No automatic scheduling
  • No keyword monitoring
  • Additional fees for some services, apps and reports can quickly add up
  • Unclear pricing. It costs more to add team members. How much? Who knows… it’s not on the site anywhere.

Pricing:

  • $14.99/mo (50 profiles, 1 user)
  • Enterprise pricing
Nicky Kriel
Nicky Kriel
Social Media Trainer, Speaker & Author
I tend to move between Social Media platform rather than use a third party tool to post updates and engage with people. Each Social Media site has its own personality so it helps me to use the right tone. However, I do use scheduling tools to make my life easier, especially, when I am busy.

I use a few:

  • I use Tweetjukebox to post evergreen Twitter tips and blog posts. I know that even if I am training all day, useful content will going out.
  • I like Hootsuite because I can get my assistant to schedule Tweets, LinkedIn and Facebook posts for me. For example, if I am speaking at an event, I will get her to schedule a few updates leading up to the date using the relevant hashtag. This way I can support the organisers and I would forget to do it otherwise.
  • I use Buffer if I read a lot of good articles close together because it helps spread out the posts throughout the day and it is to post across other relevant Social Media platforms.
Scheduling helps me to be more spontaneous when I am online. I spend more time talking to people and interacting with their posts.

6. Social Oomph 

Social Oomph

SocialOomph takes a more holistic approach, letting you see your schedule for all your social accounts and your blog (if your blog integrates).

Originally, it launched in 2008 as Tweet Later for Twitter users only, so the focus and functions are still for Twitter.

However, they’ve added quite a few social networks, including Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and LinkedIn.

Because they’ve been around quite a while, they have lots of features built into the app. Therefore, we found the interface to have a bit of a learning curve and to be a bit muddled.

It’s possible that we’re mistaken, but we couldn’t figure out how to post to multiple networks at once.

That said, the pricing is very reasonable, considering that you also get mention monitoring and Twitter automation.

All in all, we found it to be a fairly robust tool, if not slightly dated, but at a very reasonable price.

Pros:

  • Social updates via email: send emails from your private email account and have those emails turned into updates across all your social accounts
  • Supports RSS feed
  • Monitor mentions with keyword tracking
  • Built for bulk uploading tweets

Cons:

  • Doesn’t include Google Plus or Instagram
  • You can’t schedule recurring Facebook posts
  • A bit outdated and muddled interface
  • Can’t post to multiple networks at once

Pricing:

  • Free: limited to Twitter only
  • Unlimited Twitter only : $13.94/mo ( 5 twitter accounts)
  • All features: $35.94/mo (5 twitter accounts)

7. Every Post  

Every Post

Everypost originally specialized in curating visual content. Now you can curate easily from Youtube, Flickr, Instagram, Pinterest and RSS feeds, which makes finding content much easier.

Because of that, Everypost lets you add video to your posts and though it's becoming a more common feature, some competitors still don’t support it.

As a bonus, you can also add photo filters from within the app.

So if your focus is on visual content, you’ll love this app.

The interface is clean and easy.

The software excels for content curation and easily posting to multiple networks. But it does lack more robust features like a social stream, mention monitoring, and social analytics.

Pros:

  • Post to multiple networks at once
  • Good clean interface
  • Has a mobile app
  • Allows team collaboration

Cons:

  • No social stream
  • No mention monitoring
  • No social analytics (but they say it’s coming soon)

Pricing:

  • Free (with a tweet)
  • Pro: $9.99/mo (1 user, 10 profiles)
  • Plus: $49.99/mo (5 users, 25 profiles)
  • Advanced: $99.99/mo (10 users, 50 profiles)
  • Teams: 199.99/mo (25 users, 120 profiles)

8. Octopost 

Octopost

We were a bit undecided about whether Octopost should be included because it tends toward being an enterprise-level app. However, it’s really a great piece of software which is still in the range of some smaller and medium-sized businesses.


Starting at $400 per month, it is one of the pricier options.

All of their plans are billed annually up front.

But it’s also one of the most complete options.

Frankly, there’s not a whole lot that we didn’t like about Octopost.

The dash is nice and intuitive. It’s easy to set up. The analytics have great tracking.

You can schedule one-off or recurring posts. Moreover, you can curate content based on your interests.

The app has its own conversion pixel so you can more easily track social ROI.

Once a lead converts, the prospect’s contact details can be synced with certain CRMs.

However, because it’s aimed at the B2B market, entrepreneurs might find the lack of support for personal streams annoying. And there is no option to post to owned Facebook groups.

Overall, if you can afford it, Octopost seems great.

Pros:

  • Full set of features, including a social inbox, customizable streams, content curation, analytics and posting
  • Clean, easy-to-use interface
  • Social advocates (it allows employees to help spread the word), which is probably more helpful if you’re a larger sized company
  • Conversion tracking

Cons:

  • No Instagram or Pinterest support
  • No automatic schedule optimization
  • One of the more expensive options
  • Only business pages are supported as streams for LinkedIn, Facebook and G+
  • No support for Facebook groups

Pricing:

  • Basic: $4,800/year (5 users, 50 profiles)
  • Business: $7,200/year (5 users, 50 profiles)
  • Enterprise $26,400/year (10 users, 150 profiles)
Sam Hurley
Sam Hurley
For scheduling:

I’ve used quite a few social media tools in my time and what's most frustrating is; none of them do absolutely everything! This is mainly due to the ever-increasing complexity of existing networks and introduction of fresh platforms.

That said, whenever anybody asks about scheduling tools, my recommendations always gravitate towards Buffer; purely because it is the easiest and quickest tool for hassle-free social management across the most popular social networks.

Not only is it a great time-saver, the team behind the app are incredible. They are the friendliest and most helpful group of guys and gals I have ever come across. They have a unique way with customer service and that alone propels Buffer leagues ahead of the rest.

There are business tiers for brands and agencies dealing with hundreds of accounts and even then the prices are pretty cheap compared to other apps.

I don’t think there are many people in the industry who haven’t heard of Buffer – but they really deserve this credit so although I could have described other cool social apps, Buffer get the podium and the respect they foster!

For monitoring:

When I was running multiple social accounts across numerous networks, Hootsuite was great for keeping tabs on brand mentions. You are able to enter a search term and the feed for that term can be fixed on your dashboard. The interface makes it easy to stay on top and it’s awesome if you buy another screen just to keep Hootsuite open and visible all the time!

A step up from Hootsuite is Mention. Same concept as Google Alerts but much more advanced.

Now, if you want to get real serious, BrandWatch and Sysomos provide all the social analysis data you could ever imagine, including advanced reporting that covers the likes of sentiment feedback and image recognition. These tools are very pricey and recommended for larger brands and corporations.

9. Buffer 

Buffer

Buffer took the social media world by storm when it launched and has continued to get better.

Buffer is easy to use and does everything you’d expect.

The SMMS lets you schedule posts and will even optimize your posting schedule so that your posts are seen by the majority of your followers.

Part of what makes Buffer so great is their singular focus on making it easy to schedule posts and analyze the results. Because of that, within the app there are really only three things you can do: create a post, tweak your schedule and review your post analytics.

The SMM tool doesn’t include social monitoring, social streams or a social inbox.


But Buffer more than makes up for that by integrating with just about every other tool out there. In fact, this app probably has the most integrations of any SMM tool.

Overall, it’s a great tool that’s affordably priced for small businesses and can scale to support enterprise customers.

Pros:

  • Easy to set up and use
  • Great dashboard
  • Lots of integrations

Cons:

  • No social monitoring
  • No social inbox

Pricing:

  • $10/mo (3 users, 12 profiles)
  • $99/mo (5 users, 25 profiles)
  • $199/mo (10 users, 50 profiles)
  • $399/mo (25 users, 150 profiles)
  • Enterprise starts at $899/mo
Tony Restell
Tony Restell
Founder of Social-Hire.com
We work with small businesses to help them build a strong social media presence on a really limited budget. So tools that we use have to be inexpensive, effective and quick for our clients to pick up and feel comfortable using. Buffer ticks all of those boxes.

It's super easy for even novice users to install and start using, but has functionality that ensures you will maintain a consistent social media presence and be able to test / learn / test what's working and so continuously improve the results you are generating.

The ease with which you can set up teams and delegate to others - or share with clients - is also invaluable for a business like ours.

Apart from being a great scheduling tool, what really sets Buffer apart from most other companies is just the infectious enthusiasm and the absolute commitment to customer service that all the team exemplify.

On the rare occasion that you might need help with using Buffer, or have an idea you'd like to submit for consideration, their team will make you feel like you are their most important client and someone they are 100% committed to helping. That alone would make me recommend them above most other tools out there.
Rafi Cohen
Rafi Cohen
My company, Orders2.me, is built around social media. I use Buffer to share content and reach potential restaurant customers.

I can easily share from my online reading about food and local eating trends, AND I can get noteworthy RSS feeds via buffer.

Buffer allows Orders2.me to get our name via delicious content—no pun intended—in front of hungry people at the best scheduled times throughout the week on platforms from Twitter to Facebook to LinkedIn. Also a business can post through Buffer on Google+, Pinterest, and Instagram.

I can share beautiful images of food and inviting restaurants through buffer.com. This is key as images create “I want to eat that now” buying responses and orders result. By means of buffer’s analytics, I can study what is being shared in turn by my influencers, and I can even Re-Buffer the most popular posts.

Buffer is a great app.

10. Meet Edgar 

Meet Edgar

If you’re looking for automation, look no further.

Edgar is top notch in their ability to automate scheduling.

They provide tons of training and support.

Though the software is more time-consuming to get up and running on the front end, once it’s going, all you have to do is sit back and enjoy.


The analytics are a bit simplistic compared to others, though for most people they should suffice.

You’ll still need another app for social monitoring and to manage conversations from all your social properties.

Ashley Allen
Ashley Allen
Founder & Social Media Strategist
One of the biggest struggles my clients face is finding enough content to post as frequently and consistently as they’d like on social media. And an often overlooked content source is their “old” content. Many times this older content is PERFECT for repurposing – which Edgar helps with.

Basically you upload content into various content groups (promos, quotes, blogs, etc.) and develop a schedule labeling what days and times you want these different content types to post. Then, Edgar will automatically post to the platform at those types and cycle through the content.

In just one month, I more than tripled the amount of times one of my clients was posting each day on Twitter with relevant, valuable, REPURPOSED content that led back to her site. In that same month, she saw a 200% increase in website traffic. (Now couple that with some opt-in offers on your site – and you’ve hit a gold mine!)

Pros:

  • Straightforward pricing
  • Reposting made easy; Edgar is an elegant solution for any blogger
  • Simple and easy to use
  • Create post categories from which you can cycle through automatically reposting

Cons:

  • No Instagram, Pinterest or Google+ support.
  • Analytics aren’t as robust as other platforms
  • No monitoring or social conversations

Pricing:

  • $49/mo (1 user, 10 profiles, 1000 posts stored for recycling)
  • $99/mo (1 user, 25 profiles, 5000 posts stored for recycling)

11. Post Planner  

Post Planner

Are you a Facebook fiend?

If Facebook is your main platform, then Post Planner may be right for you.


The app only works with Facebook and Twitter.

With Post Planner you can easily search curated visuals and top content based on keywords, and then schedule your posts.

The interface is easy to use because of the limited options and doesn’t take long to set up.

However, Post Planner lacks features such as analytics, social listening and streams.


So if you’re looking for a solid, simple and cost-effective option for Facebook and Twitter, Post Planner is a hit.

Pros:

  • Cost. It’s one of the cheaper options
  • Simple. Only 3 options: Find, Plan, Post
  • Good for content curation

Cons:

  • No analytics, no social monitoring, no streams
  • Only works with Twitter and Facebook
  • Hard to control the exact post you share via the scheduler

Pricing:

  • $7 (1 user, 10 profiles)
  • $15 (4 users, 25 profiles)
  • $39 (7 users, 50 profiles)
  • $79 (11 users, 100 profiles)
  • $199 (25 users, 200 profiles)

12. Drum Up  

Drum Up

UPDATE: The team at drumup contacted us, because we were mistaken about some of the features. To be fair, we were using the free account, and just didn't realize that certain features were there. So, apologies for getting wrong at first. We took a second look at the app and liked it much better this go round.

DrumUp works with Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

It excels at scheduling content quickly from a curated feed.

One of the best features is the automated reposting. If you find a great piece of content you can set it to be reposted as numerous times at an interval of your choosing.

You can decide the exact date and time at which you want the post or just let the app automatically decide for you.

And if you find a keeper you can always save the post to your content library to reuse over and over.

While it's not a huge deal you can't set the queue to post a predetermined times, you either have to schedule each post for a specific time or let the app decide when to post.

That said, we found the setup process to be clunky.

If you want to connect a Facebook page, you’ll have to sign in as that page, and do so for every page you want to connect.

But once you're up and running, you can quickly fill your social profiles with quality content.

Pros:

  • Content feed for ideas and content curation
  • One-click schedule that takes content from the feed and puts it in queue
  • Content reposting
  • Automatic hashtag suggestions

Cons:

  • Can't create a preset schdule for the queue
  • No Pinterest, no Instagram
  • Harder to set up business pages compared to other apps
  • No brand / mention monitoring

Pricing:

  • $19 (1 user, 3 profiles)
  • $49 (1 user, 20 profiles)
  • $99 (1 user, 50 profiles)
  • $199 (1 user, unlimited profiles)

13. Socialdraft  

Socialdraft

The team over at Socialdraft have created a fully loaded social media management tool.

In terms of features, it’s one of the most complete out there.

Whereas most management tools don’t have Instagram or Pinterest scheduling, Socialdraft does.

Not only can you see analytics in your dashboard, you can easily create PDF versions for your clients or your boss.

If you do work in a team, posts can either be scheduled directly or be published only after approval.

The only department that we’d like to function better is content recycling.

Currently, it’s still something you have to do manually rather than having a content library that schedules posts automatically.

Though it’s a bit less known, because of the features offered, you’ll want to give this tool a good look-over when deciding which SMM app is right for you.

Pros:

  • A complete social media management tool, from social feeds to mention monitoring and more
  • Built for agencies and companies
  • Instagram and Pinterest scheduling
  • Visual, drag and drop calendar option for scheduling

Cons:

  • No content library or automated content recycling
  • Not well known, so it lacks many integrations

Pricing:

Solo plans

  • $19/mo (1 user, 5 profiles)
  • $39/mo (1 user, 10 profiles)
  • $79/mo (1 user, 25 profiles)

Team Plans

  • $79/mo (5 users, 10 profiles)
  • $149/mo (10 users, 25 profiles)
  • $359/mo (25 users, 100 profiles)
Because we know it’s hard to compare we compiled all the tools, pricing and what we thought were essential features in a google sheet to help you better compare.
You can get access to the SMMS comparison sheet here.

14. HubSpot Social  

HubSpot Social

If you’re looking at HubSpot Social, you’re probably a HubSpot user, in which case it makes a lot of sense to have a better integrated product.

You can’t sign up and just use the social media software, since it’s part of their larger marketing software package. That may be a bonus if you’re looking for an all-in-one tool.

The package includes a content editor, email marketing, social management and analytics.

Because of that, the social media portion doesn’t seem as fleshed out as some dedicated SMM options.

Its post scheduler is dated and clunky, and you don't have a calendar view that you can drag and drop with. Nor can you move scheduled items about as required.

Messages have to be composed individually, and while that isn't necessarily a bad thing, if you do want to compose a quick message to post to all accounts, you are unable to.

There's also no content library for you to recycle your old content automatically.

It does have reporting and social monitoring, but the reporting is very basic.

If you elect the basic package and use a HubSpot website, you’re limited to only 3,000 visits per month, though, you are able to use your own website and set up sub-domains for things like landing pages, your blog and email marketing.

Higher-level plans do allow unlimited visits.

The next step up is $800 per month, which might still be in the range of some medium-sized businesses.


Overall, if you already use HubSpot, it makes sense, or if you’re looking for an all in one platform, it may be worth consideration.

However, if you only need the social media piece, this option isn’t interesting.

Pros:

  • Integrated platform
  • Large company with integrations
  • Good if you already use HubSpot

Cons:

  • No stand-alone version of the SMM software
  • One of the pricier options
  • Plans are very limiting

Pricing: (It was unclear **how many profiles and users are included)**

  • $2,400/yr
  • $9,600/yr
  • $28,800/yr

15. Zoho Social  

Zoho Social

Though Zoho is known best for their CRM offering, Zoho Social is a solid platform.

For a reasonable price you get posting, scheduling, monitoring and a social inbox.

It supports all major networks, except for Pinterest. However, you can’t post updates to a Facebook group or a LinkedIn group.


The automation is a bit lackluster, but they do allow you to recycle posts on a set schedule, e.g. on Tuesday at 5 pm weekly or monthly.


But the app more than meets the basic requirements of what most people and small businesses would need to manage their social media.

In fact, the analytics they provide are very detailed. You get both stats about your posts and actual analysis e.g. best time to post.

And you now get more information displayed about contacts that show up in your social inbox.

For the price, Zoho social does seem fairly hard to beat.

Pros:

  • Smart scheduling
  • Brand mentions / monitoring
  • Social inbox
  • Team collaboration workspace

Cons:

  • You can only recycle specific posts on set days and intervals, because there’s no content library
  • You can only view scheduled posts as a feed, not in calendar view
  • Minimal automation
  • No Facebook group or LinkedIn group support

Pricing:

  • Free
  • $10/mo (1 brand, 2 users, 5 profiles)
  • $50/mo (3 brands, 5 users, 5 profiles)

16. SMhack  

SMhack

SMhack is a newer app, that for me, under-performed.

My experience as a new user was a bit frustrating.

While it has the ability to post to Facebook groups and LinkedIn pages, some of my groups and pages weren’t registered by the app.

They just didn’t show up.

It’s probably an issue that could be taken care of with a call to customer support, but it didn’t make for the best onboarding experience.

The post scheduler also wasn’t to my liking.

I tried scheduling a couple posts then adding some to my queue, but I couldn't find them again in the queue or the calendar.

It just seems buggy.


Unfortunately, SMhack doesn’t have an option to recycle content.

While they do have analytics, you can’t customize the data views. Moreover, each network is displayed separately, with no option to overlay or combine stats.

Pros:

  • Clean interface
  • Straightforward data
  • Supports teams

Cons:

  • All plans are paid annually
  • No Instagram, no Pinterest
  • No support for video in posts
  • Young app seems to have some growing pains

Pricing:

  • Pricing is based on number of profiles and plan level. The numbers below are for 5 social profiles. And I couldn’t find info about how many users the pricing includes.
  • $39/mo
  • $49/mo
  • $59/mo

17. Social Pilot  

Social Pilot

Social Pilot is pretty intuitive to use.

I found it easy to connect any of my social accounts.

They even have Pinterest and Instagram support.

They do, however, lack a Google+ integration.


If you choose a paid account, you can add in content feeds and auto-schedule posting directly from the feeds, which is cool.

Another feature that I really liked was the ability to segment social accounts into groups.

So, for example, you could send to a Facebook page and Twitter account but not to your LinkedIn.


While you can schedule your own posts to go out immediately or at a predetermined time, you can’t recycle the content like with Edgar or other similar tools.


Social Pilot does let you bulk upload posts, so that helps with the issue of recycling content.


The app doesn’t have more advanced features such as mention monitoring, a social inbox or analytics.

But, it’s VERY reasonably priced.

It is probably one of the best values out there if you don’t need more advanced features or more automation.

Pros:

  • Add branding to Facebook with custom apps
  • Custom groups of social accounts that you can select to send post updates only to the accounts within the group
  • Bulk scheduling
  • Team support

Cons:

  • No Google+
  • No optimized scheduling; you have to set times manually
  • Can’t add video to posts
  • No social listening / mention monitoring
  • No social inbox
  • No analytics

Pricing:

  • $4.99/mo (1 user, 10 profiles)
  • $9.99/mo (5 users, 100 profiles)
  • $14.99/mo (20 users, 200 profiles)

18. Sociota  

Sociota

Sociota is interesting and looked promising.


The homepage suggested most networks were supported. But upon signing up for a free account I could only use either a Facebook profile or a Twitter account.

I’m not sure if that’s a limitation of the free plan or if they only support those two networks, since it wasn’t clearly stated in the pricing plans.


The app also touts a social listening / monitoring feature, but I wasn’t able to figure out where it was on the dashboard.

Unfortunately, I did find the lack of explanation and the fact that it wasn’t wholly intuitive to be consistent throughout the app.


If you can deal with the learning curve, it seems like once this SMM tool is set up, it has some pretty powerful functions.

You get a full suite of analytics as a paid user.

Plus, they’ve built in a content promotion mechanism, where users can promote each other’s content.


In theory you get social listening. It’s possible that the social monitoring area won’t show up unless you’re on higher plan. However, other locked areas do show up, which makes it a bit confusing.

You also get something that’s called "Auto Sociotization", which I think is auto-posting from a content stream. Again, I’m not 100% sure. I actually couldn’t get the feature to work for me despite trying a couple times.

Pros:

  • Powerful features
  • Content promotion built into the app
  • Full suite of tools

Cons:

  • No Pinterest, no Instagram
  • No Google+, no LinkedIn (as far as I could tell)
  • Hard to get set up
  • Little explanation and is not self-explanatory
  • Inconsistencies throughout the app

Pricing:

  • $10/mo (1 user, 10 profiles)
  • $50/mo (1 user, 500 profiles)
  • $90/mo (Unsure how many users but more than 1, unlimited profiles)

19. Stacker

Stacker

First and foremost, Stacker is made to be a social inbox that organizes and makes it easy to respond across any social channel without leaving the app.

But it’s much more than just an inbox.

With Stacker you can schedule and post to most major social networks.

You can even get content suggestions, though they are limited to major sites across several categories.

You also get analytics (downloadable as PDFs) for posts, clicks and your social inbox.

The interface is nice, easy to use and intuitive.

You can’t, however, monitor for keywords or recycle content.


Moreover, there’s no automatic schedule optimization.


All in all, there’s a lot to love about this app.


It’s a solid choice, especially if you like the inbox-type setup.


I’ve also heard from one of their paying customers that the support is top notch.


Pros:

  • Easy to set up and use
  • Inbox for profiles
  • Analytics (plus PDF option)
  • Supports Facebook groups

Cons:

  • No Instagram, no Google Plus
  • No content recycling

Pricing:

  • $10/mo (2 users, 12 profiles)
  • $50/mo (5 users, 25 profiles)
  • $100/mo (10 users, 50 profiles)
  • $250/mo (25 users, 150 profiles)

20. CrowdVirality  

CrowdVirality

The first thing I noticed was how many social networks CrowdVirality works with.

The app supports all the major social networks.

Plus, it lets you post to Facebook groups, which isn’t always the case.

With this SMM app you get social listening built in. You can monitor for mentions or even for keywords of your choosing.


There’s a content library for what I assume would be republishing.
 However, I couldn’t quite get it to work. It may have been a plan limitation.

You can still schedule posts, add images, and even tag locations. It’s pretty darn good.

The only downside to this app seems to be the lack of direction or knowledge base.
 But as a paid user you do get access to chat and email support.

Pros:

  • Works with all the major social networks and supports Facebook groups
  • Social listening
  • Social inbox
  • Content library

Cons:

  • No self-help section
  • No video support

Pricing:

  • $4.99/mo (1 user, 20 profiles) Each additional team member up to 18 is $5.00/mo and you can add batches of 10 profiles for $10/mo, 1000 emails for $10/mo and 1000 tasks for $10/mo
  • Enterprise

21. Mass Planner  

Mass Planner

Mass Planner has some pretty great reviews.

A big part of the appeal is the number of social networks you can post to.

Not only that, but you can post to Facebook groups, Google Plus groups and LinkedIn groups.


Interestingly, they also offer the most automation of almost any tool, such as auto-follow, auto-comment, auto-like and more.

But some of the automation seems to violate the terms of service of certain services. So be careful.

I could be wrong about the violation of ToS, but either way you still have to understand what you’re automating and if you really should automate it.

The downside to Mass Planner is that it’s not cloud based. It only runs on Windows.

And for the automation, posting and all the other features to work, Mass Planner must be running. That means if your computer goes to sleep or you turn it off, your social media automation stops.

Pros:

  • Lots of features
  • Automation

Cons:

  • Not cloud based; only for Windows
  • SMM stops if Mass Planner isn’t running
  • Can only run on one computer

Pricing:

  • $9.95/mo (1 computer 12 profiles)
  • $44.95/mo (1 computer 24 profiles)

22. LikeableHub  

LikeableHub

LikeableHub is an interesting concept.

Not only do they give you social media scheduling, listening, curation and analytics, but they also provide a LikeableHub-hosted website.

The site has a bit of a learning curve. It’s not self-explanatory what certain features do. This is in part because of the "storytelling" theme that the app espouses rather than using simple, straightforward language.


I’m not sure the website is a bonus, since the features seem pretty sparse.

Though they do offer analytics, you only get basic numbers.

For me the most attractive feature was the combination of social listening and social inbox.

You can monitor for keywords, see your social streams and respond to comments, tweets, etc. directly from the app.

Pros:

  • Social listening
  • Social inbox
  • Content curation
  • Post scheduling

Cons:

  • No Google Plus, no Pinterest, no Instagram
  • No advanced scheduling features
  • Unclear what certain features do at first glance

Pricing:
Unfortuantely, I couldn’t tell how many users this was for or how many profiles are included.

  • $19.99/mo
  • $299/mo
  • 599/mo

23. Bundle Post  

Bundle Post

Bundle Post has me a bit befuddled.

I think it’s a complete social media management tool, but it looks like it’s made to work with other posting apps such as Buffer and Hoot Suite.

My initial impression is that it takes a bit of work to get up and running with Bundle Post. But once you do the workflow, it makes a lot of sense.

You get content feeds for curation, a content library where you can create separate folders for content scheduling and more.

I couldn’t quite figure out how to use the hashtag folder and I’m also unsure what the follow Friday folder does, though, I imagine it has something to do with broadcasting Twitter follow recommendations on a Friday.

Sorry to say, but considering the other apps, I wouldn’t go with Bundle Post.

But, I may be wrong about this software.

Checkout what Lynn, a social media agency owner has to say:

Lynn Abate-Johnson
Lynn Abate-Johnson
Social Business Specialist
Seriously, without BundlePost software, i would not have had the nerve to start up my agency. just sayin'.

It's a truly amazing piece of software that allows REAL TIME engagement, while also curating amazing content, hash-tagging, and way more of a complete solution than anything else i've found in all my years of being in the industry. of course, i appreciate all tools. this one is my staple/go-to/mainstay, and allows me to scale my business and client load so everyone is HAPPY with results!! bundlepost.com if you want to dig in at all. Ask for Julia if you'd like more info.

Pros:

  • Helps with hashtags
  • Schedule in bulk

Cons:

  • Learning curve to use the product effectively
  • Outdated interface, not mobile friendly
  • No analytics

Pricing:

  • $19.99/mo ( 2 profiles)
  • $50/mo (4 profiles)
  • $100/mo (unlimited profiles)

24. BuzzBundle  

BuzzBundle

The app has LOTS of features.

You get social listening, analytics, streams and, of course, post scheduling.

The app can even help you manage your blog, post to YouTube, provide Yahoo answers and more.

Despite its many features, you still can’t schedule recurring posts or recycle content Meet Edgar style.

The dashboard is pretty well done. It can feel a bit crowded, but it’s still easy to use.

This is one of the few examples of software that’s not cloud based.

They ask a one-time fee for the download. If you want the most current version of the software, you’ll pay a monthly fee for updates.

Even so, the pricing is pretty straightforward. Unlike some SaaS competitors, it allows you to manage unlimited social profiles, no matter what paid plan you’re on.

However, like any desktop software, it’s limited in that it must be up and running on your computer to actually work. Just something to keep in mind.

Even with that limitation, you may want to consider BuzzBundle because it has so many features.

Pros:

  • Lots of features
  • Supports major networks and other sites
  • Unlimited social profiles
  • Mention monitoring
  • The analytics and reports are among the most detailed and have varied options

Cons:

  • Desktop software which must be running to work
  • Paid monthly cost on top of the one-time download fee
  • No video support for posts
  • No Instagram, no Pinterest

Pricing:

One time software download fee:

  • $199
  • $399

Monthly fee for updates and upgrades to software:

  • $6.95/mo
  • $19.95/mo

25. CoSchedule  

CoSchedule

CoSchedule is more than just SMM software.

Rather than focusing on one aspect, this app is a scheduler for all your content.


Because of that content-centric approach, your social media is built around promoting content.

In other words, it’s not like other SMM tools.


You can choose to schedule updates at pre-determined intervals: on the same day as your post, two hours later, the day after, etc. Or you can choose a custom date.

It’s designed to promote whatever content you’ve just published. However, you don’t have to publish anything to schedule your social media posts.


If you’re looking for more traditional-style SMM software, this isn’t it.


CoSchedule isn’t made for content curation, social listening, or even traditional social media management.


The tool is killer for giving you an overview of all your content marketing efforts, and allowing your team to work together to create content and promote it.

It’s probably not going to take the place of SMM software, but it could be a powerful tool in your marketing arsenal.

If all your social media efforts are concentrated around promoting content, then you probably could use CoSchedule as your primary social media tool.

The team at CoSchedule has done a killer job with onboarding.

As soon as you sign on for the first time, you get the option to run through tutorials on just about everything.

I didn’t feel like I needed them, because the tool is pretty easy to use.


Overall, it feels like a nice experience and makes you want to start using the software.

Pros:

  • Great overall view of your marketing efforts
  • Lots of integrations
  • Easy to use
  • Great team collaboration

Cons:

  • Probably won’t take the place of a traditional SMM tool
  • No mention monitoring
  • No analytics (but it will work with Buffer and other tools that can give you analytics)
  • No Instagram
  • Can’t reshare old posts easily

Pricing:

Solo:

  • $15/mo (1 user, 5 profiles)
  • $30/mo (1 user, 10 profiles)
  • $60/mo (1 user, 25 profiles)

Team:

  • $60/mo (5 users, 10 profiles)
  • $100/mo (10 users, 25 profiles)
  • $300/mo (25 users, 100 profiles)

26. MavSocial  

MavSocial

There are really only two things that MavSocial is missing: mention / keyword monitoring and content recycling.

Other than that, MavSocial is a beast.


It can feel slightly overwhelming at first, because there are so many options and things you can do with this app.

The team there has done a good job with tutorials, so you can quickly catch on and understand what all the features do.

One of the features I liked best was the ability to create campaigns.

You can plan out exactly what posts you’d like to send out in conjunction with whatever product or post you’re promoting.

And even though Mav doesn’t have the Meet Edgar-style republishing, you can have the same posts republished at set times within your campaign.

I found the stock images feature to be a bit of a bust. It seems like a way for MavSocial to generate a bit more cash rather than being actually helpful.

The photo editor was a nice feature. It’s not advanced, nor is it a full-fledged editor, but often you don’t need to do much to make an image work.

If you want to do quick touch-ups, change the color a bit, or even add a filter, it’s nice to be able to do it within the app. Plus, you can save the image to the content library.

Unlike most other applications, you can schedule posts that include video or audio.

If you end up using an image, you can access the photo editor to make quick changes right from the post scheduler.


I only signed up for the free plan, so I can’t comment on the analytics of the social inbox.

All in all, it’s a great app with a very solid set of features.


Pros:

  • The content library lets you store posts, social assets, video, images and more
  • Analytics
  • Supports video and audio in posts
  • Ability to run social media campaigns, not just one-off posts
  • Photo editor is a bonus

Cons:

  • No Pinterest
  • Can quickly get pricey because of the per user pricing
  • No content recycling

Pricing:

  • $59/user/mo
  • For more than 10 team members or 50 social accounts you need to contact them for pricing.

Pro tip: While social media management software companies are beginning to support Instagram, not all do or don't have a full suite of tools. You may want to consider an app fully dedicated to supporting Instagram...

Dominika Tracy
Dominika Tracy
There’s no question you should be on Instagram as part of your social media strategy in 2016. The question is how to use it effectively so it doesn’t become a massive time drain.

One of the biggest issues with Instagram is its lack of integration with scheduling tools. My best solution to that is a tool called Later, one of few which work with Instagram without violating its policy.

You can plan all visual content from your PC and schedule it to be posted later from your phone, making it a breeze to use. Plus, it has a good free version, which couldn’t hurt!
  Because we know it’s hard to compare we compiled all the tools, pricing and what we thought were essential features in a google sheet to help you better compare.
In the end there’s really no best social media management tool, only the one that fits your needs best.