Keeping up an impressive online presence across multiple social platforms can quickly become a full-time responsibility. But when you enlist the help of the right social media marketing software, you’ll be able to easily create, manage, and publish content across multiple platforms from one centralized dashboard. After testing and reviewing dozens of social media management software, we narrowed the list to the top five tools you should consider.
The Top 5 Best Social Media Marketing Software
- Sprout Social – Best for Learning Your True Brand Perception
- Hootsuite – Best All-in-One for Posting on Multiple Platforms
- Later – Best for Planning and Scheduling Features
- SocialPilot – Best for Small Teams Managing Multiple Accounts
- Agorapulse – Best for Streamlining Messaging
#1 – Sprout Social — Best For Learning Your True Brand Perception
- All-in-one solution
- Advanced social listening tool
- Real-time analytics monitoring
- Excellent customer support
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Sprout Social is yet another impressive all-in-one social media marketing software. It receives rave reviews for its usability and customer support. But most of all, users love Sprout Social’s incredible social listening tool.
In a nutshell, Sprout Social will help you to build a better understanding of your audience and how they perceive your brand. You’ll be able to tap into global conversations across any social platform to extract key insights, identify industry shortcomings, and enhance brand image.
Aside from giving you the tools to put your best foot forward, Sprout Social’s listening tool also allows you to ensure your voice dominates the industry in a relevant and positive way. You can even identify influencers and industry thought leaders and bring them on board to help get your brand out there.
Other Sprout Social features include:
- Organize posts across multiple networks in one centralized calendar
- Plan, organize, and schedule content as a team
- Automatically publish content during peak engagement periods
- Improve social responsiveness with a unified inbox
- Measure performance with rich built-in analytics
Another thing users love about Sprout Social is how efficient the planning and scheduling tool is. You’ll be able to create content for multiple platforms in one go. Simply draft your post and select which social platforms it should go to. The best part is, you’ll still see this post as two or three separate posts on your visual calendar. This means that you can easily spot any gaps in content for each platform.
Sprout Social offers three pricing plans suitable for businesses of any size:
- Standard: $89 per user per month for five social profiles
- Professional: $149 per user per month for 10 social profiles
- Advanced: $249 per user per month for 10 social profiles
Sprout Social’s plans are built to scale–you can upgrade or cancel at any time. Get started on a 30-day free trial with Sprout Social today!
#2 – Hootsuite — Best All-in-One for Posting on Multiple Platforms
- Easy to use
- Share to multiple channels
- Real-time monitoring features
- 30-day free trial
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Hootsuite is an all-in-one solution, a social media management powerhouse used by over 18 million marketers worldwide. It tops our list as the best for maximizing your social media and growing a loyal following quickly. It makes it super easy for users to create, manage, and share content from one centralized platform. It’s also very cost-effective for such a comprehensive solution.
Hootsuite is perfect for anyone who wants to plan, create, and publish branded content across multiple social channels at once. With Hootsuite’s simplified calendar view, you’ll have a birds-eye view of which piece of content is going where and when. You can also easily spot any gaps in your content and seamlessly map out your latest campaigns.
Some other great features Hootsuite has to offer include:
- Automatically schedule content for any platform
- Manage incoming messages from a single dashboard
- Comprehensive built-in social analytics dashboard
- Connect with 20+ social networks
- Promote organic content
- Manage paid ad campaigns
One thing users love about Hootsuite is its real-time monitoring features. Hootsuite helps you stay on top of trending topics, monitor competitor movements, and understand what your audience really thinks of you. These features allow you to make sure you’ve always got one finger on the pulse, even if you’re automatically scheduling your content.
Hootsuite offers five pricing plans to suit just about any budget:
- Free: Limited plan for one user and two social accounts
- Professional: $49 per month for one user and 10 social accounts
- Team: $129 per month for three users and 20 social accounts
- Business: $599 per month for five users and 35 social accounts
- Enterprise: Custom pricing for unlimited users and 50 social accounts
Hootsuite offers a 30-day free trial on its Professional and Team plans. It’s risk-free to give it a try, so why not start today!
#3 – Later — Best For Planning and Scheduling Features
- Perfect for visual content
- Drag-and-drop visual planner
- Automatic posting capabilities
- Built-in Instagram analytics
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Later started as the leading Instagram marketing platform out there. But it has since evolved to facilitate marketing on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, TikTok, and LinkedIn. This software has a strong focus on visual content. Later makes our list thanks to its amazing planning and scheduling features.
Later helps you plan and schedule a month’s worth of social media posts with just a few clicks. You can schedule posts, videos, and stories from the interactive visual planner. Simply drag and drop the content you want to post onto the calendar with your preferred post times, and you’re done! You can even see your profile the way your followers would through grid preview.
One of the things we love most about Later is that it takes the guesswork out of when the best time to post is. Later will learn when your followers are online and most engaged over each of your connected platforms and automatically share your content during peak engagement for optimal post performance.
Some other key features Later bring to the table are:
- Plan content for multiple platforms in one place
- Easily and appropriately share user-generated content
- Linkin.bio profile to drive website traffic
- Hashtag suggestions to reach more people
- Built-in analytics for Instagram business and creator profiles
Later offers four pricing plans to suit a range of businesses. No matter which plan you choose, you’ll still have access to all the same features. Here are the plans you have to choose from:
- Free: Free forever for one user and 30 posts per social profile
- Starter: $15 per month for one user and 60 posts per social profile
- Growth: $25 per month for three users and 150 posts per social profile
- Advanced: $40 per month for six users and unlimited posts
All plans only include one social set, but you do have the option to add more sets for an additional fee per month. You can also add additional users for a further fee. Later doesn’t offer a free trial, but you can get started right away with the free forever plan.
#4 – SocialPilot — Best For Small Teams Managing Multiple Accounts
SocialPilot is the perfect social media marketing tool for small teams or businesses on a budget. Many of its users say it offers enterprise-class social media management for a fraction of the cost compared to top competitors such as Hootsuite and Sprout Social.
For example, for just $50 per month, you can have three users managing up to 25 social media accounts. By comparison, Hootsuite’s $50 per month plan only allows one user to manage up to 10 social media accounts.
SocialPilot is easy to use and offers all the usual features of great social media marketing software. You can create and schedule posts in bulk, view scheduled posts on a centralized social media calendar, and easily discover and share curated content relevant to your brand.
Some of the features SocialPilot offers are:
- Bulk create and customize posts to suit unique social platforms
- Tag other profiles in post creation
- Automate posting to hit peak activity periods
- Can integrate with Canva, Bitly, and Zapier for easy content creation
- Good customer support
That’s not to say that SocialPilot doesn’t leave a few things wanting. For example, its analytic reporting capabilities are not as comprehensive as its competitors. It doesn’t track analytics for all platforms, and you won’t be able to compare the metrics side-by-side. It also only supports a handful of social media platforms. To be fair, it does support the major players like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn, so most users will find this suffices.
SocialPilot offers four pricing plans for solo users to small agencies:
- Professional: $30 per month for one user and 10 social accounts
- Small Team: $50 per month for three users and 25 social accounts
- Studio: $100 per month for five users and 50 social accounts
- Agency: $150 per month for 10 users and 75 social accounts
SocialPilot offers a free 14-day trial on all of its plans. Get started with SocialPilot today!
#5 – Agorapulse — Best for Streamlining Messaging
- Unified social inbox
- Automatically organize messages
- Team collaboration made easy
- 24/7 customer support
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Do your customers primarily contact you on social media? Do you find it hard to manage their messages across multiple platforms without skipping a beat? If you answered yes to both of these questions, we have the perfect solution for you–Agorapulse!
Agorapulse is most well known for its unified social inbox. It brings your incoming messages from multiple social media platforms into one centralized location. You’ll be able to see the sender’s name, profile, and which social platform they’re reaching out from, alongside their message. Internally, you and your team can add labels to categorize messages or leave notes to provide context for the conversation.
It’s not just direct messages that Agorapulse manages, though. You can also manage organic comments, ads comments, and comments and mentions on your posts from the same dashboard. Essentially any meaningful communication or conversation will come to you chronologically, in one unified inbox.
Aside from unified messaging, Agorapulse can also help you:
- Plan, collaborate, and schedule content for multiple social channels
- Discover trending topics and uncover insights with social listening
- Insightful and actionable analytics
- Publish content on the go with a clever mobile app
- Excellent 24/7 customer support
Furthermore, Agorapulse makes it super easy to collaborate with your team. You’ll be able to share notes on content, accept or reject feedback on individual posts, and track items that require action.
Agorapulse offers four pricing plans priced for growing teams:
- Free: Free forever for one user and three social profiles
- Pro: $79 per month for two users and 10 social profiles
- Premium: $159 per month for four users and 20 social profiles
- Enterprise: Custom pricing for eight users plus and over 40 social profiles
Want to see if Agorapulse is the right fit for you? Try its software with a free 30-day trial, risk-free!
How to Find The Best Social Media Marketing Software For You
It can be difficult to determine which social media marketing software is the best for your needs, especially when so many different options are available. And when you’re just starting out, it’s hard to determine what you do and don’t need. That’s why we’ve put together some of the key criteria we considered when recommending the best options in the market.
It’s important to note that not every social media marketing software supports all of the social media platforms. Some tools, like Later, focus mainly on Instagram and Pinterest. While others, like Hootsuite, connect with them all.
There are two reasons why this consideration is important to make. First, before you choose a social media marketing software, you want to make sure it services the platforms you’re looking to manage. You don’t want to have multiple tools for different platforms when you have the opportunity to streamline them all in one solution.
The second is that often the software focusing on only one or two main platforms is more cost-effective than those that encompass them all. With this in mind, solopreneurs or small business owners looking to focus their efforts on a few social media platforms can cut costs by finding a purpose-built solution for the platforms they use.
Number of Social Profiles
The number of social profiles allowed on a plan is most important for those wanting to manage multiple sets of profiles from a single dashboard. For example, if you own three different businesses and run separate social accounts for all three, you’d look for a plan that allows you to connect a minimum of three social profiles.
Some software, like Hootsuite, allows you to manage up to 10 different social accounts under the lead-in plan, which is fantastic! But other software, such as Later, only includes one set of social accounts per plan. You’d need to pay more per month to add additional social accounts.
If you are currently only running one set of social accounts but think you have the potential to scale in the future, look for software that offers easy scalability to make your life easier down the track.
Reporting and Analytics
When you’re spending precious time and money on your social media marketing strategy, you want to make sure that it’s paying off, right? The best way to see this is by analyzing detailed data produced by your chosen software.
Although all of the top social media marketing software includes reporting and analytics in some form, not all are created equal. If real-time reporting is what you’re after, Sprout Social does this extremely well. If you want to compare the performance of each platform side-by-side, Hootsuite is the best for that.
At the very least, the software you choose should have built-in reporting and analytics. It should also automatically generate weekly, fortnightly, or monthly reports on your platform’s performances. If it doesn’t, we wouldn’t recommend it.
At the end of the day, the best social media marketing software for us may not be the best for you. Overall, we recommend Hootsuite as the best solution for most businesses ’ needs. It’s easy to use, comprehensive, and very cost-effective for the robust features it provides.
If Hootsuite is outside your budget, solutions like Later or SocialPilot are excellent alternatives. And if you want to find out what your audience is saying about you, Sprout Social is the one for you. But if your customers are constantly reaching out to you on social media and you find it hard to keep up with their messages, Agorapulse would be most suitable for your needs.
Before deciding on the right software for your needs, don’t forget to consider factors like which platforms the solution services and how many social profiles you can manage under one roof. You also want to make sure your solution of choice has sophisticated built-in reporting and analytics to see the fruits of your marketing strategy come to life.