Social Media Management Tools
Best Social Media Management Tools
- Top Rated Social Media Management Tools include: Buffer, Spredfast, Falcon.io, AgoraPulse, Sprout Social, Hootsuite Enterprise, and Sprinklr.
- Other Social Media Management Tools on the TrustMap include: Hootsuite Free, Hootsuite Pro, Lithium Social Media Management, Social Studio, Zoho Social, Sysomos Expion, and Adobe Social.
- A complete list of Social Media Management Tools is available here.
TrustMaps are two-dimensional charts that compare products based on satisfaction ratings and research frequency by prospective buyers. Products must have 20 or more ratings to appear on this TrustMap, and those above the median line are considered Top Rated.
Social Media Management Overview
What is Social Media Management Software?
Social media management software (SMMS) is a suite of tools designed for managing and analyzing social interactions. SMMS products typically provide a single dashboard that covers multiple accounts. This is helpful for companies that need to manage their own brand presence on different platforms. It is also helpful for agencies that manage social profiles for multiple clients.
Many companies use more than one tool to manage their social media efforts.
Social Media Management Features & Capabilities
Though products have different strengths, most social media management suites include at least basic features around:
Social listening (identifying brand mentions)
Scheduling and posting to multiple channels
Responding to inquiries
Running marketing campaigns
Analytics to measure social engagement
Companies leverage social media channels in different ways. Use cases include reputation management, customer service, and market research. Here are five key social media use cases, with the irrelevant feature sets.
Social Media Monitoring
Social media is a source of a vast amount of information. Conversations happen among your customers and potential customers “in the wild” on these platforms. Many companies use a social media monitoring tool for social listening. This means tracking brand mentions and competitor activity.
Social listening helps companies discover more about their target market. It can also help them understand customer expectations and employee sentiment, and provide ideas for product development.
Features related to social media listening include:
Ability to filter out spam/noise
Boolean keyword searches
Broad channel coverage
You can find tools with a focus on social media monitoring here.
Social Media Publishing
Many companies use social media to communicate with customers and leads. It is a social way to connect with their target audience.
Features related to social media publishing include:
Content planning and scheduling
Ability to target a particular audience by geographic location, for example
Content suggestion engine
You can find tools with strong social media publishing features here.
Social Media Customer Service
More and more consumers expect to resolve issues via social media. In response, many companies run social customer care programs using these tools.
Features related to engaging with customer issues on social media include:
Automated routing and prioritization
Customer interaction histories
Integration with helpdesk platforms
You can find tools with strong social media customer service features here.
Social Media Marketing
Some companies integrate social media into their overall marketing strategy. Those that do will need an additional set of marketing capabilities. Simply scheduling content won’t be enough.
Features related to social media marketing include:
Ability to find and engage influencers and advocates
Ability to curate UGC from social channels
Campaign creation, such as contests, apps, sweepstakes and quizzes
Ability to discover and engage with prospects
Ability to manage and optimize paid social media posts
You can find tools with strong social media marketing features here.
Social Media Analytics
Companies with comprehensive social media programs will want to measure and optimize their social activities.
Features related to social media analytics include:
Track success (e.g. likes, shares, retweets, clicks, etc.)
Ability to analyze the effectiveness of paid and organic social efforts
Ability to measure ROI
You can find tools with strong social media analytics here.
Factors to Consider When Choosing Your Social Media Management Tool
You should begin with understanding how well a particular product supports your use case. The five major use cases are:
Social media monitoring
Social media publishing
Social media customer care
Social media marketing
Social media analytics
Social media management suites address two or more of these areas. Point solutions focus on one particular set of features. You may need advanced features in certain areas, and only basic features in others, depending on your goals.
On top of this, there are some other important platform criteria:
Mobility: A desire to access social media management products via mobile devices.
Integration: Capabilities to tie together other systems, including CRM and analytics.
Usability: SMMS users place a high emphasis on UX/user interface.
- Likelihood and impact of acquisition: Acquisitions can bring greater integration. But they can also alter the focus of a product and its roadmap.
Social Media Management in Large Enterprises
Some social media management tools encompass multiple use cases. They may bundle listening, engagement, and publishing, with marketing campaigns and advanced analytics. These are best suited for larger enterprises. Enterprise-level platforms also offer more:
Permissioning / Team collaboration
Shared asset libraries
Smaller organizations don’t require the same level of security and team management. It may also be less important for small businesses to have one central SMMS tool for everything.
Social media management tools are priced along a variety of factors. This includes:
The number of profiles managed
The number of users
Which features you are looking for
Prices range widely based on these factors. There are point solutions with basic features available for free, but most free options won’t cut it if you want to coordinate your social strategy across multiple social media sites and profiles. Small businesses can count on paying around $100/mo. for an SMMS tool. This tier usually includes at least 10 profiles and a handful of users. Large enterprises may spend a few thousand dollars per month for a more comprehensive platform.
Excerpts from TrustRadius Buyer's Guide to Enterprise Social Media Management
Not surprisingly, since we launched our first Buyer's Guide to Social Media Management Software in November 2013, a few things have changed. In that guide, we defined social media management software as a “set of tools to manage or analyze interactions through multiple social media accounts from a single dashboard,” including the ability to listen for brand mentions, post to multiple channels, run marketing campaigns and measure the relative success of campaigns.
Within the broad definition, we identified seven “use cases”: analytics, listening, publishing/engagement, customer care, curation, social selling, and promotions, each of which emphasized a different feature set.
Since then, two major and somewhat conflicting trends have been underway: the simultaneous proliferation and consolidation of social tools. The 2011 marketing technology landscape, produced by Chiefmartec.com blogger Scott Brinker, contained a little over 20 social media marketing and analytics tools. The 2012 version contained about 35 products, the 2014 version contained more than 60, and the 2015 version contains well over 100, and is by no means exhaustive. TrustRadius currently has more than 140 social media management tools listed on our website. This proliferation of tools aligns with a similar trend in marketing technology in general.
Of course, as tools with different feature sets arise, mergers and acquisitions take place as vendors aim to become an all-in-one solution for their customers. In the social space, this is happening on two levels. First, the marketing cloud or suite vendors are adding social to their arsenals. In 2012, Oracle, for example, purchased Vitrue (a social marketing tool), Collective Intellect (a social intelligence platform) and Involver (a social development platform), and recently used the three products to create the Oracle Social Relationship Management platform. Salesforce purchased listening tool Radian6 in 2011 and the publishing tool Buddy Media in 2012, and in 2014 launched Social Studio, a unified version of the two products. Adobe acquired Efficient Frontier, a tool that allowed marketers to place ads on Google and Facebook, in 2011.
Secondly, social media management vendors are using acquisitions to incorporate different social capabilities, as well as developing their own additional functionalities, in order to become a one-stop shop for all things social. Spredfast merged with the social curation platform Mass Relevance, Hootsuite acquired the social analytics tool uberVU and the social media campaigns platform BrightKit, and Sprinklr acquired services company TBG Digital, as well as Dachis Group and Branderati.
With all this consolidation of social media management software, the lines between some of the use cases we delineated in our first buyer's guide are blurring. For example, many software tools that were originally positioned as “listening” tools have added or strengthened their engagement capabilities, just as many of the traditional publishing- and engagement-focused tools have added or strengthened their listening capabilities.
A third trend in the social media space is also underway, though not strictly related to software: some companies are shifting their approach to social media in general, from an isolated marketing channel, to an integrated part of business processes. This means that where social media was traditionally the activity or responsibility of one person in the marketing department or a small team, some enterprises are now leveraging the data and engagement opportunities via social media across different business units—from marketing to sales to customer service to HR—as well as across the customer journey—from awareness to prospect to customer to loyal customer.
Based on these trends, we've adjusted our approach to the space in this second guide. First, we're zeroing in on enterprises. There are many free or low cost tools that help smaller organizations or those just starting to leverage social media. We decided to focus on comparing the software products used by large companies (with more than 500 employees) for enterprise-level social media programs. Enterprises have particular social media software needs, including scalability, security, user permissions, collaboration within a team and across departments, workflow, content management, and governance. These software products are not used exclusively by enterprises, so this guide will be valuable to other market segments as well.
Second, we're defining use cases not based on the feature sets of the various tools (since those are blurring), but rather the social media strategies of software users. We've analyzed 400+ end-user ratings and reviews of 23 social media management software products to understand how enterprises are leveraging social media in general, and what tool or set of tools are they using to facilitate those activities.
Based on end-user reviews, in-depth interviews with some of the reviewers, and interviews with vendors, we've identified three primary use cases, or ways that companies are leveraging social media, and the tools that support them: social customer care, social intelligence, and social media marketing.
The use cases are by no means exhaustive. For example, PR departments might use social media for reputation management, and sales representatives might use social media to maintain relationships with clients. HR departments are starting to use social media to discover and recruit candidates for employment, as well as track employee sentiment and employee compliance with social media policies. Other use cases will arise as new social channels emerge and attract audiences, and as enterprises continue to find new ways to take advantage of the opportunities presented through social media. However, we feel these three use cases are the most widely used and require the most tool support.
It's also important to note that some companies fit multiple use cases and also use multiple tools. In fact, despite the consolidation of social tools and the desire of many vendors to become the one-stop-shop for social media management, consumers of these software tools still largely say they need more than one tool to meet their needs. In a recent TrustRadius survey, 75 percent of the respondents who use social media management software use two or more tools, and 14 percent of those who use more than one tool actually use six or more.
Richard Margetic, head of social media at Intuit and previously at Dell, says using multiple social media tools is redundant but necessary. “We've got to pick and choose among the landscape to meet our needs,” he says. “Each one does something well, but fails miserably in other areas that are important to a company. We end up with multiple tools that have overlapping functionality in order to get everything we need to be successful in social. We're not optimizing our spend, and still not getting the cohesive capabilities that we need to meet the business requirements.”
Pages 3-26 are available in the complete TrustRadius Buyer's Guide to Enterprise Social Media Management and cover
- The Best Social Media Management Software for Enterprises
- How Enterprise Are Leveraging Social Media: Three Use Cases
- Adobe Social Ratings & User Feedback
- Attensity Ratings & User Feedback
- Brand Embassy Ratings & User Feedback
- Brandwatch Ratings & User Feedback
- Conversocial Ratings & User Feedback
- Expion Ratings & User Feedback
- Hootsuite Enterprise Ratings & User Feedback
- Lithium Social Web Ratings & User Feedback
- Meltwater Buzz Ratings & User Feedback
- NetBase Social Ratings & User Feedback
- Offerpop Ratings & User Feedback
- Oracle Social Relationship Management Ratings & User Feedback
- Shoutlet Ratings & User Feedback
- Simply Measured Ratings & User Feedback
- Salesforce Social Studio Ratings & User Feedback
- Spredfast Conversations Ratings & User Feedback
- Sprinklr Ratings & User Feedback
- Sprout Social Ratings & User Feedback
- Sysomos Heartbeat Ratings & User Feedback
- Sysomos MAP Ratings & User Feedback
- Viralheat Ratings & User Feedback
- Woobox Ratings & User Feedback
Social Media Management Products
Socialondemand is a social media management solution built to handle social media content aross channels such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Tumblr.
Syncapse is a social media management solution built around features such as audience segmentation and analytics for key business performance indicators.
Thunderclap is a social media marketing solution built to boost visibility for a post through using "crowdspeaking" to drive popularity.
webZunder is a social media management solution built to handle social media tasks across multiple channels, from customer egnagement to scheduled content and data-driven analytics.
Beevolve provides a social media monitoring & insights platform to brands and agencies interested in tracking what people are saying about their brands and products online. The analytics is used to deliver insights about products, brands, markets, consumers and trends.
SocialVolt provides control and minimizes risk across social media channels.
Locowise is a social media analytics and reporting tool. This tool provides an easy way to keep track of all activities and monitor competitors and hashtags. It works with social media tools such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and LinkedIn.
Hearsay social is designed to help companies that have both corporate brands and local representatives in highly-regulated industries like banking and insurance. It allows companies to push out social media content for their local representatives to personalize, and then analyze the effectiveness...
OctopuSocial is a social media management solution with features such as analytics of key performance indicators, integration with other content management platform, and content scheduling and posting.
PoctPickr is a social media management solution built primarily for Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. It includes features such as campaign management, post scheduling and customization, and customer engagement.
Rignite is a social media management and marketing solution with customizable campaigns, analytics dashboards, and cross-channel monitoring and scheduling.
Sociota is primarily a social media management solution with features such as scheduled posts, social media monitoring, customer engagement via the dashboard, and robust analytics. It is available as an integration for Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+.
Unified Social is a social media marketing and management solution built around features such as data-driven insights, content management, predictive engagment tools, and cross-channel advertising.
KnowEm is a social media management solution built primarily as a search engine for over 500 social networks.
ThoughtBuzz is a cloud based full stack social business platform that integrates social listening, social media marketing, social intelligence and social CRM. According to the vendor this solution is designed to help users drive a quick ROI with features such as one-click publish, an integrated...
engagementlabs provides a suite of social tools including monitoring, publishing, lead conversion, and analytics. The company is headquartered in Montreal Canada.
Cloze is a social media management solution built with features such as automatic tracking of social media, email and meetings, a learning algorithm to assist users with handling the prospect pipeline, and unified contacts across email and social media.
Social Dynamite is a social media management solution built around multi-channel management, workflow automation, and influencer marketing.
Respondly is a social media management solution built for customer engagement via Twitter.
Allin1Social is a social media management and reporting platform that allows users to manage and analyze their Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram accounts in one simple dashboard. The Publishing features allow users to post across Facebook, Twitter and Google+. Users can automate...
Bazaarvoice Curations is a social media curation platform that enables brands and retailers to gather social media content that is tailored to their marketing needs and display it on their website. The vendor says that their platform allows users to build engaging experiences on their site with...
SMhack is social media management software that enables users to bring social conversations from multiple social platforms into single location. Users can monitor, analyze, publish and respond to incoming social media conversations. This solution also enables business users to track...
Sotrender uses big data to help marketing and sales professionals make better decisions in social media. The vendor says they provide users with multiple solutions to analyze and optimize performance in social media, especially on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube, as well as to check...
Send Social Media is a solution for managing, monitoring, tracking and measuring marketing efforts. Users can post to over 30+ social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus, Pinterest, YouTube, SlideShare and more! Users can also manage their entire email marketing campaign...
The Insightpool Social Selling Platform is designed to help sales reps identify, score and nurture leads and get detailed insights into social selling campaigns in order to measure the success. This solution enables sales teams to engage with prospects and connect all the data acquired back to a...
Social Media Management Articles
- Quickly find out which Social Media software platform best supports your enterprise needs
- Deep dive into 3 major use cases for social media in this free 102-page guide from TrustRadius
- Learn how Comcast, BT and Groupon are using social media management software
Social media management vendor Spredfast acquired another SMMS product, Shoutlet, last month. We spoke with Spredfast CMO Jim Rudden about the strategy behind the acquisition, and plans for Shoutlet customers.
However, businesses have a few options for how to develop insight into their customers. Learn how social listening can be a cost effective way to find gain market insights.
Social Media Management is a fragmented category with close to 140 vendors listed on TrustRadius. However, a few vendors are starting to break from the pack. In Q4, Hootsuite Enterprise retained its position as the most evaluated SMMS product on TrustRadius