If you run a business, manage social media accounts for a living or just want a simple way to manage multiple social networks at once, this page is for you.
In ‘The best social media apps for managing your online presence’ I’m going to walk you through some of the most useful tools for managing your social media accounts.
Social media is many things to many people. To some it is an essential way to keep in touch. To others it’s an incredible waste of time. Some think it’s the new way to have relationships while others think it’s a cesspool of fake outrage and an excuse to make a fuss over nothing. It is all of those things and more.
For businesses, it is the most important marketing tool there is. Apparently, 73% of consumers use social media to research new brands before making buying decisions. Of those, almost half would only buy from a brand that responded to users on social media. If you manage a small or medium-sized business or look after company social media accounts, you need to be on top of your game at all times if you are to succeed.
With multiple social networks all requiring regular attention, how can you manage it all? There just aren’t enough hours in the day to do social media justice so we need a little help. That’s where these social media apps come in. These tools make managing social media simple. They streamline processes, help you generate content and make responding to feedback simple.
While these social media apps are aimed at small businesses or social media managers, anyone can use them to make working with multiple accounts or networks easy.
I use Hootsuite to manage my own business social media accounts which is why I put it first. It is initially free and includes a premium version once you outgrow the free version. Hootsuite allows you to listen and respond to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, WordPress, Foursquare and Google+.
The dashboard is very straightforward once you set it up. Add your social media accounts and they will appear in the center pane. Add other accounts you want to watch too and it’s then a matter of selecting Tweets or posts and replying to keep up with your fans and build a presence. The post schedule is invaluable too.
BuzzSumo is an ideas generator for when you cannot come up with something on your own. No matter how busy you are, there are times when nothing you’re doing is Tweet-worthy. That’s where BuzzSumo comes in. It looks at current trends and news and suggests things for you to use as inspiration. You can select by type, such as blog posts, videos, interviews and such and create a feed of ideas.
The interface is very easy to use and the ideas tend to be very relevant. You can even watch your competitors if that’s your thing. BuzzSumo is not free though and costs from $79 a month. While steep, you could save more than that in your time and effort if you regularly run out of things to post.
Buffer works a lot like Hootsuite in that it manages multiple accounts from a single dashboard. It also allows you to monitor, reply, schedule content, create content, manage images and build a following from one social media app. It works with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and has mobile apps as well as desktop versions.
Buffer can also dig deep into analytics and show you how your content performs, who shares what and other metrics. It has a limited free plan with premium plans costing from $15 a month.
TweetReach does exactly what it says on the tin. It monitors how far your Tweets reach. It’s a Twitter monitoring tool that analyzes the impact of your Twitter account to see how effective your current strategy is. It can track retweets, impactful followers, influencers, where your content has been shared and a ton of other metrics. This social media app is easy to get to grips with and offers more data than you could ever need.
The free version is limited to a single report but there are premium accounts should you want more. They start at $23 a month and go up to $159 for enterprise-level tracking.
MeetEdgar is cool. I was introduced to this tool late last year and found it a lot of fun to use. It is one of those tools that becomes more relevant and more useful the more you use it. You begin by defining your intent and the topics you’re interested in. You then select a bunch of topics to post. As you use it, MeetEdgar learns and ends up being able to predict the kinds of things you want to add.
If you have days where you just don’t have time to post on social media, MeetEdgar can help. It isn’t’ free but you get a 14 day free trial and then pay $49 a month to continue using it.
Sprout Social is a very powerful social media app that makes managing multiple accounts a breeze. It manages your incoming messages, schedules posts, share social media responses among teams of people, assign priorities and so much more. It works a bit like Zendesk if you have ever used that and makes short work of managing a busy social network presence.
Sprout Social isn’t for small businesses or individuals but is more useful for busy organizations. It makes short work of organizing multiple accounts and team members and ensures you’re always on top of what is going on. It costs from $99 a month.
Foursixty is ideal for larger organizations that enjoy lots of user generated content. If you run an online store or larger business that engages with users who create photos and content, this social media app enables you to make good use of it. You can integrate that content seamlessly into your own social media feeds and blend your own Instagram content with user generated content.
It isn’t free but if you’re running a successful-enough business to generate UGC, the $50 a month for the starter plan isn’t going to break the bank. The trust generated by peer sharing and curation by this app will more than pay for itself.
Agora Pulse works in a similar way to Sprout Social in that it brings all of your social networks into a single dashboard. It has a similar inbox setup that allows you to respond quickly and can work across social media accounts. One of the most useful features is the spam filter that you can tune to meet your specific needs and save a ton of time.
The interface looks busy but once you get to grips with it makes managing your social presence simple. You can queue content, identify key influencers, reschedule published content and all manner of useful things. It costs from $49 a month.
SEMrush is invaluable for competitor research, performing SEO audits on your websites, position tracking in your markets and for managing paid and organic traffic. It also monitors your social media presence, engagement, identifies high performing posts and offers some insights into how you are performing.
SEMrush has introduced new social media tools such as scheduling, in-app creation, tracking and analytics. It isn’t cheap, from $99.95 a month but it is powerful.
Boardreader is a neat tool that enables you to quickly scan message boards and forums for content ideas or mentions. I use it a lot when managing client accounts as you can enter a search term and the app will tell me what message boards are talking about it, when and how. I can then create content linked to those returns and attract some of that traffic.
Enter a term into the search box and it will return up to 24 months’ worth of returns depending on how popular that term is. You can then use it to filter for hot topics or see what people are saying about you or your company.
Tailwind is to Pinterest and Instagram what Hootsuite is to Twitter. Designed to track visual content, Tailwind allows you to track both social networks, track when someone pins an image of yours, or when one features in posts. You can also create mentions and monitor your brand across both of these image-based social networks.
The interface is simple and to the point. It enables you to track your accounts, schedule posts, bulk upload images, manage comments and measure the effectiveness of your campaigns. It starts at $9.99 a month.
TweetDeck is a great tool for individuals or small businesses who want to manage multiple Twitter accounts or just keep an eye on what’s going on. It allows you to monitor multiple feeds, schedule Tweets, manage interactions, respond to messages and watch other accounts too.
The dashboard is simple and easy to set up. You can add multiple accounts and watch them or just track hashtags or topics. It’s a neat beginner tool for anyone wanting to dip their toe into social media management without having to spend big bucks.
Those are what I think are the best social media apps for all kinds of users. They cover all aspects of social media management and all types of user. Do you have any other suggestions to add? Tell us about them below if you do!