Updated: Feb 8
Have you ever felt overwhelmed with how often you need to post on all of your social media channels to keep up to date with your audience (and keep the algorithm happy at the same time)? Well you're definitely not alone, but luckily there are tools out there to help you keep your head above water.
Social media calendars have become an integral part of any company’s marketing strategy. They help companies save time by scheduling their content ahead of time and make sure that they are not missing out on any opportunities for exposure.
A great social media management platform allows you to plan content weeks or months in advance - all in one place.
There are many social media management tools out there, but not all of them offer the same features. When choosing a tool, it is important to consider what you need it for and how much you are willing to spend on it.
Having at least some of your content planned in advance is a key aspect to any successful social strategy. Fortunately, there are loads of social media management tools to choose from. Unfortunately, it can be a bit overwhelming.
That’s where we come in!
We've put together a short list of our favourite social media management tools. We’ll only be comparing the entry level packages, so everyone can get involved in streamlining their social media strategy.
Sprout Social has been around since 2010 and is the trusted platform for such brands as Shopify, Unicef and Eventbrite.
Sprout Social supports Facebook, Instagram, Instagram Stories, Twitter, Youtube, LinkedIn and Pinterest. Unfortunately, integration for Tiktok currently doesn't exist on the platform.
Price: “Standard” starting from $99 per month.
Sprout Social is towards the pricier end. The standard $99 a month option allows you to post directly to five social channels as well as gaining access to their basic CRM software. They provide an all-in-one social inbox, which keeps your messages across different platforms in one place.
The customer support is also great if you ever run into any trouble. They have a live chat feature, which in our testing, worked extremely well.
While we think Sprout is definitely good, in our opinion the standard version isn’t worth the slightly hefty monthly cost. It doesn’t give you access to tools such as suggested posting times which come as standard in other platforms ad may be handy for smaller businesses looking for a little guidance.
Sprout is a good option for larger organisations or agencies who are prepared to pay extra for additional features and good customer support. The Professional ($169 p/m) and Advanced ($279 p/m) options give you access to features such as trend analysis, chatbots and automated link tracking.
Visit Sprout Social to get more information about the platform: sproutsocial.com
Hootsuite is another big name in the world of social media management tools. Having been around since 2008, it's the trusted platform for over 18+ million marketers.
Hootsuite supports Facebook, Instagram, Instagram Stories, Twitter, Youtube, LinkedIn and Pinterest. Again, Tiktok is currently unsupported (this is the case for the majority of Social Media Management tools)
Price: “Professional” starting from £39 per month
Hootsuite allows you post directly to ten social channels (that’s double the amount compared to Sprout at around half the price). They also includes suggested posting times within their cheapest offering, unlike Sprout who want you to pay extra for that feature.
Hootsuite also includes a combined social inbox alongside all of the usual analytics tools.
The platform has an extremely simple user interface. Navigating all of the different features is intuitive. One of our favourite features is the Calendar View, where you can get an overview of your posting schedule and get a wider view of your marketing strategy.
Hootsuite is a great entry level option. The “Professional” (£39) plan has a good selection of features for a reasonable monthly price. The “Team” (£99) and “Business” (£569) plans are packed full of advanced features such as campaign planning and customisable reports, so upgrading is easy.
Visit the website to find out more about the platform and get a 30 day free trial: hootsuite.com
Sked Social stands out from the crowd slightly. They are quite niche in how they offer their service, but they do it well. It's a very visual based platform and is great for individuals and small businesses looking to take the first leap into the world of Social Media Management tools.
Sked Social supports Facebook, Instagram Stories, Pinterest and Twitter.
Price: “Fundamentals” starting from £19 per month
Sked Social has positioned itself as an Instagram first tool (that also supports Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest). The “Fundamentals” (£19 p/m) plan is one of the cheapest options out there and while it offers you access to one Instagram account and two Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn accounts, the features are definitely enough for day-to-day social management.
Their Instagram feed planner is a great way to visualise and curate the tone of your profile and they even offer Canva integration (alongside the usual analytics reports). They also offer “best time to post recommendations” and their support is 24/7.
The “Essentials” (£57 p/m) and “Professional” (£100 p/m) options have a reasonable amount of additional features such as approval workflows, internal user comments etc. Although we’re undecided if they’re worth the additional cost and we’d still recommend the “Fundamentals” option.
In our testing, we ran into some minor automatic image sizing errors. Customer support were friendly, and quick to fix the issue.
We might be clutching at straws here a little bit, but a small downside of Sked Social is that the free trial is shorter than a lot of its competitors. While that might be the case, we definitely think 7 days is long enough to test out all of the features on the platform.
Conclusion: We’re big fans of Sked Social.
Visit the website to find out more: skedsocial.com
Buffer is an intuitive, streamlined social media management platform. Buffer launched in 2011 as a Tweet scheduler but they now have a suite of products for publishing, engagement, analytics, and team collaboration across the majority of social platforms.
Buffer supports Facebook, Instagram, Instagram Stories, Twitter, LinkedIn, & Pinterest.
Buffer's publishing tools are great and they contain a number of handy features. The Buffer posting schedule is well designed, reliable, and highly effective. This makes it easy to drag and drop specific pieces of content into your content calendar schedule, but also to view your strategy from a broader perspective.
To access the majority of the features on Buffer, you will have to pay to upgrade, but the free version is great for getting started, allowing a single user post to three social media accounts and schedule up to ten posts.
It’s worth noting that Buffer gives you an option to pay £4.50 per social channel as part of their “Essentials” plan. This gives you access to analytics as well as a host of other features you would expect from a social management tool.
Larger teams will need to shell out for the Business packages on Buffer. At this end of the pricing spectrum, there are more comprehensive solutions available. For example, Buffer lacks cloud integration with the likes of Google Drive to import content for social media posts. It also lacks the conversion tracking and paid social features found on Hootsuite or Sprout Social.
From our research, Buffer has great customer support. With a lot of these platforms offering similar services, this could be the deciding factor for a lot of people.
Visit buffer.com to find out more about the platform.
Basically, Agorapulse enables you to put all your social network in a simple to use interface and manage everything from there, whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn or YouTube. Agorapulse ensures that you are always in the know, notifying you of every comment, tweet, and messagee that go all your inboxes. Virtually, you will never miss a simple conversation, an attempt to connect, or an opportunity to expand.
Agorapulse supports Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Price: “Pro” starting from £84 per month
Similar to Sprout, Agorapulse is a good option for larger companies or agencies. It’s a little pricey but the additional features could be valuable.
Agorapulse has something for everyone, regardless of your use case.
It's a great solution for small businesses and content creators looking to improve their social media efforts. The 'Pro' package allows you to connect with 10 social profiles and two users.
Agorapulse offers a 15 day free trial to get you started (it previously offered a completely free version of the service but it looks like they've scrapped this) so i's worth giving it a try to see if it suits your needs.
Learn more about Agorapulse here: agorapulse.com
If you're just getting started, we recommend Sked Social.
It's cheap, easy to use with a good range of features and supports a solid variety of social platforms.
It’s also worth noting that almost all of these tools offer free trials. It’s definitely worth trying them all out to see which one you prefer.