Over a year ago, we listed the top 25 social media management tools at the time. Boy, have things changed. While many of those tools are still relevant and useful (including some that made the list once again), there are tons of new ones out there making an impact and making it easier for you to manage all the noise. Here you’ll find the greatest social media management tools for 2013 along with an easy breakdown of their greatest benefits, unfortunate downfalls, basic costs, and networks they manage.
As you scroll though the tools, you’ll notice that there are a few big and interesting trends this year:
- Growth in social CRM software and functionality; companies have a growing desire for better engagement with their customers
- Robust reporting is now an integral part of most tools as businesses are beginning to really understand the need for insight and data
- Automated and intelligent posts are increasing allowing business to give consumers the right information at the right time – easily and efficiently
- Increase in Pinterest management tools, a site whose influence continues to grow
Dashboard and Social CRM Software
Description: This software makes the list once again for its effective display of multiple social media accounts in a single glance. The drag-and-drop interface allows for seamless column organization and, in addition, it offers RSS integration, customized analytics, team collaboration, and easy message scheduling.
Best Feature: Single-screen Dashboard showing up to 30 social profiles
Downside: Extra (hidden) costs for analytics reports and multiple users
Cost Structure: Free for basic plan, $9.99/mo for Pro, higher cost for Enterprise solution
Description: Also topping the list again is this social CRM and management tool that is acutely designed for building customer relationships and minimizing your time spent on social media. They make it easy to post, provide solid monitoring, and offer excellent analytics reports.
Best Feature: Smart Inbox unifies all your social channels and profiles into one feed
Downside: Still can’t publish content on Google+
Cost Structure: $39/mo for Standard, $59/mo for Deluxe, $99/mo for Premium
Description: Founded only a few years ago, Jugnoo has the potential to be a juggernaut in the social CRM space. The tab-based dashboard is excellent for organizing conversations. The Social Post feature makes outward communication a breeze and the Social Hub feature aggregates all your social media outlets into one single site.
Best Feature: The Social Teams feature manages teams, strategies, and access for social media campaigns
Downside: Just came out of beta testing, so it’s still relatively untested
Cost Structure: Free for basic plan, $20/mo for upgrade, high cost for Enterprise solution
Description: This social media marketing automation software helps you monitor, post, target, schedule, and analyze social information related to your brand with an intuitive dashboard display. Its “Signals” listening capability is quite powerful and they make connecting with influencers a breeze.
Best Feature: Monitoring tool allows you to track competitor conversations too
Downside: Price point is high, although you do get a lot for your money
Cost Structure: Custom plans start at $499/mo
Description: A great management tool for tracking, managing and engaging with multiple social media accounts. The dashboard is designed like an email inbox making it easy for you to “send” messages (hence the name).
Best Feature: Smart Queues for managing your content publication
Downside: It’s email and newsletter templates are quite boring, in our opinion
Cost Structure: $9.99/mo for Solo, $29.99/mo for Marketer, $69.99/mo for Business, $99.99/mo for Corporate
Description: This social CRM and content management platform is really an all-in-one system for managing your inbox (send and receive emails and messages), social media (manage interactions on Facebook, Twitter, and more), and events (synchronize with Google Calendar).
Best Feature: Social Profile Matches to help you find and connect with customers
Downside: Data is great at flowing in, but not always flowing out
Cost Structure: Free for personal (limited features), $15/mo per user for business
Description: Originally a social media monitoring service, this low cost alternative now offers robust analytics, post scheduling and management, URL shortening integration, and a new Smart Stream feature for identifying trends.
Best Feature: Sentiment Analysis allows you to see the impact on your brand over time
Downside: Analyses are mainly English-only
Cost Structure: Free for Personal, $9.99/mo for Pro, $99.99/mo for Premier
Description: A behemoth in the industry, this social media monitoring tool does everything from social listening and advertisements to improving engagement and providing robust real-time reporting. Free training and customer support are top-notch and help you overcome the learning curve.
Best Feature: The famous River of News keeps you up-to-date at all times.
Downside: It might be good, but it’s expensive and only big businesses with large teams should consider this
Cost Structure: Starts at $600/mo for Basic, increasing for Professional, Corporate, and Enterprise packages
Description: This Facebook-focused management tool surfaces once again because it continues to help you manage and increase your Facebook presence and now has Twitter integration too. Albeit a basic-looking dashboard, the software provides detailed statistics on your page’s performance, enables easy moderation and fan qualification, and creation of apps.
Best Feature: ROI tool to help you measure the value of your page(s) and fans
Downside: It’s not the prettiest tool in the world, but hey, beauty is only screen deep
Cost Structure: Starts at $29/mo and increases based on pages/fans
Description: This social CRM is aimed at helping businesses build better Twitter relationships by analyzing engagements and identifying high-value members. Software will suggest followers, discover people via keyword search, and provide activity and engagement reports.
Best Feature: Advanced Targeting tool to find people based on language, location, or sentiment
Downside: You might need some analytical skills to decipher all the info
Cost Structure: Starts at $9.99/mo for 4 Twitter accounts, $199/mo for unlimited
Description: You can improve your Facebook presence by easily designing contest pages, polls, sweepstakes, and apps with this software. The layout is great and the flexibility is there to offer different content to different sets of fans/friends. Data collection is easy and it integrates with MailChimp too.
Best Feature: Ability to create custom Facebook pages with limited design skills
Downside: Inability to edit tab within interface once it goes live on Facebook
Cost Structure: Free for basic plan, other plans at $30, $75, $150, $300/mo
Description: Yes, it shortens URLs for your Twitter posts, but now the service offers a lot more than that. You can now share, organize, bookmark and track your links too, giving you a whole lot more flexibility and analysis than before.
Best Feature: Bitmarklet which lets you share and save right from your browser
Downside: They haven’t solved the “spam” problem facing shorteners today
Cost Structure: Free for personal, Enterprise starts at $995/mo
Description: It’s the ideal scheduling tool for your social media posts. Upload your content and let the software automatically post it at the best times. Decent analytics are available, it works with Chrome and mobile, and it syncs up with a whole bunch of apps and programs, including Tweriod and Feedly
Best Feature: Optimize your Buffered post timings in conjunction with Tweriod
Downside: The free version is very limited, so you might as well upgrade to Pro
Cost Structure: Free for personal, $10/mo for Pro
Description: This content aggregator brings together all your favorite RSS feeds, blogs, and news and video sites and displays it easily for you to read, organize, categorize, and share (and is a good alternative to the soon-defunct Google Reader).
Best Feature: The visual display is inviting and layout is customizable
Downside: Sharing functionality is a bit limited and can’t use older browsers
Cost Structure: Free
Description: This marketing software is still a leader in social promotions, allowing you to create branded ads and pages and promotions like quizzes and contests to encourage customer engagement with your business. The data and competitor tracking is very useful too. And yes, it’s more than just Facebook.
Best Feature: Easy targeting and preset distributions lists with Messages tool
Downside: If it was costly before, now it’s really expensive
Cost Structure: Promotions priced on a per promotion/per day basis. For suite, Pro starts at $2500/mo, Enterprise starts at $3500/mo
Description: This application unites your emails, social messages, and contacts into one single inbox. It isn’t just about eliminating clutter though – this utility scores your relationships to help you identify “Key People” which in turn helps you prioritize your communications and conversations (great for small businesses).
Best Feature: Organization of messages, with Key People first
Downside: Only calculates written interaction (not person’s shares, purchases, etc.)
Cost Structure: Free
Description: This social marketing tool enables you to share your visual campaigns (image-based ads) across social media channels and analyze the results. Its primary publication is Pinterest, though there are Facebook, Tumblr and others too. The goal is to increase brand awareness and ROI on your visual ads – it’s that simple!
Best Feature: The ease of setting up and launching a visual campaign
Downside: It’s mainly for images; other marketing suites have more capability
Cost Structure: Starting at $10/day, plus cost per click (standard: 15-35 cents)
18. EdgeRank Checker
Description: The ultimate tool for analyzing your Facebook pages. Its Industry Report is now the industry standard and gives you insight into your page performance. Stats are easy to read, they provide recommendations on posting, and you are given an overall score on your brand.
Best Feature: New Real-Time Monitor on page activity, feedback, viral lift, etc.
Downside: There’s a lot of data and it can be overwhelming to sift through
Cost Structure: Free Plan, Pro Plan starts at $15/mo per page
19. Crowd Factory
Description: This software platform, acquired by Marketo, allows businesses to create, deploy, share, and manage social campaigns, such as sweepstakes, polls, and refer-a-friend offers. You can integrate campaigns through multiple channels, including your website, email, and Facebook and analytics reports are informative.
Best Feature: Social CRM Database with profiles and segmentation analysis
Downside: Pricing was a bit high, even before Marketo acquisition
Cost Structure: Professional Edition starts at $499/mo, higher cost for Enterprise Edition
Description: This micro-content sharing tool allows you to highlight and share just a small portion of text – it’s like the CliffsNotes of content sharing. This micro-content can increase page views, boost virality, and improve readership. You can also monitor, engage, and measure your most influential followers.
Best Feature: Text highlighting – it’s fun and easy and makes you want to share
Downside: None yet to report so take advantage of this one
Cost Structure: Free
Description: In an effort to revolutionize search, Facebook launched this new search functionality that will find people, restaurants, jobs, etc. through your connections using keywords and phrases. It’s still in beta mode, but it could have great potential for businesses looking to build relationships and promote products.
Best Feature: The Social Graph and its many interconnecting nodes
Downside: Hard to say yet, but privacy and integrity are always a concern
Cost Structure: Free, rolling out slowly
Description: This Twitter analytics app, acquired by SEOmoz, helps you search for new followers, compare your social graph with the competition, and track, analyze, and sort followers. It’s excellent for connecting you with Twitter users who might be great for guest blogging or for influencer outreach.
Best Feature: The Venn diagrams to compare followers, relationships, and more
Downside: Lots of information to sort through, so learning curve can be steep
Cost Structure: Free for basic, $99.99/mo for Pro
Description: This tool is excellent for managing your Tweets and Facebook posts, using scientific algorithms to determine the optimal posting through its Cadence Optimized Publisher. It also features a Crescendo Attention Buying Platform for identifying ideal keywords for ad buys.
Best Feature: Attention Score measures audience receptiveness to message
Downside: The cost is high and might be impeding to smaller businesses
Cost Structure: $99/mo per account, higher cost for Enterprise solution
Description: This tool is quite simple really. It allows you to connect your blog, via an RSS feed, to Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn so you can have automatic updates when you complete a blog post. Advanced settings and simple statistics are available. Every serious blogger should consider this tool to increase traffic.
Best Feature: Its simplicity
Downside: The name is deceiving – it’s more than just Twitter
Cost Structure: Free
Description: This relatively new tool is made for managing your Pinterest “pins”, enabling you to select images, conduct bulk uploads, schedule timing, and track metrics. Most importantly, it helps you track followers and find the most influential ones.
Best Feature: Bookmarklet lets you pick up pinnable images from any webpage
Downside: Analytics are quite basic for now
Cost Structure: Free
Not sure which software or tool works best for you? Most of them, if not all of them, come with a free trial option. That’s something we always recommend too – try it before you buy it! What works for one business may not work for your business and vice versa. Do the trial, narrow down your options, and pick the software that helps you organize and sift through all that social media clutter.
At LeapGo, we have employed many of these tools to manage our own social media and know the challenge of social media management facing today’s businesses. If you need assistance with your business’ social media management, you can request a quote from LeapGo.
What do you think of the list? Are there other social media management tools that should be on our list for 2013? Tell us below: