What Are Social Media Marketing Tools?
To manage your social media marketing efforts can be complicated at times, as there are many things to do. And here is where the use of different types of social media marketing tools can be a huge benefit to grow online and to your business at large.
There are tools for different purposes, and not all of them will be useful for you, it will depend on your goals and what you’re trying to achieve with social media.
Especially when it comes to paid tools, you need to carefully evaluate if the features of the tool can bring a higher ROI to the marketing efforts.
Luckily the availability of free tools helps you discover the core features that you need first before getting sometimes expensive tools.
We recommend monitoring your social media marketing activities closely and seeing where you need the most help or where you can save the most time.
For small businesses or companies starting with lower budgets, understanding what you need first is crucial.
Next, let’s look at the most common tool types you can choose from for different goals. And then we’ll go through the 17 best free and paid social media marketing tools.
Types Of Social Media Marketing Tools
- Engagement tools
- Scheduling and automation tools
- Management and monitoring tools
- Analytics tools
- Content creation tools
- Content idea discovery tools
Free Social Media Marketing Tools
In the free section, we looked up the most useful tools for social media that are also free to use. Some tools in this list might have paid a premium version, but we ensured that the tools have a continuous free subscription and not a free trial.
And if the tool is listed, it means the free subscription is enough to be useful for your social media marketing.
Facebook Business Manager and Facebook Content Studio
Facebook business manager and Facebook content studio should be the first tool you should learn to utilize for Facebook and Instagram marketing fully.
Especially as they are free, depending on your needs, they might be enough for you to start in social media marketing.
With Facebook Content Studio, you can:
- Manage all your Facebook and Instagram Accounts
- Create posts and schedule them for Facebook and Instagram
- Manage messages, DM’s and comments from Messenger, Ads, and Instagram
Social Media Marketing Analytics Tools
Analyzing data from the platforms help you create better content to reach more people, help you understand more deeply your target audiences, and the data will serve as the basis for other tools you use.
- Facebook Insights (Facebook Analytics) with Facebook Pixel
- Instagram Insights
- Twitter Analytics
- LinkedIn Analytics And The Insights Tag
- YouTube Analytics
- Pinterest Analytics and Pinterest Trends
These analytics tools also play an essential role when advertising on these platforms or when you’re trying to optimize the visibility of your profile, like growing your YouTube subscribers with YouTube SEO.
Google Trends is a free and excellent tool to use to plan your future social media content. You can use it to search for new and trending topics to have more ideas for content.
When you’re using Google Trends, you make sure that every time you post on social media, you’re taking advantage of trending ideas instead of old ones. Using trending ideas can increase your chances of gaining more exposure for posts.
Graphic design is crucial in digital marketing, and having to create beautiful and engaging content consistently can be time-consuming. As consistency in social media marketing is a key element, you want to have the ability to create fresh and engaging content all the time.
Here’s where Canva fits in.
With Canva, you can easily create new social media posts, ads, and all sorts of visual content to share across your socials.
Its extensive library of templates for all social media platforms makes it an excellent addition for anyone on your social media team to create the content they need every time they engage followers.
You can use Canva more widely throughout your content marketing strategy and not just for social media posts. Combining Canva with free images from Unsplash, you can create engaging content faster for sharing.
As of now, Canva offers a free subscription with many free templates to choose from, which is why we added it to the list of free tools.
Linktree offers a solution that connects all your social media audiences into one place with only one link.
A Linktree account acts as a landing page for the most important channels and websites you might have in your social media strategy.
You can use it as a universal link to which you send traffic from all the channels you have to engage and offer your followers the latest things you want to share.
As of now, in the free version of Linktree, you can have unlimited links on your page. For more in-depth customization of links, analytics, and integrations (like Google Analytics ), you will need the pro-version, which costs $6 a month.
Google Analytics For Social Media Analytics
It’s crucial to measure your social media performance at the end of a funnel, and that’s where Google Analytics comes in.
With Google Analytics, you measure the ROI, end-user behavior, and overall performances of your social media campaigns.
Analyzing through the social network reports in Google Analytics, you can make a better decision on which social platforms you want to invest in the most.
Through the use of UTM links, you can track every social media campaign independently for better performance tracking.
Paid Social Media Marketing Tools
The paid tools will offer more in-depth features and capabilities you can use to expand your marketing. Most of the paid tools will have some sort of free trial to test things out.
Many of the paid tools have overlapping features, especially the more comprehensive social media management tools. With added costs, you need to decide whether to invest in all functions as one go or try more dedicated solutions first.
Animoto is another content creation tool, but for video. With Animoto, you can easily create different types of videos for various social media purposes.
Especially great for effective video ads strategy, where you need to create new variations of videos for all audiences you’re targeting.
An easy video tool can help you reach higher conversion rates when you engage users with videos that they want to see.
While Animoto does have a free tier, it will leave its branding on the videos created with it, making it impossible to use for free.
The professional account starts from $33 per month.
Buffer Publish and Analyze
At its core, Buffer Publish is a social media marketing scheduling and management tool, which lets you schedule posts across all your social channels.
Buffer Analyze, on the other hand, is for getting insight from your social channels. It helps you measure social performance, quickly build reports, and generate recommendations for growing your social reach, engagement rates, and sales.
The combined price for the tools is now $85 per month, but you can get them individually if you need some features more than others.
Buffer offers a free version after the trial in which you can have three social accounts, ten scheduled posts, and one user.
Sprout Social is also a social media marketing management tool, which enables you to, for example:
- Schedule content publishing
- Uncover trends, and actionable data for marketing ideas
- Improve social monitoring, and with a unified inbox, you can stay ahead of social engagements
- Track the performance with Sprout Social analytics.
Sprout Social offers an all-in-one product for social media, and it’s built for better management of social media teams and coordinating larger campaigns.
You can try Sprout Social for free 30-days, but there are no free accounts available, and it starts at $99 per month.
Similarly to the last two, Oktopost is a social media management tool but geared towards B2B enterprises.
It offers more opportunities to deepen your analytics for more data-driven decisions via business intelligence integrations. You can also use the data within your marketing automation or CRM platforms.
Other key features include:
- Monitoring: mentions, keywords, competitors
- Collaboration within larger teams
- Scalability of customer support
- Auditing and improving workflows
Unfortunately, pricing isn’t available for Oktopost on their websites, and you need to book a call to learn more.
While you can monitor how your brand is trending on Google Trends, Brand24 offers a more robust solution to track and monitor brand mentions across social media.
With Brand24, you will discover the persons who mention your brand across different social platforms and have an opportunity to respond accordingly.
Brand24 is an excellent tool for expanding your customer support on social media.
Brand24 starts at $49 per month with a 14-day free trial but doesn’t offer a free version.
Through Affable, you can search through over a million influencers to match your target audiences’ different criteria. The tool helps you also determine potential influencers’ reach and eliminate influencers with a fake following.
Affable lets you contact influencers at scale and helps you track and manage relationships with influencers.
As of now, Affable won’t disclose how much its tools cost on their website.
Meetedgar is a tool for social media scheduling and automation that enables you to effectively and efficiently recycle old social posts.
Using the tool, you can save time with the content creation itself, as it automatically reshares old content with variations.
Building a large backlog of content in their unlimited content library enables you to have a regularly updated social channel. And utilizing the RSS feed feature lets you automatically import your newest blogs into social posts.
Meetedgar comes in two plans: Lite ($19) and Edgar ($49) per month with a 7-day free trial.
With Quuu, you can share valuable content from around the web curated by the staff of Quuu.
It automatically shares valuable content from topics relevant to your business and audiences, or you can share them manually.
Through sharing valuable information for your followers on social media, you can increase the value you create for your followers.
On the other hand, Quuu works as an advertising tool for your content as well. As you can add your RSS feed to the platform from which they can curate the content you create for others to share.
The content sourcing tools come in three account variants:
- Pro: $19 per month
- Business: $50 per month
The content promotion tool has two account variants:
- Automatic: $75 per month
- Manual: $50 per month
Buzzsumo helps you create more engaging content on topics that work.
With the tool, you can discover what content on social media performs the best (gets the most likes, links, and shares).
Added benefits are that Buzzsumo helps you identify the influencers who originally posted the engaging content, whom you can connect with to empower your influencer marketing strategy.
Buzzsumo is also an excellent tool for monitoring and researching to make better data-driven decisions for your social media strategy.
Buzzsumo starts at $99 per month with a 7-day trial.
Rival IQ is a social media analytics tool that offers:
- Competitive social media analysis
- Influencer tracking
- Reporting on social metrics and insights
- Social media audits
Using Rival IQ’s competitive analysis helps you understand where you stand against your competitors and how well they perform.
Analyzing competitors’ social performance helps you create better social media strategies, especially when competing for the same audiences.
Rival IQ plans start at $199 per month and offer a 14-day free trial.
Keyhole is a hashtag analytics and tracking tool for measuring hashtag performance, from which you can increase the ROI of your social campaigns.
The real-time hashtag data from Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook lets you quickly see what hashtags work and where to improve your performance.
Keyhole also offers historical data for deeper understanding.
Keyhole plans start at $49 per month.
As you can see, there are many tools for social media marketing with different sets of features and pricing.
In most cases, whatever your goals are, and how you want to reach said goals, there will be tools to help you in that journey. And this list is not comprehensive of all tools, by any means, but will get you an idea of what you will need.
But remember, tools of any kind won’t guarantee your success in the social media marketing game or guarantee any better performance. But using the right tools for the right job can increase the chances of succeeding with your campaigns.
When deciding on what tools you should use at any given time, evaluate all the benefits a tool can provide.
For example, does it save you time and money, or can a tool provide growth opportunities?