Running social media—whether for an agency, on a freelance basis, or for an employer—can be a daunting and time-consuming task. But armed with the right tools, you can speed up your workflow and publish content more efficiently.
In this article, we'll introduce you to the 10 best social media tools for social media managers. There are hundreds of tools to choose from, but we've only included the best in this piece.
The articles featured in this piece include:
- Social Report: the most complete social media management platform
- Storyheap: create and schedule Instagram and Snapchat stories from your browser
- Social Drift: automate your Instagram growth with AI
- IFTTT: automate your rudimentary tasks
- Unsplash: the best source for royalty-free images
- PageModo: easily hold social media sweepstakes
- TweetDeck: manage Twitter accounts like a pro
- Facebook Pages Manager: keep an eye on your Facebook pages from your smartphone
- Trello: keep your team on track
- Buzzsumo: find popular topics to post on social media
Social Report: the most complete social media management platform
First things first: every social media manager needs a post scheduling and analytics tool at their disposal.
Our favorite is Social Report.
Social Report is the most full-featured social media management tool on the market. It has excellent smart scheduling tools, in-depth analytics and reporting, and even a social inbox that shows all of your brand's @mentions and social media messages in one easy-to-digest inbox.
But best of all, the tool has support for virtually all social networks and even a handful of web services like Shopify and WordPress. If you manage social media for a brick-and-mortar company, you'll be happy to know that Social Report lets you schedule content to Google My Business and Yelp directly from the app.
Story Heap: create and schedule Instagram and Snapchat stories from your browser
Love Instagram stories but hate making them on your smartphone? So do we.
And then we found Storyheap.
Storyheap is a web app that lets you create and schedule Snapchat and Instagram Stories in your web browser. The app has a drag-and-drop story builder, so it’s just as easy to make stories on Storyheap as it is in the Snapchat or Instagram app.
Even better, it has built-in filters and photo editing options, so you can spice up your stories without calling a designer.
After you're finished making your Story, Storyheap lets you publish it right away or schedule it for a later time. We like to make all of our stories on Monday morning and schedule them throughout the week. This saves time and lets our social media managers focus on other tasks.
Social Drift: automate your Instagram growth with AI
Social Drift lets you put your Instagram growth on autopilot. After connecting your account, Social Drift automatically follows accounts, likes images, and comments on posts that are within your industry. This gets your name in front of new people and helps you gain followers.
But Social Drift doesn't like and comment on random images. You can customize the types of content that Social Drift interacts with to ensure you only get followers that are interested in your product or service. For example, the app lets you focus on certain demographics, follower counts, and more.
Using Social Drift to acquire new followers is more effective than buying followers to pad your follower count. Why? Simple: Social Drift brings real people that may become customers to your account, not fake accounts that were created with a script.
IFTTT: automate your rudimentary tasks
IFTTT—or, If This Then That—is a cloud based automation platform. You can use it to link any two web services together in what the app calls a "trigger". Some interesting examples of triggers include automatically uploading new Instagram posts to Google Drive, or tweeting the contents of a new row in a Google Sheets spreadsheet.
Use IFTTT to automate boring social media tasks. This will save you time and money, and ensure that all of your rudimentary tasks are actually completed.
Unsplash: the best source for royalty-free images
Nowadays, images are a must for social media posts. And while stock images are great, they often come with licensing fees, have publishing restrictions, and sometimes look just a little bit ridiculous.
Unsplash gives you a wide array of copyright-free images to choose from. All photos on the website come from independent photographers and are free to use commercially without attribution. So not only are you saving money, but you're getting far better photographs that your customers want to see.
PageModo: easily hold social media sweepstakes
Running sweepstakes and contests are a great way to increase your social reach. Not only do they drive traffic to your social accounts and website, but they give back to your loyal audience.
PageModo can help you better manage your Facebook contests. Its Contest app lets you create Facebook compliant contests with the ability to track the contest’s performance, so you can make sure that contests are actually helping you meet your marketing goals.
And that's just cracking the surface of the app's awesome feature set. You can use it to create custom tabs for your Facebook page, design new cover photos, and even create one-time-use coupons for your customers.
TweetDeck: manage Twitter accounts like a pro
Tweetdeck is Twitter's in-house social media tool for power users. The app lets you view, manage, and tweet from all your Twitter accounts all in one place. Further, it gives you the ability to create ongoing searches for a particular term or hashtag. You may want to use this to search for mentions of your brand on Twitter so that you can quickly respond to feedback and support requests.
We're huge fans of TweetDeck's modular paned interface. You create as many panes as you like to show different searches, Twitter account feeds, and lists. All panes update in real-time, so you'll always be on top of the latest tweets and mentions.
Facebook Pages Manager: keep an eye on your Facebook pages from your smartphone
Manage a Facebook page and need to schedule content on the go? Facebook has you covered.
Facebook Pages Manager is a mobile app for iOS and Android developed by—you guessed it—Facebook! You can use the application to schedule posts to your pages, see engagement statistics, and respond to messages without touching your computer.
This is a bigger deal than you may think. With the app, you can easily separate your personal Facebook from your Pages accounts. Gone are the days of accidentally posting work posts to your personal account, and vice versa. Thank goodness.
Trello: keep your team on track
Trello is a kanban style task management tool for the web. Traditionally, kanban task management is when you write tasks on sticky notes and physically move them through task stages that are labeled on a whiteboard. For example, you may have "weekly Instagram posts" be a task and "edit images", "write captions", and "schedule posts" be your task stages.
Trello brings this process to the cloud by swapping the whiteboard and sticky notes for a digital board and "cards". Create a Trello board for your social media team and use it to track your progress in creating weekly social media posts, blog posts, or whatever else you need to work on during the week.
Buzzsumo: find popular topics to post on social media
Having trouble finding engaging content to post on social media? Check out Buzzsumo.
You can use the application to find topics that consumers in your industry are interested in. Just enter keywords related to your industry (travel, coffee, apartments, etc) and Buzzsumo will show you articles and other content that being liked, shared, and commented on. It even shows you how many times each piece of content has been shared across all the major social networks.
Buzzsumo also lets you see what your competitors are posting. Type in their business name or website’s URL on the search bar, and you'll be presented with a list of content that they've shared. Then, find similar content and post it to your social channels (using Social Report, of course) to replicate their successes.
Now, keep on posting!
Use these applications to speed up your workflow and make finding, creating, and scheduling social media content less stressful for you and your team. On Twitter, let us know your favorite social media apps and we'll retweet the best!
Behind every great social media manager is a social media management app. Try Social Report.