Social selling has become an almost inevitable part of B2B selling. As the world remains mostly shuttered, businesses are turning to alternative digital channels to hock their wares. Sadly enough, even though social selling is proven to increase company revenue by upwards of 16%, 3 in 4 sales reps don’t implement the strategy.
According to the same survey, 84% of company decision-makers are using social media to support a purchase decision. This makes sense when you consider that 46% of B2B decision-makers are now between the ages of 18 and 34 years old.
Clearly, your buyers are now all over social media. Be it for work purposes or the sharing of selfies and tabletop images of their lunch. Reaching these buyers on the right platform, at the right time, and with the perfect content to answer their needs is no easy feat. But who likes a challenge more than a B2B marketer?
To execute an effective B2B social media marketing strategy, you need the right set of tools to organize it all. But how should you go about selecting the right tools? Do you even need these specialized tools? And once you realize you do, how do you pick the right ones?
Why you need a social media management tool
It’s easy to assume that B2B social selling can and should be limited to LinkedIn, as Twitter and Facebook are almost exclusively B2C channels. That assumption is, of course, a very wrong one. The average social media user today spends over 2 hours on social media daily across an average of 8 platforms.
Yes, eight of them. Without a single central tool to manage, synchronize, publish, analyze and optimize all your activity on all the relevant platforms? You simply cannot execute an effective social media strategy of any kind.
Social media management (sometimes abbreviated as social media management) tools offer businesses software or web-based solutions for social media marketing, selling, and engaging prospects and clients in the digital realm. From post creation to scheduling and analyzing the results – the social media management tool or suite of your choice should provide you with a command center that also offers a holistic overview of your social media activities’ impact and ROI.
Considering the broad selection of social media management tools and solutions out there, how can one begin to choose?
How to choose the social media management tool for you
Before you dive into our list of top social media management solutions for 2021, it’s worth taking a moment to consider the criteria for selection.
No two businesses are the same and no two social media marketing strategies are alike. This means that before cashing out on an advanced social media management suite, you must figure out exactly what you need and what you don’t.
To help guide you as you read, here are some features and capabilities of social media management platforms to pay attention to as you browse our recommendations:Platforms supported and update frequency Multiple account support across platforms Content publishing and optimization features Monitoring and social listening capabilities Insightful analytics and reports Community management and audience engagement Platform flexibility to adapt to changes in business processes Integration with 3rd-party tools and solutions Monthly and additional costs Ease of use
Top 14 social media management tools for 2021
Sendible is one of the top social media management solutions specifically designed for digital agencies. The management suite features 20 built-in integrations to social networks, sharing sites, and blogs, as well as Slack compatibility, to keep in touch with your team.
One social media manager said their favorite benefit is “the Content Suggestions Search by Topic. It pulls up so much right there for you to choose from!”
ProsFull integration with the most popular social platforms, along with blog sites like WordPress and Medium Easy access to Canva design tool Report Hub allows users to create visually engaging and detailed reports in as little as 15 minutes RSS Feed poster, content suggestions, in-built content library and easy access to the design tool, Canva. Content suggestions, built-in content library storage and RSS Feed posting tool Visually stunning and accurate reports Ideal for a social media manager or executive
ConsNo free plan The geographic keyword monitoring results need to be taken with a handful of salt
Pricing starts at $29 per month, and each plan includes a two-week free trial.
We would be remiss if we didn’t throw our own solution in the mix. Oktopost is the only social media management tool dedicated to B2B marketing. Oktopost’s social media management tool is an all-in-one solution designed to manage, monitor, and measure your social media activities towards achieving your marketing goals. Oktopost excels at uncovering the value social media presents for B2B companies by demonstrating the impact (organic) social has on the sales funnel.
ProsMulti-account, multi-platform conversion tracking Identification of optimal channels driving results LinkedIn company page monitoring Robust B2B integration options including Salesforce, Act-On, Marketo, Hubspot, and Google Analytics ROI measurement for social media activities Employee advocacy built in Social data enrichment right in the CRM
ConsLack of free trial Enterprise focus
Pricing for the Oktopost social media management is available upon request.
Buffer is an intuitive and very simplistic social management tool. If you just need to perform cross-platform publishing and don’t have much of a budget then Buffer is the tool for you. This social media management solution enables businesses to seamlessly queue a variety of content forms on multiple platforms and browsers, even while on-the-go.
Many users on G2 repeatedly praised the ease of publishing multiple pieces or the same piece of content across multiple platforms and adjusting accordingly.
ProsIncludes a virtual queue to automatically post-stagger your content throughout the day Schedule content across all social media sites without having to individually schedule them Renowned built-in image editor “Pablo” Geared towards mid-to large sized companies and agencies Pricing plans tooled
ConsLack of full Instagram support Lack of engagements dashboard
Pricing for the Buffer Publish plan starts at $15 per month, and the Analyze plan starts at $35 per month with a free two-week trial.
MeetEdgar is an ideal for freelancers, bloggers, entrepreneurs, and small businesses seeking to optimize their social media presence on a tight budget.
MeetEdgar’s greatest asset according to G2 reviews users is its automated content recycling tool, which allows for the reuse of current and past content to maximize your ROI and exposure from each post.
ProsAutomated content recycling, storage and reposting to maximize engagement Geared towards mid-to entrepreneurs, small teams,agencies and businesses, but offers plans for all sized organizations
ConsLack of support for all popular platforms like Pinterest and Instagram No post interaction and tracking directly from dashboard
Pricing for MeetEdgar starts at $19 / month
HootSuite is one of the standard-bearers for B2C social media management solutions. This web-based management tool provides comprehensive collaboration features along with the ability to manage and display all of your social media accounts on a single dashboard.
One user on G2 summed up the experience for the majority, that Hootsuite “is my favorite scheduling app for a reason. It is cross-platform, works across devices, and even without any download.”
ProsUpload multiple YouTube videos to multiple accounts simultaneously Web-based but also includes mobile app for Android and iOS Manage multiple social media profiles without the need to log in to each Adaptable for every company situation from marketing entrepreneurs to social media executives and large teams
ConsSporadic compatibility issues on several platforms leading to upload issues Limited number of URL-shortening options Free account is very limited in number of accounts (3)
Pricing for HootSuite plans starts at $29 per month, and each plan includes a one-month trial.
Hubspot is probably one of the more recognizable names in marketing technology. Their all-in-one marketing solution includes a standard social media management add-on. With Hubspot, you can publish, share content, monitor posts, along with analytics and reporting. Like several platforms, the free option is great for minimizing expenses.
The comprehensive automation tools offerings are also a consistent talking point amongst customers.
ProsIncludes integrated CRM along with a standard host of social media management and monitoring tools Social Inbox organizes online sentiments and posts into one organized dashboard Geared towards mid-to large sized companies and agencies
ConsGeneric marketing tool, no option to purchase just the SMM solution More available to large and successful companies – very expensive Basic social capabilities considering the high ticket price
Pricing for Hubspot starts at $50 per month, in addition to a limited free account option and a two-week trial for each paid plan.
SocialPilot is another well-known management service with a rich feature set. It is praised for its easy to use interface and affordable pricing while offering all the necessary post-management and monitoring tools and in-depth analytics for small businesses.
User reviews consistently appreciate the customer approval capabilities, as well as tje clean UI and high-quality reports and white papers.
ProsCurates and suggests content from several industries, and optimizes post times accordingly with a queue for each High-quality white paper reports generated from the platform Reposts social media posts automatically Add content through Edgar’s browser extension New technology adaptation – TikTok Ideal for small businesses and agencies
ConsDated UI, not the most user friendly for the less technical
Pricing for SocialPilot plans starts at $25 per month, and each includes a two-week free trial.
8. Zoho Social
Zoho Social is a simple yet feature-filled social media management tool that offers fairly basic yet standard capabilities at a reasonable price. Among others, Zoho provides a Live Stream of social mentions for targeted keywords and a host of collaboration features.
Zoho also provides exceptional ‘bang for your buck’ according to users, along with its extended tracking capabilities both for your business and for competitors’ brand sentiments.
ProsIntuitive and easy to use Full integration of Google My Business Exceptional reporting capabilities Link shortening Superb value for the price Ideal for all sized enterprises
ConsDelays in real-time notifications Some lacking scheduling features Limited engagement capabilities for comments
Pricing starts at $10 for individuals and businesses and $200 per month for agencies.
Though more commonly known for its SEO suite, SEMRush also offers the necessary basics for social media management. The rich SEO analytics also transfer over to the social media tools, with options to monitor, schedule, and create posts across the major social platforms.
SEMRush’s post scheduler and integration of the platform’s other marketing tools create an all-in-one platform to execute your marketing strategy.
One user summed up the experience that SEMRush “provide[s] a huge amount of information to improve SEO and your social media footprint.”
ProsCompetitor performance tracking including rank fluctuations and backlinks Social listening Wide array of app and system integrations
ConsNot overly user-friendly Relatively pricey compared to other offerings Designed more for SEO and keyword optimization Relatively pricey when compared to other SMB solutions
Pricing plans for SEMRush start at $99.95 per month and include a one-week trial.
AgoraPulse offers seamless integration with social networks combined with in-depth analytics and reporting tools. The suite also includes a CRM database that allows you to track and update a list of followers, along with customization features to optimize your posts for each social platform.
A favorite feature amongst users was the AgoraPulse, and the ability of the platform to host larger more account-laden agencies and teams.
ProsMaximizes productivity with CRM software Unlimited, vibrant, and well-designed PowerPoint analytics reports Data exportable to Excel Ideal for larger-sized enterprises
ConsLacks support for a number of social media platforms Each additional competitor for analysis costs extra The Micro plan is expensive for its offerings
Pricing for AgoraPulse plans begin at $79 per month and include a one-month trial.
Planable features all the niceties of a social media management solution while emphasizing collaboration and teamwork. It provides an advanced commenting and post-approval system that allows posts to be pre-approved before scheduling and release.
One unique capability users lauded that expands collaboration further, is the convenient placement of feedback points right on the side of each post.
ProsIntuitive workplace-based dashboard to bring all social media channels on one page Excellent for planning post scheduling ahead of time while managing multiple brands
ConsLacks tools for analytics and sentiment tracking Real-time customer support is only available at the enterprise tier and above
Pricing for Planable begins at $39 per month, with a free account option available.
SocialBakers is an all-in-one social media management solution that brings its own spin to the table. Besides the standard social media management suite features, SocialBakers combine analytics and post feed all in one streamlined dashboard. It also allows for intuitive content manipulation right in the scheduler.
Users especially appreciated the influencer database, search engine, and content search tools included.
ProsInfluencer Database Discover, track, and report on your leading industry influencers Built-in search engine and content search tools Predictive analytics for paid promotions Content manipulation within post scheduler
ConsNotification delays on spikes in KPI performance Interface navigation can be challenging for the less technical
Pricing starts at $200/month for ten social profiles.
BuzzSumo isn’t a traditional social media management tool. But just like SEMRush, it makes up for it with second-to-none content analytics. This analytics suite is a wunderkind at finding what content, influencers, keywords, and topics trend. It analyzes millions of content pieces to provide businesses with in-depth analytics and data.
User reviews repeatedly appreciate the influencer tracking functions along with the competitor analysis and useful trends section.
ProsInfluencer tracking tools Track individual authors and topics for live updates Competitor and trend analysis tools Ideal for larger organizations
ConsPrice is prohibitive for smaller agencies
Pricing plans for BuzzSumo begin at $99 per month and include a one-month trial.
14. Traject Social (Fanbooster by Traject)
Traject Social is a relative newcomer to the social media management market, but with its acquisitions of Social Import and Fanbooster, it is poised to take on market leaders. It is an excellent solution for SMM agencies working with multiple clients across all the current social platforms.
Users lauded the personalization capabilities for each individual customer and the well-designed and accurate automatic analysis reports.
ProsAutomated report generator including wide range of customizable KPIs Allows for the management of up to 80 social profiles simultaneously from a single dashboard Ideal for teams working with larger numbers of clients accounts and platforms
ConsThough navigation was manageable, UI UX feels outdated and cumbersome No ability to directly post graphics and video to Instagram
Pricing begins at $49 per month, and each plan comes with a two-week trial.
There are many social media management solutions available today. Trying to sort through them to pick one to adopt is simply exhausting. However, there are several essential features to keep in mind while choosing the right social media management for your business. These include platform integrations, analytics tools, and community management capabilities, among others.
The most important thing is to ensure that the tool you choose suits your business and provides the automation and analytics capabilities to use your time and marketing budgets effectively. Ultimately, the goal is to unify your social management and analytics, not fragment them across several solutions. So whether you’re managing five accounts or fifty, the right social management tool will allow you to focus on your real goal – a higher return on investment for every marketing dollar.