Top 10 Social Media Management Tools: Pricing, Pros & Cons

Marta KrzeminskaSocial Media Marketing

Attention is a currency. An internationally accepted unit of exchange used by brands to gain customers. As a content marketer, you know that to gain attention is to win. You want to make sure you direct your audience’s attention where it matters. The recognition of this principle is the raison d’etre of social media management tools.

Planning a successful content marketing strategy takes a lot of time. You don’t want to get your own attention wasted on unnecessary details. There are many social media management platforms designed to help reduce the time you spend on executing your strategy. They help you schedule and curate content, as well as manage engagement with your audience.

Even for an experienced marketer, it’s a challenge to decide which of the many social media management tools is the right one. To make it easier for you to make this crucial brand decision we reviewed the top 10 social media marketing platforms on the market.

Want to know which one suits your needs best? Read on!

1. Hootsuite

Hootsuite was one of the earliest platforms on the market of social media management tools and it continues to maintain a wide user base.

The tool boasts of supporting more than 35 social media platforms. If you’re after one of the very few tools that enable you to post on MySpace, Tumblr, and LinkedIn Pages, Hootsuite is a social media management software for you.

Publishing features

Hootsuite characteristic multi-column view has many fans, but, with multiple social media platforms to manage it can easily get overwhelming. The platform offers an additional calendar view to address this.

With Hootsuite, you can schedule single posts and campaigns, and see previews of your posts before they get published. Hootsuite Inbox lets you manage interactions with your social media posts, but you can’t see all mentions and messages in one panel. This means you have to create separate streams for each platform adding more chaos to the dashboard.

Hootsuite provides access to a library of free images and to Giphy. However, you can’t create a shared library of digital assets to be used across the team.

Social media marketers will be happy to hear HootSuite allows for boosting posts straight from the platform.

Analytics

A transparent analytics view is only available for Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The bulk of analytical features are only available in paid plans, for example, the ability to see the performance of a single post or to download data as a .csv file.

Team Work

This is where this social media management software doesn’t deliver. Even in the Team Plan, there is no option to set different roles or permission levels for team members—you can’t establish a publishing workflow, follow the team’s activity, or see any statistics about the team’s performance. These features do exist—which is a relief!—but they only become accessible in the, very expensive, Business Plan.

Cons & Common Criticisms

  • Limited team management features
  • Old-school UI, hard to navigate
  • Limited post-editing options: previews hard to edit, posts can’t be moved to drafts after scheduling, can’t pause a queue

Bottom Line

Hootsuite has earned its stripes over the years and, in the highly-paid plans offers what’s necessary to manage all your social media channels. However, despite being one of the most popular social media management tools, the platform lacks several key features that make the biggest difference for successful teamwork and brand management.  

Pricing

Free Professional Team Business Enterprise
$0 Contact HootSuite for Pricing
$0 $288/year $1188/year $7188/year Contact HootSuite for Pricing

2. Sprout Social

Aimed at big brands and agencies, Sprout Social lands on the expensive end of the spectrum of social media management tools. There is no free plan available, so it’s probably not a platform for small, one-person businesses.

However, you can test the capacity of the tool during a 30-day free trial.

Publishing features

What stands out among the publishing features of Sprout Social is the all-in-one Smart Inbox—a feature that allows you to manage all interactions across social media channels, and Viral Post—a tool analyzing your audience’s activity to determine the best posting times.

In higher plans, you have an option to integrate your helpdesk with Sprout Social to deliver customer service through your social media channels and to boost Facebook posts straight from the platform. In the most expensive, Advanced plan there is even a chatbot integration and suggested replies for Twitter accounts.

Team Work

Designed for larger teams, Sprout Social has well-developed features for teamwork. Different levels of team permissions translate into a clear work pipeline, and you can even set custom workflows.

Tagging allows categorizing both incoming and outgoing messages—a helpful way to differentiate between feedback, and product suggestions, for example. If you aim to centralize all your company’s operations, an integrated CRM in Sprout Social will let your marketing and your sales teams work using the same platform.

Analytics

Being one of the most expensive social media management tools, we’d expect a little more from Sprout Social analytics than the bare-bone basics. You can access basic engagement, and send messages reports, but to run extended analyses you’ll need to use Sprout Social API.

On the plus side, the Advanced plan includes Spike Alerts — notifications based on specific keywords.

Cons & Common Criticisms

  • No integration with YouTube
  • Unable to post to Facebook groups
  • Digital image library available only in the Advanced plan

Bottom Line

Sprout Social aims to be a one-stop-shop for all teams that handle communication with customers—from social media to customer support, to sales. With a high price tag, however, only the largest market players can benefit from this solution.

Pricing

Standard Professional Advanced
$99 per user/month $149 per user/month $249 per user/month

3. MavSocial

MavSocial is a relatively new player in the market of social media management tools, and one that immediately became a strong competitor of well-established platforms of this kind.

Publishing Features

MavSocial excels in image management. A stand out feature is the ability to curate a shared image library—a crucial element for those who want to maintain a consistent brand image.

Speaking of images, MavSocial is one of the few social media management platforms with access to Instagram’s publishing API’s, meaning you can post to Instagram directly from the platform. Another unique feature that puts MavSocial on par with top social media management tools is the ability to boost Facebook posts straight from the platform.

Alongside one-off posts easily visible in a clear Calendar View, MavSocial enables you to create campaigns— an ideal solution for scheduling seasonal offers. Repeat Publishing is an excellent function to ensure your social media queue is never empty and that your top posts continue getting visibility.

Team Work

MavSocial has detailed customization of team permissions. This helps set up an easy post-scheduling workflow and clearly differentiate between responsibility levels in the team.

Social Inbox allows you to see all interactions with your posts in one place—including comments, ad comments, and direct messages. It’s easy to filter messages, tag them by category, assign to different team members, and archive when necessary.

Analytics

Analytical reports are clearly readable and give detailed engagement statistics based on posts’ times. A unique feature among social media management tools is MavSocial’s analytics section dedicated specifically to the performance of images.

Cons & Common Criticisms

Bottom Line

With its unique functions and attention to stellar customer service MavSocial rivals the most popular players in the market of social media management tools.

Pricing

Free Advanced Pro Business Enterprise
$0 $19/month $78/month $199/month $499/month
$0 $190/year $780/year $1990/year $499o/year

4. MeetEdgar

Perhaps a slightly lesser-known social media management platform, MeetEdgar targets a specific niche in the world of social media. It approaches the marketers’ need from a unique angle— focusing on evergreen content.

Publishing Features

The structure of posting in MeetEdgar is based around different libraries. You must thematically group your posts first, and later you can set the frequency of publishing them based on category. For example, you might want to have three posts a week on your Twitter from the library “offers”, only one like that on Facebook.

MeetEdgar can also be used for one-off posts—there is a pre-set library category for those— and seasonal campaigns, as you can set an “expiry date” for each post. Calendar view allows to see your social media queue at a glance.

Team Work

This social media management software has no features to facilitate teamwork. The set up of the platform is very simple. If social media plays only a small role in your marketing strategy, MeetEdgar will make sure your feed appears busy even if you forget you had any social media accounts in the first place.

Analytics

Performance metrics are collected for each post, but MeetEdgar analytics view doesn’t have a clear reports section. In Statistics, you can view basic metrics for each post, filter them by type and account.

Cons & Common Criticisms

  • No tools for engagement with the audience
  • Unable to see comments on posts
  • Limited publishing features
  • Unable to auto-publish to Instagram
  • Doesn’t support Facebook post boosting
  • Poor analytics

Bottom Line

MeetEdgar is one of the social media marketing tools focused on a single problem, and, it is excellent for the niche it’s been designed to cover. It lets you recycle and republish your content, but is not the best solution for running wide-scale social media marketing campaigns.

Pricing

One price. $49/month, $539/year.

5. Buffer

Buffer is one of the key players in the market of social media management tools. It accommodates the needs of single users and larger teams, up to 26 people in total.

Publishing features

Buffer supports all of the common social media platforms. One of its primary features is the social queue where you can see a list of posts scheduled for each account. Text formatting is intuitive, and the platform supports images, gifs, and videos. However, there is no shared media library.

A post can be created and scheduled manually, but you can also upload a .csv file and adjust the text to suit the requirements of each social media platform. To make sure you get an even spread of posts per platform you can and establish regular posting times separately for each profile.

A unique feature among other social media marketing tools is Re-buffer—it gives users the ability to add an already published post back to the social media queue. Note that re-buffer is not the same as a library of evergreen content. To reuse the post you’ll need to keep manually re-adding the same post to the queue.

Analytics

Buffer collects analytics for each specific post, and for each social media profile. You can filter the analytics by types of posts (e.g. video, image), date, or popularity, and download the data to analyze your performance and adjust your social media strategy.

Teamwork

Buffer has adjusted its social media management software solutions to the needs of larger, and remote teams. It enables a two-step content review process; a post can be drafted by one person, and submitted for review by another team member.

One of the features Buffer is praised for is its intuitive layout and, perhaps because of that, it doesn’t offer many customer support options—an extensive FAQ is supplemented with a responsive Twitter team.

Cons & Common Criticisms

  • No calendar view
  • Lack of suggestions for best posting times or content suggestions
  • No social inbox
  • Lacks social listening function
  • Unable to boost Facebook posts

Bottom Line

Buffer is a great tool for scheduling social media campaigns, but not for engaging with your audience. Also, take note of Buffer’s rates. Payment tiers differ not just by the number of users, and the number of connected accounts, but also by the number of posts you can send from each account.

Pricing

Free Pro Small Business Medium Business Large Business
$0 $15/month $99/month $199/month $399/month
$0 $144/year $1008/year $2040/year $4080/year

6. Sendible

Sendible belongs to a category of large-scale social media management tools and primarily targets agencies with its offering. To address the needs of a small entrepreneur Sendible has however introduced a Micro Plan of $29/month.

Publishing Features

Among the standard features, you would expect from a standard social media management platform several things stand out in Sendible. Built-in content recommendations are a time-saver, likewise an integration with Canva, which lets you design visuals without leaving the platform.

Like Sprout Social, Sendible aims to be a one-stop-shop solution for the communications team. This social media management software comes integrated with a complete email marketing service to help turn your social media followers into full-fledged marketing leads.

Team Work

It’s easy to set up workflows in Sensible—different permissions allow to assign and delegate tasks to selected team members. Priority Inbox filters most important messages based on sentiment analysis, making it easy to manage your brand’s image.

The abundance of features comes with a steep learning curve—it can take a lot of time to integrate the use of Sendible into your marketing strategy.

Analytics

Among the many social media management tools on the market Sendible impresses with its analytical reports. The platform also calculates a metric called Content Effectiveness to serve better recommendations in the future.

Cons & Common Criticisms

  • The pricing structure is confusing
  • Unable to tag on Facebook or LinkedIn
  • No support for Facebook post boosting
  • The complexity which, apart from slowing adoption in bigger teams, can cause more frequent software glitches

Bottom Line

With the bulk of most useful features only accessible in the high-paid plans, Sendible remains a solution only for those with a clearly defined, long-term social media marketing strategy (and deep pockets).

Pricing

Micro Small Medium Large White Label
Monthly Billing $29 $99 $199 $299 contact Sendible
Annual Billing $288 $1008 $2028 $3048 contact Sendible

7. Social Pilot

Another popular social media management software designed for agencies is Social Pilot.

It’s also one of the few social media management tools that support country-specific social media platforms, like VK and Xing.

Publishing Features

Apart from standard scheduling features, with Social Pilot, you can also schedule posts in bulk by uploading a .csv file. The platform supports many types of content, including videos, gifs, and it enables you to create multiple image posts—an important feature for visually-driven brands.

Social Pilot is one of the social media management tools which makes it easy to share third-party content; a browser extension enables to publish straight from the browser, and a Content Discovery function lets you find content based on keywords or posts from chosen influencers.

Team Work

There are only two permission levels that don’t allow to make your content marketing workflow very precise. Also, note that the Social Inbox feature is only available from the Small Plan up, so if you want to focus on engagement alongside just publishing content, you will have to make a larger investment.

Analytics

Even though Social Pilot supports many social media platforms, analytics are only provided for Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. With Small Team plan and up you can also download white-label pdf reports—an easy way to impress your agency’s clients.

An extra perk of this social media management platform is social listening—you can keep track of what other brands (including your competitors!) are posting about.

Cons & Common Criticisms

  • Low quality of suggested content
  • Hard navigation of the interface
  • Insufficient teamwork options
  • Issues with bulk uploads
  • Unable to auto-publish to Instagram
  • No Facebook post boost option

Bottom Line

Despite targeting large content marketing players, Social Pilot doesn’t seem to have many features focused on teamwork. It can save a lot of time with the discovery function and bulk uploads if you crack the code to making them work.

Pricing

Professional Small Team Agency Enterprise

White Label

$30/month $50/month $100/month contact SocialPilot
$288/year $495.96/year $999.96/year contact SocialPilot

8. CoSchedule

CoSchedule sits in a slightly different niche than other social media management tools. Aside from being a publishing platform, it’s a marketing and project management software—a characteristic reflected in the price.

Publishing Features

CoSchedule stands out among other social media management tools in its variety of publishing templates. When scheduling a series of posts, each variant of copy can be saved as a template and reused. Likewise, a specific sequence of cross-platform posts can be saved as a template.

The Calendar View makes all your scheduled campaigns easily readable. In high-paid plans, you can also fill in the gaps in the posting schedule using the Re-Queue function.

Team Work

CoSchedule is chiefly an editorial calendar designed to facilitate the workflow between content writers and content marketers. There are five levels of permissions and an ability to assign tasks to different team members.

CoSchedule is a one-way social media management platform—there are no features allowing teams to engage with the audience. But, in high paid plans you can use CoSchedule together with your marketing team—the platform can be integrated with email marketing providers.

Analytics

Analytical reports are clear and easy to read—an important feature for social media management tools! You can quickly see your top performing posts and see live data about each post from an already running campaign.

Social media reports don’t go into the nitty-gritty of demographics but are great in demonstrating the trends of your brand’s performance. To get more of a “Big Brother feel” you can even monitor the task completion rate of your team and the performance rates of each team member.

A unique feature among social media management tools, CoSchedule also has a Headline Analyser for posts’ titles to predict their performance based on keywords.

Cons & Common Criticisms

  • High complexity = longer onboarding. Learning to navigate this behemoth of social media management tools requires an investment of an extra $20/month per user to cover joining the CoSchedule Academy.
  • No social media engagement features
  • Unable to boost Facebook posts
  • No ability to auto-publish to Instagram
  • Glitches in document uploading and in integrations with text editors

Bottom Line

CoSchedule is ideal if you focus on blog content and work with multiple freelancers to provide it. The platform facilitates promoting your content but is not a social media management software for engaging with your brand’s audience.

Pricing

Notice that with every plan you can add extra features creating your own customized subscription.

Individual Business Growth Business Professional Business Enterprise
$49/month $89/month
$480/year $960/year $4800/year $16,800/year

9. AgoraPulse

AgoraPulse’s offering is similar to that of MavSocial and Sendible—a one-stop-shop social media management software for publishing content and engaging with your audience. As always, the difference is in the details.

Publishing Features

AgoraPulse supports a limited number of social media platforms, but, if you have multiple accounts on each of them, you can manage them via one dashboard. It’s easy to schedule posts and create a queue for future auto-publishing. AgoraPulse is also one of the few social media management tools that let you recycle evergreen content.

Team Work

AgoraPulse enables stratification in team permissions to create a clear workflow.

In terms of interacting with the audience, you can easily categorize incoming messages in AgoraPulse by adding tags and comments. Like MavSocial, this social media management software facilitates Inbox Zero—messages are shown in one stream, and they are easy to act on. You can choose to archive, reply immediately, or assign them to other team members. With Inbox Assistant you can create rules to handle the messages automatically.

Analytics

AgoraPulse supports creating ads and boosting posts from within the platform and allows you to monitor their performance. You can track engagement with your brand to verify assumptions about your audience’s demographics, and uncover your potential promoters. The platform’s Social Listening function can help keep an eye on your competitors.

Cons & Common Criticisms

  • Enterprise-level support unavailable. Even in higher plans, you will not get a dedicated account support manager
  • No media library
  • Unable to boost Facebook posts
  • No content suggestions
  • Unable to customize reports

Bottom Line

AgoraPulse is a solid social media management software for a medium-sized brand. It covers core functions of social media management—from publishing, to queuing, to engagement with followers.

Pricing

Small Medium Large Enterprise
$49/month $99/month $199/month $299/month
$468/year $948/year $1908/year $2868/year

10. CrowdFire

CrowdFire is a social media management software that evolved from a tool focused on Twitter. This origin story is still visible in the depth of the platform’s current offering.

Publishing Features

CrowdFire supports scheduling and publishing on several social media platforms but remains a social media management software heavily focused on Twitter. It facilitates follower management, for example, it enables unfollowing inactive accounts.

The platform used to have an auto DM feature, but it had to be removed for violating Twitter’s policies. Another worth-mentioning Twitter-centric characteristic of CrowdFire are hashtag recommendations.

CrowdFire’s Content Discovery function recommends shareable content based on specified keywords and the platform a Photo Suggester specifically for Instagram. It’s also one of the few social media management tools that link to your blog management software to help automatically promote newly published content.

Team Work

There are no specific features directed at teamwork, and it’s only in the Premium plan that you can add an extra team member to your user list.

Analytics

Here, again, the way this social media management software handles Twitter is what stands out. Detailed Twitter analytics help determine the profile of most-engaged audience members.

Otherwise, if reports are important for your social media strategy, pay close attention to the pricing of this social media management tool. Tiers differ by the amount of data the platform will store for you.

Cons & Common Criticisms

  • No media library
  • Limited functionality of networks other than Twitter
  • Lacks social inbox
  • Unable to auto-publish to Instagram
  • Limited analytics
  • No Ad/boosting related features

Bottom Line

For small brands and solopreneurs, especially those focusing on making a splash through Twitter, CrowdFire is a good social media management software. Once you start expanding your strategy you will need to start looking at social media management tools with a broader offering.

Pricing

Free Plus Premium VIP
$0 $9.99/month $49.99/month $99.99/month
$0 $89.76/year $449.76/year $893.76/year

How to choose between social media management tools?

We can’t choose for you, but we hope this list provided a solid overview of what you can expect from different social media management tools.

Each platform comes with its own unique differentiators and targets specific needs you have as a brand. Before deciding on a social media management software it’s important to clarify the goals of your social media marketing efforts. This will help you specify which functions will provide the highest return on your investment.

About the Author

Marta Krzeminska