How to Choose a Social Media Management Tool

by | Aug 6, 2018 | EduSocial Blog, Strategy, Tools, Uncategorized | 3 comments

How do you manage your social tasks? Do you write and schedule content into each social platform individually? Or do you use a social media management tool to schedule your content across multiple platforms? If you have not yet used a social media management tool, I encourage you to try one.

First, let’s review typical social media management tasks:

  • Schedule content on multiple social platforms
  • Monitor mentions and conversations by keyword
  • Read and respond to messages
  • Track your messages and how your audience is responding/engaging
  • Check out your new followers and follow them back

It takes energy to creatively craft content day in and day out.  Throw in scheduling and planning-where does the time go? The intent of social media management is to create relationships while building awareness of your brand.  Tools help keep that story clean, crisp and consistent. You can find others to connect with on social media by using keywords, search, and geography as connectors.

Let’s take a look at several tools and how you may choose to use them for your management needs. Please remember…not everything should be scheduled through tools.

Features Buffer HootSuite Planable Lately Sprout Meet Edgar
Cost Free-$399 per month Free – $129 per month $14-$99 per month with an enterprise option $79-$99/month Free – $599 per month $49/month
Number of accounts 25+ 10-20 Unlimited pages 7-unlimited 10-20 25
Additional team members 5+ 1-3 1 workspace with 3 team members or 10 workspaces with 5 team members per space 1 to unlimited 1 to 10 Not listed
# of scheduled posts per account 2,000 Not listed Unlimited posts 100-unlimited 30 to unlimited 100-unlimited
Networks Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, G+, Instagram Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, G+, Instagram Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram (coming soon)
Social analytics Pro and higher Pro and higher In product development Basic omni-analytics-full analytics Pro and higher  Not listed
Link shortening and tracking All All Not available Professional and higher  All  All

Feature information compiled from the tool websites as of 8/5/18.

Go to Buffer or Hootsuite. Inexpensive options and free trails are available from new players in the social tools arena: Planable and Lately. Planable looks like a great resource to use if you are doing client work or are interested in focusing on your content both visually and in performance.  Planable offers robust visuals to preview your content as it will look published. The social calendar is a visual extravaganza at a glance.  A unique feature with Lately is multiple tools to organize content by keywords and links and feeds. The multi-dashboard functionality allows users to have different dashboards for businesses, products, etc. The team features of Lately are impressive and include Activity Digest which tracks team activity; track actions, roles and permissions with unlimited team invites.

More social media management tools to consider

Missing Lettr

Social media management tools all have a unique approach to helping you show off your best content.  Finding the right tool means making choices on the process and work flow that best fits your organization or your client.  I created a tool to help you vet that process: LINK to Download Social Media Task Tool

Tips to maximize your tools

  1. Consider how the tool will make life easier for you. If it won’t, you don’t have to use the tool.
  2. Use an Excel spreadsheet to write and plan your content. You can later upload csv files into most tools.
  3. Examine work styles and work flow to consider the tool with the best features to fit those needs.
  4. Monitor, tweak and reflect.

Happy social media management tool hunting!

For additional information, check out this pre-recorded webinar by Melissa Goodson, Ph.D. and Dr. Amy Jauman:
A Perfect Match: Your Social Tasks & Social Media Management Tools

For use along with the webinar: Social Media Management Tool Checklist

Author: Melissa Goodson

Melissa Goodson, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the School of Business and Technology at The College of St. Scholastica, St. Paul campus where she teaches and develops courses for the MBA in Leadership & Change program.  For over 12 years, she has worked in leadership roles in marketing communications, product management and strategic planning for media companies.  She serves as a board member and Marketing & Communications Director for the Minnesota Organization Development Organization.  Her professional interests include brand management, leadership development and organizational culture.

Twitter: @melissaagoodson


  1. Katherine Mendieta

    This was incredibly helpful! I have been trying to compare social media management tools but you did all the hard work for me! Thank you 🙂

    • NISMadmin

      Your welcome, Katherine. We are glad you found it helpful. Let us know what what you think of the tool you choose.

    • Chris Breault

      Lately has a free demo. You need to see the Automatic Social Post Generator in action. It’s a thing of beauty. Then, if you like what you see you get a 2 week trial. Email me and I’ll set everything up [email protected] Thanks

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