Top 5 Social Media Management Tools

Top 5 Social Media Management Tools

Are you looking for the best social media management tool? Do you want to increase your productivity and efficiency when managing your business' social media? How do you choose the best tool for your situation from the thousands of tools that exist? I’m excited to say I’ve partnered once again with G2Crowd to provide a really helpful infographic on the top 5 Rated Social Media Management Tools. The results come from detailed customer reviews from business software review platform, G2Crowd. The infographic covers a variety of information including user satisfaction, product direction, how easy it is to learn to use the platform, level of support, usability and more. In this article, I'll discuss the findings below as well as introducing the tools and alternative tools. The 5 Best Social Media Management Tools

Infographic brought to you by Seriously Social and G2 Crowd Data correct as of May 2016

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The Top Rated Social Media Management Tools


#1 Agora Pulse

Agora Pulse

Agora Pulse may not be as well known as Hootsuite, but recently, it has grown hugely in popularity. It scored top in almost all the points in the infographic. It was founded back in 2011 and originally integrated only with Facebook. Since then, its feature set has grown and it now integrates with Twitter, Facebook pages, Instagram, LinkedIn (profiles and pages) and Google+ pages. Agora Pulse particularly shines when it comes to managing engagement, as it clearly displays which mentions and comments require a response. It gives you access to in-depth reports (with Powerpoint export) and competitor comparisons. It also allows you to build Facebook apps and displays Facebook and Instagram dark posts with their comments which you can respond to. Agora Pulse works well for teams with the ability to delegate certain roles to your team members. Agora Pulse scored joint top for usability (9.3/10) and top for user satisfaction (99/100), product direction (9.6/10), Easy-to-Learn (9.2), customer support (9.5/10), meeting requirements (8.7/10) and the G2 Crowd Rating (4.6/5).

Ian's thoughts...

Ian Anderson GrayIt took me a little while to settle into Agora Pulse, but it's now my main Social Media Management Tool. Is it perfect? Of course not - no tool is perfect. However, the social inbox workflow helps me get through all my social mentions, comments and messages every day very quickly. In Agora Pulse, as soon as you reply to a message, it gets marked as read and disappears from view. You can also delegate messages to team members and it is obvious which messages have been assigned to you. To be honest, I'm surprised that most other tools don't adopt the same system - only Sprout Social has a similar workflow. I've been very impressed with Agora Pulse's reports which are amongst the best I've seen in any other social media management tool. I plan on doing quite a bit of Facebook advertising over the coming years, and being able to see unpublished (or "dark") posts with their comments is going to be so useful. I'm also a big fan of the "automated moderation rules" feature, which filter out spammy direct messages and mentions. I can't tell you how much of a difference that has made to my social inbox! Since the mobile app launched I can now respond on the move, and it syncs perfectly with the web app. Agora Pulse offers a social scheduling queue, similar to Buffer.
There are a few features that I wish Agora Pulse did offer. This could just be me, but I'd love Agora Pulse to integrate with Facebook profiles and perhaps groups. I'd like to keep track of all my social mentions across all my networks, and having my Facebook profile mentions in Agora Pulse would be really useful to me. However, that's not something most agencies and businesses will need. Also, despite not really being a fan of Hootsuite and Tweetdeck's clunky multi-column layout, I do miss being able to view multiple streams with filters and particularly Twitter lists. Don't get me wrong, Agora Pulse allows you to add multiple searches with powerful filters, but I do miss my Twitter lists. Agora Pulse can seem expensive compared to some of the other tools. In some cases, it might be more expensive, but you do get a lot for your money. You get unlimited access to reports with all plans (except the "Micro" plan) and you get team members, competitor comparison, Facebook ad monitoring on all plans from $99/mth upwards. The Medium Plan (at $99/mth) also includes 5 team members, so you won't need to spend any money if you have a small team working on your social media management. Despite these small issues, I've found Agora Pulse a joy to work with and more importantly it's made me significantly more productive.


Mobile App:Android & iOS Support:Yes
Social Scheduling Queue:Yes
Social Inbox Workflow:Yes
Stream View:Per Network View
Competitor Comparison:Facebook & Twitter (Medium Plan and above)
Automated Moderation Rules:Yes
Twitter List Support:No
Instagram Publishing:No


Micro Plan$29/month1 network and user
Small Plan$49/month3 networks, 2 users & reporting
Medium Plan$99/month10 profiles, 5 team members, reporting and Facebook ad monitoring, apps and competitors
Large Plan$199/month20 profiles, 10 team members, reporting & Facebook ad monitoring, apps & competitors
  • Extra team members $19/user/month
  • Extra networks for $10/month/network.
  • Social Networks:

Visit Agora Pulse »

#2 Buffer


In last year's top rated infographic, Buffer wasn't included. A number of people asked why. I excluded Buffer, because technically it isn't a full social media management tool. Buffer does one thing very well - publishing. It allows you to schedule your social media posts across a wide range of networks including Twitter, Facebook (profiles, pages and groups), Instagram, LinkedIn (profiles and pages), Pinterest and Google+ pages. It also offers limited reports on its free and awesome plans and more detailed ones in the business plans. Buffer doesn't offer streams or the ability to engage, so you'll need to use another tool for this.

However, in December 2015, Buffer acquired social media customer service tool, Respondly. The tool is a standalone engagement and customer service tool, now called Respond, and run by Buffer. Although Buffer does not integrate Respond with the main Buffer tool, Buffer are making a slight transition towards being a social media management tool, albeit a disjointed one. This, together with the popularity of Buffer as a social media tool, was the decision in including it in the infographic.

Buffer works for teams if you opt for the business plan.

Buffer scored joint top for usability (9.3/10) and 2nd for meeting requirements (8.5/10) and the G2 Crowd Rating (4.5). It was 3rd for user satisfaction (96/100) and easy-to-learn (9.0/10) and 4th for product direction (8.8/10) and support (8.3/10).

Ian's thoughts...

Ian Anderson GrayI've been a loyal Buffer user since 2011 and I love it. In the beginning, Buffer only integrated with Twitter, but now I can post and schedule to pretty much all my networks for only $10/month - and that includes Pinterest. Because I am a geek, I love the way Buffer integrates with so many 3rd party tools and services such as IFTTT, Zapier, Feedly, Evernote and more. That's enabled me to come up with some really cool systems and workflows. The mobile app isn't perfect, but it's very usable and great to work with on the move. If you're only interested in posting and scheduling you really can't go wrong with Buffer unless you're an agency or a business with a large number of social networks. Their business plans only have basic user role management and can get expensive. Their Awesome plan gives you access to 10 networks with only one user for $10/month. Their basic business plan costs almost 10 times as much ($99/month) but only gives you 25 networks and up to 6 team members. It would be much cheaper to buy 6 Awesome plans, and then you'd have 60 networks. The "Large" Business plan, for example, gives you 100 networks with 26 team members for $399/month and after that you'll need to contact Buffer about their Enterprise Plan. The reports are very basic with the Awesome Plan but they're not that better in the Business Plan with fairly basic graphs.
The main issue with Buffer, is that it only offers publishing and basic reports. If you need help with engagement, customer service, competitor analysis, detailed reports and analytics, you'll need to use an additional tool. If you need a full social media management tool, then combining Buffer with their engagement tool, Respond may be an option. This will cost an extra $149/mth. Don't get me wrong, I love Buffer and I use it regularly, but they do need to work on integrating Respond with Buffer, improving their analytics and fixing their expensive Business Plans.


Mobile App:Android & iOS Support:Yes
Social Scheduling Queue:Yes
Social Inbox Workflow:N/A
Stream View:N/A
Competitor Comparison:No
Automated Moderation Rules:N/A
Twitter List Support:N/A
Instagram Publishing:No


Free Plan$0/month1 user (maximum), 4 networks (1 each of network except Pinterest)
Awesome Plan$10/month1 user (maximum), 10 networks (any combination including Pinterest) & 100 scheduled posts per network
Small Business Plan$99/month6 team members (maximum), 25 networks and 2,000 scheduled posts per network
Medium Business Plan$199/month11 team members (maximum), 50 networks and 2,000 scheduled posts per network
Large Business Plan$399/month26 team members (maximum), 100 networks and 2,000 scheduled posts per network
Enterprise Plan$899+/month26+ team members, 100+ networks
Buffer Respond$149+/month

(Buffer's social engagement tool, Respond, or other engagement tool will be required for a proper social media management tool.)

  • Social Networks:

Visit Buffer »

#3 Sprout Social

Sprout Social

  • Sprout Social was founded back in 2010 and has a popular user base. It integrates with Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and Instagram. All users get full access to the reports and analytics. Sprout works well for teams where you can delegate groups of accounts to different team members. Additional team members are charged the same amount per month. Sprout Social includes powerful and visual reports with all their plans.

Sprout came joint top for usability (9.3) and came second for user satisfaction (98/100), product direction (9.0/10), easy-to-learn (9.1) and support (9.3/10). Sprout Social came 3rd for the G2 Crowd Rating (4.4/5) and 4th for meeting requirements (8.3/10).

Ian's thoughts...

Ian Anderson GraySprout Social does so many things incredibly well. Their reports are beautiful and are available to all plans without limit. It may not integrate with as many networks as Hootsuite or Sendible, but Sprout supports all the main ones (except the content networks YouTube and Pinterest). I love the way you can group collections of networks, which is perfect for agencies.  You also get and Twitter list support. Sprout has a social inbox workflow, similar to Agora Pulse, together with a fine mobile app - both of which are definite advantages. I am a big fan of Sprout Social and would still recommend it today.
However, there are a few issues, and the main one (which won't come as a surprise to many since it is the most stated criticism) is the cost. While the base price of $59/month isn't astronomical, that's the price per user per month. If you have a team of 5, that's going to cost $295 per month. If you compare that to Agora Pulse's Medium Plan of $99/month (which includes 5 users) and Buffer's Small Business Plan of $99/month you can see why people say Sprout is expensive. There's also Sprout's unified inbox which divides many. Some love it, some, well... don't! A unified inbox combines all mentions, messages and comments from all your social networks in one stream. The unified inbox can help you focus more, and Sprout do allow you to filter by network. However, I personally would prefer Tweets and Facebook messages not to be in the same inbox. If you can justify the cost, Sprout is a robust and powerful social media management tool.


Mobile App:Android & iOS Support:Yes
Social Scheduling Queue:Yes
Social Inbox Workflow:Yes
Stream View:Unified Feed
Competitors Comparison:No
Automated Moderation Rules:No
Twitter List Support:Yes
Instagram Publishing:No


Deluxe plan$59/user/month5 networks
Premium plan$99/user/month10 networks
Team plan$500/month3 users and 30 networks
Enterprise Plan$1500/mth+

Extra batches of 5 social networks can be purchased for $25/month.

  • Social Networks:

Visit Sprout Social »

#4 Sendible

Sendible Sendible was founded back in 2009 by Gavin Hammar. It integrates with a large number of networks including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, Tumblr, Flickr, WordPress, Blogspot and more. Plans include a number of “services” instead of social networks. So publishing to Twitter is a separate service to monitoring a Twitter list or your mentions. The basic plan includes 1 user, and you get additional users by upgrading to higher plans or you can pay for extra ones. Sendible has some fairly advanced features such as advanced geo-targeting features to reach specific segments of your audience and integration with Google Drive, Dropbox and Canva. Sendible also allows you to white label their product which may be a popular choice for certain agencies. Sendible was in 3rd place for product direction (8.8), support (8.6) and 4th for user satisfaction (95/100) and the G2 Crowd Rating (4.2). It was 5th for Easy-to-learn (8.3), usability (8.5) and meeting requirements (8.3).

Ian's thoughts...

Ian Anderson GrayI really want to like Sendible. There's so much to like about the tool. A huge number of social integrations for a start, including ones that many other tools don't support, such as Flickr, Slideshare, WordPress and Tumblr. I love the integrations with Dropbox, Google Drive and Canva. Larger agencies will love the ability to white label Sendible and offer it as their own social media management tool as one of their services. You also get analytics, reports, monitoring, social scheduling queues, a CRM (Customer Relationship Management system), a mobile app and much more.
I know Sendible have been working hard to improve their tool. There are, however, many other areas that need work or changing. Firstly, there is the issue of charging per "service". Most tools out there tell you how many social networks you get for each plan. Sendible, however, offer a number of "services" with each plan, and I think this can get fairly confusing. For example, if you want to add your Twitter account to Sendible, you could end up using 2 or 3 services for this (1 each for publishing, monitoring and perhaps a Twitter list). You can quickly max out on your services and need to upgrade. Sendible has a similar "unified" inbox to Sprout Social, however it is a "priority" view, meaning that the most important messages (as far as Sendible can tell) are at the top. You'll either love this or not, I haven't quite decided. My biggest complaint, however, is that I don't find it as intuitive to use as other tools (such as Agora Pulse, Sprout Social, Buffer, Jollor or Zaapt) and it can be a little clunky. Sendible have updated their interface over the years, and hopefully they can continue to make improvements. I will say, user interfaces can be fairly subjective, so although I'm not currently a fan, you may be. It's always best to try these tools out and make your own mind up!


Mobile App:Android & iOS Support:Yes
Social Scheduling Queue:Yes
Social Inbox Workflow:No
Stream View:Priority Unified View
Competitors Comparison:No
Automated Moderation Rules:No
Twitter List Support:Yes (counts as a separate service)
Instagram Publishing:Via email


Taster Plan$9/month5 services & 1 branded report. No team members.
Marketer plan$39/month15 services & 2 branded report. No team members.
Startup Plan$59/month30 services & 4 branded reports. Extra users $29.50/month (max 2 users)
Business Plan$99/month60 services & 8 branded reports. Extra users $24.75/month (max 4 users)
Corporate Plan$139/month90 services & 18 branded reports. Extra users $23.17/month (max 6 users)
Premium plan$499/month360 services. Extra users $24.95/month (max 20 users)
White label Plan
  • Social Networks:

Visit Sendible »

#5 Hootsuite

Hootsuite Hootsuite was founded by Ryan Holmes, back in 2008. Originally, HootSuite integrated with Twitter only and was called BrightKit. It now integrates with all the popular social networks including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Instagram. They also have an app directory which extends the number of social networks you can manage within Hootsuite. Hootsuite has a free plan as well as paid pro plans and an enterprise plan. For reports, you get 3 basic ones for the free plan, and 3 basic ones and 1 enhanced report for the pro plan. You can pay extra for more reports. 2 team members (including yourself) are included in the pro plan, and you can pay extra for each team member up to a maximum of 10 users. Hootsuite was 3rd for meeting requirements (8.4) and 4th for easy-to-learn (8.5/10) and usability (8.6/10). It was 5th for user satisfaction (93/100), product direction (8.3), support (8.0/10) and the G2 Crowd rating (4.1/5)

Ian's thoughts...

Ian Anderson GrayThere is no question, Hootsuite is the biggest and most popular social media management tool. They have the most users, the biggest number of employees and make the most revenue. Hootsuite integrates with a large number of networks, particularly when you include their app directory. I have to say, I feel kind of comfortable and even nostalgic with their multiple column layout, and I do like the way you can filter each column if you need to (that's the inner geek speaking again!) Currently, Hootsuite and Agorapulse are the only tools out of the top 5, that allows you to "kind of" publish to Instagram via their mobile apps. It's still a manual process (due to the restrictions of the Instagram API) - sending your photo and text to the official Instagram app for you to publish there. At least they offer a way! Hootsuite have a mobile app for iOS and Android, so you can manage your social networks on the move.
However, despite the positives, there are a lot of big issues with Hootsuite. Unfortunately the interface is buggy, clunky and not very intuitive. Despite kind of liking multi-column layouts, they're just too distracting and I find myself becoming less productive. The included reports are incredibly basic and you end up having to spend $50 or $60 per month for extra reports which are still fairly basic looking. They don't integrate with bitly, and if you want to use a branded short domain (with their owly service) it will cost you over $580 per year. They don't offer a social inbox workflow such as Sprout Social or Agora Pulse, and no competitor comparison or automated moderation rules. They do, however, offer good team role management, but most of these features are available only in their $22,000+ per year Enterprise plan. You can have up to 10 users in their pro plan, after which you'll need to upgrade to Enterprise. Despite all this, Hootsuite are one of the only tools to offer a limited free plan. If you don't mind basic reports, are happy with the interface and don't need more than 2 team members, then the Hootsuite Pro plan is inexpensive and is worth trying out.


Mobile App:Android & iOS Support:No
Social Scheduling Queue:Yes
Social Inbox Workflow:No
Stream View:Multiple Columns
Competitors Comparison:No
Automated Moderation Rules:No
Twitter List Support:Yes
Instagram Publishing:Yes, via app


Free Plan$0/month1 user, 3 networks & 1 "basic" report
Pro Plan$14.99/month2 users, 50 networks & 1 "enhanced" report
Enterprise PlanPossibly $1,500/month+
* Hootsuite Reports:

Old Reports - although there are some limited free reports, some reports are available to pro and enterprise users only. Pro users get 50 points a month which gives one report. Extra reports use 30 to 50 points. 50 points cost $50 per month. New beta reports - only Twitter and Facebook pages are available. Deeper reports and the ability to export are only available for an extra $60/month.

  • Social Networks:

Visit Hootsuite »



eClincher A relative newcomer to the social media management scene, eClincher offers an incredibly powerful array of features and integrations. They were founded in 2012, but moved over to being a social media management tool in 2014. eClincher integrates with Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube as well as Feedly, Canva and Pocket. It has the ability to publish, schedule, auto post and cycle content, an image library, monitoring and analytics. eclincher has a powerful bulk upload feature and is one of the only tools I've discovered that extracts images from the posts you upload (either as a CSV file or RSS feed). Prices start from $15/mth.

Visit eClincher »


MavSocial MavSocial was founded in 2012 by Matthew Holden. MavSocial has a very generous free plan and an enterprise plan which works very well for agencies and larger teams. MavSocial integrates with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr and YouTube with the Enterprise plan adding Japanese and Chinese networks. It has a digital assets library where you can store your images and videos and you can even licence stock images through various stock libraries including free ones (there are over 50 million to choose from). The free plan allows you to connect with up to 50 social networks, have unlimited reports and up to 1Gb of file storage.

Visit MavSocial »


zaapt Zaapt is a new social media management tool focussing on social media planning and scheduling for teams. Zaapt currently integrates with Facebook pages and Twitter with plans to add more networks soon. Zaapt focusses on a content calendar which aims to help teams move away from legacy tools such as spreadsheets, documents and email. Zaapt's primary focus is on productivity and teamwork. Plans are $30/user/month.

Visit Zaapt »


Jollor Jollor was founded in 2014 by Jakub Hrabovský. It integrates with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube as well as the Russian networks VK and Odnoklassniki. They have some enterprise features such as team and role management and delegation. They have a transparent pricing scheme starting from $5 per network, and you can add extra team members for $5 per month as well as other features.

Visit Jollor » is a social media relationship tool as well as a social media management tool that integrates with Twitter and Facebook. As well as being able to manage multiple Twitter and Facebook accounts, you can find out who is relevant in your social networks' communities. Examples include your influencers or people who support you. You can also find out who is talking about you or your business or who is linking to your website and interact with them straight away. Prices start from $19.99 per month.

Visit »


Rignite Rignite was founded back in 2011 by Glen Kosaka. Rignite puts managing social media campaigns at the heart and integrates with Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and Instagram. Rignite is campaign-focussed where you can create multiple social media management campaigns across your networks. Prices start from $28/user/mth.

Visit Rignite »


Meshfire Meshfire was founded in 2012 by Eli Israel and has team collaboration at its heart. It Only supports Twitter but integrates with Buffer so you can post and schedule to a larger number of networks. Meshfire also integrates with both and Feedly. Prices are $8/social network and offers  unlimited team members.

Visit Meshfire »


TweetDeck TweetDeck hasn't changed much in recent years, but it still remains a powerful Twitter social media management tools. It now allows teams to manage multiple accounts and has some powerful features including advanced filtering of streams, Twitter list management and more. TweetDeck is free.

Visit TweetDeck »

Do You Struggle with Social Media Management?

struggle If so, you’re not alone! Many of us struggle to keep on top of all the tasks required to be effective in marketing our businesses on social media. When it comes to social media marketing, there are many jobs including...

  • Publishing and schedule quality content
  • Engagement - responding to all the mentions and comments
  • Monitoring - keeping on top of all the mentions of certain hashtags and keywords for you and/or your competitors
  • Analytics and Reporting- to check how effective you’re doing with your social media efforts, digging deep into the data and making decisions on improving your strategy and systems.
  • The ability to delegate engagement and tasks to team members.

Tools to the Rescue?

rescue So, maybe social media tools can come to the rescue here? Well, kind of… They’re certainly not going to solve all your problems. They’re not a replacement for planning and implementing a social media strategy. However, the right tool or series of tools can help you become much more effective and productive. It can also help you make smarter decisions and be quicker at reacting to opportunities, events and situations. Make sure you have a plan and a strategy first, but having the right tool or series of tools at the heart of your work is going to be vital - particularly as you scale things upwards.

What is a Social Media Management Tool?

There are so many social media tools out there. Many of us feel overwhelmed and confused by the choice. Many tools promise to solve all your problems without really explaining how they actually work. The “Social Media Management Tool” is a particular type of tool that tries to do it all. It aims to be “The One Tool that Rules them all”. Such social media management tools will allow you to publish and schedule content and help you engage with your mentions and comments across all your social networks. They aim to help you monitor important keywords and hashtags, whether that be your business, brand or product name or perhaps a certain hashtag or even words to do with your competitors. Social Media Management Tools also aim to help you analyse how you are doing by providing analytics and reports for you to study. This can also communicate the effectiveness of your social media use to your team.

In Search of the “One Tool”

The One Tool I’ve mentioned quite a few jobs and features there! Does this “One Tool” actually exist? A tool that will integrate with all your social networks and fulfil all the jobs you want it to. Well, no… there is no perfect tool out there. I think you expected me to say that, but there are many tools that try, and there are some that do a pretty good job. The problem is, that it’s a tricky job to find the best tool for your business. It’s a topic I spoke about at the New Media Europe Conference last year on “How to Find the Best Social Media Management Tool for Your Business”. I hope that the infographic will help you in your journey to find your One Tool.

What is G2Crowd?

g2crowd On their about page, G2 Crowd, describes themselves as “the world’s leading business software review platform, leveraging its 70,000+ user reviews read by nearly 600,000 software buyers each month to help them make better purchasing decisions”.  All the various B2B software technologies are listed by industry (email marketing, CRM, Social Media, etc.) and reviewed by their own users.

Is It Reliable?

G2Crowd have a strict authentication system for their reviewing system. This makes sure each review actually comes from a real user of the respective software. It definitely takes quite a bit of effort to leave a review on G2Crowd. However, this means that the review can be trusted as from a real user. Business buyers now have transparency when evaluating their next B2B software subscription.

How did we choose the tools to create this infographic?

We used information from this quadrant published by G2Crowd. I might be a little pedantic, but not all the tools listed in the quadrant are true Social Media Management Tools. As I mentioned above, Social Media Management Tools have to offer the following features:

  • Publishing
  • Monitoring / Responding to Social Media fans & followers
  • Measuring / Reporting
  • Team Management and Workflow
  • Available for several Social Networks

As a consequence, in producing the infographic, we eliminated the tools that only helped managed one Social Network (Tweetdeck or Facebook Pages Manager, for example). There is an exception to this, however. When I produced a similar infographic last year, I excluded tools that only focussed on publishing such as Buffer. Although, as I mentioned above, Buffer isn't technically a social media management tool, it is one of the most popular social media tools and its exclusion was felt. Therefore, I have decided to include in the top 5 this year, with the caveat that it only focuses on publishing with some analytics. In addition, we have only included tools that offered self-service access and transparent pricing. Enterprise tools such as ViralHeat, that require a demo and do not provide public pricing (enterprise tools usually above $1,000 per month) have not been included.