Head of Growth at 24Slides
The social media landscape shifts on a regular basis, but it has changed dramatically since Entrepreneur's 2016 article, "6 New Social Media Marketing Tools The Experts Use," and so too have the services around it. Some tools are still very much relevant — Buffer, for example — but four years is a lifetime in social media, so it's high time for a refreshed version. Here is my list of social media management tools that will ensure you’re equipped with the latest technology as we enter 2020.
Social media post-scheduling tools
Buffer, chosen by Neil Patel in the 2016 list, is still as relevant today as it has ever been. With powerful drag-and-drop scheduling features across nearly all social media platforms, it’s one of the most useful tools for organizing your social media calendar.
Buffer has also added a mobile app and a browser extension to help you curate content across platforms. Using its insights into the engagement reached by the millions of posts scheduled through its platform, it also provides analytics, such as days and times when it's ideal to post.
Initially designed for Instagram, Later has evolved to include both Facebook and Pinterest scheduling. Similar to Buffer, Later features a drag-and-drop scheduling feature and a rich visual content calendar where you can preview your Instagram profile. Instagram’s API is usually quite strict on allowing vendors to auto-publish, but as an official Instagram partner, Later allows you to auto-publish posts using saved captions, hashtags and other pieces of text to ensure the entire process is smooth.
Social media ad tools
If you run Facebook ads, you know that a big part of ongoing optimization is testing different ad sets to see what maximizes your return on ad spend. Adespresso does this for you. Using a powerful suite of tools, you can quickly run massive multivariate tests on Facebook ads. Just input a couple of different variations on the text, images, videos, audiences and calls to action, and Adespresso will automatically set up dozens of small ads to begin testing what works. For the diligent marketer looking to optimize both spend and ROI, this tool is worth trying out.
4. Ad Stage
This tool is useful for marketers who run ads on multiple platforms. Instead of pulling data manually from each platform (for example, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn and Bing), Ad Stage does this for you, giving you a complete overview of all your campaigns. This is particularly useful for agencies who need to extract cross-platform data for clients quickly.
Social media analytics tools
Often used by content marketers, BuzzSumo is a powerful social media tool that helps you understand how shared content is performing across different platforms. For social media managers competing on hashtags and keywords, BuzzSumo also lets you see what else is performing well on the same queries, allowing you to refine your strategy based on the lessons of what’s currently trending.
6. Sprout Social
Sprout Social aims to be an all-in-one solution for social media analytics. After linking up your social media accounts, you can quickly get a full overview of your followers, engagement, impressions and growth. It’s particularly useful for agencies managing multiple client accounts, each of which has multiple social media profiles.
New services have sprung up to track the recent popularity of Stories. Snaplytics is focused only on Snapchat and Instagram stories, looking at open rates, clicks, drop-off times and so on. Brands that work with influencers can use this tool to gather insights into how audiences are interacting with their Stories.
Another tool that is useful for brands that use influencers as part of their marketing strategy is Famoid. Famoid's analytics function is a free and quick way to gather immediate oversight into the health of a particular Instagram account, with followers, engagement percentages and more a few clicks away.
Social media creative tools
This one took me by surprise when I first used it. With the extraordinary growth of videos on social media in the last few years, subtitling videos is paramount for engagement. Rev is a simple service in which you upload a video and it quickly matches you with a transcriber. Everything is handled via a very intuitive platform, and turnaround is often less than a few hours.
Promo is basically Canva — which helps you build static creative social media assets — for video. You can browse thousands of stock videos and import them into Promo's online video-editing suite, adding text overlays and smooth transitions. You can then export your videos in social-media friendly formats and sizes. It’s an incredibly useful tool when you don’t have in-house video production resources.