Top 15 Social Media Tools for Businesses in 2024 (Free & Paid Options)

Top 15 Social Media Tools for Businesses in 2024 (Free & Paid Options)

Social media has grown to have a powerful impact on society and business. YouTube and Facebook are now the most visited websites in the world. Many people often learn about new brands through social media. 

Because of this significant influence on people’s lives, it’s important for your business to be active and engaged on social media. Fortunately, with the large number of platforms available, you have plenty of social media marketing tools to choose from to help you stay on top of diverse tasks and increase conversions.

What is a social media tool?

Social media tools work to simplify different parts of running social media campaigns, whether you want to gather information on the latest trends, share content across platforms, or track metrics to see how well your business is engaging consumers. They often make it easier to see what your competition is doing too. 

The right social media tool for your business will greatly depend on your goals. It’s valuable to look at a few key features when choosing the most appropriate social media tools for your specific needs.

Key features of good social media tools

Social media tools may help you execute an effective social media strategy. While these tools specialize in helping with different aspects of social media management, they should share several common features. 

A good social media tool will include these basic capabilities:

  • Support for multiple social networks
  • Easy, intuitive use
  • Time-saving qualities
  • Publishing automation
  • Detailed analysis of data

Support for multiple social networks

If you want to get your business in front of customers, you’ll likely need to promote yourself and your brand across multiple social networks. A good social media tool will help you manage various platforms at the same time, presenting just one dashboard for all of your social media accounts. 

This helps you stay on top of trends and get the most out of each of the individual social media platforms. This multi-network support can also make it easier to ensure consistency between the platforms.

Easy, intuitive use

You brought this tool into your marketing stack because you want to simplify social media management. If you aren’t able to easily see how to use the tool or gain the benefits it could offer you, the tool probably won’t provide the help you need. 

A good social media tool should be easy to use and intuitive so anyone will pick it up without having to take a course to understand its functions. Social media moves fast, so it’s important that your team is able to keep up with campaign needs without having to refer back to complex instructions or relearn new rules on a frequent basis.

Time-saving qualities

A good social media tool should also save you time while helping you achieve similar or better results than if you did everything manually. Its value lies in removing or condensing tasks you need to complete to run a strong social media campaign. 

This time savings might come in the form of helping you quickly generate content, allowing you to schedule content for multiple platforms in one place. Some social media tools even use automation so content gets scheduled for you.

Publishing automation

Timing is everything when it comes to successful social media campaigns, so it’s ideal to get content in front of readers’ eyes as soon as the content is ready and the targeted viewing date arrives. You won’t want to waste time on the mechanics of posting content. 

You also don’t want to fall into the trap of posting at the same time every day. Varying times may help you attract different segments of your audience. However, at the same time, you don’t want to become too sporadic in your posting. Use a three-month forward-looking content calendar to ensure you don’t go missing from view for an extended period.

Publishing automation is used to help find a good balance, allowing you to schedule updates and posts based on the best times for your marketing plans and your viewers’ patterns of engagement.

Detailed analysis of data

As you engage on social media, you’ll want to understand what is and isn’t working. Social media enhances your ability to initiate social conversations with potential customers, nurture leads, and even generate sales directly. 

If you don’t measure the effectiveness of your social media strategy, you’ll have difficulty estimating the value it provides. You might also spend too much on resources, as you won’t know which types of content provide you with the best results. 

A good social media marketing tool should help you to analyze and understand your success along the way.

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The 15 best social media tools

When developing your social media marketing strategy, a number of tools offer features and processes to help  simplify your execution and maximize your presence on the various platforms. 

The most effective social media tools that you should consider incorporating into your strategy include:

  1. Buffer
  2. Hootsuite
  3. Sprout Social
  4. Sendible
  5. Falcon
  6. SocialPilot
  7. Later
  8. Canva
  9. Animoto
  10. Google Trends
  11. MeetEdgar
  12. Sumo
  13. Design Wizard
  14. Buzzsumo
  15. Zapier

1. Buffer

buffer

Buffer helps businesses schedule and manage their social media posts across platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter. Team members add content to your queue and schedule it for your social media profiles at times you’ve designated. Buffer can also help you analyze social media performance and engage directly with your audience. 

For example, let’s say you have several people within your marketing or media team who need to get content out on social media. Team members review posts for quality before hitting the publish button. Then Buffer allows sharing of everyone’s posts using a preset schedule so there’s no overlap. 

With Buffer, you can boost team collaboration by having each member contribute to your brand’s social media channels, use analytics tools to gauge the success of their content, and gain a better feeling for the type of material that interests your followers. 

Key features:

  • The ability to schedule posts weeks in advance or even for the duration of your campaign.
  • A mobile app and Chrome extension to make it easy to use Buffer to schedule posts on the go.
  • In-depth analytics providing insights into your content performance and ways to further optimize your posts.
  • The ability to engage with followers directly through the Buffer platform.

Price: Buffer offers a free plan that includes basic publishing tools and a landing page builder or a paid plan ($5/month per social channel) for additional analytics and engagement tools. Get started with a 14-day free trial.

2. Hootsuite

hootsuite


Hootsuite
is an all-in-one platform for posting, monitoring, and engaging across social media. With an account, your business manages its different social profiles from one space while also collecting data on engagement. This makes it easier for you to see the types of content customers engage with the most. In addition, data is gathered about the response times and customer support offered by team members as well as analytics from your ad campaigns. 

For example, a business might use Hootsuite to optimize their publishing times to bring as much attention as possible to their posts, and then use Hootsuite’s social media analytics to see how customers respond to them, how well their customer service team responds to customer inquiries, and how their campaigns are impacting the business overall.

Key features:

  • Able to work with more than 20 different social networks and has an entire app directory for potential network connections.
  • Includes an auto-schedule feature that allows optimizing the times of your posts to maximize engagement.
  • Allows monitoring of your own posts and also creating streams to monitor for conversations related to certain terms, mentions, or other relevant conversations for your business.
  • Provides excellent analytics for understanding how people engage with your content across the different platforms so you’re able to continually improve your strategy.

Price: The Professional and Team plans come with a free 30-day trial and then start at $49 and $129 per month, respectively. The Business plan is $739 a month. Hootsuite also offers a customizable Enterprise solution.

3. Sprout Social

sprout social


Sprout Social
provides businesses with a basic platform for posting to their various social media platforms. A single dashboard allows you to manage your messages and brand across several streams, saving time and resources. 

Consider a business that works with freelancers or a digital agency to manage some of their social media workflow. With Sprout, they can set up workflows that require approval for posts or campaigns. This allows them to maintain the final say in what’s posted to social media while also keeping the overall flow moving efficiently.

Key features:

  • The ability to create workflows and post approvals.
  • A social inbox that simplifies communication with customers.
  • The ability to collect valuable statistics on individual posts and overall engagement analytics.

Price: Social Sprout offers a free trial, with the Standard plan starting at $89 per month if billed annually. The price increases based on the number of accounts and features included.

4. Sendible

sendible

Sendible offers businesses of all sizes access to a great social media management platform. For comparable services, the plans offered by this package also tend to run cheaper than other tools, making it an appealing option for many smaller businesses. The service helps you schedule posts, monitor engagement and reactions, and track your brand awareness and reach across different social platforms.

For a business that wants to take their social media further, Sendible may work extremely well. For example, if you’re designing a marketing campaign, you’re able to add posts in bulk and then decide on a posting schedule. Participating in trending conversations is facilitated by intermixing your pieces with articles using the built-in search feature to find pieces your followers might appreciate. 

As you find leads, you’ll then use the CRM (customer relationship management) function to learn more about those potential customers and track them.

Key features:

  • Ability to monitor social media for mentions of your brand or other important topics to fully engage potential customers.
  • Search capability for articles about particular topics to find trending pieces to share.
  • A built-in CRM to help track people you want to engage with, laying the foundation for lead nurturing and conversion.
  • Access to pre-built analytics reports and information through an integration with Google Analytics for insights into the success of your social campaigns.
  • Broad social media scheduling tool to create posts not only for social media but also for mailing lists.

Price: It’s $29 per month for the Basic plan and $89 per month for the Traction plan. Price increases with more users, accounts, and features. Every Sendible plan comes with a free trial.

5. Falcon

falcon


Falcon
is another platform designed to help you manage all of your social media accounts from a single platform. You use bulk scheduling of posts to go out on different platforms, allowing you to preplan your media campaigns and maintain consistency. 

Team members collaborate with each other through the platform and explore a variety of metrics and analytics to help monitor campaigns. The system also integrates with several CRM options, helping you track customers across touchpoints.

Consider a small business that wants to maintain consistency across three social media platforms. They might have only one person managing their marketing campaigns, with occasional outside assistance. Through Falcon, they will schedule posts for the month, optimize the times they go out, and coordinate with others to make sure that the material posted is on brand and works well together for a unified brand strategy. 

The analytics then provide insights into customer engagement, while integration with a CRM makes it easy to see customers moving through the buyer’s journey and making purchases.

Key features:

  • Integrates with other important marketing platforms, such as HubSpot, Salesforce, and Microsoft. This allows you to target people with social media and encourage the right people to see the content at the right time.
  • Tags team members to review posts and create discussion areas for comments and edits.
  • Enables editing of images you want to use in your posts within the platform to prepare them for posting.
  • Tracks trends to optimize content for relevance and interest.

Price: The Falcon Essentials plan starts at $108 per seat per month and comes with a free 14-day trial.

6. SocialPilot

social pilot


SocialPilot
shines in its ability to help businesses bring together a variety of different team members and social accounts. For example, a digital agency that has to manage multiple accounts for different clients might set up these processes within SocialPilot. 

Similarly, if you want to hand over a part of your social media control to someone outside the organization, you can use SocialPilot to set them up with an account that provides them access to permission functions, but only those they need to do their job well. In other words, some might have permission to schedule and publish posts, while others might be able to create content but require approval before going live. 

This platform works great for managing social media accounts while also allowing others outside the organization to contribute. With the number of people who have begun to work remotely, this level of control is also valuable in  helping protect your geographically dispersed organization. 

Key features:

  • The ability to manage several different accounts at once.
  • Capability of engaging in social monitoring and social listening to stay on top of important topics and know what customers are saying about you.
  • Linking of activity on other apps to SocialPilot to publish again.
  • Assigning different members of the team different roles, such as authorizing certain people to create content but requiring approval before publication.

Price: The most popular plan, Studio, is $85 per month and includes 50 social media accounts. SocialPilot also offers a Professional plan that is $25.50 per month for 10 social media accounts. All plans come with a free 14-day trial.

7. Later

Later


Later
was developed to help people manage visually focused social media posts. In particular, this tool works with Instagram and Pinterest, and it also has limited capacity to work on Facebook and Twitter. The platform uses a drag-and-drop system to help you quickly set up and schedule images and posts for these social media sites.

Consider a bakery wanting to build a following on Pinterest and Instagram to interest people in their deluxe wedding cakes. They might use this tool to create and schedule posts and short videos to go live at various times. With Later, they’re able to build their library of images, save images from other users, create posts for both platforms, develop a visual content calendar, and monitor their analytics to see which types of posts are most popular.

Key features:

  • Enhances your ability to publish content optimized for Instagram and Pinterest.
  • Allows you to integrate some content with Facebook and Twitter.
  • Gives you specific analytics on your stories and posts.
  • Helps you build a library of images and videos for use across any platform you have connected.
  • Provides you with suggestions for hashtags.

Price: Later offers a free plan; the first paying plan starts at $8 per month. Prices increase with features and users. A free trial is available for the paid plans.

8. Canva

canva


Canva
allows you to tap into the power of visual content with your social media posts. This is valuable because posts made with images and graphics receive significantly more engagement and attention than plain text. This tool is designed to help you create professional-level images that will complement your social media posts and dress up your pages through branded banners and headings.

Consider a small, local business owner who doesn’t have graphic design skills but wants to enhance their social media pages and make sure they have professional-looking graphics on their posts and pages. They may turn to Canva to help them create branded pieces or even use their existing library for quick visual pieces to go with their social media posts. 

Key features: 

  • Can create graphic images for use on various social media platforms without having to be a professional graphic designer.
  • Allows access to templates to help in creating banners for platforms like Facebook. 
  • Uses the existing library of over 2 million graphics available to users to accent your posts.

Price: You can create a free Canva account; the Pro plans start at $119.99 per year. The paid plan also comes with a free 30-day trial.

9. Animoto

Animoto


Animoto
is a platform dedicated to creating videos for different social media platforms. Creating and editing videos may be a challenge for many business owners, particularly for marketing teams that may not have production or editing experience. Animoto can help in creating professional-looking videos and keeping the brand relevant.

Consider a plumber who wants to create a few short videos on how to protect pipes during cold weather and post these on their Facebook page. They can easily upload photos and clips into a template and customize it with colors, fonts, transitions, and more. The plumber might then choose licensed music from the Animoto library. Ideally, these videos will communicate their core expertise and experience while presenting inviting and professional-looking videos. When everything is done, the plumber will then directly share the video on Facebook.

Key features:

  • Allows integrating your videos with HubSpot and other platforms.
  • Offers the capability of tapping into pre-built storyboards if you don’t want to work from scratch.
  • Enables use of the videos you create on a variety of platforms. including Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

Price: You can open a free Animoto account to try the product. Paid accounts start at $8 per month and increase with users and features.

10. Google Trends

Google trends


Google Trends
was developed by Google to provide insights into how customers search online and identify the types of queries they make. Google offers suggestions related to topics you enter, providing related queries and quantified levels of interest by region. This information is helpful for finding topics relevant to your industry that have increased in interest in your selected geographic area.

Let’s say you run a tutoring service in a region that was hit with extended school closures during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many parents might be interested in researching tutors for their children in your area. Using Google Trends can help you tailor your content creation to the topics and queries people have expressed, helping you attract the interest of potential customers.

Key features:

  • Uncovers rapidly rising keywords and sees trends emerging.
  • Tracks how topics and keywords trend year over year and even month over month.
  • Compares related words to see which generate more interest and conversation from potential customers. 
  • Looks for trends by region to see what is popular for specific customers.

Price: Google Trends is free. Experimenting with this tool might help you gather low-hanging fruit and get familiar with terms and trends before investing in other paid tools.

11. MeetEdgar

Meet Edgar


MeetEdgar
focuses on automation of posts. Rather than just helping you with scheduling, the tool will consider the content you want to make visible and generate posts. The process works by scanning the body of a relevant link and automatically generating ideas for other posts based on clips from the piece. You then select the one you want and get it scheduled.

Consider a small business owner who wants to build their social media presence but doesn’t feel confident in creating engaging posts that will encourage people to click. In that case, this tool might be a massive asset, saving many hours of work. Now, posts will be automatically developed to drive engagement and the tool can help them continually improve on their success.

Key features:

  • The ability to automatically generate posts to promote articles and other posts, taking much of the work out of optimizing social media.
  • A/B testing to help you publish the best possible posts based on target audience reactions and engagement.
  • The capability of automatically creating new posts based on recycled high-performing posts.
  • Creation of categories for topics. For example, you can categorize content based on whether it’s directly promotional or informative.

Price: The Edgar Lite plan costs $19 per month for three social accounts, while the Edgar plan costs $49 per month for 25 social accounts.

12. Sumo

Sumo


Sumo
provides businesses with a collection of tools including A/B testing on certain areas of your website, analytics into what customers read (and how much of it they read), and where exactly they look on your page. When it comes to social media, the biggest benefit comes from the ability to help customers share your content on their own social streams to increase your visibility. 

Let’s say you have a website where you regularly post incredible images of your creative products. Sumo can provide you with tools that make it easy for customers to share the images of your products you’ve posted, attracting greater attention on social media and driving your business forward.

Key features:

  • Integrates a variety of tools to help you build your email lists.
  • Helps customers share your content, including your images, on different social media platforms
  • Allows customers to highlight certain portions of your content to share with their own followers.

Price: Get started with a free Sumo plan or go pro for $39 per month.

13. Design Wizard

Design Wizard


Design Wizard
helps people with limited design experience create high-quality images to use in their social media content. You can upload images, such as your logo, to the platform and make edits or select from their library of thousands of images.

The value of this type of tool is evident when you consider an electrician trying to build a social media presence. They might have a lot of images specifically for products, but they know they want a greater variety of visuals to accompany posts. This platform, and its vast library of images, makes it easier to obtain relevant pictures and create more appealing posts.

Key features:

  • An immense library of images already licensed for commercial use to go with your social posts.
  • A number of templates to help you get started with your creations.
  • Downloadable previews of your images to make sure you’re happy before moving forward.

Price: Get a free Design Wizard plan where you pay as you go. Alternatively, pay $9.99 per month for the Pro plan for 60 image downloads or $49.99 for the business plan with unlimited image and video downloads. 

14. BuzzSumo

BuzzSumo


BuzzSumo
provides a gold mine of information related to content generation. This tool can play a critical role in helping you know which topics to write about and when to do so. You can even look at how the content you publish performs between different social media platforms, such as a particular article that achieves high engagement on Twitter but less on Facebook. 

Consider a small business owner who runs a flower shop and feels pressed to create quality content to hit campaign deadlines. They don’t have time to spend hours diving through different platforms to research relevant content or to see which trends currently attract attention. This platform drastically simplifies the research process, allowing the florist to get the most out of their time spent on content marketing by knowing which topics to cover for search engine optimization (SEO) and social media engagement.

Key features:

  • Quickly uncover what content is performing well on different social media channels.
  • Set up alerts to track keywords, brand names for your business and those of your competitors, or other specific topics. You can even track content by authors or domains the content is published on.
  • Research competitors and learn more about their content and strategy.

Price: A free BuzzSumo plan comes with 10 free searches per month, a Pro plan for $99 a month for five users and unlimited monthly searches, or a Plus plan for 10 users for $179. All plans include a free 30-day trial.

15. Zapier

Zapier


Zapier
is an automation platform that brings together thousands of different applications that can be linked. Once you bring together your relevant platforms, you’ll establish “zaps” or automatic actions that occur as a result of some event. You define a trigger event, such as receiving a message from someone on Facebook, and then define what your automatic response will be.

Let’s say you run a small cybersecurity firm. If you want to make sure that you promote all the blog posts you publish, you might establish a zap that sends out a tweet and a Facebook post in response to each post you publish. This removes some of the repetitive work from this  process and helps ensure that you don’t forget any of these important promotional steps.

Customization is allowed. For example, you can have a trigger event zap multiple actions or set up a system so that if one particular event occurs, you send an email. If the opposite occurs, you might follow up automatically with a text message.

Key features:

  • Customizes your actions as zaps to generate automatic social media posts based on certain activities, such as publishing a new blog post.
  • Brings together numerous platforms, including social platforms, content management platforms, and even note-taking platforms.
  • Creates customized or multi-step paths. 

Price: Zapier offers a free plan. Paid plans begin with the Starter, which is $19.99 a month for 750 tasks a month. They also offer a free trial with each plan.

Maximize your social media tools

You want your marketing efforts to shine and bring in business. The best social media management tools can provide significant help for reaching your goals. Another helpful way to give your social media a boost is by turning to skilled professionals on Upwork. 

Through Project Catalog™, you can easily find experienced independent professionals who will be able to help you leverage your social media tools. See what you can do with the help of our social media management services.

Upwork is not affiliated with and does not sponsor or endorse any of the tools or services discussed in this section. These tools and services are provided only as potential options, and each reader and company should take the time needed to adequately analyze and determine the tools or services that would best fit their specific needs and situation.

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Top 15 Social Media Tools for Businesses in 2024 (Free & Paid Options)
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