Picking tools for a digital marketing agency can be tricky: you need something efficient that will suit multiple clients with different needs and at the same time won’t deplete your marketing budget completely.
Besides, some clients might have their own preferences when it comes to the tool stack: it’s often the case that clients have their own trusted apps they had been using in the past and they want you to stick with them.
However, there are some essential tools for any digital marketing agency. These tools will come in handy no matter what your social media goals are. Think of them as a capsule wardrobe of your marketing agency’s tools stack: you can add or remove something based on the client’s needs, but this set will enable you to solve any task.
The ultimate goal of this article is to provide a list of such tools. My intention was to spotlight the tools that:
- provide users with a wide range of features;
- do their job well;
- either offer a freemium version or are affordable.
So let’s go through this list of best social media tools and see what role each of them plays in your social media marketing efforts: from creating content to discovering engagement opportunities to social media analytics.
The first tool on our list can tackle multiple jobs: reputation management, community engagement, content curation, lead generation, and more. Awario is a social listening tool that helps you monitor social media, news websites, and blogs for any keyword or keyword combination.
Awario enables you to target and engage with individual people on social media and analyze large amounts of social media data for marketing insights simultaneously. The tool supports real-time monitoring you can be sure that the insights you’re getting are up to date. In addition to that, you also get access to historical data, which lets you go back in time and see how the perception of your brand, products, competitors, and other keywords has changed over the months and even years.
The Boolean search mode lets you create laser-targeted queries, which is especially useful for doing audience research on social media.
The social media analytics that Awario provides include changes in the number of mentions and reach over a selected period of time, demographic data, sentiment analysis, and associated hashtags and keywords. Besides, there are separate dashboards for competitive and influencer analysis. You’re able to invite multiple team members with different access permissions so that your colleagues can take care of different tasks.
To keep your colleagues and clients up to date you can use Awario to build a customizable white-label PDF report. Moreover, you can integrate Awario’s insights and raw data into your own tools and reports through the tool’s API.
Pricing: You can get the Enterprise plan for $ 299 per month ($ 249 if you pay yearly). Free trial available (no credit card is required).
This tool is perfect if you work a lot with visually appealing brands since Later is a social media management tool focused primarily on visual content — pictures and video. You can schedule and curate content for four platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter).
Instagram scheduling has always been a pain for social media managers: it’s only recently that Facebook added the ability to auto-publish Instagram posts and most tools still can’t publish Instagram Stories. Fortunately, Later is an official Instagram partner which means that besides having a nice title they get some privileges including Stories scheduling.
To simplify content planning and curation Later offers an organized Media Library where you can keep and organize all the visual content you want to share. The Grouping feature allows you to keep content for different accounts separated, which is essential for social media agencies that work with multiple clients at the same time. The Media Library is integrated with the Content Calendar dashboard where you can see your weekly and monthly schedule. Once you schedule your photos and videos, Later will show you how they’ll look in your feed so you can find the most aesthetically pleasing option.
You can add team members, connect multiple mobile devices and even share your in-tool Content Calendar with clients.
Later also offers an extensive analytics hub for Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter. Not only does the tool enable you to track important KPIs from one platform (including Stories insights), it also analyzes your strategy and suggests the ways to improve it.
The Linkin.bio feature allows you to add multiple links to your Instagram bio and link individual Instagram posts to specific pages.
Pricing: Brand plan (which is most suitable for agencies) starts at $ 49 per month. The tool has a free version is you want to try it out.
For social media agencies, content plan approval can turn into an eternal Google-Spreadsheets-back-and-forth cycle of hell. Planable is the tool that saves you time and unnecessary communication and enables you to run your social media strategy by your clients and stakeholders easily.
You can create posts right in the tool, recycle evergreen content, create content for multiple platforms at once and adapt it to each channel. The option to see the history of each post allows you to come back to a previous version which could be a salvation for especially indecisive clients and social media managers.
The intuitive calendar UI allows you to schedule posts individually or in bulk and see your plan for a week or a month ahead. Labels, filters, and groups allow you to keep content organized and separate content for different brands you manage. You can add multiple team members and give and receive feedback on the posts right in the tool.
Clients can see your content calendar and individual posts by clicking on an email invite, no sign in required, and approve posts in one click. You can see who approved the posts and when they were approved to keep the workflow transparent and efficient.
Pricing: Premium plan costs $ 99 and gives you 7 users and 5 workspaces. Free trial is available.
This is probably the most high-priced tool on this list, but it also offers the highest number of features. You can do everything with Sprout Social from engagement to monitoring to measurement to client collaboration to reporting.
You can create, schedule, manage, and approve social media content across multiple networks at once and see the key statistics such as reach, engagement, impressions, clicks, and etc. for individual posts, accounts and for groups of accounts. The tool offers an advanced organizational system to help you group all the accounts from one client together and keep your different projects separate.
With Sprout Social’s monitoring capabilities you’re able to keep track and analyze social media campaigns and audiences and discover valuable insights in the various reports the tool offers. You can export channel-, profile- and message-level data or build presentation-ready reports to deliver straight to clients.
The tool’s sophisticated team collaboration system will surely be appreciated by agencies. You can invite collaboration between different marketing branches by granting distinct publishing permissions, feature controls, and reporting access at the individual and profile level. The option to set up separate environments for each client account will simplify the approval and accountability process.
Pricing: Professional plan starts at $ 149 per user per month. You can test out each plan for 30 days for free.
Canva is a perfect tool for creating social media visuals when you don’t have time or need for elaborate designs in Photoshop. That’s not to say that Canva is any less capable: the tool boasts a large template library of over 8,000 templates for various social media platforms and an infinite number of features to customize these templates or create your visuals from scratch.
The UI is extremely intuitive so you don’t have to go through a tedious training process before you can create nice-looking pictures and animated visuals for social. You have a multitude of layouts, grids, frames, stickers, illustrations and text fonts at your disposal. You can also upload your own images and edit them in the tool. And the best part is most of this is free (although some higher-quality elements may cost you $ 1).
You can collaborate on your designs by adding team members and assigning different roles to them. Team members get access to your media library and designs.
Pricing: The tool is free but to get access to more illustrations, photos, templates, and better team collaboration tools, you can upgrade to Canva Pro which costs $ 12.95. Free trial for Canva Pro is available.
If we are talking about visuals, we can’t forget about the video! Video marketing has become a huge part of social media strategy. However, you’re not going to open up Premiere every time you need to create a simple Instagram story. Biteable is a perfect tool for making quick nice-looking videos for social.
Just like Canva, you can choose from a wide selection of video templates that were created with social media video specs in mind. From here, you can customize them by adding and deleting scenes, putting in your logo, choosing colours and music, changing texts, adding graphic design elements and so on. Make sure that your videos are consistent by adding your brand colours and adding your own music.
There are various categories to choose from when creating a social media video: brand announcements, listicles, infographics, videos dedicated to specific events and so on.
Pricing: Unlimited plan gives you an unlimited number of videos to create (duh!) and team management features. You can get it for $ 49 per month. For free, you can create watermarked videos and share them on social.
Do you know why the most demanded feature from Twitter is the edit button? Because people make mistakes. And social media managers are, surprisingly, people, and they make spelling mistakes too. Grammarly is the tool that makes sure your social media copy is correct and makes sense.
The Grammarly browser extension works on every social media website and in most social media management tools, so whether you’re posting natively or scheduling your posts in a tool, it will check your spelling, syntax, and the tone of your copy and make suggestions. If you get a Business plan, it will also analyze how fluent, engaging, and readable your copy is.
The main advantage of the Business plan is team support, so if you want to share your Grammarly account with colleagues, it would be the best choice.
Pricing: Business plan is $ 12.50 per month. The tool also has a free version.
With this list, you should be set for any social media marketing endeavour and still have some budget left to invest in what social media agencies do best — in being creative.