In today’s fast-paced, technologically advancing world, it’s a no-brainer that the social media sector is growing faster than the Internet itself. In 2005, ten years after the internet became available to the masses, 1 billion people around the globe were actively benefiting from the wonders of the world wide web. On the other hand, only after nine years post-launch, Facebook had acquired 2 billion active users.

With such widespread use, businesses now have a large audience that they can simply tap into for generating leads and creating brand awareness. However, marketing on social media goes beyond just publishing content. Finding success with an audience that has an attention span shorter than a goldfish is a tough nut to crack. In order to help you streamline your workflow, here is a list of 7 social media management tools that you should give a whirl in 2018:

HootSuite

Trusted by more than 800 Forbes 1000 companies, HootSuite offers an intuitive, user-friendly interface that’s easy to navigate and helps you seamlessly manage your social media content across various channels. With over 15 million people users worldwide, the all-in-one platform allows you to discover, curate, and schedule content, create and run successful social media ad campaigns, measure your social ROI, and track the progress of team assignments.

The comprehensive reporting framework can be used to filter online conversations based on hashtags, keywords and geographical location, so, that you are always able to keep tabs on exactly what people are talking about in terms of your brand, industry and competitors.

Pricing: With the free plan, you can manage up to 3 social media profiles, run social contests to generate leads, schedule 30 posts ahead of time, integrate RSS feeds and get access to basic growth analytics. After a 14-day day trial, you can upgrade to enterprise plans ranging from $19 to $499 that offer advanced analytics, premium app integrations, custom branded URLs, social media certification to accelerate your results.

Buffer

Similar to Hootsuite, Buffer has also been around for a hot minute and is used extensively by 8,000+ businesses, individuals, agencies, and brands to drive meaning engagement on social media. Designed by marketers for marketers, the platform offers in-depth analytics, powerful team collaboration tools, adequate scheduling functionalities, and priority customer support to help you fast track your social media growth. You can also choose the frequency of posts you’re comfortable with and Buffer will find content relevant to your industry from the internet and automatically schedule it on your social media channels.What sets them apart is the Buffer Chrome extension that let you save and share content while browsing the web. If you like to manage your online presence on the go, then install the Buffer iOS or Android app on your device for easy, hassle-free access to all the features.

Pricing: Perfect for most small to medium-sized businesses, the free plan allows you to schedule 10 posts in advance, manage 3 different social media accounts, create compelling images, upload videos/gifs, and shorten/tracks links. If you’re dealing with a more advanced set of requirements, the paid plan ($15 to $399) offers RSS feed integrations and comprehensive analytics on top of the features included in the free plan.

Sprout Social

Apart from the standard cross-network social media scheduling, Sprout Social (SS) is one of the few platforms that offer customer relationship management (CRM) features like custom tags to divvy the workload, live team activity updates, workflow efficiency assessment, profile publishing governance, collaborative peer review of communication drafts, shared publishing calendar, third-party HelpDesk integrations, and intelligent engagement suggestions.

You can also measure the ROI of your paid campaigns, conduct dedicated competition analysis, tap into engagement insights, and streamline business processes, like, operational efficiency. Sprout’s social media automation tools help you elevate your customer support efficiency by effortlessly manage chatbot conversations and evaluating your performance with Net Promoter Score (NPS) and Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) scores.

ViralPost™, a patented technology by Sprout Social analyses crucial parameters like your engagement patterns and audience demographics to optimize your post frequency, so that your content reaches the right people at the right time.

Pricing: While Sprout Social does not offer free plans, you do get a 30-day trial, after which you can choose from premium ($99 per user/month), corporate ($149  per user/month) or enterprise ($249 per user/month) plans, depending on your business requirements.

Everypost

Unlike other platforms, Everypost significantly focuses on visual content, making it easy for users to browse, curate and publish relevant multimedia from Flickr, Youtube, Instagram and RSS feed.55% of B2C marketers admitted that creating visual content is one of their top strategic priorities, which comes after Jeff Bullas revealed that content accompanied by an image tends to score 94% more views. If you’re looking to experiment with visual content, then Everypost’s advanced customization features are perfect for creating content that caters to the audience of every social media platform. This can especially come in handy when you don’t want to post the same content across multiple channels.

Everypost also comes with basic collaboration tools to help you manage permission levels and individual roles among team members. The only downside to the Everypost is that there are very minimal analytics and reporting functionalities available, so you might have to rely on other platforms for better insights.

Pricing: Everypost’s free plan allows you to connect one social media channel, access 3 content curation feed, schedule 10 posts, and add 1 team member. In order to take advantage of more advanced features, you have to sign up for $9.99/month, $29.99/month, $49.99/month or $99.99/ month plans that offer a 14-day free trial.

CrowdFire

With a conversation-style setup, CrowdFire behaves like a competent marketing sidekick that is designed to understand your marketing goals (for example, directing more visitors to your blog, selling more products, or growing your follower-count) and make recommendations on how to achieve them in the most efficient way possible. Additionally, you can schedule posts, add your own RSS feed, get relevant article/image suggestions for every social media channel and measure engagement analytics.Similar to Buffer, CrowdFire also has a Chrome extension that allows you to share content (with just a few clicks!) that you stumbled upon while browsing the web.

Pricing: The CrowdFire free plan can be used to schedule 10 posts, get unlimited article/image curation, hashtag recommendations, and analyze a single day’s worth of data. Paid plans range from $5.99/month and $33.32/month and offer bulk posts scheduling, custom posting schedule, RSS feed integration, priority support and advanced analytics.

Edgar

Edgar puts a unique twist on the standard social media scheduling process by allowing you to create categories of content (for example, blog posts, inspirational quotes, cat pictures, etc.) that you usually post throughout the week along with the content corresponding to each category.Based on the schedule you entered, Edgar will automatically pick a category and publish content across multiple social media profiles, without requiring any input from your end. Not only this, Edgar will continue to work with the schedule, categories and content you provided in the subsequent weeks, so that your audience always has something new to read.

With Edgar’s Chrome extension or Bookmarklet (for Safari and Firefox), you can add content directly to your ‘library’. You can also integrate Edgar with Zapier to automate the curation process, where Zapier will add relevant content from the internet to your Edgar library.

Pricing: Edgar is priced at $49/month for 25 social media accounts, Unlimited content library and account setup assistance. If you pay for the annual plan, you get one month free.

Tailwind

Similar to Everypost, Tailwind offers an end-to-end solution for smarter visual marketing on Pinterest and Instagram. Apart from scheduling posts and measuring engagement, the platform provides a range of other features that cater to these visual platforms, such as, User Generated Content (UGC) Management or Hashtag Monitoring.Tailwind also has a browser extension for Firefox, Safari and Chrome to help you directly share content from anywhere on the web. You can also bulk upload images, import directly from Google Drive, Dropbox, or RSS feed, identify influencers in your industry, get sales funnel insights, track success metrics, monitor referral sources, and run promotional contests using the inbuilt, turnkey templates.

Tailwind encourages the concept of ‘tribes’ that are friendly, collaborative communities of like-minded marketers (just like you!), that you can join to always have a steady stream of high-quality, shareable posts and your content is seen by the right people.

Pricing: For bloggers and small business, Tailwind recommends their ‘plus’ plan that costs $9.99/month, whereas, for large brands and agencies, their ‘professional’ ($799.99) and ‘enterprise’ plans are more suitable.

While this list barely even scratches the large ecosystem of social media management tools, we hope you’re able to zero-in on something that suits your social media requirements and goals. Remember, you might have to test out multiple platforms before you actually find the one that can help you reach the right audience at the right time.