Best Social Media Marketing Tools

Man looking down at phone and laptop using social media marketing tools 2022

Our site is reader-supported – by clicking our links, we can match you with a potential supplier, and we may earn a small commission for this referral.

Our research found the best social media marketing tools are: Canva, Buffer, Sprinklr, Social Pilot, and HubSpot. Read on to discover the best of the rest – and how much they cost.

We’ll take you through the best tools in four categories: content creation, publishing, campaign tracking and audience insights.

The breakneck speed of social media can leave the best of us feeling dizzy. But by the end of this guide you’ll have a full understanding of the best tools to conquer your timelines – and how their pricing has changed between 2022 and 2023 as inflation hits.

Swipe right to see more
0 out of 0

Canva

Buffer

Sprinklr

SocialPilot

Best for

Large businesses

Best for

Custom infographics

Best for

All round social media oversight

Best for

Overall social media campaign tool

Best for

Overall audience engagement

Price Range

$800-$3,600+ per month (paying annually)

Price Range

$0-$14.99 per month (up to five people)

Add $9-$14.50 per extra person

Price Range

Free-$126+ per month

Price Range

Pricing on request

Price Range

$25.50-$200 per month

Free Trial/Plan
Free Trial/Plan
Free Trial/Plan
Free Trial/Plan
Free Trial/Plan

We've included a little bit of pricing info in the above table, but if you'd like more detailed social media management costs check out our guide.

Best Social Media Marketing Tools for Audience Insights

If you’re looking for social listening guidance, then look no further than these next four tools. Easily track reactions to your brand’s products, events, news or initiatives with the most sophisticated audience engagement platforms available today. You’ll be better able to reach and engage with your followers using a purpose-built software service rather than endlessly searching your brand’s name on every individual social media channel.

Smiling young adults using social media marketing devices

1. SocialPilot – Best for overall audience engagement

Delve into analytics and insights, understand your content performance, discover active user times and the best times to post content. You can unify your audience engagement and answer queries from one place and save time.

Cost: Free 14-day trial.
Professional: $25.50/month for one user with 10 social accounts (paying annually).
Small Team: $42.50/month for three users with 20 social accounts (paying annually).
Agency: $85/month for six users with 30 social accounts (paying annually).
Agency+: $170/month for unlimited users with 50 social accounts (paying annually). This is a brand new price plan.
Enterprise or White Label: Plans and pricing on request.

These pricing plans have fallen in cost slightly, compared with 2022. However, there's one less user in the Small Team plan (formerly known as “Studio) and five fewer social media accounts. The Professional plan, however, seems better value as you now get three more social accounts for a slightly lower price. The Agency package is now 15% cheaper though you get 40% fewer social accounts.

2. Brandwatch – Best for advanced analytics

Using advanced AI-powered analytics, Brandwatch’s suite of products (including BuzzSumo) creates visual data reports, carries out social listening and performs sentiment analysis on social media posts. Reports are easy to export and share with stakeholders.

Cost: Pricing is available upon consultation with a sales rep.

 

3. HubSpot – Best for targeted audience messaging

Link your CRM with social interactions to give context to conversations. HubSpot social media management software connects marketing campaigns with your social schedule, as well as tracking leads and clicks.

Cost: Free 30-day trial

Marketing (Hub Starter): $20/month (includes 1,000 marketing contacts).
Marketing Hub (Professional): $890/month (paying annually). Plus $3,000 onboarding fee.
Marketing Hub (Enterprise): $3,600/month (paying annually). Plus $6,000 onboarding fee.

Track social media leads with Hubspot Marketing Hub

4. AdSpy – Best for competitor insight

Search through a vast library of Facebook and Instagram ads in seconds to see which adverts are performing well across particular audiences. You may be able to save money on your campaigns by making use of the data on popular and successful adverts. It’s a nifty way to spy on the competition and tap into positive and negative feedback from users.

Cost: $149/month.
New users can get a $50 discount for the first month.

 

5. Audiense – Best for audience segmentation

Gain data-driven insights into audience conversations on social media with this big data platform. Identify your target audience and make use of trend analysis to better understand and relate to your would-be customers. Audiense also provides custom chatbots for your Twitter inboxes.

Cost: Free limited version of Twitter Marketing and Audiense Insights.
Twitter Marketing: $39/month (paying annually).
Audience Insights: $670/month (paying annually).

(Pricing is given on the Audiense website in GBP, so we've converted to USD)

Best Social Media Marketing Tools for Content Creation

Major platforms like Facebook Ads Library and TikTok Creative Center can provide a wealth of creative inspiration for your own dazzling content. But how should you go about polishing up your media for maximum impact?

Let’s take a look at the top five content editing tools for making social media posts that sing.

Social media marketing platforms

1. Canva – Best for custom infographics

Lets you quickly create images with over 600,000 templates across a range of categories. Not to be missed are its infographic templates that can beautifully illustrate how your product works or explain the stages of your service. Canva is very easy to use.

Its pricing plans have changed since 2022, so lets look at their new subscription set-up:

Cost: Free plan with 5GB cloud storage (limited template access).

Canva Pro $12.99/month for one person. Although that's three dollars more per month than last year, you now get 1TB of storage instead of 100GB.

Canva for Teams $149.90/year for two to five people, with 100GB cloud storage plus the ability to schedule social media content across eight channels. Last year this cost $119.99 (equivalent to $10 per month) so the price has jumped up a lot but you get ten times extra storage now. It costs $14.00/month if you pay monthly.

Enterprise pricing has become more complicated but a lot cheaper. It used to be $30/month per person for a minimum of 25 people, with unlimited storage plus custom brand kit creation. Now there's a $14.50 monthly flat rate plus a variable per person rate depending on how many team members you have. In 2022, a team of 50 would have cost you $1,500 per month, but in 2023 it's less than half that: $614.49.

2. Biteable – Best for consistent video content

This nifty video tool is as powerful as it is handy. It keeps your content consistent across campaigns, and its templates ensure slick video creation for speedy distribution.

Cost: Free plan comes with watermarked videos.
Pro: $49/month per user with unlimited video storage.
Teams: $199 per month for three team members (add $33 per extra user) to edit videos in collaboration. The monthly price for five users has increased by 6% since last year.

Biteable social media marketing 2022 screengrab

3. Adobe Photoshop, Adobe AfterEffects – Best for precision multimedia edits

A mega giant of the image manipulation industry, Adobe enables professional multimedia editing. Resize, overlay, remix and rework images in Photoshop or video footage in After Effects for bespoke content that outshines the competition. A decent level of training is needed for both programs, and their subscription pricing can be prohibitive, hence why Adobe is not top of our list.

Cost: 7-day free trial.
Photoshop: $20.99/month per individual user with 100GB storage.
After Effects: $35.99/month per business user with 1TB cloud storage.

Adobe actually hasn't changed their pricing in 2023, unlike many of the newer companies on this list.

4. Splice – Best for creating custom tunes

Splice lets you edit audio on desktop or mobile, making use of a deep archive of royalty-free tunes, beats and loops. Built for the modern sound-maker, Splice prides itself on flexibility, allowing users to keep all downloads even if they cancel their subscription.

Cost: Free trial available (14 days).
Sounds+: $10.83/month per user (paying annually).
Creator: $16.67/month including skills tutorials (paying annually).
Creator+: $33.33/month including 500 monthly Sounds credits (paying annually). This is an 11% price increase with the same amount of credits.

 

5. CapCut – Best free mobile video editor.

This lets you split, trim, speed up or reverse video footage easily on a mobile device. It's simple enough for anyone to use, whether or not they have much experience with more robust video editing software. Great for beginners and includes custom filters. They've also got free tools to generate subtitles automatically and transcribe video files to text.

Cost: Free.

Best Social Media Marketing Tools for Scheduling Posts

All good things come to those who plan. That’s our version of the saying, anyway. Unless you plan to stay poised over your “publish” buttons at every lunch hour and morning sunrise, you’re going to want a digital calendar tool. This way, you can publish time-scheduled automated social posts at the best time across multiple channels and rest easy knowing your messaging will hit the right eyeballs at the right times of the day.

 

1. Buffer – Best all round social media oversight

Taking its name from the loading stage of video streaming, Buffer allows you to plan and execute social media posts well in advance. The powerful platform lets you quickly engage with comments left by your followers, and managers can easily obtain social media performance reports.

Cost: Free plan gives you basic publishing tools.
Essentials: $5/month per social channel for improved planning and publishing tools.
Team: $10/month per social channel for unlimited team members with exportable reports.
Agency: $100/month for 10 social channels.

We reckon Buffer's pricing is highly competitive compared with similar products on the market. The company's kept its prices steady since 2022 and you'll get two months free if you pay annually. Also has a 14-day free trial.

 

2. Iterable – Best for publishing posts with perfect timing

Using smart analytics and machine learning, Iterable helps you progressively improve the timing and frequency of your posts to reach your audiences more effectively. Supporting data integration through its APIs, Iterable lets you hone a truly effective audience engagement strategy.

Cost: It's not transparent from Iterable’s website as the team prefers to be contacted for quotes, but you can expect to pay upwards of $500/month.

3. CoSchedule – Best for team task organization

This is a decent social media planning tool that resembles Trello in its list-style view for keeping track of projects. It also has a calendar view for visibility of content publishing plans over weeks and months. You can even get organized with automated email reminders for individual tasks. Its integration features are more limited than some of its competitors, but it remains a solid multichannel post publisher and marketing campaign planner.

Cost: Free plan offers social media publishing, unlimited marketing projects and calendar task management.
Pro: $29/month per user and includes bulk social media scheduling, social media automation and campaign templates.
Business: Pricing on request. Automatic marketing campaigns. Detailed project, work and team analytics.

4. Hootsuite – Best for multichannel scheduling

Overcome the lack of scheduling options on the main social media platforms with Hootsuite’s multichannel social media post planning. With a name that reminds us of the Twitter bird, but is actually based on the French expression “tout de suite”, meaning “right now”, Hootsuite has grown from a simple column-based planner to a comprehensive social media management platform. Post, publish and tweet – but don’t expect it to come cheap.

Cost: Free plan connects two social accounts for one user with five scheduled posts. Free trial of 30 days on the two cheapest plans.
Professional: $99/month per user to schedule unlimited posts across 10 social accounts (increase of $50 since 2022).
Team: $249/month for three users across 20 social accounts (increase of $100 since 2022).
Business: $739/month for five users on 35 social accounts.
Enterprise pricing for more users and 50+ social accounts available on request.

What's Up? The Price

Hootsuite's Professional and Team subscription prices have rocketed up in 2023, covering exactly the same number of users across the same number of social channels. We reckon this is due their position as a market leader in the space. Meanwhile, the social media industry has seen massive upheaval this past 12 months, with Meta and Twitter cuttings thousands of jobs to try and regain profitability.

Best Social Media Marketing Tools for Campaign Tracking

Your social media stream is beautiful. But how do you know if you’ve achieved success? Unless you monitor and analyze the success of your social media marketing campaigns, you may as well be flinging dollar bills out of the office window. Marketers are an incredible 414% more likely to report success if they document their marketing strategy, according to CoSchedule’s 2022 research.

Major social platforms like LinkedIn have their own inbuilt campaign management dashboards. But that won’t be enough to track and adjust spend across all your channels. Let’s take a look at some top campaign tracking tools…

 

1. Sprinklr – Best overall social media campaign tool

Named as a leading content marketing platform by Gartner three years running, Sprinklr has a truly impressive array of social media marketing campaign functions. It aims to be an all-in-one platform that helps your team work more efficiently to put out highly relevant and successful social media posts.

Costs: No free trial or plan. Pricing is only available on request.

 

Sprinklr social media marketing dashboard

2. Sprout Social – Best insights

Interactive graphs, custom reports, advanced filtering and additional in-depth insights equip you to take the reins of your social media marketing campaigns and deliver ROI. You can even track competitor performance and evaluate your own spend.

Cost: 30-day free trial.
Standard: $249/month per user for five social profiles (179% increase on last year's price).
Professional: $399/month per user (167% price increase but social profiles now unlimited).
Advanced: $499/month per user (100% price boost but social profiles no longer limited).

3. Agorapulse – Best social media monitoring

Agorapulse is built for social media reporting, monitoring, publishing and inbox management. Its detailed dashboard gives you insight into which posts are driving the most traffic, leads and sales across your platforms. This platform crunches a whole load of data into an easily understood set of graphs and reports.

Cost: Free program for one user with three social profiles (10 scheduled posts per month). Free 30-day trial for all plans.
Standard: $49/month per user for 10 social profiles (paying annually).
Professional: $79/month per user for 15 social profiles plus social listening and basic ad comment monitoring (paying annually). Last year, you could get two users with 10 social profiles for this price.
Advanced: $119/month per user for 20 social profiles with advanced management (paying annually).
Add an extra social profile to any plan for $15 per month. Or add an extra user for $49-$149 per month.

Why the Drastic Price Changes?

Agorapulse has adopted a payment model with a monthly subscription price plus the option to add paid users. This is similar to competitors such as Canva, Hootsuite, and Biteable. The company says it's to allow for better budget flexibility and let you pay for only those features you really need.

4. BuzzSumo – Best for networking strategy

Find influencers to support your brand, track mentions and also monitor backlinks and shares. BuzzSumo makes it easy to pick up on trends and quickly discover what people are saying on social media about your company and its niche. It allows you to draft, schedule and publish from several channels.

Cost: Free plan, 10 searches per month. All plans have 30-day free trial.
Pro: $99/month, unlimited projects for five users.
Plus: $179/month, 10 users.
Large: $299/month, 15 users.

These price plans are the same as they were last year.

Expert Verdict

Brand reputation is hard to build and easy to damage. For the best possible results, you should invest in data management tools to help you get the job done. Here are our top recommendations:

  • Contextualise social media convos with SocialPilot or HubSpot.
  • For the best image-based content creation, you’ll need Canva.
  • Easily edit videos for free with CapCut.
  • Enjoy affordable post scheduling with Buffer.
  • Benefit from campaign tracking with Sprinklr.
  • Go to Social Pilot for social listening.

Or check out our articles at the end of the page for more expert guidance.

FAQ

What are social media marketing tools?
Social media marketing tools are programs that make it easier to run successful social media campaigns. Put simply, they are software solutions that allow you to create content, schedule and publish posts across one or more social media channels and then analyze the results.

Various levels of analysis are available depending on the program(s) you choose – for instance, you may want a social listening tool to track mentions of your brand and how people are responding to your posts. An example of a social media marketing tool is Sprout Social, which provides reports on your social media post metrics and helps you to improve engagement on future posts.

What is the best social media tool?
Sprinklr is one of the most powerful social media tools available today. Styling itself as a unified customer experience management platform, Sprinklr lets you engage with all your social media followers from one place. It combines publishing tools with marketing and advertising capabilities, social listening and engagement insights.

Its APIs allow integration with existing datasets and customer experience stacks. Operating across over 30 social media channels, Sprinklr can help you get a handle on the often chaotic and confusing world of social media marketing.

Can I do social media marketing myself using social media tools?
Absolutely, and many small businesses and sole traders choose to do so. However, it is a huge investment of time, money and energy – often much more so than many realize at first. The rules that govern how social media works for marketing purposes are ever-changing, and it makes sense to leverage the expertise of industry insiders. In order to make the most of your time, we’d suggest you outsource to social media marketing professionals who know exactly how to get your business in front of the audiences you need. It’s quick, easy and free to request quotes from SMM companies, so you’ve got nothing to lose by exploring your options here.
Written by:
Sabrina Dougall
Sabrina is a business journalist whose career began in news reporting. She has a master's in Investigative Journalism from City University London, and her work has appeared in The Times, The Daily Express, Money Saving Expert, Camden New Journal, Global Trade Review, and Computer Business Review. She specializes in writing about SEO (search engine optimization). Having run her own small business, Sabrina knows first-hand how critical digital marketing is to building a client base and local reputation.
Reviewed by:
Robyn Summers-Emler, Grow Online Editor, Profile Picture
Robyn started working on Expert Market in 2021 as a specialist in business websites and digital marketing. As the Grow Online Editor, she ideates, commissions and optimizes content on Expert Market that helps businesses thrive in online spaces and maximize their ecommerce potential. Covering everything from choosing a website builder to scaling a social media marketing strategy - Robyn uses her expertise to help startups, SMBs, and larger businesses realize digital growth in an increasingly competitive landscape.