You already know how important social media is to increase brand awareness, generate more leads, and ultimately score more conversions.
The world is on social media — 50% of it, at least — so if you want your product, service, and mission to reach the maximum amount of people, your business needs to be on social media, too.
However, social media can be extremely time-consuming. It also spans so many diverse tasks, ranging from data-based activities like tracking analytics, to creative jobs such as designing graphics.
It can be difficult to find the skills and manpower needed to execute a good social media strategy — which is why you need social media tools to help you out.
Below, we'll cover the top social media tools you should be using in 2021 to help you save time and increase conversions.
What makes for a good social media tool?
Although the term "social media tool" is very general and can apply to a wide range of services, there are a few key features that your top social media tools should have.
It saves you time.
The goal of a social media tool is to save you time while getting similar — or better — results than you could without it. Look for social media tools that automate a process, but make sure the process still happens correctly, since some shortcuts might be too fast and therefore won't focus on quality.
It helps you increase brand awareness.
One of the biggest benefits of social media is its ability to increase your brand awareness, which is why each social media tool you select should perform its services with brand awareness in mind.
Maybe your tool of choice is an editing platform such as Lightroom, which can help you create images to match the rest of your feed. Or, maybe it's an Instagram scheduler like Later so you can preview your profile before you post images. Whatever the case may be, social media tools should focus largely on brand awareness.
It's easy to use.
Social media tools are only a time-saver if they're easy and intuitive. Each tool you select should be super user-friendly so that, if needed, your accounting team could edit photos and your creative, right-brained writers could still use the analytics function to track daily social metrics.
Many social media tools provide tutorials on their websites. Others, such as Kicksta, have top-notch customer service so you can get immediate expert advice if you need help getting off the ground.
Social media tools should be affordable (and most of them are). Many high-quality social media tools are even free, such as the Unfold app, which is perfect for creating Instagram stories.
With social media tools, there's no need for you to go back and forth with the accounting department trying to get your budget approved. Most social media tools are already budget-friendly so all you need to do is sign up.
It keeps you organized.
One of the ways social media tools save you time is by keeping you organized, so make sure the social media tools you decide to use are efficient and tidy.
For example, HubSpot's Social Inbox tool helps you prioritize your social media interactions, and graphic design website Canva saves your designs so you can go back and edit them later.
Best Social Media Tools
- HubSpot's Social Inbox Tool
- Sprout Social
- Marketing Video Builder
1. HubSpot's Social Inbox Tool
Price: Starts at $800/month, included in the Marketing Hub Professional tier
HubSpot's Social Inbox tool saves you valuable time while still optimizing your social efforts. Schedule your posts, integrate your social networks with your blog, and monitor messages and mentions so you can nurture new leads.
HubSpot also integrates all of your marketing with your CRM, so it's easy to figure out how many leads and customers you're receiving directly from social media. "HubSpot Marketing Hub … puts the potential of corporate marketing within everyone's reach," one customer says.
2. Sprout Social
Price: Starts at $89/month per user with a 30-day free trial
Sprout Social is an all-in-one social media management platform designed to power your entire social media strategy. Sprout Social provides a package of different social management, customer care, and data intelligence tools that help drive more meaningful engagement with your customers.
Depending on the stage of your social marketing funnel, Sprout Social has a playbook and tools to maximize content creation and post scheduling. After every campaign, review your performance and make adjustments to your content strategy by using the social listening tool to get insights into your brand’s health and industry landscape.
Price: Starts at $49/month for individual creatives
Kicksta is an Instagram growth service that helps you get more organic followers on your Instagram business account. Using your company account, the growth service "likes" around 30,000 photos a month on carefully-targeted accounts. Those users — real people, not spam bots or fake accounts — will begin to follow your account, increasing your brand awareness.
Kicksta is a good fit for any industry and provides a friendly, responsive, and helpful customer success team. "Kicksta helps introduce new audiences to our brand while providing consistent organic Instagram growth," says Ryan Beltran, CEO of watch company Original Grain. "It’s great for social proof too!"
Price: Starts at $9.99/month
Adobe's Lightroom product is a tool that lets you organize and edit photos. Since social media is all about visuals, it's critical your business's social media accounts showcase vibrant, on-brand photos.
Sliders, filters, and many other features make Lightroom a user-friendly tool to create beautiful photos even if you don't have much editing experience. Lightroom is available for both mobile and desktop, and best of all, changes made on one device immediately apply to all devices.
Price: Free, or starts at $9.95/month
Canva is an easy-to-use graphic design website where you can create custom, on-brand graphics for your company's social media accounts. The website has dozens of templates -- everything from Facebook banners to Instagram stories to Twitter posts -- so if starting from scratch to create social graphics seems intimidating, use a template instead.
One user said, "Canva has been a lifesaver to me and my business. No more hours sitting in front of the computer coming up with graphics for social media post[s] or Pinterest post[s]."
Check out our video that dives into how Canva built their product into the awesome creative tool it is today:
Price: Free, starts at $5/month
Buffer is a simple toolkit that helps you create valuable content to grow your audience organically across all the popular social media channels. It saves you time while being easy to use, making it a great choice for creators and teams looking to grow without breaking the bank.
Buffer offers content scheduling, analytics, and engagement in one platform, as well as several free social media tools including a link-in bio tool, image editor, and content remixing tool.
7. Movavi Video Editor
Price: Starts at $54.95/year or $74.95 for a lifetime license
Movavi provides a easy and simple to use video editing software that can help you create stunning videos for any of your social media purposes. Whether you need a video to showcase your products or surprise your followers with a new TikTok trend, Movavi has a variety of features to edit videos like transitions, titles, filters, and special effects.
To top it all off, you can add music, voiceovers, and other audio effects in this free video editor to make your video more engaging. Movavi Video Editor also offers video tutorials so you can easily get started with the program.
Described as "a toolkit for storytellers", Unfold is an iOS and Android app that helps you create beautiful templates for Instagram stories. Bringing your creative visions to life is the driving idea behind Unfold.
It's an ideal app for lifestyle brands who want to create stylish collages to keep their social media accounts on-brand and receive the maximum amount of engagement from followers.
Price: Starts at $200/month for 50 reports
You'll never earn money from fake followers — they just make your engagement look bad (think millions of followers, but only a few hundred likes per photo) and ruin your reputation. That's why HypeAuditor weeds out fake followers on your Instagram account to help you determine your organic reach.
Additionally, HypeAuditor analyzes your audience to figure out where they live, their age and gender, and which of your followers are ghosts.
Price: Starts at $0.25 per image
The website Retouchup provides an easy way to edit photos for social media, from basic color correction to more advanced Photoshop-like features such as adding or removing people from a photo. With Retouchup, you don't do the work yourself -- instead, just submit a photo and the website's experts will edit the photo for you within 24 hours.
"You're making me look like an awesome photographer!" one user gushed. Retouchup can save you time during the editing stage, and make your images appear higher-quality and more compelling.
11. Marketing Video Builder
Price: Free, or starts at $33/month.
Marketing Video Builder by Animoto helps you make professional-tier videos to engage with audiences. Videos can be created in minutes using the online video editor. The best part about the tool is that you don't even need editing experience to get started.
You can increase brand awareness by making videos for your company, and share them across social channels to grow your audience. Additionally, if you're a HubSpot customer, you can integrate that account with your Animoto account.
When you create videos, you can use a pre-built storyboard template curated by either Animoto or HubSpot. Alternatively, you can make a video from scratch. When you're done, you can export the video to your HubSpot file manager with one click and manage it from there.
Animoto also integrates with Getty Images, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and LinkedIn, so you can have video tools for a good portion of social media platforms all in one place.
Social Media Campaign Tools
- Design Wizard
In addition to the HubSpot Social Inbox Tool, which is helpful while planning and executing campaigns, these social media campaign tools are also helpful to add to your tool belt.
Falcon is a social media management platform that allows you to create posts for social networks on a collaborative content calendar.
It integrates with HubSpot, Microsoft, and Salesforce to help users streamline marketing tasks among teams. For a visual to see how Falcon integrates with other software, refer to the photo below:
HubSpot customers can use this integration to create audience segments. These segmentations will help you target your customers with social media posts, making sure your content is being seen by the right people. Any changes you make within HubSpot will automatically transfer to Falcon, so you don't have to worry about manually updating content.
Price: Free, or starts at $19/month.
Quuu is a platform that helps its users execute visually stunning social media content. It automates the time-consuming process of properly creating professional, engaging multimedia assets for campaigns.
When using Quuu, you can choose from over 500 interest categories, like marketing or real estate, and receive content suggestions based on those choices. You'll receive a certain amount of content suggestions per day per profile based on your settings, ensuring you'll always have relevant posts for your audience.
If you're a HubSpot customer, you can integrate the two platforms. Quuu finds the best content for your social profiles, and HubSpot lets you control those suggestions. You can go to your draft folder via HubSpot and pick which content you want to upload if your Quuu account isn't automated, which you can change.
Quuu looks for content so you don't have to. The tool also integrates with Buffer, Hootsuite, and Socialbee.
Price: Free, or starts at $7.50/month
Social media marketing platform Later lets you plan and schedule your Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest posts. The drag-and-drop calendar makes it easy for you to map out your upcoming posts and see at a glance how your feed will look.
You can also track your analytics, which will help you figure out the best time of day to post, and the best hashtags to use. Additionally, the Linkin.Bio feature for Instagram helps your posts become instantly shoppable.
"I love that you can either use it via the website or app on-the-go," one user remarks. "It is one of those apps that I could not live without … Later is [a] super easy tool to set up."
There are numerous choices out there for high-quality social media tools. Ultimately, it's your job to decide which tool is the best fit for your needs, your budget, your campaigns, and your marketing goals.
4. Design Wizard
Price: Free, or starts at $9.99/month
This tool lets you create different types of content, like photos and videos, with no professional editing experience required. If you have a limited budget and time on your hands, this free visual content tool is ideal for you.
Design Wizard has a library of over a million multimedia graphics for inspiration and use. Plus, all images are licensed for commercial use, so if you use one from the site, you won't run into copyright infringements.
Over to You
Your beautiful, on-brand images will be able to integrate with HubSpot. You can manage all of the files you create with Design Wizard from your HubSpot account, which you can use for campaign posts.
Need a painless way to track your social interactions? Try HubSpot's social inbox tool today.
Editor's note: This post was originally published in May 2019 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.