Social media marketing involves much more than just posting on social media. It includes content planning, measuring analytics, copywriting and design, and more. Community management is just one piece of the puzzle.
And, just like with every piece of social media management, your community managers need the proper tools to see success. To help your marketing team find the best options, we’ve put together a list of 10 different community management tools that are perfect for engaging your customer base and building a community.
What is community management?
Community management is the process of engaging customers across digital channels to increase brand loyalty and grow authentic connections with their audience. Creating a brand community is a way to be accessible for your audience through customer service and engaging online content.
It involves social listening, responding to comments, nurturing online forums and communities, and more, to connect with your audience on a deeper level.
This helps increase loyal customers and word-of-mouth marketing, so community management is an essential part of your overall social strategy.
But you can’t do any of this well without the right arsenal of tools. We’ve rounded up a list of tools that can help with a variety of aspects of community management.
Let’s dive in.
1. Sprout Social
To kick off our list, we’re going to highlight Sprout’s community management features. Although Sprout Social is a full-service social media management tool that enables teams to manage several aspects of their social strategies–from content scheduling to analytics to social listening and more–our platform also offers social media engagement tools perfect for community management.
Whenever your brand gets a comment, reply or message on any social media platform, you’ll get a notification so that your team can easily take action. Whether it’s a simple response or handling a customer service issue, you can make sure these comments get to the right members of your team using Sprout’s workflow features.
With Sprout, you can publish to social profiles as well as Facebook Groups, to easily reach your wider community from one app. Plus, Sprout’s social listening tool let you discover conversations across the web to clue you in on what your audiences and potential customers are most interested in.
Sprout Social offers a 30-day free trial so you can jump into the software and take it for a test drive before deciding to take the plunge. Standard plans start at $89 per user/month (billed annually).
NapoleonCat is another great community management tool that makes it easier to handle online conversations surrounding your brand. With a social inbox, it’s quick and painless to manage each of your ongoing conversations, whether concerning a customer service issue or simply engaging with a follower.
This tool also allows you to automate set responses to frequently asked questions, saving your team time that they can instead use to focus on tasks that need more attention such as managing more complex conversations across your brand communities.
NapoleonCat offers a free 14-day trial for new users. After that, plans start at $21 per user/month for a basic plan with only 3 social media platforms. Add more features and more social media platforms depending on your needs.
Brand24 is perfect for social listening and reputation management. Staying on top of everything your customers and their connections have to say about your brand is key for ensuring bad experiences don’t spread or get out of hand.
Having a tool that helps you focus on your online reputation can be a gamechanger for your marketing team. Brand24 lets your team get instant notifications for any online mentions across social media and other online channels to ensure they can respond to any conversation regarding your brand, no matter if it’s positive or negative.
It’s important to be involved in the conversations about your brand, so invest in a community management tool that lets you do that.
Brand24 offers a 14-day free trial to try out their product. Plans start at $49/month and go up from there as your business needs access to more and more monthly mentions.
Keyhole’s tool gives users access to social mentions across a variety of channels. From social media platforms to online forums and blogs, you’ll be the first to know anytime someone online is talking about your brand.
Being a part of these conversations is a great way to improve your brand’s reputation and expand your reach to new audiences. Keep tabs on competitors, influencers, hashtags and more to make sure you can engage in any relevant conversation.
Keyhole’s dashboard makes it easy to manage your social listening, but keep in mind that you don’t have access to your social media inboxes with this platform. If you want a community management tool that focuses more on responding to comments and messages, you might want to check out another option in this list.
Keyhole does offer a free trial, although their website doesn’t specify the terms or length. Their lowest tier plan starts at $79/month (billed annually) for two social listening trackers.
5. Social Bakers
Social Bakers is another great community management tool for marketing teams to take a look at. With a single social inbox to manage all incoming and outgoing messages and mentions, automation capabilities, analytics and more, Social Bakers has a lot to offer your team.
This tool also allows admin members to set permissions for various team members to ensure that no messages are sent to the public without being properly vetted. The collaborative features are also helpful for onboarding new team members and setting up workflows that streamline processes for your team.
The Social Bakers pricing starts at $200/month (billed annually) for 10 profiles and $400/month (billed annually) for 20 profiles. If you need a more customized solution, you can schedule a demo to learn more about other plan options.
Tweetdeck is a community management platform specifically for Twitter. It allows you to keep an eye on specific feeds, hashtags, lists, scheduled tweets, messages and more. While you only get access to one platform with this tool, it’s the perfect solution if your business focuses heavily on Twitter.
Another ideal use case for Tweetdeck is to manage Twitter chats smoothly. Keep an eye on your notifications, the chat hashtag and the chat host all on one screen to make sure you don’t miss any potential conversations or interactions during the chat.
Tweetdeck is completely free to use, making it a great option for businesses on a budget or just starting out in building their social media marketing stack.
Grytics is an ideal platform for managing a specific group or online community, like a Facebook Group that your business runs. With their Facebook group community management feature, you can access insights on group engagement, host assets for group posts, track post performance and more.
While a Facebook Group is a more organized community, it’s only one part of your overall community management plan. However, it can still be helpful to have a dedicated tool if your Facebook Group is one of your most important sources of leads and brand awareness.
Grytics starts at $99/month for Facebook group management. Additional plans and custom plans are available depending on your needs as your business and its online community grows.
Sociality.io is another option for both overall social media management and community management. They offer both social listening and engagement features that allow you to monitor certain brand mentions and keywords online while also having a birds-eye view of all ongoing communications.
Additionally, Sociality.io offers competitor analysis reports so that you have an idea of what your competitors are talking about online so that you can make sure you’re always in the same spaces to reach a wider audience.
Sociality.io plans start at $15/month (billed annually) after a 14-day free trial. That basic plan covers only a single user and 500 mentions across 5 social channels, so if you’re going to need more than that, explore their larger plan tiers.
Sometimes your community management strategy involves specific underlying tactics, like user-generated content. Having a tool that helps you collect and share UGC for your brand can be a massive time saver, and that’s where a tool like Taggbox comes in.
Furthermore, it helps you get permission and rights to publish UGC from the original creators, ensuring your brand reputation stays intact.
UGC is great for e-commerce, retail and hospitality brands, so if you’re on a marketing team promoting one of these industries, you might want to consider adding Taggbox to your marketing toolbox.
Taggbox’s pricing is laid out over their main four product types: Display, Widget, Commerce and Rights Management. You can match the types of services you’re most interested in to pinpoint exactly what is going to work best for your team.
Choose your community management tools
Ready to get started with one (or more!) of these community management tools? Keeping an eye on your brand mentions and relevant topics is a great way to expand your reach and engage your audience. Learn more about social media monitoring to learn specifics on how you can set up one of these campaigns.