With hundreds of social media tools professing to be able to manage your social media, finding the most appropriate tool for your business can be a confusing time, and a distraction. Some are free, others are low in cost and some are down right expensive – so whats that difference between them, and which would be best for me?

 The truth is that no one organisation is the same, each with their own defined working practices and processes, making it very hard to make an overarching recommendation as to the best tool for you. Taking this into account, what I tend to recommend is run trials on each of them (as they will all offer a free trial) to find out which is the best social media management tool for you.

To help you find the tool for you, I’ve explored the web to find you the most prominent social media management tools available. Selection has been made on popularity online using metrics such as the number of blog posts about them and positive mentions in social media.

All of these tools, with good reason, profess to their own USP (and that I’ve not used them all) making it hard to rank them as to whats best. However, to give you a bit of direction I’m going to list my recommendations at the top – just click the pictures to be linked through to their site.

My Recommendations:

I’ve been using Hootsuite for years, it covers all the social media channels, has good functionality – for a more detailed description, check out my blog post on Hootsuite.

Sprout Social

A little bit more expensive, Sprout Social builds on the Hootsuite offering with a clean and simple user interface.

BuddyMedia

Recently bought by Salesforce.com, BuddyMedia is the enterprise social media solution, with an array of fantastic social media tools to make social media work best for you.

Best of the Rest:

Argyle Social

Dlvr.it

Engage121

Expion

Media Funnel

Moderation Marketplace

Roost now Vertical Response Social

Sendible

Shoutlet

SocialBro

Social Oomph

Sprinklr

Vitrue

What tools do you use? Any success stories? Any nightmares/ones to avoid?