Social media management is ever evolving, with new social media tools released each year. On top of that, existing tools may add game-changing features. While it may be tempting to stick with what you know, new tools have the potential to save you both time and money.

Here are the tools pros are using as we move into 2018:

Social Media Listening

Less than 25% of businesses are actively listening to followers on social media. But, this metric won’t look this way for long. With new, more powerful social media listening tools available for use, brands are beginning to see the advantages of the tactic.

Here are the top social media listening tools for 2018:

1. SentiOne

SentiOne appeared on the scene at the end of 2016/start of 2017, so you’re forgiven if you haven’t heard of it. SentiOne is a social media listening tool with several built in features.

Features include:

  • The ability to collect data from news aggregators, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and more.
  • Analytics which provide insights into message reach.
  • 24 supported languages
  • Multi-level campaign listening
  • Team and role management features.

Social media experts speak highly of the new tool, making it worth consideration.

2. Hootsuite

Hootsuite is known for its social media scheduling and content optimization tools. But, few realize its powerful potential as a social monitoring platform.

If you’re already using Hootsuite, take the time to look at their blog post detailing how to set up social listening on their platform.

3. Sprout Social

You may know of Sprout Social for its social media management features. But social media pros use it’s excellent social listening features.

Sprout Social’s social media listening tools include the ability to:

  • track specific keywords
  • generate visual reports
  • subscribe to real-time alerts for hashtags
  • and integrate inbound messaging

If you’re one of the 19,000 brands using Sprout social, give their social media listening tools a shot!

4. TalkWalker

TalkWalker is one of the best social media listening tools available. It’s ability to pull data from more than 150 million websites and 190 different languages makes it a great tool for any business.

5. Conversocial

Conversocial is one of the lesser known tools in this list, but don’t let that affect your view of it! Many top brands like Google, Hyatt, Hertz, and Tesco make use of the tool and for good reason.

Conversocial enables you to collect customer data from many platforms. It works with data from both mobile and desktop devices and is designed to help brands be more proactive in their responses to customers.

Influencer Outreach

Influencer marketing is continuing to rise in popularity as both a social media and a content marketing strategy. The rise in popularity can be attributed to the power of influencers in today’s social media-driven world.

If you’re ready to begin getting endorsements from influencers, here are the tools you’ll want to look into:

6. FollowerWonk

FollowerWonk is a free tool provided by Moz which allows you to search twitter user bios by keywords. It provides the number of tweets, followers, age, and authority of each profile.

It’s a great tool for quickly identifying potential influencers.

7. Yesware

Yesware is more of a sales tool, but it can be used to aid connecting with influencers. When reaching out to influencers, you can use Yesware to track whether they’ve opened your email, and interacted with its contents.

It also has the ability to send reminder emails at a later date automatically, and more making it great for connecting with influencers.

8. Traackr

Traackr is primarily aimed at enterprises, making it a great option for larger brands. It’s an influencer research tool that provides full profiles of each influencer including:

  • Links to all social networks
  • Links to all blogs
  • Contact information
  • Reach, resonance, and relevance scores
  • And more

It’s a useful tool for identifying ideal influencers for your brand.

Topic Discovery

Content curation is an important part of social media marketing and one that is often overlooked. But, if you play your cards right, curation can build your network, increase engagement, and more.

To effectively curate content, you need to discover it first! Here are the top tools for that:

9. Buzzsumo

Buzzsumo is content discovery tool featuring both free and paid plans. With it, you can identify the top posts (based on social shares) for a particular keyword.

It also doubles as an influencer research tool! Just be warned, it’s free plan is a bit limiting and you’ll need to choose a paid plan to get the most out of the tool.

10. Reddit

Savvy social media marketers will subscribe to related subreddits to get a scoop on the news asap. Reddit posts often appear before news stories detailing events. Additionally, some excellent commentary can be found as well!

11. Inoreader

Inoreader is a content reader that allows you to pull content from top blogs and sites within your industry and skim through it all quickly. It’s perfect for looking through a wide variety of content and finding the best blog posts or news stories to share.

Images, GIFs, and More

If you don’t already know, images, GIFs, and videos can increase your post’s engagement by 39% or more. Nowadays, tools make adding these to your posts nearly effortless. So, there’s no excuse not to be getting this free increase in interactions!

Here are the tools you’ll need if you want to add images, graphics, GIFs, and videos to your posts:

12. Canva

Canva is a free browser-based design tool. It features several ready-made templates allowing you to create good-looking graphics with only a few edits. It’s all drag and drop too, making it easy for non-designers to create a good looking graphic.

13. Adobe Spark

Adobe Spark is another browser-based design tool, but with a slightly different offering than Canva. Adobe Spark can also be used to create webpages and videos.

If you have no video editing knowledge, and just want to create something simple and quick, Adobe Spark is your best bet.

14. Pexels

Pexels collects free stock photos from various sources and allows you to quickly search for images based on keywords. It’s selection may not be as wide as other free stock photo websites. But every photo on this site is high quality, and you can download images in multiple sizes.

15. gifs

gifs allows you to easily create custom, high quality gifs. You can take any video, from Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc.) and turn it into a GIF. You can even use live video!

There are other nifty features too, including ways to edit your gifs, and automatic highlight reels.

16. Landscape

Landscape is a free image resizing tool from Sprout Social. It’s the easiest way to deal with the varying recommended image sizes across many platforms.

Landscape lets you easily upload an image, choose social networks, and crop the image for use. Resulting in the perfect image size for each social network.

AI and Machine Learning

This is the most exciting category of tools by far. Social media marketing is on the verge of being transformed by AI and machine learning. Early adopters of these tools will reap the rewards as they use AI to improve their strategy, content, and more.

17. Project Maia

Project MAIA is a startup that aims to help business owners and marketers promote their business on social media. This AI driven tool provides small to medium-sized businesses with an easy to understand social media roadmap. Project MAIA accomplishes this by analyzing your business, industry and competition. The end result is a weekly social media posting schedule.

One of the best part of Project Maia is its ability to guide you through each step. Once the schedule has been created, it offers a virtual chatbot assistant to remind you of when posts need to be made. The chatbot also provides you with examples of posts that have performed well for you and your competitors. This delivers both a framework and the means to get it done for busy entrepreneurs and marketers.

18. IBM Watson Marketing

IBM’s Watson AI is now offering customer insights, personalized marketing, and more. Watson Marketing is targeted to the enterprise market where it’s ability to uncover insights from a company’s data is best put to use.

Many enterprises have come to trust IBM’s Watson AI for other tasks, and marketing will be no different.

Keep an Eye Out

As mentioned earlier, social media marketing is always changing. New trends, strategies, and technologies are revealed daily. That’s why it’s important to not just use the tools in this list, but to keep an eye out for more tools. This is especially true in the AI and machine learning space which is sure to heat up as we move into 2018.