Social media tools of all shapes and sizes are in their abundance now at the start of 2016, ready to be used by any social media consultant in London, Birmingham, Manchester or anywhere else in the UK. Separating the ‘must haves’ and the ‘could be usefuls’, however, is where it gets tricky.

The most appropriate tools are will always depend to a large extent on what type of business you’re running. Yet when you put this factor aside, there are some key traits among the biggest and best social media management tools that would be useful for virtually any social media consultant in London or elsewhere. Here are five such tools that fall into this category.

1. Buffer

Affectionately called the ‘Siri of Social Media’ by many users, Buffer offers a simplistic approach to organising your social media posts over a period of time.

It works by adding your Tweets, Facebook posts and so on to the Buffer queue, which then posts them throughout the day. It’s an easy way to schedule your content all in one hit without having to stop yourself working every couple of hours to do so.

Despite offering three different types of account – individual, awesome and business – it generously provides analytics results on all of them, allowing any user to check updates on the number of favourites, shares, clicks and other metrics their individual pieces received.

2. Hootsuite

Probably the best known of all social media management tools nowadays, it has gained its widely recognised status for good reasons and continues to be a staple tool for social media consultants in the UK throughout 2016 and beyond.

Hootsuite covers pretty much everything you could need for a social marketing campaign, from post scheduling to enhanced analytics, advanced message preparation and the ability to manage an unlimited number of profiles with its more advanced programs.

Its features are often very targeted, including the ability to aim posts at certain demographics, locations and languages. It also covers a vast range of social media networks, with over 25 to choose from.

3. Tweetdeck

Tweetdeck epitomises everything you’d want in the ultimate Twitter management tool. It allows you to produce countless lists where you can follow specific types of accounts; search for particular Tweets using geocode tracking devices; and schedule Tweets long in advance, with the ability to edit them after they’ve been scheduled.

Available on Windows, Mac and Chrome, it is within reach of virtually any social media consultant in London or wherever you are in the UK.

4. SproutSocial

From posting messages to receiving them, SproutSocial is an ideal tool for streamlining a bulging inbox. It pulls all messages from across your various platforms into a single, easy-to-use inbox, ensuring you never miss an enquiry and that you never inadvertently ignore a contact.

5. RivallQ

While keeping track of your own analytics is undoubtedly important, you also have to keep an eye on how your competitors are doing to ensure that you’re ahead of the game. RivallQ allows you to do this, regularly updating you on the performance of competitor’s posts.

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