The best social media apps for small businesses

Last reviewed 15 April 2024 by Fiona Prior.

Small business owner using design software to create content for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok.

Do you want to improve your social media performance? Our guide to the leading apps for social media management and content creation will help you find the best tools for your business.

**Note rates and fees correct on 07/03/24 (limited-time offers may apply).

Social media is a great way to promote your small business, connect with customers and build your brand. But creating high-quality content and posting it day-in-day-out takes a lot of time and the results can be hit and miss.

The right social media software can save you time and improve your results.

Best for start-ups and small businesses

Zoho Social | free trial and paid plans from £8 a month | Schedule unlimited posts from one dashboard

Best all-rounder for social media management

HootSuite | from £89 a month | Social media scheduling, tracking and analytics

Best for content design

Canva | Free and paid versions | Content editing tools and 250,000+ templates

Best for tracking and analytics

Iconosquare | from £39 per month | Monitor your brand and your competitors

Best for stock images

Shutterstock | Subscriptions start at £19 a month | More than 475 million images, videos and music clips

Why use social media apps?

Social media management tools bring all your profiles into one place, allowing you to schedule posts and monitor engagement from a single dashboard. And with the right content creation tools, your posts will get more traction too.

Many of the most widely-used apps are available on a subscription basis but there are plenty of free versions and free trials that will allow you to try out these tools to discover which ones are best for your business.

Here's our guide to some of the best social media management and content creation apps. Click on the links below to find out more about each of the apps.

Social media management tools

Meta Business Suite

Manage all of your Facebook and Instagram activity in one place.

Key features:

  • Publish, schedule and manage all your content on Facebook and Instagram.
  • Track insights, trends and your performance to optimise your content.
  • Available on desktop and mobile.


  • Meta Business Suite is free.

Find out more about Meta Business suite.


Twitter’s own desktop and mobile app for managing tweets offers real-time tracking, organising and engagement from a single dashboard.

Key features:

  • Post tweets and share photos, videos and links.
  • Schedule tweets in advance and monitor conversations.
  • Create multiple accounts in one application.


  • TweetDeck offers both free and paid packages (monthly plans £16 per month, annual plans £168).

Find out more about TweetDeck.

Sprout Social

A social media management tool that allows you to plan, create, manage and deliver social content.

Key features:

  • Manage all your social media activity and engagement from a unified social inbox.
  • Plan posts up to 13 months in advance with a social content calendar.
  • Monitor specific keywords and hashtags.
  • IoS and Android mobile apps.


  • The Standard version for five social profiles costs $249 per month (additional users cost $199).
  • The Professional version costs $399 per month (additional users cost $299) with unlimited social profiles.

Find out more about Sprout Social.


Social media management software that allows you to publish content direct to your social networks, set up keyword monitoring and link all your interactions back to your CRM.

Key features:

  • The AI-powered social post generator allows to draft and publish directly to your social channels.
  • Keyword monitoring facilitates deeper contextual interactions with prospects.
  • Integration with your CRM system.
  • Tag related marketing assets and content and make measuring the effectiveness of your campaigns easier.


  • Free tools allow you and up to five users generating new leads.
  • Get the essential marketing tools from £14 per user per month.

Find out more about Hubspot.


Create and schedule posts and monitor all your social media accounts from a single dashboard.

Key features:

  • Create posts, schedule and publish content to all of your social profiles.
  • Track social media effectiveness in real time
  • See all your scheduled and published content in one place.
  • Monitor trends and stay notified about your business, customers, competitors and key topics.


  • Free trial available.
  • The Professional version is aimed at one user with up to 10 social media accounts and costs £89 a month;
  • The Team version is aimed at three users with up to 20 social media accounts and costs £249 a month;
  • The Business version is aimed at five users with up to 35 social media accounts. Price on application.

Find out more about Hootsuite.


Create and schedule Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Pinterest posts in one place.

Key features:

  • Plan, collaborate and publish content.
  • Analyse social media performance and create reports.
  • Navigate comments and engage with followers.
  • Build customised landing pages.
  • Use AI Assistant to generate ideas and write better posts.


  • The Free version works with up to three social media channels.
  • The Essentials version costs $6 a month per channel.
  • The Team version is for unlimited users and costs $12 per channel.

Find out more about Buffer.

Meta Ads Manager

Formerly Facebook Ads Manager, this app allows you to create and manage ads for Facebook and Instagram.

Key features:

  • Create and manage social media ads on Facebook and Instagram.
  • Manage multiple ads at once.
  • Get real-time data from your ad campaigns.
  • Available for desktop, IoS and Android.


  • Meta Ads Manager is free to download.

Find out more about Meta Ads Manager.


A social media management platform, scheduler and link in bio tool for every social network.

Key features:

  • Create, edit and preview content.
  • Plan, analyse and publish content in advance.
  • Send followers to your website and shop.
  • Moderate and reply to comments using the Conversations tool.
  • Schedule Instagram Reels to auto-publish.


  • The Starter version is aimed at a single user with a single social set (one each of Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Facebook and TikTok) for £16.67 a month.
  • The Growth version is for up to three users with three social sets and costs $30 a month.
  • The Advanced version is for up to six users with six social sets and costs £53.33 a month.
  • 14-day free trials are available for all versions.

Find out more about Later.


A collaboration tool for social media teams that makes it easier to create, manage and publish social media content.

Key features:

  • Post to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, Google My Business, and TikTok.
  • Invite team members to collaborate and give them different permissions.
  • Tweak content for different platforms in one place.


  • A Free version allows you to try Planable and publish up to 50 posts.
  • The Basic version costs $11 per user per month (based on annual billing) with unlimited posts on four social media pages per workspace.
  • The Teams version costs $22 per user on ten social media pages per workspace.

Find out more about Planable.


Connect all your social media accounts, schedule posts from a single dashboard and monitor your brand and your competitors.

Key features:

  • Schedule all your social media posts from one dashboard.
  • Analytics and reporting tools to improve social media performance.
  • Identify and respond to unread comments and mentions.
  • Listen to your audience, track your competitors and monitor your own brand.
  • Works with Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok and LinkedIn.


  • The Pro version is aimed at smaller businesses and costs £39 a month for two team members with up to three social profiles.
  • The team version costs £59 a month for unlimited team members with up to five social profiles.
  • A 14-day free trial is available with both versions.

Find out more about Iconosquare.

Zoho Social

Social media management software that offers scheduling, monitoring and analysis.

Key features:

  • Schedule unlimited social posts from a single dashboard.
  • Works with Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, TikTok and Google Business Profile listings.
  • Monitor core keywords and brand hashtags to find out what people are saying about your business.
  • Get audience insights and analysis of your social media activity.


  • Free trial available.
  • The Standard version costs £8 a month for a single user with one brand and up to nine social media channels.
  • The Professional version costs £22 a month for a single user on up to nine channels and offers additional features including notifications, bulk scheduling and post insights.
  • The Premium version costs £35 a month for a team of up to three user and offers additional CRM and collaboration features.

Find out more about Zoho Social.

Content creation tools


A graphic design tool offering a library of templates and images for creating content for social media, websites, presentations and print.

Key features:

  • Access to a large library of images, graphics and videos.
  • Templates and designs for all types of marketing including social media.
  • Editing and design tools for customisation.


  • The free version offers 250,000+ templates and over a million images as well as design and editing tools.
  • Canva Pro offers 100+ million images, videos and graphics, premium design features and scheduling of social media posts to eight platforms. It costs £100 per year for one user.
  • The Teams version has all the features of Pro and costs £100 per person per year (minimum two people).

Find out more about Canva.


Over allows you to create branded content and stories for your social media accounts using professional templates.

Key features:

  • Professional templates and layouts for customisation.
  • Add your own logo and brand colours.
  • Choose from a library of photos, videos, graphics and fonts.
  • Works on IoS, Android and web but does not yet sync between devices.


  • Basic version is free.
  • Pro version offers unlimited templates, photos and graphics for $69 per year.
  • Pro also offers a week’s free trial.

Find out more about Over.


Shutterstock provides access to millions of images, videos and royalty-free music to create marketing content and social media posts.

Key features:

  • Access to a library of more than 475 million images.
  • Access to royalty-free videos and music clips.
  • Easy to use AI design tools.


  • A pack of five image downloads in one year costs £29.
  • A subscription allowing up to ten credits a month costs £19 a month.
  • Up to 750 downloads a month for one user paid monthly costs £119.
  • Packages for video, music and editorial images are also available.

Find out more about Shutterstock.


Grammarly helps you to improve your writing - including social media posts.

Key features:

  • Corrects all kinds of writing including texts, emails and social media posts as you write them.
  • Fixes grammar, spelling and punctuation mistakes.
  • Works with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.
  • Compatible with IoS and Android as well as desktops.


  • Free version offers basic writing suggestions and tone detection.
  • Pro version offers additional clarity, vocabulary and tone improvements from £10 a month.

Find out more about Grammarly.

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