Just the other day, peeking into the social media schedule here at Buffer, I noticed that it was full of wonderfully-worded, completely click-worthy, queued posts—posts that I spent zero time writing or adding.

Such is the beauty of collaborating together on social media sharing.

Taking a team approach to filling a queue or managing a social channel is a splendid way of saving time on social media.

You don’t have to do it all yourself.

Others have amazing ideas and content to share.

And of course, having the smoothest tools makes social media collaboration even easier. I did some digging to find a complete list of the best collaboration tools out there, including the ones we enjoy using here at Buffer. If you notice any that didn’t make the list (or want to vote up a favorite), feel free to share in the comments!

Collaboration tools

Quick collaboration tips on sharing to social media as a team

There’s a lot to consider when sharing together as a social media team—whether that be a team of two, 10, or more. Courtney did a great job outlining all the different factors to consider when sharing as a team. Here’s a quick overview; the post itself is full of detailed tips.

  1. Determine your strategy and structure
  2. Establish a consistent voice and tone
  3. Know how, where, and what you’ll post
  4. Let your audience know who is posting
  5. Delegate by shifts or networks
  6. Use tools to make collaboration easier
  7. Give everyone the right access (contributors vs. managers)

collaboration tools social media tips

How we share to social media as a Buffer team

We like to consider ourselves a team of social media sharers here at Buffer. I have the privilege of adding content to the Buffer queues and teaming up with Courtney, Nicole, Mary, Leo, and others on writing social media updates and testing out new strategies.

How do we do it? The Buffer app is a big key to the way we share as a team.

On the Buffer for Business plan, you can invite collaborators to your account in one of two roles:

  1. Contributor
  2. Manager

For the Buffer profiles on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn, we are all managers. We can add content to the queues directly, with zero friction. (If you’d prefer your collaborators to go through an approval process first, then the Contributor role is the way to go.)

Leo has even been experimenting with a type of advocacy collaboration, suggesting content for some of us on the team via the Contributor role. Here’s a bit more about how this looks:

A lot of people were interested in getting some suggested content from me for their Buffer account, and the next step for me was to make it super easy to share these stories with other people’s social accounts. So I went ahead and used Buffer’s group feature to create a new group for the Buffer team only:

Buffer team social accounts

This was absolutely amazing—with the click of a button I could now suggest content for all these people that were interested in getting curated content for their social accounts from me.

As one who benefits from Leo’s great suggested content, it’s so amazing to have the luxury of clicking a great post in my contributions and sending it straight to my queue.

14 Essential Collaboration Tools for Social Media Marketers

1. Slack

At its core, Slack is a team communication tool, a robust chat room. And it’s taken on a multi-dimensional role for thousands of teams. (We’re Hipchat fans at Buffer, too, and appreciate the many uses we get from the tool.)

One of these roles is as a link sharing/collecting hub. Teammates drop fun and interesting links into one of the chat rooms for others to check out. It can be a great way to bubble up great content to fill the company’s social profiles.

2. Slater

slater kevanlee

Piggybacking off the first tool mentioned here, Slater caught the attention of us at Buffer as it’s described as “Buffer for Slack.”

Find a useful link to share. Schedule it now. Post it to Slack later when more teammates are around.

3. Point

Point screenshot (easy link sharing)

One of the coolest article sharing tools I’ve come across lately is Point, a chrome extension that lets you share stories with your team from any page you’re on.

With the extension installed, you can type the “@” key on any page you’re visiting, and this brings up a simple sharing box where you can add notes and send to different people on the team. Also, you can highlight parts of the article you share, and you can find all your history of shared links easily in the Point popover.

4. Pie

Pie website

A clean and simple solution for communicating together on social media ideas is Pie, which helps with work chat and focuses on simplicity. You can get set up quickly by adding teammates from your email contacts, and you can share and store content ideas and tips in an easily searchable system.

5. Trello

Trello is a favorite remote work tool of the Buffer team. We use it for organizing blog post ideas, Buffer bugs, team task forces, projects, and so much more.

Another cool use case is as a social media content board.

David Hassell of 15Five shared how he and his team use Trello to work together on social media content.

We created a “Social Media Content” board on Trello and encouraged employees to drop in interesting files, images, memes, questions, and links. This allows our social media manager to pull from a rich, diverse repository of content.

Trello social media content board

David’s team uses simple lists for content suggestions, posted content, and images.

You could also try out a board setup with suggested links, suggested topics, interesting strategies to try, posted content, and current strategies—or virtually any setup you can dream.

6. Messenger

Facebook Messenger's new web interface

Facebook Messenger, previously a feature within the Facebook social network, is now a standalone app and website. You can send messages to connections and groups on Facebook through a slick and simple interface.

We used Messenger as a Buffer team to communicate on our latest team retreat. Doing so as a group proved to be an extremely useful feature and smooth experience for us. Imagine doing the same for sharing cool links and ideas back and forth for your fellow social media sharers.

7. Wrike

A full-featured social media management app, Wrike helps organize campaigns and projects, assign tasks, share ideas, and followup on progress. The dashboards support huge teams like PayPal and AT&T and also provide free plans for teams of 5 or fewer.

8. Dropbox

Dropbox share to groups

For file sharing of all kinds—social media images, strategy spreadsheets, in-progress documents, videos, slidedecks, and more—many teams turn to Dropbox. On the free individual plan, you can share folders and files with colleagues as if you were all working from the same, shared desktop. Dropbox also offers a business plan for those who need the extra storage space (we’re talking terabytes), helpful revision history, deeper admin controls, and more.

9. Google Drive

Another favorite of social media teams is Google Drive, where you can collaborate together, live, on the same documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. Some popular docs you might choose to share:

At Buffer, we find ourselves working together on social media specs and ideas in Hackpad, a stripped-down alternative to Google Drive.

10. Canva

Canva design email

Need some advice from your team on a social media image you’re creating? With Canva, you can share your in-progress images with anyone via email, and others can combine forces with you to design together on the same graphic.

11. Post Planner

Post Planner helps you find the best posts to share on Facebook, with a research-backed recommendation engine and a full image library, not to mention a queue schedule and the ability to work together with teammates.

Plans start at $7/month, or $15/month and up if you’re interested in collaborating with one or more teammates.

12. Basecamp

Basecamp is one of the best project management apps out there, and social media campaigns are a natural fit as projects to manage. You can create your social media project in Basecamp, track progress with a to-do list, comment and share together in the discussion section, and stay on track with the latest happenings with project updates.

Basecamp is free to try for two full months, and plans start at $20/month with unlimited team members.

13. Tweetdeck teams

This Twitter management tool (the official one from Twitter) now lets you invite contributors and admins to share to your Twitter account for you, via Tweetdeck. You invite as many team members as you’d like and manage their roles as admins or contributors.

14. Mention

Super useful for tracking and monitoring when your brand is mentioned on social media, Mention also lets you listen in as a team, with full access for team members to your brand’s mentions. With this, you can then split up your tasks of follow-up—send a teammate to reply to Twitter, assign a Google+ thread to another.

Bonus: Additional enterprise & paid options

In addition to the options listed above (most of which are free tools), there are some really great choices for those working with larger companies and teams or those interested in a robust, enterprise feel.

Over to you – What are your favorite collaboration tools?

What tools do you use to work together on social media marketing? 

It’d be great to hear your experience and what you’ve found works best for you. We’re always keen to try out new tools and workflows here at Buffer. Any advice you have for us would be amazing!

Image sources: Pablo, Death to the Stock Photo, IconFinder

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Written by Kevan Lee

Director of marketing at Buffer, the social media publishing tool for brands, agencies, and marketers. We’ve got a new podcast! ?

  • Chelsei Henderson

    Some really great tools here! Slater, in particular, interests me. My team and I are huge fans of Slack. Having a way to not wake them up from a notification at 4am will make them happy, I’m sure! 😉

    Also, gonna have to give Point a try. I spent several hours rigging Feedly > IFTTT > email to accomplish the same goal. Wish I would have known about it then, but glad I do now.

    Thanks Kevan!

    • Kevan Lee

      Thanks for the comment, Chelsei! I think you’ll really enjoy Point, it’s got a super smooth interface and is really simple to use. Slater looks pretty useful, too! Glad you found some inspiration with the tools here. 🙂

      • shwinnabego

        Thanks Kevan and Chelsei! I’m one of the co-founders of Point. Definitely give it a spin. I’d love to hear what you think!

  • Great list – Thanks for the Mention mention (badum chhh). 🙂

  • Cool list Kevan. We just started using Slack here at Post Planner a few weeks ago after holding onto Skype WAY too long! I tried to get them to go with HipChat but Slack won. I really dig it now as it makes communicating so much easier now that our team has more than tripled lately. (And thanks for the Post Planner shoutout!)

    • Hi there Scott! Awesome stuff about Slack. 🙂 Curious, what do you find most valuable about it? It continues to pique my curiosity (we’re using HipChat here at Buffer), and I’d love to know if there are specific features that you find quite valuable.

      • I didn’t see this reply for some reason until now.. Oops..

        3 months into Slack and I have to say it consumes my time! It’s better than Skype for sure, which is what we used before. The integrations are cool, but I hate the search functions.

        To me HipChat does better at letting you see links shared in a chat and files. But maybe I don’t use Slack well enough to find them easily!

  • Дина Александрова

    Great list! I use onlypult.com for schedule instagram posts.

  • Cassie

    This may not be a question related specifically to this post, but it’s something I can’t figure out about Buffer (undoubtedly someone has asked you about it before): Why can’t you create drafts in Buffer? I find myself “hacking” a draft by jotting an idea down when I have the time but scheduling way out in advance.

    P.S. Love Buffer, love your articles, Kevan. I gladly pay for Buffer for Business, but I’m amazed (and grateful) that all this additional advice I get comes free!

    • Hi there Cassie!

      Love your question! Feels like a drafts option could be a wonderful time saver for you. Drafts is one of our most requested features over at UserVoice, so it’s definitely on our radar! http://buffer.uservoice.com/forums/257855-feedback-and-ideas/suggestions/6215762-draft-posts Awesome hack that you’ve found so far. I have a fake Twitter account where I do my drafting and experimenting also. 🙂

      • Cassie

        Stealth account – clever! Thanks Kevan! Love the voting mechanism for requested features. Excited for when this enhancement is eventually released.

  • Theo Reichgelt

    We use Jive as social collaboration platform It’s not a free tool but very productive for us as a team, it includes most of the features mentioned in your article. Also using Hootsuite to assign conversations to team members and monitor Twitter lists and searches. And of course Buffer is very useful for scheduling content across social media channels 😉

    • Awesome tips, Theo! I’d not heard of Jive before. Checking them out now. 🙂

      And really cool workflow with Hootsuite assigning. Seems like a really useful feature!

  • Amos Ahola

    I can recommend trying out http://www.collaborationobjects.com as well – scales to the needs of any sized organization and does messaging, tasks, files & calendars out of the box.

    • Thanks for the tip on this, Amos!

  • Phillip Tredson

    We opted for Bitrix24. It’s like Basecamp + Dropbox + Skype. Convenient to create workgroups

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  • I found Mention to be really not useful. It has so many bugs and glitches that half the time it seems unusable, and sends mentions very late or not at all when I’ve spotted them myself. And despite the fact that it is supposed to learn what is relevant to you, I found it continued to send irrelevant mentions. I tried it out for a while but sadly it just wasn’t for me.

    • Thanks for sharing, Rhiannon! Sorry this one didn’t work out for you. Have you found an alternative?

      • Not yet! It’s a shame because they did seem to pick up a lot more mentions on Twitter than I see myself. With everything else I’m more or less just looking myself, it’s not too bad as I’m a small brand so not too many things to keep track of.

        • Niti Ranka

          Hey Rhiannon, you can try Tweetdeck for checking up on mentions of your brand, even your competitors.

  • Meanu Normia

    I use proofhub and its the most convenient collaboration tool I ever experienced.

    • Thanks for the tip on Proofhub, Meanu!

  • Niraj Ranjan Rout

    This one’s a useful read, Kevin. ‘Point’ looks very interesting. I can finally stop sending the same link to everyone in my team. The fact that it allows you to highlight parts of an article is huge! Thanks!

    Cheers, Niraj
    Founder, GrexIt (http://grexit.com)

    • Awesome, really happy to hear you’re enjoying Point. 🙂

  • Our team rely on Trello, Hipchat and Google Drive. We are big fans of Basecamp too. We eat our own dog food for collaborating to co-create sales proposals – Plus23 Modern Proposals.

    • Great stuff, SengHee! Love the focus on your own product, too. 🙂

  • Betsy

    I’m familiar with most of the tools you posted, although I’d add something to your list…I recently joined a new Social Media team and we’re using Kanban Tool – it’s very similar to Trello but I find it way more intuitive and easier in use… (too much projects at once can sure make things confusing!). So far it’s my favourite kanban type tool so I do recommend checking it out.

    • Betsy

      For some weird reason the link didn’t add so here: http://kanbantool.com

      • Awesome stuff, Betsy! Really cool to see Kanban – yep, it does remind me a bit of Trello!

  • Now, I’ve got to try HipChat!

    My favorite project management and team collaboration tool is Asana! I switched over from Basecamp to Asana about two years ago, and I’ve never looked back. I even use Asana as a social planning calendar for scores of LinkedIn groups I manage for B2B companies and thought leaders.

    • Thanks for the tip, Mindi! I’ve heard great things about Asana – would love to hear your thoughts on HipChat also if you get a chance to try it. 🙂

  • I would add CrowdTangle and Buzzsumo to the list.

  • Gaganjeet Singh

    This article is good help. Tried using Canva for making posts for our social media channels, even the free graphics and texts end up giving a great post image for sharing on our social media channels and yes scheduling posts via buffer has helped us save a lot of time. We currently use http://www.framebench.com for sharing graphics and videos with our team and clients. Framebench has made our life quite simple as there is less of to-and -fro sessions and has made our feedback/approval process seamless. We have integrated Basecamp.com with it and hence http://www.basecamp.com is used for project management and framebench for asset management.

  • You can also use http://www.yammer.com for social media collaborations and discussions with your team and can integrate http://www.framebench.com for sharing and storing all types of files.

  • Adib Choudhury

    http://www.attentiv.com has a cool and familiar interface for social media marketers. It’s got the threaded comments/upvoting of Reddit, Inbound, etc., along with anonymity (which you can use to give your team some honest feedback). I’ve seen with our marketing team that Attentiv is good for quickly brainstorming campaign ideas and the upvote system is great for letting the best ideas rise to the top of the conversation.

  • Hi Kevan,
    Nice list! You should also check out Brightpod.com – a project management tool specific to marketing teams. Includes an editorial calendar and lets you plan out your content marketing with task types, status updates and much more.

  • Benjamin Mestrallet

    @disqus_mnFioldA7Z:disqus , you should also consider eXo Platform ( https://www.exoplatform.com ), an Open Source Social Collaboration Platform

  • Mookie

    In my team instead of Trello, we use Kanban Tool. I think it’s better, more intuitive. You can check it out here: kanbantool.com

  • LC

    wow. no mention of Hootsuite?

  • Hey Kevan, thanks for this awesome list of collaboration tools. One of my favorite is slack and canva for work.

    Since a few weeks I’m researching new tools to gather a list with collaboration tools from around the world. My intention is, to proove the hypothesis that we see much more tools every year. Here is a quick screenshot of how it looks like.

    2012 we have seen the most collabortion tools. Here is a list to all the info: http://bit.ly/1Jwg1bc

  • Anu Pma

    Zapty- https://zapty.com/ its really good tool with features like, chatting, video calling, project & task management, approvals, polls, discussions all within a single app.

  • Paul Fewstones

    Hello ! Great list, i would only add http://www.zenintra.net ; just discovered it this week! Zenintranet enables you to access different tools with a single login and for free (crm, file sharing, expenses management, leave management…)

  • Sharon Thomson

    Awesome list. I’d like to add ProofHub in this list. ProofHub is a web-based project management and collaboration software that helps you manage, schedule, discuss, work and communicate with your team members.

  • Juraj Zamborsky

    Hey that’s a really great list and I personally have a great experience with many of those tools 🙂
    However, I was really missing some tips on tools which are actually designed for social media content collaboration itself. Therefore I’d love to share with you one particular tool, called Kontentino, which was made for streamlining the whole collaboration and approval process. I may be biased since I work at Kontentino, but still wanted to share this with you guys 🙂 I’ll be happy for any feedback.
    You can find more: https://www.kontentino.com/