In this post we’re going to look at Social Media Tools for Small Business and choose seven of the best for you.
I know a fair few small business owners who say that social media is “unmanageable” or “too complicated”. And more often than not it’s time that’s the issue.
And that’s strange when you consider the amount of time saving tools that are available these days.
Well actually, I think that’s maybe part of the problem – people just seem to be overwhelmed with choice.
With all the different platforms and tools out there, choosing one to handle a social media task is almost as difficult and time-consuming as handling the process manually.
So, in this post we’re going to narrow it all down for you and make you ‘less spoilt’ for choice.
Choosing The Right Social Media Tool For Small Business
When choosing a social media tool, it’s important to have a specific goal in mind. That is, what are you trying to cover with the desired tool?
Try not to focus on finding a tool that will solve all your social media needs. It probably doesn’t exist (yet).
Also, you’re going to see that most of these tools have a cost associated with them although some have freemium versions.
With that said, here are 7 tools covering the most important aspects of your social media marketing plan:
Content Discovery and Curation
One classic social media mistake is always posting about yourself, your business, your blog posts, etc..
That’s why you should always try to mix up your content with someone else’s because in the end you’re trying to provide the most value to your audience.
A content discovery tool helps you to easily find and share relevant industry content in digestible amounts making you a content curator and not just an aggregator.
I mean, think about all the best museums and art galleries in the world. Did they create all of the works on display?
Of course not – they’re great curators though.
Social Media Tool #1 – Scoop.it
Scoop.it does a great job at bringing out the curator in you. It allows you to set preferences/topics and then brings you the latest news based on those preset preferences. It also has sharing buttons to help you re-share that content right from the platform or your email.
Scoop.it has a free option where you’re allowed basic curation. However, for more niche-targeting and to have access to analytical data, you can upgrade to a paid plan.
Price: Freemium option available and paid plans start at $11 per month.
Similar Tools: Feedly, Flipboard and Storify.
Managing Multiple Social Media Accounts
These days you may find you need to be on several platforms to fully reach your audience.
And how hard is it to have to manage each social platform individually? You’re constantly switching between channels because you want to post, edit a caption or delete a post.
If you’ve gone through this then you might be interested to know that there are tools that can pull everything together in one place to make this much, much easier.
Social Media Tool #2 – AgoraPulse
For example, AgoraPulse integrates with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Instagram to help you easily manage these platforms from a single dashboard.
It features full reporting, allows team usage, post scheduling, auto-moderation tools, competitor analysis and a lot more.
With this tool, you can even identify your most interactive followers on social media as well as view your history with certain commenters.
AgoraPulse is also committed to making Inbox Zero goal achievable. It sorts all messages in a default To Review filter that helps you focus on the latest items – remaining there until you review them individually or all with a single click.
Price: Starting at $49/month.
Similar Tools: Hootsuite, SocialOomph and Sprinklr.
Wouldn’t it be great to be online when most of your audience is online all of the time?
Obviously you can’t. The reality is that you’re a small business owner, not a social media manager, and you have to limit the amount of time you spend on social media.
But that doesn’t mean you have to compromise anything when it comes to sharing great content with your audience. That’s where a scheduling tool comes in so the posts go out automatically.
Social Media Tool #3 – Buffer
Buffer is perfect for this.
I know I’ve already mentioned that AgoraPulse can help you post to your different social media profiles. But, unlike AgoraPulse, Buffer is mainly to help you schedule posts.
It lets you post to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Instagram.
Buffer also allows you to schedule posts you find interesting without having to copy links or open new tabs. All you have to do is click on the Buffer extension and you can instantly add that link to a queue or share straight away.
Price: Buffer has a free plan for individuals and a $10 plan with limited features.
Social Media Tool #4 – HootSuite
Another tool I have to mention in this category is Hootsuite. Just like Buffer, Hootsuite helps you juggle your multiple social media accounts without spending all your time on open browser tabs and apps.
The tool allows you to conveniently connect your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, WordPress, Foursquare and Mixi accounts under a single umbrella where you can easily make use of its efficient scheduling feature.
The tool also has a quick customization feature that makes it easy to edit tabs and open more streams as it suits you.
Price: Hootsuite has a free plan and paid plans starting at $14.99/month.
Nowadays, you have to share your content more than once. Otherwise, content you share one social media will just end up being buried deep down in your audience’s timelines – where they don’t even scroll to.
Social Media Tool #5 – MeetEdgar
Most scheduling tools require you to schedule and share your content repetitively. Not MeetEdgar. Besides allowing you to schedule posts – like most of the other scheduling tools – Edgar enables you to create a library of social media updates that can be used indefinitely.
This means that your social media posts can finally get much more attention without you having to actually re-post them.
When creating the library, Edgar allows you complete customization in terms of categories, content and scheduling.
Currently, Edgar connects to Facebook (pages, groups and profile), Twitter profile, LinkedIn profile and company page.
Similar Tools: CoSchedule, Social Booster and Zoho Social.
Last week I talked about the types of video that any small business can create and highlighted the importance of visual content.
So, what if you had a tool dedicated to helping you share visual content across various platforms?
Social Media Tool #6 – EveryPost
EveryPost does exactly that. It helps you share multimedia content across multiple channels. These channels include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, tumblr and Google+.
It also helps you discover and curate visual content from a variety of online sources, customize the content and then share it with your audience.
It also allows you to work with a team and gives access to social metrics for better decision making.
Price: There’s a free plan and a paid plan at $9.99/month.
Similar Tools: Tailwind.
Listening and Engagement
As you use social media to generate buzz around your business, you’ll want to know where the buzz is coming from and interact with your audience. This calls for a tool that can tell you in real time, when people are talking about you and what platform they’re using.
A truly useful social listening tool should not only be able to search this data but also filter and refine it for you. In other words, it should be able to – through business intelligence – transform the data for you.
Social Media Tool #7 – SproutSocial
Sprout Social has great monitoring features, a built-in publishing and curation feature as well as an ever-growing variety of reports across various social channels, all well integrated with Google Analytics in a UI you’ll find easy and fun to use.
The tool also has CRM tools that help marketers engage with leads on social media.
Price: Starting at $59 per user/month.
Similar Tools: Mention, Social Mention, Talkwalker.
So, there you go.
7 tools for different purposes. Unfortunately there isn’t one all singing, all dancing tool that does everything.
There’s one thing to remember, though: When choosing a social media tool, there are usually a lot of factors in play. Every situation is unique and your business is different from someone else’s. That’s why I included alternatives that you can check out to see if they fit better than the main tool listed.
So are you using any of these social media tools for small business or maybe we’ve missed your favourite – let us know below.