Top Social Media Management Tools for Your Small Business
By: Michael Benninger
If you’re a small-business owner with few or no employees, managing your business’ online marketing can seem like an overwhelming task. Digital marketing is too important to ignore these days, but there are so many social media platforms online that knowing where to concentrate your efforts can pose quite a conundrum.
The good news is that there are many free-to-use social media marketing tools for business owners that simplify digital marketing by allowing you to quickly schedule posts to a publish on multiple social networks at the time of your choosing. If you’re just learning how to build a business website, or perhaps you have a site but are tight on time and budget, these free tools are really easy to use and can help you do a week’s worth of social media marketing in under an hour.
There are a number of social media tools to help you strengthen and streamline your digital marketing, but which one is right for your business? Here’s a look at three of the most widely used social media management tools and how they can benefit you.
Founded in 2008 and headquartered in Canada, Hootsuite is among the most used social media management tools for small businesses. Hootsuite allows users to link up to three social media profiles (including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+), and view all of their recent activity in one place. Unless you cough up a few bucks each month for a Pro plan, though, Hootsuite will only let you schedule one post to publish at a later time. Another restriction of Hootsuite’s free tier is that you’re not able to share access to your dashboard with an employee or coworker. Hootsuite does, however, generate three enhanced analytics reports that let you track the reach and effectiveness of your social campaigns to compare performance and help you make better decisions for your business.
Another of the most popular marketing tools for small businesses is Tweetdeck, which was first released in 2008 before being purchased by Twitter in 2011. Tweetdeck invites users to keep tabs on multiple Twitter timelines in one convenient screen. You can schedule tweets for future publication, and create alerts to stay on top of breaking news. Tweetdeck allows you to closely monitor public conversations that people are having about your brand, giving you the ability to engage with those who are talking about your business. Tweetdeck is free to use and ideal for businesses that rely heavily upon Twitter, but unfortunately it doesn’t work other social networks.
Buffer is another of the most widely used social media business tools. With Buffer, you can schedule updates to post on many major social networks, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+. Buffer also offers a “queuing” feature, which enables users to optionally decide what time their posts should be made public, or they can let the Buffer algorithm select the time in which it thinks your message has the ability to reach the greatest number of people. An added bonus, Buffer will source shareable content that it thinks your audience might enjoy, and lets you determine if it’s right for your readers. For an added fee, you can delegate Buffer access to your colleagues, and receive detailed analytics.
Which Tool is Right for You?
These may be among the most used social media tools for small businesses, but there are far more out there for you to discover. Browse around, try them out, and choose the one that works best for you.
Starting from scratch? Read helpful articles on how to build a small business website.