The Top 10 Social Media Management Tools for Small Businesses
When it comes to social media there’s nothing more important than management. Not only pre-posting, but post-posting too. How well has your content been received? What’s worked well? What hasn’t? What, for future, do you need to improve on?
Just looking at posts might not tell you that; engagement is a fickle beast, after all. But, when you have the correct tools at your disposal, it’s well worth keeping a close eye on. Fortunately our guide to the Top 10 Social Media Management Tools For Small Businesses will make it easy to choose the right method to cope with your workload.
As we discussed in our Social Media Checklist for 2017, managing your accounts and planning your brand content is extremely important. Keeping similar content that fits with your business, knowing what works and what doesn’t and then altering your plan to fit the results is how you run a social media campaign. It used to be that you were forced to study all of this data yourself, but some people have set up social media management tools to help businesses run their Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest more effectively.
Though it only manages your Twitter accounts, Tweetdeck is a valuable and FREE management tool that helps you with scheduling, updating and tracking your tweets. You can manage as many Twitter accounts as you like. With Tweetdeck, you can schedule posts, respond to messages and tweets, check what content is being liked and retweeted, and update your accounts. The dashboard is set up in a way that makes it extremely easy to navigate and it’s all on one page and regularly updated without the need to refresh, meaning you can check all aspects of your brand on Twitter without the need to swap tabs or windows.
The downsides to Tweetdeck is that, as it says on the tin, it’s only for Twitter accounts. It’s also not that high-tech, meaning that you can post and schedule posts from it, as well as check and respond to messages, but that’s about it. It’s free, so you can’t sniff too much at it. Just remember that if you want to expand your brand across multiple social media platforms then Tweetdeck may be useful, but probably not essential.
Hootsuite is a great management tool that can both be used for FREE as well as paying a fixed, monthly sum for a few more added extras. With the free version you can manage three different social media accounts at once. You can post and schedule, as well as check analytics for what you’re putting out. If you’re only planning on promoting your brand on a couple of social media sites, then Hootsuite is perfect. Though the free version does have some limitations, such as the analytics not being quite as thorough, you can still get the most out of what you’re being given.
With Hootsuite Professional you can manage up to ten different accounts, as well as real time analytics and automatic post scheduling. There’s a lot more toys to pay for and, honestly, it’s not too much of a payout. For £16, it’s a lot cheaper than some of its other counterparts and easy to use as well.
A FREE tool that you can use to manage one of your social media accounts. Though it may not go into as much depth as some of the paid-for options, Buffer is most certainly a good social media managing tool to have at your disposal. However, if you like how Buffer manages your one, free account (either one Facebook account, one Twitter account, one Pinterest account etc.), then you may want to fork out a little money to spread it across 10 accounts. This bumps you up to $10 and you can even try it free for 7 days with no cost. Sounds like a pretty good deal to me.
Buffer is a fantastic way to post updates for channels from one place without having to load each individual social media site individually. Maintaining everywhere you’re posting and seeing it all in the same place means that you can make sure that your brand is smooth and similar across the board. You don’t want to have anyone forgetting what they scheduled for one account and it works wonders with multiple people posting on multiple sites. With a range of options and such a low price, it’s perfect for small businesses who want to dip their toes into the social media tools market, but still get the most out of what they use.
The aim of BuzzSumo is to review and reflect upon competitor’s data so that you can create something even better. Comparing your own content with that of competing businesses in your industry may prove vital to improving. If you’re posting the same stuff as someone else, but theirs is doing better, you’ll have to ask yourself why. Sometimes, these things aren’t all that easy to understand just by looking at them. With clear competitor analysis, allowing you to get alerts every time businesses within your industry (or, within select keywords you decide upon) post, you can update, maintain and even alter your social media campaign to reflect the changing face of the world in which you work.
You can get yourself a FREE TRIAL to test BuzzSumo out, but the price overall is a little more on the expensive side: $79 per month. Whether this price reflects the quality of the social media management that you get would really be up to you. Which you can kind out with your free trial, to really see if it works for you and your business.
The thing about Edgar is that it’s a very good tool to use if you want to post similar updates at certain times. With some brands it’s a good idea to keep populating social media accounts with the same stuff. Whether it’s because you don’t have a lot of content in a certain amount of time, or whatever you’re posting is that important, you can be sure that Edgar is a fantastic platform for doing just that. Sometimes regurgitating content is important for a brand. Whether it’s a Facebook post, a tweet or an Instagram picture, you’ll likely need to reiterate certain aspects of your business to make sure they stick. Edgar is perfect for that.
You will be able to set when your posts will be scheduled and can even set it to random. In the end, if you want to duplicate your posts, then Edgar is a good way to do it. This does, however, mean that there isn’t much in the way of analytics and anything new that you want to post, you’ll need to do manually. Using Edgar in tandem with another social media tool is definitely required. Plus, the fact that it’s totally FREE does mean it’s something neat to try and make work for you.
With a FREE TRIAL for 14 days,you can definitely see how Inkybee will benefit your social media campaigns. At $79 per month, the In-House Team package gives you a lot of room in regards to your accounts. Using Inkybee you can receive information on any other domain: location, engagement (i.e. social shares, blog comments), audience size, posts per week, days since last post, inbound links, Twitter followers, Facebook likes, mozRank, page authority and domain authority. With all of this information you can see what your competitors are doing with their websites and social media accounts and formulate a plan of action around it.
Essentially Inkybee is great for looking at what other people are doing. You can use it as a hub, to look at several different blogs at once and figure out what to do with yours. It’s less social media related, but if you’re running any kind of article-based website then it’s key to getting that edge over websites similar to yours. You don’t want to be missing out on the next big thing and may learn a thing or two from them.
At a pretty reasonable $19 a month for small businesses, Post Planner is a fantastic social media management tool for planning and executing your brand campaign. With Post Planner you can do exactly what it says on the tin: plan your posts. This means that you know exactly what you’ll be putting up and when, with the ability to do so with several accounts at once. Like Tweetdeck, but for a range of social media platforms, you will be able to post any future updates all at once. You also have the ability to go and edit anything that has changed, or won’t work. With Post Planner, you can use its algorithms to see how past posts engaged with your target audience. Not only that, you can predict how future posts will be received as well.
You will be able to look at how your posts are doing at the same time as writing new ones. Coming up with your social media campaign on the fly isn’t a good idea. Having the ability to plan out what you’ll be posting weeks, or even months in advance is key to success. Your competitors are doing it!
At $59 a month, Sprout Social is a little more expensive, but is well worth paying the extra. Like Post Planner, Sprout Social will directly correlate your social media date with what has worked in the past and what will work in the future. You will be able to use the analytics produced by Sprout Social to see how well what you’re posting is doing and how much your audience is feeding back. This is extremely helpful with any social media campaign as just throwing content out into the void with no response is not only incredibly disheartening, but a waste of money, too.
You are also able to respond to any and all messages across social platforms on the same page. This not only means that you can make sure your brand identity is the same in all replies, but that you aren’t answering the same question twice. Also, it means that you won’t miss a message which, in this day and age, is very important.
Though only for Facebook and Twitter, Crowdbooster is a fantastic social media management tool that allows users to keep an eye on their followers and their posts. Crowdbooster doesn’t just do what Sprout Social and Post Planner do, it lets you know which users are following you and which you should be following back. This is really important if you want your brand to expand. Influential social media users will likely retweet, like or share your content to a larger audience than just anyone. Of course, every follower is key to the process of increasing your counts on each social media channels, but so-called “influential followers” is where the key lies.
Really, that’s where the charm and use of Crowdbooster lies: in learning about your followers. It’s good to know who’s following you and how much attention they get. It may be the key to gaining more influence for your social media campaign, which is what you want! The only problem is, at the moment, Crowdbooster is not currently accepting new sign-ups. But, it’s a great resource to keep an eye on for the future.
While the other social media management tools in this list are broader with what they target, Cyfe is far more detail orientated. Using the dashboard you can organise all of your accounts and account details in one place. And, in incredible detail. Cyfe monitors everything about all of the social media accounts you put into its system. You will be able to export any data you like in a bunch of different formats (PDF, PNG, CSV etc.). From there, you can study it to your heart’s content. This is a little more technical than the other tools on the Top 10 Social Media Management Tools For Small Businesses, but for those who want to go into minute detail with their accounts, Cyfe is the perfect tool for you.
You can opt in for real time reports on how your posts are doing. You can also look back at historical data to compare and contrast with what you’re putting up right now. That in itself is extremely useful as looking back at anything that has worked well in your social media history can shape and mould what you continue to post in the future.
In the end, there are plenty of social media management tools for you to choose from. Including the others out there that cost a whole lot more. You’ve got a very broad range that do lots of different things. If you’re a small business looking to dip your toe into the vast ocean of social media, perhaps the free-to-use tools would be best. If you’re looking for a way to expand your online presence even further, then perhaps paying a little more is the key. Honestly, it’s up to you. We hope that the Top 10 Social Media Management Tools For Small Businesses has made it a little easier.
Hopefully you’ve learned a little more about what’s out there for you. But, remember to do your own research as well. You may find a tool that’s better than all of the ones on here combined. Or, you might end up realising you have a bigger budget to spend on your campaigns than you thought. Whatever the outcome, using social media management tools is key if you want to enhance your reception online.