Social media has impacted the way people communicate and interact. In fact people are spending more and more time on social media channels. This is why it has become important for businesses to not only be on social media, but to be active on it. Social media has become a way for customers to interact with their favorite brands and to communicate with companies.
The problem many small businesses face is staying active with so many social media platforms. The top two social media platforms to be on, generally, is Facebook and Twitter. Other platforms that may be important depending on your user demographics and industry is LinkedIn, Instagram, SnapChat and Pinterest. It is recommended that you post 1-2 times a day on Facebook, 3-5 (some recommend up to 15) times a day on Twitter, about once a day on Instagram, and 3+ pins a day on Pinterest.
If you are a startup or small business, you probably don’t have a team dedicated to monitoring and publishing to your social channels. Luckily, there are tools that can help make this easier.
Hootsuite is a social media management tool. It is an easy-to-use online platform that allows you to schedule social media posts across multiple channels (Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, WordPress, etc.).
You can also monitor all your social media accounts on one platform. Hootsuite’s “streams” search your social platforms for words, hashtags, mentions, etc. This allows you to see at a glance who is talking to you, find content to curate, or keep informed on what’s going on in your industry.
Hootsuite also has an analytic dashboard that shows you how your social platforms are performing, tracking information like followers, engagements and link clicks.
Lastly, Hootsuite is budget friendly. They have several subscription packages. The first is free and allows you to monitor three social media accounts. Then they have two professional versions. The basic Professional plan allows you to have up to 10 social media accounts and is $19 a month. The Professional Plus plan allows you to monitor 20 social media accounts and have 3 different users for $99 a month. Their Enterprise plan is customizable so pricing may vary.
Hubspot is another tool that can help manage social media accounts. You can manage platforms like: Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Google+, Pinterest and more.
Like Hootsuite, Hubspot also allows you to schedule posts to all your social accounts and create streams to monitor social media keywords, mentions, etc. Hubspot also provides analytics to help you analyze your business’s impact on social media. You can monitor engagement, clicks, visits, etc. Since Hubspot is an inbound marketing tool, you can also track to see what posts/platforms drive actual leads.
Buffer is a content publishing platform, so its main function is to publish and/or schedule social media postings. You can hook up Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and Pinterest accounts to Buffer. Buffer does have analytics, but only for the content posted through the Buffer platform.
Some great things about Buffer are the pricing and its compatibility with tools like IFTTT and Zapier. Like Hootsuite, Buffer has various plans. The free version is free and allows you to monitor 1 social profile per platform and schedule 10 posts per profile. Its Awesome plan is $10 a month and allows you to have 10 social profiles per platform with 100 scheduled posts per profile. Lastly, their Business plan is $99+ and allows you to monitor 25 profiles per platform, have 2,000 scheduled posts per profile with 5+ team members.
There are many other great social media management tools: Sprout Social, TweetDeck, MeetEdgar and more. So no matter what your need is or how small your business is, there are tools out there can can help you manage your social media accounts. Have any other tools you like to use? We would love to hear about them!
By Ashleigh Cue