The 7 Best Social Media Tools for 2015 (Small Businesses)
Owning a small business or a startup can be the most exciting and most daunting thing to take on. The challenges of setting everything up and getting your product/service ready are one aspect but reaching out to customers, successfully identifying and entering specific markets and establishing a competitive edge over existing players in your sector can be a hefty task.
There are so many ways to communicate now that juggling all channels, day in and day out in line with best practices will leave many entrepreneurs’ heads spinning. The need to engage with clients at all times seems to be a gargantuan job if you are also dealing with other aspects of running a business. This is precisely why we are seeing a true boom in social media specific jobs as a lot of businesses are recognising it to be a vital and full time challenge.
As social media has grown, so has the array of tools created to streamline and automate most of the communication tasks and expanding your reach to new audiences.
Here are seven social media tools that are taking the small business world by storm in 2015.
Imagine you are sitting in your car. In the dashboard are dials showing the status of nearly all of the systems in your car. Oil pressure? Gasoline? Miles? Check, check, and check.
Hootsuite takes this philosophy and applies it to social media. On a single screen, you can see all of your social media profiles and delegate certain accounts to different people or departments (if your company is getting big enough for that sort of thing.)
Beyond delegation, this service enables you to see which profiles are garnering the most views, and allows you to decide which ones are worth investing in. This saves you time and money and eliminates the need to run irksome feedback programs.
The digital equivalent to the old-fashioned mail campaign is of course the email shot. There are numerous companies out there promising to help create the best email campaigns for their clients, though few have the track record of VerticalResponse.
As a company dedicated to helping small businesses succeed, it will guide you through every step of the process. Design is vital for your message to be successful. VerticalResponse takes this responsibility very seriously and designs some of the most appealing and informative email templates possible.
VerticalResponse even works with you on social media by formatting these advertisements to work with popular social media sites such as Facebook. Finally, it will help you create sign up pages designed to attract new people interested in learning more about your company.
CrowdBooster is a social media analysis tool, designed to inform business owners about what is, and what isn’t, working in your social media presence. Beyond that, it collects data about the time most viewers accessed your posts, it informs you when to release your next batch of marketing material in order to have the greatest impact.
Industry hot shots, such as the LA Times and Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, use CrowdBooster. That’s a pretty good endorsement!
SproutSocial is designed to make managing your social media presence easier by congregating all of your messages into one seamless interface. The goal of this service is to reduce the amount of time spent collecting feedback from users and maximising the time you spend building your company’s products and reputation.
SproutSocial breaks down messages on a demographical basis, enabling you to see which specific groups are engaging most. For instance, when deciding on a new gender-specific product, it is a good idea to know who your main audience on social media is.
Information is power and by understanding who is saying what, you can stay on top of trends and profit accordingly. What separates this from Hootsuite is that it is designed for companies with just a few employees. One person can manage pretty much everything.
Up until now we have only dealt with traditional social media, email and sharing sites. However, there is another branch of the mighty digital tree that needs to be carefully cultivated if a company is to survive in this digital age.
Like with the tools listed above, Postling monitors social media sites for new messages and demographic trends. What sets this company apart is the expansion of this monitoring to product review sites, such as Yelp.
Knowing what customers are saying about your company on these review boards is vital in order to maintain a positive brand image within your market. More and more people are going online first in order to decide which companies are worth their time and money.
Do not allow your business to be ruined by a bad review. Receive notifications of any negative feedback immediately and take action before it gathers momentum.
Argyle Social is one of the larger, and more successful, companies in the social media tool sphere. It is designed to automate publication of material put together by you.
The company prides itself on being at the forefront of data collection, identifying new and powerful ways to give its clients the information to reach out to consumers without having to worry about wasting time and precious company resources.
It is one of the more expensive options on this list, starting at around $300 per month, but the experience and dedication found in this company is guaranteed to make the investment worthwhile.
Post Planner is a Facebook management tool that helps automate the sharing of content to your Facebook followers. Like the others, Post Planner will handle everything in the queue and automatically post out based on preset times.
In addition to having all the normal page management features, such as scheduling, insights, it also comes with a secret weapon. What separates Post Planner from other management and posting tools is their content discovery engine. This feature finds you the most popular, most shared content in your industry so that you can tailor your content accordingly.
By finding the best type of content to share and at the right time, you will increase your engagement level and save time doing it.
Social Media does not have to be a chore. By taking advantage of the tools out there, it is possible to leverage these digital channels and create a new stream of customers for your business.
Reach out to these teams and learn what can be done to improve your company’s communication and get stuck in. You will only benefit from embracing social media this year! Make it one of your main resolutions.
What are your favorite social media tools to use? Feel free to share them in the comments section below.