Social Media has revolutionized the way we market our small businesses because you can directly interact with your customers, vendors, community, and influencers. The true value of social media is the ability to analyze how your posts are being received and to monitor the conversations happening around your brand.
Comprehensive social media management could be a full-time job all by itself. Luckily, there are lots of tools available to help small business owners manage their own social media accounts effectively. Most apps are freemium, meaning they start free and offer paid features for businesses as they grow. The best part about a freemium app is that you have the ability to give the software a try without committing to a payment, but it’s important to remember that it takes a lot of effort to set up a social media system. Once the system is in place, you will save a lot of time. But the process of setting it up in the first place is enough to deter you from wanting to switch systems too often.
Social media management apps have different specialties, so it’s important to consider what exactly you’d like to get out of the software before you make a commitment. Some apps will also be geared to certain platforms. If your social media strategy goes beyond Facebook and Twitter, you’ll want to make sure that your platforms are supported.
Social media requires consuming and contributing an endless amount of content. Google Alerts is a free and easy tool that helps you do both! You can set up an alert to any keyword, and when that keyword is posted online, Google will send you the link. You can choose between receiving alerts as soon as new articles go live, or getting a digest version once a day. Google Alerts is particularly helpful when you need to keep an eye on the things being said about your company or brand or to keep your finger on the pulse of the latest information coming out of your industry.
CoSchedule is a fairly comprehensive program that can house all of your content marketing efforts, social media but also blogging, inbound marketing and big picture calendars. The overall program is not a free tool but is fairly affordable at $30 monthly for a solopreneur. In terms of free tools, CoSchedule offers a Headline Analyser that will score your article headline and give you tips to make it more eye-catching.
Keyhole is a tool that analyses hashtags and gives you an overview of the conversation around the hashtag. You can use the related tags box to look for new or better hashtags and understand who is using the hashtags. The tracker preview on the main page gives a lot of information for someone who is just getting started with social media, although subscriptions to the full features of the app start at $132 a month.
Hootsuite manages social media efforts by allowing you to schedule the posts for all of your accounts in one mainframe. Posts can be scheduled in bulk and in advance, making your social media work even when you’re not. Hootsuite also provides basic analytics and covers just about every social media platform your small business needs to be on. The best part of Hootsuite is that there is a great plan with a lot of features available for free. As a solopreneur, you probably won’t need to graduate out of the paid plan, but a professional upgrade is only $10 a month and includes up to 10 different social profiles.