Over the past few years social media fever seems to have gripped the arena, with greater than 1.06 billion monthly active Facebook users, 200 million active Twitter users and 200 million LinkedIn users. Among the small business community there looks a growing affiliation towards social media as a device for increasing brand visibility and customer reach.
A 2012 survey of 600 small business owners conducted in 2012 by Manta around the U.S revealed that 90 percent were using social networking sites to advertise their business. A 2013 survey by the Wall Street Journal of 835 small businesses shows that LinkedIn (with 41%), You Tube (16%) and Facebook (14%) were considered to be one of the best social media tools.
Social media tools offer a price-effective process of promoting a business, yet many small businesses still don’t use social media because they either don’t have the time or the information to make use of them . Incidentally, the identical Manta survey confirmed that 58% of the companies using Facebook, struggled with using it effectively.
Fortunately there are social media management applications which can help small businesses manage their social media efforts effectively. In essence a social media management application offers a single platform for updating and managing different social media accounts jointly.
Here is a roundup of a few popular social media management tools for small businesses.
Hootsuite , well-liked by many social media professionals, offers a free plan which lets you manage as much as 5 profiles and includes services resembling message scheduling, basic reports and team collaboration. Their paid packages start at $9.99/month and offer additional features like unlimited profiles, Google analytics integration, unlimited RSS feed and far more. The professional version comes with a 30 days trial period. For bigger enterprises with multiple users, look at their Enterprise plan.
VerticalResponse Social Media Marketing offers the original feature of integrating email and social media campaigns. The application designed specifically for small businesses includes content suggestions which are a blessing for small business owners who either don’t have the time or are simply perplexed about choosing relevant information updates for his or her customers. From single posts to multi-week campaigns, the appliance allows posts to be scheduled as much as 30 days upfront. The package costs $18 a month and is a cost-effective choice for businesses that is using a separate email newsletter service.
In March this year, Pagemodo launched its social media management tool, PageModo Post, with the purpose making information search plenty easier for small businesses. As per Haroon Mokhtarzada, Vistaprint’s vice chairman of world digital product and co-founding father of Webs , “Pagemodo Posts is one of the best ways to post quality, relevant content for your top social networks on the absolute best times in the course of the day”. It enables look for content basis keywords and its +Post content allows content to be posted from any website to the social media page on the click of a button. The free package allows one fan page, one tab, one post suggestion, and one post an afternoon. Its paid plans vary from $6.25 to $33.25 per thirty days.
Offering the ease of ‘set it and forget it’, social media management applications are a boon for small businesses foraying into multiple social media. Reckoning on your budget and nature of commercial, choose an application this is good for you. But before you do, be sure that the appliance is definitely scalable, supports popular networks together with Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter and allows posts to be scheduled well prematurely