It can be tricky to jump on the social media bandwagon when the wagon seems to have its own turbo-powered engine. Not to mention there are hundreds of wagon stops and a route that’s too inconsistent to keep track of these days – you’ve got plenty else to worry about as a small business owner. Which is why there’s no shame in getting your own social media marketing tool. Yes, I’m talking about software that actually helps you manage your social media, just like you would for your taxes and payroll.
I’ve compiled my list of what I think are the fifteen best social media management tools on the market today. Some overlap on features, others are more unique, and all are extremely handy for anyone who feels overwhelmed by the idea of keeping their Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, onsite blog, and other profiles consistently updated. Whether used alone or paired with others, they’re all bound to make your social media life a little easier.
Take a deep breath, and find sweet relief in these social media marketing tools available for use right away.
HootSuite is a popular dashboard from which you can easily access and manage many of your social media profiles. With all your pages visible in clearly-organized sections, you can schedule posts, measure your post’s results, and track the hashtags or conversations that are relevant to you and your business.
SocialOomph, like most social media management tools, coordinates your actions across platforms such as your business Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Plurk, and your onsite blog. It’s particularly useful for your Twitter account because of its feature that helps auto-clean out your DM box. It will also auto-follow any new Twitter follower to your page, if that’s your style.
What makes Website Rocket unique is that it literally tells you what to post on your social media accounts to promote your business. You don’t have to come up with the ideas for social media posts anymore, and it schedules it out for you in advance so it only takes a few minutes a day. Also walks you through SEO on your website for help with Google. You can get a free 14 day trial right here to test it out.
This powerful tool links together all your social media profiles and gives you one simple inbox – you’ll never miss a message again. It has a beautifully clean interface, allows you to set up keywords of your choice, and always notifies you when someone mentions your business in a post. Sprout Social is a bit more expensive, but if you have a strong dedication to social activity then it will certainly enable your efforts.
TweetDeck is owned by Twitter and only works with your Twitter account, but it’s insanely useful and a great way to become a pro (we’ll admit it, Twitter can be a little intimidating). It helps you keep track of the conversations you’d like to stay focused on, and a great way to stay involved in the vast universe of tweets out there. You can also use it to schedule tweets and set up alerts. This beautiful app is also free, so it’s worth a download.
Crowdbooster gives you great analytics and insights across your Facebook and Twitter accounts – it shows you how your posts are performing and gives you suggestions on what you could do to get closer to the results you’re looking for. It also notifies you of new Twitter followers that may be interested in you based on other pages they’re following (this is a great feature).
Like some of the other Twitter managers, Tweepi is a great tool for anyone who needs some Twitter cleanup (for those of us who have let their Twitter account get a bit unruly). This app will automatically get rid of any “unfollowers” (people who follow your page looking for a “follow-back,” and then instantly unfollow you), as well as any inactive members. You can also force some to unfollow you with a new feature they’ve introduced.
“IFTTT” (If This, Then That) gives you the power to be a developer and automate as much social media action as you want with just a few easy steps. For example, you could set up a “formula” that states every time you post a blog, it will send out a post on your platform of choice. Or that every time a certain someone posts a Tweet, it will send you an email notification. This helps keeps everything connected in the way that makes most sense to you.
Sendible also manages all your social media accounts, and can send out SMS messages to those subscribed. It also works with Yelp, which is a particularly great feature for small businesses – you can monitor competing Yelp pages more easily through Sendible. If you aren’t happy with your WordPress or your website CMS, you can compose and publish all your blog posts through your Sendible platform.
Spredfast is one of the best social media management tools for understanding your post reach and what kind of difference it’s making. It will generate a series of graphs for you that illustrate all your Facebook, Youtube, Flickr, and Twitter data. These graphs will show you how many people you’ve reached, which people have engaged, and when your optimal posting times will be. There are plenty other analytic features illustrated in the graphs, clearly laid out for you to understand.
Visually has created a fun little program that lets you get a good look at your competitors on Twitter. Set up to look almost like a game, it compares your Twitter profile with a profile of a competitor. It may be a lot of fun, but it also gives you great business insight. The comparison will show you follower-to-following ratio, tweet engagement, mentions per tweet, and other areas of interest. It gives you a good idea of what you’re doing well, and what areas you should change your strategy around.
This app helps clarify all of the conversations you’re trying to watch and simplify what you need to do to stay relevant. SocialFlow gives you an organized look at when the best conversations will reach all the right people, which is obviously something very difficult to keep track of on your own. This is a great tool for keeping track of all manner of social engagement.
Everypost lets you post easily on all your platforms from your desktop or mobile device. It’s a great tool to help you stay on task, and not spend needless time navigating through your various accounts. It also has a very helpful feature that helps you shorten your Twitter posts to below 140 characters (we all know how real that struggle is).
Edgerank Checker gives you clearly laid out analytics around your Facebook profile. It goes beyond the analytics that Facebook provides, and gives you far better insights to what your posts are doing for you. It makes it easier to understand by simplifying the many numbers with a more straightforward rating system. It will also give you suggestions to help improve those metrics over time.
The benefit of Viral Heat (formerly known as Argyle Social) is that it’s specifically made to assist in social media for B2B (business-to-business) marketing strategies. If your business works with other retailers or manufacturers, this is a great option to keep your strategy on track. The tool will fine tunes analytics and workflow specifically to your unique business style, which will give your social media presence a great advantage.
These are the best of the best social media management tools available today, but depending on your needs some may look more attractive than others. Whichever tools you choose to employ, make sure they effectively help make social media less of a chore, and more of the fun and easy expression of your small business that it’s supposed to be.
Know of other awesome social media marketing tools? Post them in the comments below!