If you're running a small to medium-sized business, you probably have a pretty full work schedule, and managing all social media as part of this is a time consuming task. You probably struggle to find the time, on a daily basis, to post, share and connect with your followers on all the different platforms.
However, it is a vital source and should be used as 3 in 5 SMBs say they've gained new customers by using social media and 74% of consumers say they rely on social media to influence their purchasing decisions.
So how do you find the time to get to grips with all this social media?
Luckily, there are tools to help you with this so that you can manage social media effectively and get the best out of it. Thinking of it like fitting in the time to do exercise, you only really need 10 minutes a day to get in a quick workout to keep you in good condition. This is similar with your social media, 10 minutes is all you need a day to get your social media up to the tip top quality it needs to be benefitting you. What's even better is that there are plenty of tools that make this even easier!
Below is a selection of some of the top-quality social media management tools that let you collate and organize all the social media you're on in one place so that you can spend less time jumping between each and more time reaping the benefits. The aim is to direct you to the tools that will mean you don't have to deal with social media every minute of every day; instead you can set aside a quick 10 minutes a day to do everything you need. Sounds pretty good right?
The most popular choice of social media management tool. Hootsuite gives you the ability to effectively manage an endless selection of social networks from one platform; it gives you a concise place to manage what people are saying about your brand and a way to respond quickly.
You can promptly create and customise reports that are ready to present and streamline your workflows to share your workload amongst teams and departments, if needed. There are variations on what you get depending on whether you want to use it for free or pay but either way you will find it much easier to manage your social media platforms.
A great little social media management tool that allows you to schedule posts on multiple accounts including Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Linkedin and app.net. There is a free version that gives you the ability to connect to one per each social network, but if you want the choice of being able to to connect to any combination of those profiles with numerous accounts you will need to pay a small monthly fee and upgrade to the awesome plan.
In addition to scheduling posts, you can also add posts to your queue. This works by slowly releasing out the posts in your queue, or buffer, at the predetermined times. What's more, with Buffer you get some helpful analytical reports that show you how well your tweets, posts and updates are performing. Great for helping you get the most out of what you're posting and sharing.
This social media management tool boasts: smart engagement, seamless publishing and actionable insights. Never miss a social message, as all your profiles are in one place making it easier to communicate with your customers on all platforms; easy publishing on to multiple social networks including a drafts section that helps you note down post ideas for review later.
The reporting on SproutSocial is designed to make social media analytics data super easy to understand and put into action. Export data on each social network and get full insight into which content is getting the most attention from your audience.
Related Article: Should You Hire a Social Media Manager?
IFTTT (If This Then That)
A social media management tool that makes it super easy for you to connect different products and apps in all areas including your social networks. It's excellent for tracking news coverage so that you never miss a mention of your brand; you can schedule social media campaigns so that they remain in circulation if necessary, much easier that having to think about which post you need to push out again that week.
Connect your blogs to social media so that they automatically send out an alert when you up date them. Also track and archive frequent content you post instead of manually listing everything; IFTTT have automated reporting systems for this very task. In addition, this management tool works really well with two of the other social media management tools we've already mentioned. Use them together to optimise your use of social media to its full potential.
As I said earlier, these are only a small section of the social media management tools that are on offer to help you get the most out of your social media without having to spend precious time from your busy schedule working on them. Use this as a starting point to find the social media management tool that will work best for you and your small business.