Take social media to the next level for your small business
Want to do more on social media for your small business?
A lot of small businesses do.
Our survey of 1,100 small businesses from earlier this year found that most small businesses have embraced social media, but that they still want more out of it.
Here are a few of the key stats from that study:
- 45 percent of small businesses use social media to sell to potential customers
- 38 percent of small businesses use social media to gain likes and fans
- 34 percent of small businesses use social media to solicit and respond to customers
Does any of that fit with what you’re doing on social, too? Are you trying to get all that done with little to no budget?
If you are, you’re actually like many of the small businesses we surveyed 34 percent spend three percent or less of their revenue on marketing. One in 10 spends nothing.
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Fortunately, with social media, a tiny budget is less of a problem than you’d think. Try out a few of these free social media tools to save time and get more results from your work.
To Assess How You’re Doing on Social Media Already
- 1. Set up a basic listening station with Sprout Social. Sometimes we get so focused on publishing social media posts that we forget one of the best uses of social media: Listening to what people are saying about your company, and what they’re saying about topics related to your services.
- 2. Stay on top of online reviews with FreeReviewMonitoring.com. Online reviews are hugely important to local businesses, but staying on top of all the review sites can be time-consuming. This tool solves that problem.
- 3. Many small business owners haven’t kept up with Facebook’s endless evolutions. is an ideal way to run a quick check, see what can be improved, and get to it.
- 4. See how your Facebook page and your competitors’ pages are performing with Fanpage Karma. Want to see analytics info on which posts and post types are doing best for your competitors? This free tool can show you their secrets.
Related Article: Entrepreneurs Love These 13 Tools for Conducting Market Research
To Manage Your Social Media Accounts
- 5. Schedule up to 10 posts with Buffer’s free plan. Publishing posts one at a time is a major time-waster. Buffer can do that and far more. It’s arguably the most popular social media management tool.
- 6. Also for scheduling and tracking social media accounts: Hootsuite. If Buffer isn’t the most popular social media tool, then it’s got to be HootSuite. And because it’s so widely used, you can easily find someone to manage your accounts for you. There’s also an education center if you want to do it yourself.
- 7. Tailwind for Pinterest and Instagram. Getting good results on Pinterest? Loving Instagram? A lot of small businesses are. Tailwind can get you even more traffic and leads from your work.
- 8. Manage your Twitter account with Followerwonk. This is a power tool that can save you hours finding and following the right people.
- 9. Grow your Twitter and Instagram accounts with Crowdfire. Like Instagram or Twitter? Want to do more with them? Crowdfire can help.
To Optimize Your Posts for More Engagement
- 10. Make great images quickly with Canva. Images rule on social media, and Canva makes it easy to create them. It’s got pre-designed templates for every social media image format imaginable.
- 11. Find great content to share with your followers Scoop.It. There are dozens of curation tools, but Scoop is free. Also check out DrumUp which works with Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
- 12. Find out which hashtags are used most near you with TrendsMap. Use tools like TrendsMap or Hashtagify.me to find the best hashtags fast.
Three Other Essential Tools
- 13. To see who’s clicking your links on third-party sites, use Bit.ly. Google Analytics lets you see who’s clicked links that point to your website. But what about all the other links you’ve got out on the web the ones that point to your social media accounts, or content that’s not on your site? Bit.ly to the rescue.
- 14. To get more shares from your own content, use Digg Digg. This is a WordPress plugin you install on your site. Why? Because the easier it is to share your content, the more likely people are to do it.
- 15. To find people who might need your services, try NeedTagger. This free Twitter tool lets you find who’s been asking about the services you offer.
Back to You
Got any favorites I haven’t mentioned here? Please share. It’s the social thing to do. Leave a comment below and tell us what your favorite free social media tools are.