Social media marketing is a critical component of any business serious about attracting, retaining and engaging the right customer base, as well as connecting with a wider audience.
This means the pressure is on to generate great social content, on the right platforms, and at the time when your audience is most likely to engaged with it.
But with the right social media automation tools, scheduling, monitoring and analysing social content has never been easier. We take a look at five popular social media management tools that won’t break the small business budget.
This social media tool offers a great ‘snapshot’ of your social networks all in one platform, which lets you effectively listen in on what your audience is saying about your business or brand.
You can also schedule and monitor engagement around each post with Hootsuite’s analytics tool.
Small businesses can start with a free account, which allows for automating up to three social profiles and offers some basic analytics reports and message scheduling.
For more functionality offerings, Hootsuite has a ‘Pro’ package starting at $10.99 a month and a more integrated ‘Entrepreneur’ package at bespoke pricing.
2. Audiense – SocialBro
For small businesses that leverage Twitter as their main social platform, SocialBro by Audiense could be a wise investment.
The tool allows you to target new followers, monitor your competitors and importantly, analyse your account to determine the most optimal time to schedule your tweets to gain more audience reach.
You can also generate analytics reports from your account to help further develop your social media marketing strategy moving forward. While the tool offers a freemium model, prices start at $13.95 a month.
3. Sprout social
With an easy interface and user-friendly functionality, Sprout Social is fast becoming a popular social media marketing tool for time-poor business owners.
It allows you to manage social media messages all on one platform via its ‘Smart Inbox’ tool, and generates easy-to-read analytics reports to help boost your engagement strategy.
The platform also collates key target market insights and gives you customised feedback on how to improve your social reach, which is particularly valuable for small businesses serious about growing their audience.
Prices start at $39 a month and peak at premium level to $899 a month.
Widely compared to Hootsuite, Buffer offers a clean and easy-to-use interface with a predominant focus on scheduling.
While it doesn’t have all the full suite of functionality the likes of Hootsuite or Sprout Social may offer, the beauty of the tool is its simplicity; simple schedule and go with no need for complex training or advanced marketing analytical skills.
This makes it perfect for anyone who is new to the world of social media marketing and wants an entry level tool.
Buffer is free to individuals with one profile on each network, but offers more automation options that start from $10 a month.
5. Meet Edgar
Edgar is another scheduling tool for social media. It has a ‘recycling’ function, where once the platform has shared your final scheduled content, it will go back to the beginning of your content list and share it all over again.
The idea behind this function is to not only save you time, but to allow your content to be viewed by as much of your target audience as possible. A little pricier than some of its competitors, Edgar’s prices start at $49 a month.
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