5 Time Saving Tools to Manage Social Media for Small Businesses
Whether you’re self-employed, or employ five or fifty staff members, chances are you’re fully aware of how social media can benefit your business. And while having a Facebook page, Twitter account, LinkedIn profile or regular blog allives your business great exposure, keeping it up to date and current takes a lot of work on top of your already long list of to-dos.
Larger companies have the benefit of having an in-house ‘marketing’ department to help with these digital community management tasks or they have the financial resources to pay the professionals to do it, but for those of us with smaller businesses, staying on top of our social media profiles can prove to be a major headache. Fortunately, some enterprising developers have come up with some nifty and easy to use tools to help us manage the load.
As a professional social media manager, this is my absolute favourite. This handy tool allows you to schedule your posts according to the time you think your audience will be online. Simply choose your time slots and Buffer will post to Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and Google+ (Yes! don’t be fooled, Google+ hasn’t disappeared yet). In addition, teamed up with Feedly.com, it allows you to share articles of interest with your followers instantly with the click of a button helping to build your reputation as a leader in your industry: someone that has their finger on the pulse.
One ‘password’ to rule them all… Creating and saving (and remembering!) individual passwords for all the different social media profiles for me and all my clients is a challenge at best. And, with the threat of being hacked, it is far too risky to use the same password for everything, or worse still to save it to your computer (in a spreadsheet like I used to do). The most at risk are email accounts as they could potentially be a gateway to personal information. LastPass provides the highest level of security across all your passwords, and syncs across your computer, phone and tablet. All you need is your LastPass password and the application automatically fills in your password and username. It’s surprisingly easy to use and definitely one to check out!
3. Google Alerts
The trusty developers at Google have once again come up with a handy and user-friendly tool for us to use, free. Although it doesn’t cover social media sites, it does alert you to when a website posts about you or about a keyword that you are following. It’s a quick and easy way to monitor your brand (and your competitors) and at the same time learn in real time what new topics are trending in your industry.
Hootsuite covers all the bases and is essentially a one-stop shop to help you manage and monitor your entire social media presence. From your dashboard you’ll be able to monitor, manage and auto-schedule posts on your Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, MySpace (yep, another platform that’s still hanging on), WordPress and even Instagram (manual scheduling) accounts and profiles without having to log into each account individually. It has a built-in analytical tool that analyses your social media activity and progress. Its calendar feature makes time and task management a breeze and it even features a work-board where tasks can be assigned to team members.
Evernote is a clever tool for keeping on top of your content creation for social media posting or blogging. Not only does it actually provide a standard blog template, it also provides components to help you organise your writing. A great brainstorming tool: one which can be used to store all your ideas for social media campaigns and to plan and schedule your blog posts. Dump your brain into Evernote so you don’t need to worry about forgetting stuff.
Now your tune to share: Do you use any other social media time-saving tools?
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