7 Social Media Tools for Small Business: The Pros and Cons
By Kit Smith
We live in a busy age. Luckily, we also live in a technological age, where there is no shortage of programs to help keep us at our most productive. In fact, there are so many tools available it can be hard to know which is the best for your particular need.
There are many lists containing the major players, and a lot of those tools will already be familiar to people. They can sometimes be too expensive for smaller operations, So I wanted to look at some of the lesser known tools, and inspect the pros and cons of choosing one of the newer players.
Knowing what drives engagement on Facebook is an important part of social media marketing for small businesses. Simply having a presence on social media isn’t enough if people aren’t engaging with your content. SumoRank helps you generate ideas for engagement strategies. You can track your competitor’s engagement metrics, meaning you can benchmark your efforts against theirs.
Enter a Facebook URL to discover engagement metrics, broken down by type of content, time, volume of engagement. It’s database comes from the analysis of over 500 million Facebook pages to discover the best sharing strategies out there.
Free to use without restrictions. Gain competitor insights to improve your own Facebook content.
Simple to use, at a glance metrics. Simply enter a Facebook page and hit submit.
Gain valuable insights on your competitors, as well as your own page.
Lack of customization. You can only look at the metrics chosen by RankSumo.
Many features are already available in Facebook Insights.
2. Analyze your Twitter analytics and reach, with Tweetreach
TweetReach by Union Metrics allows you to enter a search term, whether that’s a Tweet, hashtag, subject or author. You can then review your estimated reach, number of impressions, activity over the last week, top contributors and most retweeted Tweets.
Small businesses can then check on the effectiveness of their tweets, discover influencers and follow their Twitter campaigns. This is valuable knowledge to ensure that Tweets are reaching people, and getting good engagement.
Allows you to easily discover metrics around reach, impressions, influencers, most popular tweets.
I discovered an influencer who hadn’t @mentioned me when Tweeting my content. I was then able to follow and interact by clicking through from the report.
Great for tracking the effectiveness of Twitter campaigns
Has a free version with a limit of the last 100 tweets.
The free version is a little basic, you cannot dive into the data
You have to be careful with your search term, as the data it returns can be unclean.
3. Find social media images to embed, with Twicsy
Twicsy makes images shared on Twitter easy to find, organising trending photos by categories. It is a great tool for understanding the type of images most frequently shared within your industry and niche, and could help you discover relevant, trending images you can Retweet.
Easily find pictures that are trending on Twitter, sorted by niche
Copyright infringement could be a worry if you are going to publish pictures
Images may not always be high quality
4. Schedule pins and re-pins on Pinterest, with TailWind
Aimed at bloggers and small businesses, Tailwind is a Pinterest marketing tool that allows you to schedule pins, discover content and measure results.
Small businesses can effectively use Pinterest for marketing without having a social media team behind them. Spending a small amount of time scheduling pins for the upcoming week keeps your account active and your followers engaged.
Easy to use interface, first 100 pins are free
Allows you to save pins in draft mode, ready to schedule at a later date
Includes analytics, including suggested pin times based on audience engagement and topics, and metrics on your last 5000 pins.
Pinterest now has its own analytics offering, meaning the paid version of Tailwind is less value for money
5. Measure content sharing analytics across all networks, with ShareTally
A very simple tool that allows you to discover how much your content, and that of your competitors, has been shared by searching the URL. This can help small businesses find the type of content that succeeds in your industry, helping to generate content ideas that will gain traction on social media and drive business.
At a glance insights to see how much your content has been shared
Includes smaller sites such as Delicious and Inbound.org
Recent changes by Twitter mean ReTweets are no longer included
Provides top level sharing metrics and not much else
6. Schedule social content with teams using an approval system, with Outbox Pro
A Chrome extension which allows social media teams to collaborate, review and schedule social media posts. It also offers analytics for monitoring. This can help social media teams in multiple locations keep a consistent and high quality social media presence.
Allows teams in multiple locations to quickly collaborate, moderate and approve.
First 100 posts are free. You can pay 25 cents US per post if you don't want to commit
Only allows posts to 5 social networks at present
7. Get the latest trends/ news for curation, with ANews
A news curation site and app which allows you to customize sources and topics. You can easily find content relevant to your industry, keeping up to date with news and helping generate ideas for your own content.
Free, simply sign up or download the app
Allows you to curate relevant content from a variety of news and blog sites
Easily share to social networks
Limited country editions
A new competitor in a crowded arena
Have you tried any of these tools? What did you think of them? Are there other lesser known tools you can’t live without? Let us know in the comments below.
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About the author
Kit is a Content Writer at Brandwatch, a world leading enterprise social intelligence company with offices in the US, UK, Germany and Singapore. He likes traveling, pottery and football.