This article is part of week-long series of social media stories, which you can read by clicking here .
The marketers at M. Jacob & Sons don’t miss the days when they juggled their social media efforts, logging onto multiple websites to promote their services and interact with customers.
Those days are gone because – like thousands of other businesses – the Michigan-based manufacturer and distributor of packaging products now uses an online-management tool to handle its online social presence.
Since late 2009, M. Jacob & Sons has used Postling.com, which specifically helps time-strapped small businesses manage their Twitter, Facebook, Yelp, LinkedIn, Tumblr and other network accounts all in one place.
“Before we started using a single location to control our accounts, a great deal of time would have to be spent in the individual social media sites to monitor and perform updates,” Greg Jacob, marketing specialist at M. Jacob and Sons, told BusinessNewsDaily.
Other websites that help businesses to save time and aggregate their networks include CoTweet, HootSuite, ReachCast and TweetDeck. (CoTweet, Postling and ReachCast are designed exclusively for businesses.)
With the use of Postling, Jacob writes updates and schedules them to publish in advance and responds to customers.
Alexis Lamster, Postling's vice president of customers, estimates management tools can reduce the amount of time that businesses devote to social media by 90 percent.
“Business owners feel weighed down by the burden of updating Facebook, Twitter, a blog and all the while responding to the dozens of customers reaching out on social networks; it can be totally exhausting,” Lamster said.
She said these tools should particularly allow small-business owners to finish online tasks within “the five minutes they have to spare. Get in, get out, and get back to running your business.” In December Postling tracked 12 million posts from its 20,000 users who have linked more than 50,000 accounts, she added.
As his time was freed up, Jacob said, he learned Postling also provides keyword tracking and analytics. Keyword tracking allows Jacob to keep tabs on online conversations about his business. Analytics let businesses view real-time results of their online marketing strategies.
Links to social media management tools
“Businesses need and deserve tools that make social media management easier, faster and really just allows them to get back to work,” Lamster said.
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