Social media is an important part of any business, big or small. It gives your business added credibility and assists with better SEO. As a small business, you want your social media performing to its highest potential.
Having better tools in your reach can make it easier for consumers to find and connect with your business. [See Related Story: Social Media for Business: A Marketer's Guide]
Here are six tools to add to your toolbox:
Hootsuite streamlines all of your social media efforts. You can connect to up to 20 profiles, schedule posts by bulk and receive analytics on your profiles. Pricing for Hootsuite varies, depending on how many social profiles you wish to have and the number of users you want to have access to the account. (There are also other features that vary per plan as well.) You can choose a plan for $9.99/month, which has limited capabilities, while the Team plan costs $34.99/month. Other plans for much larger teams are available as well.
Hashtags are more complicated than they seem. They're good for humor and relaying sarcasm; they also are great for searching and making your posts more relevant. With Hashtagify.me, you can enter a term you wish to hashtag and the site will show you what words are connected, the relevance, top influencers and more. Plans range from free to $299 per month, depending on your business's needs.
Type in a keyword or your own social handle (@BNDArticles, for instance) to learn about the strength of your brand, the sentiment (positive mentions of your brand to negative), passion (the likelihood of individuals talking about your brand) and reach (measure of the range of influence). The tool also indicates how long ago your last mention was, the percentage of consumer sentiment about your brand and the top related keywords.
When characters count, a link shortener makes a huge difference in transmitting succinct messages about your brand and directing consumers to the right place. Bitly is a useful tool that takes any URL at any length and reduces it to something that can be easily tweeted or shared on other platforms. Have a social tracking code? Use it to consolidate the link before sharing it on Facebook or LinkedIn. Sign up for free to track how your links are doing or upgrade to OneView which lets you brand links, take control of mobile deep linking, expanded analytics and user management.
Not a graphic designer but still need to create visuals? Canva is the company you'll want to use. The photo editor makes it easy to upload a photo and add text. It saves the file in a social media friendly file size. It even comes with free icons and shapes to add to images, in addition to free fonts. If you want to learn more about design, the website offers courses to further you or your social team's education. For $12.95 per month, you (and up to 50 team members) get access to thousands of templates, photos and resizing of photos.
Facebook is still an important tool. Though the changing algorithms can be frustrating, learning how to make Facebook work for you is still important. LikeAlyzer is a free Facebook analytics tool, which provides you with detailed information of identified issues it uncovers about your Facebook profile as well as tips on how to address these issues and more, according to the site. Enter your business's Facebook URL and the site breaks down likes, likes growth, engagement rate, posts per day and timing.