Managing social media channels can seem a daunting task, especially for those who are brand new to it. But even veteran social media managers may find themselves at wit's end, and both novice and veteran alike might be overwhelmed with how much work there is to do in the realm of social media management.
But whether you are new blood or old hat at social media, a variety of social media management tools have sprung into existence to make the job easier and to shave hours off the time spent managing a business or enterprise's social media channels. Here are some of the best small business social media management tools that cover a variety of needs, budgets, and social media outlets.
Hootsuite permits management of a broad array of social media channels, including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, WordPress, and Google+. In addition to a free basic level account, it also offers a thirty day free trial for its paid platform. Hootsuite permits not only posting to social media channels, but provides weekly analytics reports, customer engagement, and team access management tools.
If you choose this SMM tool, small businesses may want to consider the Professional account, while larger enterprises may want to examine Team, Business, or Enterprise, the last of which offers custom pricing.
One of the best free social management tools on the web, Tweetdeck is a free Twitter management platform that permits management of multiple Twitter accounts. From a single platform, you can tweet, retweet, read your feed, read your Twitter handle mentions, send direct messages, and follow other Twitter users.
Tweetdeck also permits team management of individual Twitter accounts, and you can invite team members to manage from within the user interface. It also permits you to add additional columns to monitor mentions, hashtags, or individual tweet streams within the platform.
Facebook Insights is another free tool that allows you to see how your pages are performing, from likes and comments to mentions elsewhere on Facebook. Insights are easy to access - if you click the Insights tab on your brand's page, it will show you a page with analytics breakdowns - complete with visuals - that show you growth over time, diminishing or increasing likes or engagement, along with the raw data of likes and comments.
While this is somewhat less practical if you're managing multiple Facebook pages, it is still a handy and free method of planning social media campaigns moving forward, especially if your brand is new.
If there are a few more channels you want to monitor for up to date analytics, Cyfe is a great - and at its most basic level, free - tool for monitoring multiple channels. While the free platform only gives you five widgets for channel analytics, the amount of flexion available for customizing those widgets is nearly unlimited.
Cyfe also offers a fairly low cost paid account that allows a much greater degree of flexibility and channel monitoring, which may be worth the investment for already established brands.
Last but certainly not least, BuzzBundle may very well offer the best value of all the tools here. With three account levels - Free, Professional, and Enterprise - BuzzBundle gives the user a high degree of flexibility and channel management and is designed to track the growth of a brand or company in terms of profitability. The free platform, while not quite as flexible or meaty as the Professional or Enterprise, still provides generous social media management tools - including unlimited social profiles.
Established brands and thriving companies will likely want to invest in the paid versions of the BuzzBundle software, but brands just starting out can still get a lot of utility out of the free platform. The best part? You only have to pay for BuzzBundle once, rather than paying a monthly fee.
Small business social media management can be dramatically simplified with the right tools. Each of these platforms is worth exploring to see which matches your needs best - along with your budget.