10 Must Have Social Media Tools for Small Businesses


Do You Have the Time to Manage Your Social Media Empire?

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If you run a small business, one thing that you probably don’t have a lot of- is time.

You don’t want to spend a huge amount of time learning how to find and learn how to use the best tools to achieve your goals. Since my business is social media and web development I actually enjoy researching the best tools and have developed a portfolio of great tools and a workflow that works well for me.

In this article I list the main tools I would recommend to most small businesses. Of course every situation is unique so I do recommend tailoring a system that works for you.


Social Media Plan

Firstly, I have a question… What are you trying to achieve? You need to ask that question before you start looking for the social media tools that are going to suit you. There is no point having a presence on all the social networks if you don’t know what you want to achieve or which audience you want to reach.

What I am not going to cover…

I am not going to cover how to build a social media plan in this article- I am going to assume that you already have a presence on your social networks of choice- perhaps Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and/or Google+. I am also going to assume that you have a website with a blog. One of the big advantages in posting to social networks is in driving traffic back to your website and showing that you are an expert in your field.

Marketing Areas

For a complete social media and marketing plan, you’ll need tools in to help in the following areas:

  • Web Analytics
  • Social Media Posting
  • Content Discovery
  • Security & Password Management
  • Email Marketing
  • Lead Generation
  • Content Marketing

Social Media Management Tools

A social media management tool is kind of like the “One Tool to Rule them All” for social media. They should allow you to monitor and engage across all your social profiles. They should provide reports so you can make sure what you are doing is successful. Choosing the right social media management tool is a more complex decision. You’ll need to decide on one that supports your social networks and think of things such as how many people are going to be managing your social channels and what budget you can justify.

However don’t worry, I’ve written quite a few guides to help you including a whole video presentation. Have a look at the following:

There are plenty to chose from including Hootsuite*, Agora Pulse*, Sendible*, Sprout Social*, Jollor, eClincher* and Sendible*. You can check out my article on the top 5 Social Media Management Tools.


0. Agora Pulse

agora pulse

When I originally wrote this article I didn’t include any social media management tools. However, it’s clear that most small businesses would find a social media management tool useful. So, I’ve squeezed it into this article under number zero!

Such a tool can save a huge amount of time and increase effectiveness and productivity. Some small businesses will opt for Hootsuite first, basically because it’s either free or inexpensive. However, although Agora Pulse* is not the cheapest out there, in my view it’s the most robust and powerful and very good value for money. I’ve included it here because it came top in my article for the Top 5 Social Media Management Tools as rated by G2Crowd users. It integrates with Twitter, Facebook pages, Instagram, LinkedIn and Google+, includes full reporting, team users, scheduling, competitor analysis, auto moderation tools and a whole lot more.

(Visit Agora Pulse*)


1. Google Analytics

google analytics

If you have a website or a blog then it’s highly likely that you already have Google Analytics installed, and if not- you should!

Google Analytics was launched back in November 2005 and is a completely free enterprise analytics product. That means it doesn’t just tell you how many hits you have to your website- it tells you how many actual visitors you have, where they’re from, how long they stay on the website, where they come from and much more!

GA was radically overhauled back in 2011 to include custom dashboards and real time statistics and it also has a very powerful social media analytics report built in. If you don’t track your visits and visitors on your website then how can you tell if your social media presence is actually making a difference? Whatever business you are in, Google Analytics is a must. Sure there are other analytics tools that you can add in addition that can do some cool things like Crazy Egg, but I think for the majority of websites GA is the tool to use.

 

(Visit Google Analytics)

 


2. bit.ly

bitly

You may or may not think it odd that I include bit.ly in this list. You may not even have heard of the service. bit.ly is a URL shortener- that means it takes a long web address such as

http://iag.me/socialmedia/how-to-build-and-manage-your-twitter-community-with-commun-it/?utm_content=buffer65493&utm_source=buffer&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Buffer

and turn it into something much shorter-

http://bit.ly/112fSQu.

One of the big advantages in this historically, was its use on a social network that has a limited number of characters such as Twitter (which only as a maximum of 140 characters). Using a full URL like the example I gave would be a huge waste of space.

These days Twitter does this for you with its own URL shortener- t.co, so why would you want to use another URL shortener? Surely this one is just for geeks?! Well, the answer is tracking. Most URL shorteners don’t just shorten your URLs- they offer an analytics and tracking service. Also if you shorten all your URLs across all your social networks with the same URL shortener you can track all of your social networks from one dashboard.

The beauty of bit.ly is that it is very widely used and has fantastic analytics. This means you can easily see how many times a link in a tweet has been clicked as well as what network they were using. If you want to be really posh you can even customise the look of your short url by adding a custom URL shortener with bit.ly. It is actually very easy to do. Assuming you own a shortish url you need to point the domain to bit.ly and it will take care of the rest. I use my own URL shortener- to.iag.me. Every time I use a service that uses bit.ly, my custom URL shortner is used. For example instead of http://bit.ly/112fSQu, bit.ly will use my custom one- http://to.iag.me/112fSQu

(Visit bit.ly)


3. Buffer

bufferapp

If you know me, you’ll already know that I am a huge Buffer fan. Buffer is a tool that allows you to easily post or share to all your social networks. I know I mentioned I wouldn’t be mentioning any standard social media management tools, but Buffer is different in that it is mainly for scheduling your posts. The advantage of this is that you can post to Twitter or Facebook when your followers or fans are more likely to be there. Your followers might be using Twitter or Facebook in the evening once you’ve gone home from work- Buffer posts automatically at times you choose throughout the week.

Buffer allows you to post to Twitter, Facebook profiles. groups and pages, LinkedIn profiles and pages, Google+ pages and Instagram. Whenever you add a post to Buffer you choose which network or networks you want to post it to (for example you might want to post to your Facebook Page, your LinkedIn profile and Twitter) and it gets added to each network’s queue. When it comes to the next time to post for your Facebook page, Buffer will post the first post in that queue and the same for each other network. You don’t have to wait for your Buffer queue either, if you want to post something straight away, then you can do.

Sharing articles is easy to do by using a button in your browser. If I find an article that I know my Twitter followers and LinkedIn connections will find interesting then I just need to click my Buffer button in my browser and I can instantly add the link and title to those social networks either straight away or add it to their queues. As well as that Buffer have great mobile apps for iPhone and Android smartphones and you can even link it to other apps using another great tool called IFTTT (If This Then That).

(Visit Buffer)


4. Do Share

doshare

Google+It is a shame that Buffer doesn’t allow you to share to Google+ profiles. But DoShare allows you to do exactly that.

With so many social networks out there, how do small businesses get the time to invest in all of these networks?

The only way is by using a social media management tool and I’ve already recommended Buffer which will help you share easily to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and app.net. For Google+ you’ll need DoShare. As I write this article many social media management tools don’t integrate with Google+- and none allow you to post to your Google+ profile- only your Google+ pages. The reason for that is that Google still haven’t released an API for Google+ profiles.

DoShare allows you to post to your Google+ profile and pages through an extension in your browser (currently Google Chrome). It works in a similar way to Buffer in that you can schedule your posts throughout the day and week. The only difference (and disadvantage) is that you’ll need to keep your browser open at the time you want to post. That is because DoShare doesn’t use the Google+ API- but that has the advantage in being able to post to your Google+ page AND profile. If your business has a server or a computer that is switched on all the time then this is unlikely to be a problem. I’ve been impressed with DoShare and although it still has the occasional glitch and a lack of mobile apps, it is definitely a must in your social strategy.

 

(Visit the Do Share Chrome Extension)

 


5. Feedly

feedly

One of the most important lessons for businesses when it comes to using a social network is not to be all about “me, me, me!”. I was reading about this just the other day in a post by Sourav Das on the All Stuff Codes blog called “6 Reason Why I Unfollow People on Twitter“. If you are only posting about yourself then you’re missing the point of social network- it’s about sharing other peoples’ content too. People are more likely to invest in you if you invest in others- especially if you are sharing their content. But, how do you find and keep an eye on that content? I’ve been building up a list of websites and blogs that I want to keep on top of. There are some websites that consistently produce great content- interesting articles that I learn from and want to share with others.

Once you have more than about 10 websites it starts to become difficult to keep on visiting each website to read their recent articles and to share them. That’s where a feed reader comes in. A Feed reader app takes the RSS feeds from all the websites and blogs you want to keep on top of, and lists them for you in an easy to read way. Up until recently I used Google Reader, but since that is being shut down I searched for an alternative. My favourite is Feedly which you can use in your browser or on your mobile. You can save an article for later or instantly share to Buffer or another social network. As well as keeping on top of all the latest news, it allows me to easily share to all my social networks throughout the week.

(Visit Feedly)


6. MailChimp

 

mailchimpMailChimp is an email marketing and newsletter service with a long and proven track record. When doing research for this article, I couldn’t quite believe that they have been going since 2001- that’s not long after I first started building my own websites!

Each month, MailChimp send out around 4 billion emails and takes care of all the issues that can arise from sending out emails to your customers. Since you are reading this article I am hoping I don’t have to tell you how powerful social media is for your business- meeting your customers where they are. However, don’t forget email! I keep on hearing stories about the demise of email- that the younger generation aren’t bothering with it any more. If I can be bold- that is complete rubbish! What do you need to sign up for the likes of Facebook or Twitter? A valid email address! You may have push notifications on your phone to alert you when someone tags you or updates their status on Facebook- but many people have notifications sent to you by email?

Building up your own database of email contacts is vital for the majority of small businesses. It helps you find out more about your customers or potential ones. MailChimp makes this so easy and over time you can add more information such as demographics (age, gender, location etc).

Making sure a website works well in all modern browsers is quite a challenge- something I have rather a lot of experience in. Gone are the days of working with Internet Explorer 6, but even so, we web developers have to make sure our websites work well in Google Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Safari and Internet Explorer 8, 9 & 10. On top of that there is the task of making it mobile ready for all the tablets and smartphones out there. If that sounds difficult then I promise you the art of making an email newsletter work across all email applications is a hundred times harder! I’m not going to go into the nitty gritty, but suffice to say, MailChimp have spent over a decade making sure that your email newsletters will arrive in your customers’ inboxes looking as beautiful as the time you sent them. MailChimp also have detailed analytics, so you can track when your recipients open the email or click through to your website.

Whilst many of the features are free, if you want more and specifically you want to send to more than 2,000 subscribers, you’ll need to upgrade. However the prices are very reasonable (from $10 per month) so it shouldn’t be a problem. Perhaps one of the biggest reasons I recommend MailChimp is their customer service. They go out of their way to help you (doesn’t matter if you are only on the free plan) and do a daily webinar to help you get started.

(Visit MailChimp)


7. LastPass

lastpassHow many sites and applications do you use that require a password? How do you remember the password? Do you use the same password for everything, or even for just a few? With so little time at our disposal it is sometimes all too easy to cut some corners when it comes to security. LastPass allows you to have top security across all your social networks and never have to remember more than one password. I definitely recommend using it- and it is a lot easier than you might expect.

I know many people use the same password across all their sites, but what if a hacker gets hold of that password? It means they can gain access to all your accounts and lock you out. There was even the story of a hacker remotely wiping someone’s computers and mobile devices (read about Mat Honan’s experience here). Your email account’s password is arguably the most important of all- since if a hacker were to gain access to your email account they can potentially reset the password of all your accounts.

LastPass works in your browser or on your mobile device. Once you enter your LastPass password, LastPass automatically fills in all your usernames and passwords so you never have to remember them again. You can also do the LastPass Password Challenge to see how secure you are.

My recommendation once you have installed LastPass is to take the time and change all your passwords to more secure ones. LastPass can even generate ridiculously complex passwords for you- ones that would be impossible for a hacker to guess (unless they had a couple of million years to spare!). For example, here is a password generated by LastPass (16 characters including special characters)- J#BS0AiOdb0!PeRU. You’ll never have to write down a password again!

(Visit LastPass)


8. edocr

edocrAs a small business you will have something that your customers want. Now I want to ask you to give some of that away for free. I know that sounds mad, but seriously it works. Remember, one of the golden rules of social media marketing is not to talk about yourself all the time (I’ve already mentioned that in no. 5). If you share content from other people you’ll not only build relationships but you’ll build trust. Giving away stuff for free is part of content marketing and as well as building trust it also shows people that you are an expert in your field. With so many people and businesses out there with a social presence, how can you prove that you are who you say you are, that you’re worth talking to, that you’re worth doing business with? You give away some of your secrets- that’s what you do!

You may have already realised this- and hopefully you are already doing some of this with your blog and your social profiles. However one of the easiest ways to give stuff away is by creating an e-book. For example if you are a cake shop why not create a recipe e-book for people to download? If you are an accountant, why not create an e-book of top tips to keep on top of your accounts? The type of e-book depends on the type of business you run, so have a think about what your customers would want. When people download or read your e-books you’ll soon be able to talk to them and hopefully some of these will turn into customers.

In order to showcase your e-book you will need to use a document sharing service. You may have already heard of the likes of SlideShare which is owned by LinkedIn. I’d certainly recommend you use that, but I’d actually like to recommend an up and coming document sharing service called edocr. I have mentioned edocr before in a review and walk through tutorial called The Complete Guide to Lead Generation & Content Marketing With edocr. I mention edocr over SlideShare because it is a growing service with almost 100,000 users. When you upload your e-book to edocr you will then appear in the edocr directory and be searchable for any edocr user and on the web. When an edocr user reads your e-book you get notified by email and you’re then able to follow up on that lead. Another great feature is that you can link your edocr profile with Google+ which means that Google will list your e-books with you as author-something that is going to become more and more important. Finally, edocr is very reasonably priced. You can opt for the free account which gives you space for 5 documents, but the freelancer is only $9 per month which gives you 100 documents. The business plan is a bit more pricey at $62 per month but you have the added bonus of a business page as well as room for 1,000 documents and 5 team members.

I highly recommend reading my guide on edocr for further information.

(Visit edocr)


9. ManageFlitter

manage flitterOnce you start building your followers on Twitter it can start to become difficult to keep on track of the people you follow as well as the people who follow you. Firstly, I highly recommend using Twitter lists, especially if you follow more than 1,000 people. Following a lot of people has big advantages but it can become easy to miss important updates and more difficult to interact with the people that matter. As well as lists you’ll need a social media relationship management tool which I’ll be covering in my last recommendation.

ManageFlitter (which used to be called Manage Twitter years ago before Twitter asked them to change their name) is a Twitter follower tool. On a basic level it allows you to quickly see who isn’t following you and then having the option of unfollowing these people in bulk. As well as that you can find try and weed out spam followers or irrelevant followers that just clog things up. My favourite feature is the white list- and it’s one that I couldn’t do without. I add all the people I never want to unfollow- the people I interact with regularly and want to keep up with, to the Manage Flitter* white list. All the people in the white list will be hidden from any ManageFlitter list so that I can never accidentally unfollow them.

As well as that, you are able to follow people that someone else follows. This is a great way of following the same people that follow another business in your field. If they follow your competitor then they are likely to follow you.

Manage Flitter* has a free plan as well as several paid plans. The free plan allows you to unfollow up to 200 people every day as well as unfollow fake and inactive accounts. The pro accounts allow you to unfollow unlimited people as well as follow the followers of another user. Do make sure you know your Twitter limits though, as you could end up getting banned. The pro account costs $12 per month for 1 Twitter account or $24 per month for up to 5 accounts.

(Manage Flitter*)


10. Commun.it

Communit

My final recommendation is an app called Commun.it. If you are a regular reader to my blog then you’ll already know I am a big fan since I wrote a comprehensive review of Commun.it including a walk-through video. Like Buffer, Commun.it is a social media management tool, however it is a bit more specialised than that- and that’s why I mention it here.

Commun.it is a social media relationship management tool- it helps you find out who is in your Twitter community- those who support you and your content (by retweeting, favouriting, and mentioning) and those who influence you.

As a small business owner you will have limited time and I find that Commun.it is a huge time saver. I spend 5-10 minutes on Commun.it at the start of each day and in that time I can reply to all my outstanding mentions, thank people for retweeting me, thank those who are in my community, find those who have linked to my blog and engage with them, thank any new followers and dig deeper and interact with those in my local list (so I can interact further with people in my local area). As well as that, you can find who has unfollowed you and decide whether or not you want to unfollow them too. Another powerful feature is interacting with people who are talking about your business or brand using the monitor engagement list. The guys at Commun.it have been awesome in integrating Buffer so that you can even schedule any of your replies.

The core features of Commun.it are free, but the Pro plan is very reasonably priced and gives you access to the full reporting features, as well as unlimited monitor/lead items, engaged members and custom groups for up to 4 Twitter accounts. If you have more than 4 Twitter accounts to manage or need to divide the work between a small team, then the business account allows you to do this with unlimited Twitter accounts and 2 team members.

Social Media CloudIn case it helps, here is my list of actions I complete using Commun.it in my daily morning session:

  1. Reply to all my Twitter mentions and replies
  2. Retweet all interesting retweets (sometimes using Buffer to schedule them)
  3. Send a “thank you” tweet to my high value members
  4. Send a “thank you” tweet to my influencers
  5. Send a “thank you” tweet to my supporters
  6. Send a “thank you” tweet to my engaged members
  7. Check recent followers list and reciprocate if relevant- thank them.
  8. Check unfollow list and unfollow any that are not part of my community
  9. Check “monitor engagement” section for anyone mentioning my business name or linking to my website. Reply to any of these.
  10. Check “discover new leads section” and follow and interact with any new and relevant ones.

I highly recommend checking out my article on Commun.it which goes into a lot more detail.

(Visit Commun.it*)


Conclusion

So, there you go, 10 social media tools that all small businesses should be using. Of course you may disagree and you may think there are some glaring omissions.  If you have any thoughts, then please leave them in the comments below!

What the * means above…

If a link has an asterisk by it, it means it is an affiliate link and generates a little income for the site. If you end up signing up for the service and paying it may result in a small proportion going towards the upkeep of this site. You shouldn’t notice any difference in the sign up process.

The editorial line is NEVER impacted by these links. I will only ever recommend a product or service if I think it is worth recommending! If a product or service does not have an affiliate scheme, then we will still include it in the same way.

In the interests of transparency, here are the non-affiliate links which will not help iag.me:


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About Ian Anderson Gray

Ian is a speaker, coach, social media consultant, web developer & Partner of Select Performers. In real life he is a husband, dad and geek and is rather partial to tea, coffee & Indian cooking. Find out more



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131 Comments on "10 Must Have Social Media Tools for Small Businesses"

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sheemona jordan
Guest
sheemona jordan
6 days 4 hours ago

I use Sociota just because it’s the first one I tried and I’ve never had a reason to switch. It deserve to be on this list.

Aku
Guest
Aku
10 days 23 hours ago

Hi Ian, your lists really helpful for newcomer in “social media-ing” like me. But the issue is I don’t really know what things that I should care when starting “social media-ing”, can you tell me or cite a link to something like “Social media-ing 101”? because I love your writing style, it’s easy to read for non english speaker like me.

And the other thing is I want to hear your opinion about best combination tools if we just use Instagram (that is the most used social media at my place) that much likely free (i’m an active student with no connection), mainly for scheduling posts, engaging with follower, analyze my account, it’s better if there has other features that will help me.

Thank you in advance, I’m sorry for my bad english and if there’s some bad manner in my words.

Best regards,
Aku

Dan
Member
Dan
11 days 1 hour ago

Great list, iv been using http://www.seekmetrics.com for Instagram analytics which has been great to far.

Hyde
Guest
18 days 9 hours ago
Hi Ian, thanks for this list – really helpful. I wondered whether you could help me with a couple of specifics? We are a personal training franchise business, doing some social media marketing centrally (just FB at the moment, with an inactive Twitter account) but looking to create a more solid strategy, mainly to encourage and support our PTs in engaging in their own local social media communities. Buffer appears to be a good app that our PTs could use to post across networks, except it doesn’t integrate with Google+. There are other apps that post to g+ pages but not profiles, but does posting on g+ pages still hold SEO benefit? Or does posting on the profile itself tie in with the authorship concept you mentioned? Also, is there a way we could manage all our PTs’ respective social media accounts using an analytical tool centrally, even if they used an app like Buffer to schedule their posts? We also want to create a community of trainers from which we can feed in generic content, and a platform from which to communicate news & ideas. We are currently planning to use a simple Facebook group, but would you have… Read more »
Mike
Member
23 days 2 hours ago

Does Bitly have a custom URL package that’s affordable for freelancers? I could only find info that showed very expensive pricing that seemed targeted at corporate so I gave up on that. Please share a link if you can advise. Thanks.

Paul
Guest
1 month 13 days ago

My vote goes to IFTTT in combination with Buffer, theu work very well together!!

Kali
Guest
2 months 7 days ago

Hi, Ian! Thank you for this wonderful list. I’ve already use feedly.com and it’s really great to monitor news, competitors activity and find ideas for my articles. I noticed that you have not found such a tool which will cover all features and social networks you want. For example, posting in Google+ or reasonable pricing.

Also I want to add that in a social media management tools market there are a lot of great startups, like KUKU.io https://kuku.io social media management software or MOZ (it was a startup). KUKU.io allows to publish in 9 (!!!!) social networks: Google+ business pages, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Linkedin profiles, Tumblr, even Telegram! Attention! There are no legal tools for posting in Instagram, because Instagram doesn’t allow use third-party tools for these reasons in its privacy policy.

In KUKU.io you can create your own social media posting schedule, adapt content to each social network, create a content plan with tags. Fremium version covers 10 social pages, a feature of content reposting, time schedule. Watch this video how to group profiles in channels and create posting calendar: https://youtu.be/g7Z0dY4vNak

Aly Chiman
Guest
3 months 2 days ago
Thanks for listing so many tools to help business. I wanted to add a few to it… After Google Penguin update, Social Media tools have surely become an utmost need of time, and this is mainly because it allows you to perform your social media activities in the best possible manner which allows you to drive traffic on your page and allows you to make good sales of your products and services. In this era, one cannot even think of making progress in his online or offline business without social media tools that are designed specifically for business purposes and I wanted to elaborate on one tool and tell you about 2 others that work well for me. Agorapulse ( as you mentioned) is a social media tool that is designed to convert your Face book fans in to your customers in the best possible manner. Now if you have a good number of likes on your page than it won’ be difficult for you to convert them into useful members as with Agorapulse you will be able to take all that to another higher level. This social media tool offers you with an extensive functionality as it allows you… Read more »
marcus stiff
Guest
3 months 5 days ago

This post is absolutely amazing to anybody that’s just starting out, in fact I’ve been in the business and marketing industry for almost 8 years now and the truth is I actually learned a few helpful things reading this post.. Keep up the great work,will look out for more great posts like this..
Thanks Ian

Eva Thanu
Guest
3 months 14 days ago

Great list of tools Ian! These tools are really helpful for a start! I would like to suggest also a new monitoring tool Mentionlytics.com. It is optimized especially for Start-Ups and small-medium brands, as well as individuals (e.g. artists, bands etc). It has many cool features packed like trello integration or monitoring of the entire web with auto screen-capturing of web mentions!

Nate
Guest
3 months 20 days ago

Another good app to share & analyze your social media is Amplifr — https://amplifr.com. Unlike Buffer, there’s no free plan as of right now.

It’s focused on content and time slot suggestions — analytics is inlined in the calendar and content scheduler view, so it shows you your best content right in front of you when you write new updates and schedule them.

It works with Facebook, Twitter, Tumbler, Linkedin, Telegram channels and gatheres stats from Soundcloud & Youtube and Instagram.

Ian, take a look and tell me what you think 😉

Disclaimer: I’m the Amplifr’s founding CEO, ask me anything.

Wendy
Member
Wendy
3 months 25 days ago

Hi

I m very green to social media but find myself in the position of managing two new companies. One is in fashion and the other is aesthetics. We are using Facebook and Instagram. We have not looked at Twitter as my daughter does not think that it is really looked at by the market we are trying to target

Any help would be much appreciated. Neither have a website at the moment primarily because of finance and lack of knowledge on where to start.

I would be extremely grateful for any help you can pass on. Thanks you Ian

Nada
Guest
Nada
4 months 2 days ago

Where’s Bitrix24? Insanely good and totally free. No other client management platform comes close. Trello and Asana are free and great for managing tasks. Slack is great for communications. Time to update the post.

thomas wooldridge
Guest
4 months 8 days ago

Great list. I’m going to check out buffer and commun it for my site. Will let you know the results

Dan
Member
Dan
4 months 24 days ago

Great list! My favourite tool is Buffer

iv recently started using a tool for Free instagram analytics, called metricsgram

Anyone else tried this?

Peter
Guest
4 months 24 days ago

Thank You! It was good feeling, as I was already using most of the mentioned apps 🙂

Keith Krupp
Member
5 months 20 days ago

Great stuff Ian. I am trying out Buffer and so far it is easier to use than Hootsuite. I shared your article on Google Plus, Facebook and LinkedIn!

Robin
Member
5 months 20 days ago

Excellent Review of Top Tools!!….just got started in the Social Media Fun and I agree – Buffer is a fantastic scheduling tool plus they are always emailing tips for their app and in the industry to help you along! Thank you for sharing your insight Ian!

Gloria
Guest
Gloria
6 months 13 days ago

Awesome tips! Really, really helpful not only for beginner – I didn’t know communit, shame on me, but I will try this tool for sure!
I always recommend also tools as:
– iconosquare (if you manage instagram account),
– hemingway editor (if you write in English),
– Canva (awesome tool for making quick and beautiful graphics) and
– Brand24 (for social listening and real time internet monitoring, which I find as a base for every activity in social media and on the Internet and absolutely must-have).
This is my start kit 🙂

Tony
Guest
7 months 21 days ago

Absolutely fantastic write up. Thanks so much for the insight. I’m as green as green gets and have three small businesses that desperately need social media. I’ll be following your advice and look forward to learning much more through your articles!

Emma
Member
8 months 19 days ago

Great article! Had to share it on our social media.
Seriously brilliant!

Rajika
Guest
Rajika
9 months 13 days ago

Really a great help. Thank you so much. Would like to get more tips as I am new to it. Thanks.

sam
Guest
sam
10 months 7 days ago

This is pretty nice to get the share count on social net works.. http://howmanysocialshares.com/

Digisha patel
Guest
Digisha patel
11 months 5 days ago

Wonderful list indeed but I would like to include SocialPilot as it is a handy and cost-effective tool for scheduling post on different social media platform. If you want to schedule 100 posts in a queue then it’s a wonderful tool for you.

• I can create unlimited social profiles
• Bulk scheduling is also possible with using CSV file
• Personalized Facebook branding is the pro feature
• It has three plans, starter plan is free, pro pan starts at $ 4.99/month and pro plus starts at $9.99/ month.
• Easily integrate your iOS App Store & Google Play Store accounts
• Google Chrome plug-in with Bitly integration

I hope this helps you.

patrice hall
Guest
1 year 1 month ago

Great article. Can I use DrumUp along with Buffer?. . .i think they’re competitive products. Can I use the content that DrumUp discovers in Buffer? Thanks.

Paul
Guest
1 year 2 months ago

Really great list of services, and thanks for the recommendation.

Martyna Tarnawska
Guest
1 year 3 months ago

Great list. Really worth sharing! Would be cool to include Brand24 (http://brand24.net) – it provides high-end monitoring and analytics for super-affordable price. I would love to show it to you sometime 🙂

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[…] Until now, we have covered only the tip of the social media iceberg. When you start seeing good amount of activity on your blog and Facebook page, you can then decide to move on the next social media website you should be on and to start using some tools to manage your empire. […]

Heather Servaty-Seib (sota70)
Guest
Heather Servaty-Seib (sota70)
1 year 3 months ago

Another great tool is Sendtree (www.sendtree.com). Excellent service that allows for mass text messaging. It is professional, reliable, and reasonably priced. You can text your customers (e.g., special offers) and/or employees (e.g., closings, schedule changes) and get info out fast.

Apurva
Guest
Apurva
1 year 6 months ago

Hi Ian. Thanks for sharing this. You can also try using DrumUp (www.drumup.io). The tool discovers content that is related to your niche and helps save a lot of time that goes into social media management.

lisa wilson
Guest
lisa wilson
2 months 2 days ago

Hi Apurva,
There is one more userfriendly wordpress plugin and that is Blog2Social. The best part about the plugin is you can post across all different platform from a single dashboard in which prefilled posting texts are provided and obviously it doesn’t require any server side installation.

Ron
Guest
Ron
1 year 6 months ago

You should definitely try Capzool. It offers all channels , social media, e-mail, SMS, voice messaging and more, all in
one. The software is fast and easy to use with low cost.

Sarah
Guest
Sarah
1 year 7 months ago

Thanks for your very helpful article. This helps a bunch. I may contact you for a consultation in the near future. Cheers.

Jane Clements
Guest
Jane Clements
1 year 8 months ago

I have just made the decision to try to take my website and travel blog forward while I continue travelling. I am completely dense when it comes to social media but this and some of your other articles are written such that even I can understand. Thank you. I will continue to follow you

dehavenje
Guest
dehavenje
1 year 8 months ago

Nice article, will definitely start using these tools as I ramp up SM in new year

Ingrid
Guest
Ingrid
1 year 9 months ago

Thank you for run down. I starting a new social media management business and you helped introduce some unknown tools

David English
Guest
1 year 11 months ago

Excellent article, now I am really confident to use this for my business,. Great Job!

Anamika Singh
Guest
1 year 11 months ago

Hey Ian, That’s a great List. I would recommend you can add webfluenz.com to this list too. Webfluenz is a comprehensive social media intelligence platform perfect for small business because of it’s comprehensive features and for being very cost effective.

Sign Up for trial account http://bit.ly/1895BeA. Happy to assist you with a demo.

Suzanne Stephens
Guest
Suzanne Stephens
1 year 4 months ago

The webfluenz.com domain has expired.

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[…] 10 Must Have Social Media Tools for Small Businesses http://iag.me/socialmedia/tools/10-must-have-social-media-tools-for-small-businesses/ […]

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[…] I could go on here, but I recommend having a read of my Complete Guide on Commun.it as well as my 10 Must Have Social Media Tools for Small Businesses. […]

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[…] Ten must have social media tools for small businesses (and no, we do not use ALL of these ourselves) […]

JK
Guest
JK
2 years 4 months ago

What do tools are must haves for newbies starting out with a small side business and no online presence as of yet? I’m overwhelmed by my options and not sure where to even start.

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[…] 10 Must Have Social Media Tools for Small Businesses […]

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[…] Links:Top 10 Social Media Tools Social Media Tools to swear […]

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srm2012
Guest
srm2012
2 years 4 months ago

Ian – have you heard of PocketSuite? Combines social networking with SMB business automation. Super relevant to a 2014 version of your above article…

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[…] “If you don’t track your visits and visitors on your website then how can you tell if your social media presence is actually making a difference?” – Ian Anderson Gray, 10 Must Have Social Media Tools for Small Business […]

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[…] must be better options for that fledgling small business owner. Reading an excellent article by Ian Anderson Grey I’ve come to realise that my interest in social media is limited at best to these common, and […]

Gene
Guest
2 years 6 months ago

There is also very gmail extension “Rapportive”. It loads social media accounts for your contacts inside your gmail so you can connect with them without leaving your email.
I just installed it few weeks ago, but I find it very useful and can easily connect with people throguh their social media profiles which appear in the sidebar.

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Binu Madhav
Guest
Binu Madhav
2 years 7 months ago

Good Info. but one doubt, If I use GA with my website, to use bit.ly analytics, what would be the advantage?

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