5 tools to make the best of social media for small businesses

Knowing how to make the best of social media for business purposes is becoming more and more important – but are you getting the most out of your social channels?

Especially in small organisations, it can be difficult to really eek the maximum value from social. Big businesses have entire social media divisions, but luckily there’s a host of tools that can help small businesses master social media. Read on for our round-up of the five best.

1. Buffer

Buffer is a great way to manage multiple social platforms, all in one place. It allows you to schedule, publish, and analyse posts across Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and more, using a single, simple dashboard.

Buffer automatically tells you key things like character count for each social platform, and allows you to schedule posts to different sites at the same time. You can design engaging posts from within the app, using its interface – and it’s pretty quick to pick up. There’s also a browser extension, meaning that you can manage your small business’s social feeds from within Chrome.

Visit Buffer’s website

2. IFTTT

IFTTT, formerly known as If This Then That, helps small businesses and personal users connect different platforms and make them interact. It’s part of a new wave of solutions for automating your social work, and can be a big timesaver, especially in small organisations where your time is at a premium.

IFTTT comes with thousands of ready-made ‘recipes’ to help you do things like automatically post new YouTube videos to your blog, or take your Instagram posts and distribute them as native Twitter images. You can also install ‘Applets’, which help you automate common tasks for specific platforms, or ‘channels’.

Visit IFTTT’s website

3. Cyfe

Cyfe is actually a fully fledged business intelligence platform, but it has great social media functionality that can help you understand what’s working and what’s not. It gives you a single-page overview of the key health indicators for your business, and allows you to drill down into individual departments or activities, build real time reports, or add your own custom data sources using other platforms’ APIs.

Cyfe really comes into its own when it comes to social media. Once you’ve added the channels you’re using, the app will automatically generate useful, visualised data such as a Facebook Likes global heatmap, key Twitter analytics, traffic sources, and a rundown of your Facebook performance. If you wish, you can incorporate this data into a broader set of reports that allows you to take the pulse of all of your business’s digital activity.

Visit Cyfe’s website

4. RiteTag

Looking to boost your engagement on Twitter, and make sure that more people are seeing your posts? RiteTag should be able to help. This simple app sits in your browser (or even in the Twitter client on your smartphone) and gives you instant feedback on hashtags as you type them.

It’ll show you which tags you should target, which aren’t generating engagement, and which are so popular that you’re unlikely to get engagement by using them. You can also set alerts so that RiteTag notifies you when hashtags relevant to your chosen topics emerge or start trending.

Visit RiteTag’s website

5. Canva

Finally, it’s all very well writing the ultimate social copy, but without an arresting visual you’re unlikely to pique your audience’s interest. However, most small businesses don’t have the resources required to quickly execute social design – and that’s where Canva comes in.

This app bills itself as an easy-to-use design solution, but its most important application for small businesses is in creating social images. It offers a host of templates for different social platforms, and allows you to quickly and easily add the relevant copy to a huge range of available images. Canva is free to use, but you can also buy a huge range of premium templates, photos, and icons if you so wish.

Visit Canva’s website

Do you have your own favourite social tool? Let us know in the comments.

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