Whether you’re a small business owner or a marketing pro working for a corporate – you use the same social media channels Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. The difference between the small guy and the big boys lies in the marketing tools they use. Corporates may afford to spend millions on fancy CRM systems but the rest of us are in the market for something easy and cost-effective.
Are you looking for social media marketing tools to perform tasks more efficiently?
Running a small business requires time and energy. You need to keep an eye on your team, ensure you have a steady stream of cash coming in, focus on attracting more of the right customers and increase client retention, develop new products and services, and so on. And than there’s social media marketing to help you spread the word and make more sales.
All this can be pretty overwhelming, right?
Well, to help you minimize the time you spend on social media networks and maximize your outcomes, I’ve put together a small set of social media marketing tools that are straightforward and easy to use.
See which ones resonate best with you.
Social media marketing tools for entrepreneurs and small business owners
To make it easier to navigate through I grouped the tools into three categories:
- Visual content tools
- Content generation tools
- Analytics and monitoring tools
Let’s get started.
1. Create and resize social images with Canva
Canva is a simple, yet intuitive and powerful online photo editing tool for all non-designers. This design tool has saved me hours, if not days of work. Instead of waiting for my team to design all those fancy images in Photoshop I can use Canva to create my own “non-designer” images. The online tool has a drag-and-drop interface allowing you to add text, symbols and icons, use templates, or even upload and edit your own images. Canva is a free tool and it takes less than two minutes to create an account. If you decide to use something from Canva’s library of stock images you’ll need to pay $1, but other than that, everything is free. There are two more things that I totally love about Canva and that is:
- The interactive design tutorials – each one takes about three minutes
- The done for you image, text and social media templates – Example: Twitter Header, Google+ Cover, Facebook Post
Using Canva helps make the process of creating and resizing your images much less labor-intensive. It’s a great social media marketing tool to boost your productivity and allocate your valuable time for other important tasks.
2. Resize and retouch social images with Social Media Image Maker
Social Media Image Maker is another great tool to help you resize your images so that they match the preferred dimensions of the most popular social networks including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Tumblr, Vimeo, YouTube and About.me.
Let’s face it, finding suitable images and than resizing each to fit the requirements of all the different social channels can be very time-consuming indeed. Use these two social image tools and put all those worries behind.
3. Discover content ideas and identify key influencers with BuzzSumo
For those of you reading my blog posts, the tool I’m going to mention next will sound very familiar. BuzzSumo is my go-to search engine for content research. Use this tool to gather content ideas and identify the conversations that matter. Find out who are the brand influencers in your niche and what type of content gets shared the most on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and Pinterest. Have a look at the headlines and see what works best for the leaders in your field. Is is numbered or “how to” headlines? Put these insights into practice and keep tweaking until you get the results you want.
4. Use Feedly to scan for great content
Lacking ideas for your next newsletter or blog post? Jump over to Feedly and with a click of a button you can start following relevant blogs and websites in your industry. The share counts next to each story will give you a quick info whether that post gets a reasonable level of engagement thus enabling you to pick the most valuable piece of content fast. Pretty neat, right? Here’s what pops up when you search for “marketing trends”.
5. Monitor and analyze your social activities with Cyfe
Ever wonder whether your social marketing efforts pay off? Stop guessing around and start using Cyfe. Cyfe let’s you monitor, track and analyze all your activities, measure their impact and track ROI. If you want to evaluate how good your social media campaigns are performing, make sure you sign up for an account. It’s free. If you want to take your analytic skills to the next level and spy on your competitors, you might want to have a look at Rival IQ. During the 14-day free trial you can get valuable insights into your industry as to what content is most likely to go viral and monitor your competitors’ activities on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. Furthermore, the tool lets you benchmark your performance on social media and SEO against your competitors. Staying on top of the game is vital. Use these social media marketing tools to course-correct and make adjustments quickly.
Wrapping It Up
Often times we get overwhelmed with all these social media responsibilities. A lot of business owners don’t have the resources necessary to hire a team or to outsource their social media activities. Therefore, having the right toolbox in place and knowing how to use some simple and cost-effective social media marketing tools to get the job done is of great value.
Obviously, there is a seemingly endless list of social media tools available at your fingertips. It takes time to test different tools and sort out the ones that best fulfill your needs. I’ve gone through this more or less painful process myself and the tools I mentioned above are my “best of” tools I’m using today. Try them out for yourself and let me know whether you were able to improve your productivity.
What other social media marketing tools would you add to the list?