Social media management for small business owners can feel like a daunting process: you have to keep on top of trends, create articles, and encourage your company without coming off as sales-y or promotional. Or, if you delegate your small business’ social networking management to a worker, you need to ensure they are keeping the channels busy (and that their follower interactions remain pleasant!). No surprise then that social media management for small business owners looks like a lose-lose proposition: you either take on the extra responsibility of maintaining your brand’s social channels, or you cede control of your public-facing publicity machine to somebody else and hope they get it right.
Thankfully there is a middle ground that allows you to retain control of social media management responsibilities, while also enabling your staff to pitch with content and posts. In fact, there is a bevy of social media management applications for small business owners. Each of them provides the exact same basic services but incorporates different safeguards and handy features which take the legwork from keeping up with your small business’s social networking plan on a daily basis.
There are a couple significant concepts and features to think about before picking a social media management tool for your small business, however. You are going to have to choose which social channels that you want to pursue, how frequently you wish to post, and how much control you want to maintain over what goes on (and when). We are going to break down the central features of each social media management instrument, what advantages they supply, and which ones would be the best for small business owners.
Why Your Company Needs Social Media Management for Small Business Tools
Every social networking network allows its users to post from their desktop or telephone, whether that is through applications or an internet browser. You could easily log into Facebook or Instagram directly, write your own message, and post away.
But think about the actions required when posting a societal media update. And before you get to posting, you will need to spend time writing and shooting photos. Even when you’re really organized, you still need to create all of your copy beforehand, drop it in a spreadsheet, then pull from that document every single time you want to push an update. Besides, you ought to go back into your doc and mark off the articles you have already published so that you don’t place them up two. That is undoubtedly an adequate quantity of work.
If there’s one thing most company owners may agree on, it’s that they hardly have sufficient time to handle business-critical tasks in the first place, let alone curating social media accounts. Thankfully, the resources which help with social media management for small business take most of the manual work from the posting procedure –here is how.
1. They Organize All of Your Accounts in a Central Place
Jumping between social accounts is a pain, particularly in case you have a strong social networking strategy for the small business and publish across several platforms. Social networking management tools permit you to handle every one of your accounts in one area, which means that you get a bird’s eye perspective of everything you post, as well as each reply, discuss, and direct message you get. This beats jumping between tabs in your browser and hoping that you’ve published each message successfully.
2. They Allow You Set Your Article Publishing
Most social networks do not make it easy for you to schedule articles to go out in the future. When a few of these give you a choice to schedule, they do not give you a simple way to look at all of the posts you’ve queued up to head out afterward. The best social media management software for small business owners offers you a robust calendar opinion of your posts. You can look at a daily, weekly, or yearly breakdown of your scheduled content across every channel (or individually, if you would like to monitor one account at a time).
3. They Permit You to Delegate Posting Duties Safely
The cardinal principle of social media for small businesses is to limit the number of people who know your account information, like the email address and password associated with your accounts. Whenever you give your credentials to a worker, you open yourself to the risk of a misfired post, an unsanctioned message, or possibly a prospective company social media disaster. Tools designed to help run social media management for small business owners include a layer of security between employees and your accounts, as they don’t require access to your credentials in order to post.
4. They Let You Approve Posts Before They Go Live
Sometimes it’s not enough to keep your workers from getting the passwords to your social accounts. Additionally, it is a wonderful idea to make sure that the articles they create are prepared for public consumption before they go live. Several social media management platforms feature authorization choices that include an extra layer of inspection before posts go live. You (or another employee) can track every article before it publishes, which prevents potentially embarrassing status updates from moving online.
5. They Give You Better Analytics
If you do not measure your social media stats, you’re flying blind. Each significant social media network provides you with a glimpse into the simple social networking metrics for your account, for example, likes, follows, and engagements. But fantastic resources for social media management for small business accounts let you go deeper: they also provide you wider historic data in your article performance, follower acquisition trends, and may even show you who your most influential followers are. These tips can help you maximize your societal efforts, and pinpoint exactly what’s working for your brand accounts.
6. They Produce Social Media Client Service Simpler
Social listening and client service are two big pillars of a modern social media strategy for small business owners. Your social channels supply you with an unrivaled opportunity to speak directly with individual consumers, address their concerns, and create conversations that turn potential buyers into loyal customers. The least expensive social media management tools for small businesses include functions that allow you to respond to comments and direct messages. More sophisticated products can even help you measure the amount of negative and positive mentions of your brand, in addition to the time, it takes for someone on your team to respond to a customer support query.
Social Media Management for Small Business Owners: What to Look For
There are loads of options to choose from out there: a few are bare-bones products that are generally free or inexpensive but provide limited purposes, many are at the center of the street concerning features and cost, and a few are packed with features but come with a hefty price tag.
1. The Features You Want
The most obvious place to begin when comparing social media management tools is attributed. You’ll want to hit a balance between getting the features you know you’ll need to your social networking strategy and the annual subscription price of your social networking management tool. If your company’s social networking existence is in its early stages, you will not likely require a feature-packed product. Instead, concentrate on the fundamental elements, such as article scheduling, multiple user support, and analytics. You could always scale up to some more feature-laden option once your strategy is more established.
2. The Number of Seats You Get
Most social media management for small business tools allow a certain number of people to utilize the stage at any given time. In social networking parlance, these are called”chairs,” because anyone can use them (but only 1 person can sit at a time, metaphorically speaking). The amount of chairs you get with your social media manager varies, based on your degree of service and the cost of your plan. Make sure to get enough seats to accommodate the number of workers you expect to utilize your social boss –also few can make it hard for workers to get the system, but too many could force you to pay more for services you’re not using.
3. Client Support
Finding out how to use a new social media manager can be a challenge, even for seasoned social networking specialists. Every platform’s features have nuances that are unique unto themselves, and it’s not always easy to find each one the functions you want to use. Most social media management programs come with a certain degree of client support to assist you to overcome the learning curve. Some provide a set number of hours each month, while others might provide you unlimited aid. Many of providers also create webinars and are prepared to help you train your team on their platform, too.
The social networking management tools for small companies vary in price, both involving suppliers in addition to the degrees of support and functionality for each platform supplies. Thankfully, most social media supervisors provide upfront pricing because of their standard packages, which means you can see what works in your budget. In some cases, you may even be able to negotiate terms with your potential social media management system. Be sure to compare the features you need versus the quantity of money you’re willing to spend. Plus, if you right-size your platform to fulfill your small business, you could devote more money to social networking advertising and take your social presence to another level.
The Best Options in Social Media Management for Small Business Owners
As soon as you’ve accounted for your social plan, the features you want to execute it, and the budget you can spend on a societal networking supervisor, it’s time to dip in and examine your alternatives. As we mentioned previously, every social media supervisor for small companies offers distinct characteristics and pricing. Below are a few of the best tools to consider for small business social media management based on the financials, features, and ease of use.
1. The Best Entry-Level Social Media Manager: Hootsuite
Hootsuite was one of the first social media managers that let users monitor and post to all their social networking accounts in one area. Additionally, Hootsuite provides intuitive analytics, staff management, post-approval procedures, and societal listening tools. Multi-user plans begin at $129 a month, which makes you service for 20 societal profiles and three consumer seats. Bigger plans begin at $599 or more, based on your needs. If you are the one person who needs access to the accounts, you can go for the $19 per month plan, but note you will have no additional chairs in the program unless you upgrade.
2. The Best Little Business-Centric Social Media Manager: Sprout Social
Sprout Social supplies a specific social media management bundle for small businesses. This option makes a price-conscious package that allows entrepreneurs access Sprout’s unique content management, social listening, analytics, and post scheduling tools–as well as the right number of chairs to let several employees get into the platform. Sprout makes social media management simple with an intuitive workflow and the ability to manually set post times, or to let the program’s algorithm Boost your post time for maximum visibility. Packages begin at $99 per month, but many small companies may need to elect for the Corporate bundle that costs $149 per month (because it supplies more than one seat at the platform).
3. The Best Budget Social Media Manager for Shoe String budget
Buffer provides a simple to use social networking supervisor for small business owners. The platform is similar to Sprout and Hootsuite but includes a more robust mobile experience. Users may post on the go without having a limited set of purposes whenever they are on mobile. The entry-level plan is free but doesn’t include scheduling or societal analytics functions. The pro level involves these attributes and more, and only costs $15 a month. Also notice that Buffer doesn’t offer social media monitoring or client support functions at any given level, but so consider whether these features are important to you.
4. The Finest Streamlined Social Media Manager: Everypost
Everypost is a simple, affordable social media manager that provides its users with the basics of social media direction. The tool supports societal media posting, collaboration on posts, and scheduling choices. Everypost doesn’t offer more innovative features, like analytics or post-approval procedures, but it will provide a broader array of plans to assist cater to your organization’s needs. Although a free membership is present, almost every small business owner will need to obtain the $9.99 a month pro plan in order to make Everypost a workable choice to conduct their societal stations.
5. Best Social Media Manager for Seasoned Businesses
Sprinklr supplies a suite of solutions, customizations, and viewers analytics that no other social media management program can match. The platform supports customized endorsement paths for different sorts of content (and on various social channels), an audit trail for each and every post, societal listening capabilities, and support for much more social media channels than you have ever heard of. Sprinklr may be overkill for most small business owners–especially if they’re new to social media, but firms that have advanced social media strategies or a robust client acquisition community coming from social might find that Sprinklr best matches their requirements. Be aware that Sprinklr’s bells and whistles come at a steep price, however, with introductory plans beginning at $60,000 a year.
No matter which social media management for small business tool you use, the most significant thing you can do would be your homework. We do not just mean comparing prices, either. Your foray into social networking wants to start with a cohesive approach, a fair sense of how many times you would like to post, and also a good understanding of what your prospective followers wish to see. Once you determine your social media plan, you are able to search out a social media management for small business tool that is suitable for your needs.
Interested in social media management for small business, starting a business or growing a business in Santa Barbara? Contact us today for your free business consultation! Call Santa Barbara Entrepreneur at our Impact HUB location (805) 633-0877.