Social media is a critical part of any business’ current marketing strategy with the power, reach and flexibility of social media platforms for advertising undeniable. The average Facebook user in the UK spends 2.5 hours on the platform everyday across various devices but increasingly, this time is built up via mobile. Honing in purely on millennials, the figure racks up to just over 3 hours when all the short browsing stints throughout the day are added together.
As a consumer facing small business, engaging in social media marketing and making the most of the available opportunities is a tough task, even if efforts are focused on a very small chunk of activity such as social listening and organic posting. In fact, social media marketing can require such a big commitment that even larger corporations are increasingly switching to agency management solutions or in house teams to streamline operations.
If you’re not quite there yet in terms of resources, here are some social tools that could be a big help:
Some of you may be scratching your heads and thinking that Google Analytics is not a social media specific tool. And you’re correct! That said, Google Analytics is an easy go to for smaller businesses when it comes to basic website tracking, and it’s free.
In 2011 Google Analytics received a major overhaul and now incorporates fairly slick tracking systems to keep tabs on site visits that originate from the various social media channels. This makes it the perfect tool for measuring whether or not your social media presence is genuinely generating direct visits
Commun.it is a SM relationship management tool. It is primarily useful for managing your Twitter account – or accounts for that matter as the tool has a pro (paid for) option for managing multiple accounts.
Commun.it can be set up to listen for conversations about you or your brand. This helps you to identify the kind of current sentiment floating about in social media circles about you as well as pointing you in the right direction should you choose to engage with users.
It has some very useful basic Twitter tools:
- Reply to Twitter mentions and replies
- Retweet interesting retweets (can be scheduled)
- Send a reply tweet to my high value members
- Send a reply tweet to my influencers
- Send a reply tweet to my supporters
- Send a reply to my engaged members
Buffer is a relatively well known tool with no unworldly social understanding powers, but it is extremely convenient. Buffer allows you to share content from any site you see when browsing the web to all of your social media platforms directly via a browser button. It is similar to Pinterest posting.Aside from Google+ all of your major social platforms are covered including LinkedIn. One click sharing is great for those occasions when you just happen upon web content you know your social followers would enjoy. It makes for an effortless and easy way to keep organic posting levels high without much effort.
Hootsuite is often referred to as THE social media management tool. It can monitor what people are saying about your brand and help you respond instantly across multiple platforms including Facebook, Twitter and Google+. You can also reply and post directly through the tool. With so many networks modern businesses need to keep track of, it’s no surprise social media management tools like Hootsuite have become such a big part of day-to-day social media management.Hootsuite is estimated to be the most commonly used tool for UK businesses with over 20% of companies using it to track, monitor and manage their SM efforts. TweetDeck and SocialEngage also feature prominently if you’re looking to review the other top tools in this class.
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