For small businesses, social media is an essential tool for reaching and engaging with customers. But, the social media landscape is constantly evolving and with so much competition across platforms, how can you make sure you’re effectively taking advantage of this medium?
We asked entrepreneurs across various industries to tell us the best social media tools for small businesses, here’s what they had to say.
Editorial note: some quotes have been edited for grammatical accuracy. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors alone and not of CoverWallet.
“With Zapier, I create an integration of all my social media. So when I publish on one platform, it automatically broadcasts it to all my other social media accounts. This also works for everything I post on Youtube and Medium.” - Abdulaziz M Alhamdan, Owner of StoryBonding.com
“I recommend using Plann to schedule Instagram [posts] in advance. The interface is intuitive and it’s easy to incorporate your own strategy into their platform. I write all my Instagram [posts] for the week at once using Plann!” - Eliza Erskine, Founder of Green Buoy Consulting
“It connects to a number of different social media channels and allows me to plan content. What's great about it is that I can focus on one channel that I love, in this case, Instagram, and Agorapulse will distribute that same content on every other channel my brand is attached to. It stores relevant hashtags for easy reference as well. I can then look at my posts in a calendar view and see where there are gaps or opportunities. Well worth the subscription!” - Ryan Popoff, Owner of Popov Leather
“Being a small business we needed something that was budget-friendly, easy to use and didn't take a lot of time to work with. HootSuite was the answer. It has allowed us to really go 100% with social media and still run our business on a daily basis. In the past, we would forget to post or just not have the time for it. Now we can schedule everything in advance, see the results and manage everything in one spot. It's been a lifesaver for social media management.” - Jeff Moriarty, Owner of Moriarty's Gem Art
“Holiday Today is a fun app we downloaded to notify us of the social media holidays. It’s super helpful for last-minute social media post ideas, or even to keep you ‘in the know’ for things that may be currently trending on social media.” - Brielle Perry, Owner of Let's B Social
“The best part about it is you can actually use it for free. Canva pretty much helps you with anything related to graphics [for] specific social media platforms. For example, you can create thumbnails and covers for YouTube, posts for Facebook, Pins for Pinterest, or even create your very own logo. This is a tool that I have been using for many years now and I recommend that other small business owners at least check it out.” - James Canzanella, Owner of Isolated Marketing Nights
“The usability and intuitive layout of the software makes posting updates and analyzing the results of my posts very easy. At a quick glance, I can see the posting schedule and know immediately if there are any gaps. It is a nice and simple tool, which for a business that doesn't post too much and has a social media presence for branding, rather than active selling it works for me.” - Michael Lowe, CEO of Car Passionate
“The best social media tool I use is SmarterQueue for scheduling social media posts. It is less expensive and more useful than other options I’ve tried.” - Shannon Huffman Polson, Founder of The Grit Institute
“It's a tool that helps you grow your social media following authentically by making it easy to find new brands, comment on their posts and categorize them into lists.
We are a wedding planning company so I also use it to categorize the accounts we follow into vendor categories (dress shops, photographers, florists, etc) and by location. When I find companies that really align with our brand, I can use the Analyze tool to show me the people who engage with that account the most. This is the best way for me to network with other brands, all from the comfort of my couch!
I've seen a direct correlation between my consistency in using PeopleMap and a steady increase in my followers. It feels authentic and it's fun!” - Heidi Haglund, Co-owner of The Framework Events
“Sprout Social is an invaluable tool that helps me immensely with social media. It offers advice on who to follow, based on your tweets and niche, much more than regular Twitter or FaceBook suggestions. It also offers advice on unfollowing, it’s good at identifying bot accounts, saving me time on reading fake or inflammatory social posts. It is a great and simple enough system to use. Any new staff can pick up the processes very easily.” - Dr. Rahil Chaudhary, Owner of Eye7 Chaudhary Eye Centre
“We use a social listening tool called Mention, it allows us to listen to conversations in and around our industry, and in particular unlinked mentions of our brand name. As our small team doesn’t have time to search for our company name and brand names on search engines.
This allowed us to see what our customers were saying about our services and react accordingly and take the information on board to provide a better service.” - Jeremy Scott Foster,CEO of TravelFreak
“We use Segment for retargeting ads and to improve the efficiency of our digital sales funnel. This tool tracks event data from our website and turns that data into insights we can use for messaging or re-targeting purposes. The UI is clean and efficient. For businesses that use Facebook Ads a lot, I would definitely recommend checking out Segment.” - Calloway Cook, President of Illuminate Labs
“This lets us create high-quality content such as videos and photos to be shared on Instagram because image and post engagement is everything. It looks professional, and the amount of engagements and the likes we get reflects that.” - Kamil Faizi, Owner of Challenge Coins 4 U
“Firstly, the costs are very low. Secondly, the app is simple to use. You can set up an entire month’s posts within an hour. Uploading pictures, adding captions and saving tags is very easy to do. Finally, I'm very pleased with the app’s reliability. Not once has a post failed, there's been no need for me to log in after I've done the initial setup.” - Raj Dosanjh, founder of RentRound.com
“One of my favorite tools for social media as a small business owner is the Instagram planning app, Planoly. It helps me plan out all of my content in advance with captions. My favorite feature is the hashtag function. It keeps track of how many hashtags I have used so I can optimize the reach of my posts. Highly recommend!” - Amanda Lambrechts, Owner of Spilling the Beans Nutrition, LLC
“For Pinterest, Tailwind is a favorite as it offers small business owners a way to increase exposure on the platform and along with minimizing the time required to manage the brand’s account.” - Jeremy Becker, CEO of Becker Digital
“Social Report has all the features I need and more. It supports every social network you can think of. You can schedule posts, use a drag-and-drop calendar, set an automatic cadence, view messages, set up keyword alerts, schedule customized PDF reports, categorize posts, track conversions, and more. Social Report is also a great analytics tool.” - Sydney Myers, Co-Founder and Creative Director of Dallas Hoops Cast
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