From personal experience, I’ve found that many small businesses need to use tools that help to automate social media, without breaking the budget.
The reason these tools are useful is because they can significantly help to reduce time on certain activities like posting tweets and Facebook posts. Instead, using these tools, you can schedule social media posts well in advance.
Over the last year or so, I’ve been testing a variety of services that are extremely easy to use and are free (or not overly expensive). Below you’ll find a few short words on each, on what they can do and how they are beneficial.
Funnily enough, even though this is a very popular tool, I only started using it last week! It’s a great tool that can help you to manage multiple Twitter accounts. Tweetdeck allows you to organise accounts, schedule tweets, see what’s trending, and connect with followers, all through one Dashboard. The dashboard is fully customizable, allowing you to add and remove what key data you want to see.
I’ve set it up with a few basic columns which are: Home (your Twitter newsfeed), Mentions, Scheduled Tweets, and Followers. This seems to be helping me to keep on top of Twitter, however, be sure to try your own customisations and see what works for you.
I’ve found this tool particularly beneficial for making your Twitter account efficient. This is because ManageFlitter helps you to filter who you are following, and unfollow anyone who doesn’t follow you back. It also will unfollow people who are inactive on Twitter. So over time, you end up with a Twitter account that is comprised of people who engage with you on a consistent basis (what more could you ask for!).
They have a basic (free) plan, and the next step up is $12 per month, which is reasonable.
Another tool to make your life as a small business owner a little easier is Tweriod. This tool shows you the best times to tweet. Once you sign up, they analyse your tweets, and your followers’ tweets. This data is precious as it allows you to post tweets at the time when they are most likely to reach your followers and been seen by as many of them as possible. So when you are planning to post tweets in the future, you can reference Tweriod to make sure you’re posting at the right time.
Similar to ManageFlitter, Tweepi helps you to manage your Twitter followers. You can unfollow a huge amount of users who haven’t followed you back. And at the same time, if you haven’t followed some of your followers, you can click a button to follow them all. An interesting feature is the ability to follow all the users who are following another account. Could this be a good way to identify the followers of your competitor(s)?
This application is seriously amazing. IFTTT stand for: IF This Than That – they are little programs that trigger when a particular event happens. These programs are called ‘recipes’ and sometimes I lose track of time while trawling through the amount of ‘recipes’ they have available.
For example, for social media, you can set up ‘recipes’ such as, when you post to Instagram, post that picture on Facebook and Twitter automatically. Or another popular recipe is: if a photo of me is tagged in Facebook, then download it to my Dropbox account).
However recipes exist not just for social media market but for a whole host of things. It can even interact with your smart home! Set it up so when your alarm goes off at 6am, your lights will turn on…
The benefit of setting these up is it takes the manual work out of these actions. I have found this very useful over the last year.
Twtrland really helps you to build your online presence. Twtrland shows you your social media ‘resume’ by displaying a visual snapshot of your online presence on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
It actually shows you how many of your current followers are online. (side note: this kind of tool was the reason I had an app go viral on Twitter and Instagram!). As well as this, you can use their search to help find users related to certain keywords, and even what cities and countries they are based in.
TweetReach displays important data such as how many people saw and interacted with your tweets. It shows who retweeted your tweets and how many followers they have.
I used this tool recently for a market research report to show how far a TV promo video had reached. It was fascinating to see the data. For small businesses, use this to see which of your tweets travelled farthest. Then analyse why you think it did so well. Once you start to understand this, repeat the process and post similar tweets.