I recently reached out to some of San Diego’s experienced digital marketers and asked them what their top two recommendations were for social media tools for small and medium businesses.
Although there were the common tools mentioned, there were some surprises and ideas many may not have thought of. Below are their answers.
Reid Carr – Red Door Interactive
Hootsuite – A longtime player in the social media game, I typically find myself defaulting to this social media scheduling tool. It offers a free level and a variety of low-cost tiers as needs increase. If you do struggle with content curation, Buffer is another option that easily allows you to install a browser plugin to seamlessly schedule content while you’re in the middle of reading an article.
True Social Metrics – While many in-platform analytics tools will track how well your brand’s content is performing, True Social Metrics will track your competitors’ performance as well. You can easily keep tabs on how engaged their social media audiences are as well as what content is performing the best on their channels. Tracking this information can help you identify trends in the industry and how you can implement them better!
Ashley Ward – MadhouseMatters
The top two social media tools I would recommend to small businesses is Picmonkey and Hootsuite. Let’s start with Picmonkey. Picmonkey is a great photo editing tool that easily allows anyone, computer savvy or not, to edit photos and add a personal branding touch. You can also make collages, design Facebook cover photos and more for social media.
When it comes to a social media scheduling tool, Sprout Social is my all time favorite. But, for small businesses, I would recommend Hootsuite over Sprout Social because it is free for up to three social media profiles and includes Instagram. Small businesses are usually always looking for ways to cut costs and fit marketing into their extremely small budgets. Hootsuite fits those extremely small budgets by offering free social media management, scheduling, and research all in one platform.
Jeremy Durant – BOP Design
Buffer—it helps schedule and manage all social media accounts in one place. It helps a small business owner save time with social media management.
LinkedIn Sponsored Updates—it helps a small business owner get their content in front of ideal prospects, who they are currently not connected to.
BJ Cook – Digital Operative
Canva – this is a dream tool for those developing content for social media channels. For those times when you can’t get or don’t have access to designers, this empowers people to choose from pre-set layouts, image libraries, and a text editor to create distribution content!
Hootsuite – this is one of our go-to tools and for those working in the SMB market, this will save time. Being productive is always a goal and your ability to bulk schedule content is crucial as a marketer who tends to wear multiple hats. The other feature we love is the “Hootlet,” which enables you to surf the web, share and schedule content from your browser without even being in Hootsuite.
Nicole Pereira – Business On Market St
I would say Hootsuite is my #1 choice for small businesses. It is a freemium tool that actually has a lot of value without paying a cent. The upgrade cost is so nominal that a growing small business won’t need to crack open the piggybank just to use it.
Number 2, I would say an employee to run a tool. Many business owners feel tools tend to magically run themselves. Find someone in your organization to own the tool so that they can grow and optimize not only its use but also your social media audiences.
Emma Siemasko – Stories By Emma
I recommend that all small business owners keep it simple when it comes to social media. Buffer is a great tool for scheduling posts, and it’s affordable for small businesses. The interface is simple and easy to use, and Buffer recently released a new tool that makes it easy to create images to accompany social media posts. For businesses that want something more robust, Sprout Social is great. The analytics are a bit more robust, and it’s great for teams with a large presence on social media.
Some great tool recommendations from people in the know covering scheduling, reporting, and creative for SMBs. Do you have your own tool recommendations? Would love to have your social tool recommendations in the comments.