Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and other social media platforms aren’t just for relatable memes and your extended family sharing too much information. They’re inexpensive tools for small to medium businesses to advertise products and services.
Why small to medium businesses need to advertise on social media
We get it; it takes a lot of time creating content for social media, and it can feel unrewarding at times. However, it helps build brand awareness, connect with current customers and engage with new ones.
It’s also a less expensive form of advertising that can be monitored to see what works and what doesn’t, unlike that billboard you put up that may cost you a fortune.
To make life that little bit easier, we’ve shared with you the top social media tools every small to medium business owner should consider using.
1. Social media scheduling tools
Automating your content will save you time in the long run. There are several social media scheduling tools available, and it all comes down to what works best for your business. Buffer is a great place to start, as it offers a free plan. All you have to do is create an account and then connect your social media profiles, including Facebook and Instagram. Then you’re ready to schedule your content for any day of the week, at any time of the day (there are tools to help you determine the best time to post – see below). Other options include Hootsuite, Iconosquare, SproutSocial, SmarterQueue (see pictured) and more.
2. Social media reporting tools
Tracking how your posts are performing can be time-consuming if you're only looking at how many likes and comments there are. Fortunately, there are tools to help you with this too. Scheduling software usually offers a plan that includes analytics too. You then select what you’re after, including engagement (how many people engaged with your post), reach (how many people saw your post), the best time to post, what content didn’t work and more. The social media reporting tool will then collate it into an easy to understand report. All of the scheduling tools mentioned above offer paid plans that include analytics reporting – or you can use the free versions that Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc., offer.
3. Content creating tools
If you don’t know where to start when it comes to the type of content, do your research. It’s always good to stay on top of social trends, even if your business isn’t associated with news, entertainment, politics, etc. Social media users log on to see what's happening in the world, and by staying on top of this, you can create content that promotes your business and connects with specific demographics. For example, ShowPo – an online clothing boutique – use memes to connect with their audience since they're a largely female demographic between the ages of 12 and 40. You can use tools, such as Google Trends and BuzzSumo, to see what’s happening, and create articles, graphics and other content types to share online.