4 Social Media Management Tools for Small Businesses

Posted on Monday, 11 February 2013 by

It is official; businesses must reserve a major portion of their internet marketing resources and strategies for social media. Word of mouth marketing cannot be faked nor can it be manipulated as it involves real people. Businesses have to take responsibility to promote their brand on social media platforms. While large corporations can afford to hire special social media managers or train an in-house team to do it, small businesses may struggle to keep up with the trend due to limited budgets or time. This is where a social media management tool comes in handy. There are many tools out there that will help you manage your time with social media marketing strategies, but what you hope to achieve from the use of these tools is the real question. Keeping this focus in mind will help you choose the best tool from the myriad of choices available.

First let us list the function of social media management tools. They will:

  • Send scheduled updates.
  • Connect all your social media profiles.
  • Provide a unified platform to manage multiple networks.
  • Improve audience engagement.
  • Measure audience engagement.
  • Provide suggestions to improve engagement metrics.

Plan your social media goals, form a budget in terms of both time and money and get a social media management tool that meets your needs and allows for smooth, easy management of all your profiles.

Here are 4 such tools that will help you handle your social media profiles and also help you manage your time as a small business owner. The common features of these tools are affordability, friendly interfaces and the inclusion of a free trial, thus giving you room to decide which one you will be most comfortable working with.

1. Hootsuite:

Hootsuite is one of the oldest social media management tools. It boasts many awards and is preferred over other social media management tools in its caliber. The best part is that you can get a free plan (among other paid plans) for this incredible tool.

Unique selling points of the tool:

  • Free basic version.
  • Schedule post updates.
  • Includes Google+ integration.
  • With the new Hootsuite interactions feature you can connect with real-time users of the tool.
  • Custom reports with Facebook Insights and Google Analytics.
  • It has recently acquired another social media management tool called Seesmic.
  • Is used by big brands like McDonalds, Pepsico, WWF and many more.
Hootsuite Social Media Management Tool

Hootsuite Social Media Management Tool

2. SproutSocial:

A Twitter Certified Products Program partner and a Preferred Marketing Developer for Facebook page management and insights, SproutSocial integrates an easy-to-use, all-in-one platform to monitor and manage your brand on social media.

Unique selling points of the tool:

  • Savvy dashboard that pulls activity from all your social media profiles into one stream.
  • Schedule post updates.
  • Follow, respond and retweet from within the dashboard.
  • It gives recommendations on who to follow and who not to.
  • Option to export reports in excel or PDF formats.
  • Free mobile apps.
  • Google Analytics integration.
  • Unlimited reporting on all plans.
  • Keyword monitoring.
  • 30-day free trial.
SproutSocial Social Media Management Tool

SproutSocial Social Media Management Tool

3. Postling:

Postling is a social management tool that integrates Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, WordPress, Tumblr and Flickr in a user-friendly platform. You are not required to log in to these accounts individually.

Unique selling points of the tool:

  • Schedule post updates.
  • Receive email alerts of brand mentions and comments. You can reply via email.
  • Low cost, just $5 per month to manage 5 social media accounts.
  • One-stop social inbox that allows you to publish content directly to your social media profiles.
  • Read and respond to comments on an iPhone. The Postling app is free for registered users.
  • Gives you suggestions, for instance, it tracks influential users and suggests who to reach out to, follow or offer discounts to.
  • Notifications of brand mentions on the web, for example, in a press release or blog.
  • You can track your competitors or specific keywords.
Postling Social Media Management Tool

Postling Social Media Management Tool

4. CrowdBooster:

Great for small businesses, Crowdbooster is a real-time social media monitoring tool that keeps you abreast of what is being discussed about your brand on the web. However, it only works for Twitter and Facebook accounts.

Unique selling points of the tool:

  • Schedule post updates.
  • Integrates Bit.ly and aids with shortening URLs.
  • Measures engagement across multiple networks.
  • Provides suggestions to improve engagement.
  • Email summary of weekly updates on all your social media accounts.
  • Basic plan at a low cost of $9 per month.
CrowdBooster Social Media Management Tool

CrowdBooster Social Media Management Tool


There are other independent tools on the market, such as ArgyleSocial and UberVU that include similar tool features and much more but are a higher price point. There are also some free tools that help you manage your social media campaigns but are limited to one or two social networking platforms. If your social media marketing efforts are concentrated on Twitter, you could use Twitter social management tools such as Tweetdeck, Tweepi, Twepe, Usequitter, FollowerWonk, ManageFlitter, Twellow, Twylah and TweetReach. EdgeRank is a tool to dedicated specifically to checking your Facebook page engagement metrics.

As a small business owner you can greatly benefit from the use of these tools as they allow you to manage your social campaigns perfectly and easily. For additional tips on how to generate engagement with your fans, read our post on 7 Social Media Tips to Improve Fan Engagement.