3 Great Social Media Tools for Business

These time-saving tools will help you get your social media program started.
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As an industrial business, chances are you probably don’t consider social media an essential part of your digital marketing strategy. Many industrials shy away from social media because it can be time consuming without delivering an immediately evident, tangible return.

While social media may not be a leading source of potential clients, there are a number of reasons for an industrial business to maintain a consistent social media presence. Even if it is just for the light SEO signals it offers and the way it allows you to secure your brand name on an increasingly relevant part of the Web, incorporating social into your digital marketing mix is worthwhile.

The trick is to do social in a way that isn’t time consuming. Luckily, it doesn’t have to be. Take the guesswork out of social media management with these easy-to-use scheduling tools that can help your business stay social: SproutSocial, HootSuite and Buffer. With these social media tools for business, you can reap the benefits of social without wasting the time.

SproutSocialSprout Social Logo

SproutSocial is a user-friendly social analytics and scheduling tool that seamlessly publishes posts across Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+. SproutSocial has one of the most user-friendly dashboards on the market, a great feature that sets the tool apart. The scheduling tool helps keep your social posting consistent with a simple calendar layout that allows you to shorten links, attach images, and more.

Beyond social scheduling, users can look up hashtags and keywords to identify brand opportunities and trends within their industry, as well as keep an eye on competitors. SproutSocial users can conveniently monitor social interactions across platforms, keep up with conversation history with followers and even turn a social message into a task for a team member. There are a variety of tools to build and maintain your social network within the interface’s Discovery tab, which suggests social followers to add and ways to clean up your social list.

SproutSocial’s social reporting feature compiles analytics, profile stats, and demographic information into a one-stop report, which is great for sharing with C-level team members.The mobile app makes on-the-go monitoring for social responses and post scheduling simple.

You can try SproutSocial for free with a 30-day trial, no credit card required, and then choose your pricing tier based on your business needs. Plans start at $59 per month.

HootSuiteHootsuite Logo

Another popular social media management tool is HootSuite, which boasts integrations with over 25 social networks. In addition to social management and scheduling, this tool features real-time social analysis and custom, detailed reports to share. Easily track brand mentions, schedule posts, monitor traffic, and create workflows within one dashboard. HootSuite even allows users to designate team leaders and specific workflows to ensure that no task or message gets lost.

Of all the social media management tools on the market, HootSuite puts the greatest emphasis on security features. These security features include granting access to social networks without sharing passwords, assigning specific permission access levels to team members, and real-time security alerts.

Like SproutSocial, the HootSuite app is great for social management on a mobile device. In addition to the mobile app, users can access over 100 apps that can be added to their dashboards to create truly custom experiences. One of the most impressive things about HootSuite’s apps is the sheer variety of categories and solutions, covering everything from email marketing to compliance.

One of our favorite features of HootSuite, and one which really sets it apart, is its community aspect. Once you’re a HootSuite user, you can become part of the HootSuite community which allows you to  become a HootSuite ambassador, find other social media marketers in your area, and more. Another advantage of HootSuite is their helpful resources such as blog posts and webinars, which give you tips for growing your social following and improving your social strategy.

HootSuite also offers a 30-day free trial. Prricing tiers based on business needs start at $9.99 per month.

BufferBugger Logo

Compared with SproutSocial and HootSuite, Buffer is a more basic social scheduling tool. Many users new to social media management may prefer Buffer as a friendly starting point, as the other tools reviewed here can quickly become overwhelming.

Buffer offers a number of great features, including helpful integrations with Bitly and Google Analytics, as well as browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and Safari. In addition to the great integrations, their user resources are really helpful, from the solid FAQs section to the Buffer social media blog — a good resource for any social media marketer.

Users can also try out the Buffer app to keep tabs on social media outlets and scheduling. There is also a wide offering of additional apps, extensions, and extras.  With apps and extras like Pocket and Mention, Buffer allows users to easily save content to view later, incorporate WordPress sharing plugins, and more. These extras are great for expanding a brand’s social media strategy and keeping a pulse on industry happenings. Overall, Buffer has a lot of flexibility that allows you to make the tool what you need it to be without getting overly complicated.

Beyond being user friendly, Buffer offers a variety of plans for businesses, no matter what size. Buffer’s business plans start at $50 per month and include unlimited scheduled posts, RSS feed integration for easy sharing, and analytics to help your business understand its audience. There are a currently three different tiers to choose from.

Try Buffer with by signing up for their 7-day free trial — no obligation and no credit card required.

Conclusion

Social media for industrial businesses doesn’t have to be complicated, thanks to easy-to-use social media tools for business such as SproutSocial, HootSuite, and Buffer. Use them to stay organized by scheduling social posts, monitoring brand mentions, and analyzing social data, all in one place. By posting on social outlets consistently, businesses of all sizes can take advantage of the SEO, branding, and community building benefits offered by social media.

We hope to see you out there in the social media universe. Please find us on the social network of your choice: Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, or Twitter.

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About the Author

Courtney Wanamaker


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