Are you a small business owner? Does social media have your head spinning and thinking there just aren’t enough hours in the day? We know small business owners have a lot on their plate already simply with the ins and outs of running a business. Adding social media marketing can seem daunting (you ARE using social media marketing, right?).

Whether you are managing your own social media or have help from your team, here’s a list of five must-have social media tools that our experts at Hay There use regularly, talk about often and suggest you use to make your life easier. Perhaps you’ve heard of them or maybe you’ve tried a few. As heavy social media users, we think these are worth two “Likes” as they make your social media efforts and other work streamlined and more productive. Please be sure to let us know if you have questions!

1. HootSuite

Manage several different networks and social media profiles via your HootSuite dashboard with a free or very low cost account. We find many small business owners have heard of and are starting to use HootSuite and it’s quite user-friendly. HootSuite gives you a high-level view of all of your social network activity and you can jump into Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn easily and quickly. You can also schedule posts for future dates in case you will be unable to post live. HootSuite also offers the ability to build metrics reports, but we personally use other tools for that information.

2. Facebook Pages App

This is perfect for the small business owner on the go wanting alerts of activity only happening on his/her business page(s). Use the Facebook pages app on your phone or tablet and get real time notifications of comments, recent posts by others and messages landing on your Facebook page. We like this app because it also allows you to post as your page on the go — and it keeps you from getting distracted by your personal Facebook newsfeed.

3. Sprout Social

This is a robust management platform that allows you to get an in-depth look at your social networking activity and track all your metrics via detailed reports. This is a great tool to learn about your engagement rates with everything that you post, for example. We are fans of Sprout because you can even link your Google Analytics into your dashboard, collaborate with multiple social media managers on one account and the team at Sprout provides great customer service. Besides, we think the name “Sprout” is fun to say.

4. TweetDeck

Check out TweetDeck to tune in and participate in Tweet chats (aka “Twitter parties”). This tool is simple to sign up for and you can monitor the conversations happening around a certain hash tag. While the streams on TweetDeck move quickly, it can be really helpful to use this detailed tool to help you focus on just one social network at a time, like Twitter.

5. Google Drive/Shared docs

Behind every great team is a great project management and collaboration tool. Is your inbox overflowing? Computer out of storage space? Widely used by small business owners, Google docs is a fantastic tool for educators, individuals and teams with a need to work together virtually on a particular project. When you can access shared information, a tremendous amount of time is saved and frustration over “which version are we on” is avoided. Check out other enterprise-wide tools like Evernote and Basecamp –both of which operate via the cloud and therefore save space on your hard-drive as well.

What tools from this list have you tried? Which are you excited to try? What tools and/or apps would you put on your short list of ones you use daily?

Thanks for reading!

Emily A. Hay

Founder & Instructor at Social Media Manager Training Courses
Creator of flexible work opportunities for moms since 2009 | Shared our journey in FAIR PLAY Documentary by Reese’s Hello Sunshine based off Eve Rodsky’s book 🎥 | Work+Life Integrator 👩‍💻 👧 👧

2 thoughts on “5 Must-Have Social Media Tools for Your Small Business

  1. Thanks so much for including Sprout in the round-up!