If you tend to avoid social media because it takes up too much time, or you’re worried that tweeting, posting, linking and commenting is taking over your life, you’re not alone.
As social media has become ingrained in our daily lives, the work involved has become almost a full time job. Managing all our accounts, engaging with our fans across numerous different platforms, curating interesting content from around the web has escalated beyond belief and sharing all those pictures of cute cats takes time, a lot of time. How does anyone get any real work done?
Tempting as it may be to throw in the towel and go live in a cave somewhere, there are some compelling reasons why we should stick with it. Here’s what social media can do for your business:
- Raise brand awareness
- Support your customers, answer questions and deal with any complaints
- Reach out to potential new clients and generate new leads
- Raise your credibility as an expert or authority in your field
- Drive more traffic to your website
- Drive sales!
I’m happy to report that there are some awesome tools out there, sure to help combat the feelings of social media frazzle you’re experiencing. The trouble is, they’re buried in a mass of fairly average stuff. There are literally hundreds of social media tools, each claiming to be as marvellous as the next. The danger is, instead of drowning in tweets and posts, you could end up wasting days of your life testing all these different tools.
Many experts and bloggers have drawn up enormously long lists of social media management tools to us to digest. I’m not sure if their intention is to show off how many they can think of, whether they’re trying to cause our brains to explode, or whether they simply can’t be bothered to think about which ones are best.
Anyway, we’ve spent ages looking into this for you. It’s been our personal mission to track down the social media tools which offer the most comprehensive list of features at a reasonable price. We’re assuming that you don’t want to use 20 different tools for different things, that you’d prefer it to be intuitive and easy to use, and that you’d quite like to simplify your life, rather than make it even more confusing! Arguably, it may be impossible to find a tool which does everything in one single package, but we’re going to have a darn good try.
We’ve found a selection of great tools which will help you save a hell of a lot of time. Here are some of the things these tools can do:
- Bring all your different accounts into one convenient place – including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn
- Monitor keywords relating to your business and your competitors across social media, making it easy to find potential customers, forge relationships and resolve issues.
- Schedule messages ahead of time, in bulk
- Send automated messages, to specific people at specific times
- Suggesting interesting content for you to share
- Keep track of your conversations across platforms so nothing gets missed or lost
- Give you a clear overview of what’s going on at any moment across platforms
- Run reports detailing the success of your posts
- Manage your pages and groups and post to Linked In and Facebook groups you are a member of in one click
It’s impressive really – this smart selection of tools has an incredibly extensive range of features. And given that most tools offer a free trial for a month, you have the perfect opportunity to try them out and compare them side by side without having to reach for your wallet until you’re ready to commit.
To find out which tools we recommend, head over to Smartli
Nadia Finer is the founder of smartli.co. She specialises in tracking down the smartest apps and tools to help you work smarter and grow your business.