Social media is a great way to spread the word about your business, connect with customers and network within your niche. Constantly posting to each of your social media accounts like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter can be daunting, however, and hiring a social media specialist may not be in the budget. Luckily, there are some tools that can help you easily schedule posts, keep track of engagements, and much more. Here are the best social media management tools for small businesses.

Buffer

Buffer dashboard

Buffer is a favorite social media management tool for many small businesses and for good reason. It has a huge amount of feature, separated into three categories: Publish, Reply, and Analyze. The Publish feature allows you to schedule posts that will be posted to your social media accounts. The Reply feature helps you keep track and answer comments and replies on your social media posts. This is a great way to add customer service capabilities to each of your social media accounts effortlessly. Analyze gathers all of your engagement, growth, sales and reach data so it’s easy to look over to see where your social media campaigns are going right and where they need work.

While publishing with three social media accounts is free, all of the other features are part of tiered packages that can cost from $15 a month to $225 per month. These different packages can be confusing, unfortunately, and you’ll need to get a separate package for each category (they do bundle all of the features, but you have to contact them for more information and a quote). Buffer also offers a free browser extension that allows you to share other people’s posts you find online to your own feeds.

Crowdfire

Crowdfire content curation
Crowdfire content curation

Crowdfire is a lot like Buffer. You can use it to schedule social media posts, keep track of how each post is doing and interact with your followers. The site is a little more limited on features, though.  Since Buffer’s packages are so confusing, that might be a good thing. The free package allows you to connect up to five social accounts to the system and schedule up to 10 posts per account at any one time. The advanced packages range from around $7 a month to $75 per month. These packages include advanced features like the ability to analyze your competitor’s data, reply to mentions, and bulk schedule posts.

The best part about Crowdfire is they offer a content curation system. If you can’t think of anything to post, you can select some topics your followers may be interested in, and then the tool will offer up some posts you may want to share.

Hootsuite

Hootsuite
Hootsuite scheduler

Hootsuite takes the simplicity of Crowdfire’s packages and mixes it with the large number of features that Buffer offers. From scheduling posts to tracking engagement, comments, and follower data, this site has it all. Like Buffer, it also has a free browser extension that allows you to share posts from a variety of media platforms. It even has a media library where you can source free photos for your posts.

What really sets Hootsuite apart is its Stream tool. Stream is a constantly updated feed that helps you keep track of comments from your followers and popular hashtags that are trending in your industry. You can also integrate apps that you already use, like Asana, Adobe Stock, and Trello into the Stream so you can do more things all on one dashboard. It also lets you create post drafts and save them in a folder to work on later.

The free package allows you to connect up to three social profiles and two RSS feed integrations. You also get $100 worth of ad spending per month to boost your post’s reach. Their paid packages range from $29 per month to $600 per month.

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