Anything worth doing is worth doing right. This rather cliched mantra is all very well, but for time-poor business owners, it can often mean that social media goes out the window. After all, as a consumer, who wants to be bombarded with shoddy posts at irrelevant times? You are sure to unfollow, unlike and generally cut a brand out of your life. Therefore, as a business owner, you need to know two things upfront…

Invest Time and Schedule Effectively

One is that you will need to invest time (for devising a strategy, planning your content, posting your content and then measuring the effectiveness of said content). Two is that you can use scheduling software to streamline your efforts so that you are managing that time effectively.

Knowing When to Post on Social Media

So you are a SMB with social media platforms and you have content ready to schedule, but how do you know when to post it? This is where your analytics comes into play, which is basically the measurement and reporting tool within your software toolbox. The analytics will measure the performance of your posts in various metrics. For example, how many people engaged and the number of new followers gained. From these metrics the analytics will offer insights displayed in a visually compelling way, which will help you determine when best to post. Therefore, your first step in knowing when to post is to use your scheduling software so that it has access to your data.

Understand Analytics for Your Business

All tools offer a free trial so that you can see the benefits before you buy. However, you could start by using the free tools available to you on Facebook and Google. Facebook Analytics gathers many useful stats (although you need to have at least 30 likes for data to be accessed) and, if you are registered as a business, you can schedule your posts based on those stats. Google Analytics also produces valuable reports and gives you interesting tools, which can be focussed according to your business needs. For example, seeing in real time which new content is popular, as well as which content is driving traffic to your website.

Our Top Five Social Media Scheduling Tools for Small Business Owners

If your business is willing to invest in Social Media software, then the following are affordable as well as being easy to use for scheduling and great for analytics. Here are our top five scheduling tools for small business owners with some functionality points of difference:

 

Sprout Social

  • Most affordable
  • Drag-and-drop / queuing (streamlines scheduling)
  • Integrates Google Analytics
  • Competitive brand analysis data
  • Infographic-style reports

Zoho Social

  • Most affordable
  • Drag-and-drop / queuing
  • Sentiment analysis
  • Competitive brand analysis data
  • Real-time stream monitoring

Buffer for Business

  • Good value
  • Integrates Google Analytics
  • Drag-and-drop / queuing
  • Schedule more posts in advance

Hootsuite

  • Integrates Google Analytics
  • Competitive brand analysis data
  • Real-time stream monitoring
  • Boolean Search (for filtering relevant data)
  • Advanced keyword / hashtag queries

Meet Edgar

  • Most affordable
  • Content rotation/ recycling (reduces time scheduling)
  • Automatically uses URL shortener
  • Poor automated image posting on LinkedIn

Stay tuned for my next blog on how to use your planner to create your social media strategy!

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