Social media monitoring for the smaller business – this post naturally follows on from my earlier post – Blogging – the tough reality. In talking about blogging, I discussed the mindset, the creating, the writing, the discipline. Not how to gain exposure, engagement and measurement across more than one social media channel in as efficient a way as possible. And that generally means automation of some sort.
I’ve done a fair amount of reading and trial of social media monitoring platforms that are a viable proposition for a smaller business. Most offer a low level free service which serves well as a trial and the free service may be enough for a very small business. However, the next package up can be cost-effective at typically £10 – £20 a month and worth it for the extra tips and tricks that you learn. Here is my summary:
Hootsuite: A Good All Rounder
This schedules, with an Auto Schedule function that offers the most relevant time for your post depending on the media, it offers relevant content for you to re-distribute (if you wish), you can have unlimited social media platforms for a very reasonable monthly fee (cancelable at any time). It has neat reporting (particularly if you want to examine your Twitter account performance) and, once you get the hang of it, a fairly easy to understand points system for generating reports. 50 points are provided free of charge, then you purchase top up points to pick and mix the platforms you want reporting on.
Buffer: Good with Bulk Scheduling, Content Ideas, Analytics & Top Rated Service
This schedules, offers content to share depending on your business, offers up to 5 social platforms for free and then many more for again, a reasonable and similar monthly fee to Hootsuite. It has powerful analytics enabling you to judge the success of each medium. Like Hootsuite, it has a Chrome extension which enables you to quickly share information as posts.
Friends + Me: Google + led.
Refer to my post on the importance of Google + to see the point of this social platform. More importantly, if you find that Google + is where your audience is, then this Google + led social media monitoring platform is the one to go for. Works like the rest but Google + posts are posted to other platforms.
Edgar: The Re-Posting Expert.
A rather interesting platform is Edgar, which has a differentiating factor of highlighting how little some social posts are seen and therefore automatically re-posts good content at a future date.
Post-Planner: The Facebook Expert
Software which has the ability to pick up on viral and trending topics, hence ‘guaranteeing’ liking and sharing of posts. As a subscribing member, you are able to identify your target audience and select industry relevant shareable information. Post Planner is more of a social media marketing tool than a monitoring tool. It’s reason for being is to gain you much more exposure and engagement in Facebook.
Quill Engage: Summary Google Analytics Reporting
Slightly different but nevertheless related is this free and extremely useful software. Quill Engage basically provides a weekly summary of content related stuff like popular pages, where your traffic came from etc. For a quick ‘at a glance’ refresh on what’s going on in Google Analytics without consulting your custom dashboard, this tool is perfect.
With the exception of Quill, are monthly fee based cloud solutions , with similar ballpark pricing and packages. All claim to save time, from one to two hours per day. I would perhaps say that it enables you to do more. All offer ‘a system’ and encourage planning ahead and focus which is what social media marketing and monitoring needs to see any clear rewards.
These are platforms tested by Finkk Marketing, for a more definitive list of social media monitoring platforms, see social media examiner’s top 14 platforms