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12 Social Media Tools for Small Business

Tools for Making Using Social Media Easier & Faster

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Social media tools are rapidly turning into the candy store of the Internet – there are so many of them that the choice is overwhelming, especially for small business owners who are pressed for time and just want to get something done.

These social media tools for small businesses will help you do everything from turning your Facebook page into an ecommerce site through converting your blog into a newsletter.  Arranged alphabetically, hopefully you'll find something on this list to make using and keeping abreast of social media easier. All are free unless otherwise noted.

1. Bitly

A URL shortener that also lets you send your recrafted links and commentary directly to your  Facebook and/or Twitter accounts. When you're dealing with a 140 character limit, a URL shortener is a necessity and this one is easy to use and has very attractive analytics.

(Also see Visibli on this list.)

2. FeedBlitz

Convert your blog or website’s RSS feeds into automated emails, tweets and Instant Messages with this email and social media subscription service. Use it, for instance, to turn your blog into an email newsletter and send it to your customers/clients. The cost depends on the number of subscribers you have.

3. Foursquare for Business

A phone app that people use to share their location and their opinions about it with their social networks. You can use it to promote your business and attract customers.

4. HootSuite

A social media dashboard that lets teams “collaboratively schedule updates to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, WordPress and other social networks via web, desktop or mobile platforms plus track campaign results and industry trends to rapidly adjust tactics” according to the HootSuite website.

(See also TweetDeck on this list.)

5. Social Mention

A super-easy way to track who's saying what about what. Use this real-time search platform to monitor whatever topic you choose and it will email you a summary of the latest social media mentions about it.

6. StepRep

Like other reputation monitoring social media tools, StepRep monitors websites, blogs, social media and local review sites to see what people are saying about your business. But it goes beyond this to let you work on enhancing your reputation by passing on the best bits.  Cost at time of writing is $199.99 a month USD.

7. Storefront Social

This Facebook application turns your Facebook page into an ecommerce site.  It's easy to use and quite customizable. A Gold plan with unlimited product uploads and an XML product feed is $29.95 a month USD. A free seven day trial is available.

8. TweetDeck

A social media tool that lets you access Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media all from one place. The ability to set up columns, groups and saved searches makes it easy to organize your use of social media.

9. Twitterfeed

A tool for automatically importing your blog entries into Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms.  I have tried quite a few of these supposed "set it and forget it" RSS import social media tools and this is the only one I've found that truly is.

10. YouTube

Post your promotional videos about your small business on this online video sharing community. For instance, see YouTube rocks for advertising your business: Any questions?

11. Visibli Engagement Bar

Visibli places a thin banner, called an Engagement Bar, containing your information and chosen links over the external links you share through Twitter, Facebook and/or your website or blog – keeping your small business and brand visible while you're sharing links on social media.

12. Wildfire

Provides promotional tools for creating and distributing interactive campaigns across social media such as Facebook and Twitter and on your company website. So you can create a video or sweepstakes or contest, for example, and publish it simultaneously. Several plans are available; a basic plan costs $5 per campaign plus $0.99 a day.

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