9 Social Media Tools to Make Marketing Your Business Easier

September 27, 2021


Social media marketing can be a full-time job, complete with specialties and intricacies that some people spend their entire careers learning to master. But the average small business owner or nonprofit leader doesn’t have the time to learn every detail to get the most out of social media marketing. That’s where social media tools can make your job—and your life—so much easier!

As we wrap up our blog series on social media management for small businesses, we have a special parting gift for you. In this post, you will find the ultimate cheat sheet of social media tools to help you automate processes and get more out of your social media marketing investment.

Some of these are free social media management tools, others have “freemium” options and annual subscriptions. Within this list, we believe you’ll find social media marketing tools that will help you streamline processes and get back more of your time.

Whether you’re looking for the best social media automation tools, the easiest way to make Instagram videos, or how to keep up with industry conversations on Twitter, simply click the link from the list below or scroll section-by-section to discover what these tools have to offer your business.

Here is our list of the best social media management tools for small businesses:

  1. Best Publishing and Automation Tools
  2. Best Facebook Tools
  3. Best LinkedIn Tools
  4. Best Instagram and Pinterest Tools
  5. Best Twitter Tools
  6. Best Social Media Content Creation Tools
  7. Best Social Media Content Curation Tools
  8. Best Social Media Monitoring Tools
  9. The Best Tool of All

1. Social Media Publishing and Automation Tools

Scheduling posts is one of the easiest ways to automate social media marketing. There are many paid and free social media scheduling tools to choose from and all of them pretty much do the same thing. You can enter in the text, links, videos, and images you want to share and schedule them in advance. This essentially puts the work of social media posting on autopilot.

Facebook has tools for business pages interface that allow you to schedule posts to a Facebook page and to an associated Instagram business page. But we find that using third-party apps for social media scheduling often comes with more features and benefits. Here are three of our favorites:

Buffer — Perhaps the most accessible of all social media scheduling tools, we love Buffer’s ease of use, affordability, and corporate transparency. There are free and subscription-based options depending on your company’s needs. If you’re just getting started, this is the best entry-level platform to get your feet wet. As a comparison, check out Hootsuite which is also very accessible, user-friendly, and does a lot of the same things as Buffer.

CoSchedule — CoSchedule is one of the major players in social media automation and offers more complexity than Buffer. They offer a thorough planning and sharing platform with more features than you can imagine. Plus, CoSchedule offers free social media tools that every marketer should use including the Headline Analyzer, the Social Message Optimizer, and the Email Subject Line Tester.

Oktopost — This social media automation platform is designed by B2B marketers and takes the unique needs of the B2B niche into account. Oktopost offers publishing, analytics, and social listening tools plus other marketing technology integrations to help you maximize your efforts.

Sprout Social — Another competitive social media marketing tool, Sprout offers enterprise, agency, and small business solutions that can be tailored and scaled based on need. Offering all the integrations you’d come to expect, Sprout also equips you with tools for analytics, social listening and engagement, collaboration, publishing, and automation.

2. Best Facebook Tools

As mentioned above, Facebook has an impressive suite of free social media tools businesses can use to research, plan, and automate social media marketing within its own platform. From persona research and development to advertising and analytics, Facebook offers tools and training to help you reach your social media marketing goals.

If you get a lot of traffic through Facebook Messenger you may want to consider using a Facebook chatbot. Facebook Messenger chatbots function much like other chatbots you may encounter on a website. The big advantage here is the ability to respond to customer inquiries 24/7/365, as well as capturing leads you can continue to nurture.

There are several third-party chatbots that integrate with Facebook messenger. You’ll want to do your research and determine your goals before selecting the chatbot that’s right for you. Zapier has a helpful rundown on the different variables to consider when choosing a chatbot.

3. Best LinkedIn Tools

Like Facebook, LinkedIn offers its own tools and training to help businesses get the most out of their platform. If you’re looking to build your corporate culture and encourage employee engagement as a part of your social media strategy, LinkedIn provides what you need to foster this kind of online community.

If you’re looking for more from LinkedIn social media outreach, check out Shield. This platform goes in-depth on analytics, demographics, and real-time data to help you monitor the effectiveness of your posts.

SocialPilot is another great all-inclusive social media tool that is growing in popularity due to its functionality across platforms, affordability, and customer service. This service gets particularly good reviews as an effective LinkedIn social media management tool so if you’re looking to expand your LinkedIn efforts, you may want to look into SocialPilot.

4. Best Instagram and Pinterest Tools

While Facebook and Linkedin share some common features and functionality, Instagram is its own sort of social media platform. Focusing heavily on pictures, videos, and graphics, you must have a specific image strategy to see strong results on Instagram. If you need help creating images and videos, this is a marketing service we offer our clients. Alternatively, scroll down to the section on content creation tools for more information.

But beyond its reliance on videos and pictures, Instagram sometimes doesn’t play nice with the big social media scheduling tools. If you rely heavily on Instagram for your social media marketing, make sure to find the best integrated posting tool to avoid needless headaches and frustrations.

Tailwind may be the best solution for smaller teams that don’t have much internal marketing support. This detailed solution offers direct scheduling to Instagram and Pinterest, suggests the best time to post, and has a really neat visual calendar feature that works really well with the image-focused social platforms.

Two additional tools that can be helpful for your Instagram marketing strategy are Kicksta and Linktree. Kicksta helps with organic growth without the shady use of spam or bots while Linktree helps overcome Instagram’s “no hyperlinks in captions” problem.

5. Best Twitter Tools

When it comes to social media content strategy, we always emphasize the necessity of creating content specifically for each platform. Social media algorithms always give preference to native content. In other words, reposting from one platform to another isn’t really going to get you much traction.

One way to overcome this is using If This Then That (IFTTT). IFTTT is actually a super-robust service that allows you to create shortcuts that help your favorite tools and apps work together. One feature on IFTTT is the ability to tweet your Instagram posts as native posts on Twitter, allowing your photos to show up on Twitter as actual images rather than links back to Instagram.

If the idea of IFTTT intrigues you, check out this post from Content Marketing Institute on ways to use IFTTT in other areas of overall social media management and productivity.

If you want to boost your Twitter following, followerwonk can help you identify, analyze, and optimize your influence and your Tweeps. With followerwonk, you can search bios, compare users, sort and track followers.This tool would be really helpful to marketers looking to dive deeper into persona research.

6. Best Social Media Content Creation Tools

With all the mechanics of posting, scheduling, and planning out of the way, let’s talk about the tools that can help you create content.

If you need help coming up with ideas, the best place to start is keyword research. While you won’t achieve any SEO benefit directly from social media posts, keyword research informs the types of content your audience is searching for, so it stands to reason that you should use the same words they’re searching for in your social media content headlines.

Semrush and Ahrefs are the popular keyword research tools that do all the things you need to be successful in this area. Semrush actually has a social media toolkit that helps pair keywords with content ideas. While you don’t have to do keyword research to create social media content, it is a very helpful step in an overarching content marketing strategy.

Beyond keyword research, using tools like BuzzSumo and RivalIQ can help you understand what your competitors are doing and discover the blue ocean content opportunities that no one is writing about (yet).

For video content, we always recommend relying on the expertise of a professional video team. Professional videographers and filmmakers can help you create compelling brand videos and package the videos appropriately for each social media platform.

If you’re looking for a more entry-level video solution, check out Animoto or InShot, two video tools that help you easily create content for platforms like Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest, and more.

We covered our favorite tools for creating social media graphics in our latest post on social media content management. But for a quick take, here are some of our favorites, many of which are free or have freemium features:

Tools for Creating Social Media Graphics:

  1. Word Swag
  2. Venngage
  3. Canva
  4. Stencil
  5. Adobe Spark

7. Best Social Media Content Curation Tools

Content curation is the process of gathering and sharing content from other reliable sources that will add value to your customer’s journey. You should be sharing content that is informational, educational, and entertaining—but finding content can be challenging and time-consuming.

Tools like Pocket and Quuu make finding relevant content easy. If you use a tool to curate content, always be sure to review the content before sharing it. Even the best AI can’t filter out every specific detail that may not mesh with your company values so we always advise reviewing any content curated from a third party before posting it.

8. Best Social Media Monitoring Tools

Monitoring and tracking your social media channels is just as important as creating useful and meaningful content your audience wants to consume. Both subscription and free social media reporting tools make it super easy to keep tabs on your social media strategy’s overall performance.

Most of the tools mentioned in the first section include monitoring, tracking, and analytics. Besides those, simply using a service like Bitly can provide valuable link-tracking insights without having to invest in a big platform.

9. The Best Tool of All – Humans!

The best social media marketing tools are all very useful, but they can’t compete with the human component of social media marketing. Even with the best tools on the market, you need the manpower to wield the tools in your brand’s favor.

There are so many social media tools to choose from, it can be overwhelming to find the right one. If you have questions about any of these tools please drop us a line. We would be happy to help you discover how to effectively leverage free social media management tools to grow your business!

Cross & Crown

About Cross & Crown

Cross & Crown is a team of creatives who are passionate about solving problems through design and technology, taking what is there and making it better. Based in Chambersburg, PA, we strive to help educate, advocate, and thrive in a digital world.

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