Every entrepreneur knows this truth – it is not easy to run an enterprise on fresh air and love! You need a good team and even better resources. But those resources are mostly out of reach for most small and medium businesses as well as startups. Now, the crux of growth is to grow to inspire of such a lack, and despite the unavailability of such resources. There are a number of reasons why such resources may not be available to small and medium-sized businesses.
Budget constraints and also time constraints could be some of the main reasons for this. Also, there are a number of resources that are available only to larger businesses with a large team, and it would not be wise or cost-effective for small and medium-sized businesses to actually tap into those during their growth phase. Yet, grow they must since that is the whole point of conducting business in the first place. And the challenge for small and medium-sized businesses is to grow and make it to a point where they can afford all these resources.
Marketing is one such crucial area where there are so many resources that different kinds and sizes of business can tap into. When one creates a budget, it is important to create a definite plan for marketing within the spend available in this budget.
This is due to the fact that the mainstay of growth would be to reach as many people as possible and convert the highest number from that reach into a loyal customer base instead of merely standing on the outside and looking at them as if they are an unattainable audience.
So what are the tools that one can employ for marketing within the budget, time and team size constraints faced by small and medium-sized businesses? In order to answer this question, it would be imperative to, first of all, look at the various kinds of marketing activities that one needs to indulge in. This would give a small or medium-sized business a fair idea of what is available and what can be used within the budget for optimum reach.
When we look at marketing, the first word that pops up is the term of digital marketing. Today, we are nothing if we are not busy employing a decent size of our spend on leaving a digital footprint. The digital world is very different from that of print media and marketing because it helps you amplify your reach and communicate the same message to more number of people with a single click and a tap, rather than individually reaching out to each one of them.
It allows you also to interact with your audience by way of comments and generate metrics based on where your likes and follows are coming from. Yet, this is also where a major problem arises – competition. Since this is such an easy tool to use, pretty much everyone us using it which increases the competition and the number of brands and businesses who are after the same target audience, many times with the same kind of product, service or offering.
It would be a good idea to first create a social media outline or a plan so that you know exactly what you want from your social media efforts. This will also help you go ahead and choose the resources that will fit those needs even as you cater to your time and budget constraints. Some of the top things that you need to achieve with your social media plan would include the following:
– Lead generation
– Creating an email database and then making an email marketing campaign that would be in sync with your social media platforms and pages
– Marketing of the content that you generate and post on your various platforms and blogs
– Analytics and insights
– Curation of content so that you know exactly what your competition is doing and what you should be doing differently
– Reaching people and creating brand recall in the bargain.
So, how can small and medium-sized businesses use social media to make a valid impression? Here are our top 12 social media tools for small and medium-sized businesses.
Hoot Suite: This is one of the best-known platforms that help you in blasting out your social media posts with a pre-scheduled campaign where you can actually queue them up so that they are sent out on your pages at a predetermined time. With a free one month trial, you can actually try this out for size before choosing a plan based on the size of your enterprise and the frequency of your posts as well.
MobileMonkey: Facebook messenger marketing is an untapped marketing channel but offers unprecedented ROI with 70-80% engagement rate within the first hour. So if you want to create a messenger chatbot but don’t have enough knowledge about coding? MobileMonkey will sort you out. With this messenger tool, you can create your first free chatbot in 5 minutes using its drag and drop interface.
It helps in automatically answering questions from users, delivers daily messages from your Facebook page, prompts users to book a service or make appointments, or even take orders using a custom chatbot.
Agora Pulse: This is a slightly more affordable version of Hoot Suite which also allows you to create and schedule your social media posts so that you are not left lagging behind in your social media efforts!
Buzz Sumo: This is an excellent tool for social media since it helps you curate content and keep an eye on who your potential competitors are. You can see what kind of content is being created and even get topics and hashtags so that you do not waste too much time on research.
Wave Video: More than half the content on social media platforms today is in video format and research shows that this is the most popular form of content that gets the maximum number of clicks as well. With a huge stock of video and audio clips, Wave Video helps you make quick videos that are also inexpensive!
Mail Chimp: Email and social media are more closely related than we would like to believe. So make sure that you sign up on an excellent and integrative email marketing service like Mail Chimp which helps you sync your emails with your social media and gives you some really cool templates to work on.
Last Pass: Social media and security are synonymous. You need to remember all your passwords and manage them without compromising the security of your social media page and its information. The last Pass helps you do exactly that with much ease and with crucial reminders as well.
Buffer: Add a Buffer button to your website and get all your social media pages in order with posts scheduled easily for the pages in question. LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and other pages can all be integrated here on Buffer.
Rev: Did you know that most people who view videos on social media pages, do so without switching on the sound? So that does that mean that your message is lost to the mute button? Not anymore! With Rev, you can easily add captions to your videos so that the message is still loud and clear.
Content Cal: With Content Cal, you can do more than just schedule posts for your social media pages – you can actually go ahead and plan your entire social media plan with a cool calendar that helps you create and curate content before you schedule them. This is the perfect multitasking social media tool for you!
Crowdfire: Now, this really is the platform for the future. With Crowdfire, you can add all your social media pages to the platform so that it gives you real-time insights about what is working and what you can do better. It is a one minute tool that basically helps you grow with your social media effort.
Drum Up: Are you having trouble finding your target audience on social media? Drum Up is here to help you find niche relevant social media accounts so that you can easily approach people, build relationships and find crucial resources in case there is something that you would like to outsource as well. Now, that’s quite a smart online manager!
Sendible: Have you ever thought about having one wholesome social media plan that fits all your social media pages and platforms? Well, that’s what Sendible is all about. With insights and many other tools, you can easily gain an edge over your competitors and create content that truly helps you stand out.
With these cool tools, as you can see, you will have all the help in a number of ways even as you strive to create content, generate insights and get crucial plans that can actually help you further your social media effort so that you can drive engagement in the best way possible.
Many of these above 12 tools for social media can also help small and medium business integrate the same with emails and with a CRM element that can help you professionally spread your digital footprint for maximum brand recall value.
This also helps you manage your time and budget in the best way possible so that your growth-related goals are met without having to scrounge and spring for resources that you do not really have. Be a small or medium-sized business with big power – that’s the digitally proven way to do it!