According to the GlobalWebIndex, 93% of online adults have at least one social media profile. And, perhaps surprisingly, internet users have an average of six social media accounts.
From Facebook to Flickr, Twitter to Tumblr and LinkedIn to Instagram, there are an abundance of social media platforms with which your small business can interact with consumers. Here is a list of the top 10 social networks by user engagement, as of March 2016:
Each of these platforms offers something different for small businesses, as they each bring different user demographics and require their own unique type of interactions. For instance, sharing cat videos will absolutely have you gaining traction on Facebook, whereas you may find yourself shunned by your peers if you do the same on LinkedIn.
If you have already chosen which platforms you want to market your company on, your next step is to choose the right social media management program that allows you to make the best use of your time while optimizing your efforts.
Key Benefits of Using a Social Media Management Program
A social media management program, also referred to as a social media dashboard, brings with it multiple benefits:
- Saves time: Posting in one channel at a time becomes incredibly burdensome, especially if you are like most businesses that attempt to manage a handful of accounts or more. With one program, you can post to multiple channels at any given moment.
- Consolidates efforts: By placing all of your efforts into one dashboard, you gain an all-inclusive view of your efforts. You also see which channels are working well for you, and which ones may be a waste of your time (or require a different approach).
- Tracks performance: From providing analytics to monitoring campaigns to measuring results, your preferred social dashboard should provide you with an in-depth review of your efforts.
- Improves team collaboration: A strong social media management program allows you to have multiple contributors at once and provides a space for communication and team support.
- Allows for scheduling: A program that does not offer post scheduling is not worth your time or money. For greatest effect, focus your efforts on finding a program that allows you personalize your posting schedules by platform.
Top Social Media Dashboards for Small Businesses
Not every social media dashboard is created equal. Here are our recommendations for dashboards for you to try out. It may make sense for you to give at least two of these a test run to see which one you prefer, taking into account user preferences, dashboard layouts, functionality and reporting.
- Agorapulse: From scheduling and collaborating to reviewing great reports, Agorapulse aims to be your go-to for all of your social media management needs. It supports integration with Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, all in one single dashboard. You can get started with this program for as little as $29/month, with a 15-day free trial at the outset to see if you like it before handing over your credit card.
- Buffer: Buffer was the first social platform to roll out individualized post scheduling by network—it works with LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, Facebook and Pinterest. It provides a user-friendly dashboard in which to work and also tracks follower activity for the utmost in scheduling. Buffer’s base plan is free.
- Hootsuite: This program allows you to create custom streams for you to maximize engagement, content publication, analytics and insights, as well as manage campaigns. It works with Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, WordPress and Instagram. Hootsuite has three different plans, ranging from free to enterprise level options.
- Sprout Social: Sprout boasts centralizing “publishing, monitoring, engagement and analytics” across your top platforms. Specifically, it allows you to integrate Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Google+ into one dashboard. It also provides built-in integrations to Bit.ly and Google Analytics for more robust sharing and analytics. It has a 30-day free trial offer that you can use to test out its features before having to buy into one of its plan options (starting at $59/month).
Stop Wasting Time & Efforts. Set Up Your Social Dashboard Now.
If you have more than one social media account for your business, there is no better time than now to create your own social media management dashboard. Review the recommendations listed above to find the program that works best for your purposes.
If you are struggling with setup or if you are still unsure of which option to pursue after reviewing each site, contact our digital marketing experts. We can help get you set up and even manage your dashboards on your behalf.
Sources: GlobalWebIndex, 93% Have a Social Media Account; GlobalWebIndex, GlobalWebIndex’s quarterly report on the latest trends in social networking; eBizMBA, Top 15 Most Popular Social Networking Sites | March 2016;