If you are like most small business owners, time is a rare commodity. You can never have enough of it. Before you know it, the day is over before you manage to update your social media accounts. One of the emerging social media trends is automation. Without intelligent automation, you won’t be able to get much done. Social media tools can automate a number of social media management areas such as curating content, auto-posting, re-queuing evergreen content, keeping track of likes, follows and mentions, and much more.

The following social media tools will help you automate your social media marketing and get valuable actionable insights. In the process, you save time and use your marketing budget more effectively.

The tools are not arranged in any particular order.

01) Google Analytics

Google Analytics is the Michael Jordan of website data analytics. It is probably the only free tool with range and depth of actionable data. If you don’t already have an account, head over to anaytics.google.com and open a free account. You will need to verify website ownership before you start tracking visitors from social media to your website. Google’s powerful social media analytics will blow you away.

02) Bit.ly

What would we do without URL shorteners? URL shorteners make your post URLs shorter hence they consume less space and are easier on the eyes. Bit.ly also provides useful analytics and tracking of all shortened URLs. With these insights, you can tweak your social media marketing strategy for better results. Bit.ly has a limited free plan, so you have nothing to lose by signing up.

03) Buffer

Buffer is hands down one of the best social media management tools out there. The main use for Buffer is auto-scheduling posts. Buffer integrates with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+ and Pinterest. You only need to set aside some time every week or every month depending on your posting schedule and load the content you want to post into Buffer. After that, Buffer goes to work for you posting based on the schedule selected. If you find that a piece of content has received a lot of likes, retweets or follows, you can re-buffer it; at the click of a button, the content is sent back into the queue. Buffer has a free option that allows you to schedule ten posts a week and five social media profiles. Their “Awesome” plan includes 10 social media profiles and only costs $10 per month.

04) AgoraPulse

AgoraPulse integrates with Facebook Pages, Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram. With this tool, you can manage all your social media messages in one place, schedule and publish content, and, get stunning reports. You can also run quizzes and contests and find out how you stack up against the competition. You can try Agora for free for a trial period, but a pro account starts at $49 per month and includes 3 social media profiles.

05) Feedly

One mistake small businesses keep forgetting is that social media isn’t only about yourself. If you are only posting about yourself, your products and your company, you’re very likely going to turn people off and they will unfollow you. Social media is also about sharing other people’s content. To find interesting content to share with your audience, Feedly is just the tool you need. Feedly is an RSS feed reader. It takes all the RSS feeds from sites and blogs you want to track and lists them in an easy to read manner. Once you find something you want to share, you can quickly open your Buffer App and queue up the content.

06) LastPass

Do you have trouble remembering passwords? Most people do. If you have a large number of social media sites and tools, then you definitely need a password manager. With LastPass, you only need to remember one password. LastPass stores all passwords for you and logs you in automatically into any site you save in the application. The application can also generate strong passwords for you. LastPass works on most browsers and they also have a paid app that’s available for both Android and iPhone. Definitely a tool you want to have.

07) Commun.it

Commun.it is a Twitter management tool that helps you manage Twitter relationships and identify influencers. With Commun.it, you can quickly find out who favorited your tweets, retweets and mentions your brand. In 5 to 10 minutes every day, you can quickly respond to mentions, thank people that have retweeted your content and engage with new followers.

08) Tweet Indexation Rate Tool

Congruent Digital has a unique Twitter tool that actually pulls back the number of tweets an account has indexed in Google, the number of inbound links pointing to the Twitter account, and also the Moz Page Authority of the account. You can check it out here for yourself: Tweet Indexation Rate Tool

Social Media Tools to Power Your Small Business

That’s our list of must-have social media tools for every small business. There are many more tools that you could use but these are the bare minimum. You should soon be able to free up your time and use your marketing funds more effectively.

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