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The top 5 social media management tools for small business

Angela West | Aug. 10, 2012
Managing your company's social media presence is becoming an increasingly complex task.

Google Analytics monitoring and basic social media analytics come with the Marketer package, which is all most small businesses need.

Cost: The Marketer plan includes up to 30 services for a fee of $30 per month. The Business plan covers a maximum of 80 services and costs $70 per month.

Postling

Postling blends social media monitoring, posting, and reporting, but it also incorporates instant notifications for reviews of your business on TripAdvisor and Yelp, the two sites by which hospitality and restaurant businesses live and die. For any company involved in those industries, Postling is the obvious tool of choice. The inbox is similar to Sprout Social's in that it allows you to deal with all mentions and messages from one place.

Postling's pricing structure makes it ideal for businesses that want to maintain a pared-down social media presence. If you need the scalability to add many accounts in the future, it may not be the best choice given its per-account pricing.

Cost: Postling is $5 per month for five social media accounts, $3 per month for each extra account.

Different Tools for Different Businesses

Your choice of social media management tool depends on the nature of your business and how deeply involved you want to become with social media. If you don't consider yourself tech-savvy, or if you like the timesaving feature of a built-in content library, VerticalResponse might be appropriate. If you're working with a tight budget and you require fewer features, it's hard to beat the free version of HootSuite.

Sendible is the best option if you're looking to automate tasks and receive alerts when your business becomes a topic of conversation on social networks. If you're operating a service-oriented business, such as a restaurant or spa, and if you need real-time monitoring of TripAdvisor and Yelp, check out Postling.

Each of the paid tools I've discussed here offers a free trial (except for Postling, which charges $1 for a trial), so you risk little in trying them to find the one that best fits your business's needs.

 

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