Donna Probes: Social media marketing magic | Business

Managing your business’ social media is time-consuming. It’s often the first thing to fall by the wayside as a small business owner gets pulled in a million directions.

Social media management tools are a busy business owner’s best friend. With the right tools, you can drastically cut down on the time you spend creating social media. They help you streamline your efforts and stay in front of followers more consistently.

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Here’s how it works. Instead of having to log into six or more different social media accounts every week or month to create your posts, you simply create one post using your social media management tool. You then set up a schedule of when your posts are to appear. And while you are busy running your business, this helpful tool handles all the posting for you.

A great way to find out about this time-saving tool is to check out a free account with Later.com. It will let you create and schedule posts for Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, TikTok and LinkedIn. You can import content, schedule up to 30 posts and watch how things are doing with analytics.

Hootsuite.com is another well-known tool used by many advertising agencies. You can get started with a free 30-day trial to see if the power of this tool and the timesaving advantages are worth the expense. A basic package starts at $49 per month.

Like the others, Buffer.com is also a well-known and respected tool for managing your social accounts. It has a simple interface and is fairly intuitive. Buffer also integrates with the five major social media giants. The free version, however, only lets you connect three social accounts and caps the number of posts you can send each month to 10. You can add analytics and engagement tools for as low as $5 per month per channel.

All of these three options are well worth looking into. Each has different offerings, so you’ll be able to find just the right fit at the most economical price for your business.

Once you find the best social media management tool for your business, there’s still the issue of figuring out what to post.

Well-designed graphics are an essential component and an important key to capturing attention on the web.

Luckily, there are several social design apps out there — many that are free — that can help you create post-worthy graphics quickly and easily. Two great options are Over.com and Canva.com. Using these tools, you’ll be able to elevate your social media profile’s look with professional templates and design layouts.

Many SCORE clients come to us wanting to harness the power of social media marketing. Throughout the year, free workshops on this and many other topics are offered. The second of a two-part series of workshops on this subject is coming up on Dec. 15 at noon. This is a live event online. To sign up, visit www.traversecity.score.org.

Donna Probes, M.B.A., is a SCORE mentor and professional musician. Learn more about the organization at traversecity.score.org.

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Donna Probes: Social media marketing magic | Business

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