Social Media can be a lot for a small business to take on. It’s time consuming, another “To-Do” on the endless list of tasks, and just as you think you’ve got a handle on how it all works, it changes. Unless you can have a dedicated individual (or team) that works solely on your social media, chances are you won’t get the best results from your efforts. So, what can a business do to get a leg up on social media without having to spend the extra money? Automate, Automate, Automate!
It’s simple. Social media is all about being, well, social. If you want your business to grasp hold of the powerful numerous platforms, it needs to be social and social often. Keeping relevant with regular posting is the first step to social media success. Now, I understand it can be hard to manage running your business and crafting the next viral Facebook post. That’s why we automate! There is a slew of tools out there that can help your business get on its social media grind. Here are two of my favorites.
Later – Instagram Automation
Later, formerly known as Latergram.me, is the greatest (FREE) tool for scheduling your Instagram posts. Since Instagram hasn’t created a way to schedule your posts, we resort to cool apps like Later. Here’s how it works, Later allows you to upload images, create your messages, including hashtags and profile tags, and then schedule those to post when you find it convenient. With the Free plan, you can manage one account and post up to 30 photos per month. You can also post on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest, but I prefer to keep it strictly to Instagram. Another great feature is that Later allows you to search for other posts by hashtag or profile. Say you run a campaign and it requires people to use a dedicated hashtag, like #getwithtipsy, Later allows you to search AND SAVE public profile posts. It captures all the content of the post too, and you can easily schedule it to share on your profile. It even credits the original profile author.
Although it has some great features, there are some drawbacks. Scheduling with Instagram will still require you to physically post it to your account. Later provides a reminder, you open the app, click post, and it copies the text and image for easy transfer. Also, the free account doesn’t let you publish videos, so that means your Boomerangs, GIFs, and short videos will have to be sent directly from the Instagram App. Even with these little things, it’s still a great app for every business.
Crowdfire – Grow Your Social Media Following
Crowdfire is another great application to automate your accounts. The app allows you to do a ton of cool things that help increase your business’s digital presence. I like it for both Instagram and Twitter, but it can be used for your blog, website, Facebook, and more. My favorite features of the app are its ability to connect to your accounts, learn your industry, and suggest profiles to follow, posts to like, and content to share.
The point of the app is to grow your social following. The profiles and posts it suggests you engage with are more likely to engage back. It also allows you to like Instagram photos based on profiles that engage with yours, suggests accounts to follow that follow your competitors, and shows you who follows you back. This is a great app for businesses to increase their following and gain more credibility in their area.
The free account has some restrictions as to the number of pages you can add, profiles you can remove, pages to blacklist, etc. However, it’s great for a small business and you shouldn’t upgrade unless you really think you need (save the money).
Both Later & Crowdfire are awesome tools to help your business grab hold of its social media presence. As a small business owner, I know it can be hard to focus on something you think isn’t very essential now, but I can guarantee you, social media is probably one of the most, if not the most, important piece of your business. You can have amazing products or services, but if no one knows about them, you’re just wasting your time.