Three Awesome Social Media Monitoring Tools for Small Businesses

ImageSo, you’re a small biz owner who’s delving further into the social media world – wahoo! And you’re on your way: you’ve opened a Twitter account (if not – you should!) you share products and photos on Facebook and chat with your fans.

The problem: your marketing budget is non-existent, and you don’t have time to manage your business and find new conversations around your product. In the interest of time, here are three of my favorite social monitoring tools to help you find new audiences and turn them into customers!

1. Tagboard: For small biz owners with limited time and resources, Tagboard is a must-try. Tagboard is a cross-network, hashtag-powered social media monitoring (SMM) platform that allows users to search virtually any hashtag across a variety of popular social networking channels with one search.

The platform quickly pulls conversation results occurring on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ (and more!) and displays them in a visually appealing mosaic-style results board. The board even filters conversations further according to user preference. As an added bonus, users can reply to conversations via their accounts right from the Tagboard platform! (BONUS time saver!)

Tagboard

Why it’s awesome: First off, it’s absolutely FREE to use. Second, it’s great for people who regularly monitor conversations surrounding their brands – you can find conversations quickly and the platform’s reply feature allows conversing in real-time. Tagboard is also great for sourcing industry-related content that can create opportunities to improve your business. For example, if you’re a restaurant owner, you could search “#restauranttips” and discover content from menu redesign tips, to cost control measures, to new meal ideas. Check it out!

2. HootsuiteHootsuite is a web-based social media dashboard tool that monitors several social media streams at once. It’s utilized by millions of people and thousands of business owners everyday! Manage your Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest feeds from one location. Hootsuite also allows users to set up hashtag (keywords) streams to monitor industry-relative content and influencers most critical to your business.

Why it’s awesome: Hootsuite is a great for sharing content across all your social media platforms, but its most attractive feature is its scheduling functionality. The ability to plan out your content in advance is critical for small biz owners as it allows them to strategize a variety of interesting and relevant content days, weeks, or even months in advance – saving them tons of time.

3. Bit.ly: Bit.ly is a web address shortener that’s a great for anyone who wants to condense their web links and track user click rates. Basically, the software shortens the length of any web address and provides a new link to use. This is a must for any content sharing community – especially on character-restricting sites like Twitter or Hootsuite. People will retweet good content, but if the space isn’t there, they move on. 
 
Why it’s awesomeBit.Ly is compatible with all social media platforms. Plus, it’s great analytics show how many users have clicked on your link – and from what network – which helps solidify what types of your content people most enjoy and are engaged with. Additionally, if you use Bit.ly on all your social sharing sites, you can easily track all your shared content on one convenient dashboard.
 
I hope these tools help get you started in the social media monitoring world! What other tools would you recommend? Share your thoughts with me below!

9 thoughts on “Three Awesome Social Media Monitoring Tools for Small Businesses

  1. Hi Laurie,
    Love, love, loved this post. Why? I am a small business owner and I really want to get my customers more engaged. I’m tired of the same old Facebook posts (that barely anyone see anymore because of the new restrictions) and Instagram doesn’t have many of my current customers on it, honestly my business-related posts, are my least-liked photos. I need to come up with some new ways to monitor these sites and hopefully bring in new business. Hootsuite will be great because it will allow me to move between the various sites I have and integrate different posts. Plus, being in this class has forced me to create new SM tools that I probably wouldn’t have used otherwise. I really like the concept of Tagboard as well, so I can see what other cosmetics companies are tagging/how they are tagging so I can get my business out there as well!
    Thanks for all the great info!
    Ashley

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    1. Hi Ashley – I’m so pleased you found this information helpful in your endeavor to create new social strategies! I’m surprised to hear not many of your customers are on Instagram – what about Pinterest? I would think that’s a great medium to highlight your content and products! How about video makeup applications? Many women struggle to apply make-up properly or achieve a unique look – myself included. (I never could get the “smoky eye” right.) Have you considered doing quick “how-to’s?” videos utilizing your products to help women solve these dilemmas? This could be a great strategy to engage women AND highlight your brand! Happy to help any way I can. Thanks again for your thoughts! Best, Laurie

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  2. Awesome post Laurie! Very informative and I also like the layout.. you’ve clearly been doing this for a while. I’ve never heard of Tagboard but I’m interested in it, I like the concept of searching and viewing by hashtags. Hashtags are so commonly used now that it makes searching for specific content easier. Definitely something I will look in to. Like Lindsey said, the visuals were great and made your post more engaging and fun. I also wrote about HootSuite in my blog, which I wasn’t familiar with prior to this class, but its such a great tool! Although I don’t have a huge use for some of these tools in my current job, its nice to familiarize myself with them and learn about new ones. Great job!

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  3. Hey Laurie! This is awesome, we definitely have something in common when it comes to social media and small businesses. I will have to try these monitoring platforms for my work and see how they work. Scheduling can be a real pain because you want every post to be at a time where people are going to see it. If i am busy doing something else hoot-suite would come in handy because i could do it the night before i go to work and wouldn’t have to worry about finding content and getting it out into the social world for a specific time. Very interesting and look forward to seeing more posts from you, i think we can learn a lot from one another 🙂

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    1. Hi Morgan! Thanks for commenting on this post. While we are in agreement that scheduling is a pain – that’s why I prefer Hootsuite. It’s fantastic for strategizing more long-term content or promotions planning. Thanks, Laurie

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  4. Laurie,
    This is a really informative post! Tagboard seems like it could be a very effective way to monitor conversation that surrounds a business! The trend of using hashtags seems like it becoming more and more widely used, and it can be hectic for a company to try to monitor each platform that allows these types of conversations. I think this should be effective for my current company to use because we just don’t have the time to constantly check Twitter, Facebook and other social medial platforms constantly and read all of these conversations. With Tagboard, it seems like I would just use the # our business, and be able to read all conversations across various social media platforms in one place, and I like that idea!

    I appreciated the breakdown of how you relayed the information and your style of writing. Anyone that is looking for information on monitoring should check out your blog – you broke it down the “what” and the “why” for each monitoring site which is really effective for someone who does not have the time to do the research but wants to be informed. The pictures were also really helpful because it supported the information that was being given.

    Great job!
    Krysta

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    1. Hi Krysta! Thanks for your comment. I agree hashtags are becoming more and more useful – especially via Twitter. They are quite effective to spark up new conversations and are most optimized for use in Twitter conversations/parties. There are SO many different monitoring tools and for a smaller sized business, monitoring can seem overwhelming. But I find Tagboard is quite useful to get a generalized sense of what folks are talking about – as well as pick up any negative comments in a relatively timely fashion. Thanks again for taking the time to comment! Best, Laurie

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  5. Great post, Laurie! I really enjoyed this. I am really interested in social media monitoring, but I haven’t had the opportunity to really delve into it at this point, and I’d really like to. I had never heard of tagboard, I am very intrigued by it and what you had to say. The visuals were super helpful and made it more engaging for me to read. I also really enjoyed what seems like a small detail, but where you put “why it’s awesome” broke up the text and made me want to learn why it is awesome 🙂 I also like the simplicity of your posts, it makes the text pop off of the page.

    Great work!

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