Three free multi-platform social media management tools to save small businesses time

Published 10:00 pm Monday, June 13, 2016

One of the reasons a lot of businesses have difficulty keeping up with their social media channels is lack of time.

It’s a valid reason, considering everything entrepreneurs have on their plates. But to stay on followers’ radar and make social media pay off, small business owners need to maintain a relevant, consistent presence.

Fortunately, there are free, time-saving social media tools out there to help. Here’s some information about several that integrate with multiple social platforms.

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Hootsuite –  Hootsuite is a web-based platform and mobile app that provides a dashboard to enable you to monitor activity on your networks, interact (like, comment, message, follow, etc.), and schedule posts in advance. It connects with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, YouTube, FourSquare, and LinkedIn.

Hootsuite’s “Hootlet” browser extension allows you to compose a post/share a web page on any of your networks without leaving that page. Hootlet gives you the option to publish your post immediately, schedule it for a time of your choosing, or have Hootsuite “auto-schedule” at a time that it selects. Hootsuite is available in a free version and paid Pro and Enterprise versions that offer additional capabilities.

Buffer –  Buffer is another cloud-based platform and mobile app that allows you to schedule posts and even set a recurring schedule for posting. With its browser extension, you can compose a post/share a web page directly while you’re on the page. You can also allow Buffer to schedule your posts for whatever time it believes will be ideal.

Buffer also has an image sharing platform, Pablo, integrated in it so you can size images for your social platforms, augment images with text, and make other edits. Buffer works with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and Pinterest. An individual user account is free, or you can subscribe to various paid business options that provide access to multiple users.

Likeable Hub –  Likeable Hub is a web platform and mobile app that enables you to monitor activity and engage with users on your social networks; schedule social media posts; and even select content to share from the Likeable Hub “Idea Library,” which suggests trending articles and content ideas. The free plan is suited for individual users—which might be of particular interest to solopreneurs.

Likeable Hub’s free offering integrates with Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn personal profiles. You can also create a simple website with the tool. To connect business Facebook pages and LinkedIn company pages and get additional capabilities, you can opt to subscribe to one of Likeable Hub’s paid VIP, Expert, or Pro versions.

You’ll find other social media management tools out there, as well. Which of them will serve your needs best depends on the social media platforms you use and the types of features and functionality you’re looking for.

For more tips and guidance to help you in your social media and content marketing efforts, reach out to your local chapter of SCORE. You’ll find mentors with extensive marketing experience and expertise who can provide valuable insight and feedback to help you grow your business.

If you would like help with this process, or other aspects of your established or start-up business, the volunteers at SCORE are available to help.  SCORE is a nationwide network of over 13,000 experienced volunteer executives offering free assistance to small businesses looking for mentoring, counseling, tools and workshops.  You can read about SCORE at The Polk County Chapter of SCORE can be reached at 828-859-5456 or via email at Article submitted by Beth Rounds, WNC SCORE, Polk County Branch.

~ Beth Rounds