Today, small brands and startups can’t hope to compete in the digital space without the help of cloud-based tools. Not only can these help them save time in completing menial, yet, tedious tasks, but it also allows them to achieve substantial progress without an in-house team.
Finding the best online tool — out of the hundreds that are in the market — is also a struggle that solopreneurs would often have to contend with.
Such is the case since they fund their own venture out of their own pockets; meaning, they’d need to be very meticulous about which platform to invest on since their resources are limited.
When it comes to handling the social media aspect of a business, a solopreneur has a number of requirements to fill: social listening, content research, influencer outreach, automation, and engagement.
With these in mind, let’s look into the top 5 social media tools that solopreneurs can use to grow their business.
1. Social Media Listening: SentiOne
Most solopreneurs invest a lot of their efforts on brand growth. And because of this, they need to have a reliable social media listening tool in their marketing arsenal.
Such a platform can help them stay in-tune with their target audience’s sentiments, content preferences, and opinions. When they have access to these details, they’d be able to put together their marketing campaigns effectively.
SentiOne is one of the most robust social media listening tools in the market. Its home-brewed technology siphons web content in different languages — from English to Ukrainian.
To use SentiOne, you need to create a project based on your tracking objectives. If you want to cut to the chase, there are also three presets you can choose from:
You can also build a project from scratch using the “Advanced Project Configurator” — giving you full control of all keyword rules and features.
The real-time acquisition of data is perhaps SentiOne’s biggest selling point.
After creating your project, the platform will immediately provide you with up-to-date mentions across networks like Google+, Twitter, and Facebook.
You can also refine the results using the filters found in the left panel. This includes the audience’s sentiment, gender, domain, and post type.
2. Content Research: BuzzSumo
To build an authoritative brand, you need to share content that piques your audience’s interest constantly.
A content research tool can help you quickly search for popular content ideas that you can curate or use as inspiration.
Out of all the content research tools in the market, BuzzSumo is definitely one of the most popular. It offers a straightforward interface that searches for popular content using keywords.
BuzzSumo also offers a handful of filters that can help you scrape the web for specific content. They’re also conveniently placed on the left-hand side of the platform — updating the results as soon as you click the “Apply Filters” button.
In a way, BuzzSumo can also be used for social media listening. However, its scope of data when it comes to brand mentions pale in comparison with SentiOne’s, which also identifies user sentiment, gender, and more.
3. Influencer Outreach: Followerwonk
Connecting with popular influencers is a great way to raise brand exposure quickly. A social media outreach tool can help you find and initiate conversations with these influencers.
Since Twitter is one of the most-used platforms for communicating and sharing opinions, solopreneurs should consider Followerwonk as their primary outreach platform. It allows you to search and compare user bios using keywords easily.
To engage influencers, start by clicking the “Follow” button so you can see and react to their updates. Doing so will enable you to get their attention and, in turn, obtain the chance to get mentioned — thus, exposing your brand to their follower base.
You can prioritize influencers by sorting them according to their account age, number of tweets, follower count, and social authority.
Followerwonk also features the “Compare Users” tool, which can provide you with a side-by-side comparison of the top influencers in your niche. You may also use your own Twitter handle to see how your brand compares with competitors.
4. Social Media Automation: Buffer
Sharing content on social media can get very repetitive and time-consuming. Fortunately, you can automate this within minutes using the right platform.
Buffer has become the name synonymous to social media automation. It provides you with a content “queue” that automatically fills a posting schedule — making sure you always have a stream of relevant content for your social media followers.
To add more slots in your posting schedule, go to “Posting Schedule” under the “Settings” tab. Configure a time using the drop-down fields and then click the “Add Posting Time” button.
Once your posting schedule is all set, you can start adding new content under the content tab. You can also integrate third-party apps to make the entire process autonomous.
With IFTTT, you can automatically populate your Buffer queue by pulling content from RSS feeds, blogs, and other publications. You just need to use an applet that links it with a content curation tool — like Feedly, for instance.
5. User Engagement: ShortStack
Finally, solopreneurs need to sprinkle their social media strategy with aggressive tactics that boost engagement. This includes holding social media contests, sending newsletters, and so on.
The free plan of ShortStack, which includes social contests and an email autoresponder feature, should be more than enough to kick off social media engagement for your brand. Upon registering, you can select from one of the preconfigured templates.
After selecting a template, everything else is fully customizable via the drag-and-drop interface. It may take a while to get used to, but when in doubt, you can always refer to the wealth of learning resources available in the help section.
Just remember that everything you need for your campaign — be it email marketing or social media integration — can be accessed from the “Add Widgets” toolbar.
Each widget comes with their own settings for personalization and configuration. Selecting the Mailchimp widget, for example, will bring up the following window:
Granted, ShortStack’s learning curve can’t be ignored — but there are always truckloads of learning resources to smoothen it.
The tools above can help you take your business to greater heights.
As a solopreneur, you need to remember that the success of your business can easily hinge on the set of marketing tools you’re using.
With the right set of tools, you can gain an unfair advantage over your competitors. With a lackluster one, however, you’ll find yourself spending a lot of time doing menial tasks while accomplishing very little.
What are social media marketing tools that you can’t live without? Please share your ideas in the comments section below. Cheers!