The top 5 social media management tools for small business

Here are our picks for the best tools for managing your small business's social media presence.

By Angela West, PC World |  On-demand Software, social media

VerticalResponse launched VerticalResponse Social as a complete service for the small-business professional. It marries email and social media campaigns in a way that other tools aimed at small businesses do not. Usually people regard email and social media as separate islands, but bringing them together under the umbrella of one online marketing campaign makes much more sense. VerticalResponse tailors its products to the harried small-business person who knows how to run a company but is far from being a social media expert.

VerticalResponse Social schedules everything from single updates to entire campaigns up to 30 days in advance. It allows clients to set up their own custom content library of common websites for their industry, and it offers suggestions for content based on the nature of their business. The latter feature makes VerticalResponse attractive to people who could otherwise lose themselves in a bottomless time sink while searching out content on the Internet that's relevant to their industry.

I spoke to Alex Chang, VerticalResponse's VP of Social Platform. According to Chang, the chief advantage of VerticalResponse is that it was created for small-business professionals who think that they don't have the time for social media and are not tech-savvy. Regardless of your tech knowledge, the service's marriage of email and social media campaigns and its content-library creation feature are both huge timesavers, although the tool does feel pared down to users who are more technically inclined. Despite that minor quibble, VerticalResponse packs the most features in for the best price among the five services here, especially since it permits you to ditch any separate email newsletter service you've been using.

Cost: VerticalResponse Social is $18 per month.

Next Page: Sprout Social, Sendible, and Postling

Sprout Social

Sprout Social's major advantages over other social media management tools lie in its user interface and in its detailed but easy-to-understand reports. I also like its ability to assign tasks to team members, as well as its "Smart Inbox," which collects all your social media messages (Twitter mentions and direct messages, Facebook mentions and messages, and LinkedIn messages) in an organized inbox that you can manage from one dashboard.

Originally published on PC World |  Click here to read the original story.
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