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The Best Social Media Management Tools To Make Life Easier for Small Businesses

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Social media is a must for today’s small businesses. It’s also a handful to manage for small teams. One of the easiest ways to crush it social media-wise is to leverage the power of social media software. Here we look at two exceptional software options to help you find the best social media management tool.

1. Buffer

Buffer streamlines the social media process allowing you to schedule and post to multiple social media channels. You can use Buffer software or the Chrome extension to “buffer” your posts. It has a user-friendly interface thanks to its simplified but efficient features. Some businesses might feel uncomfortable with Buffer because they have to subscribe to three separate Buffer tools to use all of its features. 

However, if you are strictly looking for a tool to make it easy to post on social media, the Publish tool is designed for this.

Buffer posts to:

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn
  • Pinterest

You can:

  • Preview links in situ based on each social network
  • Add a comment to Instagram posts to add more hashtags
  • Set up a multiple-date schedule with specific posting times
  • Integrate Buffer with other apps and extensions, including WordPress

Collaboration is limited, which is often not a big deal for smaller businesses where one person runs the whole social media show. However, you can upgrade to include up to six users.

Buffer Reply and Analyze

As the name implies, Reply is designed to manage conversations. It conveniently sends all messages and comments to one social inbox from all your channel comment feeds. This can be a time saver for small businesses, with one person trying to manage all your channels. Buffer Analyze displays recent performance updates and post metrics, including reach, engagement rate, and followers. 

You can also get a quick overview under “Answers” to make data-driven decisions on when to post content to increase engagement, how to improve content with different media types, and the frequency of posts suited to each channel. However, Analyze lacks the deep dive savvier marketers might desire.

Why Choose Buffer?

This is the ideal social media management software for small businesses with limited resources. It is very accessible and allows you to efficiently post to social channels, improve response times to engage followers, and gain essential insights to improve efficiency all from one screen. However, a more experienced social media marketer might not find it robust enough.

Buffer Feature Overview

  • Automated Publishing
  • Content Management
  • Multi-Account Management
  • Post Scheduling
  • Reporting/Analytics

2. Gain

Gain is a collaborative tool ideal for companies with more than one team member involved in the social media management process. This is for teams with a time-consuming process involving multiple content creators, approvals, and schedules that impact how and when things can be posted. It allows you to create, approve and publish content seamlessly. Instead of missing opportunities to be the first to post big news, you can put content through the paces quickly so posts remain timely and relevant. 

Although each person included in the process can still hold things up, at least the process is automated, which helps save time and frustration. Content can be reviewed without signing in, so it’s easier to access. As a result, people are less reluctant to step up and play their part with customized approval flows. If this sounds like you, Gain could solve many bottleneck issues. However, it fails to deliver on the analytics and social listening side.

Gain posts to:

  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • TikTok

And allows you to:

  • Introduce workflow automation and improve collaboration
  • Create automated social media content scheduling
  • Customize your approval process to resolve workflow and bottleneck issues
  • Facilitate approvals without the need to sign in

Approvals and Publishing

If we haven’t said it enough, this is an exceptional content approval tool with shareable post drafts, comments, and sign-off capabilities. Customization allows you to set permission levels based on content, so you bypass teams whose input is not required on all posts. Revisions are easily requested, or if an approver wants feedback from someone not included in the approval process, they can send a notification. 

Complete transparency lets stakeholders know where everything is, using a workflow screen. You can then use photo editing tools and post previews before the post is published. Convenient features such as image file converters and an editable preview screen streamline the publishing process. The calendar also features a search tool based on content filters, a user-friendly drag-and-drop interface, and color-coded labels that indicate when action is required.

Why Choose Gain?

Gain is perfect for mid to large companies or small businesses with a lot of red tape. Also, it can help maintain compliance if you work in a highly regulated industry. You can rid your team of outdated spreadsheets and endless emails about edits. In other words, it’s the prime choice if you are looking for an approval tool for your social media process that takes you through to a published post.  

Gain Features

  • Automated Publishing
  • Content Management
  • Customer Segmentation
  • Keyword Filtering
  • Multi-Account Management
  • Post Scheduling
  • Reporting/Analytics

Bottom Line

Both Buffer and Gain offer best-in-class features that help streamline the social media management process. However, they both serve a purpose suited to two very different types of companies. Buffer is the right choice for smaller businesses with limited collaboration and approval processes. It makes scheduling content more accessible and allows marketers to “get er done.”  Gain, on the other hand, is all about collaboration. It is ideal for mid to large-size companies or companies with a more intense approval process. Whether you are very intent on maintaining your brand identity, operate in industries with strict regulations that call for a robust approval process, or have a little more red tape involved in your process than most small businesses, Gain facilitates the approval process beautifully. Either way, you’ll have a social media management tool that helps you improve efficiency and leverage the full power of effective social channels.

It might seem overwhelming to consider planning and scheduling social media, but in the long run, these tools can definitely help streamline your processes. We’ve helped identify some great options you can consider for your marketing department. We're happy to chat if you need a little help with this.