SSBS – Small Business Social Tools

There are a ton of tools on the market for social media. You can spend your entire budget on more just on tools. It would be great if we could all use a service that does social listening, sentiment analysis, account management and analytics analysis. In a perfect world we would have all those things. Most top tier social tools are out of reach for most small businesses. In my marketing career, when I have been involved with purchasing tools, most have run in the tens of thousands of dollars. Which is too pricy.

This is not the perfect fix for not having a paid tool. These things can add more tracking and help into your social efforts. Plus, all of them have a free level.. Which is great for someone on a tight budget.


URL Shortener –

A great tool is Posting a long URL can look wonky in a social media post. It can sometimes take up as much, or more space as your post. Up until recently Twitter counted your link as part of your 140 characters. So it was important to shorten them. will let you keep track of all your shortened links. You can also see performance over time. One of the best features is it will tell you where the traffic came from. It breaks it out by Facebook and Twitter. It is a very quick overview. If you don’t do any tracking, at least track through

url builder

Tracking – Google URL

If you use and want to take your analytics to the next level. Then you need to be using Google URL Builder. It will allow you to set up your your links so you can see a definitive path from a post to conversion on your website. This is especially true for online businesses. To use go to the Google URL builder page and put in the web address, Campaign name, campaign medium and campaign name. Then when you go under your Google Analytics, these links will show up ad you can see more detailed information. However, if you never set this up, you will not be able to collect data on them. If you don’t use this for all your links. Use it to track big things and sales. It can give you valuable information for your next campaign.


Contest – WooBox

Contests are always great at drawing new fans/followers. However, the management is not so easy. If you have hundreds of “Like to Enter” or “Comment to Win”. How you randomly pick a winner? There are too many people to show up on one screen. WooBox is a contest tool that offers for brands, free a totally random way to pick a winner. It’s the simplest and easiest way I have seen to pick a winner. Once click of a button and it gives you the winner. It makes life so much easier.

Also, they have paid options to do contests for  user generated content, photo and Video contests. The pricing will depend on the number of fans you have on your Facebook page. If you are a smaller brand, the smaller the price you will pay. The good thing is that, if you choose the monthly fee. You can use as many of the services as you would like. I prefer this over a one time payment.


Editing – Hemingwayapp

If you are a one man/woman show, you maybe in a hurry. This could mean mistakes happen in what you write. As a dyslexic, I know all too well about this happening. There are a few grammar checkers on the market. Hemingwapp is one that checks the basics for free. They include sentences that are hard to read, very hard to read, simpler alternatives to words, Adverb usage and passive voice. I have used this service for over a year and I have noticed that my sentence structure has improved. I am more aware when I write a run on sentence. I often think “That sentence is going to be red/yellow in Hemingwayapp.”

These are a few tools I rely on for social. As more get into my social toolbox, I will share with you.

Tim is the founder of Element33. A social media agency specializing in education, management and strategy for small businesses. He comes from a traditional marketing agency but has embraced all things digital. He considers himself a marketing nerd and believes that all marketing is tied together. This means no matter what silo you are in, social, email, seach, etc, changes in one will affect the other!

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