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Six Apps to help small business owners build their brands online


hen last year’s lockdowns spurred small businesses to close up shop, many shifted online. While that helped them find more customers and weather the pandemic, it also introduced a new challenge: managing a digital presence on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Turns out there are myriad apps aimed at simplifying tasks such as scheduling posts, analyzing engagement, and tracking purchases. Bloomberg spoke to digital business advisers about their favourite tools for social media management. Here are their top picks:


The app lets you create and schedule posts across networks, monitor what people are saying, and analyze why your content works—or doesn’t. Hootsuite is “a very smart shortcut and time-saver,” says Alisa Cohn, a coach for startups and chief executive officers. $49 a month for one user, up to $599 a month for a companywide license


For business owners in need of content creation and engagement monitoring, but without the budget for specialized staff, Ripl can keep costs down. The company offers templates for brand promotion on social media and allows you to schedule posts and track how users engage with your content. $15 a month or $120 a year


This platform allows users to set up tweets and Facebook updates from any device or browser, and an extension called Pablo offers a quick way to create images and graphics for social media, making it a good fit for businesses without a lot of resources to devote to social media. “The free option can be a great way for the most budget-strapped small businesses to start out,” says Vicky Wu, CEO of Vicky Wu Marketing. Free, with add-ons from $5 a month

Sprout Social

Lets users schedule posts across platforms, coordinate and code campaigns for future reference, and monitor what competitors are up to on social media. The tool “provides detailed metric reports on performance and engagements that can be compared across specific ranges of dates/times,” says Brooklyn Holt, a marketing specialist with Rice University’s Doerr Institute. $99 to $279 a month per user


Helps you schedule posts, analyze performance, and discover and share content that’s trending online. Integration with Facebook Ads can make SocialPilot stand out from peers if you’re running ad campaigns. $30/month for a basic plan, up to $150 per month for additional user access and services


This tool pairs influencers with businesses to help brands better target customers. “You can get massive word-of-mouth traffic,” says Cohn, the startup coach. “And if you tap into influencers who have diverse networks, you can reach a lot more people.”