As you might have noticed by now, keeping up with social media can be a serious time suck. Between Facebook, Twitter and whatever the social media flavor of the month is, there is a seemingly endless number of networking circles you can use to connect with customers. And with multiple markets and multiple moments to connect during an average day, companies must continually deliver a fresh, dynamic stream of communication.
"No business should be as successful at this stuff as a small, local business," says Alex Chang, founder and CEO of San Francisco-based Roost, which developed an aggregation tool that helps small businesses tackle the big job. "Those businesses, or any in which the bulk of business comes from referrals within a local network, have the most to gain from word of mouth."
Chang recognizes that time, intimidation and economics play roles in keeping small businesses from taking advantage of social media platforms. "It's hard to get started, because they don't have the time to spend on it, but it's also kind of scary," he says. "You can pay a consultant to get you started, but that's not going to work if dollars are thin."
Roost, an online service, eliminates some of those hurdles: It's user-friendly and it's free. Using Roost allows business owners to invest just 30 minutes a week in planning a campaign that will roll out across platforms throughout the week. The Roost dashboard makes it easy to create a range of content types, from quick updates and questions to photos and links. Roost even provides a library of relevant content sources filled with easy-to-post links--no web search required. And the system serves up enough stats to help business owners analyze campaign results. Users can invite other businesses to join them in a Roost Circle, which allows them to re-post or retweet one another's messages to their own constituents.
In need of competitive brand monitoring and other features? Sign on for the $25 monthly subscription version.
"This is something for business owners who don't want to spend all their time on Facebook, or even online," Chang says. Yet, you'll look like you do.