Marketing and social media tools small business owners can't live without

Marketing and social media tools small business owners can't live without

Posted: Mon 26th Feb 2024

Looking to market your small business with more impact? No problem. The way technology has advanced in recent years means there are lots of apps and tools that can help you do just that.

Whether you want to create visually striking graphics for your social media, reach new audiences with paid ads or build a nice-looking website, there's a tool or app to suit your needs.

For this blog, we asked the Enterprise Nation community to name the digital marketing and social media tools they simply can't do business without. Read on for plenty of inspiration…

Design and marketing tools for small business owners

Emer Carr, UX consultant at Ki Business & Tech

I'm a huge fan of Adobe. As far as I can see, any professional who offers graphics and media as part of their service uses Adobe, as none of the rest come close.

  • Adobe Express is my tool of choice for design and marketing as, in my experience, it's the easiest, fastest and most versatile.

    It's free to use and integrates with other Adobe apps and brand kits. That makes it a great tool to use if you're working with a professional graphic or web designer, as it means you can pass files easily between yourselves.

    Another excellent feature is that it lets you schedule posts to your social media and create a social media calendar. It offers generative AI for all users too.

  • Adobe Creative Cloud has an amazing suite of tools. It also has a brilliant community (Adobe Live) of people sharing their knowledge and learning from each other. It's one the best learning resources I've used and one of the strongest communities.

    Adobe also has fantastic customer support – they're always super-helpful. One downside is that it can be quite expensive if you don't use all the apps in the plan.

Find out how Emer can help you with your digital marketing

Liana Fricker, founder of Inspiration Space

As a business founder myself, I know that time equals money and money equals time. In the early days of running a business, you have to wear several hats – which can be tricky when you don't have the technical skills needed for all these roles. So thank goodness for technology!

  • Canva makes it easy-peasy to create visual content. From videos to presentations, logos and social media posts, it's like having a design team in your pocket – but without the hefty price tag.

  • I built my first business website on Wix because the drag-and-drop features and templates are so simple to customise. It's more affordable than other options, making it an excellent tool for bootstrapping "founders-in-training."

  • Lastly, Google Workspace is another tool in my collection. It keeps everything in one place, which is useful as your business starts to grow. It's like our company brain in the cloud.

Arrange a free call with Liana to discuss your business's growth

Stuart Prestedge, software start-up specialist and founder of Prestedge Enterprises

  • I use Camtasia for video editing – it's very powerful. However, for ease, Canva is great, particularly when I need to send presentations to people (investors, customers and so on).

  • I find there's no need for stock image providers such as Shutterstock and the like now we have ChatGPT (and the equivalents) able to generate images for us.

Talk to Stuart about how digital tools can benefit your small business

Minal Patel, founder of Marketing by Minal

  • I typically use TextSwag to create images with text overlaid for Facebook and Instagram. It has an integration with Pixabay, which means you can search for royalty-free images to use.

    You can upload your own images too. It's a paid-for app but if you're on Android and sign up to Google Rewards, you earn money for surveys you take, which you can spend in Google Play.

  • ColorPop lets me single out a part of a photo and add colour to it so it pops from the picture and stands out. Again, great for sharing on social. This one's free.

  • I use Snapseed to enhance any photos I've taken. It's great if the light wasn't good or I want to give the photo a bit more oomph. Again, it's completely free.

Ask Minal how to get started with email marketing



Online advertising tools for small business owners

Laura Cioffi, founder of Vertis Media

As the owner of a marketing and advertising agency, I heavily rely on digital marketing tools to drive success for us and our clients. They allow us to reach the right audience, in the right place and at the right time.

They're indispensable to any small business that's ready to expand its customer base and drive measurable results. The following three platforms are the backbone of our digital marketing efforts at Vertis Media.

  • TikTok Ads: In this era where Gen Z and Millennials are the driving force of the economy, connecting with them is crucial. TikTok Ads is an innovative tool that allows us to tap into this vibrant, engaged audience. Its unique algorithm lets us create highly targeted campaigns, making it an essential tool for modern marketers.

  • Google Ads: An oldie but goodie. Google Ads is a powerhouse offering pay-per-click text, display, video and shopping ads. Its extensive reach and advanced targeting options allow us to find potential customers right when they're searching for our services. It's a versatile tool that works for businesses of all sizes and sectors.

  • Meta Ads Manager (Facebook Ads Manager): With over three billion active users between Facebook and Instagram, Meta Ads Manager gives your business unparalleled reach.

    Beyond standard News Feed ads, you can take advantage of detailed targeting parameters and advanced formats like Carousel and Stories ads. And with Meta's business-focused tools, it's simpler than ever to set budgets, track your ROI and manage campaigns.

Book a free call with Laura to talk through your digital marketing plan

Jennifer Corcoran, My Super Connector

LinkedIn is undoubtedly my favourite social media platform, so having the app allows me to keep on top of things with connections.

It's got some nifty features too. You can create a longer headline on the app versus the desktop, generate your QR code, and save interesting posts on the go.

And the live chat feature is amazing. This is when you see a green light by a connection, meaning that their app is open.

Charlotte Moore, Smoothie PR

  • I use RecurPost to create lots of posts on X (Twitter) and add them into a repeating loop of content, which removes the need for constant rescheduling.

    As the platform no longer lets you send out the same post twice, RecurPost has a 'variation' tool which helps you to quickly and easily tweak your original post into lots more variations, saving you time from writing everything again from scratch.

  • When I'm working on content for PR clients, I use Toggl to easily track the time spent on each project and share it with them if needed.

Lisa Brennan and Majida Burch, Brennan and Burch

We've had our business for over 17 years. When we started up, we were young, childless and could work till crazy o'clock seven days a week. Nowadays getting to networking events at 5am or schmoozing at a bar late into the night can be tricky. Shapr lets us network on our own schedule.

If you use LinkedIn, you can quickly pull in your picture and bio. You can also upload a picture from your phone. I created a custom Shapr biography to make it ultra-effective, as a well-crafted bio is your chance to sell yourself.

The app uses your interests to make suggested matches more relevant, so it's worth putting some thought into the hashtags you choose. Once you start matching with dream contacts, you can refine tags based on the ones your target matches are using.

We've been using Shapr for the last seven years, and have had countless meetings and calls leading to great connections and opportunities.

Request a free discovery call with Majida now


Tech Hub: Recommendations and resources to help small businesses adopt new technology

About Tech Hub

Backed by top technology firms, Tech Hub is a new-generation, one-stop-shop solution that allows businesses to access industry-leading digital tools, training, support, and know-how to succeed, all in one place. Take me to the hub  


Relevant resources

Enterprise Nation has helped thousands of people start and grow their businesses. Led by founder, Emma Jones CBE, Enterprise Nation connects you to the resources and expertise to help you succeed.

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