Stuck in a social media traffic jam? Does social networking suck up your time? It can be a jungle out there, yet social media management is a MUST for a successful online business. Activity on social media networks can be the turning point, the lynch pin that stimulates traffic and conversions.
Managing several social media networks can be a HUGE time drain! Time spent on social media is time AWAY from your actual business. Consider this quote: “Social media is a party, your blog is your home, and your website is your store.” (source unknown)
We can’t spend all day at the party of social media. So here’s a discussion about some of the most popular tools for managing social media which include: Hootsuite, Buffer, Tweetdeck, and Sprout Social.
Choosing Social Media Channels
While Facebook and Twitter have the most users, another network is experiencing explosive growth within the past 6 months. Can you guess who it is? Some say that Google Plus is the future of social networking, and that the sooner you get established there as a business – the better. Articles posted there get many more views than those posted on facebook. Also the Google Chat option is proving to be a powerful draw. Learn more about the current stats on the top ten social networking platforms.
Tools for Taming Social Media to Boost Productivity in Less Time
Both Hootsuite and Buffer allow you to gather all of your social media accounts on ONE screen. No more jumping back and forth from different websites and repeated logins. You can organize the feeds to your own liking by saving categories and networks you most want to watch, making it MUCH simpler to keep up with the latest news that is most important to your own business.
You can also set the timing to release posts at any time you choose, so the tool works for you while doing other things. Both Hootsuite and Buffer offer free accounts, with an option for a paid upgrade which allows even more options.
Hootsuite works like a filter by featuring those categories YOU set as your trump cards – what you find most important to watch. In this way, it turns down the noise out there – helping you to focus on your big rocks. The rest is still there for you to visit later if you want to and have the time. Boost your productivity by turning down the noise. This tool helps you to zero in and focus only on the most productive activity in just minutes per day.
Post ONE time and send that post to all of your social networks in one click. Have a new promotion or publication and want to get it out FAST? The free version of Hootsuite allows a test drive with no strings attached. Even the upgraded versions are quite inexpensive for such a powerful tool. The free version of Hootsuite allows management of five social media profiles max. Beyond that, best to upgrade to the paid version, which is very reasonably priced at only $8.99/month.
My friend Jackie is an expert social media strategist who has published free tutorials to help you see the value and get started using these social media tools if you decide to do so. Take a look at these free tutorials about how to use these two main tools, Hootsuite and Buffer.
You don’t have to ‘do it all’ by jumping from Twitter to Facebook, Linked In to Pinterest, and finding time for Instagram too. That would drive anyone crazy! If you are just getting started, focus on ONE social media site at a time. Establish an attractive and concise profile that clearly describes what you offer.
“Social media is like a snowball rolling down the hill. Five years from now, it’s going to be the standard.”
~ Jeff Antaya, CMO Plante Moran
Embedded from Pardot
My British friend Paul Duxbury prefers a social media tool called Sprout Social and says, “…for me Sprout Social beats Hootsuite hands down on design and visual appeal but more importantly it offers really impressive analytical tools including being able to create reports to compare your activity to that of others.’ Paul says that he hates working with multiple columns of data, which is the platform for both Hootsuite and Tweetdeck.
Aside from the access to analytical data Paul describes above, another HUGE advantages includes the ability to schedule future posts and this automation alone is a huge time saver. Also the tools will automatically shorten long links, particularly helpful to save space on twitter.
Mixing up this automated scheduling with real time posts is recommended on Facebook in order to get the highest reach in views. Apparently their new filters detect these automated posts as ‘less important’ and so may be given less weight in rank.
At the rate social media is growing like some monster weed, it won’t likely be long before most businesses consider some kind of social media management tool to be an absolutely necessity. A well-planned social media campaign might be considered insane without such tools. Three front runners in popularity include: Hootsuite, Buffer and Sprout Social. Other social media management tools that are similar include Social Oomph, Tweetdeck, and Viral Tag.
Do you use any of these social media management tools? How do YOU manage to tame the social media monster? Please comment below about your experience with (or need for) these social media management tools.
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