Facebook is within touching distance of the 900 million mark, Twitter has 200 million and growing, LinkedIn is comfortably popular with over 135 million, and Pinterest is growing fast with 10.5 million. With staggering numbers of people logging into social media every day, if your business isn’t on social networking sites – you’re missing out.
In order to reach as many people as possible your business needs lots of fingers, in lots of pies (as it were). With so many social networking sites on the web, managing all your platforms is a tricky job for any online or social media marketer.
Remembering to post quality content regularly is near on impossible when you have so many other jobs to do. However, there are a number of automated social media tools that take the stress out of managing and monitoring all your social media platforms:
Tweetdeck vs Hootsuite
When it comes to a multiplatform social media dashboard, the two biggest players are Tweet deck and Hootsuite.
If you’re looking for a one-stop-shop to manage all your social media platforms in one place, these are the automation tools for you.
The two dashboards are pretty similar in a number of ways:
- You can monitor multiple social media pages including: Twitter, Facebook Pages and Profiles, LinkedIn, Foursquare, Myspace and WordPress
- You can post directly out of the interface
- Users can share the same post across all platforms
The differences between the two however, are much more interesting. For instance, Tweet deck is a desktop application. Users have to download the dashboard to their computer, which is often not possible on a company PC.
Hootsuite on the other hand is completely online and can be accessed from anywhere. It is this that gives Hootsuite its next benefit over its competitor. Any scheduled tweets will be sent – whether you’re online or not. Tweet deck will only post if the PC is on, Internet is running and dashboard is logged into.
Automating your tweets and Facebook posts through either of these dashboards is ideal for busy marketers. You can schedule posts in bulk for weeks or months in advance, freeing up your time to manage other jobs.
This online programmed will show you how many people your tweets and Facebook posts reached, as well as monitoring your follower growth, in a simple graph. You can also schedule tweets and Facebook posts from this interface, but you can’t monitor your home feeds.
Crowd booster has three highly useful features for any social media marketer. Firstly, the website tells you the best times to post content on your social media platforms based on when your followers are most active. This is designed to help you get the most out of your posts.
Another key feature is your audience insights. This feature shows you the followers or fans that have Retweeted, shared and liked your content the most. A vital insight for all marketers, this allows you to thank the people that are lending a hand.
It also helps you identify your most ‘influential’ followers. These are the followers that have the biggest ‘reach’ i.e. those with the biggest online following. This information will help you target those followers, ask them for retweets and encourage them to follow you.
Finally, Crowd booster will tell you if there are any mentions that you’ve not yet responded too. For large companies this is really helpful as it will enable you to manage your online reputation, engage with your clients and join in the conversations.
If This Then That (ifttt)
You don’t need to be widget whizz or a plug-in pro to automate the publication of blog posts, photographs or anything else to your social media pages. What it says on the tin, ifttt literally tells your social media pages “IF I post on my blog, THEN publish to Facebook” and so on.
There is nothing more time consuming than constantly posting new blog posts on all your social media platforms, messaging each and every new twitter follower and always uploading photos to each site individually.
You create unique ‘tasks’ based on the channels available such as YouTube, WordPress and Instagram. The website says there are over 300 list combinations. If This Then That checks for updates every 15 minutes and will automatically post them to your ‘THAT’ channel.
This is much easier than it sounds but it you’re a bit confused, ifttt has a number of ready-prepared ‘recipes’ for you use. These are tasks other users have created and you simply change the URLs and minor details so it works for you.
Your job as an online marketer is jam packed at the best of times, but by using just one of these automation tools you can save yourself a whole lot of time and effort. Once you’ve got to grips with the interface of your chosen tool, you’ll be able to focus your energies elsewhere; while still yielding results from social media.