Don’t Want to Babysit Social Media? Use These 4 Tools
Published: May 28, 2015
Author: Molly Shotwell
Let’s face it: sometimes you just can’t be as attentive to social media as you’d like to be. People expect to hear a response from you in 60 minutes or less, especially if they’re ticked off. On the flip side, who’s got time to monitor their networks all day? You’d never get anything done!
At 3Q Digital, I manage 5 social profiles (6 if you count Google+, although I don’t pay much attention to it). Here are the tools I use on a daily basis.
Buffer is a fantastic tool for disseminating content across almost every social network. They’ve recently added Pinterest support. I’m sure they’d add Instagram if the API was available. C’est la vie.
The power in Buffer lies not only in its ability to schedule content across networks (though it does this wonderfully). It lies in its analytics and its suggested content feature.
At a glance, I can see info about which posts were most popular, which type of post they were, and myriad other details about the posts. There’s also an often-handy insights tab that will make informed statements with the data it gathers over time.
Knowing that my clicks are down this week, but that I did pretty well on May 6 means I should consider posting more content like what I was posting on that day, since it’s resonating well with my audience. Hopefully this blog fits that category.
My favorite feature in Buffer is the content suggestion ability. Buffer will detect what type of content you post on your pages in a broad sense (think Marketing, Design, Business) and show them to you at the rate of 25 per day.
All you have to do to get content posting regularly is schedule posts to go live at certain times (something you should do some research and testing on) and add content from the suggestions! It’s recommended to have original content on your social pages as often as possible, but this works really well for slow days and consistency.
If you have any significant number of Twitter accounts that you’re following and try to read everything on your feed, I hope you’re this guy:
It’ll help if you can mash F5 as fast as this guy can:
If you’re not either of these people, try using a Tweet Deck. I keep it open on my second monitor (when I’m in the office and not working on something requiring the second monitor) or full-screened on my second desktop (I work on a Mac) when I’m working from home.
In addition to occasionally checking in on the feed in real time, it also shows me when we get @ replies on either of our accounts. When we have events, I can create a column for the event’s name or hashtag, like I did for our recent client summit with Google just to monitor activity throughout the day.
Notifications (or Growl on Windows)
Setting up your Mac to notify you whenever you get an @ mention on Twitter, and when you get notifications on Facebook is a fantastic way to keep on top of your networks. Don’t have a Mac? No problem! Growl (the old notification system for Mac) has been ported to Windows and is available for free to download.
Sprout is a fantastic social media management tool, but I found Buffer to be more effective for what I needed (content scheduling). Since 3Q is a B2B business, and we don’t often get users asking for assistance via social media, the main selling point of Sprout was not as useful to us. That being said: if you have a need to be informed when any of your networks experience activity: Sprout Social is your tool. Sprout also features a robust analytics suite.
Do you have a favorite social media management tool I missed? Let me know in the comments!