Are you feeling the crunch on your schedule to pull off the demands of your social marketing strategy? Time management is becoming the greatest challenge of social media domination but the good news is that there are thousands of talented programmers and developers that are making fantastic tools to help you keep up with the workload.
At Top Dog Social Media, we work on many clients social media campaigns and need to be as efficient as possible in order to execute their social marketing strategy so we rely heavily on social networking tools to help us with that.
After collectively spending hundreds of hours on experimenting and testing many different services, we have come up with a few apps that are “non-negotiable” when it comes to your social marketing plan.
If Buffer and Hootsuite had a child, it would be called perfection. Rather than upsetting myself over a non-existent lovechild, I’ve decided to embrace the positives of each system and incorporate them into my workflow.
Buffer claims to increase clicks on your tweets by 200% and since I’ve been using it, I can say that clicks have definitely gone up. You can see how effective each tweet was through their simple and clean analytics interface at any time!
I love how Buffer auto-schedules posts based on the preferred schedule that the user can customize. If you want to tweet 10 times a day on weekdays and 5 times on weekends, you can program that in and as you load tweets into your “Buffer”, it will automatically post them at the appropriate times. Awesome!
Buffer is free for one account and has two premium plans that will suit people or businesses that manage multiple profiles and is one of my favorite social networking tools.
PRO TIP: Install the Buffer browser extension for Chrome or Firefox to easily create and schedule tweets while browsing the web. Extremely handy tool!
This app is fantastic for automating the process of finding, following and unfollowing users on Twitter. It has features that help you filter out spammers and people who aren’t reciprocating your follows with a follow back.
Mass following and unfollowing users will get your account red flagged in no time so the folks at TweetSpinner have programmed it to do so in accordance with Twitter’s policies. This saves you MASSIVE amounts of time while making you as efficient as possible during the follow/unfollow process.
You can mimic the following of other Twitter users whose target market is similar to yours and TweetSpinner will even display a stat for reciprocity (how many people tend to follow back). This little stat alone puts this app in my good books.
There is a free basic plan and a premium account that unlocks additional features. Definitely a worthwhile investment for your social networking toolbox!
Facebook’s New Scheduling Feature
You are now able to schedule your Facebook posts to your page right on Facebook. Previously you could do this with third party applications however Facebook would penalize you and reduce the amount of time your posts actually showed up in the newsfeed of the people that “like” your page. Hubspot found that content published through third-party API tools suffered 67% fewer likes than content published manually via Facebook.com.This new Facebook scheduler feature will help with that. Now you can plan out your week and schedule in advance and just check in on your page to see if there is any comments or questions you need to respond to.
Those of you who follow me on Twitter (@MelonieDodaro) know that I sing the praises of Hootsuite very often and it is certainly well deserved. Hootsuite is one of the more popular social networking tools because it is very modestly priced, and is the perfect dashboard for all of your social media profiles. Despite the fact that I have been using Buffer for scheduling posts, I still use Hootsuite everyday for communicating and engaging with my tribe.
You can display active Twitter streams of your choice in Hootsuite and they are all organized in a way that’s very user friendly. If you’re a chiropractor in Calgary, you can easily setup a stream that shows all recent tweets in that area with the keywords “back hurts”.
Although you can just as easily do this in Twitter (and save it for later viewing), Hootsuite is a superior method because you can see all your streams at once. All info that you have decided is relevant can be displayed in one location.
Hootsuite premium accounts are a steal at only $5.99 a month. You’ll be impressed at everything that comes along with it…if not, there is always the free account!
But Wait…There’s More!
I’m going to draw the line here for now but I will tell you that there are hundreds of amazing social networking tools available, maybe even thousands, to help propel your social networking plan to the next level.
I wanted to make this list much longer but I felt each mentioned service deserved a fair critique so you can make a decision on what is best for you. Each of these services offer different benefits that will suit organizations needs differently so pay close attention to what resonates with your workflow.
I would love to hear what your favorite social networking tools are. Is one of your favorites on the list above? Leave a message in the comments below.