Simplified, Organized Management of Your Social Media Accounts
Last week I met with a small business owner who detailed his company's social media strategy. While it was exciting to learn that his business actively took advantage of Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, and a WordPress blog, it was horrifying to hear how much time his assistant spent logging in to each of these separate accounts throughout the day to post and interact.
Not surprisingly, our new client was delighted to learn there is a better, less time-consuming way to make social media work for his company.
Free can be expensive if you believe that time is money
Though social media is promoted as a tool no business should ignore because it's free—it's absolutely critical that you remember there is in fact a substantial cost measured in time. Time spent updating and managing profiles. Time spent looking for and interacting with clients. Time spent sharing links, photos, and interesting content.
When you're actively maintaining a number of social media accounts, this time adds up very quickly.
Dashboard services save the day
Fortunately, there are a host of great social media dashboard services out there that exist solely to help you minimize the time you spend managing your social media accounts.
These services can aggregate all the information, posts, and updates from your various accounts and can display them or allow you to manage all through a single control panel.
That's right, manage all your social media accounts in one spot.
Create one update, and post to multiple social media accounts all at the same time—or, even better, schedule them to go live at different times in the upcoming day, week, or month.
Easier to manage. More efficient. No more logging in to multiple accounts each time to want to share a thought, link, update, or image.
Not sure where to start? We've got some links for you to check out. Below are four of the most popular social media management tools out there today.
TweetDeck began as a Twitter management client, but the service now offers Facebook compatibility, too. You can log in at the TweetDeck website, or download and use their desktop app, or go mobile and take advantage of their Android or iPhone app. TweetDeck uses powerful filtering systems to identify and promote the Tweets most important to you. It also allows publishers to schedule messages ahead of time (our favorite feature!).
Seesmic supports Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Salesforce Chatter accounts. It's compatible with all the major web browsers, but will actually soon do away with their web-based service, choosing instead to focus on mobile application access. Seesmic also offers filtering options to help keep important messages on your radar.
Hootsuite works with Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and a handful of other social services such as Foursquare, MySpace, Wordpress, or Ping.fm. It offers mobile apps compatible with Android, iPhone/iPad, Blackberry, and even the Keitai device.
Some Hootsuite's highlights include collaboration tools for social media teams, a secure platform to help keep your profiles safe, and—perhaps the biggest selling point of all—a custom analytics package that pulls in data from Facebook Insights, Google Analytics, Twitter statistics, and more. This data is formatted into a customized section of your dashboard to help your business identify trends and make data-based marketing decisions for the future.
Threadsy takes social media management and combines it with email, aiming to be a one-stop hub for all your digital communication. Smart.
On the social side, Facebook and Twitter are both supported. For email, Threadsy currently supports Gmail, Windows Live Mail, Yahoo, & AIM.
The service also uses some pretty nifty integration of your various accounts and inboxes to help offer more context and background information on the people your company interacts with.
Today's takeaway is…
Social media marketing is important for any business, but logging into and manually updating your various accounts one at a time doesn't need to be part of your routine.
With the help of social media management tools, you can easily stay involved on your accounts without sacrificing too much of your valuable time. Have a look at Tweetdeck, Seesmic, Hootsuite, and Threadsy to find out which service would best fit your social media management needs.