Many of you want to get yourself out there, but you get lost in the sea of endless mediums and apps that could allow you to do so. You end up feeling overwhelmed and rather than beginning the process to market yourself, you put it off till “another time.”
Today, I’m going to try and help you sort through all the junk and provide you with some tools that will help save you time and frustration. These tools will allow you to be actively engaged with those people who want to hear what you have to say.
Part of doing social media right is learning how to leverage your time so you’re not posting and tweeting 8 hours per day. The latest social media software tools (even thogh they seem to chage everyday) will help you do this. Some are free and others require a small investment, but with them you can produce big results. Some of these very tools have helped me to grow an audience over 20K.
Here are the three primary social media tasks and the software tools I am using to manage them:
- Creating. I use Buffer to create most of my social media content. This is the most used tool in my toolbox. I use it for both Twitter and Facebook.
The basic idea is that you add posts to Buffer and it spreads them throughout the day, posting them at times you have predetermined. This ensures that you are posting on a regular basis without overwhelming your followers.
When I find something I think my fans would find helpful, I share it on Twitter and occasionally Facebook. However, this pattern can create a flood of posts and can quickly become annoying if I’m not careful.
Now, when I find something I want to share, I simply click the Buffer icon in my browser. I then compose my post, select which accounts I want to share it on, and then add it to my queue. Buffer then schedules these posts throughout the day.
The cool thing is that you can set up your own schedules. For example, you could tweet 10 times a day, but only update your Facebook status twice a day. When you add a post, Buffer puts it in the next available slot. You can always rearrange these later, moving posts around in an easy-to-use interface.
I use HootSuite about 50% of the time for direct messages, replies, and photo posts, but I use Buffer for most of my tweets .
- Monitoring. HootSuite monitors social media accounts. You can use it as your social media dashboard. It allows you to manage all your social media accounts: Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. (You get up to 5 for free and then you have to pay) One of the biggest benefits of this software is that it can segregate followers into “streams” and follow different groups of people.
For example, with a Twitter account, I have the following streams:
- Direct messages
- Mentions (or replies)
You can also create streams out of search terms. For instance you could create a search for “TV Hosts” and create a stream from the results. The stream is updated in real time as new tweets are added.
You can manage individual Twitter followers as well. You can follow, unfollow, direct message, reply, or add a follower to a Twitter list. You can also report spammers with one click.
You can also use HootSuite to schedule tweets. This comes in handy for posting messages while you are traveling or bust at work—or just so you won’t forget.
If need be, you can have several people monitoring one account and responding to comments and feedback. This is particularly helpful for hosts with network shows and larger followings.
You can add multiple Twitter accounts, Facebook accounts and pages (I have five). HootSuite is adding more all the time. The only social media outlet missing right now is Google+ but that should be coming soon.
- Analyzing. I use a variety of tools to analyze my social media performance. Both Buffer and HootSuite offer built-in analytical tools. However, I am only using Buffer at the moment. It tells me exactly how many clicks and re-tweets each tweet generated.
In addition, I use these two tools:
- TweetCounter. I use this to monitor the growth in my Twitter follower count.
- Tweet Grader. I use this to analyze my Twitter effectiveness.
As social media have become mainstream, the tools have continued to improve. Don’t think that what you are using today will be state-of-the-art a year from now—or even three months from now. Keep an open mind and continue to experiment. I will do my very best to stay up on the latest trends and keep you informed as I learn about them.
Remember, when you’re using the right tools, you can market your brand, build your following and still find the time to create great content. Hope this helps you! Good luck!