Social media has become an integral part of a business’ marketing strategy.
Reaching out to hundreds and thousands in your audience in a matter of seconds has been made possible by the power of a tweet or Facebook wall post.
In the current digital world, people stay connected using multiple social media, including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Managing digital platforms is no longer as easy as updating your Facebook status. Now you need to worry about which messages are relevant to which platforms. Your message on Twitter may not be relevant or suitable on LinkedIn.
However, there comes a time when your social media activity can become overwhelming. Aside from keeping up with the different social media channels you have registered for, you need to deal with posting timely messages on your feed and replying to customers.
Thus, managing all your online accounts on a regular basis takes up hours of your time at work, leaving you with little for your other tasks.
To alleviate the stress, there are a number of desktop, tablet and mobile applications available which will help you organise multiple social media accounts, platforms and information sharing across a variety networks.
Each tool offers something different — from the layout and features to the interface — but the common denominator is that they all enable you to keep tabs on your different platforms effectively and efficiently.
Social management tools are software programmes designed to help people operate multiple social media accounts from within a single, unified view or application. Often these apps are called social media management tools, or more simply social dashboards.
HootSuite and TweetDeck are the top two social management tools in use these days, but plenty of alternatives exist. Newer apps are gaining in popularity, too, such as the high-powered SocialBro.
HootSuite arguably is the single best, broadest social dashboard available today, especially since its chief rival TweetDeck has slipped after being acquired by Twitter in 2011. Services like HootSuite and TweetDeck were created for the busy social media user.
Platforms like these allow you to post, reply, and schedule comments for all of your company’s social media accounts in one easy format.
The dashboards help one lay out all the different feeds and messages on all your networks. They are easy to navigate and allow you to have a pilot’s view over all your social media.
You can also assign roles to people within your company so that everyone uses the same account, but can delineate the work.
With Hootsuite, you can register up to five of your social media profiles so you can interact with your Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn followers with ease.
Interface on all accounts is streamlined, so you won’t get confused by the different designs of each site.
If you need to dispatch the same message on all your profiles, Hootsuite lets you do that in just one click after selecting the profiles where you intend for the message to appear.
Another advantage of using this tool is the ability to schedule your posts to appear at specific dates and times in the future.
This proves very useful especially if you won’t be able to tend to your online profiles due to other commitments. Once you’ve set up the message, they will be posted on the social media sites even if you don’t log in.
On the other hand, TweetDeck has its advantages. One of the benefits of this application is that it is not limited to the web and can be installed as a separate programme on your hard drive as a desktop application.
Allowing for real-time post streaming, this management system also offers greater flexibility in that it is compatible across multiple platforms and comes without a cover charge.
Sam Wambugu is a monitoring and evaluation specialist. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org