Running an effective social media campaign is a lot of work. Keeping on top of all the different channels, posts, and schedules can be a full-time job on its own.
Here are 4 social media management tools to make your job easier as well as tips on how to use them:
The industry leader, Hootsuite serves as a hub for managing all your social media streams and keeping your finger on the pulse of your social communities.
Hootsuite’s strength is in organizing your social media channels so that you can engage with them in a meaningful way. It integrates with Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Instagram. If you use it, Hootsuite probably supports it, but it focuses on Twitter.
Hootsuite brings all of your feeds to one place, so you can see what conversations are coming up in each community. More importantly, it allows you to display saved searches and Twitter lists so you can sift through your entire Twitter following.
The way I recommend marketers use Hootsuite is that they set up a home screen that displays your main feed and any mentions or RTs, so you can make sure to respond to people who are trying to reach you. Then, create separate tabs for each audience segment.
For example, I use a tab for fitness and health, which shows lists of my fitness-related followers, fitness movers and shakers, natural movement bloggers, and paleo nutrition bloggers. I have a separate tab for wealth, and inspirational psychology.
Hootsuite also allows you to manage post scheduling, but without pro-level features, scheduling large batches can be a pain. Which leads us to our next tool.
Buffer does one thing and one thing only: schedule content and push it to your various social media channels. It does this in a steady controlled stream instead of a single overwhelming blast that your audience will miss or resent.
Once you get set up, you simply share content to your Buffer account using one of their many plugins, filling it up. But the content you share isn’t sent out to your social media accounts right away. Instead, Buffer releases each share at specific times you set.
This allows you to fill your Buffer without needing to worry that you will flood your social media channels or leave big gaps.
Both Buffer and Hootsuite have the ability to suggest relevant content for your audience based on what you’ve shared in the past, but their respective strengths are where they excel. For content curation, check out our next tool.
Feedly is a good old-fashioned RSS feed reader that allows you to collect and organize feeds from blogs, Google alerts, and anything that can output an RSS feed. It also curates its own content, so you can simply type “Environmentalism” into Feedly to get a variety of useful content on that topic.
Feedly’s base product does allow limited sharing, but it becomes much more powerful when you upgrade so you can tie it into other apps like Buffer. This allows you to share directly from Feedly to all your other social media channels, making your process that much more streamlined.
In your social media flow, Feedly is where you go to find content to share with your audience.
If Feedly is how you keep track of stuff you know is important, Nuzzel is where you discover new things and keep up on what your friends are sharing.
Nuzzel is a content source that scans your social media feeds and shows you what your friends are reading. This saves you the need to scan all your various networks yourself to find out what’s actually popular and what’s just fluff.
It’s easy to sign up with and free. It has categories for news from your friends, from friends of friends, and general news you missed, as well as a log of all the stories you did read in case you want to go back and share them.
Nuzzel also integrates into Buffer, Pocket, and Instapaper.
Bonus: A Quick How-To on Mastering Social Media
For a quick primer on how to tie all these tools together into a lean, mean, social media machine, check out this infographic, complete with step-by-step instructions for how to handle a bustling social media account.