Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Secret To Effective Social Media Unification

If you are like most of us, especially those of us who make our living in social media, you have a number of social media networks to manage every day of the week.

Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn now reach more than ONE BILLION people worldwide, meaning you at least need to use those three sites. But if you are trying to reach a niche market then it's likely you are using a few more as well. Maybe Tumblr, Google+ or even YouTube. You likely also a blog, maybe two, that need to be promoted through your social media network as well.

For the sake of your sanity I hope you are using an automated scheduling tool to take some of the pressure off.

There are a number of tools to help you manage your multitude of social media networks. Chief among these are Hootsuite, Tweetdeck and Ping.fm. Each serves it's own purpose and does a fairly adequate job of keeping your network full of fresh content. They don't CREATE the content for you-that's up to you, but they certainly do a decent job of helping you manage it.

Personally, I was a big fan of Tweetdeck right up until they were bought by Twitter. It had the simplest link shrinking tool and cleanest interface. It allows me to link my Fan pages, Twitter accounts and LinkedIn accounts and post either individually or to all my sites simultaneously. It also had a handy scheduling feature which let me do a week's worth of social media network scheduling in a few hours.

However, after they were bought by Twitter something changed in their programming. It now only allows you to schedule about 10 updates at a time before giving you an error message. According to Tweetdeck they do not limit the number of scheduled posts, there is simply an error in their programming which pops-up every now and then.

Yeah.

Needless to say, I hardly use Tweetdeck any more. Hootsuite has become my tool of choice. In my opinion it is far clunkier and more time consuming to use than Tweetdeck for scheduling purposes, but it does allow me to schedule as many updates as I like and offers an analytics service for all the links I post. This is very handy.

The other cool thing about Hootsuite is the way you can integrate it with Ping.fm to hit even more social media sites, including your blogs. This two-pronged approach to social media scheduling is a real time saving and gives you some real promotional cache. Check out this post from Brian Wong on the entire process.

The simple fact is, whether you have three social media networks to keep track of or thirty, you need a tool to help you keep everything organized and reduce the amount of time it takes to make this happen.

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