Three Time-Saving Social Media Tools

“I just don’t know if I have time for social media,” is a comment that I hear all the time. Everyone is busy and everyone has a lot on their plate. But as an author, musician, or small business owner, you can’t afford NOT to invest your time in social media. It’s a vital aspect of growing your platform, online presence and, most importantly, your career. But I’m here to tell you this: social media doesn’t have to eat up every spare minute of your day or take over your life. With a little planning and the right tools you can take care of your social media outlets in less than an hour a day. Here are three of our favorite online tools that will help you manage your social media outlets.

BUFFER: I use Buffer every single day and have found it to be my favorite social media tool. It has also helped me to improve my overall social media strategy. I mainly use it for Facebook and Twitter but you can also add LinkedIn to the mix as well.

 

Buffer assists you in scheduling posts to your Facebook and Twitter accounts. You predetermine what times throughout the day you want your updates to be posted and Buffer takes care of it. It’s important to not bombard your followers with tons of posts and with Buffer this insures that you’re not overwhelming your followers.

Buffer also offers browser extensions for Safari, FireFox and Chrome as well as Google Reader. I mostly use it with Google Reader. First thing in the morning I look over all of the blogs that I subscribe to on Google Reader, I find something I want to share, click the Buffer icon, compose a message, and then select which accounts I want to share it with and I’m finished.

Another important factor to remember with social media is that every outlet isn’t the same and the approach is different and Buffer has thought of that. With Twitter you need to post more frequently throughout the day (I usually post 8-10 times a day) and on Facebook you should ideally only post 2-3 times a day. With Buffer you can determine what outlet you want to update so you don’t have to worry about posting too much or too little throughout the day.

HOOTSUITE: HootSuite is a great tool to monitor all of your social media outlets in one place. For example, I mainly follow my Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts on HootSuite. It’s easy to use and has a lot to offer. It has everything that you need to keep up with your social media outlets in one place. They also have a great iPhone app.

 

Another favorite aspect of HootSuite is their scheduling feature. If I schedule my blog to post at a certain time during the day I can schedule an update for my Facebook and Twitter followers with a link to my blog post when it goes live. If you travel a lot or tend to forget to forget to regularly post, HootSuite is for you.

HootSuite can be used for free, but they do have paid options with more features.

CROWDBOOSTER: Crowdbooster is an analytics tool that helps users achieve an effective presence on Twitter and Facebook. The great thing is that it doesn’t just give you abstract information but numbers that are connected to your personal impressions, reach, engagement, etc. Why is this important? Because you need to know what is working and what isn’t so you can fix it to make sure what you do IS reaching your audience and building your platform.

 

The great thing about Crowdbooster is that they give you the tools and recommendations you need to improve each of the metrics. Pretty great, eh?!? For example, they give you times throughout the day that would be most effective for you to post an update based on the activity of your fans and followers. You want to reach your audience at the right time and Crowdbooster helps you do that.

I use the Crowdbooster information that it gives me to determine what times I should schedule my updates to post on Buffer and HootSuite to make sure my audience sees them. It’s fantastic information to have.

These are three tools that we use to manage our social media presence, but there are others out there that might work better for you. And that’s totally cool! The most important thing is to find what works best for YOU and your schedule.

We are always finding and trying out new social media tools, so we will keep you posted on others that might help you maximize your online presence.

What are your favorite social media tools?