If you or your law firm supports multiple social media accounts such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, you may be wondering how to effectively manage all of these pages in one place. There are many options to choose from (see the bottom of this blog post), but my personal holy grail for social media management is Hootsuite. I am sure many of you are familiar with the term and maybe are currently using this tool, but here are some tips for how to use it most efficiently.
You can schedule posts for essentially any social media channel using Hootsuite: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, WordPress, Foursquare, and mixi. You can schedule posts for the day, the week, the month, the year, whatever! You are free to schedule your posts across any social media channel as far out as you’d like – already have an idea for a witty Winter Solstice post? Schedule it now!
Another option with Hootsuite is “Auto Schedule.” There are some mixed opinions about this feature, but Hootsuite claims to analyze your followers/fans and choose the best time of day to send out your tweet or post in order to reach the most engagement. This is something you could try if you’re curious, or you could just as easily stick to scheduling the posts on your own, if you prefer to know exactly when they’ll be sent out. Another option with the Auto Schedule feature is having Hootsuite send you an email once the tweet or post is sent; this way the post isn’t lost and forgotten about in abyss of the Hootsuite.
One of the benefits of using Hootsuite for all your social media accounts is being able to see what is scheduled across the board without having to log into several different sites. It’s basically like having your own online content calendar. You are able to view every scheduled post for any social media profile on one simple page, organized chronologically. You are also able to see past posts in the form of a calendar, which can be extremely helpful when looking for old content to push.
What I find most helpful using Hootsuite is the ability to look over all of your scheduled posts to double (or triple) check for misspellings, misinformation, and to ensure the link you included works and directs clickers to the correct site. I have gotten into such a habit of scheduling and reading over my posts that sometimes I’ll schedule them 10 minutes in the future just in order to review them once or twice before they are sent out to the social media world. This is a good way to avoid silly, mindless mistakes.
The aesthetic of the Hootsuite streams is also quite easy on the eyes, despite the massive amount of information you are able to see on one single screen. All the streams can be customized to your liking. For example, you could have your Twitter’s timeline stream, a scheduled posts stream, a stream for a specific trending hashtag that you want to stay updated on, etc. There are many options here, and the streams are updated continuously in real time.
If you are confused by the options Hootsuite has, don’t fret. You can attend some free sessions at Hootsuite University! These are clips on YouTube that explain and visually demonstrate how to use the basic aspects of Hootsuite. You can also use their “Help” page on their website if you prefer reading over watching. Sometimes I also just tweet at @Hootsuite_Help for a quick answer. They monitor this Twitter very well and almost always respond if you are having a problem.
- SproutSocial features a single stream inbox to ensure a message is never missed, and allows for scheduling posts on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. This platform also offers monitoring tools and analytics in order to track progress and success.
- Use Gremln to manage Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn profiles, schedule and archive posts, and more. One unique offering is what they call “filtering,” which prevents certain content from being used in corporate posts in order to avoid violating restrictions.
- ExactTarget (formerly CoTweet) is a Salesforce.com company used to manage Twitter and Facebook. This platform, similar to Hootsuite, is great for a team managing social media profiles rather than just one single person. In addition to scheduling posts, you can assign team members specific roles and require approval of certain posts before they are sent out. Tracking and analytics is also available with this source.
- Unlike Hootsuite, Buffer is not the platform to use to monitor content coming from other profiles (i.e. Twitter stream, Facebook news feed). With Buffer, you can schedule and stagger posts on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
- Another option is to simply use Facebook scheduler for Facebook posts and a separate Twitter scheduler like TweetDeck, keeping the two profiles and their schedules completely separate from one another.
Do you have your own preferred platform? Feel free to share in the comments section below!