If you are spending any time at all these days trying to improve your use of social media content, you've probably noticed that the volume often seems overwhelming.
Like a lot of folks, you are probably doing a pretty good job of generating and sharing your own content, but the flood of tweets and Facebook posts and LinkedIn updates you receive each day to read, digest and share quickly becomes an unmanageable torrent of information. Suddenly you find yourself spending more time catching up on social media when you should be spending that time doing other things to make your business successful.
You need some social media help.
For starters, you need to develop a plan for managing your social media and stick with it. It doesn't have to be complicated, but it should be a protocol that you can manage in a set period of time, say 20 to 30 minutes, that you can perform once or twice a day. Once you have it in place, stick to the time limit and the steps you've outlined. As your proficiency improves, you'll be able to do more.
Once you have your protocol in place, you will want to find yourself some tools that can help you do the job better. One of the great things about social media is that there are loads of great tools out there - with more being introduced each day - to help you manage your social media marketing faster and easier.
Go to Social Media Examiner or Mashable and search "social media tools" and you will find plenty of options. Start with some of the recommended tools. Your going to have to experiment a bit, but it likely won't take long to find some useful tools.
Tools that I would recommend for anyone looking to better manage their social media include:
Buffer is a browser extension that installs easily and enables you to create tweets, Facebook posts and LinkedIn updates without opening any of those applications.
It's easy to use. If you see a blog post or web page that your followers would enjoy, simply click the buffer icon and you can post to any or all of the profiles you have loaded into Buffer. You can queue several items to be shared at different times throughout the day as well. It's a great way to keep your account current even when you are working on other things.
Spool is a great content curating tool that can keep you from being distracted when you are trying to work on other projects. We've all had that moment when we see an interesting headline and we stop to read the blog post or web page and before you know it, the time gets away from you. Spool gives you a one-click tool you can use to create an archive of those pages for later retrieval. It's a great way to curate content you want to share later.
While the two previous recommendations have been time savers, Hootsuite is a heavy-lifting tool. Hootsuite allows a user to manage not only posting, but monitoring and analytics for all of their active social media profiles. No need to open Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, you can post, monitor and engage all from here. In addition, you can setup specialized searches for your keywords or particular users you want to track. It's a great all-around tool.
This list is by no means definitive. There are, as mentioned above, a lot of tools that are available. Find the ones that you like. Those tools, coupled with a disciplined plan, will allow you to master your social media efforts instead of the other way around.
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