Social media newcomers are often overwhelmed by using multiple social platforms, and they often find keeping track of many social accounts and posts daunting. This was certainly very true a few years ago; however, with the development of social media apps and tools, many management issues have been addressed.
Some tools have free versions; others may charge a monthly fee. I try to use free tools as much as possible, until I hit upon a need that absolutely cannot be met with the free version.
Here are some examples of social media tools, and an overview of how they can help you manage your social media presence.
Hootsuite is a social media management tool that has a boatload of helpful features, even in the free version. It is Web-browser based, works on both Mac and PC, and has mobile apps.
Multiple Social Networks
Hootsuite enables you to manage multiple social networks from one dashboard. For example, you can add Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ accounts and post to the social platforms, reply and so on, without multiple logins.
The tool also helps with listening to the social activities in your space – your customers, your competitors, and the general industry news. You can set up a dashboard with multiple streams to monitor social media mentions of your company or organization.
The most amazing thing Hootsuite does is scheduling. If you schedule your postings, you don’t have to manually post each item. Remember Ron Popeil the pitchman saying “Set it and forget it!” Well, do not totally forget it, but you are a bit freer in terms of being chained to your social accounts 24X7. (There are also downsides to automation, but I’ll discuss that in a future post.)
Team Management and Analytics
When you get to the level of multiple people managing a company account or where you need more advanced analytics, you need to upgrade from the free version. There are multiple pricing plans, depending on your needs.
Of course, there are many other options that help you plan, manage, monitor and analyze social media. We can get into more of those in the future.
Are you envious when you see beautiful photos and graphics online? Canva is free Web-based design tool for the non-Photoshop trained individual as well as the hurried staffer who needs to “throw something together.” (Note: There are some photos and elements of a design that are available for purchase. They are relatively low cost, however.)
Better Images, Easy to Use
Canva helps you make better-looking, visually engaging Facebook cover images, Facebook posts, Pinterest images and so on, without the expense and the learning curve of design software. It is worth checking out while the free version is still available.
Do you and your colleagues have a hard time with polishing your copy so it is free of typos and grammar mistakes? Everyone does! I am trying out Grammarly’s free app.
My experience? So far, so good. It’s embedded itself into my social accounts, WordPress and Gmail, and it scours the text for typos and grammar errors. (There is an extension to add the app to Microsoft Office products, I have not tried that as yet.)
I like that Grammarly does not impede the writing process. There’s a checker which runs in real-time, but you must open the app to see the checker’s results and make your corrections. Very helpful for the one-woman-shop, without extra eyeballs to proofread.