The online world moves fast, and ironically, regular life does too. Social media is now considered an important piece of any business’ marketing plan these days adding yet one more layer of “things I have to do” to a business professional’s already jammed schedule.
That’s where helper tools like HootSuite, Buffer, Ifttt, TweetDeck, dlvr.it, and MarketMeSuite all come in handy when it comes to scheduling posts and updates to your social media networks like Twitter, LinkedIn, Goggle+, Facebook, and now even Pinterest.
So what are all of these? Sites like HootSuite and Buffer are described as “a user interface that takes the form of a dashboard and supports social network integration. ” In simple terms, it’s a platform to help you schedule Tweets, updates, links, and comments on social media into the future, giving you a social media presence even when you are not physically logged into your account.
Dashboards like MarketMeSuite and TweetDeck help make social media strategies feel not-so-much like a needy child and help to keep information flowing when we are not available to do so. The beauty is that these options free up your time so you can do other things, like speak and coach, create products, conduct webinars, and prospect for new clients.
Is it better to do your Tweets, Facebook updates, and LinkedIn shares organically? Yes absolutely. Scheduling and automating lacks the warmth and transparency of “real-time” posting. Some marketers even view using dashboards as a “sneaky” way to have a social media presence when you’re actually doing something else. But the truth of the matter is, if it didn’t work, these dashboards wouldn’t be so popular. As with everything in business, there are pros and cons to using dashboards. Here’s a few:
- It’s a one-stop-shop for social media scheduling. You can add multiple accounts like Facebook, Twitter, etc. and hit several platforms all at once.
- Retweet and Reply options are offered right within the dashboard
- Twitter lists can be pulled into (HootSuite) for more targeted scheduled Tweets and can be easily updated and changed
- Ability to use archiving to see past scheduled updates and Tweets
- Ability to add multiple users (paid version only)
- Available for mobile devices: iPhone/iPod, iPad, Blackberry, Android
- Better Coverage: Not everybody is online at 9:00 a.m. or 9:00 p.m. By scheduling updates throughout the day (night), you have an opportunity to catch the attention of the early-early birds, night owls, and people in other time zones.
- Lacks the ability to manage contacts from your inbox, only by opening up related content regarding the contact.
- Free versions limit number of accounts.
- Don´t let you use URL shorteners other than of ow.ly.
- Content may be king, but so is engagement. By not being present when your updates and Tweets actually go live can result in missing a possible connection, comment, or question.
Maintaining a constant social media presence is a lot of work, but if you are a busy entrepreneur or business professional who is looking to stay in touch with your community, these social management dashboards are priceless. Streamlining your social media strategy with a media dashboard is not only a good idea but it will also shave valuable hours off of your already hectic schedule.
The key is not to replace the personal interaction that is absolutely necessary to building a great social media presence with scheduled tweets, but to enhance it. It is still essential that YOU be present in social media, and interact personally with your followers and friends; because it’s not just about getting stuff “out there,” it’s about building relationships!