With all of the social media networks available, it can be difficult to manage all the platforms you have chosen to promote your business. It is difficult enough to decide which networks, let alone manage them once you have. Who really knows what networks are right for your company? Without a doubt there is another blog post coming from somewhere to help you decide which social media network is best for your company.
Do you only concentrate on the “Big 3”- Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn? Or do you venture out to new and upcoming outlets like FourSquare and Ning? I haven’t even mentioned YouTube, Delicious, Stumble Upon, Digg, MySpace, Ping, Referral Key, Tumblr…and the list goes on and on. This post isn’t about which ones to choose, but how are you supposed to manage your social media profiles, posts, logins and passwords? Here are a few tips and tools that can help.
Organize your Platforms
Assuming you have already chosen your platforms, the first thing you need to do is organize. Create a bookmark folder for all of our social media platforms. Keeping them in one spot will be key in staying on top of everything. You can also filter your email so that your social media emails fall into a folder. Make sure to schedule some time to manage that folder as often as needed.
Manage your Passwords
If you are still typing in your usernames and passwords or storing them on a spreadsheet, you are in need of a good password management system. Here are three options to check out:
RoboForm – can use it for free, for up to 10 accounts and supports Google Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, and other browsers. I have a client that uses it and it looks pretty amazing.
KeePass – an open source solution and it is free. It is not integrated into your browser, but you will have a secure record of all your usernames and passwords.
LastPass – has free and premium solutions to manage your passwords. It synchronizes across browsers and you can easily restore your passwords if you change computers.
Update your Profiles
There are tools to help automate your profiles. One good one is called Atomkeep that will keep your profiles in sync on most social networks, job boards and other sites. They are currently at capacity, but sign up to get on a waiting list, it’s worth the wait.
Manage Your Posts
This is the hard one because being everywhere takes a lot of time, but there are some tools out there to help you. Hootsuite and Tweetdeck are both popular and I use both of them. They generally do the same thing: post to multiple platforms from one screen, schedule posts, and create shortened URLs. Hootsuite is internet-based and you can log on from anywhere but Tweetdeck has to be downloaded. On the other hand, you can only have 5 social media profiles for free, and Tweetdeck allows for more accounts (unlimited currently) so you don’t have to keep logging out and in to different accounts. You may have a preference when you start to use them, but the nice thing is that you really don’t have to choose, you can use both!
Other tools that make it easy are the share extensions and apps. You can download Shareaholic in Firefox and AddThis in Google Chrome. This allows you to share any webpage, even if they haven’t installed the tools to do so. I use AddThis on a daily basis for email sharing, Facebook and Twitter posting, social bookmarking, and to add to my Google Reader.
I know using social media today can be overwhelming. But if you get organized and utilize the tools that are available, you can spend your time doing the things that make your business money.
Are you using other tools that help you organize your social media marketing? Let me know, I would love to hear.