Simple Tools to Help Manage Your Small Business Social Media

In the post Use Social Network & Media Sites To Build a Strong Presence for Your Business I explained how a small business could use sites like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to build a strong online presence. As long as you are creating profiles on these sites purely to get better search results you can probably manage all the updates directly through each site. Later you will probably want to use these accounts more actively to engage with people and also to add fresh content that will boost search results.

Social media professionals rarely visit sites like and so on. They prefer instead to use tools that allow them to view and update several accounts at the same time. There are many of these tools but two of the most popular are Tweetdeck and Hootsuite. Tweetdeck is an application that you have to download to your computer; Hootsuite is a website so it is enough to create an account. Otherwise the two tools are quite similar.

First of all they allow you to view multiple social media accounts in vertical columns on the same screen, so you can see many accounts at the same time. This makes it much easier to see any incoming messages, comments or replies that might need action. They also allow you to post updates to your social media accounts individually or several at a time. This should be used with caution. In theory you could send the same text to Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, but in practice this is not advisable because the three sites have very different styles. One certain way to annoy LinkedIn contacts, for example, is to flood their updates stream with twitter-style comments.

One of the most useful features, though, is that these multi-account tools allow you to schedule tweets and updates in advance. This is very convenient because it allows you to line up some routine updates in the morning and then concentrate on other things. During the day you can watch for replies or other interesting contacts and reply personally. Complete automation might seem like a good idea, but in practice it will cause you to be ignored; in social media being there to engage with people is essential.

There are many other tools and utilities you can use to help manage your social media. There are too many to list here but there is one general-purpose tool that can solve many different automation tasks: If This Then That. This simple tool allows you to automate actions such as tweeting a link when you post a new video to YouTube. New tools like this appear every other day, so if you have created some useful tool that maybe I haven't heard of yet you are welcome to add it in the comments or send me a mail.

In the next posts on small business social media I am going to look at the sites that link all of your profiles together in one place, then after that simple, free tools for monitoring results.

Related Posts

Simple Tools to Help Manage Your Small Business Social Media
Use Social Network & Media Sites To Build a Strong Presence for Your Business
Online Reputation: How to Deal With Five Difficult Cases
LinkedIn: Why Unanswered Messages Are Wasted Opportunities
Why You Need an Online Presence Even if You Think You Don't
Why You Need to Have a Social Media Policy Even if You Don't Use Social Media

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