One secret to working effectively with social media tools like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn is to use some of the third-party applications that have been developed to help you manage all that information. If you’re only using FB, Twitter, or LI, you’re probably doing way more work than you need to, and spending more time than you want to.
There are people who devote nearly their entire lives to tracking the many support applications that come out each week — it’s like rabbits breeding. I am not one of those folks. But I can tell you that, after trying a couple, my favorite is Hootsuite (some other choices are Tweetdeck and Seesmic).
I like Hootsuite because it allows me to do all this:
- Manage my Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts all in the same place.
- Schedule posts ahead of time. This means that I can spend one 20-minute period each week writing posts that are then distributed throughout the week — way better than finding time each day to do this.
- Easily share an interesting web page with just one click, using the “Hootlet” feature on my web browser toolbar.
- Create and view lists so that I can divide the large number of people I follow into more manageable units. For example, I have a Twitter list of “social transformers” – people and organizations that are doing cutting-edge social justice work. If I didn’t use Hootsuite, the interesting things that those folks share would likely get buried under the stream of posts that comes in through Twitter.
Hootsuite also gives me statistics so that I can see which of my posts are the most interesting to people. And it probably does more stuff that I haven’t even discovered yet. Plus, the owl is pretty cool.
And no, I’m not getting a commission from Hootsuite to say all this stuff. I just like it.
If you’re using one or more of the big three social media and you’re not yet using Hootsuite (or another third-party app), I highly encourage you to check it out and add it to your toolbox. It takes a little effort to set it up and learn the different features, but it’s well worth your time. You’ll be amazed at how it can simplify your online life.
What methods do you use to manage the stream of information that comes your way? Please share your tips with us in the comments…