So you’ve already gotten on the top social sites, and now the big question is, “How in the world do I manage all of these?”
There are many solutions out there to help you manage your social media presence across multiple platforms. In this post, I will go through the best ones out there, and let you in on how I use them for my clients.
The first thing you’ve got to know is that not all social management platforms are created equal. Some are good, some are better, and none are perfect. So what I am going to attempt to do is give you a basic idea of what is out there, and add in a bit of personal experience and opinion.
The Major Players
Hootsuite is my platform of choice. It has a Web App, Desktop App, and also an iPhone and Android app. It is extremely versatile.
Hootsuite gives you the ability to schedule posts in advance, shrink URLs, monitor specific keywords or phrases, view multiple feeds in the same window (desktop or web app only), post to multiple networks at the same time, and have multiple editors on specific accounts.
Facebook integration has just been beefed up with more group functionality and better searching of public posts. It also gives you the ability to add links with a preview, just like in the native Facebook interface.
Some cons are that the free version is limited to only 5 social networks, and they only connect to eight social networks (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Ping.fm, WordPress, MySpace, FourSquare, and Mixi). Even then, if you connect your Ping.fm account, you will extend your reach of networks to whatever you have connected through them. (More on Ping.fm a little further in this post).
Much like Hootsuite, TweetDeck allows you can schedule posts, automatically shrink URLs, monitor keywords or phrases, and it also has both iPhone and Android apps. Another thing to note is that it is now owned by Twitter (which means something, I’m sure).
I must say that the UI is much better looking than Hootsuite. That’s just something us designers notice. I also like the fact that it notifies you of new items in your feed with a pleasant little chirp of sorts. It kind of sounds like a digital birdie.
This big let down here is that TweetDeck is even more limited in it’s connectable social networks. Your only options are Twitter, Facebook, FourSquare, and Google Buzz (I really can’t believe Buzz is still around). Regardless, it is likely the more popular of platforms.
Ping.fm is not nearly as popular as the first two, but still popular enough to be considered one of the top dogs.
In a nutshell they have a lot of social networks that they can connect to, but they have a giant lack in functionality. The only option is using their web interface, which could definitely use some improvement.
Like I said above, it is valuable in the sense that you can use Ping.fm to extend the reach of your Hoosuite account. Other then that, there’s not a huge selling point for me personally.
The Smaller Players
SocialOomph is a lot like Ping.fm, only not as pretty. They are also limited to only Twitter, Facebook and Buzz. Another big difference is that they have a premium membership that gives you a lot of useful features, including automated following and direct messaging.
Posterous was later acquired and shut down by Twitter and is no longer in service.
Even those of you who are familiar with the previous three platforms may not have seen this one coming! You may know of Posterous as a blogging platform, but not necessarily as a social media management platform!
Well in the sense of management (specifically the monitoring side) it doesn’t really help. However, it is a great platform to use to publish to multiple accounts. Posterous was actually built with publishing across multiple networks in mind!
Posterous is primarily a blogging platform, but was dedicated to building a platform that could publish to all other social networks simultaneously. They’ve done a fantastic job. It’s especially great for posting videos, since it will host the video on it’s own server, and then upload it to YouTube, Vimeo, and Viddler at the same time! The same goes for uploading pictures to any of the picture sites out there (Flickr, Picasa, etc.).
They also make it super simple to update via email, web, or the iPhone app. I’m not sure if they have an Android app, but it’s likely they do.
Their only downfall is that they are strictly for publishing, not monitoring.
This service has been shut down, probably due to lack of funding/profitability.
For those of you on Google+, sgplus.me has created an awesome browser extention (Chrome, Firefox, Safari) that allows you to update Twitter and Facebook right from Google+. Not only that, but you can also import your photos from Facebook! My friend James walks through it more in depth here.
As you can see, you’ve got some options when it comes to publishing across multiple social networks. Now, if you can manage to make sense of all this mumbo jumbo, you are definitely on your way to becoming a Social Media Rockstar!
Was this post helpful to you? Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments below!