Social media is 60% of what I do at work. Both for the company I currently work with, as well for my clients, managing social media channels requires a lot of multitasking, time management, scheduling mastery and good monitoring and response approach.
In my nearly 8 year practice, I have come across multiple tools for managing an online presence and used quite a few extensively. Either because at that time, I found them interesting and sufficient, or because that was part of the workflow I inherited from the person that used to work in the company before me.
Pros of Using Social Media Management Tools
Never say “Never”. Despite my personal choice to not use third party solutions for managing social media accounts, those have plenty of cons and using them can help you save a lot of time and effort, once you get the hang of it. If you are a community manager, taking care of multiple brands, maybe the authentic platform experience will be the last on your list of things to care and worry about.
- Easy to plan, schedule and monitor multiple accounts with a variety of content.
- Easy to export account data report, if the management solution has one.
- Easy to collaborate with other people, or train them on how to use the application.
- Easy to engage with the brand audience, and listen to what they have to say.
- Easy to keep an eye on your competitors.
Why did I stop using social media management tools?
But now let’s get back to the original topic: why I stopped using social media management tools.
I don’t get the actual platform experience, even when I manage a business account. And I dislike that feeling. There are quite a few reasons I can point out, aside from this one. For instance, if something breaks, you have to spend twice the time to figure out what went wrong – was it something with the third-party app, or there was a bug within the native platform? Did you do something yourself, was it the internet connection? Was the file you wanted to upload corrupted? Having one question less to answer saves a lot of time, effort, stress and ultimately, helps you prevent a concentration breakdown.
Social media platforms slowly started killing third-party apps with multiple account feature.
I use it on Instagram where I can switch between up to 5 accounts and get the full platform experience. Same applies for Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. Can I schedule content on all of them? No, which is the only con I can really point out. The rest – analytics data, monitoring, engaging with customers/users and posting content online – I get from the native app.
The more tools you use, the more hassle you get.
We are all online. And switching between Twitter, the Instagram and the Facebook app does not make a difference, nor it feels like an extra effort. But switching between task management apps, time management software, planning and scheduling solutions and analytics and data sites do come with a price. You pay the actual price of each product because there are only a handful of apps that come with a forever free version that has most of the cool functionalities.
Despite all, here’s a list of my favourite social media management apps that to this day, I would recommend to anyone:
Up until recently, I used TweetDeck as my primary Twitter account management solution. Now I only use it for two brands only, where I discovered a specific time that works for posting out content. The rest I manage on the go, mostly through my iPhone and its native Twitter app. TweetDeck reminds me much of a live Trello-lookalike, where you can easily plan, respond to tweets and send out private messages.
Hootsuite is great. Both the free (you can only manage 3 accounts), and the paid versions are fantastic. But really, aside from Twitter and LinkedIn (the second I barely used) scheduling, or handling a ton of accounts (I find it difficult when accounts exceed my personal limit of 12), I found it unnecessary. If you find yourself taking care of more than 10 social media accounts of different brands, Hootsuite might be a lifesaver for you.
IFTTT is really cool if you get the hang of it. I’ve tried it for a while, but could not fall in love when it comes to my work. I did try it on the site with some of my hobby-gigs but didn’t work well for me. Friends have shared they utilized the app’s automation to increase their productivity and efficiency. I failed to do so, but do urge you to give it a try.
The more you try, the more you know.