Week Two: Tools of the Trade

getting started

I use Buffer‘s Awesome Plan, which lets me connect 10 accounts (social media profiles) at once. I also use Hootsuite‘s Pro plan, and SocialReport for in-depth analytic reports.

Creative Approach has 7 social profiles – Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and Snapchat – plus a Yelp account, and Constant Contact for emails (more on that later); Club One and World of Fitness both have 3 profiles that I focus on, plus Yelp pages; Lucky Savannah has 5 profiles and their blog, for which I write 2 posts a month.

Using Hootsuite and Buffer

Hootsuite allows you to organize your workflow through tabs and streams. You can create tabs by network, project, or any why you’d like to organize them. Within the tabs, the streams allow you to track hashtags, locations, and much more. Buffer is set up differently. They list your connected accounts on the left, and you can switch between them. Both platforms allow you to schedule the same post to multiple accounts at once by checking them off, but neither will allow you to schedule the same post multiple times to the same account.

Both platforms have their strengths and weaknesses, and I use them in different ways. For my purposes, I feel that Buffer’s built-in RSS feed works better than Hootsuite’s.

screen-shot-2016-12-08-at-12-19-37-pm Buffer’s Content Inbox (pictured) to Hootsuite’s RSS/Atoms Feed. Buffer lets you add up to 15 feeds per profile and easily share posts them across accounts, even generating photos. Hootsuite’s feed is set up differently, and I’m actually only experimenting with it right now. As in, I just set it up while writing this. Why? Because they don’t let you choose which posts to share. They share every post from the feed that you’re following. At least that’s the way I understand it to work. If I’m wrong, I’ll come back here and make a note.

The workaround to Hootsuite’s lackluster RSS feed is using Feedly. You can easily create feeds tailored to content/brand, but you’ll need to open each link rather than reposting within Feedly – unless you want to pay for it, anyway. Hootsuite and Buffer both have Chrome extensions, so it really only takes a few more clicks and costs nothing but time.

Buffer also has the upper hand on sharing and scheduling video posts for Instagram, and their Awesome plan allows me to schedule pins for Pinterest. I cannot tell you how much time that saves on a platform that requires multiple posts a day in order to stay relevant and be seen! Hootsuite has a third party app – Tailwind – that you can use to schedule pins, but you have to pay for it on top of paying for Hootsuite. They offer a lot of apps like that, and with a larger budget I would gladly use them.

The one thing that Hootsuite has that Buffer doesn’t – and for me this is HUGE – is a Bulk Tweet Uploader. Most people advise to tweet a minimum of 5x a day (just like pinning!), and that is a nearly impossible task when you’re managing multiple businesses. This is the one time that Excel really comes in handy, but you have to set the document up exactly the way they want, or it won’t upload.

screen-shot-2016-12-08-at-12-55-32-pm

 

Certifications and continued Education

Free Tools Available

This is just a small collection of the tools that I use to help me manage social media. I receive more emails than I read, and skim more articles than is good for my eyesight. I try to sign up for Webinars regularly, because even if I don’t get to attend that day, they send you a recording.

Task

If you haven’t already, set up a free account with Hootsuite. If you’re having any difficulties learning the platform or finding your way around, I highly suggest their free online courses. 

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