Twitter Tools That Help With Efficiency

If you’re as busy as I am, you don’t have time to spend all day finding content, and managing your Twitter account. Steven Hughes wrote a great post a few weeks ago about how to manage Twitter efficiently, and spoke about Twitter tools. I’ll expand more on that topic in this post. There are plenty of Twitter tools out there that make it a lot easier for you to do your daily Twitter work. Here are some of my favourite Twitter tools for content and account management that I could not live without:

Hootsuite

Hootsuite is my go-to command center for monitoring and responding to Twitter messages. I recently wrote a post that explains how I set it up so I’m always listening. Hootsuite makes it easy to manage all of your incoming, and outgoing messages on Twitter, making it a lot easier to follow conversations. It’s also a great tool to monitor conversations from your favourite Tweeps, and some industry hashtags. If you’re still tweeting directly from Twitter’s website – STOP. Start using Hootsuite, it will make your life a lot easier.

BufferApp

BufferApp is my content scheduler – I prefer the interface and the ease of use compared to Hootsuite’s content scheduler. With BufferApp, you set pre-determined times for your tweets to send out for each day of the week. When you find an article you like, you can “buffer” it in BufferApp, and it will be added in the dashboard for your next scheduled tweet. You can buffer 20 tweets at a time if you want, and you’ll be sure they will tweet out at the different times that you selected. Also, BufferApp has an easy analytics dashboard that shows you how many people replied to your tweet, re-tweeted, your total reach for that tweet, and how many people clicked on your link. It makes it very easy to track the performance of your tweets.

Buffer for TwitterTweriod

Tweriod is a neat little app – it calculates when your Twitter followers are most active by measuring when they mention and retweet you the most, and gives you an optimized schedule for the best times for you to tweet. You can get a free report that separates the results in weekdays vs. weekends, but if you pay a couple dollars for a report (and I suggest you do, it’s worth it), you can get optimized schedules for every day of the week. What’s AWESOME about Tweriod is that it integrates with BufferApp, and automatically fills in the best schedule for you.

Tweriod for TwitterGoogle Reader

You’re probably wondering how Google Reader is a Twitter tool – You can subscribe to your favourite blogs with Google Reader, and have the RSS feeds appear in one single location, making it easy to sort through a lot of content at once. You can also subscribe to Google Alerts RSS feeds, and put it into your Google Reader, so you can keep up on the latest news about a certain topic. What’s even better is that BufferApp has an applet that integrates with Chrome, Safari, and Firefox. When you go through your Google Reader, and find an article you like, you can schedule it right from Google Reader by pressing the “buffer” button on your browser – makes it ridiculously easy for you to schedule your content. Another added bonus – you can organize your content in folders. So all of your Social Media RSS feeds can go into the Social Media forlder, Marketing RSS feeds in marketing folder, and so on…

Reader for TwitterSocialMention.com

SocialMention.com is neat – you can search for topics across different social networks, blogs, video hosting sites, etc., and set up an RSS feed for your search results. Once you have your RSS feed setup, you can import it into Google Reader and make it really easy for you to schedule out YouTube videos, or any other content you found on SocialMention.

Tweepi

I use Tweepi for one thing – flush people that haven’t followed me back. Tweepi makes it very easy for you to sort through people that you have followed, and that are not following you back, so you can unfollow as needed. If you invest into Tweepi premium, you can also use it to find new Tweeps to follow, which might be useful for some.

These are the tools that I use day-in, day-out, to manage the multiple Twitter accounts I manage. Without these tools, I would waste A LOT of time throughout my day. I’m able to schedule content within 30 minutes each day, and manage my Twitter followers within 10 minutes each day. That totals 40 minutes of account/content management – the rest is dedicated to monitoring and engaging with Twitter followers.

How long does it take you to schedule content, and manage your Twitter followers each day? Do you wish you had more time on your hands for engagement? Please leave a comment below!

5 Priorities Every Social Media Program Should Have

I want to start this post with a little bit of clarity by defining the term “Priority”. Webster’s say’s it is something given or meriting attention before competing alternatives. One thing I have learned in life is that no matter what comes out of your mouth, your actions will always follow your true priorities. You can say this or that are a priority, but if your actions show something else, you have a problem.

social media prioritiesOne reason that many newcomers to social media marketing lack priorities is not because of laziness or lack of desire, it is simply lack of knowledge – the understanding of what tasks actually need to have priority in their day.

Often times businesses struggle with not only understanding all the in’s and out’s of social media marketing, but more importantly where they should prioritize their time and efforts. This often results in new social media marketers over pitching what they do, or worse, giving up and abandoning their social media efforts. Let’s avoid both by listing the top five priorities your social media marketing efforts should focus on each day.

These are in no particular order of importance, however all of them should be given priority and attention daily.

1) Value – Provide value to your target audience.

Your daily focus should be to deliver selfless value to your target market. How can your social media marketing provide value to your audience? Answer that question without regard to what you do, what you sell, or the industry you are in. Answer and execute that question correctly and you will see huge results!

2) Content – Have enough content and the RIGHT content.

Think of social media as a freeway. All of the cars on the freeway are content, posts and articles. You have to have enough content on the road everyday that is relevant, valuable and interesting to your target audience. You need to make sure that whenever one of your fans, friends or followers step up to the side of the freeway throughout the day, they see one of your cars go by.

3) Be Human – People build relationships with other People.

A big mistake a lot of new social media marketers make is trying to mimic the big brands. For the most part, big brands SUCK at social media. They do not do it right and for many, they don’t have to. They have spent billions on branding and marketing well ahead of the social media boom, therefore it is just another channel. Everyone else needs to do it right if they want results!

You have to humanize your social media accounts. Most people connect and build relationships with other people. Can you really have a relationship with a logo of a company you don’t even know? Of course not. Be human and approachable.

4) Respond/Engage - Social media marketing is social.

You must make it a priority to respond to mentions, shares and comments immediately. When someone shares a post or mentions you in social media, they are available and active at that moment. You need to respond quickly in order to foster a conversation that leads to relationship. Waiting for once a day or an hour later is just too late. They have moved on, logged out or even lost interest. If you aren’t utilizing mobile apps to ensure you can consistently do this, it is not a priority to you.

You also need to have a priority of commenting, sharing and mentioning your target audience frequently. Relationships are two ways. Seek opportunity to benefit your prospects by sharing their content, engaging them in conversation or simply commenting on something they post.

5) Community – Build one.

Your social media marketing must have a priority focused on building a loyal community. That community must be large enough to be effective. Find your target audience and follow/friend them. Build it and they will come does not work in social media.

As you can see, social media is highly involved. Understanding the priorities you need to have on a daily basis is the difference between being IN social media and having an effective social media marketing program for your business.

What is your biggest priority in social media? Please leave a comment below!
 

The Three E’s of Social Media Management

Every social media and community manager sets a certain set of rules and guidelines for how they want to run their community. I have a set of super simple standards (say that three fast!). I never sat down and wrote them out before, but I noticed whenever I would speak about social media management or would discuss social for business, these three words always came out as highlighted points. Entertaining, Engaging and Educational. All of my blogs, tweets, and Facebook posts follow at least one (if not more) thank these three principles:

Be Witty, Be Entertaining in Social Media ManagementEntertaining – Entertaining often equals memorable. You need to find a way to keep people entertained. In the fast pased world of Twitter, a great way to catch people’s attention is to be witty. With such a small character limit, a bot mot or catchy post title floating in a sea of links will be the post most remembered. Use humor when you can. Long or short, make sure there is something fun about your posts.

Engaging – The word “Social” in social media says it all. Don’t look at your social media channels as a billboard to advertise your product or service, it is a place for discussion and sharing. Join a Twitter chat or Facebook group to get to know people in the community you want to be a part of. Forming these relationships with others will be beneficial to everyone.

Educational – When you have knowledge in a niche or have a new way to do something, social is a great place to share. Start a blog about a subject you are skilled in or post tips across your social channels. Sharing this information with others is a great way to position yourself as the go to person for information on that topic.

Another guideline I follow is, no matter what the post is, it needs to keep in line with the standards I have created both with my personal brand as well as my employer’s.

What are your guidelines for social media management? Please share in the comments bellow!