Tools to Manage Social Media

HootSuiteIn today’s busy world and with small nonprofit staff, you really don’t want to create an online presence and then not keep it updated. Fresh, relevant content is the key to audience engagement AND search engine optimization. (SEO) And even if you narrow your outreach to selected social media sites to the Big Gorillas (see previous post), you probably need help managing them.

Smart Ways to Coordinate Your Social Outreach

Luckily, there are solutions for coordinating multiple social sites! You can grab tools online and download apps for your mobile device that can help you manage multiple social media sites and multiple accounts, if you need that. I haven’t tested them all, but at the moment, my fav is HootSuite.

HootSuite is a free and fully featured way to manage your social outreach. I can log into one web page and do all my social media — send Tweets, ReTweet, check the Tweets of those I follow, and update Facebook status. I can schedule my Tweets, for when I am on the phone or in a meeting! Woohoo! Or maybe Hoo! Hoo!

HootSuite also provides stats about my Tweets. But the absolute best feature is the ability to shrink URLs for your Tweets right in the interface! Sweet, ’cause the more I Tweeted, the more I was getting tired of flipping to another tab in the browser to Bit.ly or Tinyurl. (For total newbies, Twitter limits your Tweet to 140 characters or less, and if you want to include a link in your Tweet – and you should – you will need to shorten the link. These free web services allow for shortening. If you’ve never tried, visit and check it out! Handy in many ways.)

HootSuite is sweet, but don’t just take my word for it, it gets great reviews from others.

Free the Owls
HootSuite works with mobile devices, too. If you need to Tweet or update from a mobile device – such as from an event or a meeting – you can download a free mobile app for iPhone or Android. Since my phone is Windows Mobile based, I use an app called MoTweets. It is limited to Twitter, but it does the trick for my mobile needs.

Other Tool Options
Lots of people use and like TweetDeck, which has similar function to HootSuite. I was using it on a previous Windows XP machine, but I added it to a Windows 7 laptop and had difficulty with it. That’s when I turned to HootSuite and it really does the trick.

Another service I used to use was Ping.fm. Once you set up your social media accounts in Ping.fm, you can send an email and update one or more accounts at once. Handy!

Recently, I heard about another tool called Seesmic Desktop. I downloaded and gave it a run, but I didn’t see anything more than what HootSuite does. It’s had great reviews, too.

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About cmiller237

Digital Strategist, Social Media Enthusiast, Photographer.
This entry was posted in Social Media and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Tools to Manage Social Media

  1. ldallara says:

    I’m still using Tweet Deck, it’s got a great free app for the android. I like it on the desktop running win xp.
    I heard some bad thing about Hoot Suite and to stay away from them, don’t remember what it was, something to do with what they do with there data. Here’s the link.
    http://www.socialphototalk.com/hootsuite-owly-is-dangerous/
    Ow.ly: A Perfect Setup for Phishing

    You’ve probably noticed an increase in the number of phishing attacks on Twitter, and it’s not just the newbies that are getting duped. How do we train folks to avoid phishing? Generally it involves a couple things: don’t click on links when you can’t verify where they’re heading, and before typing in your password, look at the browser’s address bar to be absolutely sure you’re on the right website.

    See the problem?

    It’s not just annoying to have the Ow.ly bar on the page, it’s dangerous, since it means extra work to escape from Ow.ly to know whether you’re on a legitimate site or one that could be malicious.

    Do you want to be the one handing out confusing, phishy-looking URLs to your readers? Ow.ly defenders will argue that end users can opt-out of the service, but don’t blame the victim… your readers shouldn’t have to jump through extra hoops because you’re using a poor set of tools.

    • cmiller237 says:

      Yes, you are right on some points, but I would differ on others. First, I agree everyone should avoid phishing scams as much as possible. (see Wikipedia for definition of phishing.) The fact is scammers try to use all URL shortening services to hide their devious links. Users of Twitter’s interface can hover over the link and look at the full URL in the bottom of their browser before clicking. I looked at HootSuite and it doesn’t have that feature yet.
      I would say that before you enter passwords, credit card nos, etc. be sure the URL in the browser is bonafide.
      Second, the post you reference kind of has it backwards. The HootSuite URL shortener ow.ly does NOT add the social tool bar to the users browser, but the other option in HootSuite called ht.ly does add a social tool bar to the user’s browser. I agree that the social toolbar is not needed, and probably annoying to users.
      Thanks for the discussion!

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