In 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!