Ready to cut down on your social media time? There are dozens of platforms to choose from, so where do you start? You want to search for social media tools that will help you manage your time while still being able to share the content you find interesting and relevant.
The following four are the most acclaimed when it comes to efficient social media management. I recommend them all if you’re looking to streamline your schedule.
Hootsuite is a staple. This is the first product I recommend to anyone starting social media accounts. This tool allows you to easily track a majority of your accounts on one website. Hootsuite is free to use for up to five platforms, and works for many, including Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, WordPress, and Instagram.
With Hootsuite, you can easily create and add columns for each account to track everything from messages to keyword searches. The top bar allows you to schedule your content to all your platforms, and even to more than one at a time. Have a piece that works for both Facebook and Google+? Simply check off both channels to send it together.
When starting out with Hootsuite, I suggest learning the basics before jumping into the company’s Pro services.
2. Twitter Advanced Search
Unsure how to find your customers on Twitter? That’s where Twitter Advanced Search steps in. Typing in the keywords “car” and “Boise, ID” under location will give you all of the mentions of cars within a 15-mile radius of Boise.
Want to search even further? Edit the perimeters by changing 15 miles to 50 miles in the search results. Once you get the hang of it, start plugging in all the keywords that might pertain to your dealership: truck, BMW, etc. I suggest using Twitter Advanced Search with the following tool to get the most efficienct results.
TweetDeck is similar to Hootsuite, but is specifically for Twitter. It also lets you schedule posts. You can easily create custom columns for searches, lists, mentions, trending, favorites, and more—they all line up together in one place. For example, create a search column with your dealership name to track what people are saying about you on Twitter. You might be missing an opportunity to rectify an issue with a disgruntled customer.
Make sure to create custom columns from Twitter Advanced Search. You can easily browse all the important keywords in a single platform, instead of one by one. Simply copy the perimeters from the advanced search and plug it into a TweetDeck column.
This makes it extremely easy to reach out to your customers in minutes. Simply scroll down your curated columns for all potential leads to favorite, retweet, and engage. You will be amazed how many people tweet about car shopping, bad experiences at dealerships, and other related issues.
Did you find an article on car maintenance you want to tweet, but you just posted about a specialty vehicle five minutes prior? This tool is all about content, and spacing it just right so as to not spam your followers.
Buffer is a bit different than the other tools because it includes an add-on for your browser. Click your Buffer icon on the article page. It allows you to set up your post with custom comments and then automatically schedules it at a predetermined time. You don’t have to switch to Hootsuite or TweetDeck to schedule it. It can be done straight from the content’s page.
Buffer’s home page also offers some great features to track analytics and check your scheduled times and posts. Buffer is available for Twitter, Facebook, Linked In, Google+, and Pinterest (but only with the Awesome upgrade). The free version is perfect for starting out, allowing you up to five accounts with 10 scheduled posts at any time. The Small Business version allows 25 accounts, team members, in-depth analytics, and up to 2,000 scheduled posts, and the Enterprise version offers even more, plus a dedicated customer-success team.
Hilary Cairns is a freelance writer from New York. A social media marketer for a car dealership, she has worked in business writing for the past five years, covering everything from interviews to website copy to public relations. To see how she can help your dealership’s online reputation grow, send her an email at [email protected] or check out her website, www.hilarycairns.com.
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