With all the social platforms out there today, posting content can be quite time-consuming. There's a swarm of them out there, and posting even to a good handful of them individually is just not an option anymore.
Having clear transparency over everything social is challenging, but not impossible. There’s now a plethora of social media management tools that allow all networks to be managed from one place without having to add any code or set up a separate ID for each social network.
Hootsuite, for example, is the most popular and extensive social media tool out there. It offers a dashboard solution where more than 35 networks can be managed and organized in whatever manner best suits you. It does a great job of displaying multiple streams of multiple accounts that can neatly organize in tabs, making it easier to monitor.
Compose message posts, post updates and directly reply from the dashboard. These can also be scheduled up to the minute, which is helpful to schedule posts and updates at times your audience visits your networks most.
Another time-saving feature is adding RSS feeds to automatically post updates. RSS feeds of content or events can be set to automatically post to the desired network each time an update has been made.
Hootsuite also supports and offers a wide range of free and buyable apps that can further round out your portfolio and allow you to add, manage and share content of accounts such as flickr, gmail, youtube and soundcloud, to name a few.
A free account is available up to three networks and two RSS feeds. Basic analytics is included, but limited to a point system that requires more points to be purchased to obtain additional reports.
For additional features such adding multiple team members, team management and enhanced analytics, you’ll need to upgrade to the pro account for a monthly fee. For more information, visit Hootsuite.com.
It’s best to have a company page on all social networks rather than use a private account. Company pages are accompanied with valuable insights that help better engage your audience and improve results. If you use Hootsuite’s free account, you’ll definitely want to continue using the insights provided by each social network.
There are alternative tools such as Buffer, AgoraPulse, Sendible and MavSocial that offer the traditional features of managing, monitoring, posting and cross posting to multiple networks, but also offer a specific feature or specialization unique to its own.
Each offer features that range from simple to comprehensive, free to fairly pricey. Most services integrate with the popular choice of networks if not more, mainly Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+.
It all depends on what you are aiming to achieve. Decisions will need to be made on what networks you want to manage from one place, how many team members will be managing these channels, and last but not least, what budget you have to work from.
Social media tools that don’t have a free account normally offer free trials to test them out. Look around and try a few out to find which one best suits your needs and social media plan.