Here’s the beauty of social media: you’re not limited to any number of profiles on different networks.
Here’s the difficulty of social media: same thing. We’ve got a world full of choices when it comes to our social-media platforms, but how do you organize it all?
First off, let’s talk about why you should consider integrating your social media efforts:
- The time factor. While it may not seem like it takes a lot of time to update statuses on your various profiles, that time adds up. If you’re looking to say the same thing to your various audiences, why not streamline the process?
- Consistency. If you want to make sure that you’re getting the same message across to all of your connections, tying your social media profiles together makes a lot of sense.
- Ease of use. It takes time to figure out the ins and outs of each social media network. Why worry about that when you have a system that will take care of it for you?
It’s important to remember that, while you can easily share the same content across several different networks, the differences between those networks make it crucial that you tweak your content in order to be appropriate for different audiences.
For example, while you can certainly post the same article on Facebook as on Twitter, Facebook is more conversational than Twitter, which is shorter and might merit a hashtag.
Here’s the thing: you don’t need to reinvent the wheel each time in order to make your content appropriate for each social network. A few slight changes can make all the difference.
Let’s stick with the example of Facebook versus Twitter: say you want to post a news article. You have room on Facebook to offer commentary and solicit feedback, but on Twitter you have only 140 characters. This is where you have to figure out the heart of what you want to share and adjust your Facebook commentary to fit Twitter.
Essentially, it’s great to streamline your social media activity, but in doing so, you don’t want to lose the nuances that differentiate each network and so differentiate your audience as well.
Now let’s look at some of the applications that can help you bring all your social networking profiles together:
- Bitly. This is best known for shortening links so that you can post them on Twitter, but Bitly has more tricks up its sleeve than just that. Its other resources include real-time analytics, click tracking and bookmarking your favorite sites. Bitly works across multiple platforms and is free.
- Buffer. Here’s a one-click program that allows you to share content and schedule posts over many of the major social networks, including Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and Twitter. This option allows you to have consistent posting throughout the day since you can schedule posts ahead of time. It’s free, but just for a short period. After that, it goes up to $10 per month.
- HootSuite. This is one of the most well-known applications of its type. HootSuite allows you access via web-based dashboard to multiple social media networks, where you can also track conversations and measure campaign results. You can also schedule posts on all platforms along with measuring your analytics. HootSuite has a free version as well as an $8.99 version and enterprise options.
- TweetDeck. If you’re most interested in concentrating on Twitter and Facebook, TweetDeck could be the right program for you. This dashboard interacts with Twitter to let users send and receive tweets along with viewing profiles. It’s proven extremely popular with Twitter users, despite a fairly narrow focus. TweetDeck can be used as a desktop app, a Google Chrome app or a web-based app, and is free of charge.
I hope these tools help you make your social media experience even more satisfying! I’d love to hear your thoughts on how you are streamlining your process. Leave me a comment below or on my Facebook Page!