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  • InsideTrack
  • June 01, 2012

    Managing Social Media 101: There Are Tools to Simplify

    Social media management tools can streamline your social media to-do list. Tools are available to manage multiple accounts and postings to your pages, manage accounts from mobile devices, and track marketing outreach efforts.
    Carol HasslerBy Carol Hassler, Wisconsin State Law Library

    June 6, 2012 – Anyone can benefit from social media management tools, regardless of whether the social media sites are used for marketing, networking, or just keeping up with friends.

    Tools to Manage Multiple Accounts

    Updating multiple websites (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, and your blog) can be time-consuming. Fortunately, there are tools within many social websites that can help you to link your social profiles. Twitter allows you to automatically post your tweets to your Facebook page by linking the two accounts. Facebook has a robust app library that supports integrating with other services.

    There are many websites and software products that help manage multiple social website profiles. HootSuite enables posting to multiple networks with a single update, and with the Seesmic desktop application, you can quickly manage all your favorite services.

    Check the supported social networks and pricing plans to see if a third-party website or software is right for you. Read reviews of the website or product, and check their privacy policies and terms of use before signing up. Periodically check for authorized applications in your social site’s account settings, and make sure you still want to link your account to all the websites, desktop applications, and mobile apps listed. Typically, authorized applications or devices are listed in the account or privacy settings.

    Updating With a Mobile Device

    Managing social sites from a mobile device can be an easy way to keep up with site activity on the go. Depending on your device, uploading photos or sharing links from a browser can be as quick as a couple of taps. Check your device’s app store for applications that work with your favorite social networks. Frequently, apps created by a social website will also be advertised on that social media’s webpage. Some services, like TweetDeck, can be used via an app or directly from the product website. Be aware that some apps may not include all the functionality of the full website, and some websites may not work on every mobile device.

    Tracking Social Engagement

    If you use social profile pages for marketing or outreach, you will want to track how you reach your followers. Many sites that offer business or organization profile pages also bundle an analytical component, visible when logged into the page as a manager. For example, while Google+ gives page administrators the same notifications seen on a personal page (followers, mentions, comments), a Facebook company page provides “insights” into how Facebook users engage with your page and posts – something you won’t see on your personal page. Social statistics are being integrated into other statistical products as well. Google Analytics recently rolled out a new social tracking feature into their standard Analytics product, which helps you measure the impact social media has on your business goals and conversions.

    Weeding Social Networks

    One of the biggest time management issues for social media is keeping up with updates from your networks. Many social sites provide filters to let you hide, organize, or prioritize certain posts or profiles. Too many updates from a certain friend on Facebook can be easily managed using the “Hide” option – your “friend” link is maintained, but you do not have to see every post.

    Members of a LinkedIn group also can choose to receive email alerts when new discussions are posted. Take advantage of RSS feeds so you can catch up with profiles when you have more free time, or bookmark a profile page in your browser for periodic review.

    Though the best time management tool may be to watch the clock, these techniques can help you to streamline your social media to-do list.

    About the Author

    Carol Hassler, M.L.S., University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, is the webmaster/cataloger for the Wisconsin State Law Library. She manages the library's website, blog, and social profile pages. Hassler has given presentations on social media at the library as well as at Wisconsin conferences for judges and attorneys.

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