Blog Tip of the Day

6 Ideas to Help You Manage Social Media (plus, 2 bonus ideas too!)

Ideas for tools to help manage social media

Everyone always talks about how important social media is to building any kind of brand these days, from a Fortune 500 company to a fresh, new lifestyle blog. The reality though, is that for many of us (me completely and 100% included), it’s extraoardinarily difficult to manage a comprehensive social media program when you’re working, or have a family, or just want to have a life. I mean, major corporations have entire teams of people whose sole job is to monitor Twitter. It’s tough when it’s just you and you have a million other things demanding your attention throughout the day (just me?). Beyond actually publishing stuff on Twitter or Facebook, you then start wondering, “Are all my efforts actually working?”

So today, I wanted to share six different tools to help manage social media — especially if you’re a blogger! You can click on any of the services below to learn more about them. Here they are:

(PS — You can also get lots more info on social media over at The B Bar!)

BIT.LY
http://bit.ly

What it is:

A link shortening service. You can take long URLs or links, and shorten them into much shorter links. Especially handy on social media platforms that restrict the number of characters, or to make links on places look Facebook look a whole lot cleaner.

Why use it:

Other than the aesthetic factor of having a clean, short link, by signing up for a free bit.ly account, you can create customized short links (think bit.ly/CustomNameHere) as well as track clicks on your links. This comes in handy if you’re running a sidebar ad program or regularly featured sponsored content, and have no other way to measure engagement on your paid links. By converting the advertiser ad or sponsored link to a bit.ly link, you’ll easily be able to report click statistics to the advertiser — always a worthwhile business practice. Using bit.ly links on places like Twitter also allows you to track engagement of articles or products you might share.

Don’t Miss Feature:

bit.ly has a bookmarklet tool that you can drag to your browser’s bookmarks bar. Then, when you’re on a page you want to “bit.ly”, simply click the bit.ly bookmarklet tool and presto — a shortened link!

HOOT SUITE
http://hootsuite.com

What it is:

A social media management dashboard that allows you to streamline and monitor posts on services like Twitter, Facebook, and even Instagram.

Why Use It:

Hoot Suite is a comprehensive platform. You can create specific searches to track hashtags or mentions. The platform also allows you to track statistics on the items you share with Hoot Suite and create customized reports on your follower engagement. You can also schedule posts to Twitter and Facebook!

Don’t Miss Feature:

The post scheduler. If you’re stressed for time during the day and can’t be glued to your computer, or if (like me!) you always forget to share articles and blog posts, scheduling tweets and Facebook posts this way is a god send. Set it and forget it!

TWEET DECK
http://tweetdeck.twitter.com

What it is:

Similar to Hoot Suite, Tweet Deck is a social media management dashboard that allows you to monitor and publish posts to other platforms such as Twitter and Facebook.

Why Use It:

Tweet Deck operates similarly to Hoot Suite but with one major difference: currently, the service does not offer stat tracking and reporting. However, in my opinion, the Tweet Deck interface is much easier on the eyes and a bit more intuitive. I like using it for Twitter chats, when I need to track specific hashtags and mentions.

Don’t Miss Feature:

I’m a big fan of the Tweet Deck app that runs in Google Chrome. Instead of downloading the Tweet Deck program and running it from your desktop, Chrome allows you to run the program directly in your browser, so accessing it as as easy as clicking to a new tab.

VIRALTAG (FORMERLY PINGRAPHY)
http://viraltag.com

What it is:

A web-based service that allows you to schedule your pins.

Why Use it:

Like all other social media outlets, Pinterest’s traffic spikes at different times of day. Using a scheduler to plan your pins can help you increase re-pins, likes, and follows.

Don’t Miss Feature:

The program features a stats program that shows re-pins, likes, and follows.

Update: Since first writing this post in 2012, Pingraphy rebranded as ViralTag, and unfortunately, the service is no longer free to use. Plans start at $29/month, which is a little pricey, in my opinion. Still, if you’re a small business with a budget to devote to social media management, it’s a great tool. See below for another pin-scheduling recommendation!

ICONOSQUARE (FORMERLY STATIGRAM)
http://Iconosquare.com

What it is:

A web-based service that provides a comprehensive overview of your Instagram stats, as well as allowing you to view, like, and comment on posts in your Instagram feed.

Why Use It:

Convenient if you want to join the conversation on Instagram but don’t feel like being tied to your phone (especially if you’re at your desk). Iconosquare also allows you to message individual Instagram users, which can be helpful if you’re not following each other on another service like Twitter.

Don’t Miss Feature:

Definitely the stats page. Here, you can get a great overview on your specific community, including stats on engagement, insights to your users, and your own Instagramming habits.

A CLOCK

What it is:

Along with your brain, it’s one of the most important tools to use when managing a social media program.

Why Use It:

There are countless articles that, based on various studies, discuss the best times of day to post to your social media platforms (a few examples below that you should definitely check out!). However, one additional factor people often forget about are time zones. If you read that posting to Pinterest in the morning, before work, is a good idea, but you’re on the east coast, your friends on the west coast are far less likely to see your content. The same rule applies to sharing blog posts on sites like Twitter in the early morning, or in the evening. Consider time zones along with ‘traffic spike times’ to get the highest engagement. It doesn’t mean you need to post something in everyone’s hot spot time zone — it just means yo ushould think strategically about it. This is where scheduling services like Hoot Suite, Tweet Deck, and ViralTag can play a huge role for you.

UPDATE: TWO EXTRA RESOURCES!

Since writing this post, a plethora of new social media management tools have hit the market. Here, two more that I’ve been using and find really helpful:

COSCHEDULE
http://coschedule.com

What it is:

A comprehensive social media management tool, specifically built for WordPress.org users.

Why Use It:

CoSchedule is Tweet Deck and ViralTag all in one! The program is built as a calendar, which automatically feeds in your published and draft posts. From this, you can easily measure how many social shares posts have gotten, as well as schedule content to publish on Twitter, Facebook, and even specific Pinterest boards. By viewing your content in a calendar format, you’re able to easily go back and schedule social shares for old content, giving new life to posts you might otherwise forget about.

Don’t Miss Feature:

Definitely the calendar aspect. I love being able to see how my social media shares are spaced out across a day and week, and it’s awesome seeing how many shares each post has gotten on major platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Google+. The calendar doesn’t just track your social shares — it tracks how many times your readers have shared your content too! CoSchedule costs $10/month, though if you refer a couple people, they’re generous with referral discounts.

LATERGRAMME
http://latergram.me

What it is:

An app that allows you to schedule Instagrams. Yes!!

Why Use It:

Because if you’re anything like me, you take photos on your camera phone, mean to Instagram them later, but often forget. It’s crucial to post regularly to Instagram (and ideally in “high traffic” times, like in the evening or on Sundays), so having the ability to schedule your content there increases the likelihood of higher engagement.

Don’t Miss Feature:

It’s important to know that Instagram API doesn’t allow any developers to automatically publish posts. So while you schedule your posts within Latergramme, you’ll get a push notification on your phone when it’s time to publish it. At first I thought this would be annoying, but really, the message pops up, I go into the app, and with a simple swipe, you can publish the image. Easy! Latergramme really functions as a way to remind you to post certain pictures, which for me, still works!

RESOURCES:

Finding the Best Time to Post to Social Networks 
The Best and Worst Times to Share on Facebook, Twitter
The Best Times to Send Emails, Tweets, and Text Ads
Bitly data shows the best times to post links to Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr
When is the Best Time to Post on Instagram?

 I hope these tools to help manage social media were informative and useful for you! Do you have any tools you swear by? Share them in the comments!

In this post:

Image Credit: Glitter Guide

62 comments

  1. christin said: replied:

    WAIT a service that schedules pins!?

    13 Sep 2012 | Reply
  2. Carlene RD said: replied:

    I use these with my media clients- it is a huge time saver! Nice collection.

    13 Sep 2012 | Reply
  3. Artsy Forager said: replied:

    Was just thinking the other day how nice it would be to have a Pin scheduling service.. and voila! I read this. Thanks so much for this post! Hoot Suite has been a god-send for me, especially since my hubby’s been working a Wed-Sun schedule for the past 9 months and I blog M-F. HS has made it so easy to maintain a social media presence when I’m spending time snuggling with the hubby! ;-)

    13 Sep 2012 | Reply
  4. Thanks for the great tips!

    -Tara
    http://madmaxandfamily.blogspot.com

    13 Sep 2012 | Reply
  5. Helping us all crack the code. Thanks again for another informational post Victoria!

    13 Sep 2012 | Reply
  6. bestofbklyn said: replied:

    Great tips- especially the pin scheduler- had not heard of that one!

    13 Sep 2012 | Reply
  7. Kathy said: replied:

    Pingraphy?! Whoa. Mind blown.

    13 Sep 2012 | Reply
  8. thanks, Yoda.

    13 Sep 2012 | Reply
  9. Very informative! Thanks!

    13 Sep 2012 | Reply
  10. Comfy Cozy Couture said: replied:

    Thanks for sharing! I knew about all but hootsuite so I am going to have to check that out!! There is another site IFTTT that you can schedule to post to Fbook/Twitter/etc as soon a you post a new blog post, etc which I really like! Also, do you know about Pinerly It? It is great and you can use it to pin things and it will track your repins, likes, etc! Hope you’ve had a great week! XoXo

    13 Sep 2012 | Reply
  11. Pingraphy?! This is news to me too. I had high hopes for Pinerly, but found it pretty useless since there was no scheduling. Thanks for the tip!

    13 Sep 2012 | Reply
  12. Tiffany @ Savor Home said: replied:

    Fab info my friend.. Wish I would have been the one to think of Pingraphy!

    13 Sep 2012 | Reply
  13. erin gerlach (@erincg) said: replied:

    so generous for you to provide these insights to others! (i already follow them all… with the exception of the pinterest scheduler. LOVE!)

    http://www.thesparkle.net

    13 Sep 2012 | Reply
  14. Melinda's Musings said: replied:

    Thanks for sharing these really useful sites. I’m excited to try out Pingraphy! Now I don’t have to sneak pins in at work anymore!

    14 Sep 2012 | Reply
  15. Michelle P said: replied:

    Pingraphy!! Wow – thank you, I’m so glad I dropped by for your tips!

    @creatocrat

    14 Sep 2012 | Reply
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    14 Sep 2012 |
  17. Anna @ IHOD said: replied:

    What a helpful post! Thank you so much for sharing Victoria!
    Looking forward to trying out pinography!

    15 Sep 2012 | Reply
  18. Drew Elizabeth said: replied:

    Up early this morning to work on my new blog! This advice is so handy, especially for someone starting out! Thanks :)

    15 Sep 2012 | Reply
  19. Liz said: replied:

    Thanks! Great info for a new blogger!

    15 Sep 2012 | Reply
  20. ashley said: replied:

    such great advice! i need to try hootsuite. i’m all over bit.ly and scheduling posts, but scheduling Facebook posts and tweets?? gamechanger.

    15 Sep 2012 | Reply
  21. Chiara said: replied:

    I understand this completely. I am actually a social media manager for a restaurant franchise based in Dallas….and the only one on my team, but wear a lot of hats. When people need me to do something, sometimes i feel like im treading water because social media is so time consuming!!!!

    16 Sep 2012 | Reply
  22. Mabel and Zora said: replied:

    Super helpful! We already implement a few of these, but it was such a great slew of tips!! Thanks so much for spreading the love ;)

    16 Sep 2012 | Reply
  23. Rena said: replied:

    You just changed my pinning life!!! These tips also reaffirmed other things that I do! Thank you so much for the help….fyi…..saw this link on Pinterest LOL!

    hugs
    Rena
    http://www.curvesandcoffee.com

    16 Sep 2012 | Reply
  24. You have the best tips Victoria. I hope you have a book in the works! :-)

    17 Sep 2012 | Reply
  25. Martha Rogers said: replied:

    Thank you so much. I never understood what any of these were except Pingraphy which I’d never even heard of. Going to try these out now since you made it easy to understand.

    18 Sep 2012 | Reply
  26. What an amazing post! A couple of these are new to me and I’m excited to try them out! Thanks for the help!

    Laura @ A Little Bit of Lacquer

    19 Sep 2012 | Reply
  27. Maddison said: replied:

    Wow these tips are amazing, thank you so much! x

    20 Sep 2012 | Reply
  28. […] read a blog post the other day by Victoria McGinley (found via Pinterest) that suggested several ways to effectively […]

    23 Sep 2012 |
  29. dea win said: replied:

    I absolutely love your site. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge on social media. I absolutely love your media kit post and now pinterest! I am truly a fan!

    1 Nov 2012 | Reply
  30. Sarah Forslund said: replied:

    These are great tips! Thanks so much for sharing!

    9 Nov 2012 | Reply
  31. kate said: replied:

    OMG scheduling pins – incredible! Thanks for finding this amazing service! Love you blog! :)

    xo, Kate

    9 Nov 2012 | Reply
  32. kristina said: replied:

    Thank you so much! Your post is awesome. Just signed up for Pingraphy!

    21 Nov 2012 | Reply
  33. Janell Beals said: replied:

    Am I the only one overwhelmed at yet more “tools” to become yet more successful with social media! I’m beginning to question it all, it’s such a fast paced game and in the end is it worth it…depends on priorities and what you want out of life I’m thinking.

    20 Dec 2012 | Reply
  34. Rachel Ramey said: replied:

    Thank you for sharing! (Appropriately, I found your post via Pinterest.)

    27 Dec 2012 | Reply
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  36. Charlene Castellanos said: replied:

    Such great info. I absolutely appreciate the great tips.

    30 Jan 2013 | Reply
  37. Marissa Cox said: replied:

    I just wanted to say how helpful and informative your blog tips are. I edit and write for a couple of websites, but have just set up my own personal blog in Paris so am currently wading through the blogging minefield – these tips are proving invaluable. Thanks!

    6 Feb 2013 | Reply
  38. I thought the pin scheduler was amazing too, until my developer shared major concerns about security. You have to sign in with your pinterest username and password, which isn’t necessary and is cause for concern. My developer tried to reach out to the company to talk about that but have not had success in getting a response. Just something to think about – it didn’t occur to me until she mentioned it… Could be a pinterest hacker’s dream.

    7 Feb 2013 | Reply
  39. lexichelle said: replied:

    I just found your blog because of this series and I am loving it! Thank you SO much for pingraphy! I’ve just recently started using bufferapp.com–it might be worth checking out as well. Anyway, thanks again!

    20 Feb 2013 | Reply
  40. Kristi said: replied:

    This is great. I am so so excited about the Pingraphy!! YEss!! Thanks for sharing! :) ~ Kristi

    11 Mar 2013 | Reply
  41. Kara said: replied:

    These are a freakin’ game changer! What a great post! Consider me a new follower.

    17 Mar 2013 | Reply
  42. Nathan Copeland said: replied:

    Thank you for sharing these Victoria! I need all the help posting things that I can get!

    21 Mar 2013 | Reply
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    3 Jun 2013 |
  44. Kate said: replied:

    This is insanely helpful. THANK YOU!

    26 Jun 2013 | Reply
  45. Sue - The Spin Cycle said: replied:

    I am all over Pingraphy right after I finish this comment. LOVED this post…will be tipping it on Sverve. {are you on Sverve? I’d love to endorse you for social media!}

    10 Jul 2013 | Reply
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    18 Aug 2013 |
  47. Zori said: replied:

    Thanks for this list! I also totally recommend bit.ly

    30 Aug 2013 | Reply
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  50. Monja said: replied:

    Thanks a lot for sharing these interesting tips! I really have to get more into social media and update my accounts more frequently so totally needed that :D
    Happy New Year!

    28 Dec 2013 | Reply
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  52. Carlysa said: replied:

    Great Tips! A dew services I didn’t know about. I love Hootsuite.

    7 Mar 2014 | Reply
  53. […] authoritative people in your niche to promote their own products on your blog and on your social media […]

    8 Apr 2014 |
  54. Kim said: replied:

    Pinerly is no longer. Sorry to burst the bubble of people everywhere (and all the happy comments).

    Or at least it’s not free anymore and isn’t accessible to the average blogger! It’s now called ViralTag and only has a $250 level now. It used to allow you to pay a limited amount for limited access to reports.

    If someone knows otherwise, I’d love to know.

    16 May 2014 | Reply
  55. stela said: replied:

    Hi and thank you for the great post!

    I was wondering, which social media is the most effective in your opinion?

    would very much appreciate if you could reply!
    thanks!

    http://www.ohmightycoffee.com/

    22 May 2014 | Reply
  56. Stacie said: replied:

    These are so helpful. I prefer bufferapp over hootsuite but amazing none the less. Great free social media calendar also keeps up organized. We write down everyday for a month what days are dedicated to which kinds of posts and we get them all buffered in advance. Here is what we use: http://www.colorvaleactions.com/free-social-media-calendar-planning-posts

    16 Jun 2014 | Reply
  57. Meaghan said: replied:

    I just tried pingraphy but it redirects me to Viraltag and then once I signed up it does not offer pinterest as an account I can link :( Any suggestions? Pinterest drives most of my (albeit small) traffic but I am generally horrible about pinning my own posts to it!

    22 Sep 2014 | Reply
  58. alwaysneedher said: replied:

    Buffer is so so so much better than Hootsuite. They offer the same service, but with a cleaner, easier to use interface.

    Link to various accounts, schedule everything, save the hassle.

    10 Nov 2014 | Reply

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