A lot of people are talking about social media and how great it its, but if you have to manage social media for a company, how do you do this along with everything else you have to do?
There are several tools out there that will allow multiple people to access your social media accounts in a controlled manner. Some have approval funnels built in, while others just allow controlled access. This is a great way to allow multiple people to post to your social media outlets, while not giving up control.
Here is a quick overview of some of the sites and what we like about each one.
HootSuite.com – Hoot Suite is a nice tool. You can add multiple accounts including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Ping and WordPress (beta). When you post a message, you can select the sites you want it to post to. It also has a built in link shortener and statistics for how many times the link was clicked. When someone clicks on a link that you send through Hoot Suite, there is a small user bar placed at the top of the linked page. The bar allows the user to retweet the post, easily get back to your Twitter profile and share the link through other sites. HootSuite also has a convenient iPhone app that gives you most of the functionality of the Web site on your iPhone.
CoTweet.com – This site has a nicer overall design than HootSuite, but it is restricted to adding and maintaining twitter accounts. This can be extended by adding a Ping.fm account. You can also schedule tweets to go out, even if you're not there to send them.
TweetFunnel.com – The nice thing about TweetFunnel.com is that it has an approval process built into it. You can have multiple people posting messages and have those messages go through a gatekeeper to help ensure that your communications stay on target and in line with company policy.
Ping.fm – This site doesn't allow access for multiple people, but if you are the only person managing your social media efforts you should check it out. You can add Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, MySpace, Flickr, TypePad, WordPress, and a couple of dozen other social media/publishing tools. This allows you to post from one place to update all of them automatically.
In addition to group management of social media, there are sites that help you run more effective campaigns. Features such as allowing scheduled posts to help ensure that your social media channels are active and populated with valuable content.
Implementing some of the above tools can help to reduce the amount of time you spend on your social media campaigns and allow other people to help you build your social media presence.