Since SideHustleDad.com opened, I’ve spent a lot of time managing social media. Social media offers a massive opportunity to drive traffic to my site, which allows me to connect with more people – which is pretty much the goal of this entire site. But managing social media can be really, really time consuming. As a newbie, I took the first route most people choose: do things manually. My days would more or less look like this:
Write new article.
Post new article to Facebook.
Post new article to Twitter.
Post new article to Pinterest.
Go back to Twitter, post something else.
Go back to Facebook, post something else
And so on.
There’s a few problems with this approach. It’s time-consuming. It leaves room for error. Being a father of three little kids, I don’t get time to work on SideHustleDad until late at night – and that’s not an ideal time to post to social media. So I find myself being frustrated with not being able to post at optimal times. I have a day job, and I can’t exactly put my job on hold to post regularly on Twitter.
Enter some awesome tools for managing social media.
This tool is a way to increase fan engagement, drive traffic to your site, and ultimately save time managing your accounts. It allows you to connect multiple social media accounts to your Buffer account, and you can easily schedule posts at regular intervals in advance through one site. I’m personally using it to schedule posts on Twitter. Here’s a screenshot of my Buffer account:
Buffer offers a variety of pricing plans. The free tier is referred to as the “Individual” plan and includes a couple of limitations, one of which is that you can only manage one social account per platform. This is only a problem if you’ve got multiple sites and want to maintain separate Twitter accounts, for example. If that’s the case, you’d need to move up to the “Awesome” plan – which is $10/month. If you’re really crazy, you can manage up to 150 social media accounts with their Large Plan for $399/month. We’ll just discuss their free plan for now.
Another limitation to the individual plan is that you can only schedule 10 posts per account. I’m really not a fan of this limitation at all, and would love to see an option in the neighborhood of $2.99/month personally, but the price is the price. It’s still a good product, however, and the time you’d save is probably still worth the price of $10 to lift this restriction.
To summarize, Buffer is a really solid product that I’d recommend to anyone. I can guarantee that if you’re active on social media – it will save you time. I am loving it personally.
For more details on Buffer’s pricing, check out their pricing page.
Crowdfire (Twitter only)
This is a really awesome tool. Crowdfire lets you intelligently select who you follow, unfollow, whitelist or blacklist on Twitter. You can easily manage your Twitter account with their iOS application, doing things like unfollowing people who are not following you back, or one of my favorite features – Copy Following. The Copy Follow feature is seriously cool. It goes like this: You pick an account which is a competitor or similar offering to what you do. Crowdfire will then present you with all of the competitors followers, whom you can then easily follow via the app. Think about it – if those people are following your competitor, they likely would consider following you too. Other cool features include Keyword Follow (follow people who use particular keywords), and auto Direct Message responses to follows (Caveat below).
The limitations – again – with the free version of Crowdfire, are present. They include: accounts per network limitation (one with the free version), a “via Crowdfire” tag in auto DM replies, and a limitation of how many follows and unfollows you can do per day (25 for each). To lift these limitations, Crowdfire’s lowest tier (“Pluto”) is $3.99/month or $39.99/year.
Hootsuite is considered by many to be the gold standard of social media management, but I’m going to make this really simple: it’s expensive. While all of the management platforms aim to whet your appetite with their free version and funnel you into their higher tiers which cost money, Hootsuite does it really well and holds no punches. My recommendation is to avoid Hootsuite unless you’re a business with cash to burn. I don’t feel the reports, functionality, and expensive upsells are worth it.
TweetDeck does a lot, but I’m going to specifically call out my favorite feature about it – it acts as a dashboard for your Twitter account(s). It shows an interface which allows you to see new follower activity, messages, and tweets – all in one screen. Call me crazy, but I’ve actually considered throwing TweetDeck up on one of my large monitors during the workday so I can keep tabs on my @sidehustledad account. Give it a look if you haven’t already – it’s a slick tool.
There’s a plethora of tools out there for social media – what else are you guys (and gals) using? Let me know via the comments or @sidehustledad on Twitter.