Social media is not about tools; the tools are merely facilitators of the message. They are important components of any social media strategy and enable us to create impactful content, but they can also be a repetitive time-sink. There are a variety of tools that allow cross-platform posting of content, pre-scheduling of content and other efficiencies. I’ll outline two tools that I use that make my social media workflow more efficient. Using these tools will give you more time to focus on strategy and less on day-to-day tactical tasks, a win-win for any marketer.
Omnipresence is the art of being everywhere. Social media never sleeps and never takes a hiatus. Buffer will allow you to maintain a round-the-clock presence ensuring that your brand is always visible, even when your employees are not. Buffer allows you to strategically create, curate and pre-schedule content for posting at defined times and dates. You can currently pre-schedule content to be posted on Twitter; Facebook and LinkedIn. They make getting content into the system easy by offering a browser plugin Android and iPhone applications. The service is free and they offer a paid version that allows you more posts, more social networks and the addition of team members.
IfThisThenThat is a simple and brilliant tool. The service in a nutshell ties into existing social and nonsocial platform APIs, allowing you to set triggers. These triggers then transform into a task. The service has channels for the various platforms it supports, such as an RSS feed, Facebook, Twitter, Google Calendar and a variety of other platforms. Channels define triggers and actions, the core component of using IfThisThenThat. Let’s say I wanted to publish all of my Foursquare check-in data automatically to my Google Calendar. I simply would select the Channel, use an existing recipe – which is the formula to make this work and save the task – and that’s it! There are a million and one uses for this platform. This video offers a good outline of the service.
In closing: It’s all about working smarter and not harder. These tools should be a mainstay in any marketer’s toolbox, as they are in mine. They will allow you to free up valuable tactical time and energy. As the great Benjamin Franklin once said, “Time is money.”
By: Mike Fruchter
Director of Digital Strategy