5 Free Tools To Simplify Social Media Management In Your Office

Is social networking eating up your office hours? Social marketing through Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and other popular sites certainly has its perks. But what if too much of your time is spent managing a handful of social media sites, and you have virtually no way of tracking whether that time produced positive results? That’s where social media tools come in – to help plan, schedule, and track social media campaigns so you can get the benefits without losing all of your time.

Don’t spend another moment pounding your head against your cubicle wall — reclaim your social media sanity with the help of these 5 (free!) online tools:

Buffer
Best for: Twitter Scheduling and Analytics

Twitter, more than other social networks, is about timing and frequency. If you’re reading industry articles and updating your company’s Twitter first thing in the morning, you’re missing out on a huge afternoon and evening audience. Buffer solves this conundrum by allowing you to schedule tweets in advance, either by manually adding them in the application dashboard or by utilizing their handy browser extensions to add article links straight from your browser window. Not only does Buffer suggest optimal tweet times, it also provides analytics, filling you in on which posts got the most attention with clicks, retweets, mentions, and more.

HootSuite
Best for: Juggling Multiple Accounts

This popular social media dashboard boasts clients like The Onion, Time Magazine, and Martha Stewart. But why should you use it? This robust tool, specialized for both computers and mobile devices, allows you to post to multiple social networks at once, including Facebook, Twitter, and the new kid on the block, Google+. It offers powerful team collaboration, so the same fluid effort can be coordinated from multiple cubicles or office locations. Perhaps the strongest feature is HootSuite’s analytics, which offers customizable reports to help your team measure the success of your campaign.

Twitterfeed
Best for: Sending Blog Updates to Social Media

If much of your social media traffic is tied to your blog, automating the the process of sending new posts to your Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook accounts might be an obvious next step. That’s exactly what Twitterfeed does, and it does that one thing well. What’s more, you can track the reaction to your posts through real-time analytics. This tool is handy for performing the mundane task of posting blog updates, but is best used as a supplement to your other posts, and not as the only content.

Roost
Best for: Facebook Scheduling and Analytics

Have you ever wondered if there’s something more you should be doing to engage your Facebook audience? With Roost, you can take take advantage of structured recommendations and schedule a weeklong campaign in under an hour. For example, Roost recommends that the campaign include 2 questions, and it gives examples to spur your creativity. You can adjust the start and end dates of the campaign, and get valuable analytics when it ends so you know what works best for your audience. Another Roost feature is the scorecard, which draws data from your Facebook Page to create a report on your coverage, audience distribution, and suggested actions.

Ping.fm
Best for: Social Networking On the Go

If you have a variety of accounts to stay on top of, ping.fm makes it easy to do the work without setting foot in your office cubicle. It allows you to easily post updates through a variety of channels, including phone apps, email, and even text messages. This tool is practical for those who prefer to send updates across social platforms including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and even blog sites like WordPress.com and Blogger. You can even segment social networks into groups to better target the updates (maybe you don’t want LinkedIn colleagues reading about your vacation plans). It also keeps track of the last month of posts so you can see at a glance what topics you may have missed (or don’t wish to repeat).

David Ching is marketing director for EQA Office Furniture. Visit www.eqaofficefurniture.com to view their selection of quality office cubicle furniture.

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