Sure, you’d love to rule the web with a gazillion fans, friends and followers on Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites. You know you should be posting more frequently; if not once a day, at least several times a week. But who has time?
Fortunately for you, there are a growing number of social media productivity tools available to help you organize your online activity, making it easier for you to get more done in less time. Most of these sites enable you to post once and have your messages go to numerous social media sites, and a few of them have additional handy bells and whistles to help you manage your online life more efficiently.
“Dashboard” programs provide all-in-one-place control, much like the console of a car or airplane. Programs like HootSuite, Social Oomph, Ping and TweetDeck make it possible for you to plan your social media campaigns and load content in advance.
One of the central benefits of a dashboard program is the “set it and forget it” feature; the ability to enter content into the dashboard and schedule blog posts, Facebook updates and Twitter tweets to go out over a period of time. While pre-scheduled content is no substitute for live conversations, dashboard programs fill the very real need of making sure that busy people maintain a baseline, consistent level of content without large gaps. You can always pop in online to add updates, post photos or jump into conversations in addition to your pre-scheduled content, but you won’t get to Thursday and realize you haven’t posted or tweeted all week.
A caveat: many dashboard programs post content with a source credit that says “from API”, meaning that it has been automatically posted. Some social media users and search engines view pre-scheduled content as less desirable than live-posted information, regardless of the quality of the actual information itself. This means that to keep your friends, fans and followers happy and to raise your social media score with ranking programs like Klout and Alexa, keep a good balance of live posts and pre-scheduled posts. On the other hand, realize that pre-scheduled content is better than no content. Followers, search engines and ranking programs also take a dim view of prolonged absences. I maintain that if the best you can do during a busy period is pre-scheduled content, being present on a consistent basis far outweighs the alternatives.
Excerpted from 30 Days to Virtual Productivity Success by Gail Martin. Order this book at http://amzn.com/1601632266