You have all your social media up and running. You’ve got a Twitter account, Facebook for business page, LinkedIn, Foursquare, Google+ page, Blogger, Instagram, Slideshare, YouTube, Flickr, Tumblr and more. If you wish you could manage all these things in one place, the good news is you can.
HootSuite is a dashboard for all your social network accounts which allows you to update them all at one time. You can manage multiple Twitter, Facebook (profiles and pages), LinkedIn, Foursquare and Google+ networks all from one place. Once the account is set up, simply select which social media tools you have, synch them with HootSuite and you can automatically post messages and updates directly to all or some of your social media accounts at the one time. You can pre-schedule updates, tweets and blogs within limits in the free version with further functionality in the Pro Version (starts at A$10.49/month) or Enterprise version. Also the team collaboration functionality (delegate replies, tweets, mark as done, track messages etc.) is not available in the free version. Mobile apps for HootSuite are available for iPhone, Android, iPad and Blackberry and there 3 basic analytics reports included in the free version.
Bufferapp – the free account allows you to store up to 10 posts in your queue to post later and includes the main social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Google+ Pages and LinkedIn). The Awesome account is $10/month.
Each of these apps offer pros and cons depending on your personal preferences. Hootsuite provides a more complete solution allowing you to schedule updates and monitor conversations, while Buffer isn't a dashboard that shows you other people's content. However, Bufferapp has superior scheduling flexibility over Hootsuite because you can designate very specific scheduling times and change patterns throughout the week. Many people use both Hootsuite (to listen) and Bufferapp (to schedule) and it really depends on your posting needs.
Other social media dashboards available include:
Tweetdeck – manages Twitter only (free)
Sendible – similar to HootSuite with a starting price of $9.99/month for solo
Grabinbox – although basic, this app is free and allows you to manage multiple Facebook (profiles and pages), Twitter and LinkedIn profiles.
SocialOomph – has useful features like the others including scheduling tweets, tracking keyword, viewing mentions and retweets but additionally SocialOomph is the only provider (premium users only) that allows you to set up auto-follows, auto-direct messages and auto-responders for new followers if you want to reciprocate follows.
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