Once you’ve created your social media profiles, followed everyone relevant, made some interactions and generated some content, the next step is to maintain this activity, keeping your profiles active and relevant, no matter how many you may have. This includes posting content, making new connections and interacting with the connections you already have. There aren’t any hard and fast rules about personal social media management, but your updates should be coherent, of decent quality and constant enough to keep your profile looking active. There aren’t any hard and fast rules about how often you should post, but if any of your networks are falling behind and become completely outdated, you need to either give them a major overhaul, or delete them. Old, irrelevant networks coming up in a Google search is not what you want.
One of the best ways to keep all of your social media profiles updated and relevant is to streamline them by using either a browser add on, or a smart phone app, which allows you to schedule updates to be posted even when you aren’t actively on the network. These are three of the most popular platforms:
Hootsuite – Hootsuite is a first and foremost an app available for both Android and iOS and allows you to link together all of the most prevalent social media networks like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and WordPress. For those interested in a more international career, it also supports Mixi, a Japanese social networking site with over 21 million users, and has plans to expand to support Sina Weibo, the ‘Chinese Facebook’. With Hootsuite you can post to all of your social networks, and even schedule updates for throughout a day or longer so your streams can seem activate even when you’re not able to post yourself.
Buffer for Social Media – Buffer is a browser extension which can be installed directly to Firefox, Chrome or Safari and again allows you to write posts which can then be shared to each of the social networks you’ve connected to, on a schedule you determine. Somewhat uniquely, you can set the posts to go out at different times on different networks, so if your Twitter followers are more active in the day, while your Facebook feed is booming at night, Buffer is the one for you. Buffer currently supports Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, App.net and Google+, but plans to expand to more platforms soon, and has recently launched an app offering many of the same features.
Social Oomph – Social Oomph is a browser add-on typically considered best for Twitter users, although it also supports Facebook, LinkedIn and Plurk and plans to add more networks in the imminent future, but it does offers the largest number of features – as well as the usual scheduling, it allows auto responses to be sent to new followers, key word tracking, link shortening, draft creation and an option to clean out accounts. It also offers a paid upgrade to a Professional version, which offers additional functions.
GrabInbox – One of the newest social media management platforms, but already considered one of the best, GrabInbox offers multiple account hosting of each social network, centralised notifications, customisable tabs showing only replies, or only Tweets from specific lists and browser specific plug ins allowing easily shared web pages. At the moment GrabInbox only supports Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, but has revealed that it will be supporting three more unannounced social networks by the end of 2014, launch dates to be determined.
While these three platforms are useful, there are a huge number of other options which might be more suitable depending on your personal goals, as well as paid options, some of which are explored in these pieces on Visual.ly and Pakwired. If you’re struggling to decide which option is the best for you, Camille Rodriquez has written a more in-depth breakdown of the advantages and disadvantages Social Oomph and Hootsuite.