In addition to designing and programming websites, creating brand identities, and providing hosting services, Sage Island also manages social communities for a number of our clients. This means that our marketing team spends a lot of time crafting highly clickable Facebook posts, interacting with different audiences on Twitter, and posting eye-catching images on Instagram, among other activities. It’s a job we take seriously; after all, we’re not just posting on our clients behalf. We’re interacting with their customers and cultivating lasting relationships within their communities.
As we’ve expanded these services, we realized we needed a better method for staying on top of our accounts without falling into the Internet’s various black holes. Thanks to the following apps, we’ve found effective ways to manage our time, maximize our effect, and stay involved in our communities.
TweetDeck describes itself as “the most powerful Twitter tool for real-time tracking, organizing and engagement.” It allows you to create custom timelines and keep track of lists, searches and other activities, all within one interface. If you manage multiple accounts, it’s an amazing tool. You can see what’s going on with each account, without having to log in and out of the Twitter website. Even if you just manage one account, TweetDeck offers some great perks. You can set up a column with searches for topics related to your interests or your company’s name. This allows you to quickly monitor what people are saying about you and respond as needed. If you have a team of people working together, you can each access your accounts through your own TweetDeck login and password – no sharing required.
The best part of TweetDeck, however, is the scheduling feature. You can write tweets, add images, dress tweets up with hashtags, and then schedule them to publish at any point in the future. This allows you to have an active presence throughout the day or at specific times, without having to do it in the moment. It’s an amazing tool, one that will help you plan, plot and publish, rather than procrastinate. And did we mention that it’s free?
Instagram is quickly becoming a favorite tool for brands, advertisers and companies, thanks to its active community and focus on engaging content. The problem with Instagram is that it’s difficult to toggle back and forth between your personal account and your business’s account. Also, because Instagram is “in the moment,” the app doesn’t allow you to schedule posts ahead of time. You have to crop, filter, adjust and post as you go. This is fun for individuals, but cumbersome for businesses.
A few different apps set out to solve this problem, but Latergram is our personal favorite. Both the smartphone and desktop versions allow you to upload and schedule images, complete with comments and hashtags. When it’s time to post the image, Latergram will send your phone a notification. While you still have to log in to Instagram and manually post it, the hard part is already done. You can also toggle between different accounts, which means managing multiple businesses is a breeze. Another perk is that the desktop version has a great search feature, so finding images to repost and check your hashtags is very user-friendly. The app has a free version, which lets you post to two Instagram accounts up to 30 times in one month, as well as paid options that have a lot more power and flexibility. It’s definitely worth checking out!
While Hootsuite might look a lot like TweetDeck at first glace, it can do a lot more. This is great news for people who aren’t just managing multiple Twitter accounts, but multiple accounts across the Internet. Hootsuite allows you to import different social streams, including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and Instagram, as of a few weeks ago. (Though like Latergram, you still have to post the finished product manually, from your phone.)
Hootsuite has a free version, which lets you monitor up to five social profiles and two RSS feeds. Paid options start at $9.99 a month and allow you to monitor more profiles, add more team members to your account, and subscribe to education resources. If you’re a social media fiend, then this might just be the solution you’ve been searching for.
The one thing all these tools have in common is the ability to craft killer social media posts in advance and schedule them to publish whenever you want. This allows you to spend a few minutes or hours a day focused solely on social media, and then move on to other things, knowing that your communities will remain active and engaged. Social media is fun and exciting, but if you’re not careful it can easily take over your day. Something is always happening, and if you blink you might miss an amazing opportunity. If you’re not sure you can handle the pressure, you can always contact Sage Island for assistance. We’ve tamed many beasts in our time, and we’d love to add yours to our list.
Mike Duncan co-founded Sage Island in 1997, and since then has evolved the agency’s scope to include marketing strategy, creative design, technical development and a wide range of digital marketing services. With an integrated approach that leverages the power and measurability of the internet, the savvy Sage Island team develops strategies, builds brands, writes killer copy and delivers to clients all over the world. And they have an awesome time doing it. Sage’s collaborative working environment keeps creativity and innovation at the heart of the concept. With a 17-year history in Wilmington and beyond, Sage Island shows no signs of slowing down. To learn how Sage Island can grow your business, check us out at www.sageisland.com. To stay updated on the latest in digital marketing, follow Sage Island on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SageIsland, and on Twitter at twitter.com/SageIsland.
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