Social Media Tools That Will Save You Time

If you are serious about building a platform, you must be actively engaged in social media. Whether it is Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+—or all four—you need to develop a tribe of loyal followers and super fans who want to hear what you have to say.

HootSuite Dashboard

But who has the time? Social media can become a full-time job if you are not careful! And this leaves little time for doing your real job, whether it is writing, composing, programming, or doing something else.

However, if you take advantage of the latest social media software tools, you can leverage your time. With a small investment, you can produce big results. This is how I have built my platform.

Here are the three primary social media tasks and the software tools I am using to manage them:

  1. Creating. I use Buffer to create most of my social media content. This is the most used tool in my toolbox. I use it for both Twitter and Facebook.

    The basic idea is that you add posts to Buffer and it spreads them throughout the day, posting them at times you have predetermined. This ensures that you are posting on a regular basis without overwhelming your followers.

    I do most of my reading in the morning. I scan 200+ blogs, using Google Reader. When I find something I think my followers would find helpful, I share it on Twitter and occasionally Facebook. The only problem is that this pattern can create a flood of posts. It quickly becomes annoying to my followers.

    Now, when I find something I want to share, I simply click the Buffer icon in my browser. (Buffer offers browser extensions for Chrome, Safari, and FireFox. It even works with Google Reader.) I then compose my post, select which accounts I want to share it on, and then add it to my queue. Buffer then schedules these posts throughout the day.

    The cool thing is that you can set up your own schedules. For example, I have determined that I will tweet thirteen times a day. But I want to update my status on Facebook only twice a day. When I add a post, Buffer put it in the next available slot. I can always rearrange these later, moving posts around in an easy-to-use, intuitive interface.

    I still use HootSuite for direct messages, replies, and ad hoc posts, but I compose 80 percent or so of my tweets in Buffer.

  2. Monitoring. I use HootSuite to monitor my social media accounts. This is my social media dashboard. It allows me to manage all my social media accounts: Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. The biggest benefit of this software for me is that I can segregate my followers into “streams” (or columns) and follow different groups of people.

    For example, with my Twitter account, I have the following streams:

    • Direct messages
    • Mentions (or replies)
    • Family
    • Friends
    • Sources
    • Publishing

    Because I am interested in some streams more than others, I can focus my attention on those columns. For example, I check my Family stream several times a day but my Sources stream only once.

    You can also create streams out of search terms. I often do this when I am participating in a conference. I simply search for the “hashtag” and create a stream from the results. The stream is updated in real time as new tweets are added.

    You can manage individual Twitter followers as well. You can follow, unfollow, direct message, reply, or add a follower to a Twitter list. You can also report spammers with one click.

    You can also use HootSuite to schedule tweets. This comes in handy for posting messages while you are traveling or in a meeting—or just so you won’t forget.

    You can also invite your teammates to co-manage accounts with you. You can have several people monitoring one account and responding to comments and feedback. This is particularly helpful for organizations and larger brands.

    You can add multiple Twitter accounts, Facebook accounts and pages (I have five). HootSuite is adding more all the time. The only glaring omission is Google+ but that should be coming soon.

  3. Analyzing. I use a variety of tools to analyze my social media performance. Both Buffer and HootSuite offer built-in analytical tools. However, I am only using Buffer at the moment. It tells me exactly how many clicks and retweets each tweet generated.

    In addition, I use these two tools:

    • TweetCounter. I use this to monitor the growth in my Twitter follower count.
    • Tweet Grader. I use this to analyze my Twitter effectiveness.

As social media have become mainstream, the tools have continued to improve. Don’t think that what you are using today will be state-of-the-art a year from now—or even three months from now. Keep an open mind and continue to experiment. If you are using the right tools, you can build your platform and still find the time to create great content.

Question: What software tools are you using to manage your social media accounts? What do you like about your tools? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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  • http://www.godsabsolutelove.com Patricia Zell

    Michael, you are a virtual encyclopedia (in more than one way)–thanks again for great info. Now, all I need is time to reread all the great posts you’ve written and to apply them in my life. (Btw, check your last statement in #2–you may be missing a word.  :-) )

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for catching that typo, Patricia. All fixed now.

      • Joe

        Thanks Michael for a very helpful post!
        I think you mean “omission” not “admission” in that last sentence in #2.

        • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

          :)

        • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

          Indeed, you are right. Good catch. Thanks. I have fixed it.

  • http://wechoose.co Les Dossey

    Learning social media from the master @MichaelHyatt. 

    I just started using Buffer and I love it’s minimalist lay out. I was using hootsuite but I no longer see any benefit now that I’m using buffer

    Only the Best,

    Les Dossey

    • http://www.sundijo.com Sundi Jo Graham

      How do you monitor your lists, hashtags, etc? 

      • http://www.lifeofasteward.com Loren Pinilis

        Sundi, Hootsuite allows you to set up different streams. So instead of seeing one big feed, you see columns (up to 10) almost like each one is its own feed.
        You can then specify one of your streams (columns) to be a list. You can also set it up so the stream shows real-time results for a search term. That’s how you can monitor hashtags.

        • http://www.sundijo.com Sundi Jo Graham

          Yes, I thought you said you stopped using hootsuite, so I wondered how you personally were still monitoring. 

          • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

            I’d be interested in that as well…

        • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

          Hootsuite truly is awesome!

          • http://bentheredothat.com Ben Patterson

            Have you tried Bufferapp?

          • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

            I haven’t… What is that app all about?
            http://www.bigb94.info

          • http://bentheredothat.com Ben Patterson

            For your android phone.

          • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

            Oh ok… I will check that out!

          • http://bentheredothat.com Ben Patterson

            For sure. Scheduled tweeting on the go!

          • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

            Haha!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      The benefit of HootSuite is that it still allows you to monitor your streams. You can’t do that with Buffer. Make sense? Thanks.

      • http://lesdossey.com Les Dossey

        Michael,

        Where do I learn how to leverage what I’ve learned from monitoring my streams? Thanks

  • http://www.sundijo.com Sundi Jo Graham

    I too have fallen in love with buffer. Thinking about upgrading since I manage multiple accounts, so it will be even easier. I’m still waiting for Hootsuite to get Google+ as well. 

    The one thing that would be great is if you could tag people in Hootsuite like you can on Facebook and Google+

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      YOu can add people to your Twitter lists. Is that what you mean?

      • http://www.sundijo.com Sundi Jo Graham

        No, tag them, like you can on Facebook and Google +. By putting the @ sign in front of their name. 

        • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

          Or in Disqus…

        • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

          You can tag people in HootSuite by simply using the @ symbol and their Twitter handle. That essential tags them. What am I missing?

          • http://www.sundijo.com Sundi Jo Graham

            Ok – I’m talking with my hands, it helps me explain better. :)

            On Facebook, you put the at  symbol in front of their name. Example: I want to share your post on Facebook and have it link back to your wall. I would tag your name. It would show up on my wall and yours and you would be notified that I posted. 

            But that can only be done directly from Facebook, not Hootsuite. Google Plus is the same, I just put the + sign in front of your name. 

            I hope I explained better. Sorry if I confused you. 

  • http://blog.cyberquill.com Cyberquill

    I use Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ as my social media tools. I didn’t know there were tools for managing my tools. 

    On the Buffer website, there’s this big orange “Sign Up Free” button. I hate it when I have to sign up before I’m told how much a particular service costs. It’s like those gyms that refuse to tell you the membership rates until after you’ve taken the tour.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      I’m with you Cyberquill. I use the direct platform to monitor and post any social media. I knew there were tools out there, but they have not interested me.

      As for Buffer and pricing, if you scroll down on their main page they have a link to their pricing. You can view it at http://bufferapp.com/pricing

      • http://blog.cyberquill.com Cyberquill

        Ah, you’re right. Thanks. There’s a tiny “plans and Pricing” link at the bottom, obviously designed so it won’t be found prior to signing up.

        That’s the problem. If I’m not told the price right away, I assume the service is too expensive for me anyway, and I’ll just leave.

        • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

          You’re welcome. I don’t like when information that is important, like pricing, is stuck in an out of the way place either but I’ve learned how to search it out.

      • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

        The tools become essential as the number of people you follow—or who follow you—increases.

        • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

          Or, if you are interested in posting relevant content frequently or regularly.

      • http://twitter.com/LeoWid Leo Widrich

        Thanks a  lot for the feedback @Cyberquill:disqus and @slumbersix:disqus , yes so our main plan is definitely free. If one needs multiple accounts or more than 50 slots in your Buffer, we offer our Pro and Premium plan for that. 

        Will definitely aim to make it easier to understand the pricing, that’s a great point. Let me know if you ever have any questions I can help out with (Leo@bufferapp.com).

        Best,
        Leo, Co-Founder Buffer

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      It’s free for a basic account.

      • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

        I have the basic account, but I haven’t started using it yet…

        • http://bentheredothat.com Ben Patterson

          What are you waiting for?

    • http://www.sundijo.com Sundi Jo Graham

      You’ll be happy once you sign up though. 

    • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

      true!

  • http://www.timemanagementninja.com Craig Jarrow

    Great tools!

    HootSuite is my mission control.

    And I love Buffer. Really excited what @LeoWid:twitter and team have created!

    Will be checking out the others you mentioned! Thanks. 

    • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

      :)

    • http://twitter.com/LeoWid Leo Widrich

      Thanks a lot Craig, really appreciate the support, this is what makes work on Buffer so much fun! :) 

  • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

    Another amazing post Michael!

    I have never been interested in using tools to manage my social media. Going to the site and catching up always seemed the easiest solution to me. Yet looking at your list of tools makes me want to start using them.

    • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

      I’ve started using Buffer over the last week.  The possibilities blow my mind!

  • http://www.frymonkeys.com Alan Kay

    Great productivity tools. Thanks Michael. 

  • http://CaptivatingCappadocia.com Duke Dillard

    Thanks for this, Michael. Clearly buffer has different plans including free. I would appreciate you telling a bit more specifically which plan (if not free) that you use and explaining why you chose that option.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I am using the Pro plan, because I want to have more than 10 tweets in my Buffer. I would do premium if it wasn’t so expensive. I need more accounts hooked up. I’d also like to see them add a Buffer for LinkedIn option. Thanks.

      • http://www.sundijo.com Sundi Jo Graham

        Yes, I wish they had different pricing plans besides shooting up from $10/month to $90.. 

        • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

          Agreed.  Or a pay by the year plan that gives 2-3 months free…

          • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

            Very good idea!

        • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

          Yeah, that is a lot!

  • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

    I use Buffer to tweet out blog posts and web links since it makes it so darn easy. Just open the page and click the Buffer button. I currently use the free version which allows 4 tweets per day. I also use it to link to my Facebook like page once a day. Currently I use Tweetdeck to view my Twitter stream on my PC and Hootsuite to view it on the iPad. Hootsuite on the iPad is hands down the best Twitter interface going. It’s much faster than the PC version and it makes Tweet response quick and easy. I use it while watching TV or relaxing. 

    I used to use Klout to monitor all my social media activity, but they really messed up the algorithm with their last update. Now it defaults to my Facebook followers. It is still usable for finding influential people to follow, but overall the score is now meaningless.

    Personally, I’m hoping that the Copyblogger guys can come up with an integrated tool that works with their other products (Studiopress, Scribe, and Premise) to make it easy to handle the daily social media updating right from WordPress. It would be nice to put up a blog post and have software automatically find the keywords and put out pre-determined tweets that match. If they came out with a tool that allowed me to blog and do social media in an hour or less a day, they would be worth millions or maybe even billions…

    Personally, I can’t wait for your Platform book, Michael. Everybody is clamoring to build their platforms. With the book, I can give them a one-stop destination to put it all together.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, John. I agree with you on Klout. That’s why I didn’t list it. By the way, Buffer allows 10 tweets per day on their free version.

      • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

        Aha.. you are right, Michael. Buffer defaults to 4 tweets per day, with a total of 10 tweets in the buffer at any one time. You can modify that so up to 10 tweets are sent out daily. A few clicks and my settings have been changed. Thanks for the heads up, Michael!

        The other cool thing about Buffer is it will offer quotations that you can tweet by clicking the Inspire Me button. Quotations are re-tweeted more often than most any other type of tweet.

        • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

          What would be the ideal amount to send out per day?

        • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

          I mean if you are not a “famous” person. Just an average person. What would be the limit?

      • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

        10… which I use to the fullest every day!  But I can’t seem to bring myself to pay for an upgrade… yet.

        • http://bentheredothat.com Ben Patterson

          I’m in the same boat!

          • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

            Too many of us are!

    • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

      I really like the idea of the old blog posts…great way to recycle content!

  • http://twitter.com/GrahamChastney Graham Chastney

    Thanks Michael, and thank you for all of your output this year.

    I’m always amazed by how much of it you generate and such a high quality.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Graham.

  • Pingback: Five to Live By | RPM Ministries

  • http://twitter.com/blacknewfie Peter Walters

    Michael,  I have been noticing your use of buffer and now you have answered my questions as to what it is and what it can do.

    Thanks,

    Peter

  • http://twitter.com/AndreaAresca Andrea Aresca

    Thank you for this helpful post! I expecially appreciate Buffer, that I didn’t know before.
    Are you using Google+? How do you “integrate” it in your system?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I am using Google+ but mostly just to post inks to my blog. I am managing my account directly form the Google+ sight. I can’t wait until it’s part of HootSuite. (It is actually part of their Enterprise version, but I don’t need that.) Thanks.

      • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

        I’d like to see it integrated into HootSuite as well.

        • http://www.ontargetcoach.com Brent Pittman

          @hootsuite 3 votes here for Google + integration. Did anyone know they are a Canadian company?

          • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

            really?

      • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

        Is that mostly what you are using Google+ for?

        • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

          Yes.

  • Anonymous

    Did you ever try TweetDeck, and if yes, what is better in HootSuite?
    Also, Klout is a tool I check regularly to see how I am viewed (what type of tweeter). They have had a few hiccups lately, but are still giving me good insights.
    Also, how do you measure success?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Yes, I used to use TweetDeck. Gail still prefers it. I think HootSuite is a more robust tool in that it allows me to manage Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.
      I used to be a big fan of Klout. However, I no longer trust the tool since they changed the algorithm.
      I measure success by my follower growth and retweets. Thanks.

    • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

      http://www.dustn.tv has some great info on this issue. I highly recommend checking out his post on the different companies here: http://dustn.tv/scheduling-your-tweets/

  • http://twitter.com/Joe2355 Pastor Joe Bell

    Loving Buffer- thanks for the mention. Working on doing more social media-wise with less time spent on them. :~)

  • http://bentheredothat.com Ben Patterson

    Speaking firsthand, Buffer app for twitter is fantastic. Thanks for the insight on how you analyze your social media streams.

  • http://www.ivanhoesanchez.com Ivanhoe Sánchez

    I first heard about Buffer with one of your tweets.  I started using it since then and it has become a prefered tool for me.  I like the fact that I can seat once a day and plan for the entire day.  

  • http://www.lifeofasteward.com Loren Pinilis

    I love being able to setup streams in Hootsuite for search terms. You mentioned monitoring hashtags, but there are other great uses as well. For instance, you could set one up to monitor “Michael Hyatt” and “Thomas Nelson” instead of only your twitter handle. You could monitor brand names, phrases, or other people’s handles.
    I’ve found this to be useful when I’ve handled social media for events. Not everyone knows or uses the hashtags, so it allows me to still engage them in real-time.

    • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

      Love this feature!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Yes, I actually do that. It is very helpful.

  • http://www.intunestudios.com Dave Mariano

    Thanks, Michael. How do you consider Klout into your social media strategy? 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I really don’t. I did before they made the recent change to their algorithm.

    • http://www.facebook.com/ayomide.akinkugbe Ayomide Akinkugbe

      What’s Klout really about Dave?

      • http://www.intunestudios.com Dave Mariano

        Honestly, I’m not really sure. I’m having a hard time figuring out if I should even pay attention to it, which is why I asked Michael’s opinion.

        • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

          Yes, I am ignoring it for now.

        • http://www.facebook.com/ayomide.akinkugbe Ayomide Akinkugbe

          Cool!

  • Anonymous

    Love this process! A great way to become a market leader in your niche while staying on top of the conversation that is going on around you. I can imagine that scanning through the latest blog posts each morning can fill your mind with new blog post ideas as well. Great post!

    Jonathan

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Indeed it does!

  • Anonymous

    I like using IFTTT (www.ifttt.com). It is If This Then That. It has multiple social media applications capable of building recipes for. Check it out. It is great way to automatically and efficiently track social media.

  • http://www.MARIMethod.com Mari Ann Lisenbe

    Thanks for another great post Michael.

    Right now, all my FB posts flow through to twitter, and, like you, I only do 1-2 FB posts a day.  I know that to effectively use Twitter, I need to be posting more than 1-2x per day.

    I signed up for a Buffer account after you mentioned it last month…
    but haven’t set it up. Guess it’s time I take action on that. 

    Thanks again!

    • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

      I have mine set up the opposite:  my tweets feed straight into my Facebook feed.  I might be overwhelming my FB page, but at 6-8 times per day, I’m not so sure it’s too much.

      • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

        I used to do that, too, but I think it does overwhelm your Facebook page. I don’t do more than two updates per day on FB.

        • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

          Interesting…  I’m going to have to rethink my strategy here.

  • http://www.Twitter.com/RickYuzzi Rick Yuzzi

    Great info, Mike.  I’m going to check out buffer. I’m also going to try HootSuite. I use Tweetdeck, but it limits updates and monitoring to Twitter and Facebook.

  • Anonymous

    Particularly interested in trying out Buffer.  

    You mentioned experimenting.  Are there blogs that you (and other readers) find useful for suggesting tools to experiment with?  

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Monitor my Twitter stream and you will see numerous links to the ones I monitor most.

      • Anonymous

        Makes sense. Thanks.

  • http://twitter.com/millinerd Matthew Milliner

    Thanks for this post.  Why don’t you just use the scheduling option in HootSuite and eliminate the need for Buffer?

    • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

      One of the ways that I use Buffer is to pre-determine when I’m posting content.  The scheduler in HootSuite requires me to set the time, every time.  It eliminates a step.

      • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

        great idea!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Because it requires a number of extra steps. I have to copy the link over to HootSuite, decide when I want the post to appear, and then schedule it. With Buffer, I have predetermined my post times one time. I simply click the icon in the browser extension. (I don’t have to copy the link and go to HootSuite.) I then type my update and press enter. Buffer determines when the update will appear.
      If I have a tweet that must appear at a specific time, I do use HootSuite. Thanks.

    • http://bentheredothat.com Ben Patterson

      Buffer has better efficiency.

  • http://blog.d2design.com Paul Loyless

    How is it possible that you are SO good at what you do? It’s impossible for one man to produce such quality content day after day. This is great.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Paul. I appreciate that.

  • http://twitter.com/jackmastere Erin Jackman

    I didn’t even know there was software like this.  Between you and Dustin Stout I am learning so much about social media.  It is changing my thinking about it.  Thank you for sharing!  

  • Ron Jenson

    Thanks Michael for so consistently proving value-you’re my favorite at doing this. I’m a true follower! Ron Jenson

  • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

    Excellent information.  I have just started using Buffer, however, I need to find an easy way to use it with IE (I know, I should use Firefox…).  Seems like they don’t like IE that much.  I’d also like to find a way to access it from Flipboard on my iPad.  I’ve only been using it for about 3-4 days, so I’m sure I’ll figure these out with time…

    I also use Hootsuite.  I used to use TweetDeck, but Hootsuite seems so much more intuitive.  I really like the way it allows me to manipulate streams.  I have several standbys:  family, friends, ministry contacts, bloggers, leaders, etc.  And I have several that I’ll build for a while and then no longer need, similar to your hashtag streams.

    Another element that I’m really liking right now is FlipBoard on my iPad.  It provides an excelleent way to access my RSS feed subscriptions, in a magazine style format.  Plus it accesses my Facebook and Twitter acounts as well, although I don’t read those there as much.  I’m interested to see how I can combine it with other sources for maximun effectiveness.

    • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

      True…IE doesn’t work well with some software (although it is the most secure!)

      • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

        You might be the first person ever to tell me something positive about IE.  It’s usually thre opposite!

        • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

          Haha! It is the most securevut I do not like it for browsing and blogging…

  • https://turnerbethany.wordpress.com/ turner_bethany

    I am just starting to just Buffer and am really liking it. When I first got on Twitter, I used tweetdeck, then when Chrome came out with its browser RockMelt I converted to it. I am thinking about going to HootSuite though. I love RockMelt for some things, but not so much for Twitter. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/alterry2 Andrew Terry

    After reading this article I signed up for both Buffer and HootSuite. HootSuite seems very slow. It took me all of lunch just to add Facebook and Linkedin as streams. It takes forever to switch between the two. Maybe something is wrong on their end?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I think it was a Twitter problem today. There were problems with their API.

  • http://twitter.com/KellyCombs Kelly Combs

    I’m excited to hear about buffer!  I’ve been wanting that type of program where I can preschedule updates.  Thanks for the information.

  • http://www.ontargetcoach.com Brent Pittman

    Good tips! I’m on board with Hootsuite, but haven’t tried buffer yet. My Evernote is getting full of your posts :-) 

  • http://www.ontargetcoach.com Brent Pittman

    Not sure if it’s been mentioned, but Google Chrome has a plugin for Buffer. 

  • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

    Great tips!

  • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

    By the way, can you use wordpress with hootsuite?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I am not sure what you mean.

      • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

        I am just wondering if you can track wordpress stats and update things to wordpress with Hootsuite…?

        _____

        • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

          It does integrate with WordPress.com in some way, but I don’t use it, since I am on self-hosted WordPress. Thanks.

          • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

            Gotcha!

  • http://theordainedbarista.com Barry Hill

    Michael,
    This is great. I’m doing, and using, most of what you mention here, but I’m excited to try out buffer. Thanks!

  • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

    I notice a lot of writers doing a “From the Archives” tweet.  Do you emply that strategy?  And if so, would you use buffer to do that? Or something else?

    Thanks!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I actually use SocialOomph for that. It’s a bit technical, so I didn’t include it in the post itself.

      • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

        Thanks!  I’ll look into that idea.

  • http://brandonweldy.wordpress.com Brandon Weldy

    I have used BufferApp and just started using HootSuite. I really like both of their services. I’m still fiddling around with HootSuite to see how I can use it best.

  • http://restoryinglife.com joe at restoryinglife.com

    I scanned through the comments and didn’t see anything on Facebook burying posts from Buffer. I know in the past, I could post to Facebook from Hootsuite or Twitter and get next to no response, but when I’d post the same thing directly on Facebook, responses would explode. The only explanation would be Facebook devaluing content that originated through the API. Does Buffer have a way around this?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I think this used to be the case, but Facebook made some changes a few weeks ago to change that. (I can’t remember the reference.)

  • http://www.facebook.com/landonbalding Landon Balding

    Michael, I actually acquired Buffer today after reading your post and have been putting it to the test. I think it is a great tool for managing twitter posts, but am slightly disappointed with the connection with facebook. It does not seem to allow the capability within facebook for internal sharing in facebook when the post originates from Buffer. I confirmed this by viewing posts on your facebook page. The posts you made from hootsuite have share functionality but posts from Buffer only allow for like and comment. To me that seems limiting? Would love your thoughts!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I’ve asked the Buffer developer to comment on this. Thanks.

    • http://twitter.com/LeoWid Leo Widrich

      Hi Landon, great to see you stopping by here! Yes, you raise a great point, unfortunately, the fact that the “share” disappears is a slight bug on the FB API that we are dealing with right now, but hope to have resolved real soon. We have filed a few reports (alongside hundreds of other developers) to allow the “share” function in.

      Unfortunately, all other Apps have the same problem. One thing that we could do is add a “fake” share function, which HootSuite does. It then pops open a new window, but doesn’t add a “share” to the original post, it is just a link to post to your own wall. We are pondering this right now, but it doesn’t seem to be a great solution for us.

      I will get in touch with Facebook again right now and see if there is a way we can get this sorted out, thanks a lot for bringing it up! :) 

      • http://www.facebook.com/landonbalding Landon Balding

        Hey Leo, thanks for your prompt and thorough response! 

  • http://twitter.com/LeoWid Leo Widrich

    Hi Michael, thanks so much for the amazing post. One tool I have to check out for sure is Tweet Grader, this looks fabulous.

    Really appreciate the Buffer mention, put this into my Buffer – twice! :)

  • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

    Practical information with specific details. That helps answer the question: How does Michael Hyatt do it? Thanks for helping us Luddites peak behind the wizard’s curtain.

  • Eric Anderson

    This was EXTREMELY helpful. I’ll use this content in the workshops that I have coming up. Thanks for the suggestions.

  • Elyse Salpeter

    At the moment, I am using a computer spreadsheet to manage everything, which is crazy. I’ve got all the social media networks going to promote my book, FB, Twitter, blogs, goodreads, etc… but not yet skilled on managing this – your articles have become so helpful to me and I get them mostly via my links to you on Twitter. Excellent information.

  • Mark Henson

    Michael, THANK YOU. Buffer may just be the best thing since sliced bread. Love it.

  • http://twitter.com/yomiolufiade ‘Yomi Olufiade

    Thanks for sharing this. God knows I’ve been looking for something like this. The information here is so helpful. God bless you,sir.

  • Lisa

    Thank you so much for this information. You just made managing social media manageable.

  • http://twitter.com/HunterField Hunter Field

    Michael, this is great! I have always loved the idea of putting posts in queue on blogs, as it saves a great amount of time and spreads useful content throughout the day. Thank you for sharing about Buffer–I had no idea there was a queue app for social media! Very useful. 

    Also, I would like to suggest you take a look at Summify (summify.com). It is an aggregate tool that scans your social media to find trending/popular/relevant posts and then delivers them to you via e-mail at specific times in the day. It really helps to rally pertinent posts into the same place, so you don’t have to constantly scan your twitter and facebook feeds.  

  • http://jonstolpe.wordpress.com Jon Stolpe

    I just signed up!  Thanks for the heads up on another great tool.  I’ve been using TweetDeck which keeps me up to speed on many of the social media platforms.

  • Richard B

    Michael, Thank you for a very informative post.
    I have been wondering about buffer for a while now, this article really helps define it for me.
    Have a great Christmas and Holiday Season.

  • http://twitter.com/SixOkay Justin Korthof

    Man, I have tried HootSuite three or four times and I just can’t get into it. I manage about 6 Twitter accounts, and I find that switching back and forth on the tabs to review them all is a really clunky, high-friction experience for me, and the load times are always really slow. I really WANT to use HS because of the analytics, but I personally find TweetDeck a far better tool for glancing at Tweets across multiple accounts all at once. Buffer is a great recommenation. I’ll check that one out. Thanks for the write-up! 

  • http://somewiseguy.com ThatGuyKC

    Buffer is awesome. Would you mind sharing your schedule pattern or the logic behind it? I’ve set my up for every hour on the hour between 6am-7pm, but sometimes I run out.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I set mine up for eleven times between 7:00 am and 9:00 pm. It’s pretty much hourly, but I add odd times, so it doesn’t appear to be so robotic. I also skip lunch and dinner. I try to post manually at those times about what is going on during the day. Thanks.

      • http://www.revivallifestyle.com Daniel Vogler

        That’s a great idea. I read some statics on the most effective tweeting times and Noon (lunch break) really is the best time in the day. I also found out that 80% of the US population is in the Eastern and Central Time Zone, so although I’m in California I make sure to hit their lunchtime as well.

  • http://jackalopekid.com jackalopekid

    Using buffer now. Thanks for the recommendation. Question: if I have multiple times that I tweet throughout the day preprogrammed into buffer and not enough posts to fit into all of those slots, will buffer repeat the tweets I have in there or will it just stop tweeting? I hope that makes sense…I just don’t want it to keep repeating tweets.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      It will just skip tweeting. It won’t repeat them.

  • http://reconciled.me Matt Smith

    The moment I think I may have learned enough to get me started effectively  you post something else that makes perfect sense to use NOW.  You’re like my personal Yoda, or something like that.  If I want to know something I go to you to try to find it out.  What’s great is that so many other people do too and so many of those are trying to spread the Gospel.  Your influence for the Kingdom really is terrific.  Thanks for all you do.

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  • http://www.itsworthnoting.com Levi Smith

    Nutshellmail, http://www.nutshellmail.com, is another great tool. You give it access to twitter, facebook, linkedin and other social media profiles and receive an email digest one or more times a day of activity you want to see from each profile.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      That looks like a really cool tool!

  • http://www.facebook.com/ayomide.akinkugbe Ayomide Akinkugbe

    I really found this helpful. Thanks Michael :)

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  • Joanna Hyatt

    You may have already written a post on this….what is the major difference between Buffer & Hootsuite? They look similar to me & just wondering if it wouldn’t be more streamlined to use just one? 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      HootSuite is really for monitoring your social media accounts. Buffer won’t do that. Buffer is really for generating posts and having them spread throughout the day. Both are free, so give them a try. You’ll learn more by doing that than what I could explain. Thanks.

      • Joanna Hyatt

        Thank you!  Signed up and trying them out.

  • http://www.revivallifestyle.com Daniel Vogler

    I use buffer and hoot suite as well and am loving it! Scheduling social media is absolutely imperative for consistency and therefore success. I find it interesting that you only post 2 times a day on Facebook. Do you have a specific reason for that?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      That’s what the experts I have read recommend. My own observation confirms this. It’s a different culture than Twitter, where I post 13-14 times a day.

      • http://www.revivallifestyle.com/ Daniel Vogler

        Okay, thanks. That’s true they are completely different cultures. Facebook’s peak time for example is saturday around noon, while Twitter slows down on week ends a lot. At least that’s what the experts I read said ;)

  • http://twitter.com/tolmema Bailey Bliss

    I use Postling for a lot of client accounts. I’m going to check out Buffer since you speak so highly of it. 

  • http://fitnessexpose.com Michael Mahony

    I just examined Buffer and I have to say that I’m not sure what benefit it would have over HootSuite. I can do exactly what you describe in your article using HootSuite. I can find content and create Tweets and then schedule those Tweets to go out over the course of the day at exact times I want them to go out. Thus, I am not sure why I would want to add another tool (ie. Buffer) to my tool belt.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Here’s how the two workflows are different. Let’s say I am reading an article in Google Reader and want to share the link with my followers on Twitter.

      With HootSuite:

      1. Open the original article on the website.
      2. Go to the address bar in my browser.
      3. Copy the link to the clipboard.
      4. Now go to HootSuite.
      5. Compose my message.
      6. Click to add a link.
      7. Paste in the link from the clipboard.
      8. Click on the scheduling icon.
      9. Remember the next time slot I want to use for this tweet. (I may have to double-check my Pending stream in HootSuite.)
      10. Schedule the Tweet.

      With Buffer:

      Assuming you have installed the appropriate Buffer browser extension and have already set up a posting schedule:

      1. Click on the Buffer icon on your browser.
      2. Compose my message.
      3. Click “Add to Buffer.”

      You’re done. Buffer adds this post to the next available slot. It’s four times as easy.

      Hope that helps.

      • http://fitnessexpose.com Michael Mahony

        Awesome! Thanks for answering. That makes more sense. I hadn’t thought about that issue. So HootSuite should get smart and create a browser plugin for creating content!

        • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

          I wish they would just integrate Buffer with their existing platform. That would be awesome.

      • http://fitnessexpose.com Michael Mahony

        And it seems they have just that type of plugin called Hootlet:

        http://help.hootsuite.com/entries/131320-what-is-the-hootlet

        • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

          It’s still not quite the same, because you have to determine when you are going to post each tweet. With Buffer, you determine the schedule one time and just let it handle when the tweet appears.

  • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

    Mike, thanks to your technical advice. I am averse to technology initially. But, I have shed my inhibitions and started building my platform in the social media.  

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  • http://sevensentences.com Geoff Talbot

    Hi Guys,

    I would also add to this Market Samurai for your SEO work. It is a fantastic tool that I use on our Seven Sentence Blog and it has really boosted my search traffic!

    I think it is important to create some synergy between your search and social strategies if you are looking to monetize.

    Thanks again
    Geoff Talbot
    creative synergy in Seven Sentences

  • http://www.theuniuni.com/ cheap bras

    Amazing write-up! This could aid plenty of people find out more about this particular issue. Are you keen to integrate video clips coupled with these? It would absolutely help out. Your conclusion was spot on and thanks to you; I probably won’t have to describe everything to my pals. I can simply direct them here!

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  • paulawhidden

    Michael, thank you so much for continuing to help us grow in our skills because of your generosity.  I’m on the hunt for churches and pastors and nonprofits who make good use of social media, could you point me toward anyone specific?

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  • Kristi Johnsen

    Thanks so much for all your great information.  I’ve been using Buffer and HootSuite for both my personal and church social media.  Wow, what a difference!!

    And I thought everyone sat around and posted all day…  Now I know the secrets but don’t tell anyone else OK?

    Seriously, I really appreciate all you do and want to say a special thanks.

  • Ian

    Thanks Mike this post was very timely for me. Ian

  • http://twitter.com/kerrybeck kerrybeck

    Thank you…much to think about
     

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  • http://everydaysnapshots.com Dave Anthold

    I use a mixture of Buffer (free account) and Tweetbot.  I have some saved searches in Tweetbot & custom Timelines which is great for cutting out the noise.

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  • http://onlinebz.com/ OnlinebzDOTcom

    I heard of Buffer, but never really use it. I believe it is a big loss after reading your article. Thanks for making comparison and make me understand Hootsuite can’t replace Buffer.

  • Ben

    Michael, I agree with you about Hootsuite, it’s a great tool. I’m just curious as to why you choose buffer to schedule your posts when Hootsuite will do this too.

    Thanks.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      They schedule in completely different ways.

  • Dan Chapman

    When do you think it’s worth upgrading to a paid version of buffer? The free version has been awesome so far.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Yes, I do. I’ve used it since it came out. I use t multiple times daily. It is an indispensable tool.

  • calista

    Michael – I noticed you said that you tweet 13 times per day. In other places I have read that you like to tweet 20 times in replies/retweets for each original tweet you post (deposits and withdrawals). So is that 13 TOTAL tweets? Or are those just your original tweets (not including your deposits, or replies/retweets)? Thank you!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Yes, those are my original tweets and do not count replies. By the way, I see most of my tweets, even when I am linking to my own posts, as deposits. To be honest, I haven’t counted in a long time. The issue is not so much how many as it is you have to give way more value than you extract. Thanks.

  • http://MartinAndJulieJohnson.com/ Martin Johnson

    I’m a missionary serving in Indonesia and need to post in Indonesian to Indianians and in English to Americans. However, I don’t think either wants to see posts that they cant read. How can I separate my two “lives.” I use facebook and twitter.

  • Pam H.

    Michael, you didn’t mention Scrivener. I thought you did all of your writing in Scrivener first. Have you changed that? And why?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      This article was about social media tools, rather than writing tools. I don’t really use a writing tool for social media posts.

      And, yes, I am still using—and loving—Scrivener. Thanks.

  • Rev. Ron Hunter Jr.

    What have you gone to for an RSS now that Google reader is gone?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I use Feedly. It’s even better than Google Reader.

      • shoeboxapps

        Glad to see that you like Feedly, Michael! I was one of the lucky 5,000 to get a lifetime membership for the pro version, so I’m very invested in it’s continued success.

        I did, however, find myself going to check my feeds too often, which cut into my productivity. To solve that, I created Countly, a Mac status bar app that keeps track of your unread post count from your Feedly account. I would love to give more details, but I want to respect your Comments Policy. If interested, please check it out at my blog http://shoeboxapps.com

        Thanks
        Kevin

  • http://rickbulow1974.freesmfhosting.com/ Rick Bulow

    I notice you mention HootSuite, but you fail to mention TweetDeck. How about using TweetDeck as an effective social media tool?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Yes, it’s a fine tool. I used to use it. I just like HootSuite better. ;-)

  • http://geekfree.net/ Aaron

    What about Social Oomph, which you mention in your book? I assume you’re still using this based on your syndication of older content….

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Yep, I do still use it. It’s a great tool.

      • http://geekfree.net/ Aaron

        Thank you sir :)

  • http://andrewledwith.com/ Andrew

    Hi Mike! I’m curious to know what you use as your RSS reader now that Google Reader has been retired.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I am using Feedly.

  • https://plus.google.com/+MattGentile/posts Matt Gentile

    Great post. I just discovered this morning that Feedly now requires $5 per month for Buffer integration…oh well…it was great while it lasted.

  • http://visionwriting.marklvolz.com Mark L. Volz

    I hope this post is still active, if not, sorry Michael. As I read about these tools, I see HootSuite offers the ability to schedule posts and covers Twitter, FaceBook, and LinkedIn. I might be missing the point, but was wondering why you use Buffer rather than HootSuite to schedule your posts?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Mark. I use Buffer, because it has a Chrome extension that allows me to share a post for the web page I am on. Also, I don’t have to worry when to schedule it. I just add it to my buffer and it gets added to the next available slot.

      • http://visionwriting.marklvolz.com Mark L. Volz

        Ahhh, … I’ve been thinking of switching to Chrome… thanks.

  • Rick Theriot

    You referred to Google Reader as the software that you use for processing blog post, although I thought this was shut down Do you have a different service that you use?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Yes, I wrote this post back in 2011. Now I use Feedly. I actually like it more than Google Reader.

  • Preston, Clemson Road Creative

    We love Hootsuite here! Excellent tool for social media monitoring :)

  • Lora Schafer

    Google reader had been cancelled. What are you using now to track your blog feeds?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I wrote this post in 2011. I now use Feedly.

      • Lora Schafer

        Thanks for responding…I’m on Feedly and loving it.