How do you manage your social media accounts?

So there are a lot of products out there that claim to “help” you manage all of your social media accounts as well as any corporate/business accounts you may need to monitor and update for work. I primarily use TweetDeck for this purpose (TweetDeck handles Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare and LinkedIn). I really like TweetDeck since it combines all accounts into one place for writing and publishing updates. In addition, you can also view all of the status updates from Facebook, Twitter (either as a full stream or via Twitter lists), LinkedIn, and Foursquare, plus you can create custom columns for a particular Twitter search term(s). HootSuite does all of the above as well but TweetDeck has a desktop app in addition to their smartphone and web-based apps which I prefer to use as you can clear the status updates that you’ve already seen.

TweetDeck Screenshot

My desktop version of TweetDeck, with columns set up to monitor other folks in higher ed (via a personal Twitter list), W&M “official-ish” and “unofficial” Twitter lists, and a Twitter search for variations on “William & Mary”

The main thing to watch out for with any of these multi-account managing services is sending updates out from the right account. There has been more than one occasion where a wrong tweet has been sent from a brand/corporate account (see examples from Chrysler and the Red Cross). HootSuite has built in a bit of protection for this, pretty much asking “are you sure?” for each post.

TweekDeck has scheduling capabilities but in general I try to avoid scheduling too many tweets, I will only do it when I know I have a handful of things I want to mention that day and rather than have them all posted in a bunch I space them out to every few hours. Too many scheduled tweets, and not reacting to the conversations going on in real-time, makes your account seem less “human.”

So if you’re looking to go a bit farther than just checking your updates via the Twitter and Facebook websites every so often, TweetDeck would be my recommendation for both general management and for scheduling, and HootSuite is a close second for many of the same reasons (multi-account management, multi-column view, straightforward scheduling).

What’s your preferred way to monitor and update your social media channels?

-Tiffany Broadbent (@tb623)