Tag Archives: marketing

Social Media Management Tools

In January I completed the Hootsuite Certification course to become a “Hootsuite Certified Professional“, it was quite interesting and, since I was taking on the job of doing all the social media posts for Mr Droogle, I decided it would certainly come in handy.

Hootsuite is a pretty cool tool for anyone using social media on a professional basis – it allows you to post to all of your connected social media accounts from one place, it also allows bulk upload of posts, scheduling, and analytics – so it covers basically everything you need for business social media use. The basic free account allows you to connect 3 social media accounts but to get the full use out of it you really need to have a paid account. There are quite a few advantages to having a paid account but I ended up downgrading after the free trial – purely because I can’t really justify the additional costs.

Regardless, I’ve been using Hootsuite for a while now and I don’t think I could do without it – scheduling is an absolute life-saver! However, I have found that I prefer the Google+ and LinkedIn integration on Buffer (another social media management tool) – purely because it seems easier to control whether you want link content or image content to appear as the feature on your post (something I need to be able to do with some of the Mr Droogle posts).

While they’re often hugely helpful at cutting down amount of time spend on posts one major drawback among all social media management tools is that their tools are limited by the social site’s API limitations – e.g. images uploaded by hootsuite don’t use the Twitter image upload feature so when someone is viewing your profile any image you’ve added via hootsuite won’t show in the “Images” section of your profile (N.B. Hootsuite have recently announced that paid accounts would get native Twitter image functionality). I usually try to post twitter images natively if I have time.

This is also particularly apparent when trying to tag users/profiles in posts – while you can do this on Twitter posts with great ease, it does not work on Google+ because their API is pretty much non-existent (another fine example of Google cutting corners on their “next big thing”). This feature has never worked on Google+. Despite this, I see people (obviously posting from a social media management tool) trying to tag users in their scheduled posts and literally all they end up with is plain text with +[brand username] – where [brand username] is sometimes different to how you’d ususally refer to the brand in plain text. This really irks me for some reason – it doesn’t end up linking, the user won’t get any notification, it won’t have the same SEO value, it’s not really any use to people viewing your post, and it just looks silly in my opinion.

The moral of the story is that yes, social media management tools are amazing, but you need to exercise caution when trying to use the full range of native functionality – and, really, if you want to tag something in a post please just write it on the social network natively (unless it’s a post to Twitter).

Hashtag Tips

#Hashtags #drive #me #nuts #when #they’re #overused. Above all, what you’re trying to do with your posts is appeal to your customers, keep them up to date with your brand and with what you’re doing without coming over too salesy (because then they are likely to just unfollow you). Yes, you need to reach as many of them as possible, otherwise you might be wasting your time and yes, hashtags can help you do that. However, they are horrible to look at, and when you stuff your sentences with hashtags it starts to look more and more like you’re posting spam – there needs to be a balance between hashtags and content.

Many sources say two hashtags is probably the most acceptable maximum amount. Even Twitter themselves – one of the main champions of hashtags – actually goes as far as to say that your account may be filtered from search results if you over-hashtag your tweets so there are real downsides to hashtag overuse.

If you want to achieve a higher view-rate on your tweets then one of the best methods is to piggyback on trending topics. Try to remember that while there are benefits to using incredibly niche hashtag terms (e.g. you’re more likely to reach the right people), you risk appearing spammy, you risk being filtered out of search results, and also, there may well be people out there who are looking for your product/service who may not know the correct terminology to search for (ever tried googling for something when you don’t know the correct search terms? That’s what you’re effectively making your customers go through if you’re using specific terms.).

There’s also the point that, contrary to popular opinion, Twitter trending topics aren’t always made up of hashtags – sometimes they are words or even phrases:

trending topics

Also, if you add “Apple” to your tweet, it may still appear in the page results when you click on “#Apple”. Yes, searching on Google for “#Apple” will bring different results to “Apple” (and it may actually be more likely to return rewards in that case) but there is clearly more to be considered than just “ADD MOAR HASHTAGS”.

That said, there are times when hashtags just plain shouldn’t be used –

LinkedIn – LinkedIn stopped supporting hashtags in 2013. You’ll notice they don’t get linked in posts, they’re no longer used in their search facility, and you’ll also notice that they look horrible! Stop it!

Website metadata such as page titles – just no.

As a last point, please do not try to turn anything with punctuation in it into a hashtag – hashtags break with special characters. Rethink your hashtags.