Monday, 12 October 2015

Thing 23: Making It All Work Together

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Welcome to the final thing in our 23 Things course! Can you believe that you're on the last one? I would like to take this opportunity to say congratulations for reaching the end! Hopefully it also means the beginning of a new venture for some of you also.

We have looked at such a wide array of tools over the last few months that you might be feeling a little overwhelmed by it all. Are you wondering how to stay on top of all this new information that is suddenly flooding your twitter feed? Do you keep forgetting to check in what's happening on LinkedIn? Or perhaps you're feeling inspired to venture into the world of social media marketing.

In this blog post we are going to look at some social media management tools that will hopefully help you to keep in touch with the social media networks of your choice in a time-efficient manner. We will also look at ways that you can share content via your social media channels and increase your online presence.

Social media management can mean more than one thing. It can be simply the act of having all your news feeds sent to one handy location so that you can read them all in one place. It can also mean using a tool to aggregate and track content for the purposes of sharing it through your own or your institution’s social media accounts.

You will be pleased to know that we have already looked at a tool that allows you to view all your social media news feeds in one place in Thing 8 Curation Tools 

Flipboard


With Flipboard you can integrate your own social media accounts such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Google+ into your Flipboard feed. The images below demonstrate how to link your social media accounts to your Flipboard account so that they appear in your Flipboard feed. This can only be done through the Flipboard mobile app however, not the desktop site.



Once you have added the accounts of your choice they will then appear on your Flipboard homepage as a topic. You can flip the content from your feeds into magazines as you would anything else on Flipboard or share your items to other social media accounts.

Because Flipboard is a public platform there are certain restrictions to some of the content that is viewable from tools such as Facebook. 

Hootsuite


Hootsuite is a powerful social media management tool that allows you to track several social media accounts from one place. Hootsuite can integrate with Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Google+, Wordpress and Instagram.  It includes features such as cross posting from one account to another, posting to more than one account at a time, keyword searches, and scheduled posts. These features are useful if you plan to manage more than one social media tool as part of a social media campaign. I often use Hootsuite when I am at a conference to track the hashtag for the day or when I am taking part in a twitter chat. 

The free version of Hootsuite allows you to add three social networks to your feed and if you chose to upgrade to the paid version you can add up to fifty social networks. To add a social network click on your profile picture and then click on 'add social network' on the bottom left of the page. You will then be prompted to input your log-in and password for that account. 

The image below shows my Hootsuite dashboard. I currently have three twitter accounts that I am managing- the Rudai23 account, my own personal account and a literacy account on it. As you can see each account is separated by tabs. You can then separate each account into streams of your choice. In the Rudai 23 tab I have chosen the home feed, a feed for any tweets that we are mentioned in and a feed for the hashtag for #rudai23.


I can add a stream for each element in my twitter account, the home feed; messages; mentions; etc without it eating into my limit of '3 social networks for free' . With Facebook or LinkedIn however, each element is considered one social network. For example if I choose to add my Facebook home-feed and a facebook group feed perhaps, that is considered two social networks. This is the only drawback to the free version.

Hootsuite Dashboard 

Advantages to Hootsuite


While Flipboard is visually more appealing for browsing your social media newsfeeds, Hootsuite goes one step further and allows you to read and share content and also write original content. The scheduling option means that you can prepare a day's worth of posts to be published at regular intervals of your choice. Unlike Flipboard, your Hootsuite dashboard is only viewable by you.
If you are planning to enter the world of social media marketing in order to raise the profile of your library or institution then a tool like Hootsuite will definitely make it more manageable.

Creating and Managing Content


If you plan to increase the amount of content that you share on your social media accounts in order to raise your profile or connect with a wider audience online then there are tools to help you source and organize your content.

Google Alerts


Google alerts  is a useful tool for sourcing articles online that are related to topics of your choice. It is very straightforward to use and you can set up alerts for any keyword search of your choice. Google will then deliver articles related to your searches straight to your email inbox.




Buffer


Buffer is a useful tool for sharing content that you discover on the internet to social media platforms.  It integrates with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Pinterest. Similar to Hootsuite, Buffer allows you schedule a list of posts to be published at intervals of your choice.

Buffer also integrates with most web browsers so that you can install a 'buffer button' on your bookmarks bar. This makes saving to buffer possible with just one click. If you use Feedly you can share blog posts to Buffer from within the Feedly app.  Buffer also has an excellent mobile app that makes scheduling and managing content while on-the-go effortless.

Unlike Hootsuite you cannot view any of your feeds, it is purely for the purpose of scheduling new content that you wish to share with your followers.

An example of sharing via Buffer


Your Task for Thing 23 Is


Try integrating one or more of your social media accounts into your Flipboard feed.

or

Set up a Hootsuite account and add one or more of your social media accounts to your dashboard.

or

Try linking your Buffer account with one of your social media accounts and scheduling a post.

Write a reflective blog post about your experience with social media management. Do you use any other social media management tools? Do you find it difficult to keep up with all your social media accounts?

And most importantly!


Give your self a big pat on the back for completing 23 modules. We are very aware of the commitment required to complete the tasks, write the reflective posts and keep up with your other work and life commitments as well. If you have reached this point of the course should be extremely proud of yourself!



Thing 23 was written by Niamh O'Donovan, Library Assistant with Galway Public Libraries, Ireland.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you all for organising this - it's been brilliant in every aspect!

    ReplyDelete

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