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 The 10th installment of  our “Preach what we Practice” series where we’ll give fellow small business owners a back-stage pass to how we do business. This week we’re covering Buffer and HootSuite.

– Seth –


Okay, so in my last post I stressed a the importance of not being a robot when implementing your social media marketing strategy.  Today, I’m going to introduce you to a couple robots that will help you behave like a human even when you’re off the clock.  

Think that sounds like a contradiction?  Don’t tell your pappy how to court the electorate.

No kidding, if you’re taking the “behave like a human” maxim seriously, you’re going to find these robots extremely handy.  Let’s start by taking a look at the extremely user friendly Buffer.


Buffer

  • Integrates with Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+
  • Pushes posts to your social media platforms on a schedule you set (like a hopper)
  • bufferbuttonBufferApp for Google Chrome includes a handy button to buffer websites with two clicks
  • Free version holds up to ten posts for each network in the buffer.  Often, that’s all you’ll need.

That button alone is pretty slick, but the in browser window that pops up allowing you to compose a post for your connected networks is even slicker:

buffercompose

If your post is too long for Twitter, simply deselect the twitter option, click buffer, and then repeat to compose a truncated post for twitter alone.  Buffer will automatically populate your post with the post title and meta description on the website, so make sure you edit those with a bit of your own commentary to humanize/personalize the post.

Try it out at BufferApp.com


Hootsuite

  • Intergrates with Twitter, Facebook, Google +, LinkedIn, and WordPress.
  • Post can be scheduled months in advance
  • Customizable “streams” that allow you to search, post, reply, retweet, +1, everything.
  • The RSS feature is great for pushing out an update with link of any blogs you (or somebody else) writes. 
Hootsuite tab optimized to monitor Twitter, G+, and Facebook for key terms

Hootsuite tab optimized to monitor Twitter, G+, and Facebook for key terms

While Buffer gets a lot of good things done while I sleep  (or lunch, or go camping, or whatever), Hootsuite’s ability to display your home feeds from each network all on the same page – in addition to better interactivity with each network – makes HootSuite pretty darn indispensable.  Give it a spin at HootSuite.com

So much for the introductions.  There’s enough to these two tools that I couldn’t fit a proper “how to” guide in five blog posts, so the best thing to do is to try ’em out (after a Levar Style Send-off of course).