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Google Reader, Hootsuite, and Other Tools You Should Be Using

Every day there are new online tools being touted as the newest, greatest thing sure to make your social media life easy. To help, I’ve summarized a few that make MY social media life easier – and hopefully yours, too!

  1.  Google Reader - This is a free service from Google that uses RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds. RSS feeds offer a simplified view of Web content down to just text, pictures and videos–minus the site’s style and formatting, which can sometimes hinder or befuddle casual reading. When you want to do a quick scan of your favorite sites, this is a real time saver. TIP: Nearly every site has an RSS feed, and you can usually find it by scrolling around and hunting for the little RSS logo (a little orange box with three white waves).
  2. Facebook’s Scheduling Tool - If you use Facebook as your primary social media outlet, then you should take advantage of this new feature. It’s very simple to use, too. Enter your post, then click on the little clock icon. Select the day & time you’d like your text to post and hit schedule. So far, this is one of my favorite tools – I’ve used it quite a bit and have not run into any issues with it working properly. TIP: The scheduling feature only works on Pages (not personal profiles) and does not work with sharing someone else’s post. Hopefully, this is something Facebook will implement in the near future.
  3. Hootsuite- If you’ve read any of my past blog posts, you know I’m a huge fan of Hootsuite (and other third-party schedulers, like Tweetdeck). You can post to several different social media platforms from one site. The dashboard lets you monitor those same platforms in an easy-to-view format. TIP: At the free level, you can add up to 5 social media platforms, which is enough for most people.
  4. Twitter Lists- This is a group of specific Twitter users. When you click to view a list, you’ll see a stream of Tweets from only the users included in that group. The nice thing is that you don’t have to be following a Twitter user to add them to your list. This is a great way to cut through the hundreds of tweets in your stream and narrow it down to just those you really want to see. TIP: To create a list, go to your Twitter home page and click the profile drop-down icon in the top navigation bar. To add someone to your list, go to their profile and click on the drop-down icon of the little person (next to the Follow/Following button).

And there you have it. Did I miss any? Are there any tools you can’t live without? Tell me!

Carrie Chwierut

Guest blogger Carrie Chwierut is founder of Carrie’s Social and helps companies navigate the social media jungle. You can keep up with her on Twitter.

 

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Comments

  1. I’ve always heard that if you schedule posts on Facebook your EdgeRank goes down and your posts are less likely to be seen. Is this still true? If so- you wouldn’t want to schedule posts on Facebook as it’s already hard enough to get most of your fans to see the posts you’re putting out.

  2. Hi Sarah,
    Thanks for the question! You bring up a great point. There does seem to have been issues with Facebook post-visibility when using a third-party scheduler tool, but I wouldn’t completely rule out the effectiveness of them. I think they are great tools when you need them. I do advise my clients not to overuse scheduling tools, however. You don’t want to become so automated that you miss out on the “here and now” opportunities to connect with your fans.

    As far as Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithms go, I won’t even pretend to completely understand the science behind it. My peers and I have noticed that our Facebook post reach has dropped recently, even without using a tool like Hootsuite, so I’m not sure what Facebook is up to!

  3. Great list Carrie — thanks for sharing, and of course, your kind words about HootSuite!

    Let us know if we can help with anything, more importantly, Hoot On!

    -HootSuite Community

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  1. [...] you end up following so many people that it is difficult to find the great articles in the noise. Twitter Lists solve this problem by allowing you to put the users you follow into groups. Viewing this list means [...]