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Social media in B2B organisations should be part of a bigger overall marketing mix by now. That being said, it can be a very time consuming part of the mix.

This is because a good social media feed must be a consistent one. An inconsistent social media feed is not a great strategy (For example, if you haven’t posted anything in a few days or weeks, but then start posting 3 or 4 bits of content in a day), but sometimes this is how it happens if you’re at events.

Of course, comments and complaints on social media should all be responded to in a timely manner, and this can result in attention being diverted from other tasks, meaning those tasks ultimately take longer.

So, how can you reduce the time and resources that social media saps? You have several options. You can either outsource your social media management, or you can use a social media management tool, such as Hootsuite or Buffer.

But why we are not just recommending one of these tools to use? Hootsuite and Buffer are very similar tools, and as we believe different solutions will suit different people, we’d suggest you try them both and see which one you prefer.

They both have a basic free package, and free trials of their more enhanced package, so there’s no reason for you not to give them both a try.

What do they do?

Social media management tools like these allow you to schedule content, monitor mentions and respond to messages. These features may all feel familiar to you, as they can be done using the native apps of Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn ect… but these tools bring it all together in one place and offer additional functionality on top.

Scheduling

Tools like Hootsuite and Buffer are popular, as they allow you to schedule content but also make changes to these schedules quickly and efficiently.

Scheduling content can be a bit controversial in social media marketing circles. Some believe that social media should never be scheduled whilst some swear by it.

Of course, one of the main uses of social media for business is to encourage engagement. We’d suggest that you shouldn’t schedule content, and then not be available to respond to any comments. So, it’s best not to schedule posts when you know you will be stuck in meetings for hours. However, you will also know your target audience better than anyone else, so it comes down to your judgement.

Sharing content over multiple networks

Although we strongly believe that you should tailor your message for each social network, some messages can be applicable to multiple networks or platforms.

Both of these social media tools allow you to share across multiple networks, by either using the same message, or making tweaks to the message, tags or images.

This is a real time-saver, versus posting to each network individually!

Managing mentions

When a brand mentions you via your Twitter handle or links to your other social medias, it’s easier to spot what has been posted and respond. However, it’s not always as easy when the use a variation of your company name.

These platforms allow you to set up monitors for mentions of other brands or variations. This means you can ensure that no mention of your company is going unnoticed, allowing you to reach further and react more.

Managing on the go

Hootsuite and Buffer both offer a smartphone app, meaning that you can manage all your social media on the go. Plus, if you don’t have access of the company social media logins on your mobile device, it means you’re still able to access all of your accounts away from the office.

Have you used either of these apps? If so, which do your prefer? Or, do you use another social media management tool which you think is more effective? Either way, we’d love to hear!