Like many people involved in technology, I find myself juggling a number of social media accounts across different platforms…in total there are around 10 accounts I should be publishing to on various levels of frequency whilst also keeping on top of the core of my business. Maintaining a consistent stream of high quality content can be difficult, but luckily there are some great tools to help – here are some of my personal favourites!
I think the founders of tech-based companies should always maintain some level of operational control over their company’s social media accounts… at a certain point it becomes necessary to delegate the bulk of this task to a specialist, but as the driving force behind that company, the founder can offer insights and experience that would be very valuable to the wider community, a great way to connect with their existing audience whilst reaching out to more.
Doing this effectively in a way that doesn’t use up huge portions of time is difficult without some kind of workflow tool, and there are plenty of them out there. I’ve tried a whole bunch of them which I won’t list here, but I will share that I think I’ve met my match with Medium, Buffer and RiteTag.
I’ve been looking for a good blogging platform for years now. WordPress is a good system for many, but I think it’s past it’s prime as a project. It is no longer a precision tool for blogging but a patched together swiss army knife… it tries to do everything: e-commerce, blogs, static sites, and whilst it does them all competently, it fails to excel in any of them.
A number of companies such as Ghost have also recognised this, offering simpler, stripped-down packages that focus on creating the ultimate blogging tool and nothing more. Whilst these were a great step in the right direction, I think they didn’t quite see far enough when they looked at the future of blogging.
There’s a growing indication that blogging, as we know it is dying. It’ll still be around for a while, but it will gradually decline over the next few years and from it’s ashes will rise simply posting. Continuing on the same trend that MySpace died and gave rise to Facebook, the stripped-down social media site which focused on simply posting rather than maintaining and updating a whole website, the new incarnation of blogging is not having a blog at all and simply posting your content.
On the whole, people don’t subscribe to blogs any more —subscribing was the best way to see more of what an author you liked was writing, but now the best way to do that is to follow them on Twitter. This takes into account the fact that many people publish content on many different channels: very, very few people have organised the entirety of their online contributions onto one page.
Medium have realised this and just focus on helping people write great content.
TL:DR —‘Blogs’ are simply a spine that holds content together: blogs are dead, long live content.
Social media management tools are a must for anyone managing multiple accounts and using them for more than personal reasons. Finding a good one that is easy to use and fits into a good workflow is difficult but I’m very optimistic about Buffer.
As a company, I absolutely love these guys —I’ve been following them on Twitter for a while and their culture is inspiring. They publish information about how their revenue is spent, and how much salary their executives draw in their blog for everyone to see, have a sensible free tier to let you really get a feel for the product before gently nudging you on to a very reasonably priced starter plan. Their regular blog is also full of great social media tips (not the average nonsense that comes out of most social media blogs).
They let you connect multiple accounts, set individual post times and frequencies for them, connect RSS feeds and suggest topics for you to post about. On their business plans you can add multiple members and have them either directly post or to ‘suggest’ content so the task of curating content can be aided by anyone.
The next great feature is that, in addition to a dedicated interface, it also installs a plugin to your browser that adds a special ‘Post to Buffer / Add to Queue’ button on Twitter and Facebook so that you don’t even need to use Buffer to use Buffer, it just becomes a natural part of your normal routine when you’re using your personal accounts.
You don’t even need to use Buffer to use Buffer
So check it out, it’s team features seem to be great but right now I just use their aptly named Awesome Plan which is $10 a month, lets you add up to 10 accounts and 15 RSS feeds.
I’m new to Canva and haven’t used it a whole lot as of yet, but it’s definitely a very interesting service. Canva is a very easy to use, browser based image editing suite. It’s geared to letting you create those inspiring ‘social media graphics’ with mountains and a quote and that kind of thing, but it lets you do it so quickly. Best of all, Canva is free(mium), with the ‘premium’ bit coming from certain paid-for graphics costing $1 per use – given that some of these graphics are very high quality pieces of stock photography you’d pay a lot more for elsewhere, it’s a good deal and I hope it becomes more popular, especially given how ridiculously expensive Adobe’s Creative Cloud package is becoming these days.
Similar to Canva is a standalone tool from Buffer called Pablo. Whilst not quite as flexible as Canva, Pablo focuses on one niche (inspirational quotes with a background image) and does it very well! It doesn’t require a buffer account to use and is very handy if you’re looking to put something together quickly.
A very honourable mention goes to RiteTag, whilst I wouldn’t call it a necessary strategic tool in the same way that Medium or Buffer are, it is a nice tactical addition that helps your tweets get noticed.
When you install RiteTag on your browser, it adds an interface to Twitter that shows you how likely the hashtags you use are going to get noticed, and suggests some good ones for you.
It’s a great idea in principle and I hope it takes off (I haven’t exhaustively checked if anyone else is doing it), but right now they need to work on it a little to make it more intuitive and make the suggestions more personalised.
This is a relatively new workflow for me but it feels like everything fits, I’m keeping on top of multiple social media accounts every day by curating great content, and occasionally creating content in a way that minimises fuss.
Also published on Medium.