Friday, October 22, 2010

Four free social media tools to update your status

Social media has become a part of almost every company's publicity plan. So, it's not surprising that a lot of Internet marketers and public relations professionals have come up with an "editorial calendar" for their tweets and Facebook status updates. If part of your job is managing several Facebook pages, Twitter accounts or other social networking sites, then you might find these four free social media tools handy when scheduling your updates. 

Later Bro is a very simple and very direct way of scheduling your tweets and status updates. No registration is required. Just link your Twitter and/or Facebook accounts and pre-schedule your update. It also saves your post, so you can resend it for another day. Their website is also very clean and simple. It takes you straight to what you need to do – update either your Twitter or Facebook account.

Later Bro covers only Twitter and Facebook. I’m not sure if it covers Facebook pages or groups; so for now, I would say that this is best for personal accounts and making sure that you won’t forget to post a birthday greeting on a friend’s wall.

Still in its beta version, Social Tomorrow allows you to be well, social tomorrow by pre-scheduling your tweets and updates today. Social Tomorrow is similar to Later Bro in a sense that it only covers Twitter and Facebook, although this one covers Facebook Pages and Groups. It is also very easy and simple to use.  A free account allows you to send 10 messages each for Twitter/Facebook Profile, Facebook Pages and Facebook Groups in a month.

Sendible is another free tool to help you manage your social media accounts. Unlike Later Bro and Social Tomorrow, Sendible covers almost all the major social networking sites, from Bebo to Twitter. A free account lets you send up to 100 messages a month.

Sendible boasts itself as "a one-stop-shop for all your marketing needs" because it also covers e-mails and blogs and for paid accounts, SMS. Moreover, it provides analytics on the updates you post.

I've had a few connection errors when I used it the first time. Also, I had a hard time figuring out where to start. But as soon as I've figured out everything, it wasn't difficult at all to start scheduling my tweets and updates.

Represented by an image of an owl, Hootsuite is similar to Sendible wherein it allows you to cover multiple social networking sites (five social media profiles for free accounts). Also, it allows you to check your accounts in one page through different tabs/streams and gives you the option to be notified by e-mail once your updates have been posted. And, if you have other people managing your accounts, you can also add them as "team members" to schedule the updates.

Since Hootsuite covers live stream, this is best for those who update their profiles and accounts actively. At first, the live stream was kind of confusing to me because I felt like there were so many things happening at once, until I've discovered that you could personalize that live stream. It worked out better for me.  

I wish I had known about these free social media scheduling tools when I was managing Facebook pages and had to update them by a specific time. I don't have those fancy smart phones, so I had to use a computer with an Internet connection to update the pages. I would be in the dog park watching our beagle play with other dogs only to realize it was time to go home to update a Facebook page. If I had known about these free web tools, managing those pages would have been easier.

For detailed and unbiased reviews of the above social media tools and for more sites similar to these, check out these two articles from trustworthy links:

Article in Mashable by Erica Swallow
Social @ Blogging Tracker by Chin Ya
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