Maybe this sounds familiar to you: I used to log in to each and every individual network to compose new posts, check what’s happening in my streams, follow up on conversations and follower requests, and basically perform any other little bit of social media management that was on my plate.

I switched to dashboards and tools, and my productivity has soared.

I’d love to share a bit about how I made these changes and the best social media management tools and strategies I’ve used for handling multiple social media accounts—whether you’re juggling your personal brand in multiple places or handling a mix of company profiles and personal profiles.

I’d love to hear from you on what insights you’ve learned as well!

Best social media management tools

The 6 best social media management tools

1. Buffer – social media dashboard & scheduling

social media management tools buffer

My biggest time-saver has been using a social media management dashboard where I can manage all my social media profiles from one central place. At Buffer, we’re aiming to build a simple, clean, and intuitive tool to help with just this, and we’re so inspired by other dashboard tools like Hootsuite and Sprout Social. All are great options.

Benefits:

  • You log in once to manage everything
  • You can perform multiple actions in the same spot—sharing, scheduling, analyzing

Which networks it supports:

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+

Tools similar to Buffer:

Hootsuite, Sprout Social, HubSpot, Everypost

2. SumAll – social media managment reports

social media management sumall demo

Once you connect your multiple social networks to SumAll, it’ll start pulling data and insights from your accounts, dropping the numbers into a central dashboard of analytics. You can then check up on these stats by visiting the app, or you can ask for a daily or weekly email with all the info.

Benefits:

  • Reports come to you—no additional clicking or hunting
  • Choose the stats that matter–manage social media using the metrics that are most important to you

Which networks it supports:

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr

Tools like SumAll:

Social ExpressSocialight

 

3. Feedient – centralized social media streams

(Update: Feedient is no longer in service.)

feedient

Still in open beta, this tool collects your social media streams and displays them all from within the Feedient app. Feedient uses columns to show each channel’s content, similar to how Tweetdeck organizes feeds and lists for Twitter management. You can rearrange and organize as you’d like, and you can engage with the shares and updates from right within the app.

Benefits:

  • Browse multiple social media streams in one location
  • Quickly engage with the updates you want

Which social media networks it supports:

Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Tumblr, RSS

4. SocialHunt – digests of your favorite people’s activity

social media management socialhunt

One helpful way to save time when managing multiple social accounts is to cut down on the number of times you must visit each network individually. One area of assistance here is pulling updates from your most valued accounts out of social media and into your inbox. Social Hunt connects with Twitter to give you the updates from people you choose—with digests sent immediately, every three hours, or daily.

Benefits:

  • Never miss an update from a user
  • Monitor a group of chosen profiles (people, brands, etc.)

Which networks it supports:

Twitter

Tools like Social Hunt:

Brook, Nuzzel

5. SocialCount – tracking social media shares for your content

social media management socialcount

If you’re managing social media, you’ll want a tool that shows you how your content is spreading. For a quick and simple way to check the share count of your site’s content, plug your main URL into SocialCount and see the results. SocialCount gives you the top shares for each unique article on your site, aggregating data from Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Benefits:

  • Enter one URL, get all the results
  • See which articles do well across multiple channels without having to constantly monitor multiple social channels

Which networks it supports:

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn

Tools like SocialCount:

Shared Count, Quick Sprout, BuzzSumo

6. BuzzSumo Alerts – notifications when you & your content go viral

buzzsumo author alert social media management

I’ve found great use with BuzzSumo in performing keyword and idea research for blog posts. Their Alerts tools has some great applications for managing multiple social media accounts as well. Instead of visiting each social network to spot mentions, you can tell BuzzSumo to email you any time your name or company name appears in highly-shared blog posts.

Benefits:

  • Easily keep up to date on the virality of your brand
  • Gauge the quality of your content as it appears on social media (without needing to even be on social media)

Which networks it supports:

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest

Tools like BuzzSumo Alerts:

Mention, Social Mention,

The 6 best social media management strategies

1. Add your social media profiles to a dashboard

The single biggest help for managing multiple social media accounts is the ability to access everything from one location. Think of it like grocery shopping: You’ll save time if you can pick up bread, orange juice, ice cream, and napkins at one supermarket rather than stopping off at four different locations.

Social media dashboards (like Buffer and others, mentioned above) are ideal for this. It’s one of the most popular time-saving social media tips out there.

2. Schedule posts ahead of time

Scheduling your content does a couple great things for you:

  1. It helps save you time by letting you batch your social media updates all at once and still share at multiple, best times throughout the day.
  2. It helps make sure that you maintain a consistent publishing schedule and always have good content coming up next.

The social media management tools listed above (Buffer, Hootsuite, Sprout Social, etc.) each allow for scheduling. Buffer’s queue system allows you to set up a series of optimal times in advance and publish one piece of content from your queue at each scheduled slot, or to schedule at specific times regardless of queue.

3. See who is engaging with your posts

Engagement stats like reshares and replies are some super signals that people are excited to connect with you. Finding and replying to these people is a great social media strategy, made easier when you can access all this interaction from one place.

In Buffer, you can click on the analytics for reshares/retweets and comments/replies to see a list of who has interacted with you.

buffer top tweets

You can follow back directly through Buffer, and you click through to your original update to share a response.

4. Segment your audience so you can follow easier

Let’s say you follow 1,000 people on Twitter, 500 people on Facebook, and 50 people on Instagram. That’s a ton of content to keep up with on a daily basis!

One way to help out with managing these multiple accounts is to place the accounts that are important to you into their own silos.

5. Compare your social media stats to a benchmark

A popular method of displaying stats on social media is to show them as week-over-week growth. This is super great in so many cases. Yet, sometimes it can be a bit misleading. What if you had a really spectacular week with a number of unique events and happenings? It might throw off a bit of your analysis in the weeks surrounding it.

Creating a benchmark is a bit of an easier way to measure performance week-over-week and post-over-post.

We’ve found post-over-post analysis to be especially helpful. For instance, on Twitter we identify popular tweets as those that gain 200 or more clicks. So when it comes time to check the stats, we can see at-a-glance which ones met those standards (and reshare them accordingly).

If you’re interested in more, SimplyMeasured has a great overview of four different ways to find social media benchmarks.

  • Benchmarks of social leaders and influencers in your niche
  • Benchmarks from your own history and data
  • Benchmarks specific to your campaign and promotion goals
  • Benchmarks based on competitor numbers

For example, AgoraPulse can show you some of these benchmark stats for your Facebook page, customized for your specific size of followers (e.g., you’ll see different numbers if your page has 1,000 fans versus 10,000 fans).

Agora Pulse dashboard

6. Automate as many tasks as you’re comfortable with

Automation—the process of setting up systems to work whether you’re around or not—can be super useful for managing multiple social profiles. Tools like Zapier and IFTTT allow you to sync up multiple apps so that when a certain activity happens it kicks off a separate activity in another app.

Zapier published a list of 101 ways to automate social media. Here are a few of their suggestions.

zapier zaps for social media management

We’ve shared some fun social media IFTTT recipes before, too—things like saving tweeted links to Pocket and welcoming new members to Facebook groups.

Summary

We’re quite fortunate to have so many awesome tools and apps to rely on for managing social media accounts. When I think of the time I used to spend on social, I see the hours that I’ve saved since just in following a couple small strategies:

  • Use a social media dashboard so I can log in at one place
  • Schedule posts ahead of time to save time and keep the content coming
  • Split up the stream into manageable chunks
  • Find simple stats that are meaningful and can be analyzed at-a-glance

Which social media management tips have been most useful for you? What are some of your most-used tools for managing multiple social media accounts? I’d love to hear from you in the comments and on Twitter!

Image sources: IconFinder, Blurgrounds, Startup Stock Photos

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Written by Kevan Lee

Content crafter at Buffer. You can find me online, tweeting about my writing process, or at home, second-guessing football coaches. Live simply, give generously, beat cancer.

  • http://callcentrehub.com Tilly Davies

    Great article with heaps of valuable guidelines, thank you! Knowing what reports you need and why is key. Stats and analytics not understood will create huge confusion

    • http://blog.bufferapp.com Kevan

      Thanks so much, Tilly! Great point! Curious, which reports have been valuable to you in your experience? 🙂

      • http://callcentrehub.com Tilly Davies

        I always look for engagement stats on my mentions. It is an indicator that I do provide value and whether or not I am on the right track. To me it is all about quality and not quantity…

  • http://hotsaucedaily.com Brian Meagher

    Great roundup type post. Thanks Kevan!

    I’m tearing my hair out (not really, I’m practically bald) over the use of Buffer vs. Hootsuite. And I’m afraid Hootsuite is losing due to being over-complicated.

    Sell me on the simplicity of Buffer and help me put both feet in one camp. 🙂
    FWIW, it’s me on FB and G+, and my two online biz ventures on FB, G+ & Twitter.

    • http://blog.bufferapp.com Kevan

      Hi there Brian! Thanks so much for the comment! It’s so great to hear you’re researching some solutions!

      I’ve not used Hootsuite much, though I know they have a super extensive list of great tools. We take a lot of inspiration from them! On our side, we’re focused on being the simplest social media management tool to help you work faster. A few of the ways we aim to do this are through a simple and clean interface (the dashboard) and through an intuitive way of scheduling content into a queue. Have you had a chance to test out our browser extension? That seems to be the #1 tip from Buffer users for saving tons of time. You can schedule a post to all of your social media accounts with the click of a button (or keyboard shortcut). More cool tips here, too, if you’re interested: https://blog.bufferapp.com/the-8-most-useful-features-for-a-powerful-social-media-presence

      We’ve got an amazing support team here, too! We’d love to help out with anything at all via email hello@bufferapp.com or Twitter (@buffer). My biggest selling point for Buffer might just be having a conversation with one of my awesome teammates via email or Twitter. 🙂

      • http://hotsaucedaily.com Brian Meagher

        @kevanlee:disqus Can you explain your last sentence? How do you have a “conversation… via email or Twitter” with Buffer involved? I mean, where does Buffer fit into that scenario?

        • http://courtneyseiter.com/ Courtney Seiter

          Hey Brian, just hopping in for Kevan on this one! We try to provide super-speedy help for all our customers, and we’re also aways up for a chat, if you have ideas or thoughts to share or even a fun GIF. 😉 I think Kevan wanted to be sure you knew you would be able to plug into an active and friendly community with Buffer, if you so desire!

          • http://blog.bufferapp.com Kevan

            Hi Brian! Yep, Courtney’s right! I’m always so inspired by the way my team members do customer support. I think our desire for customer happiness is a big selling point! 🙂

      • SuYin Wong

        That’s true. Love buffer! But I would really love to have a social engagement/listening method through buffer. Right now, using buffer and hootsuite for it.

    • http://www.brittanyberger.com/ Brittany Berger

      I love Buffer for scheduling, but for me it still leaves a need for a listening dashboard that’s better than Twitter.com. I love how much you can customize Hootsuite for that, and you can keep it as simple as you’d like. It’s probably considered weird that I like live in Hootsuite, but still schedule a majority of my posts through Buffer. 🙂

      • http://hotsaucedaily.com Brian Meagher

        @brittanyberger:disqus – thanks for your input. I can see how both tools are useful in their own strengths.

        I take it you are a “paid” “pro” user of both Hootsuite and Buffer?
        I only ask, and I feel apps deserve paid support if they are that useful and awesome in your workflow.

        • http://blog.bufferapp.com Kevan

          Awesome conversation here! Thanks for the extra validation and nudge toward building out some listening tools inside Buffer!

          • http://www.brittanyberger.com/ Brittany Berger

            That would be AMAZING. Interface-wise, and in terms of respect and admiration for the company, Buffer beats out everything else for me, but I still need to use other tools for listening. Hootsuite’s dashboard has gotten a lot better looking lately, though, I will say.

        • http://www.brittanyberger.com/ Brittany Berger

          Yep, I’m a paying customer of both, although both have several pricing tiers and I’m on the lowest of each since they’re for personal use and I don’t need a ton of features.

          • http://hotsaucedaily.com Brian Meagher

            That would be my level as well. I’m paying for Hootsuite now as a new user (trying it out again), and will probably pull the trigger for an Awesome account with Buffer soon.

  • http://www.theremarkableway.com Nicole Gebhardt

    Thank you!!! This is the exact How To article I’ve been hunting for to improve my daily routine with ease. You’ve sold me on diving deeper into Buffer…and I love the other suggestions as well. Much appreciated Kevan!

    • http://blog.bufferapp.com Kevan

      Thanks so much, Nicole! So glad to hear you’ll be taking a deeper dive with us. Let me know if I can help out in any way! 🙂

  • Alex Chernenko

    Why did you leave out Hootsuite? Article is very biased as you are promoting Buffer. I prefer Hootsuite over Buffer and see no reason why it should not be included in Best 6 Social Media Management tools.

    • http://blog.bufferapp.com Kevan

      Hi there Alex! Thank you for the comment! Indeed, Hootsuite is a really great service and can help out tons when it comes to managing multiple social profiles. That’s awesome to hear you get good use out of it. What are some of your favorite features? I’ve not had the extensive use with it that I’d like to, so I’m always keen on hearing how others have found it. 🙂

  • AgoraPulse

    Hey, Kevan! Thanks so much for mentioning Agorapulse in one of your blogs again. Love this list 🙂 My daily open tabs consist of Agorapulse for community management and of course Buffer & Feedly for sharing and scheduling great content – Jenny

    • http://blog.bufferapp.com Kevan

      Hi there Jenny! Thanks for the comment! Yes, I love the tools that AgoraPulse provides – super useful stuff! And thank you for sharing your browser habits with us. Very cool!

  • EstherK

    Great roundup – learned a lot, about tools I had never heard of. I especially loved the “Benefits/Which networks it supports/Tools like” sections, which provides a very helpful frame. One thing that could help further is to indicate whether they have free memberships or only paid services, and what those services cost. I can obviously click around and find out, but it’s like going to four different supermarkets. 🙂 Great post, though. 🙂

    • http://blog.bufferapp.com Kevan

      Hi there Esther! So glad you enjoyed the post! That’s a great bit of input about adding the pricing info here. I believe each of these is a free tool, the only one I’m not 100% on is BuzzSumo Alerts, which might be a paid feature above and beyond their free plan. Thanks for reading! 🙂

  • ELIA SANTIAGO

    Mr.Kevan this is a Super Post lots of Value i have Been using Buffer an its great set it an forget and still have time with family and Friends

    • http://blog.bufferapp.com Kevan

      Hi there Elia! Thanks so much for the comment!

  • Jade

    Hey guys, thanks for the Simply Measured shoutout!

    • http://blog.bufferapp.com Kevan

      Awesome! You bet, Jade! 🙂

  • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

    Hey Kevan, some great tools and tips. I didn’t hear of Feedient before so I’m going to check this one out!

    • http://blog.bufferapp.com Kevan

      Hi there Ian! Thanks for the comment! I’d love to hear what you think of Feedient! 🙂

  • http://oliviaadamspr.com Olivia Adams

    This is an awesome resource! Definitely bookmarking this and trying out some of these tools!

    • http://blog.bufferapp.com Kevan

      Thanks so much, Olivia! Really glad to hear there were some useful bits in here. 🙂

  • Meagan Wade

    I feel like you’ve missed out on a key platform here: TweetDeck. You can customize your dashboards the same way you can with HootSuite. I’ve actually eliminated my pro subscriptions for both Buffer and HootSuite because of this platform. Appreciate all the other tools though, will have to look into them.

    • http://blog.bufferapp.com Kevan

      Great one, Meagan! Thanks for adding it to the list here!

  • Valerie J Brown (Cheers)

    Thank you Guy Kawasaki and Kevan Lee very much for this post! I am learning from mistakes and just doing it and have so much stuff, really need to slow down and use this advice. Thanks again and much appreciated and don’t know whare half of my work is anymore! Can you do books from your work on socila media and is there one base social media which knows everything which we post? This is what I would like to know and have back up, but would like to know if we could get print outs of what we have published anywhere? Have good weekend!

    • http://blog.bufferapp.com Kevan

      Hi Valerie! Thanks so much for the comment. I’m not quite sure I’ve seen any printable social media services just yet. If I come across one, I’ll be sure to share!

  • Lee

    This is an amazingly helpful article. thanks so much Kevan.
    I love buffer for it’s simplicity of use over all others. Have just started my free trial with SumAll thanks to this article. I am always enjoying the buffer articles as they are true value and I always learn something 🙂

  • http://www.spinabell.com/ Spinabell

    Appreciable post. This will help small, big, mid sized and well as individual social media account to manage their account effectively. Visit Spinabell.com to manage your twitter account. One of the most powerful social media management tools I’m using.

  • Kristina Gebert Kolb

    For staying organized and working on optimizing my productivity in creative workflow I’ve been using Arc 9. I also use it to manage all my creative projects, especially ones that require direct client interaction. It’s definitely the easiest platform to use because, it combines all the best features of traditional collaboration software like; basecamp, vimeo, and dropbox, into a single web application.

    I love that not only is it great for video (which is nearly impossible to find these days), it handles everything else with ease. You can upload almost any type of image, coding/development script, pdf, text, or file without having to convert them back and forth. I am still most impressed by the features available for sharing, which instantly turn projects into fully branded presentations. You can invite clients (via email) to view your work in customized private portals, with annotation tools that encourage both written and visual feedback.

    I’ve found it to be the perfect solution for many of my creative workflow obstacles, and I really think other creatives would benefit from it as much as I have.

    http://www.arc9.com

  • Manish Gupta

    Try FloTape (www.flotape.com) as well as GrabInBox. Both are free and have awesome features. Different timezone scheduling, post tracking as well as activity list are awesome features in FloTape.

  • http://www.hamptonscreativemedia.com Emma DeVito

    Love this post. Lots of great info and well-written. I am going to post it on my Facebook page for my social media management business, http://www.hamptonscreativemedia.com within the next few days 🙂

  • Robyn Aestival Hodgkiss

    Great post, really helped me today. I didnt know any of these tools before today and was just about to pay for a £40 a month dashboard until i found buffer! Thanks a lot

  • http://www.coupsteer.com CoupSteer

    Tools can be helpful for a years,
    Specially buffer & dashboard !!

    >>>> http://www.coupsteer.com<<<<&lt;

  • Deltelectronics

    Hello,
    I am new about Facebook, but I was recently challenged to write a It’s my intention to write a simple web application, using PHP, which can log in imto a Facebook Profile and then retrieve and manage informations; unfortunatelly I really have any idea how to start so I am asking you if you can suggest me some tutorial from where I can pick up suggestions…. Thank you very much in advance.

  • Sanjana Singh

    Thanks for sharing tools for social media management. but i am check one tool not in this list.. i am using http://sociainsight.com. this tool is very good management and social insights.

  • as2ute

    Very informative article, thank you. I’ve since joined Buffer and finding it extremely useful. Just as an aside; is there a program available that can pull-in and display articles from sites I favour/follow (a bit like rss) so I can see relevant news all in one place?

    Keep up the good work everybody!

  • Bilbo

    Great Post. Every thing is elaborated in detail.
    Best Regards
    Bilbo
    http://www.fincyte.com/5-useful-social-media-apps-to-manage-business-online/

  • http://xmediadigitalsolutions.com.au/ David Walter

    Pretty sure Feedient is shutting down 🙁

  • Mark Smith

    Hi! Great roundup!! I learned a lot! I work in an advertising agency and I need good advertising management software

  • Sanaya Trivedi

    Your list of tools is good, hopefully they work. But off-course thank you for sharing your information with us. I would will more than happy if they will work. For better social marketing tactics we can take help from http://acompworld.com/ it will really help you. Please continue writing and sharing your expert help with us.

  • https://www.everydaylivehappy.com Every Day Live Happy

    Thank you very much for this detailed article.

  • aakash sohani

    Really a very nice article…..
    Recently at BETAPAGE, I have read about SHORTCUTZ (http://betapage.co/startup/shortcutz ). It gives you one simple overview of all social profiles at one place. It can also be helpful.

  • AndriaSmith008

    Hi Kevan , This is an awesome article to go through with good and brief description on social media management and tools. Even I have number of accounts but did not realize that they can be so beneficial in my marketing campaigns. However my management tool, Sociota enables automatic postings and bulk scheduling. So once again thanks for building up my marketing
    strategies through this article.

  • Andria Smith

    Hi Kevan , This is an awesome article to go through with good and brief description on social media management and tools. Even I have number of accounts but did not realize that they can be so beneficial in my marketing campaigns. However my management tool, Sociota enables automatic postings and bulk scheduling. So once again thanks for building up my marketing
    strategies through this article

  • Aarti Mehta

    Some great tips and tools mentioned in the blog. However, I would like to add some of my thoughts which I think can add value to the post. Outsourcing social media management services is a good option for businesses. Outsourcing support is a popular strategy to adopt because of the quality it generates.Although you can do it yourself with your in-house team but it is better to assign the job to someone who is better at doing it. Delivering excellent customer support is not a piece of cake, but with help of experienced players like GizmoSupport the job seems much more simple and at the same time quality is maintained.