Experiments in Social Media

Seeing as I use social media in my personal and professional life, it sometimes is a bit overwhelming. I receive information from a variety of sources, and wish to share it back out in various ways. How do you keep track of everything? How do you look back on your click rate and shares?

First, some thoughts on the different social media networks; I work hard to keep all my social media channels professional, but usually use them in different ways.

Facebook – Facebook is my most personal space; my closest friends and family are able to stay in touch with me.  I post personal photos, share funny stories and serious articles that I think my friends will enjoy.

Twitter – Twitter is my catch-all. It most closely reflects my stream of consciousness, and is where I connect professional with a wide audience. I read most of my news on Twitter and follow-up on news sites and Google searches.

Linked In – This is my professional space, where I try to reflect my skills and expertise. Here, I post articles that are directly related to my field.



To keep information flowing on these social media channels, one invaluable tool for me is Buffer – I’m a little late to the game on this one, but I’ve been using it for almost a year now. Buffer holds my updates in the queue and sends them out at pre-determined times to the social networks I select. I have Buffer connected to my Twitter, Facebook, and Linked In accounts, and it’s available on my iPad, smart phone and browser. So, anywhere I find an interesting article, I can share it quickly to my networks. I haven’t upgraded to the “Awesome” plan, but am considering it. That would allow me to add social media channels such as Google+ and shows analytics of sent messages. However, even on the free plan, I am able to see what topics receive the most clicks and shares, and better tailor my message.



IFTTT (stands for If This, Then That) is a handy tool to have, and I have adapted it for many things, not just social media. But, my favorite use is to help me manage two separate social media profiles. Currently, I am in charge of my organization’s social media accounts as well as my own, which at times is confusing. However, if I find an article on my personal accounts, I can tweet it out with the hashtag #EdCo, and IFTTT automatically emails me that tweet. I can then edit it, and send it out on my work account to a wider audience.  I’ve also used it to schedule monthly social media updates, thank new followers and automatically download photos.



Another key tool for organizational social media is Hootsuite – I only use Hootsuite for the work accounts. This helps me keep a clear delineation between my personal accounts and posts from my organization. This helps to prevent accidents, like those seen here.  Hootsuite is a multi-channel social media tool; I can post and search our organization’s Twitter, Facebook, Twitter and Google+ accounts quickly.

Even with using these tools, social media managers must stay mindful that social media is an ever-evolving landscape. There have been complaints of Facebook not posting Hootsuite updates in the past, or glitches with IFTTT. Careful monitoring and staying up-to-date is the only way to become a successful social media manager.

What are some tools that you find useful? Share in the comments below or tweet me – @JenMcMillin.


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