2 Social Media Tools You Should Try Right Now

Social Media ToolsUPDATE: Unfortunately Timely has announced that it is shutting down. I encourage you to check out Buffer.

If you’re running a business, I’m pretty sure that you don’t have much spare time and any tools that will help you be more efficient should be valuable to you and your business.

So, here are 2 social media tools you should check out: Buffer and Timely. One of the reason I love these tools is that not only do they save me time, but they’re also really simple to use.

Remember: Scheduling posts is not a replacement for your presence on social networks. It’s really important to make sure that you’re online and respond, engage, discuss and thank people for engaging or sharing your content.

Also: Keep in mind that using third party tools to post to your Facebook Page should be kept to a minimum as it “may” affect your Edgerank score. Facebook has been rumored to penalize posts from third party applications in the past.

Buffer

Buffer lets you schedule your Tweets, Facebook and LinkedIn post using predetermined time slots you have set ahead of time.

Features

  • You can put posts in your Buffer directly from inside Google Reader (I love this).
  • The free version allows you to schedule 10 posts at the time.
  • The browser extension (Chrome, Firefox and Safari) makes it really simple to share the content you find on the web just by clicking the Buffer icon in your browser window.
  • Use your Bit.ly details to keep a track of your links and clicks.
  • The analytics features let you see how many people clicked on your posts and who retweeted them. You can even thank them for sharing from within Buffer.
  • There are 3 different plans: Free, Pro and Premium. The Pro and Premium versions allow you to add more social accounts, work in teams and offer advanced scheduling in addition to other features.

Timely

Timely analyzes your past 199 Tweets or Facebook posts and figures out the best time slots.

Features

  • Queue posts and let Timely figure out the next best time for that post to go out (you can’t specify specific times or days to post in Timely).
  • Timely lets you schedule posts to Twitter, Facebook Pages and Facebook personal profiles.
  • You can pick between 1, 3, 5 and 9 posts per day.
  • You can chose to also posts on weekends or keep the weekends off.
  • Just drag the Timely button to your bookmark bar for easy sharing.
  • Connect your Bit.ly details to keep a track of your links and clicks.
  • You can invite people via email to collaborate on Timely on a particular Twitter or Facebook account.
  • See how many clicks and retweets your Posts generated using the Performance tab.
  • Timely is totally Free for everyone.

Your turn! What tools do you use to manage your time effectively on social media sites?

 

Creative Commons License Photo Credit: Natasha Wheatland via Compfight

  • http://www.late-bloomers.net Barbara

    Thank you, Genevieve, for sharing valuable information on Buffer and Timely, both are on my list … and you just gave me the necessary motivation to get started!

    • gwaters

      Great! You’ll love those tools, I’m sure :)

  • http://www.late-bloomers.net Barbara

    Great post, Genevieve,

    • Genevieve

      Thank you so much Barbara!

  • http://www.carterarch.com Joel Carter

    Genevieve, This was a very “timely article for me, as I have not begun to use any of the tools for scheduling or monitoring posts yet. Yes, I’m still that much of a novice. Maybe soon…

    Thanks for your great advice and easy to understand style of writing and illustrating.

    One other thing I wanted to ask, when you have seen good posts or articles or things you would like to read again and perhaps share, what is the best format to save them for easy retrieval, without having to scroll back through all the posts of you or your friends?

    • gwaters

      Great question Joel. I’ve used many tools to save interesting articles (bookmarks, Chrome “read later fast” app, Evernote, etc.). The one tool I started using lately is http://www.clipix.com which is very similar to Pinterest but you can set your boards to private so only you can see them. I created boards for each subjects and instead of a picture, I write an easy to remember title Clipix.

      I’m really liking this method since I’m really visual. That would be a great subject for a blog post :)

  • http://solidhappiness.blogspot.com Kate

    Hi Genevieve ~ Thank you for the info on these tools. It’s great to share when we find something that works well.
    :)
    Kate

  • http://www.giglogo.com Karla Campos

    I have never used Timely, will have to give it a try. I like how you mention that using third party tools to schedule posts is not a replacement for being present, that is a key point.

    • Genevieve

      For sure Karla. Many people forget about the social part of social media when they automate their posts.

  • http://denisesonnenberg.com Denise Sonnenberg

    Definitely going to check out Timely. Sounds like a great tool.

    • Genevieve

      Thanks Denise. Let me know what you think :)

  • http://ingenioustravel.com Maria Stefanopoulos

    I love Bufferapp.com. It has made life on the social web bearable! Will have to look at Timely.

    • Genevieve

      I love Buffer too! Did you know that they also own the Digg Digg floating toolbar.

  • http://www.yoursocialmediamogul.com Knikkolette

    Thanks for giving me the scoop on Timely – I’ve heard of and used Buffer but not Timely. Will have to give it a look. I use Hootsuite for everything (yes I know I was totally against it – but after everyone was telling me how great it was I gave it another look and now I’m a supporter).

    I like that Buffer now lets you post pictures… and you are so right – the scheduled posts should definitely not replace interaction.

    Keep up the great work! :)

  • http://www.kittiewalker.com/blog Kittie Walker

    I couldn’t agree more Timely and Buffer are both great tools to help out with what can sometimes be the overwhelming world of social media.

    Buffer is my favourite as I manage all my reading via RSS feeds which I review once a day. Buffer makes it so easy to spread out the sharing of anything that might be of interest.

    Not sure what I ever did without it!

    I do agree you have to watch your interaction ratios via 3rd party tools though.

  • http://marthagiffen.com Martha Giffen

    Wow! I use Buffer all the time but did NOT know about Timely. Thanks so much for sharing! I always love learning new tools to help me with social sharing. Thanks!

  • http://www.anitafiander.com Anita

    Great post! I am familiar with Buffer and Timely is on my list. Thank you for the gentle reminder :)

Genevieve Lachance is a web marketing consultant who has a passion for social media and technology based in Montreal, Canada. Read More About Me »