Management of multiple social media accounts can be a huge drain on your time and resources. Never believe anyone who says social media is free! It ain’t! In this post I will review a Twitter Analytics and scheduling tool called Crowdbooster – no affiliate relationship is involved here so you get nothing but the facts without a pitch. And seeing as this is social – please share with the Tweet, Like, Share type buttons at the top.
Like most people you are probably feeling a little overwhelmed with the sheer number of social media accounts you need to be active on if you are in business.
You are also more than likely finding that tweeting, updating, sharing, liking, +1ing, In-ing (Ha!), pinning, stumbling, tumbling, checking in, digging and every other possible permutation is WEARING you out!
I have written previously about Twitter techniques to engage – this post is about how to cut down on the amount of time spent managing your social media accounts.
Say hello to the wonderful world of social automation – and before you get up on to your high horse – yes, I can hear the chorus already:
Social is all about the conversation, it is about being in the “now”, it is in real-time…
I agree, 100%!
And you should never automate conversations in social media, or thank yous, or any other more personalised interactions. Ideally you should check into social media frequently to reply to people… in real time.
However, there are certain aspects of social media which should be automated.
Some of the more mechanical tasks associated with managing your social media can take hours every day if you do these manually.
So, tools to assist with reducing the amount of time you have to spend on social media are a necessity.
The other crucial function of social media tools is measurement.
What sort of business allocates resources to a marketing strategy with no idea whether the efforts are effective or not?
Now, social media ROI is a hotly debated concept and it is a little outside of the usual marketing return model.
To gain benefits from social media there is a large investment in time and expertise needed and the results are cumulative as long as the strategies are right, the voice of the business resonates with an audience and the strategy creates large numbers of brand advocates who tell the world about how awesome you are!
Measurement of social media success is about:
Recommendations and referrals
Alright, now we have covered the “why” for social media tools let’s get on with the review.
I am focusing here on one tool – Crowdbooster, which works primarily for one platform – Twitter.
If you are serious about using Twitter to build an audience, to connect with a large number of people, to build your social authority then you are already sharing a large amount of valuable information from blogs, news pages, images, videos, slide presentations and much more.
You are already sharing these links many times a day on Twitter yet you are acutely aware that you do not want to flood other Twitter users’ feeds with multiple posts at the same time.
And going back to Twitter every hour to post something new is out of the question.
Scheduling tools are a real saviour- I have used both BufferApp and Crowdbooster for this and I have tried out a couple of other tools as well.
How does Crowdbooster rate in the scheduling department?
You are able to pre-set content based tweets for today, tomorrow, next week… whenever… and there does not seem to be a point where they say “in order to schedule any more tweets you will have to upgrade to premium” (pay us some money!)
So, a big Plus for these guys.
I am sure like most people who spend a reasonable amount of time online you also get a bit tired of the “here’s a little bit of cool stuff, get to like it, now here is the big upsell” crap that Internet marketing has got a bad rap for.
The only time it seems that you are asked to pay for the professional service is if you want to manage multiple accounts. And if you are charging for social media management services for multiple clients this is more than fair.
As a Twitter scheduling tool:
You can schedule as many posts as far into the future as you like – brilliant!
You can choose the time and date for each post. This means that if something specific is happening at a certain time you can schedule to correspond with the event.
Crowdbooster analyses when your following is most active online and serves you up recommended tweet times so you can be visible even when you are asleep or elsewhere.
You can easily sort the order of your posts simply by adding the time for publishing – other scheduling services seem to stick to the “order of submission” rule.
At a glance you can see everything that you have scheduled and can ensure you are not repeating yourself or posting too close together.
Crowdbooster is a bit confused about time zones. If you set your time zone as New Zealand or Australia and schedule for today Crowdbooster seems to think that today’s date means tomorrow. If you ignore the “tomorrow” part and simply go by date, the tweets will go out at the right time.
The text box is a bit buggy – I find it is always better to edit a tweet before pasting in the tweet box as almost every time the cursor will jump around mid way through a word and make a nonsense of what you are typing.
Occasionally the tweets fail to publish and when you log in you may find several which have not been sent.
Social media measurement:
Crowdbooster gives you a range of information around:
Impressions – number of times your tweet has shown on a feed
Retweets – number of times someone has hit the retweet button on one of your tweets
Mentions (replies) – number of times someone has used @ and your username
Let’s take a look at the dashboard:
Here is where you do the business. The dashboard has the crucial stats on followers, retweets, mentions plus it is where you get to post and schedule your valuable info. (If you are not sourcing and publishing links that are useful to your audience then you are missing the point of Twitter)
The dashboard also gives recommendations about best times to post, influential Twitter users you should interact with, number of impressions for your most successful tweets and more.
The recommendations on people you should interact with and follow are based on Klout scores (online influence measurement) so if you are one of the many that are saying Klout means nothing here is yet another reason to rethink.
It also gives you access to a range of other metrics – top influencers, people who retweet your stuff, growth (or otherwise).
Social media scheduling:
This is pretty awesome!
You can see at a glance what you have scheduled on Twitter, today, tomorrow, next week…
You can edit the tweets, delete them, change the time and day… whatever!
How are my Tweets doing?
This is cool!
Ever wondered how many people your tweets are reaching?
You can see on this shot that one of my tweets reached almost 140,000 people.
This is an indication of the viral nature of Twitter – and the reason why a large audience is essential. I’m sorry but having a real network of 150 people is not going to cut it in this space.
Two retweets of another post reached around 35,000 people. Multiple tweets reached over 30,000 people.
This is the genius of Twitter!
These are based on Klout scores and can sometimes push forward people that have large followings and that have high Klout scores who you would not usually interact with.
I think this is more to do with Klout than Crowdbooster.
Apparently Klout thinks I am influential about Trombones…
because I once posted on my personal Facebook page a New Orleans Mardi Gras video.
So, check these but don’t take them as gospel!
Who are my followers?
This offers great stats on how much you are growing your Twitter presence – how many new followers, retweets, mentions and so on. You can check this as the last week, month or custom date…
You can probably tell by now that with some reservations I am a bit of a fan of Crowdbooster.
And Crowdbooster is a great tool to automate certain aspects of social media marketing.
You can never take the personal interactivity element out of social media – without the one on one conversations social media becomes a wasteland, an echo chamber of zero value – a place where ego and sales pitches prevail…
And we all know that selling does not work in this space.
And it may be that the new friend who has just retweeted you for the first time will one day become your brand advocate.
They will tell their business contacts about you and what you do.
They will do this because you were approachable, friendly, human, real…
Because you were YOU!
What are your experiences with social media tools? Do you have a preference?
Let me know by leaving a comment.
Mike Morgan works with innovative businesses in New Zealand and Australia developing custom web marketing strategies integrating SEO, Content Marketing and Social Media Optimisation. When not in front of his screens you will probably find Mike walking on beautiful Ohope Beach with wife Midge and doberman Cooper. Follow Mike on Twitter here and Google+ here