Social Networks: How to Keep Up Like a Pro
By Tom Chu. Filed in Web 2.0
Before we begin, I should really mention one thing: the three major social network platforms I am referring to here are Google+, Facebook and Twitter. Inevitably, there will be comments on this kind of article that will begin naming off the many other sites categorized under the big social media umbrella, be it Tumblr or YouTube or some obscure open-source social networking platform that only one in every 10 hipster has heard of.
I am aware that others exist, and some might be preferred. Also, there are plenty of popular niche sites like those names above that are huge. But when thinking of social networking, it is hard not to see those three at the top of the list. Therefore, they are the ones we will be covering in this article. They are also probably what 99 percent of those reading this are using or addicted to.
(Image source: rafiqelmansy)
With that out of the way, welcome! As a social media user of the Internet era, there is a good chance you have at least one account in any of the three mentioned above. There is a better chance that you have at least two, and a select few of you have all three. You have no reason to feel ashamed. This phenomenon is part of the current social media obsession, one that is unlikely to disappear. Unlike the all-but-extinct originals like Friendster and MySpace, these three sites offer something that managed to tick the right boxes and become the standard on which all social networks are judged. There are little links at the end of articles for you to share what you read automatically. You can now sign in using your social networking profile to make comments, and every mobile device in existence, from even the cheapest phones and WiFi media players, now gives you the capability to browse and update your social networks.
Recommended Reading: Powerful Branding Techniques Through Social Media
Keeping Up With It All
With so many profiles and different people on each one, it can be hard to keep up with them. It becomes more of a chore, which is besides the point. Using a social network should be fun. It’s a good way to communicate with people from around the world, and update your friends and family about major events in your life, all at once. It’s also a good way to get to know people better and share things from around the Web.
(Image source: David)
Of course, you can use the link boxes to share something on each site, one after another. But what about status updates? Do you have to go through each one individually? For a while we got a nifty little sync feature. But that automatically shares updates on both Twitter and Facebook, which wasn’t what users wanted. Plus, it had nothing for Google+, which had not yet been released. Instead, it had an additional sync for MySpace, which next to no one uses anymore.
Apps for Linking Accounts
The way to do it now is through syncing apps. These work by allowing you to select the desired status updates through the program and publish them on any of the three social networking platforms. Some let you do it simultaneously, which is especially great for those with fanpages or those who want to post frequent updates on changes to blogs, sites or content uploads. There are so many of these out there that you could just put in a Google search and pick one at random. But if you want to know what the best are, these 15 are the most suggested, well-loved and used apps out there.
Extended Share is a great extension for Google Chrome, simply because it offers compatibility for a large number of social networking sites. not only Facebook and Twitter are covered, but so are LinkedIn, Reddit, Tumblr, Pinterest and about half a dozen more. It provides a popup that asks for permission to share for each selected site, and post to them simultaneously. Sadly, there is no equivalent for other browsers, as it was made specifically for Google+ users who want to branch out to other accounts. But if you have Chrome you should enjoy the full use of this add-on.
Facebook to Twitter
If you want a full link program that will totally tie together both accounts, Facebook to Twitter is a good one. But it also isn’t that customizable, which is still a major downer. You will get all updates, and it doesn’t always let you post to just one. This might just be a glitch I have personally experienced, however. Others have reported good results.
G++ is a bit better than Google+Tweet if you have a Facebook account. Using it, you can post to both Facebook and Twitter from Google+ directly. Each also shows in your stream, with a small icon indicating which of the three it comes from. This allows you to like, comment on or repost other people’s status updates or shares without having to sign into each one.
As the name suggests, Google+Tweet is a Twitter client that allows you to see your timeline, new posts and tweet updates from your Google+ account. It has a fair list of features and is easy to use, though it has the drawback of only being applicable for Twitter and Google+. If those happen to be the only social media sites you use, you should be well set with this app.
Doodle, update your social media profiles, search maps or send anything from the web from your texting service. Hellotxt is a great app that is a little different from all the others and free to sign up for. It’s worth a look.
Helper for Google+
Helper for Google+ allows you to post status updates on multiple sites but also gives you a full widget that gives you desktop and SMS notifications, translates posts in other languages and allows for posts and profile searches straight from the app. In addition to this, it connects with Pinterest, Delicious and other handy sites that you probably use on a regular basis. This one has been around for a while and just seems to get better with every update. So if you have Google Chrome, be sure to check it out.
Like TweetDeck, HootSuite is a popular desktop application that works by monitoring your social media activity and so much more. Great for power users that need a real boost in efficiency, it lets you manage various social media profiles like the three mains plus others, analyze data, monitor brand mentions, do collaborative team reports and marketing strategies etc. It has a free plan and an unlimited plan for $5.99 per month.
Later Bro is another popular one. Working with both Twitter and Facebook, it lets you schedule status updates far in advance, based on both day and time. It simply connects with your accounts and then lets you create as many updates as you like for either or both.
ManageFlitter is a super simple page you just bookmark and use as you need. It connects to both your Google+ and Twitter accounts and posts the same status on both. That is literally all it does. It might not seem like much, but it is great if you are on a shared computer and don’t want to download or install anything.
Ping.fm is your ultimate social profile manager, simply because it covers nearly everything around. It is compatible with Jaiku, Bebo, Yahoo Profiles, AIM Status, WordPress, Photobucket and dozens of others. It has an SMS or direct app use feature for your phone. It also covers all instant messengers. It basically packs everything into one neat little application for your convenience.
From Facebook to LinkedIn, if you want an app that will let you run things from your phone, Seesmic Ping is that program. There is a mobile, desktop and web-based app to let you keep track of any device. You can analyze data, schedule posts, watch over each profile and more through the service. Think of it as a slightly less feature-heavy HootSuite for your phone and computer combined.
Located on the Facebook Apps page, Selective Tweets allows you to update your Facebook from Twitter. All you have to do is connect the two accounts through the app, and you are on your way. It is one of the easiest and most straightforward programs for the purpose, and you don’t have to download anything.
SmartTweets is another app that does the same as Selective Tweets. However, it automatically goes through the tweets you have and removes anything that is retweeted, unless you specify otherwise. So only relevant tweets will be shared with Facebook and vice versa. It hasn’t had an update in a while, but the app itself is still good.
Made for power users, TweetDeck is one of the more popular desktop applications that follow Twitter posts and show you useful updates and stats, and lets you organize everything for maximum efficiency. Of course, this doesn’t work on either Facebook or Google+. But it still deserves a mention because it makes using Twitter for marketing or other purposes more professionally centered.
Twitter on Facebook
The official app for linking accounts, Twitter on Facebook is simply the standard Twitter sync tool accessible through Facebook. You just press the button to go to your Twitter profile settings page and activate it. While it works, many people choose third-party apps because this one isn’t that customizable or feature heavy.
There are plenty of reasons to sign up for a social media profile on multiple sites. In order to take care of them, you can use various tools designed to make it easier to handle all the three major websites. Do you have a tool that’s not on the list, that you are especially fond of? Let us know in the comments.
Editor’s note: This post is written by Tom Chu for Hongkiat.com. Tom is the SEO manager at PsPrint.com, an online printing company specializing in brochure and poster printing among other popular services.