In a world that is dominated by social media, keeping up with everything can be a huge challenge. If you’re a sportscaster with one or more teams, chances are you’re managing a lot of accounts. While Facebook streamlines the process by allowing users to manage multiple groups and pages from their own accounts, social media networks like Twitter or Instagram are a little more cumbersome for the multi-account user.
I personally run three social media accounts, however it’s been upwards of five when I was also working at the local radio station. If there’s a program out there, I’ve tried it, so here’s my selection for three of the best social media management tools available for sportscasters today.
While solely for Twitter and owned by the company, it’s hard to go past this one as the first on our list. It’s literally the first program I open on my computer every morning and stays open on a second monitor throughout the day. The program uses a column layout to show different versions of your feed. I have three accounts tied into it, all linked to my main personal account. I use this to login to Tweetdeck, and then authorise the satellite accounts to be used through my main login.
The column layout is fantastic and allows me to see a lot of information at a glance. With one look I see my own personal timeline, mentions for my personal account, Sportscaster Life, a couple of hashtag searches and my direct messages. A quick scroll to the right and I see more hashtag searches. Everything constantly updates, is easy to read and best of all…free. Tweetdeck is 100% web-based as well, which means when you login, it’ll have the same column setup on your home computer as it does on your laptop, work computer or hotel workstation.
If you’re managing more than one Twitter account, Tweetdeck is an absolute must.
I could hear the crowds shout as I wrote that first paragraph. “Everything you’re describing about Tweetdeck, Hootsuite can do…plus instagram and Facebook and all this other stuff!” And my response is, you’re absolutely right. Hootsuite offers a lot more social networks and that is a very attractive option. If you’re running personal and team Instagram, Twitter and other networks, then Hootsuite is a great option. However I’ll tell you why I moved away from Hootsuite a few years back, in favour of Tweetdeck….better yet, I’ll show you.
It’s clunky. It’s too big and in the exact same 1400 x 600px screenshot, I can see 5 full tweets and 4 partial tweets on Hootsuite, while getting more than 3 times that information on Tweetdeck. That being said, there’s no denying that Hootsuite is THE PROGRAM when it comes to multi-network management. I’m not a very big user of Instagram (read: not at all), which made moving from Hootsuite much easier…however it’s still a great program for those looking to tackle everything in one place.
This program is a little different, and also the newest one in my arsenal of social media management tools. Buffer won’t help you interact or reply to comments, but it is invaluable for scheduling and planning out material. In the case of Sportscaster Life, where we post Monday/Wednesday/Thursday each week, once the content is posted to the website, the relevant social media gets scheduled as well. Buffer helps with scheduling updates to run at optimized times, you can set up daily schedules and much more. If you’re in a situation where you try to work ahead, and plan things like game previews or news releases then Buffer is a great way to do that. Write the night before, schedule to post, schedule your social media and you’re free the next day.
Buffer has a limited free mode which is more than enough to get you started, however I quickly moved up to the lower end pay model at around $10/month. I get to schedule more updates across more networks. Buffer works beautifully with Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+ and Pintrest and allows you to schedule updates from one page to multiple networks very easily. Given it’s all web based, you can use it anywhere, including on your smartphone device.
Managing social media can really be time consuming, and while largely fun and enjoyable, it can also be tedious and annoying. These tools can help you get the most out of social media, while working a little smarter to do so.