Were going to assume that, as a business owner, you've already taken the first important step and established yourself on the Internet. Maybe you have a Facebook profile or even a YouTube channel. Whatever it is, you've opened the door to a larger audience and a more authoritative web presence. In short, you've made yourself more accessible than ever before.
The only problem, of course, is keeping up with all of your social accounts with profiles on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest; posting to each of these sites can easily start to feel like a full-time job.
The good news is that there are plenty of ways to effectively manage all of your social media accounts all at once. Well look at some of your best bets here, including some free solutions and some subscription-based ones as well.
Why Link Your Accounts?
To begin with, it might be useful to explore the reasons why its worthwhile to link your business social accounts together, particularly if you're going to pay a subscription fee for the privilege. Considering how much you've probably heard about social networking and virality being a free publicity juggernaut, why would you introduce a new expense in this equation? Is it a worthwhile investment?
The short answer is yes. Growing businesses and well-established brands alike have more important things to do than repost the same content to each of their social media channels. Its both time-consuming and inefficient to have to republish that same blog post, tweet or photograph.
The beauty of social media is that there are different communities for different people. Facebook gets most of the attention, but your (prospective) customers have likely scattered themselves across the available social networks, choosing the one that works best for them. As a result, you want something that will help you target each of those communities at once. Here's are some of your options.
Social Account Linking Services: How To Get Started
If you've made Google+ the primary social account for your business, then it would probably make a lot of sense to check out Friends+Me. you'll be able to create a schedule to automate when your content gets posted, and to which social sites (including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Tumblr). The posts themselves will look indistinguishable from the ones you post manually, so nobody will be any the wiser.
Getting started couldn't be easier; if you already have a Google account, most of the hard work is already done.
Maybe you're looking for a more hands-on, DIY-style approach to social network automation. If that's the case, you might want to check out IFTTT (If This, Then That). This service uses each of the familiar social media sites and helps you create recipe triggers. In other words, you can create powerful and personalized social triggers, enabling you to specify, for example, that after you post a picture to Instagram, its automatically posted as a status update on Facebook.
Signup is fast and easy, and you can get started browsing shared recipes in just seconds.
A Twitter-centric solution known as HootSuite comes in two flavors: an ad-supported free version, and a paid version for power users. HootSuite includes useful analytics tools, a feature that handily sets it apart from most of the competition.
Getting started with HootSuite is as easy as signing in with your Google, Facebook or Twitter account.
A Few Caveats
While each of these services has a lot to offer a business that wants to automate their social outreach, it's worth reminding interested parties that each social network has its own features that set it apart. For example, just because you've pinned something on Pinterest doesn't mean it makes a great status update on Facebook.
These services, while they're bound to simplify your life, still require at least a moderate amount of attention. These aren't fire-and-forget solutions. That said, they could prove invaluable to those who want to get their brands in front of as many new pairs of eyes as possible.