Managing your social media is a time consuming task. Curating content to disseminate to your followers, drafting posts that not only engage your fans, but are also optimized for your key phrases, answering messages and responding to comments on your page; it can sometimes seem like a full time job. Social tools like Hootsuite allow you to efficiently schedule your posts ahead of time, preventing your pages from going stale even when you don’t have the time to post each day. As much as we advocate for planning your social posts and scheduling them in advance, relying solely on social tools can get you into hot water. Sometimes you need to be smarter than the technology.
Case in point: recently, we were reviewing a client’s LinkedIn page and noticed that the most recent post on the page was from several months ago. This client maintains their own social media via Hootsuite, so we checked all of the LinkedIn pages for clients who use this tool for their social presence. In doing so, we realized that this was most definitely a LinkedIn/Hootsuite compatibility issue: each client who had been using Hootsuite to schedule their LinkedIn posts had stale LinkedIn pages. We promptly notified each client so they could investigate the disconnect, but our ultimate advice was to post directly through LinkedIn from here forward. This situation served as a reminder to us all that we should not put blind faith in technology.
Three lessons in particular stand out to us:
If You Don’t Check, You’ll Never Know:
Even though you’ve scheduled posts through a social tool and it’s telling you that they’ve gone live, you’ll never truly know if they’ve propagated without checking the actual page. In each of our clients cases, they did not realize there was an issue as Hootsuite told them their scheduled posts had been pushed live. Glancing at the actual LinkedIn page would have revealed that this was not the case.
Choose the Best Tool for the Job:
While social tools like Hootsuite are great time savers, they aren’t always right for every platform. Aside from the obvious issue regarding the disconnect between the tool and the LinkedIn, the older posts that had been pushed from Hootsuite were not aesthetically appealing as posts generated directly on the platform. Even when a thumbnail image was chosen for the link preview, links were posted as shortened ow.ly links, without images, producing bland posts. Using LinkedIn directly would allow them to immediately see how the posts would look, ensure that images were included to maximize impact, and make adjustments accordingly.
Time is of the Essence:
The last, and arguably most important lesson, is that social platforms must be checked and the effectiveness of social tools reviewed with great frequency or you run the risk of allowing your social presence to become stale. Set aside some time each week after you’ve scheduled your posts to check each platform you’re maintaining with a social tool like Hootsuite. Have all of the posts that it’s telling you went through actually propagated? Are the posts aesthetically appealing? If you answered no to either of these questions, you may want to consider another tool or post directly through the platform itself. This may take a bit more time, but it’s well worth it to maintain your social presence.
A final note:
this situation also reveals the importance of working with a social media company who adds a human touch to their services. You want to ensure that content is being found, written, and schedule by a real person – one who is smarter than the technology he or she uses and takes the time to double check the work!