4prodcutivtoolsIt’s a given–we all want to do more in less time with social media.  The good news is that there are lots of tools to help automate your social networking activities.

Although I don’t encourage automating your whole experience (that would be missing the point), there are some useful productivity-boosters worth checking out.

1) Ping.fm: Want to update your Twitter status as well as Facebook, LinkedIn and other sites all at the same time from one place? Ping is great for this.  Tools like Ping are one of the top “secret weapons” of the most successful social media marketers.  (Finally, a way to be in multiple places at one time! :D) Ping.fm dashboard

So, if you have something to say to your Twitter followers but that you would also like to share with your Facebook fans and friends and your connections on LinkedIn, you can—without going to each site and logging in separately.  Ping has the ability to update over 40 different social networks.  This is a major time saver!

Plus, you can even create groups, so that if you only want to update LinkedIn and Twitter but not Facebook, for example, you can do that.  It’s definitely worth exploring.  (It’s also worth mentioning that HelloTxt is another service that has very similar capabilities.  I just happened to have started and stuck with Ping.)

Ping also has a toolbar you can install for your browser, making it simple to update your social networks with a link to and description of any web page you are on.

2) Hootsuite: I consider this to be the ultimate Twitter tool—and its ability to automate so much of your Twitter experience is truly incredible.  It’s definitely another top “secret weapon.” Hootsuite is free and web-based and here are just some of its most useful features:

•    Pre-schedule tweets to go out ahead of time (great for “set it and forget it” marketing)

•    View multiple columns to see @ replies, direct messages, keyword tracking and more

•    Manage multiple Twitter profiles

•    Have multiple administrators for your Hootsuite account

•    Monitor keywords of your choice

•    Integrate with Ping.fm to update many social networks including Facebook and LinkedIn

•    Track statistics of how many people have clicked on the links in your tweets

•    Automatically feed RSS to your Twitter stream

•    Create groups of friends by simply dragging and dropping them into columns

I also love the “Hootlet” bookmarklet, which you simply drag to your browser toolbar so that you can quickly tweet out any web page you are viewing. Hootsuite Hootlet

3) Selective Twitter Status: If you use both Twitter and Facebook, you’ll want to take advantage of integrating the two in order to reach even more people without any extra effort.

Selective Twitter Status is an application you can add to your personal Facebook profile and/or Fan Page in order to update your Facebook status with your tweets.  Once you have this application installed, you simply add #fb to the specific tweets you want to make your Facebook status as well.selective twitter status

4) Facebook Fan Page to Twitter tool: If you want to do the reverse and send your Fan Page status updates to Twitter, you can do that by using Facebook’s Twitter tool.  This is really great because you are allowed to use over 140 characters for status updates on Facebook, so when you update Twitter (which has a 140 character limit) with a longer message, it inserts “…” along with a link back to your Fan Page so people can finish reading your update.  This means more people are driven to your Fan Page from Twitter. Facebook Fan Page status to Twitter

Those are four of my favorites, and ones I use on a daily basis.  Any other tools you would add to list?  How do you manage your time with social media?

And if you’re ready to take your business to the next level with web 2.0 (and beyond!) tools and strategies, sign up to be on the priority list to be the first to hear all about my new 6 Steps to Kick Start Your Social Media Success System!

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