Third-Party Software – the Best Way to Manage Your Social Media?

Most of us are finding we have a little more time on our hands right now. I decided to jot down my thoughts about using third party social media platforms. I hope it serves as a slight distraction from current events and possibly even a learning opportunity.


I manage social media pages for several businesses, both in the Virgin Islands and stateside. Some of my clients don’t care how I get the posts made. I can schedule them in advance from my office, or post on the fly when they text me a photo to share. Some of my clients have subscribed to third party posting platforms that they want me to use, either for tying into their CRM, for tracking and reporting purposes, or for compliance. So over the course of any given month I’m posting any way and anywhere I can. Without naming names or bashing social media software, here are a few lessons I’ve learned along the way.

Perks and Quirks

Over time I’ve noticed that each third-party posting platform has its own benefits and pitfalls. Some don’t allow tagging, depending upon the final destination for your post. Some don’t allow multiple photos to be posted. Some don’t allow me to generate my own thumbnail for a video post. Others claim that you can create one post and blast it to multiple social media accounts, but it’s never really as easy as it sounds. Sometimes the posts just don’t look right. I’ve gotten used to it and routinely check to see how the posts appear once they’re live.

Going Native

Posting content natively means that you are posting your content (article, video) directly to that social network. You’re not sharing a link to content from somewhere else. You can still post natively using a third-party platform. The benefit to posting natively is that the user doesn’t have to click to see your content. It’s right there. A video will play right in the user’s news feed. Most of the social media sites’ algorithms favor posts that are made natively. This means that natively created posts will be shown to more people. Remember this if you’re a business owner and want your post to be shown to as many of your followers as possible.

Scheduling in Advance

Most social media managers I know create a monthly content calendar for each client. I do this too, because once the calendar is approved I can schedule my clients’ posts in advance. Some of my clients are very structured and organized. I love these clients because posts are approved and loaded before the month even starts. I have other clients who want a list of posting suggestions from week to week. Despite how much I try to plan, we rarely stick to a schedule. That’s ok too. Third-party platforms are an easy way to schedule multiple posts across multiple social networks without taking too much time.

Sample content calendar made in Excel
Sample content calendar made in Excel

Conclusion

There’s no right or wrong way to manage your social media. Third party platforms that promise you the world are rarely the solution you expect it to be. Good social media management requires flexibility, creative thinking and a desire to engage with your followers. There’s no secret sauce for the “perfect” post, although there are best practices. If you want to give your social media efforts a shot in the arm, understand your audience and have clear goals for what you want to achieve. Do you need help, ideas, or just a push in the right direction? Let me know, I’m happy to help.

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