The social media world has been up in arms as of late over the announcement that HootSuite, which has long been a free resource of Twitter and social media management tools, would no longer be free. I’m not surprised that they are no longer free; the free service was a great way for the company to work out bugs before launching a more robust version of the service. Whether or not the paid services will be of value to social media marketing efforts is still somewhat up in the air.
Social Media Examiner takes an in-depth look at what kind of value you will get for your money using the premium HootSuite services, and I think they do the best job of exploring the potential of the service. Whether or not you choose HootSuite, having a Twitter management service is an absolute necessity in your social marketing efforts.
Having Twitter management services is necessary because having Twitter is necessary. Twitter provides one of the most powerful forums for developing your brand, your presence, and your identity online. Not only can you quickly associate yourself with like-minded individuals and entities but you can quickly – virally – grow your presence using Twitter.
The most effective way to use Twitter is to send out value-laden tweets several times per day. While some people may be able to quickly create 140-character count messages that are meaningful, marketable, and on target, being able to do that on queue several times per day seven days per week is probably not the most effective use of your time. That’s where twitter management services come into play.
With HootSuite or TweetDeck or any of a number of other Twitter management services available, you can keep up with what kind of impact you are having through this powerful social media platform without it consuming your time. You can schedule (or better yet, delegate to someone the task of scheduling) tweets to go live at certain hours of every day of the week.
Using a Twitter management service lets you extend your reach without overextending yourself. If you’ve used Twitter at all, you know just how quickly you can get bogged down in trying to communicate effectively on the fly using their limited character counts. I envy those who can, but for me, a Twitter management service offers the best platform for effectively managing my Twitter account, allowing me to stay actively engaged with my followers and build relationships without being consumed by tweeting.