Social media and social networking are all about getting YOU out there. The challenge for many social media users today is how best to juggle the many multiples you’s out there and do it in a coherent manner that makes sense to you and to your network. Multiple personality disorders of the tech kind are an issue many of us face when dealing with multiple accounts on the various social networks.
Thank goodness for the sharp minds who quickly realized this and for Twitter users, developed Hootsuite and Tweetdeck. Both are free platforms. Both have their fans. Myself, I prefer Hootsuite over Tweetdeck. I like the interface better and the layout. Tweetdeck feels a bit clunky to me when managing multiple accounts or streams. Not to mention the white writing on black…what the hell people!
Why multiple accounts you ask? Well for people like me who not only have more than one website that I want to network, I also manage other Twitter and Facebook accounts for individuals and also companies. Hootsuite and Tweetdeck let me manage them easily on one page…from monitoring to scheduling tweets.
The free versions of both Hootsuite and Tweetdeck have lots of customizable options for you to use when setting things up to suit your needs. The free Hootsuite allows you to have five social profiles or streams. I upgraded to the Hootsuite Pro because I thought that being a “professional” social media gal I could use the extra analytics, reports and streams.
For $5.99 a month, I can’t complain too much. Mind you, I have hardly used their analytical abilities and have instead been playing with sites like Sprout Social which have much to offer when it comes to USEFUL analytics. That said, I have though run into a bit of an issue with Hootsuite and I can’t seem to get it resolved. It isn’t a HUGE deal, but is annoying none the less.
One of my clients was already using Hootsuite before I began managing their social media account and already has a team member, thus using up their freebies. Because of this I cannot access their account. and thus cannot use Hootsuite to manage their Twitter stream. Again, this is annoying in a first world problem sort of way, but nevertheless annoying for a professional attempting to manage multiple social media streams.
I have contacted Hootsuite support and been told that either my client or I need to upgrade so that the client can me make a team member. I don’t think either of us want to pay $15 a month for this. I have a feeling that their support and I are talking at cross purposes.
Here’s my bigger issue: With Hootsuite Pro you can have one team member assigned who can manage your accounts. If you require more team members you have to pay $15 a month extra for each subsequent team player. From where I see things paying two times more to addONEteam member seems a tad excessive to me and too rich for my blood. Leaping from $6 bucks a month to $20 for one issue is a bit of a leap for me and probably for many people. Worse still, after their inexpensive pro plan, the leap to the mystical Hootsuite Enterprise Plan is even further away. Stratospherically far away, to an astonishing $1,499 a month! (Though apparently they give you a degree inHootsuiteUniversityor something.)
Right now I am working around the problem (for free). I am concerned for the future because as a growing business, I can see this becoming a bigger issue as I manage more and more social media streams. And, as a growing SMALL business, I don’t have the capital to be chucking a lot of money for too many of these ‘helpful’ social tools. Like much in the world of social media, I find the need to constantly explore and reexamine the tools available. This constant research is time consuming. and can put off people who are trying to be a part of and use social media for their own needs.
What I find with so many social media applications is that they are developed by people who are not fully immersed in the real world. So much software doesn’t get tested out in practical business situations, especially for smaller business purposes, to see just how useful they really are. Also, the developers of many ‘free’ applications need to find means to monetize their program without losing followers and often lose sight of the common challenges facing their target audience of users. We have gotten so used to free software and free applications, that our spoiled selves really do need some good salesmanship to convince us to actually (gasp) pay to use a product.
Still, it doesn’t stop me grumbling about things.
First published at Women in Biz Network.