Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Social media dashboards: Useful features

In my last post I introduced the idea of using dashboards to monitor more than one social media account and adding streams for lists  and hashtags.  To read more: http://t.co/B4GE3vdA. Today I would like to introduce a couple of features that you may find helpful when posting to one or more of your accounts.

Posting a message to more than one account

Have you ever posted on Twitter and thought that the message would be equally valuable for your Facebook Page?  I so, then you will find dashboards useful for this task.  As you can see below, with a dashboard I am able to type the message (the number of characters is limited to 140) and then select which account I want the message to post (designated by the green check marks).
Scheduling your tweets       
Or, perhaps you had a goal of posting to your accounts at least once a day during the week but travel would prevent you from doing so “live.”  Dashboards allow users to program tweets to post on a scheduled basis.  I have the option of typing my message and then selecting the day and time that I would like the message to post.  Just another reason why you might find dashboards to be beneficial.  


Once word of caution.  If you are scheduling tweets that may be associated with good weather, or another factor that could impact the usefulness of the tweet, do make sure that you can cancel the intended tweet if needed – just so your followers are not confused by the perplexing message. 

Analytics


As of today's posting, HootSuite is one of the few dashboards that provides  analytics.  By accessing the analytics panel (left-hand side of the dashboard interface) I have access to free Twitter statistics (Ow.ly Click Summary).  Or, if I purchased the HootSuite Pro plan I can spend "credits" I earn on this plan to develop more extensive reports, for example Google Analytics.  For more information about reports visit: http://goo.gl/pHCs2.  An example of a free Ow.ly Click Summary for my Twitter account (@kmk17psu) is below. 









I can customize the summary report by selecting the date or date range for which statistics are presented.  For this example, I selected a date range of March 26 through the 31.  A section of the report shows a visual of the number of people who clicked on a link I posted in a Tweet on each of these days.  A short video that describes what additional information provided in the free summary is available: http://goo.gl/yU3IE

Not only can I access reports on demand but I can also have them sent to my and others' email, daily or as infrequently as the first day of each month.  

Again, there are several dashboard options available.  Your preference and style should ultimately dictate which one you choose.  In my next blog posting I will describe the usefulness of using dashboard apps on your smarthphone and/or tablet.  

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