Tools and management

A common misconception in managing or monitoring a social service is that you need to be watching your Facebook or Twitter stream 24/7 on your desktop. With proper tools and techniques, monitoring and maintaining a social service can be easily worked into your daily routine.

For interacting with numerous social services, HootSuite is the tool of choice in the majority of cases. HootSuite allows you to natively interact with multiple services such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, FourSquare and Wordpress. With the use of the app directory (available at the HootSuite website)can add more extensions or apps built by third party developers.

HootSuite is available in desktop and mobile versions. Mobile versions include iPhone, iPad, Android and Blackberry. Since HootSuite can be used as a desktop or mobile app, you can interact with and monitor your services wherever or whenever a need arises. Even if there are days where you can’t be at your desk, the mobile versions can notify (notifications are user configurable) you of important events in your streams, also eliminating the need to physically monitor your different streams.

Why are notifications important? Notifications can be sent via mobile notifications (pushed notifications that can been seen even when device is sleeping), email or SMS (text) messaging. For days when you don’t have the time to listen, you can still be aware of any important interactions that may need your attention.

Listening

Although you can monitor important events (such as a mention or DM) entirely with the use of mobile notifications, there are reasons to also monitor buzz which entails the physical monitoring of tweets by use of keywords or searches. At @SMUNews, we monitor the keywords like “saintsalive” and “halosup” (you can replace or add keywords/hastags depending on your needs) and the search “Saint Martin’s University”. We also maintain a twitter list at @SMUNews called Saint Martin's University (a list following our official and social squad accounts) which becomes another stream in HootSuite. Current hashtags and lists can be found on our social page.

Listening on backchannels using keywords(hashtag) or search (phrases) is a good way to monitor buzz about your organization. Using backchannels, the need to follow or have other accounts follow you on twitter becomes less critical. A good portion of the conversations on Twitter take place on backchannels without the need to follow or be followed.