Hootsuite, whose mascot is this owl, is one of the applications you can use to manage social media updates. (Creative Commons licensed from Flickr user Kris Krug. )

On Small Business is introducing a new feature in which young entrepreneurs will answer common questions about small business owners’ social media needs. The following answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only nonprofit organization comprised of young entrepreneurs. The YEC promotes entrepreneurship as a solution to unemployment and underemployment and provides entrepreneurs with access to tools, mentorship and resources that support each stage of their business’s development and growth.

Q: What application do you use to manage your social media updates?

Eric Bahn, founder of Beat the GMAT:

My company, Beat The GMAT, curates an active social media presence on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, BusinessWeek Exchange and a few others.  The problem is that we haven’t found a single application that can help us manage updates across our huge portfolio of social media services. 

That said, we do use some tools to help us manage our Twitter presence: TweetDeck and HootSuite.

I usually have TweetDeck running on my desktop all the time.  I enjoy the ability to customize the interface to see mentions, direct mentions and relevant news updates all in one view.  However, it’s still not a good way to effectively view all updates coming in — literally thousands of updates are fed to me each day on TweetDeck, and this tool does not make it easy to see the news coming in chronologically (especially if a big event happens and a flood of tweets comes through within seconds of each other).

HootSuite is a great tool to help schedule updates in advance.  There are a lot of times where my company will host an event at a specific time, and it’s nice to leverage Twitter to drive traffic at the last minute.  HootSuite has an easy interface to pump in tweets in advance and to schedule them for release at specific dates/times.  Other than solving for scheduling tweets though, I don’t find this tool to be as useful in monitoring tweets throughout the day.  TweetDeck has a nicer interface for customization and viewing, in my opinion.

Generally, I think that the social media tools in the market today are too focused on a select few services (Twitter and Facebook mainly).  There is still a big opportunity for entrepreneurs out there to create a single application that rationalizes a company’s presence across the entire ecosystem of social media — and I will be the first to pay money for such a service!

Stephanie Kaplan, co-founder and CEO of HerCampus:

We use Hootsuite to schedule our social media posts on Facebook and Twitter for Her Campus during non-work hours. Hootsuite is great because it allows us to manage all of our accounts across different platforms in one interface.  It also makes it easy to keep track of interactions on Twitter so we can stay plugged in and responsive to our fans and followers.  One of the only issues we have with Hootsuite is that it doesn't let you attach images to pre-scheduled Facebook posts and we find that image-heavy social media content is often very effective with our audience.


Jake Kloberdanz, founder and CEO of ONEHOPEWine:

Our director of online, Mike Weber,  has used Tweetdeck and Hootsuite. I believe he prefers Tweetdeck.  He seems to come across new applications all the time.