Understanding the power of social media, businesses embrace social networking sites as strategic marketing strategies regardless of the type of the business industry. Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and so on and so forth are considered as the must-have marketing tools of approximately ninety-seven percent of businesses (Stelzner, 2013). With the rapid development of social networking sites, determining the right social media monitoring tool is not an easy decision, because the consideration process should be done based on the observation and understanding of social site demographics as well as customers’ social site preferences, not the personal perception. Businesses must “Go to where the customers are”. Let’s take a glance at the field of education to observe how American schools and universities market themselves as well as recruit new students through social media under the support of social media tools. It is obvious that the target market of the schools and universities are the young people and parents. With the fact that almost every single young person utilizes Facebook or Twitter or LinkedIn and other social platforms, schools adhere to the Buffer or HootSuite tool in order to make the best out of the benefits that social media can bring about.
Buffer is a software application which is designed to manage social network by providing the means for users to schedule posts and send updates to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and App.net. It works ideally for schools during the busy time period. This is a powerful and smart social media tool with built-in analytics to support the account holders understand the content as well as the time frame that makes the post go well, base on analyzing the involvement of audiences toward that post. Users can download the browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox or Safari, and “Buffer” program works right in to the social profiles. Buffer also provides apps for iPhone and Android, making it convenient and giving an opportunity to its users to use the services at anytime and anywhere. In December 2012, TechCrunch reported the Buffer application had over 400,000 users. As of September 19, 2013, according to Co-founder Leo Widrich, Buffer has reached 1 million registered users. (Bufferapp, 2013)
The other social media tool that creates the huge impact on the outcome of social media networking that schools love to engage is HootSuite. HootSuite is a very effective supporter for the social network integrations including Twitter, Facebook , LinkedIn, Google +, Foursquare, MySpace, WordPress, TrendSpottr and Mixi.. One of the outstanding points of HootSuite is the auto scheduler. Schools can create the post, select the network, then HootSuite will automatically select the best time to publish that post. Another powerful function of HootSuite is Reporting. With this function, schools can get custom reports via email to keep track how the social media networking are performing, including the click summary. HootSuite also supports keyword tracking, which is really helpful for keeping up-to-date on business trends across various social media networks. HootSuite operates on a freemium model and has over 7 million users in more than 175 countries.
Both Buffer and HootSuite have their own pros and cons. If Buffer has a reputation for its scheduling function, HootSuite is known for the analysis report. Thus, if schools/universities adhere to both, it will create a great combination that provides the best solution to manage the various social media sites in a very timely manner to gain the best interests that social media can bring about.
Widrich, L. (2013 September 19). The journey and statistics of Buffer. Bufferapp. Retrieved from http://blog.bufferapp.com/from-0-to-1000000-users-the-journey-and-statistics-of-buffer
Lunden, I. (2013, August 1). Hootsuite raises $165M series B round from insight. Techcrunch. Retrieved from http://techcrunch.com/2013/08/01/hootsuite-raises-165m-series-b-round-from-insight-accel-and-omers-to-go-large-on-enterprise-social-media-monitoring/