Confessions of a social media community manager: Just say no to dashboards

I am a social media community manager for a several large clients. I also have multiple social media accounts of my own. With multiple Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts to manage (among other sites), it’s definitely tempting to use a social media dashboard such as Hootsuite or Tweetdeck. I *do* use those tools for an a brief, overall glimpse of incoming messages and the occasional scheduled post, but otherwise I just say no to dashboards. Why?

When you’re juggling many accounts, social media dashboards make it too easy to make mistakes.

As clunky as it seems, I log in and log out of social media accounts separately which helps assure I’m sending message from the right brand and the correct “voice.” It’s a silly mistake if I tweet a favorite recipe from my own business account when I meant to send it through my personal account. It’s not so silly if I were to do the same thing for a client. The added logging in and logging out provides an extra layer of security I need to help focus on what I’m doing for who.

social media dashboard

And while social media dashboards make it easy to pre-schedule posts — with great power comes great responsibility that should be used sparingly. Schedule away, but be very aware of what’s happening on the social networks. Case in point: When the horrible, tragic massacre happened at Sandy Hook elementary school in December, people all over the world were glued to social media, waiting for pieces of news, making offers of help and discussing the situation. In the midst of streams of very focused, intense information cut pre-scheduled marketing message, self-promotional links, jokes and more. In some cases, this went on for hours and the messages were coming from marketers and public relations people who should know better. It doesn’t look good for you (or your clients) to be so off message when a social media outlet is so focused on something else.

So, there you have it — a confession that I could make my life a lot easier, but I choose to take the scenic route because I believe that it helps me do social media better for myself and for my clients. What do you think — do dashboards provide great value to you or do you just say no?