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ED: The following is a guest post from Kristy C. Cartier. She manages marketing and communications at AMG/AHAA.

One of the harder things I’ve found in social media is monitoring, especially if you can’t afford a nice SMMS system such as Radian6. It’s especially important when you’re trying to build up your social media presence and foster engagement.

There’s etiquette to follow, especially on Twitter, which is my favorite platform. Retweets, mentions and follows need to be acknowledged and thanked within a reasonable amount of time. Also, you don’t want to miss important conversations in your industry. Facebook and LinkedIn require a commitment to engaging content, responding to comments and sharing your thoughts on others’ pages.

I monitor my association’s content streams through the use of some free and paid tools. The main social media platforms provide basic email notifications about mentions and replies.

Facebook, however, needs to work on its mobile page access (even though I can now see it, I am unable to post as the page’s admin, which is a real challenge). Currently, I employ the basic (freemium) social media monitoring platforms TweetDeck and Buffer for listening, even though there are more robust applications out there.

Buffer makes it easy for me to post “on the fly” when I’m out of the office and it’s why I upgraded to its paid level. This is very handy for a one person communicator. Buffer has new competition from apps like Hootlet, which now lets you post from Chrome and you can use auto-schedule for the best timing. It has worked well so far on my professional account.

As a result of my listening, the amount of Twitter followers that our association engages with on a daily basis have grown and social media has become a thriving community.

What I find interesting is that the non-industry content is often more clicked and shared than the industry-related stuff. On Facebook, I am still trying to find the right content mix. Definitely the more visual works the best and I have had a few successes in the last three months. This community is still in the development stage.

What tools have you found useful for managing your accounts and getting people engaged?

About the author:

Kristy C. Cartier deems herself The Marketing Curator. She wrangles, creates and analyzes content in order to showcase your organization in the best light. Kristy enjoys working with small businesses, associations andnonprofits. She currently works for the Association Management Group assigned to AHAA: The Voice of Hispanic Marketing as Manager of Communications & Marketing. Kristy has marketed in various industries ranging from power utilities to CPG to merchant services throughout her career. Living in Herndon, VA Kristy finds time to cheer on her Virginia Tech Hokies and Tennessee Volunteers. She also judges at Olympic-level horse shows. You may reach her professionally at