Social media can be time consuming.

We want to participate and engage, but finding enough time in the day to manage all those accounts can turn into a full time job in itself.

Luckily, there are a few handy apps which make managing your social media life a lot easier. I’m just going to tell you about the 3 I use for Twitter.

Buffer

As the name suggests, this nifty app keeps a collection of your tweets and then drip feeds them out at set times.

This is great because if you’re like me and do a lot of your web reading at the same time of day, it saves you from tweeting 10+ articles in the space of an hour, sometimes when there’s hardly anyone else online to read them. With Buffer, it stores the tweets for you and then sends them automatically over time, spacing them out throughout the day.

It even creates a schedule for you based on your time zone, or you can choose your own, adding or removing times at will.

Another cool advantage of Buffer is that it allows you to connect with people who are online at times you’re not – in different time zones, while you’re sleeping for example.

There’s a browser add-on that lets you buffer pages in the same way you’d bookmark them, and it integrates with Twitter so when you tweet something normally, it gives the option to Tweet now or add it to Buffer.

The free version has some limitations, such as only allowing a fixed number of tweets in your buffer (I think it’s 10 max).

Get your free Buffer account here.

Tweetdeck

Tweetdeck is useful if you manage more than one Twitter account. For example, let’s say you have several business Twitter accounts and a personal account, and you don’t want to switch back and forth between them all the time.

Tweetdeck allows you to lay them all out on the one screen, and assign columns to whatever you want, like the interactions for a particular account or tweets by people you’re following.

You can tweet direct from Tweetdeck on any account, as well as following new people from multiple accounts at once.

Completely free. Sign up here.

InboxQ

Last but not least is InboxQ, which I’ve only just discovered. This nifty little app allows you to choose keywords that interest you, then it will scan Twitter for questions containing those keywords.

It’s designed to give you a way to interact with other users by being helpful and answering their questions.

It’s also a great way to research what people want to know, if you’re trying to think of useful blog posts for example.

Sign up for your free InboxQ account here.

What tools do you use to help manage social media? Share your experiences in the comment section below.