Brent Beshore expressed the frustration we all feel in his Forbes article on social media.
I love learning, but events unfold quickly and information is scattered. Social media offers an incredible variety of breaking news, detailed commentary, and social signaling on topics that matter, but it’s often challenging to get only relevant information.
He then offered a number of tools that help him achieve the following results:
- Monitor Trends And Dig Deeper
- Keep Tabs On What Is Going On
- Find Out When You Or Your Friends Are Being Talked About
- Optimize Your Posts And Track Clicks
- Bottom Line: Be Active But Efficient
Some of his tools are ones I would recommend but the collection below is more complete in a sense to help achieve the following goals:
- Get The Big Picture
- Be Aware Of Your Communities
- Make Your Voice Heard
Get The Big Picture
Here we are dealing particularly with social media, but that must be seen against the background of whatever is happening in the world in general. So you should be watching your other news sources and RSS news feeds to be sure you are not missing some important event that will have an impact in your social media. That includes the trending information that is displayed by Google and by Twitter. Searches for relevant hashtags will often present a most illuminating view of popular opinion on items in the news.
To ensure your radar screen on the social media world is fully operative, you can’t do better than to use Topsy.
It has been described as “the Google of social media.” With the only full-scale index of the public social web, you can instantly analyze any topic, term or hashtag across years of conversations on millions of web sites. It’s great for finding time-sensitive information, watching an event unfold, or digging deeper into some topic that is of interest to you. The service works across many social networks and many different languages to deliver the best possible information.
Be Aware Of Your Communities
To be sure you do not miss the most important activities and events closer to home on an up to the minute basis, the Brook Daily sends you a daily email digest of the five best tweets from the collection you select. This can cover friends, colleagues, publications or even your competitors.
For a more complete and wider view of what your friends are doing in the various social media, Newsle provides a very complete service again with a daily e-mail digest of what is important. It can cover friends in Facebook or Twitter and your e-mail contacts too.
Make Your Voice Heard
By watching the frenetic activity in the social media, you could be forgiven if you feel that your voice will not be heard among all that noise. There is a solution and it comes by remembering the word social rather than the word media. Traditional media require large sums of money to ensure the message is transmitted loud and clear to all. That is exactly the wrong way to approach social media. Social contacts work on an individual to individual basis. You must establish credibility with your contacts through respectful two way dialogues. You must be aware of what they are saying and be able to respond in a way they will find pleasurable.
One excellent tool for this is Hootsuite HootSuite is a social media management system for businesses and organizations to collaboratively execute campaigns across multiple social networks from one secure, web-based dashboard. The image which follows is a part of the desktop for Hootsuite.
You can perhaps see that it provides information on any number of accounts you may have in the various social media. It also provides information on what your friends are doing in the various social media in which you are active. This allows you to respond appropriately and to forward what you see from them to your various networks. You can distribute status messages across a number of social media channels at the same time.
A more complete but yet simple customer relationship management (CRM) tool for the social media is provided by Nimble Nimble will automatically identify a contact’s social profiles on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter so that you and your team can easily connect, listen, and engage with your most important business associates. This gives you a full history for each of your contacts across the various social media and provides the best possible resources to ensure you handle them well.
Integrating your approach across social media
To complete the lineup, here are two bonus ways you can get extra mileage in the social media from the messages you send out.
The first of these is Buffer. This app integrates with your browser and allows you to generate a social post with one click across several distribution platforms, and store it for later to be released on whatever schedules you decide for each of the social media you are involved with. By allowing you to spread out your content throughout the day across all your social networks, it significantly increases the engagement with your audience.
Another key aspect of Buffer is its easy ability to track clicks. Each post contains a unique, shortened URL, allowing you to easily check how many people clicked on your shares.
Finally you should be aware that it is possible to publish to Twitter from Facebook Pages. This cannot be done from your own profile. By accessing your Facebook page and then following the link to Link Your Pages to Twitter, each new item on the Facebook Page will generate a tweet on Twitter as it occurs.
PS What About Google Plus
You may have been surprised that there has been no mention of Google Plus. That surely is one of the social media and since its inception it has been growing strongly. It now has of the order of 500 million users as compared with Facebook with 1.1 billion users. It certainly is a venue where many individuals are interacting with each other and exchanging information and views.
In practice it runs somewhat in parallel to the social media we have discussed above. Although there are some complexities in the way it functions, in general it has reasonable functionality and there is little need for other tools to help you work with Google Plus. It does not interlink with the other social media. In some ways Google Plus is like Las Vegas. It works in a world apart: what happens there stays there.