Have you jumped on the social media bandwagon yet? If you’re in business, at a minimum you should using social media in listening mode to hear what your customers are saying. However, don’t stay too long just listening as the real power of social media comes in establishing relationships – with your customers or potential customers. Once you do fully engage, you will most likely become overwhelmed with what it takes to launch an effective social media presence. The number of social media platforms and tools to manage them can be staggering. Although there are tried and true platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn there are many others rising to the top like Google’s Orkut, Pheed and Chirp. For every platform that exists, there are likely three tools to manage them.
Like any good artist, you’ll need to ensure you have the best set of tools to make your social media efforts as successful as possible. I’ll make the assumption that your content is relevant, interesting, informative, and pleasing to the eye so that your target audience is drawn into your message. With over 100 million users a day on Twitter alone, there is a large pool for you to distribute your information (Twitter Stats, n.d.). However, how do you ensure you are reaching your target audience? Mark Schaefer, author of The Tao of Twitter, notes that in order to have a successful marketing campaign your message must be meaningful for the person receiving it (Schaefer, 2012, p. 16). Here are two tools that can help you reach your audience and provide a much needed component of visually pleasing blog postings.
HootSuite is a social media management tool that allows individuals and organizations the ability to deliver their message across a variety of social media platforms. HootSuite is available as a free tool, allowing users to manage up to five social media profiles and review basic reporting statistics. For those with the need for a more sophisticated presence, HootSuite Pro provides the ability to manage up to 50 profiles and provides detailed reporting and analysis. Common across both versions is the ability to simultaneously post messages to numerous social media platforms including Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, foursquare, WordPress, and mixi (HootSuite, n.d.). HootSuite users can also schedule posts for any day and time or can autoschedule in which case HootSuite will post when it is most likely to be seen based upon your followers’ activity (Silveira, 2013). To be effective with HootSuite there is much to learn but HootSuite University, a paid for service, makes it easy by providing hands-on social media webinars where learners can earn certifications (University, n.d.).
CompFight is a Flickr search tool that can fill one of the biggest challenges all bloggers face – how to find free images that can really make your blog postings come alive. Compfight allows you to enter in search terms and then see a variety of photos/images that are available for free distribution under the Creative Commons License (Creative, n.d.). Compfight seems to have become very popular as I received a couple high demand error messages (“We’re sorry but Compfight is either down or overloaded at this time”) while researching the site for this blog post. It should also be noted that the first two rows of images displayed by Compfight come at a cost and free images are displayed below them (see image below).
These are just two of many social media tools that can help bloggers, tweeters and social media marketers make these most of their social media campaigns. Be sure to continue to research similar tools that help you become an effective social media expert.
Creative. (n.d). Retrieved October 19, 2013 from http://creativecommons.org/about
HootSuite. (n.d.). Retrieved October 17, 2013 from http://hootsuite.com
Schaefer, M. (2012). The tao of twitter. New York, NY: McGrawHill
Silveira, F. (2013). Retrieved October 17, 2013 from https://forum.hootsuite.com/hootsuite/topics/how_does_auto_scheduler_work
Twitter Stats. (n.d.). Retrieved October 17, 2013 from http://expandedramblings.com/index.php/march-2013-by-the-numbers-a-few-amazing-twitter-stats/
University. (n.d.). Retrieved October 19, 2013 from http://learn.hootsuite.com/