Using the right social media tools will help you engage with more potential clients in less time.
Spending less time on social media means you have more time to spend on your business.
Using social media as a marketing tool and managing your time effectively is key to ensuring that your online marketing strategy succeeds long term.
So, what tools can help you manage your social media marketing time more effectively?
NetVibes - a web based RSS reader or news aggregator that makes it simple to keep up on the latest blog posts, news and articles from your favorite websites without requiring you to go to each website to see what is new. A popular alternative to Netvibes is Google Reader.
Hootsuite - a web based (also available as a desktop client) tool that allows you to read and post to your Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and other social media accounts. Hootsuite allows you to stay up to speed on what is going on with your connections, easily search for key topics and post or schedule posts to your favorite social media platforms. A popular alternative to Hootsuite is Tweetdeck.
Bit.ly - the standard in url shortening. Bit.ly sidebar, a simple tool you can load to your bookmarks toolbar in your browser, makes it simple to shorten the urls that you share with your readers. Bit.ly also offers users the ability to track the links they share and determine how many people have clicked on your links. There are a number of popular alternatives to Bit.ly including Hootsuite's ow.ly and Google's goo.gl url shortening tools.Stock Photo Exchange - one of the most extensive free photo sites online. There are a number of paid alternatives such as iStock Photo that may work a bit better, although none of the FREE alternatives are as easy or as extensive as Stock Photo Exchange.
Google Alerts - a web based tool that allows you to monitor various search terms, such as your business name, and track when and where you are mentioned online. Knowing where you are mentioned is crucial in being able to address your customers and prospects. A popular alternative to Google Alerts is Yahoo Alerts.
For more information about how to effectively engage with your target market make sure to check out these articles.
These are my top tools for social media success. Leave a comment and tell me what your favorite social media marketing tools are.
Knowing that your organization should get involved in social media can be paralyzing. There is only one thing you can do to get over that feeling of being paralyzed - start. How? Here are four steps to get you started.
1 - Do a Google search to find blogs written by people in your industry. Find four blogs you like and spend the next two weeks, and instead of reading your morning news with your first cup of coffee, read the posts on these blogs.
2 - Setup a personal page on Facebook. This is not the time to setup your organizations Facebook page. Simply setup a page for yourself using your real name. Spend two weeks looking around, friending some people you know and getting a feel for how Facebook works. Do not feel that you need to post anything on your Facebook page yet. Use these two weeks to look around and get acquainted.
3 - Setup a personal Twitter account. Spend two weeks looking around. Follow some people you find interesting. Search for topics that you are interested in. Get acquainted with the surroundings. Again, do not feel you need to post any content yourself, not yet.
4 - Setup a Google alert for you and for your company. When you setup your alert, make sure to put the search term, such as your first and last name, in quotes (i.e. "John Smith"). this will help you get more accurate results as Google scours the internet and delivers to you any content with your search term(s). As you become familiar with Google Alerts you will see that being notified when you or your organization are mentioned online is crucial to your ability to be part of the ongoing conversation online.
It is easy. Just take that first step today.
Let me know how your two week experience goes!