Skip to content

Social Media for Businesses – 5 social media tools you need.

July 19, 2012

Image

Before we get going, you should understand the point of social media marketing. Here is a quick review of why social media marketing is important:

Twitter

There are things called hash tags (presented as the pound sign #). They are like keywords. For example, if a Twitter user searched for #2012 #Olympics they would receive all results that are relative to those key words. Another example, if Twitter users search for #Health and #Wellness they would see results that are relative to that search. The reason why consistent, daily “tweets” are important is because there are hundreds (sometimes thousands) of results (other Tweets) that match those keywords. You want to make sure your Tweet is the most recent and relevant so that the person who searched for these keywords see your Tweet over others. You want to make sure that it is relevant to those who are searching these keywords so you create a reason for those users to want to read more of your Tweets, and eventually be directed to your web page where they will complete a purchase. That is why it is so important for you to understand your customers because you want to relate directly with them, and others who are like them (your potential customers). The more captivating your Tweets are, the more likely users will “follow” your company Twitter account. They follow it because they want to read more of your tweets when they come out.

Facebook

Facebook is basically the same idea, but offers different methods to encourage interests. For example: One of your current followers (we’ll call her Cathy) “likes” a post you made about reflexology. That means that everyone Cathy’s friends see that she liked your posting. She may have 100-200 friends (Facebook users have an average of 140 friends). If one of Cathy’s friends (David) sees the post that Cathy liked and also “likes” it, that means that now all of Davids friends sees that he liked that posting. This works with comments, likes, and shares.

Again, the end goal of all of this is to get your followers to end up at your web page where they can make a purchase. We do that by making your business a thought leader in its industry. By being a thought leader who converses and communicates with its customers, more followers will trust your company because they see that their friends and so many others do. Next time they have a question or interest in something relative to your company, they will seek out the information from you and recommend you to others who are searching for the same information. Your page becomes a place of knowledge and interaction where followers feel comfortable asking questions and recommending you to others. You can then run promotions and advertisements to direct your followers to your webpage, where they can make a purchase.

Blog

The same for your blog network.

Twitter, Facebook and blogs are all essentially the same thing. They are just structure differently, and are used by different people. Some people only use Twitter, some only use Facebook, and some only use blogs. Some may use all three. The point is to be where your customers are, and engage them.

Today, the best and most effective efforts not only engage a wide audience , but are also managed, monitored and continually tweaked based on the feedback and actions (or non-actions) of your target audience. Take Jet Blue for example. They launched an innovative campaign offering discounted tickets through its online Twitter stream that increased ticket sales at a time when the rest of the airline industry was flailing.

If you don’t think social media is for you, consider this: According to recent study from the Center for Media Research, 21.3 million people in 2011 discovered a new brand or company through social media, and another 22.5 million say they use platforms to learn more about brands and products.

The benefits to a business’ bottom line can be tremendous when social media is done right, however a proper campaign chews up a good deal of time and requires a concentrated, coordinated effort.

Don’t despair. There are several tools to help lighten your load and increase the probably of your message being heard out there in the wild. Try these five solutions to help better manage and monitor your social media efforts.

Image1. HootSuite

HootSuite helps manage your different social networks by enabling you to track conversations and measure campaign results; manage and update your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Ping.Fm, WordPress and Foursquare; and simultaneously post information across all networks. Having all your social content available on a single dashboard is a major advantage when trying to navigate the entire landscape.

Bottom line: HootSuite has a great system for analytics, tracking brand mentions, analyzing social media traffic, scheduling and distribution. This all will save you time.

Cost: Free for up to five networks. Pro version is $5.99 per month.

Image

2. Main Street Hub

Making new friends can be hard for anyone especially when you are trying to do it online. Main Street Hub provides a service that lets you circumvent part of that cumbersome process by helping build, manage and monitor your profiles on Facebook, Twitter, Google Places, Yahoo Local and Yelp. This includes growing your fan base, posting status updates, responding to messages and comments from customers.

Bonus: Building a big network is the most time consuming aspect of social networking. Main Street Hub gives you a big head start.

Cost: $199 to $299 per month, depending on the plan you select.

Image3. CrowdBooster

When trying to win new friends and influence people it’s important to know what is working. CrowdBooster is the kind of social media barometer that can help you effectively grow and manage an effective presence online. The tool provides graphics that show which posts or tweets receive the highest number of retweets or Likes, and measures the largest impact based on number of impressions. Let’s say you’ve been actively promoting a product but have received scant feedback from any of the many social media platforms you use. You start to wonder if anyone is listening. Well, CrowdBooster’s social media dashboard will report who is receiving your message and who is not, and will even notify you when influential (based on Klout score) users are available. CrowdBooster also recommends which course of action to take in order to best reach this desired audience.

ImageBonus: Analytics and recommendations show businesses how to more effectively reach important influencers, create relevant content that resonates with your audience, and send content at the most effective times.

Cost: Free

Image4. Klout

In today’s fast paced Web environment, measuring success in real-time is imperative. If you spend too much time barking up the wrong tree, you’ll end up chasing your own tail. Social media analytics provider Klout measures influence online using data from your social networks.

How it works: An algorithm measures several factors including amount of posts, the number people sharing these posts and the overall number of followers. It then calculates your Klout score to help users understand their influence and determine the source. Armed with this knowledge you’ll be better equipped to improve and extend your reach. For example, if you’re in the ice business you likely wouldn’t expend much effort trying to sell to people living in igloos.

Bonus: Measuring influence based on the ability to drive action in social networks leads to more targeted audience.

Costs: Free

Image5. Social Mention

Sometimes separating the medium from the message is a tough task, especially when it comes to social media.

However, if your goal is social awareness – eavesdropping in on what people are saying about your product, service, business and competitors – Social Mention can help. The platform allows you to program alerts based on chosen keywords and pulls content from more than 80 online spaces including blogs, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Flickr, YouTube, etc. —more than 80 in all.

If someone posts a negative comment about your business on Facebook, The Social Mention platform alerts you immediately. This allows you to engage with your customers in a real and meaningful manner.

Bonus: Understanding the conversation is one of the most important ingredients to social media success. If you know what they are saying, you can act accordingly.

Costs: Free with charges based on higher levels of use.

Conclusion

Just because companies are collectively spending hundreds of millions of dollars on social media marketing, doesn’t mean you have to donate a large portion of your budget to leverage the medium’s benefits. Although eventually you may need to enlist the services of a professional, these five easy to use tools are more than enough to put you on the right social media path.

Tim Gray is content strategist with Blue Fountain Media. He often writes about the innovative tools small businesses and entrepreneurs can use to be successful. Read more about Tim here.

 PLEASE LEAVE COMMENTS ABOUT THESE TOOLS IF YOU HAVE HAD EXPERIENCE WITH THEM.

Image

 ImageImageImageImage

13 Comments
  1. Reblogged this on My Homeprofit.

  2. Excellent way of describing, and nice paragraph to take information regarding my presentation subject, which i am going to present in academy.

  3. This is a useful article and a nice list. I’ve used all of these except Main Street Hub. I’m going to pass this on along… thanks!

    • Thanks Sara, I’m glad that you found it valuable.

      Sometimes it is nice to have a simple list when there is so much information about there – it can be overwhelming if you are new to social media.

      Be sure to let me know if there is something you would like to learn more about.

  4. I’ve been surfing online more than 3 hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours 5 favorite social media tools Social Media for Small Business. It’s pretty worth enough for me. Personally, if all site owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the web will be a lot more useful than ever before.

    • Thanks for the support!

      Be sure to let us know if there is anything you would like us to talk about.

      – Dustin, DSM Solutions.

  5. I delight in, result in I discovered just what I used to be looking for. You’ve ended my four day lengthy hunt! God Bless you man. Have a great day. Bye

  6. We are a gaggle of volunteers and starting a new scheme in our community. Your site offered us with helpful information to paintings on. You’ve performed a formidable job and our whole neighborhood might be thankful to you.

  7. very nice information. keep sharing.http://www.ecadastro.com.br

  8. Social Media for Businesses – 5 social media tools you need. Social Media for Small Business I was suggested this web site by my cousin. I’m not sure whether this post is written by him as nobody else know such detailed about my problem. You are incredible! Thanks! your article about Social Media for Businesses – 5 social media tools you need. Social Media for Small BusinessBest Regards Justin

  9. your post is really good and informative. i’m surprised that your post has not gotten any. good quality, genuine comments. you have done a great job by posting this article. thanks!!! lista de emails lista de emails lista de emails lista de emails lista de emails

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. URL

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: