Theres a lot of discussion on social media with the majority of it being conceptual. When panelists at internet marketing expos discuss brand management, brand awareness, social media marketing, engagement, etc, what tools are they actually using to accomplish said marketing objectives?
Tweet Deck is a great tool used to manage multiple social media platforms. You can connect to your LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and other accounts. This is how a typical Tweet Deck might look.
Tweet Deck also has a great search functionality that lets you search based on tweets! This plays into the elusive brand management and engagement that many social media gurus speak of. Of course Tweet Deck isnt the encompassing epitome of those, but its one of the many tools we can use. Here is a practical example
Step 1) Select add column
Step 2) Search your keyword of interest.
Keyword for New Business: You can search the name of your product and see if there are any customers looking for or complaining about their current product! Lets do a quick search for plumber.
Keyword for Brand Management/Customer Service: Search for your brand name and see what people are saying about you. U-Haul has a twitter account appropriately named @UHaul_Cares. They search for customers who tweet about being dissatisfied with their service and engage them to see if they can rectify it. Lets do a search for JiffyLube and a search for Uhaul and see what comes up.
Keyword to Gain Followers: The best way to gain followers is to find people who share similar interest. Its not the quantity of followers, but the quality </clich but true statement>. For example, if you are a SEO specialist and you have over 500 real-estate agents following you, theres a good chance none of your SEO articles will be retweeted, or even visited for that matter! That said, use the search function to look for users who are interested in the same topics as you. Lets do a quick search for social media and see if I can get some new followers/people to follow.
Step 3) Engage the Tweeters
Once youve searched for potential customers, current customers, or new followers, you should start to engage said tweeters. Engaging users should not be done in a rehearsed/robotic approach! Take time to have casual conversation and express interest in their concern. Dont immediately tweet your resolution with your product, service, or blog.
Keep in mind that these searches had no geographic specifications. Depending on your geographic reach as a company, you might need to add location based words to your tweet searches.
Open Site Explorer
Find out whos linking to you and what they are saying! You can use tools such as Google Alerts to send you automatic updates as they happen (as they link to you) or use tools like Open Site Explorer (by SEOmoz) which gives you a full comprehensive list. There are other backlink analysis tools such as Majestic SEO, Yahoo! Site Explorer, Google Webmaster Tools, Cemper, and more. Below is a snippet of what Open Site Explorer looks like.
Benefits of engaging people linked to you (from a social media perspective):
- Brand management by dealing with negative or positive PR
- Thanking/reinforcing advocates who represent your brand
- Developing advocates for your brand
- Discover/engage bloggers who have a large following
- Measuring success of social media efforts