Finding B2B Social Media Tools That Add Value – not Just Time
We’ve all seen the signs: shaky fingers, bleary eyes, achy wrists and plain old sleep deprivation. You or your colleague may be suffering from a significant case of Social Media Tool Exhaustion. And the more time you spend online, the more likely you are to suffer relapses.
“But I need to stay on top of emerging trends,” I hear you say. “This next tool might be the key to a successful digital PR campaign.” It’s true — online engagement analysis is not for the weak of heart. But I tried to offer some hope during a May presentation in Shanghai to the Worldcom Public Relations Group, the world’s leading network of independently owned public relations firms:
My 7 Best Practices for Social Media Tool Adoption:
- Understand your assessment context before you begin. Why do you want to test the tool? To help your staff? Outwit your competitors? Give a boost to a marketing campaign?
- Pick 2 tools to experiment with at a time: You’ll wind up discarding over 50% of these tools, ultimately, but you need to keep experimenting and “churning.”
- Read “tool master” reviews to give you a sense of the pros and cons: Insights from smart people like Jason Falls help make my job easier.
- Use colleagues to divide and conquer analysis: If you work for a PR agency, please don’t make the mistake of delegating this work to your junior staff. Senior PR practitioners need to understand how these tools fit within a larger marketing strategy.
- Find online buddies who are having fun with the tool: It may not be your idea of giggles, but you still need to develop an educated opinion on why the tool is attracting attention, anyway.
- Discard tools relatively quickly if you aren’t finding value: There’s always an emerging tool to replace a dud. But don’t assume that you can rule a tool out forever, the playing field can change instantaneously with the right upgrade.
- Protect clients and employers by waiting to share tools until you are sure they are worth the time: Tools are the last “stop.” Start with Forrester’s POST approach, and fold the tools in later.
Take a peek at my 20 minute speech if you’d like to hear more about the tools I use daily to support our own digital PR strategy, including:
- Feedera: bundles your friends’ “most shared” Twitter content daily
- Bit.ly: offers a metrics dashboard to understand if your content excites people
- Backtype: flags keywords in blog comments
- Google Reader: organizes your RSS feeds, but has the potential to be your top competitive intelligence tool
- Wordtracker: identifies “starting point” keywords without the cost of an SEO
This presentation also shares the tools and networks that I’m experimenting with:
- LinkedIn: Realize that “sleeping beauty” is waking up and has real potential for B2B companies
- Foursquare: Understand how acquiring audience location data could impact your marketing strategy
- Flowtown: Mine social data from your email address list
- Authority Labs: Track search engine positioning for your site’s critical keywords
- MobiReady: assess if your site is ready for mobile use
- Flickr: use visual tags to get lots of Google “love”
Did I stop your “shakes?” How do you solve Social Media Tool Exhaustion?
To reach Elizabeth: