The proliferation of social media platforms today can make it a pretty daunting task to keep track of what’s going on between all of your different social media accounts. Luckily, it’s easy to consolidate your various social media streams and updates in one convenient location using tools dubbed ‘social media dashboards’. Dashboard software takes a variety of forms, from desktop-based applications to web-based services and mobile applications that let you keep track of and update your accounts on the move.
Tools such as HootSuite 170 Understanding Digital Marketing (www.hootsuite.com) and Tweetdeck (www.tweetdeck.com) have evolved quickly from straightforward Twitter clients into fully integrated social media dashboards that incorporate multiple social media accounts spanning different platforms. You’ll also find ‘enterprise’ class social CRM software… which essentially do the same thing. Ultimately, these dashboards give you a convenient place to monitor all of your social media activity in one place, and the best of them offer built-in statistics and measurements, scheduled updates, keyword monitoring and more.
If you’re new to social media you will probably start off on the website of the service you want to use. Over time, though, most marketers will find an integrated social media dashboard invaluable. The rules of engagement Social media, then, offers a wealth of opportunity for consumer engagement and building brand awareness, but in such an open and dynamic space it is critical to consider carefully what you are doing.
Social media is consumer driven, and the very characteristics that make it such an enticing proposition for marketers – the interconnected nature of online consumers, and the staggering speed at which information traverses the network – can just as easily backfire. The ‘rules’ of social media are really about applying a bit of common sense to what are essentially human relationships. The key thing to remember is that this is social media – people are going online to interact and exchange information and content with similar, like-minded people.
They are unlikely to be interested in your latest sales pitch, and they are certainly not interested in promotional hype. They want interesting, fun, informative, quirky, addictive… whatever turns them on. When it comes to social media, you’re not just sending out a message, you are inviting a response, and what you get might not be quite what you are expecting. You need a plan to engage in social media marketing, but you also need to be flexible and respond to the community