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As I have been doing as of late due to hand/finger pain, I found this article about social media marketing tools which was written by Enzo F. Cesario BrandSplat and can be found at: www.Brandsplat.com/
I thought you would find it interesting so I decided to paste it here for you to read.. I did NOT edit any text at all. I hope you enjoy and have a great weekend!
It was written by Enzo F. Cesario BrandSplat and can be found at: www.Brandsplat.com/
Time makes a mockery of most predictions. Once derided as the
tools and hobbies of hopeless shut-ins and intellectual ivory tower
sorts, social media sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn have
become the home of an entirely new, powerhouse economy. Where
hundreds of years of war and diplomacy have failed, social media
marketing has succeeded in bringing people around the globe
together in the pursuit of common interests and open markets.
Social media marketing is the home of successful brand promotion,
and finding the right mix of tools to take advantage of it has become
the defining issue of the modern brand.
When people refer to SMM tools, they are discussing a host of
applications and programs that allow real-time and long-term
feedback on the performance of their social networks. This kind of
information goes beyond the purely mechanistic approach of SEO
and website performance, moving into the realm of genuine social
engineering. Social media tools can track the number of times a
brand is being mentioned across each network, compare traffic
between networks, determine where the buzz is starting and which
path it took to get from, say, Digg to Facebook.
Knowing the focus of each of these tools and the best way to use
them is the key to bringing all this power under control and using
it to help promote a brand to its full potential.
TweetDeck is an excellent platform for brands to manage social
networks. A simple, efficient, all-in-one approach makes TweetDeck
very useful for getting updates out quickly to a number of locations.
TweetDeck supports Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, GoogleBuzz,
LinkedIn and Foursquare, giving a user easy access to all of the
Major networks. Users can send out status updates to any or all of
these at once, allowing unified messages to be spread in a single
step, without the potential to forget one. However, it does have its
limitations. Very heavy traffic to multiple accounts can slow down
its efficiency, making it more of a startup and middleweight tool
than a long-term solution.
Similar to TweetDeck in that it is targeted toward smaller
businesses, HootSuite is an alternative tool that allows for several
levels of customization. For starters, the basic package is completely
free, and will support five networks of the user's choosing. Currently
available platforms include Twitter, WordPress, LinkedIn, MySpace,
FourSquare, Facebook and PingFm. Upgrading to paid subscriptions
allows additional networks to be included.
HootSuite really shines because it offers steady "streams" of
information about each of the user's networks, allowing the
aforementioned real-time monitoring of web traffic. If a particular
network is flagging or performing particularly well, it will be brought
to the manager's attention. Further, HootSuite provides user bios
and links to various users' social networking profiles, allowing a
brand to tailor its content to the needs of the market more
efficiently. The information is a bit limited in the default package,
but even upgrading to the $5.99 a month subscription brings a
great deal more detail to hand.
For larger businesses looking to make their mark in the social
networking world, Engage121 offers a number of more powerful
options. This is a program for professional social networking
managers, because it is entirely customizable to the exact needs
of a business. One of its touted features, for example, is the ability
of a local office to examine, modify and approve messages from the
central branch. In this vein, a generic message can be sent out about
company directives, while allowing each branch to add or delete
content based on the relevance it has to their own particular mission.
Thus a large clothing chain won't waste time sending out messages
about their new swimwear line to their regional users in Alaska.
However, it has to be stressed once again that Engage 121 is not
a tool for beginners. The sheer number of options can be daunting
to put in the hands of an inexperienced manager. It's best to offer
it to someone with a great deal of skill under his or her hat who can
offer a specific plan of attack for using this tool.
As a more broad consideration, there's no reason to limit oneself
to any one of these applications, or indeed any of their competitors.
A sound SMM strategy might, in fact, use several programs at once,
either to get multiple sources of information or to test out which
works best for a given company's needs. Then as the brand grows
and needs increase, the manager can move up to more robust
software and applications that better service the needs of the
Above all, remember the axiom that these tools are based on the
need to promote communication between brand and audience.
They are not meant to reduce the users of the network to data
that can be analyzed and directed — these are people with their
own minds and agendas, who will respond in kind if they feel
slighted or taken advantage of. Instead, they should be used
as a way to get information about what people want to talk
about and to build a brand's reputation.
Enzo F. Cesario is an online branding specialist and co-founder
of Brandsplat, a digital content agency. Brandsplat creates
blogs, articles, videos and social media in the "voice" of our
client's brand. It makes sites more findable and brands more
recognizable. For the free Brandcasting Report go to
www.BrandSplat.com/ or visit blog