This post is sponsored by:

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Multiple Social Networking Accounts For Business & How do I Manage Them All?

You're not alone if you're thinking that this world of online social networking has been moving at lightning pace around you.  New services pop up almost daily with others seeing success leaving you wondering how they are doing it.  You may have even signed up for several accounts and are wondering what to do next (and you'll need presence on multiple services).  It's pretty common, and here's some tips to get you on the right path.
  1. Know your business mission and customer base first.  With out knowing these two components, you are basically getting in the car and driving with no idea where you are going.  Your mission will tell you why you are engaging in social networking.  It will also direct you how to use the services.  Your customer base will tell where to be and which ones are the best for your business.  Utilize Quantcast for rough demographic and user trends for data on the various services you are exploring. 
  2. Set up a plan like any other marketing and advertising you do. The biggest difference here is that unlike traditional promotions that you put out over lengthier time frames, you'll want to be actively engaged on a more regular basis.  For example, Facebook fan pages should be updated routinely (daily).  
  3. Advertising is not so direct.  Although the foundation of using these systems is about promoting your business, it's not always about direct advertising.  For example, a blog is best used to convey your expertise or expert insight into your industry.  Facebook pages that ask questions and solicit responses from participants are a better strategy.  Mentioning your promotions or services within these mechanisms is ok, but it shouldn't be the main focus. 
  4. Don't be afraid to experiment.  These services are unlike anything most have ever engaged in before.  Who would of ever thought that telling others where you were through location-based services such as Foursquare would have ever been popular with people?  Who would have ever thought you could offer a benefit to people who do that a lot (i.e. the coveted Mayor badge)?  We didn't.  But people are using these services like crazy.  The great thing about services is that you can test them for free using personal accounts to see how they work and how others are using them.  Now you have real insight to develop the best plan for an effective launch.
  5. Look at what the competition is doing.  The easy thing to do is to look at the major competition which are often the ones doing the same or more business than you.  But don't disregard smaller competitors.  They may be building a good online strategy that can creep up and grab market share from you out of no where.  The benefit is you can learn from you competition and you can see what they are doing a lot easier than you ever could before.
So now you are set up on all of these services and are probably thinking how one can actually maintain all of these without going crazy.  There are couple of stand-alone applications which allow you to manage multiple social networking accounts all in one spot.  My two favorite are:
  1. HootSuite - Not only can you manage mutliple accounts such as Twitter, Facebook (including Facebook Pages), Foursquare, and LinkedIn; this app adds in data for links you share through the service.  Plus it allows you to schedule tweets to be sent in advance.  And, yup, there's a mobile app for the service as well.
  2. Tweetdeck - Again, this standalone application allows you to manage multiple accounts all in one spot.  The layout is nice with customizable stream columns.  And, again, they have mobile applications for use as well.  
Check out the above two applications and I guarantee you'll see a huge difference in trying manage an online social strategy.  In fact, what you thought was work, I'll bet you'll begin having a lot of fun with while also building a solid presence online.    
      blog comments powered by Disqus

      Sponsored by: