In order to figure out how to use social media for your benefit, one of the best starting points is understanding how you can discover, listen to, and cultivate social media into something you can act on. Your audience are going to be bart of several different social networks. Figure out which ones they are one and join up for those networks. Twitter, LinkedIN, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest are some of the big ones. Managing these social networks can be challenging, so I suggest a free too to get started. I am going to focus on using my favorite tool, HootSuite. The best thing about HootSuite to me is that there is a version for everyone. I have scaled from the free version to using the Enterprise version.
This leads us to the idea of creating a social media dashboard: a visualization of metrics and limitless data that needs to viewed through very specific types of business viewpoints. Once you engage with an audience on the different social networks, you have to measure how successful your efforts were. Were you causing others to take action? Or did they ignore your messages? Use metrics to help you figure out which messages stick and begin to craft your messages that resonate best with your audience.
I’ve covered everything to why you should be doing it and what tools you can use to get it done regardless of whether or not you have a budget of $1 or $1 million. The following articles are written by one of my favorite social media bloggers, Barry Hurd, and cover both strategic questions and tactical recommendations: