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Using social media for networking + fun! By feature writer: Garth Jackson

By Garth Jackson 

Do you find yourself…?

–       Tweeting under tables?

–       Sending product or service updates while driving?

–       Typing with one eye open at an event, in the dark, with a glass of bubbles?

Why not schedule your tweets and status updates?

Stay engaged in conversations that are happening around you, perhaps for some of us it would provide a sense of relief and a connection. With out the worry of typing in a corner at an event or at a dinner party.

Networking via social media channels can be extremely useful. People are searching for you all the time. Yes they really are! Whether it is from LinkedIn or Twitter people are searching us out. You can use ‘Twitter handles’ for companies you want to work with or for, by including them in relevant news feeds or posts you create. You mat also want to showcase your talents by inviting companies to view your work or website.  Subtle is always better and make it unique, play off what they are retweeting or posting in social media. Become part of the conversation!

How can we leverage the social media tools available to us?  Which can allow us time to enjoy moments in life; without trying to casually tweet them. Let us not forget the value of meeting people – face to face.

Today, people and businesses are using social media dashboards to deliver their messages with strategic agility. Personally, I like to use a tool called HOOTSUITE.  There are other dashboards available, but I find HootSuite simple and easy to use.  It can appeal to someone that casually uses social media or for the savvy digital “appssavvy” users.

hootsuite strem photo

Some of the HootSuite benefits include…

  1. Scheduling your Twitter tweets, Facebook posts or even LinkedIn updates
  2. Monitoring other users, competitors or even for crisis communications
  3. Allows readily available user profiling’s and Klout scores
  4. Research made easier by viewing company/ individual mentions in dashboard feeds
  5. Monitor hashtags for company or of personal interest.  Example – (#UBC #Vancouver) Image below  -HootSuite dashboard from getsatisfaction.com 

KLOUT – Has an interesting feature, under your tab “friends” you can see circles of influence, with the user name, which are colour coded by score. It allows you only to see those already engaged with Klout, but usually the people you want to know in business- are there. And they are in large circles! In addition, you can also see a simple to use graph that informs you of the growth in your influence over a period of time. Visit Klout today and find your score.

klout influencer

Some other sites for social media monitoring and scheduling tools available are called SocialOopmh, but it is far too much information and reads more like advertising then an easy social media tool.  You can also check out the site called SproutSocial offering a 30-day free trail or TweetAdder, which allows you also to purchase programs that can allow you to monitor many accounts, similar to HootSuite.  BUT, I think HootSuite is easy to use and the free version gives you great insights and scheduling opportunities.  Digital networking made easy! Yes please!

I wanted to share some other tools that are available , but a word to the wise, read as many reviews online as you can before signing up for any accounts, you do not know what information you may be providing these sites with.

Tweet Tunnel – This tool is interesting if you really want to look back at activity of a user or if you need to look at a social media crisis, or even If you want to be more informed on someone before you meet him or her.

TwitHawk. The benefit is that you can see what audiences are saying about your product, your brand or even yourself, allowing you to join into the conversation generating a list of tweets that would be the best ones to respond to.

TwiendsThis tool provides introductions for people looking to develop their social network on Twitter. When you follow someone they give you seeds, and vice versa when they follow you. The idea of sharing and buying seeds to gain influence or meet people is rather odd to me. Perhaps a little creepy too, the name itself “seeds” is not the best marketing choice in my opinion. There focus for this tool is to build your social networking community, with seed incentives allowing for more people to know who you are.

On this tool I did like the feature “Browse” because you can view many different categories from fashion to technology. I was able to find some interesting people that I ended up following. Although, I did notice that I was getting some strange followers with mysterious random names following me from remote parts of Asia.

So I am undecided if it is weird spam followers or a computer generated follow to make people feel like their was value from joining the site. When you investigate more, you find that by agreeing to their terms and conditions, they are using your computer’s stored information (like your contacts and your internet searches), similar to what Google Analytics does with analyzing websites. Except now this company can feed Ads related to things that you have searched from your computer.

When you ‘click to remove’ – you are tossed out with a clear message that they do not want you to sign back into their website without authorizing this feature. Ouch, but not really. It looked a bit like a Pinterest meets Twitter but you still get better results from HootSuite.

Socialbakers – This tool can provide you data of when your users are most likely to read/engage, review or comment on postings. You are administrated graphs outlining dates and times when activity is highest.

You can also use this tool to compare yourself against your competitors, track how their campaigns deliver or even when your competitors may be in crisis. If you have a largely international business you can also break this down by country and see where and how many users you have in different parts of the world.

TweetsMap– Allows you to look at a users influence internationally. It gives you insight into how influential they are at home and abroad.  You do have to deal with their automated tweet to get into the account once you have set it up. However, you can modify the tweet to suit you.  I found their blog section most helpful.

To leave you with something I recently joined is called Zeen.com. Check it out and be the first to share it with your circle of friends, co-workers or a new client!

Written and researched by Garth W. Jackson connect with Garth on Twitter @Gjaxlux

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