By Steve Goldner | @SocialSteve | Senior Director, Social Media
So, you want to get social? You realize your business cannot live without it. Kudos to you for having a strategy and a plan and for not just putting up Facebook and Twitter pages. But now you realize how time-consuming it will be to drive real measurable success. So let me tell you how we determined the right tools to help us drive our social media practice.
First, think about your core operations. We determined that we had three prime objectives: disseminating content (both owned and curated media); identifying influencers (to yield earned media); and capturing performance metrics.
It makes sense to start with a communications strategy and to address content tools. Content is core to your social endeavors. It is the vehicle to get your story out and to engage with your target audience. Consider having a blog—a place to seed your owned media so that you can use other social channels to direct people to your story. I use WordPress. It is intuitive, and it starts out at no cost. I recommend this content management system for its simplicity and versatility. Another good one is Blogger.
Blogs aren’t the only platforms for disseminating content. Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, SlideShare, Pinterest, and Twitter are all leading platforms for content sharing. With all these free options, it’s not likely you’ll choose to pay for another option—though ONEsite, Jive, and Lithium allow you to own all functionality and data, unlike Facebook and Google+.
And once you have your content platforms determined, I suggest you use a social media publishing tool. Examples are Awareness, Shoutlet, and HootSuite, just to name a few. These publishing tools allow you to schedule posts across many social channels, manage responses, and view metrics on impressions and reach. They are extremely helpful; not only do they manage the workflow of posting and responding, but they also fine-tune your communications to optimize sharing and engagement.