Lately I have been involved in helping companies leverage social networking tools for business development. It has been a nice experience of sharing what you learnt and what you practice to help others.
Straddling across so many tools – FB, Twitter, Orkut, Linkedin, Buzz etc – becomes a daunting task. To update the status across each network and reply to people. When you are doing it for a business organisation, the challenges are even more. You have to be alert to look for mentions, references and respond accordingly. Today’s social media has a power to create positive or negative impact about your product and services within very short span of time.
Though there are some tools like (bit.ly, tinyurl etc) available that help you post your status across some of the networks simulteneously, those provide limited functionality. For a business it is important to monitor the response and get a sense of effectiveness of its efforts. You need more features such as :
1. Monitor number of responses to your news from each network – number of fans/ followers clicking from FB / Twitter / Buzz/ Linkedin etc This helps you to understand the effectiveness of the network. You can take corrective action or tweak your contents accordingly.
2. If your audience is spread across multiple timezones you need a tool to schedule your post at particular time intervals. For example on Twitter, when you tweet at a particular time, your followers may not be in a active mode in other timezone. When they get active after some time frame, your post might not appear on their timeline. You need to reach out to them in their timezone. That is why you need ability to schedule your post.
3. Auto Welcome message. If your business has more than 20 followers joining you everyday you, you need auto response to them else it becomes very time consuming activity
4. Many companies want to encourage their fans to discuss or post comments on its FB page or want them to re-tweet their posts. You would want to know most active fans/ followers per week or per day or per month.
5. You would want to see geographical spread of your fans / follower and number of visitors etc.
I have gone through few of such tools (there are many with some variations), but I found that what matters most is some one who can help you customise to your needs apart from offering the standard features. On that count I found this tool Go Socially to be best in its class. It is developed using open source components – PHP, MySql and hosted on Linux server. This company is promoted by very enthusiastic professionals who have returned to India after 8-10 years of working in USA. I am noticing this trend of professionals coming back to India after good experience and setting up own businesses. It is very encouraging. The team of Go Socially brings professional approach, global experience and understand the local needs – making their offering very competitive.
I liked their positioning of the tool – “You go where the consumers are, instead of waiting for them to come to you”
They have a one month trial subscription as well if you want to try it out first.
So now you can embrace the social networking tools for your business more confidently and can feel its effectiveness.