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Gini Dietrich

How to Choose Social Media Tools

By: Gini Dietrich | May 20, 2013 | 
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How to Choose Social Media ToolsIf you are reading this in your email or Reader today, click over and stop by the blog today. Something new and exciting is there.

If you’re reading on the blog, surprise!

Thanks to Nick Harrison at Dashal and our fearless content director, Lindsay Bell-Wheeler, the site has a brand, spanking new design.

A few things to note:

  • The big orange “Go Pro” button takes you to the monthly webinar or other content we have available.
  • You can listen directly to the week’s Inside PR recording without having to leave the site or go into iTunes.
  • Our #FollowFriday recommendations get to hang out in the sidebar for a week and you can follow them on Twitter directly from there.
  • The navigation follows you as you scroll.
  • The logo has been slightly modified to provide a space between Spin and Sucks because it drives me crazy when people write SpinSucks (which we realized is because there wasn’t a space in the logo).
  • Lots of other fun stuff!

Check it out (test is on your phones and tablets, too) and let us know what you think!

Now on to your regularly scheduled programming.

How to Choose Social Media Tools

I’ve been reading a lot about how an organization should choose social media tools. There is some great advice – “be tool-agnostic” – and some terrible advice – “create a Twitter strategy,” but it all boils down to one thing: Are you driving people back to something you own?

By “own,” I mean your website or blog. Something you control. Something that won’t go away if the start-up darling gets bought or shutters or the founders get bored.

Something you can track, monitor, measure, and tweak strategies, content, and messages applicable to your audiences (not to the latest social network’s rules).

I like to think of it as a wheel (like we describe in Marketing in the Round): You have the website and/or blog in the center and the social networks and other ways of promoting your content are the spokes.

Once you figure out what kind of content is on your owned site(s), you can then begin to think about the tools you use.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Where are our customers currently participating online? You can find out simply by asking them or by using tools such as Flip Top or Xobni.
  2. Where are our prospects currently participating online? Use a tool such as Traackr or Inky Bee to discover where the people you want to target are already participating.
  3. Which tool(s) can we focus on first?
  4. Can we prioritize our efforts?
  5. Where are our competitors spending their time?
  6. Can we do something new and different that gives us a perceived industry lead?
  7. Do we have experts internally who are willing to spend some time engaging with customers and prospects online?

I’m sure there are a gazillion more things to consider, but this will give you a good start. Where your customers and prospects are participating is where you should do the same.

Don’t get on Twitter just because everyone else is doing it. Do your competitors have Twitter pages? Were they abandoned? If so, they’ve already done the work for you … and know Twitter wasn’t a great use of their time.

Participate where your audiences are. That may mean you’re using a social network no one is talking about yet or it may mean you’re – gasp – using email. Whatever it is, your time is well spent because you’re not building the Field of Dreams and waiting for everyone to show up in Iowa.

Once you figure out the where, this infographic from Mark Smiciklas at Intersection Consulting will help you out with the how.

Social Media Strategy

About Gini Dietrich


Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro.

94 comments
jesslaw
jesslaw

The site redesign looks great! :) Looking forward to continuing to read!

TaraGeissinger
TaraGeissinger

Love the new look. It's very clean and fresh looking! I also love the advice. It's so easy to get caught up doing things because you think you "should" or because that is what a coach or guru told you to do. The reality is that all of our strategies are unique. I mainly work behind the scenes for marketing and SEO firms. I will have a very different social media strategy than someone targeting those looking to lose weight -- as I should! LOL

RFongTea
RFongTea

Nice clean and fresh look. Like it! :)

JoeCardillo
JoeCardillo

I'm so confused MILK WAS A BAD CHOICE. 

I mean, it looks great. Good job!

HughAnderson
HughAnderson

Very slick. Like it. And thanks so much for the shout out for Inkybee :)

EdenSpodek
EdenSpodek

Congratulations @ginidietrich @belllindsay and the rest of the Spin Sucks team! Not only does the new site look fantastic and is much easier to navigate but now it takes the guess work out of the name. Yes, I was one of those who was confused. Guess I was in good company. ;-)


photo chris
photo chris

lol- the graphic made my head spin- so glad you are here to keep it all straight for us! The site is fantastic :-)

Andrea T.H.W.
Andrea T.H.W.

Beautiful new design, and great idea to feature the FollowFriday people on the sidebar. As for the rest of the article it's surely right, going where the audience is.


If only I knew where my audience is. :)

intersection1
intersection1

Hey Gini, just a quick note to thank you for featuring my infographic in your post. Much appreciated!

lauraclick
lauraclick

Love the new digs, Gini! It's slick and clean! I really like the drop-downs with different ways to find content. Very cool! I know what a big undertaking a website redesign is, so kudos to you and your team for getting it done!

As to the social media tips, very good stuff. I think far too many businesses jump in without asking those questions. I think one to add, but kind of goes with #6 and #7 is "what content will we share?" I think that without original content that you create (typically on your website or home base), you'll have a tough time gaining any traction. Sharing other people's stuff only gets you so far.


fieldsf
fieldsf

Love the new look!  I like the Go Pro button, despite the fact that orange is not my favorite color. :)

sherrickmark
sherrickmark

dig the new design folks! looks great.


There are so many tools out there for social media. As an amateur, I'm amazed at how the pros can keep track of them all coherently!

susancellura
susancellura

Love the new site! And, I'd like to say that the group over at Inky Bee is very helpful! The good news around the Spin Sucks confusion? At least people were trying to follow the brand standard!  :)

Ali_Davies
Ali_Davies

Classy! Lovin' the fresh clean feel.

AnneReuss
AnneReuss

Slick. Scannable. Spotless. Smooth!

TaraGeissinger
TaraGeissinger

@ginidietrich I know, right? I absolutely despise the 'one size fits all' mentality that persists out there. So many times I hear "You should blog at least once a day." or "Update your FB page at these exact times." Uggh! There is no magic formula that works for every industry. :) I love having business mentors and participating in masterminds where we can bounce ideas off each other and really dig into what's working....but it is ultimately up to me to decide what's right. 

fieldsf
fieldsf

@ginidietrich @fieldsf Well, if your choices were between pink & orange, I highly approve of the orange.  I know you're one smart cookie, and all, but I don't associate you with pink . . .

sherrickmark
sherrickmark

yeah, I don't get out as much as I'd like to. Hit a blog reading lull and Im tryin' to get back in. :) Glad to be here.

JoeCardillo
JoeCardillo

@ginidietrich @JoeCardillo I am. Pretty psyched (but I promise I'll be coming to hang out in Chicago and see you, Yvette, C.Kent and the rest of the crew in the next few months)