More and more ways of monitoring your social media accounts seem to be springing up all the time. From resources such as Manage Flitter, which helps you to monitor your connections on twitter to sites such as Klout which give you a numbered score as to your, for want of a better word, social media ‘klout’! I believe the way in which we can control our business social media profiles in this clinical manner is having a massive effect, some good and some bad. Here are six ways in which these sites have changed the way we use social networks:
(1) Sites such as Klout and PeerIndex are excellent for finding out whether or not someone is influential in terms of their social media and HOW they are influential. To this end, if you find someone you trust, see who they follow and who they trust. This is good way to build up a good network of information.
(2) Social media management sites are fantastic to help keep a track of your friends and followers. Manageflitter for instance, allows you to monitor who you follow, who tweets a lot, who doesn’t follow you back and so on. This is a big help when ensuring that you follow and be-friend people that you can engage with.
(3) Businesses frequently have more followers or follow more people than they can keep track of. Social media management sites can be brilliant time saving tools, try TweetDeck which allows you to schedule tweets for times when you cannot be near your computer, or overnight when you want to catch the international market.
(4) Working up a good social media profile is time consuming and takes commitment. If a person does not have this, their influence score on social media profiling sites will be lower. This score does not mean what they say will be of less value or interest and people may easily cast them aside due to their low Klout score.
(5) According to Dunbar’s Number it is only possible to maintain real social relationships with about 150 people. These websites have made the management of social networks an easier task, but for most people they will simply propagate the myth that social media is about developing relationships. In fact it would seem that social networking for business is now focused on creating an online presence through which companies can self promote.
Which leads to the Ugly….
(6) Is social media first and foremost not a communicative medium? If we become so obsessed with managing and enhancing our social presence and judging the people we engage with based on this do we not lose the very essence of using social media as a way of communicating with customers? I am concerned that as social media becomes more and more about status and control we may lose sight of its potential as an interactive and insightful tool to engage with our customers.
I believe that marketing via social media is benefitting from the wealth of online marketing tools. They assist with the management of social network profiles, making the process faster and more efficient. Yet, it is important to ensure that in social media marketing, engaging and interacting with customers should be the top priority.
About the Guest Post Author: This post is by Lianne Froggatt, Online Marketer at IdeasByNet, a UK promotional gifts distributor. Interested in all things online marketing, she is especially interested in using social media as a marketing tool. She would love any feedback or comments you might have so find her at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet her @Lianne_Froggatt.