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Social Media Tools You Should be Using, Part 2

These sites will keep a pulse on all your social networking activities.

In Part 1, we told you about a few social media tools to help you manage your Twitter account, increase your pull and make a splash on the microblogging site. Now we’ll tell you about a few other social media tools you can use to keep a pulse on your Facebook business page, your blog, Flickr account and more to make sure you get the most from your social networking efforts.

As eBay and Etsy seller Brieanna Owens told us, using social media can be very fruitful in connecting with your buyers, building a relationship, promoting your items and making a few sales.

Social Mention

Social Mention lets you track what others are saying about you, your business and your niche like HootSuite does for Twitter. But its scope is much broader. It focuses on the World Wide Web, not just Twitter, notes Internet and social media expert Marlene Gavens.

With Social Mention, you simply enter a keyword or phrase—this could be the name of your store or the type of inventory you’re selling—then select from a drop-down menu to have Social Mention look for that word or phrase in blogs, microblogging sites, networks, bookmarks, comments, events images, news, video, audio, questions or in all of these. Then press Search, and the site will search for “content from around the world,” it notes.

You’ll also be able to see when the last mention of the word or phrase appeared on Twitter, what the top keywords associated with that word or phrase are, and the sentiment on the Web—positive, neutral or negative—about that word or key phrase.

If you find that the sentiment is negative, you can start digging to see why.

Postling lets you schedule social media posts in advance, and provide analytics to see how your efforts are going

Postling

Postling is another nifty tool because it monitors comments you get on Facebook, Twitter, your blog, Flickr and your YouTube accounts, all in one place. This was a big plus for Gavens. The service will even email you when you have a new comment or post, so you can stay on top of questions from customers and respond quickly.

You can also publish to your Facebook, Twitter, blog, Flickr and YouTube accounts right from Postling.com, meaning the tool could greatly reduce the time you spend hopping from site to site while helping you say informed about what people are saying about you or your business. The service comes with a fee, but you can try it for 30 days for just a buck.

You can also track your competitors on Postling by creating “business terms” that Postling will search the Web for. Postling will also let you schedule social media posts in advance, and provide analytics to see how your efforts are going.

Facebook Insights

If you have a Facebook business page, you have access to Facebook Insights. This tool lets you see how many new likes your Facebook page has gotten in the past week, how many active users it has, how many page views it’s received, how much feedback it’s gotten and which days had the most interactions. It will also show you if those numbers have gone up or down so you can gauge how effective your page is and if you need to make any changes.

You can log into your Facebook business page to check these out, or check your inbox. Facebook will also email these to you when you have a business page.

Your own blog

Blogs are another powerful social tool. Gavens tells us blogs are one of her favorite tools, because they “establish you as an expert in your field and help your website show up better in search results.”

The trick with blogs is to keep the language casual, keep your content informative and pertinent to your readers, and to promote a sense of community. You don’t want your blog posts to be nothing but product pitches. Instead, share your knowledge and encourage readers to interact with you and leave comments.

“I prefer to put the fewest possible layers of interface between myself and whatever I’m doing online”

Yourself

We know you’re not a social media device, but you’ll lead your social media efforts, so we thought you should be included in this article, too. Though we’ve just shown you several tools to make managing your social media efforts easier, you can always approach social media the old fashioned way, like eBay social seller and eBay Radio host Betsie Bolger does.

She knows there are tons of tools available to manage her social media efforts, but she prefers to use the social media sites directly, in real time.

Why? “Because: a) It feels more authentic to me; and b) It’s too easy for social media to become a huge time suck,” she says. “Also, as a rule, I just prefer to put the fewest possible layers of interface between myself and whatever I’m doing online.”

However, she does use iPhone apps for Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to stay connected with friends, followers and customers. “Those are indispensable,” she acknowledges.

Bolger has also linked her Facebook and Twitter accounts so she can kill two birds with one stone, if you will, and update both channels at once. When she finds “something really cool” on eBay, she likes it on Facebook, tweets it and sometimes even posts it on Facebook, she notes.

“But by no means (do I use) all of them just as a matter of routine,” Bolger says. “It has to be something of interest.”

Remember as you’re using social media for your business to keep it fun and personal.

“Say hi to someone new and maybe you will also find a person who is looking for that coffee cup you have stashed in the back of your cupboard, or that tacky prom dress you are holding onto from 1987,” eBay and Bonanza seller Owens reminds us.

“I give advice to people every day who are interested in the opportunities available through social media,” she adds. “I tell them the first step is to sign up to any site they wish and then say, ‘Hello.'”

Read Social Media Tools You Should be Using, Part 1.

About the author

Olga Munoz
Olga Munoz is editor of TheOnlineSeller.com. In addition to writing news and feature articles about e-commerce, selling trends, online marketing and other topics of interest to online sellers, Olga manages the site's social media efforts. A journalism graduate of Chico State, Olga says her favorite part of being a journalist is learning interesting facts that help put stories into perspective, attending industry events and meeting interesting people "that leave you smiling, even in tough situations." Opinions expressed here may not be shared by The Online Seller and/or its principals.



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