What’s in Your Social Media Tool Kit? Q&A Session with Janet Aronica
She’s Director of Marketing and Community at oneforty. Social Media Blogger. Marketing Analytics lover. And she’s dishing the dirt on some of the greatest social media tools. Did we mention she’s only 24? This Buffalo, NY girl has her hands on some of the most powerful productivity tools to jumpstart your social media outreach.
Q1.) What is oneforty? What does your company specialize in?
oneforty is the social business hub and we help businesses understand the ecosystem of social media tools. Our latest product, SocialBase, is a social media and community management platform that helps teams organize their workflows and consolidate the social media logins for a more efficient system of managing and measuring their social media strategy.
Q2.) Why are tools important? How do tools increase productivity?
Tools are important, but strategy always comes first. First you need to figure out what you want to manage and what you want to measure, then you can pick out the tool that helps you do that more efficiently.
If you want to target locate local customers via Twitter, subscribing to an advanced search for local mentions of appropriate keywords with a tool like Twilerts can help with that. If you want to better understand exactly what campaigns (Twitter or Facebook) are driving conversions like event registrations or webinar signups you can use a metrics tool like Argyle Social.
Tools like these, especially measurement tools, increase your productivity because you can better understand why you are doing the things you are doing in social media and optimize your activity around your business goals. Also, on a really simple level, a basic Twitter client with Facebook integration like Hootsuite, Seesmic or Tweetdeck with a multi-column view is a much easier way to view Twitter than a one-column view (with no Facebook integration) of Twitter.com.
Q3.) In your opinion, what are 5 essential tools that all Community Managers must have in their Social Media Tool Kit?
My favorite tools are in my Community Manager Toolkit on oneforty: http://oneforty.com/JanetAronica/oneforty-community-manager-toolkit
I’d say that my top 5 are:
1. Buffer for scheduling Tweets. The interface is great, it’s a really simple tool to use and it makes scheduling a lot of Tweets at a time easy and not time-consuming. I use this to schedule Tweets of our blog posts for over the weekends and that has helped boost blog traffic. You’d be surprised how many people read over the weekends so make sure you post links to your posts then. I didn’t used to do this and it was a missed opportunity.
2. CoTweet for managing our Twitter account. This is great for multiple users because you can assign Tweets from one team member to another and also it’s good for multiple accounts.
3. Performable I like these analytics to understand what actions people take on our website from what marketing campaigns I’m doing. So I can understand who has signed up for the beta of SocialBase from which newsletter campaigns based on the tracking Performable does. I also like to use Performable’s call-to-action buttons on our blog posts to pull drive engagement to our website.
4. Tweetreach is a good Twitter analytics tool and a great way to see your most engaged Twitter followers and understand the progress you are making on your account.
5. Summify – this sends me a summary of the most shared articles from my network and helps me keep up with social media news, which is very difficult to do (there’s SO much noise!) but it’s a very important part of being a social media professional (YOU need to be the one at your company informing others about new tools and best practices, that’s how you earn your stake in a social business.)
Q4.) What’s your favorite tool? Why?
SocialBase It’s our new platform to consolidate and help me manage all of these tools. People can sign up for the beta here: http://oneforty.com/solutions/socialbase
Q5.) Is there a tool you like the least? If so, which one and why?
I’d say there are a lot of tools that are just too complicated. They require a 45 minute demo call with a sales rep before you’re even ready to start your free trial, and you still won’t understand where to begin! You see this graph, some numbers… and you think, “Okay, what do I do with this data?” Or, you just see so many features in the dashboard of a tool and you just think to yourself “All I want to do is send a Tweet. Where the heck do I send a Tweet? What is all this extra garbage?!” They’re just a UI nightmare. Some tools have way, way too intense of an on-boarding process.
I think that people developing the tools need to have a mindset that analytics and social media management shouldn’t take training to implement. People need to be spending time thinking of creative strategies for their clients, not struggling with the software. The part of social media that takes training is the strategy part – people need to learn communications, marketing etc. But your software should help them not be a stumbling block.
Q6.) What are some new trends in tools that you are seeing?
Social CRM is an absolutely exploding marketing. JitterJam and Bantam Live both were acquired recently and Sprout Social got a rather large series B round. I think people want to track these Twitter and Facebook conversations, track an actual business lead with an email address and have a true sales engagement (a follow up call, a demo etc) and a conversion come out of social media marketing. I think that an important part of this process, however, is a sound strategy for integrating social media and email with good content, calls to action and responsible use of the trust your community gives you with their email addresses.