Most entrepreneurs today are aware that social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and others can play an essential role in marketing their businesses.
It’s also become clear to many of us that using social media as a marketing tool is a time consuming process that requires much thought and planning to use it successfully.
So how can you make the most of social media marketing without spending so much time at it?
One efficient way is to use a social media dashboard.
What is a Social Media Dashboard?
A social media dashboard isn’t another social network for you to deal with. Rather, it’s an organizational tool to help you manage all those other networks. Instead of having to go to each site to post your messages or to see what customers and competition are saying, it’s all brought together in one place. It lets you sort through all the media clutter, pinpoints exactly what you are looking for, and delivers it to you. It’s an efficient way to accomplish brand management.
How will a Social Media Management System Benefit You?
There are numerous ways social media management systems can work for you. One important benefit, of course, is time management.
Even though social media marketing is important, you also need time to take care of the numerous other tasks involved in running a business.
With the use of this tool you can schedule comments or posts to appear on all your favorite social networks simultaneously.
For instance, if you own a restaurant, you can have your daily specials published on the right day, at a strategic time, on a variety of social network sites, but you only need to visit your dashboard once to arrange it all well in advance.
Your dashboard will also help you track your competition and the comments consumers are making about both your business and your competitors. The info will be fed back to you and you don’t have to go surfing around to gather it yourself.
There are a variety of social media dashboards available, some of them offering more tools than others. A number of them are free, others are not. Some provide you with analytical tools to help you measure your success and target areas you need to work on. Several offer mobile applications so you can handle your business on the go or some help you find potential new customers in your area. TweetDeck and HootSuite are two of the most popular and most used.
The capabilities of social management systems are advancing rapidly and it is predicted that nearly all large businesses will be using them in the future. Social media dashboards are also great for small businesses, however, and can play a vital role in cost effective marketing. Give one a try. You may be surprised at how efficient they can be!
Source: Deborah Dera, Blog Herald (18 February 2011)