COM0015 – Blog #1: The Bigger Picture; Social Tools and Sources

With today’s social media platforms we are absorbing and sending information out of and into the web at an astounding pace. How do you keep up? What are the best monitoring tools to stay current and up to date on trends, engage with friends, network on a professional level or market your business? The list goes on and on, and the options available to us far exceed the traditional “Top 10” list. Here’s a list of the Top 52 Social Media Platforms Every Marketer Should Know (that’s right, 52)! This list may seem daunting, and it would be if we were using all of these applications, but instead it allows us to do a little research, play around a bit, and help us decide which will work best for our personal or business needs.

If you had to pick two social media trend listening/monitoring tools, would TweetDeck and Hootsuite make the cut? I only ask because they are my two favorites, and here’s why:

TweetDeck#1 TweetDeck is a free social media dashboard that allows me, at a glance, to post and view my Twitter streams, notifications, private messages and activity on one page, in one place, all at once. I use this tool strictly for personal use and found it easy to set up and very user friendly. I like that there is no cost for the app, and I can customize my dashboard to follow specific people or areas of interest through entering key words or hashtags, which helps keep me up to date on current trends and events.

 Hootsuite#2 Hootsuite is a social media management system which, unlike TweetDeck, allows me to manage multiple accounts across different social media networks. In other words, I can see the activity of up to three of my favorite social networks, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, on one page and the basic features are free. It has made the list because of its simplicity to set up and it gives me the ability to post to all of my social networks simultaneously (in real time) as well as the option to schedule future dated posts. It is also a powerful analytics tool allowing you to see how those posts perform by helping me track who sees the content I post. Super handy if you are planning any kind of event, marketing campaign or sharing of information. With this tool, I would not only use it for personal reasons but also for business.

For a more comprehensive understanding between the similarities and differences of these two social media management tools CLICK HERE.

Outside of social posts, I have two favorite sources of information of news and current events. A large number of tweets from Twitter contain links to current news, local events, trending stories, friends, and subjects that I am interested in staying current on, like the healthcare industry in which I work. For me, tweets are sound bites of information that I can ignore or follow as I see fit, and TweetDeck comes in handy to help me stay organized with the volume of tweets on a daily basis.  My other go-to news source is an automatic bookmark, which links to an RSS feed, courtesy of Firefox and contains the “Latest Headlines” from a trusted, global news source. The trusted source is the BBC News, and allows me to catch up and stay current on world news and events.

Following posts on social networks provide me with information that is of specific interest to me on a personal and professional level. The challenge with information from the people participating in social networks, however, is that many posts are opinions and personal views, which can have some bias in the subject matter. Complementing social with information from news sources I trust helps give me the bigger picture.


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