It’s important for PR Technology Testers to have the right social media tools in their toolkits. There are a number of excellent tools available today that help you develop strategy, analyze relationships, add to your productivity and visualize the affects of social communications. I’ve come across a few tools that help the PR professional, when time is precious and social media accuracy is a must.
Here are a few of the tools that I believe communications professionals will find useful:
Vocus Social Media Strategy App: Recently launched, the Vocus Social Media Strategy App is a great tool for professionals who want to supplement their planning. It helps you get a handle on how to set goals, determine challenges, identify who to follow, and then to choose the right tactics. The result of using the app is a 35-page customer report/workbook. The app is great for companies or professionals short on resources. If you check out the app, I recommend moving through each module (click on the colored circles) and answering the questions carefully, although you can download a workbook at any time. This application is swift, smart and helpful. It was developed in conjunction with MarketingSherpa, a leader in market research. I give the Vocus strategy app two thumbs up!
For small businesses that need to stay connected to their fans on Facebook, and have useful content to share, Post Planner is good option for scheduled posts. I was pleasantly surprised how easy it was to use. I really liked the “Your Plan” area, which allows you to see your update schedule. Post Planner also includes all the native Facebook tools in status updates. You have the ability to add photos, links, and videos. Users are able to schedule posts weeks/months/ in advance as well as manage posts for multiple pages, all without leaving the application. Too many times I come across applications that are complicated or take too much time to set up and use. Post Planner does exactly what it says, simply and with ease.
Asterisq Mention Map
Although this tool has been around for a while, for me it still provides value and is worth checking out. The Asterisq Mention Map is a Twitter application that allows you to visualize the relationships in your brand’s network. For example, if you type in your company’s handle, it will provide a social graph with connections; deep orange lines designate more conversations and mentions and gray lines are less connected members of your community. By analyzing the lines or connections you can easily figure out your brand champions; the people who would be happy to share your content. On the flip side, for the relationships that are designated by the gray lines, it’s an opportunity to see potential connections that you can work on to build deeper relationships.
I thought Cloud.li was a really interesting technology tool. I discovered it during a recent #journchat discussion. @Journchat had just shared the #journchat Cloud.li word cloud, which visualized the most popular conversations (keywords) during the chat session. I’ve always relied on word clouds for better visualization of hot topics. It’s a great way to identify critical issues for better content development. Cloud.li allows you to discover prominent hashtags and emerging trends related to any topic. You can type in the hashtag name or phrase that you want to learn more about and see in real time what’s popular, trending or the most interesting topics in a community. What’s also great is Cloud.li provides an ever-changing cloud.
Finding the right technology for your toolkit is trial and error. But as the PR Technology Tester, you have to roll up you sleeves to experiment. Gone are the days where the PR person has to wait for the digital creative team or IT to evaluate and recommend technology. It’s a new and exciting role. Although it may seem like additional work, in essence, most of the useful technology you find will ultimately add to your team’s productivity.
How have you enhanced your PR Technology toolkit?