Exploring Social Media: Social Media Tools

Filed as Features on November 10, 2008 6:29 pm

princessphoneIn the early days of the telephone, you had one choice. It was big, black, and usually screwed to a wall. As the telephone grew smaller, it left the wall and sat on a desk, then moved from the desk to a bedside table with the popularity of the Princess telephone in 1959. The spinning dial was awkward to use, and the phone changed again with the introduction of buttons known Touch-Tone, the birth of today’s button pushing communications world.

Today, there are hundreds and hundreds of telephone choices, from corporate telephones with video and conferencing abilities to micro-mobile telephones that fit in your ear.

If Alexander Graham Bell walked into one of today’s Radio Shacks or telephone buying shops to see all the various choices in telephones, he’d be impressed but seriously overwhelmed. When you go online to explore your social media tool options today, you are overwhelmed, too.

Just as choosing the right phone for the right person and their particular needs is critical to making a wise communications purchase, so is choosing the right social media tool for the right job. Chris Brogan agrees, saying:

A phone can be used to talk to Mom, talk to the grocery store, talk to customer service at your bank, and a phone can be used to give a teleseminar, to dial for dollars, to market a new product or service. This is the same with all these tools like blogging, podcasting, social networks and the like. The tools themselves are just different (better?) ways to communicate. They involve more nuance.

…The revolution comes in how we use them. At once, these new tools allow us a one-to-many opportunity similar to what publishers and TV producers and other large scale media used to own. And at the same time, these tools have created allow us to be much more personable, more nuanced, more one-to-one in how we reach people who share the same interests as us (or our customers).

What Social Media Tools Do the Pros Recommend?

Let’s begin by looking at the social media tools bloggers and social media experts recommend. I looked for articles by social media experts and enthusiasts providing insights into which tools work for them, and why. Not all of these articles are current, which gives us a good perspective on what worked then, as compared to what works now, and if the old social media tools are still working after all this time. Learn from their experiences and check out their recommendations to find out what will work best for you.

These social media tools may or may not work for you – more importantly, they have to work with your demographics. If your customers are using them, you better use them, too. If they aren’t, and you are, where are your customers? Go there.

We’ll explore many of their recommendations in greater depth, learning how people use social media tools, over the next few weeks.

Which social media tools do you use and why? Have you experimented with a variety to help you find the right tool for you as well as your audience? What works? What doesn’t?

Exploring Social Media Series

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  1. By Joy-Mari posted on November 18, 2008 at 6:42 am
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    Lorelle, could you upload a gravatar? It’d be great to see what you look like ;)

    Great post. I twittered it yesterday and have been looking at what the people whom you mentioned like to use.

    Though I am active with Social Media my tools are pretty much vanilla: Friendfeed, RSS, Facebook, Twitter, blogs, IMs, Google Reader (sometimes), Sphinn and Headup (I’m still trying to figure out just how this works, and what I should use it for).

    This isn’t the full list, btw; it’s just a snap-shot.

    Reply

    • By Lorelle VanFossen posted on November 18, 2008 at 11:14 am
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      I have a gravatar. Have to talk to the Blog Herald staff about ensuring they are working. :D

      Great list of social media tools. Hopefully, this series will help you understand which work best and which don’t.

      Reply

  2. By Paul Lewis posted on December 1, 2009 at 7:42 pm
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    Great list and overview… I’ve compiled a list of 10 Top Social Media tools that you can also use online.. Check them out here http://pglewis.co.uk/social-media/2009/12/10-top-social-media-tools

    Reply

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