In 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.
- Andrea Weckerle – 5 Favorite Social Media Tools (Yeah, Another Meme, But At Least It’s Useful)
- Connie Bensen – Top 10 Social Media Tools/Platforms
- Social media Tools – Wikipedia
- Essential Tools for Social Media from Essential Keystrokes
- Mashable – 10 of the Best Social Media Tools for PR Professionals and Journalists
- The Bamboo Project Blog: Social Media Apps I’ve Tried to Love but Can’t
- My Top 5 Social Media Tools – PaulStamatiou.com
- Top Social Media Tools For Turning Your eBrand Into a Powerhouse
- Search Engine Land – Tools For Engaging In Social Media
- 50 Online Applications and Sites to Consider by chrisbrogan.com
- ConverStations: 6 Social Media Tools Every Business Should Use
- Devin Reams – Top 5 Social Media Tools
- Ignite Social Media: 4 Social Media Tools for Travel
- Ignite Social Media: 5 Social Media Tools for Great Writing
- Liberated Media – Social media tools list – from analytics to Digg
- Social Media Starter Kit: The Tools You Need by Chris Brogan
- PR Squared: My Top 5 Social Media Tools
- Social Media Marketing Tactics – How to Leverage Web 2.0 and Social Media Sites to Market Your Brand and Control Your Message
- Social Media Biz – Tools the Alpha Geeks Use
- Somewhat Frank – Social Media and Love For Bright Shiny Objects
- The Journal Spotlight: Free Social Media Tools for Educators
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
Author: Lorelle VanFossen
The author of Lorelle on WordPress and the fast-selling book, Blogging Tips: What Bloggers Won’t Tell You About Blogging, as well as several other blogs, Lorelle VanFossen has been blogging for over 15 years, covering blogging, WordPress, travel, nature and travel photography, web design, web theory and development extensively as web technologies developed.