What’s in a name? that which we call a rose. By any other name would small as sweet.
This excerpt from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet came to mind when I read a recent blog post on socialmediatoday.com by Dave Fleet, “Is ‘Social Media’ Hurting Social Media?”
Dave suggests upgrading the term ‘social media’ to ‘online networking’ as social media should be more interactive.
I think Dave has an excellent point. Although social media isn’t a new concept, its use is getting broader and deeper. But, it is less important for us to get caught up in nomenclature than it is for us to understand how a social approach fits into a broader corporate strategy.
In order to get the most out of online networking by getting your messages out at any one time (or period of time), you will want to know four things:
1. Who are the leaders and media influencers in your industry?
2. What are the big trends and issues in your industry?
3. Where do your customers go for information?
4. What are your customers, partners, employees and the media saying about you?
One place to find the leaders in the technology arena is Technorati, which offers both a topics directory and keyword search to find blogs in a particular topic area. Technorati also provides an “Authority Rating” on each blog to give you a rough idea of the blog’s influence.
Another neat tool is Twiangulate, which analyses connections between competitors, friends, followers and industry leaders on Twitter. Twiangulate helps you find out who you should care about reading on Twitter by showing you who is talking about your industry in blogs, forums, Twitter and Facebook pages.
Once you identify the important people talking about your industry, you should follow their postings to determine the big trends and issues. Choose a few blogs from the posts and use an RSS feed to scan the postings every day. A great RSS tool is Google Reader, and if you’re already a Gmail user, it’s an easy step to take.
Once you know what subjects/people you are looking for use these tools to aggregate the information so that you can easily stay up to date.
1. Google Alerts tell you when someone on the web has mentioned a particular name or topic. Google will deliver the news right to your inbox for convenience.
2. Summize – Searches within Twitter conversation. After performing a search, click “Feed for this query.”
3. Technorati Advanced Search – Allows subscribing to specific blog tags, which can be much more specific than searching for that as a Google Alert term (for example, the category productivity would be useful, but Google results for the word productivity would be all over the chart). After performing a search, click the “Subscribe” button on the upper right corner.
4. Blogdigger – Searches blogs, but has a fair amount of overlap with Google Alerts. After performing a search, click the RSS icon in the upper right corner.
Davida Dinerman has been a member of Schwartz Communications team since 1996. She works in the Security, Healthcare IT and Services Practice Groups.
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