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Web Marketing Social Media Management with Online Tools

Keeping track of all your social media channels is daunting. Fortunately, you can find tools to help you distribute your content simultaneously to more than one location; schedule your posts in advance, manage your overall task schedule, and collect all your tasks and feeds into one convenient online dashboard.

Distributing your content

You have two basic options for distributing (syndicating) your content. One is to use the familiar RSS format (Real Simple Syndication); the other is to select one of the proprietary sharing options provided by various social media services or third-party tool providers.

RSS (real simple syndication) is definitely right up Geek Alley. Depending on your skill set and the services you’re trying to match up as content sources and destinations, you may need a developer’s assistance in setting up some of the other social syndication tools.

Many other syndication tools, such as Ping.fm by Seesmic, Postling, and Hootsuite, are much easier to use. For instance, Butter Lane Cupcakes, (whose site is shown in the following illustration) quickly found that it needed to take advantage of social tools to manage a complex campaign and to support the part-time community manager it hired to tame the time-consuming content demands of the social media beast.

Butter Lane Cupcakes found social media to be a great way to grow its business.
Butter Lane Cupcakes found social media to be a great way to grow its business.

Butter Lane chose Postling, which is shown in the following illustration, as a management tool.

Butter Lane Cupcakes manages its multipronged social media campaign with Postling. [Credit: Courtes
Credit: Courtesy of Butter Lane Cupcakes
Butter Lane Cupcakes manages its multipronged social media campaign with Postling.

Scheduling with a social calendar

If you aren’t already using a calendar to manage your marketing campaign, let social media become your excuse to establish one. You don't need anything fancy ― the free calendars from Google, Mozilla, or Yahoo! work fine, unless you want the elaborate features that are available with more expensive options.

Setting up a dashboard

If social media seems like a marathon, not a sprint, you have the right idea.

Consider implementing one other tool that will at least give you the illusion of control. A social media dashboard lets you collect all your various posting, reviewing, monitoring, and analyzing activities into one convenient screen. Instead of recalling umpteen different logins, you can log in once to your dashboard and take care of everything you need.

In the following illustration, Chris Dodson customized his NetVibes dashboard to display, on one easy-to-access screen, multiple social media channels: Digg, GoogleMail, LinkedIn, Twitter, and stories from three blogs.

A customized NetVibes dashboard helps you manage a social media campaign. [Credit: Courtesy of Chri
Credit: Courtesy of Chris Dodson, MD of conceptcupboard.com
A customized NetVibes dashboard helps you manage a social media campaign.

Depending on your skills, you may find setting up a dashboard to be somewhere between tedious and terrible. If the experience tends toward the latter, ask your web developer for help.

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