In public relations, if you want to be successful, you’re going to have to become familiar with social media. When you’re asked, ‘what is social media,’ your response will probably be limited to websites such as Twitter and Facebook. If this were a test, your answer wouldn’t be completely wrong–but it wouldn’t be completely correct either.
Some might argue that social media is a multi-dimensional means of communication, connecting one person to many. Others might say that ‘social media’ is a term that currently describes user-generated content but will soon become obsolete when the entire Internet becomes social. The point is that we don’t want to limit our definition of social media to a couple of social networking websites. There are hundreds of social media tools available to everybody that help define what social media is. Some of these tools are free, while others require monthly fees. Every tool can work to your advantage, however, if used properly.
I’ve done a little research and found information on five social media tools that I can’t wait to utilize as I grow in my career.
The website does just as it states: it helps your social media productivity. This tool allows users to schedule tweets in advance that will appear on your Twitter account when you schedule it. You also are given the option to post recurring tweets or one-time posts.
There are two types of accounts that you can develop with socialoomph.com: the free or the professional. While the professional offers a few additional features, the free account will still help you get your job done.
On May 5, 2010, Twitter released a new tool that helps enhance the use of your tweets (or the tweets of others). Blackbird Pie is a tool that allows you to easily embed tweets into websites or blog posts.
The methodology is simple:
– Copy the URL of the tweet that you want to embed.
– Go to Blackbird Pie and paste it into the white box on their site.
– Hit “bake it” to process the URL and you’ll be given an HTML code.
Here’s the catch: it only works well with WordPress.org users and is not too pretty with WordPress.com users.
If you’re a WordPress.com user (like I am), and that second social media tool upset you, I apologize. For now, we can still use screenshots to embed tweets into our posts. Kwout.com is a very simple way to allow us to embed tweets for emphasis.
The steps are quite simple with Kwout–simply take the URL of the tweet you want to embed and paste it onto Kwout’s “demo” bar. After you hit the “kwout” button, it will guide you through how to edit the screenshot. The website will produce an HTML code that you can use to embed the image of the tweet into your blog.
Not only do embedded tweets make for a nice visual component to your blog post, they also can emphasize a certain point you’re trying to convey. Here’s a simple tweet I took from my Twitter account.
These five tools that I researched are only a tiny piece of the larger picture of social media. Don’t be intimidated or reluctant to try something new. The fact is: if you engage in social media, you’re more likely to succeed in the industry.