Yesterday at the Greater Washington Board of Trade, The Washington Post’s Dan Beyers, Social Media Star Debbie Weil, and Ogilvy’s 360 SVP Steve Marino and I had a great discussion with 50 business owners and executives.
A lot of the attendees wanted some basic tools to start getting acclimated in social realms. We agreed to post the mentioned resources here… I am sure there are many more that we missed, so feel free to add to the list via the comments section.
To begin, I’d like to suggest Kami Huyse’s excellent post on Social Media in Seven Boxes. It really classifies social media forms in a friendly way.
Alexa.com gives a rough estimate on traffic. A good way to guestimate which social networks and blogs are most traveled.
Technorati.com Advanced Search is a great tool for blog research. Search by tags or topics to find subject matter specific blogs. Organize by authority to determine which ones are linked to most frequently.
Participation and Monitoring
Google Reader is a great tool to aggregate blog content in one place while you are getting used to the social media world. To do this you will need to figure out RSS subscriptions (hint, click on the orange button on most sites). You can also use Bloglines or another reader.
Google Alerts notifies you whenever a news story or blog post occurs on a relevant search term.
Join Facebook and search groups for related content and interests. Add them to your list and friend people in those groups.
Use tools like these to get a feel for what your community cares about. Even begin participating by commenting and contributing. but always try to add value to the conversation, don’t sell.
By getting acclimated, business owners and execs can get a better idea of how to best contribute to their community, and in which manner. Strategy should revolve around creating an editorial mission to serve the organization’s community with great content. So watch closely, listen and enjoy these exciting media forms.