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Agile Computing Authors: Samuel Scott, Pat Romanski, Gregor Petri, Elizabeth White, SmartBear Blog

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Improving Your Social Skills: Top Social Media Tools

When we were little we were taught not to brag; not to call our friends early in the morning or after bedtime; and not to keep secrets. These childhood social skills – along with others – helped us maintain a positive image.

In the world of social media, these rules still apply. If your profile posts only promote your products and services, your audience is already bored. If you’re making your posts while your target industry is otherwise engaged, they’ve quit listening. And if you’re using links in your posts that don’t guarantee arrival at a safe, virus-free destination, they’re not going to click.

Quit bragging.

Of course you are supposed to use your social media outlets to promote your goods and services and the happenings in your company. But if that’s all you’re posting, you’re a shameless self-promoter. And company profiles that share interesting industry news are better received.

Dlvr.it is a free service that allows you to select industry specific blogs and feed their posts directly to your social media profiles. In an instant, you become a social media guru; sharing industry trends and insights all day long, without ever logging in.

Adding a dlvr.it feed to your social media strategy lets your audience know you’re not a one note bird, intent on shoving your goods and services down their throats. But that you’re a savvy industry leader, as well as the purveyor of valuable products and services.

Don’t call before 10am.

Everyone who has a personal social media profile has a very unique checking and posting schedule. Likewise, people in specific industries tend to follow similar patterns. IT people may be more active on LinkedIn after 3pm. Marketing people may be more active on Facebook before 10am. And some crowds don’t even scroll the posts until well after their busy days have ended.

If you were to only post on any given site during the most optimum times for your audience, you’d be managing social media all day. And unless that’s your sole job, but let’s face it for most marketers it’s just an extra hat to wear - who has time for that?

HootSuite is a free posting service, that allows you to schedule posts on the days and at the times you select. Hootsuite delivers posts to Facebook personal pages, Facebook company pages, Twitter profiles, LinkedIn personal pages, LinkedIn company pages, Google+ pages and more.

Be upfront about your destination.

Because platforms like Twitter have a posting character limit, social marketers have been forced to use URL shortening tools. No one wanted to click on a link whose address was only half exposed due to the threats of viruses, unwanted cookies, and even malicious RickRolling.

Note: RickRolling started off harmless enough with someone providing you with a link that appeared to take you one place, but actually took you to a video of the Rick Astley song “Never Gonna Give You Up.” More harmful versions of RickRolling though have been used to direct unsuspecting clickers to sites that instantly install malware and Trojan horse viruses on your computer.

Using a URL shortening service that allows you to customize the link once it is shortened- ideally using a company acronym, something the audience will recognize and feel safe clicking on – is the best way to avoid link clicking avoidance. Currently Bit.ly is my favorite URL shortner because not only is it free to use but it allows you to track the number of clicks your shortened URL is getting.

 

For every need there is a social media tool out there to meet it. Use the comments feature below to tell us about your experiences with Dlvr.it, HootSuite, Bit.ly or your other favorite social media tools.

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More Stories By Emily Mayfield

Emily Mayfield, Director of Marketing at Manticore Technology, oversees strategy and execution for demand generation, public relations, and corporate communication. In her blog Funnel Focus, she explores best practices in marketing performance management, demand generation, and online marketing. Prior to joining Manticore in 2008, Emily was Director of Marketing at AHR, Inc, where she launched the company's nationwide online real estate education program and managed its e-commerce site. Emily graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in Corporate Communications.

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