SocialSprout is a powerful media monitoring tool for businesses to track all their social properties. It has tools for publishing, engagement, analytics and even integration with HelpDesk and CRM. One of the cool features is the Google Analytics integration.
They also have a cool “bookmarklet” thats a little icon that sits in your bookmarks and when you are on an interesting page, its one click to publish the link to all your channels. Installing this bookmarklet is just a simple drag and drop.
They also have a great blog here - http://sproutsocial.com/insights/
Check out their social media engagement report #BePresent - http://sproutsocial.com/insights/2013/03/brand-engagement-reports/
Little Bird is yet another social media analytics tool for researching a topic and promoting yourself as an influencer in your area of interest. They are still in beta mode but you can sign up for a limited time and get access to the tools. In the world of social media there is massive content being generated every day, this tool gives you the ability to sift through the noise and focus on the most relevant and influential content in your area of interest. It allows you to ask questions and interact with influencers. The tool set includes the ability to create custom reports, for e.g. I created one for product management and it generated a list of the top influencers on this subject. You can then track the influencers and emerging contributors on this subject, follow what they are reading etc.
You can also run comparison reports to compare a person to one of their “experts”
The down side is that its not free, it is a paid subscription (they have both individual and enterprise models).
I was chatting with my sister-in-law last week, she runs a very successful small business on eBay selling all kinds of vintage articles and clothing. She was recently featured on eBay as a power seller. One of the secrets to her success is her online presence and strong social network.
She was telling me about advertising on social media channels and how its ok to promote your products by putting a picture of a cool “find” that you think your friends will like, however it would not be cool to directly advertise something for sale.
Found this article where eBay coaches their customers on how to use the social media channel to grow their business. I find it interesting how the evolution of social media has empowered small businesses to expand their market in a way never seen before.