Social Media Tools
The following tools are very helpful in trying to build a social media presence.
First, a tool suggested to my by my friend, client, and associate Marwan Hanania. It’s an on-line application called twollow. Twollow finds tweets with key words you choose. You then use it’s automated “follow” feature to follow the tweeters of these tweets. The theory is that they will follow you back. It turned out to be a great tool to build our own follower base. Our Vigilize twitter account went from sixteen followers in April 2010 to the current level of 748 followers. 700 followers every quarter has promise! The only downside to this application is that sometimes it gets very slow due to twitter’s capacity issues. The price is reasonable, and is based on how many key words you are searching for. I recommend you start out with 5 key words at first and then see if you want to pay for more.
A “rule of thumb” (as if rules exist in social media) is that you don’t want to be following more than twice those following you. And, twitter caps the number of people you follow (sometimes) at 2000. Thus, you will need to check out Refollow. This application is free, and it allows you sort through your twitter follower database. You can filter to those you follow but aren’t following you, and then sort that by #followers or #tweets. This then allows you to unfollow a hundred users at a time. Marwan recommended that I do this at least twice a month and I see why . . . . I keep hitting the 2000 limit. That actually is also why I think 20 keywords is more than I need . . . . I am getting far more follow suggestions with twollow than I can handle.
Another source of social media tools is the “policy set” we made available last fall. You can find it here. It includes a stand-alone user-level policy that has undergone legal review. It also includes guidelines for safe social media practices (User Guidelines for Social Media), as well as a management guidelines document.
Monitter.com allows you to customize Twitter searches by keyword and location and save your searches as RSS feeds to have the data emailed or texted to you instantly. Start off slow with searches for the bank name or a new product and monitor twitter for threats, disgruntle employees and internal leaks. Do NOT monitor for individual employee names unless management has approved.
Addictomatic.com provides a quick and easy way to search for your company or keywords across a wide selection of sites including news, blogs, YouTube, and even popular photosharing site flickr. Countless unapproved videos and photos by employees can quickly be discovered.
All employees should be encouraged to use metadata in sensitive documents or documents that could be considered intellectual property. The term “Confidential Handling” or similar should be placed in the metadata.
Google’s proprietary collection of websites and vast arsenal of tools can be used for monitoring social media usage. Using a recipe of basic and advanced search features can greatly narrow the number of results returned and give you better data. Instead of searching for the name of your organization, use “Name of Organization” in quotations or narrow your results with more details like “Name of Financial Institution” “Confidential Handling” to find any leaked company documents with “confidential handling” in the metadata or headers. Check out Google advanced search or search for “Google Hack Lists” for more tricks like finding the bank’s IP, CCTV cameras, and password lists.
Once you have narrowed your search and tested it out, use Google Alerts (www.google.com/alerts) to have Google e-mail you anytime the search criteria is found by Google’s extensive web crawlers.
We’d love to hear from you when it comes to social media tools. Just post a comment!
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