June 30, 2015

Social media metrics for small businesses: 4 tools

Are Oktopost, Cyfe, Klout & Hootsuite in your arsenal?

Post by Adi Englander

Adi EnglanderOne of the biggest challenges that small businesses face with social media is cutting through the bewildering fog of metrics to focus on what truly matters.

Why is this such a big challenge?

Because according to Manta, 60% of businesses reported that they didn’t gain any benefit from social media engagement.

As David Spark pointed out in the aptly named article “Are you using social media to serve your needs?”: “Every time you delve into a new social media program, ask yourself what purpose it fills for you personally or professionally.”

The antidote is to “focus entirely on what you’re trying to accomplish with your social media program or campaign and then identify the Key Performance Indicators that will tell you, over time, whether you’re getting there.” Continue reading

October 26, 2014

One dashboard to rule them all

cyfe

Collect all of your disparate web apps, services, feeds & APIs into one place

Target audience: marketing professionals, SEO specialists, PR pros, brand managers, businesses, nonprofits, educators, Web publishers, journalists.

oktopostChris AbrahamOne of the great white whales for social media marketing is cracking the B2B code. Social media automation is another Moby Dick. Bringing it all together in a simple-to-use dashboard that takes all the data your marketing, advertising, selling, development, and engagements and brings it together simply and easily might be the most elusive of them all.  

I am exploring a couple of new and exciting services that have landed in a pretty mature and competitive space but are competing handily because they’re doing things a little different and a little better — and sometimes quite a lot.

Two of the most interesting are Cyfe and Oktopost. Here’s a look. Continue reading

August 14, 2014

Choosing the right social media management system

Target audience: Marketing professionals, PR pros, brand managers, businesses, nonprofits, educators, Web publishers, journalists.

Post by Andrew Lisa

Andrew-LisaI‘ve talked with people who are juggling as many as 25 business profiles for Twitter alone — and these are legitimate accounts. If the nature of their business demands that they’re also wrapped up in multiple profiles on other social media sites like Facebook and LinkedIn, there are simply not enough hours in the day to keep up.

Here are the five social media management tools that I hear positive reviews about most frequently (and isn’t word of mouth the best barometer?):

 

sproutsocial-logo

SproutSocial: Collaboration & keyboard monitoring

1SproutSocial has a clean, sleek interface and powerful features that come standard with every plan. It has an easy, single-stream inbox feed and tasking tools that make it nearly impossible to miss a customer’s question or comment. You can also post – and schedule postings – for Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn simultaneously. Keyword monitoring lets you keep tabs on what people are saying about you and its collaboration feature allows you to split up tasks between team members.

postling

Postling: Manage multiple accounts — and your blog

2With one single inbox at Postling, you can manage not just Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, but also YouTube and even your blog. Even more, Postling lets you monitor reviews on sites like Yelp, CitySearch and TripAdvisor. Publish everything in one place and choose to respond either from your social media account or via email. Postling also has one of the best mobile apps in the industry.

spredfast-spark

Spredfast: Famed for its analytics program

3Spredfast is big-time social marketing for big-time operations. Its renowned analytics program is provided in readable graphs and charts, perfect for presenting to clients or customers regarding their own outreach programs. It’s not for the little guys, however – fees range from $12,000 to $1 million a year, on top of whatever you pay for high-speed business Internet.

expion

Expion: Analytics + content marketing

4Expion steps it up by providing not just social marketing, but analytics and content marketing as well. It has a customizable interface that allow users to manage and govern personalized accounts. There is a whole world of social media management tools, and it can be big and confusing. The proliferation of social media, of course, resulted in the parallel rise of countless supporting applications. The first thing you should do is narrow down potential sites by clearly identifying clearly what size business each site is geared toward. From there, you can get into price and functionality.

socialEngage

Social Engage: Buff up your online profile

5Aimed at small businesses, Social Engage (formerly CoTweet) does everything you’d expect from a social marketing app, but it has a feature that makes it unique. Its +Engage feature frequently changes the design of your profile to follow the latest Internet trends.

Andrew Lisa is a freelance media writer. Follow him on Twitter.
May 19, 2014

4 new ways to use social to grow your business

LinkedIn
LinkedIn just announced its Content Marketing Score, helping you focus your content based on what resonates with people.

Target audience: Marketing professionals, small business owners, business executives and managers, PR pros, brand managers.

Post by Susan Payton

susan-paytonYou’re already sharing content with your social followers and engaging in conversation. Great. Welcome to 2010. Now it’s time to master something new in the realm of social.

Social media is constantly evolving, and brands are continually coming up with new ways to leverage it to connect with people and find new customers. Here are four recent trends you should consider for your business.

Trend 1: Using social for customer service

1While this trend really started a few years ago when Dell started using Twitter to successfully manage customer issues, it has really caught on with other brands more recently. Continue reading

July 11, 2013

6 top social media dashboards for small business

social-media-inbox

Be productive in managing your social channels

Guest post by Megan Totka
Chief Editor, ChamberofCommerce.com

MeganTotkaYou already know that being active on social media is an essential ingredient in your online marketing strategy. But who’s got time to be on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn all day? Fortunately, there are some great programs out there that let you coordinate all your social media activity in one dashboard, so you can spend less time posting and tweeting — and more time on your core business.

These third-party programs come with features like multiple account management, content syndication, scheduled tweets and posts, link shortening, and more. Here’s our roundup of the best social media dashboards and the benefits they can bring your small business. Continue reading

May 13, 2013

20 tools to grow your business & get more productive

Triberr

Boomerang, TimeBridge, AwayFind & much more

Shonali BurkeA couple of years ago, I wrote a post on the five productivity tools I found myself using frequently. Since times change, and apps/platforms come and go, I thought I’d take a fresh look at how my daily toolkit has changed, and share that with you.

Note that I use Gmail almost exclusively, so if that’s you, you’re in luck. If not, well, you’ll have to see if they work for your particular set-up. Here, then, are 20 tools to help you grow your business, by keeping you efficient, productive and in the know.

Email, contacts and calendar/scheduling tools

1Boomerang for Gmail: I still use and love it. Boomerang is a great way to schedule emails ahead of time so that you can clear your backlog, or take care of responses, but not look like a crazy person who is up all hours of the day and night (even if you are, there’s no need to show it). It works as a Firefox and Chrome plug-in and there’s also a version for Outlook. See the video above for the inside scoop. Continue reading