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

March 19, 2012

4 simple steps to measuring social media success


Image on BigStockPhoto by suravid

Deltina HayMost social media strategists agree that there is no one, established framework to measure social media success. However, there are tactics you can adjust and apply to any social media strategy to help create a framework that works for you.

This article can help you develop an individualized, social media measuring framework. Follow these four steps:

Know your goals

1Any good marketing plan starts with established goals. You need to know what your goals are before you can measure how successful your efforts have been to achieve them.

What do you want to accomplish through your social media efforts? Some possibilities include:

  • Sell more products
  • Get more reviews
  • Establish yourself as a thought leader
  • Drive more traffic to your website
  • Generate leads
  • Increase your fan base
  • Reach a specific demographic

Outline very specific goals so you can measure the results of your efforts.

Establish your baselines

2Based on your goals from step one, establish measurable baselines you can use for comparison later.

Create a spreadsheet that includes:

  • Current sales numbers
  • Review counts
  • Number of hits in Google
  • Website stats
  • Other baselines specific to your goals

Clearly, some things are easier to measure than others. Quantitative elements like sales, website stats, and Google hits can be tracked easily. However, more qualitative elements such as thought leadership, influence, or customer satisfaction can be trickier to measure.

You may be surprised at just how many things are measurable in social media. Check out this post entitled “100 Ways to Measure Social Media” posted by Marketers Studio in 2009. This lists demonstrates that there are many things that can be measured. Your job is to establish which items are true indicators of your efforts based on your established goals.

Track your efforts

3There are plenty of tools you can use to help measure your social media efforts. Internal features of social media tools like Facebook and WordPress, free external tools, and paid services can all give you insight into how well certain strategies are paying off.

It is important during this step to use more than one tool to track your efforts. Each individual tool can give you specific insight into one or more aspects of your social media presence. Together, a carefully selected host of tools can give you a complete picture of how your efforts are paying off. Continue reading

November 9, 2010

10 ways to create a social media dashboard

HootSuite
Hootsuite: Among the best of breed.

How to manage the multiple online conversations for your business

By Kim Bale and J.D. Lasica

With the torrent of social media conversations coming at us today, how do you manage the flow?

The answer used to be: Painstakingly and one conversation at a time. But a new crop of social media tools aims to tamp down the social media gusher by letting you update, manage and maintain several communication outlets at once. (While it’s sometimes hard to know what counts as a social media dashboard, we’re not including a wide range of customer relationship management (CRM) or social media monitoring tools here.)

When selecting a dashboard for personal or professional use, you should consider such items as cost, analytics and which social networks they support, among other things. Our list is meant to feature some of the breakout social media dashboards in the space and highlight their distinguishing features to make the selection process a bit easier.

 

Threadsy

Threadsy: Unify your email, social networks

1Threadsy is an intuitive, easy-to-use dashboard that allows organizations to connect through multiple email accounts as well as Facebook and Twitter. Free to use, Threadsy is great for managing your brand from one clean dashboard across the big names in social media platforms. With no fees and no downloads, this service should make a splash in the space for both personal use and use by your business or organization.

myweboo

Myweboo: Organize your information streams

2Haven’t heard of Myweboo? That’s OK. This upstart startup invites users to discover, browse and read popular streams and share them with friends and followers. You or your organization can choose from a wide variety of “applications” to connect to and stream to a dashboard from categories like news, social, fashion, photo and video. These streams can be viewed together of filtered from “My Dashboard” and then easily shared via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Flickr, Delicious and other networks. You’re in complete control of which sites will make up your dashboard. Free to use, Myweboo is run by an appealing brother-and-sister pair of young tech stars.

hootsuite

Hootsuite: Integrate all your platforms

3Our personal favorite is Hootsuite because of the depth of its products and services. You can update multiple social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook and more) from a computer or iPhone, Android or Blackberry. A team of users can track results of their interactions and create a dashboard that will work efficiently with their preferred social streams. Hootsuite offers two versions. One is free and aggregates up to five social network and two RSS feeds; it stores stat history for 30 days and is ad supported. For $5.99 a month, your organization can enjoy unlimited capabilities for a single user, with each additional user costing $10 per month. Continue reading

July 30, 2009

I upgraded to HootSuite 2.0 because it works

Chris AbrahamBack in the earlier days of 3rd party Twitter apps (just a few months ago, actually), a few very effective web-based services got my attention: SocialToo, TweetLater, and HootSuite. Sad thing was, while they were all very powerful services, they were all poorly designed, very hacked together, and fugly.  Enter the elegant, sexy, feature-rich HootSuite 2.0 (no matter what you think about all the controversy and extortion — see below).

Everyone’s talking about HootSuite 2.0

Today, while I was monitoring my stream-o-tweets, I noticed that every third person of the 2,587 I currently follow were tweeting that they “upgraded to #HootSuite 2.0 because it works http://hootsuite.com/upgrade.” HootSuite — pronounced like it sounds (HOOT-sweet) and a play on the French phrase tout de suite — was the first online player to offer multi-Twitter-account management and Twittering, an essential tool to any business application of Twitter that required the management of more than one Twitter account, such as @marcon, @abrahamharrison, @chrisabraham, etc.

Continue reading