February 12, 2014

Top 10 monitoring tools for Twitter & other social media platforms

listening-headphones
Image by √oхέƒx™ on Flickr

How to stay on top of what your customers are saying about your business

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

Guest post by Megan Totka
ChamberofCommerce.com

MeganTotkaIf you’re going to use social media effectively for your small business, it’s important to stay on top of what’s being said about your business, your brand, and your industry. This roundup of social media monitoring tools can help you do just that.

One quick note: We’re not including HootSuite on this list, because most businesses already know about this one (and we’ve written about it many times in the past). However, if you haven’t heard of it, you should check it out: HootSuite is available in both free and paid versions and includes social media monitoring, automation, and analytics for multiple channels.

Our list contains five Twitter-specific tools, and five general tracking and analytics services that cover multiple social media platforms.

Did we miss any? What are your favorite social media monitoring tools — paid or free? Let us know in the comments! Continue reading

December 9, 2013

7 emerging social media marketing trends for 2014

pinterest-vine-gplus
Pinterest, Vine and Google Plus: three of the sites to keep an eye on in 2014.

Predictions to help businesses stay ahead of the curve

Guest post by Nikhil Jain

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

nikhil-jainWith 2014 knocking on the door, we thought it was time to put down the eggnog and take a hard look at what’s going to be hot on the social media marketing front the coming year — and what won’t be hot.

Before we do, let’s take a quick look at a roundup of trends that have originated from the most popular social networks this year. Continue reading

March 6, 2013

5 business lessons learned from hiring a virtual assistant

Secretary

Ditch the assumptions & consider the client’s needs

Target audience: Marketing professionals, business owners, harried executives.

Shonali BurkeWhen I decided to hire a virtual assistant, I had no idea how much I’d learn from the process.

Here’s the story:

I’ve recently relaunched my business and have very specific areas I want to grow it in. There were a couple of things I realized when I made the decision to dust off my entrepreneurial shoes:

• I needed to have a system with which to track, develop and maintain new business relationships – hence my exhausting search for a small business CRM (customer relationship management) system that would work the way I needed it to. Continue reading

February 7, 2013

Streak: The best CRM system for small business?

crm

CRM, public relations and small business unite

Shonali BurkeRemember when someone would say “CRM” and your eyes would glaze over?

While it’s now a huge industry, good CRM (customer relationship management) is a practice that many of those who are forward-looking-and-thinking marketing and public relations pros are meticulous about.

When it comes to those of us who are business owners as well … well, we have to know how to manage relationships with not just the media, bloggers, and our community, we also have to keep track of our business relationships that make a good CRM system for small business a necessity. Continue reading

December 20, 2010

What to look for in social media execution

idea execution
“A really great talent finds its happiness in execution.” — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Jessica ValenzuelaThere is a lot of talk about social media, the latest and greatest in communication innovation spurred by social companies like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, DailyBooth and many niche destinations. With all the noise compared with signal, how do you start a social media program that works whether it is for a small business, a start-up, a product, a service, an organization or a brand?

The simple answer: details and scope of your social media execution should be based on what your goals are. Goals can be set on macro and micro levels. In large organizations, it’s a must that each business unit, team or department flows in sync to achieve the company’s social media goals.

It sounds simple — but executing it properly is not a simple matter.

There is no shortage of ideas

  • Gather the best ideas people from your organization. They do not necessarily have to be the upper management or executive-level types — sometimes the best ideas come from the mail room.
  • You’re a one-man or one-woman operation? Ask your friends and clients to collaborate with you. You’d be amazed at the ideas they’d come up to help grow your business or develop your personal brand.
  • Set clear goals that are approved and supported by the ultimate decision-maker of your social media program – the guy who has your program in his or her P&L.

Execution

  • Define your program requirements. Now that the goals are set and you have ideas — social media program managers need to create the scope of the program and the requirements list.
  • Any scale of social media program should consider these requirement areas:
  1. Define rules and variables
  2. Type of creative and development assets needed
  3. The resources you need to execute
  4. Identify distribution channels
  5. Performance metrics (data!)
  6. Risk and change management (Plan B/Plan C, in case Plan A sucks!)

You’re not a techie or a media person and don’t know anything about how all these social media tools can help you grow your business and shape your personal brand? Start small. Really small.

  • Check out Tumblr, a social media site that allows you to share information in various forms of media. It’s very easy and simple to use. Content can be auto shared to your Facebook and Twitter accounts. I use it more for fun!
  • WordPress is great for small or large operations. Highly customizable and an array of social and ecommerce plug-ins is available. We’re using it for a number of small and medium-scale client projects.
  • Get comfortable with exploring new technology and social media destinations. Be curious. It’s a great way to understand and learn about the demographic you’d like to engage your services or products with.
  • Build on top of what you’ve learned.
  • Continue reading