Last Monday, I launched a series called PR Tools and touched upon several tools I thought were great for our day to day media monitoring, so today’s post is dedicated to the social media professionals/community managers. Would it help if you could monitor your Facebook page, Twitter feed and blog from one dashboard? Want to receive alerts every time your brand is mentioned online so you can respond quickly? Need help identifying the demographics and preferences of your online audiences? Well, then, allow me to share with you PR Tools: Social Media Management, Non-Paid.
Facebook Insights – If you aren’t using Facebook for your brands, then you should be. Once you have a page set up and have at least 30 “Likes,” you can begin to utilize Facebook’s free analytics platform, Insights, which provides measurements on your page’s performance. Using Insights is kind of a no-brainer, but I am shocked to learn that a lot of people on the platform still don’t utilize this tool. You can find anonymized demographic data about your audience, and see how people are discovering and responding to your posts. I utilize the tool to experiment with different types of posts to see what my audience responds to best.
Google Analytics – Another tool I use almost daily, Google Analytics is an easy to use reporting platform where you can decide what data you want to view and customize your reports. Google Analytics not only lets you measure sales and conversions, but also gives you insights into how visitors use your site, how they arrived on your site, how much time they spend on the site, when you are seeing the most/least traffic, etc. Standard membership is free, and Premium membership is an annual fee of $150K. That is not a typo. Only brands with big budgets should consider Premium membership.
Feedly – I used to live and die by my Google Reader, but since it is being retired July 1st, I switched my Google Reader feed over to Feedly, and am much happier. Feedly is an RSS feed that helps me keep up with all of my favorite websites and blogs in one place.
HootSuite – A popular platform in the social media circuit, HootSuite is a management system for organizations to collaboratively execute social campaigns across multiple networks from a single dashboard. Used by 79% of the Fortune 100, HootSuite makes it easy to target markets with the right message, and gather actionable data to optimize your outreach campaigns. Visit HootSuite Enterprise to register for your free demo. You can subscribe for no cost, but there is a paid version as well.
Klout – Do you know what your Klout score is? Measure your social influence on this platform that aggregates your entire social presence and then uses social media analytics to rank users with an official score from 0-100. The higher the number, the more influential you are.
Social Mention – Social Mention is a social media search and analysis platform that aggregates user generated content from across the globe into a single stream of information. It allows you to easily track and measure what people are saying about you, your company, a new product, or any topic across the web’s social media landscape in real-time. Social Mention monitors 100+ social media properties directly including: Twitter, Facebook, FriendFeed, YouTube, Digg, Google etc., and you can create alerts for free.
Topsy – I just started using Topsy, and I am already a big fan of this social listening platform. It provides deep, comprehensive analyses of hundreds of billions of Tweets and web pages gathered from millions of unique websites, blogs and social media services. Topsy leverages these social conversations to index, analyze and rank content and trends. You get instant access to conversations from moments ago or even years ago, which allows you to discover new data or info, quantify it, and make strategic business decisions related to your social media strategy.
Like I mentioned last week, you don’t have to utilize every tool. I suggest signing up for the free demos and learning how each of them function to see which ones meet your needs best.
Have any other free social media management platforms you want to share info about? Let me know here or on Twitter at @ThePRCloset.
Tune in next Monday for PR Tools: Social Media Management, Paid Platforms.
Family Farms are Getting Connected Through Social Media
Photo Credit to Nicholas A. Tonelli on Flickr
The internet has changed the way many do business, but it is surprising to note that it has loaned a whole new level of efficiency to Small Family Owned farms. For example, this video reports on an Arkansas Family and their relationship to the web. Not only do they use tractors that are connected to satellite to plow fields in perfect geometrical arrays, but they have loaned themselves an edge by connecting to their clients through social media and implementing CRM practices. Think about it, if a small farm can benefit from a social media strategy, your small business can too!
This news comes in contrast to the fact that many family owned farms are experiencing a lack of new blood and this threatens the ability for the business to stay family owned. Corporate Farming threatens to swallow up many family owned operations, and questions about succession often drive the decisions to sell family owned businesses. Hopefully, technology and viral awareness can help us develop a closer relationship with the small business owners who supply local produce.
For more great articles please visit the Horizon Funding Blog and be sure to follow us on Twitter @HorizonFunding! For Business owners interested in funding please take a look at the 100% Paperless Horizon Application.
6 Things To Avoid If You Want Social Media Success
From my experience from the past few years I have seen that there are many factors that can lead to Social Media success. I decided to list 6 in this infographic that I made. I could list more, and I am sure you could too.
Feel free to add your own comments or list your favorite Social Media success factors.
6 things to avoid if you want Social Media success
.6 things to avoid if you want Social Media success - The Video
About The Author:
Clive Roach is the social media strategist for Philips Healthcare. He is active with strategy development, activation, governance, projects and educational training activities for all aspects of social media within Philips Healthcare. Clive has been working in the eMarketing area since 1997, and previously held roles in engineering, design and sales. Clive is also practical in addition to his current strategic role. In addition to this blog, he tweets daily on three Twitter accounts, has two Facebook fan pages, Google+, Pinterest, So.cl, Instagram, and participates in many other social networks.
Connect with the author via: Twitter | Google+ | LinkedIn | Facebook fan page
How To Increase Your Reach On Facebook
If you use Facebook as much as I do, you will see many disgruntled users complaining on how their fan page content is not reaching all the fans they have. This is because Facebook doesnt work in the same way as other social media tools do. it uses an algorythm called Edgerank. Once you understand this and how it works, you will definitely see an improvement in your views, and your content should be becoming more viral.
The Edgerank algorythm determines what gets placed in a users newsfeed. You will notice that in the ticker at the side of a facebook page that not all the content displayed there gets put into your main newsfeed. with the thousands upon thousands of posts going on every minute, there has to be some way of seeing what is of interest to you, and this is judged upon engagement.
Since the last major facebook update, the two main websites I am blogging on I noticed through my statistics for those sites that the amount of traffic coming from Facrbook was declining.
These sites are feeding by an RSS feed all the posts created on them to their respective Facebook pages, but the engagement created by them is becoming less and less.
So what is needed is a better form of engagement that can get traffic from these views to get to your site.
Check out this infographic from the Mariposa Agency for some facts on different forms of engagement other than status updates and how well they perform.
On the two websites I mentioned earlier, we have taken steps to change this, by utilising images placed on facebook with a link in the text we’ve noticed a vast improvement of engagement and traffic.
Bryan Kim director of Biz Dev at Tracksby, personaaly admins over 100 facebook pages for musicians. He has written a brilliant article going into detail on how to get your facebook page performing better. He says,
No matter how facebook slices it, your actionable instruction remains the same: GET MORE ENGAGEMENT! Get those likes, those comments, those shares. Make it your main goal with Facebook. These engagement points build on top of itself, ensuring better and better distribution on news feeds over time as your engagement improves. It’s something like a credit score for your Facebook page, and the algorithm lends you more impressions the better you perform.
How to increase your reach on Facebook? Read his full article ‘The Definitive Guide To Facebook For Musicians’ here.
Written by Steve
I am speaking on a CEW panel on Thursday about social media, so this week will be dedicated to just that – social media. Today I will write about what works in social media and on Wednesday, I will spotlight Christine Kirk, a PR pro turned Social Media Muse, literally.
So back to this post… I am always asked what doesn’t work in social media, but I prefer to focus on what does work, so here is your SM Dos Checklist:
CONTENT … Great content will spark CONVERSATION and ENGAGEMENT, which will ultimately drive COMMERCE.
CONVERSATION is so important because you get to connect with your consumer. Speak with them and not to them.
SPECIAL OFFERS… Consumers fan brand pages because they think they will receive special discounts, offers, etc. You don’t have to make it an everyday practice, but now and then, throw them a promo code.
INSIDER ACCESS… If you have a brand founder or spokesperson or celeb, access to them on your social platforms is a recipe for success and fan acquisition.
TRANSPARENCY… Be open and honest with your consumers. They are very savvy.
So, what doesn’t work? SELLING and ADVERTISING in a very obvious way. You need to make your social platforms a place for discovery and unique, personal experiences. If they wanted marketing jargon shoved down their throats, they’d go directly to your e-commerce site.
If you follow these simple points, you’re sure to have very successful social campaigns, or at least some happy fans who may become loyal customers.
Have more thoughts on what works and what doesn’t? Tweet me at @ThePRCloset.
(photo credit: billycoxinternational.com)
Social media's role in the 2012 election
President Obama set the bar with his 2008 social media efforts. His recent introduction of Tumblr to his portfolio of resources is an example of how new strategies will be incorporated into the 2012 race. With social media efforts fueling recent headlines like Egypt and Occupy Wall Street, it will no doubt be a game-changer in 2012.
Facebook, Twitter and blogs will clearly be at the core of any campaign. Most consider the use of sharable content as a critical tactic for success. Offering video, geographic check-in alerts and rewards, donation announcements/badges and surveys offer high visibility to what otherwise would have been a private exchange.
Ad Age’s SocialVibe study found that 94% of social-media users of voting age watched an entire political message. 39% of these viewers went on to share the message withan average of 130 friends. Campaign efforts offer connections with monumental reach when sharing vehicles are offered.
Beyond the viral ability, social networks offer a deep understanding of one’s audience along with the popularity of tactics. Campaigns will obtain real-time understanding of messaging and audience by tracking followers, hashtags, trending topics, comments and engagement.
While 140 characters may limit the length of a tweet, but not the potential impact a misguided post can bring. Candidates must remain mindful of message content and be quick to acknowledge and respond to messaging met with negative reaction.
“The job of a social media consultant, community manager, director is all the same. To take the fun in life and associate it with a brand.”—Dhaval Mehta, Mayor of Community
Raising Brand Awareness on Any Budget
So you had a great idea. You got funding. And now you have a product that you think people might want to buy. But how do you get the word out there? How do you find your audience?
When you have no budget
Set up your social media pages. Ask all your friends to follow your pages and help you spread the word. This will help you get your first few fans. You have to give these fans something to share. You need to post interesting content related to you product every day. It can be a combination of content you create yourself and content you get from other sources.
You don’t need to be on every platform. You need to be on the platforms where your audience spends time. This will take some research. Each platform has a search function. Search keywords that relate to your business within each platform. Find blogs to follow using Google blog search and AllTop. Most blogs contain widgets that will lead you to other platforms that these audiences are using. Be sure to link to any pages you are on from all of your platforms.
Once you find the best sources, follow them by adding them on each platform and add blogs to your Google Reader. The important thing is to have some content already in place for the people that land on your page. Very few people will follow you back if there is no content that is adding value or if it doesn’t look like you’re an active participant in the community. Be funny. Be smart. Be interesting. Be the type of person that you would want to follow.
When you have some budget
Run ads. The big misconception about running ads is that they are expensive. But the truth is, you can spend as little as $10 per day. The other misconception about ads is that you can target very broad groups, and the audience will find you. Ads take quite a bit of maintenance. The more specific you are with your targets, the better. Also, make sure that your ads aren’t competing with each other. In one ad, you may target women who like Macy’s, Nordstroms, and Lord & Taylor. In another ad, you may target women who like Forever 21, Anthropologie, and Urban Outfitters. Also, test out different copy and images on the same audience. What is grabbing their attention?
Another thing you can do with a little bit of budget is make videos or podcasts. With some inexpensive editing software, you can make quality content. Not every video you put out there has to be high tech and professionally produced. Make sure the lighting and sound quality are good, transitions are clean, and content is interesting. Then optimize your video to help it show up in search.
Host or attend an event. Often, the best way to get your product out there is to talk about it, in person, to people that could use it. Use the event’s hashtag to connect later with people you didn’t get a chance to talk to.
Social Media is time consuming when done right. It takes time to find and create content, to interact with your audience, and to stay interesting and relevant every day, but it pays off in the end.