Using the right social media tools will help you engage with more potential clients in less time.
Spending less time on social media means you have more time to spend on your business.
Using social media as a marketing tool and managing your time effectively is key to ensuring that your online marketing strategy succeeds long term.
So, what tools can help you manage your social media marketing time more effectively?
NetVibes - a web based RSS reader or news aggregator that makes it simple to keep up on the latest blog posts, news and articles from your favorite websites without requiring you to go to each website to see what is new. A popular alternative to Netvibes is Google Reader.
Hootsuite - a web based (also available as a desktop client) tool that allows you to read and post to your Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and other social media accounts. Hootsuite allows you to stay up to speed on what is going on with your connections, easily search for key topics and post or schedule posts to your favorite social media platforms. A popular alternative to Hootsuite is Tweetdeck.
Bit.ly - the standard in url shortening. Bit.ly sidebar, a simple tool you can load to your bookmarks toolbar in your browser, makes it simple to shorten the urls that you share with your readers. Bit.ly also offers users the ability to track the links they share and determine how many people have clicked on your links. There are a number of popular alternatives to Bit.ly including Hootsuite's ow.ly and Google's goo.gl url shortening tools.Stock Photo Exchange - one of the most extensive free photo sites online. There are a number of paid alternatives such as iStock Photo that may work a bit better, although none of the FREE alternatives are as easy or as extensive as Stock Photo Exchange.
Google Alerts - a web based tool that allows you to monitor various search terms, such as your business name, and track when and where you are mentioned online. Knowing where you are mentioned is crucial in being able to address your customers and prospects. A popular alternative to Google Alerts is Yahoo Alerts.
For more information about how to effectively engage with your target market make sure to check out these articles.
These are my top tools for social media success. Leave a comment and tell me what your favorite social media marketing tools are.
Facebook announced, rather quietly, that they are no longer allowing organizations with Fan Pages to use customized Facebook Welcome Pages (unless you have 10,000+ fans and spend money on Facebook ads). Thousands of businesses and non-profit organizations have been using customized Facebook Welcome Pages to display branded information to new visitors to their Facebook Fan pages. Without any fanfare, Facebook made this announcement in their developers forum, see below:
If your organization was not using a customized Facebook Welcome page this may not seem like a big deal. It is an important reminder of the dangers of trusting your branding to a website you do not control. In particular, many small businesses have used Facebook Fan pages and custom Facebook Welcome pages as a significant part of their online branding identity. Each of these businesses now needs to go back to the drawing board and come up with a new plan, all because Facebook made a change.
What can you learn from this change on Facebook's part? Simple. . .
- Trust your branding and marketing to your own website.
- Use your website as the hub of your marketing efforts and use social media, including Facebook, YouTube, Linkedin, Twitter, etc. as parts of your marketing wheel.
When your marketing strategy revolves around your website you maintain the control of your brand. When you base your marketing strategy on a platform you do not control you are at risk.
How do you feel about this change on Facebook?
When someone follows you on Twitter do you follow them back?
"Since we are talking "social media" you want to follow back someone who follows you so that you can possibly forge some social relationship or connection."
"Why? I only want to follow people I am interested in."
"Absolutely! It would be rude not to follow someone back. I mean, we are not talking about a real commitment here. It is about potential connections."
"It seems like the right thing to do, yes."
OK, no consensus in the office. My research is, admittedly, not exactly scientific. What about some of the more popular "Tweeters?"
I took a look at the Top 100 Twitter Users (based on followers) on Twitaholic, each of the Top 100 Twitter Users have more than 1.5 million followers yet none of these users follow more than a few 100,000 (at most). Maybe if you are trying to amass the most followers, "re-following" is not important. Then again, how many of us are truly trying to simply amass as many followers as possible?
I'll admit it - after "tweeting" for just over 90 days I still get a smile on my face when I see that I have new Twitter followers. At the same time, I realize that the number of Twitter followers that I have is not necessarily what is important. What is important is connections and trust. As such, I have made the choice to follow people that follow me (in addition to those that I choose to follow). I do not have significant connections with each of the people that follow me, although I have made some connections that have allowed me to expand my business and increase my knowledge. To me, that is what makes following my followers worth it.
How about you? Do you follow your Twitter followers? If so why? If not, why not? Comment or tweet me @jonathanmast
We have all heard that a picture is worth 1,000 words. I beleive that pictures in your marketing materials are ABSOLUTELY necessary to aid your reader in understanding the message you are relaying. A picture does three things that help you immediately:
- a picture captures the reader's attention
- a picture causes the reader to stay on the page longer
- a picture makes the page appear more interesting and makes it more likely that the reader will read the entire post or article
There is one downside - pictures can be expensive to procure. We have a solution for you; use stock.xchng. Stock.xchng has thousands for photos that are FREE to use in your blog, marketing materials, advertising and more. Their license agreement is simple to read and understand.
We take a lot of our own photos at MMJ Technology to use for marketing and we use a stock.xchng and istockphoto frequently. If you have a bit of a budget, istockphoto is fabulous and has a vast array of images to choose from. If you are on a limited budget stock.xchng is a great option. Add some pictures to your blog posts, articles and marketing material.
Do you have a favorite resource that helps you create impactful marketing material? Please share it with us.
Your success online has everything to do with the quality and remarkability of the content you have on your website and on your social media profiles like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and YouTube. Here are 5 simple tips to help you create compelling content.
1 - Keep it simple
2 - Make it relevant to your reader
3 - Give your content a different spin - keep it original
4 - Take a stand - set parameters for what you will and will not do or say
5 - Get your employees involved
If you create remarkable content for your website and social media profiles you WILL get exposure and more opportunity to engage with your customers and prospects. More engagement leads to more profits and that is good for everyone.