Month: October, 2011

20 Oct

Business leads and social media

Mike Koehler Featured, social media 0 Comments
Just because you’ve started a social media presence doesn’t mean customers will automatically find you. Generating leads with social media takes some work, but with strategy your lead generation online could take off. Let’s focus a little on how we generate leads and maximize exposure using social media.Pay attention
Listen when your industry, brand and competitors are mentioned. Set up searches for all three. Google alerts are a great way to keep up with discussions involving your brand online. Google will send you an e-mail when your brand is mentioned online. Still do specific searches on sites like Facebook and Twitter. Check daily for relevant discussions happening on each social site.Narrow your focus
When you figure out what people are talking about create and post content directed at those discussions. If people are asking questions you can answer, write a post or blog and direct it at them. Include keywords related to your industry or brand in headlines and tags. By tagging your post with hot topics, it’ll increase your search engine optimization(SEO). Comment on relevant blogs and reply to people discussing these topics with a link to content. Also, share content with followers on your different social channels.Break it down
We all want leads that result in new clients. To regularly bring in leads, we need to evaluate what tags and keywords generate the most traffic on your site or profiles. What topics generated responses? Did one social site generate more traffic than another? Use this information to set educated goals on what you want to accomplish with future social interaction. This could be increasing followers, hits or even sales. Experiment with what social strategy works best for your industry and public. Try different tactics and analyze what works best. If you follow through and commit to this process, you’ll see your leads increase.
17 Oct

Boosting Your Twitter Visibility

Mike Koehler Content, social media 0 Comments

Here is another in a series of great blogs by Smirk intern Allie Carrick about how to become a social media star.

Effective social media strategy is proactive. The Twitterverse is vast, but there are ways to target those that actually benefit from your message. Here are a few simple tips to reach more users on Twitter:

Trending topics and Hashtags

The hashtag was created to categorize and filter messages (Ex: #socialmedia). Both hashtags and keywords appear in a Twitter search. Your followers are your primary audience, but by paying attention to trending topics you can easily find an audience interested in subjects relevant to you. Use appropriate hashtags in your tweets. You won’t gain real followers by putting #soulsurfer in a tweet about lawn care. Here are some sites that compile trending Twitter topics and hashtags:

  • TweetStats: This site is still in a beta version, but it lists the current top trends and keywords on Twitter. Also, ranks the top 10 and updates them as they change in real-time.
  • What the Trend: Sorts Trending topics by country and town. Shows the Twitter user that started the trend and allows people to explain the topic, retweet it, see users that have mentioned it or see news related to it.
  • Hashtags.org: Site lists popular hashtags in different categories like business, celebrities and social change. There’s a search option.

Be a conversationalist

The simplest way to draw attention to your profile is to reply to others. Spend some time engaging one user at a time and your followers will increase. Don’t be afraid to tweet at people who are discussing topics relevant to you. People can only follow you when they know you exist. Search for keywords related to your organization and reply to people who tweet in frustration or asking for help. Replying when you have productive info will demonstrate that you’re personable and knowledgeable. Also, it will incite curiosity about your organization.

Twitter Lists

In the Twitter search bar, search for the city or state you are based in. Follow users that are tweeting around you. Search for users tweeting about your field. When you go their profile, choose to add them to a list. This way you’re aware of what’s going on around you and of opportunities to establish connections with someone new.

Promote others

By promoting others, you encourage them to do the same for you. Twitter’s Follow Friday is a great way to expose your followers to new connections. Most list out people their followers should check out. I like to pick one or two people and use the remaining characters to tell people why they’re so great. Also, try to retweet significant posts from your followers. Everybody wins when we support each other.

12 Oct

Hootsuite vs. TweetDeck

Mike Koehler Content, social media 1 Comment

Here’s another post by Smirk intern Allie Carrick

On October 5, a Huffington Post article talked about the “digital addiction” in America. According to the Nielsen Social Media Report for Q3 2011, Americans spent 53.5 billion minutes on Facebook in May 2011. In this modern age, using social sites to reach people is comparable to airing commercials during I Love Lucy in the 1950s; you have a large, built-in audience. Social media tools like HootSuite and TweetDeck help you consolidate and manage different social media on one dashboard. These programs eliminate logging into multiple sites and provide alternative posting options to simplify usage. Both programs have pros and cons. This guide will explore some of their features.

HootSuite

HootSuite runs in a web browser. You can link Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, MySpace and Foursquare accounts to one dashboard. If you have multiple clients, you can manage them all without having separate HootSuite accounts for each one. This tool has paid options called HootSuite Pro and Enterprise. With Enterprise, you receive VIP service and the complete selection of tools. HootSuite Pro offers a 30-day free trial on their site. An example of this dashboard can be seen here.

Features included in the free version:

  • Account Ownership for up to 5 social network profiles

  • Ability to schedule tweets and status updates

  • 30 days of link click-through statistics reporting

Features included in HootSuite Pro:

  • Own unlimited social network profiles

  • Unlimited historical archive of link click-through statistics

  • Unlimited access to social insights tools

  • Team workflow

  • Access data from Google Analytics

  • Access data from Facebook Insights

  • Bulk Message Scheduling

  • Create Custom Analytics Reports

  • RSS feed from your website

TweetDeck

On May 25, Twitter acquired TweetDeck, and it’s now fully supported by the company. TweetDeck is a downloaded, desktop application. Personally, I’ve used this application to manage my personal profiles for a couple of years. With it, I’ve linked my personal Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts. TweetDeck’s best feature is that it is free. For smaller companies, groups or personal use this is a big plus. An example of this dashboard can be seen here.

TweetDeck features:

  • Custom Retweet style
  • Customizable appearance
  • YouTube Videos supported within TweetDeck
  • Manage multiple Twitter accounts
  • Create and mange Twitter and Facebook Lists
  • Save topics, searches or tags in their own column and follow them in real-time.
  • Image upload and hosting feature in the status update bar

Smirk’s take

Smirk uses HootSuite for its social media management. Managing multiple profiles within one account is a primary benefit of this tool.  The HootSuite dashboard separates accounts with tabs to make organization easy. Analytics and monitoring features cater to a marketers needs. Its Post Scheduling feature opens up your calendar and improves time management. If you’re a marketer managing multiple profiles, HootSuite is your best bet. TweetDeck is ideal for personal or single-company use. If you are managing less than three accounts, it’s simple, efficient and straightforward. Overall, having either dashboard tool will improve and simplify your social media organization. Test them out and see which fits you. If you have any questions on either tool e-mail me at allison@smirknewmedia.com.

 

06 Oct

5 ways to stay relevant on new Facebook

Mike Koehler Facebook, Featured, social media 0 Comments

Guest post by Smirk Intern Allie Carrick

With the new Facebook makeover, users won’t see your updates in their News Feed anymore, unless the user is incredibly active in liking, commenting and posting to the page. Your social media strategy must include convincing users to “Like” your page, but your ongoing focus should be posting interesting, engaging content to keep your posts in users News Feeds.

Tell me what you know.

Your organization specializes in a specific area. Share your knowledge by posting trivia, facts, pictures, ad campaigns, videos about or related to your organization, or info on events and special occasions.
Make your page a one-stop shop.

Your Facebook page should link to your website and any other social media profiles (Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, Flickr, etc.) you are active on. Your info section should be a well-rounded first impression for people seeing your organization for the first time. Your About Us section should share the essential info about your organization. Include hours of operation, location, and contact info in this section. Visitors to your page should comfortably understand your group when they leave it.

Make it worth my while.

It’s important to update your Facebook page, but only post when you have something interesting to share. Offer incentives for users to be responsive. Be informed of Facebook policy when administering a sweepstakes or contest. Facebook promotional guidelines can be found here.

Start a conversation.

Don’t be afraid of a discussion. The more a user comments on your post, the more visible your page will be in their News Feed. Positively respond to user feelings about certain topics or feedback, even if it’s negative feedback. Reacting confidently to negative feelings can create goodwill for your organization. Also, don’t be afraid to delete inappropriate feedback. It’s your page and the content is your decision.

Set a posting schedule.

Be dependable. If you offer coupons, promotions, or special offers for those that “Like” your page, make an effort to post around the same time daily or weekly. If people know when to expect your posts, they are more likely to return to look for them. Also, try varying your posts. A quick way to lose people is to bombard their screen with excessive, multiple posts.