Don’t Be Lazy with Your Social Media

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It’s easy to get a little lax during the summer, especially when the warm weather hits, and the patios are enticing you to come hang out. Just remember, your consumers are thinking the same thing. They’re excited for the summer, they want to drive to the beach, relax on their porches, have bbqs with their friends, and travel for the long weekends. So in-between your sunshine and beers, remember to be there for your consumers too.
Here are three approaches to consider as your brand engages with its audience across social:
1. It’s not about the social channels you have, it’s about what your audience is doing on those social channels this time of year. For example, they may be planning their summer adventure on Pinterest; capturing their new friendships on instagram, and/or tuning into the World Cup on Twitter. So what do you do about it? Engage with them in a way that’s conducive to their behaviors during this season and on that channel.
Tip: Don’t put out the exact same piece of content on every channel. #Lazy
2. Provide them with content that will help them get what they want and desire this summer. For example, if they’re looking for ways to enjoy their weekend, give them ideas and share your thoughts. No need to put your product/service on full display during that content messaging, but subtly demonstrate that your brand is more than just a product. It’s a brand that offers more and can be a daily (or regular) part of their lives — especially when the hot hazy summer days drop down upon us.  Be the brand they are excited to see content from as they’re on their long road trip killing time on their smartphone, swiping through instagram.
3. If you can’t do “real” time, plan ahead. Not every brand can monitor conversation 24 hours a day. Sometimes you have to plan for what’s going to be “popping” in social conversation. For example, we all know the World Cup is this month. Most brands have planned what types of conversations will occur, and will be ready to engage when that time comes. Another thing that happens every year is July 4th (oh yea, that awesome day with red, white and blue, and amazing patriotism, and yes bbqs too)…be ready for it in advance, but also allow for some day of changes to pop into conversation as news develops.
And while you’re sipping that beer, and laying on your hammock, just check in on your brand a few times here n’ there. You never know when that awesome opportunity to start a conversation (not just join) could be ripe for the picking.
Image Source: theprospect.net
This post was originally written for Marketing on the Rocks.

The Second Screen Battle Field Shows a Clear Winner

The second screen experience, another battle field for brands to fight over one another for the largest voice, most engagement, and ability to reach their audience when they’re “tuned in.” There have been multiple second screen apps including but not limited to shazam, getglue and  intonow (which has been shut down by Yahoo as of this year). So not only is it a battle ground for brands, but it’s a battle ground for apps as well — regarding which one will provide the most reach and engagement for brands.  So who’s winning the battle? In my humble opinion, Twitter has been rocking the second screen stage since the beginning. Why? Let’s break it down.
  • The audience is there.
  • The brands are there.
  • Other apps (including instagram) integrate easily to distribute content to Twitter.
  • Hashtags make the conversations easily searchable and in turn joinable.
  • People “tune in” to Twitter the same time they tune in for tv shows. It’s become routine. It’s an innate behavior with the audience already.
Mediabistro provided some stats to back this up:
  • 90 percent of Twitter users who see a TV show-related tweet are likely to immediately watch the show, search for more information, or share tweet-based content about that show
  • TV-related tweets are most likely to be engaged with if they come from a cast member of the show (40 percent) rather than the user’s friends or family (26 percent) or the show’s official Twitter account (18 percent)
  • 54 percent of Twitter users who recall seeing brand-related tweets during a TV show have taken action (tweeting about, searching for or considering the brand)
  • 72 percent of Twitter users tweet during live broadcasts
These stats demonstrate the audience is going to use what’s convenient for them, what they already use day-to-day and where even cast members voice their thoughts and comments on a regular basis. Yes, some consumers may tap into new apps, but the chances of those apps being opened regularly, staying on the front screen of a phone/tablet and not being deleted over time are less likely than apps that are used daily by consumers.
Brands, take note. Why not use what’s already at your fingertips. And of course it doesn’t hurt that your content is already on Twitter (assumption) and you already have a base audience.
Next time, we’ll dive deeper into tips to strategize how to use second screen via Twitter to your benefit with tactical tips and action items.
This post was originally written for socialnomics, and can also be found here.

How to: Use Twitter to Market Your Fashion Brand

 

 

The top ten things your brand should always consider when starting, strategizing and optimizing your channel strategy for Twitter:

  • Listen: First and foremost your brand should set up a listening station to listen each day to what’s going on the Twittersphere. It’s important to listen not only to what your followers are saying, but also regarding brand mentions industry news, competitive insights, and more.
  • Pick the right Tool: Before a brand can listen properly, it’s helpful to have the right tool to listen simply yet efficiently. A couple quick tools which are free to utilize for listening to one handle areTweetdeck and Hootsuite. Best part about Hootsuite are the analytics if you are willing to spend a little more than free.
  • Utilize Lists; Making and following lists are helpful in listening more easily on Twitter too. For example it may help to have a list made of all your competitions’ handles, the influencers in your category, loyal followers, and industry experts.
  • Capitalize on Hashtags: Hashtags are not only another great listening tool, but they are a great way to interject in a conversation with valuable content. First you can listen to key hashtags in your industry, event hashtags, so on and so forth. Then, you can interject with valuable advice, product info, and/or lead the conversation to your website (if and only if it’s valuable to the conversation at hand).
  • Utilize your Twitter Real Estate: Don’t underestimate the power of your Twitter real estate. It allows for a cool background which can be picturesque and/or should other brand traits such as links to other social channels, websites, etc. Don’t forget the ability to pin tweets in order to have a specific Tweet take priority over others on your Twitter brand page.

Great Example Below:

This post was originally written for Startup Fashion, and you can read the other 5  Twitter Tips on my original post here!

 

5 Companies Who Lead the Way in Social Media

Social Media…a not so new concept, yet one which can still allude many brands if they do not strategize their content appropriately for each channel in regards to how it fits their brand. But we’re not here to criticize, we’re here to learn from the ones who take advantage of social media and elevate their brand to another level.

Facebook
Victoria’s Secret converted to the new Timeline ahead of the curve and wow does that timeline grab your attention. With over 18 million fans and over 200 thousand people talking about the brand…you have to take a second glance (not just for the pictures). The brand took advantage of the picturesque platform, made it interactive for fans to engage with the contact, offer coupons, notify consumers of real-time sales, and more. It captivates not only the female audience but the male audience to imagine, dream, and bring to reality what could be. The story has been unfolded, and the brand fully utilized Facebook Timeline to do so.

Social Media Case Study: Victoria Secret was ahead of the curve with Facebook’s timelineTwitter
Zappos may be an obvious win here…but perhaps it’s because they really do take their brand marketing to heart. The brand has been humanized by their CEO, Tony Hsieh, who lets his own personality shine through the brand name. How many CEOs do you know who take the time to do such, especially through social media?

YouTube
Blendtec, demonstrates with 190 million views and 400 thousand subscribers, that even a blender can be entertaining. Who knew?! The brand took a brave yet awesome take with social content…they leveraged humor and experimentation to make their videos fun to watch and create a viral effect. I am impressed by their leverage of humor, as it is way easier said than done. Would you blend your iPhone? Watch them do it instead!

Early adopters

Burberry, a brand known for evoking desire and lust for fashion, transcends their fashion leadership to the social sphere. They adopt early, and adopt well. While doing research a while back for the Google Plus brand pages, I saw that Burberry was one of the first to take advantage of the channel and demonstrate it could bring style and allure even to a channel that was too new to be adopted by most at that time. My favorite part? The GIFs used for the images…catches your eye before you even get to the heart of the content.

Keeping it local

Four seasons known for its luxury and decadence, takes a simple and relaxed approach to its social endeavor. The brand chose to simplify and localize its Twitter and Facebook channels. There is a fan page and twitter account dedicated to individual hotel locations in order to optimize the care needed for local guests and the language in each region/city. Luxury care simplified for local effort.

Takeaway

It’s about a few things:

1. Listen for the latest greatest ‘shiny toys’

2. Don’t just jump in to all of the social channels; Gauge which channels are going to best fit your overall content strategy and help to amplify it

3. Use social media to augment your marketing efforts in a real-time, community driven effort

4. Humanize the brand

5. Show your consumers you are there for what they need; not what you need

6. Make it fun; see: Blendtec example

Note: This post was originally written for Socialnomics and can also be found here

Additional Information:

http://mashable.com/2009/02/06/social-media-smartest-brands/
http://mashable.com/2009/01/21/best-twitter-brands/
http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/9-companies-doing-social-media-right-and-why/
http://thenextweb.com/socialmedia/2012/03/20/luxury-brands-using-social/
http://thenextweb.com/socialmedia/2011/07/04/meet-the-top-20-brands-on-facebook/

Five Simple Ways Marketers can take Advantage of Pinterest

So in case you haven’t jumped on the bandwagon, just have, or are wondering what all the hype is about, Pinterest is still sizzling. It’s a fun and useful tool that brands can use to their advantage in order to show a more visual side to its consumer market.

Now here’s what’s really important…how to truly capitalize on Pinterest and all it’s glory:

1. Integrate with other social networks: Allow your target market to see you on all the places they play. Share your new pins on your Facebook page or Tweet them out. Consumers don’t always know you are present on the latest social networks, so the more you promote your presence, the more traffic you may receive, even if just for mere curiousity.

2. Show a more visual side to your brand: Take the time to prepare aesthetically pleasing visual content to share. For example if your brand produces blog posts, such as tech, then make sure the pictures which will direct back to those posts are eye-catching. If your brand has consumer products to share, then ensure the photography behind it is something your target market will want to like, comment on, re-pin, and/or follow.

3. Use instagram: Be creative and use fun photography such as instragram to highlight certain boards. Pinterest focuses on visual beauty; the more you can make your pictures exciting to view, the more engagement you may receive from consumers as well as other brands.

4. Ensure the pins are items people will want to re-pin: When you are pinning your items to the different boards, ensure the link goes to something on your website, blog or other social network. It should help drive traffic to your other brand sites, and additionally be something your consumers will want to share their own followers on Pinterest by re-pinning your content.

5. Marketing Campaigns with Pinterest. Brands can utilize Pinterest  (along with Facebook and Twitter) to do creative campaigns which may include…

  • contests: For example, allowing consumers to create images to be featured on the pinterest page
  •  voting: For example, allowing consumers to vote on their favorite item on a specific board, or picking what other boards they would  like featured.
  • how-to: Feature how-to demos, videos, posts, and other items in order to let consumers get better insight into your service or           product.
  • audience-specific: For example having different boards with content specific to different audience groups. This will allow for more targeting rather than just focusing on one consumer group at a time.

Last but not least, make sure your brand doesn’t forget to let the public know you’re there. Use the Pinterest widgets for your website and other channels.

Wish List

Although Pinterest has taken off and many brands have already established their presence…there are always improvements that could be made. In my opinion Pinterest would be even more valuable if it had analytics within it for brands to monitor in order to improve their boards and pins. In the mean time brands can focus on the referral traffic through google analytics, which is helpful to know which pins are really of interest to their consumers.

Sources:

http://sproutsocial.com/insights/2012/02/pinterest-marketing/

http://www.socialnomics.net/2012/01/22/five-brands-engaging-like-pros-on-pinterest/

http://www.inc.com/john-brandon/9-tips-boost-your-business-pinterest.html

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204792404577227542820850590.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

 

Three Creative Ways of Using Google+ Hangouts

There are so many shiny new toys in the social media sphere…sometimes we can’t keep up. Google has a tendency to test out new ideas (remember Google Buzz?) and this time around they have spun out Google Plus Hangouts. It’s an opportunity for individuals or businesses to utilize this virtual “hangout” to communicate with others in their community or business via video. The only disadvantage that appears right away is the restriction of 10 people per hangout. However, when it comes to meetings and having the chance to build a deeper relationship among community members sometimes fewer can be beneficial.

How individuals are taking advantage of Google+ Hangouts

Individual users are being creative and using hangouts for a face-to-face experience for hobbies like photography and cooking. It is a simple way to make your personal life more interesting with people who share your interests. It’s also an opportunity to join communities that you may not have realized existed…whether it’s with people locally or not. Google Plus Hangouts allow individuals to stay in closer touch with their circles and/or to expand them in a more personal way.

Possibilities for Businesses with Google+ Hangouts

1. Dell 

It’s been reported that Michael Dell of Dell Computers has been very interested in Google+ Hangouts, especially for the ability to group video chat in order to assist customers with tech and customer support needs. Unfortunately the capabilities do not work with Dell currently and the restriction of 10 users appears to be a hindrance as well. For now it appears it’s a no-go but Dell hopes that will turn around one day so they can utilize the technology Google has offered with Hangouts. The company believes video chat for tech support could lend a great hand in real-time and personal support for their customers.

2. NBC Philadelphia: 

Television has definitely jumped on board and realized that social media doesn’t have to be a threat to news-telling, but a great cross-promotional tool. NBC Philadelphia has recently used Google+ Hangouts for both weather and even more recently a chat with President Obama. The weather team hangout was to allow viewers to chat with the team up close and personally and ask any weather related questions they had. This demonstrates the team giving a closer look behind the camera and showing an even more human side to the team.

Even more recently, NBC Philadelphia hosted a hangout with President Obama. Unique? Yes. Cool? Definitely. The President spoke live and answered submitted as well as live questions during the hangout. It was an opportunity for some to ask questions that had perturbed them such as employment issues. Social media can be a tough venue, especially with all the different opinions and questions that can easily rise. I commend the president for taking the chance, opportunity and demonstrating his willingness to be there on a more personal level.

3. Tearfund 

Tearfund, which is a nonprofit known for disaster response and advocacy, used Google+ Hangouts as an internal communications tool. It helped their team talk to staff who worked from home, or were off-site. Hangouts assisted Tearfund in doing briefings, staying on top of their objectives, and communicating more regularly with their teammates.

In short, there are many possibilities to interact, grow within communities, enjoy hobbies, have meetings, interviews, and/or build relationships on a more intimate and personal level. There are definitely other tools out there, which have similar functions, but being that Hangouts is a part of the Google ecosystem of Gmail, Apps, and more…it just makes it that much easier.

What would you use a hangout for? How would you use it for your business? 

 

Note this post was originally written for Social Media Club, and the original post can be found here

Sources:

http://www.tearfund.org/en/about_us/how_we_work/

http://9to5google.com/2011/09/29/black-eyed-peas-hosting-backstage-hangout-via-google-hangouts-tomorrow-night/

http://www.google.com/+/learnmore/

https://plus.google.com/115181052736294416606/posts/TrJuQDBwjZS

https://plus.google.com/115181052736294416606/posts/YNGiC9V4XLn

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/30/obama-google-plus_n_1242816.html

http://www.reelseo.com/dell-google-hangouts-video-chat-customer-service/

Keep your New Year’s Resolution: 5 Ways to Find a New Job with Social Media

So many New Year’s resolutions, so little time. The New Year is already flying by, and it’s no time for slacking off. Many individuals have
the desire and resolution to find a new job that will make them happy and put them in the right path for their desired career aspirations. Need some help?

Here are five great ways that social media applications can help you search better and also stay organized in your job search…

LinkedIn: In short, if you aren’t on LinkedIn, you’re already way behind on your job search. Job recruiters post on this networking social site, look through your profile for keywords related to their requirements, and filter through profiles in order to see who may be a good match. So here are some ways you can take advantage of this perfect social site for finding that perfect job you want this New Year.

Profile Picture. Make sure you use a single head shot for your profile picture so people can clearly see who you are. Preferably this wouldn’t be the same picture you have on Facebook where you may be friends at a party or bar. Think more professional.

Fill it out. Your profile should be filled out at least 90% to show your education, previous employment, and details of what skill sets you possess and could bring to the table.

Links. Take advantage of the social real estate. Use those link spaces and promote yourself. Have a blog? Show it off! Active on Twitter? Share your handle.

Recommendations. I could not speak more highly about having some recommendations…even if only a handful. Other people’s praise is not only golden, but a hot commodity when it comes to scoring a new job.

Job Search Tool. The best part of the LinkedIn search tool is that when you find a job match via your keyword search (which can be customized by location, etc) is you can see who in your network has a connection to that job prospect. The personal connection could just be your ticket to a new job. Use it!

Twitter: the micro-blogging site is an essential search tool that many overlook. Although it may seem intimidating to some and useless to others, it can be a rich resource to many, especially those searching for a new job. Key tips:

Follow the right people. Find the people in your territory who are prominent companies you want to follow, people from those companies, and those who post about jobs often.

Set up search feed for key words. Set up different search feeds for keywords you want to monitor for jobs you’d like.

Monitor. Don’t just set it and forget it. Monitor well and monitor often. You could also use Topsy in order to monitor keywords and have them sent to your Google Reader for convenience sake.

Blog: Having a blog and searching industry blogs can be essential to the job searching process. Here’s why…

Have it. Having a blog is like an investment. It can only help you in the long run. The key is to build one which is on a good domain (preferably one related to your topic or name), has a key focus, and shows you are an expert in that area – in turn showing your future boss you know your stuff.  

Search away. Many blog posts also offer job postings on the topics they focus upon and in the areas they are in. For example, Mashable is frequently posting open jobs. Subscribe via your Google Reader, Email, or check out their Twitter feed on a regular basis. Can’t hurt!

Google Plus: Just because it’s a new social network doesn’t mean it isn’t important and useful for a job-searching tool. Google is well known for its great SEO capabilities and is key when it comes to search. Build your profile, start following key people, and place them in the appropriate “circles.” It can only help to be more visible as long as you are following the right people, providing valuable content, and networking your butt off.

Google Alerts: As mentioned above, having searches set up is key. Google Alerts are essential in saving time and not going back and forth all the time. You can easily set up key search terms and then have them sent to you via email or via a RSS feed to your Google Reader (or Feedly) in order to check it at your convenience.  

Bonus: You are searching through job search sites, social networks, and Google-ing away, but so are recruiters. At the very same time they are also searching for “you.” So why not make it easier for them to find and reach out to you? Make your social sites job viewer friendly. 3 tips:

Headlines: Describe what you’ve done, what you want to do, and what you are good at.

Photo: Have a clear photo that is just you and preferably more of a headshot.

Share your expertise: Demonstrate what experience you’ve gained in each position you’ve held, accomplishments you’ve achieved, how you’ve assisted your companies to ascertain revenue goals, and more.

Still unsure about social networks and how much they can help? See below for a clear-cut example that companies use social networks just as much for recruiting too.

To check out more, visit: http://mashable.com/2011/08/28/social-media-recruiting-infographic/

Please note: this post was originally written for Social Media Club and you can find the original post I wrote here.

[Above Image Credit: http://mbahighway.com/2011/10/top-10-mba-job-search-websites/]

Sources:

http://laurenkgray.com/2011/03/02/job-hunting-via-social-media-using-linkedin/

http://pamsahota.com/social-media-at-work/how-to-find-a-job-using-social-media/

http://mashable.com/2009/01/05/job-search-secrets/

http://www.margieclayman.com/30-tips-on-how-to-find-a-job-using-social-media

http://mashable.com/2011/07/24/google-plus-jobs/

http://mashable.com/2011/08/28/social-media-recruiting-infographic/

 

Seven Reasons You’re not Using Social Media Correctly to Generate Leads

Social media is a great inbound marketing tool that allows businesses and marketing teams to interact with prospects, cater to customers, promote their content, and yes, generate leads. When a business uses social media right, prospective customers have the opportunity to access great content and information via a platform they already populate and actually want to gather said content and information.

Additionally, when prospects do “bite,” many of them are willing to provide their contact information, click to obtain more valuable content, and then come back for more, illustrating the concept of effective use of social media for lead generation beautifully. And a good chunk of B2B marketers are on top of this: According to BtoB Magazine, 48.9% of B2B marketers who use social media say use it for lead generation, making lead generation one of the top applications for the use of social media. Unfortunately for some brands, they don’t always realize there are true tactics in order to use social media effectively for lead gen, and they approach their social media presence blindly.

To make sure you’re business is appropriately using social media to boost its lead gen efforts, check out the following list to ensure you’re not making any of these rookie mistakes.

7 Ineffective Ways to Generate Leads From Social Media

1. Not being where your target customers are. It’s not important to maintain a presence on just any social media network in order to engage with potential and current consumers; you have to be where they actually are. If you are posting content and updates blindly to Twitter, but members of your target market aren’t present there, what’s the point? The first step in effective use of social media for lead generation is to research and determine which social media sites your target audience is active on a regular basis. That way when you do share content and information, you can know you’re working to build awareness for your blog, product, service, and other types of content you offer on a regular basis. Awareness is a key preliminary stepping stone for lead generation, since prospects likely go through a period of learning more about your business and deciding whether or not they should research your company further.

2. Not providing valuable content. If you’re just pushing out content about your product and why it’s so “awesome,” more than likely, people will not want to share or engage with it. If someone is following your brand on Facebook, it’s probably to see what valuable content and offers you can offer them. Rather than product-focused content, focus on content rich with tips and tricks which can help to relieve your target customers’ pain points. When you target the content you’re offering to the different marketing personas you have defined for your business, then your prospects will be much more likely to engage with your brand and therefore, more likely to complete a lead-capture form for a piece of your content. In short, providing targeted, useful content will help you generate more qualified leads who may genuinely be interested in what you have to offer.

 

This post was originally written for Hubspot. To continue reading on the 5 other areas that are ineffective for lead gen through social media, please read my full post here: http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/29111/7-Reasons-You-re-Not-Generating-Leads-From-Social-Media.aspx#ixzz1exWAVlTg

How To Use Social Media to Generate and Nurture Leads

Generating and nurturing leads is a key part of campaigns and the sales cycle for a business looking to kick butt and make a good profit. But did you think social media would be a great way to nurture those leads? Social media is the key to inbound lead nurturing because it allows people to come to your brand on their own accord. I am not saying you shouldn’t utilize email marketing and other forms, but social media can be a great additional source, and also to use in conjunction with your other avenues for lead generation.

3 key methods to lead generation and nurturing

1. Participate in the Convo

More than likely there is already chatter about your brand on the Internet. The key is to find it, listen often, and participate in it.

Find and Listen: You can utilize a tool as simple as Google Reader (or Feedly) in order to hear what your consumers, competition, and others are saying regarding your brand, product, or service. For example you can take RSS feeds from Topsy, Twitter, Facebook and have them all set up in your Reader. Additionally you can set up keyword alerts for your industry. Way simpler than checking every day on what’s out there or getting a billion email alerts.

Listen more: The key is to find out what the key themes are that your consumers and competitors are talking about on these social platforms and across the web. What are the pain points? Then you have an avenue to talk to them about and engage on a level that they want to be engaged on.

Engage: Don’t talk to, but talk with your consumers. Are the majority wishing they had a service that helped them do X better? Or had tips on how to do Y in a shorter amount of time? Perhaps you already have content on how they can do just that. Provide a link to a source of content to help them, rather than just selling your service right away. In short, this will help build awareness, start a conversation, and lead them through the funnel.

2. Share some Content

From part one you have begun to listen to your consumers regarding what they have to say, what they want, what they don’t want, and what information they could use more of. Now what?

Create Valuable Content: Focus on their pain points and offer content on what will help relieve those pain points. For example, if your brand is a software service and your potential consumers are having a hard time with efficiency, perhaps write some whitepapers, blog posts, or record some webinars which give them tips and tricks to increase efficiency (and of course you can throw in a little plug about how your product is the key to that efficiency).

Provide Valuable Content: So now you have this content, now what?

  1. Join the groups where your target consumers are in Facebook or LinkedIn.
  2. Use the hashtags they are using on Twitter.
  3. Share your content in these groups, on your Facebook Page, through your Twitter stream, and on your LinkedIn group.
  4. Make sure there is a link that leads these consumers directly to this content on your website.
  5. If they keep clicking, and look for more info regarding XYZ, now you know what more to provide these specific consumers. You can nurture these leads further all because you listened first, and engaged second – and on the social media platforms where they like to speak and engage (not where you think they should).

3.  Measure, Measure, and Measure some more

Did someone say the word “measure”? You may be tweeting, commenting, sharing, and chatting online with your consumers, but how much are they engaging with you? How often are they clicking on your links? Are they converting? Key areas to measure to see if you are utilizing social media to truly generate and nurture leads include:

Measure the visitors

  • Analyze how they got to your website or blog. Was it through a bit.ly link used on Twitter? Was it through a Facebook group post? Track your links and see where the majority of your consumers came from.

When did you see the most / least traffic

  • You can see which campaigns on social worked the best or least and repeat and further the better ones, and perhaps drop the lesser ones.

Conversion

  1. How many just perused (and what did they look at)?
  2. How many clicked, and converted? What did they look at and view before they converted. Was it the awesome webinars you record each week? Now you know what works and what doesn’t for your target audience.

Although social media is not going to get your lead to convert by itself every time, it is a great bonus tool to use in your nurturing process. Combine it with your email efforts, and make sure your emails and newsletters all have your social buttons on them for potential and current customers to follow and fan when they wish.

And….don’t forget to also keep in touch after you have converted those leads into customers. There is the after sale process part that is very important. Customers want more information on training, tips and tricks, and more. And if they are avid social media geeks, they may be subscribing to your Facebook feed in order to keep up with the latest and greatest from your company.

 

 

Five Google Plus Tips and Tricks for your Personal Brand

Like many people I was definitely hesitant at first about whether or not to utilize Google Plus? Another social platform? Another place to have to keep up with? But since I am a Google Fanatic with my Gmail, Docs, Calendar and more…and not to mention a complete digital geek…I had to join. Here are a few tips I’ve learned along the way from my own ventures and others who have shared…

1. Profile Picture

As we all know not all social networks make it easy for you to upload your avatar pics. Google Plus can have issues with resolution when uploading. Suggestion: make sure the picture you choose has higher resolution so it’s more clear.

2. Manage your Contacts

So many people, so much to share, so much hassle? Google Plus allows you to make it simpler so you can share with whom you want to share, when you want to share. For example, you can make one group for family, one for close friends, one for coworkers, and another for industry experts. Therefore you can share pictures of your dog with friends, while your blog post with others in your industry. Or whatever suits your fancy.

3. Sharing with Relevant Contacts

As stated above you can decide how you group your contacts so its easier to share what you want to share. Here I am emphasizing that this is great so you don’t share irrelevant content to all groups. For example your close friends may not care about a post related to your job, or vice versa. If you want the right exposure for that cool “tip post”….share with those who will actually respond and comment and be excited to read it. Share and share relevantly.

4.  Cutting Through the Noise

Too many items in your feed? Tired of seeing certain people post about the same old thing? Turn down the “volume” and cut through the chatter. Mute a post from the notification window. Simple, and way more manageable.

5. Take it on the Road

Want to keep up with your Google Plus circles but not at your computer as often?There’s an App for that! You can also get notifications via text on notifications.

Bonus!

Want to know how it measures up against Facebook? Check out this sweet Infographic…

Who are you? A google plus fan? Still an Avid Facebooker? Or both?

Note: This post was originally written for Socialnomics

Top 5 Social Media Tools Companies Use

We all know the three most popular social media apps in our toolkit are: Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. But what else are companies using to have an edge and be more efficient and productive in their social media efforts? How are they actually Tweeting? How are they monitoring? Here are five tools that were found to be popular and widely used among brands and businesses!

A. Cotweet

What’s awesome: Web-based social media engagement, management and reporting solution that helps companies of all sizes engage, track and analyze conversations about their brands across the most popular and influential social communities today, Twitter and Facebook.

Not so awesome: There can be issues with lag time in Tweets being posted and there is a lack of autofill of Twitter names for tagging in tweets and hashtags.

Companies that use it: Whole foods

Price: Standard for $600 or $1500/month for the Enterprise Edition (unlimited users, unlimited accounts). This is what I’ve read through other sources. The website does not tell exact prices unless you consult a sales agent.

B. Radian6

What’s awesome: A social media engagement tool that also lets you to find out who the top influencers are for your product/service category along with tracking conversations and engagement impact on your brand.
Not so awesome: The CRM capability would be great to have and thanks to their new integration with Salesforce, it is possible now via the integration.
Companies that use it: Dominos
Price: Radian6 dashboard pricing starts at $600 per month. They also offer a 50% discount for registered and qualified charitable organizations. Contact Sales for more info.

C. Tweetdeck

What’s awesome: Ability to listen, monitor, respond, and engage efficiently and effectively on your social platforms from one dashboard or on the go.
Not so awesome: Lacking Google Analytics integration and the ability to save draft tweets to schedule for later (why many have switched to hootsuite).
Companies that use it: NBC
Price: Free

D. Seesmic

What’s awesome: You can monitor mentions with ease by utilizing one dashboard for all your social platforms. Cool perk? Integration with Evernote and other nifty apps!
Not so awesome: Lacking theme support and push notification features for smartphone app.
Companies that use it: Samsung
Price: Free

E. Klout

What’s awesome: Determine your “influence” and compare/contrast with others in order to see how far your brand reaches and how your social networks like Twitter and Facebook impact that influence or target larger influencers in your target market to spread the word. Cool integration with Google Reader for blog influence too!
Not so awesome: Measuring of ROI regarding perk program for influencers appears difficult
Companies that use it: Audi
Price: Free
This post was originally written for Socialnomics

Five Social Media Metrics Tools to Use

When it comes to social media, and any other marketing strategy, there must be a way to calculate ROI in order to see whether or not the steps being taken and the tools being used are working to the benefit of the brand. One cannot tweet without checking to see that what they tweet is getting a response and engaging the target market. It’s important to know what type of blog posts are being read more, and what type of items being shared are working towards the overarching goal, whether it be more referrals to the brand’s homepage or leads for the sales team.

Here are five tools to help you and your marketing team see if your social media tactics are working for you…

1. Google Analytics

Now we know Google has some great tools including the Google Reader, but their Google Analytics is more than essential. It is a great web analytics tool to let you and your marketing team get a better insight into the traffic that comes to your blog and/or website. It is a great way to determine how effective your social media tools have been as referral sites. For example you can see where your Facebook andTwitter ranks among other sites in referring customers to your blog or website. And you can see how often people visit, how many are unique visitors, how long they spend on certain pages, and more. It is a great way to see when traffic was higher so you cancorrelate with a certain campaign you may have had going on at that time. For example perhaps you were tweeting about a great blog post that was about a certain type of topic which people responded more to than previous posts. This is a great thing to learn from so you can see what type of campaigns, posts, and more drive more traffic to your site.

 

2. Facebook Insights

Facebook provides analytics for Facebook Pages in order for brands to monitor traffic, “likes”, demographics, and more. Although the insights are fairly simple and standard, they are still helpful in determining what posts received greater engagement than others and what works better with your target market on that specific platform. Note: you must be an admin of the Page to see the insights/metrics.

 

3. Hootsuite

Hootsuite is not only a great platform for integrating your social media tools in one place in order to Tweet, Post, etc in more efficient manner, but it’s also useful for keeping track of your analytics. In the pro model (5.99 a month) there is a feature of creating reports in order to show your boss how successful your campaigns have been and how Twitter and/or Facebook are leading prospects/customers to your website and creating more traffic. It’s also super great for click data that enables you to see if those clicks translate into transactions or impressions on your other sites. Helpful? Yes. Awesome? Totally.

 

4. HubSpot: Keyword Grader

HubSpot offers some cool tools to their customers including the Keyword Grader. The grader allows you to measure numerous keywords in order to figure out which words are most relevant, have high volume, and optimize your website. The hardest part is determining the terms people are using to search for your products or services. Of course HubSpot has thought of this and provided Keyword Discovery to find the “best” keywords to optimize your site. In their words, “the best keywords are relevant to your business, searched often, and non-competitive.”

These keywords can then be utilized not only on your website but in your blog posts, tags, social media posts, and more. This tool is very helpful in figuring out how best tofocus your content around these keywords whether it be in your latest post or your next Tweet or your homepage. Last but not least you can also track these “search terms over time so that you know which keywords are driving actual traffic and leads, and helping you as you create more relevant content on your website or blog.”

 

5. Feedburner

A great tool that not only provides custom RSS feeds, but also management tools for your blog in order to measure how many people subscribe to your blog via email or via RSS. This is a great tool to stay on top of your blog, since so many people use feeds to subscribe rather than via email. You can see when they subscribe in order to see what post may have initiated this action.

 

These five tools are some of the essentials I use on a regular basis when it comes to monitoring my professional and personal brands.

What else do you use? Feel free to share in the comments section, as ROI is one thing we all need to measure, and the more help we get doing so, the better!

Note: this post was originally written for oneforty, which was acquired by Hubspot. 

 

How to: Engage with your Customers using Social Media Contests

So your brand is utilizing the main social media channels but wants to go a step further? Kick it up a notch with an online contest in order to

So your brand is utilizing the main social media channels but wants to go a step further? Kick it up a notch with an online contest in order to increase engagement with your target market and generate buzz about your brand.

A few tips to get started:

1. Determine your end goal: ROI for brand awareness, conversion, or what have you

2. Be prepared to give up the keys: especially with User-Generated Content

3. Keep it simple

4. Offer value and relevance. If you’re not sure how, follow some of these great marketing tips!

5. User your social channels to promote, promote, and…promote!

You can learn from the following companies on what they did right (or wrong), to do just that!

1. SXSW

A great conference, which is known for being interactive, so of course they would have contests for the attendees. They had a fun game called SXSW Bingo that allowed attendees to use apps like Twitpic, Twitter and hashtags to document people and happenings at the conference. Value prop? The company who sponsored the game gained tons of brand exposure for their brand and product. Awesome.

 

2. Chevy Tahoe

Click to see an example of online contest gone wrong…

 

Unfortunately for Chevy, their contest efforts were not so fruitful. They tried to have a contest which allowed Tahoe lovers to make videos using content that was slightly made for them, in order for them to tinker with it and make it their own. The best commercial made would be used on TV and other advertisements.

Problem: The contest was in strict control by Chevy rather than “giving the keys” to the user. Users responded by creating mock videos.

Takeaway Lesson: If you are going to have a contest with user generated content, you have to give them the control to have fun, get messy, and be creative. Control is a relative term here.

3. Mass Appeal Entertainment

Mass Appeal Entertainment is a local record label in Boston known for artists such as Left Eye from TLC, Lisa Lisa, Memphis Bleek, and Jordan Knight. In the beginning of my social media career I interned there and worked on campaigns for the artists. One of the campaigns I observed was an online contest that allowed fans of artists to win concert tickets for submitting pictures (ex. best 80s pic for Lisa Lisa concert). It was a great way for fans to get creative, show how much they love the music, and engage directly with the brand and artist via social media apps and channels. Not only did we receive a myriad of entries, but the winners were unbelievably appreciative of the opportunity. Great brand engagement!

Tools used:

Twitpic: Great for contestants taking instant pictures of themselves to submit as well as the artists sharing real-time pics with their audience.

Twitter: Perfect for real-time sharing by the artists on the contest, how things are going with the contest, deadlines, and prizes.

Facebook: Like Twitter, perfect for sharing happenings before, during, and after the contest by both the makers and contestants.

MySpace: Although not the pick of faves for platforms, it still worked well for music brands at the time.

4. Offerpop and Perkstreet

Perkstreet participated in and won a community-based social media contest for marketing and advertising agencies created by Offerpop, a social media marketing software firm.

Offerpop‘ s contest showcased their Photo Contest app. A great part of the contest was Offerpop‘’s unique comment-to-vote model, which made it simple for people to participate and share their opinions around the contest. Even Dan O’Malley CEO of PerkStreet, stated: “We are thrilled to be recognized by Piehead, Offerpop, and the many marketers and creatives who voted for the various entries. Social media remains a key channel for us to communicate with our customers and is a unique place to educate the marketplace about our banking services. We also look forward to working with Offerpop and Piehead to explore their offerings and develop some exciting new promotions on Facebook.”

Click below for info on how to create your own Facebook Photo App contest byOfferpop!

 

Hopefully these contest examples will help your brand get some cool ideas for your own contest and help you “dip your toes” into the contest pool. It isn’t that difficult to think of ideas, but it definitely takes a little extra time and effort to implement and monitor. My advice, try to have some fun and enjoy the consumer engagement from the contest and afterward. Have some ideas to share, ideas to discuss? Feel free to do so via the comments section!

Note: this post was originally written for oneforty, which was acquired by Hubspot. 

4 Social Media Tools to Monitor Efficiently With Google Reader

I don’t know about you, but I don’t know what I’d do without Google Reader and Feedly when it comes to monitoring my own brand as well as my company’s brand. These readers are super helpful for consuming news regarding mentions, news, and competition regarding your brand and your brand category. But these readers aren’t going to set themselves up…first you need to “build” your reader so you can be “fed” by it on a regular basis in order to increase efficiency and reduce time spent.

Three essential notes to take:

1. What is Google Reader?

Google Reader is basically an app where you can monitor happenings of your brand, your brand category, products, keywords, blogs, competitors, as well as any other news feeds that interests you. It’s great for keeping up with industry related blogs, and specific keywords related to your brand. Best part all you need is to import an RSS feed into your Google Reader (which almost everything has nowadays as seen below) and “wah-la!” you have a news station ready and waiting right on your browser. Bonus: you can organize your searches, news, etc via categories as you see fit.

2. How to set up Google Alerts

Google Alerts are awesome for key word and brand monitoring. You can have a Google Alert set up for any time your brand is mentioned somewhere across the web. And you can have it ping you immediately via email or just sit and wait for you in your Reader. Whatever suits your fancy!

3. The search terms you should set up

Not sure what type of search terms to use? Well, let’s take an example. Let’s say your brand is a cell phone provider. Five possible keywords may include the types of phones available, specific competition, as well as complementary products:

- cellphone
- iPhone
- Android
- smartphone
- smartphone apps

 

Takeaway: Google Reader: Simple and intuitive like most Google products; Feedly a nicer more appealing magazine type layout, which imports via your Google Reader.

Monitoring your brand with Google Reader and Feedly

The following are tools you can hook into your Google Reader or Feedly to be more productive and efficient with keeping up with your brand:

1.  Topsy

Topsy is a search engine powered by Tweets. It’s a great for a quick and easy social search of your brand and what’s being said, where it’s being said, and more. Topsy‘s take on the web is that it’s a stream of conversations, and therefore provides the conversation taking place, as it happens. You can have these updates emailed to your inbox, or my preference, through a RSS feed into your preferred Reader.

Topsy is a great way to save time constantly checking what’s being said about your brand, and who’s saying it in order to stay on top of it in real time. Instead, it comes to you, and you can read or check it as you please. Time saver!

2. Twitter

Twitter as we all know is a great micro-blogging tool in order to share news, information, build awareness and more regarding your brand. But Twitter is also a great way to keep up on your brand and brand category.

For example, you can search keywords related to your brand and have that search fed into your Google Reader in order to keep up efficiently. When you have time to take a look — whether it’s with your morning coffee, your dedicated social media time, or whatever suits your fancy. Either way, Twitter makes your life easier, especially when integrated into your Reader.

 

3. Social mention

Social Mention is a social media search engine that searches for information regarding your key words from across the web. It searches a myriad of social media platforms and allows you to see what people are saying about your brand, product, conference, trade show, competitors, and more with the simplicity of entering your search terms and then using the RSS feed to send into your Reader. My only word of caution is thatSocial Mention can have some issues with search errors when first loading your search terms in order to utilize the RSS feed. But overall it’s definitely helpful for searching the social sphere for keywords regarding your brand and being more efficient in that search.

4. Postrank

Postrank is not just about your brand’s influence, but about the influence of those mentioning your brand, your product, and/or spreading news regarding something related to your brand or product category. When curating content and using a Reader to do so, Postrank is a great integration to allow you to see how worthy and influential that content truly is and whether you should use it or not. Saves you time from reading content that is not so valued by others. Why waste your time, right?

 

BONUS:

Traackr

No time to do your reading, consuming, and keeping up with your brand category yourself? Too many brands to keep up with? Why not buy a service that can help you out and save you the hassle? I’ve met with Traackr once, and they have a great service which allows you to track influencers in your category as well as keep track of mentions on your brand and product on a regular and real-time basis. Easy, simple, and super awesome.

And don’t forget to remember it’s also important to “stick out” in other people’s news feeds in order to increase your brand awareness. It helps to have tools such as those above to help you find what’s important, what’s being said, and where it’s being said and by who — next it’s up to you and your brand!

Note: this post was originally written for oneforty, which was acquired by Hubspot. 

How to: Make and Maintain a Blogging Editorial Calendar

Too much content to create, too little time? This is when having a blogger staff and an awesome editorial calendar are key. Not only are they key but vital. As a freelance blogger as well as a marketing communications manager I definitely have a few tips on the topic. Here I share a few of my most helpful tips on how to create an efficient and user-friendly editorial calendar for your every-day use!

What to use?

In my opinion an Excel spreadsheet is easiest in order to be organized with a table/chart and to be able to alter/revise as needed. However, I also advise to use a Google Doc version (or upload to Google Docs) in order to share with bloggers and have the ability to easily revise and show revisions without having to constantly email out. Efficient and easy to use.

 

How to divide it up?

Up to your own Type A and/or OCD nature. However, I suggest columns which include the following:

1. Category

2. Topic

3. Due date

4. Author

5. Post date

6. Status (aka under revision, etc).

Scheduling Bloggers

 

1. Ask them to pick a weekly or monthly due date (and be stern about deadlines)

2. Schedule out posts according to frequency of blog posts and category/topic type of said posts

3. Always have some extra content in case you encounter a “lull”

4. Don’t forget to schedule time to review/edit/revise

5. Make sure publish day/time is a good time for readers – aka 9am with coffee not 5pm on a Friday

Bonus Strategies

1. Hard part: finding the right bloggers who can produce great valuable content that people actually want to read. Not only do you need awesome bloggers but you need to find out what your target market is searching for in regards to content in your category. What keywords they are using and what they’re reading. Inboundwriterallows you to do just that! How? Here are the perks:

  • You can explore what words they are using when searching for content or while sharing content via social media.
  • Just provide Inboundwriter with a few keywords and websites that relate to your topic or content category
  • Inboundwriter looks through search engines, social media sites and specified competitive websites to determine words and phrases directly relevant to your topic of choice.
  • Based on this real-time research, Inboundwriter recommends the best words that will increase your content popularity and competitiveness for each specified topic.
  • And it’s Free!

 

2. Developing a content strategy which aligns with your business/marketing strategy. This takes more thought and should be planned out with your CMO and/or VP of marketing in order to be most effective.

3. Make a bank of blogging content ideas for bloggers to choose from and/or add to. This saves time and make bloggers excited about the topics they write about. Need help thinking of topics for the bank? Check out these awesome blog topic ideas for your brand! Remember, the more excited your bloggers are, more likely the better they write, and in turn your target market will see the value.

4. Tip: It’s not always easy to review, critique and revise blog posts of your blogging team, especially if they may technically be your superiors in your company. However, you must remember that in this area of the company, it is your job to critique and be honest. It’s ok if you “rip apart” their writing because it is for the benefit of the brand. In addition, it teaches your blogging team the best tactics, learning their voice in writing, and within time it’ll be like clockwork. Critiquing isn’t always easy, but it’s essential to creating valuable content for your target market.

5. Have a social media policy? Community guidelines? Why not have editorial guidelines to make things more unified and efficient too? For example, in your guidelines you should/could include criteria for hyperlinking to previous posts, pages of your website, images, embedding videos, word count, style such as headings and bullet lists, and whatever else suits your fancy.

6. Cool new tool: WordPress editorial calendar plugin! Although I suggested Excel and Google Docs above, there is a new tool available for you WordPress junkies! The new plugin is an editorial calendar, which “gives you an overview of your blog and when each post will be published. You can drag and drop to move posts, edit posts right in the calendar, and manage your entire blog.” Awesome, right?

Final Thoughts

Experiment! You need to give it a shot, try out a calendar, and see what works for you and your organization. Adapt to what works best and create that awesome content!

Note: this post was originally written for oneforty, which was acquired by Hubspot. 

Four New Apps and Why You Should Check Them Out!

Ever wish you could be more organized with your social media efforts in re: to Facebook and Twitter? Be more efficient with your time? Get help with your strategy and campaign? And Have some cool analytics to show your success in your social media marketing efforts? Here are four tools to help you do just that!

1. TwitSprout

TwitSprout Perks:

a) A one-page Twitter dashboard: convenient, simple, and informative

b) Can track frequently – even hourly

c) Manage multiple accounts

d) Export analytics and data as a PDF or CSV

e) Brand report specially for your clients

 

Note: Takes a little time to generate as it’s still in Beta.

2. Roost

Roost Perks:

a) Can focus on Facebook and Twitter campaigns specifically

b) Can plan ahead for Tweets in order to save time and focus on other marketing efforts

c) Can produce reports to see effects of Facebook efforts, reach, and demographics/traits of those you are focusing upon

 

d) Helps you manage your networks

e) Suggests types of content to post and provides easy access to articles, blogs and other original content based on your industry and interests.

 

3. Crowdbooster

Crowdbooster Perks:

a) Already offered Twitter insights and now offers Facebook page analytics too!

b) Insights into “who” your audience is via their impressions (aka ReTweets, etc) on your brand.

c) Make reports on your analytics: Excel or PDF

 

d) Recommendations for your marketing strategy

 

Note: They will get back to you re: your invitation.

4. Sprout Social

Sprout Social Perks:

a) Cool easy to use dashboard to have all your social goodness in one place.

b) Search for targeted prospective customers, local target market, and related conversation occurring in real-time.

c) Twitter and Facebook analytics for clicks, mentions, responses, and more.

d) PDF reports

e) And now offering google analytics integration!

f) Schedule posts ahead of time

g) Keep track of check-ins, especially of particular/loyal consumers.

Note: this post was originally written for oneforty, which was acquired by Hubspot. 

5 Helpful Social Media Tools That Integrate With Salesforce

Hooked on your social media apps? Need your Salesforce? What if they were integrated to make your brand management easier and your day a little saner? We all know that it isn’t always easy to be efficient as a social media manager so I believe an integration sounds awesome, especially for lead generation, tracking, and deeper analysis.

Here are five very useful tools, which all integrate in some capacity with Salesforce:

1. Radian6

Social media metrics are key in order to manage your brand online and make sure your social media efforts are matching up to your marketing goals and strategy. Radian6 is great for those metrics and see which content is generating buzz online and traffic to your website. With this integration with Salesforce now the two apps bring users the ability to see which content is from which consumers/clients/prospects, and allowing the ability to then add these new contacts and leads with just one click! Efficiency and lead management = pretty awesome.

 

2. Cotweet

When apps and tools make our lives simple it is just like taking candy from a baby.Cotweet is just this simplicity with its integration with Salesforce. Cotweet which allows one to engage with consumers/clients/prospects by expanding reach beyondTwitter to Facebook. And now with the integration,  brand managers can easily  do a “one-click exporting of tweets and Facebook posts to Salesforce.” This new upgrade will also allow for deeper analytics and reports, allowing for us awesome marketers to track ReTweets, and more and then export this data to Excel and track buzz and influence over a certain amount of time whether it be weeks, months, or years.

3. Seesmic

Seesmic is yet another great social media management tool for tracking, monitoring and engaging and has also integrated with the likes of Salesforce. One cool example of this integration is if someone tweets about your product/service category (asking a question or making a comment), this becomes an automatic potential opportunity and is captured directly into Salesforce. This automation is not only helpful but great for lead management as well as potential conversion from prospects to customers.

4. Zendesk

Zendesk now allows brand managers to view Salesforce CRM information in a customer profile directly in Zendesk. You can also view real-time Zendesk tickets fromSalesforce and view/categorize by status, priority, or type. Additionally there are reports on Salesforce cases and Zendesk ticket data that is consolidated for viewing and analysis ease and efficiency. Value prop: dig deeper into Salesforce‘s advanced analytics to make better marketing and business decisions.

 

 

5. COMING SOON: Hootsuite

Last but not least, Hootsuite will have an integration, SOON!

I must admit I regularly use Hootsuite and am looking forward to seeing how this upcoming integration benefits the brand I manage on a deeper level. From what I’ve learned thus far, the Salesforce integration will allows marketers to utilize the information passing through Twitter including: sift through tweets to find relevant conversation, capture and monitor conversation by creating a record of specific Tweets to track, and funnel relevant solutions from the Service Cloud knowledge base into a Twitter post. Two great tools working together for more efficient and relevant content management and engagement with consumers.

 

 

Five great tools, now even cooler due to the integration with Salesforce. You know you’re pumped….so what do you have to lose? Try it, have fun with it, and tell us what you think, like, dislike, and any questions you have.

This post was originally written for oneforty, which was acquired by Hubspot. 

 

StrawberryJ.am & Buffer Partner Up: Online Sharing News Made Easier

StrawberryJ.am is not your typical “spread.” The startup recently partnered with Tweet scheduling tool Buffer to offer a more robust service for your Twitter needs and wants. I had the opportunity to check out a trial of StrawberryJ.am and am excited to share my findings with you eager readers…

Twitter is a great news source

Most of us have realized that Twitter is a great way to keep up with friends, networking, engaging with your target market, consuming news and more. I know that when I get to work in the morning I peruse my Twitter lists to see what’s “shaking,” what’s the latest  news, and what of those I want to share. However, as one’s followers grow, people Tweet more, and your time decreases — the ability to keep up with social media news isn’t always so easy anymore. In addition, curating and creating Tweets takes just as long too! In short, it would be great to have a nifty tool to help tell me (and you) what’s the latest and greatest of real-time news and most popular/trending news. Here’s where StrawberryJ.am and Buffer come in…

Why StrawberryJ.am + Buffer = Awesome

1. Popular News: You can keep up with the most “popular” news among the people you follow on Twitter – aka via how many people share that article. As seen below, currently the most popular thing was the Bruins winning the Stanley Cup.

 

2. Real-Time News: You can also keep up via real-time news as it happens.

 

3. Hashtags: You can stay up to date with popular/recent articles that were shared in correlation with certain hashtags such as #Fail!

 

4. Lists: Keep up with particular lists rather than all the people you follow. For example I have a list of people I follow that are specific to Boston and/or just awesome people in the industry of marketing/branding/social-media. It keeps it easier for me to “listen” to the people I respect, like, and think are just plain awesome.

 

5. Search: Be current on articles related to keywords that are a focus of your brand/company such as oneforty!

 

6. Email: You can have these updates emailed to you with however many links you want per however many categories (as above) that you have set up.

 

7. Buffer it: When you go to share these awesome news articles you find in your specific, focused, quick, and efficient manner — you  may not want to share them all at once. Might feel a bit spammy and ad-nauseam? Buffer allows you to space out these Tweets.

 

The value for your business

1. Popular News: Great way to see what’s most relevant to people in your target market list quickly and efficiently.

2. Real-time News: Keep up with what’s current so you can curate, respond, question in real-time as well.

3. Hashtags: This way you can organize what you are searching for and keeping track of easier. And in turn you can listen and respond just as easily. Have a campaign with a hashtag but too many tweets? This way you can see what is most popularly shared from that hashtag. Aka cutting through the clutter a little easier.

4. Lists: This allows you to be more specific in your up to date or popular news. You can focus on the news by competitors, target market, etc.

5. Search: Gives you the ability to see what articles are being spoken about from people you may or may not follow yet. For example, are you in the car industry, and want to know who’s talking about SUVs and what types of news is popular/current. Easy enough!

6. Email: Have the news come to you. Another way to save time and get your news on the go. Because your time is important!

7. Buffer it: Another vehicle to save time in addition to the efficiency of finding news via StrawberryJ.am. Buffer allows you to be more efficient and timely with your Tweets when sharing said articles.

Having spoken to the Co-Founder of Buffer, Leonhard Widrich, he offered up his thoughts on the alliance and the benefits being offered to their target audience… ”Our first goal with Buffer is to help people to do well on Twitter. As the team fromStrawberryJ.am is chasing the same aim by making it more efficient to read tweets, the partnership was fantastic. We hope to make Buffering from anywhere even easier in the future and integrate into more reader, mobile and Twitter clients.”

That sounds pretty fantastic to me. I look forward to hearing what the rest of you think of this integration and to make it easier for you awesome oneforty readers to check out StrawberryJ.am and Buffer who have offered a free trial just for you!

Note: this post was originally written for oneforty, which was acquired by Hubspot. 

Thirty Beginner Social Media Marketing Tips and Tricks

I love when I see friends and coworkers hopping onboard and starting to embrace social media as a regular part of their work or personal lives. But as many people are still learning, some insider tips are helpful and crucial to their effectiveness on their social media channels. So folks, here are some tips and a “cheat sheet” slideshare doc just for you below!

Facebook

1. A Fan Page is for your company Facebook Page and a Profile Page is for your personal Page. Remember the difference or Facebook will shut your page down, and that would be a major “fail!”

2. Use the real estate available to you: Put up a great profile pic; have a bio; add links to your other sites!

3. Add pictures! Pictures allow people to see what your brand is about and realize it’s more than just a “logo.” Add pictures from events, conferences, demos, and just the regular everyday awesomeness in your office.

4. Be human! Don’t just post, post, post. No one wants to hear all about you, all the time. Ask questions, reply, and converse like you would in every day life.

5. Share other people’s posts. Engage and demonstrate you value content and opinions by others too!

6. Connect your platforms! Did you do a blog post? Have it automatically post on your Facebook page so others can have access to it easily and quickly.

7. Have contests or other exciting giveaways or events which encourage both online and offline participation with your brand via Facebook.

8. Update regularly and not just once in a blue moon. Fans get used to the regularity of posts and fall off your loyal fan wagon if you don’t keep up.

9. Use your Facebook Insights to monitor your success with your Fans and see why/when your Fans activity increases or decreases. It’s helpful for future campaigns and promotions.

10. Be relevant. Post content that provides value to your target audience, but at the same time add some fun stuff too. The 80/20 rule is a great way to start out.

As seen below, Laughing Cow Cheese is always a great example of engagement, being human, and providing great relevant content on a consistent basis.

 

Twitter

1. Get a Twitter handle as simple and close to the name of you or your brand as possible. Refrain from names like Tommy93737434 because no one will remember it.

2. Use the real estate given to you! Have a relevant 140-character bio which catches the eye of your target audience; have a great picture (as with Facebook) for your profile, and because some people still use www.Twitter.com versus Hootsuite,Tweetdeck, etc — make sure your Twitter background is up to par as well!

3. Be polite! Don’t just Tweet Tweet Tweet! This party isn’t all about you and the sooner you learn that, the less Twitter mistakes you will make! It’s a place for all of us to share, listen, chat together, and engage with one another. And the words “please” and “thank you” are just as welcome in this space.

4. Listen First. Talk Second. Set up columns in apps like Tweetdeck or Hootsuite in order to listen to your target audience easier and better. For example, have a separate column for clients, prospects, competition, etc.

5. Use hashtags for events, conferences, products, etc in order to promote more, and listen better on what people are saying re: your brand/product/event/etc.

6. ReTweet other people’s Tweets. It’s not all about your own content and opinion.

7. Give credit where credit is due when curating other people’s content.

8. Use the link shortener, it’s there to help you say more in this 140 character world.

9. Share links, photos, videos and more. It’s not just about articles and blog posts.

10. Follow Back! Don’t be too cool to follow, because on Twitter, we’re all a little nerdy!

Lululemon is a great example of a brand who knows how to ReTweet, ask questions, engage, and truly show each follower they have that they care about each one and what they have to say.

 

Blogging

1. Strategize on the content that you would like to blog about first. Focus on your marketing strategy and what value you would like to provide your target audience in order to avoid many of the common blogging mistakes.

2. Have an editorial calendar to keep track of topics, bloggers, and deadlines.

3. Have guest bloggers to add some spice to your regular content.

4. Post regularly, or people forget you have a blog.

5. Have share buttons easily visible so people can Tweet, Share and Like your posts.

6. Have subscribe buttons also easily visible so people can click and subscribe quickly and easily.

7. Allow people to comment on your posts. Monitor if you want to approve before they become public.

8. Having headings, subheadings, and list posts keep people’s attention more as they’re easier to read than prolific paragraph after paragraph.

9. Add visual stimulation with videos, embeds, pictures, graphs, and the like.

10. Have a voice that’s yours. Don’t be afraid to add a little pizzazz!

The Purse Blog is unique and quite visual with its pictures, and posts, which allow the reader to engage not only with the content they want of purses reviewed, but let them see first hand how awesome these purses truly are.

Note: this post was originally written for oneforty, which was acquired by Hubspot. 

Teaching your Client the Art of Social Media

Have clients? Need to demonstrate to them the value and efficiency of learning and capitalizing on social media as part of their business strategy? Not always so easy right? I’ve provided some helpful tips in order to help you help your clients transition into utilizing social media platforms and gain true value from their use without jeopardizing their brand name.

1) Be Prepared to Give Up Control

Social media requires giving up the reigns of expecting to be in control of content on every angle. Yes you care what message and content you put out, and how your target audience reacts. However, social media is based greatly on consumer generated content and that is a voice one cannot hush like in traditional media.

For example, when companies such as Budweiser have ads like on YouTube, other people who love (or hate) the brand will mock, comment, and criticize the content on the channel or via Twitter, Facebook, etc because real people have opinions. Although you can monitor such comments and delete them if they are spam, in my opinion social media is about embracing consumer content and commentary, the good and the bad.

 

2) Patience

Like all business strategies, endeavors, and ventures, social media is not about instant success. It requires, time, effort, and continued management and engagement within the networks on each platform that a brand enters. You cannot Tweet on Twitter once a month and expect people to rave and ReTweet your content. People expect consistent content on a regular basis with actual relevancy and effort.

For example, @BostonTweet (Tom O’Keefe) is regularly Tweeting about the happenings in Boston, including events, news, restaurant specials, and more. People can count on him for the relevant content on a regular basis. Tom has created a value service for his target market, and I, too am impressed by him!

Over time, Boston Tweet built his community around relevance and content.3) Find Your “Home Base”

Find your home base in social media.Every brand will find it’s niche in the social media space, whether it be Facebook,Twitter, LinkedIn, so on and so forth. The target market of each brand interacts more in certain platforms than others. I am not saying do not exist on the other platforms…I am saying to focus more so on the ones that will allow for increased engagement and loyal consumers/fans/followers (and still have a consistent presence on the other platforms).

4) It’s a marathon – not a sprint

As stated previously patience is key. Unlike winning the lottery, social media takes further time, “training”, and effort in order to persevere and come out on front. Brands such as the local BostInnovation Tweet, Post, and Share content each and every day. And normally multiple times a day. And people, like myself, have become used to this and loyal to the brand for their content, which is not only relevant and resourceful, but normally fun and entertaining to read. They have come a long way, and have gained quite a loyal following. I encourage others to check them out and learn from their content strategy.

 

5) Listen First

Listen first, Tweet, Post, and Share later. I encourage people, clients, etc never to just start posting. Listen to what your target market is saying, what your competition is doing, where they are talking, and what they want to hear. Then strategize as you would in any marketing endeavor, what is the value you would like to provide to your target audience and through what means would they like to hear, read, see, watch it?

Listen first.6) Share Relevant Content

Most people don’t care what you ate for breakfast, unless you’re Edward or Jacob from Twilight and every teenage girl will “eat it up.” Most brands on the other hand should be curating, creating, tweeting, posting, and sharing content that is geared toward their target audience and what they want, how they want it, and where they want it. For example, Toms recently released information about their new product and related “one-for-one” campaign to help with eyesight of those who cannot afford it every time someone buys a pair of sunglasses. The target audience of Toms, especially their already loyal fans, are invested in Toms due to their socially conscious nature that goes along with their products. Thus, news regarding new products and campaigns is not only relevant, but a great way to increase their loyal fans and consumers.

 

7) Put Someone in Charge

My recommendation is to have a community manager who will be in charge of the content strategy, the posting, the tweeting, and the delegating regarding said items. This way someone is responsible for making sure things are done regularly, monitored consistently, and the brand is succeeding in its efforts rather than going in and posting blindly.

Establish a leader.Monitor, Monitor, Monitor

Most brands are weary of what people say, the money they invest, and the ROI of each endeavor, including social media. Monitoring social media is key to that success and ROI. You can see what peaks, valleys, and plateaus occur in charts such as on Google Analytics, Facebook Insights, etc in order to see what campaigns, products, news, posts caused the most rise out of consumers, while which other ones sunk to the bottom. This will help in order to see what strategy is best to utilize in the future and what is best to avoid.

 

9) Restrict vs. Regulate

There is unfortunate time when some companies are too strict with their social media policies. My suggestion is to decide which social media policy fits your culture and company strategy and tactics and find the middle ground rather than being too concerned about what your employees may do. If you hired them, you probably trusted their judgment and common sense…or at least I hope you did.

 

10) Social Media is a Tool, Not a Strategy

Last but not least, remember that social media is not the strategy, but the tool to implement your marketing and business strategy. Facebook and Twitter are great vehicles to spread the word on your product, brand, campaign, event, etc — but before you can utilize them properly and effectively you must brain storm how to go about it and what parts and pieces are best fit to succeed.

Note: this post was originally written for oneforty, which was acquired by Hubspot. 

5 Examples of Corporate Social Media Policies

So your company wants to implement a social media policy in order to cover its butt? But not sure how to go about it? How lenient? How strict? Well, take a gander at these five companies and what they chose to do. Just remember, there’s no right policy. Your company needs to find what’s right for your culture and your needs.

 

1. Best Buy

Known for having great customer service via Twitter, has a social media policy in place in order to avoid issues regarding privacy and much more.

  • The company does not want information shared that isn’t meant to be public. Common sense? I think so.
  • What I found interesting was the inability to share Best Buy logos and other items related to the company. Is there a line of being too cautious? I guess that depends on the industry you are in.
  • Basically, Best Buy wants each employee to differentiate themselves and state their Tweets/Posts are theirs, and theirs alone and not associated with Best Buy. Understandable and most companies prefer this, and hopefully the employees will be smart enough to not write about an item that crosses such a line.

For more info, read Best Buy’s social media policy here.

 

2. Oracle

Oracle’s approach to social media is a little on the stricter side.

  • Regarding using social media in the workplace, they appear to fear the hinderance of productivity with the availability of using social media for personal use. Understandable? Yes. Too much? Debatable. It can be more difficult to engage with social media in a regulated industry due to trying to find the right balance for that company and its target market.
  • Interesting point about their policy is that not only must employees establish that all opinions are their own and not Oracle’s, but at the same time, distinguish that they are indeed employees of Oracle. Contradictory? No. Blog posts can increase brand exposure, but employees must be careful with what they say and how they say it — not divulging new features, products, and/or confidential information is key.

For more info, read Oracle’s social media policy here.

3. Ford

I find Ford’s policy to be subtle, “human”, and sensible.

  • They adhere to the idea that social media follows the same rules, just in a new playground.
  • Use your common sense.
  • Beware of privacy issues.
  • Play nice and be honest.

I am a fan of this, as long as your employees understand what common sense is and how to use it.

For more info on Ford’s policy, please go here.

 

4. Walmart

A company, which is:

  • Adamant on Twitter and its focus on customer service via that avenue.
  • The company wants to make sure its employees who are “official” Twitter users for Walmart are identified as such, stick to customer replies, and focus upon related areas of chatter versus anything outside that of Walmart and/or unnecessary banter. Too strict?

I feel that it is nice to humanize the brand and show there is a real person behind the Twitter handle and not just talk “business” all the time. However, if they are providing excellent customer service and their customers are happy, and it is furthering their business strategy and goals, can you really complain?

For more info on Walmart’s policy, please go here.

5. IBM

IBM has:

  • Clear cut guidelines regarding what is not to be shared, how communication is done, and what is to be identified or not identified.
  • However, IBM also encourages “IBMers” to express themselves, let their voice shine, and demonstrate their skills and creativity.
  • They want their employees to have discourse and share ideas via blogging.
  • But they also want to protect the company’s brand. This balance is key, and I say high-five to that.

For more info, please read IBM’s social media policy here.

Note: this post was originally written for oneforty, which was acquired by Hubspot. 



5 Social Media Snafus and How to Avoid Them

Ever worry about making a “social media snafu?” That’s a good thing! Being concerned, alert, and watching what you do on your social media channels is better than posting away blindly and not having a “method to your madness.” Time and time again brands have made mistakes, and I will tell you now, it will happen to most of us. Whether it’s minor like a mistaken Tweet or larger like a contest gone wrong, we all make mistakes. But here are some “snafus” major brands have made (aka they’re human too) and you can learn from and hopefully avoid in the future.

1. Wrong Tweet!

Who hasn’t seen the Red Cross mis-Tweet? It went viral after the mistaken Tweet, but luckily Red Cross handled it well and with grace. The organization assured loyal donors they were indeed “sober” but the cool thing was the Tweets and hashtags used (which continued via Dogfish beer) raised more donations. Who knew showing a little human side could raise more awareness and create more ROI?

Despite this, it is best to keep your personal and professional Tweets separate if possible. For example, on my iphone I have both the Twitter app and the Hootsuite app. Not a fan of those apps? Pick and choose which Twitter apps you prefer for on-the-go. It’s great to do it this way so you can use one for work, and one for your own personal brand. I have definitely made the mistake of Tweeting on the wrong handle, and I find it easiest for me to keep things separate in order to avoid future “snafus” like Red Cross had.

 


2. Who has the keys?

Although the “younger” folks know how to use social media because they’ve been thrown into it at an earlier age…does that mean they know how to utilize it properly for business initiatives, strategies, and endeavors? Hopefully when making hiring decisions and “handing over keys” companies will not just hire on experience of use, but experience of business strategy and implementation. Unfortunately for Vodafone, they realized that after the fact. They had a junior employee handling their community and the young gentlemen foolishly posted a homophobic comment on the brand’s Twitter page. Immature? Yes. Inexperienced? Most definitely.

Hand over the keys with care, folks — it’s just your brand’s reputation on the line.

 

 

Ever worry about making a “social media snafu?” That’s a good thing! Being concerned, alert, and watching what you do on your social media channels is better than posting away blindly and not having a “method to your madness.” Time and time again brands have made mistakes, and I will tell you now, it will happen to most of us. Whether it’s minor like a mistaken Tweet or larger like a contest gone wrong, we all make mistakes. But here are some “snafus” major brands have made (aka they’re human too) and you can learn from and hopefully avoid in the future.

3. Customer Service?!

Ever had a customer service rep fall asleep while making a house call? This person sure did! And unfortunately for this guy, everyone else has shared in his “nap” too.

Comcast realized this type of customer service is intolerable. They ramped up their Twitter Customer service efforts and has since become an industry leader inTwitter Customer Service help. Thus, it is possible to turn things around…and it is imperative to do so as soon as possible! Customer service is key for many brands, and without it consumers loyalty may be MIA. Using Twitter like Comcast does for instant and real-time customer service for their consumers is definitely a great way to go about it.

4. Video gone wrong!

Motrin had a promotional video where a woman described how wearing a baby sling is great to bond with her child, it can also cause the mother great pain. This video was controversial with the target market of this promotion. The video quickly went viral…isn’t that great? Not so much when mothers all around are vehemently protesting said video. There were blog posts, Tweets, Facebook updates and more regarding the offensive campaign. Yikes! Motrin shut down the video and apologized, but the video was still out there and had been seen by many.

 

Lesson? When focusing on a particular target market and using media that is instant online such as videos, strategize and make sure it truly caters towards that target market. Not all campaigns work, and there will be backlash on many occasions, as consumers all have a voice via social media. It’s the risk brands take in a market where most content is consumer generated. But, it can also be just as rewarding. So brands – strategize carefully and realize what your market wants before you release it.

5. Where’s your target market?

Speaking of target markets…where are they online? Facebook? Twitter? Blogs? It is key for brands to figure out where their target market is. And although it’s good to be present on all the main sites, it’s more important to have a “home base” and focus on where your consumers are listening and engaging the most. Target made the mistake of not doing such. They ignored a blogger, saying their consumers don’t read blogs. Tsk! Tsk! Was there market research to back this up? Even so, you don’t ignore potential and current consumers and definitely not bloggers who could and should be used for brand promotion campaigns. Old school views are not going to work when the main stream market is consuming most information via new media. In short, find your market online, listen, engage, and monitor.

 

In the end, mistakes will happen. But be graceful, be honest, and be human. Brands are not impervious to mistakes and we have seen that above. Consumers want to see and embrace the human side of brands, so let them. Just minimize the mistakes if you can via an exceptional social media management team.

Note: this post was originally written for oneforty, which was acquired by Hubspot. 

5 Reasons Why Twitter is Not a Fad

Even in 2011, there are many people who are hesitant or skeptical regarding the use and benefits of Twitter. I shake my head and “sigh” at these folks. Twitter, although simple to begin using (such as tweeting, retweeting, hashtags, etc), is not so simple to finesse and engage with. It takes time and effort to get the art and science balance ofTwitter and its benefits. But when used correctly, brands (whether personal or companies) can truly increase their marketing efforts. Thus, it is not an app that is going to go away anytime soon…face it folks, Twitter is still here and you should take the time to embrace it. And here’s why…

1. Customer Service: Like the idea of instant customer service in real-time? Who doesn’t? Well Twitter is the answer. You can tweet to a company who uses Twitter for their customer service and their community manager should respond within minutes to whatever question, grievance, or comment you may have. For example, I made a comment to Zipcar once via Twitter, and within seconds I had a response. Who wants to pick up the phone and sit on hold when you can Tweet it?

 

2. Targeted element: Rather than reaching out to the mass media and just Tweeting to no-man’s-land…Twitter helps people target who they’re talking to. For example you can make Twitter lists of people who are current customer, potential customers, etc. Then when you see them Tweet, you can respond with a targeted tweet whether it be a special promotion for first time customers or a discount for being a loyal consumer.Twitter allows your brand to show your consumers you care about each one, and are listening and catering to their needs. For example, Petco does promotional tweets, which allow you get discounts and/or win contests for freebies if you answer a trivia question. Great way to promote the brand and create conversation too. One note of caution though — be careful not to spam. You may scare away potential or current consumers. Think before you Tweet!

3. Open vs. closed: Certain platforms are good for some things and others are better for other things. But the way Twitter is set up, it’s very easy for businesses to have a conversation with customers but still drive traffic to their site and take the conversation and activity elsewhere. Whereas Facebook pages it’s like everything is locked up inFacebook (or so it seems). Thus, you’re taking it past Twitter and putting it where and when customers want it. For example, brands such as Johnny Cupcakes utilize Twitterto talk about new T-shirts that are being released, and allow consumers to click right then and there on a link to the page with the new item. Convenient and “tweet worthy!”

 

4. Building Relationships: Unlike those who just Tweet stuff about themselves,Twitter can be a great vehicle to build relationships with both potential and current consumers. For example, when brands tweet back to people, respond to questions, and/or JUST to comment back with a laugh and appreciative banter…that’s where relationships form. The building blocks to successful relationships of course include time and effort, but it can start with a Tweet, which allows for that consumer (potential or loyal) to feel special and connected to a brand, especially when it’s a large one. Just take a look at Domino’s Twitter feed below…even a simple thanks can go a long way, whether it’s a consumer buying their pizza and/or sharing the customer experience with friends and so on and so forth.

 

5. All the cool kids are doing it: When a social media tool goes beyond brands and trendy people using it, that’s when it causes a real stir. For example, when it comes to national crisis events, Twitter has been used to get the word out faster and allow people to know what’s going on whether it’s regarding a national disaster or something else. In short, Twitter is a great — no, exceptional — vehicle for getting the word out, quickly, efficiently, and to the people you want to hear it when and where they want to listen to it.

 

So what are you waiting for? Hop on the bandwagon before it leaves you behind! Tweet it up!

Note: this post was originally written for oneforty, which was acquired by Hubspot. 

10 Great Community Manager Tools Worth Checking Out

Social Media simple and easy? Community Managers realize that is not the case. Social media takes a great time commitment and effort in order to manage efficiently and productively to assist a brand and accomplish marketing and business goals. So wouldn’t some cool tools be helpful in order to help a community manager manage his or her time better? I think so! Check out the tools I recommend for community managers and others implementing social media for their brands…

1) UberVu: known as the “social media platform that helps your team collaborate on listening, reporting and engaging in social media.” The team has been working hard on the upcoming release, which has two major goals: (1) making it easier for customers to get results from a few key use cases, like finding the right key people to engage with in social media and to do social media marketing; (2) make the service more small business friendly by making it both easier to use and focusing on solving some key problems that small businesses  are trying to address. As Dragos fromUberVu informed me, community managers will definitely want this because UberVuhas “simplified the service to an extent that most people can understand and get value from in minutes.” Aka – keep it simple stupid. Great motto, great product for community managers.

 

2) PostPost: For the upcoming release, there will be “faster results, more engaging results, faster new user onboarding, and reliable scaling.” Current users, which include Twitter users who value the people they follow and what they share, already love the tool and rave about it. Why should a community manager give it a shot?  In the words of Brad from PostPost, “We make engaging information more discoverable in the noisiest age of all-time.” Cutting through the clutter is huge, and a tool that can help is indispensable. In addition, as more and more information is shared on Twitter, Twitter becomes more valuable, but also more noisy. Which is to say that the value that’s there is harder to find. PostPost is uniquely designed to solve that problem. The search engine brings back Tweets, links and photos from the people you follow—the relevant content totally missing from real-time search.

3) Trunk.ly: Another cool service which has upgraded its already awesome offerings. In short, Trunk.ly is useful because it “automagically” collects the links you share online and then makes them searchable so you can find and retrieve them for later viewing or sharing. Tweet many links? Wish you had a easy way to “bookmark” them, save them, reference and utilize them later, but can’t find them anymore? Trunk.ly is perfect for just that. Simple, easy, and organized.

4) Viralheat: This nifty service “heats” up the social media monitoring and analysis process by doing half the work for you. It tracks mentions on the social platforms you use as well as mentions across the web including blog posts and articles. For example, if you’re working on a campaign, Viralheat will track when the campaign is being mentioned anywhere and everywhere, whether you’re at your computer or not. The tool that does the detailed analysis and lets you breathe a little easier.

5) Instagram: This tool may not organize your social media madness, but it is a creative way to utilize pictures in your campaigns as well as just helping with creating brand awareness and engagement with your target market. People don’t want to just see Tweets, posts, etc. They want to see fun visuals and things that allow them to see further into your brand — like the “human” side. So use instagram, snap a picture, make it cheesy and fun, and share on Twitter and/or Facebook for your brand lovers to see and comment on.

 

6) Twentyfeet: A tool that aggregates your stats in one place, which again decreases the time you spend on worrying about your social media – especially when it’s the weekend. Twentyfeet will let you know when there’s a stat you need to handle and manage right away. For example, it will give you an overview of your social platforms and let you know how your “key performance indicators develop over time,” and then “nudge you” when your metrics shift in a significant manner.

 

7) Formulists: Can’t remember who’s in what list on Twitter, who’s new, who’s removed? This nifty tool will help you to keep up with your newest followers, most recent tweeps you’ve chatted with, and more (which you can all adjust). Thus, you can worry less on keeping track of your tweeps and focus on keeping up with conversations that matter.

 8) Posterous: Tired of posting to each individual platform? Wish you could do it simply and efficiently all from one place with less worry and stress?Posterous allows you to post to multiple social media platforms via one simple medium. What? Your email! Photos, video, blog posts, even podcasts can all be distributed throughout your network just by sending an email. Convenience – yes, please!

9) Storify: No time to create content today? Curation is helpful in those instances. Storify helps community managers aggregate and curate content from around the social sphere and web. This tool is specifically helpful for when you are doing a specific campaign or event, in order to aggregate all the info simply and easily and then utilize for your marketing purposes.

 

 

10) Seesmic: Aside from the lovable mascot, Seesmic is an exceptional tool for being efficient and on top of all your social networks in one place, and at one time. Another great thing about Seesmic is that you can keep track of mentions, direct messages, and all your searches and more via one tool for your many platforms. It can also be used in any browser and on any smart phone. The “on the go” usage is key especially for real-time efficiency  – all great community managers know this. Don’t believe me? Check out their testimonials!

 

Next step? Check out the tools for yourself, tinker around, and comment below on what you think.

Note: this post was originally written for oneforty, which was acquired by Hubspot. 


5 Ways to Save Time on Twitter

How much time do you spend on Twitter? I know I sometimes spend more time than I intend to, looking for the latest news, latest updates from friends, and the coolest stuff going on in my city and cool stats and info to link to and blog about. Fortunately, for me…and you – there are plenty of ways to save time on Twitter and not waste time we could be spending on other things like work!

The following are my suggestions on how to save time…

 (1) Trunk.ly – A tool that helps cut through the clutter of finding andkeeping up with social media news that you view awesome and important.  It collects any links that you share on Twitter (and other social networks) in order for you to go back and be able to search them when you have time. It bookmarks them in a way that is easily searchable for you. Why waste time trying to find that link, Trunk.ly has it all stored away for you, ready and waiting.

(2) Tweetdeck -  Too many followers, too little time? I have friends who have over 50,00 followers and I wonder how they do it. Yikes! Platforms likeTweetdeck are super helpful! You can organize your followers in lists in order to differentiate from people you know in real life, those who are folks from certain industries, news sites, local folks, and more. This is especially helpful for community managers who are trying to keep track of their competition, customers, and potential customers. A time saver and possible lead gen tool if used to our advantage!

(3) SocialOomph – Want to Tweet but you won’t be around to do it? On vacation? Away for the weekend? Schedule them to go out while you’re away with SocialOomph. This is great for blog posts you want to get out, but don’t have time to be at your computer to Tweet them.

(4) Tweetbeep – No time to sit and look at Twitter or your platform of choice for Tweeting? Tweetbeep is a great app that allows you to get hourly (or whatever time allotment you choose) summary of searches, mentions, terms, hashtags, etc. For example, are you working on a product campaign, promotional event or just monitoring your brand? Tweetbeep will let you know what’s being said when it’s said, or in a convenient time for you. Great way to keep up and respond accordingly, especially if it’s someone asking a question, and/or commenting on your brand or product. In addition, you can keep up with what’s being said on the competition or just an event you wish you could have attended but missed. Useful and simple to set up.

 (5)  Listorious – Starting out and not sure who to follow? Find an index of lists with Listorious and follow the lists that are interesting and relevant to your personal brand and/or business brand. That way you can see what people in your industry are talking about. Great way to get started and/or increase followers by showing interest and  following them.

Bonus Tip:

Curation! Are you starting out with your content and strategy for it? Or are you struggling with time this week on creating it? Curating content is a great way to share content without taking the time to create it yourself. For example, have a list created of people you follow for relevant news in your industry. Then you can ReTweet a Tweet they shared with a comment. Additionally you can find a blog post they did and comment on it in your Tweet. Great way to show it is not all about you and still share relevant content to you and your industry.

As you can see Twitter is a useful and awesome tool, but it can take time to use effectively. Fortunately for us, the tools above are a great way to cut down on some of that time and still Tweet in a matter that is beneficial and awesome.

Note: this post was originally written for oneforty, which was acquired by Hubspot. 


5 Social Media Etiquette Mistakes to Avoid

Would you go to a cocktail party and talk incessantly about how awesome you are? Would you not say thank you or please? Would you not listen to the person you are talking to? Obviously not. So why would you do such things in social media? Many people make mistakes on Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms, which they would not make in their daily lives. Keep reading for my suggestions on what mistakes to avoid and how to avoid them!

1. Being Selfish: Ever see that person on Twitter who just tweets and tweets about their blog, their product, their service, and where they went to eat and drink? Did you unfollow them, yet? I find it maddening and unfortunate when people think Twitter is just a loud speaker for them to blare out what’s on their mind and what’s going on with their business. Social media like Twitter and Facebook , like in real life, requires listening and conversing, rather than a one-sided conversation that leaves the others wanting to run out the door and lose the keys. Like attending a cocktail party, say hi, say thank you, say please, and be considerate. Listen to the other person “in the room” and converse. Don’t talk at them. Talk with them. Having trouble listening? I would suggest making a Twitter list of people you want to regularly listen to and engage with. Also, set up a search column or keywords on a Twitter client such asTweetdeck for words you consider relevant to you and/or your business so you can stay on target. Engaging doesn’t mean you are straying from your business goals — it will only help you further them!

 

2. Being a robot: I love when I look on my Twitter lists and I get bombarded with automated Tweets regarding a product, service or blog post. Even better…the auto DM. Can you sense my sarcasm? I understand and believe that scheduled Tweets can be helpful especially over periods of time when one is away on vacation, etc. However. when there are ten in a row, or the same Tweet over and over, and they are all self-promotional and no engagement…Fail! Like in customer service when you call to talk to a person and not a machine — in social media no one wants to “listen” to an automated “robot.” As in #1 above, take a minute and listen and tweet relevantly yet in a friendly manner, which initiates conversation, not robotic movement. That way you can curate content (if you don’t have time to create it), ReTweet others, and question and comment on what others are saying.

3. Expecting instant success: Unlike winning the lottery, social media does not mean instant gratification. One needs to put in effort, time, and work into increasing fans, followers, and creating actual relationships on each platform. Most people do not get married after the first date, and like on Twitter and Facebook people may not like your page or follow you right away. And if they do — it does not mean they are listening to your every word unless you make it relevant to them. Thus, you need to use tools to monitor your brand (free or paid) in order to see what’s relevant to your target market, your competition, and take the time to Tweet, post, and share awesome stuff that make your followers and fans want to run off and have a shot-gun wedding.

4. Spamming: Like spam email? Telemarketers calling your phone? Then why would you like people who spam your Twitter feed, your Facebook wall, or your blog? Like in #1 above, it’s not all about you and what you have to say. So do not think people care about a cool new link on your website…because they probably do not. Instead of spamming someone who spoke about an iPad, with your free offer to win one, how about adding value to the conversation. Have a relevant blog that gives good advice and content regarding your product/service/market. Consider asking a question, and if the person converses back, share relevant info that would help them. Creating awareness is one thing, but converting someone to a customer takes time. Not spam.

 

5. Not being real: As Julia Roy said at the Harvard Business School conference (Dynamic Women in Business) — “be real.” People can sense dishonesty and those who are fake from a mile away. You will lose admiration, fans, followers, and brand value if you are not real. People want real relationships with real people. Be you. Be real. This matters whether it is your personal brand or your company brand. Find your listening app of choice, whether it be Hootsuite, Google Reader, Tweetdeck, etc — think about what you want to say, comment — and speak freely. Add some sarcasm, some spark. Don’t be so stuffy because you’re afraid of what people might think. Be you. Be real. And have fun.

 

So, dear friends, marketers, community managers, and fellow social media geeks — do your best to avoid these five mistakes. Although there is more to social media than just these five items to consider, they are a great step in the right direction of building relationships, engaging fully, and creating awareness for one’s brand.

Note: this post was originally written for oneforty, which was acquired by Hubspot. 

20 Personal Brand Building and Monitoring Tools You Don’t Want to Miss

A little birdie told me that people love free tools? I know I sure do! So for your drooling pleasure, here is a “mega list” of free tools that can help you monitor your brand online, because without monitoring your brand presence, you may fall into the deep end without a lifesaver.

Ready, Set, Start drooling…

 1. Twilerts: A great and simple tool to consolidate and keep up with the Tweets on your brand. This app will email you whenever there are Tweets regarding your brand name and/or other search terms you set up for your convenience. Key word: convenience.

2. Backtype: Want to keep tabs on what people are saying regarding your brand, your conference, your product? Backtype is a real-time search engine that makes this simple and in turn helps you realize your “social impact.”

3. Tweet Alarm: Do you like Google Alerts? Well then you might love this because it’s basically the same concept except for Twitter, where you will be alerted when someone Tweets about your brand or whatever else suits your fancy. Simple and easy.

4. Tweetdeck: A tool I personally use to keep track of search terms, such as when people mention my blog post for oneforty. Great way to see what people are saying, when they say it, and in turn I can easily respond to their Tweets. Also great to keep tabs on a conference you may be planning or attending. You can follow along on the conversation and participate if you so wish.

5. Kurrently: Want yet another social search engine for your tool belt? WellKurrently not only searches Twitter for mentions regarding your brand or other search term, but also checks out Facebook so you are even more up to date on what’s being said regarding your brand.

 6. Social Mention: So instead of receiving info on Tweets and mentions separately from different platforms, Social Mention aggregates all the content that is related to the search term you provided into a single stream (from many social media platforms). This makes it easier to digest and view what’s being said about your brand.

7. Topsy: So Topsy goes beyond the typical social search engine and “indexes and ranks search results based upon the most influential conversations millions of people are having every day about each specific term, topic, page or domain queried.” Therefore you know whether a specific mention has been influential or not, and what type of positive or negative effect it may or may not have.

 8. Twoolr: Specific to Twitter, Twoolr allows the user to receive stats on hashtags, replies, ReTweets and who followed and/or unfollowed your brand. Helpful to see what people are saying, when they’re saying it, and who follow and unfollows you and when that occurs so perhaps you can correlate it to a specific event and/or promotion/campaign. However, I must preface that only some of these functions are available in the Free version.

 9. Twitter analyzer: As seen below, this tool is helpful to get a quick snapshot on a specific Twitter handle and the reach of that handle. This is a great way to analyze your own brand’ reach, the reach of a competitor, and/or the reach of an influencer in your product category.

 

 10. Crowdbooster: As Mashable quoted, this tool is “a user-friendly, color-coded UI that quickly and simply highlights your best tweets and areas for improvement.” In short it’s a great way to help with your Twitter marketing and analyzing how you’re doing in order to tweak your strategy if needed. The interactive graph that uses is a great way to quickly see what worked in your campaign and what did not. Crowdbooster is free for consumers and is currently in beta.

11. Cadmus: Finding it difficult to stay on top of the conversation when you’ve been in meetings and/or away from your computer? Well Cadmus is the quick catch-up tool for your stream in order to see what conversation you missed while you were away. Helpful for the multi-tasker.

12. PostPost: Are there specific influencers for your brand category (or competitors) that you specifically like to keep an eye on in “real-time”? Well this nifty tool is great to keep up with what they’re sharing, because PostPost focuses on search results from the people you want to listen to, rather than everyone in the social sphere.

13. HashTracking: Although in closed beta right now, you can still find out how your campaign is doing via the hashtag for your product/event/etc. Quick and cool insights to see the impressions and reach your hashtag had. Useful!

 

 14. Addictomatic: A real-time social search engine that allows you to create a custom page on the buzz that you want to know about. You can find out what people are saying about your brand on not just Twitter, but also blog posts, flickr,youTube, etc. And not to mention there’s a robot for their mascot. Love it.

15. IceRocket: A tool to help you keep up with the buzz that is trending. You can search specific terms that you want to keep track of and/or just see what is most popular in your segment.

 16. Summify: Too many mentions, posts, and Tweets to keep up wtih? Want it all condensed (from all of the networks you are present on) and in order of importance to you and your brand? Summify will “sum” it up for you! In short, you save time and there’s less noise — cut the clutter!

17. Mentionmap: Connect to your Twitter API and see what’s going on in your Twitter network. Who are the influencers who interact the most, and what are they saying. And who is most relevant to your target market.

 

 18. Proxlet: Is the clutter and noise getting to you on Twitter? LetProxlet help. It can block Foursquare checkins, hide Tweets based on certain hashtags, enable it so you only see links by users who are too noisy for your dailyTwitter dose and more.

 

19. Trendrr: This platform allows brands to listen, measure and respond to the conversation about their brand, their products/services, and other relevant items. Therefore your brand can see what people are saying, how they like your product/service, how they view your brand, and in turn your brand can respond, question, and comment to these users in real-time due to the use of this platform’s quick and easy organization for your convenience. In addition you can measure conversation in order to evaluate the sentiment and again this will assist in your gauging for communication and engagement with your target market.

20. Gruml: Use Google Reader? Have a Mac? Gruml (a download) makes it easy for you to “view and manage your feed subscriptions of your Google Reader account on Mac OS X.” On more tool to make your life simpler and more organized so you can consume content faster, more efficiently and with plenty of time to take action where and when needed on behalf of your brand.

Are you on “free tool overload” yet? . Have more free tools to recommend? Please do!

Note: this post was originally written for oneforty, which was acquired by Hubspot. 


How to: Get Started in Social Media in 9 Steps



Many companies have realized the potential of social media and the impact it can have on a brand’s awareness and competitive advantage. However, some of those companies are unsure where to start. My first recommendation, do not just set up a Fan Page on Facebook and Twitter handle and begin posting items. That would be unwise and counter-productive. However, I do recommend obtaining a Twitter handle that is your company’s name right away (so no one else does).

But where to actually start? Here are my thoughts:

1. What is your marketing business strategy?

Remember: marketing is a business strategy because it affects so much of the core business. Do you want to increase brand awareness? Compete more effectively against your competition? Generate leads? Improve customer service? Whatever the goals are, it must be defined. For example, when I did social media for a non-profit, I was told their marketing goals were to increase awareness of their brand and attendance at their events. With those two goals in mind, I was able to think more strategically on what had to be planned and implemented, such as increasing followers on Twitter and creating incentives to attend events (on and offline).

2. Listen

See where your target audience is in the social sphere. That way you can see which platforms your consumers are already on, how well your competition is doing, and where it may be most beneficial for your company to be present – whether onFacebook, Twitter, etc. Again, looking back at the nonprofit I worked for, I was able to see most of their fans were on Facebook and interacting more there. However, other nonprofits in the same segment were on Twitter and doing quite well with interaction. Two well utilized platforms that were being under utilized by this nonprofit. However, because I listened to what was being said, and on what platform, I was able to see where the nonprofit should be (along with other platforms/services too, of course).

Note: You can listen to your consumers via socialmention, Tweetdeck, and through other great free social media monitoring tools. Example: I used Tweetdeck to keep track of a conference I worked on and what people were saying via the hashtag.

3. Create Content

It is not enough to just be present on platforms and share information. One must have quality information (content) to share that is relevant to the target market in which they compete and are present. I recommend beginning a blog first, create enough content, so when you begin Tweeting, posting, sharing, etc — you have content for fans and potential consumers to go back to and read more and learn more about what you do and why they should be interested. Some say, content is king. I say content is the one tool in your toolbox you should never let rust. So however you put it, content is essential to utilizing social media and your marketing strategy.

4. Identify Your Target Market

From your marketing strategy you should know who your target market is. From Step 2 above, you should already be listening to see where your target market is in the social sphere, and what they’re saying. Are they complaining? Praising? Questioning your product/service? Wishing something was better? This is your chance to decide how you would like to listen better, respond in real-time, and how you will do this (see part b). 

5. Identify Your Platforms

The platforms are tools to your strategy and plan. After you saw where your competition is, where your target market is, then you could decide to also be present on those platforms, and/or ones you realize that are being under-utilized and take advantage of this “social realty space.” For example, is your competition tweeting away and engaging with the target market by promoting their service, pumping out their blog content, and answering customer service questions? Well, you should be too! Note, there are many platforms, and more and more are created daily. My suggestion, find your home base – whether it be Facebook or Twitter or whatever else. Focus on that platform (because that is where your target market is) but also utilize a few others in order to stay on the competitive edge and not fall behind.

Note: there are many platforms out there, but it does not mean you need to be on all of them. Choose what works best for your business and reaching your marketing goals.

6. Set a Content Schedule

As talked about in Step 2, you need content that is relevant. Furthermore, it is helpful to set up a schedule and/or editorial calendar to keep track of weekly/daily posts written by you and your colleagues. I suggest making a “content bank” full of great blog ideas for people to choose from, setting up a weekly schedule of when people will submit their posts, and when they will actually be posted to the blog (after reading over and making sure there are no grammar/spelling mistakes).

Having trouble deciding on blog post topics? Listen to what your community and target market is saying. Do they have “pain points” or certain areas of uncertainty? Answer them! For example, if your company is in the mobile market and people want to know about trouble shooting on their own. Show them! Key point here is to give the readers what they want. Listen first, respond quickly (or your competition will).

7. Corporate Social Media Engagement Policy

Concerned on what people in your company may Tweet or post? Set up some engagement rules so you feel better and/or designate one or two people to be in charge of posting and responding. I suggest a designated community manager, but with a higher level manager to also have access in order to show the company/brand is human and upper management likes to engage with their consumers too. It makes the brand feel more real and the consumers feel they are special.

Note, it is not always easy to respond to criticism and there will be people who respond harshly to your blog posts, Facebook posts, etc. That is the name of the game though — people are allowed to comment, and your brand has to decide how to engage and respond accordingly. Sometimes it is just a spammer, sometimes it is just a disgruntled consumer — each type of comment is unique to a brand and situation and does not necessarily have an automatic response. My suggestion, ignore/delete spam. Do not ignore a disgruntled consumer — because that may lead to more consumers who are against your service via word of mouth. Find out what you can do to help this consumer and avoid this happening again. If you respond quickly and assist, this consumer may tell people how great and efficient your response was. Thus, social media is fabulous for real-time response and consumer service issues (if used properly).

8. Measure, Measure, Measure

It is essential to monitor your success on these platforms. Use Google Analytics to keep track of your blog and traffic and how that traffic is coming to your blog. Is it direct or via social media tools like Facebook and Twitter? Which blog posts had the most traffic? This will assist in seeing what consumers responded and likes the most and allow you to strategize better for future posts. It will also let you see what did not work and how you can revise your strategy if needed.

9. Test it out

In my opinion the best way to get started is to try. After you have put together your plan, “jump in!” This was emphasized by Mike Volpe, VP of Marketing at Hubspot who once said, it is not enough to dip your toes in. So, get Tweeting, posting, and sharing. And remember, social media is not instant gratification. It takes time, like all relationships and business. So, be patient and don’t forget to have fun!

Note: This post was originally written for oneforty, which was acquired by Hubspot. 

Top 5 B2B Companies on Twitter and Why They Are Successful

There are many B2B companies in all different sectors and industries. And more and more have decided to come on board and utilize Twitter for their brand awareness,  consumer engagement, and lead generation. Here are 5 diverse B2B companies that are doing it right…

(1) Hubspot: An Inbound Marketing software company that realizes how vital Twitter can be to a B2B and its consumers. When I think of Twitter , I think of engaging with the consumer and interacting on a personal level. In short: being human.Hubspot does this very well, as seen from the screenshot below. They not only provide tips and blog posts (relevant content), but they also respond and @mentionpeople who want to interact with them. The “man behind the screen” laughs with the consumers, answers their questions, and comments on their blog posts. Hubspotdemonstrates the importance of being human in order to create lasting relationships with consumers, which may in turn “lead” to loyal and/or future consumers (and does not just pump out content, although that is unbelievably important as well). If I were a B2B, I would definitely keep my eyes on @hubspot for future tips of the Twitter trade.

(2) Forrester Research: What I like best about @Forrester is that they do not just talk about themselves, but Tweet about other companies. One of myTwitter rules to follow was giving praise to others and not making it a one-way conversation about how “great you are.” Would you go to a party and talk about yourself nons-stop the whole time? Hopefully not. Same common sense rules apply toTwitter: It’s not all about you. What I also thought was clever and useful is that@Forrester puts all their contact info on their Twitter background. Therefore, if the consumer wants to go beyond Twitter for communication and ask a question via phone the number is right their, “at their fingertips.”

(3) United Linen: Did you ever think of a linen and uniform company as being pro-active on social sites like Twitter? I hadn’t either, but @UnitedLinen is quite active, and what’s really cool is that the Twitter handle is openly run by the Director, Scott Townsend. This transparency and openness to show the “human” side is applause worthy. And like @Forrester, @UnitedLinen Tweets about other news worthy items, other companies, and realizes that “it’s not all about them.” In addition, they utilize promotions on Gowalla, and understand that geolocation is a great way to link with Twitter and are giving their consumers the chance to connect further with them. Clap Clap Clap, @UnitedLinen!

(4) Intel: I’d be surprised if you have not heard of Intel, and it’s technological savvy-ness. And being so tech-savvy, the company is also ensuring that they are up on the latest and greatest of social as well. The Twitter account, @Intel is full of juicy details about technology, blog posts by Intel, and up to date news on what’s shaking with them, including Obama’s visit to their company site. What I like most is that they diversify their Tweets and keep things interesting. That’s a great lesson for companies who are beginning to Tweet and/or cannot seem to create engagement with consumers. Don’t Tweet about your company constantly, or just about news, or just about your blog. Keep it fresh and keep it real.

(5) Deloitte, which is more than just a consulting firm, appears to be on the “conservative” side of business — where the “red tape” may prohibit many from being active on sites such as Twitter. However, Deloitte has shown it is do-able and can be done very well, too! While @deloitte is the main Twitter handle for the company, they do have other handles by location and by department such as @deloittehealth. I think the great thing about this is the capability to effectively and efficiently handle consumer Tweets and questions in a real-time manner by the person who they want to talk to. Whether it’s consulting, health, or just a specific location, Deloitte is providing the ease of “at your fingertips” for each person.

As you can see, Twitter is useful for many purposes, and these five B2B companies realize the importance. Although they may not utilize Twitter for the same purposes, they are all doing something for their marketing strategy, whether it be brand awareness, consumer engagement, and/or generating leads. Whatever your strategy/purpose may be, do not forget that Twitter is not a fad, it is a useful tool in your social toolbox.

Note: this post was originally written for oneforty, which was acquired by Hubspot. 

Case Study: How Boloco Uses Social Media for Success

boloco: one word… yum! Not only do they have scrumptious burritos, but they also are a great example on how to utilize socialmedia such as Twitter for success. I had the pleasure of interviewing Sara Steele-Rogers, the social media maven for boloco to get some insight on their strategy, tactics, and steps to success through social media.

ME: Sara, tell us “your story”…what brought you to boloco?

SARA: I’ve been a fan of boloco since The Wrap days. While in graduate school at Emerson College, I interned with Yelp. Yelp is extremely active at community events, and so is boloco. After bumping into the boloco team three or four times at events around the city, we became great friends. Once I graduated in May 2010 (and even before then), I expressed a great deal of interest to John Pepper, boloco‘s CEO, about joining the team. One thing led to another, and here I am today!

ME: Awesome. So let’s talk about Twitter and how boloco utilizes the different handles they have. What was your original social media strategy for utilizing Twitter and how has it changed over time?

SARA: Originally, John as in charge of the @boloco Twitter handle became recognized for his quick, honest approach to responding to every guest. Once I joined the team, I became the main driver of the @boloco handle, with John chiming in occasionally. He now runs his ownTwitter handle, @bolocoCEO, and many of our stores have their own Twitter handles. The involvement of the individual stores varies, but we do our best to have at least one person oversee the specific handles and publicize information relevent to their community. It’s important we don’t overwhelm our Twitter stream with hyper-local content.

ME: What specific tactics does boloco use and how does that separate them from their competition? In addition, what are you monitoring on Twitter? What tools do you use to monitor?
SARA: Ever since the inception of @boloco three years ago, the primary use of Twitter has been to listen to and respond to our guests. It’s not just guests who complain – it’s guests who praise us, have suggestions, valuable feedback, customer complaints, and even FourSquarecheck-ins. Our tone is also different. Boloco is human. We’re 100% honest. We’re not afraid to re-tweet our mistakes or comparisons to our competition. We also like to surprise guests – load a free menu item on their boloco card if they get something not-so-good from a competitor. Load an additional freebie on their boloco card so they can enjoy their free birthday burrito with a friend (for free).

In regards to tools and monitoring, we’re pretty basic at boloco. I use Tweetdeck,Kurrently, Twitter for iPhone. We’re looked into larger-scale monitoring tools likeRadian6 and Scout Labs, but aren’t ready to make the investment just yet. Admittedly, the scape is ever-evolving and it’s tough to keep up!

ME: Why should we follow @boloco?
SARA: We hope people follow us so we can add to their overall boloco experience. We want our guests to be assured that we’re always listening, and feel comfortable voicing their opinions… good or bad. We’ve made great changes to our company because of Twitterfeedback. If you’re bored, we’ll talk to you If you’re looking for some humor or something unexpected, we might provide that, too. And less often, we’ll promote our in-store promotions, free burrito days, Snoloco days, and other offers we hope will encourage you to come visit us.

 

ME: If you were stuck on an island, what three tools could you never give up as a community manager?

SARA: Sense of humor, Tweetdeck, and TwitPic.

ME: Any tips for CEOs on Twitter?

SARA: Be honest and admit your mistakes!

A great interview and a great community manager and social media marketing girl to keep your eyes on. Sara is rocking it for boloco and boloco is definitely a company to use as a role model when it comes to customer service and consumer engagement via social media such as Twitter.

Note: this post was originally written for oneforty, which was acquired by Hubspot.