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. 

How to: Find a Job Using Social Media

Tired of using search engines and massive jobs sites to find a job? Wishing you could find great job opportunities a little easier? Join the club! I have been utilizing social media tools for job searching quite often lately because they help bring possible jobs right to your fingertips rather than searching for hours.

A. Google Reader and Google Alerts: Not only is this tool great for subscribing to blogs, but it can help job seekers subscribe to job listing by keyword and position. This way you aren’t doing a Google search everyday for the same type of position, but the search findings are delivered to your Reader or your inbox. Convenient, easy and free.

B. Five ways that Twitter can help:

(1) Utilize the Twitter reader Tweetdeck to keep tabs on job postings via job related search terms.

(2) TwitJobSearch: A search engine that aggregates job listings and posts on Twitter.

(3) There are specific people who post about jobs frequently. Find those in your neck of the woods that do so, follow them, create a conversation so you can build a relationship and seek help from them when needed.

(4) Follow the brands and places of business that you hope to work for. Engage with them, so you have a basis to show your deep interest before, during, after you have applied to work there.

(5) Twitter Advanced Search: A great way to search on the platform you already utilize and dig deeper into the job postings that are on Twitter in the past few days. You can do so easily by using hashtags (keywords that people add to their Tweets), search terms, etc. Also helpful to make sure you click “contains links” when deciding on your search, because job postings are more helpful when they click a link to the website posting. Want to know more…check out the quick 3 min video below by Mashable.


Note: Please remember to not spam when looking for a job on Twitter. It’s clutter and people won’t “listen” to you.

C. Three ways to optimize your LinkedIn Profile and Search:

(1) Use the 120 character headline to your disposal. Say something unique and catchy for when prospective employers check out your background. Nowadays your LinkedInprofile is virtual resume and pertinent to be updated frequently.

(2) Use the 3 “hot links” to your benefit. If you have a blog, link to it! Have a great profile on another platform? Link to it! Show your personal brand off!

(3) Use the job search and when you find a job that interests you, find someone in yourLinkedIn network that could recommend you. Network, network, network — the people you know are your biggest asset.

D. Facebook App – BranchOut: Like the appeal of people you know being able to recommend you? BranchOut is awesome for this. Although I am not a fan of usingFacebook apps often, this one is pretty handy.When you search for a job and click on a position you may be interested in — BranchOut shows who you know that can recommend you to the job. How much easier can it get? Dig it!

Two other items to consider…

E. Email Signature: Use WiseStamp to add your links from other social platforms in order for people to find you more easily. Emailing with a HR person at your possible future job? Now they can see how to link to your blog, website, LinkedIn (and more) at the click of a button via your email. Very convenient!

F. Blogging: Are you looking into a specific niche/industry? It could be helpful to start a blog on the topics of interest. Therefore, when the hiring manager takes a look at your background and Googles you (which they will do), and sees your blog, he/she will realize you are not just knowledgeable about this industry, but passionate about it too. It is important to manage your online presence and having a blog is a great way to demonstrate your expertise on the content. You can become an individual not only worth hiring, but a must hire.

As always, if you have other tools that you utilize to make job searching easier, please feel free to share. I, as well as my fellow readers would love to learn more tips and tools. And in the meantime, check out my Toolkit for your convenience.

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



8 Ways to Use Social Media to Track Your Competition

Your brand may be awesome in your brand category, but I am sure you have some key competition out there that you’d love to have a better handle on. Nowadays with social media being the norm and most brands increasing their transparency, it has become easier to track what your competition is up to, how consumers feel about their brand, and how often consumers engage and interact with the competition.

Topsy: A convenient search tool that assists you in searching through a stream of conversations. It is able to look through people’s web pages and conversations and detect relationships, who influences who, and what people are saying about a brand (your competition) and where. It also assists to detect what content is being ReTweeted the most — thus demonstrating that this content is of value and shows what people feel towards it. This is useful to see how your competitor is influencing its target market, what the target market feels towards the content put out by the competition and how often and how they engage with the competition. Thus, allowing you to see what they are doing better than you, and how you can compete on a similar, if not higher level.
 Twellow: “A directory of public Twitter accounts, with hundreds of categories and search features to help you find people who matter to you.” This is super helpful in order to see which competitors of yours are on Twitter and are using it on a regular and consistent basis and engaging with their target market as well. That way, you can see how far ahead or behind you may be in your brand category in regards to online engagement.
Wefollow: Similar to Twellow as a Twitter directory. It also has categories such as tech, news, and music as well as by follower counts. Once again, this tool is helpful for determining what your competition is doing on Twitter, if they’re on Twitter, and the engagement they have with their consumers. Do you feel like a detective yet?
Tweepi: This tool is helpful to get info on the followers of your competition. You can see details on each follower such as bio information, number of followers, number of updates, previous tweets, etc. Why is this cool? It allows you to get inside the consumer’s conversation with the competition and other people in the target market in your brand category. You can see what the target market thinks about the competition, how they’re conversing, what they like and don’t like.
Backtype: Great tool that allows you to get alerts about where and when your competitors are talking online. You can see what they are promoting, who they are engaging with, and what they’re saying to your mutual target market whether on their website, Twitter, or other social platform. All you have to do is enter the URL, topic or person to see the impact they are having and where. Free.
Website grader: Grades your website and your competition so you can compare how well they’re doing in comparison to you. Helpful to see who is linking to them, what their Google PR is and more! Free for web version and iPhone!
Feedcompare: 2 easy steps: (1): Type in the FeedBurner Feed Name Or Full FeedBurner Feed URL;
(2): Simply Press “Compare” Button ( Click and Drag to Zoom In ). Once you do this for free — you can compare your feedburner subscriber numbers with that of your competition and see how well you’re doing!
Xinu returns: Helpful to get and analyze statistics on website SEO, in order to gain insight on how well or how poor your competitors’ sites are doing in Google (and other search engines), social bookmarking sites, etc. Unbelievably helpful in order to stay on top and move beyond your competition on an online and offline level. Free.
Every brand in each brand category has to think about its competition and make sure they are staying on level, if not ahead of what the competition is doing. This isn’t always easy, but with the help of these social tools, it is slightly easier to ensure you know what your competition is doing online, how they’re engaging, where they’re engaging, and what your mutual target market is saying. It may feel like spying, but being a detective and strategizing is part of the fun and game of competing.


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

5 Ways to Sell Social Media Internally

Unfortunately, not all organizations/offices/companies are ready to jump on the social media bandwagon. There are still places of business which are hesitant to have a social presence on platforms such as Twitter and believe it is a waste of time and not worth the effort for their brand. So how do we get the CMO and other management on board? Is it possible to not have every blog post and/or Tweet reviewed by legal? It is definitely a battle for some offices, but not impossible. Here are some suggestions to help you persuade your office management that social media isn’t something to avoid, but something to embrace…

1. Internal Communication: With some places of business it may be best to ease into social media with an internal social system first. That way the management can see that social media is valuable for engagement and how it is not a threat, but useful. For example, Yammer – an internal communication tool for companies (used at many companies including Groupon, claims to be as simple to use as Facebook and Twitter. It includes microblogging, profiles, direct messaging, and other useful work tools. Thus, Yammer allows the ease of external social media but keeps items private to the company interaction only. Hopefully with an internal start, a push towards external use will be less difficult. For pricing info, view packages here, which include Basic for Free and Enterprise for $5/user/month.

2. Social Media Policy: When easing your company towards external social media a social media policy may help in order to ease the stress factors of upper management and the legal team. Items to consider in this policy include the following:

a) Purpose of using the social media platforms

b) Cite name and sources when relevant/necessary

c) Do not share confidential information about the company and/or clients/consumers

d) Exercise good judgment when sharing content

e) Be respectful

Of course there can be more specifics, but this a good start to ensure that using social media will not mean falling off a cliff. The use of social media would be to benefit the company by demonstrating to their target audience who the brand is, what the brand is capable of, and how the target audience should want to engage and be a part of the community the brand is building.

3. Social Media Plan and Involvement: Putting heads together and coming up with a social media plan/strategy would be helpful in order to ensure that blog content, shared posts, and Tweets are all on topic and relevant to where the company is hoping to be and heading. It will reassure management that there is a purpose and set of goals rather than randomly posting content. And a part of this plan, many companies include higher-up management such as CMOs and CEOs to be involved in the customer engagement such as Tweeting. Consumers have more respect for a brand when a higher-up is taking part in the conversation. For example, Zappos is a great example. The @zappos Twitter account is the CEO who Tweets on a regular basis with a mixture of professionally related items and personal – to show he is in fact just another person (humanizing the brand) and is willing to follow and chat with consumers. Then, of course, there is also @zappos_service which handles all the consumer service issues, questions and comments specifically. I think this is a great technique to show the brand is not just a name, but personable, and cares about each consumer. Higher-Ups and social media teams should use this as a possible model when putting together their social media plan because social media strategy is a part of marketing strategy, which is a part of the business strategy, which is how a business is successful. I think Zappos is showing us how success is more than tangible when you put in the effort.

4. Community Manager: Designating a specific community manager to be in charge would be key. That way this specific person would be the one in charge of ensuring: (1) valuable content is on the blog; (2) posts on Facebook and Twitter are on point; (3) comments (whether negative/positive) regarding the company brand are being “heard” and responded to in a timely manner. Therefore an experienced social media expert would be positioned to assist with the success of marketing for the company, and able to report to the head of marketing with success factors, issues, and potential growth. Just like any other department in a company, a specialized expert is helpful to ensure things run smoothly.

5. Email Marketing: It is helpful to use email marketing as a tool to help the launch of social sites for your company. For example, you want the people who subscribe to your newsletter and/or people in your email list to be aware of your presence – whether on your website, blog, Facebook, Twitter, or other social platform. For example, MailChimp is a great tool to design your emails, and more importantly, track the success of your emails that went out. Did people open it? How many times? When? Etc. It’s a very useful tool for sending out bulk emails to make an announcement, such as your new social platform launch and/or just to spread  other cool news and company updates to your audience. Then you can also track the success of those who opened the email and then went to your Facebook page and “liked” the page, among other things. A great way to show management, that this easy way to spread brand awareness is not an option anymore, it is critical for companies to be involved or fall behind.

Although it may be difficult to get some higher-up management on the social path, it is definitely worth the effort. Whether you start out with an internal social network to show the ease of use, demonstrate the caution that can be used (without restricting or restraining) via a social media policy, explain the plan of attack that will be utilized (hopefully with the CMO/CEO taking part in some way), and/or designate a community manager who knows how to handle social media like he or she knows the back of his/her hand — social media can be implemented in even the most conservative places of business. Just look at law firms, who used to avoid it, and now embrace it. Best of luck implementing social media in your workplace, and when you do, do not forget to promote it, whether via MailChimp or another useful marketing tool.

How to Connect with your Current Customer on Social Media

NOTE : I started freelance blogging recently for oneforty and this was originally a post I did for their blog. This was my first for oneforty so please check it out here or on their blog and please feel free to share comments! :)

Whether you are a B2B or a B2C, connecting with your current customer is crucial. Those current customers are needed for consistent business and through word of mouth may lead to future customers as well. One loyal consumer who boasts about a company’s customer service reputation, can lead to their friends — whether on Facebook, Twitter, or in person — becoming aware of your company and possibly converting to customers as well (for more details on converting people to customers see: The Zen of Social Media Marketing by Shama Kabani).

So how do you connect with these current customers on the social platforms on which they reside, play, comment, tweet, and post? I created this Toolkit to guide your efforts.

Here’s the run-down:

Rapleaf: Want to know the most relevant criteria about your consumer? Rapleaf does this by providing your business with the Who (demographics, location), What (interests, lifestyles, brands they love), Where (online platforms), With Whom (friends), and Weight (their online influence). A tool to help your business improve its customer outreach accurately, easily and in real-time! As quoted by Stephanie Olsen from CNET: “Rapleaf is among a new generation of people search engines that take advantage of the troves of public data on the Net–much of which consumers happily post for public perusal on social-networking sites and personal blogs. The search engines trace a person’s digital tracks across these social networks, blogs, photo collections, news and e-commerce sites, to create a composite profile. Unlike Google, which might link to the same material over pages of search results or after trying different combinations of keywords, these sites attempt to “normalize” personal data so that it’s easily digested by the searcher on one page.”

Flowtown: Although under-going renovations, currently, Flowtown has received much praise for its “goldmine” of consumer information they are able to provide to business owners. Have emails of your current customers? Flowtown takes those emails and helps your business engage with each consumer. As in real life, engagement online is about the personal touch, and building each relationship as you would in real life, is key. Kelly Robertson from 6S Marketing raves on how Flowtown gave her the personal insight needed to reach out to specific users: “By targeting specific users with relevant content to one of the social networks we knew our readers were on, we obtained our highest ever open rate (67.1%) and click rate (31.5%). Both of which, were well over the industry averages (17.9% and 4.1% respectively).” Awesome!

NetProspex: Claim to be the key tool for B2Bs that want to communicate on a more personal level with their customers. This tool gives companies the ability to find the social profiles of their consumers and then leverage that information for their sales team to find the influencers among those customers. In addition, NetProspex lets companies buy or trade contacts to earn credits to find what the company needs from a vast user-contributed directory. According to KillerStartUps.com, “Netpropex would appear to have come up with a dynamic and workable model that should ensure that its database continues to grow and improve over time.”

Klout: This app has 750 partners utilizing the data it is able to retrieve. Want to know the “reach” a customer has in their twitter network?  Klout is the go-to app to determine how valuable each customer is and how they can impact your brand with what they say, tweet, etc. Note: an initial score is given when you go to the site, but an actual score is emailed later after you sign up and further calculations have been done. Thus, this is a great tool that helps companies identify their most influential customers in the social space in order to engage effectively.

Zuberance: A “word of mouth marketing platform” that allows you to find the perfect brand advocates for your company. Then you are able to utilize those advocates as brand ambassadors and hopefully to the benefit of your company and brand. Although there have been some reviewers who do not believe in Zuberance, others seem more objective and give consumers/brands the chance to judge for themselves.

Tweetdeck: Want a tool to stay in great touch with your consumers? Tweetdeck allows you to connect with consumers on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other platforms via one simple application. Tweetdeck also lets you organize your consumers in a simplistic way in order to reach out to people in a consistent, relevant, and easy-to-use format. Worried about missing a chance to be connected? You can access this on your desktop, browser, smartphone, and iPad! Engage away!

Hootsuite: A great social media dashboard for multiple accounts, which allows you to engage, monitor, and track the effectiveness of messages. In addition it has WordPress integration, ability to schedule tweets, and manage followers with ease. Shoutmeloud calls it the “ultimate twitter web client.” A great tool, which allows companies to reach their customers from anywhere such as via smartphone or iPad, which is important for a small business owner who is constantly on “the-go” as well as those who travel often.

How do you know which app is best to utilize? Watch a demo. Try it out. Experience it for yourself and tell us what you think. Like it? Love it? Hate it? Share!

Social Media and the Workplace

In my MBA Organizational Behavior course, we collected data on the use of social media in the workplace: If people use it, how often they use it, for what purpose, and if their workplace has policies for such use and how that impacts their views on that company.

Of the 45 people surveyed (in the 20 to 40 year old range):

- 100% have used social media

- 53% have access at work

- 42.5% use it for 10 to 30 minutes while 25% use it for over an hour while at work

- 64.5% for personal reasons, 35.5% just for a lunch break, while the rest use for actual work purposes such as managing and promoting the brand (Pie Chart of Results)

- 45% believe it boosts productivity versus 47% believe it reduces said productivity

In this survey group, it appeared those who did not have access were normally individuals working in a financial/investment firm where they are more likely to prohibit rather than limit/restrict use. The individuals which have social media policies at their workplace and limit (rather than prohibit) such usage, are understanding why such policies are in place because employees may abuse such use, there is a chance of liability, etc. However, some of these social media users feel there is a lack of trust from management when such limitations are placed upon their use. Where is the fine line between policies that prohibit and those that limit and still maintain employee trust and faith? Companies like IBM have a great policy which allows its employees to blog and use social media in order to inspire their innovation. Others are still trying to determine their policies, but just as any other tool in the workplace which can assist in profit, social media is another tool which can be used but management should provide training, lead by example, and trust employees to use these “tools” productively and with dutiful care.