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!


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?




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. & Buffer Partner Up: Online Sharing News Made Easier 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 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 and Buffer come in…

Why + 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 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 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 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!


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.



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 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.



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. 

How to: Manage Social Media and Online Distractions

Are you like me? Are you on your Facebook, Twitter, email, and more, and still trying to do your work efficiently and productively? Tough, right? Digital media is both the angel and devil on your shoulder at times. But it does not mean you can’t throw that lasso around it and control your time rather than it sucking time away from you. How? Below are my ideas on how to stop wasting time, and have more time to breathe, work, and kick some butt in productivity.

1. Set aside time limits: If you constantly check your Facebook page, Twitter Feed, personal email, and more — it might be time for you to put some “dietary restrictions” on your online habit. For example, check your social stuff on the way to work (if you use public transportation), or the first few minutes while you drink your coffee and settle in, during lunch time, and/or before/after work. If social media is part of your job, avoid checking your personal stuff constantly, and focus on the brand you are working for. Keep the two separate if needed. For example, do you have a personal Twitteraccount and one for your brand? Use Hootsuite for one, and the Twitter page for the other or whatever suits your fancy for Twitter platforms. That way you aren’t constantly looking at your own when you should be working.


2. Anti-Social: Is #1 too hard? No self-restraint? You keep bingeing on Facebook? Have no fear, “there’s an app for that!” Anti-Social is an app that allows you to shut off your social life online while you do some work. You will not be able to go on Facebookor Twitter (or whatever else you specify) for the time you have chosen to shut them down. One glitch in the matrix, it is only available for Mac users. So for all of you who reach for the Facebook when you shouldn’t, this app may be just the ticket.


3. Turn your alerts off on your smartphone: Did you think you could sneak in a look on your Twitter feed on your phone and I wouldn’t notice? Tsk tsk! Instead of having your phone alert you every time you have a mention on Twitter or if someone posted on your Facebook wall, shut off these alerts while you’re at work. Too hard? Start easier. Put your phone on silent so you are less likely to notice when it buzzes or an alert comes through. It may be hard to go “cold turkey,” so start out light and figure out the right balance for your cravings.


4. Make Twitter lists & Limit News Feed: When you do go on Twitter or Facebook do you feel like you are spending so much time trying to catch up on all that has happened while you were away? Make Twitter lists so you can pay attention to what you want to hear about, and cut through the clutter faster. Seeing too many people on your Facebook news feed that you normally don’t pay attention to? Block them from showing up on your news feed, so you have the people and brands you actually care to hear from and see what’s the latest and greatest is on their end.


5. Consolidate: Too many social media platforms to check? Do you subscribe to all the “new and shiny” ones that come out? Consolidate! Lucky for us, there are great tools like Hootsuite, Seesmic, and Tweetdeck that allow you to listen and comment in one place for your social media desires. Want to post your status, do it all at once from one place to all your pages. Simple, easy, and efficient. Gotta love it.


6. Google Reader: Too many articles, blog posts, and news to keep up with? UseGoogle Reader to have it sitting and waiting for you in one place. Organize your RSS feeds so you can decide what you feel like keeping up with. Read it on the go, at home, or wherever. Why waste the time going to each website when it can come to you, all consolidated and easy to access, just for you?


Now that you know how to be more productive without sacrificing your social media and Internet addictions, ready, set, work! And when having issues with your “diet” just remember to be honest with yourself and set goals. Are you on Facebook for fun or business? Be respectful and mindful of your time. Do you feel better when you are productive and kick butt at work or waste your time checking your friends status updates? Be honest. Set Goals. And be productive.

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) Another cool service which has upgraded its already awesome offerings. In short, 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? 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 Small Busineses Who Do Facebook and Twitter Right

There are so many businesses throughout the country, often times the smaller ones are overshadowed by the larger ones. However, we cannot forget the little guys, the businesses who are kicking butt, but just aren’t all over our radar as Microsoft, Apple or Verizon may be. These small businesses are utilizing social media such asFacebook and Twitter to keep their target audiences well informed of their product/service and are showing it’s not about the deep pockets completely, it’s also  about the dedication and putting your all into a company/business you love and of course using the tools at your fingertips to reach your audience.

Here are five of my picks for small businesses utilizing Facebook and Twitter like they own it!

(1) Notch Session Beer: Founded by Chris Lohring of Salem, MA, Notch provides low ABV % beer for those who love a great tasting beer, without falling off their stool after drinking. Not only has Notch provided a killer tasting beer, but it has done a great job at going the extra mile with their social media resources. For example on Twitter, Notch does not just post about their beer constantly and ad nauseum. They provide fun facts, news, and invite their fans to in-person events to try the beer at local pubs (aka a “session”). Thus, Notch does a great job at utilizing Twitter to promote live events and engage audiences on and offline. In my opinion, Notch is just beginning, watch out folks, and don’t spill that beer!

2) Naked Pizza: A “natural” pizza offering with 10 grains and probiotics and more. Who knew pizza didn’t have to be all bad for you? That’s a great excuse to indulge in my opinion. And aside from the fabulous pizza, Naked Pizza has shown that social media can spread news like wildfire and arouse the awareness of both potential and current consumers. For example, when Naked Pizza was looking to open up in Dubai (spreading its wings), they decided to actually “talk” to people (in person and via social media such as Twitter) and get their thoughts and opinions on food and health. The idea of consumer involvement is not new, but it’s essential to the success of companies and their products/services. Consumers love to be involved and share their opinions and they will find a way to do it, even if you don’t give them that avenue personally. So, why not (like Naked Pizza) immerse yourselves with the consumers and find out what they really want. In the mean time, check out this cool video of how Naked Pizza did it via Twitter.

3) Coffee Groundz: A coffee shop that understood the awesomeness of free Wi-Fi and embracing tech and social like Facebook and Twitter. The coffee shop quickly became for social-media-aholics and the like due to the atmosphere, the culture, and of course, the coffee. This coffee shop does not just provide a great venue for drinking coffee, doing work, and catching up with friends, it also allows you to keep posted on what’s going on with the shop via Facebook and Twitter. For example (as seen below) they post events such as musicians who will be at the coffee shop. Like the Facebook page? Love that musician? Attend the event? Buy some coffee (or other yummy item)? I think that sounds like some fabulous Facebook ROI.


4) Roger Smith Hotel: The Roger Smith Hotel in midtown NYC is known for its devotion to the arts and embracing social media, and as of late become a go-to hotel for many social media VIPs and geeks alike. Why wouldn’t you want to stay at a hotel which embraces social media, has a great roof deck and a staff which is not just polite, but inviting, gracious, and off the charts engaging with each and every person who walks into the hotel (either in person or via Twitter,  Facebook etc). Not only do they useTwitter to interact, but there are special Twitter rates available for rooms. Awesome ROI and perks! I have also had the personal pleasure of meeting Adam Wallace, Director of Digital Marketing at Roger Smith, and can say without a doubt, that Adam, along with others at RS are dedicated to how social media touches each potential and current consumer, as well as in person. Have questions, hit up @rshotel and ask away.


5) Krista Photography: Krista, a Boston wedding photographer is not only delightful in person, but her photography is thrilling to view. She captures the emotion of every wedding, child, and special event in each individual photo. Impressive and breath-taking at the same time. And as a smart businesswoman she realizes the potential of utilizing social networks to show her photography, engage further with current clients who like seeing their pictures online, and illustrate to potential consumers that she is the photographer they want, and the pictures tell all. When looking on her Facebook Fan Page, you can see some great visuals of weddings, head shots, and more. Krista realizes that Facebook is not just for chatting with friends anymore, but a great tool to for her consumers to view, discuss, and comment on her work.


After delving into these intelligent and great businesses above and how they have dedicated themselves to utilizing social media to further their awareness, engagement, and conversion of people to customers I am inspired and look forward to seeing how these businesses continue to grow via their social media efforts. Now I have a desire to pick up a camera, grab a pizza, a beer, coffee, and chill on the roof deck of a great hotel.

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

Graphedge Offers Detailed Twitter Analytics and Follower Analysis [Product Review]

The company to keep on your radar: Graphedge. Why? They went live a year and a half ago and are providing great analytical tools for marketing agencies and marketing departments for brands across the nation. They have two tools that are great to have in your back pocket (and another one coming out soon), which can assist with Twitterfollowers (Graphedge Followers) and Twitter campaigns (Graphedge Pro). Want to know more? I had the pleasure of getting the inside scoop when I spoke with one of the awesome Graphedge peeps, and now I’ll share the scoop on their two products and how they can help you and your brand marketing.

Graphedge Followers:

Fun Fact: Was developed because of pain points consumers had regarding tracking Twitter for clients. Agencies wanted it, Graphedge made it.

  • Quick and simple sign up – Pay and you have the product.
  • Unlike other products which may just identify a Tweet and how far that Tweet went, Graphedge goes beyond the individual Tweet because that they believe tracking each  individual Tweet is futile and time consuming. Instead, they help agencies and brands look for a pattern. Graphedge Followers does an aggregate of all the Tweeting that you or your competitor (or whoever) has done recently and measures the metrics in response to those aggregate averages. Thus, it measures the engagements and correlates those numbers to actions you are taking. Basically, it goes beyond most free tracking products available.
  • This product also has the ability to track the lifespan of every individual follower.
  • Great to see who’s following you, dropping you, and why they are dropping you. Thus, you can see when you were dropped and can correlate with what was going on during that particular time span and see what went right/wrong in order to revise any marketing strategy if necessary.
  • In short, it helps to build a clearer picture of what’s going on in Twitter for you or your client, your brand, etc.

Graphedge Pro:

  • Sign up and Graphedge also works with each agency/brand in order to assist with the campaign they are working on. Hands on assistance in order to guide and execute.
  • The campaign product (in comparison to the Follower product) is in greater granular detail.
  • It captures every single Tweet in order to look and process. Thus it is not just about counting up Tweets, but goes deeper into the sentiment analysis of each Tweet.
  • Great for finding the influencers in your market and using them in your campaign efforts.
  • Find out how your company/client Tweets are spreading and what impact each Tweet is having.
  • In short, this product gets to the root of the analytics behind your Tweets and how you can revise, expand, and/or improve your campaign.
  • In the words of Graphedge — “The Campaign Tracking tool captures every tweet for a series of keywords. From this set of data we create metrics about the tweets, the users who tweeted them, their sentiment, when they tweeted, etc. For select clients we generate a credible  ”Estimated Impressions” metric, which clients use to calculate ROI and/or CPM. Emphasis on “credible”… competitors’ methodologies for generating these numbers are frequently dubious and/or opaque.”


Try out Graphedge for yourself, if you are an agency and/or marketing department for a brand that is looking for a unique and in-depth analysis tool for your or your client’sTwitter handle. And if you have tried it, share your experience and how you feel the product benefited you or could be better.


















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

10 Helpful Tools to Increase Productivity

Sometimes I feel that I am my own worst enemy when it comes to productivity. Spending a little too much time catching up with friends via email, Facebook andTwitter. Or too much time organizing myself instead of actually putting my ideas into action. I am sure many of you have your productivity vices as well. For all you social media pros out there who are so busy between Tweetups and networking and managing emails and Tweets for both your personal and professional brands, I have some tools to help you (and me) out! Keep reading for  a list of apps that can help you stop wasting that precious time, and make use of it more efficiently (because our time is valuable!)

1. Evernote: Ever think of a great idea for a blog post or business decision but don’t recall it the next day? I hate that! Well Evernote, is helpful in those situations because it helps you keep track of ideas whether you’re on the go or not. And luckily for us, it is available for Macs, Windows, iPhones, Androids, Blackberrys and more! My boss mentioned this tool to me and I had been meaning to check it out…she could not have been more right regarding taking notes and staying organized with Evernote. Two thumbs up!



2. Rapportive: Too many emails and social media connections to keep track of who they’re from? Rapportive allows you to see profiles and social network connections of anyone you are emailing with (in Gmail). Simple way to keep track of people and how they’re connected to you.


3. Yammer: Want a way for you and your coworkers to communicate regarding business objectives in a fun yet effective manner? Yammer allows for the simplicity of Facebook and Twitter, yet keeps things private for your work community only. Allows employees to share documents and files, as well as communicate directly with coworkers without the use of email. Nifty tool to keep up with coworkers and business ideas inside and outside of work.

4. Mystickies: Tired of bookmarks? “To put it simply, Mystickiesallows you to place little yellow squares of digital paper anywhere and everywhere you feel like in the whole wide web.” This is basically another way to keep track of what you want to go back to on the web later with fun “stickies.”


5. Tungle: Your schedule as hectic as mine? Worried about making meetings and double booking for lunch? Tungle integrates with your calendar and shows your availability to others so they can schedule meetings at your convenience. The work isn’t in your hands, and it eliminates the back-and-forth email communication involved with scheduling meetings.

6. Boomerang: In short a helpful add-on for Gmail which allows you to schedule emails for later. For example, you may want to send reminder emails to people regarding an event, product, service, or meeting — but not right away. Schedule them, and have Boomerang do it for you later.

7. Timely: Worried about wasting time tweeting out posts and not getting any engagement from your target market? Timely helps you figure out which times work best and when you can program auto-tweets for best response.

8. Mint: Don’t fret over money, Mint helps you stay organized and “fret less.” In short, Mint brings all your financial accounts together online, automatically categorizes your transactions, lets you set budgets & helps you achieve your savings.” Pretty awesome and way less time than an excel spreadsheet.


9. Manilla: Like Mint, this tools helps you manage money, BUT — it helps you manage all of your accounts and automatically pay online from ONE place. Therefore, rather than having a million accounts coming from email, mail, and different websites, Manilla provides a simple user-friendly platform to have a more efficient way to pay your bills, subscriptions, and keep track of points!


10. A simple way to have a meeting away from your office. You can share your screen or view someone else’s and see what they want to demonstrate and show you without being present in the conference room! My advice – add Skype when doing this!

Have other tools you love for productivity? Please share!

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) – 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, 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. 

How to: Start a Company Twitter Account

Is your company ready to Tweet? Well before you get started on the Tweets, hashtag usage, and great consumer engagement through the relationships you will build…and then here are the steps you need to take in order to take advantage of Twitter and all its greatness:

1) Twitter Handle: In my opinion, it is best to keep a Twitter handle as simple as possible, as close to your company name as possible, and without any numbers and/or dashes (if possible). Case in point: @carbonite and @zipcar. That way if someone is looking for your company handle on Twitter or via Google, it is easier to find, and easier to remember when people are Tweeting about you. As the old line goes, “keep it simple stupid.”

2) Profile Picture and Background: Use a picture that’s easy to recognize and coincides with your company’s brand image. Best to use your logo if possible or a variation of it. In addition your background is also great “retail space.” You can customize it to be very visual like @zipcar below or or keep it simple and to the point like @carbonite below. In addition you can use that space to add more info regarding your other links to your other platforms and/or blog(s).

3) Bio and Link: So you have 140 characters to work with for this concise and to-the-point bio of who your company is and why the consumer should care. Let’s take a look at @zipcar again — their bio says “A community of folks who’ve found out that car sharing beats the heck outta car rental or ownership. We’re tweeting from Zipcar HQ Mon-Fri 9am-5pm EST.” They keep it hip and simple just like their company culture exudes. You want to be consistent with your brand image and positioning as well as be creative with this “retail space.” I think @zipcar does a great job at this. They also include their web page in the web address portion – which is vital! The link you include should be the heart of your company’s content hub. You want to lead people to where you want them to go, so they can be converted from someone who is aware of your brand to a consumer who purchases and advocates for your brand.

4) Strategy: Now before you start following every random person you can find…think why you should follow them. Put together a strategy/plan for your investment in social media. It is not about random follows and robotic Tweets. It’s about reaching your target market and engaging with them on a deeper level. Social media, such as Twitterallows companies the capability to listen and respond to consumers in a real-time way which was not possible before. It gives consumers the personal attention they want from the brands they love.

Thus: (1) who is your target market, (2) where are they, (3) what are they talking about, and (4) how can you converse with them. Example: @carbonite would have looked at who they want to sell to and what they want to utilize their Twitter account for. As seen from their stream they talk to current consumers and assist with issues they may have, questions regarding the service @carbonite provides, offers they may have, as well as engaging on a personal level with each follower they have in order to demonstrate they aren’t just another brand on Twitter, but a brand who wants to fully engage with each person who follows them. Still unsure where to start and find the “right” followers? Try out Follower Wonk, which is a helpful tool for following “relevant” people for you. It allows you to find who is following your competition, and in turn you can follow them as well. Useful and easy to use!

Note: Another thing to keep in mind is if you want more than one handle for your company. Some companies such as @zappos have different accounts for different services in order to be more efficient with consumer response. Therefore you can have one handle for customer service, while another for finance issues, and another for the CEO (or a higher up) to Tweet from in order to show that the brand is personal and even the higher ups care about each and every consumer out there. In addition@zipcar has different handles for their different cities they are located in. Great for specific attention to your consumers. This can be great for efficiency as I said, but be sure that you have the manpower to handle each of these handles and do not leave consumers waiting. Twitter is in real time after all.

5) Lists: Helpful to create lists of categories that matter and a great way for your followers to follow those lists as well. Example: if you have different areas of function within your company such as @mashable who focuses on Tech, Social Media and many other things — they have different lists to correspond to those.

6) A few more tips:
  • Last few tweets: People pay attention to your last few Tweets especially when they are unsure whether to follow you. They may check to see if you are offering relevant content in your Tweets. So it can be useful to ensure that your Tweets are relevant to your industry and target market (as well as some not so serious ones thrown in to be more personal and fun).
  • Follow back: Do not be one of those that does not follow back. It’s so middle school.
  • ReTweet: ReTweet other people within your industry or target market. It’s not all about you.
  • Be Polite: Like in real life, a “thank you” goes a long way.
  • Do not Spam: I know when I get spammed by companies I either unfollow or block them. Spam = waste of time.
  • And avoid the common mistakes on Twitter that people easily make.

Wishing you had a helpful guide to keep at your side and familiarize your boss or yourself a bit more? Check out this Ebook: Twitter for Business 101. It’s not only free but super easy to follow and utilize for 101 guidance. Now….Ready, Set, Tweet!

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

How to: Connect Email Marketing and Social Media

Nowadays communication is about being at the fingertips of your consumers. Consumers want to find how they can reach you at the click of a mouse button. Whether it’s via email communication, social media, and/or both. Your place of business should make it as easy as possible for your consumers, so why not connect both together? Combine your mechanism for direct response with your organic communities. Therefore consumers can find, communicate, and engage with you how and when they want to. Thus, you’re not “pushing” yourself on them, you’re “pulling” them in. Awesome.

In addition, some people think that email is old school, while social networking is the “new black.” Truth is, you can leverage both in order to effectively manage your brand and increase engagement and ROI in the long run. Here are some great ways to get started…

1. Make your email more social: When you email your blog and/or newsletter subscribers, make sure your email message includes social sharing options. Leverage your email subscriber’s social networks. For example, if your email subscriber list is 10,000, each of those people may have 100 or so followers and 600 or so Facebook friends and another couple hundred LinkedIn connections, and so on. Therefore, your message’s potential social reach could be millions because of the connections your subscribers have. In short, social sharing buttons in your emails is a huge opportunity! Two tools to help you get started:

A. Constant Contact: A great email marketing service that allows you to include a share bar in your newsletter. Therefore, your subscribers (current and potential) can share what they’ve read in your email on their portals such as Facebook,Twitter, and/or LinkedIn. Word of mouth marketing about your service/product? Yes, please. You can try this service for Free up to 60 days and then subscribe for as low as $15/month with other options included.
B. Mail Chimp: Another great email marketing service which allows you to insert your social site icons in your newsletter/email/etc. Therefore subscribers can instantly click and go to your social platforms and engage in real-time and share with others too. Valuable and key to building relationships with your target market. Mail Chimp is free for up to 2000 subscribers and a send limit of 12,000 but you can have unlimited depending on the pricing plan you prefer.

2. Add sign-up options to your social sites: In order to reach out to more of your target market via email,  make sure your social sites such as Facebook, have a link to subscribe to your blog and/or receive a newsletter via email. Make sure this option is easy to find, and easily seen when new potential consumers visit your social site. In addition, if you have a blog and a newsletter, add a “sign up for our email newsletter” on your blog’s sidebar. Great use of ” social real estate”. TIP: Keep your sign up fields short and sweet. That way the target consumer will be more likely to take the 2 seconds to enter their email. Afterwards follow up with your sensational email marketing campaign which promotes your product/service. In addition, this allows your consumer to choose between receiving information via your Facebook page, their  inbox, or however your target market decides they would prefer to learn and keep up to date on what’s going on with your company. This prevents your company from pushing one mode of communication, and instead allowing the consumer to choose what they prefer. Pull them in!

3. Two tools that will rock your socks off:

A. AWeber: Allows you to instantly send a link to your Facebook page and Twitter account and share your newsletter with your followers and fans. That way new and potential target market consumers have a chance to subscribe and/or keep up with your “happenings” via the channel they prefer. First month sign up is for $1.00(normally $19.00/month for up to 500 subscribers).

B. Rapleaf: Takes a unique approach where they assist marketers in understanding “the social connectivity and influence of existing members in their online databases.” Each member has value and can spread the word positively or negatively. Staying on top of the influencers is key and Rapleaf can assist by customizing emails to each member of your audience. Personalized emails? Great way to engage on a higher level. Try out for free here.

Want more social contact management tools? Rapportive, Hoverme, and Gist help to connect the contacts you have from your email and find them on their social networks. Great tools and ways to engage and build relationships and utilize both email and social marketing together. Utilize this “social inbox” because every social media user has an email address for each of their social mdia platforms. In short, “email is the glue that ties social media together” and your company would be wise to make the two work together. To get started, feel free to check out my Toolkit for your convenience…

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. 



Five Influential Boston “Tweet” Hearts

Having lived in Boston for ten years now I have had the pleasure of meeting some amazing people in every field of business. Looking at the social media and marketing scene specifically — I have met many unbelievably talented people and I could make this list miles long, but I will save the novel for another time…

And since the well-loved/hated Hallmark holiday is around the corner…here are five KICKASS “Tweet” hearts for your drooling pleasure!

1) Tamsen McMahon: A gorgeous woman who the second I met, I knew I we were going to be friends for years to come. She is not only a delight to have a coffee (although she does not drink caffeine – major warning folks) with, but one of the most intelligent and inspiring women in digital marketing here in Boston. She spoke to my MBA social media class last Fall and every student raved about her presentation on the science of social media. Yes, the scientific method is not just for chem class folks — it is actually applicable to everything you do in social media marketing. Thankfully you don’t need safety goggles this time around. Want to know more about Tamsen – check our her work for Sametz Blackstone Associates or catch her Tweeting away via @tamadear…you will not be disappointed you “checked her out.”

2) Mike Troiano: A man I describe as a mix between the Sopranos and Mad Men. You may catch him with a Manhatten in hand after toiling away for many hours at the office of Holland-Mark (HM), but otherwise he is kickin’ ass and takin’ names as the digital man of HM. I admit, I had the pleasure of working with Mike, and I can say full-heartedly that it was one of the best learning experiences of my marketing career. Sssh dont’ tell  my profs of my MBA program, but Mike may have taught me more invaluable lessons than some of them did. A HBS alum, a previous ad guy, and now rockin’ the digital scene and preachin social media wherever he goes, he is a man who doesn’t just talk the talk, but walks the walk. Also found at @miketrap.

3) Janet Aronica: This young 24 year old, may be young in age, but she is wise on social media unlike most females I have met. She rocks the oneforty scene with her content strategy, marketing genius, and quirky personality that would make even the most pessimistic person crack a smile. She is a female who has come a long way in a short time and is not just a community manager…I think a new title must be made for her to truly show her unbelievable work for the startup. If you haven’t conversed with this young social media hottie yet, check her out on oneforty or @janetaronica before you miss out!

4) Alison Zarrella: When I met Alison, I almost did not recognize her because her Twitter avatar does not do this chica justice. She is not only hot (obviously), but she is a talented community manager, blogger, and now author. Did you know she co-wrote the Facebook Marketing book? If you haven’t you must pick a copy and peruse it because Facebook is not a fad, people. Neither is Twitter. But maybe I’m biased. This female rocks the social media scene in Boston helping out the Brand management of the company she works for with social strategy that is not only valuable but relevant to their target market. Aka, Alison is a Tweet heart to follow at @alison and in her many influential efforts to demonstrate she does not take her career lightly. She is passionate about it every step of the way.

5) David Gerzof: This gentleman is not only easy on the eyes (sorry he’s married, ladies), but he knows how important it is to teach students social media and how it impacts the life around them. Not only is David a social media professor at Emerson College, but he also runs Big Fish. Yes, another over achiever who likes to make sure he has no time to sit and take a breather. But hey, you may be able to catch him with a beer at a local Tweetup where he is not only easily approachable, but a pleasure to hang with. But if you cannot seem to find the time to catch him at Emerson or Big Fish or at the next local event, hit him up at @davidgerzof for a Tweet or two.

Hope you enjoyed drooling over these five amazing folks…I know I sure did!

5 Ways to Tie Social Media to Business Goals

Money is not only valuable, but vital to the success of each business operation. Companies attempt to cut costs and raise revenue in order to be successful. Social media can help! Social media is about the relationships we build and the ability to listen and communicate in real time. This is unbelievably resourceful to so many facets of a business operation including support, HR, PR, lead generation, and marketing research. Here’s how:
1. Customer Support: No company wants consumers to have tech/product/service issues, but it happens and should be dealt with as soon as possible. As much consumers do not want to wait on the phone for hours when they could be doing something better with their time, nor does a company want to spend extra money on phone support, especially when there’s an easier and cheaper solution (i.e. cut costs). For example, Twitter is a great resource for consumer support. Dell is a great example of using Twitter as a resource to their benefit. They have a specific Twitter handle, @dellcares,  just for consumer support, which allows consumers to reach them 24/7 with issues they may have. First, I must add a disclaimer — be sure your company can handle monitoring and answering questions on a timely basis, otherwise there may be backlash by consumers who do not receive a response to their Tweet. So, how can your company take advantage of this FREE platform for customer service?
a) Get a handle that is either for your company or specifically for support such as @dellcare
b) Monitor conversations going on about your company regarding complaints, issues, etc.
c) Circumvent issues to the right person (finance, tech, etc), which allows for a timely response and solution
d) Respond in real-time. Less waiting. Less frustration.
Then, you may just have a successful and reputable customer service which consumers rave about.

2. HR Recruiting: Is your office looking for some new blood? Why hire a staffing agency or recruiter to search for new hires, when you can do it in-house for less money? Twitter, Facebook. and LinkedIn to the rescue. How these 3 platforms can help? You can get the word out a lot faster on these social platforms. In addition, your employees can Tweet, share and/or post on their personal channels (if they are so inclined) in order to bolster the word of mouth that there are great job openings available for your place of business. For example, recently HubSpot Tweeted they were looking for developers and people (employees and followers) ReTweeted it like crazy! Great promotion for a job opening, and without breaking the bank.

3. PR: Thinking about hiring a PR agency to help your company? Hiring one can be a great idea especially for companies who have the funds to do so. PR agencies offer help with strategic messaging and consulting during crisis communication. However, for those looking to do PR in-house, social media can be a great asset to build relationships. Businesses can reach out directly to journalists and infuential bloggers through Twitter and other social channels. That way your company can build a relationship with these journalists and bloggers and maintain them over time. Or you can use this as a way to augment PR efforts, which is great, especially for smaller businesses. First step is to ensure a company Twitter account is up and running. Then utilize it to reach out to bloggers in your brand category as well as prominent journalists who you want to work with and reach out to. If you already have a social media department and/or community manager, this is a great item to add-on to their job description instead of hiring a consultant from the outside. Save the money, cut costs, and create more revenue!

4. Lead Generation: Instead of wasting money on buying a prospect list for Lead Gen, why not try some cheaper/easier social media tools for lead gen such as Twitter,Facebook, Follower Wonk and more. These tools are helpful to search quickly and efficiently regarding influencers in your brand category. You can compare stats and followers of these people to see who’s worth your while and who you’d rather pass up. Although buying a list may be quicker, these tools are less expensive and if you social media experts in your company at your disposal, why not give them more responsibility and have them assist with lead gen efforts?

5. Marketing Research: No company/business can afford to fall behind its competition. Competition can be cut-throat and your business has to be able to stay on top, rather than get “cut.” Marketing research is key in these efforts to stay ahead — in order to know what the consumers are saying, how they feel towards your brand, how they feel towards your competition, and what your competition is doing. It is not enough to know on a monthly or yearly basis anymore. Businesses need to know in real-time what’s going on so they can act accordingly. Luckily, there are many social media tools for competitive analysis. These apps along with the employees to oversee these channels are key in efficient and effective marketing research that stays ahead of the curve.

So, don’t be afraid to try something different — embrace social media, because nowadays businesses and consumers alike prefer things in real-time for a cheaper cost. Utilize it, Share it, Save Costs, and Increase Revenue!

Note: this was originally a post 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

How to: Find Great Social Media Events to Attend

In every town/city there are Tweetups, Meetups, and other great networking and social media events going on. Especially in the winter, when we are stuck inside due to the snow and/or bitter cold, it is great to get out and “meet up” with fellow social media friends (and new friends to be). But how do you discern the “awesome” events from the “not so awesome” ones? There are so many events sometimes, that it’s hard to choose, especially when they’re on the same night. Luckily for both you and me, there are some great ways to keep on top of what’s going on, when it’s going on, and who’s attending (great to know prior to an event) such and such event…

Plancast: Want to know what your friends have “planned” for this upcoming week? Well Plancast is awesome for that — it allows you to see what events your friends are “planning” to attend and the details of those events so you can “plan” to attend as well. You can also add your own plans so your friends can stay on top of what you’re doing and attend with you. Also a great way to promote an event you want a little more awareness for. Another useful part about Plancast is that you can search by category, whether it be big conferences like SXSW or local startup events, etc. Useful, free and simple to use.
Meetup: Great way to keep up with what’s going on in your neighborhood on a regular basis. If you sign up for a specific type of “meetup” – whether it be social media related or wine or sports, you can have alerts sent to your email when people post about upcoming meetups. It’s helpful that you can decide how often you would like these alerts. In addition, you can sign up for however many meetups as you would like and/or set up your own if you don’t see one there that you want. New to the area? This is great for meeting new people and getting involved in your social media community. And what I think is super cool – is that it will show you events that are “trending” in your area (see below). Free to use.
Eventbrite: A kickass tool for finding, sharing, and planning events whether in your neighborhood or nationally. Great to see what your friends are attending, sharing events on Facebook and Twitter (whether you can attend or not) and seeing what’s the hottest event in your local neighborhood. Going on a business trip but need ideas of what to do in the evening? Use Eventbrite to see what’s going on and sign up for events while you’re away too. And if you decide to plan a local event, it has a great interface that’s easy to use, compatible to share on Facebook for a Facebook event invite, and great analytics to see what’s going on behind the scenes with attendees and tickets. p.s. Free.
Foursquare: You’re downtown and can’t decide which event to go to? See where your friends have “checked-in” and which event they decided to attend. A great way to meet up with your friends at events and/or see who’s attending which event. This is also useful for those who do not necessarily like to attend events solo and would love a friend or two to hang out with while mingling and meeting new friends. Free to use!
 Facebook and Twitter: You’re most likely already on these two sites, so you don’t even need to sign up. I find that I hear about events I want to attend through my friends on both of these platforms. A friend is usually Tweeting about an event they plan to attend and/or sharing a link on Facebook to the Eventbrite or Plancast event page. Useful for both local events that are happening each week and/or national events such as conferences. You can set up a search on Twitter for specific events too. Example if you want to be kept on top of everything happening around a certain conference, like SXSW, do it up. And/or make a list of your local friends so you can keep tabs on what events they’re attending. One word: Awesome.
Another thing to keep in mind is that there are people in your social community that are Tweeting and Blogging and Sharing events on a regular basis. For example in Boston we have people like Tom O’Keefe (@BostonTweet) who shares everything and anything going on around the city from free ice cream to events. In addition we have Joselin Mane (@bostontweetup) who shares events on his website and Twitter handle regarding conferences, Tweetups, networking events, and more. Great way to keep up with what’s going on in your local community, because these guys make sure you know by making it simple and easy for you. As in Boston, I am sure each city and town has people like Tom and Joselin who share event info for your convenience. How to find them? Twitter is definitely one way.

What about once you’re at an event? Or after? My recommendation (if you’re shy) is to go with a friend so you can move around the room together. Don’t have a friend to go with you? See who’s going from the attendee list. Found a person you’re excited to meet? Most likely their Twitter handle was shared on the registration page, and you can Tweet them to say you’re looking forward to meeting them. Then when you get there, you have someone to talk to right away and can ease into the mingling with others. In addition, don’t forget to follow-up after the event whether via Twitter,Facebook, LinkedIn, email, etc. Building relationships takes work, and the networking events are just one part of this process.

Note: This post was originally written for oneforty.