How to Monitor Your Twitter Feed

22 02 2012

One of the best ways to know if Twitter and other social networks are working for you is to monitor your social media activity on a regular basis. Most of the monitoring tools are free and Dream Grow social media has done a great job of reviewing 48 social media monitoring tools. They have divided them into two groups. Group A are the services that Priit Kalas of Dream Grow uses regularly and Group B includes social media monitoring tools that he doesn’t use regularly but could be of interest to you.

Group A

seesmic 48 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools
Seesmic

Twitter account: seesmic
Seesmic is a suite of social media management and collaboration tools that provide everything to build their brands online. Seesmic has applications on every platform, including mobile, and a marketplace of third-party plugins. Seesmic gives you social media monitoring, updating and engaging in real time.

hootsuit 48 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools
HootSuite

Twitter account: HootSuite
Monitor and post to multiple social networks, including Facebook and Twitter. Create custom reports from over 30 individual report modules to share with clients and colleagues. Track brand sentiment, follower growth, plus incorporate Facebook Insights and Google analytics. Draft and schedule messages to send at a time your audience is most likely to be online. HootSuite has the dashboard for your iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry and Android.

postrank 48 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools
PostRank

Twitter account: postrank
Postrank has two tools. The PostRank Analytics (https://analytics.postrank.com/) gives you insight about your sites engagement scores and. Social engagement analytics covers over 20 of the top social networks. Find out who are your influencers, which content drives engagement, what posts are most impostant. And the best part is that you can also monitor your comperirors. You can connect PostRank with your Google Analytics to get even better results. PostRanks top ranked content (http://www.postrank.com/main) helps you to find most important blogs on any topic, use it to monitor your competition

socialmention 48 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools
Social Mention

Twitter account: socialmention
Social Mention is a social media search and analysis platform that aggregates user generated content into a single stream of information. It allows you to track and measure what people are saying about you, your company, a new product, or any topic across the web’s social media landscape in real-time. Social Mention monitors over one hundred social media sites.

socialpointer 48 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools
SocialPointer

Twitter account: socialpointer
SocialPointer is a real-time social media marketing platform for marketing agencies and individuals, It enables them to track, monitor and respond in real-time to relevant social mentions and user conversation. SocialPointer lets you monitor, listen, respond and engage.

socialseek 48 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools
SocialSeek

Twitter account: socialseek
Get all the latest tweets, news, videos, photos, and more on any topic you want in one place. There’s a Socialseek site for everything and you can even make your own. I found some of the news sources other tools missed.

twazzup 48 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools
Twazzup

Twitter account: twazzup
Twazzup is real-time news platform. It allows you to filter the news out of live Twitter content. It’s useful for understanding who are the influencers on a given topic and what are to trending sources.

twittercounter 48 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools
TwitterCounter

Twitter account: Twitter
Twitter Counter is the number one site to track your Twitter stats. Twitter Counter provides statistics of Twitter usage and tracks over 14 million users. Twitter Counter also offers a variety of widgets and buttons that people can add to their blogs, websites or social network profiles to show recent Twitter visitors and number of followers.

wildfire monitor 48 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools
Wildfire Social Media Monitor

Twitter account: wildfireapp
Measure your performance. Glean insights about the growth of your social media fanbase on the leading social networks. With daily tracking, you have visibility into growth trends small and large. Gauge your social media success against others in your industry by comparing your follower bases across the leading social networks. Alert system will inform you of meaningful trends and activity that’s relevant to your social presence.

Group B

addictomatic 48 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools
Addictomatic

Twitter account: addictomatic
Addictomatic searches the best live sites on the web for the latest news, blog posts, videos and images. It’s a tool to keep up with the hottest topics, perform ego searches and get info on what’s up, what’s now or what other people are feeding on. You can personalize your results dashboard and keep coming back to your personalized results dashboard for that search. News pages provide the latest headlines on topics such as entertainment, politics, shopping, sports and more.

blogpulse 48 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools
Blogpulse

Twitter account: blogpulse
BlogPulse is an automated trend discovery system for blogs. BlogPulse applies machine-learning and natural-language processing techniques to discover trends in the world of blogs. Different searches include basic, advanced, trend, URL and conversation tracker.

boardreader 48 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools
Boardreader

Twitter account: boardreader
BoardReader allows users to search multiple message boards simultaneously, allowing users to share information in a truly global sense. Boardreader is focused on creating the largest repository of searchable information for our users. Users can find answers to their questions from others who share similar interests. Our goal is to allow our users to search the “human to human” discussions that exist on the Internet.

boardtracker 48 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools
Boardtracker

Twitter account: BoardTracker
Discover the influencers, monitor and protect your brand and reputation, find and engage your customers and critics. BoardTracker is a forum search engine, message tracking and instant alerts system designed to provide relevant information while ensuring you never miss an important forum thread no matter where or when it is posted.

cotweet 48 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools
CoTweet

Twitter account: cotweet
Free version is for individuals and organizations that manage a small number of Twitter accounts and need only basic features to engage and manage their conversations. Free version includes scheduling, conversation history, email notifications containing your latest mentions, team collaboration tools and access to Twitter follower profiles.

facebook 48 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools
Facebook Search

Twitter account: facebook
Facebook search is notoriously bad and will not find much, but if you have nothing else to do then give it a shot. It relies heavily on your social graph so the results you get may not be meaningful for your target audience.

google alerts 48 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools
Google Alerts

Twitter account: Google
Google Alerts are email updates of the latest relevant Google results (blogs, news, etc.) based on your searches. Enter the topic you wish to monitor, then click preview to see the type of results you’ll receive. Some handy uses of Google Alerts include: monitoring a developing news story and keeping current on a competitor or industry.

google blog search 48 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools
Google Blog Search

Twitter account: Google
Whether you’re looking for Harry Potter reviews, political commentary, summer salad recipes or anything else, Blog Search enables you to find out what people are saying on any subject of your choice. Your results include all blogs. The blog index is continually updated, so you’ll always get the most accurate and up-to-date results.

google trends 48 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools
Google Trends

Twitter account: gtrendz
Trends allows you to compare search terms and websites. With Google Trends you can get insights into the traffic and geographic visitation patterns of websites or keywords. You can compare data for up to five websites and view related sites and top searches for each one.

howsociable 48 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools
HowSociable

Twitter account: howsociable
Free monitoring tool for measuring your brands or keywords using 32 social networking sites. HowSociable provides a simple way for you to begin measuring your brand’s visibility on the social web.

icerocket 48 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools
Icerocket

Twitter account: icerocket
Blog Tools, create your own Trend Graphs with the IceRocket Trend Tool. Enter keywords to see mentions trended over time. Trend Tool, enter items to see mentions trended over time. Enter up to five queries under Trend Terms. Type in the label you would like associated with each query under Display Labels. Search tool for blogs, web, Twitter, Facebook, news, and images.

klout 48 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools
Klout

Twitter account: klout
Klout’s mission is to help every individual understand and leverage their influence. Klout measures influence in Twitter to find the people the world listens to. It analyzes content to identify the top influencers.

mentionmap 48 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools
Mentionmap

Twitter account: asterisqdataviz
Explore your Twitter network. Discover which people interact the most and what they’re talking about. It’s also a great way to find relevant people to follow. The visualization runs right in your browser and displays data from Twitter. Mentionmap loads user’s tweets and finds the people and hashtags they talked about the most. In this data visualization, mentions become connections and discussions between multiple users emerge as clusters.

monitter 48 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools
Monitter

Twitter account: monitter
It’s a twitter monitor, it lets you monitor the twitter world for a set of keywords and watch what people are saying. Just type three words into the three search boxes and within seconds you’ll start seeing relevant tweets streaming live.

nutshellmail 48 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools
NutShellMail

Twitter account: NutshellMail
NutshellMail lets you organize, monitor, and interact with all your social networks from a consolidated email digest delivered directly to your favorite inbox on a schedule that you choose. Nutshellmail supports Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, MySpace, and Ning.

omgili 48 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools
Omgili

Twitter account: omgili
Omgili Buzz Graphs let you measure and compare the Buzz of any term. The Buzz is the percentage of the term out of the total number of discussions Omgili covered on a specific date.

quarkbase 48 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools
Quarkbase

Twitter account: quarkbase
You can find out how good a site is, get comprehensive website details, discover competitors and analyze them. One can call Quarkbase ‘whois on steroids’ or ‘imdb for websites’, which provides detailed website information like people, traffic, similar sites, social comments, description, social popularity and much more.

samepoint 48 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools
Samepoint

Twitter account: samepoint
SamePoint.com tracks millions of conversations, taking place across in blogs and social media sites. SamePoint converts discussions into web pages, or permalinks, and organizes them within a tag cloud. SamePoint can serve as the nexus where the conversations meet, providing a single place for all discussions on a specific topic.

sharedcount 48 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools
SharedCount

Twitter account: yahelc
Track your shares, likes, tweets, and more. Enter a web address of a page and find out how much it has been shared in different social networking and bookmarking sites. Currently includes Facebook, Twitter, Digg, LinkedIn, Google Buzz and StumbleUpon.

socialoomph 48 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools
SocialOomph

Twitter account: socialoomph
Schedule tweets, track keywords, extended Twitter profiles, save and reuse drafts, view @mentions and retweets, purge your DM inbox, personal status feed — your own tweet engine, unlimited accounts.

steprep 48 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools
StepRep

Twitter account: steprep
StepRep provides an overview of the conversations people are having about your business online. Anytime your business is mentioned, anywhere on the web, you’ll hear about it. Sources are scanned continuously to bring you the most complete and up-to-date data on how your business is perceived. The data is broken down and analyzed in reports that can help you target your marketing and increase your online customer engagement.

surchur 48 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools
Surchur

Twitter account: surchur
Surchur is the ultimate dashboard to right now. The surchmeter shows you how popular a keyword is on different sources: surchur, blogs and twitter.

technorati 48 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools
Technorati Blogsearch

Twitter account: technorati
Search Technorati and note the authority and rank of the blogs listed in the results. Authority measures the site’s standing and influence in the blogosphere. Rank shows what position this authority gives the site. It is not a very good tool for lesser known blogs as it misses a lot of great sites.

tinker 48 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools
Tinker

Twitter account: tinker
Tinker helps you stay on top of your favorite events by showing you the latest buzz from Twitter and across the social web. Create or follow an event stream by choosing a keyword. An event could be anything: the Oscars, a new iPhone release, a movie premiere, a book launch, or a Superbowl party. Tinker also lets you search for the top news, topics and places people are talking about.

tiptop 48 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools
TipTop

Twitter account: twittiptop
TipTop Search is a Twitter-based search engine that helps you discover the best and most current advice, opinions, answers for any search, and also real people to directly engage and share experiences with. A search on any topic reveals people’s emotions and experiences about it, as well as other concepts that they are discussing in connection with the original search.

topsy 48 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools
Topsy

Twitter account: topsy
Topsy is a real-time search engine. Topsy 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. Topsy’s algorithms identify influencers for any searchable criteria, using these influence calculations to rank results. It displays results for related terms and articles, trending topics, identifies experts (influencers) and shows you trackback pages for everything in its index.

trendistic 48 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools
Trendistic (formerly Twist)

Twitter account: trendistic
Trendistic allows you to track trends on Twitter, similarly to what Google Trends does for Google searches. It gathers tweets as they are posted, filters redundant ones and compiles the rest into one-hour intervals. This way, it shows how the frequency of one to four-word phrases fluctuate over time. The result is a visualization of what’s popular Twitter users. You can enter a phrase in the search box to see how its frequency varies over time, or several different topics separated by commas to see how they relate: try comparing “skype” and “microsoft”(http://trendistic.com/skype/microsoft), to see how powerful it can be.

tweetbeep 48 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools
TweetBeep

Twitter account: tweetbeep
Keep track of conversations that mention you, your products, your company, anything, with hourly updates. You can keep track of who’s tweeting your website or blog, even if they use a shortened URL, Great for online reputation management, catching all your @replies and @mentions.

tweetpsych 48 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools
TweetPsych

Twitter account: TweetPsych
TweetPsych uses linguistic analysis algorithms (RID and LIWC) to build a psychological profile of a person based on the content of their tweets. The service analyzes your last 1000 tweets. It works best on accounts that are operated by a single user and use Twitter in a conversational manner, rather than simply a content distribution platform. Created by Dan Zarrella.

tweetreach 48 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools
TweetReach

Twitter account: tweetreachapp
TweetReach measures the impact of social media conversations. Use it to understand how many people were reached by tweets about a topic on Twitter.

twendz 48 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools
Twendz

Twitter account: waggeneredstrom
The twendz Twitter-mining Web application uses the power of Twitter Search, highlighting conversation themes and sentiment of the tweets that talk about topics you are interested in. Using the twendz application gives a glimpse into what’s on people’s minds and their emotional reaction. Mining Twitter conversations alerts you to brewing trends, conversation topics and points of view.

twitalyzer 48 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools
Twitalyzer

Twitter account: Twitalyzer
Analytics for social relationships. Twitalyzer knows who is in your social network and where they live, allowing you to be more targeted in your outreach efforts. Twitalyzer provides Twitter’s most robust benchmark reporting, ranking Twitter users ten different ways. Authored by Eric T. Peterson author and blogger.

twitrratr 48 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools
Twitrratr

Twitter account: twitrratr
Twitrratr built a list of positive keywords and a list of negative keywords. It searches Twitter for a keyword and the results are cross-referenced against adjective lists, then displayed accordingly.

twitter grader 48 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools
Twitter Grader

Twitter account: grader
Twitter Grader lets you check the power of your Twitter profile compared to millions of other users that have been graded. Just enter your Twitter username and you’ll get an instant grade and report. It looks at a variety of factors including the number of followers, power of those followers and the level to which you are engaging the community.

twitter search 48 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools
Twitter Search

Twitter account: twitter
Use Twitter Search if you need to find out what’s happening in the world beyond your personal timeline. Twitter Search lets you search, filter, and otherwise interact with the volumes of news and information being transmitted to Twitter every second. Twitter Search helps you filter all the real-time information coursing through our service. Advanced Search allows you to create your queries using many advanced operators.

twitter stream graphs 48 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools
Twitter StreamGraphs

Twitter account: JeffClark
A StreamGraph is shown for the latest 1000 tweets which contain the search word. You can also enter a Twitter ID preceded by the ‘@’ symbol to see the latest tweets from that user.

twitturly 48 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools
Twitturly

Twitter account: twitturly
Twitturly tracks the URLs flying around the Twitterverse and provides a real-time view of what people are talking about on Twitter. When someone tweets a URL, Twitturly applies it as a vote for that URL. The more votes a URL has in the last 24 hours, the higher it ranks on Twitturly’s Top100.

whathashtag 48 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools
WhatHashtag

Twitter account: whathashtag
WhatHashtag is service that allows you to find the most used Twitter hashtags for the keywords you enter. Search for the keyword and you will automatically get the most popular hashtags used worldwide to discuss your topic. The result retrieves the last 1.000 tweets related to your keyword, and orders hashtags by frequency of use. Using WhatHashtag you will gain visibility when tweeting your opinions, being read beyond your followers in the most effective way.

whounfollowedme 48 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools
WhoUnfollowedMe

Twitter account: whounfollowedme
Who.unfollowed.me is a service that helps you track your unfollowers, in real time, without waiting for a DM, or email. It allows you to check your unfollowers on your schedule, every 15 minutes, without waiting for an email or a direct message.





Twitter Etiquette

4 01 2012

DeDe Watson lays out the Top Ten Twitter No-No’s:

Many people are just starting out in Social Media and have not had time to get acquainted with some of the most important rules and etiquette of Social Media. We think that when we join Twitter, we are going to have an EXPLOSION in business only to find out there is no easy way to do so. Twitter is simply a social media platform designed to give you the opportunity to gain visibility and make connections.

I have been involved with Social Media for about 4 years and am never surprised at what new spam and bad manners appear before me. There are obvious things that most people with common sense know is not allowed but there are also others that fall into those grey areas.

This is my top 10 list of things you do should not do on Twitter:

1.  Creating Drama on Twitter. Whether this ensues from becoming argumentative, or complaining about your life. Twitter is not for sharing your personal woes or becoming combative with other followers. Keep this offline as it will gain you a bad reputation and holds no positive value.

2.  Using Profanity in your profile or tweets. There really is no reason to use raunchy language unless you are trying to attract the same quality followers.

3.  Continually asking someone to follow you. There are many reasons that someone is not following you. Firstly, are you following them? I have had many people asking me for a follow that are not following me. What makes them so special? Also, perhaps they only follow those in their niche. If they are not following you, give them support by tweeting them and possibly they will recognize your value.

4.  Retweeting without checking out the list of people included in that tweet. Have you looked at their profile? Are they someone you would follow or want others to see you tweeting about? Be careful who you tweet!

5.  Being careless about whether you are direct messaging or tweeting. Be sure you are paying attention or you may tweet information that you are trying to keep private. It is not always possible to reverse what you have tweeted.

6.  Tweeting the same people too much. What is too much? If they stop responding, you will know. Some people love lots of attention and some are turned off by repetitive tweeting.

7.  Tweeting that you will have to unfollow them if they don’t follow you. It is their choice NOT to follow you. Sometimes they have overlooked you inadvertently and more often they just don’t want to follow you. Tweeting their content and building a relationship with them will gain their attention.

8   Over use of hashtags. It is so annoying to look at someone’s profile and see only hashtags with little description and no website address posted. Quality and content attract attention! Show everyone that you are someone they should follow and you will gain respect and followers! You should also not make your entire tweet a message of hashtags ##!

9   Overdosing in self-promotion. I tell people every day that succeeding on Twitter is about 80-90% promoting and supporting others and the rest you can allow for tweeting about your business. Too much about YOU becomes a negative and people will stop listening!

10  Don’t tweet your every move throughout the day. People really don’t care about your daily habits and lifestyle. Are you Kim Kardashian?? Okay, now you get my point. Keep it real, simple and professional! It is great to be friendly. Have a sense of humor, enthusiasm and passion in your tweets!





Want an Ice Cream Sandwich? New Android Unveiled

19 10 2011

From Jason O. Gilbert on the Huffington Post:

Summer may have ended, but Android users are getting ready for some Ice Cream Sandwich.

In a joint event in Hong Kong with Samsung announcing the Galaxy Nexus smartphone, Google also unveiled the newest update to its Android operating system: Android 4.0, code-name “Ice Cream Sandwich.”

“While people like Android, and while people need Android, people didn’t love Android,” said Android Director Matias Duarte while introducing the OS, which features an aesthetic overhaul to make it more visually pleasing overall.

Among the major changes coming to Ice Cream Sandwich are:

– A new font called “Roboto,” which is a semi-circular, more rounded font than usual.
– Home, back, menu and search buttons being moved onto the touchscreen, especially important as the Samsung Galaxy Nexus has no physical hardware buttons.
– General overhaul of the user interface. Expect much larger pictures for contacts, the ability to resize widgets on the homescreens, a favorites tray that is always visible at the bottom of the screen for quick launch of contacts, apps and webpages.
– The ability to swipe right or swipe left on any screen. Much like on Windows Mango, Android will now give users the option to swipe screens to the side to switch between panes.
– The ability to take screenshots by simultaneously pressing the power button and the home button.
– A new data usage view. In the settings, a data monitor will show how much data the user has eaten up in the month; this monitor will give the user an option to set a threshold where the user will be warned or where data will be shut off. It will also give the user the ability to view how much data each app is using over time, including in the foreground (while it’s running) or in the background (while any other app is running), giving the user the option to always turn off data for a given app while it runs in the background.\
– Camera from the lock screen. A camera button has been added to the lock screen for quick access.
– Easier photo sharing. Pictures can now be shared to any app, like Facebook, Google+ or Twitter, that hooks in to Android’s PhotoShare platform.
– Photo editing tools. After taking a picture, users will be able to crop, remove red eye and perform several other edits, including add Instagram-like filters to their photos (Android still currently lacks the Instagram app that is so popular on iOS)
– Native panorama photo-taking capability. The camera has the ability to instantly take seamless panorama shots.
– Timelapse video. Native to the video app will be a timelapse option to make super sped-up videos.
– Take photos while recording a video.
– Zoom while recording video.
– A new people app, which integrates the contact information from several social networks and aggregates updates from those networks into a single feed (also familiar to Mango users).
– “Quick Response” to phone calls. If you receive a phone call and don’t want to answer it, you don’t just have to ignore it anymore; you can send a canned response text message to the person telling them why you are busy.
– Android Beam. With NFC-enabled Android phones, two Android users will be able to share any content by simply pressing the backs of their phones together and pressing the “Beam” button.
-Face Unlock. There is an option to unlock the phone using facial recognition: If your phone recognizes your face, it unlocks; if the phone does not recognize your face, it stays unlocked. For what it’s worth, this technology did not work on stage, much to the presenter’s chagrin.

This big update to the Android platform will be available for users with Gingerbread devices on October 19 or soon thereafter, according to Engadget.

Check out the cool new features available on the upcoming Galaxy Nexus smartphone, and then look at many of the features detailed above in our slideshow:





LinkedIn Apply Button for Your Website

28 09 2011

Last July, LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network on the Internet, released a new plugin that enables job seekers to easily submit their LinkedIn profile for job opportunities on an employer’s website. It’s only been three months, but we’ve noticed that many businesses are not taking advantage of this button. And they should.

By clicking the new Apply with LinkedIn button on a company’s website, consumers and companies alike will be able to find more opportunities, candidates and insights that will ultimately help them land them their dream job or dream candidate.

“Apply with LinkedIn provides an easy way for job seekers to put their best foot forward when applying for new opportunities and demonstrates a confidence in their professional identity and brand which showcases their acquired skills, experiences and professional connections,” said Deep Nishar, SVP of products and user experience at LinkedIn. “Companies also gain access to one of the most qualified and coveted talent pools of more than 100 million LinkedIn professionals around the world.”

When job applicants click the Apply with LinkedIn button, they will have the opportunity to edit their profile before submitting or they can go directly to the one-click “Submit Application” button, which will automatically send the candidate’s public LinkedIn profile data to the employer or pre-populate the employer’s online employment application. Applicants receive immediate confirmation of their submission and will be prompted with professional connections that they can contact to increase their chances of getting hired at the company. Job candidates will also be able to manage any job submissions using the Apply with LinkedIn button when they go to their LinkedIn.com “Saved Jobs” tab to allow for added efficiency and organization in their job search.

Many companies are posting help wanted information on their websites, but neglecting to add the Apply plugin from LinkedIn. We’re not sure why because it’s free and it works. Try it!

The “Apply” with LinkedIn plugin can be downloaded here.





Biggest Facebook Fan Page Mistakes

17 08 2011

Brian Carter of AllFacebook.com clearly has his finger on the pulse of Facebook marketing. In fact, we’d even call him the guru of Facebook Pages.

This past spring, Carter delineated the top seven biggest Facebook fan page marketing mistakes. There’s a lot that businesses can learn from these mistakes. Here’s the list (drum roll please!):

Fan Page Mistake #1: Assuming People Go To Your Fan Page (Versus Seeing Your Posts In Their News Feed)

Most people, if they ever go to a fan page, only go there once. Some highly interactive pages get more visitors, and you can bring fans back to the page or to specific tabs with posts or ads, but usually fans see your page’s posts via their news feed.

One of the biggest surprises to me, in teaching Facebook marketing to many audiences, was that most business owners don’t understand how people use Facebook:

When you log on to Facebook, what you see is your news feed, and this is all Facebook is, to most people.

Your news feed doesn’t contain every post from all your friends or all the pages you’ve liked.

You can change your news feed to show more, or everything, or the most recent from everyone, but fewer than 10 to 20 percent of people do this.

If you have a Facebook page, all your fans do not see all your posts. The fans who have liked or comment on your page’s posts will see more of your posts.

If you’ve done a poor job getting people to interact, you may need to rehabilitate your fan base by paying for sponsored stories.

This is also a good reason to look at Facebook Groups, because every time any Group member posts or comments, everyone gets a notification.

Fan Page Mistake #2: Expecting Welcome Tabs To Get You Lots Of Fans

Reveal tabs, aka Fan Gates, are very popular. Some people think they possess magical powers. But they don’t help most businesses very much because:

For a welcome tab to get you fans, you have to get non-fans to go to your Facebook page, because only non-fans see the pre-like version of a fan gate.

If you have a website with a lot of traffic, you may get a significant number of people who do this by clicking on a Facebook icon from your website.
If you use a like box to get fans on your site, these new fans will never see your welcome tab.

If you get new targeted fans the cheapest way there is (via Facebook ads), most of these like the page by liking the ad, so they also never see the welcome tab.

See that big circular diagram from the last mistake? Notice how many fans go to the actual page? That’s the percentage of people likely to see your beautiful welcome tab. Actually, less, because once they’re fans, they’ll go straight to the Wall.

Fan Page Mistake #3: Overestimating Apps and Tabs

Some people also seem to think creating a Facebook app is a magical move that will create all kinds of buzz and engagement. While this may be true for big companies who can get mass media coverage for deploying a clever new app, for most companies this the long way around to less results.
The Facebook app’s fatal flaw is the ominous opt-in page that requires you to share your Facebook data with the App. I can’t find any authoritative percentage of how many people bounce away from that page, but anecdotally, I know the number is high. I only became more willing to allow once I knew where to go to remove App access from my account. But this extra step means at least 25 percent and maybe as many as 75 percent of people who go to try an app will not carry through with it.

What that means is- you spend all kinds of money and time programming a new app (and programming efforts, especially if you’ve never been involved in one, are always more money and time than you expected), and may come out with less results than if you just use the incredible tools Facebook has available.

Think about it, if 100 percent of users already interact with posts and pages and groups, won’t you have a better chance of getting engagement by using those, than by using a weird new app that they have to give up privacy to opt-in to?

Fan Page Mistake #4: No Budget For Ads To Acquire Fans

As discussed above, the cheapest way to get targeted fans for your page (fans who are likely to be good customers), is with Facebook ads. The power, depth and precision of the Facebook ad platform is unrivaled and historic. And you can get fans for anywhere from 1 cent to $1.50, depending on your niche and parameters. You can’t get email subscribers that cheap anywhere, and this is the same kind of owned media.

But so many companies go to ridiculous lengths to avoid spending money on ads, or they just don’t have ad spends in their paradigm. They use a ton of time on roundabout tactics that yield fewer and less qualified fans. They forget about the cost of the employee time required to do so. And then when their fans don’t produce a return on investment, hey wonder why. Well, because you went cheap and you didn’t get good prospects. That’s why.

Fan Page Mistake #5: Posting In A Self Centered Way, Not Trying To Get Likes And Comments

You’ve seen it on hundreds of corporate blogs: post after post about them, them, them, and few comments, if any. Comments from sycophantic employees who want their company to look good. You can see it on Facebook pages too: me, me, me posts, and very few likes and comments, especially compared to the fan base. Your actual active fan base is about 100 times the number of likes and comments you usually get. How does that compare to the number of fans you have?

You would think by now that everyone would understand the lessons of web 2.0; push and pull, conversational marketing, etc. But no. So many marketers have never learned to care about what their audience cares about. You can’t communicate effectively until you know your audience. You can’t get responses if you don’t ask for them. You can’t get enthusiasm until you stimulate it.

And if you don’t get responses, you become invisible.

Fan Page Mistake #6: Not Optimizing For Impressions And Feedback Rate

If you don’t have a metric for every stage of your marketing, you simply can’t optimize your tactics for that stage. Your goals for the fan page should include:

Visibility to as many of your fans as possible, calculated by dividing post impressions by your total fan base
Responsiveness to your posts, calculated by feedback rate, which is the total number of likes and comments divided by post impressions

If you aren’t getting at least a one percent feedback rate, you probably are missing the mark in connecting with the bulk of your audience. Think about what passions and interests your fan base has in common, and speak to those. If you used Facebook ads to grow your fan base, you should know exactly what interests comprise the bulk of your fans and which ones were most passionate (measured by ad CTR).

A couple of caveats: I haven’t seen pages with more than 100,000 fans get one percent feedback rates, but I also don’t see pages that size using best practices in post content. Also, for pages of any size, when you post blog posts or sales-focused discounts, the clicks to your website or blog aren’t counted in this feedback rate. In those cases, a lower feedback rate is acceptable, if you’re getting sales and ROI from your efforts.

Fan Page Mistake #7: Over-Selling and Hard-Selling Without Conversing Or Arousing Desire First

This is very similar to the “me, me, me” selfish mistake discussed in #5.

Think about the typical conference. There’s a reason they have a separate area for vendors: The selling approach doesn’t always jibe with the conversational focus of the main part of the conference. And similarly, a fan page is a bunch of fans who typically are fans of something besides your offering. What they’re fans of is related to your offering. You have to continue to fan the flames of desire around that passion. My rule of thumb is to engage, converse and stimulate four times as much as you sell. Go for 80 percent interaction, 20 percent selling. There’s a wisdom to this that goes beyond Facebook.

Why does Corona sell relaxation and the beach rather than just show people drinking beer? By reaching beyond features and benefits to sell the dream implied by the offering’s benefits, playing with follow-through, focusing on the vision beyond, companies knock the ball out of the park.

Conversely, companies that focus on themselves and selling immediately end up disappointed, much like the college freshman looking for a one night stand. Not knowing the value of romance, he ends up rejected and alone. There’s a reason why it’s called foreplay and there’s a reason that flowers are a billion dollar business.

Brian Carter is CEO of the Facebook Marketing Training Company, FanReach, a social media trainer, and Facebook consultant.





Small Businesses and Online Marketing

5 07 2011

American Express Open recently conducted a Small Business Search Marketing Survey for small businesses using online marketing. We found this survey from American Express Open very interesting. Here are some of the results from the survey that were reprinted in this month’s Costco Connection magazine:

More than half of small business owners say they need help with search engine marketing.

Fifty-six percent of small businesses who will spend on search or social media advertising in 2011 indicate they will need help with some aspect of the campaigns, according to the American Express OPEN Small Business Search Marketing Survey, a survey of small business owners utilizing some type of online marketing for their business. Despite their need for assistance, only 25 percent are using search engine marketing (SEM) tools to manage their campaigns.

Search engine campaign management is generally handled internally (73%), with almost half of respondents indicating that they do it themselves (47%). One-in-five (22%) indicated that they have a staff member that handles SEM in addition to other responsibilities.

Three-quarters of small businesses plan to add some form of online marketing in 2011. Roughly three-in-ten will add a company website (36%) or social media strategy (29%). About one-in-five plan to add search engine optimization strategies (23%), mass email campaigns (22%) or search advertising campaigns (16%).

The most common online marketing techniques currently being utilized by small businesses are a company website (86%) followed by social media (44%). One-in-five (21%) small businesses report they are utilizing search advertising.





Good Tech Support is Key

20 06 2011

When it comes to computer tech support, an individuals who is there with you and is a good listener is key. Calling an 800- number and getting routed to India is not going to help turn your day around. When your computer is down, so you are you. Access Computer Technology prides itself on our fast response time, free phone support, and the keen ability to listen to the client’s problems. Once we have listened, we won’t leave until we find a solution.

The following article struck a chord with us. It’s written by Jim Hillibish and it explains why good listeners and problem solvers are what you want to look for in good tech support.

A friend of mine wanted to reinstall his Internet service. He called the company’s tech support.

After waiting 22 minutes for them to answer, well, what’s the point?

Amazingly, the tech rep could not tell him how to install his company’s service. He passed my friend to the company that made his router. The Indian guy who barely spoke English was clueless and hung up.

No wonder product support ranks near the bottom on the Consumer Reports recent customer-service poll. Just about every company that deals with the public is in trouble here. Our expectation as customers is zero when we need help.

Another strange thing here is paid tech support. From what I hear from users, it’s no better than the freebie. The only difference is the meter’s running — $68 a call. They want your credit-card number before they don’t solve your problem.

There is a way around this, and it’s called the Internet. A lot of companies now offer knowledge bases to answer questions with no intervention by a human who is asleep at the phone. These can work well, but there’s one problem. If your computer is not working, how do you access it? OK, go to the library.

I’ve talked to tech-support reps who seem brain dead about their product. Those same knowledge bases, where you type in some keywords and get an answer, are what they use. If it’s not in the computer, these people don’t know it.

That’s a problem because diagnosing computer programs can be more difficult than, say, brain surgery. One thing always leads to another. People who cannot follow this chain will be blind to solutions.

If I may stereotype, a lot of these folks have problems communicating, especially when they are trying to translate English and look up answers at the same time.

Apparently, companies actually think all this is very smart. It saves gobs of money. They’re living for the present and seem oblivious to losing that customer in the future.

The solution is to only hire people who are good listeners, problem solvers and actually enjoy helping us. I know from long experience that’s a very rare creature in this business.

Reposted from Lake News Online