Hidden Facebook Tricks

9 11 2012

We loved this article about the five best hidden Facebook tricks from Aaron Couch over at MakeUseOf.com. With Facebook’s platform changing so frequently it’s hard to keep up with all the ins and outs of the killer app of the social media era. Thanks Aaron for revealing some great tips and tricks. Here’s what he has to say:

How much do you use Facebook? Every day? Would you consider yourself an expert? It’s true that we do spend a lot of time on Facebook, but surprisingly, a lot of users still don’t completely take advantage of all the features it has to offer.

Facebook-Tips
To help you make the most of your Facebook experience, I’m going to go into depth explaining the best hidden Facebook tricks currently available, such as forwarding messages, organizing contacts in lists, viewing your profile the way another contact sees it, joining and using groups specifically made for your college and its students, and controlling who sees what you’re tagged in by your friends.

Message Forwarding
The simple way to share messages between different parties is copy and paste. Right? Maybe not. Conversations can be difficult to select in the right place. It also can be quite tedious whenever you want to quickly edit the conversation so that it’s easy to read and follow. Thankfully, Facebook has addressed the issue with message forwarding, allowing you to easily share any part of a conversation.

The process is simple. With the desired conversation open, click “Actions” and then “Forward…”

You’ll be prompted to select which messages you would like to send. Do this by checking the boxes next to each message. Click the blue “Forward” button in the yellow banner at the top and send your message to anyone you desire. You can also add your own comments to the conversation as seen in the image below.
It is important to note that you should always get the permission from the other friend whose messages you’re forwarding. It’s the courteous thing to do.

Contact Lists
As you may already know, Facebook has a “lists” feature, which allows you to sort contacts, or do you? If you do know about the feature, do you use it? A quick survey I conducted with 104 people resulted in 72 percent not using this feature. 10 percent said they use only the lists provided by Facebook to organize their friends and 17 percent said they use the provided lists and also make some of their own. Only 27 percent of those who were surveyed are using Facebook lists. That seems quite low to me. However, with that said, Facebook doesn’t make it very simple to organize your contacts, nor do they really explain the benefits of doing so.

I’ll quickly explain the benefit that Facebook lists can be. If you’re at all like me, you probably have connections from several aspects of your life – work, school, family, different organizations, church, friends and people you’ve met through your friends. At the very least, it’s nice to know how those people fit into your life. Sure you may think you can remember them all, but once in a while we all run across someone in our newsfeed that we have to stop and ask ourselves “Who is this person again?” That alone should be reason enough to organize your contacts.

However, you can also create specific newsfeeds for certain people or topics, instead of just seeing everything. Probably the most useful trick with lists, though, is the ability to filter out posts and direct them to certain categories of friends. This can be helpful if you don’t want to annoy fellow co-workers with the vast amount of YouTube videos that you made and posted on your profile for your close friends to see.

This is a good time to quickly point out that you should never post anything on the Internet that you don’t want everyone to see. That doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t direct it to specific audiences, but save yourself some embarrassment and don’t post about that crazy party last night and call in sick on the same day — even if the post is “hidden” from your boss and co-workers. Remember those mutual friends of yours and your boss’s that were tagged in your post? Busted.

To create a Facebook contact list, click on “Friends” on the left sidebar. You’ll likely see some lists already there — those are the ones Facebook has provided for you. The lists include places you’ve worked, gone to school, family, close friends and acquaintances, to name a few. This is a good place to start, but if you want to make a custom list of your own you can click the button “Create List.” Then just name the list and add the people you want.

Even if you don’t want to go back through all your contacts to add them to lists right now, be sure to start with the new contacts that you acquire and immediately add them to a list. This ensures that you don’t forget any newly added ones as you begin your Facebook list adventure.

Profile “View As…”
Ever wonder what your profile looks like to the public eye or even a specific person? The “View As…” feature allows you to do just that. Beneath the bottom right corner of your cover photo, there is a small gear-shaped button (also next to the “Activity Log” button). When clicked, a menu with the option to see your profile how others see it drops down. Click “View As…” and you’ll see your profile change in appearance.
This is also a nice security feature to see just how much the public sees on your profile. You may end up wanting to change a thing or two that you didn’t know were visible to the public eye.

College-Specific Groups
Remember back when Facebook was only for college students and you needed an EDU email address to even use it? So, what ever happened to that?

Once Facebook opened to the public, all that college student exclusivity vanished. That feature is now back though with even more features and uses to make your college and Facebook experience even better. To see if your college or university group has already been created on Facebook, go to Groups for Schools.

Facebook will automatically detect what college group you belong in based on your EDU email address that you’ve registered with Facebook. To do this, simply add it to your contact information and Facebook will take care of the rest. In these groups, there are endless possibilities to interact with fellow students. It’s a great way to meet fellow students who may share the same interests, which is often hard to do at large universities.

Controlling Posts You’re Tagged In
No! Your friends did it again! They tagged you in that horrendous photo. Needless to say, this happens all the time. In fact, I’ve even done it as a prank to a friend because I knew they didn’t have this feature enabled. So how can you control tagging?

First off, always be aware of where you go in person. I’m referring to real life here. If you think what you’re doing may end up on Facebook and you aren’t sure all your contacts would approve, maybe you should think twice.

But let’s say you just want a little more control over what shows up on your profile. Personally, this is a big issue for me as I don’t have an Internet-enabled phone so I can’t promptly access Facebook. There are a few features that allow you to approve what posts are submitted to your profile by others and which ones aren’t.

Just like any other of the privacy and security settings, which I highly recommend you familiarize yourself with, the tagging controls are accessed through “Privacy Settings” in the drop down menu of the top right corner of the page. Once you’re there, select custom and then click the “Edit Settings” link under the “Timeline and Tagging” section.

The window features several settings to adjust how others interact with you on Facebook publicly. On the third line, you can turn on the option to review posts that friends tag you in prior to it appearing on your timeline.

You can also set the option to review tags that friends set to your own posts and also who can see posts that you’ve been tagged in as well as just any posts that friends post on your profile.

Something important to note is that these settings can be much more beneficial if you also have your friends categorized into lists. This is because if you do want to customize the settings beyond all of your friends seeing posts or being able to post, you can allow or prevent specific lists of friends from being able to interact with you publicly.

Conclusion
As Facebook continues to grow, so do its features. Currently, I see these as the most helpful features at the time, but if you feel there is one (or more) that I missed, let us know in the comments below how you use it to improve your Facebook experience. What is the most useful Facebook feature for you? Also, check out our free PDF manual “The Very Unofficial Facebook Privacy Manual” by Angela.





Putting Social Media to Work in the Health Care Industry

20 07 2012

Guest post by Atara Lakritz, an intern in Access Computer’s summer internship program

Facebook is expected to pass the 1 billion user mark by mid-August of this year (the 12th, to be exact). Twitter users hit 100 million active users earlier this year. With each passing day, social media websites of all kinds are only gaining in popularity. Those users will always seek medical advice in one form or another.

Especially in the US, the doctor-patient relationship is of pressing value. So why not utilize social media to further the influence and important role doctors play in the lives of their patients? Access Computer specializes in social media marketing for Metro Detroit’s local medical community. While many physicians and dentists once thought Facebook and Twitter wouldn’t be able to help their practices, they now see the light. Contact Access today to learn how social media can help your medical or dental practice.

I recently read an interesting article about how more doctors are taking advantage of social media. Pamela Lewis Dolan at amednews writes:

Through social media, physicians can gain insight into what patients are willing to do to improve their health and what obstacles stand in their way, Kevin Abramson said in the PwC report. He is director of marketing planning for OptumHealth, a health management solutions company that is a subsidiary of UnitedHealth Group.

Chris Keating, a physical therapist who manages social media activities for Strive Physical Therapy and Sports Rehabilitation in New Jersey, said Strive’s social media activities give him an outlet to find out what services and events interest people. When he posts photos of an event Strive held in the community, he’ll ask Facebook followers what events, such as screenings for certain medical conditions, they would like to see. It’s a way to get the information you want in a conversational way, he said.

61% of patients say they trust information posted by physicians on social media.
Jessica Logan, social media and online content specialist for the University of California, San Diego Health Sciences marketing and communications department, said she sees a lot of trends developing on Twitter that could indicate a need in the community. For example, she said she has seen a lot of discussion on ulcerative colitis. From a social media content perspective, she knows the community could benefit from her posting more information about that topic. From a business perspective, the conversations could help guide product or service development efforts.

Although a small physician practice might not have the manpower to manage social media efforts, they are at an advantage when it comes to acting on information due to the smaller number of people making decisions. While it would be difficult for a large institution like UC San Diego to institute a program or specialized service immediately, a small practice has that flexibility.

Jason Hwang, MD, an internist and executive director of health care at the Innosight Institute, a San Francisco-based research organization focusing on education and health care, said social media could provide a new way of tracking population health. Tracking health trends is becoming increasingly popular, as many practices move toward medical home and shared savings models. It also could identify “hot spots” for disease outbreaks.

“A hospital or health system could engage social media to see what their patients are talking about and subsequently target those hot spots with certain therapies or interventions,” he said.

Improve customer service
How a physician practice or hospital responds to negative comments and complaints can carry equal or more weight than positive consumer engagement, according to the PwC report. Unlike customer service issues brought to a practice’s attention in a survey, complaints made on social media can be addressed — and often remedied — immediately, because there is an outlet for a dialogue.

Even though specific details should be kept offline, practices can respond in public with an apology and offer to correct the situation so that others can see action being taken. Logan said when other social media users see that a problem is being handled right away, they come to realize that customer service is taken seriously. It also gives the practice a chance to know about situations immediately so they are remedied and not exacerbated by an upset patient.

Gather feedback on medications
Jared Rhoads, senior research analyst with CSC’s Global Institute for Emerging Healthcare Practices, said feedback on therapies is one of the most valuable uses for social media — and possibly one of the easiest to facilitate.

“If 10,000 people start talking about a side effect of a drug, it won’t be that hard to find that out,” he said.

Trends on Twitter sometimes indicate medical needs in the community. Monitoring Twitter buzz surrounding a certain drug, for example, would offer great insight into how patients are reacting to it. Not only is information on side effects useful, but information on therapies that are working well is valuable to physicians, he said. There may be insight about a therapy the physician hasn’t tried, or an alternative therapy he learns about through patient interactions on social media.”

As the social media explosion continues, an increasing number of medical professionals will look to the social networks of Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus to help them communicate with patience and bolster their practices.





Facebook For Small Businesses

23 05 2012

Here’s a great post from Jason Mollica on the Social Fresh blog about how Facebook can help small businesses:

We’ve all heard that social media can help grow your business and brand, financially.

But say you are a Mom and Pop coffee shop in a small town.

Why would you want to use Facebook?

Why NOT?!
Small town businesses can use social media to grow their customer base. I work with these types of businesses and their owners often do not see the connection between social and more foot traffic.
Let’s be honest, there are still many businesses that recoil when they hear the words Facebook and Twitter.

These five tips can be effective when talking to any small business. What can social media do for them?

1. Helps a business re-think their marketing strategies

While advertising in a local newspaper is great, you are only reaching a small portion of your audience.
For example, you could spend upwards of $1,000 for just a half-page ad. Take the money you would spend in print and go global.
Granted small businesses may not have the money to hire a full-time social media manager. They could, however, be looking for a consultant to offer assistance.
Take Sweet Sixteen Cafe in Lockport, N.Y. They have a simple, but effective website and use their Facebook page to entice customers to come into the store.

2. Recommend a YouTube or Flickr page

I recently worked with a tourism group to allocate funds from unnecessary advertising into the purchase of a small HD video camera and a digital camera.
This allowed the group to take photos and video without spending thousands. It helped generate more business for the town and encouraged additional tourism dollars.
We established a YouTube page and will be putting more photos on Flickr. Giving potential visitors and customers an idea of who you are and what you stand for is key to personalizing the experience.
Who wouldn’t want to see a video of what your the area looks like during the holidays or showing a smiling customer enjoying something in your store?
If you keep at it, Youtube can also be a great search opportunity, helping potential customers find your business in a visual and engaging way.

3. Understanding the changing business climate can save money AND business

Not only do you need to understand what you are telling your clients, you need to understand their business.
We can tell prospective and current clients how the tools work, but if we don’t know how they will be effective for their business, what’s the point? In this economic climate, there is plenty of uncertainty.
We need to provide examples of certainty. The money saved now, can go a long way to turning a profit, as Lake Effect Ice Cream in Lockport, N.Y. has shown.

4. Give your business a personality

I have a small boutique inn as a client. You could read all the great amenities that they have on a website, but it has been Facebook that has allowed us to explain who they are and how they treat their customers.
Their followers regularly interact with them now, even telling them when they plan to come back. When a guest stays with them, they often mention how they feel part of the “Brookins experience” because of how the inn “talks” to them on Facebook. The return guest rate has gone up to nearly 95%.

5. Most importantly… it’s a perfect customer service tool

If that’s the one thing you can stress the most, do it. Businesses want to make sure their current customers are taken care of. Mom and Pop type-businesses aren’t any different. As a matter of fact, it probably means more.
Exceptional social media customer service, to go along with terrific in-person service, will go a long way to building social capital AND business success.
What are some tips you give small businesses for social success?

 Image source: BigStock.com Shopping carts and shoppers





Bringing In Customers With Foursquare

14 05 2012

Foursquare, the location-based sharing application for smartphones, has broken out of early-adopter limbo and is beginning its gradual ascension into the mainstream. While offering incentives for repeat business may not sound like the newest idea on the block, the social sharing aspect of Foursquare, especially with its connections to Twitter and Facebook, make engagement with the service all the more encouraging. Phil Gerbyshak has an excellent article detailing some ways to essentially turn your customers into your own personal street-marketing team. If you’re unfamiliar with Foursquare, check out this video below. For the enlightened, hit the article after the jump.

Sound interesting, but don’t have the time to maintain the page? Give us a call at 248-535-7090, and let us do all the heavy lifting for you.

Foursquare: An Introduction

If your business has a physical location, you should click over to Foursquare.com and register. Do a search for the name of your business first, one of your customers may have already put it in the system. If so, on the right-hand side of the screen is a link for you to claim the business as the manager. Follow the instructions for claiming the venue.

When you are done Foursquare will mail you a window cling that you can put on your door or window to let your customers know that you are a Foursquare participating venue. But don’t stop there! You can get creative with more calls to action inside your business and through some staff training.

First, sign in to your Foursquare account and go to your venue.

Attract new customers

Click on “Manager Tools”, in the top-right corner, then “Start a Campaign at this Venue” (the big green button). On the next screen click the green button again to create your special. There are an assortment of choices, and this is where you can get creative:

  • Swarm Special Like, “If 30 people check in at once, get 25 cent wings”
  • Friends Special Like, “Check in with 3 friends and get a free dessert”
  • Flash Special Like, “The first 10 people that check in after 8pm get 25% off their order”
  • Newbie Special Like, “Get a free cupcake on your first check-in”
  • Check-in Special Like, “Get a free appetizer when you check in”

Reward existing customers

  • Loyalty Special Like, “Get a free cookie every 3rd check-in”
  • Mayor Special Like, “Mayor gets 20% off their entire bill”

Here are some more sample ideas:

Use the “Print Flyers” feature for your employees so that they can become familiar with the Specials, and what the smartphone screen should look like when a customer “unlocks” the special for redemption. You employees should be encouraged to spread the word about your Foursquare presence in their interactions with your customers. You can also print flyers to display for the customers, though they are not specific to the promotion that you are running. You will want to create your own.

Add the Specials to your collateral. Whether it is a restaurant menu, a brochure, or an ad on a map or in a newspaper (yes, newspaper advertising still works for small business in small towns) you should tell your customers that you are on Foursquare, at the very least. If you plan to have some long-term Specials, for Mayors or for Loyalty campaigns, you can keep these with your usual ad copy.

Cross-promotion on Twitter and Facebook. Share your “Attract New Customers” Specials on your other social media channels, especially if you can encourage people to share them with their friends. This can work particularly well with the Friends or Flash specials.

Hide “Easter Eggs” in your products or billing statements. Print out a mini-flyer describing your Foursquare specials and hide them inside books, packaging, or include them with correspondence to your customers. Remind them that when they visit your store they are eligible for special rewards when they Check In on Foursquare.

Introduce your customers to each other. Add a “Recent Foursquare Check-ins” feature to your e-mail newsletter (you do have a newsletter, don’t you?). On your “Manager Tools” page there is a list of Top and Most Recent Check-ins that you can copy-and-paste right into your newsletter – with links to those users’ profiles! (You will have to do a little editing…) Encourage your readers to connect with each other, and remember that you should be connecting with your customers as well.





Facebook Timeline Is Now Part of Facebook Pages

1 03 2012

Today was the big day that Facebook rolled out its Timeline for all of its Facebook pages. Not sure how to set this up with a nice long cover photo? You can try it yourself or have the team at Access Social Media set up a great looking page for you. Contact us at 248-535-7090.

In the meantime, here’s a great article on the changeover by Angela West at PC World:

Facebook today introduced a major revamp for business pages that gives you more control over the look and feel of your company’s page. The new page layout helps you interact more easily with your Facebook fans, enabling enhanced graphics, the capability to feature posts, and private messages with fans.

Most Facebook users are familiar with the new Timeline layout. Not only does it organize status updates onto a timeline, making it easy to call up a Facebook user’s posts by month and year, but the Facebook experience becomes much more visual, with larger and more clearly displayed photos.

Here are the key features, and how to get your company ready for the Facebook-wide rollout on March 30.

Red Bull's Facebook page, with Timeline Red Bull’s Facebook page, with TimelineUpload New Cover and Profile Photos

To get started with the new design, upload a cover photo to showcase your brand. If you have the budget, hire a graphic designer to do something special. Facebook states that the ideal size is 851 by 315 pixels if you want to give it a go yourself. Just click on “Add a Cover” near the top-left of your Facebook page, and choose “Upload Photo”.

The profile photo is the smaller image that appears beside all of your status updates, as a box within your larger cover photo. This is an ideal spot for a logo (as in Red Bull’s example, above), about 180 by 180 pixels. If you already have a page, your existing profile picture will be here, but you may want to move or resize it. To change the profile photo, hover your mouse over it and click “Edit Profile Picture”.

View the New ‘About’ Section

The Activity Log brings more control to what's posted on your page.The Activity Log brings more control to what’s posted on your page.The section that used to be buried in the “Info” tab on your company page is now front and center along its very top, so consider rewriting it to show it off. Keep it short and to the point; think mission statement rather than an entire company biography.

Control How Posts Are Displayed

With Timeline, you can pin a post to the top of your Facebook page for up to seven days to highlight popular or relevant content. You can also change post dates, which will help you bump up posts that you want to keep at the top of the page.

You can “star” a post to feature it more prominently, increasing the size of the post to take up the full width of your Facebook page. This means you want to pay a little more attention to photos that may end up on your Facebook page; you’ll want to take them at a minimum width of 851 pixels so they can be featured as part of a “starred” post without pixelating.

Add Company Milestones

The new Admin Panel organizes notifications, messages and stats in one place. The new Admin Panel organizes notifications, messages and stats in one place.You’ll be able to create company milestones on your Timeline, which gives you an easy way to translate company history to Facebook. You can also feature events like new store openings and product launches.

Control Posts on the Activity Log

Facebook’s new Activity Log will let you manage your posts. This administration panel lets you hide and reveal posts, “star” posts to feature them, and change post dates.

Admin Panel Shows Stats and Activity

The new Admin Panel features private messages from Facebook users to your company, which removes complex customer issues and complaints from your public Facebook wall and puts them in your inbox, where they belong.

The Notifications tab keeps your notifications about likes and comments in one place, which will allow most company page admins to turn off the notifications filling up their email inboxes.

Friend Activity is posted near the top of the company page. Friend Activity is posted near the top of the company page.Insights is Facebook’s own analytics tool, which tells you who’s talking about your company page through “Talking About This,” and how many people the conversations are reaching through “Reach”. While Insights isn’t new, its integration with the Admin Panel makes it more accessible.

Track Friend Activity

When people visit your page, they’ll be able to see their friends’ interactions with your company near the top of your company page. This gives a more personal feel to those visiting your page, and builds trust in your brand. The only downside is that a negative mention from a visitor’s Facebook friend is also likely to show up here.

When to Take Action

All business pages will be upgraded to the new layout automatically on March 30. To see what your new page will look like, click the preview button at the top of your current company page. If you like it already, you can publish your page right now rather than waiting a month.

You'll see this preview banner across the top of your pre-Timeline company page when you're logged in. You’ll see this preview banner across the top of your pre-Timeline company page when you’re logged in.What I Would Change

Companies should be most concerned about the Friend Activity. While it’s a great feature if everyone is speaking in glowing terms about your company, negative comments have a way of bubbling to the top faster than positive ones. If a company is concerned about reputation management, it should have the option of turning off Friend Activity. And if it were up to me, I’d roll in the Activity Log to the Admin Panel rather than having two separate consoles to manage my page.

Other than these minor gripes, the new changes are definitely an improvement to the company and user experience on Facebook.

Facebook Also Updates Advertising and Offers

Meanwhile, Facebook announced it will feature Premium Ads and Sponsored Stories on the mobile newsfeed as well as the Facebook logout page. They will also be introducing Offers, a free way for businesses to share promotions directly from their company Facebook Page.

Angela West is on Facebook far more often than she should be, but at least 5 percent of the time is work-related. She’s written for big insurance companies, small wildlife control businesses, gourmet food chains, and more. Follow her on Twitter at @angelawest and Facebook.





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.





How Facebook Can Strengthen Your Website

8 02 2012

Awesome article by John Haydon (Twitter: @johnhaydon) on using Facebook to increase engagement on your website. Here’s what John has to say:

If you want to increase pages views and site engagement, it’s critical that you create a more social experience when people visit your website.

For example, when people view an article from your blog, they can see which of their friends have already read that article. They also can share content on your site with their Facebook friends.

Gigya published data showing that Web users spend 50 percent more time on websites that use Facebook social plug-ins. They also view twice as many pages.

Use social plug-ins to increase engagement

time spent How Facebook Social Plugins Increase Engagement On Your Nonprofits Website

View your website as a fishing net. Web visitors either keep swimming on by your site or get caught in your net.

As you can see in the bar graph above, users spend most of their time commenting, which,according to Giya, “allows them to share opinions on content and interact with other users – including those from their social graph.”

This makes sense when you remember that people are busier today than ever before, but still want to converse with their friends on topics they care about.

Increase page views with social plug-ins

page views How Facebook Social Plugins Increase Engagement On Your Nonprofits Website

They also found that page views more than doubled for sites that use social plug-ins. Again, commenting and sharing were the two biggest activities.

What does all this mean for your website?

The more pages people view on your site, the more chances you have to convert them into an email subscriber or donor.

View your website as a fishing net. Web visitors either keep swimming on by your site or get caught in your net — subscribe to your email newsletter, etc. Social plug-ins encourage these fish to swim around a bit more, giving you more chances at catching them!

Which Facebook social plug-ins should you use?

Putting your organization’s goals aside for a moment, and viewing the data above, it’s safe to say that you should at least be implementing Facebook’s Like Button andComments plug-in. For instance:

  • Like Button: When a user clicks the Like button, a news story publishes to his or her News Feed, and this story includes a link back to the content on your site. If your site offers a lot of content that users can like individually (such as in a blog), you’ll invariably increase referral traffic from Facebook to your site.
  • Comments: This plug-in allows you to add a comment box to your website content so that Facebook users can enter their comments, which can automatically be published to their Facebook News Feed. These republished comments also include a link back to the comments on your site.

Facebook has excellent tutorials on installing these plug-ins, and if you use WordPress, all you need is to install a few plug-ins. The plugins I use are Facebook Like and Send andDisqus for comments (users can log in with Twitter or Google in addition to Facebook).