With all of the social media networks available, it can be difficult to manage all the platforms you have chosen to promote your business. It is difficult enough to decide which networks, let alone manage them once you have. Who really knows what networks are right for your company? Without a doubt there is another blog post coming from somewhere to help you decide which social media network is best for your company.
Do you only concentrate on the “Big 3”- Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn? Or do you venture out to new and upcoming outlets like FourSquare and Ning? I haven’t even mentioned YouTube, Delicious, Stumble Upon, Digg, MySpace, Ping, Referral Key, Tumblr…and the list goes on and on. This post isn’t about which ones to choose, but how are you supposed to manage your social media profiles, posts, logins and passwords? Here are a few tips and tools that can help.
Organize your Platforms
Assuming you have already chosen your platforms, the first thing you need to do is organize. Create a bookmark folder for all of our social media platforms. Keeping them in one spot will be key in staying on top of everything. You can also filter your email so that your social media emails fall into a folder. Make sure to schedule some time to manage that folder as often as needed.
Manage your Passwords
If you are still typing in your usernames and passwords or storing them on a spreadsheet, you are in need of a good password management system. Here are three options to check out:
RoboForm – can use it for free, for up to 10 accounts and supports Google Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, and other browsers. I have a client that uses it and it looks pretty amazing.
KeePass – an open source solution and it is free. It is not integrated into your browser, but you will have a secure record of all your usernames and passwords.
LastPass – has free and premium solutions to manage your passwords. It synchronizes across browsers and you can easily restore your passwords if you change computers.
Update your Profiles
There are tools to help automate your profiles. One good one is called Atomkeep that will keep your profiles in sync on most social networks, job boards and other sites. They are currently at capacity, but sign up to get on a waiting list, it’s worth the wait.
Manage Your Posts
This is the hard one because being everywhere takes a lot of time, but there are some tools out there to help you. Hootsuite and Tweetdeck are both popular and I use both of them. They generally do the same thing: post to multiple platforms from one screen, schedule posts, and create shortened URLs. Hootsuite is internet-based and you can log on from anywhere but Tweetdeck has to be downloaded. On the other hand, you can only have 5 social media profiles for free, and Tweetdeck allows for more accounts (unlimited currently) so you don’t have to keep logging out and in to different accounts. You may have a preference when you start to use them, but the nice thing is that you really don’t have to choose, you can use both!
Other tools that make it easy are the share extensions and apps. You can download Shareaholic in Firefox and AddThis in Google Chrome. This allows you to share any webpage, even if they haven’t installed the tools to do so. I use AddThis on a daily basis for email sharing, Facebook and Twitter posting, social bookmarking, and to add to my Google Reader.
I know using social media today can be overwhelming. But if you get organized and utilize the tools that are available, you can spend your time doing the things that make your business money.
Are you using other tools that help you organize your social media marketing? Let me know, I would love to hear.
We have heard for over a year now about the launch of a Google social platform. The name of choice for those pontificating on this subject is “Google Me” or even “Social Circles” has recently curried favor. Is it really coming in one big launch or is it a combination of smaller pieces that will all add up to a complete social solution?
Understanding Google Social
The Google social platform will be a little different. Google is driven by relevance and openness. We believe there will not be a big launch of a comprehensive and definitive “Google” social platform. It is more likely to be a creeping roll-out like an incoming tide. Effected through the socialization of search Google Me (or something) will develop as a social medium by which users can communicate and socialize within the Google network. This slow roll-out is potentially driven by the risk to Google in the anti trust arena. Rightly or wrongly the Federal Trade Commission has recently launched an anti trust suit against Google. Googles position is clear – their search engine is focused on providing relevant results as quickly as possible for searchers (to quote from their official Google blog) “Using Google is a choice—and there are lots of other choices available to you for getting information: other general-interest search engines, specialized search engines, direct navigation to websites, mobile applications, social networks, and more.” Google mentions social networks as an alternative choice for getting information online. So it makes sense that its probably not in their best interest to launch a massive social network. Google is socializing a little at a time. Maybe they will sneak in under the radar.
Google Social Search
The socialization of search has already started for Google. The results you receive as the result of a search are deemed as more relevant if your friends found them interesting. You will see search results where the following online interactions by your friends are reflected:
- Websites, blogs, and other online content your friends have shared or created
- Images that are shared by your social connections
- Relevant articles from your Google Reader subscriptions
- Profiles of people you know beneath results for social sites like Twitter and Flickr
- Web content that has been recommended or shared by others using the +1 button
Google believes that reviews and information from your friends is more important than generic reviews. For example you are more likely to trust say a vacation spot recommendation from a friend online than from someone you don’t know. This trusted information is being integrated into search results.
Youtube was purchased by Google in 2006. Its really just a social platform filled with users. Google needed to link these new users to Google and somewhere in 2009 new Youtube users were required to link their Google account to their Youtube account. Comscore recently credited Google sites with over a billion visitors way ahead of Facebook, in no small part due to Youtube. The growth of Youtube was highlighted in march this year by a staff increase of over a third. This addition is probably the biggest single contributor to Google socialization and; of course; revenue.
Me on the Web
Google launched “Me on the Web” recently. It helps monitor your content on the web. You can set up “Me on the Web” through a new subsection in your Google Dashboard, which manages all the different Google products you use. The new feature isn’t much different than Google Alerts, but now it’s wrapped in a user-friendly and privacy-conscious package. You could add to this Google Social Circle it keeps track of your contacts within Google. It has also spawned a potential name for the next Google social platform.
Is there one big missing piece that is going to pull it all together? Or will it be a series of individual components that when all added together will one day be a social solution from Google? We favor the latter – how about you?
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If there has ever been a “jackpot” when it comes to marketing your business and gaining exposure, it’s social media. With the BOOM of popularity surrounding Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and now Google+, there’s a prime opportunity to connect with current and potential customers.
When we are communicating and interacting with people it’s important to identify your audience. Once you have done that then you can pick the type of etiquette that is most approperate. Even with Facebook there is etiquette. With Facebook it is personal more than it is business. That’s not saying you can’t do business on Facebook. Business is done all the time on Social Media sites you just want to make sure you are doing business correctly.
Business Pages vs Personal Pages- You first want to create a business page for your business not a friend page. One Facebook frowns upon this, and we don’t want to upset the Facebook Gods. Second we friend our friends we don’t friend a business, we like a business. I don’t tell go to the Gap because I’m friends with it I go to the Gap because I like it. So you make a Business page for people to LIKE.
Posting on your Personal Page- With the separation of business and personal pages it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t talk about your business at all. What we do for a living or the businesses we own make up who we are. Heck we spend more time with our coworkers then our families, if you own a business you have most likely pored blood sweat and tears into it. So you should be proud of what you do and your product. Please tell your friends and family about it, but you don’t want it to be the only thing your do on Facebook. We are friends with our friend to see what is happening in their lives not just their business.
Postings on your Business Page- Although it is tempting to just post business on you business page this truly doesn’t drive business to you page. Most people are not going to go to it unless they are looking for something they want at the time. But if you make it entertaining as well as informational you will be surprised by how people want to engage in your page. You can post quizzes, articles, and humours videos. People want to be entertained and this will help them remember your business.
Dealing with conflict- Sometimes you might post something and receive negative feed back or someone may just post on your wall negative feed back. How we respond to this is half the battle. People will see how you handle criticism and make decisions on if they want to do business with you. Just respond with an explanation or if you can do anything to help them and move on. Don’t take it personally and don’t be shocked when people don’t agree with you. We are all different and that’s what makes the world go round!
Hopefully some of these tips have helped you and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for Facebook for business!!
Around 10 years ago, I was in a girls locker room when I heard about 9/11. It was my senior year of high school. I had just finished weights class. I proceeded to my business class where our teacher let us watch TV and see the news unfold.
Flash forward 10 years later.
Social Media Sites are Sharing The News
Want to know about how I learned there was an earthquake in Haiti? Facebook.
How did I know the US killed Bin Ladin? Twitter. (Thanks @cnnbrk)
How did I spread the news that our daughter was officially adopted? My personal blog.
Yep, it’s a new ballgame these days.
The New Age of Citizen Journalists
We live in a new age where news isn’t distributed only through the radio and TV anymore. Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter are becoming more and more useful for sharing info besides photos of your grandma’s 80th birthday party. Social media sites are very popular for breaking news … and for responsive comments and commentaries. The journalism industry has even adopted the term “citizen journalism” as a way to try and rally around this quickly growing area of news coverage. And by the looks of the use of Twitter during Bin Ladin’s death (Set an all-time high) or even the US Girls Soccer team games (the US soccer fans stormed Twitter), this isn’t slowing down anytime soon.
Use Social Media to your Small Businesses’ Advantage
So what does this mean for you and your business? Basically, get in the game and build your social media presence. If you have a business page on Facebook, use it. People are turning to Facebook for news, so offer industry-related news in some of your posts. Build a smart social media campaign, call us if you need help. Build your Twitter followers and position yourself as a credible resource in your field. With consistency and patience, you’lll see your followers go up. Your interactions will increase. And ultimately, your leads will multiply.
Some people think Facebook and Twitter are still optional. And that may be the case in your personal life. But when it comes to your business and marketing, they’re a must. Get logged on today and start posting and tweeting. Who knows, maybe you’ll be the one to share that next piece of breaking news via social media.