Social Media Tool – Online Marketing Blog – TopRank® http://www.toprankblog.com Fri, 19 Jan 2018 16:02:48 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.2 Social Media Cheat Sheet: Tools & Tips for Perfectly Sized Social Media Images http://www.toprankblog.com/2016/11/social-media-images/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2016/11/social-media-images/#comments Mon, 07 Nov 2016 11:30:40 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=21344 These days, it’s no secret that high-quality images are important for any marketing strategy, particularly when it comes to social media. Images not only help brands stand out in busy social news feeds, but they also boost engagement and build brand awareness—and their importance is growing. According to a WebDAM infographic, 84% of all communication [...]

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size-social-media-images

These days, it’s no secret that high-quality images are important for any marketing strategy, particularly when it comes to social media. Images not only help brands stand out in busy social news feeds, but they also boost engagement and build brand awareness—and their importance is growing.

According to a WebDAM infographic, 84% of all communication will be visual by 2018. So, there’s no better time than the present to ensure you’re creating and sharing top-notch imagery. And that starts with following sizing best practices for each channel.

To help you do just that, below is a quick cheat sheet for sizing your images for optimal impact, complete with dimensions and some examples. In addition, you’ll also find some helpful tools that can help your resize, edit or create images.

Sizing Best Practices

Since each network has different features and layouts, each has its own sizing best practices.

Follow these sizing guidelines to ensure that any images you share aren’t cut off or distorted when they display, your profile and cover photos make your page look top-notch. We’ve also included some examples of brands doing it right.

Facebook

Profile photo: 180 x 180

Cover photo: 828 x 315

Shared image or link: 1,200 x 630

imb-facebook

ibm-facebook-2

 

Instagram

Profile photo: 110 x 110

Shared image: 1,080 x 1,080

fedex-instagram-1

fedex-instagram-2

 

LinkedIn

Profile photo: 400 x 400

Background image: 1400 x 425

Shared image: 700 x 400

Company cover photo: 1536 x 768

gm-linkedin

gm-linkedin-2

 

Twitter

Profile image: 400 x 400

Header image: 1,500 x 500

Shared image: 1,024 x 512 (maximum to appear expanded)

hubspot-twitter

hubspot-twitter-2

 

Pinterest

Profile image: 165 x 165

Board covers: 217 x 146

Shared image: 735 x 1,102

target-pinterest

target-pinterest-2

 

Google+

Profile photo: 250 x 250

Cover photo: 1080 x 608

Shared image: 497 x 373 (displays as this size)

Shared link: 150 x 150

cisco-google-plus

cisco-google-plus-2

 

Sizing & Editing Tools

Landscape

Landscape from SproutSocial aims to streamline the photo resizing process for each social network. It’s pretty simple. You upload your photo, select the social network you want to size it for and then crop.

landscape


Pixlr

If you’re looking for a wide ranging editing tool that will also allow you to custom size and image, Pixlr is a good option. In my opinion, using this tool is easiest if you have a little photo editing experience, but nonetheless still an option if you’re willing to take a little time to feel it out. Also, there is a mobile version, too, which makes it a convenient option.

pixlr

Other simple sizing tools include:

Creation Tools

Canva

For those without Photoshop or InDesign chops, Canva is a fantastic tool for helping you create professional and compelling images. Not only is it easy to use, but it also offers different templates for Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, as well as many other options.

canva-creation-tool


Adobe Spark

Adobe Spark, formerly Adobe post, is another easy to use tool that allows you to create graphics quickly. One feature that I personally like is the Inspiration Gallery, allowing you to select a category and get ideas for creating your own image.

adobe-spark


Stencil

Stencil, formerly known as Share Image As, is a tool designed specifically for creating images to boost social media engagement, offering more than 30 custom sizes to fit different social network guidelines, as well as templates, and thousands of graphics, photos and icons to use. There’s also a Chrome extension that makes it easy to create images on the go. There is a free version, but the Unlimited version that includes all the pro features is just $18 a month.

stencil

Other creation and design tools include:

  • PicMonkey
  • BeFunky
  • PowerPoint (Yes! It’s easy to use and probably already on your desktop.)

When Things Change

Like everything in the digital marketing world, these best practices are likely to evolve and tools will come and go. We’ll continue to update this page to give you the latest guidelines and tools.

What is your go-to image resizing, editing or creation tool? Tell us in the comments section below.


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10 Tools to Help Marketers Get More Out of Twitter http://www.toprankblog.com/2016/09/twitter-tools-for-marketers/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2016/09/twitter-tools-for-marketers/#comments Wed, 28 Sep 2016 10:30:27 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=21138 Most marketers understand that their Twitter efforts need to go beyond consistent tweeting if they want to grow their following and boost engagement. It takes commitment, strategy and constant management. But as social networks and audiences continue to evolve—and marketers find themselves juggling more social networks and content responsibilities each day—staying on top of it [...]

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10-twitter-tools-for-marketers

Most marketers understand that their Twitter efforts need to go beyond consistent tweeting if they want to grow their following and boost engagement. It takes commitment, strategy and constant management.

But as social networks and audiences continue to evolve—and marketers find themselves juggling more social networks and content responsibilities each day—staying on top of it all can be daunting and even frustrating. In fact, B2B marketers use an average of 6 social media platforms to distribute content, according to the Content Marketing Institute and MarketProfs 2016 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends—North America report.

Sound like you?

Well, the good news is that there are a number of tools that can help you manage your Twitter account, as well as make it easy for you to share, interact and grow your following—and even mine for new content ideas and gain a better understand the impact of your content—so you can make all your effort count.

Whether you want to boost visual content, host a Twitter chat or find relevant followers, below we dive into some of the tools that are worth your consideration if you want to get the most out of your Twitter efforts.

#1 – Bit.ly

Bit.ly has long been known as a tool for shortening links, but that’s certainly not its only capability. By signing up for a free account, you can also use the tool to share links to multiple Twitter (and Facebook) accounts and individually track performance of those links—allowing you to quickly share content and get insight into how your audience interacts with that content. In addition, with an enterprise account you can create a branded short domain and get deeper audience analytics.

Bit.Ly as a Twitter Tool

#2 – Hootsuite

Hootsuite has been my go-to social media management tool since my journalism days for a few different reasons:

  • You can post directly to Twitter and other social media pages within the platform.
  • You can schedule out posts, making it easy to post consistently.
  • You can monitor all your feeds, allowing you to instantly interact with those you follow and your own followers.
  • You can track the conversations around specific hashtags or keywords by setting up an individual stream.

With a free account, you can also get access to some basic analytics, content suggestions and the ability to integrate two RSS feeds so you can easily share relevant content from your own blog or other trusted sources. Hootsuite also offers Professional, Team, Business and Enterprise plans that allow you to customize the tool for your own unique needs.

Hootsuite as Twitter Tool

#3 – BuzzSumo

If you’re looking to create better content, discover relevant influencers or both, BuzzSumo could be the tool for you. This little excerpt from their website sums the tool up up nicely:

“BuzzSumo gives you insight into what content is working, and the influencers amplifying it.”

When it comes to hot content, BuzzSumo allows you to instantly search and discover the most shared content within the last day, week, month, six months or year. In addition, you’ll see data for the engagement and shares that content has received across social networks, and the number of linking domains.

BuzzSumo for Twitter Content

To find relevant influencers, the tool allows you to search by username or topic. Some of the insights you’ll find are page authority, domain authority, number of followers, retweet ratio, reply ratio and the average number of retweets.

BuzzSumo for Influencer Research

#4 – Keyhole

With Keyhole you can track hashtags, mentions, keywords, URLs and Twitter accounts in real-time, which can be especially useful for keeping track of the conversation and engagement happening around your company or brand—or even your top competitors.

Below is a sample of the tracking information you’d see for #digitalmarketing. You can see that the data includes the top posts, related topics, recent users, the most influential users, and some analytics.

Keyhole as a Twitter Tool

While Keyhole isn’t free, it offers several different size plans from professional to enterprise—and there’s a free trial option.

# 5 – Periscope

These days, it’s pretty safe to say that all marketers understand that video is an increasingly important marketing tool for capturing audience attention, showing value and encouraging engagement across the digital universe. Using Twitter’s Periscope app, you can natively share live video that is a little more raw and authentic, giving your audience something more visual and compelling to interact with.

Periscope Live Video App for Twitter

#6 – Buffer

Buffer is another fantastic social media management tool that allows you to consistently schedule tweets and other social posts. But one of the big advantages of this tool is that it shares your content at the best possible times throughout the day to maximize exposure.

In addition, Buffer recently added video sharing capabilities, as well as Pablo, which allows you to create beautiful and perfectly sized images.

Buffer for Twitter

#7 – Crowdfire

Crowdfire was originally built to be the answer to the frequently asked question: “Who unfollowed me on Twitter?” But now the tool has “matured into a holistic friend management platform,” according to its website.

The “Copy Followers” is one of the most interesting Crowdfire features, allowing you to search similar users’ followings and “copy them” to the list of people you’re following. The idea here is that they’ll want to follow you, too, since they’re already following someone similar to you or your brand.

Crowdfire for Twitter

Crowdfire also gives you the ability to see who you’re following that is inactive and makes it easy for your to unfollow them. You can also keep track of how the content and updates you share actually affects your follow and unfollow stats. This information can give you a good idea of what types of updates are turning people off and enticing them to follow.

#8 – Twubs

Over the past couple years, Twitter chats have emerged as a marketing tactic that allows brands and marketers to connect with their audience, build awareness and showcase what they have to offer. Twubs is a tool that allows you to find and follow relevant Twitter chats, or even host your own.

Twub for Twitter Chats

Other tools that can help you manage a Twitter chat include: TweetChat.com, Tchat.io, Twitterfall and TwChat.

#9 – SocialRank

SocialRank is a tool that can help you better understand and analyze who your most engaged or most influential followers, helping you identify and track important people who you should be engaging with.

The basic account is totally free and gives you the ability to filter and sort your followers, view their full profiles and connect multiple social accounts. There are also Premium and Market Intel versions that offer a host of other features and benefits such as the ability to send a direct message to multiple recipients.

SocialRank Tool for Twitter

#10 – Twitter Analytics

The native analytics dashboard within Twitter is a must-use. It’s free, simple and already built into the platform—you just have to turn it on. The dashboard features detailed overview of all your activity for the past 28 days, including your top tweets, top mentions and top followers.

Twitter Analytics Dashboard

What is your favorite Twitter tool and why? Share it with us in the comments section below.


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8 Smart Social Media Platform Marketers Creating Awesome Content http://www.toprankblog.com/2016/06/social-media-marketers/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2016/06/social-media-marketers/#comments Wed, 22 Jun 2016 10:30:37 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=20616 There is an art to planning and executing on a successful social media marketing strategy. Social algorithms are constantly evolving, new networks popping up and users are adapting the way that they use social platforms. Keeping up with a steady and quality publishing schedule and engagement strategy for social media is no easy undertaking. To [...]

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8-Social-Media-Platform-Marketers

There is an art to planning and executing on a successful social media marketing strategy. Social algorithms are constantly evolving, new networks popping up and users are adapting the way that they use social platforms.

Keeping up with a steady and quality publishing schedule and engagement strategy for social media is no easy undertaking. To find relief, marketers have begun taking advantage of the many social media monitoring and publishing tools available on the market today. These tools help with everything from scheduling and publishing social posts, to providing insights into content performance and audience segmentation.

To help you keep abreast of the latest social news, I’ve uncovered 8 awesome content creators that work for some of today’s top social media monitoring platforms. In this post you’ll find information about these social media mavens as well as insight into some of their killer content.

Maggie Huston

Maggie-Huston

Senior Content Manager
UPS

Find Maggie on Twitter and LinkedIn

A Little About Maggie

Maggie’s accolades speak for themselves. She is a three time Peabody award-winning journalist with a diverse background that includes both traditional and new media journalism. You can find Maggie’s award-worthy content on the Oracle Social Spotlight blog.

Awesome Content from Maggie

Alex York

Alex-York

SEO Specialist
Sprout Social

Find Alex on Twitter and LinkedIn

A Little About Alex

Alex is a writer and SEO Specialist at Sprout Social and  is responsible for content management and organic traffic. You can find his content on the Sprout Social Insights blog.

Awesome Content from Alex

Brian Peters

Brian-Peters

Social Media Manager
Buffer

Find Brian on Twitter and LinkedIn

A Little About Brian

Brian is an experienced content, digital and social media marketing professional. You can find all sorts of great content from Brian on the Buffer Blog.

Awesome Content from Brian

Jaime Netzer

Jamie-Netzer

Content Marketing Strategist
Spredfast

Find Jaime on Twitter and LinkedIn

A Little About Jaime

Jaime’s work has been published in media outlets and magazines such as USA Today Special Publications, Variety and SELF magazine. You can find Jaime making social media marketing magic on the Spredfast blog.

Awesome Content from Jaime

Scott Amerman

Scott-Amerman

Senior Product Marketing Manager
Sprinklr

Find Scott on LinkedIn

A Little About Scott

Scott has been the Product Marketing Manager at Sprinklr for 6 months and is passionate about bringing exciting new products to customers. You can find Scott’s social media smarts on the Sprinklr blog.

Awesome Content from Scott

Alexandra Zamfir

Alexandra-Zamfir

Social Media Executive
Falcon.io

Find Alexandra on Twitter and LinkedIn

A Little About Alexandra

Alexandra is always on the hunt for new trends and ways to uncover innovative use cases on social media. She identifies as a geek at heart and enjoys spending her time reading and taking online courses. You can find Alexandra’s creative social content on the Falcon.io insights hub.

Awesome Content from Alexandra

Rhianna Richards

Rhianna-Richards

Head of Content Marketing
Sysomos

Find Rhianna on LinkedIn

A Little About Rhianna

Rhianna specializes in many aspects of content marketing including information architecture, communication strategy and event management. You can find Rhinna’s helpful social content on the Sysomos blog.

Awesome Content from Rhianna

Veronika Baranovska

Veronika-Baranobska

Content Marketing Specialist
Sendible

Find Veronika on Twitter and LinkedIn

A Little About Veronika

Veronika is new in her role as a Content Marketing Specialist at Sendible but has experience as a creative marketer that empowers brands to reach their goals. You can find Veronika’s content on the Sendible blog.

Awesome Content from Veronika

Thanks For Creating Awesome Content!

Thanks again to all of these individuals as well as the vast array of other marketers that are creating great content about social media. Our combined expertise will make us all more strategic and more successful social media marketers!

 


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5 Opportunities to use BLAB for Digital Marketing http://www.toprankblog.com/2015/12/blab-digital-marketing/ Tue, 08 Dec 2015 11:30:53 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=19656 This year may very well go down as the year that live streaming video became a marketable asset. It began with the launch of Meerkat in February of 2015, then the launch of Periscope in March and BLAB in April. Unlike Meerkat and Periscope, a BLAB can feature up to 4 people live streaming at [...]

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Tips-for-Digital-Marketing-Blab

This year may very well go down as the year that live streaming video became a marketable asset. It began with the launch of Meerkat in February of 2015, then the launch of Periscope in March and BLAB in April. Unlike Meerkat and Periscope, a BLAB can feature up to 4 people live streaming at one time, and allow followers to comment and give “digital love” to the participants.

Just by its name, BLAB sounds like it could be an ongoing live-chat discussion that goes on and on without any end in sight. That could work if you’re wanting to kill some time on a Friday night or over the weekend, but that application wouldn’t work well for marketing most products or services. There has to be some kind of structure or outline in order to achieve success with this platform.

Like any form of marketing, a good plan has to be laid out ahead of time to get the most benefit from the effort that’s invested. This is especially true when laying out a live streaming strategy. So where to begin? The first thing to remember is that not only can BLAB help you connect with customers or potential customers that watch the video stream “live”, but it can also be turned into a video or be edited into several videos, in which case it then becomes a reusable piece of content for your business.

5 Ways to Use BLAB to Market Your Business

#1 – Provide Live Customer Service

One option is to host a session where a company representative answer some of the most common questions asked by your customers. After the live BLAB, the video can be edited and repurposed as content for social media posts or on FAQ pages.

You can also host a Q&A session where you company spokesperson answers questions that prospects and customers submit either via messaging while the BLAB is going on, or as participants in the video-feed on the BLAB.

#2 – Feature New Products & Services

Video provides an excellent way to showcase a new product or service. Because BLAB has the capability to combine up to 4 video feeds at 1 time, one feed could be the narrator, another can be showing the product or service, and another could be a brand influencer or customer sharing their comments while the presentation is That way you are providing valuable product information while showing practical use or best practices to your audience.

#3 – Incorporate Customers in the Process

It’s very rare that organizations make customers a part of the process when determining how to streamline their products/services or add new ones to the mix. A BLAB can be used as a tool to get real-time feedback about what your customers would like to see more or less of as well as things they’d like to see made available in the future.

There is a risk involved with collecting this feedback in real-time, but think of the impact that this type of content could have for your business.

#4 Share Company Insights

A BLAB can be used to create a series that updates prospects and customers on the latest wins within your organization as well as the top business trends within their industry to keep an eye on.

You can also conduct interviews of company employees or loyal customers or provide value and usable content to promote your business.

#5 – Test Replacing Other Forms of Digital Marketing

You can also test replacing some of your more traditional digital marketing methods with a BLAB. Examples include:

  • Use BLAB as your platform for the next webinar that you plan to conduct.
  • Run your BLAB as you would one of your podcasts, and then use the unique embedded code to upload the file to a podcasting host service
  • Convert your blog post ideas into a BLAB. Then you can just embed the file onto your blog post, which can be a big help if you’re a better visual presenter, rather than typing out your thoughts for a blog post.
  • In addition to embedding your file onto a blog post, it can also be edited and repurposed as an Instagram video, or it can be left untouched and uploaded directly to your YouTube channel.

Questions to Ask Before Adding Live Streaming to Your Marketing

Once you’ve determined how you want to use BLAB, the next thing to do is to put together your strategy for how you will approach live streaming to augment your existing marketing strategy. Answer the following questions to help your approach to using BLAB be successful:

Style

  • Should there be a more serious tone, like a professional broadcaster or a serious infomercial, or instead go with a lighter more casual tone that’s less structured?
  • Since its video, what should you or the company spokesperson wear while presenting on BLAB? The clothes can affect the presentation.
  • Lighting, should there be primarily natural light, is there enough light in the space to be used or does additional light need to be installed or temporarily brought into the space?

Length of BLAB

  • Does a set time need to be set firmly, or is a rough idea of 30 minutes or an hour good enough?
  • How much time should you or the company spokesperson speak, and how much time should be set aside for other contributors, and for comments and input from other followers of the BLAB?
  • Will questions be answered throughout the BLAB, or will they be addressed at the end of the discussion/presentation?

Script / Outline

  • What should the title be? In the form of a question or a tease as to what is going to be considered?
  • Are bullet points as to what needs to be considered enough, or should it be more scripted so that key points are covered in a specific way?

BLAB is another form of social media in the marketing toolbox full of options, but it also can be a form of usable content that can highlight various aspects about you and your company. Video can break through a lot of messaging and present the most authentic view of you and your business to your audience, while engaging your prospects and customers in the process.

If you’ve participated on a BLAB or other sort of live streaming platform, what did you find to be the most interesting about this new form of interactive marketing?

Header image via Shutterstock


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12 Tools to Help You Optimize Your Social Media Marketing Results http://www.toprankblog.com/2015/03/12-social-media-tools/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2015/03/12-social-media-tools/#comments Tue, 31 Mar 2015 11:00:14 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=18267 Strategy gives you direction, but tools help you get there quicker, says Ian Cleary, founder, RazorSocial at Social Media Marketing World. Once you have a strategy, then you need tools to help you save time and provide value. Twenty-six percent of marketers spend 6-10 hours a week on social media. Let’s explore twelve possible problems [...]

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Friez and Cleary at #SMMW15

Strategy gives you direction, but tools help you get there quicker, says Ian Cleary, founder, RazorSocial at Social Media Marketing World. Once you have a strategy, then you need tools to help you save time and provide value.

Twenty-six percent of marketers spend 6-10 hours a week on social media. Let’s explore twelve possible problems and the tools that can help solve those problems and make you more productive.

12 problems and the tools to solve them

1. People not seeing your content? Consider using PostPlanner, which was just a Facebook planner up until it recently added Twitter. You can –

  • Schedule content
  • Decide what type of content to share
  • Discover new content
  • Allows you to create a queue of content
  • Reschedule each post

2.  Not sure which posts will rank? Consider InboundWriter, which helps you determine the success of your topics before you put pen to paper. It will tell you what words in your title are important and suggest additional terms.

3.  Are you Twitter followers not growing quickly enough? ManageFlitter will help you manage your Twitter account. It can help you make it tidy, find relevant people to follow, do a super advanced search, save the search and then have it gradually follow people over a period of time. Cleary reminds us not to be creepy and follow hundreds of people at a time.

4.  Not enough followers on Google+? Consider Circloscope, which will provide a list of people in different communities. Cleary says, despite recent rumors, Google+ is going to be around for a long time.

5.  Video is becoming more and more important, and difficult to produce. You can easily create videos with Directr, which also includes tons of storyboards to help you organize your video.

6.  Having problems selling on social media? Use Cart from Heyo, an app that automatically responds to a comment within a link to help people buy products on Facebook. It works great for low-cost products. People will buy if it’s a good product and you have a good relationship with your followers says Cleary.

7.  Blogging takes too much time. You need to have an organized process. Plan your content ahead of time with Coschedule. It allows you to schedule social media outposts within WordPress. And, don’t just share once, but multiple times so people will see your content. The app will show you your top posts from older content, so you can re-share them over again.

8. and 9.  You can’t find great content to share.

ContentGems will dig through the dirt and find great content for you to share. It also –

  • Integrates with Buffer
  • Expands your interest groups as defined by keywords and other search tools
  • Allows you to set criteria for each interest
  • Allows for added preferred and trusted sources you want to add

Nuzzle, for Facebook and Twitter, tells you when your friends are sharing a piece of content and emails you with the details of the latest posts.

10. Do you find it difficult to reach your Twitter Audience?

SocialBro will show how your followers online are interacting. Cleary is using it for direct message campaigns to let his followers know about webinars and other opportunities. He encourages setting up really good filters and finding the best people, because no one wants to be a spammer.

11.  Need help managing Pinterest? Tailwindapp.com integrates with Canva, a graphics app. You can then schedule your post. It also includes very useful analytics.

12.  Not tracking your competitors? Check-out Uprise.io, where you can enter keywords or choose a category to see a list of popular articles in your area. It’s great for researching competitors and find out what’s popular. Once you find an idea from your competitors, you can write a better story on the same subject!

Buzzsumo is very similar and will also let you research your competitors, top subjects and compare your posts to those of your competitors.

Invest the time to find the right tools to help you get to where you need to help you optimize your strategy. And then, promote it correctly.

What tools help you meet your goals? Please share, so we can expand the list.


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24 Social Media Tools To Boost Your Marketing Performance #SMMW14 http://www.toprankblog.com/2014/03/social-media-marketing-tools-smmw14/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2014/03/social-media-marketing-tools-smmw14/#comments Sun, 30 Mar 2014 19:45:43 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=16632 It appears that Ian Cleary is the King of Social Media tools. With new social media marketing tools coming on the market just about every day, Ian is one of the people you can rely on to test them all – from free to paid. We’re thrilled that he shared his knowledge of tools with us [...]

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Ian Cleary SMMW14

It appears that Ian Cleary is the King of Social Media tools. With new social media marketing tools coming on the market just about every day, Ian is one of the people you can rely on to test them all – from free to paid.

We’re thrilled that he shared his knowledge of tools with us at Social Media Marketing World this year and now I’ll share them with you.

Tools to Target the Right People

As Ian says, don’t sell hot dogs at a vegetarian conference. You have to know your audience before you can market to them successfully. The social tools below will help you identify and engage with active fans, influencers, and industry relevant people to follow.

  • Tactics Cloud is a free tool that allows you to target Twitter followers and find relevant people on Twitter. The tool allows you to search for Twitter users by keyword, location and followers.
  • Lead Social is a paid social tool that measures your Facebook ROI. The tool actually assigns a monetary value to your posts and Facebook ads in order to determine much value you’re getting from your posts Facebook posts. The tool also highlights who’s interacting with your Facebook content the most.
  • Little Bird helps you find influential people in your target industry. Use this tool to identify influencers that you want to build relationships with. The tool also shows you relevant people who aren’t following you so that you can start engaging and building relationships them.
  • GroupHigh is a paid tool that allows you to search a massive database of bloggers using a very precise search functionality. Use GroupHigh to find blogger’s contact details and recent posts. You can even use this tool to track your outreach and engagement efforts with bloggers and thought leaders!

Tools to Get Better Results with your Content

Use the tools below to rate the success of your content and create viral and sharable content. Isn’t it time that you shook up your social content strategy?

  • Pikochart is a paid social tool that allows you to create visually appealing infographics for as little as $20. Infographics should be part of your content mix because they drive traffic, engagement, shares and embeds.
  • Topsy is a freemium tool that allows you to search for content is popular for a specific keyword or industry. Use Topsy to find popular content to share or use as inspiration for your content. If you want to find content that gets a lot of links, use Topsy.
  • Smo.KnowEm.com is a Moz application that allows you to find out if your website is optimized for sharing social media. You know how sometimes when you share a link on Facebook, Twitter or Google+ the image shows up wrong (if one shows up at all!) or perhaps the meta description is all wrong? KnowEm makes suggestions for what technical issues you need to fix or what schema you need to implement in order to optimize your site for social sharing.
  • Moz SEO Toolbar shows a web page’s domain authority and page authority in all of the major search engine’s. In fact, Moz will rank the domain and page authority of every page on your website.
  • SEMRush is a freemium tool that helps you discover what keywords your competitors are ranking for. Use this information to write strategic, keyword optimized blog content that will help you outrank your competitors.

Tools to Convert More Traffic

Once you get visitors on your website, your next task is to convert them. Ian’s confident that the tools below can help you increase conversions.

  • OptinMonster is a paid tool that allows you to create custom pop-up forms that only appear when people are leave your site. Use pop-up forms to recruit more email subscribers, increase conversion rates and encourage return visits to your website. Even if you’re wary of pop-up forms, OptinMonster is less annoying because it only pops up when visitors are leaving your site.
  • Viewbix is a paid social tool that allows you to embed clickable links and custom forms within your videos. Use your videos to increase traffic and and grow out your email list with viewbix.
  • LeadPages is a paid tool that allows you to download templates of landing pages that are proven to have high conversion rates. Unless you’re an expert landing page builder, don’t re-invent the wheel—save time and increase conversions by using a great landing page template.

Tools to Analyze and Improve Results

So your brand is socially active. Now what? Analyze and refine your content with the social tools below.

  • Post Acumen is a paid Facebook analytics tool. PostAcument provides information like the best time of day to post and which images are working and which are not. You can also compare your Facebook page against the Facebook pages of your competitors.
  • Steady Demand is one of the only Google+ analytics tools out there. This freemium tool allows you to audit your Google+ page to gauge the performance of you Google+ posts, optimize your posts for search engines and compare your Google+ page against those of your competitors.
  • Statigram is a freemium Instagram analytics tool. Use Statigram to track follower growth and engagement stats and discover the best times of day are to post photos. Statigram also offers a marketing package to help you run contests on Instagram.
  • SimplyMeasured is a freemium tool that allows you to generate detailed and colorful social media reports for Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+ and YouTube.
  • Brand24 is a paid tool that monitors mentions of your brand or keywords on Facebook, Twitter, websites and blogs. Brand 24 is also includes sentiment analysis.

Quick Fire Round for Social Media Tools

These are just a few more of Ian’s favorite free social tools. Did I mention that they’re FREE?

  • Post planner is a free tool that sources viral images and content. Integrate viral images into your Facebook content and schedule your posts ahead of time with post planner.
  • Edit Flow is a free donation editorial calendar and WordPress blog workflow tool.
  • Agora Pulse is a freemium social tool that allows you to compare your Facebook page against those of your competitors and run free Facebook contests.
  • Canva is a free social tool that allows you to overlay text over your digital images.
  • PicMonkey is a free image editing tool that allows you to edit image, overlay text and create collages.
  • Pixler is like a free, easy to use version of Photoshop.
  • inPowered is a free social media tool that shows you popular content within your niche.

Social media marketing tools can save you time by helping you source great content, identify influencers and brand advocates and measure the success of your social media.

Does your company automate social processes with tools? Please share your all-time favorite social tools with us by commenting below!


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© Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®, 2014. | 24 Social Media Tools To Boost Your Marketing Performance #SMMW14 | http://www.toprankblog.com

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Want To Be A More Productive and Effective Blogger? Here Are 15 Social Media Tools To Help #NMX http://www.toprankblog.com/2014/01/social-media-tools-bloggers/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2014/01/social-media-tools-bloggers/#comments Sun, 05 Jan 2014 02:00:51 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=16244 If you’re a blogger or a social media marketer, you”ll undoubtedly end up multitasking. Multitasking doesn’t usually work very well.  We overwork.  There has to be a better way.  This is where the tools come into play.  In his New Media Expo 2014 session, Ian Cleary reviewed 15 Social Media Tools to Become a More Productive [...]

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Ian Cleary Presenting at New Media Expo 2014If you’re a blogger or a social media marketer, you”ll undoubtedly end up multitasking. Multitasking doesn’t usually work very well.  We overwork.  There has to be a better way.  This is where the tools come into play.  In his New Media Expo 2014 session, Ian Cleary reviewed 15 Social Media Tools to Become a More Productive and Effective Blogger.

Some are designed to help you find content to write, others to automate and monitor, or optimize. Regardless, they can all help make your social media life a little easier.

Finding The Best Content To Write

Social Crawlitics – This tool crawls through your blog and analyzes all the social shares and shows a chart based on those shares.  This lets you see content that gets shared more than others,  and what topics touch your audience.  Then you can focus your efforts on those topics and ideas. You can also look at your competitors. The page-level results shows which pages have the most shares, pins, LinkedIn posts and more.

Topsy – This tool can help you find content people are linking to already.  With Topsy, you can simply choose the ‘Links’ section and search for the topic you want to write about.  The tool will show you the content that got the most links. Then, you can look deeper at it and see why it was linked to so much.  Now you have the ability to make content that is more valuable than the top linked.  Once you’ve made your great content, see who is linking to other posts on the same subject and tell them about your new piece of content.  Chances are they’ll want to share.

SEMrush – Most of us know of SEMrush.  Using this tool, you can enter a website address and it will give you analytics related to the site.  While it provides so much useful information, Organic Keywords is a spot of focus.  You can see where your competitors are getting traffic based on these organic keywords. This gives you an idea of what you can look to focus your content on and make more sharable/linkable content.

Help Create Content

Canva – People love to look at and share graphic content.  Images add interest to blog posts.  But hiring a full-time graphic designer can be very expensive.  Canva is graphic design without the need for a graphic designer. Cleary saw a 450% increase for his traffic since he started using it and says it’s super easy.  Select from a document, presentation, blog graphic, and more.  Then select your template.  Modify the text and add images (there are more than 1 million to choose from).  Bam, you’ve made great looking sharable graphic content.  Very simple, quick, and easy.

Piktochart – Most people have an easier time visualizing data than simply reading it.  This is why info graphics are so popular.  They offer a highly consumable way to digest information.  You can make great looking info graphics easily using Piktochart.  The tool provides a range of templates that you can then customize and publish. You can even make infographics.  This tool is very low cost and easy to use.

Automate and Monitor

dlvr.it – Save time sharing your posts from one social network with another network.  dlvr.it lets you list the source social network and the destination network.  It will then take any posts added to one platform and automatically post it to your other networks.  It’s a great way to automate the sharing of your blog posts. The tool also provides analytics on your posts.

SocialOomph – Write blog posts, let dlvd.it share your post to your other networks, then put it into SocialOomph.  On a regular basis, it will send out that post again.  Content useful now is just as useful in 6 months so why not share it more than once?  SocialOomph even lets you create variations for your messaging and automatically picks from a queue of your posts.  Guy Kowasaki posts everything 4 times and just look at the social success he’s seen.

Zapier – Automate over 250 web apps.  Take your posts from one source and send them out to other social destinations.  Create triggers for everything. Want a Buffer post made every time a video is posted to your YouTube channel?  Zapier can do that for you.

Friends+Me – While Facebook and Twitter let you schedule posts in advance, Google+ currently doesn’t.  This tool posts your updates from Google+ to your other networks.  Queue up great content and make sure it posts to G+ at the best times, even if you can’t be there to do it yourself.

DoShare – Like Friends+Me, this Chrome plugin allows you to schedule content for Google+.  While it may be a bit simpler than Friends+Me, the downside to DoShare is your browser does have to be open for your posts to go out.

Brand24.net – Low cost and very useful, Brand24 graphs mentions across networks.  It then allows you to zoom in and see where people are talking about you and your brand.  These are great interaction opportunities.  When it finds the mentions, it shows where they come from and you can break them down and sort and categorize to make it easy to manage.

Optimize Your Content

OpenSiteExplore.org – This one is great for finding the domain and page authority for a competitive page. It’s especially useful if you’ve found a page you want to overtake in SERP rankings.  If your site numbers are generally higher, you might be able to overtake them with a little work.

WordPress SEO by Yoast – This is one everyone that uses WordPress should be using.  It gives you a breakdown of the SEO items you’ve got covered and what is missing from your posts, making sure your posts give Google what it wants.

MozBar – This browser plugin shows domain rank and page authority of each page showing on the SERP of every search you do.  You can then see if there are low ranking pages that are ranking high in search.  This gives you a great idea of what you might be able to overtake.

Screaming Frog SEO Spider Tool – This tool shows you all the page titles on your site.  You can then go back and look to update bad titles and optimize them all.

Great content alone won’t win the day.  Successful promotion of that content through social media will drive even more success for bloggers looking to be seen.  Using the these great tools, bloggers can bring their blogging efforts to the next level.  Give them a try and let us know if they bring you new success.  The goal is a little bit of craic.

 


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3 Tools to Help You Find Influencers in Social http://www.toprankblog.com/2013/11/tools-finding-influencers/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2013/11/tools-finding-influencers/#comments Mon, 25 Nov 2013 12:00:24 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=16087 Influencers are influential. They have a significant following on their social channels and are so knowledgeable about a topic that people not only like to consume their content, but share it. Engaging an influencer and being promoted by them is a great way for your brand to increase visibility, grow a following, and rank in [...]

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Finding Influencers on Social MediaInfluencers are influential. They have a significant following on their social channels and are so knowledgeable about a topic that people not only like to consume their content, but share it. Engaging an influencer and being promoted by them is a great way for your brand to increase visibility, grow a following, and rank in search. Sounds simple right? It’s actually something many brands struggle with.

There are over 500 million registered Twitter accounts, 300 million active monthly Google+ users, and 1.26 billion Facebook users. Add to that the 150 million people that are active on Instagram in any given month, the 70 million on Pinterest, and the 238 million members on LinkedIn and it’s no wonder finding influencers is a bit like playing “Where’s Waldo?”

But it doesn’t have to be. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of tools out there that can help find influential people in your industry in an easy, cost-effective manner. The problem becomes how to choose from all of those tools. Don’t worry; we’ve made that easier too. Here are three tools we love for finding influencers on Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn:

For Twitter: Followerwonk
A picture is worth a thousand words. Followerwonk knows that, and shows you a majority of data in visual formats to make it easier to understand.

The tool, which delves deeply into Twitter analytics, can show you things from who your followers are and where they’re located to when they tweet, what keywords are used most often by your followers (or those you follow), who you’re following relative to someone else, and when your most active hours for retweets are.

FollowerwonkFinding influencers is made easy by the search Twitter bios function. Enter a keyword – a product name, a topic, an industry, whatever seems relevant – and Followerwonk generates a report for you of everyone who uses that term or phrase in their Twitter bio.

The list bolds the word you searched for, shows the name and avatar of the account, how any followers they have, and their social authority. Sorting by relevance, or social authority can help you pinpoint people who are influential on Twitter for that phrase.

The tool makes it easy to follow the people you find by including a “Follow” button next to the avatar of those who show up in your search. The free account has some reporting limitations that can be circumvented by ‘subscribing’, which is free for 30-days.

For Google+: Circle Count
Designed to help you understand Google+, the homepage of the tool shows popular categories like: people with highly engaging content, most followed profiles and pages, and today’s cream of the crop which highlights interesting profiles. All of the categories are great places to look for inspiration and creative ideas.

How it works: you can search using a name, location, or the URL of a profile to generate a list of results. Click on any one of them, and you’re taken to a profile of information.

Circle CountWhat you’ll see: The profile has a ton of useful information in it including:
• Links to their other social channels
• Bio & Occupation
• Profile rank (where their profile ranks out of all Google+ profiles)
• Number of followers and following
• Follower history graph
• Average activity numbers for the last 50 posts
• Stream of latest posts

Feature we really like: the profile also shows how many public circles the person has been shared in. Taking it one step further the Circle Count reports who shared, the number of followers they have, the date of the share, how many users are in the circle they shared to, and how many comments, reshares and +1s the share received.

That feature is a great way to identify the influencers that are engaging with your content and have a noticeable interest in that topic. You can click on any name in the author column and be taken to their Circle Count report and follow their page from there.

The tool is also a great way to search for influencers you’ve identified on other channels to determine their klout on Google+.

The numbers of each profile are the public numbers shown on Google+. However, the platform caches the numbers so the profile generated by Circle Count isn’t always the most up to date data.

Not all profiles will show up in Circle Count but can be added by using the URL or profile ID on the homepage.

For LinkedIn: Influencers Program
Launched a little over a year ago, the Influencer Program on LinkedIn allows thought leaders to share their original content directly with LinkedIn users. Users in turn can follow influencers to read and interact with their content, along with sharing it with their own networks.

Social Media Tool for LinkedInThere are over 300 influencers in the program. Their average post receives around 30,000 views and is read by entry-level professionals all the way through to director-level and above.

You can browse influencers by a list of them all, or by channel which sorts the posts by topic. The channels cover a wide variety of information from accounting, customer service, the economy, and green business to healthcare, online advertising, retail and technology.

Not only are the authors influencers themselves, but make sure to pay attention to the people who interact with the post. People who comment, like and share content have shown an interest in the topic, and demonstrated their own knowledge in their posts. Those kinds of people are likely to engage with your content, and can be great people to cite and connect with!

Influencers have the ability to help your brand reach its audience in a personal, honest way that doesn’t take a huge bite out of your budget. There are tools out there to help you narrow down the arena of social media users to a manageable list of people worth connecting with. But it’s up to you to build a relationship with them through engagement, support, and conversation.

What tools have you used to find influencers? What are some unique ways you’ve begun to engage with them? Let us know in the comments!

 


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Never Miss an Opportunity to Engage: Social Marketing Tools to Connect with Influencers http://www.toprankblog.com/2013/04/social-tools-for-marketers/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2013/04/social-tools-for-marketers/#comments Wed, 17 Apr 2013 11:00:11 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=15127 This month, we learned that although 65% of brands participate in influencer marketing, just 10% of total digital marketing spend goes to social, which includes influencer marketing. Some have cried, don’t people see the opportunity? Why aren’t they spending on influencers! Technorati Media’s 2013 Digital Influence Report shared the above insight, as well as the [...]

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Engage influencers with social toolsThis month, we learned that although 65% of brands participate in influencer marketing, just 10% of total digital marketing spend goes to social, which includes influencer marketing. Some have cried, don’t people see the opportunity? Why aren’t they spending on influencers!

Technorati Media’s 2013 Digital Influence Report shared the above insight, as well as the fact that a mere 6% of social spend is allotted to marketing to influencers. This doesn’t signal a problem to me at all. In fact, it’s an indication that while influencer marketing is recognized as a valuable piece of the online marketing puzzle and many practice it, it doesn’t require a great deal of budget to accomplish. That, friends, is what we call an opportunity.

That’s not to say influencer outreach is easy, but that an array of low-cost tools are available to help marketers better identify, understand and connect with industry influencers. These social tools enable us to automate much of the research, to weed through a mass of data and identify trends or common characteristics among the people who can positively impact our business with a tweet, a blog post, or a thoughtful comment.

Check out these social tools for brand marketers looking to more easily and inexpensively measure and act on influence in their industry.

Commun.it – Twitter Community Management

Commun.it Twitter Community Management dashboard

Commun.it is a Twitter-specific dashboard for managing relationships and identifying/engaging influencers. In addition to serving as a dashboard, it serves up handy reports on new followers, unfollows, total reach, and more. It integrates seamlessly with Twitter, allowing you to interact from within the dashboard. This tool allows for multiple users and multiple Twitter accounts (with a paid package) and is used by the likes of Dell, Sony and Cisco, among others. As you complete the signup process, you can choose to follow specific keywords or hashtags, in order to identify new engagement opportunities. Commun.it is a freemium product, with a free basic service and three upgraded options starting at 6.99 a month.

GaggleAMP – Leverage Your Internal Influencers

What could it mean to your company if you were able to effectively leverage the influence of your employees across social channels? GaggleAMP allows brands to create “gaggles” (think a group of geese) of users around specific content, each of whom receive an alert when new social content goes out. They can then choose to share it with their own networks (or not). It encourages social amplification while allowing users to retain control.

Cyfe – Monitor Everything

Cyfe Social and Search Monitoring Tool

No, literally… everything, from Facebook and WordPress, to Google Analytics, MailChimp and even Salesforce. Cyfe has a variety of pre-built widgets, but also allows users to add custom widgets or API for custom data sources. Get real-time reports, see historical data and download reports in PNG, JPEG, PDF or CSV formats. Cyfe’s premium version gives users access to unlimited dashboards and widgets for as little as $14 per month.

BlogDash – Over 100,000 Bloggers Listed

BlogDash categorizes thousands of bloggers, leaving them searchable by gender, industry, location, Klout score, keywords and more. Use this tool to find, engage and even pitch bloggers all from within the platform. With just 15 categories, you might find yourself relying heavily on keywords to drill down to the most relevant results for your business, however the insights make it worth it. BlogDash offers a 7-day trial, with plans starting at $44.99/month.

Traackr – Enterprise-level Influencer Engagement

Traackr reach, resonance, relevance

Possibly the best known solution on this list, Traackr helps marketers identify and engage influencers using three core algorithms to measure reach, relevance and resonance. Users have access to dynamic lists that update in real-time, share of voice reporting, sentiment analysis, real-time listening and many more features. Starting at $1,795 a month, it’s definitely one of the pricier options on the list but has the power and depth for enterprise-level insight and engagement.

mPact – A Different Take on Influence

Popularity does not mean influence and sometimes, the people with the power to influence your buyers may not be all that popular. mPact looks beyond common popularity indicators to identify the people who actually influence your market. Their algorithm considers topical relevance, authority and social capital, but also the frequency and consistency by which people influence the market. Users can start with a topic they’d like to dig into, or look into specific voices to see what influence they may have. A 14-day free trial is available.

Social Snap was a personal favorite, though they’ve just closed their doors for good. Founder and CEO Nan Dawkins shared their reasoning for getting out of the SaaS business in a recent blog post, if you’d like to learn more.

In the meantime, I hope you’ve discovered a few alternative tools for social listening, monitoring and influencer engagement. Did I miss any? Share your tips and tools in the comments!

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.


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Optimize Your Internal Communications – 3 Tools to Improve Communication & Collaboration With Employees http://www.toprankblog.com/2012/10/optimize-your-internal-communications/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2012/10/optimize-your-internal-communications/#comments Tue, 02 Oct 2012 11:15:02 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=14249 The Internet is overrun with tools and applications promising to make your life easier, create efficiencies, and save your company money.  When it comes to marketing automation and customer relationship management most companies are taking steps towards simplifying and organizing their process. Effective communication between teams and offices is still somewhat behind the curve. While [...]

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The Internet is overrun with tools and applications promising to make your life easier, create efficiencies, and save your company money.  When it comes to marketing automation and customer relationship management most companies are taking steps towards simplifying and organizing their process.

Effective communication between teams and offices is still somewhat behind the curve. While some companies are using remote desktop servers for storing information, others have transitioned to file sharing on the cloud.

Miscommunication can affect the way that your teams work together, and ultimately the profitability of your organization.  On the flip side, a group of employees that can communicate effectively is more likely to wrok together to solve problems and share helpful information with their co-workers.  In this post I’ve included three tools to optimize your internal communication strategy.

#1 – Yammer

What is Yammer?
Yammer is an internal social networking and document storage tool designed for companies to use for knowledge exchange.

Who is Yammer for?
When working with Yammer it depends on how you setup the program.  As the administrator you can create different groups for different departments so that everyone’s stream does not get cluttered with information that does not apply to them.  If you do not segment your teams in some fashion you may run the risk of overloading your employees with too much information.

How much does Yammer cost?
Basic Network: Free
Business Network: $5 per user/month
Enterprise Network: $15 per user/month

Review of Yammer
Working in the Internet marketing industry, our team has to be innovative and quick on our feet.  We’ve found that Yammer provides a great way to share updates with specific team members, praise teammates for a job well done, and create a repository of case studies and stories to share with our clients.  We’ve only scratched the surface but if you’re looking for additional Yammer features take a moment to visit their website.

#2 – Salesforce Chatter


What is Salesforce Chatter?
Chatter is a social collaboration tool that allows users to setup profiles, share status updates, and share files in a secure and private environment.

Who is salesforce Chatter for?
Chatter’s basic platform is for companies looking to begin sharing information internally.  However, Chatter is best used by companies that are currently using Salesforce.com as a lead management program.  If you have a sales team, Chatter is an excellent choice for communicating since it is already integrated with your Salesforce data.  Integration with Salesforce can create a hub for your salespeople to review dashboards, discuss leads, and run custom reports.

How much does Salesforce Chatter cost?
Chatter: Free
Chatter Plus: $15 per user/month

Review of Salesforce Chatter
While Chatter doesn’t require that each team member have a Salesforce license its features are most beneficial for team members on Salesforce.  You can begin using Chatter to organize your monthly meetings, follow up with team members on their sales goals, and share achievements of your team that are directly tied to the system responsible for lead management.

#3 – Skype


What is Skype?
Skype enables users to communicate via text, phone, and video all in one application.

Who is Skype for?
If you’re looking for low cost (free) video conferencing solutions with individuals and now groups, Skype may be a good option for your organization.  While not as socially robust as the other two internal communication platforms in this post, you’ll find that Skype is easy to use and provides unique conferencing features.

How much does Skype cost?
Standard Video Conferencing: Free
Unlimited: $2.99 per user/month

Review of Skype
Our team has not had an opportunity to test Skype’s new “Group Conferencing” features, but we look forward to doing so.  If you have a client that you’d like to meet with “face-to-face” or an employee who works remotely, Skype is a fantastic tool for making a connection that is more than just a voice on the other line.  If you’re collaborating with someone outside of the office, I’ve found that Skype is a great tool for putting your heads together for a project.

I would always recommending setting up a demo and testing the free version of any communications platform before purchasing to ensure that it meets your organizational needs.

I’m curious to know what tools or processes your team has implemented for internal communications, and what the results were: good, bad, and ugly.  I’m looking forward to seeing how different companies handle communicating with employees.

Instant Messaging Image provided via Shutterstock.


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Trackur: 5 Clever Ways You’re Probably Not Using Social Media Monitoring http://www.toprankblog.com/2012/08/trackur-social-media-monitoring/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2012/08/trackur-social-media-monitoring/#comments Tue, 14 Aug 2012 13:02:53 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=13995 [Sponsored Post: Trackur is an online reputation management and social media monitoring tool.  This post is from Andy Beal, CEO of Trackur.] When it comes to social media monitoring, I’m going to assume that you’re already monitoring your brand name, the names of your key executives, and, perhaps, your most important products. If not, you [...]

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[Sponsored Post: Trackur is an online reputation management and social media monitoring tool.  This post is from Andy Beal, CEO of Trackur.]

When it comes to social media monitoring, I’m going to assume that you’re already monitoring your brand name, the names of your key executives, and, perhaps, your most important products. If not, you do not have permission to read the remainder of this article, until you have these set up at Google Alerts, or your favorite social media monitoring tool. 😉

OK, for the rest of us, I want to show you 5 clever ways of using social media monitoring that you’ve probably not considered.

1. Find your industry influencers

As a reader of TopRank’s Online Marketing Blog, you’re already pretty well versed in many tactics for building your journalist and social media contacts list. I suspect each time you issue a press release, you also send it by email to the biggest name reporters covering your industry. But, are you sending it to the most influential people in your industry?

Using social media monitoring, you can keep track of not just industry trends and competitor announcements, but you can also start to compile a list of those journalists, bloggers, and analysts that have the most influence in your industry. For example, with Trackur’s InfluenceRank metrics you can quickly determine which bloggers have the biggest audience or which Twitter user has the strongest influence. With that kind of knowledge, you can tailor your media outreach not just to the biggest “name” journalists, but to the ones who are going to help spread your message the most.

2. Build better back links for SEO

Go to any large search engine optimization (SEO) conference and the most discussed topic will be that of link building. Social media monitoring gives you a couple of advantages in your link building efforts.

First, you can monitor for any blogger that’s discussing your industry on a regular basis (see above). With that knowledge, you can reach out to them and seek opportunities for either a standard back link, or offer yourself as a guest writer for their blog. Either way, you’re getting a new link from a site that is highly relevant and highly active in your industry.

Secondly, you can look for opportunities to get a link on a brand new site, before anyone else. For example, Trackur’s InfluenceRank will show you which blogger’s have the least amount of influence and traffic. That would normally be a site you’d avoid–especially for PR purposes. However, it can also mean that the site is brand new. It’s yet to receive any link requests, because it’s under the radar of most SEOs. Submit your press release, guest post, or blatant link request to a virgin site and you’ll find them far more approachable than the superstar blog or news site.

3. Discover new keywords

When we first launched Trackur, the social media monitoring space was still very much a cottage industry. We (wrongly) assumed that our target users would be searching for “online reputation monitoring” and so that’s what we optimized our SEO efforts towards. However, after weeks of monitoring conversations about our industry and competition, we learned that most potential customers were searching for “social media monitoring” tools, software, dashboards, etc. So we changed our focus.

We’re glad that we discovered those important keywords, but it was not easy identifying them. So we decided to provide Trackur customers with an easy way to discover new keywords. Now, in our dashboards, we show frequently discussed keywords that customers are not already monitoring.

4. Kick content scrapers to the curb

If you’ve ever written a blog post or article, you’ll know that it’s a thrill to see it published. You’ll also know that it’s not quite a thrill when you see that same article ripped-off by some scumbag scraper site. Your hard work is now providing AdSense revenue to some cockroach that doesn’t care about simple things like author attribution or linking back to the original source.

With social media monitoring you can take a unique string of text from your article, and monitor for any mentions of it on the internet. Not only is this a great way to see where it’s legitimately syndicated–which is also great for your press release tracking–but you can see where it’s being scraped. Once you’ve identified the scrapers you can decide which type of action you wish to take–leave it be, request a link, or report them to Google.

5. Protect your intellectual property

Along the some lines, you should be using social media monitoring to watch out for trademark or patent infringement. I have first hand experience with this, having discovered that a new start-up was set to launch in our industry with the word “trackur” in its name. The cheek! Fortunately, I was able to approach them amicably and point out our trademark–as well as the confusion it would generate–so they ended up changing their company’s name.

In the same vain, your own personal name should be treated like a trademark. Should someone start impersonating you, it could be very bad for your reputation, unless you nip it in the bud.

So there you have it. Five different uses for social media monitoring that you may not have considered. However, these aren’t the only clever ways to use social media monitoring. I bet you have a few of your own tricks up your sleeve, so please share one or two in the comments below. I’d love to read them!

Author Bio

Andy Beal is the CEO of Trackur, one of the largest social media monitoring services in the world. With plans starting at just $18 a month, Trackur offers audience measurement, sentiment analysis, and influence metrics without the high price or steep learning curve.


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Tips & Tools for Organizing, Implementing, & Monitoring Social Content Marketing http://www.toprankblog.com/2012/03/tips-tools-social-content-marketing/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2012/03/tips-tools-social-content-marketing/#comments Tue, 06 Mar 2012 12:19:22 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=13397 Working in the marketing department for any sized organization takes organization, dedication, innovation, and standardization.  BIA/Kelsey estimates that digital marketing spending among small and midsize companies will reach $16.6 billion annually by 2015. As online marketing budgets grow there is more room for testing and implementing search and social media tools that will help streamline processes and monitor [...]

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tips for getting organizedWorking in the marketing department for any sized organization takes organization, dedication, innovation, and standardization.  BIA/Kelsey estimates that digital marketing spending among small and midsize companies will reach $16.6 billion annually by 2015. As online marketing budgets grow there is more room for testing and implementing search and social media tools that will help streamline processes and monitor results.

With all the moving pieces involved in creating a successful online marketing program, it is easy to get caught up in the thrill of testing and purchasing new products and software tools meant to make your life easier. Believe me, I know about this first hand.

Over the past few years I’ve experienced selecting tools the right way, and the wrong way.  I hope that my experience will help you better select your own approach to finding new processes and tools that will make your own social media and content marketing efforts more successful.

Organization

I don’t know about you, but organization does not come naturally to me.  Don’t get me wrong, I can be organized, but it just takes a more concentrated effort.  In the past I’ve found shortcuts that fix the problem short term, but end up creating problems later down the road.  What’s the moral of the story?  Taking shortcuts is with social media and content marketing tasks will rarely help you reach your goals.  If you take the time to plan your content, promotions, and events based on a calendar you will be much better off.

Tool: Google Docs
If you’re like me and work for an organization that centers around collaboration I have found this simple and inexpensive (free) tool to be a great asset.  I use a combination of text docs and spreadsheets to plan out and create my content. Creating an organized file structure within the document center also serves as a way to organize based on client, project, tactic, or all of the above.  With the simple click of a button these documents can be shared with other members of your team, or be shared with clients for review.

Implementation

My advice for implementation?  Start small!  If you are organized you will have laid out a general (or specific) content plan to begin sharing on social profiles.  I’ve found that if I schedule social shares before the week starts, I can spend the rest of the week monitoring conversations and adding additional timely information to the mix.  Advance planning with social content sharing provides great peace of mind to know that you’ve shared something useful at least once a day, and that you be more attentive to what others are saying and determine how to interact.

Tool: Hootsuite
We all know that social media never sleeps.  So while you may not be able to respond to all requests immediately you can save time by scheduling out the promotion of your 0wn content for the week.  I wouldn’t recommend scheduling out more than a week because information can change quickly and it is essential to provide timely content on a regular basis.  Augment the information you’ve scheduled with Hootsuite to manually Re-tweet or re-share others’ content, as well as to ask questions and comments to engage followers.

Monitoring

When it comes to social media monitoring tools it is not one size fits all, especially if you are monitoring social media results for multiple situations.  Don’t assume that if one tool works for a particular project that it’s time to roll that same tool out to all of your other projects.  While you may not find a tool that meets all of your needs, experiment and test at least 5-6 tools. Involve multiple users and decision makers and have the team put together a list of benefits and drawbacks so you can find the tool that best meets your organizational needs.

Tool: SproutSocial
One of the tools that I’ve recently been testing for social media monitoring is SproutSocial.  This service offers many features and has some nice reporting features. In particular, I’m a big fan of the Twitter comparison reports.  If you’re looking for a quick snapshot of how one project compares to competitors, this report is pretty useful and includes comparisons for:

  • Engagement
  • Influence
  • Followers Gained
  • Mentions

These are just a few tools that I use personally for social content monitoring, engagement and promotion. I’m sure you’ve used many others and I’m interested in your opinions. Please feel free to share any recommendations you have for other practical social content tools in the comments.  Better tools means we can optimize our social media marketing efforts to become more efficient and impact. We can learn a lot more from each other, so let’s collaborate!


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The Key to Social Media Success is Understanding Your Audience http://www.toprankblog.com/2012/02/audience-social-media-success/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2012/02/audience-social-media-success/#comments Tue, 21 Feb 2012 13:18:47 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=13341 I recently attended a great presentation by Taylor Pratt of Raven Tools at OMS in San Diego.  He focused on the importance of using content marketing for improved social engagement. TopRank has been a long time and well-recognized advocate for the notion of customer centric content marketing.  Over the years we have seen SEO, social [...]

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What are customers saying about your brand?

I recently attended a great presentation by Taylor Pratt of Raven Tools at OMS in San Diego.  He focused on the importance of using content marketing for improved social engagement.

TopRank has been a long time and well-recognized advocate for the notion of customer centric content marketing.  Over the years we have seen SEO, social media, and content marketing industry change and grow at a rapid rate, so now more than ever marketers must create content to meet customer needs in order to execute a successful online strategy.  The social media game is not only evolving but the way that our audience consumes this information is constantly changing.

In fact, a study by NM Incite (a Nielsen/McKinsey Company) found that 2 in 5 social media users are accessing their social platforms from their mobile devices.

As additional devices are released on the market content marketers should be aware of these trends and create optimized content not only for computers, and Internet enabled devices, but for their customers as well.

How Do Your Customers Access Social Media?

 

Pratt also provided some valuable information on the different cycles that content marketers should go through in order to effectively target new customers.

Discovery

Any time that you launch a new client what is your first step?  I’m going to bet that discovery is typically your first step post sale (or pre-sale).  It is essential that you take a similar approach with your own company when launching a new social media campaign.  Some of the  key items you should be looking for when running your initial discovery might include:

  • Brand mentions
  • Product mentions
  • Keyword mentions
  • Competitor mentions
  • Influencer mentions

It is also recommended that you begin determining which social sites you should participate in, key influencers you want to get in front of, and topics that are trending or popular.

Listening

After you have discovered what is currently being said about your brand and your industry it’s time to really begin listening.  Attempting to jump head first into the deep end will not produce the results you are looking for.  Begin by tracking how your customers are using social media.  Are they sharing particular pain points or problems?  Are they looking for tips or advice in a certain way?  It is imperative that you interact with your customers in the same way that they interact with everyone else.  You may also want to determine:

  • Where are they participating?
  • What are they already saying about you?
  • What is their activity level on each social network?

Planning

Pratt shared a very insightful formula for the Planning phase of the process.  First you want to identify your business objectives.  This could be anything from improving your customer service to generating more sales.  Other objectives might include:

  • Improve brand sentiment
  • Generate brand advocates
  • Increase your brand reach
  • Reduce your sales cycles
  • Improve your product reviews or ratings

The second step involves identifying your organization’s value add.  Work to determine what sort of words your customers or potential customers are using when they mention your company.

Finally you need to define your level of commitment.  How often do you plan on interacting?  What steps must you take in order to create an engaging social media strategy?

Execution

When implementing your social media campaign it is very important that you as marketers consider how it will align with your other online marketing strategies.  The convergence of SEO, social media, and content marketing is no longer an option, it is a necessity.

Measurement

When beginning to measure your brand awareness there are four particular KPI’s to keep in mind.

  • Brand recognition
  • Share of voice
  • Engagement
  • Reach

A recent report by the Altimeter Group provides specific formulas for calculating each of the KPI’s listed above.

Although there are quite a few steps involved in creating a customer centric social media strategy it is well worth the effort.  Have to fear, there are many reputation management and social media engagement tools at your disposal.  Some require a monthly cost while others are at no charge.  Some of the tools available on the market today include:

Remember, one of the keys to a successful social media campaign is asking questions.  The more you know about your current and potential customers, the easier it will be to engage them online.


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Optimize Your Social Media Schedule: 4 Tips for Avoiding the Social Media Time Suck http://www.toprankblog.com/2012/01/optimize-your-social-media-schedule/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2012/01/optimize-your-social-media-schedule/#comments Tue, 24 Jan 2012 12:56:50 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=13264 Making the time to execute on a social media strategy can rattle even the most experienced marketers.  Unlike traditional marketing, social media marketing can present many different challenges and distractions.  According to a study by eMarketer 73% of marketers say finding the time to create content as their biggest marketing challenge. I recently ran a [...]

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optimize social media time

Making the time to execute on a social media strategy can rattle even the most experienced marketers.  Unlike traditional marketing, social media marketing can present many different challenges and distractions.  According to a study by eMarketer 73% of marketers say finding the time to create content as their biggest marketing challenge.

I recently ran a poll of @TopRank Twitter followers to get a sense of how they spend their time online.  I asked “If you had only 20 minutes a day to spend on social media what would you focus on?”  Some of the answers we received were:

  • @henryroominates – “I would try to connect with powerful Twitter users and Tweet content from my blog.”
  • @SebastianX – “I’d read my Twitter Followanyday List.”
  • @Paco_Belle – “Look at 2-3 Twitter lists, couple circles on G+, scroll Facebook timeline & look through my RSS feeds for new things.”
  • @Paramountbuzz – “Engaging others…doing it now.”
  • @GreenDolphin_ – “My RSS feed, Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook.”

If you are involved with implementing social media marketing, you know that 20 minutes a day just won’t cut it.  On top of implementing social media tactics, there’s also the task fo staying current. Lee’s post “11 Ways to Get Smarter & Stay Current in a World of Social Information Overload” outlined how much time can be involved using social tools to collect, filter and curate social media marketing knowledge.

Avoiding Shiny Object Pitfalls

Reuters estimates that the average worker loses 2.1 hours of productivity every day to interruptions and distractions.  To avoid wasting time begin by prioritizing your week.  While it’s true that unexpected issues can come up plan for the best and the worst.  If you have 3 hours per day on average to complete tasks related to social media strategy what will you get accomplished in those 3 hours?  If you were only to have 1.5 hours per day what would you want to get accomplished?  Proper planning will lead to improved productivity and efficiency.  Also, take some time to determine what your top distractions are and eliminate them.

Optimize for Productivity

Focus on what will have the largest impact on your productivity. Determining what time of day you are most productive, and which activities are most significant will help you to stay on track.  Are you an early riser, night owl, or somewhere in between?  Creating a daily schedule and routine can significantly improve your productivity.  You will also want to keep in mind statistical data which points to the best times of day and days of the week for engaging in social media activity.  A recent infographic by KISSmetrics on “The Science of Social Timing” provides valuable insight into the best times of day to share or engage on sites like Facebook and Twitter.  Some of the findings include:

Twitter

  • 5pm – best time to Tweet for re-tweets
  • 1-4 per hour – most effective frequency of Tweets
  • Midweek & Weekends – best days to Tweet
  • Noon & 6pm – best time to Tweet for increase Click Through Rates

Facebook

  • Saturday- best day to share on Facebook
  • Noon- most effective time to share on Facebook
  • .5 per day – best sharing frequency

Tips for an Optimized Focus

Now lets talk about some no brainer “don’ts” that the many of us “do”.  Let me know if any of these sound familiar to you:

  • Your best friend is having problems with their significant other so you keep your phone close, just in case…
  • It’s baseball season and your team is playing but you don’t have the day off, thank goodness for internet radio right…
  • You have email anxiety which forces you to check email every couple minutes because you never know what you might miss…
  • One of your colleagues is obsessed with chatting online and pings you every couple minutes with a question or joke…
  • You’re scheduling Tweets, posting on your personal facebook page, and reading Psychology Today all at the same time, because after all you are a master multi-tasker…

I too have often thought that I could do everything at once.  A balancing act acquired from years of having too much to do, and not enough time.  I considered multi-tasking an art form and a higher form of organization than my counterparts who only focused on one thing at a time.  I could not have been more wrong.  In recent years I’ve had to buckle down and force myself to devote all of my attention to one task at a time.  I’ve found that the quality of my work has improved and the level of my stress has decreased significantly.  Some tactics that have worked for me include:

  • Closing my email when I’m working on social media tasks
  • Close all Internet windows and tabs except for the one I need to work on
  • Disabling chat or closing chat windows to avoid distraction
  • Pick 15 minutes a day to indulge in activities such as checking personal social media profiles, responding to texts, or chatting with friends.
  • Spend 30 minutes to an hour each morning reviewing emails and responding, do the same thing before leaving at the end of the day.
  • It is significantly easier to stick to your schedule if you are working ONLY on the tasks you have scheduled in the time allotted.

Tools for Optimizing Your Time

Depending on your available time and social media content strategy, there are many tools that can help you accomplish more with less time.  Below are three different types of tools that social media marketers can use to get the most out of their time:

Curation Tools – good for quickly gathering and automatically sharing content

Social Aggregators & Management Tools –  follow and engage with multiple platforms

Social Bookmarking – effective means of organizing and storing social bookmarks

Next Steps

I’m sure you’ll agree that focus and time management are something that most of us can relate to.  Based on what was covered in this post, consider the following questions and determine what you can do to better focus on the tasks at hand:

  • What are your top 3 social media goals and do you have a plan for reaching them?
  • How much time can you dedicate each day to using tactics to reach these goals?
  • What steps can you take to improve your focus while completing social media activities?
  • Which type of tool: curation, aggregator, or social bookmarking can you use to help save time?

If  you are looking for additional tips on Optimizing your SEO, social media, and content strategies be sure to take a look at the new book: “Optimize: How to Attract & Engage More Customers By Integrating SEO, Social Media, and Content Marketing.”


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Scoop.It: The Topic-Centric Curation Tool http://www.toprankblog.com/2011/10/scoop-it/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2011/10/scoop-it/#comments Fri, 28 Oct 2011 11:01:20 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=12902 As an Internet marketer I am always on the hunt for new content marketing tools that can increase my efficiencies and improve engagement with my audience.  I cannot begin to express how valuable content curation can be if done right.  It will allow you tap into and respond to what people are searching for, what [...]

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As an Internet marketer I am always on the hunt for new content marketing tools that can increase my efficiencies and improve engagement with my audience.  I cannot begin to express how valuable content curation can be if done right.  It will allow you tap into and respond to what people are searching for, what they like to read and share, what influences their buying decisions and so on.  In my search for a new means of marketing I came across a tool called Scoop.It.  Below I have detailed my review of this tool including some of it’s cool features.

There were a lot of interesting tools on the list but one stood out, Scoop.it so I decided to look into it further.  The first thing I noticed is that the tool is in beta and I needed to sign up for an invite to be able to use this tool.  I’m happy to say my request was granted just 48 hours after submission, so right away I started to like Scoop.it (Once you are in and hit a minimum level of use, you are awarded 9 invites).

A few of the things in the post about Scoop.it that caught my eye were the ability to use an unlimited amount of sources (websites, RSS feeds, specific social media accounts, etc.).  The ability to us RSS feeds is important because I’m a big fan of Google Reader and already have a number of feeds I could use for some of my Scoop.it topics.

The other feature that peaked my interest was the ability to feed keywords into the tool and let it find content based on those.  As an SEO consultant and practitioner, I have great confidence that by choosing the best, most relevant keywords, I can seriously influence the quality of the content I receive from the tool.  I also know that if my first round of keywords doesn’t deliver exactly what I’m looking for, I can continue to adjust and fine tune my keywords until the curation tool delivers what I want.

I’ve been using Scoop.it for 4 weeks now and I must say it’s been a lot of fun and very easy to use.  The first thing you do after signing up is add the Scoop.it button to your tool bar so you can easily add posts as you find them.  I’ve installed the button on both Firefox and Chrome.

When you find a post/article that you want to save and click on the Scoop.it button, a dashboard appears on the right side of the page presenting you with a number of cool options.  From the pop-up dashboard you can choose which topic to add it to, change the title, image and intro copy and choose which if any of your social channels you also want to share this post on.

When you share the post on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn, another box opens so you can add a comment.  Then, when it appears on your social media profile, the tiny url that is automatically created, directs readers to the story on your Scoop.it topic page.  This is a great way to build followers and encourage sharing and, if you doing a great job of curating for a topic, you will see more followers and shares.

Overall my experience with Scoop.it has been very good. With the few issues I did have I was able to submit my question to support and receive a response in less than 24 hours.  I’ve been using the tool to curate content 3-5 hours each week and the more I use it and learn how to use it even better, the more I want to use it.

That said, there are 3 things I wish Scoop.it would add to this tool;

  • The ability to add multiple Twitter accounts
  • The ability to schedule sharing (It’s no mystery that there are better days and times for seeing re-tweets and shares )
  • A more impressive landing page for our topics (like Paper.li, etc.)
  • Ability to search on each topic page

While I  think Scoop.it is a great tool and with the addition of the items above it will be even better, I’m still on the lookout for the “perfect” content curation tool.  Let me know if you think you’ve found it!

 


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