Archive for Social Media

Is It Sad That I Had A Dream For A Better Hootsuite

hootsuite worksWhen I woke up this morning I was very sad, because Hootsuite had not created the updates I envisioned in my sleep last night. It almost feels like I was robbed. Stripped of my humanity. The last shreds of dignity flailing in the wind.

Eh! Maybe a bit too melodramatic, but once you see what I dreamed about, you will agree with me that Hootsuite needs an update. As a pro user, I get a number of features from the site, but it can still be better.  Who knows! Maybe this is a germ of  a business idea? Ooh! Watch out Hootsuite!

The HootSuite Of My Mind

First, HootSuite needs to allow bulk updates for images. According to their recent support responses, they do not plan to anytime in the future despite a wall of complaints about this lacking feature. Actually had two clients recently ask me about this feature as well. Found a possible alternative, however in Postcron.com.

To help give HootSuite the kick in the pants they need to get this project started vote for pictures to be included: Check out this vote on HootSuite chats, where they have over 150 votes for this feature. However, the voting has been going on for two years now, so it might be time for Hootsuite to follow through on this idea.

Second, the Hootsuite bulk scheduler really sucks. Pardon my French! Or is that a poor excuse for English? Either way, the system is definitely bulkier! I used to use SocialOomph for mass scheduling. Social Oomph was a breeze. You would upload the messages and then create a standard amount of time between each update. The problem with Hootsuite, is that you have to create a CSV file with specific date parameters. This can be time consuming, and negates some of the benefits of a scheduler.

While I do have a quick fix that I will share on Friday for the social networking minute to make this process faster, it is still not a 1-2-3 answer. Part of the reason why you pay for a pro account is to make it easier to use the system. Having to set up the dates in their format on a CSV file is a bit wonky. To go through this idea further, wait for the end of the week (not the end of the world) when I publish my cool thoughts on this subject.

Third, I had a problem with Hootsuite recently, because the bulk uploader was not working properly. The system kept telling me that I could not process updates, and to fix the problem. What was this mysterious problem? I am not sure, because after fooling around with the system for half an hour it finally, magically worked.

I contacted customer service, or their support ticket system. Customer service responded back a week later. These were posts that I needed up that day. Thanks for the quick and efficient help!

Fourth, not to be a mensch, but there is a new social network called Pinterest. Please add them! Also, while we are at it, can you work out an agreement with Google to allow us to post to our personal profiles as well as our page profiles. While I applaud your initiative at putting in Mixi and FourSquare as options, please remember there are amazing social bookmarking sites like StumbleUpon and Reddit that deserve considering as well.

Future of Hootsuite

While I am not sure what the future holds in store for Hootsuite, it is evident the social firm needs to be a bit more social and interact with their user base. They are clearly not in step with their target market. I know this from extensive dreams that I have in the middle of the night, where I envision a Hootsuite that works the way I want it to work.

However, as they say. If this is the worst of your problems in life, then you have it pretty good. So, HootSuite take heart in the fact that you do have a number of cool features on your site. However, we need you to pick up the pace, so my dreams are no match for the extensive library of options you have available for your clients.

What Are The Benefits Of Using Social Media For Market Research?

It is no secret that social media has forever changed the ways that businesses and the public interact. Though businesses have realized the marketing and networking potential of social media, many overlook another potential benefit of these fast-paced platforms. When it comes to conducting market research, social networking offers a mix of affordability, easy access and transparency that make it ideal for businesses of any size or budget.

The Basics of Market Research Using Social Media

Market research covers a broad spectrum of topics and issues. With traditional market research methods, after deciding upon

social media market research

questions and criteria, you would form a focus group or find participants for a survey or other format. Social media is similar in this regard. After formulating questions and theories, you must find groups to observe or question. However, with social media, your options are virtually endless. With millions of users logging on to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media sites, finding your ideal demographic is as simple as a few quick searches and filters.

Much like traditional polling and marketing, specific platforms will work best for particular users. Though each platform will include a wide variety of demographics, suggestions include:

  • Facebook: As one of the largest social media platforms, Facebook is great for finding a variety of demographics.
  • Twitter: Popular with businesses and tech-savvy users, Twitter’s rapid micro post format makes it great for collecting information quickly but can be difficult to use for in-depth studies.
  • LinkedIn: LinkedIn is a great choice for B2B businesses or those researching professional industries. It is also a good source for finding trends analysis and recent studies by other businesses.
  • Google+: Though this social network is relatively small, it is growing quickly. With support for Hashtags, communities and other advanced features, it will continue to improve its market research potential as it matures.

Benefits of Using Social Media for Market Research

There is an abundance of reasons why social media is ideal for market research. These are five major benefits:

1.       Variety and Scope: Millions of messages, posts and interactions occur on social media networks each day. This means that it is easy to find information about a particular market, business or demographic. Simply use the built-in search tools or a premium client, such as HootSuite, and start researching.
2.       Low Cost: Unlike focus groups or ethnographic research, it is possible to conduct market research using social media without the help of a professional. Most major social networks are free to join and use as well. This means that your only investment is time and effort. With proper planning, social media market research offers outstanding ROI.

3.       Uncovering Hidden Trends: Most interaction related to market research on social media is participant driven. Instead of determining questions and polling participants, you are able to observe conversations as they occur. This can lead to the discovery of trends and information that might otherwise go undiscovered.

4.       No Pressure Communication: One of the biggest obstacles faced by businesses conducting market research is eliminating bias. In formal settings, participants might be prone to tell you what they think that you want to hear. Social media’s casual etiquette allows you to learn how markets speak about various aspects of a product or service. This is great for learning how to adjust your company voice or connect with customers.

5.       Quick Turn Around: Digging into the wealth of information on social media is as simple as performing a search. Advanced APIs and other tools allow automatic gathering and sorting of information as well. This makes is possible to conduct research quickly and efficiently. This reduces the chance of data becoming obsolete before research is completed.

Planning Your Social Media Market Research

Depending on your market, the process might vary slightly. However, these best practices offer great results for most businesses:

1.       Identify Your Market Personas

2.       Determine Questions and Concerns

3.       Assign Questions to the Best Platforms

4.       Conduct Research

5.       Analyze Your Results

By following these steps, you can add a level of accountability to your research efforts, reduce time investment and improve the quality of your results.

Social media platforms offer an endless bounty of information for businesses looking for market trends or way to improve operations. From small local businesses to online startups, social media based market research offers outstanding benefits. When it comes to business tools, the accessibility and low cost of social media make it an essential part of any business’ toolkit.

Willie Pena is a freelance writer, video producer, visual artist, and music producer. He prefers the Oxford comma and enjoys writing about qualitative research. In addition to writing for firms such as IBM, Colgate, Transunion, Webroot and a multitude of private clients and websites.  Connect with him on Google+.

 

Keys to a successful Social Media Marketing Campaign

By Haylen Bradley

Social media. What do you think of when you hear the words? For many social media is something for the younger generations, something that is too complicated or too burdensome to worry about. But, a sound social media marketing campaign can do your business wonders. As social media can be fickle, though, it is important to get a solid foundation before jumping in head first.

–          Take advantage of your existing networks and communication channels

It’s always said that, in business, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. Social media strategies are similar. In order to launch the most successful campaign you possibly can, you need to reach out to those reputable people you already know and communicate with on social media.

For example, if you were to tweet something from your business profile, each of your employees should also reach out to the people they know. This helps build a reputation for the information in the tweet that is much more natural.

–          Add social media to traditional marketing strategy

It still surprises me. There are many businesses out there that do not use social media as an extension of their traditional marketing strategy. They separate the two, each burdened with the knowledge that the other strategy has so much to offer the other.

Well, you can use social media as an extension of your traditional marketing. Here’s an example: Let’s imagine for a moment that you’ve got a great new product or service, so you write up a standard press release (description, expert quotes, etc.). You’ll then send it out somewhere like PR Web, where your press release will be sent to blogs and news outlets all over the place. You’ll then find the websites that posted your press release, pick the best one, and blast that link out using Facebook and Twitter.

You can also use social media as a planner and exclusive form of event creation. I’ve written about this in the past, and with new technology and techniques, like credit card machines or small crowdsourcing options, using social media to help make sales outside the office walls or online makes more sense than ever.

–          Watch your self-promotion

Keeping your business goals in mind is crucial to any business owner, but keeping them in mind when creating a social media strategy is just as crucial. Your level of self-promotion will depend entirely on your business goals.

There are companies that can talk about themselves exclusively, like Apple, because they create an engaging product. If you own small interior design firm, you’ll probably need to sprinkle in some lifestyle posts with your self-promotional posts. You want to bring the consumer in with good information and build trust. You can’t do that by talking about yourself all the time. It’s a balance, and knowing your audience will help you find that balance.

–          Speaking of content… follow the 1/3 rule

Generally speaking, you should use the 1/3 rule when it comes to your content. You should create original content about 1/3 of the time. This is NOT advertising. This content should be helpful to the reader and answer the questions they are asking.

Another 1/3 of your content should be advertising, promotions, and engaging with the customers. Use this chance to really bring them in, answer their questions, and give them peace of mind.

The other 1/3 of your content should be shared from other trusted resources. This goes hand-in-hand with your original content. You want to show your company’s value beyond the dollar sign.

–          Automate it

You probably have office hours or regular working hours. But sometimes, social media doesn’t adhere to those hours of operation. There are tools out there, such as TweetDeck and HootSuite, that allow you to schedule tweets, Facebook posts, etc., for those prime social hours that come after you’ve closed up shop for the day.

Be advised, though: Automating all of your social media is a bad idea. This takes away from the genuine interaction that is possible through social media. Automating will, however, allow you to reach those people after hours, and save time and stress.

–          Be visual

For social platforms such as Facebook and Pinterest, it pays to be visual. In order to be viral, you almost have to be visual. People respond to visual stimulation much more than they do a long body of text, so give them what they are looking for and pay attention to your visuals first. Then, allow the content to flow from the visual.

–          Be engaged

You’ve got all this great content, a great product, and the customer is engaged. But now they’ve asked a question or made a comment. Are you going to respond?

Absolutely. This doesn’t mean you have to answer every single time someone posts something, but it’s definitely a good idea. You want to create the conversation, be a part of the conversation, and encourage others to join in. By joining in on the conversation your content started, you show that you and your company (your brand), really cares about the customer and maintaining a relationship with them.

–          Create an editorial calendar

By creating an editorial calendar, you have the ability to structure your content (and how it is disseminated), which also allows your brand the ability to build relevance and harvest familiarity among consumers.

More than that, though, you can better track your marketing efforts and come up with better ideas for future posts. For example, let’s imagine you set up your marketing effort to discuss industry trends on a Tuesday and consumer tips on Wednesdays. With an editorial calendar like this, you want have to search the recesses of your brain for topics to keep your content fresh and relevant.

–          Cultivate your brand

The goal of any marketing campaign is to increase revenue and bring back customers. The same is true of your social media campaign.

You can use your social media marketing efforts to build an identity for your brand and be open with your potential customers, which means building out a detailed profile. This is also a great opportunity for you to incentivize becoming a member of your social media circle (i.e. promotions, deals, specials, or exclusive content.

Social media can appear pretty daunting at times, and it can take time to learn, but with the right tools and know-how, you can run a successful social media marketing campaign.

Haylen Bradley is a consultant for small businesses in the Houston area. She is also an MBA student at University of Houston. In her spare time, she writes for TipsOnHowToSaveMoney.com. Follow her on Twitter.

 

How Social Media Helps Infographic

Lot of new developments and changes are taking place in social media. One has to keep updated to know latest trends in social networking to utilize the tremendous opportunities offered by social networking to get connected to target audience. Properly executed social media marketing strategy can achieve surprisingly very good results.

The big reach of social networking can be seen from the fact that there are 850 million Facebook users, 500 million Twitter users, 135 million Linkedin users, 50 million Google+ users and 10 million Pinterest users.

Social media is a platform to connect people. Important social media are Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Google+, Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram, Myspace etc.

Social media are used by following types of people/instituitions:

  • Individuals – Personal, Politician, Celebrity
  • Government – Government Department, Ministry
  • Business – Company, Freelancer
  • Non-Profits – Charity, Social Worker

Objectives for utilizing social media are:

  • Get social – increase fans or followers
  • Share – Photos, Videos, Articles
  • Send a message – Latest news, Promotions
  • Feedback – Customer comments

If we use other means like direct face to face interaction, phone calls, TV/Radio, Newsletter etc. they are highly labor intensive, time consuming, high cost and results in low engagement.

 

how social media helps

This post is written by Karl Hunt and he works at CouponAudit as a writer, where thousands of valid and working online coupons are available for different stores. For example you can use Proflowers coupon code 2013 etc. to get discount on your order while shopping on that store.

 

Social Media Memes

Ready to peruse some really bad social media memes that I created? No! Why not? They are funny. Oh! You do not know what a social media meme is? Then let me take a moment to explain.

A social media meme are the fun pictures that you see with cats and other funny items with a zingy one-liner. Now, a zingy is something fun and to the point. Probably the opposite of this ramble I just had with myself. Huh! Such is life.

Below are a few Social Media Memes that I created. Please try not to be too harsh on my sense of humor, however, feel free to share away on the social networking sites when you find a meme hilarious. Just link back. Hope that was not too much self-promotion in one post. If it was not let me know, I can add more.

Sexy Social Media Memes

Smart Phone Meme-Aw Shucks! (Yes I used this one before)

Cats And Smart Phones copy

Catching Up On My Reading (Yes I used this one as well before)

Content Is King

Who’s Afraid Of Social Media Now!

Do You Hide In Fear From Social Media!

I might have dated myself with this meme

I Am Too Sexy For Facebook!

Take 1

I Shall Paint You A Picture And Put It On Pinterest!

Take 2

Reddit Anonymous
They So Smart

Two Heads Better Than One

So, which one is your favorite? Do you now know what a social media meme is? Cool! Now it is time to vote on your favorite. Choose one above, and let us know, which is your favorite social media meme.