Friday Clicks [Volume 20] | The Best of the Social Web

This was a full week with a bevy of digital April Fool’s jokes and the mega-popular app Instragram finally coming to Android phones everywhere. It’s also a good week to think about what kind of message your company sends out over a holiday weekend. Do you feel comfortable posting about Easter? If not, that’s okay, it’s just wise to have that discussion before the time actually comes.

The Links:

  • Photo-sharing is becoming more and more popular as people’s attention spans for reading go down. So which sharing site is right for you? Our opinion is probably some combo of Tumblr and Instagram. (Click here)
  • I’ll again highlight my love of craft beer with a blog post from New Belgium Brewing Company. They launched a new beer, and with it one of the more creative marketing campaigns I’ve seen this year. It includes: an infographic, a mobile app and even a Pandora radio station. (Click here – you’ll have to go through an age-gate)
  • There have been a number of companies jumping on Pinterest lately, but Kotex seems to have embarked on the first true marketing campaign using the new-ish site. Pretty interesting! (Click here)
  • This is one of the more incredible infographics I’ve seen detailing the rise of Draw Something. It’s the fastest app to ever reach 50 million downloads. (Click here)
  • Yes, Google+ IS still around, and folks ARE still using it. All kidding aside, Chris Brogan featured an infographic on his blog detailing how people can use it for 10ish minutes a day and find success. (Click here)
  • Singer Kimberly Cole held a dance audition for a music video, and a nerdy guy showed up with incredible dance moves. It’s clearly a joke, but the dude is a totally legit dancer. It’s quite awesome.

Did we miss anything? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter!

Jeremy Anderberg

Jeremy Anderberg

Jeremy is a blog-reading, report-writing project manager. In his spare time he enjoys reading a good thriller, drinking a freshly brewed cup of coffee, and spending time with his wife.

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Social Media For Personal Use vs. Business Use

On our weekly show yesterday, The Social Truth, we talked for a little while on the differences between using social media personally and using it for your business/brand. Unfortunately, due to some technical issues, the show was not recorded, so I thought I’d give you a short recap of what we talked about.

I’ve personally encountered a lot of people recently who have been thrust into doing their employer’s social media because 1) they are young and 2) they know a little bit more than the next person. This is all well and good, except that most people’s understanding of social media comes from how they’ve used the various networks personally.

The reality, however, is that using social media for your business or brand has a few key differences that must be taken into account. If you are using the exact same strategies (if you have a strategy at all), you are missing out on the full power of using the social world for your marketing purposes.

The highlights:

  • Content
    • Personal. Here, it’s okay to simply share the old Twitter mantra “What are you doing?”. Your family, friends and coworkers may in fact be interested simply in what you’re up to that night. And they are definitely interested in pictures of your kids, kittens and kite-flying afternoons.
    • Business. This is all about sharing content and giving value. Most of your updates will include links, or little nuggets of wisdom related to your industry. That’s why they are coming to you.
  • Networks
    • Personal. Stick with what you like. Think of it more like a hobby. Love making videos? Dive in to YouTube, and try out Twitter later on. Are you a photographer? Stick to Flickr for now, and try out YouTube later. Don’t feel obligated to be on everything.
    • Business. Have a footprint on all the channels you can reasonably handle. Obviously you don’t want to be overloaded, but you want to reach your intended audience where they are, and they probably aren’t all in one spot. We especially advocate for the Big 5: blogging, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn.
  • Facebook specifically
    • Personal. You don’t have to reach out much. Here it’s okay to simply be a consumer and digest all the posts coming your way. Put smiley faces and “lols” on everything you like.
    • Business. Get familiar with applications. You can literally do just about anything within a Facebook page that you’re able to do on a standard website. If you didn’t know that, you’re already behind. Do some research and know what they do. Also be intentional about reaching out and adding comments to other pages that add value to the people reading.
  • Consistency
    • Personal. It’s not crucial that you’re posting every single day multiple times. I am one who has a love-hate relationship with social media. Yesterday, for instance, I forgot to tweet altogether, and I get paid to do social media (Yikes! Am I fired?). At the end of the day, though, my friends/family/followers will come back to me because they have a real relationship with me.
    • Business. Consistency is crucial. If you’re not posting every day, your audience is finding a similar company who is. I guarantee it. There are tools like Tweetdeck and Hootsuite that allow you to do this if you have to be out for a few days. Make it a priority to share fresh content at least once or twice every single day.

A couple last points. You want to make sure to clean up your own social media once you become in charge of business or branded accounts. Go ahead and delete some of those old college photos, and clean up the language as well. This doesn’t mean don’t have fun, it just means be a little more aware of what you are posting and the people who might see it.

You also want to make sure you have a strategy for jumping into social media for business use. Read some books and take a look at the companies who are doing it really well. Have defined goals and ways of measuring those goals, just like you would with any other marketing or advertising strategy.

Using social media for yourself may be intuitive, but it’s almost certainly not intuitive when you are doing it for a business or brand. If you have questions or comments, drop ‘em below…or find us on Facebook and Twitter as well!

Jeremy Anderberg

Jeremy Anderberg

Jeremy is a blog-reading, report-writing project manager. In his spare time he enjoys reading a good thriller, drinking a freshly brewed cup of coffee, and spending time with his wife.

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3 Social Media Changes You Don’t Want to Miss

As a social media company, it is our job to stay on top of all the fancy new stuff that pops up every 10 seconds or so in our industry. Most of these changes don’t really mean much to you, our readers – they are new startups working out glitches, back-end programs that make our jobs easier, or simply new ideas that haven’t quite reached critical mass yet.

The last couple weeks, however, have brought about 3 major news items that are worth sharing. The first is the release of Google+, a social network that is Google-based and is supposed to be a new rival for Facebook. The second is a trio of information bits from Facebook regarding their chat features. And finally, YouTube is in the works of redesigning their user experience, and the early results look promising.

1) Google+

Currently in Beta Mode with limited availability, Google+ seems to be aiming at being a simpler and more user-friendly social network. Friends are organized into “circles” such as work, friends, family, acquaintances, etc. The rumor is that it will be open to the public as of July 31. They will also be rolling out business profiles sometime in the next few months.

Pros:

  • Seamlessly integrates with other Google Apps, especially chat.
  • Has built-in video chat.
  • Organizes friends better than Facebook, making it easier to find the ones you’re truly interested in following.

Cons:

  • Yet another social network to share content on.
  • Not sure yet of how it competes in the social world with the giants that are already present.
  • Has yet to integrate things like events (Google Cal?) or collaborative work (Google Docs?).


2) Facebook Chat

Facebook held a live event viewed by thousands of people online to announce their latest upgrade. The Facebook Chat feature has long been known to be a little glitchy, and not as easy-to-use as Google Chat or Skype. They seem to be trying rather hard to fix that problem. Their trio of items to note:

  • Group chat: You can now add multiple people to a single chat box, making things like weekend planning a breeze.
  • Chat sidebar: depending on your browser size, you may now have a sidebar with a listing of your friends and the ability to chat with them right there, versus just that little box in the bottom right corner.
  • Video chat: This is the biggie. Facebook has partnered with Skype to bring video calling to any of your Facebook friends.

Pros

  • Group chat seems like an awesome feature and will be easy-to-use. This will make life much more simple for a lot of people and even businesses.
  • The ability to video chat without having to download a program is huge. You now have access to all your friends, versus just those with the Skype program.
  • They capitalized on the best video technology out there (Skype) instead of trying to create their own.
  • You can leave video voicemails when your call isn’t answered.

Cons

  • You still have to download a plugin, and it may not be user-friendly for those who aren’t tech-savvy.
  • Still no group video chatting – that really would have been icing on the cake. It will likely be a paid premium feature in the future.


3) YouTube Redesign – Codename “Cosmic Panda”

This change might be my personal favorite. Virtually since its inception, the site has looked a little clunky, and not very user-friendly. All of that is about to change with this update. The overall design is slick and clean, and makes navigating much more intuitive. To activate the update for your account, visit www.youtube.com/CosmicPanda.

Pros

  • It just looks and feels so much better. That’s a big pro in our book.
  • Playlists are organized neatly on the right side and can be seen at all times.
  • Channel stats such as subscribers and views are now easily visible on the rop right.
  • You can change the video size manually, putting the viewing experience totally in your control.
  • It is easier to scroll through videos of a selected channel.

Cons

  • The “Featured Video” seems to be lost, so the video that people see when they land on your channel is likely just the most recent upload.
  • That’s about it for now! We LOVE this update!



What do YOU think of all these changes? What pros and cons have you found? What are you most excited to start using? Chime in here on the blog, or over on our Facebook and Twitter pages!

Jeremy Anderberg

Jeremy Anderberg

Jeremy is a blog-reading, report-writing project manager. In his spare time he enjoys reading a good thriller, drinking a freshly brewed cup of coffee, and spending time with his wife.

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How To Improve Your Writing For Social Media (In 140 Characters Or Less)

 
 
 

To see the real-time stream of these tweets on Twitter, click here.

Rob Wormley

Rob Wormley

As a social media specialist, Rob thrives in situations that require constant creativity. On days when Rob isn’t working hard to create, maintain, and strengthen relationships online, you might find him spending time with family, browsing through his nearest bookstore, or sipping on a cup of coffee at his local Starbucks.

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10 Reasons Why Your Competition Is Beating You On Social Media

Although you might not want to admit it, I bet you’re paying attention to how your competition is doing on social media. Have you noticed lately that their social media profiles are growing a lot faster than your company’s social media profiles? It might be because of one of these ten reasons:

1. Your competition has a presence on multiple social media sites. While you’re spending all your time updating your company’s Facebook page, your competition is busy sending out tweets, uploading YouTube videos, connecting with potential leads on LinkedIn, creating a new album of photos on their Flickr photostream, and updating their blog. Your competition understands the importance and value of building an online brand presence through the use of multiple social media platforms.

Create a presence on all the popular social media sites

2. Your competition is updating their social media profiles consistently. Your competition’s social media profiles continue to grow because they continue to provide consistent, valuable content to their followers. They have maintained a loyal following thanks to the consistent updates they post on their social media profiles, and have even started attracting new followers. 

3. Your competition is going out of their way to invite customers to connect with them on sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn. Are you telling the customers who walk into your door about your social media presence? Is it in your brochures? Your quarterly newsletter? Your email signature? On the back of your restaurant menu? Your competition is going out of their way to invite customers and prospects to connect with them on their favorite social media sites.

4. Your competition is posting a variety of content. Your competition isn’t re-posting promotional text from their website. They are creating Facebook photo albums of their last corporate event. They’re finding interesting links that relate to their industry and sharing them with followers. They are uploading client testimonial videos and behind-the-scenes video tours to their YouTube channel. Your competition is posting content that they know their followers will like. They aren’t worried about leaving out the promotional text from their website, because they are attracting new customers by providing value.

Create a Flickr photo gallery and share it on Facebook

5. Your competition is cross-promoting. Your competition is telling their Twitter followers about their Facebook page. They are ending every YouTube video by inviting viewers to connect with them on their other social media sites. They are embedding their Facebook page feed into their blog. They understand that their LinkedIn connections might not ever realize they have a Flickr account unless they occasionally share links to their Flickr photostream on their LinkedIn profile.

6. Your competition isn’t afraid to answer the hard questions. If you’re afraid to answer the tough questions that people might post on your company’s Facebook page, don’t be. Your competition isn’t afraid. In fact, they encourage their followers to ask tough questions, because they see it as an opportunity to strengthen their online reputation. Instead of ignoring or deleting tough questions that show up on their Facebook page, they’re being proactive. They’re taking the time to come up with a helpful, thoughtful answer that will show people how much they care about their customers.

7. Your competition is customizing their profiles with recognizable brand designs. You might understand the importance of presenting a consistent brand design when promoting your business in the physical world (you have a standard design or logo that appears on your flyers, your company shirts, your store sign, and your press releases), but you’re not (successfully) incorporating your company’s consistent design into your social media profiles. Your competition has taken time to design visually-interesting, customized designs for all their social media profiles.

Customize Your Social Media Sites

8. Your competition is taking time to listen to advice, suggestions, and other helpful comments. Your competition is not only improving their online reputation by listening to advice and comments made by their followers, but they’re also using these comments to improve their business in general. They value the interaction that is happening on their social media profiles, and they are using suggestions made by followers to evolve their business in the physical world.

9. Your competition is utilizing social media tools to become the expert in your industry. Where are your potential customers going to learn more about your industry? If you think it is your website (or your competition’s website), you are wrong. Your potential customers are learning about your industry on places like Facebook and Twitter because it’s easy for them. Your competition understands that. That’s why they are going out of their way to provide valuable content and information to people on their social media profiles. They are becoming the experts in your industry.

10. Your competition has support from employees, clients, and other businesses in the community. Your competition is succeeding on social media because they have support from every employee who works for the company. Every one of their employees is promoting the company’s social media profiles in email signatures, at meetings with potential clients, and everywhere else. Your competition also has support from clients. They even have support from other businesses in the community who are interested in building a relationship online with them.

Interact with other businesses in the community

If you want to start seeing better numbers on your social media sites, implement some of the strategies that your competition is implementing. Use this list to beat your competition on social media. Become the expert in your industry. Invite your customers to connect with you on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, and any other social media site you use. Listen to what your followers have to say. Update your profiles consistently, and provide value. It’s worth your effort and your time.

Still have questions? Ask me on Twitter. I’m @robwormley.

Rob Wormley

Rob Wormley

As a social media specialist, Rob thrives in situations that require constant creativity. On days when Rob isn’t working hard to create, maintain, and strengthen relationships online, you might find him spending time with family, browsing through his nearest bookstore, or sipping on a cup of coffee at his local Starbucks.

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What Happens When You Don’t Use Facebook?

We talk to a lot of people who don’t think Facebook is necessary for their brand or company.  What they don’t realize is that millions of people have come to rely on Facebook as their primary form of interaction with companies, brands, and people.

What happens when someone can’t find you on Facebook?  They give up and look for someone or something else to replace you. The hardest thing to do as a brand is to get people to trust you.  Facebook makes taking that step a little easier for the customer.  They can start by clicking the “Like” button.  From there they can interact with you and your page all the while developing a better relationship with your brand.

Marketers have spent years trying to find the perfect customer.  A customer who wants to hear what you have to say and who will spread the gospel of their favorite brand.  Facebook offers a way for those customers or fans to find you and we would recommend taking advantage of it.

Having a presence on Facebook doesn’t mean you are getting anything out of it.  You have to be willing to maximize your efforts by creating strategies that get your customers and “fans” involved. By being valuable to those who choose to follow you, learn from you, be entertained by and informed by you.

How are you being valuable to your customer base?

Mike Bal

Mike Bal

Hi, I studied advertising, I have a passion for creativity and I love working in social media. I try to write about the combination of traditional marketing, branding, and advertising strategies that can apply and work affectively with social media. I also enjoy music, batman and life.

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Why Businesses Can No Longer Ignore Social Media

Business Journal social media panel

Panelists at the social media panel of Business Journal

Social media is probably one of the most effective marketing tools in the hands of business owners nowadays. With more than 105,000,000 users on board, Twitter has the potential of driving literally millions of potential new customers to any business. Facebook is another big player, of course, with more than 520,000,000 user records in its databases. These two networks collectively have the power of boosting the revenues of any business beyond what is possible through any other means.

The situation is now such that no business around can afford to ignore using social networks in their marketing campaigns. In the coming days, the situation is certainly going to persist. The more companies “listen” to their social networks, the more they are bound to benefit from the power of this highly effective marketing tool in their hands.

Check out what the panelists of the social media panel of The Business Journal had to say about the impact of social media on businesses here.

Joe Soto

Joe Soto

Joe Soto is the CEO of One Social Media. A leading expert in social media marketing, Joe has over 16 years of experience in all aspects of sales, marketing, online lead generation, and Internet marketing.

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Twitter Hashtags Can Help Draw Traffic towards Your Business Website

Twitter hashtag

Using Twitter hashtags can draw a lot of traffic to your website

If you have been using Twitter for popularizing your business, then you must have noticed hash (#) tags being attached to certain keywords in a number of posts. Apart from allowing these keywords to be properly crawled by search engines, proper usage of hashtags can also draw targeted traffic towards your business website, thereby allowing you to potentially find new customers/ clients.

Sounds fascinating, doesn’t it? In fact, it is even easier than it sounds. Simply add some hashtags related to your business anywhere within the messages you post on Twitter, and you can see that your posts are being indexed for high speed searching, and are also appearing on Google real time search a lot more than ever before.

Need to know more before you can think of using this tactic in your social media marketing campaigns? Check out this link.

Joe Soto

Joe Soto

Joe Soto is the CEO of One Social Media. A leading expert in social media marketing, Joe has over 16 years of experience in all aspects of sales, marketing, online lead generation, and Internet marketing.

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Top 3 Mistakes to Avoid when Using Twitter for business

If you do any kind of online marketing for your business, then there is a high chance that you are using Twitter for at least sending out new updates about your products and services. That is fine, but if you are noticing a steady decline in the number of followers you get, then maybe it is time to look closer at your business account. There are many mistakes that people make while using Twitter, some of which can quickly shorten your list of followers. Here are 3 major mistakes that you should always avoid when using Twitter for business purposes:

Keeping your profile incomplete

Seriously, there is no excuse for making this mistake. Completing a profile on Twitter takes just about 10 minutes, including uploading a photo. If you are getting antsy about uploading your mugshot, go for any image, but please do not keep the box blank. When anyone is genuinely interested in your tweets, he (or she) might actually come looking into your profile. What impression will you be creating in his (or her) mind then?

Putting up direct sales pitches in your profile

You may tweet all day about your great new eBook showing how to become a millionaire in 24 hours, but please leave your profile page alone. A customized background is great, but please leave any sales pitches out of this page. Fill in a couple of lines about your company, however. It would act as an icebreaker for someone interested in your tweets.

Automated tweeting

Tweeting at regular intervals with Hootsuite or Socialoomph is fine, but do not post automatically generated messages in your account all day. This is one of the reasons for which you may lose a gazillion followers in a week. Always use proper messages in your tweets, and do not attach a link to your wonder products with every tweet.

Twitter can be a great online marketing tool, and with proper usage can indeed boost your business revenues by a good extent. Be sensible in your usage of this social media platform, and you will reap its benefit to the fullest.

Joe Soto

Joe Soto

Joe Soto is the CEO of One Social Media. A leading expert in social media marketing, Joe has over 16 years of experience in all aspects of sales, marketing, online lead generation, and Internet marketing.

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Tips to Tweet Right

This one’s for the newcomers on Twitter and those who need some advice on how to do some meaningful tweeting.  First and foremost you need to remember – be real, be yourself, and use a tone of conversation you would have others use with you. If you can remember and put this to use, you are on the right track.

1.    Depending on the kind of followers you want to target, share information that is new, fresh, and offered from a fresh perspective.

2.    Interact with people by responding to their tweets. You might comment on a bit of information shared by someone either by providing additional information, replying to a question, or by expressing your view on the topic.

3.    Respond to Direct Messages or @mentions. Apart from spam, make it a point to reply to messages sent to you. When someone mentions you or retweets your post, acknowledge it. Thank your new followers and do all of the above mentioned in a  sincere, authentic voice.

4.    Get your new followers to know more about you and ask them about themselves too. Some people may use a Twitter client to respond to new followers while some may do  it directly through Twitter. Whatever the case, you need to add a personal touch by expressing interest in your followers. Only then will they show interest in you and pay heed to what you have to say.

5.    Follow live events on Twitter with a hashtag (#tag). You will find several people using hashtags and following events; if the event is of your interest join the bandwagon after introducing yourself. This is a great way to make new contacts among people sharing your interests. You can follow up with these people even after the event.

6.    Ask questions on Twitter. This is probably one of the best ways to find niche followers and build your network. You will be surprised at the kind of ideas, leads, and insights you can receive by tweeting wisely.

Twitter is a very powerful social media platform which can work wonders for your brand or business if it is used optimally.

Joe Soto

Joe Soto

Joe Soto is the CEO of One Social Media. A leading expert in social media marketing, Joe has over 16 years of experience in all aspects of sales, marketing, online lead generation, and Internet marketing.

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