Smart Social Media Tools and Tips

Thea Newcomb | Women Into Business Glasgow | WiB March 18 2014Last week, I delivered a talk: “Smart Social Media” at the Women in Business (WiB) networking event in Glasgow.

Also on the bill was a another, fellow sunny transplant, Australian, Ann-Maree Morrison from Labels4Kids. whos talk was firey, fun and fab!

So yes, all in all, was a rather like an international Social Media summit in Glasgow on Tuesday!

As Online Marketing is such a vast subject to cover, let alone in twenty minutes, attendees got a bite-sized-prezi-at-break-neck-speed! (Ha, sorry to the 80+ attendees).

For a recap to those who attended (or for those who didn’t but are interested), here is a run down of the talk and some of the suggestions that I made.

What is Social Media?

Different people have their own definitions to that question, of course. We went around the room and women fired out words like “Fast” and “Word of Mouth” etc..

Well, here’s a definition I made up:

“Social Media is communicating, listening, engaging, sharing, and marketing through online platforms (such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google+…)”

I stressed that the emphasis, at least to my mind, is on the engaging and sharing, and less about the marketing or promoting. 80-20 or even 90-10 rules apply here. No one likes to be sold to!

What is Content?

Next I asked the room what they thought “content” was. Content can be any number of things, some may be more obvious than others, but here are a few you can use to share on Social Media:

1. Text updates (with or without links)
2. Pictures with Text (in descriptions or on the pictures themselves)
3. Videos (highly recommended!)
4. Presentations (use things like SlideShare or Prezi)
5. Infographics (these are heavily shared when done right!)
6. Press Releases
7. Newsletters
8. Audio clips or Podcasts

Something else? Do you have other suggestions? Add them in the comments below…

Social Media Trends in 2014

Of course there are many “trends” that are happening in Social Media but I quickly cited four of them.

1) Mobile & Tablets. For using social media, but also viewing websites and buying online. Is yours optimized for mobile? Try it yourself, and have your friends/family beta-test it on theirs. How good is the experience?

2) Visual Marketing. “The only thing  shorter than a tweet  or a post is a picture.”   – Detavio Samuels. Yes, that about sums that up. FYI: For this, I had a picture of a rather hot, half-naked man sporting a kilt. (I believe that went down well – I certainly had no complaints)…   😉

3) Video. “According to WebDAM, visual data is processed 60,000 times faster by the brain than text, and videos on landing pages increase conversions by 86%.”

4) Google+. Well I would say that wouldn’t I? Given I am Glasgow’s Google+ Gal – soon to be training SMEs on Google Plus in Glasgow with my associate Brian Tait for Aillum.

Seriously though, I do know that poor G+ gets a lot of flack, it has its doubters, but I do feel it’s a place SMEs need to be if they have a product or service that people search Google for. If that’s you, get on it. As my Grandmother used to say “if it don’t do ya no good, won’t do ya no harm.”

NOTE: Please contact me if you’re in Central Scotland and are interested in the Google+ Training. You can email me my first name at this website or connect on any one of the social media channels at the top right!!

Social Media Tools

The Social Media tools I chose all had FREE and FEE versions and were ones I actually use regularly (most of them daily) for creating, sharing, monitoring and measuring social media activities.

1) HootSuite or some scheduling tool. Could be SproutSocial, TweetDeck or Buffer – but use something to help schedule tweets/posts. I’ve used all but the last one. I have heard great things about Buffer from my colleagues. Sprout is great but too pricy unless you manage a ton of social for clients. (IMHO).

My day-to-day effort is on Hootsuite with a pro account (which is only about 6 pounds!)

In addition to the scheduling, I also love that you can bring in “lists” and search by keywords and location. Very valuable to weed out the noise on social media (in particular Twitter). To be honest, I rarely look at my home stream – primarily just my various “lists” and my “keyword” streams.

2) Spundge – a tool that can help you curate content and archive articles for later use. I also use the pro account for that which has more features. I call it “Pinterest for content” as you create “notebooks” (not boards) to save articles, pictures, videos to. Spunge made some recent changes that I really don’t like, but the principle is still there and I still use it daily.

3) Manager Flitter is a “set of Twitter Tools loved by over 1 million people. Unfollow, Follow, Twitter Search & Analytics“. Basically I like it to help find who your key influencers are, and also to weed out the spammy or quiet followers. I subscribe to the “quality” over “quantity” on Twitter.

4) Bitly – Link shorteners. There are many others out there, but I use it and have stuck with it. It allows me to create a link that I can share across all platforms and then see which is working the best through it’s “Stats”. Very helpful to measure online activity!

5) Google Alerts – These are FREE email alerts that can sent to you any time your product or service gets mentioned. You can do alerts for your own name (maybe you’ve been quoted or mentioned somewhere in the press or on a site), your competitors, industry keywords, or whatever might relevant to you and your business.

SUMMARY

1) Know your Audience. Who are they? Where are they? Where do they hangout online?

2) What is your message? Who are you? What do you do? Why should people buy from you or use your services? Quality? Price? Variety? What is your USP?

3) Engage online. It’s not just about sharing content, it’s about having conversations. It’s about building relationships. Not just ROI but ROR – Return on Relationship.

4) Measure it! Look at your Google Analytics (everyone with a website should be using it or similar – it’s free and helpful!) Or study your Facebook ‘Insights’. You have to set up some KPIs to know what you’re doing is working or not! Or else why put in all of this effort?

5) Own it! Don’t try to be everywhere. Pick a platform where you think the most of your users are and really OWN IT. Light it up as best you can. Try different types of posts, different times of day. Remember weekends and night times as that’s when many users may be on.

I mentioned that I try to schedule a post every night on the So You’ve Been Dumped Facebook page at 9 or 10pm each night. That’s when the most of my audience is on!

So yeah don’t get overwhelmed with it all. Start with one and add more as you go and grow.

One thing I meant to say but didn’t – is that you may want to register your name on many social media platforms to claim it so someone else doesn’t! Even if you don’t plan to actively use it, grab it, fill out the profiles, use key words in bios and link back to your website  >>  Claim your username on Knowem.Com

FEEDBACK FROM TWITTER

Delighted to say Twittersphere went stratospheric after the talk. There were tons but here are just a few of the tweets:

 Thanks to @BGGlasgow @OryxSolutions @Labels4Kids @WeCanOrganise @WildFloursBakes @InternGenieUK @livenlearnuk @sept_marketing @SecretlilStars @misstracyruth @wiretrace …And to a few other lovely ladies where not even in the room: @bestevermassage @busitimesaver Thanks all of you!

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