Archive for June, 2011

Social Media Myths as set forth by Mashable.com

Posted in Uncategorized on June 14, 2011 by Kalli's Connections

This post originally appeared on the American Express OPEN Forum, where Mashable regularly contributes articles about leveraging social media and technology in small business. So in case you missed this in your daily Mashable read, here it is again (all credit to Mashable here)

25% of small business owners said they plan to spend more on social networking in 2010, according to the Ad-ology Small Business Marketing Forecast.

Facebook ranked as the most beneficial social network for small businesses, followed by LinkedIn and Twitter, according to the November 2009 report. The 1,100 small business owners surveyed said the biggest benefits of social networking were the abilities to generate leads, keep up with their industry, and monitor the online conversation about their business.

But despite the enormous growth of business presences on social networking sites, there are still many misconceptions about how best to use social media. To help cut through the hype, here are a few social media myths dispelled.


Myth #1: Small Businesses Must be on Social Media


social icons imageAd-ology’s study found that 31% of small business owners said they don’t use social media because their customers don’t use it. If that’s the case, find where your customers are and the best way to reach them there.

Warren Sukernek, partner and vice president of strategies atLift9, said there’s a rush to get on Twitter and launch a blog without a plan. He stressed that spending time up front doing analysis, research, and goal setting will make a social media plan easy to execute.

He recommended first getting active as a lurker on different social media networks to see what’s happening and what people are saying. For example, check out what other companies are doing on Twitter and then assess what you like and don’t like.

Sukernek also pointed out that social media fits more naturally for certain types of businesses, but that doesn’t mean other businesses shouldn’t be on there. It may just take more time to build an audience.

“I wouldn’t dissuade that B2B company from dipping a toe in. It might make sense to dip a toe in a different pool of water,” he said. He suggested that being on an industry-specific forum or LinkedIn might work better in some cases than being on Twitter.

Depending on what the goals are, gathering competitive intelligence might turn out to be what’s most valuable to a business, according to Sukernek.

“It’s hard to put a price tag on that,” he said.


Myth #2: Set It and Forget It


twitter signup imageDon’t expect a case of build it and they will come. Sukernek compared it to building a brick-and-mortar store and not putting a sign on the outside.

“You’ve got to promote it,” he said.

Cross promote your web site with the pages you set up on social media sites. Sukernek advised integrating these social media sites into your business’ offline activities. For example, a retailer should list their fan page URL and Twitter name along with its company’s web site.

Time spent on social media efforts depends on the type of business and the goals involved, according to Sukernek. Goals should be distilled down to revenue and key performance metrics.

“Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Set some reasonable, manageable objectives,” he said.


Myth #3: Word of Mouth Presence Isn’t There


Sukernek said small businesses think that if no one is talking specifically about their company on social networks, they don’t need to be there. He disagrees.

“They’re talking about subjects that are germane to the brand,” he said.

On the other hand, what if your small business is being talked about on social media in a bad way? Sukernek said people are probably already doing that, and suggests it’s better for small businesses to be aware of it and address it directly on those platforms.


Myth #4: Social Media is Only for Broadcasting Messages


megaphone imageTreating social media as a one-way communication channel is an approach that’s doomed to fail. Check in with your fans and followers by asking for feedback, responding to questions and comments, and being personable to build relationships with customers.

“It’s conversational. It’s dialogue,” Sukernek said.

Concerns of small businesses on social media aren’t much different than those of large companies. For those businesses that aren’t careful, subscribing to these social media myths can result in some big mistakes.


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Control Your Social Activity For Free!

Posted in Uncategorized on June 4, 2011 by Kalli's Connections

With the boom of Social Media in business I have seen an enormous amount of small start up that off the ability to track all of your social media efforts in one location – for a fee. “Stumbling” around today, I came across a great site that offers this to you FOR FREE!  Thinkup , in their words, in an “open source community of developers, writers, designers, bloggers, journalists, data nerds, and social media enthusiasts whose goal is to make meaningful software with world-class documentation.”

Who ThinkUp Is For

ThinkUp is for organizations and personalities who are active on social media networks, have more than 1,000 friends or followers, and need deeper analysis tools to derive meaning from those interactions.

ThinkUp is for:

Government agencies who want easy ways to survey constituents, analyze and share response sets as well as track and archive conversations.

Personalities like journalists, bloggers, and celebrities who want easier ways to manage interactions and compile feedback from fans and followers.

Publishers like bloggers or broadcasters who want easy ways to measure reach and analyze content performance on social networks with readers, subscribers, and followers.

What ThinkUp Can Do

At its heart, ThinkUp is a conversation analysis tool. ThinkUp helps you pose questions to your followers on social networks, and compile and share the responses, whether you’re The White House asking U.S. citizens what our country’s next Grand Challenge should be, or a writer asking what the best brand of ballpoint pen is.

ThinkUp also helps you answer questions about your social media activity, like “Who are my most popular followers?” and “How many people saw a retweet of this tweet?”

Using ThinkUp, you can:

Analyze: Get insightful graphs and charts in a single simple dashboard which helps you make sense of your social network activity.

 

 

Search: Ever get frustrated that Twitter doesn’t let you find a tweet you posted a year ago? ThinkUp archives all your tweets from the time you start running it, plusall  its  replies and retweets, and makes them available to search and export.

 

Visualize: ThinkUp’s rich visualizations let you see your conversations mapped across the globe, or as a collection of most-frequently mentioned keywords.

 

Publish: ThinkUp lets you publish and embed conversations on a blog or website. Everyone can benefit from the wisdom of your social network.

 

 

Export: Export your tweets at any time and open them as a spreadsheet in Excel for further analysis. Or just save them for recordkeeping.

 

 

 

So hurry on over to ThinkUp and check out it’s freeopen source web application and begin capturing your posts, tweets, replies, retweets, friends, followers and links on social networks like Twitter and Facebook.