Top Ten Social Media Apps

Managing all of your social media networks can be a chore.  Posting to just one social network on a regular basis can be a time consuming task let alone multiple posting to multiple social media sites.  And with the every growing number of social sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Foursqure, Yelp etc. it could get very time consuming.  Thankfully there are Free and Paid Apps available to simplify the process of posting and managing social media accounts as well as analysis and reporting tools available.

Ten Social Media Apps for Businesses

  1. Hootsuite is free for up to five social profiles and works across a variety of mobile platforms including iPhone, Android and Blackberry as well as the desktop for Mac or Windows working on multiple web browsers including Safari, Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer.  The Free version of Hootsuite manages up to five of any combination of the following social networks: Twitter, Facebook, Google+ Business, LinkedIn personal and LinkedIn Corporate accounts.  Hootsuite allows users to create a single individualized post per social network or a single message post across multiple social media networks.  The Hootesuite scheduling system allows users to specify time and date for their posts or allow Hootsuite’s algorithm to automatically make posts for optimal viewing time periods.  Hootsuite is the most integrated app to the largest number of social networks and the widest variety of both desktop and mobile devices.  There is a paid version for $9.99/month allows unlimited social profiles as well as access to additional features including reddit social news feed and StumbleUpon service, as well as basic reporting and analytics.  More integrated reporting and analysis is available on a monthly charge at a per report level or charges.
  2. Tweetdeck is a free web application for Mac or Windows working on multiple web browsers including Safari, Chrome and Firefox.  Tweetdeck is also available for Android user’s through the Google Play store.  Tweetdeck is one of the earliest twitter management apps and can manage multiple Twitter and Facebook accounts at once allowing you to monitor your feeds and display search results continuously.  This allows you to respond quickly to mentions of your company, brand or products made at any time.  Tweetdeck also has scheduling abilities allowing posts across social networks to be made at pre-selected time and dates.  Since its acquisition by Twitter, developers have improved usability and added features to Tweetdeck’s capabilities.  However, unlike Hootsuite, Tweetdeck doesn’t integrate Facebook Pages for Business, Google+, LinkedIn or any other social media outlets.
  3. Bizo Switchboard allows you to know who’s clicking on your shared links and the opportunity to engage them.  The Bizo Switchboard is a free web-based toolkit that enables shortening and published shared links that are trackable.  These trackable shortened links embeds a code in your shortened link that will aggregate data in the Bizo dashboard with standard metrics that will give you data on those who followed your links.  Find out the Geo location, referrers, total clicks, unique clicks and much more.  BizoSwitchboard also has a “brand bar” that will create branded shared links that you are sharing through social media channels, email, press releases, etc.
  4. Klout’s social media scoring dashboard analyzes social influence and assigns a score.  Allowing you to check out the scores of your followers to see their score across social media including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and other account activities.  This dashboard score can be a great way to find top influencers and popular accounts.
  5. Topsy is a real time search system for social media updates.  Allowing you to build and monitor social media campaigns and topics.  Topsy aggregates information allowing examination of the latest Tweets, Google+ posts, photos and videos.  You can set email alerts for important keywords in order to monitor for your business, brand, or vertical.
  6. Birdsong is a desktop social media reconnaissance tool that gives you analysis and competitive insights into what brands are doing on social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.  Birdsong provides information about when brands are active, who’s engaging with them and reports the activity and compares it to their competitors.  Birdsong helps you to identify opportunities for optimizing brands across social media channels.
  7. SociaLink is so new it hasn’t been released yet but is due to reach the Apple App store by the first week of December 2012.  This app was created by a trio of University of Arizona students to narrow down online connecting.  Utilizing Smartphone Bluetooth capabilities two people with the app connect through their phones which communicate each other’s acceptances of connections and relevant friend and follow requests automatically across selected social media accounts.  Connecting to non app users is simplified by using the email that links their social media pages together.  This will make sharing and connecting via social media simpler and faster than ever before.  SociaLink will allow for instant connections supporting Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.  If the app succeeds in the App Store the next step will be to create an Android app.
  8. SNOView makes maintaining multiple network sites simpler.  SNOView Lite is a clean and simple interface that allows users to integrate multiple social network accounts into one app to allow you to view news feeds automatically in one main screen.  Connecting your Facebook, Twitter and Google + news feeds simply and easily into a single app can make keeping up with your friends and followers much easier.  It is the perfect way to read all your news feeds from Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ but does not allow you to update your status or compose tweets.  Available through the Google Play Store for Android.
  9. Pinspiration is filling the gap that Pinterest has caused by not having an official app yet.  Pinspiration is available for Android and Windows Phones and allows you to post and pin Pinterest posts as well as check out boards and posts from fellow Pinterest users.
  10. AgoraPulse is a management tool for Facebook.  The AgoraPulse allows you to update your page and schedule updates as well as applications that will assist in growing your fan audience.  AgoraPulse collects data based on information related to your fan interactions that can be utilized for targeting specific offers to your fan base.  AgoraPulse also has detailed analytics that will give you an overview of how your page and posts are performing.  Different levels of service give you more statistics and information concerning your Facebook page but also competitors’ Facebook pages compared to yours is available.

Although there is no single App that works across all social media sites or has all the functionality you may need a combination of the above ten social media apps can streamline your social media marketing and management processes in order to make the most of your time.

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Top Six Instagram Apps for Businesses

Put Instagram to Work for Your Business

Many brands already have hundreds and some even thousands of pictures of products, services, promotions and other concepts running through Instagram across social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare.  Since Instagram photo sharing is so simple across Facebook and Twitter have been the most notable social networks to utilize Instagram, but other social networks such as Flickr, Tumblr and Foursquare can receive simple feeds from Instagram as well.

Six Instagram Apps for Businesses’

  • Ultraweather – Weather Forecasting meets Instagram in this app that features current weather conditions and precise forecasts.
  • InstaChimp – Connect your Instagram and MailChimp accounts to more easily share photos via email.
  • Instablast – This app will notify users when new Instagram photos are taken by their favorite Instagrammers.  Notifications alert them when new content appears in their feed.
  • Timehop – Links to Instagram as well as Foursquare, Twitter and Facebook to send daily email with social media posts from the exact day in history.
  • 52 Grams –  Imagine taking snapshots of outfits and tagging products in your photos thereby creating a personal lookbook.  Sharing that lookbook with others.
  • Insta-Great – Presents Instagram photos in a horizontal timeline.  Easily searchable via #tags.
  • Statigram – Instagram persona management tool that breaks down Instagram statistics and user information for users to maximize their posts.

Instagram is an unusual marketing tool that brings together photography, content and community to allow businesses to convey stronger and more relevant content for their audience that will become more engaged.

Social Media & the Future…

Yesterday my foster-daughter posted on facebook that her son had done his first #2 in a public rest room all on his own!  She was so proud and happy and just wanted to share with her family and friends.  But what about 10 – 15 even 20 years from now when her son looks back on that post?  Is he going to see it that way?  Is it going to haunt him forever?

There are photos from my childhood that are embarrassing,  pictures in the tub, mud pie face, running around in a diaper, etc…  We hide them, we beg our parents not to show them and we keep them hidden away.  But what if they were out there for EVERYONE to see 24/7!  That’s the new world order our kids are living in.  Parents posting baby pictures, cute anecdotes and information that would have been in a private family brag book or the like are now out there on Facebook, Blogs, Twitter, etc.

Those of us who use social media for work understand the concept of being careful what and how you say something because once it is out there it’s out of your hands.  Carefully crafting our posts and making sure we can live with the consequences.  But what about everyone else?

Are we thinking long term?  Do we think about how what we post online today will be viewed in the future?

Marketing can lead people to your site but that doesn’t make them leads

Clicks, visits, visitors, unique visitors, page views, time on site, etc. don’t really mean a whole lot if they are converting!

Organic, and Paid search along with social media can create traffic to any site but the site must lead the users through the conversion process in such a way that the convert.  Whether that is by filling out a form for a case study or white paper, signing up for a newsletter or blog rss feed, or registering for a trial membership the most important thing is to capture that conversion!  At the end of the day we’re all measured on that end resulting goal of the all might ‘Conversion’.

So I ask myself time and time again how to get that person to that form and how to get them to WANT to fill it out?  Not just using calls to action…not dangling more information in front of them…but make them WANT to be a part of that end result?  I believe that it is going to be by giving them the user experience they need to lead them through the research, sales process, and eventually the sale.  The one thing that is lacking in so many marketing and sales strategies is the user experience.  utilizing landing pages and A/B testing to build a better experience that will convert traffic into customers.

How To Promote Content On Social Networks Pt 5

Now What?

Post regularly to the social sites you have joined.

  • Comment on posts
  • Post your own content
  • Post other relevant content of interest
Create content to post to social media and post it
  • Post to relevant topics
  • Send to your ‘friends’
  • Comment on your post
Invite Guest to write for you
  • Invite people from your ‘friends’ list to write for your blog or site.

Make it easy for people to find you on Social Media and Follow your content

  • Build RSS Feed
  • Make links on your site or blog to your social media profile so people can ‘friend’ you and follow you there.

How To Promote Content On Social Networks Pt 4

Social Network Effects on Traffic

 

A little goes a long way and social marketing is not an “all or nothing” situation. Eventually you will establish yourself on the major social media sites you need to be on. And you will have a schedule that allows you to keep up with your other work while adding this extremely powerful marketing method to the mix.
  1. More activity on their blogs, such as more commenting and interaction.
  2. Direct traffic from incoming links on social media sites (One good StumbleUpon.com submission can net thousands of visitors alone.)
  3. Fast traffic increases and steady growth in unique visitors month after month.
  4. An increase in subscribers and sales. Social traffic, properly acquired, is very warm to your content, messages, and products. 

Steps For Starting a Social Marketing Campaign 

 

  1. Sign up for the major social sites: Digg.com, Stumbleupon, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn .  Don’t submit anything to these sites until you have filled out your profile completely and submitted news from elsewhere on the web to generate a real presence and avoid being labeled as a spammer. (Do not only submit your own content to social networks, be sure to submit content from other sites or sources as well)
  2. Schedule a bit of time each day to do some new things. Don’t just say you are going to do them. Write the time into your day and follow through.
  3. Join groups, make ‘friends’, and interact with others on these networks. Especially the people who would be most likely to link to your content and send you traffic, who write about similar things or have an audience similar to yours who’d benefit by knowing you. You can even start your own group, promote it in the network, and send “shouts” to the group when you have announcements or need attention to a new post.

How To Promote Content On Social Networks Pt 3

Social Media sites are where people post links to information they feel is relevant or vote for or comment on this information, such as articles and blogs.  Anyone can browse and look at content while members of the site may post and comment, but anyone can see or comment without having to be invited by another individual.

Examples are:
Digg
  • Reddit
  • Stumbleupon
  • Mixx
  • Delicious
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Blogs

A good social media optimization plan would include seeding these mediums with information and relevant links to content.  Building a network of ‘friends’ and posting other relevant information consistently.  You would not just post your own content but content that is relevant to your business or industry.  Be active and vocal, comment on items of interest and be an active member of the community.  

How To Promote Content On Social Media Pt. 2

Social Networks are sites where people’s interactions are the main focus of the information presented. You have to be invited or be a part of the group to interact in social networks.

Examples are:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Myspace
  • LiveJournal
  • LinkedIn

Joining these networks and building a network of ‘friends’ to share your site information with will help build your brand and bring about word-of-mouth traffic and inbound links to your site’s content.  Posting to these networking sites and building up a ‘friends’ list that will appreciate and utilize your information is critical.

How To Promote Content On Social Networks Pt. 1

This will be a series of posts about promoting content on social networks geared for small companies and individuals to learn the basics and how to get started and why it is important to utilize social media.

What is it and how does it work?

Social media/networking is the new frontier and for those unfamiliar it can be a daunting question. What is social media? How do I use it? Why should I use it? What will it do for me?

Social media is the use of sites that allow users to post and communicate information through the internet and mobile devices directly or through topical or groups.

They can be broken down into two distinct groups, Social Networks and Social Media

The Benefits of Social Media Optimization

Social Media Optimization is a relatively new, often misunderstood form of online marketing that is reaping huge rewards for website owners who incorporate it into their marketing plans.

  • Social networks are a good place to gain new eyes on content.
  • Social networks are good relevant inbound links.
  • Bringing content to a larger community.
  • Finding readers for specific topics.
  • Creating ‘word of mouth’ syndication of content through social networks.

My Job Search & Social Networking

Last Thursday my company had to let me go.  It seems finances didn’t work out as well as expected for the next round of venture capital for the company, last one in, first one out.

My first move after leaving work was to make contact with some of my former collegues.  Before I even got home I had a phone interview lined up for Monday morning. 

I’ve taken steps  to utilize my network and use the many tips that have been published of late concerning how to use your social network to help you find a job.  

I updated my LinkedIn account, posted on twitter, facebook, Livejournal, and all of my email groups that I was now looking for a job and in what field etc.  I made contact with old collegues and friends who consult and contract in my field or would have contacts who would need my particular services.

I have updated my resume, loaded it to all sorts of job search sites and sent a couple of dozen resumes to various positions of interest.  I’ve also begun utilizing sites like twithire to find positions and looking through my twitter list’s companies to see if any of their companies have positions etc. 

So what next?  I’m going to redesign my consulting web site and keep up to date on everything that is going on in my field, read books and journals I haven’t had time to read due to work and keep plugging along.  I will keep updating this blog as I go.