Leading Social Media Monitoring Tools

Why not take the opportunity and responsibility with commitment and dedication to hear and see what are peoples’ views and opinions, and experiences are?

Google Alerts: You will receive many results based on your topic inserted. This allows you to monitor and manage any developing news story about your brand or organization, your competitors’ or even your CEO; it helps you keep in touch with the current competitor landscape or industry. This could also help you track any celebrity or event that your brand endorses or even your organization’s favorite sports team!

Technorati: Technorati helps out brands and organization, as well as bloggers succeed by collecting, highlighting, and distributing the global online conversation. The site has become the definitive source for the top stories, opinions, photos and videos emerging across news, entertainment, technology, lifestyle, sports, politics and business. Technorati.com tracks not only the authority and influence of blogs, but also the most comprehensive and current index of who and what is most popular in the Blogosphere.

Addict-o-matic: Addict-o-matic searches the best live sites on the web for the latest news, blog posts, videos and images. It’s the perfect tool to keep up with the hottest topics, perform ego searches and feed your addiction for what’s up, what’s now or what other people are feeding on.

Twazzup: Twazzup is a leading real time news platform.You enter a keyword and Twazzup creates a dashboard tracking the topic on Twitter. It breaks down and categorizes by link popularity, contributors, news, tag clouds and users, along with including live pictures.

Social Mention: Is a platform that aggregates user generated content from across the universe into a single stream of information. It allows you to easily track and measure what people are saying about your brand or organization, your competitors or industry, a new product, or any topic across the web’s social media landscape in real-time.

Work Streamer: Workstreamer is a relatively new service in the market which allows you to register with them, and then track specific companies. You pick the company you want to track, and then Workstreamer culls information from the internet.

Hoot Suite: Hootsuite is a social media monitoring app that works with social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Foursquare, MySpace, and WordPress. It allows you to easily track all of your accounts your brand or organization hold in the above stated platforms, including @mentions on Twitter. In addition to this, you can track keywords on Twitter.

Klout: It measures influence on topics from across different social media platforms. It allows you to track the impact of your links, recommendations, and options across a variety of social media platforms.

Board Tracker: Is an innovative forum search engine, message tracking and instant alerts system designed to provide relevant information quickly and efficiently while ensuring you never miss an important forum thread no matter where or when it is posted. The great thing about Boardtracker is that it can tell you who is contributing to which topics and ranks them in order of frequency.

Source: Dailymirror

Facebook Obsession!

A week back Mashable posted an article on being obssessed with Facebook. And it depicted the story through an infographic. Amazing stats but not surprising, given the popularity of the social network.

In India, its the Google powered Orkut that wins hands down but with Facebook being all over, it’s no wonder that many Orkutians are now deleting their account and posting status updates and scraps which say “Goodbye Orkut, welcome Facebook!”

With more than 500 million active users on Facebook, it’s no wonder that this is the most sought after channel. With businesses seeking to reach their target audience within a short span and consumers getting more closer and brand conscious, Facebook offers new-age marketing techniques.
Want to know which movie is showing in PVR? Discounts in Lifestyle? The new product announced by Dell? Want to be the next Levis Girl? Looking for career opportunities in Microsoft? A little bit of poking and fun and growing a farm?
All this and more only on Facebook!

Or are we too obsessed with FB? Check this –
One out of every 13 Earthlings and three out of four Americans is on Facebook
48% of 18-34 year olds check FB right when they wake up!
57% of people talk to more people online!
A record breaking 750 million photos were uploaded to FB over New Year’s weekend!
Average user has 130 friends
People spend over 700 billion minutes per month on Facebook!
More than 70 translations available on the site
There are more than 200 mobile operators in 60 countries working to deploy and promote Facebook mobile products

More at Mashable

A random blog post on social media

“Social media is not just Facebook. It has many more things like video sharing, RSS, Blogs, Image sharing, forums, webcasting etc.” This is not entirely true. Social media can be done only on Facebook as everything that is mentioned above can be done on Facebook. A site like Foursquare may be really good and has the potential to turn around things in the social media marketing. However many people do not visit Foursquare and thus it is not a good idea to run a social media campaign there. In a country like India where the internet penetration is still low, Foursquare will take some time to get its market share or perhaps you never know. Social media can be best done when there are many visitors.

Well many visitors remind me of something. I have this client which is not like the “Apple” or the “Nike” and I have been doing a lot of thinking about increasing the member base on the Facebook page.  B2B client as you see is challenging to get people “liked” or “Joined” your page. Unless you do some spamming activity oops ….promotions; seeding links on relevant pages, running an ad about your page or something like wise, increasing the member base is quite like a rocket science (I know I’m exaggerating). I know my target audience is present on Facebook and running contests or gratifications may not help. Brand evangelists who are the existing customers and employees of my client are reluctant to talk on forums and in social networks. One of the social media gurus that I have interacted recently suggested about creating social heartbeats for the brand. Well that’s even more challenging than rocket science…lol. Ok I’m stopping here about my client. This blog is supposed to be about social media marketing.

Marketing as you see has changed over the decades. There was this “direct mailer” in the 70s and today it has become “junk mails”. In the 80s you were encouraged to collect tokens, bottle caps etc and redeem for gifts or discounts. Today you log on to fashion & you or “like” a Facebook page to get discounts or exciting offers. You never know something else may replace social media, perhaps mobile communications. What works today may not work tomorrow. So adaption is the key to success.

Leveraging Social Media to grow a business

I’m sure many of you must have heard of social marketing. Well to plan a successful social media campaign and to reach the end goal, it’s extremely important to get the deeper knowledge of it. A lot of people don’t know what twitter is, or facebook is or linked in. Research says that twitter is growing by more than 300 percent per year but people are still really trying to figure out how to use it. The biggest part of social media is listening, and this is when you have the opportunity to hear what people are passionate about you and ultimately that gets back to the question about how you make yourself stand out. You need to find out what the target audience is interested in, what matters to them and how you can deliver that to them to be able to effectively capture them as your client. People use social media for branding, information sharing, public relation and understanding the customer. Ultimately it’s going to move on to lead generation. It’s inexpensive and you can compete with the big boys out there. It takes 3 to 6 months to get results from Search Engine Marketing. Many people do not have time or patience to wait for 6 months. Here social media marketing comes into the picture. The point of marketing is to be able to communicate with your target audience, answer the question that they have and to hear what’s relevant to them, ultimately answer their needs. One important thing is when you get the target audience you have to have relevant, authentic information that people want to hear about so that you are constantly communicating with them, letting them contact you back. Lead generation is the big trend in social media as it is time intensive but cost effective. It actually makes us easier to find the target audience. At a low cost it gives you the niches, if people have graduated, done their 4 years of college etc. You can get down to the nitty gritty with who you want to have your ads popping up in front of and whether it’s relevant or not.

Some of the ways that small businesses are using social media for marketing are by sponsoring interactive content, researching new product ideas, using them for online focus groups, overall interaction, promoting themselves organically through messaging, monitoring trends, etc. These are all perfect for aligning you a glimpse in first hand to what makes the customers click. Planning is equally important as any other activities in social media marketing campaign. What money you are willing to invest, what time equals for your money, how much time you are willing to invest every day, every week and every month, who is your target audience, what channels you gonna use, what you gonna say that is relevant and when you gonna say it, and what is your end goal. These are some of the things which you need to keep in mind while planning a social media campaign. Your product/service may be something that people need now or may be someday and you want to make sure that you are at their finger tips when they are ready to use. Create top of mind awareness. Facebook, twitter, linked in, youtube, forums, photo sharing, Q&A etc are some of the channels for social media marketing. The channel you choose depends on the product or service you have. Choosing the right channel can save you time and also help you to reach the target audience. For instance, lets take wine, obviously when you market this product you not gonna go into a gadget forum or a student forum. Once you decide the right channel and get the target groups, don’t just jump into it with sales and advertising. Become part of the community, get to know what people are talking, take part, and add value to the site by posting relevant and authentic information. Once you sound like a marketer people will start regulating you and closely monitor your post. These are some of the few things which I keep in mind while working on a social media marketing campaign.

The New Twitter!

Twitter users use many of the third party applications to tweet; some of them are TweetDeck, Hootsuite and EchoFon. They make it easier to manage followers, conversations, replies, retweets and the like. Scheduling and posting tweets via these third party apps is what most Twitterers do. Applications can be desktop, and mobile.

New Changes in Twitter have been announced. One is all applications are now required to use OAuth to access Twitter account. This means one can access Twitter applications without the password, except for desktop and mobile applications. All applications one has authorized will be listed at http://twitter.com/settings/connections. This helps to revoke access to any application at any time from the list.

Another change is the use of t.co which wraps links in tweets, which shows the actual domain and a part of the URL. This lets users know where exactly they are clicking. All links shared via Twitter and third party apps will be wrapped to a t.co URL.

The design of the new Twitter is also being talked about. One can check bios without navigating from the page.  More information about the content will be shown such as replies, other Tweets by that user, a map of where a geotagged Tweet was sent from, and more. It allows for keyboard shortcuts, it will let one see the real name rather than the Twitter name of the user and many others.

If the tweets link to a photo or video, Twitter lets one view them in the right-hand column.  Thanks to partnerships with Flickr, Twitgoo, TwitPic, TwitVid, Vimeo, and YouTube among others. There are several other new perks, including location maps, mini profiles, new error messages and improved landing pages.

This means will third party apps die? Will people open a desktop client and manage their Twitter account?  Third party apps like TweetDeck, Seesmic, Hootsuite allow scheduling, and manage multiple accounts.  That is why most businesses and consumers use these apps to make life simpler.

With the amazing features being rolled out by Twitter, people will more likely use the new Twitter if it offers the various features that third party apps do. For now, we need to wait and watch how well the new Twitter fares and if it will bid farewell to third party apps which most of us use.

What you do with Social Media matters!

All you people out there who think Social Media is your USP and just love it, because it’s what you do for a living, don’t be laidback and complacent with your social media skills. Pull up your socks! Yes, look around and what you get to see and hear is people bragging about being on social media.

But does being on so many networks make me an ace at social media? The answer is NO!
Social media is not about opening an account in every possible platform but it is what you do with it. Majority of the people use SM to connect with friends, colleagues and family. With the gap in communication decreasing, technology is making it easier to connect with your class-mate you hated in school. In the era of Facebook, you love to ‘poke’ or ‘throw a sheep’ at her!

Facebook is the largest platform to share content online. But what you share matters. If you are a photographer or pursue photography as your hobby then share it on Facebook, Twitter or Flickr. You could also blog about it. This way you get people to notice what you do. I’m not saying you cannot post a status update saying you watched Inception and loved it. That’s great. But make social media work for you in the right way. Social media is used by businesses to promote their brand or product to millions of customers. Gaining visibility, creating brand image, loyalty and customer satisfaction are some of the aspects that businesses aim to acquire with social media.

Technology is moving at a rapid pace, what was once thought to be great techniques of marketing (email marketing) is now paving the way for web 2.0 and web 3.0 marketing. In a few years, social media will be all about technology and how we can leverage technology for better results. Learn the ABC of SM as fast as you can or you will lay your hands across the social media platforms not knowing what to do.

With many people showing a keen interest in knowing more about social media, what it offers and how one can use it…it’s time for folks in social media to upgrade their knowledge and be as tech savvy as they can.

Social Media for Public Relations

Social Media is changing the face of public relations. More and more clients want to incorporate social media with the traditional PR. Print media is not just enough these days for a company to reach out to their target audience. Digital media will play a bigger role in PR industry eventually. Social media in Public relations is slightly different from online Marketing. Social media in online marketing is about clicks, unique visitors, impressions, traffic to the website, leads and more. In digital PR clients do not look for clicks or traffic to their website, but more interested in interactions, member base and creating word of mouth through social media. Website or traffic is not important to such clients. The success metrics is measured on the basis of interactions through social networks and number of followers of their groups/pages. There are many people who do not post updates, tweet or comment, but they visit and read posts. Digital PR should start measuring visits, impressions and clicks. These metrics are as important as someone liking the post or comment. Social media makes public relations complete. Offline PR activity can be replayed online in social media and vice versa. Support traditional PR with aggressive social media to achieve a good ROI.

Social Life of Teens

We have all been talking a lot about Social Media and its various business purposes, its way of connecting to millions of people and customers and the fact that it is a great medium to market your brand and yourself. We are all brands marketing ourselves in this dog-eat-dog world. Whether it’s at your work place or having an active wall and innumerous friends!

Generation Y is close to technology and has been experimenting with it, trying to figure out that communication is now just a click away! It is no wonder that the current generation breathes technology! According to findings from an Alloy Media + Marketing, some 71% of online teens and tweens visit social-networking sites weekly, and more than half of all teens fall into the age bracket of 9-17 year olds.

Social Networking is getting tweens and teens hooked onto the online medium, giving television a steady competition. My cousins who are 13 and 16 love the online medium! My 16-yr-old cousin is seen networking on Facebook and Orkut with great excitement and enthusiasm. As we have our old friends and current networks on our profile, more and more teens are making a great number of friends via social networking sites.

Adding a status update on the last exam you just goofed up to your crush on Edward Cullen, its all on your wall! Sharing latest school pictures and endlessly talking to your best friend is what teens want and they get it at a snap!

Gone are the days when internet was a way to just get your homework done, today it shows you how it needs to be done, with online discussions and conversations all there to help you. If your little teen sister meets you less often, don’t worry, its just that she has a wall to talk to!

Social Media and email marketing

Social media and email marketing when used together can grow your business and meet you r goals. Customers, clients, members and prospects are chatting up a storm. They are posting on facebook, tweeting on twitter, posting videos on YouTube, blogging and engaging in conversations, sharing information, participating in forums etc.
If you are not taking part in the conversation where your customers and prospects are taking part, you are missing out on a huge opportunity. Email and social media create a powerful marketing mix. Social media engages your audience, creates buzz and email marketing takes those conversations- and the relationships you’re building to the next level. If you tweet in the morning and the customer logs on in the afternoon, that follower may miss out on what you had to say. In this case email offers a more intimate level of contact with your customers.
Five things you need to know so that you can make the most of the social media and email marketing mix:
1. Increase social media presence so that you don’t miss out in reaching your target audience. Some people like streaming feed on twitter while others like postings on facebook. More professionally oriented people may use LinkedIn to build network and connections.
2. Invite your newsletter subscribers to follow you on twitter, become your fan on facebook and become a connection on Linkedin.
3. Repurpose snippets of articles you’ve already created (or aggregated) for your email newsletter. You don’t have to create brand new content to engage people on social networking sites.
4. Invite people to your website or your blog. When you post something on social networking sites always link back to your website, blog or newsletter archive.
5. Drive people to your website or blog, landing page and invite them to sign up for mailing list. Put the landing page link to your facebook page, twitter page, blog and other channels.
Tap into social media to engage customers in lively conversation. Then invite them back to your website, where they can learn more about your business and sign up for your newsletter.
Source: entrepreneur.com

Social Bookmarking and its uses

The age of Online Marketing is here! With new and interactive social media channels available, businesses and common people like you and me are realizing the potential of the online sphere.

One such aspect of Social Media Marketing is Social Bookmarking which helps drive traffic to your website. Advantages of SBM are many. Not only does it help build backlinks, it gets your website/ webpage indexed in a short span of time, which makes it easier to find a place in search engine rankings.

One can bookmark a favorite website, or link that is interesting, and which eventually gets more readers due to its content. The essentials of Bookmarking include having a good link/website, generating tags or keywords that people usually search for, having an attractive description which can be a quote, a review, an introduction to the link submitted etc. Tags and descriptions created by people who have used the site have a greater chance of being clicked and viewed than boring and dull content.

All these help you get the desired traffic to your website with search engine results that ultimately get you on top of the desired search.

Bookmarking also shows the perceived interest of other readers and its popularity. Links can be shared with friends, businesses and others that helps you share information faster and with ease. Also, its simple features like voting for your favorite link or adding comments gets the message across effectively. Also the website or page bookmarked gets categorized. Hence many sites such as Stumble Upon have categories to classify the same. Social Bookmaking acts as a database, where one can refer to the website and WebPages bookmarked and shared with people across the internet.

Delicious – the Social Bookmaking site established in 2003, gave bookmarking a whole new meaning and emphasis in the role of internet marketing. Now, sites such as Delicious, Stumble Upon, Digg, and Diigo among others are the most visited for sharing content online.

This is an inexpensive way to make visitors come back for more and get new visitors too!

Go ahead; share your thoughts on bookmarking!