Author: strategisadmin

How well do you know Google?

Google+Wallpaper

Ever since its 1998 launch, Google has become something like an online library- A really cool library, that does not smell funny, and doesn’t make you get a membership card or pay late fees. Anything you need or want, Google has. It is so easy to use and find what you are looking for, no other search engine comes even close (not even Bing – I know – I’ve been using Bing for three weeks now and I am ready to throw my computer out the window. I would love to see the number of people who have tried a search on Bing and ended up using Google. )

Any idea how many keywords you type into Google on a daily basis? Why would you – unless you have nothing better to do? My guess is that you search so often, you don’t even realize that you are a Google search term pro. Good enough to recognize the search term if you are shown only a bunch of pictures????

Let’s see just how well you know how to Google – http://grant.robinson.name/projects/guess-the-google/

Once you spent few addictive hours on this game, let us know your high score.

The Twitter Must-Haves

twitterbird

By now we all recognize the amazing power and growth of the next social bug: Twitter. Twitter has proven to be a versitle and robust ‘buzz’ tool within a variety of business circles. Even so, what many people have yet to discover is the power of the varying third party tools you can use in conjunction with Twitter. I call them the “Must-Haves”.

When using Twitter as a business tool you will realize that although Twitter is a great tool for building buzz, educating consumers and business partners and creating dialog for interaction, its back-to-basics nature sometimes limits how much you can really accomplish.

This is where the Twitter tools come in – they make up for what Twitter lacks. And maybe the best part about these tools is that they are not incorporated with the original twitter site. The user can pick and choose what he or she needs to suit the needs of the organization. Keep the good stuff, leave the dumb fluff.

That being said, here are ten of our favorite tools:

1.) twAitter – Allows you to schedule tweets in advance. Also gives you advanced control over behavior of future tweets including repetition, start and end dates, frequency and a variety of other options. This tool allow the pre-scheduling of tweets.

2.) Twitter local – Allows a user to follow others within a designated geographical area.

3.) WeFollow – Allows a user to search others based on keywords.

4.) twitturly – track what URLs people are talking about as they are posted on Twitter.

5.) Snitter – Tool for managing twitter accounts

6.) HootSuite – Manage multiple accounts with one login. This tool is useful for organizations that manage multiple accounts ie: marketing agencies or parent companies that operating various brands.

7.) TweetStats – a hub for Twitter trends and analysis. Analyze your tweets and those of any username by hour, month, and timeline to determine a pattern of activity. Reply statistics and topic clouds also paint a picture of influence and key themes that portray interests.

8.) TwitterFriends – analytical tool for identifying relevant conversationalists, revealing conversation patterns, and visualizing material conversation networks, by Twitter ID.

9.) GroupTweet – allows workgroups, extended networks, communities, and anyone who wants to broadcast and share private tweets to a specific group.

10.) Diingo – Diingo’s “Twitter-this” feature, you can easily share interesting websites or content on Twitter with a shortened URL – from the page you’re visiting. It also allows you to easily add highlights and sticky notes to any webpage, and then share the annotated page with your Twitter followers.

Together these, and the many other twitter tools available, can help make twitter into an organization’s prime social media resource in today’s ever-advancing marketing world.

So, do you have a favorite twitter tool that helps ‘boost your buzz’?
Let us know.. .

thanks!

Ahmadinejad Missed Social Media 101

Too bad Ahmadinejad missed Strategis’ Social Media Presenation by Pam Maloney and Adam Cupples.  If he had attended he would have realized to also block twitter along with the host of other filters he placed on Facebook and Youtube.  And admittedly, I am not quite a fan of twitter just yet, but no one can deny it’s powerful social impact in Iran’s struggle to get inforamtion out to the world.  Who would have thunk it.  Oh well Kristin, please invite Ahmadinejad to the next presenation.  Thanks.

Social Media Monitoring and Your Online Presence

Dolores and I had the opportunity to speak at the State Office of Minority and Women Business Assistance (SOMWBA) Access to Sales & Marketing event this afternoon.  We spoke to the group about the importance of understanding and monitoring your web presence and using the information you find to answer the questions – Are you where you want to be? Are you who you want to be? Are you engaging the right audience?

Other presenters at the event included Lynn Donahue, author of Brick by Brick: A Woman’s Journey and founder of the nonprofit group Brick by Brick Foundation, and Dr. Nora Ganim Barnes,  Director of UMASS Dartmouth’s Center for Marketing Research and author of the Center’s research study ‘Social Media in the Inc. 500: The First Longitudinal Study.’ Dr. Barnes spoke about her study of both the Fortune 500 and the Inc. 500 and how these companies use Social Media. I felt pretty good about our presentation when Dr. Barnes ended hers by saying that every business owner should be monitoring their company on social media.

Agreed! Monitor your company, yourself and your competition! We preach this to our clients every day – the importance of knowing who you are online.

Here are some questions to ask of your company: What does your customer think of you? How is your message coming across? Are people talking about you? How can you contribute to this online conversation?

Here is my top five things you can do to increase your web presence:

1. Realize it is important to monitor the online converssation, find the time to monitor it or hire the time. Not participating in the online conversation or worse – not being aware of it – is detrimental to the growth of your business. Monitoring can open up new avenues of opporunity.

2. Set up google alerts! For your name, your company’s name, your competition.

3.  Make Twitter search your friend. Get familiar with Twitter tools like Tweetdeck. You might not get it. You might not have time for it –  but other people do… Keep this in mind.

4. Participate. Don’t be afraid to add in your two cents. Use the opportunity to position yourself or your company as an expert, or define your voice, or just have fun!

5.  Don’t be afraid to get to know your online audience. It shouldn’t be scary, it should be a learning experience. A chance for you to get a deeper understanding of your audience, what role your business plays with them, and what role they play in the online conversation. Maybe they are social media consumers, or watchers, maybe the are contributors, and maybe they are creators. What can your audience do for you?

The Social Media ROI Calculator

Scoops Here. For many agencies, including Strategis, we always get the same question when trying to get clients to jump on to the social media bandwagon–How do we know the return on social media? And in all cases, the answer is…You Can’t Fully. There are programs you can put in place to which you can see track the value of certain campaigns such as through a Facbook ad campaign or buzz you recieve from the press.

However, Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff have extended their ROI Calculator to social media activites.

I personally think it missed the mark, social media can not be plugged into a standard formula. We all know that a social media campaign is not “one size fits all” and you certainly can’t fully calculate its worth. I am sure there will be better ones that come along that come closer, but at this point nothing has come close.

Everyone who uses social media knows that it works, even though we can not put an exact number on it, it is still worth the time and the investment.

NEW Facebook Usernames

As of Saturday June 13 all Facebook users are going to faced with a choice, not a difficult one but a simple one. What will your new URL username be? Finally, Facebook decides to get rid of its randomly assigned number system for URLs.

usernames

Facebook usernames will make it easier for people to find and connect with you. This way people will have an easy-to-remember way to find you. Just think, if you go to Google or Bing and type in someones name, if they are on Facebook they will come up.

Think carefully about the username you choose. Once it’s been selected, you won’t be able to change or transfer it. Just remember everyone is going to be able to see this.

sample

Let us know what you think, is this going to work out or not.

Bing that, I’ll stick with Google.

googlevsbing

Thats exactly what many predict will be said by the loads of Google users entering over 30 billion search requests a year. Bing, Microsoft’s new “revolutionary” search engine, doesn’t directly say it, but basically wants to give Google (and the other heavy hitters) a run for it’s money. So whats Microsoft’s Pitch? The feel Bing will be a smarter search engine, but not in the conventional sense. Microsoft’s aim in terms of relevant search results is virtually parallel to that of Goggles. Rather than display results biased on popularity, the engine uses a variety of algorithms to determine which sites will most closely meet you need. The difference lies in the fact that Bing will focus more on personal consumer needs and cater to individuals who travel, seek dinning and entertainment, or tend to search other popular consumer level topics. Bing claims to increase relevancy by offering things like: predetermined directions to search result locations and topic relevant categories within search windows.

Just like you, we were wondering: How good is this Bing? Even better, how does it compare. In our hot pursuit to answer that very question we stumbled upon (lol, stumbleupon) a side-by-side, blind comparison of Google, Bing and Yahoo search results. In the comparison, viewers had the chance to vote for one of the three search engines’ search results. the out come was interesting, Google earned a whopping 45% Bing 32% and Yahoo trailed behind with a mere 23%! So what can we say? Well, Bing, your not quite the smarter, better looking Google of tomorrow that you may hope to be but hey, we like you more than Yahoo! hey, its a start.

If you’d like to view the side-by-side for yourself, Click Here

Optimize that Facebook (The Business Side)

That’s right. In today’s social media world, Facebook Business pages are becoming THE next hot thing in strategic marketing. That being said, it’s apparently important that organizations discover ways to effectively optimize their pages.

Real Business 191007 survive the facebook phenomenon p1_2

Because of social Media/Marketing’s very nature, much of the added exposure provided by these outlets isn’t immediately seen. That being said, in order to witness a tangible level of successful: marketing, engaging and informing, organizations must focus on not only building their business pages, but also optimizing them for their needs. Here are our top 10 suggestions for optimizing your page:
1. Create the perfect profile picture
Facebook recommends that profile pictures should be 200px wide, while height can vary as needed. You’ll find the system crops images when generating a thumbnail, losing information around the edge. Also bear in mind that regardless of the shape of your profile image, Facebook thumbnails are square (with rounded corners), and sized based on the length of the shortest side of your image. So when designing rectangular profile pictures, make sure to keep your desired thumbnail imagery within a square boundary. Most importantly, as with any other fragment of social media, is relevancy. Make sure your picture is relevant, and ask yourself the question: what do I want potential clients to see the first time they view my page, is this right impression?

2. Display different content for Fans and non-Fans

Public Profiles now allow separate default landing areas for Fans and Non-Fans. This allows brands to display a “Become a Fan” incentive in an FBML box or Tab. A common request we’ve heard from brands is “Is there a simple way to display different content for Fans and non-Fans?” This allows for some interesting scenarios, from displaying a simple “Thank you” to people who become Fans, to incentivizing visitors to “Become a Fan to see exclusive content/promo code/offer.”

3. Define a publishing schedule for your content
-You can spread updates out so that you carry on a persistent but unobtrusive dialog with your Fans. Post too often and your page updates will start being hidden, or you’ll lose fans. Too seldom and you’ll be forgotten. Try to mix up different update types – a status update, a Link, a Note, a Photo or video update.

– By creating a calendar, you can also schedule moderation periods for comments if you feel this is necessary for your brand. Most Interaction activity (including comments) will occur within 24 hours of an update before it drops out of Fans’ news feeds. A prefect site for this would be Twaitter.com.

4. Use RSS Feeds.

It will be a great load off your shoulders to know that every time a new article is put up on your site, it will appear automatically on your Facebook Page. You can bring RSS feeds to your page by do adding Applications in the edit area of your page. The one I recommend is Simply RSS. It’s quite reliable and does the job well.

5.Use the Status Feature.
Since the redesign, Facebook now has given Pages the opportunity to update their Fans without having to flood them (the old Facebook page’s version of statuses that went into their own separate inbox which often became overwhelming). Since the newest version of Pages include statuses, you can update your fans that will appear in their News Feed, which will make your publication’s Facebook page that much more visible than before.

6. Use multimedia to make your Facebook a mini website.
Consider putting the main slideshows and videos you put on your Web site onto your Facebook Page too. This content can then enter your Fans’ News Feeds. The NY Times’ Facebook Page is a good examples of this.

7. Be human.
Transparency is all the rage these days, so why not use your Facebook Page as a means to get with the game. Just got out of an editorial meeting? Update your fans about it in your status: “The Whit just had a really productive meeting about how we’re going to better cover X” People enjoy getting what is an inside view of your inner workings. You’d be surprised at how quickly your Facebook Page will be more active once Fans realize there is a human behind it all.

8. Start Conversations.

This goes back to the whole “being a human” thing. When people leave comments or explain how they enjoyed a particular piece, respond! People like to know that this isn’t just some page you started just so you can “seem cool with the kids.” Make sure you mean it.

9. Update Your Fans.

The feature from the old version of Facebook pages can still be effective, so don’t overlook it. Some Facebook users have a tendency to ignore updates when they are sent to them but not all. Updates also allow you longer form communication with your Fans.

10. Link!

This should go without saying but make sure that the possibilities are endless for visitors of your Facebook page to reach your Web site. Use photos, video, articles, anything; just make sure that they are getting a teaser for the fuller version of a great product they can get on your Web site.