We all know that social media is a huge part of the online presence of any business. Whatever your network of choice may be, you may feel like you’re missing opportunities with other social media platforms, or that you don’t have the time or resources to keep up with all of the different options out there today.
Fortunately, there are tools and tactics that can help you automate some of the steps and take away some of the headaches of dealing with multiple applications. Of course, there’s no way to take the time commitment out of social media entirely – but that’s not necessarily the goal either.
The time you spend cultivating your social media presence is time spent connecting with customers and prospects and, therefore, holds tremendous value. These tools will help you spend less time fretting over posts and give you more time to connect with your audience.
You’ve probably heard of Hootsuite before — it’s one of the most popular ways to integrate and automate multiple social media accounts. Compatible with Twitter, Facebook profiles and pages, Google+ accounts, and LinkedIn, Hootsuite allows you to schedule posts to multiple networks at once, keep track of multiple Twitter feeds, and even create multiple lists of who you want to track and interact with.
With free and paid options for different tiers of service, including multiple management accounts and detailed analytics, Hootsuite is one of the MOST popular choices out there.
Be warned, there are a few bugs from time to time, but that’s to be expected with such a broad solution. For the most part, Hootsuite works like a charm.
If This Then That (IFTTT)
If This Then That (or IFTTT, as it is more commonly known) is an amazing database of user-created “recipes” for, well, just about anything you can think of. The recipes allow you to setup automated “if this then that” commands for social media accounts, Evernote, RSS readers, Gmail, Craigslist and a host of other applications.
Users can activate “channels” (applications), and choose recipes that function between them. For example, there’s a recipe to change your Twitter profile image when you change your Facebook profile image, and another to post your Instagram pictures as native Twitter pictures (instead of as links). For more advanced recipes, there are options for automated posting from WordPress to Facebook pages, Youtube uploads to Facebook groups, SMS notifications for social media actions, and countless more.
And because the recipes are user-generated, there are always new recipes to explore, and if you can’t find what you need, you can create it.
IFTTT is simply an amazing collection of time saving, inter-platform solutions that may very well solve problems you didn’t know you had! Take some time exploring all it has to offer.
Zapier is very similar to IFTTT in that it allows users to set up “Zaps” for automation across multiple applications. Zapier, however, is a paid service, and that means that it offers more applications and more robust support than IFTTT. Zaps aren’t just limited to social media, and can help you streamline blogs, CRM needs, analytics, and nearly everything in between.
You can receive notifications for social media mentions, automate RSS feed to post to Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks, incorporate calendars and Google Docs, post across multiple Facebook Pages, and find thousands of other solutions among more than 250 supported applications. Find useful Zaps and learn more about plans at https://zapier.com/.
The more automation you can incorporate into your social media efforts, the less time you’ll waste posting the same thing in multiple places, the less likely you are to miss an important message or mention, and the more time you’ll have for actually interacting with your fans and followers. Social media is an integral marketing tool for most businesses today, but it doesn’t have to be a burden. Let the available technology work for you.
Posted in Tips on 29 August 2014
Employee engagement is the secret behind most successful businesses – a company filled with happy, engaged and productive employees will have a much higher rate of accomplishment than one filled with employees only attending for their next pay-check.
Some of the methods involved in increasing employee engagement — such as regular feedback and flexible work arrangements — can take time to implement, but there’s one that you can start with right away.
The Importance of Words
Everything you say to your employees has the potential to alienate them or engage them further. Each individual sentence may not matter that much, but over time they add up creating a certain atmosphere you either want to encourage or avoid. There are a few particular phrases and ideas you should assess your usage of.
Do you demand your employees do something, or do you ask? If you merely tell them to do something, it can create an air of resentment. It’s dehumanizing, and it suggests you expect it of them, rather than appreciating their work. Try to ask, and say please, and you will find a much more positive response.
Obviously, you don’t need to say thank you for every little thing – that can end up insincere, and that’s worse than not doing it at all. However, try to consciously thank employees who have done something particularly useful or suggested something you otherwise would not have thought of. Knowing that input is valued creates engagement, and engagement creates more input. It’s a useful cycle, and one you can kick-start with this simple phrase.
How often do you ask your employees for help? Is it a phrase you avoid? Many managers don’t want to appear weak in front of their employees, so will never admit something they don’t know, but this alienates workers rather than increasing a bond between staff. If you need help with something – perhaps you’re not very good at computers, and an employee is – don’t be afraid to say ‘Could you help me with…?’ As long as you don’t do it all the time, it can increase their respect for you – and once again, proves you value them and their work.
This is the same as help. Many managers won’t apologize if they did something wrong, so as not to look bad. However, not admitting your failures will only make you look worse. If you called out an employee for something you later learn they didn’t do – apologize. If you forget something, and it causes difficulty for them – apologize. You want to use this sparingly (you don’t want to mess up too often!) but when used well, it can encourage your employees and increase the chance they’ll offer assistance when needed.
If an employee comes to you with difficulties, try to understand and sympathize with his or her point of view. As long as you are genuine when saying this, telling the employee you understand is a powerful way of highlighting that you see them as a person, not just another number. Beyond this, try to work with them to find solutions, rather than just writing it off as a problem.
If there’s one thing you should take away from this, it’s to use the names of your staff members. Learn them, and make an active effort to refer to them by it. Don’t be one of those sales people who use it in every sentence, but a simple ‘do you have a moment, [name]‘ is instantly better when it comes to employee engagement than ‘do you have a moment’ by itself. This is one of the hardest to do, especially if you have a lot of staff working alongside or beneath you, but it’s one with the biggest benefits.
There are a lot more ways to increase employee engagement through your word choices and vocabulary, and it’s not enough just to change them once. Actively maintaining an atmosphere where you choose to speak to your employees as equals, rather than subordinates, will keep employee engagement high for years to come.
Posted in News on 29 August 2014
Twitter is making its new analytics tools available for all users
The micro-blogging site launched its analytics dashboard in July, but only for advertisers and verified users. The tools offer users insight into how their content is performing on Twitter with a breakdown on the success of each tweet, total impressions and engagement rate.
Now, any and all Twitter users can find out how popular their tweets are.
“Absolutely thrilled to open up access to http://analytics.twitter.com to EVERYONE,” Twitter engineer Ian Chan tweeted to announce the change.
To break it down, the dashboard allows users to:
- See how their tweets are performing in real time.
- Compare impressions (times a tweet is viewed by anyone on Twitter Web and Android or iOS apps, including logged-out users), total engagements and retweets month over month.
- Use the tweet details page to see how many retweets, replies, favorites, follows, link clicks and embedded media clicks each tweet received.
- Export tweet performance metrics into a CSV file, which now includes both organic and promoted data.
Although analytics is far more useful to brands and marketers than it is for the average Joe, it still might be interesting for other users as well. If nothing else, it will help them to gauge the best time to tweet and how often to do so.
Posted in News on 29 August 2014
The face of Smartwatches is changing.
Samsung has stepped ahead of competitors with the unveiling of its Gear S watch. The small, wearable device was presented Thursday with Samsung Electronics’ chief executive officer and head of IT and mobile communication noting the company is “leading this exciting and rapidly developing wearable category through progressive innovation.”
JK Shin, in a press release, said the watch is breaking new ground.
“The Samsung Gear S redefines the idea of the smart wearable and the culture of mobile communication. It will let consumers live a truly connected life anywhere, anytime,” Shin said.
And, he’s right. The new model is much more advanced than the company’s previous watches and should allow owners to break away from their Smartphones.
The Gear S will not only, through its 3G connectivity, allow wearers to remain up-to-date on messages and social network activities, it can also make and receive phone calls. The device — with its two-inch curved Super AMOLED display — can also be synced with a user’s Smartphone to have calls forwarded.
Samsung isn’t forgetting those with a healthy lifestyle in mind, either. The Gear S comes with enhanced multi-sensors, built-in GPS and a number of S Health features. Applications such as Nike + Running will also allow users to track their runs and stay on the go without carrying their smartphones.
The Gear S is expected to come on to the market in October.