Posts Tagged ‘Social Media Today’

Anyone with a New Idea is a Crank Until the Idea Succeeds

Monday, November 12th, 2012

I was reminded of that famous quote from Mark Twain recently in a Twitter exchange about the web presence optimization framework. Although the framework has been for the most part enthusiastically embraced (and dozens of people have downloaded the framework white paper), a few people on Twitter questioned the need for a “new” marketing concept.

WPO Isn't Just Another TLA

Image credit: Ajax Union

While “search plus social plus content” is inarguably inelegant, it was suggested that other terms such as “online marketing” or “inbound marketing” already covered the concept of web presence optimization (WPO). Although those are clearly important concepts, they don’t cover the spectrum of an organization’s web presence and related activities, which is why the WPO model was introduced nearly three years ago.

Since its introduction, the concept has been embraced by tools vendors and covered in publications like iMedia Connection, Search Engine Watch, Business2Community and Social Media Today, and Website Magazine.

Nevertheless, the point raised on Twitter is valid: a number of overlapping terms in use address at least parts of the digital marketing and PR mix. Perhaps the definitions below will help to clarify the role of WPO as an overarching management framework.

Web Presence Optimization (WPO)

Web presence is essentially web visibility; it’s about being as ubiquitous and easy-to-find as possible when buyers are searching for information about what you and your competitors sell. Anything about your company or products that appears somewhere online—whether owned, earned or paid content—contributes to your web presence.

Tracking over time and against competitors as well as managing and continually improving this for relevant, maximum exposure is optimization. By using unified metrics, you can manage and coordinate the efforts of specialists in various disciplines, including content development, social media, SEO, PR, online advertising, and reputation management, resulting in efficient and effective optimization of an organization’s total web presence in order to drive business results.

Content Marketing

According to content management guru Joe Pulizzi, “Content marketing is the marketing and business process for creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action. A content marketing strategy can leverage all story channels (print, online, in-person, mobile, social, etc.).”

Content marketing is arguably one component of WPO even though it includes offline venues such as print which don’t contribute to web presence. It’s also focused on owned (internally produced) media and does not include metrics or competitive benchmarking.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Per BusinessDictionary.com, SEO is “the process of improving traffic to a given website by increasing the site’s visibility in search engine results. Websites improve search engine optimization by improving content, making sure that the pages are able to be indexed correctly, and ensuring that the content is unique.”

SEO includes technical factors (making sure sites load quickly and are easy to crawl), content factors (keyword research, content optimization, meta tags) and linking factors (building internal and external links).

While SEO is affected by PR and social media activities, metrics, and competitive actions, it’s internally focused (owned media), cannot be used to manage PR or social media marketing activities (except as they relate specifically to website optimization) and is separate from paid search or other online advertising activities.

Inbound Marketing

In the words of HubSpot co-founder and CEO Brian Halligan, inbound marketing is “where you help yourself ‘get found’ by people already learning about and shopping in your industry.  In order to do this, you need to set your website up like a ‘hub’ for your industry that attracts visitors naturally through search engines, the blogosphere, and social media.”

Like WPO, inbound marketing incorporates metrics, content creation and optimization, social media, and (in some cases) search engine marketing. Valuable as it is, however, it doesn’t provide the overall online visibility management framework that WPO does because the latter also includes PR, online advertising, competitive benchmarking and earned content.

One element that none of the above concepts address, but is addressed in WPO, is that third-party content (from customers, journalists, bloggers or other influencers) has value in influencing the buyer’s decision-making process, even when it doesn’t lead directly to a lead or sale. Third-party content is often viewed as more objective and credible than company-produced content, making it critical to track, measure and share.

Online Marketing

According to About.com, “Online Marketing is the art and science of selling products and/or services over digital networks, such as the Internet and cellular phone networks. The art of online marketing involves finding the right online marketing mix of strategies that appeals to your target market and will actually translate into sales.”

Though it incorporates SEM, online advertising, search optimization, and content marketing, online marketing is transaction-oriented: it’s focused on activities that lead directly to sales for generally low-consideration items including frequently-purchased or impulse-buy consumer goods and low-value business supplies.

WPO, in contrast, has a broader focus on earned content (e.g. social and press) and overall online visibility, which is important for high-value, considered-purchase consumer goods and b2b sales where web research may lead to an online or offline sale.

Internet Marketing

While this was originally an umbrella term for various types of activities similar to online marketing, Marketing Land notes that the term has since become to large extent co-opted by get-rich quick hoaxes, pyramid schemes and other scams.

As WPO is all about building online credibility, it’s the farthest thing from Internet marketing.

All of which means…

In the end, the Twitterers’ concern about buzzword proliferation isn’t misplaced. Buzzwords are often used to obscure, confuse, or spin. But WPO genuinely illuminates the actionable key metrics of online visibility, enabling marketing executives to make smart decisions about coordinating PR, SEO, SEM, social, and content marketing efforts.

Post to Twitter

Shareaholic Becomes a (Top Notch) Content Curator

Thursday, November 8th, 2012

Shareaholic, a content discovery and sharing tools vendor, yesterday announced Shareaholic Channels, a new way to find the most relevant, fresh content based on topic. Of the more than 200,000 publishers who use Shareaholic tools (such as social sharing buttons at the bottom of this post), the company selected the top 25 bloggers in each of the following seven categories to feature:

  • • Food
  • • Parenting
  • • Fitness
  • • Fashion & Beauty
  • • DIY
  • • Social Media Marketing
  • • Personal Finance

Who is Shareaholic? According to the company’s website:

Shareaholic Announces Channels“Founded in 2008, Shareaholic has quickly grown from a ‘nights and weekends’ project to a fast-growing VC backed company that today is the leader in making content discovery & sharing on the web a simple, delightful and elegant experience for readers while providing powerful tools to content publishers to measure, analyze and improve the effectiveness of their content to drive even more visibility, traffic, leads and views.

Through web browser extensions, open platform APIs, and one of the largest and fastest growing networks of content publishers, Shareaholic reaches over 270 million people across every continent each month. Or put another way, if Shareaholic was a country, it’d be the 4th largest country in the world.”

The company’s products include tools for browsers, websites (including WordPress plugins), analytics and developers. It’s been featured in publications including TechCrunch, Mashable, ClickZ, Search Engine Land and Fast Company.”

We’re honored that Shareaholic chose to include Webbiquity among its top 25 sources for the Social Media Marketing channel, along with an impressive list of bloggers including Peg Fitzpatrick, Jayme Soulati, Mari (“rhymes with Ferrari”) Smith, Shelly Kramer, Dan Zarella, Janet Aronica, Pam Sahota and Darren Herman.

With Channels, Shareaholic now joins the ranks of leading content curators like AllTop, Social Media Today, B2B Marketing Zone, Business2Community and Social Media Informer. Check it out!

Post to Twitter

How to Get More Blog Traffic – Real World Data

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011

Every blogger wants more traffic. How to get it? The key is a balanced strategy of search engine optimization (SEO), social media, syndication and guest posting.

So where does blog traffic come from, and how does this change over time? Looking at data from the Webbiquity blog, several trends are apparent. This B2B blog isn’t necessarily representative of all blogs of course, but the trends likely aren’t much different for many business blogs. What’s important here isn’t the specific results from this blog, but what those results say about how to get more traffic to your blog.

 

Six conclusions that can be drawn from this graph:

It takes time to build a blog audience. Don’t expect miracles right out of the gate, or get discouraged by low blog traffic at first. Patience is a virtue, and persistence is rewarded. Even those early posts may draw significant traffic over time as your blog gains traction.

Direct and referral traffic are highly correlated. It’s striking in the graph above how the lines for direct and referral traffic remain nearly parallel over time. But it makes sense: the more often your blog is “seen” on other sites, the more people will bookmark it, subscribe to your RSS feed, and type in the URL directly.

SEO doesn’t produce immediate results, but is crucial over the long term. Just as it takes time to build a following, it also takes a while to build credibility and authority with the search engines. Note from the graph that search was the lowest source of traffic to this blog for its first three months, and for six of the first nine months. But it’s been the top source of visits for nine of the past 10 months (the only exception resulting from the spike in direct and referral traffic to the Nifty 50 Top Women of Twitter post). And even with the falloff in direct and referral traffic over the last two months (more about that in a moment), search traffic has held up fairly well.

A closer look at Google stats (see below) reveals an even more remarkable point about search: while direct and referral traffic tend to be “spiky” based on the popularity of individual posts, search traffic is more consistent over time.

B2B Blog Traffic Sources

 

Social media is important. Of the top dozen sources of traffic, four were social networking or related sites: Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and HootSuite. Twitter is the most productive, driving more than half of all non-blog social media visits. Including blogs, more than one of every seven visits came through social media (blogs, social networking, social bookmarking, or tools like HootSuite and bit.ly) sites.

Syndication is also helpful. Three of the top 12 traffic sources for this blog were syndication or content aggregation sites: B2B Marketing Zone, Social Media Informer and Social Media Today. The best syndication sites will vary by industry, so choose sites appropriate for your blog subject manner. Don’t overlook smaller blog directories and RSS syndication sites that can collectively drive notable traffic (as well as providing valuable links for SEO purposes).

B2B Blog Traffic Source DetailDigging deeper into the Google Analytics results and correcting errors (such as GA sometimes mislabeling search visits as referral traffic) yields a more detailed picture. Search is the top source of traffic for most blogs over time. But search is affected by every link, so a multi-faceted approach is critical. For example, links from other blogs may provide only modest direct traffic, but they influence search engines and other social media sources, as well as increasing direct traffic.

Post frequency matters. Back to that dropoff over the past two months—in a way, this blog is a victim of its own success. Because I’ve obtained several wonderful and active clients through my blogging, I’ve had less time to write posts over the past 60-90 days, and the resulting dip in direct and referral traffic is readily apparent in the first graph above. But for corporate blogs, the lesson is clear: maintaining consistent post frequency is crucial to maintaining high blog traffic and continuous growth.

A substantial share of “Other Referring Sites” traffic to this blog comes from WebMarketCentral, the website marketing resources portal. The lesson for companies is to feature your blog prominently on your corporate website, as that can be a rich source of visits.

All in all, your specific results will vary, but again the key to getting more traffic to your blog is a balanced approach of activities including search engine optimization (SEO), social networking, social bookmarking, syndication, blog commenting and guest posting. And of course writing compelling content for your audience.

Post to Twitter

Content Aggregation: The Future of (B2B and Consumer) Media?

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

“Traditional” media is struggling. Weekly news magazines are declining, newspapers are shriveling, and industry trade magazines are downsizing. Meanwhile, the blogosphere continues to expand and pundits like Joe Pulizzi have declared that we are all publishers now. What do these trends mean for the future of news gathering and information delivery?

David Koretz offered one vision recently on MediaPost, writing:

The news organizations of tomorrow will no longer be loud-mouthed pundits espousing a barely informed worldview. Nor will they still be large monoliths attempting to maintain news bureaus worldwide. There is simply no cost-effective way for them to be on scene in every city, town, or village where the next big news story may break. Instead, successful media will become aggregators and editors of content, rather than creators. The smart money will build a technology to gather, sort, and filter stories from every corner of the world, and couple it with smart and thoughtful humans to do the editing.

Online content aggregation is as old as the Internet itself, beginning with AOL. Examples range from Google News and Yahoo! to topic-focused niche sites such as (using social media as an example) Social Media Today and Social Media Informer. Technology to “scrape” websites and republish content (legally or not) has also been around for some time, but until recently, doing content aggregation well required either a massive investment in infrastructure (like Moreover) or a unworkable level of manual effort.

Social Media Aggregation OptionsNew tools, however, are bringing sophisticated content aggregation and curation within reach of midsized enterprises. These technologies include Browse My Stuff (which powers both the B2B Marketing Zone and Social Media Informer) and Paper.li, which enables users to create custom online “newspapers” based on a Twitterer and his/her followers, a hashtag subject or a Twitter list. For example, it took me just minutes to create my own newspaper organizing tweets and links from the smart group of local Minneapolis Twitters I follow. The site also makes it easy to promote your newspaper through Twitter and Facebook. Set up properly, this could be an easy yet powerful way for an organization to create and distribute a social newsletter on the fly.

Paper.li is free but doesn’t offer any filtering options for results. Browse My Stuff is fee-based for sponsors, free for bloggers and offers more professional publishing power.

While the use of such technologies is limited only by the imagination, there are three types of entities that could clearly benefit from content aggregation tools: large brands/companies, online publishers and PR firms.

Enterprises: organizations large, midsized or small can aggregate blog posts about their company or industry in one spot as a service to their customers, prospects and other interested stakeholders. For example, the iPhone got huge social media exposure when first released. Apple could create an aggregation site to pull in blog posts and reviews about the product. It’s a win-win-win: the company gets increased exposure; potential buyers get a one-stop site where they can read all independent views of the product; and the bloggers writing about it get traffic. A smaller vendor with fewer social media mentions could nonetheless position themselves as a thought leader in their field by aggregating industry-related posts. It’s particularly important for smaller companies to recognize that they don’t need to produce all of their own material; content written by others can be very helpful to their prospects’ decision making. Direct Message Lab has increased its exposure by sponsoring Social Media Informer.

Publishers: traditional news organizations are losing clout and their audiences to citizen journalists and bloggers with deep expertise, and industry trade magazines face declining influence due to the explosion in content marketing. The cost of maintaining large news and content producing/gathering  staffs is becoming more difficult to justify and monetize. Content aggregation offers publishers a way to maintain their position as destination sites, serve readers a larger selection of news at a lower cost, and incentivize bloggers to contribute.

PR firms: as the influence of bloggers increases at the expense of traditional news outlets, PR firms are increasingly pitching bloggers with their “story ideas” about clients, in some cases cleverly, in others more ham-handed. Even many writers of relatively small blogs are now overwhelmed with such pitches. Content aggregation offers PR firms a way to build relationships with bloggers, increase exposure for their clients through more social media coverage, increase billings by providing clients with a differentiated offering, and serve the market by collecting relevant, independent third-party content on one site.

News and content “consumers” no longer want to rely on one or just a few sources for information; they want to hear a variety of voices. Yet they are time-strapped and still value convenience. Bloggers and content marketers want traffic. Publishers want eyeballs. Content aggregation and curation will become increasingly popular as a way to give everyone what they want.

For more on this topic, check out Automated Filtering vs Human-Powered Curation from Tony Karrer.

Post to Twitter

78 (of the) Best Social Media Marketing Tips, Guides, Tools and Strategies of 2010 (So Far)

Monday, August 16th, 2010

With the amount of helpful content about social media marketing growing faster than Facebook’s user base or Lindsay Lohan’s court appearances, it’s tough to keep up. Here’s a modest contribution to help with that effort; more than six dozen of the best, most bookmark-able articles and blog posts about social media tactics, tools and strategies written so far this year, by leading writers like John Jantsch, Lori Dicker, Lee Odden, Lisa Barone, Jay Baer and many more.

Social Media Marketing Tips, Tactics and Guides

Best Social Media Tips and Tools of 2010 (So Far)Building Social Bookmarking Networks 101 by Search Engine Journal

Todd Heim supplies a helpful guide to best practices for building a following on and generating traffic from social bookmarking sites like Digg, Reddit, Mixx and Propeller. Todd’s guidance is straightforward and practical; finding the time to do this well is the hard part.

HOW TO: Create Custom Backgrounds for Twitter, YouTube, & MySpace by Mashable

Matt Silverman steps through the process of creating cool custom backgrounds for popular social media sites, with easy-to-follow instructions and rich example illustrations.

What is Social Media Optimization and Why Should I Care? by Kuno Creative

For those who know little if anything about social media (there are more such people than you may realize; some in rather lofty positions at that), John McTigue offers an excellent primer covering the most popular tools, sites and strategies.

30 Tips: The Productivity Guide of Social Media by WebStudio 13

Andrew Ran Wong provides a valuable list of productivity tips for Gmail, Twitter, Facebook, blogs, Google and other social networks to help readers get more done in less time.

5 Ways That Sales People Can Benefit From Using Social Media by OPEN Forum

Despite the widespread use of the phrase “social media marketing,” marketing is not the only business use of social media, as John Jantsch reminds us. Here he outlines five ways that sales can use these tools as well, from social CRM to teaching prospects how to solve business issues.

6 tips for connecting with social media content by iMedia Connection

Noting that “Smart and savvy companies have positioned themselves as authoritative experts and trusted sources of information by creating their own content,” Gordon Plutsky outlines a six-step process for consistently connecting with prospects through relevant, compelling content.

10 Principles for B2B Sales by Better Closer

Social media has dramatically altered the buying process as well as marketing practices. In this post, Bill Rice provides sales people with 10 principles for using social media in sales, from setting objectives and listening to creativity and tools to improve social media efficiency. Given the importance of sales-marketing alignment, this is a worthwhile read for marketers as well.

Are you reaching your Best Customers through social media? by Cultivating Your Customers

Mark Price summarizes a Fast Company case study on how restaurant chain Houlihan’s engaged their best customers through some exclusive social media programs to increase sales and profits, and what other social media marketers can learn from the chain’s experience.

A Cheat Sheet to Help You Conquer Social Media by Fast Company

Not sure how to navigate through various social media sites? Addy Dugdale shares this handy CMO guide to the social landscape, which “takes all the major social media sites in the U.S. and analyzes their capabilities in four sectors: customer communication, brand exposure, driving traffic to your site, and SEOs.”

5 Ways to Use Social Media for Things You Are Already Doing by Social Media Today

Possibly inspired by Social Media is Simpler Than You Think, John Jantsch explores five ways to use social media for common business tasks such as prospect follow-up and market research.

10 Essential Social Media Tips for B2B Marketers by Mashable

Christina Warren tells b2b marketers how to use Twitter effectively, find their “social voice,” efficiently monitor industry developments through social media, expand their influence and more in this excellent post.

How to Monitor Your Social Media Presence in 10 Minutes a Day by HubSpot Blog

Rebecca Corliss reveals an easy five-step, 10-minute daily process for keeping on eye on what’s being said about your company across popular social media venues. Depending on how active your company is in social media, it may take a bit more than 10 minutes and may have to be done more than once per day, but at a minimum this is a great place to start.

10 Tips for Using Social Bookmarking Sites Effectively by Online Social Networking

Larry Brauner shows how to use a “very social and spam-free strategy” to dramatically increase website traffic from social bookmarking sites like StumbleUpon and Amplify.

8 brand personalities Facebook and Twitter users hate by iMedia Connection

If you want to be a success in social media, then you definitely don’t want to be part of any of these groups. Kevin Barenblat presentes a taxonomy of social media failure types, including “canned responders,” spammers, lurkers and serial re-tweeters.

More than 50 bookmarks of Social Media Case Studies by Social Media Tactics You Can Trust

Michiel Gaasterland shares his collected list of 500+ case studies, from small businesses to global brands around the globe.

5 Workarounds In Avoiding Social Media Fluster by Social Media Philippines

The always fascinating Rob Angeles how to ramp up a social marketing quickly without simply “jumping in” with no plan.

6 Reasons You’re Not Rocking Social Media by Small Business Trends

For those whose social media marketing programs aren’t quite meeting expectations, Lisa Barone offers several possible reasons (and advice on how to fix things), such as having poor content, putting the wrong people in charge or simply not listening.

10 signs it’s time for a social media makeover by iMedia Connection

Following on the theme of Lisa’s post above, Lori Dicker offers a collection of indicators that your social media marketing has gone astray such as “An intern handles all your social media efforts” and “Your company does not have a (written) social media policy” and how to place efforts on the right track.

3 Simple Steps for Creating Social Media Visibility by Social Media Examiner

For those still struggling with where to start in social media, Denise Wakeman lays out “a three-step formula to get you started creating a visible presence on the web, resulting in more opportunities for your business: leads, prospects, sales, media queries, speaking gigs and joint ventures.”

Taking the First Steps in Social Marketing by iMedia Connection

Contending that “finding exactly which of your customers and prospects are on which social networks and who are the most socially connected, is the first step to figuring out if and how to integrate social media into your marketing mix,” Gary Halliwell illustrates how to tie your CRM data to social media marketing efforts, and why this is crucial to creating value for your company through social media.

Five Rules for Responsible Social Marketing by Fast Company

Just as etiquette is what separates us from the beasts (well, that plus some DNA), so social media etiquette often separates the successful from the spammy, the engaging from the enraging, the outgoing from the obnoxious. David Lavenda supplies five rules here (such as “Respect people’s privacy online, even if you don’t have to”) to help you stay on the positive side of those word pairs.

10 Ways to Cut Through the Social Media Noise and Be Heard by Social Media Examiner

Chris Garrett advises marketers to simplify their messages, use appropriate channels and appeal to ego among other recommendations to make their social media content more likely to get noticed.

The “No Duhs” of Social Media by Social Media Bits

Sharon Lane lays out the basic elements for social media success, such as knowing your audience, being authentic and being patient. Good post for newbies as well as those at the “a little knowledge is dangerous” phase.

90+ Essential Social Media Resources by Mashable

A collection of short summaries and links to a huge list of posts about Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, mobile marketing and business development. It’s sort of like this post, except that all of the links are to other Mashable articles. Hmm. Guess Webbiquity is a bit less about ego and more about sharing the love.

16 Lessons on Using Social Media for Business by Social Media Today

Adrian Swinscoe shares an excellent collection of social media do’s and don’ts such as defining your goals to keep yourself on track, great content is crucial, and perhaps most importantly, “It takes time, persistence, consistency and commitment to generate results.”

The 7 Secrets of Social Media Conversion [INFOGRAPHIC] by The Unbounce Blog

*****5 stars
Oli Gardner reveals key tactics for converting social media followers into buyers, from using a landing page with a clear call to action and offering “social proof” through badges and widgets to optimizing post-conversion opportunities.

4 Social Media Mining Metrics by iMedia Connection

Daniel Flamberg proposes four key metrics that can give marketers “actionable intelligence to identify competitive strengths or vulnerabilities, shape messages, identify informal opinion leaders and influencers or suggest the best choice of media channels” along with suggested tools to track those measures.

4 Ways to Measure Social Media and Its Impact on Your Brand by Social Media Examiner

On the same theme as Daniel’s post above, Nichole Kelly her shares her four key social media metrics and shows how these fit within the sales conversion funnel.

25 Characteristics of Highly Effective Social Media Campaigns by Social Media Today

What sets successful social media marketing programs apart from the failures? Lots of things, and Sosthenes Boame helpfully lists 25 factors such as providing value, being “not spammy,” building trust, consistency, and incorporating visual images.

12 Social Media Marketing Myths by Roxana Portalatin

Social media is cheap or free. It’s a fad. It’s for kids. This post demolishes these and other common social media myths.

Top 10 Social Media “Power Friending” Tips by OPEN Forum

Amber MacArthur condenses her book Power Friending: Demystifying Social Media to Grow Your Business into these 10 key tips to grow your social media presence and influence, such as acting authentically, telling stories and listening well.

Top 6 Social Media Mistakes And How to Fix Them by Social Media Examiner

Kristi Hines details half a dozen social media mistakes to avoid (or correct) including having the wrong connections, sending the wrong messages, and restricting your activities to “things that can be measured for return on investment.” She also lists “using social media profiles for link building” as a mistake, though there are situations in which this makes sense; you may want to grab a profile on a lesser-known social media site for purposes of reputation management or brand protection. Even if there isn’t enough relevant traffic on that site to make a large effort in network-building and interaction worthwhile, any links you include in your profile still have value.

50 Tips Granny Never Told You about Twitter & Social Media Etiquette by Social Media Today

Noting that “social media is no different than the social circles that existed in the 20?s, 50?s, 70?s and even 80 ‘s. Yes, the same rules apply. Just executed on a different platform and at a higher volume,” Pam Moore passes along 50 social media etiquette tips from Great Granny Walton. Among these nuggets of fold wisdom: “Be a friend to get a friend,” “Plan yer work and work yer plan” and “It is just darn right rude to auto DM when Tweeters follow ya’!”

Social Media Tools

Social media tools that marketers shouldn’t miss by iMedia Connection

Lori Dicker presents an outstanding list of free and fee-based tools for social media monitoring, measuring and messaging.

Managing Your Reputation Online: 5 Essential Tools by CIO Magazine

Kristin Burnham reviews five excellent tools for monitoring your online reputation, including Addict-o-matic, SocialMention, and the impressively comprehensive Yasni.

Where To Find Social Media Power Users by Search Engine Land

Want your story on the front page of a popular social media site? You need help from the power users in that community. Greg Finn introduces a dozen tools and pages to help identify the most influential users to connect with on various social sites including Digg, Reddit, StumbleUpon and Twitter.

Top 10 Free Social Media Tracking Tools by ineedhits

Rene LeMerle provides mini-reviews of his favorite free monitoring tools, from the obvious (Google Alerts, Social Mention) to the less familiar (Boardreader, Samepoint).

Social Media Glossary by Social Media for the Socially Awkward

Social media jargon can be confusing for newbies, and even seasoned pros occasionally run across unfamiliar terms. To help out, Sean Horrigan has compiled this glossary of social media terms from aggregator, blogs and crowdsourcing to thumbstream, widget and wikis.

The Ultimate Glossary: 101 Social Media Marketing Terms Explained by HubSpot Blog

Speaking of social media glossaries, Kipp Bodnar provides a more extensive list of terms and definitions here.

11 Free Tools for Social Media Optimization by TopRank Online Marketing Blog

The ever-modest Lee Odden reviews tools to help spot trends, research keywords and analyze social media activity to help improve “visibility on standard, social and real-time search.”

8 Social Media Monitoring Tools by Onflow Interactive

A quick list of eight leading monitoring tools, from Alterian and Radian6 to UberVU and Sysomos.

Google: the killer social media monitoring platform by Social Media Today

Trevor Jonas explains how Google’s various tools — from Google News and blog search to Google Reader and Analytics — combined create a powerful and free social media monitoring platform, and how these would enable Google to “absolutely blow away any of the existing monitoring services tomorrow if it wanted to.”

10 Essential Social Media Tools for B2B Marketers by Mashable

Christina Warren reviews 10 tools on her list of social media favorites, including some surprises. Note: most are fee-based, but worth the cost for midsized to large enterprises active in social media marketing.

10 Free Social Media Tools Every PR Pro Should Master In 2010 by the COMMS corner

An alternative list from Adam Vincenzini of 10 key social media tools for those prefer free to fee.

7 Social Media Aggregation Tools To Simplify Your Streams by Social Media Today

Sarah Hartshorn details her favorite aggregation tools — like Hootsuite, Netvibes and Flock — for more efficiently monitoring and managing an organization’s social media presence and activities.

The 39 Social Media Tools I’ll Use Today by Convince & Convert

***** 5 stars
Jay Baer reviews his favorite tools, organized by category: Twitter-related, Facebook-related, Virality & Search, Photos, Tracking, Content Creation, Listening, Email and iPhone. This collection is comprehensive without (quite) being overwhelming.

Master List – A Wiki of Social Media Monitoring Solutions

***** 5 stars
Some day in the future, when social media is a mature marketing channel, there will likely be only a handful of high-quality, comprenhensive monitoring tools on the market for marketers to choose from. Today, however, social media monitoring tools are still in their wild west phase: there are a large number, of varying quality, each of which does something or a few things very well, but none of which are yet the “Holy Grail” of monitoring. Ken Burbary has done a masterful job of compiling this list, currently at 145 social media monitoring alternatives. The list is likely to grow before it consolidates.

195 Social Media Measurement Tools & Technologies by Sales Rescue Team

Yet another huge list of social media monitoring tools.

Social Media Employee Policy Examples from Over 100 Companies and Organizations by Social Media Today

In an organization of any size, you’ll have multiple people using social media sites. In large organizations, this can be hundreds or thousands of employees. While management can’t, and shouldn’t seek to, tightly control all such interactions, it is imperative to have basic guidelines in place. That’s where a social media policy comes in, and if you’re not sure how to write one or what to include, check out this extensive set of examples.

57 Social Media Policy Examples and Resources by Social Media Today

More corporate social media policy examples, this list from Dave Fleet.

11 Free Services for Scheduling Social Media Updates by Mashable

Social media monitoring and interaction activity can be tough to maintain. So Erica Swallow helpfully provides “a list of 11 free services for scheduling social media updates, either across multiple social platforms or just for Twitter. At the end of the list, you’ll also find a quick note on 11 paid services that you may be interested in investigating, as well.”

Social Media Marketing Strategy

Social Marketing Strategies by Brand Nexus

A fact- and statistic-rich SlideShare presentation covering social media reach, growth, demographics, consumer and b2b buyer behavior on social networks, spending levels by industry and strategies for success.

4 ways social media can save you time and money by iMedia Connection

Noting that social media be used for various business purposes (marketing, PR, market research, customer service), Larry Weintraub cuts to the chase with practical guidance, writing “ultimately you want to do one thing: sell more products or services. Let’s take a look at how each of these  four components of your social media strategy can help you sell more.”

Razorfish: Social Influence Marketing Trends by Digital Buzz Blog

Another social media SlideShare presentation, this one focused around trends and rich with both useful guidance and examples from brands that have achieved social media success. It also includes a helpful section on metrics, introducing the SIM score.

Is Social Media Just Another Channel? The Potential of Social Media for B2B Markets by The Social CMO Blog

Alex Romanovich contends that social media is far more than just another marketing channel; it is phenomena that is “forcing corporations (brands) to look at how they engage with their clients, how they use information, and how they respond to events…the benefits and opportunities it presents are something we’ve never seen before. It is becoming the connecting thread that links all points of the Value Chain.”

10 Awesome Social Media Presentations by thought leaders of the Industry by Daily Bloggr

Got some time? Here’s a nice collection of 10 exceptional social media SlideShare and YouTube presentations, including “Web 3.0 – This time its personal,” “Content Strategy for Social Media” and “How to make the best use of SEO and Social Media.”

Social Media History Animation by Hai Le

Interesting video filled with trivia and statistics on the growth and current state of social media, such as that there were 90 trillion email messages sent last year (though roughly 80% were spam), Facebook serves six million pageviews per minute (is that possible?) and that YouTube serves one billion videos per day.

Social Media-Integration-Theory-Model by Israel Garcia’s No-Blog

Israel Garcia offers a compact model of how social media has changed the historical pattern of corporate and marketing communications, and how to capitalize on that trends. He also makes a compelling case for doing so, pointing out research showing that “consumers are 67% more likely to buy from the brands they follow on Twitter, and 51% more likely to buy from a brand they follow on Facebook.”

Why we need to kill “social media” by iMedia Connection

Rob Key argues that the term “social media” needs to be killed because (almost) all media is becoming social, and it isn’t the tools or buzzwords that really matter in business so much as what social media can do in areas like risk management, media relations, product life cycle management, customer care, HR, market research, and innovation.

11 Killer Social Media Presentations Worth Watching by HubSpot Blog

Kipp Bodnar showcases 11 outstanding social media presentations from experts like Rohit Bhargava, Marta Kagan, Christina “CK” Kerley and Jay Baer.

9 Ways To Convince The CEO To Use Social Media and Enter The 21st Century by jeffbullas.com

Jeff Bullas offers several suggestions for selling social media to executives. #1, “scare them” is tempting but perhaps not the ideal approach, while #5 (use website grading as a baseline measurement) has real potential. #4 (buy them a book) works well if [italics] you have the kind of boss who actually reads books.

What Can Social Media Do to Improve Your Business by My Venture Pad

Writing that “the intention for gathering (social media) data should NEVER be for spamming but to help integrate your value proposition into what people are truly interested in,” Eric Tsai lays out a framework for gathering data, analyzing it, and using it to make decisions and modify activities so that you can ultimately do “more of what works and less of what doesn’t.”

Social Media Strategy from A to Z by Techipedia

***** 5 stars
Tamar Weinberg has written one of the most thoughtful and creative blog posts of the year, explaing social media strategy through the alphabet from “always be listening” to “zealous” (and yes, she even includes entries for the letters q and x). Simply brilliant, a must read.

Social Media needs a (GASP!) budget by iMedia Connection

Uwe Hook helpfully makes the case that “Social Media is not free. Social Media is not cheap. Social Media requires a considerable of time and resources to make it work.” A toe-in-the-water approach doesn’t work with social media; it requires a commitment and a sustained investment, because while the payback can be considerable, it won’t happen overnight.

B2B Social Media Strategy: 5 Steps to Gaining Executive Buy-in by B2B Bloggers

Michael Brenner provides an outstanding guide to getting executive buy-in for social media marketing, beginning with showing them the numbers behind the new reality and progressing through resources to help you answer the (inevitable) hard questions and developing a social media roadmap.

We Can’t ‘King Canute’ the Social Media Tide by iMedia Connection

Gary Halliwell writes that “there are only three things standing in the way (of social media marketing success). The bad news is these are potentially tricky issues if not addressed correctly.”

12 Reasons to Use Social Media to Grow Your Business by My Venture Pad

***** 5 stars
“Why exactly should we do this social media stuff?” Rather than fumbling to articulate a brilliant answer when you get that question from an executive or client, refer to this outstanding post from Pam Dyer, packed with ammunition like increasing brand recognition, improving SEO, taking your message directly to buyers, and making it clear that you “get it” (at this stage, as Pam notes, “If you don’t have a presence, you appear as if you’re not very savvy.”).

Is a social media bubble ready to burst? by iMedia Connection

If the boss or client remains a skeptic even after following Pam’s guidance above, you may need to pull out this post. “Aha!” your skeptical counterpart will say, “I knew it! Social media is just a fad.” Actually, it’s not that simply, and you may be surprised by the conclusions Michael Estrin draws in this insightful post.

Is Social Media a Big Joke? by The Confident Copywriter

First a bubble, then a joke? Is this more fodder for social media skeptics? Not quite, but Victoria Ipri offers a helpful reminder here to avoid jargon — both when selling social media and when using it. In her words, “simple, to the point, interesting, thought-provoking, but not especially flowery or verbose” messages are key in both situations.

9 Things to do Before Entering Social Media by Small Business Trends

***** 5 stars
In another outstanding post from Lisa Barone, learn what it’s crucial to do before getting immersed in social media marketing. Just as a strong foundation is critical to the long-term stability of a home or building, so steps like crafting a social media policy or rulebook, assigning responsibilities, and making a commitment to responding are vital to social media success.

Three ways to act on your social media monitoring by Fresh Networks

Once you’ve decided on a set of metrics to monitor and tools to use (see the section above), now what? Matt Rhodes notes that “What you do with your social media monitoring is as important, if not more important, than getting the monitoring in place in the first place. Different brands will want to engage with the conversations they discover online in different ways,” and suggests three actionable areas based on monitoring results.

Defining your social media goals by iMedia Connection

Ben Cathers provides guidance on the different approach and metrics to use depending on whether the primary focus of your social media efforts is for customer service or customer acquisition.

5 reasons why brands fail with social media by Engage Sciences

Whether you’re already engaged in social media marketing and not seeing the results hoped for, or you’re just getting started and want to avoid common pitfalls, this post will help you avoid strategic mistakes (such as treaing social media as a silo) and steer your efforts in the right direction.

Conversations that Aren’t about Mel Gibson: the B2B Social Media Case Study, Part 1 by iMedia Connection

Eric Anderson eloquently makes the case for b2b use of social media marketing. “B2B sales tend to be complex and consultative, after all, and where do B2B buyers go for consultation? A surprising number start with simple Google searches, and those Google searches increasingly lead to, yep, industry blogs and forums.”

Why Executives HATE Social Media by The Deming Hill Blog

***** 5 stars
A long but brilliant post on the executive view of social media, starting with, as the title indicates, some of the reasons C-level people hate social media including “don’t feed me another fad” and “eagles don’t flock.” Midway through, however, the tone changes as the author writes “Maybe I don’t HATE social media after all.  Maybe I just hate the Quixotic context in which most social media conversations exist, featuring a perpetually moving target, combined with an obsessive, cult-like worship of the default worldview,” then proceeds to detail five of the top benefits of social media from the executive perspective.

How To Create A Killer Social Media Strategy by The Business Insider War Room

Alyson Shontell quotes Nicole Melander, PhD, who teaches American University’s MBA course on social media for business, saying “At this point companies don’t have a choice (about participating in social media). They have to play in the arena somehow. The conversation is happening, it’s just a matter of how much a company chooses to participate.” Melander then presents a five-step guide to creating a business social media strategy.

25 “P”s of Social and New Media Marketing by Social Media Today

Expanding upon the traditional five “P’s” of marketing (product, price, place, promotion and people), Ky Ekinci proposes 25 P’s for social media marketing such as promote (carefully), play, protect, plan, and perhaps most importantly — persist.

Trends with Traction: Meaningful “social” measurement with Net Promoter Score by iMedia Connection

Adam Kleinberg extols the virtues of the Net Promoter score, introduced by Frederick Recihheld in his book The Ultimate Question: Driving Good Profits and True Growth. He makes the case that this metric is one of the most vital, meaningful and valuable ways to measure the impact of social media marketing activities.

Post to Twitter