Five Social Media Tools for Marketers

Social media is constantly evolving as are the tools available for marketers to improve their brand and audiences within their social media channels and campaigns.  Below I’ve outlined the Five Tools I’m using currently using or have my eye on to leverage within my 2017 plans.

1. Tweriod: One of the questions I get asked all the time is how to find out when your audience is online within Twitter, and what the best times to tweet are.  Well, I stumbled upon Tweiod a few years back and have been spreading the word ever since! Tweiod gives you the ability to start tweeting when others are listening by providing you the best times to tweet.  The tool analyzes your tweets and followers tweets and provides a detailed analysis of when your audience is active, and when you should start tweeting for maximum visibility and engagement.  Paired with a scheduling tool this is a marketers dream to amplify engagement and build long term success!

So how does it work? You sign in with Twitter allowing the tool read access to get a list of all of your followers and their tweets.  The tool runs it’s analysis and when finished will Direct Message or Email you an update.  It provides a breakdown showing the most exposure when you tweet over a specific day, weekends, or a combined view.  They provide an upgrade to their premium plan depending on the number of followers you have ranging from $3.99-$15. I run an analysis every quarter or so and adjust my tweets accordingly.

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2. Livestream provides the ability to broadcast live to a wider Facebook Audience.  They announced recently the ability to install the app within your company Facebook page and then choose whether you want to broadcast from your smartphone or computer.  CFA Institute has been working with Livestream since I joined to broadcast high quality sessions from our global events to a wider audience.  We’ve got a channel full of broadcasts we’re always working to integrate these into our social media audience and raise visibility to a wider audience.

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Once you’re live you’ll be able to engage viewers though comments and your users will have the opportunity to engage with each other providing an interactive broadcasting tool.  Following the end of your event your broadcast will continue to be available for people to find and engage with.  We’ll be integrating this into our 2016 Events Strategy and I will report back on how this works within our mix.

3. Click to Tweet: If you’ve visited by blog before (or have paid any attention to this post) you’ve already noticed I’ve included click to tweet buttons within a good amount of my content.  As a content producer my goal is to make it simple and easy for readers (like you!) to share my content across social media (and Twitter).  Click to Tweet is hands down the easiest way to promote, share, and track your content within Twitter.   You login and create the message you want tweeted including hashtags, handles, etc and it generates a basic link for you to paste into your content.  You can simply hyperlink the words click to tweet or develop a visual image to easily drive engagement.

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We recently integrated this into one of our marketing campaigns within an email an saw almost 500 tweet from our click to tweet button in the email within the first 12 hours, a total success for our first try.  The free plan allows your five links with auto shortening and tracking and upgrades range from $5 monthly for unlimited links to $500 a year for an enterprise plan to manage multiple accounts (ideal for a business).

 

4. Rafflercopter: One of the tools I have my eye on to integrate into my social media marketing mix this year is Rafflecopter.  Social Media is all about engagement, and Rafflecopter provides an easy way for you to create a content to get people engaged with your account and build your following.  I’m a sucker for entering any raffle where I have a chance to win something (really, anything!) and this tool keeps popping up within my feeds! I see endless opportunities for brands and marketers to incorporate this into tool into their strategy to mix things up and make it fun.  Hey, after all everyone likes a chance to win something with 51% of US millennials would share information with companies in exchange for an incentive (USC Annenberg Center for the Digital Future). Click to Tweet.

It’s easy to get started, signing up takes a matter of seconds and once you’re logged in you can setup a giveaway within a few minutes.  You first choose your prize and decide how people can enter through numerous options (and yes, you can click more than one!).  Next you’ll setup a time parameter and set your contest live! They’ve got a free trial you can easily get started with, and it’s inexpensive to continue with their upgraded plans.

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5. Pablo by Buffer: The human brain processes images 60,000 times quicker than text and 90% of the information transmitted to the brain is visual.  Social Media Platforms and Images go hand and hand for success with research by Twitter sharing that adding a photo URL into your tweet can boost retweets by an impressive 35%. Click to Tweet.

Pablo by Buffer makes it easy to design engaging images for your social media channels within minutes.   The Buffer Blog (one of my favorite sources of content) has a post here about how to get started and integrate into your mix.

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The tool provides ready to go templates, images, and quotes for you to use and it makes it fun to style you image adjusting your font or color, switching the photo from blurred to black and white, and adding a line of text or an icon in.  It also allows you to upload an image of your own to overlay with text.  We use this all the time during events to highlight speaker quotes in live time and drive engagement online.   Once you’ve developed your image you can easily share to your social channels, download, or add into your buffer scheduling matrix.  The only downside is they’re desktop only, hopefully a mobile version will come soon for those of us on the go, but to make life better, it’s completely free to use!

What do you think of the tools I’ve suggested? I would love to hear if they’ve helped you at all, and please take a moment and share your favorite tool with me within the comments or send me a tweet!

Content Is Fire, Social Media is Gasoline

In 2013 Dave Kerpen shared a post on LinkedIn entitled Content Is Fire, Social Media is Gasoline.  Within the post he discusses the importance of keeping it real while also keeping it relevant. If your social media informs more often than it promotes, you’re on the right track. If it is deeply helpful rather than deeply promotional, you’re probably on a roll.

To get a better sense for how businesses can use content and social media together to be successful, Dave Kerpen asked Jay Baer to summarize the concepts of his book Youtility. Within the book he shares information regarding the concept of using marketing to promote your marketing.  Brands often talk too often on social media and miss the mark by never saying anything other than “we’re great” and “buy buy buy.” With so many updates constantly on social media brands are competing for attention, and can do so easily by being useful, not by shouting louder. 

Dave uses the company ExactTarget as an example, sharing two tweets back to back.  The first is a corporate message less relevant to a wider twitter audience.  The second is a real time tweet which created content on the most popular Olympic sports based on followers, which was sent during the London Olympic games.  The infographic has no information abut ExactTarget’s products and services, rather it used real time relevancy to create interest and to showcase some of it’s products (it has a software allowing companies to monitor and engage on twitter).

Content is everywhere, you can’t help but consume it within your everyday life.  Everyone has something they want to share with the world and we are constantly taking that information in.  We put content out there through the tools of social networks, leveraging sites like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and so on.

“Content is fire. Social Media is Gasoline.” – Jay Baer

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Social media is what sparks our message and keeps the fire burning faster and brighter. Our number one tool so get our content and our message out there is the social media, and once we start the process, we need to keep feeding our fire.

“You cannot create without first consuming something.” -Jill Falk

Within my role I’m consuming content about 90% of my day.  I wake up each morning and check my Twitter account before even stepping out of bed.  I download two newspapers each morning to read on my ipad during my 40 minute train each morning.  I often sit next to my husband silently who does the same, and shares some additional content he finds on the various apps he checks into such as flipboard or good reader.  At work I build social media strategies to help boost the content my company created, and I often get emails on my work and personal accounts with content my friends, family, and co-workers find interesting.

It’s part of my job to keep up with these things, and also get myself out there.  I send tweets more than I pickup a phone, and I am guilty of constantly checking and updating my social notworks, I admit it, i’m totally addicted.  I learn new things everyday using social media and it keeps me up to date with what’s going on in the world and what is going on with my friends and family.  After we delivered our son and shared the moment with close friends and family, hours later I posted a photo and watched it spread like wildfire, the texts, calls, and messages rolled in.  I remember turning to my husband totally overwhelmed and overjoyed with the amount of messages I had to respond too, and it took me almost two weeks to circle back with everyone!

I always remember Jay’s words, “Content is the fire, social media is the gasoline.” Keep feeding your fire and keep it going!  Do what you love, and enjoy!

Five Simple Rules for B2B Social Media Marketing Success

Inspired by a slideshare posted by Natascha Thomson, The 10 Rules of B2B Social Media MarketingI wanted to share my top five rules for B2B Social Media Marketing Success.  Let me know if you agree, or what rules you follow by tweeting me @MarissaPick.

#1: BREAK THE RULES AND HAVE FUN!

  • Social media provides a way for marketers to test the waters and try something new.  Social media is an exciting and new space to experiment, and see major returns.  Break the rules, have a little fun, and as a brand let your corporate hair down.  Social media gives a behind the scenes look into a person or brand, and can help to facilitate deeper engagement with your audience.

#2: KNOWING WHAT TO DO IS JUST AS IMPORTANT AS WHAT NOT TO DO

  • Every social media campaign needs a strategy, and it’s crucial to understand your goals. Knowing what you want to accomplish and how you will measure success is crucial before you launch any campaign.  All social media platforms are not the same, so leveraging the proper channels, and having a way to measure your campaign is so very important, and sadly often over looked. Think strategically and decide what you’re going to do before you launch, and start small, you can always expand once you have results.

#3: SOCIAL MEDIA ACTUALLY WORKS!

  • Natascha shared a great statistic from Forrester Research within her SlideShare deck, “85% of business decision-­‐makers said at least one social media channel is important when making technology purchase decisions.”  Social Media has the power to influence the decision makers.  When leveraged properly social media channels are a great place to share content to help influence and drive decision making at the very early stages.  Make sure you have solid content which targets and engages with  your audience.

#4: ENGAGEMENT = ESSENTIAL

  • Social Media is a platform to drive conversation and any post should always focus around engagement.  It doesn’t matter if you have 20,000 or 200 followers, what matters is that you have a captive and engaged audience.  I find visual content works well for my account to drive the RTs, Likes, and Shares.
  • Quick Tip: Find a quote or stat and download the Quoter App. It’s a great tool to brighten up your content, and quickly share on social media.  I shared the quote below from MarketingProfs Ann Handley during the recent NYC Social Media Week.  Since posting this to my account it has generated 45 ReTweets and 38 Favorites making this one of my most popular posts to date
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#5: KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE

  • Why should your audience follow you, and what’s in it for them? You need to answer this question, and them means the people within your social media community.  It’s crucial to wear their hats and build content which excites, engages, and motivates your audience. Know your audience’s needs, and be the source they go to get information and content. This takes me back to the top rule, always have fun and mix it up!

Stop Fighting Social Media Marketing and Try to Visualize the Impacts with a Nifty Infographic

I’m a huge believer in social media (shocking I know!) but as the industry continues to expand and the social media “bubble” continues to bloom people want proof to backup the statement that it indeed social media does work.  How you measure the sucess and ROI of social media may vary, but needless to say often ROI can be seen in things such as website referral traffic, lead generation, sales, and so much more.

A website I visit daily, Social Media Examiner released its fifth annual 2013 Social Media Marketing Industry Report back in May of 2013 which aimed to understand how marketers are using social media.   Over 3,000 marketers provided feedback, and some of the major findings are beyond powerful.  My top two findings from the report are below:

1) 86% of marketers indicate that social media is important for their business, up from 83% in 2012.

2) Increased exposure is the top benefit of social media marketing: A significant 89% of marketers stated that increased exposure was the number one benefit of social media marketing.

Wishpond, a maker of online marketing tools, created an infographic which nicely illustrates the study’s results.  As social media marketing continues to grow, this 43-page report makes the benefits of social media and future planning easily digestible. The Infographic below really speaks for itself with the top benefits achieved in social media in 2013.

I found this report very valuable and insightful, check out the infographic and report and let me know what you think in the comments section below…

Happy Reading!

-MP

The Top Benefits of Social Media Marketing [Infographic] image top benefits social media marketing infographic