Top Five Reasons to Sign Up for Hootsuite

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For businesses and agencies that need to keep track of multiple social media accounts, Hootsuite is the ultimate dashboard for social media management. Rather than remembering multiple passwords and going to each site to make posts, Hootsuite allows users to manage all of their social media accounts from a central location with either a free or Pro account (paid).  Here are our top five benefits of managing social media accounts with Hootsuite. Continue reading “Top Five Reasons to Sign Up for Hootsuite”

Social Media Publishing 101

Social Media Publishing

An Overview of HootSuite, Tweetdeck and Social Oomph

Social publishing programs are essential for managing a business’ social media presence, especially for those who maintain multiple accounts. The primary function of these programs is to allow users to organize and schedule posts in advance on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. By using these programs to schedule posts and space out your content, businesses can ensure that they have a consistent presence on social media. This article will provide an overview of the three major social media publishing platforms: HootSuite,TweetDeck and Social Oomph.

While all of these programs are free to join, provide helpful URL shorteners and allow for multiple social networking accounts, each of the three has certain benefits, disadvantages and unique capabilities. Depending on your organization and personal preferences, one of these platforms may be better suited for your needs than the others.

HootSuite

HootSuite, which many consider to be the leading social media dashboard, allows users to manage multiple networks, schedule updates and create custom analytics reports to monitor your success. Using HootSuite’s unique social networking dashboard, users can connect multiple social networks, such as TwitterFacebookLinkedIn and WordPress, in one place.

  • Advantages — HootSuite’s greatest strength is that it provides users with excellent custom analytics reports to share with clients or colleagues. Through these reports, users can track brand sentiment, follower growth and also incorporate Facebook Insights and Google Analytics right in their dashboard. Also, while Google+ is currently unavailable on these publishing tools, HootSuite will be given first access to Google+ business and brand pages. This is so important because, when this update is unveiled, users can update all of their social media pages, including Google+, in one place. Also, like Social Oomph, HootSuite users can schedule messages in bulk to save time by uploading a CSV file. HootSuite also has a mobile app so users can access their dashboard for free on iPhones, iPads, BlackBerrys or Android mobile devices.
  • Disadvantages — The most notable disadvantage of HootSuite is that the free version only allows users to manage up to five accounts and there is a limit of 10 columns on your dashboard. This can be a major setback, especially for users who need to maintain multiple accounts on each social networking platform. To avoid this problem, users can upgrade to the premium version for $5 per month.

TweetDeck

TweetDeck also allows users to manage multiple social media accounts, schedule posts and organize social networking feeds. This real-time browser can connect you with contacts and information across TwitterFacebookLinkedInMySpaceFourSquare and more.

  • Advantages — One advantage is that all of the features on TweetDeck are free – there is no premium, paid membership like HootSuite and Social Oomph require for certain features. With a free membership, TweetDeck users can manage and post to an unlimited number of social media accounts, unlike HootSuite, where basic users are limited to only five. Also, many users agree that TweetDeck’s dashboard is the cleanest and most user-friendly of the three, although this depends on personal preference.
  • Disadvantages — On May 25, 2011, TweetDeck was bought by Twitter and since this acquisition, many users have complained about missing features, bugs and certain tools not working properly. Apart from these technical problems, there are two major setbacks with TweetDeck. Unlike HootSuite and Social Oomph, there are no analytics reports or bulk scheduling capabilities available. This is a huge disadvantage, especially for businesses, since they cannot monitor the effectiveness of their social media marketing strategies.

Social Oomph

Social Oomph performs the same functions as the previous two programs but unlike HootSuite or TweetDeck, users have the ability to “Auto-Follow” and “Auto-Direct Message” users. Depending on one’s personal preference, this feature could either be seen as an advantage or disadvantage, as further discussed below.

  • Advantages — The benefit of using Social Oomph is that this service has the most detailed and informative analytics reports, especially for those who are managing several social media accounts. Like HootSuite, you can also schedule posts in bulk but only Social Oomph makes this process simpler by allowing users to upload posts from a Word document. Social Oomph’s “Replies Digest” is another unique and useful feature, especially for businesses. This tool will send you a daily email with any @Mentions of Re-tweets your business has received. This email is extremely helpful for businesses to easily monitor interactions on Twitter and respond accordingly.
  • Disadvantages — Unlike TweetDeck and HootSuite, there is currently no smart phone app available for Social Oomph. As mentioned previously, Social Oomph is the only service that allows users to set up “Auto-Follows,” “Auto-Direct Messages” and “Auto-Responders,” but this tool is only unlocked when users upgrade to premium accounts. There is a biweekly cost of $3.97 for Social Oomph Premium. “Auto-follow” refers to being able to follow someone on Twitter automatically if they have followed you. “Auto-Direct Messages” and “Auto-Responding” refer to sending Twitter users automatic, prewritten responses. While some users may see this as an advantage, since this practice is only available on Social Oomph, it has its flaws and most social media users look down on auto-responses. It’s far more powerful to interact with users on a more personal level rather than just send them computer-generated responses.

For more information about social media publishing, please contact The Public Relations and Marketing Group at (631) 207-1057 or johnzaher@theprmg.com. You can also visit our blog for more valuable articles, advertising spotlights and more.

How to Monitor Facebook and Twitter Success

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5 Simple Steps to Keeping Track of Your Business’ Facebook and Twitter Progress

By now, most businesses have realized the importance of using the social media giants Facebook and Twitter to better market themselves and connect with their audiences. However, even if your business is actively using these social networks, you may not be getting the most out of your efforts. To truly measure ROI and effectiveness of your social media marketing, it’s essential for businesses to implement a monitoring program. By keeping track of your progress, it will be easier to see what is working for your business in regards to social media, and what needs to be changed.

This article will explain the basics of monitoring key metrics of Facebook fan pages and Twitter profiles.

1. Know What to Look For — Monitoring several social media channels can be time-consuming, especially when you don’t know what you’re looking for. It’s important to keep the following questions in mind when analyzing social media metrics and data:

  • What are people saying about my business, brand or products on social media? Look out for both positive and negative comments and respond to each accordingly.

  • How many users are seeing my social media content? To determine your organization’s reach on social media sites, it’s important to keep track of how many fans, followers or connections you have.

  • How effective is my social media content? Out of your follower base, how many of these people are really engaging with your content? Keep track of how often users are interacting with your posts and how many users are repeatedly communicating with your page.

  • How is the activity level on my profiles? To promote interaction, always encourage your fans and followers to share their opinions, answer questions and discuss topics and ideas. As comments come in, it’s important to respond to both positive and negative replies in a timely and professional manner.

2. Use “Insights” to Monitor Your Facebook Fan Page — While it’s important to keep track of how many Facebook fans your business has, this isn’t where your monitoring should end. Analyzing the “View Insights” tab on your Facebook fan page is an essential tool to measuring your business’ success on Facebook. This tool will provide you with information on new likes, lifetime likes, monthly active users, post views, post feedback, weekly total reach and more. The newest metric, “People Talking About This,” represents all user-initiated activity related to your page. This counts unique wall posts, comments, likes, shares, check-ins, etc. It’s important to analyze this metric over time to be able to judge the effectiveness and reach of your business page.

3. Use HootSuite’s Social Analytics — HootSuite is a popular program that allows you to monitor keywords, manage multiple social media profiles and analyze custom analytics such as follower/fan growth, brand sentiment and more. With HootSuite’s Social Analytics feature, you can track Twitter brand mentions, measure your follower growth on Twitter, examine Facebook “likes” and demographics and more. While HootSuite is a free program, there is a paid premium service for users who need to manage more than five social media profiles, or need more detailed analytics reports.

4. Use Social Mention to Measure Progress — The program Social Mention offers valuable influence-tracking features for your business. It allows you to easily track and measure what people are saying about your company, products or any other topic in real time. Social Mention also measures the following essential social media metrics:

  • Strength — Strength is the likelihood that your brand is being discussed in social media networks.

  • Sentiment — Your sentiment is the ratio of positive social media mentions to those that are negative.

  • Passion — Passion refers to the likelihood that individuals who are talking about your brand or product will continue to do so.

  • Reach — Reach refers to your business’ range of influence or the number of unique authors referencing your brand, divided by the total number of mentions.

Users are able to monitor their growth in these areas through daily social media alerts and Social Mention’s search and analysis service.

5. Keep Track of Your Progress — To determine the long-term effectiveness of your business’ social media marketing, it’s essential to measure your progress along the way. We recommend having a neat, organized spreadsheet to update key metrics such as your number of Facebook likes, followers-to-following ratio on Twitter, number of comments and interactions and other key statistics available to you on Facebook Insights, HootSuite and Social Mention.

For more information about how to monitor Facebook and Twitter, please contact The Public Relations and Marketing Group at (631) 207-1057 or johnzaher@theprmg.com. You can also visit our blog for more valuable articles, advertising spotlights and more.