Saturday, 23 February 2013

5 Fatal Mistakes Small Businesses Make When Social Media Marketing

Posted by Elle Williams at Blogging Bistro
Social media marketing can seem too good to be true for a small business. It costs no money to set up an account, and the returns can be huge.

Because of this, a lot of brands jump onto the social media bandwagon without looking, rushing into setting up their profiles, and making a few fatal mistakes while they’re at it. Here are five of the most common mistakes – so you can avoid doing the same thing:

1. They don’t brand their pages

This bit is so important – and should be your first priority. You need to ensure all your social media accounts have the same corporate branding and the same profile photograph. This lets people recognize your profiles and your brand when searching for them.

2. They spread themselves too thin

A lot of small businesses jump into the deep end with social media and assume they need to sign up to every social network. This isn’t the case. Different networks will work better for different brands.

There is no point in joining lots of networks if only two thirds are going to actually help your brand. Stick to the ones that will work best for you and perfect your presence on them first. A good way of seeing which networks work best for you is to check out your competitors and where their larger followings are.

3. They ignore negative feedback

When you’ve gathered a following, there is always the chance you may encounter negative feedback, since more and more people are using social networks as a means for communicating with and about brands.

Never ignore feedback as it reflects badly on you. Trust me, it’s the bad and negative comments that customers will read first when they visit you Facebook page, so make sure you’ve addressed them and tried to solve the issue. It’s not only professional but courteous.

4. They Oversell

Incessant promotion is a huge annoyance to your followers and you need avoid doing this at all costs.
Social networks are not merely another sales technique. Rather than using a network to sell stuff, get on board with the social side of networking; focus on engaging and communicating with your followers. They’ll appreciate it, and they’ll be more likely to stick around. There’s no harm in occasionally promoting a new product though; just be subtle and don’t over-push it.

5. They update at the wrong time

The time of day you update is hugely important. Think about who your demographic is: their age, their nationality, their interests… and then think about when they’re likely to be using social media.

For example, if your demographic is a business man with a 9-5 job, your best time to post is either going to be during his lunch break, on his commute (for mobile browsing) or in the evenings when he’s settled at home. These things matter – because if your demographic never sees your updates – you might as well not be posting them.

4 LinkedIn Tricks to Help Your Profile Stand Out

Posted by Anil Valvi at Social Media Today:
LinkedIn is more than just a social networking site; it is also a powerful marketing tool for any organization. This is why it is important to optimize your profile for the search engines. Your LinkedIn profile provides one way for customers to find you on the web. On the flip side, if you’re using LinkedIn to get a job, an optimized profile will make it easy for prospective employers to find you. Here are 4 tips to increase the visibility of your LinkedIn profile.
Take Your Profile Public

This tip is so simple, yet so many LinkedIn users fail to use it. If you’ve limited your profile views to just your friends and family, how will potential customers or employers find you? You would have totally defeated the purpose of your LinkedIn profile. Take your profile public, so search engines can index more details and help you increase your global reach.
Optimize your URL

Every profile is issued a default numbered URL by LinkedIn. That number is generic, and does not accurately describe your or your organization. Customize your URL to make it search engine friendly. Go to your profile page and look for the URL at the bottom right. There you can change it to something that describes what you represent. Ideally, you should include some descriptive keywords along with your name or your company name. The URL change will immediately boost your profile.
Fill Out Your Profile Completely

A review of profiles on LinkedIn will reveal that many users do not completely fill out their profiles. That is not good. The more detail you provide, the better your chances of getting indexed. Some things you must include are your relevant job titles, description, summary, and skills. You should also add a professional picture, your blog, a slideshare on a relevant topic, video, and your website. Ideally, you should find a way to incorporate your keywords into all these fields, but don’t overdo it.
Choose Your Keywords Wisely

Your keywords must be included on your profile, but they must be the right keywords. Choosing the wrong keywords is worse than having none at all. When you’re thinking keywords, think of the words that prospective employers will use to search for someone with your expertise. Hint: They will not be searching for your name, unless you’re well known and respected in your industry. For instance, if you’re an accountant your keywords will include CPA, accountant, tax specialist, etc. In the case of a company, you need to use product names or include the type of services which your company offers.

Backlinks will help to increase the visibility of your LinkedIn profile. Link out from your profile to your blog, website, and videos on YouTube as long as it will support who you are and what you do. You will also need to include links to your profile from your blog, Twitter, Facebook, email signatures, and any other place where you’re visible on the web.

20 Tips to Humanize Your Brand

Posted by Pam Moore at Social Media Today:
Your customers are human. Your partners are human. Your employees are human. Even your social media fans and followers are human.

So answer this question… why are you talking to them like they are a robot who wants to read your corporate speak? Why are you afraid to let your human show? Why do you keep trying to win them over with stupid stunt marketing and upside down tricks?

Your audience wants to see you, hear you and understand you. They want you to inspire them to connect and engage with you. They want you to help them achieve their goals and objectives. They want relevant content and conversation that makes them think. They want inspired to do different, do better and be better.

So tell me, are you doing these things? Are you even thinking about these things? Or are you too focused on yourself? Too focused on your own campaigns or developing the next big thing that you forgot why you were doing it all to begin with?

Humanizing your brand is a requirement, not an option if you want to survive in business today. Yes, you can put brand humanization on hold. However, every day you lose is a day you could be building relationships, nurturing friendships, establishing and earning the respect of powerful brand evangelists who will shout from a mountain top how wonderful you and your brand are.

Don’t wait. The time is now. Here are 20 tips to help you humanize your brand starting today. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist or brain surgeon to do these things. Start now and start somewhere. Perfection is the enemy of good. Embrace imperfect perfection.

1. Start from the inside out.

I recently participated in a Lowe’s Social Business event as a keynote and breakout speaker. They invited internal business leaders to participate in two days intense days of training, collaboration and out of the box thinking.

It was enlightening to see how they are approaching social business from the inside out. It starts with their CEO and feeds like a wildfire throughout the organization. There is something different about the way their team works together, shares information with a goal of truly helping one another. You must know who you are and what you are before you can know how you can inspire and connect with your target audiences.

As Clarissa Felts from Lowe’s said, “social didn’t transform our culture, it revealed it.” Wow, I just love that quote. Good job Lowes. Your culture shines and it was a pleasure working with your team.

Sandy Carter of IBM, who also participated in the event preaches, “strategy eats culture for lunch.” I simply love this and even though I am a lover of strategy, I a do agree with her.

2. Start from the outside in.

At the same time you start with internal culture, building your social business from the inside out, you must also start with a focus on your customer, audience, community and stakeholders. Who are they? What do they need and want? What keeps them up at night? How can you help them achieve their goals? Where are they hanging out online? What conversations are they having? How can you have a relevant conversation with them that brings them value?

Check out this Audience Analysis Worksheet based upon the POST Methodology for tips in prioritizing your time on social networks based upon your audience needs and goals.

3. Think like a human. Focus on relationships.

You must get out of the old school thinking of only email blasts and traditional advertising. Think about the conversations, the content and the way you can build relationships with real human beings. If you think like a corporate engine or cog in the wheel you are going to have a hard time connecting as a human being.

Relationships are the life raft of the never ending social network technology changes. If you focus on the relationships your audience will follow you wherever you go, despite how the social landscape changes. This is because they are not connecting with you as a Twitter handle or brand name, but instead as a human being or group of human beings.

4. Have a personality.

Knowing who you are is obviously key to having a brand personality. If you don’t know what your brand personality is then you better figure it out. Who are you? What are you? Are you serious? Are you funny? Are you a combination of both? What is the tone of your conversations? Tone of your educational material.

Social media is going to open everything up for everyone to see. If you have one personality online and another when a customer calls your support center, it is going to become quite apparent. Nail this in the early stages and it will become an asset to you forever.

5. Show up (in other words, be available.)

Regardless if you are communicating with your customers, partners and audience online or offline simply be available. Don’t setup the latest social network profile unless you plan to actually show up. Show up more than once a week or once a day.

Don’t show up to just brag about your latest reward won, promotion or blog post. Instead show up with a goal to inspire and connect with your audience with an underlying goal of helping them achieve their objectives. Be proactive and responsive with the interest of your audience and fans at the heart of all.

6. Speak in your customers language.

Delete the corporate mumbo jumbo speak. Social media is not a billboard for your 1995 corporate collateral. Speak in a tone, words and rhythm your customers, partners and social community can understand. Use language that inspires them and connects them to you and your brand.

7. Stop the interruption marketing.

Social media is not broadcast entertainment. You audience is going to see your self fulfilling broadcast as an interruption to their discussion. Build the relationships and earn the right to communicate with them.

Share information that brings them value, not just helps you increase your blog traffic. The best social businesses listen more than they talk. Listen, watch and learn from the conversations you see and hear online. You’ll then know better how to engage in a way that brings value.

8. Invest in people.

This goes for both internal and external. If you have people in your organization that don’t understand social media and how becoming a social business relates to them and their job, then by all means educate them on such. Invest in educating your top executives down to the lowest level employee you have. Make them aware of what you are doing and WHY.

Invest in the people who are in your social communities. What do you know about them? Do you see them as “likes” and “followers”? Or do you see them as human beings you could be building relationships with? Do you believe they matter? If not, you should. You can never go wrong by investing in people, period.

9. Put some thought behind how the corner office get online.

We help brands of all sizes get their corner office online. It is not a once size fits all. Do not think you can simply throw up a Twitter handle and a new executive Twitter bio and overnight your executive team will be rockin’ Twitter. It takes time, effort and a strategy for each and every individual who gets online and is going to represent your brand.

Do your customers really want to see your CEO tweeting 24 hours a day? Be careful of the automation. Less is more.

Help your executive team build their own personal persona, find content they can share that brings value to their audience while sharing a bit of themselves at the same time. Help them identify hobbies, quotes, favorite authors and other simple ways they can inspire and connect with those who follow them.

10. Show us your community manager.

If you have a community manager or a team of community managers representing your brand let us know who they are. Show us their faces. Tell us what their personal profiles are if they are online themselves and are comfortable doing such. The more we can connect with the people of your brand the easier it will be to build relationships.

11. Encourage your audience to be human.

If you only speak in corporate speak your audience will either turn you off or will begin to speak the same way to you. How many times have you seen a brand only speak corporate? When you look at their Twitter or Facebook conversations, they are far from human. Because the brand isn’t sharing their human side, their community isn’t either. Encourage your audience to engage, laugh, be funny. Let them share opinions even if they differ from yours.

12. Strike an emotional chord.

Emotional brands are the brands that are building real relationships in the social ecosystem. Make me laugh. Make me cry or make me mad. Do something that makes me think different, be different. Inspire me to do more, be more and leverage you, your team or your products and services to do such. The more you can connect with your audience, the better you will be at understanding what emotional chords will work best with them.

13. Be real. Take them on a journey as you grow and learn.

Don’t fake it until you make it. There is only one you so be that person, that brand. If you are new to Twitter or Facebook, don’t hop on and act like you are the world’s best expert. Instead share your humble self. Share your story as you learn social media. Let your audience know if it’s the first promotion you have ever done on Facebook or Twitter. Let them know if it’s your first Tweet chat or Twitter party. If you take your audience along for the ride as you grow, they will celebrate the wins with you as they were a reason you are there. They helped build you. They will then be emotionally invested in your success without even knowing it.

14. Practice what you preach.

If you preach quality over quantity all day, then by all means don’t tweet 24 / 7 via automation. If you tweet and talk about relationships then don’t let your Twitter feed be filled with only automation and then “thank you’s” thanking people for tweeting you. Take the time to look at people’s profiles and have a real conversation. Be who you say you are. Do what you say you are going to do.

15. Develop an editorial calendar that leverages different mediums.

Every good human brand needs an editorial calendar. Keep it balanced with content that is about your industry, your business and most importantly about how you can help your audience. Include tips, methodologies, programs, via blog posts, videos, podcasts. Vary the message, delivery and the medium. Keep them on the edge of their seat wanting more. An editorial calendar will help you keep the conversation going over time versus having a one hit wonder blog post that doesn’t have an ROI.

16. Share photos and videos of your team being human.

This is one of the best ways to become a human brand. Share the moments that you are human. If you have a company party or picnic, take some photos and share them. If your team goes on a team building mission or hike, let your audience know ahead of time they are going. Ask them who they think will win the contest. Share the fun and serious moments your team has offline working to help your clients meet their goals. If you have a team meeting, share a couple photos of the team brainstorming at the white board or enjoying themselves with a bag of candy or popcorn. You’ll be amazed at how these simple little shares of your personal side will help build relationship with the people in your community. Try it, it works!

17. Don’t let your Klout, Kred, Peer Index or other influence score determine how you engage.

One of the biggest mistakes I see is when companies focus too much on the influence score. If a company comes to us and says they want us to help raise their influence score, we know it’s a red flag. While it may be good to keep an eye on these scores they are not a sole representation of your influence. The scores can easily be gamed and are simply a number. I know many executives who have a low score who are far more influential than the self proclaimed social media expert down the road with a high score. Focus on the things above before your scores. If you do the right things with a focus on your audience, your scores are going to increase organically.

18. Encourage your employees to be social.

As mentioned above culture beats out strategy. If you don’t have social business in the bones and veins, from the inside it’s going to be difficult to encourage your employees to be social.

Many businesses who feel frozen with social business as it relates to their employees have a culture problem, not a social media problem. It’s important that over time your audience is able to connect with the real people in your business, even via the social networks.

Think of this as it relates to traditional relationships that start offline. They are between one human being to another. One sales rep to a business leader. One executive to another. Social media is no different. Invest in your team, training, policies and infrastructure that enable your employees to be successful when engaging online.

19. Social media policy.

I can’t stress enough how important this is. Many business leaders think a social media policy is too restrictive. Or they may think they never will have a problem. Your social media policy is more than rules or governance. It is your risk mitigator. It is your life raft should you have a social media or marketing crisis. Any business crisis is going to go straight online and possibly viral within minutes these days regardless if you are on the social networks or not. Just ask KitchenAid or AppleBees. When you look t these two companies and their social media crisis that arose it is clear which one handled it better.

20. Have a plan.

I can’t write a blog post about something as important as humanizing your brand without reminding you how important it is to have a plan. Set goals, objectives and tactics to get there. Know how you are going to measure results. Know what your key performance indicators are and what success looks like to you now, tomorrow, a year from now and three years from now. Failing to plan is planning to fail.
What You Say?

Did this post motivate you to better humanize your business? Does your business truly connect with people? Or are you guilty of corporate speak? If you have already been thru this process and have made strides toward becoming a social business with humanization at the core, what tips can you provide for others?

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

How Facebook’s Graph Search Could Beat Google, Yelp in Local Search

By Chris Warden at SocialTimes:

In the days before Facebook announced Graph Search, widespread speculation that we could be in for a huge announcement – such as “The Facebook Phone” – sent investors into a frenzy and drove the price of FB stock to its 52-week high. Once the announcement was made, it seems that investors weren’t nearly as pleased with what Facebook had to offer.

But, par for the course for the Wall Street-types, they were short-sighted on what this announcement means for the future of the internet. Facebook Graph Search has the potential to revolutionize the search industry – particularly local search – in a way that we haven’t seen since Google decided to start ranking sites based on those that were linking to them.

Google’s innovation in the search space helped it grow into one of the biggest companies on the planet. If the same widespread consumer adoption happens with Graph Search, it could leave the investors who dumped Facebook’s stock after the announcement seeing red.

What is it?

At its core, Facebook Graph Search is a recommendation engine that aggregates data from your friends based on their online behavior. Every time someone likes a restaurant, plumber, dentist, or a local bar, it’s “graphed” so that the data can be easily accessed later. What this allows you to do – particularly if you have friends who are active on Facebook – is search this data to find recommendations for nearly anything that you can “like” on Facebook.

Rather than asking your friends to recommend a dentist next time you have a toothache, you can just ask Facebook for “dentists in San Francisco that my friends have been to” or “dentists in San Francisco who are ‘liked’ by my friends.”

Obviously the more active your friends are on Facebook – and the more pages they “like” or places they “check in” to – the more relevant the results.

These simple searches have the power to fundamentally change the way we perform local searches.

Google vs. Facebook and the Future of Local

Local search is currently dominated by search giant Google. Google uses a combination of their very own Google Places pages and reviews by users across multiple review sites such as Yelp and the newly acquired Zagat. These reviews, as well as “citations” from other web pages, local media, etc. factor into the overall rank of a business in local search results.

Now, it’s not a bad system, but it has the potential for being gamed through fake reviews and good local SEO practices.

Facebook hopes to take a different angle and allow your friends to recommend places you might like. The potential for being gamed is lower, as – just like in real life – your friends’ past recommendations help you form an opinion of whether or not to trust future recommendations. If you know Friend A’s recommended places have proven to be awful, then you’ll take their recommendations with a grain of salt when you see them on a Facebook search.

In short, Facebook makes the experience more like calling your friends and asking them yourself.

But it goes even further…

On Google, a typical search query for a local business might look like:

“Italian restaurant in New York City”

Whereas that same search might look like this on Facebook:

“Italian restaurants in New York City that my friends have liked”

Or, if you really want to data dive, how about searches like…

“best boutique dress shops my friends from Vogue Magazine have checked in at”

Are you beginning to see the power behind this type of search? Rather than finding a web page based on link data (among other things), you are simplifying the process by finding exactly what your friends like, which is ultimately what most people care about, anyway. We trust friends. We don’t necessarily trust random strangers on Yelp who recommend burger joints.

“Likes” are the new links.

Potential Problems

Although this has the potential to change the way people search, there are a couple of problems that Facebook will have to find a way to overcome.

1. Facebook will need to change consumer behavior.

The biggest question mark is whether or not consumers will embrace the technology. Changing consumer behavior has long proven to be a huge obstacle to gain widespread adoption of anything. Consumers have been trained to turn to search engines historically, and searching on Facebook is going to require Facebook to find a way to change that behavior.

2. “Likes” aren’t “likes” forever.

We’ve all been to that one place we loved. We’ve raved about it and told everyone we know just how awesome it is. And then we went that one time and it wasn’t awesome. Just like in real life, we’re not going to go back and “unrave” about something on Facebook. Most of us probably aren’t going to go “unlike” the Facebook page, either. People’s tastes change. If they aren’t changing their Facebook pages constantly, then those changes might not be reflected in search.


The idea is brilliant.

While the tech world has taken a sort of ho-hum attitude about Graph Search, whether it receives widespread adoption is ultimately up to the non-tech-savvy people who drive this market. As much as you’d like to think that it’s you and your early adopter friends who determine the fate of a new technology, the harsh reality is that you don’t. Your parents do. The same people who ask you to remove the 48 toolbars that magically installed themselves on their computers are the ones who have to be swayed in order to change the entire market. Can it be done? Well, they turned out in droves to create Facebook accounts, so I’d have to say yes. It can be done.

Remember this: even if Graph Search turns out to be a major flop and it doesn’t revolutionize local search, at least it’s a colossal improvement on Facebook’s existing search features. And that’s always a win.

3 Useful Apps For Selling Products On Facebook

Whether you’re selling sneakers, candles, or pizza slices, North Social’s app suite allows you to ring the cash register, increase social ROI and improve customer loyalty. Take a look at how several businesses and brands are leveraging North Social’s Facebook apps for e-commerce:

Deal Share app: Activate a group deal on Facebook without the fees. You set the number of registrations required to unlock the discount and watch your deal go viral. Read how The California Wine Club gained new customers and thousands of new fans using this powerful app.

Photo Showcase app: Promote your products with huge images and create an eye-catching catalog within your page. Add a “Buy Now” button to each image so you can convert your browsing fans into paying customers. This app is a favorite of lifestyle brands like Sanuk who use it to promote new and seasonal products.

Show & Sell app: Use this simple app to launch a mini-store within your page, displaying images, descriptions, and a linkable “Buy Now” button for up to 10 items. Viral functionality of the app ensures your products are spread wide, increasing sales, and social engagement with your brand.

Facebook fans of a brand spend on average $71.84 more per year than a non-fan. Your dot-com store may be only a few clicks away, but a point-of-sale missing from your Facebook page is a dollar missing from your bottom line.

How much money are you leaving on the table? Visit to start selling on Facebook today.

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Firefox Facebook Integration Lets You Chat With Friends From Your Browser

By at Mashable: 
Now you can chat with your Facebook friends from directly within Firefox.

With a new Firefox feature, Facebook Messenger shows up on the side of your browser window. The integration allows you to see which of your Facebook friends are online, and chat just as you might from Facebook’s website without having it open in your browser window. The idea is that you can keep up with what’s happening on the social network without having to constantly switch between tabs in order to do so.

In addition to keeping up with chats, the feature also lets you see instant notifications when new comments are made on your posts and when you’re tagged in photos.

In beta for some time now, the release is the first implementation of Mozilla’s new Social API. While Facebook is the first to take advantage of the functionality, the API opens the opportunity up for other social networks, such as Twitter and LinkedIn, to take advantage of the feature as well.

This is just the beginning; Mozilla plans to add support for more features in the future, as well as support for multiple providers.

You can give Firefox’s Facebook integration a try now by downloading the latest version of Firefox and then turning the feature on from Facebook.

INFOGRAPHIC: 64 Google+ Content Strategies

Take the time to learn Google+ and engage with your community here. You’ll see results far beyond what any other social network can offer: both social engagement within Google+, and SEO in Google.

This Infographic is Designed and Published by skylargrey


INFOGRAPHIC: 2013 Geosocial Universe By The Numbers

With 5.98 billion mobile devices in the world, geosocial networks and applications are more prevalent than ever.  Sites and services from Facebook and Twitter to Instagram, Skype, Gmail, LinkedIn and Yelp are making their way onto our mobile devices and creative agency JESS3 has outlined the scope and size of this “Geosocial Universe” in a new infographic.

Geosocial Universe 3.0 is the third in a series of infographics (the first released in 2010 and the second in 2011) created by JESS3 to reveal the biggest players in the location-based landscape.  This latest iteration lists the most up-to-date stats about active users on the biggest networks in the geosocial arena, mapped out according to percentage of users that are mobile users.

The infographic rounds up services that are purely mobile, like Instagram with 90 million active users, Snapchat with 2 million, Foursquare with 30 million and Path with 5 million, as well as services like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, email services, LinkedIn and others that serve customers both on mobile as well as on the web.  It also includes Skype, Yelp and Mixi, which have small but growing mobile user bases.

Check out the infographic below to find out more and let us know what you think.  How many of these services do you use on mobile?

Saturday, 9 February 2013

INFOGRAPHIC: Google+: What's In It For Businesses

Google+ is more than just Google’s answer to Facebook. It’s no longer the “ghost town” many have perceived it to be, with over 500 million users. Plus, there are a myriad of benefits of Google+ for business.

This Infographic is Designed and Published by Search Mojo

Top 10 SEO Reputation Management Tools Online

If you learned nothing in high school, you learned that you do have control over your reputation; your reputation is elastic and can be changed. This same lesson works for businesses looking to shape and reform an online reputation; the difference, however, is that you have web tools to help you make it happen. Before jumping into the different tools available, it’s important to understand some of the things that help give your business an online reputation—or the way that online readers perceive your business—in the first place:

Social Media. What you post on social media and how you post it can help shape a reputation. For example: If you’re only posting your own articles, it might seem as though you’re disinterested in learning from others or reading about your industry. This might be a stretch and completely untrue, but you can send that message. If you’re rude to someone on social media or ignore a comment back, you might also be perceived as disinterested or unable to respond.

Content. Whether or not your content is true, well thought-out, and relevant and detailed will matter when it comes to how you’re seen online. Your content shows what you know, so you have to make it count.

Web Design and Layout. If you have a sloppy layout, you probably have a sloppy company. People want someone who is organized and engaging, and your layout can say a lot about how serious you really are.

Employee Contact. Talking with one of your employees online counts as part of your online reputation. Make sure that your employees are not only kind, but that they’re easy to find.

In other words, it is all the basics that help shape your online reputation. These things are usually not constant, so it’s important that you’re always managing the changes you’re making online to avoid any unnecessary cleanup work.

Top 10 Reputation Management Tools

Part of managing your reputation is being able to look at data and analytics and make a conclusion. You must have a strategy in place to mange the things discussed above, and then you must have some way of gathering data to make sure you can gauge your reputation at any time. The following are some of the best tools around to help make it all happen:

1. Trackur. This tool will show you what people are seeing when they search for you in Google or any social network. It also lets you know if the people talking about you are influential in the industry or not.

Trial Time: There is a ten-day trial on any plan.

2. Naymz. The tool with give you a RepScore based on how people find your brand as well as through your social influence (measured by social sharing indicators). It will send a questionnaire to your contacts to help offer you this information.

Trial Time: The best part: The tool is free.

3. BrandsEye. This tool offers all of the basics of reputation management, but also offers competitive analysis and works great if you want several people in your office to work with the tool.

Trial Time: There is a two-week free trial available.

4. Brandwatch. This is one of the most popular tools to manage an online reputation. It works best for social media management and helps monitor certain keywords on these social sites.

Trial Time: There is a free demo available.

5. Technorati. This one is good for beginners or those who want basic results. It will track your blog posts to see who is linking back to that post, which gives you a good indication about how successful that post was with your readers. You can also subscribe to alerts for this information.

Trial Time: The tool is completely free.

6. Rankur. This is a good tool if you’re a small company, yet it still offers a lot of analytics and demographic information. It helps you see your online reviews, monitor your competitors, and is available in many different languages.

Trial Time: There is a free plan available.

7. Alterian. This is one tool that offers tons of information and data. You can discover what people think of your brand in different countries, from different demographics, in different languages, etc. In other words, it gives you everything you need to know about your online reputation.

Trial Time: No free trial; pricing starts at $500/month

8. SocialMention. The greatest thing about this tool is the fact that it can send you alerts for all of your keywords. It also analyzes when your brand is mentioned and just how important those mentions actually are.

Trial Time: Free tool.

9. Whos Talking. This tool works very similar to SocialMention because it can alert you when your keywords and your brand are mentioned. You can see mentions on almost all social media accounts as well as videos and images; however you can only look at one “type” of mention at a time.

Trial Time: Free tool.

10. Google Alerts. This is probably the most basic form of reputation management, but it’s also the easiest. You simply add in the term you want to track (most likely your company name), and you will get emails telling you when and where that word was mentioned. It doesn’t do any type of analysis for you, but it gives you the facts.

Trial Time: Free service.

In the end, the tool you choose is all about what you feel you need the most help monitoring, and for some that isn’t every aspect of reputation. If you think you do a great job with content, but really need help with social media, find a tool that focuses specifically on that aspect and run with it.

Do you know of any reputation management tools that have worked for you in the past?

Authored by:
Amanda DiSilvestro

Amanda DiSilvestro is a graduate of Illinois State University. Although she graduated with an English Education degree, she found herself working as a full-time blogger in the SEO/social media department at Connect with HigherVisibility on Google+ and Twitter to learn more!

5 Tools to Increase Your Social Media ROI

Social media can be a highly effective marketing tool. It can also be an enormous waste of time, energy and money if not managed, tracked and measured for return on investment.

So what can you do to ensure you are getting the most out each of your posts? There are multitude of tools that will allow you to effectively listen and gauge whether your message is reaching your audience. I have highlighted 5 of my favorite tools (one not so much a tool as a tip) that will let you maximize the ROI in your social media management.

1. Google Alerts for Social Media

Ever wonder what people are saying about you and your company? Just like Google alerts, allows you to set up pre-defined rules that will notify you when any of your keywords are mentioned across various social media networks.

On top of this, Social Mention is a social media search and analysis platform that aggregates data and allows you to see what is trending in far greater detail than the generic trending bar on Twitter.

2. Use Buffer, please.

If you are not using Buffer already, you absolutely should be. Buffer in the simplest of terms, is social media magic. From Buffer’s website:

“Buffer makes your life easier with a smarter way to schedule the great content you find. Fill up your Buffer at one time in the day and Buffer automagically posts them for you through the day. Simply keep that Buffer topped up to have a consistent social media presence all day round, all week long.”

I absolutely love Buffer’s ability to determine your best time to post whether it is on Facebook, LinkedIn,, or Twitter. Get started today and let Buffer do the heavy lifting for you!

3. Online Time Machine

Let’s face it, managing social media can be overwhelming, especially if you are a blogger. Mentions and pingbacks from users linking to your website in their tweets or posts on Google+ can be difficult to keep track of. That’s where comes in. is a free web app that allows you to easily search back through the history of Twitter pingbacks and mentions by entering either a URL, Twitter handle, or hashtag. You can also analyze what blog posts, articles, or tweets garnered the most feedback from your followers.

4. Analytic insight from TweebOne of my biggest complaints when it comes to Twitter is that I am only able to see consumer facing data. Outside of mentions or direct messages, Twitter users are blind to how many clicks, views, or responses they have received.

That’s why I love Tweeb! Tweeb is a free app that offers a great overview including click rate and follower rate.

5. Pay Attention

My last tip isn’t a tool, but just a simple suggestion. The easiest and most simple solution to creating more interaction and feedback from your online followers, is to get out of your own way.

Too often I find myself so caught up in the newest or latest social media gadget that I let the conversation slide. Know where and when your time is best served and stay engaged and active within your community. I find more often than not that the latest and greatest is simply another time sucking tool.

By Rebekah Radice
Manager of Industry Engagement at Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate
Rebekah is a social media strategist, content developer and trainer that has been actively involved in the Real Estate and Mortgage Industries for over 18 years. Rebekah believes that social media has transformative powers when it is used correctly and integrated in to a strategic marketing plan. Rebekah manages social media on a daily basis and is eager to help you STOP those time sucking activities and maximize, prioritize and monetize your online efforts!