There are so many parts to social media, it can be overwhelming. First there’s strategy, then tools, and editorial calendars. But where I find many campaigns fall apart is in the day after day, week after week, delivery of content. How do you actually manage all of those channels? Lack of time is the number one concern for each and every company or organization I work with. Social media management tools are what make it all gel together.
I recommend, prefer, and use Hootsuite.
It’s a social media dashboard that allows the person or team managing a brand’s social media presence to visit one website and direct content to different platforms, track brand mentions, save searches, create detailed analytic reports, and schedule posts into the future. It has Free, Pro, and Enterprise versions and is available for mobile devices. I use the Pro level ($9.99 per month) because I have more than five channels connected to my account.
The social networks you are able to connect to are Twitter, Facebook (profiles, pages, events, groups, search), LinkedIn (company page, groups, profiles), Google+ business pages, Foursquare, Myspace, WordPress.com, Mixi (Japanese social network), and a host of applications.
If you work for a larger company or organization that requires reporting to a board, the custom analytics feature is excellent. You can port in Facebook Insights, Google Analytics, Twitter profile stats, your shortened click stats, Google+ page analytics and more to create reports designed just for your needs. Visual reports are a great way to communicate the achievements of a social media campaign to those that may not understand the technical details.
Working with lots of people can create headaches. Their teams features include: collaboration, team structuring, custom permissions for access to accounts, private team communication, and the best part-the ability to assign messages to specific team members for followup. This is the future of customer service! Just ask McDonald’s, Hard Rock Cafe, Virgin, Lamborghini, or PepsiCo. They use Hootsuite too.
My favorite part of Hootsuite is the scheduling feature*. You can create a message and send it out at a determined point in the future. Scheduling your posts is useful when you go on vacation, when you have a small team, when you have events that need to be promoted multiple times, when you want to your message to be viewed at different times of day in order to reach multiple audiences. The Pro version of this tool allows you to bulk upload as well (I have not had success using this feature).
*Tip: Scheduling posts ahead of time has risks. Something could change, a previously innocuous post could be viewed differently based on the happenings of the day, it can lead to complacency and a social media manager to believe they don’t need to be present on the channel. I recommend scheduling as only one kind of post. You really do need to converse, to interact, to be organic and present on top of predetermined content. Don’t put your online presence into neutral and walk away. Your audience will know and you will not get the return on investment that an engaged presence can bring you.
I know this sounds like a commercial.
I once signed up for the affiliate program but I don’t actually participate. I’m telling you the benefits of Hootsuite because I like it, I recommend it, and I use it-not because I will get a kickback (I won’t). I am a Certified Hootsuite Professional, in fact I’m the only one in Sonoma County. There are two others listed in the directory. Both have since moved out of the area.
I not only train people to use all the tools that Hootsuite manages but I train on the social media dashboard as well. If you need assistance managing the coordination of posting content to your channels, I’d be happy to help.
How do I use it?
I print out my calendar twice a month and circle all of the public presentations I’m giving, classes I’m teaching, or other events of note. I create posts to promote those events, distribute to appropriate channels, and post them multiple times. I review my blog posts and continue to promote them, on average once per month, to multiple destinations. I also recycle other content such as videos, press pieces, or other valuable links. This ensures that if I’m locked in a session room all day teaching a class, that my channels are evenly filled with useful content, my brand is being promoted, traffic is being driven to my blog, my events are being promoted, and I don’t have to worry about radio silence. I spend about 30-45 minutes on this scheduling about every 2 weeks. I’m lightly scheduled about 6 months out at any given time. I also use it to monitor any keywords of interest such as my name, brand name, industry specific terms, or projects so I can see who is talking about what so I might strike up a conversation with someone.
After every meeting or other period where I’m unable to be online, I check my messages. First thing, I pick up my phone and check email, voicemail, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. I answer any questions that have been asked of me and make sure that I’m reachable by my audience. I don’t rest on my laurels with scheduling. I am present as much as possible to interact, engage, communicate, and BE SOCIAL.
I’m not a Ninja.
But Hootsuite is one tool that allows me to have, what I call “Social Media Ninja Moves”. I’m asked all the time how I manage it all, how I get it all done, how I seem to be everywhere. I always have an assistant or intern but they don’t post for me. I do it all myself. Hootsuite is my trick and I want you to be able to use it too.
Kerry Rego presented Social Media 101 at the Healdsburg Chamber of Commerce. Click on the link below for a downloadable version of her presentation.
As long as I’ve been working in social media, I have received requests for DVDs or other recorded materials from my clients and seminar attendees. Social media changes from minute to minute, day by day, so I took my time in selecting a subject that would stand the test of time.
Watching people, listening to their concerns, and tracking trends for years gave me my answer. Technologies change and brands get sold. What stays the same is us, for our whole lives. What I know to be true is that you spend your whole life developing your character and reputation and today, one post, one video, one stupid mistake, can be your ruin when it’s online. While many of my client requests are for Facebook page building, LinkedIn understanding, social media strategies, and measuring marketing channels, I knew they needed more. When I started adding reputation management and personal branding to my services, my clients were shocked at what we found. They felt uneducated and helpless to change what others saw on search engines.
There’s a ton of marketing and business focused social media resources available. What I don’t see much of is easy to understand information for business owners, schools, parents, children, and people of all walks of life on how to navigate the web, understand what’s happening, stay safe, and build a positive route for success. This book is a start.
This is my higher calling:
- Educate people on the truth of the situation and how it affects them.
- Assure them there are ways to be proactive and assertive.
- Empower them with action items they can perform to protect themselves and their loved ones.
This book is not about social media strategy specifically, though I do cover it. This book is for everyone to use, understand, and learn what tools are available to control how they are seen online when they aren’t around to speak for themselves.
I know not everyone likes social media or wants to use it. Many aren’t ready yet and may never be but that doesn’t mean they don’t deserve the information should they desire it. I wrote a paperback book because I want to reach as many people as possible, particularly those that aren’t constantly attached to technological devices, this book is first and foremost for them. And for those that prefer digital books, it’s also available in Kindle format and soon in iBook. You can get your copy here.
Plain and simple, this subject is too important to neglect. Knowledge is power.
I voted today. As I was leaving, I made sure to check in on my mobile phone using the location based service, foursquare. Why would I want to telegraph my location? Because I’m playing the game of life, that’s why. And I knew I would get a badge. I’m competitive but it doesn’t have to be with other people. I enjoy being the best (at anything) and I’m not the only one. (I also play to get coupons and to become the “mayor” of locations that I frequent.)
What am I talking about? Gamification or the use of game mechanics and design techniques in non-game contexts. It’s really a psychological manipulation to get people to do things. This can also be referred to as a “call to action”. What makes gamification more effective at behavior modification than a simple call to action, is that it may offer a reward. The reward can come in the form of more playing time, a virtual item such as a badge, points or bragging rights with the use of a leader board. I’ve learned that people will jump through hoops for real (or virtual) gold stars.
There is a great trend in applying these techniques to achieve positive lifestyle changes. Basic tasks in the areas of community participation, exercise, tobacco cessation, and productivity can all be “gamed” to get people to do them. Make it fun, give them a reward, and people will do a lot. Check out this list of products that take advantage of the game scenario possibilities:
You can apply this to getting your customers to act in desired ways or observe how you, as a consumer, are effected by gaming.
Just in case you are wondering, I have 48 badges, I’m the mayor of 56 locations, and I’m a Superuser Level 1. Who’s competitive? Not me! (yea, right)
My goal with “Truth in Tech: A Cross Industry Conversation About Technology Today” was to create dialogue amongst industries that don’t normally communicate about technology. It’s my industry so I talk about it all the time with people of all walks of life. If you’re not in tech, the conversations about what frustrate you, what problems you encounter, or what exciting developments are aiding you in getting your work done are few and far between. But I wanted to stir the pot and get things moving. (See picture set.)
County Supervisor Mike McGuire talked candidly about the cultural shifts that have had to occur within the county. He talked about policy, staff behavior, and how it’s been a challenge to adapt.
Santa Rosa Police Detective John Cregan discussed the efforts of the SRPD to be transparent in their communications with the public and the tools they use that are specific to their trade. He was asked about school bullying and what the department has done to deal the issue and he talked about awareness of the problem and the speed that they are able to address those concerns. I brought up a recent hostage situation in Philadelphia that saw the perpetrator updating his Facebook profile during the ordeal. The need for further training on the part of law enforcement to incorporate tactics in dealing with public displays such as that are the talk of his industry.
Sidenote: I’ve heard some fascinating stories recently about how law enforcement agencies are using tools such as Twitter and Instagram to monitor activities of citizens as well as gangs. Stolen property, graffiti tagging, terrorist activity, school violence and much more have been spotted by simply scrolling through very public information and aided in the apprehension of suspects. I anticipate that these departments are going to have to start hiring individuals with increased technology skills as they are now a standard part of detective work.
Dr. Rich Campbell, marketing professor at Sonoma State University, most notably talked about distraction. The sheer amount of opportunities to be distracted is a stress on concentration as well as communication. He mentioned that the skill set of students coming out of colleges is still catching up to the needs of employers. It will take some time before the skills are meshed into the normal way of doing things.
I spoke about Online Reputation Management. I research many companies and individuals whose reputations are damaged by online content or are representing themselves questionably. I don’t believe people understand how the public’s perception of them is affecting their livelihood. It’s a scary subject when I start talking about it. I see people’s eyes get wide. If you missed it and would like to see my presentation, see the slideshow below.
Additional sidenote: my paperback book “What You Don’t Know About Social Media CAN Hurt You: Take Control of Your Online Reputation” is a thorough description of the risks we face in the online world, the way it can affect our lives, legal concerns, obstacles to overcome, and a step by step set of instructions on how to take control over your name and reputation. This is for those that aren’t avid social media users. This is for the everyman. It will be ready for shipping in mid November but you can preorder your copy today!
After each of the presenters, we sat and had a panel discussion about the issues. I want to thank each of the speakers for taking the time to sit and talk with me and the audience. I know the attendees learned a lot because so many of them came up to me afterwards to say they had no idea about much of the things they heard. And that was the point.
Now talk amongst yourselves.
I live in Sonoma County, CA and it’s the number one county in the state for volunteerism, according to the Corporation for National & Community Service. When businesses are looking for content to write about on a blog or other social media channel, how you contribute to your community is a great subject to highlight. Where I live, volunteerism is part of the cost of doing business. If that’s something your company or organization invests and believes in, then talk about some of the projects you are involved in and causes that are important to you.
Yes, I know we were taught not to toot our own horns but it is important in today’s business climate to communicate to the public your commitment to the community you live in. Why?
- It shows you are participating and that you care about something more than just making money.
- The avenues of service you choose may be a deciding factor for your customers and prospects. If a person is passionate about youth activities, the fact that you are a Boy/Girl Scout leader will help them make a purchasing decision. Make sure to put it on your website, blog, and LinkedIn profile because it helps you stand out from your competitors.
- It shows the kind of company that you are (post pictures of your activities!) and emphasizes what your company morals are about.
Kerry Rego presented to the Association of Fundraising Professionals in Santa Rosa, CA on January 25, 2012. Providing the definition of social media, current statistics, categories of use, basic strategy, statistics specific for non profits and fundraising, obstacles, and case studies.
- Facebook 800 million users
- Twitter 100 million users
- YouTube 4billion + views per day
- LinkedIn 135 million users
- Google+ 90 million users
Slide 4 - Social Media, A Definition: Social media use web-based technologies to transform and broadcast media monologues into social media dialogues. -Wikipedia
Slide 5 - The 7 C’s of Social Media – Dose of Digital
Slide 7 – Categories of Social Media Tools
- Blogs, microblogs, RSS feeds
- Multimedia – audio, video, pictures
- Social Networks
- Mobile, texting, ads
- Location based services, check in
- Share & review
- Email marketing
- Document sharing
- PR tools
Slide 8 – Simple Social Media Strategy
- Tools, Research
Slide 9 – Market Research
- WHO is the audience?
- WHAT is their preference?
- WHEN do they want to hear from you?
- WHERE are they?
- WHY are you there?
- 92% of nonprofits use at least one social network – Blackbaud
- There has been a 61% increase in online giving from 2001 to 2011. The average donation was $226 now $73. – Network for Good
- 33% of online donations come from email appeals while only 7% come from Facebook. – Razoo
- Four out of five nonprofits agree that social networking is valuable to their growth and community engagement. – Nonprofitsocialnetworksurvey.com
Slide 12 – Nonprofit’s Social Media Use (image on Frogloop)
Slide 13 – Where the Money is Coming From, WePay [sorry the original link was lost ]
- 36% Facebook
- 9% Email
- 5% Blog
- 4% Twitter
- Don’t have a budget
- Don’t dedicate staff
- Don’t have a focus
- Hire or assign a current staff member
- Allocate Budget
- Add social media to your fundraising appeals
- 64% of American adults now use text messaging
- 9% have texted a charitable donation from their mobile phone, Pew Internet & American Life Project
Human Rights Campaign recruited an additional 30,000 new supporters through timely action alerts and petitions on the Care2 network ’09-’10. HRC developed an integrated multichannel marketing approach that sought to connect, engage, and convert warm recruits through telemarketing, direct mail, email and text messaging.
Slide 19 – Case Study, Text to Haiti
- Contributions were often spur of the moment decisions that spread virally through friend networks
- 73% contributed via phones on the same day they heard about the campaign
- 76% say they often make text donations without doing much research
- 43% of these donors encouraged their friends or family members to give to the campaign as well
- 56% have continued to give to more recent disaster relief efforts via mobile
- Beth Kanter’s Blog
- Pew Internet and American Life Project
- Non Profit Social Network Survey
- Care2Team Slideshare
You can contact Kerry Rego to book her to speak to your group by contacting kerry [at] kerryregoconsulting.com
Additional resources available by searching my blog for “Reputation Management” or by clicking here: http://bit.ly/krcrepmng
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