Time is valuable. Social media is important.
And if you run your own business, you might be struggling to find time to monitor and post on your social networks. Thankfully there is Hootsuite to solve both problems. It’s another one of my ten best free internet marketing tools that you should totally be using.
Hootsuite can manage all your social networks in one place. It’s great if you have content you want to share on multiple accounts at once. There’s nothing worse than having to login to each social network to post and update or see who’s talking to you.
But Hootsuite does that and allows you to schedule posts into the future. Overall it’s great for when you and your staff are busy. They also have a mobile app which is great if you’re on the road and don’t have a laptop with you.
What I love most about Hootsuite is the ability to monitor streams. From specific Twitter lists or Google + cirlces, you can see specific streams from all your networks. This is a huge timesaver. No longer do you have to login to each of your accounts to see what people are saying. You can do this all from the dashboard.
Here is what the dashboard looks like. You’ll notice that I have all four of my social networks and specific lists and streams running.
Anita Campbell from Smallbiztrends wrote and in depth review on Hootsuite which I encourage you to check out. If your going to take my advice and start using this great free internet marketing tool, then watch the video below for a tutorial on how it all works.
Do you use Hootsuite or any other social media management tool?
Last week I broke out of my comfort zone and went to a networking event.
Normally I hate these things. Most of time I find people aren’t really concerned about you and simply want your business card so they can add you to their email list.
But this event I met a couple of interesting people from different industries. One of which was a local realtor named Scott Garman. He and his brother run Garman Group.
Scott made the jump from Vancouver to Victoria to start his real estate career. He had been away from Victoria for close to 15 years. He couldn’t rely on his old network of people since he lost contact with many of them.
What was he to do? He turned to Twitter.
His start in real estate happened around the same time Twitter started. He found the community of Victoria users to be very close at the time. They were lots of meet ups offline which helped really grow connections.
Since Twitter was new, there weren’t many other realtors on Twitter. Jumping into something new with little competition is a great way to grow.
But it was the most overlooked benefit of Twitter that helped him more than anything. One of the few marketers I look up to Gary Vaynerchuck also credits this benefit as the main reason his family wine store’s sales grew to record numbers.
I’m a notorious eavesdropper. Especially when the conversations involve business.
Well the advanced search function is a way you can eavesdrop on peoples Twitter conversations.
Unlike Facebook you can zone on what people are saying about your industry, products, services and competitors. This is a great way to get involved in the conversations. Doing so allows you to become the local go to source in your industry since most people are asking questions on Twitter. You’ll also be able to spot out potential business opportunities as well.
Here’s what you need to do:
- Develop a list of keywords related to your industry, product, service or competitors
- Head of Twitter Advanced Search 3 times a week
- Type one of your keywords into the “all of these words” form
- Add the city you’re located into the “near this place” form at the bottom
From there you will get a list of Tweets over the course of the last few days from people who have mentioned your keyword within your targeted area.
Scott mentioned his list of keywords included:
- house for sale
I may have made a couple of those up but you see where I’m headed.
Gary Vaynerchuk being in the wine industry obviously had a larger pool of keywords. He could choose all the brands and grapes he wanted. He could also simply search the term wine and join in on people’s conversations. And that’s why his business and personal brand grew.
Do you see how beneficial this could be for your business? Instead of spending a hours every month Tweeting and finding content to Tweet, you can do this and see a better return on your time.
Loyal communities trump followers
You want a loyal community, not just followers.
Too many businesses are looking for more followers.
Instead they should be looking to build a community.
In 2012 and beyond, the importance of earning a “like” and a “follow” will greatly increase.
Consumers still have all the power online. They choose who they follow and what content they want to engage with and share.
Every business has been told they need to be using social media. As more and more businesses are jumping online and asking for likes and follows, people’s news feeds are becoming bogged down.
They’re seeing less status updates from Pam White and how awesome her tofu McNuggets are. Instead they’re seeing updates from Mashable talking about some Tech startup that’s going to kill it in 2012.
Because of this people are becoming more protective of their social networks and who they follow. It’s going to take a lot more to get people to follow, like and engage with your business online. Especially compared to the early days of social media when everybody was liking and following everything in sight.
So what exactly does it take? (more…)