Posts Tagged tools

Five ways to judge social media management software

It’s only been a few calendar years since software for social media management became available. What was largely a crisis-management tool that monitored brand mentions is now a full-blown method for listening to your customers. If you’re about to acquire an SMMS, here are five items to look for before you buy:

1. Easy navigation
Think about what you want to accomplish. It’s easy to be led astray by a pretty (inter)face. But like beauty, bells and whistles don’t necessarily lead to a relationship that will last. Be sure the SMMS you select lets you:

  • Schedule content – Not everything has to be written on the fly. In fact, most things shouldn’t be. Be sure your package lets you set up a schedule for your content. Then stick to it. Your content will improve. So will your working hours. 
  • Post easily – Be sure you can easily get your message out to all the obvious names in social media. Most tools available do the job nicely. But it always pays to be sure. 
  • Upload multimedia – More and more brands are adding video to their posts. If your software can’t handle video, you’re defeating the purpose of buying a management tool. Be sure the tool you select enables this important task. 
  • Geo-target – Some tools allow it, some don’t. Remember, a happening in one city is going to leave the rest of the country out in the cold. Used properly, geo-targeting gives your marketing efforts pinpoint accuracy. 
  • Tag posts – When you tag each post, you not only simplify report generation, you spare yourself the job of revisiting each post at month’s end 

2. Easy analytics 
If the dashboard of a prospective management tool doesn’t offer strong analytics, move on. At minimum your software should allow you to:

  • Match Facebook and YouTube Insights – You should be able to get that information on the same platform you use to post. It’s an available function, but not a universal one. 
  • Analyze Twitter – Yes, it’s a complex function. But basic Twitter data, such as impressions and clicks, should be accessible. 
  • Analyze the competition –Some tools make competitor’s Facebook data available. It may not be critical information, but it’s certainly valuable. 

3. Reliable performance
An unstable tool is an unreliable tool. Your readers won’t put up with double posts and broken links. There’s no reason why you should either

4. Mobile performance
Does your mobile device play nice with your SMMS? If it doesn’t, it soon will. Or it should. Unless you never leave your computer, consider this capability very seriously.

5. CRM compatibility
Merging customer and social content data can be useful. It’s another function you may want to consider.

Your choice of an SMMS tool can make your job a lot easier, or considerably more difficult. Base your selection on these parameters and you’re likely to pick the tool that suits your requirements.

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10 Social Media Mistakes You Don’t Have to Make

Most companies and their brands are now waist deep in social media engagement. But mistakes, both well-intentioned and not so much, are being made. Since avoiding mistakes is a lot easier than correcting them, here’s 10 sure-fire social media slip-ups to sidestep.  

1. All Specials All the Time
Everybody likes a deal. But discount everything all of the time and you look more like a huckster than a marketer. Your brand and your customer’s relationships with it will both suffer.

2. All Contests All the Time.
Likewise, everybody likes a little fun. But unless you’re an online game site, endless contests are going to dilute customers’ engagement and take conversion metrics along on the downward spiral.

3. No Promotional Motion.
So you’ve set up a social media site? Congratulations. But don’t expect customers to look for you. Actively publicize and market your site. Remember, the first step to a sale is letting people know what you’re selling.

4. Nothing but Good News.
Nobody bats .1000. Not even your brand.  If someone makes a negative comment on your site don’t just make it go away. When you do, you diminish the value of positive comments. Be sure you also address the problem and talk about your fixes.

5. Going on Too Long.
Highly-detailed press releases and long-form videos have a place. But your social media site isn’t it. Too much content runs counter to the short-attention-span the Web encourages. Long messages usually make for short visits.

6. Take Your Time.
Don’t undervalue feedback on your site. Consumers ask questions when they’re interested. If you’re lucky, they’ll call a CSR. If you’re not so lucky, they’ll just go somewhere else  

7. Mixing Your Signals.
A discount from one division or department means the same discount from another division or department. Make sure there’s a way to unify promotions and discounts on a company-wide basis. If you don’t, expect to do a lot of explaining.

8. First Spy, Then Ambush.
Everybody follows consumer behavior on their site (or should). But when you pursue visitors by email or phone after they visit you online you’re not marketing, you’re intruding. Lots of hang-ups and deletes are sure to follow.  

9. Get Too Comfortable.
Once online, some brands assume their work is done. You know what they say about sharks that stop moving.

10. Fall in Love with Likes.
Everybody wants to be liked. But a “like” button isn’t the same as a “purchase” button.  Concentrate on being liked and you’ll almost certainly lower your return-on-investment.

Social media can be a powerful marketing tool. Avoid these mistakes and you’re on your way to harnessing that power.

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Social Media Management for Franchise Businesses with Sendible

We are excited to announce the launch of several new features ideal for franchise businesses wanting to leverage the power of social media across all of their locations.  When developing these new features, we wanted to make it as easy as possible to for large chains to manage social media for each of their stores.  The article below explains how franchises can leverage Sendible’s social media dashboard to manage social media for multiple locations:

1. How to write the same post once and insert custom content for each location

Sendible now makes it possible for users to define custom tags that can be assigned at a store/location level or at a social media account level. These custom tags act as placeholders at the time messages/posts are composed and are replaced with actual values at the time the message is actually sent. To define custom merge tags for social media accounts, follow the steps below…

a) Sign into your Sendible account and click on My Users.
b) Click “Tags”
c) Create a new custom field/merge tag, by clicking New Field. 
d) A new dialog will open up and you’ll be able to enter custom capture information.
e) Select the Category – this is the type of merge tag you will be creating. Options are “Contact”, “User” or “Account” and dictate where these merge tags can be used. For this example, use “Account”.
f) Click Save to add your first merge tag. To add more, repeat the process from c above.

e) Now that you’ve added a few custom tags, you can populate the fields. Since we’ve added Account tags, we can add tags at the account level. 
f) To do this, go to Add/Edit Services > My Services. For each of your social network accounts, click the “Tag” button and fill in the relevant information.

g) Now that you’ve added information for each account, you can compose a message and insert merge tags to be replaced with the relevant content at the time your message is sent.
h) Go to the Message Box tab and click “Merge Tags”. You’ll see a dialog window with multiple tags, grouped by category.

i) You can insert tags into your message by clicking on the relevant item from the list. 
j) When you’re ready, you can select as many social media services as you like and the merge tags will be replaced with the appropriate content at the time of sending.

2. How to sign off content at the head office before a location publishes content

Head office is often required to approve content before it gets published to a franchise’s social network accounts. Sendible’s workflow features make it possible for you to define approval workflows, assign tasks and make sure content is approved and signed off before it gets published to the social web. To create a workflow, follow the steps below:

a) Go to My Users.
b) Click on the user/location in your list who needs approval before content can be published.

c) Under “Approval Workflow”, click “Edit” to be able to define which user needs to approve posts before they get published.


3. How can head office publish content on behalf of a location

Sendible’s powerful social media dashboard makes it possible for usrs to share their social network accounts with other users. In the franchise scenario, the head office has the ability to create each of their locations, setup each of their social network profiles and then share these accounts with team members who need to be able to publish to these accounts. The way to set this up using Sendbile is as follows:

a) After creating your location instances within My Users, switch to each location’s account and setup their social media profiles for them. 
b) Once you’ve done this, go to Add/Edit Services > My Services and use the Sharing button to share these services with the head office user. 
c) This will allow head office to post updates on behalf of the location from within their Message Box. 


4. How can head office access reports across all of their stores/locations

Sendible”s social media analytics features provide you with aggregated reports across each of the franchise’s locations. To access printable reports for individual locations or across the entire franchise, you can do this as follows:

a) Go to My Users.
b) Click the Reports button.
c) You’ll see a new dialog window that you can use to print reports. 

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6 Features Franchise Businesses Should Look For When Evaluating Social Media Management Tools

So you took the plunge and opened your own business through a franchise. That’s a smart way to go these days with so many businesses failing, considering that the franchise model usually has a pretty good foundation behind it. Some franchises will even offer advertising support to help you get going. They don’t, however, usually take care of the most important aspect of getting your name out and bringing in customers: your social media presence.

Social media and blogs drive far more traffic than print or traditional media advertising today, so it’s vital that you make a solid effort to use these platforms to your advantage, and do it well. In order to do this effectively as a business you need good social media management software with plenty of features. What kind of features are important in your franchise business, you ask? There are 6 that you definitely need to make sure that you have.

Autoresponder
Running a business requires lots of time, and you don’t have the budget in a franchise to hire a dedicated social media director, so you need your social media dashboard to be able to automatically respond to inquiries and mentions. If you wait until you have the time to sit down and respond to every little thing, your potential customers will have moved on to more responsive pastures.

Wide range of platforms
Facebook pages are great. So is Twitter. If this is all you are getting though, then you are missing out on a huge chunk of the social space out there. Blogs, Foursquare, email, sms, friendfeed, the list goes on and on. A good piece of brand monitoring software will cover all of your bases, not just two or three.

Tracking and Analyzing
You’ve got to know what the data means, not just how many people visited your page last month. The tracking part is important, but it should track things like click-throughs, not just eyeballs. If it’s not helping the bottom line, it’s not doing you any good.

Location Based services
 If you are a brick and mortar franchise, location based services are a must. Allowing people to check in with Foursquare and being able to track that traffic is a huge plus when you have a physical location that people can visit.

Tracking specific content
Which of your tweets, posts, and blogs are making an impact? After all, you don’t want to keep sending out things that aren’t being received well. Make sure that your software can track individual posts so you know what to repeat and build on, and what to leave alone. 

Sentiment
You want to know what people think, not just that they are visiting your site or talking about you.  Sentiment analysis software will tell if your mentions are positive or negative and lets you know what to respond to and what to leave alone.

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