Evergreen content – never run out of things to post!

This is probably the most exciting feature addition that we have ever done just because of how simple it will be to use and how much positive impact it will have on our users’ publishing.

One of the key challenges in publishing content to social media is that it requires constant replenishment of posts to keep your profiles updated.

Effectively there are 2 biggest challenges:

#1 Most posts have much bigger potential then a one time publication. A post published at 9am is missing out of users who only check their social media in the evening. How can you smartly repeat posts?

#2 The day you don’t schedule posts is the day your audience forgets who you are. How does on keep their profiles always updated?

You can now solve both of these using Social Report. You can simply designate specific posts or entire content groups (categories) as ‘evergreen’. Our publisher will then automatically schedule theses posts based on your posting schedule.

How does it work?

1) Create a posting schedule for your project.

2) Mark as many posts evergreen as possible. To mark a post (or an entire content group) as evergreen – simply locate it in your calendar.

3) Now the system will regularly check your posting schedule and anytime there is less then 2 hours before an upcoming posting time and nothing was otherwise scheduled – the system will automatically grab the next available evergreen and schedule it.

We’ve put together this video that shows how to setup and manage your evergreen content

This additional video goes into further detail on how to manage your evergreen content and also how to use built in evergreen recommendation engine

Don’t have an account yet? Try it free!

Top Five Features of Social Report

We like to talk about a lot of topics regarding social media marketing from brand audits to what a good social marketer needs to know.   Occasionally we turn the blog spotlight our way and highlight features (like the export ability) about Social Report we think are worth telling everyone about.  Today we thought we would highlight the five features of Social Report that get rave reviews and shine our blog light toward exploring the depth our solution provides.

Tracking

Having a location where you can track multiple social channels (such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter) and have access to other networks such as Yelp business reviews, Meetup, Google Analytics and more.  We also have in beta, with release slated soon, the addition of networks Foursquare, Gowalla, Bebo, Tumblr and more.  One tool to track it all.

Exporting

We have talked extensively about the power of exporting.  While most tools that track data can export, we have recently bumped up our functionality allowing you to pull from not only all the social networks you have, but your global searches, your contacts and more.  You can build your own reports, and owning your data is great.

Searches

Discovery is one of the cornerstones to solid social media marketing.  But finding influencers, people to interact with, clients and even detractors can be cumbersome.  We do unlimited global searches while others charge per search.   Even better than doing the search is the fact that these can be global searches outside of your network. And, even if you don’t choose to use this feature – Social Report still discovers conversations and indexes them for you.  Discovery is that extra mile we go for you.

Response

How do you know if your campaigns are actually working?  Measurement of course.  Social Report lets you measure how responsive your audience is.  Do they actually act?  Do they buy from you?  If you are not using Social Report – how do you track this effectively, efficiently and most importantly, accurately.  Getting all the information you need to determine ROI and help make proper adjustments as necessary is valuable.  Measure correctly, act accordingly.

Management

Any team of marketing professionals can tell you that while the end effect is of a swan gracefully maneuvering the social media waters, beneath the waves, those feet are paddling, and that requires coordination across the organization.  Social report has excellent features that let you manage team access and roles and project.  We also have White Label abilities, and our tool lets you manage that entire process with ease.  Coordination is the heart of any successful social media marketing campaign.

With all of the features and more being developed and added constantly, we feel Social Report is the only analytics solution to consider.  But again, don’t take our word for it.  Try it out for free, and explore all these features and more.

Change is Necessary in Social Media

There is an old adage that goes “change or die” and in today’s technology marketplace that is definitely the motto that drives much of the business practices in companies, ours included.

 

Social Media Networks Change Constantly, Rapidly

 

They have to keep up with changes with competitors, changing laws, marketplace demands and innovating technology.  It’s a good thing for you and your business although at first it can seem overwhelming to the uninitiated.  At Social Report, our social analytics tools, monitoring capabilities and discovery agents are constantly being updated and kept in sync with changes in the marketplace and to the networks we monitor.  We have had a rash of changes recently and thought we would take a break from discussing strategy and show off a bit of what’s been going on around here recently.
 
New Design!

Our website and our tool underwent a major design overhaul both for look and feel and for usability.  We love the way it looks and from your feedback so do you!  We are always open to hear more feedback so keep it coming!

One of the ways we re-engineered the tool was to rework the dashboard and here are some key changes:

 

Project Oriented Layout

Organizing your social and web properties is key. Whether you are doing it for your business or for your clients and customers, being able to manage them in logical groupings (projects) helps with reporting, clean separation of reporting data and with aforementioned ability to manage team access.

There is no limit to how many projects you can setup.

 

Team Access

 

Manage team and customer access to your projects. Setup authorized users who will be able to access the projects. Control their level of access (i.e. reports only, or campaign publishing, etc). You can finally stop sharing a single login, get others to help out with your day-to-day operation and perhaps even take a vacation!

 

White Label Management

 

White label and re-branding is now fully automated. Upload your logo, setup your domain, and customize links. This is available to all Agency and Ultimate subscribers.

 

Affiliate and Reseller Portal

 

There several great features offered in our reseller program like ability to sell our standard packages as well as ability to create your own subscription plans. Our latest version offers you full control over this as well as provides thorough reporting that enables you to track your reselling performance and earnings.

 

Exporting Data

If you are using SocialReport already you know we have some great reporting options. It is possible, however, that sometimes you may have a need to present a data in a special way. Instead of trying to build a complex web based utility that would enable you to do that, we’ve take a much simpler route. You can now download your data and build your reports utilizing the tool that does it best – Microsoft Excel!

 

Again our users have made all this possible.  We love to hear from you and we appreciate your support.  Onward and upward, my friends.

What A Good Social Media Marketer Already Knows

There are few who are social marketers that actually love analytics. Likewise there are few who write marketing copy, status updates or builds communities using social networks that love statistics. We are social people who like being social. That’s what makes us good at social media. Social media professionals are far more expressive than analytical. However, our job as professionals demands that we be analytical as well.

 

Objectives & goals set us apart as professionals

 
The thing that separates us from the non-professionals is that we have objectives and goals and are held accountable for creating demonstrable results. We need an easy to use tool to help us to justify our time and marketing direction to our clients. We need a tool that helps us to course correct. It’s necessary to move towards our goals and objectives. SocialReport focused on finding solutions to reporting and analytics problems and helping people to succeed with their social marketing campaigns. We need a powerful but easy to use tool set to measure and monitor our online activity.

 

Social media is social. It’s about people. It’s about getting others to see a little bit of themselves in us. It’s about being friends. It’s about creating a community. It’s about converting followers into fans of our brand, product or service. It’s about being genuine and authentic. It’s a people business and as people, the majority of us are driven more by emotion than actual facts. Every good sales person knows this. How people feel about our brand is critical.

 

I can back this up by discussing more complex concepts such as cognitive linguistics, ambient awareness, managing and understanding different the types of personalities, individual communication strategies and behavioral science.

 

In the end, most of the time, people don’t know why they respond to things or what they are actually revealing through their responses. The truth is, it doesn’t really matter either. I just need to know how to create the right stimulus that people will respond to and how to create the right emotional attachments to the brand. I also want to write in a way that allows people to create mental anchors to the brand. But first, I have to give them a reason to listen and to care. That starts with me. I have to care first and I must be genuine about it.

 

Social media isn’t a megaphone

 

One-way marketing messages do not and will not work in “social” media. Conversation does. The only way to get around this, is to have an already established brand that has been running a successful traditional marketing campaign for a long number of years or a news service and even for many of those brands, they are successful in the social media space because they are responsive and conversational. There are a massive number of case studies to support this.

 

af•fin•i•ty [uh-fin-i-tee] noun

1. a natural liking for or attraction to a person, thing, idea, etc.

2. a person, thing, idea, etc., for which such a natural liking or attraction is felt.

3. relationship by marriage or by ties other than those of blood (distinguished from consanguinity).

4. inherent likeness or agreement; close resemblance or connection

 
In the end, social is a two-way and not a one-way communications device. Increasing engagement is directly proportional to increasing stimulus. What I am looking for is intensity of feeling towards the brand and increasing the intensity of conversation around the brand.

 

Be a good host

 

In many ways, services such as Twitter are like a talk show. We need to relate with our audience. That means breaking the fourth wall. Talking at people instead of talking with people is not social. It’s not networking. It’s advertising. Advertising is also good but that’s not the purpose of a Twitter account or even a Facebook page. They are PR tools and I’m acting as a spokesperson. I’m not giving a speech. I’m participating in a conversation around my brand and with my community.

 

Think about going to a party and not listening or responding to conversation. Imagine going to a party and just talking and talking and talking… Not a two-way dialog but just talking at people. Twitter and Facebook are the same way. My job is to gather a crowd. That means being witty, funny, engaging and interesting. It does not mean making pitch after pitch. That approach doesn’t work in real life. It doesn’t work online.

 

Try SocialReport for free for thirty days and see what the data tells you about your social media campaigns.

How To Win Fans With Customer Engagement

 
What creates engagement in social media? Certainly, some posts and status updates get better responses than others. A part of the equation is simply knowing our audience. We are the creators of written stimulus. Our goal is to elicit a response.

 

How do we measure that response?

 

SocialReport provides some of the easiest to use and most advanced social analytics on the planet. You can track and analyze Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Vimeo, Google Analytics, Bit.ly, Meetup, Goo.gl, Linkedin, Yelp, WordPress, MySpace, Digg, Bebo, and Foursquare; all in one place and all using a single tool.

MThe words we post are useless we are creating an affinity for the brand we are representing. For those of us who participate in social branding, our job is writing entertaining, engaging, and informative status updates that create an affinity for the brand we are posting for. Using an analytical tool-set like those provided by SocialReport, we can monitor the number of actions taken on our posts.

 

What is brand affinity?

 

Brand affinity is when customers have an emotional connection with our brand and ultimately become our best marketers. Those customers feel a sense of ownership in our brand. (Think Apple Inc. or Harley Davidson.) These feelings aren’t typically based on logic but then again, the majority of people respond or react based on a gut-level and then rationalize their responses later. People will comment, re-tweet, mention, share and reply when they feel something.

MOur job is to stir emotions and direct actions. Ideally, we will create a positive connection to our brand. Making the right word choices with precision is the key. We write for our audience. We are trying to ring a Pavlovian bell and create positive attachments to the brand we are writing for. Social media allows us to build a bridge to our customers and win them over as fans… Fans.  Not just customers. The people who have the deepest affinity for our brand will write about us,  re-tweet us, comment on us and engage with us.

MVery rarely do I see a detailed analysis of how to achieve positive response and actions. There’s a lot of posting, measuring and adjusting in social campaigns followed by tracking and reporting. Again, SocialReport is an excellent tool to help us with just that.

 

Story telling is a key to creating fans.

 

We are telling a story about our brand. The story we are telling is told in small chunks of status updates that when connected paint a bigger picture. Making the right word choices is the single most important action we can take when creating status updates.

MThe only way to communicate the feeling behind our words, is to include those feelings in our words. That’s not a task that is easy to accomplish. I’m not just typing in 140 characters, I’m typing in 140 character bursts and 140 character chunks. I use kinesthetic tone and imagery. If I feel that my posts are starting to get boring, I’ll switch back over to first-person narrative mode and remind people that I’m a human being. I will connect with others in conversation. I will infuse my posts with literary devices, imagery, metaphors, and analogies. And I will do so in a way that allows my readers to feel an emotional connection to the brand I’m writing for.

MWhen are readers are in a heightened emotional state, they are more likely to take an action and to remember our message. They are more likely to share, re-tweet and respond with comments. Social media is a people business and our posts should be aimed squarely at human emotion. If we write boring messages instead of writing status updates that spark an idea, stir some emotions, or allows our readers to see a little bit of themselves reflected in our words, we’ll fail to make that critical connection with our readers, followers and fans.

MSo much has been written about Twitter and Facebook… Often using words
like “value”, “engagement”, and “authentic”. I’m not big on buzz words. Mostly because these words tend to be nebulous at best.

MWhat I’m looking for is response. The closer I can come to stepping inside the experience of my audience and ringing that Pavlovian bell, the greater the response will be. I write behind a keyboard but as I write, I tap into my own experience. I’m reflecting on my own thoughts and feelings. I’m seeking to create a connection with my readers.
 
• Sometimes I seek to solve problems
• Sometimes I seek to share my experience
• Sometimes I seek to spark an idea
• Sometimes I seek to entertain
 
I will tell you a truth about Twitter and Facebook. People want to be stimulated. We want to feel something. It can be as simple as something funny that causes us to laugh or something that inspires us to take action. It can be as simple as something that causes us to look at a problem in a new way. It doesn’t matter what we write so much as it matters how we write.

MStir emotions. Provoke thoughts. Share ideas. Be a catalyst for conversation. Listen. Engage. Measure. Monitor. Metrics. Improve. When you remove the human element from social media marketing, you are destined to failure.

MI will expand upon these concepts more in my next blog post. In the mean time: Try SocialReport for free for thirty days and see what the data tells you about your social media campaigns.

The Art of Social Media Monitoring

Original article written by Sean Clark

This is the third in the series of Practical Social Media, looking in depth at how to set-up and run Social Media as part of your overall business strategy. If you have any areas you would like me to cover please let me know via the comments section below.

“Hi my name’s Chris, what do you do when you’re not hanging out with a bunch of Twitter geeks?”

And after Chris Brogan has used his favourite opening line to start a conversation at a local Social Networking meet-up he does as much as he can to keep the other guy talking so he can listen.

Two ears and one mouth, or what ever cliche you would like to use, listening is the key to getting people to trust you, like you and ultimately buy from you. Social Media is no different; before you go in shooting from the hip, peek around the saloon door first, see if you can catch the whispers in the room.

This is going to be a first real step into using Social Media as a business tool. Now it gets practical and monitor what’s going on in this space.

 

Have you done your homework?

 

In my previous post I talked about using Social Media to solve business problems; what are the ones you are trying to solve? If it is reaching a wider audience to increase sales then you want to find key influencers within your marketplace. If you are trying to establish yourself as an expert in a particular sector, to gain trust and in turn increase sales then you will be looking to help people with Social Media.

For both of these goals we use the same tools, but in slightly different ways. The first thing we try to determine is if there is an opportunity for us within Social Media for our particular business.

 

Let’s get set-up


We’re going to start with Twitter, not just because it’s my favourite tool, butbecause I think it is the easiest tool from which to see possible opportunities. It’s real-time nature means that even in the narrowest niche you are likely to see some action. There are more advanced Social Media monitoring tools which I will cover later in the series.

For the examples in this exercise I am going to be running two imaginary, but related businesses, to demonstrate how to use Twitter differently dependant on your objectives. In the first instance I am going to be a running shoe manufacturer or brand, in the second I am going to be a running shoe retailer.

We need to identify some keywords pertinent to our industry. Very much like you would when trying to optimise a web site for the search engines. In fact if you have a commercial web site you may have already done this, and can draw from that previous research. For others just select some basic words that would be used when discussing your product or service, these will help demonstrate the principles here.

For my test, example words might be: jogging, running, 10k, 5k, 5 mile, 10 mile, marathon, half-marathon, trainers, running shoes.

If you haven’t already go to Twitter.com and create yourself an account. The purpose of this account will be to listen in on conversations. We are not going to interact, therefore you don’t need to worry about user-names and profiles, feel free to make them up. You can also use an existing account if you wish, we won’t be following anyone just yet.

 

Finding influential people in your market

 

In the first trial we will be looking for influencers. The basis for this being that as a manufacturer I want to find people who may write or promote my product or brand for me.

We need to create a Twitter list to store people we may discover:

In Twitter, click on “Profile”, then “lists”, then “create a list”. Give your list a name, I will call mine “Key Influencers”, you can give it a description if you wish and make the list private if you don’t want anyone else to see it.

In the search box at the top of the page on Twitter enter your first keyword and hit return.

 

If you click on the screenshot to the left you can see the results for my search on the word “Marathon”. There are some unrelated Tweets in the results as you would expect, but amongst them are people Tweeting about Marathon running, potentially key people that may be of interest.

You can save this search by clicking the button on the top right, making it easier to return to at a later date.

 

For now scroll through the list of Tweets, click on the names of people of interest. In my example it would be people mentioning marathons in relation to running. A panel with their details will slide out; to the right of the green follow button is a silhouette of a head and shoulders, click on this, then click add to list and select your “Key Influencers” list, see screenshot below and to the left again.

 

There is no need to Follow these people at this stage if you don’t want to, you’ll be able to see all of their Tweets just by viewing the “Key Influencer”list.

Perform this search with your other keywords and repeat the process for 5-10 minutes a day for the next couple of weeks. We’ll come back and analyse the results in a future post.

 

 

Can I help you sir?

 

In the second version of our business scenario I am a retailer. This time I am looking to see if there is enough discussion around my market sector so that I stand a chance of getting myself noticed as an expert in the marketplace. Brands or manufacturers can also use this in addition to the “Key Influencer” search.

This time create a list based on the instructions above but name it “Questions”.

Using your keywords do a search on Twitter again but append a question mark, for example “running shoes ?” – without the quotes.

 

Now we have a list of people asking questions about running shoes. Add these people to your list, you can follow these people later if appropriate, but make sure to save the search.

Also, keep a list of the questions being asked as they will prove valuable in the later stages of our Social Media Strategy. Repeat this process for all of your keywords and spend the next couple of weeks checking out the results on a daily basis.

There are various ways to perform this analysis, and some of this can be done using more advanced Social Media tools or third party web sites. The aim here is to get you exposed to Twitter with a specific goal in mind, and for you to experience the potentially rich information that lays not far from the surface of Social Media.

If you have any suggestions or questions please get in touch via the comments below. Otherwise see what you can unearth for your market sector and I will be back shortly with the next step in Practical Social Media.

Original Article

4 Steps to Instant Social Network Omnipotence

Social Report is committed to continually adding features that will make social reporting and curating your social media efforts easier. With Social Report, you can now have a daily summary of all  your social events delivered to you encapsulated in an email. The benefit to you is that you can now access this data very simply and easily right on your smart phone.

MHow many times have we had something important to say while travelling, weren’t necessarily able to open our laptop and post status updates from our smart phone? Shouldn’t we be able to access our social reporting from the same device? With a few clicks of your mouse, you can activate a daily event summary email in your Social Report account. Your daily email notification will bring together all the relevant events across your social channels: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Vimeo, LinkedIn, Yelp, WordPress, Digg, Bebo, Google Analytics, Foursquare and more. That’s a pretty exciting and powerful tool. Again, as simple to access as checking your email. You can scope out new followers and mentions on Twitter, new comments on your blogs, views of your videos on YouTube, web site activity analysis and much more.

 

The Daily Alert is Your Social Heart Beat

 

Quickly look at it on your mobile phone or a tablet to gain an immediate understanding of what’s happening in your or your customer’s world. You are in control. You are empowered. You have your finger on the pulse of your social activity.

MMore importantly, you can give answers on the fly when your client or boss calls to ask you how the conference is going and if you are gaining traction while away. You’ll know because you are up to date. (And BlogWorld Los Angeles is just around the corner.)

MScrolling through the daily event summary is efficient and the information you want is easily identifiable. Instead of spending an hour collecting this information daily by going into each and every network trying to figure out what’s new, quickly glancing through the daily summary report will give you an instant cognition of your social activity.  Events are organized in a simple and intuitive listing. Each social account is presented with a network specific section. You can also forward this email to others, like your customers. MHow easy is it to activate the Daily Social Report? 3 mouse clicks and 30 seconds of your time.

1. Login to Social Report.

2. In the left hand sidebar is the Settings widget, all the way at the bottom. Click that.

3. When the menu opens, click Notifications at the bottom of the list.

4. What you want is the Daily Digest, click Save and you are done.   M

The daily notification email will now provide you with a detailed summary of all events across your social channels for the previous day.   Try SocialReport for free for thirty days and see what the data tells you about your social media campaigns.

Respond, Decode with the Right Data

For social media professionals, our job is to be responsive-able. We have to respond and do so appropriately in real time. We are responsive-able professionals. We have to be able to decode digital text and to be able to perceive the underlying feelings/emotion. Our job is to be ever presently mindful of the human condition and the emotions which drive people to react or respond.

 

Identifying Personalities & Motivations Requires Social Analytics

 

We used to have to do this effectively with very little data. We couldn’t rely on our eyes or our ears as our social streams grew.  Anyone who has managed a social account, has honed the craft of identifying myriad personalities and motivations with precision. Having a series of tools at hand, that can help us track trending topics, search streams, set-up goals and get our arms around the vast information load is an invaluable addition.

In other words, we become masters of being responsive-able. That is our craft. We connect with strangers daily in a very human way.  We try to contribute a perspective that is genuinely reflective of the brand’s personality without sacrificing the quality of the conversation. To do that, finding the right people who can benefit from our brand or service is crucial. Knowing what was said and when before jumping into the Twitter or Facebook pool is a requirement. Most importantly; reflect, think, execute, and brand. But do it with the right data and facts so it’s real, unique and measurable to your bottom line.

Have you wanted to know what people are saying in your Twitter Stream about an industry or brand?  Try SocialReport for free for thirty days and see what the data tells you about your social media campaigns.

Clicks, Cakes, and the Limits of Social Media ‘Science’

Written  by Tom Webster on August 22, 2011

There is an apocryphal story in the annals of market research that I particularly love about cake mix (“apocryphal,” by the way, is Greek for “a pile of crap,” so this probably isn’t true – but I’ll tell the story anyway.) The story goes that back in the 50′s, Betty Crocker had developed its first completely one-box cake mix – just add water and bake. After some initial buzz, sales began to disappoint, so the Betty Crocker executives did a series of focus groups to suss out the problem.

Imagine tackling this problem today, using social media monitoring, or tracking clickstream behavior. Betty Crocker might observe fewer clicks to their recipe page, or perhaps fewer positive mentions. Coupon activity from register scans might decline. Positive sentiment for Duncan Hines might increase. We might learn that the best time to tweet about cakes is 10:00 am on a Sunday. Maybe we’d record an increase in the number of tweets about the poor quality of Betty Crocker’s mix.

We could take all of this online behavior – all of these tweets and clicks – and determine a few things. Some of our conclusions would be correct, while others would be off the mark. Mining this information is crucial to the lifeblood of the organization – don’t get me wrong. But bits and bytes will only ever tell you the “what.” They rarely give you the straight story on the why.

One thing I’ve learned in about 20 years of doing qualitative research – people are not as expressive about products and services as we’d like them to be. Often, we cannot clearly articulate what makes us uncomfortable, or dissatisfied, with a given product, so we fall back on the easy answers. “It doesn’t taste right.” “It costs too much.” “I don’t have enough time.” These are the first things I hear in any focus group, before Stockholm Syndrome really sets in. This is when the experienced qualitative researcher reaches into their bag of tricks, and helps the respondents along – and uncovers the real reasons behind these perceptions of quality, value and importance. These data, of course, are anecdotal until you can test these assumptions, and social media is providing us with more and more tools to do just that. But social media often gives us the easy answers – not the true answers.

Back to Betty Crocker. Unable to mine Twitter, our 1950′s executives did a series of focus groups with housewives that had tried, and ultimately rejected their cake mix. Much to their surprise, they realized that these ladies thought the cakes tasted just fine, and were pretty good values. Instead, the insight they developed over time was that the cake mixes were a little too easy. In postwar America, as their husbands worked long days, these stay-at-home moms were a little embarrassed about the fact that all they had to do to have a delicious cake on the table for their men to enjoy after work was just add water and stir. In short, they felt guilty.

This is why you now have to add an egg, or perhaps a little oil, to a cake mix. Certainly these ingredients could be incorporated into the package – we do have a little history of food science in this country. But adding these one or two ingredients made it feel like baking again, and not just assembling. These women didn’t just want cakes – they wanted to feel good.

The numbers only give you half the story – and I say this as someone who makes his living telling the stories of numbers. The operative word there, of course, is story. It’s easy to be seduced by social media data, especially by those who loudly proclaim that they have the numbers on their side. Numbers aren’t on anyone’s side. I’ve had a lifelong battle with them, trust me. Adding insights to data is more than just putting flesh on the bones of an otherwise solid skeleton. Often, you don’t know what you think you know merely by dredging tweets.

No, data without insights is just ignorance.

Link to Original article