7 Social Media Monitoring Tips To Help Your Business Spy Like a Pro

With scandals like the NSA’s mass surveillance program, akaPRISM, privacy has become an ongoing conversation in the media. Even though we can’t (and shouldn’t) access questionably ethical tools like PRISM, there is an incredible depth of information that can be attained through social media monitoring that can bring you closer to your target market.

I must admit, social media monitoring is usually a pretty boring topic but there are a few tricks that are so exceptional, I rarely ever talk about them…because I want to keep them for myself!

7 Ways To Use Social Media Monitoring Like A Prosocial media monitoring like the nsa

Feel free to share this infographic anywhere you like without modifying it. If sharing on your blog, please link back to TopDogSocialMedia.com

Why Should You Care About Social Media Monitoring?

Social media monitoring done right can help your business:

  • Improve customer service
  • Get unbiased intel about how people really feel about you and your business
  • Address negativity that would otherwise damage your brand
  • Know when people are saying great things about your business
  • Research competitors
  • Stay on top of industry trends

1. Find Exactly Who Is Sharing Content From Your Website

Simply type your website domain into Twitter search to get an immediate list of people that are sharing your content. Don’t worry about shortened links from services like Bit.ly, Twitter search can actually look through the link to see the true domain.

For example, here’s what happens when you type topdogsocialmedia.com into Twitter search.Screen Shot 2014-02-21 at 3.59.51 PM

This also works for Pinterest…Screen Shot 2014-02-21 at 4.30.14 PM

And Google+…Screen Shot 2014-02-21 at 4.31.47 PM

2. Search For People Sharing Press or Content That Mentions You

We were featured in Social Media Examiner’s list of the Top 10 Best Social Media Blogs of 2014 and used the URL of that post to search inside Twitter. There were literally thousands of people that shared the article so we began interacting, following and listing them so we can engage with them over time.Screen Shot 2014-02-21 at 4.03.42 PM

3. Search For People Sharing Your Guest Blog Posts on Twitter

Thank as many people as you can that share your guest blog posts on Twitter. This is the best way to leverage your guest blogging efforts on bigger websites so that people actually follow you afterwards and potentially become fans of your blog.

TIP: When people share your content online, whether it’s a guest blog or something from your website, be sure to:

  1. Thank them
  2. Follow them (optional but recommended)
  3. Put them in a Twitter list

4. Use FollowerWonk To Understand Your Followers

If you analyze your Twitter profile with FollowerWonk, you’ll be able to see a breakdown of the most common words in your followers’ biographies. This provides amazing insight into whether or not your efforts are on target.

Here is an example of the most popular words found in the bios of Matt Cutts’ followers. Matt runs the web spam team at Google and the entire SEO industry hangs on his every word when he updates his blog or YouTube account.Screen Shot 2014-02-21 at 3.57.17 PM

5. Create A Twitter List of Competitors & Industry Leaders

You need to separate Twitter lists to keep track of competitors and any thought leaders and influencers in your industry. This will help you keep your finger on the pulse of your industry.Screen Shot 2014-02-21 at 4.22.28 PM

6. Get The Bigger Picture With SocialMention

This is probably the most basic social media monitoring tip on the list but the great thing about SocialMention is it provides you with an aggregated result of what people are saying about you across the social web. It even pulls data from Facebook that is otherwise very difficult to access – making it a very tough tool to ignore!Screen Shot 2014-02-21 at 4.17.46 PM

7. Find Super Targeted Followers With TweetBe.at

TweetBe.at is one of those tools you don’t want other people to know about because it’s that good. This is especially helpful for local businesses as you can scan targeted Twitter profiles’ followers and automatically pick out followers from a specific geographic area. This is a mega time saver!

In the example below I targeted people following the Vancouver Chamber of Commerce Twitter account that live in Vancouver. This might not seem like a big deal but this is the only tool I have ever seen that will let you do this AND put them into a list for you.Screen Shot 2014-02-21 at 4.37.11 PMIf you aren’t already convinced that TweetBe.at is the coolest tool you’ve never heard of, you can get even more targeted with your search. Here is an example where I target followers of the Vancouver Chamber of Commerce that live in Vancouver with the word “Owner” in their bio.Screen Shot 2014-02-24 at 3.20.58 PM

NOTE: I should mention that although TweetBe.at is awesome, the tool can only search a batch of 20 Twitter users at a time so really specific inquiries like the one above will produce far less results than more general searches.

7 Social Media Monitoring & Intelligence Gathering Tools

What Is Your Favorite Social Media Monitoring Trick?

Do you have any secret social media monitoring tips or tricks up your sleeve? Let us know in the comments below.

Original post at TopDog Social.

Simple Ideas For A Better Performing Blog

Simple_Ideas_For_A_Better_Performing_Blog_-_Google_Docs
Image Credit

If you are a blog owner who is struggling to make an impact, read on. In this guide, we’re going to show you the simple steps you need to take to improve your blog’s performance. There’s plenty to get through, so let’s get it on as quickly as possible.

Write what your readers want

Many beginner bloggers think that it is all about them. And, to an extent, they are right. However, to get your blog performing better, you have to think about what your readers want; not about what you want to write. Look at your most popular posts – the ones with the most hits, likes comments, or social shares. There will be a theme somewhere – so pick up on it and use it.

Mix it up

Don’t stick to one form of content, and try and mix it up a little. Infographics are an excellent way to get a better response, and if you have a ‘greatest hits’ set of posts, why not make a video about them? It’s never been cheaper to make a high-quality video than it is today, so make use of the wonderful technology on your phone. You can also think about adding more images to your posts, creating an ebook, or searching out other blogs who accept guest posts. Which brings us to our next point.

Find authority bloggers

Take a look around at your blogging peers and find the ones that have the big audiences. Look at what they do, and get involved with the conversations they have. You can follow them on Twitter, or Facebook, or leave comments on their blog. It doesn’t matter how you do it; the point is to make contact. Then, you can create a blog post on what authorities in your industry think about an individual subject. Reach out to them, and you can include their responses in your post. They will share it with their followers, and voila! You will have an increase in the number of visitors to your site, and exposure to a much larger audience.

Have clearer goals

Are you just writing for the sake of it? If so, you are on a hiding to nothing. To measure success, you have to have goals in place – and, you need the ability to convert those objectives. You might want to increase your signups, or sell an ebook, for example. The way to do that is to look at CRO, or Conversion rate optimization. What is conversion rate optimization? In simple terms, it’s making it easier for your visitors to take the actions you want them to take. So, if you want them to buy your ebook, you run through tests to find the best response rates, and keep improving things until you achieve your goals. However, before you get started on anything, it is important to have these objectives in place.

Have a clear purpose

Finally, a simple little thing that so many new bloggers get wrong. What is your blog about? If people can’t tell what you are about from the moment they arrive on your website, they won’t stick around for too long. Your site has to have a clear purpose – and any fuzzy thinking or presentation will work against you in the long run.

 

Go Social: Set up Your Own Blog by Amar Sheth

In a previous blog Sharing Isn’t Caring we covered the necessity for sales people to create their own content – releasing their thoughts and views into the business universe.  This simple act will set you apart from your peers and allow you to connect with buyers in a way that is both meaningful and conversational.  Buyers would rather talk to you once they know your views and you’ve established some level of knowledge about a particular subject matter.  Let’s face it, doing this over a cold call or blind e-mail isn’t quite the same and just can’t compare.

Listen up sales professionals; here are some practical tips on how you can start creating your own content.

Write a Blog

It’s such a great medium to express your thoughts.  Now, I know some of your companies may not allow sales reps to write blogs on the corporate site, but have you considered starting your own?

Free Blogging Resources

There are a myriad of free blogging platforms out there, like:

WordPressOnHootSuiteBlog

Build your Own Customized Blog

Something to consider: do you plan on taking your own personal brand as a sales professional with you if you ever leave your company? Chances are you’ve answered “yes”.  Then have you considered building a legacy and digital trail of your thoughts? A custom blog can allow you to do just that.

Register Your Own Domain

By custom blog I mean having your own domain name.  It’s really easy.  Head over to www.namecheap.com (sorry, GoDaddy fans) and register your own domain name.  It costs about $10/year and if you search on Google, you’ll find promo codes like this all the time.  Try and get a .com domain – they’re just more well-known and more memorable.

NameCheapPic

Pick a Look & Feel @ ThemeForest

Remember, if you choose WordPress as your blogging platform, you’ll be able to integrate that into Hootsuite easily.  Next, see if you like any blog themes at WordPress.  If not, try a website like Theme Forest to buy a ready-made blogging theme for $10-$40.

ThemeForestExample

Find a Web Developer @ oDesk

Once you’ve done this, you can easily find a website developer to set up the whole blog for you at a site like www.oDesk.com or www.Freelancer.com.  You have many different filters to choose from to fit your requirements.  But without getting too complicated, you can set up your own blog for about $100 (or less).

oDeskExample

Real Life Example

Check out this great blog by Ben LaFlamme.  Ben is an Account Executive @ Element Fleet Management and he’s taking his brand seriously.  He’s set up a blog where he publishes his own thoughts on his industry.  Talk about a great way to get noticed.  Ben’s goal is to be able to demonstrate to his future buyers that he has a firm grasp of issues in his industry.  Ben registered a domain name and found an offshore contractor to build his blog for around $100.

How many Account Executives in the Fleet Management space are doing what Ben is doing? Chances are, zero.  Ben has instantly created a way to differentiate himself by making it easier to stand out in a sea of noise.

Ben now has tangible assets to share – these vignettes can be shared with future buyers to demonstrate expertise/knowledge, awareness, and more.

BenBlogExample

 The Bottom Line

Remember, your brand will live with you for the rest of your professional life. It’s important you have a medium to express your thoughts that’s independent of your company yet inclusive of your professional efforts.

This is a simple way that social selling can help set you apart from your competitors.  And more importantly, it allows your buyers to see that you’re capable and have a grasp over the inner workings of your industry.

Need some help in getting a blog started or in discussing social selling? Feel free to contact me to get your questions answered.  Remember, social selling isn’t difficult, it’s just different.

– See more at: http://www.salesforlife.com/social-selling/go-social-set-up-your-own-blog/

The Ultimate Guide To Happy Employees

Employees are one of the keys to a successful business. But, only if they’re happy and motivated. Unhappy employees can end up damaging your company, instead of helping it. Bearing that in mind, here are some ways to keep your staff happy:

Pay Them A Decent Wage

The number one way to your employees hearts is to pay them well. If you’re paying your workers below minimum wage, they’re not going to be happy. In fact, it’s against the law to pay full-time employees less than the minimum wage. But, you could also be paying them less than what other companies are paying for the same job. It’s only natural that your staff will be annoyed if they’re getting less than people that do the same work at another company. If you pay them a decent wage, they’ll be far happier. People find it easier and more motivating to work if they’re being paid well. When you know you’re getting a good paycheck; work life is much more pleasing.

Happy_Employees

(Photo via Flickr: https://flic.kr/p/8QBPth)

Offer Employee Benefits

A surefire way to ensure your employees are happy is to offer them benefits. These are a range of things, in addition to their salary, that you offer when they sign their contract. Benefits can come in all shapes and sizes. A free lunch is an example of a small benefit that can still keep them very happy. Then there are bigger things like a pension fund or health insurance. You could also consider things like an employee support programme by Health Assured as a benefit. This is a programme that offers your workers free help and guidance with any problems they’re having. Things like this are a brilliant way to ensure your employees are constantly smiling and joyous. If you don’t offer them any benefits at all, don’t be surprised if they’re always sour and bitter.

Keep Them Motivated

Often, employees will be unhappy because they’re bored at work. They have no motivation to do anything. Every day is the same, they turn up and sit behind a desk for a few hours and then go home. Most of the time, they lack motivation because the boss isn’t providing it. If you don’t push your employees and egg them on, they’re bound to become bored and unhappy. However, if you start being more motivating and getting involved, this can change. Become an active boss, someone that gets more involved with their employees. Walk around the office and check on everyone’s progress. Make sure they know what they’re doing and when they have to complete it. If you show more of an interest in your employees, they’ll start to get more motivated. When the boss is walking around trying to give everyone a boost, the mood changes. People prefer bosses that are involved and don’t just lock themselves away in their office all day. Give your employees some motivation and you’ll soon see a change in the way they are.

 

Do all three of these things if you want happy staff all year round! Trust me, it’s a lot easier to run a business when everyone has a smile on their face.


Make Your Mark Online With this Advice

It’s 2016 and the door to your business becoming a huge success online is wide open. It doesn’t take much for a new business like yours to gain the attention of a big audience. You just need to be smart when you are setting up and perhaps take my advice. Obviously one of the most important parts of getting audience recognition is social media. The name of this site didn’t pop up from nowhere. Social media is one of the key parts to making an online business successful. You’ve heard about getting thousands of followers across the net, but how does this work. It all starts with building up your profile online.

To build on online profile, you need to start thinking about connecting with your audience and customers. To do this it’s crucial you stay active on all the available social networks. Before you are open for business, you should be using social networks to update people on news in your industry. For instance, you might be thinking about setting up as a tech analysis company. If that’s the case you should be letting your followers know about the recent increase in interest in contactless tech. But, it’s not enough to just be active on social media. Your social networks also need to be connected to your bigger business model.

It’s almost a guarantee that you’ll be using an ecommerce agency for your business. You might be using a platform like Magento to sell your product or service online to your consumers and that’s great. But on the same platform, there should also be a connectivity to social media. This should be a two-way street. People from your site should be able to find your social media easily. Users following you on Twitter should have a link to your site when you are talking about your business. By doing this, you will be able to increase the level of traffic to your business website.

As well as this, you need to be aware of the importance of search engine optimization. SEO is a term that should be familiar to any business owner hoping to be breakout success online. It’s the only way to make sure people find your company. But again, it starts with social media. One of the easiest ways to increase your search ranking is to get content from your site shared. To do this, you just need to be posting links across your networks and using images to advertise them. It can be that simple if the content is of high quality.

You should also be looking into how you can find new business leads and form new deals. To do this, you will have to know when an opportunity presents itself online. But at the same time, you should also be advertising you are, as a business owner, open to such a possibility. Setup a page on your site, designed to attract and intrigue business owners. Forming a solid partnership is one of the best ways to expand your online reach.

I hope you take this advice on board. If you do, I think you will see great success for your company this year.

Success

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4 Social Networks Every Business Should Use

Social media marketing has become a staple in the business world during the last few years. Company bosses spend millions on making sure their presence is known on all the top sites. However, people just starting out might struggle to know which platforms offer the best advantages. With that in mind, I’m going to highlight the big four social media websites all business owners should use from day one. When you have more cash in the bank, you can expand your campaign to encompass all the others too.

 

Facebook

It’s important you start with Facebook because almost everyone uses that platform on a daily basis. That means you can reach people from your target market, wherever they might live in the world. There are also some fantastic paid advertising solutions that will help you to get more attention without breaking the bank. Make sure you also research location-based social media tools before pushing ahead. Depending on the nature of your operation, they could help you to save a lot of money. They could also assist you in reaching the right people much faster than you otherwise would have done.

Screenshot

Twitter

Twitter has become the platform of choice for people who want to view breaking news. It’s also perfect for B2B marketing and reaching the general public. A few months ago, the guys at Twitter released a paid advertising tool similar to the one on Facebook. So, you can invest some cash and push your posts towards your target market. Just upload some attractive graphics and a decent profile picture of the best results. That should help to ensure people become a little more familiar with your brand. Also, take the time to comment on posts for which you can provide authoritative replies.

 

LinkedIn

Networking is one of the most important elements to business success. You need to make yourself as available as possible, and that’s where LinkedIn can help. Creating profiles on that website should allow you to communicate with almost any other business owner. Likewise, they’ll find it much easier to network with you too. You never know when a joint venture could help to drive your company to the next level. Launching your account is not complicated, and you can have everything running in a couple of minutes.

 

Google+

All business owners need a Google+ profile. However, you probably won’t use that platform very often. You need a profile because it links to your Google listings and gives them more authority. The search engine will feel more confident in promoting your brand as a legitimate company if you engage with that social network. Make sure you share any posts from your Facebook and Twitter accounts to ensure the page remains active.

 

So long as you use those four social networks from day one, online success should fall within your grasp. As I said at the start of this post, you still need to create a presence on all the other sites too. However, beginning with the big four should help you gain a lot of attention and build your audience without spending a fortune.

 

Catch you next time!

 

Picture source

Social Selling on Facebook IS creepy!

I came across an interesting infographic from HubSpot where they asked “Is Social Selling Creepy?”. Indeed it could be if you do not change the word selling to serving. Taking the approach of Social Serving to your clients and providing them value will always win over ” I see you play golf, I do too, buy from me”

However the survey HubSpot ran was specifically around the research you conduct and what you do with that found information. So it is very interesting to read.

Not surprising were the Facebook responses.

Would is be creepy if a salesperson sent you a Facebook message? Yes = 81%

Would it be creepy if a salesperson sent you a friend request? Yes = 78%

I wrote about Facebook in this blog, perhaps you have read it? They asked, Do you Facebook? I said, No

FaceBookCreepy

So here is the full infographic, I would be delighted to hear your thoughts on what you think is or is not creepy about a sales person reaching out via social media. Pop a comment below.

 

High Five Hubspot for this content http://blog.hubspot.com/sales 

Social Selling Creepy Infographic

6 things I learned as a drummer in a marching band. Guest post by Rob Wilmot

When I was nine I joined a marching band. Because I was a strong lad they put me on the tenor drum – a sort of base drum but smaller and you bang it from above. I dressed in the uniform with all the braid, sash, tall hat and white gloves. We dedicated two nights a week to band practice and during summer weekends marched through the streets and performed set pieces on sports fields all around the country. We took it all very seriously. I learned a lot about how individuals come together to work as a team and here’s the six most important lessons my time in the ‘Carefree Jazz’ Marching Band taught me.

1) Preparation

I kept my uniform in pristine condition, including whitening my plimsolls until the gleamed and polishing every bit of the chrome on my drum until it glistened. Then there was the practice. We practiced until we could do it without thinking. We became a unit. I remember one of my proudest moments when staff sergeant Nixon from the airbase down the road shouted at me, ‘Wilmot, that’s the finest marching I’ve ever seen’. I liked the praise. Positive reinforcement sticks.

2) Commitment

Turning up on time and giving 100% to the job in hand: the fundamentals to success in anything that you put your mind and heart to.

3) Synchronicity

One of the core judging criteria during competitions was how well we all marched and played together. I learned how to march in formation, whist keeping the beat and twiddling my drumsticks in the air.

4) Individuality

During competitions, points were actually deducted if you simply copied the beat of the base drum. I learned the art of syncopation, and counterpoint, following the beat of the base drum, but adding my distinct individual contribution that made the whole sound richer. I developed some pretty fantastic drumstick twiddling action that got me noticed by the judges too!

5) Tenacity

We lost – a lot, but we were determined that we one day we would win the team category section and I stuck to my personal ambition of winning the individual tenor drum We learned from our mistakes, tightened up on the marching, and developed ever more original styling for our musical renditions. It took two years of hard work and ploughing on through the disappointments, but we eventually won the nationals and got through to the world championships.

6) Conflict resolution

The base drummer was taller and wider than me and didn’t like me at all. When I look back I think its because she thought I wanted her job. She sniped at me, and bitched about me behind my back. She even made me cry once (hey I was only nine remember), and this made me feel rubbish and doubt myself. So how did I handle this? Well, one hot summer Saturday afternoon we had just finished our signature marching of the field tune ‘Take Me Home Country Roads’ when our base drummer fainted, and I caught her. I could have let her drop, and when she came round, she knew this. We still rubbed each other up the wrong way after from time to time, but we got on a whole lot better after that.

Rob Wilmot

Find Rob on LinkedIn or Twitter

How much faster did these media billionaires make their money

New versus Old Media Billionaires: Mark Zuckerberg versus Rupert Murdoch

We know that new media businesses are growing at a much faster pace than their old media counterparts. I thought it would be interesting to see just how this is affecting these wealthy businessmen in the media industry. How much faster did these new media billionaires make their money?

Check out the comparison on the infographic below.

Ben Martin Infographic New-vs-Old-Billionaires

15 Twitter Facts for 2014 You Need to Know Guest Post by Steven Hughes

The social media network that was never meant to be a social network, Twitter, celebrated its eighth birthday in March, 2014. The now microblogging giant has come a long way since co-founder Jack Dorsey’s first tweet, “just setting up my twttr” back on March 21, 2006.

It is now a household name, and the favorite network of celebrities and media outlets.

Twitter has become the fastest way to break news. We are seeing more television programs display their Twitter handles and relative hashtags. The power of Twitter was witnessed by millions when Ellen DeGeneres tweeted “the best photo ever” at this years Oscars that has garnered over 3.4 million retweets and counting.

Twitter went public in November 2013. The much ballyhooed IPO was a big hit as TWTR opened at $26.00 and closed at $44.90 in its first day of trading. Today Twitter trades at $44.60 despite a net loss of $34 million in its most recent quarterly report.

While Twitter has become an incredible brand, it must find a way to show profitability in the future. We don’t want the little blue bird to fly away.

15 Fast Twitter Facts

Here are some Twitter facts and figures that are worth a look.

1. A mind blowing 300 billion tweets have been sent since inception

2. Tweets with image links have 5 times the engagement rate

3. Over 20 million fake Twitter users

4. Over 241 million monthly active Twitter users

5. 184 million monthly active users using mobile

6. The cost of a 24 hour promoted trend runs about $200 thousand

7. China is the country with the most users with over 35 million

8. Katy Perry is the queen of Twitter over 51 million followers surpassing Justin

9, Number of employees at Twitter has increased to 2000+

10. 170 minutes – The average time per month spent by users on Twitter

11. 63% of brands have multiple Twitter accounts

12. YouTube is the most followed brand with over 40 million followers

13. Twitter has a market cap of about 27 billion

14. Average number of followers per twitter user is 208

15. Ellen’s photo of Hollywood stars at Oscars with an incredible 3.4 million retweets

Follow Steven Hughes on Twitter @sbhsbh

Director of Marketing http://dashburst.com