Tools for an Engaged Social Presence

I am always interested in finding the best and latest tools to enhance and expedite the social media experiences, maintenance and growth for Harp and for our clients.

Following is an abbreviated list of useful tools, resources and/or apps with links and short descriptions that you may want to incorporate into your daily social media practice. Though we obviously don’t use all of these, I have used a good many of them for different reasons.

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This is the second in a series of three posts highlighting bits   from my International Social Media Association (ISMA) teleseminar: Strategies to Ensure an Engaged Social Presence.

ISMA: You talked about ‘employing Best Practices’ techniques just now. Can you expand a little on what this may include — let’s start with Best Practices for Twitter?

Twitter Best Practices for Brands

  • Make sure your bio is filled out and have a well-branded page. See how to optimize your Twitter bio for more tips.   I suggest using your business name in the real name because this is what’s indexed by Google.
  • Use 120 characters…they say 120 is the new 140. Write your tweets with retweeting in mind. Ideally you’ll want to keep your character count to 120 leaving plenty of room for   retweeting without the original tweet being hacked.
  • Use Keywords for SEO in tweets and load them in the front of the tweet. Not always easy to do but worth keeping in mind.
  • Use the RT@ at the end of the tweet (helps with SEO)
  • Be generous and thankful. Always thank those who re-tweet you, or give you a #ff or shout out.
  • Provide useful, helpful information. This will help to establish your Twitter credibility and establish your brand as a leader in its field/industry.
  • Try to include a link in 90% of your tweets. Use a URL shortener like bit.ly or ow.ly (from HootSuite). These provide tweet statistics which are useful in determining the most interesting content to your followers.
  • Avoid text message abbreviations, pay attention to grammar and spelling.
  • Try to be mindful of the 80/20 rule.   That is, 80% of your tweets should be helpful or conversational while only 20% should be promotional.
  • Use someone’s first names when tweeting to them.
  • Be genuine! Authenticity is the golden rule in social media (via Mashable). You and your brand both need to be believable. Give a human voice to your brand and don’t be afraid to let your enthusiasm and spirit show in your tweets.

  ISMA: And how about on Facebook?   Do the same rules apply? Are there Best Practices for Facebook as well?

Best Practices for Facebook

  • Facebook is about community around a brand — it’s about creating relationships with your customers or potential customers.
  • Make sure your Fan page is branded. People should be able to have instant recognition with your page.
  • Monitor your wall (make sure your notifications are on) (not a feature for fan pages not associated with a profile)
  • Provide good unique content — start conversations, chat, ask questions, and always respond to any comment on your wall…positive or negative.
  • Be conversational vs. corporate (again, speak with a human voice vs. a corporate voice)
  • Create events
  • Ultimately you want to make an enjoyable environment for fan page

And nuggets of Best Practices for Social Media.

  • Understand, you do not control the message.   Old habits die hard and there’s a tendency to want to treat social media participation like advertising where the ability to control messaging is the norm.
  • Commit resources & time to be successful or you may very well fail. It’s important to forecast labor hours, who, what, when, how and where with the intention of succeeding, not just experimenting.
  • Be fun and visual: Visuals play a big part in the user experience you provide. They engage and help you capture consumers’ attention for a longer time.
  • Relationships first. Business second: Remember that social media is relational, not transactional.
  • Give to Get: A well-executed social media strategy requires  reciprocity, relevancy, transparency, authenticity, but perhaps above all other things,  commitment.

It was my extreme honor to be a guest in yesterday’s tele-seminar with the International Social Media Association (ISMA). My topic, in case you missed it, was  “Propel your Social Media Marketing to New Heights: Strategies to Ensure a Winning and Engaging Social Presence”.

Below I recap some of the highlights from the hour long interview:

This is part 1 of a 3 part series…

ISMA:   What do you mean by “an Engaged Social Presence”?

Brian Solis describes engagement as:

“Engagement is essentially the first step in building a relationship between your customers and your brand.”

Brian goes on to explain that initially, early on in a brands social media experience, that it’s more about establishing a presence and less about strategic engagement and the engagement resembles traditional broadcasting of messages.

In it’s most simple explanation, an Engaged Social Presence is when you are actively participating in the social media platforms in which you belong.

More specifically, however…engagement encompasses two strategies.

Re-active engagement and Pro-active engagement, both necessary for   a truly engaged social presence.

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This blog post is the second in the 2 part series on brand monitoring. In case you missed the first blog post,   here is the link: Monitor Your Brand Online.

Online Reputation Monitoring can be as simple as creating alerts on Google or as comprehensive as subscribing to a syndicated monitoring service like Radian6 that   gives you a complete platform to listen, measure and engage with your customers across the entire social web. You can hire a Social Media Monitoring company who will not only use syndicated or subscription tools like Radian6 and employ a combination of techniques and report on what’s being said but will also formulate effective response strategies and implement reputation management techniques.
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One of the main objectives for all social media marketing initiatives for a brand is to “navigate the narrative”. In other words,  to ensure that your competitors or disgruntled customers don’t steer conversations in a way that put you on the defensive.

In order to cultivate the conversations taking place in the social media arena, you need to know that they’re happening! Social media monitoring is the somewhat new but indispensable tool that all serious marketers should use in order to keep track of what people are saying about their brand, their products and their competitors.

The first step to monitoring your brand reputation is listening. Whoever said “eavesdroppers are never happy” could not have been more wrong. You might not be always be happy with what you hear about your brand but I guarantee that you will be a lot unhappier if you don’t listen in!

Social media is the speakeasy for all those incessant public conversations that you must listen in on and eventually join.

One simple way to discover what people are saying about your brand is to simply create a Google Alert so that you’ll get an email anytime your brand name is mentioned.

However, Google Alerts are limited – and aren’t designed to be a comprehensive online brand management tool. That’s why you need to use a variety of online tools to find out what people are saying.

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