13th February 2013

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Social Monitoring Tools To Help Your Brand

Brands are now putting much effort on building up their online presence among different platforms on the internet. As brand messages are widely spread through online communities and discussed or commented by mass of consumers, it can help the brand become popular in one day if it goes in a good way, however, it can also destroy a brand in a second if it goes in a bad way. Thus, it is crucial for the brands to keep tracking and measuring their online reputation in order to get real value from their social efforts. Besides, brands are also looking for information about their competitors and the industry in order to keep updated with the market.

To fulfill these needs, now there are numbers of tools that can help brands manage that huge amount of information they concerns. These tools are basically helping users to collect information online according to their queries or search terms, but vary in the pricing, search scope, and additional features.

Google Alert

Google Alert is a free search service that allows you to create 1000 alerts in maximum. And the way to use it is quite simple and direct. After you set up your ‘search query’, you can choose the ‘result type’ you would like to get, including news, blogs, videos, discussions and books or everything abovementioned. The results can be delivered to you on real-time, daily or weekly basis via email. If you own a Google account, you may also have your alerts delivered via RSS feed. In order to control the volume you receive from the alter, the “Only the best results” option can make Google Alerts filter out the results which most relevant to your query and high quality rather than providing all the results for your search terms without any filtering.

Generally speaking, Google Alert is just a simple filter based on Google search which may content your basic needs for collect related information to your query.

Price: Free


Sprout Social

Sprout Social is a web application integrates with Twitter, Facebook Fan Pages, LinkedIn and other social networks which can be considered as a control hub for complete social media management. It not only helps you monitor your brand and competition across social channels and the web, but also enable you to publish and schedule your updates across social channels with a single point, connect with the highly targeted customers through its Discovery tools, and measure your success of social media efforts by its analytics tools. Moreover, it also have mobile version which make you available to monitor your brand and publish your message at anywhere at any time. Hence, Sprout Social can be a complete solution for you to manage your social media.

Price: It offers three packages that price from $59/user with basic features for growing companies and teams to $99/user with full set features for larger companies, teams and agencies. And all plans include a free 30 days trial for users who are interested in the tool.


Mention

Mention is a real-time monitoring tool covering millions of sources in 42 languages which includes social networks, news sites, forums, blogs and any web pages. Its beauty is the intelligent technology to filter out the most relevant results by learning from your behavior and flagged the most important mentions based on influence and authority of the source and latest interactions you had with them. And you are able to react those mentions in the smart way right directly via Mention. Besides the live and intelligent alert, it also offers app, desktop and mobile versions for all devices so that you can use it on all of your digital devices. Furthermore, it allows team work thus you can share the alert with your team and assign tasks to your team members. Lastly, it also provides statistics analysis report of your mentions in PDF or CSV format.

Price: There are three plans for users to choose. The Free Plan offers limited alerts, mentions and history per month, while the Pro Plan priced at $19.99 offers unlimited alerts, history and 50,000 mentions plus statistics data report. The Team Plan is with similar feature as Pro Plan but allows multi users activation, pricing from $99.95 for 5 users to $399.80 for 20 users. All plans provide free trial.


Social Mention

Social Mention is a similar tool as Sprout Social which focuses on the search for user generated content from social media platforms. One of its unique features is that it provides some special factors to measure your social efforts from different aspects, including “strength” (the likelihood that your brand is being discussed in social media), “sentiment” (the ratio of mentions that are generally positive to those that are generally negative), “passion” (a measure of the likelihood that individuals talking about your brand will do so repeatedly) and “reach” (a measure of the range of influence). Besides these special factors, they also offers Realtime Buzz Widget which can displays the latest real-time buzz about your brands information on your site. Another cool feature is the Browser Search Plugin. It is a social mention search bar that you can plugin to your browser and search for social mention easily by inputting queries to the browser.

Price: Free.


Thismoment Brand Monitor

Thismoment Brand Monitor is very similar to Mention, providing real-time tracking for social media conversations and brands across social media, blogs, news, discussion forums, video and photo sharing sites, intelligently filtering out the actionable conversations and identifying the influencers, as well as generating in-depth analytics data report. There are two packages provided by This moment: Basic and Enterprise Edition. The Basic Edition includes features we mentioned above while the Enterprise Edition includes more customizable features that based on the brand’s needs, such as unlimited data and users, enterprise workflow and co-labeling. In addition, it also provides add-on services like Actionable Engagement, Brand Defense and Custom Reports. The Enterprise Edition is really powerful.

Price: Currently not available.


As different tools mentioned above have their own focus scope and features, it’s hard to say which one is the best for business. The brand should decide which one to choose base on their business focus, company size and budgets, etc. But the brands can take advantage of the free tools to fulfill their basic needs and then further consider subscribing those non-free tools if necessary. What’s more, as most of those non-free tools provide free trial, the brands can take this opportunity to identify whether the tool truly match their needs before subscribing it.


Resources:

Google Alerts . Retrieved from: http://www.google.ca/alerts

Sprout Social. Retrieved from: http://sproutsocial.com/

Mention. Retrieved from: https://en.mention.net/

Social Mention . Retrieved from: http://socialmention.com/

Thismoment. Retrieved from: https://www.thismoment.com/

Tagged: BMK815socialmediamonitortoolbrand

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13th February 2013

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The Importance of Reputation Management for Students

Internet gives you freedom to express opinions, share thoughts and connect with others. At the same time, peoples are getting to know you through your online presence and form their opinions on what kind of person you are. You are building your personal brand by what you show and what you talk online, and that is your online “reputation”.

Beside a shiny resume and good academic record, today, a good online reputation is also one of the important elements to help you get the job you want. These days, more and more employers routinely use online searches as part of their hiring process. A good online reputation could lead to an interview and possibly a job offer. However, a bad online reputation may make you to be passed over even you are competent and qualified for the job.

In today’s highly competitive job market, having a shiny resume and academic record is not enough to make you stand out from lots of other similar candidates. Besides relevant job skills and experience, employers are also looking for more personal value and characteristics which just cannot find in the resume or during a short interview. So internet searches are the ways they get to know you more in depth. In Dec. 2009, a survey released by Microsoft stating that 79% of hiring managers and job recruiters in the United States reviewed online information about job applicants, while 70% of those surveyed said that they’ve rejected applicants based on their findings. Apparently, online reputation has become one of the crucial criteria for employers to assess a candidate.

Moreover, the employers are also using social media to search for potential talents. According to a 2009 study conducted by Harris Interactive, 45% of the 2,667 HR professionals surveyed admitted to use social networking sites to research perspective employees. Share your points of view in terms of certain professional aspects and maintain connections with other professionals via major social networks are good ways to build up your online professional profile so that it may capture employers’ attention and interests which can lead to a job opportunity for you someday.

As a result, managing the reputation and maintaining an appropriate and professional online presence is very important for students to be successful in the job hunting as well as a long-term career success.


Resource:

The Branding Muse Blog, (Jan 30,2013), “Reputation Management For Your Personal Brand” , Retrieved from
http://www.thebrandingmuse.com/1/post/2013/01/reputation-management-for-your-personal-brand.html

SafetyWeb, (n.d.), “Online Reputation Guide for College Students”, Retrieved from
http://www.safetyweb.com/online-reputation-guide-for-college-students#7

Susan Campbell, (n.d.), “Online Reputation Management for College Students”, Retrieved from
http://www.reputation.com/reputationwatch/articles/online-reputation-management-for-college-students

Tagged: BMK815ReputationManagement

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9th February 2013

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HootSuite Certificate

I’m a HootSuite Certificated Professional NOW! Cheers! \(^0^)/

Tagged: BMK815HootSuite

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30th January 2013

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Social Influence Measured by Klout, Kred and PeerIndex

As social media is increasingly important for information obtaining and communication, people become more and more active in various social media platforms according to different purposes. In order to measure how ‘social’ someone is across all these platforms in the social media world, some measurement tools like Klout, Kred and PeerIndex emerge accordingly.

Klout, Kred and PeerIndex are similar tools that used to monitor and quantify an individual’s or business’ social influence across multiple social media or networking platforms. The influence is measured by certain factors and then transformed into score that shows your influence level and be comparable to other users.

Although they are similar in nature, they do have noticeable differences between each other:

Klout

The Klout Score is a single number that represents the aggregation of multiple pieces of data about your social media activity across a list of social channels including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Foursquare, and so on. The Klout Score takes more than 400 variables in to calculation and generate a number between 1 and 100 to represent your overall social media influence by looking at who is engaging with your content and who they are sharing it with. Besides getting the Klout Score, Klout also provides a way for you to recognize the people who influence you by giving a +K.

Kred

Different from Klout, Kred is more focus on measuring your influence on Facebook and Twitter by offering two scores: Influence and Outreach to reflect your trust and generosity. Influence is a score between 1 to 1,000 by measuring how frequently people interact with your content on Twitter and Facebook. While Outreach is a level from 1 to 12 to measure how much you are helping others to spread their messages by Retweets, Replies and Mentions, etc. Similar as Klout, you can also recognize your influencers by giving them +Kred on Kred.

PeerIndex

PeerIndex is the tool to identify your social media authority among Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Quora and other websites you may have. The content you create and all the interaction based on this content will be taken into account for measurement and presented by a single score. It reflects the ripple effect of your voice in the social media world, value your contributions and truly represent your authority and impact in a specific subject area.


Are they Legitimate Tools For Measuring Social Influence?

In my point of view, these measurement tools are legitimate for measuring social influence online, though they are still not perfect. As they measures how active an individual is in creating contents, how many audiences are following him/her and engaging with his/her content by discussion and spreading to their communities. In this way, it does measures the whole message circulation across the social platforms and reflects the influence level of an individual, regardless positive or negative influence.


Ways To Increase Klout Score

My current Klout score is 36. Certain ways can be utilized to increase this score. The most important way is to create great content. Content should be with good quality and relevant to your audience. Only when your content is useful or interesting for your audiences, they will share it with their communities. Furthermore, engage with your audiences. You cannot just create content and then wait for your audience to reply and spread your content. Your should interact with the audiences to enhance the emotional connection with them, as well as get to know more about what they really need and interest in. Besides, show your generosity by helping spread others’ good content so they’ll be more willing to share your content to their own communities in return. What’s more, engaging with the influential may help you get the opportunity to grow your own community if they repost your content to their large group of audiences. And a trick would be to ask questions to drive conversations in order to gain higher scores in shorter time.


Gaming The System?

Though these strategies can employ to increase the score, I don’t think it is considered “gaming the system”, because all of them are kind of contributions. If the content is not helpful or interesting, no one will be willing to retweet or respond. No matter you are creating content or interacting with others, you are spending time and attention on the communications. I would say these ways are to improve your communicating skills on social media platforms rather than “gaming the system”.


Business Approach With These Measurement Tools

Business can find out a good endorser to help promote their business by picking out the social influential via these measurement tools. As these tools show the influence and authority by score, it gives a quantitative way for the business to identify how influential their potential endorser is. The influential with high score can help your product reach more audiences and create larger buzz among the community. Besides, as the influential has already built up their reputation and connection with the audience, it will be easier and more persuasive to promote the product to the audiences through their community.


Risks That Should Be Aware

However, some risks are existed when using these scores to make business decision. Firstly, the relevancy of the influential to the business is uncertain. These scores can only provide you a general picture of the influence level among all audiences, but not any specific target audience. Secondly, this social influence is only talking about the influence in the social media world, not face-to-face influence in the real world. There are some celebrities are influential in the real world while they don’t involve much in the social media. So bear in mind that these tools still have limitation on measuring the whole scale of influence-both the social media world and the real world.


To summarize, Klout, Kred and PeerIndex do provide a legitimate way to measure an individual’s social influence, but they are not perfect. When using these scores to make business decision, think over the relevancy to your business and how much influence it’s actually reflecting by your target audience.


Reference:

1. Tweetfind.com. (Aug 17, 2011). “10ways to increast Klout score”. Retrieved from
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GhnAMYtA-Gc

2. Mark Schaffer. (Sep 12, 2012). “If You’re Interested In Influence, Social Scoring Is Of Historic Importance”. Retrieved from
http://www.fastcompany.com/3001202/if-youre-interested-influence-social-scoring-historic-importance?partner=newsletter

3. http://kred.com/rules

4. http://help.peerindex.com/

5. http://klout.com/#/corp/what_is_klout

Tagged: KloutBMK815KredPeerIndex

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22nd January 2013

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How Pinterest Can Be Used By Businesses To Engage Consumers

To differentiate from other social media sites, Printerest is a highly visual platform that enables you to organize and share the beautiful pictures and fun videos that you love with your audiences. This unique feature makes Printerest super popular among consumers as well as businesses, and become the fastest-growing social media site.

From business perspective, there is huge opportunity there for companies and brands to generate buzz and engage consumers on Printerest by leveraging its huge traffic referrals and unique features for better showcasing your brand’s products, cultures and promotion activities. Below are several ways that Printerest can help:

Create different boards for targeting different consumers.
Printerest enable you to create boards to collect different photos/pictures/videos by themes. So you can pin the beautiful photos of your products to draw audiences’ attention and videos to better tell stories of your brands. By dividing them into different boards, each board can focus on certain type of products or segments of consumers so that it can better attract your target consumers’ interest to follow your boards based on their preferences.

Create inspiring boards which in line with your brand’s value to enlarge consumer base.
Pinterest is not just a place for displaying what you sell, while it’s also a place to show audiences what inspire you. Create boards to express your style, share your value or link to things you love can draw more consumers to follow your brand even though they are not interested in your products at the moment.

Use ‘Pin It’ button to grow traffic for your sites.
If you are using Printerest for Business, then you may get the ‘Pin It’ button and place it on your product website or blog. By pressing the ‘Pin It’ button, it makes your consumers easier to share your stuff on Printerest and spread it to their own followers. Besides, people who see this pin and interested in your product can click the link of the pin to get the way back to your website or blog. In this way, it boots up the traffic for both your Printerest page and website or blog.

Build a community to further involve your consumers.
Printerest for Business also offer another cool feature: build a community. You can invite group of pinners who are following you to pin with you in a group board according to a certain topic. By hosting a live pinning event, you can further engage your consumers by giving a topic that they are interested in or get to know more about your consumers by assigning a topic that you want to know from your consumers.

Apparently, Printerest is the thing you and your brand should not miss. Just easy clicks, pin your stuff, pin with your consumers and grow your business.


Reference:

- “Introduction to Social Networks for Organizations - Printerest”. HootSuite University. 2012.
- “Pinterest for Business”. Printerest. 2012. http://business.pinterest.com/

Tagged: BMK815Printerestconsumer engagement

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15th January 2013

Photo reblogged from AJB with 6,508 notes

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15th January 2013

Post with 3 notes

How To Use Tumblr To Develop Your Personal Brand

“The coolest people on the planet use the five-year-old blogging and social-networking site Tumblr”. This is how Newsweek describes Tumblr - the rising star in the social media world which provides a super user-friendly and multi-functional social hub for both individuals and brands to come to tell their stories to global audiences.

What bring Tumblr success are the unique features that it has to differentiate from every other social platform. And all of these features are good ways for you to build your personal brand here.

You can fully customize the own page of your brand on Tumblr.
Brands are eager to differentiate themselves from others in the market in order to attract more consumer attention. And Tumblr just offers a great opportunity for your personal brand to set up your own page by fully customize the contents, URL, themes, and layouts. Your blog presence is almost as customizable as a full website, while you don’t need to be a professional web designer but can easily and quickly create the page with your own style by using the customize features that Tumblr apply.

You can tell your story in your own way on Tumblr.
By integrating almost all media tools that other social media platforms are providing, Tumblr gives you enough freedom to tell your story in your own way. You can write in text, no matter just one sentence or full page article, upload photos, videos, audios, share links and chat with your audience. Your content can be highly visualized and easier to attract audience’s attention or interest by the impression/presence of your page. This is especially crucial for your personal brand to stand out from others since people in current fast-pace society do not spend much time on knowing your brand detailedly, it’s important to grasp their interest and deliver your brand message by their first sight of the page.

Tumblr can be your community gathering center.
Using Tumblr, it allows you to connect with your specific target audiences by following each other. Then you are able to see all of their posts and understand more about their interests, lifestyle and preferences. And the ‘Reblog’ feature is also cool since users cannot only comment while must reblog the content if they want to comment or share it. This feature effectively helps your brand to circulate messages widely and rapidly around the community. Furthermore, Tumblr also enable you to connect with other social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, to share posts simultaneously on multi platforms. This feature saves your time and meanwhile helps your content spread widely on multi platforms to enlarge your audience scope.

Besides above features, you can also use Tumblr Radar and Tumblr Spotlight to showcases your posts and highlight your blog in order to reach more audiences. And another feature called Sponsor Analytics offers you the data for tracking the engagement level of your brand on Tumblr.

So Tumblr can be almost the homepage of your brand to share the brand culture, introduce product features, interact and engage with your target audiences. And it’s no doubt that an effective platform for you to showcase and develop your personal brand.


Reference:

Levine, Ari. “How the Best Brands Tell Stories Using Tumblr.” HootSuite University. 2012.

Tagged: BMK815TumblrBrand StrategyDevelop your personal brand

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15th January 2013

Link reblogged from with 100 notes

PRESENT PLUS TUMBLR: Keep It Real. →

presentplus:

photo by Romain Laurent

A lot has been said about personal branding. Books, blogs, presentations, trend reports– you name it, it’s been done. However, most of the people sharing their opinion and stories on this topic have witnessed examples from the sideline. I’d like to share some thoughts of my own, right from…


Great article! Just keep yourself real…

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