Every marketing channel has tools that can make your marketing tasks more
effective and efficient. Social media marketing is one of them.
For the past few years, several social media marketing tools have been launched.
However, not all of them were created equal. So, before choosing which of these
tools you should use, it is important to have a clearly defined objectives and
measurable outcomes. This will help you determine if your social media marketing
efforts are successful.
Listed below are some of the most popular monitoring tools. Read on and decide if
these tools are the ones you need.

One of Viralheat’s most interesting features is that it allows business owners to
compare their overall brand mentions against their competitors. The data is then
presented in a pie chart or graph.
This is advantageous as it helps you determine if your marketing efforts enables
you to increase brand buzz across social media platforms.

Sysomos is especially useful for larger companies. With a $550 monthly plan, you
can throw in a few bells and whistles as it includes a dedicated account manager, 5
users and unlimited data.
Sysomos provides management of your company accounts and social media
account monitoring as well. Data Visualization is one of its best features. This allows
users to get to the root of conversations in order to understand the factors that
influence them.

UberVU provides its users with actionable insights. When providing listening and
monitoring data, it sources the most social media networks. This tool monitors a
variety of networks such including Picasa, Youtube, Blogger, LinkedIn, Twitter and
Facebook. It also has a feature which they refer to as “Signal”, which scans all the
conversations and mentions relevant to your brand. They also detect dozens of
signals such as trending stories, spikes in sentiment and volume and influencer

Sprout social
This is a modestly priced tool that can help you monitor and manage your company
profiles on the Internet. With a $39 monthly plan, it allows you to manage a
maximum of 10 profiles.
In terms of monitoring your brand metrics, Sprout Social only provides results from
Twitter and Facebook. However, this tool has the ability to monitor brand mentions
from other sources like news sites and blogs.

There are a lot of blog posts and articles which stresses the importance of
integrating social media into your marketing strategies. Most people believe that
social media platforms provide a great impact on a business’ lead generation and
Listed below are some of the benefits of social media marketing. Keep in mind,
though, that these benefits may not be seen overnight. You have to put in a great
deal of effort and wait for a few months in order to see significant results.

Social media platforms are created in order to share information and interact with
other people. To maximize your marketing efforts, it is best to develop a social
media marketing strategy that would encourage your followers to interact with you.
This has to be a two-way communication.

Social media does not only help you extend your reach and build new relationships.
It’s also a great place where you can deepen and maintain the existing ones.

Build a reputation
As a business owner, you know that having a good reputation is one of the most
important ingredients to success. While your marketing efforts are focused on
maintaining what has been created, social media marketing makes these benefits
more pronounced.

Drive traffic
While driving traffic to your site is the main reason why you decided to create a
social media account, this comes as a great bonus. You can post a link to your
newest post and see people click the link and visit your site.

Social media platforms are also a great avenue for promotion. Promote your brand
or your newest products, provide information about them and increase awareness
about your brand. You can also use social media to promote your events. Capture
people’s attention, create buzz and invite them to attend your event.

Extend reach

There are millions of users who access their social media accounts on a daily basis.
With this, it would be easier to reach as much people within a single post.
With over 150 million registered users, Twitter has been named as the 9th most
popular website on the Internet as of May 2011

The Internet is filled with content and information. With the surplus of information, it may be difficult to entice people to read your contents or watch your videos, unless they’re actually in need of that information.

In this article, we’ll give you a few tips on how use video content on social media. Read on and get your message across your audience.

Introduce your company to the online community

Since you are on the Internet, it is best to introduce your company to the online community in a fun and creative manner. While fan engagement is encouraged, this does not mean that you have to post cute photos in order to gather likes. Instead, spend enough time to plan your video content and make sure to highlight your company’s strengths.

Capture the attention of your target audience

There is no denying that social media provides great benefits to business owners. However, most business owners find it difficult to capture the attention of their target audience and get them to view these videos.

Please bear in mind that the description that you include with the video actually makes a big difference. When writing a description, make sure to convey the message in a matter of 2-3 sentences.

Most importantly, be sure to grab the attention of the viewer, especially on the first 10-15 seconds. If you fail to do so, then there’s a greater possibility that they won’t finish watching your video and look for something more interesting. Your goal is to convey the message quickly and efficiently.

Video quality

You don’t need to create a video with the same quality as a cinematic trailer. However, please make sure that your video comes with a decent quality. A video taken from a shaky camcorder may not do well.

Meanwhile, an HD video with boring content may not attract as much viewers as well. So, we recommend a combination of both – creative and informative content matched with decent quality.


A study which was conducted in 2011 revealed that viewers are more likely to watch videos ranging from 5 to 8 minutes. Longer videos, on the other hand, tend to turn people away.


Social media marketing is beneficial for small business owners as it helps them build awareness about their business and products or services through different social media channels. With the right tactics, you’ll be rewarded with increased product visibility, a new batch of potential clients and bountiful sales as well.

As a beginner, building a social media presence may not be that easy. We have compiled a few tips to make the process easier for you.

Choose a social media platform

As a beginner, it would be best to choose 1 or 2 social media platforms and stick with it. This would be easier instead of working across different platforms at the same time.

A great way to determine which platform is best for you is to follow the influencers and learn about their success story. Follow the leaders in your niche and check out their Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and other social media accounts.

If they have 50,000 Facebook fans but only 5,000 Twitter followers, then Facebook may be a more suitable social media platform for your niche.

Optimize your social media platforms

Decide which social media tools you’ll be using and optimize your profiles. You are more likely to get more followers and boost your SEO efforts by optimizing your profile.

If you wish to have a trusted profile, then using a real photo would be of great help. Social media is all about connecting with people, so you have to show the people who you are in order to get their trust.

Connect your social media accounts with your blog or website

If your social media profile is ready, connecting your blog or website to your social media account would be the next step. Each platform has a certain set of procedures to follow. So, you have to abide by these rules and do it correctly.

Add social media buttons to your blog or site

Adding social media buttons on your blog or site is beneficial as it could help reader share your content easily.

For increased exposure, it is best to place the buttons above the fold. Also, larger buttons are more visible and are more likely to get you more clicks compared to smaller buttons.  

LinkedIn replaced its news aggregator LinkedIn Today last week in order to get the right content in front of the right users.

The company took that mantra a step further on Tuesday, unveiling Showcase Pages for companies that will, in theory, allow them to share content to a more focused and interested audience.

Here is a great article that explains  Showcase Pages and what a great tool it can be for businesses looking to grow their audiences.

Showcase Pages work like less-robust Company Pages, giving major corporations like Microsoft the ability to create pages for niche divisions or business units, such as Microsoft Office or Xbox. Showcase Pages will be followable, meaning Microsoft can share Xbox content with LinkedIn users who have shown interest in the product, rather than every user who simply follows Microsoft.

LinkedIn hopes that brands will start focusing their content to specific audiences. Companies can operate up to 10 Showcase Pages, but LinkedIn says it will work with larger companies that have the need (and manpower) to operate more.

Showcase Pages aren’t Company Pages, and they don’t have all the same features. For example, Showcase Pages won’t have a tab for Careers or Products & Services, and they aren’t for recruiting, says a LinkedIn spokesperson.

Showcase Pages are also different from Groups on LinkedIn. (Xbox and Microsoft Office groups already exist.) The difference is that companies control the content of a Showcase Page, while an administrator controls the Group.

The other major difference is that companies can advertise on Showcase Pages.

Companies can purchase Follower Ads aimed at increasing the Showcase Page’s total follower total, as well as Sponsored Updates that will put the page’s posts and content in front of others who aren’t following the page.

LinkedIn has about 3 million Company Pages on the site, but isn’t saying how many Showcase Pages it expects to add. It seems likely that an abundance of new pages will increase the number of ads on the site, simply because there will now be more business units and brands looking to spread their news.

Showcase Pages weren’t the only changes for LinkedIn on Tuesday. The company also announced Talent Updates, a feature that lets LinkedIn Recruiters post content to their company page directly from their recruiter dashboard. Previously, recruiters needed to log out of their recruiter dashboard, and log in as the page administrator to post. (Or ask the administrator to post on their behalf.)

This is a behind-the-scenes change that shouldn’t impact users — they’ll still see content the same way they always have on a company’s page. It simply makes it easier for those operating LinkedIn pages to internally manage the content they choose to share.


When working in an industry like social media you can’t create strategies for the present. By the time you complete your marketing strategy, all the tools and networks you rely on will have changed. In order to be strategic and be ahead of your competitors, you have to look into the future. What trends are on the horizon for social media? What’s coming next that we need to prepare for? Here’s what we think:

Step 1: Build an Ark

Nobody should “own” social media strategy in your organization. Social impacts all corners of the company, and should be more like air (everywhere) than like water (you have to go get it). Thus, the first step in the process is to create a cross-functional team to help conceive and operate the rest of the strategy.


Step 2: Listen and Compare

It’s an old social media strategy chestnut by now, but “listen” is still good advice that’s often ignored. The reality is that your customers (and competitors) will give you a good guide to where and how you should be active in social media, if you broaden your social listening beyond your brand name.


Step 3: What’s the Point?

Yes, you can use social media to help accomplish several business objectives. Butthe best social media strategies are those that focus (at least initially) on a more narrow rationale for social. What do you primarily want to use social for? Awareness? Sales? Loyalty and retention? Pick one.


Step 4: Select Success Metrics

How are you going to determine whether this is actually making a difference in your business? What key measures will you use to evaluate social media strategy effectiveness? How will you transcend (hopefully) likes and engagement? Will you measure ROI?


Step 5: Analyze Your Audiences

With whom will you be interacting in social media? What are the demographic and psychographic characteristics of your current or prospective customers? How does that impact what you can and should attempt in social media?


Step 6: What’s Your One Thing?

Passion is the fuel of social media.

It doesn’t matter who you are, or what you sell, your product features and benefits aren’t enough to create a passion-worthy stir. How will your organization appeal to the heart of your audience, rather than the head? Disney isn’t about movies, it’s about magic. Apple isn’t about technology, it’s about innovation. What are you about?


Step 7: How Will You Be Human?

Social media is about people, not logos. 

The mechanics of social force companies to compete for attention versus your customers’ friends and family members. Thus, your company has to (at least to some degree) act like a person, not an entity. How will you do that?


Step 8: Create a Channel Plan

Only after you know why you’re active in social at all, and how you’ll measure social media strategy success should you turn your attention to the “how” of Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and the rest. This channel plan should be distinct, in that you have a specific, defensible reason for participating in each.


With over 175 million users, LinkedIn is a potent platform that can get you and your business the attention it deserves.

The following 10 steps will walk you through the process of building your LinkedIn network. These steps will help you optimize your LinkedIn presence for networking, marketing and growing your business.

1. Post Your Head Shot

It’s a Social World, if you don’t post a professional-looking headshot, your visitors will think you must be hiding something!

2. Write a Compelling Headline

Instead of just listing your current job title, write (120 character maximum) a compelling headline that describes what you do. Use keywords that will attract your ideal followers. (Insert Keywords)

3. List your Experience

Post your current and 2 most recent past positions. Describe the positions and your role. Use the keywords from your compelling headline.

4. Complete the Summary

The LinkedIn Summary is the place where you can communicate who you are and how you help people. Write your summary in the third person, as too many “I”s may appear self-effacing. Google picks up this section, be sure to insert keywords here!

5. Get Endorsed

List the skills you want your LinkedIn connections to endorse. You receive endorsements when your connections click on the + sign next to each of your particular skills. These endorsements show up on your profile in the Skills & Expertise section. That is why it’s important to complete the Skills & Expertise section with keywords that people in your target market will be searching for to find folks with your experience and background.

6. Request Recommendations

Recommendations require a bit more effort from your connections, as they are LinkedIn’s versions of client testimonials. So, choose your biggest fans and ask them to write you a recommendation.

#7 Complete the Organizations Section

Each organization is hyper-linked to other users who are also members of your listed organizations.

#8 Customize Your LinkedIn URL. 

Edit your URL (located under your profile photo) with your name. For example, mine is www.linkedin.com/in/amberirwin/ . This helps search engines if someone is searching for your name.

#9 Customize Your Website Listing

Located in the “Edit Contact Info” section under your profile box. Chose “Other.”  Edit and name your website.

#10 Make Your Profile PUBLIC TO EVERYONE

Congratulations! Having a completed LinkedIn profile is the most effective way to communicate your background, experience, talents and interests. With a completed profile, you will demonstrate your social saavy!

What to do next:

  • Make sure your profile is 100% completed
  • Create business page
  • Add connections
  • Upload contacts list
  • Get involved with at least 5 good groups
  • Post to those groups as a discussion 1 time a week


First things first: as a small business owner, you should be active on LinkedIn. If you are not – create an account right now!  Yes, right now.

The beauty of LinkedIn is that it is full of resources. You can join groups that are full of professionals in your industry. Then you can use these groups to get product or service feedback, network, and even connect with future business partners or employees. In addition to creating a personal LinkedIn account, you should also establish a company page on LinkedIn for your business.

If you are considering starting a group on LinkedIn, here are some tips that will help you take full advantage of all of LinkedIn’s opportunities as a group leader.

If you choose to begin your own LinkedIn group, you have the option of creating a closed or open group. An open group allows any member to contribute and is visible to the public. A closed group is private and requires a user to be accepted to the group before contributing. When making your choice, consider that an open group will clearly grow faster, but it is also likely the group could be prone to spam.   Alternatively, a closed group will grow more gradually. Yet, the members will be much more targeted. Consider how you want your group to be seen and used when making this decision.

Remember that you started this group, so you must be a part of it. Be active and let your presence be known to your members  – it will help you network rapidly.

As the leader of the group, remember that you can make rules – this is a power that should be taken seriously. If there is an unruly member of the group, you can remove them. On the flip side, if there is a member that is a great contributor to your group, be sure to acknowledge them!

One huge advantage to creating a group is that you can send weekly announcements out to your members! This is an opportunity for you to contact your members directly. Just be careful to fill those messages with useful information – you want to ensure that your followers actually engage with the message (not just overlook it as spam).

LinkedIn is becoming a giant resource in marketing and business development. Use it correctly to see what it can do for you.





When it comes to generating leads, a HubSpot study conducted at the beginning of the year showed that LinkedIn is 277% more effective than other social network sites. This is a powerful statistic, but before you go looking for leads, you must first create prospects. By joining and being active in Groups on LinkedIn, you can benefit substantially from the site.

1. Join Groups Relevant to Your Business

Search on LinkedIn to find out which groups would be beneficial for your industry. If your business is a general industry, search for associations groups. If you’re a recruiter, look for networking groups. To join groups that will assist in your marketing efforts, look at the groups Social Media Marketing, Inbound Marketers and Marketing Innovation with LinkedIn.

2. Be an Influencer

When you first join a group, avoid the temptation about starting discussions that promote your products and services. No one in the group knows who you are when you first join, therefore you don’t have anyone’s trust just yet. However, if group members see that you’re part of the top five influencer list, you will be a noted helpful group member. To become a Top Influencer, you must generate contributions that lead to the most contributions from other group members. Remember that with your contributions and discussions with groups, it’s all about quality, not quantity, when shooting to become a Top Influencer.

3. Post a Poll

Group members like to see that you’re part of the group to engage, and not to promote or spam. By starting a poll, users will see that you’re interested in hearing their opinions. This is an easy way to get other members to get to know you and communicate with you.

4. Post Discussions

After you’ve created a respectable reputation within your group, start a discussion with group members. To start a quality discussion, remember these three components:

-Keep the title short. If the title goes over 140 characters, it will appear with an ellipsis at the end.

-Provide group members useful details. Give good context, but don’t get too lengthy with your information as you could easily lose readers’ attention.

-Add in a link that leads to your company page, website or blog. After posting a discussion, you want readers to have easy access to learn more.

5. Share Through Other Social Sites

On LinkedIn Groups, there are convenient share buttons that share the actual group, as well as individual discussions and polls. Extend your engagement in discussions by sharing them and providing them additional visibility.

6. Measure Results

There are free tools available for you to measure how your participation on LinkedIn Groups is contributing to your marketing success. Take a look at Bit.ly links and tracking tokens to be able to see how many people are clicking on the links your share within the group.

In addition to these ways to benefit from participating in LinkedIn Groups, it is important to remember that success will not happen in one try. With LinkedIn Groups your participation must be ongoing in order to see results. Try lots of methods of communicating in groups and compare your results to get an understanding of which communication styles help benefit your company the most.







LinkedIn is a very prominent social media platform for B2B and B2C marketing. Here are some unique features to utilize on LinkedIn in order to successfully market your business.

1. Company Pages

LinkedIn is a very intelligent network in that it monitors other social sites and uses features from them that will benefit its users. Company Pages for example, let LinkedIn members follow a company, then share and recommend their products and services and directly connect with business employees in their network.

A Company Page lets you use hot links to highlight products and services that link back to landing pages. You can also add in pictures and videos within the product and services section of the page. The page acts like an online brochure, and you can even offer special discounts to followers.

In order to grow your marketing reach, you should promote your Company Page by adding a button on your website and email. Company Pages are easy to set up and maintain, so take advantage of them.

2. SME Groups

LinkedIn now has over 1 million groups. These groups are becoming the most used feature on the site. However, smaller companies that are not well known may not be able to get many users to join a group they’ve created on LinkedIn.

So, the best way to market by using Groups is to begin a Subject Matter Expert (SME) group. In a group like this, you can post discussions about the latest and upcoming trends in your industry, and invite other experts to join and post their comments. Try not to post news releases from your own company in these types of groups.

Position your company to be subject matter experts and your brand will grow in the industry it represents.

3. Group Discussions

Many marketers on LinkedIn will join a group of fellow business partners and end up posting only to that group. While it is important to interact with your peers, it is important in marketing to interact with potential consumers.

Try joining groups that your customers belong to. Join the groups that you feel could be the most relevant to your company. Don’t immediately begin posting about your company’s products and services, but rather offer insight and become a group member who people can go to if they’re interested in the services you offer.

4. The Status Bar

The LinkedIn Status Bar feature is helpful in notifying the network about company news, events and blog posts. In 140 characters, the update on your Status Bar can be updated to Twitter at the same time. Any person in your network can view your posts on the Status Bar and share, like or comment on them.

5. Answers

With the LinkedIn Answers feature, you can ask a question and promote that question within your network. You can even email a link to that question. Pose questions that let you market your business in a subtle way and it will help increase your network reach.

This feature lets you respond and comment to your own question, and interact and communicate with those who answer privately.

It is very valuable to learn the features of LinkedIn, as the site can be a great marketing tool for almost any business. Utilize these features on your LinkedIn account today and boost your social media success.