Posts Tagged ‘Twitter’
If you want to participate in the kickoff of the holiday shopping season without feeling too much like a market-driven drone, check Small Business Saturday with the help of these social networking tools.
Between Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the unending onslaught of online deals, there is another holiday shopping day that might get lost in the shuffle: Small Business Saturday. This year marks the second annual such event, a new tradition that tries to steal some addition from chain retailers and big e-commerce sites and give it to local vendors.
And this year, the fledging ritual is getting some serious attention from social media sites. Facebook, Twitter, and Google have all pledge their efforts in support, offering and encouraging small business owners to use their sites’ tools to promote shopping this weekend.
Local retailers aren’t the only ones who stand to benefit this weekend. What happens to consumers who want the discounts but sans the chain names (that are sometimes attached to controversy) they go hand in hand with? Small business Saturday can fill that void along with the help of some geo-social applications.
Foursquare has been at the top of the social-meets-location game since it began, and Small Business Saturday will be no exception. If you have an American Express card, sync it to your Foursquare account following these directions. Then when you check-in to shops who have partnered with the service via Foursquare on Saturday, you will see a button that says “load to card.” Then when you spend at least $25 or more at the participating store, you’ll get a notification saying $25 was credited to your Amex account. American Express is a sponsor of Small Business Saturday, so ratcheting up sales is in its best interest, but turns out they’re willing to compensate you for helping make the event a success.
The purveyor of all things handcrafted is a natural fit for small business Saturday—and will appeal to those who want to buy “local” without leaving their living rooms. Just searching “Small Business Saturday” on the site brought up a slew of items that will be on sale this weekend, andthis blog catalogued some of the best e-shops on the site that offered discounts last year.
While the likes of LivingSocial and Groupon tend to offer food and spa deals, the occasional local retailer pops up. Between now and Small Business Saturday, a minimal amount of homework and creating an account with one (or all) of these sites could save you some Monday. We’d advise getting with something likeThe Dealmix, which collects a large variety of all these local deals. Keep an eye out on any of these applications for vendor or shop deals in your area. Then make a call or check Facebook to see if they are participating in Small Business Saturday. Then add those savings to whatever discount the daily deal site was offering. Of course, you should check that you can use coupons during the Saturday sale.
Facebook is offering a slew of tools for small businesses to take advantage of, but the site is also catering to consumers. Check out the Small Business Saturday Facebook page and you’ll have access to a variety of information, including city guides for optimizing your local shopping in New York, Chicago, and San Francisco, as well as organized events in cities nationwide. Some of them include raffles, free gift wrapping, Santa visits for the kids, and community breakfasts.
Be sure to follow your favorite local business on Twitter, if you haven’t already. We’re sure a great many of these sites will have implemented a Follow button (one of the tools in the Small Business Saturday kid), and will be using the hashtags #ShopSmall, #ShopSmallNov26, #SmallBizSaturday and #SmallBusinessSaturday to spread word of their discounts this weekend.
Klout: Measure influence and style
Klout is a visual, logical way to quickly see the main thing most organizations want to know about Twitter: where you stand against the competition. The application’s initial strength is the ease with which you can compare yourself to your peers. After using Klout for about a month, however, the information becomes more advanced, if not just downright complimentary. My “Klout Style” page, for example, offers sleek flattery such as: “You don’t just share news, you create the news” and “When you speak, people listen.” Thanks, Klout! How’s my tie look?
Rating: ★ ★ ★
PeerIndex: Assess your online social capital
Where Klout was accessible and easy to decipher, I found PeerIndexa bit baffling. PeerIndex separates itself by measuring how your tweets “resonate” with others. They include ranking on several important-sounding topics, such as “authority,” “activity” and “realness.” Klout said I was influential, but PeerIndex seems to think my influence is limited. After reading through the Scores and Rankingpage in the hopes of defining these terms, I came away still mystified about how the topics work and what they mean. On the plus side, if you use this tool at work, you can probably sound impressive in an office meeting by reporting to your boss that the Twitter project is highly authoritative. It might be a strong tool, but when all is said and done, I didn’t dig too deep into the site. However, it has a nice comparison graph that allows you to add and remove other Twitter users.
Rating: ★ ★
Twitalyzer: A subscription-model tool
Twitalyzer operates mainly on a subscription model, but gives away some basic features for free. I’m not in a position to pay $99/month to track my competition or get daily email alerts, so I can’t speak about its full range of offerings. I do feel comfortable saying it may not worth $99/month to spy on Cogsley Cogs’ Twitter statistics and your time would be better spent working on your own page. With a free account, I was able to log in and immediately see my relative percentile (only as ranked among other Twitalyzer users, though) and a map that informed me that most of my views come from New Jersey. It also told me what my Klout and PeerIndex ratings were. This seems like a tool better suited to analyzing your competition than to analyzing yourself.
Rating: ★ ★
TweetStats: Graph your stats!
Tweetstats remains true to its name, as it compiles a bar graph for quick viewing of your monthly stats. Easily see who you @replied to, whom you retweet and what time of day you tweet the most. A useful, basic tool that will offer a helpful overview for any Twitter campaign your nonprofit or business undertakes.
Rating: ★ ★ ★
Crowdbooster: Schedule and analyze
Of all the applications I used, Crowdbooster was my personal favorite. In addition to analyzing your influence and impressions, they also set themselves apart with useful features like the ability to schedule a tweet at the time where it will reach the most amount of followers. They provide actionable recommendations on influential users, offering the option to follow them back from inside their application. I found their charts clear and precise, and their analysis was directly applicable to my Twitter page.
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
Tweet Grader: Score your profile
Part of a suite of free online marketing tools powered by HubSpot,Tweet Grader is a straightforward tool that measures the power of your Twitter profile. Type in your Twitter handle and Tweet Grader generates a score out of 100 for your overall Twitter profile. You can also use it to find out the scores of other Twitter users and then compare those to your own. In calculating your score, Tweet Grader’s algorithm takes into account the following factors: number and power of followers, follower-to-following ratio, update frequency and most recent, as well as engagement. The site is also handy for seeing top lists, generated by Twitter Grader based on its scoring system. Use it to locate the “Twitter elite,” i.e. Top Users, Top Brands and even Top Women on Twitter.
Rating ★ ★
Tweet Reach: Insight into your tweets
Ever wondered about the value of a tweet? With Tweet Reach, you can get analytics that measure the impact of social media conversations. You can search based on a URL, Twitter name, phrase or hashtag. Tweet Reach then analyzes all the tweets that match your search and generates a report that includes exposure data on those tweets. Extremely useful if your organization uses a specific hashtag often and you want to be able to see how far-reaching the conversation is. The downside is that the free service generates a very basic report, which tells you stats only for the most recent 50 tweets for your search term. For a more detailed report, you can pony up $20 and go into the nitty gritty about your tweets.
Rating: ★ ★ ★
Provided by Kyria Abrahams
With the debut of new social media sites (like Google+), just behind it comes the inevitable lists of leaderboards and connections, as you can quickly find out who the big fish are in the new pond, or if new names are rising to the top. In this frothy world of early adopters and Web tire kickers, it’s common to see many of the same familiar names, and often in the same order, from site to site, at least until real-world celebrities from Hollywood and sports show up. Beyond this tier, there’s a second layer of folks who are quite visible on the social sites, even if what you know about their real lives pales in what you see online. So what’s the secret? I’ve finally caved and decided to spill it.
Some Quick Tips on Giving “Good Social”.
1) Be Interesting – Duh.
There are some people I’ve met through social networking who I will follow everywhere they go because they have achieved something offline, because they spark my interest online, or they are in the process of constantly doing new things that catch my eye. That can be the company founders like Ev Williams and Dave Morin, trusted observers like Sarah Perez and Ryan Block, or pure technologists like Paul Buchheit and Chris Messina. In each of these examples, there is no question I can learn from their musings, comments, insights and discovery. For you, what is “interesting” may be other reasons, including shared hobbies, location or history. Being known just for being known isn’t enough.
2) Find Interesting Stuff Fast
Others I follow because they have their eye on the streams from all different places, and know how to discern the intriguing from the mundane. These human curators know how to take 500 pieces of content and give me back the best 2 that I absolutely must read. It’s part of why I’ve shared content from Google Reader, my6sense, OneTrueFan and other products to put a brighter light on that which needs it.
3) Interact With Everyone You Can
Great social users interact. They don’t just broadcast. And they don’t just talk to the mysterious elite class of peers who are geek household names. They respond to comments in threads, mentions onTwitter and Google+, and participate in the streams, whether their name comes up or not. There’s no value lost by talking with strangers online who have good ideas, for they just might be your best friends in months or years to come.
4) Be Consistently Optimistic
I’m not saying you should be naive, but following someone who has enthusiasm about what they’re doing, their community, connections and technology is a lot more fun than a sourpuss. Good early adopters and social networkers that see holes in a product expect they’ll be filled in time, rather than complaining and making a list of open demands. Supporting the community’s ideas, families, projects and interests is all good.
5) Don’t Be a Jerk
The obvious corollary to point 4. Mean people suck. A little sarcastic humor now and then is funny. Ranting and raving alienates, and it sticks with you a lot longer than your positive activities. If you’re a bipolar poster who loves things one day and hates them the next, it’s dramatically abrasive, and is as viral as anything good you’ve done, earning you blocks, unfollows and ignores.
6) Prove You’re A Human
Humans live outside their computer. Even me. Sharing one’s pictures, family, travels, hobbies, interests, religion, politics, dating tips or whatever else helps to round out your persona so that people get a better knowledge of with whom they are engaging. Laugh when people tease, and tease back. Interact and don’t let scripts take over your streams. A great example of streams being out of control was the night of the earthquake in Japan, when people’s Twitter accounts were autoposting quotes of the day, or other such blather, while the rest of the Web weeped and watched.
7) Learn the Community
Even if you want to be a big fish in a small pond, you have to learn the community’s behaviors, traditions and what everyone else is doing or saying. While you don’t have to participate in every meme that springs up, you should quickly get an understanding of what content best fits where. Let the community’s reaction to your content guide you, and constantly adjust. As communities go from elitist tech enclaves to more mainstream hangouts, so to should your approach change.
8) Don’t Add to the Noise
Has that viral video been posted by 400 of your friends already? You know the one. Don’t post it. Do you really need to be the 500th person to retweet Mashable or TechCrunch? Probably not. But if you’re first to the scene and have some insight, go for it. Being unique is always a good thing.
9) Exercise Moderation
Don’t overdo it. Even the most interesting people can tweet too much, share too many items on Google Reader/Buzz/+, or swamp Facebook. Even if your quantity is higher than the average, the quality should exceed it. The best content in the right place and time.
10) Be Flexible
Despite all the above, there’s no secret for getting people to like you, your content or your attitude. Don’t expect that the process that works for you today, on the sites you use today, is always going to be the one that gets you the response you’re looking for – be it friendship, engagement, kudos or conversation. I’ve often said I have more fun in social networking than anybody else – not because it’s true, but I’ve decided it’s true. I really am often smiling big, like my avatar, because I’ve found great people and great stuff. I work hard to give good social and I find people both doing well and not so well all the time.
By Louisgray (http://blog.louisgray.com)