Tag Archive: social media


social mediaSo, you have your own business and need to stop playing with social media and leverage it.

Good for you!  Small Business is the grease in the economic cog and social media can help.  What can social media do?  It dramatically expands the exposure of your business.  Managed properly, it can bring you revenue from customers you might otherwise have never met.  It can also cement your brand, establish your credentials and showcase your work.

Where to start?  Get a management tool such as Crowdbooster, TweetDeck or SocialSafe.  These tools allow you to check multiple accounts, messages and schedule tweets or Facebook posts in advance.  The benefit is that you don’t come across as a spammer, don’t forget important posts and can manage your social media presence effectively without it sucking up all your time.

SocialSafe is my new favorite toy because it stores your info from all the social media profiles and allows you to keep up with who unfollowed or unfriended you and review posts and tweets across the major outlets.

Why is it important to track this information?  To protect the integrity of your account and thus, your online reputation.  Status People is a great online app that checks your followers to find out how many may be “fakers”, spammers who follow you briefly to get more followers so they can send out spam messages.  Who needs that?

Next, focus on content.  Great, useful and uplifting content is what brings and keeps followers.  Engagement with followers through retweets and shout outs is also important.  Once you get over 500 followers, you will not be able to mention them all on a regular basis, so set up a core group and add a rotation of others as you can.  Thank them or mention something they have offered recently.

Finally, be polite.  Manners count when no one can see your expression or hear the tone of your voice.  Don’t use all caps except for emphasis of important points.  Be nice even to the negative comments you may get or, just ignore them.  Don’t unfriend or unfollow just because you don’t like a particular comment.  But Do unfriend or unfollow excessive profanity or unprofessional postings.  You don’t want your business to get a negative reputation by assocation.

The next part of this series will be next week and will talk about the pros and cons of Google+ and LinkedIn.  Let us know in the comments if this has been helpful to you.

 

 

So, your business is on a tight marketing budget and you want to leverage Social Media.  Know going in that it is comparable to entering the bear cave with a club and flashlight.  Neither will help, you need better tools.

Where to start?  Well, that actually depends on your goals and strategy.  Techsnoop is here to tell you where not to start.  Don’t buy Twitter followers or Facebook Likes.  These are bogus accounts set up by spammers with automated tools and they do not give you credibility.  The entire point of social media is to establish yourself as reliable and trustworthy in your field.  Having spammers on your accounts opens up your followers and fans to spammers as they now can access them.

Building a quality following is a task that takes time.  Humans have to monitor and track progress and interaction.  Quality content has to be shared both ways for it to be meaningful.  Otherwise, it’s not social media but tech media.

Once it is known that you host spammers, you will lose much of the traction provided by social media.  So what can you do?  If you are unable to hire a Social Media Strategist, do it yourself or get an intern.  If you get an intern, make sure you give them a specific list of guidelines on who to follow and who to block from your pages.  This prevents embarrassing mistakes caused by technology and generation gaps.

People with no profile picture need to be reviewed.  If they have no pic and no bio, they may be a spam account.  Look at the web addresses on the bios, if there are suspect terms like “getfollowers” it is probably a spam account.  Either report the account as spam, or if you are unsure, just block them.

To help you out, use tech tools like Fakers that will quickly let you know what percentage of your followers might be fake.  You can then go through your followers list and prune accordingly.

Who.Unfollowed.Me will help you keep up with those who follow then unfollow you in a short time span.  Another trick of spammers.  They have to keep dropping people to move on to the next target due to Twitter limits.

Let us know in the comments if these two tools have helped you to tame the social media beast.

Multi-ScreenThe latest trend in marketing and social media is the rise of user multi-screening.   Tech Crunch says more customers are using several screens together for a richer information experience.  For instance, a customer may start looking up a product on their smartphone and continue the purchase on a PC or laptop.  Or they may begin watching a movie on TV and finish up on a tablet as they have to become mobile.  Small business must transition to make this experience as seamless as possible.  Failure to account for user changing metrics will spell failure for your business.

What does this mean to you?  Well, when contracting for digital services, more money will need to be budgeted to get a service or professional that offers responsive web services.  Also, all platforms will need to be integrated for seamless movement from one to the other.  This means SSL will become necessary to collect user information so they can keep connected.

The presentation below shows how Google thinks this trend is important.  And if Google thinks it is important, we had all better take note.
Multiscreenworld Final

socia mediaWhy blog?

Many small business owners and freelancers are confused by the multitude of social media options and how it can increase their reach.  Blogging is one way to increase the reach of any business provided the blog offers useful information presented in an engaging way.

Photos and video are one way of engaging readers, but sought after information consolidated in a non-confusing prose also can be useful to your readers.  Adding your social media contact buttons and website links can encourage readers to visit your sites and begin to recommend you.

In the loud, crowded Internet marketplace, recommendations as an expert in your field are like gold.  Recommendations separate you from fly-by-night shysters who only want to skim quick profits as opposed to building customer relationships that last.

How to get started?  Create a list of topics you are interested in and have experience with.  Write a bunch of random thoughts down.  They don’t need to be complete sentences or written nicely.  Just free form write whatever comes to mind.  Put it away for a day.  Come back and select a topic to expand on, then, do your research.  Look up information related to your topics that will be interesting to others.

Write two or three posts before beginning to publish and review them carefully for typos and grammar before publishing.  Choose free pics or graphics or make your own that relate to the topic.  Then link with social media to complete the circle.  All of the resources gather and increase traffic and traffic is the first step to online business success.

Stop by frequently for further blogging tips and let us know if this inspired you to start a blog.

Ever wonder why ads you see while browsing the web are for items you recently looked at?  Ever had an account hijacked by spammers?  Does fear of identity theft prevent you from using the web’s most powerful features or getting bargains online?  Techsnoop is here to help with a little education and ammunition.

Computers are tracked by IP (internet protocol) addresses which are generated by your computer or assigned by you internet provider (ISP).  This address can give general location information and more specific browsing history to those with access.  Who has access?  Your ISP, the government, marketers and even hackers.

Unless you take specific steps to block tracking, assume everything you do and say online is public.  Yes, Facebook, Twitter, Google and other sites have privacy policies but these policies do not protect you from marketing and tracking companies who profit from your browsing activity statistics or from hackers.

Using strong passwords, a great firewall and antivirus and regularly changing passwords is a great way to block hackers.  But what about marketing and tracking companies?  Blocking this activity will require additional steps to secure your privacy.

Turn off cookies in your computer to keep sites from tracking you.  This step also clears out any “keep me logged in” sites as they use cookies to do this.  Set your browser to clear your history on shutting down your computer.  Again, this has drawbacks if you visit the same sites daily.  Also turn off auto-complete for logging in on sites, especially if you are using a shared or public computer.  All settings are in your browser settings or options.

Use a proxy server service which routes your browsing through anonymous servers so activity cannot be traced to your computer.  Proxy.org has a list of good ones or use a VPN (virtual private network) like Hotspot Shield which comes in a free or paid version.  Or use a browser plugin like Do Not Track.  which is compatible with all major browsers and notifies you if a site is trying to track you.  The option to allow becomes yours, giving you more complete control.

If you frequently surf on computers that are shared or public or use public Wi-Fi, you may want to use a software that is kept on a USB drive.  This means it is portable and can be used anywhere.

SurfEasy is a tiny flash drive for your USB port that plugs into your computer and launches a browser.  It is password protected and already configured for privacy.  A great option for the tech-impaired.  It costs $59.99 and will mask your IP address and use a proxy network.

If you need a free solution, use Tails, a software you can download on your own flash drive and run on any computer anywhere.

Which ever solution you choose, know your privacy options online to keep your information secure.  Happy Surfing!

Techsnoop just participated in the Chase/LivingSocial grant challenge.  This event was entirely social media driven in that all entrants had to receive a number of votes from Facebook users to get to the review process.  The event was also a great way to evaluate the power and response of the various social media platforms.

Techsnoop utilized four platforms in total; Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and WordPress blog to request votes.  Although evaluation was not the intent of the challenge, Techsnoop can unequivocally state that Twitter was hands down, the most effective venue.  Facebook reached more people, but the responders were 80% Twitter users.  And not all respondents were followers, the entire Twitter community joined in to help boost businesses they had never heard of into the voting process.

What does this mean for your business?  Well, if you have a message or product you need action on, Twitter is clearly the platform to utilize.  Facebook and Google+ users seem to just cruise content without taking action.  Blog readers may not review the post in a timely fashion.  But Twitter is an immediate, actionable platform where users tend to act on requests and information.

Perhaps it is the very brevity of the messages that drives the rush to act, or maybe it is that posts fly by so quickly that users know they cannot come back to the post later.  Whatever the reason, if your business needs action, use Twitter to get the word out.

Take it from Techsnoop, Tweeps Rock.

We are at the final day of voting in the Mission Small Business event.  DKemp Designs needs more votes to be in the final running.  Please note; you may vote for more than one business.  Each business must have 250 votes to be reviewed, the votes do not determine the winners.

Please show support for DKemp Designs and any businesses that have less than 250 votes.  We are looking to leverage the power of Social Media for something fantastic.  Up to 12 businesses will have the opportunity to buy goods and services from you and hire some of the great talent currently languishing untapped.  If you want to improve the economy, go vote now.

Login with Facebook, put in the business name and vote.  Please share on your page to get others to vote also.

Thanks to everyone.

Major thanks to those who voted for us so far in the Mission: Small Business challenge;

@FederalGear, PeekabooPictures.Com, Alan Bouda@WildAls, @CowAndLizard, REAL DEAL@REALDEAL7786, Webics Web Design, FamilyMint, Dr. Quinn Weight Loss, Rock Me! Made with love in the USA.  These businesses are using the power of Social Media to improve the economy and their community.  If you haven’t voted yet in this program, please go to Mission: Small Business, sign in with your Facebook login and vote for small business today.

Search by your state and vote for anyone who has less than 250 votes.  While you’re at it, stop by DKemp Designs and vote for us.  Let’s leverage Social Media to change our communities.

Thanks, Techsnoop.

Kismet is a Turkish word meaning fate or destiny.  It usually refers to two or more happenings intersect in a way that seems beneficial.  Right now, Social Media and small business have the opportunity to create kismet for some entrepreneurs.

The great folks at Chase and Living Social are awarding small business grants.  To qualify, a business must be operating for 2 or more years and receive 250 Facebook user votes.

DKemp Designs is in need of all friends to go to Mission Small Business and vote for DKemp Designs, Taylor, Michigan.  You may also vote for other businesses you wish to support.  Please act on this right away, the deadline is June 30, 2012 to get all 250 votes in.

Techsnoop thanks all supporters in advance, and let us know if you are in need of votes also.

Techsnoop had the opportunity to get up close and personal with the HTC EVO 4G LTE recently.  The reviews don’t do this phone justice.

It can be argued that the original EVO kicked off the serious smartphone wars.  This phone was worthy competition that put Android on the playing field as a great OS.  Yahoo lists this as one of the best smartphones to buy and it truly is.

Weight; the new EVO is incredibly thin and light, but has a larger screen than the original.  This alone makes it worth changing if, like me, you still have the older model.  It is also very thin, but still feels like it will hold up over time.  Some of the recent thin smartphones seem like they will break if you hold them too tight.

Screen; the screen resolution is so crisp, you feel like you can walk into the picture.  The HTC Sense UI is intuitive and easy to use.  Navigation is speedy and multi-tasking is the whole point of this interface.

Camera; the 8MP camera on the original EVO spoiled me for all others.  The new EVO does not disappoint here.  An 8MP camera that takes HD video and allows rapid fire photo taking while in video mode is a game-changer.  This model also has built in photo filters that allow you to change angles without adding a lens.

Overall, all the things you loved about the original EVO are here on steroids.  Take a look from the Sprint launch event.  And of course, all this comes in an unlimited data package available only from Sprint.