What’s new with SocialZing 3.0

Currently Businesses around the World are able to manage their Social Profiles on #Facebook (Groups, pages and profiles), #Twitter, #LinkedIn, #Blogger, #Tumblr and #Wordpress, all from our #SocialDeck.

As of September 16th, businesses will now be able to manage their #Instagram and #Google+ from the Social Deck as well!


From the SocialZing toolkit, they can read feeds, respond, interact, and post all from one location. We also include a pre-written content library that can be set on autopilot to those accounts to supplement your posting and save you even more time.

This is just one feature of the Socialzing toolkit, to learn more about the toolkit as a whole, please visit:

http://www.zingwebinar.com/

Interested in earning some extra cash by direct selling this platform to local businesses in your area? Check out this link

http://www.zingwebinar.biz/

To Your Online Success,

Jim Neal

http://ydts.socialzing.me

What direction is your company’s Social Media Strategy taking you?


#DirectSales #SocialMedia #SmallBusiness #SocialMediaManagement

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Does Social Media Make You Feel Like You Are Stranded, Alone?

“Loneliness is a state of feeling that can be changed.  People may still feel lonely even among the crowd.”€ ~Toba Beta

I know that by now you have probably seen the studies and reports, that float around, regarding  loneliness resulting from overuse of social media websites. People today are investing more time in their online friends than their friends and family at home, resulting in a decline in face-to-face interaction.  This is not the loneliness that I am referring to.

I know that you’€™ve felt it, we all have.  From social media newbie€™s to seasoned pros, we have all had that occasion when we have manufactured, what we think, is our content Masterpiece. It could be an article that we had been researching and writing for a month, a video that we worked on all night, or a Twitter campaign that was bound to dominate the trending topics, and when we released it to our audience, WHAM!  The sound of zero content engagement  hit you in the face harder than that time Batman slapped Robin for checking in on Foursquare from the Batcave.  It gives us the feeling like we are being ignored and we begin to feel lonely.

Does the content that we’ve created really stink that bad, that no one is even throwing a single Thumbs-up on it? Maybe, but I really don’t think that is the case. There are many reasons why this happens, and I will share a couple areas that I analyze when I run into these engagement deserts.

1)  CONTENT The first thing to look at when your content falls flat, is the content.

A)   Does it fit your audience?

B)  Are you talking at your audience or with them?

C)  Does the content fit the network that you posted it on?

If the content is not the issue, then it probably has more to do with social habits.   I have found that this is usually where these “loneliness”€ issues stem from.

2)   SOCIAL HABITS  You will often hear that content is king in social media.  I would have to disagree.  I believe that when it comes to getting your audience to engage, social habits are as important, if not more so, than the content itself.  After all, it is called social media and not content media.

A)  Have you been so focused on creating and sharing your content, that you have lost focus on engaging with your audiences content?   I have found that when I am in an engagement drought, being more social, returns more social.  Do not be afraid to Like, Comment or even share your followers content.  It shows that you value what they have to say,  creates a culture of conversation and ,an added bonus ,saves on some content creation if you are sharing some good content.

B) A  preventative measure that can be taken is to always be sure you acknowledge a follower who engages.  If a follower gets no response, numerous times, they will typically stop engaging with that content sharer.

When our content falls short, and we miss our expected mark, the best advice I can give is do not let it get you down, move on to your next awesome piece and always have fun.  After all that is why we play this crazy game, isn’€™t it?

As always, If there is something that you would like to add, or something that you would like me to cover in more depth on a future post, leave me a comment below.

To your success,

Jim Neal

http://socl.tk/NF

What Is Klout (and Why Should You Care)?

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Social media measurers Klout announced that they reached the milestone of 100 million people with “Klout Scores” that indicate the individual’s influence from data across 10 networks, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Foursquare. That’s a significant chunk of online users who have bought into the value of making influence measurable through tracking when an individual recommends, shares, and creates content. 

“One hundred million people with Klout Scores means that there are 100 million voices effectively leveraging the social web to share their opinions, hopes and dreams and shaping the decisions of the billions of people now listening to them,” wrote Klout blogger Joe Fernandez. 

So what exactly is Klout, and why does it matter for today’s social media landscape? 

What is Klout?

Klout is a San Francisco-based company that measures influence by tracking the interactions in the friendships and professional relationships that have moved online. The metrics of true reach (how many people you influence), amplification (how much you influence them), and network score (how influential they are) are combined to reach a “Klout Score” on a scale of one to 100, with 100 being the most influential. According to Klout, the Klout Score is based on your ability to drive action online: “Every time you create content or engage you influence others.”  

Klout also tracks what topics are being discussed and who influencers are in a number of categories – “everything from barbecue to tech gadgets to gardening,” according to their website. By collecting, analyzing, and measuring influence, Klout provides a way to find those who lead their fields – whether professional or hobbyists – across a variety of platforms, similar to what WeFollow has done for Twitter.  

Why does Klout matter?

One of the most integral parts of participating in social media is influencing – whether it be establishing and strengthening friendships through Facebook, finding likeminded thinkers on Twitter and sharing information with them, gaining an audience on YouTube, or connecting with professional colleagues and engaging as a subject matter expert on LinkedIn. Klout has come up with a way to take that abstract, lofty goal of influence and define it in a measurable way. These metrics open the door to studying who is making a difference along with why and how. 

“If you look back at the last 100 years of mass communication, you can begin to truly appreciate the implications of this diffusion of influence – from corporations and the media elite to the masses,” Joe Fernandez wrote on Klout’s blog. “Just this year we have seen this power play out in revolutions around the world fueled by individuals leveraging their influence on the social web to change history. Increasing numbers of people are finding their voices online and, as a result, we are now adding millions of influencers to our index every few days.” 

Klout’s value has been picked up by more than 3,000 applications and partners that use Klout data, including major brands like Disney and Audi. Certain brands run “Klout Perks” as a way to incentivize online influencers by providing exclusive access to products and experiences; after all, these influencers are likely to talk about these perks to their audiences, driving traffic to the brand.  

Curious about your Klout Score? You can find out at http://klout.com

http://socl.tk/NF

Creating Content People Care About

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“Content is king” has become a mantra for many social media marketers and website creators in today’s online environment. While this has become an undisputed point, two questions inevitably follow: what kind of content is best? How do you create content about which people will care? Here are the top two discoveries social media evangelist Ron Ploof made at 2011’s Confab: The Content Strategy Conference when he asked the 60 content creators in attendance for their top-three things they wanted to learn:

  • Storytelling is top – When asked what they wanted to learn from the Confab session “Content Rules: How to Create Content People Really Care About,” the No. 1 response from attendees was “Finding and Telling Stories.” Combine those votes with the ones for two additional story-related categories – “Connecting Stories to Business” and “Voice: Brand/Content Balance” – and 61 percent of the attendees wanted help with storytelling. This is no great surprise. People are wired to connect better with stories than with abstract principles. As Ploof’s said before, people have the attention span of a gnat online. However, if you find a way to present your company’s story that will captivate the audience’s attention and imagination, connecting with them in a real, personal way, then you can extend that gnat-like attention span. “The best online content creators combine the power of storytelling with education to tap into a reservoir of dormant attention,” Ploof said.
  • Executives need educating– Those in social media circles tend to think that by this point in time, the benefits of social media are a given. However, the audience’s desire for help with convincing executives that social media is an opportunity instead of a burden shows there’s still a need to show why it matters – it was the second-most requested topic from attendees. The questions they asked are enlightening as well. Ploof lists a few, including how to “focus execs so they/we can prioritize which story to tell” and “how to get execs to respect content development as a skill (and non-execs too)?” Content creation is a craft and skill that requires patience and creativity – it can’t be churned out, but it’s worth the wait when executed well. A large part of content creation is storytelling, as mentioned above. It seems like executives will either say they have no real story to tell or they’ll want to tell too many stories at once – famine or feast, so to speak. Help them learn to pace the process, prioritizing on what story is most important to tell the message and get the results they want right now.

http://socl.tk/NF

Learning from Successful Social Media Strategists

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Business-to-consumer communication has been revolutionized with the advent of social media in the last decade. With nearly 80 percent of corporations now incorporating social media into their marketing and communication mix, the role of a social strategist is becoming more and more standard as a needed and respected part of the team. Mashable recently published an awesome infographic about what it takes to be a social strategist. Even if you have no desire to make social media your 9-to-5, what are some things you can learn from the social media managers and other social media professionals surveyed? 

The characteristics identified as making these strategists successful at their jobs were, in order:

  • “I’m multi-disciplinary and can wear many hats.” (58%)
  • “I’m willing to take risks.” (46%)
  • “I can rally different stakeholders across the organization.” (45%)
  • “I can effectively lead a multi-faceted, cross-departmental effort.” (38%)
  • “I have experience in social media.” (37%)
  • “I have a long-term customer-centric vision for the program.” (24%)
  • “I can communicate the ROI to executive leadership.” (16%)
  • “I have been working at my company many years.” (13%)

 

What stands out in these numbers to me is that the key to success for these strategists has less to do with ROI or long-term plans and more to do with the ability to innovate – whether that be juggling disparate responsibilities and trying new things without the fear of failure. 

I’m convinced that the connection between the two isn’t coincidental, either. Those who are able to take on a myriad of responsibilities – from creating content to coming up with strategies, analyzing metrics and adapting accordingly, spearheading campaigns, and evangelizing social media to stakeholders – are likely to manage participation in a myriad of media as well. They know how to work with varied audiences through varied channels, connecting consumers with companies adeptly, and they also know how to translate the benefits of social media into terms executives can appreciate and get behind, regardless of the executives’ familiarity with social media themselves. 

Proactive social media professionals are those who are able to change and evolve along with the new shifts that come in technology. They are the ones who remain on the bleeding edge of new technologies, adopting them early and then advocating experimentation with them. These forward thinkers use the new media intuitively and find ways to extract the maximum ROI from the tools (remembering that ROI in social media is less about sales conversions and more about building relationships and brand loyalty). 

Likewise, to get the most out of social media, businesses need to be willing to try new things – and to try lots of different things as well. The benefit of social media is that most of the tools are free. Not having to invest much overhead to dabble in different platforms leaves businesses wide open to experiment with new initiatives and see what resonates with their customers. Be willing to adapt to and adopt new technologies and integrate them into different parts of the business cycle – from marketing and sales to customer service – and you’ll be sure to find what works best for your particular business niche.

http://socl.tk/NF

Baby Steps Toward Social Media Prowess

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Recently I was talking with a friend whose baby girl has just started to crawl. While watching footage of this little gal get around – hesitantly and haltingly at first – it made me think of how important it is to progress strategically and methodically toward any destination or goal, including in social media.  

While it’s important to begin with the end in sight, we also need to take joy in the journey to get to that end. If you want to be a social media pro, remember to value and savor the steps along the way as you engage with the various tools and methods to tell a story. Make sure you learn to walk before you run: 

  • Crawl – When entering the world of social media, it’s vital to remember that you’re still dealing with individuals interested in human stories. Don’t get distracted by the tools and platforms. Take the time to first understand what your (or your institution’s) inherent systems and processes, resources, and culture are. What are institutional barriers you may face in going social? Public companies face different issues than private companies, and different platforms make more sense for different audiences (e.g. a LinkedIn group vs. Facebook, depending on if you’re B2B or B2C). Thinking through what makes the most sense before starting will increase your chances for success – and decrease the chances your institution will write off social media as a fad or flop.
  • Walk – After you’ve made a strategy, begin engaging with one tool at a time. It’s important to take a note from the Johnson & Johnson playbook and get a presence in one platform launched and running well before branching out into another. Also, don’t discount the importance of building on your own real estate first. Platforms like Twitter and Facebook may be buzzing upon everyone’s lips, but they could be supplanted by the next big thing – remember MySpace and Friendster, after all? If you start an in-house blog on your own website, you’ll have control over it regardless of external forces. Be flexible as you try new things, remembering that nothing is permanent, but also be committed to the overall purpose behind social media: connecting with your audience. See what works, changing and adjusting as you go.
  • Run – Once you’ve mastered getting a social media presence launched, you’ll hit that prized end point of having a fully integrated social business, complete with measurable tracking and analytics that help you better understand the impact communicating with customers has on your business. Remember, the connection between social media and ROI may not be measurable in strict numbers, but social breeds customer loyalty, and that’s something that can’t be slapped with a price tag.

 
The process of implementing a winning social media strategy takes patience, but as you enjoy each milestone on the way to running with the best-practice examples, you’ll be able to savor the successes along the way with your lasting audience.


http://socl.tk/LI

Want to be Like’d? Be engaging

Everybody wants to be liked – especially in today’s Facebook world, where the thumbs-up “Like” button represents the ultimate stamp of approval from consumers to their networks. But how do you get the “Like” love on Facebook (and other crowd-sourced social media channels)? The key is to engage those within the network, giving them a real reason to opt into your Page. 

Facebook Pages are growing in popularity and importance each day, often serving as a second home page for your business on the Web. Chances are that your customers already have Facebook accounts and spend an average of 25-30 minutes on the social networking site each day. The News Feed they view intersperses updates from the Pages they “Like” among the pictures and status updates from their friends and family, essentially giving you a self-selected audience wanting to hear your advertising for free. It’s a no-brainer to make your business front of mind – but the trick is to do so in a way that adds value for THEM (not just for you).  

So how do you create ways to get them involved with your Page? Here are some ideas:

  • Create a contest that requires them to “Like” your page. Vivint does this wonderfully each year with their “Vivint Gives Back” contest. They give away $1.5 million dollars to the top-voted charity overall as well as $250,000 to the winners in each of five regions. Most people are willing to click “Like” to support a cause close to their hearts, and it’s a great way for Vivint to get name recognition as people post about the contest on their own Page in order to drum up votes.
  • Offer coupons and deals for people who Like your page. It’s as simple as posting to your Facebook that anyone who mentions a certain code on a particular day will get a discount. This is a great way to give back to your top fans – after all, if they’ve taken the initiative to opt into your network, they likely merit the recognition.
  • Reciprocate the love by interacting with those who write on your wall. It builds the sense of a one-on-one relationship between the consumer and brand, and those are the kind of relationships that foster customer loyalty. When you consider how expensive the conversion process is, taking that next step to make your individual brand evangelists feel like their loyalty is recognized and appreciated is worth every cent spent in time and effort.

http://socl.tk/JM