Social Media Week Chicago 2013 – Wrap Up!

Social Media Week 2013 has officially wrapped up here in Chicago and I’m happy to say I survived, barely!!  It’s these conferences and idea sharing sessions that inspire me and get me re-invigorated.  I met some wonderful people and I have to say that these people are not just colleagues, but friends!

As I reflect back on the week, I wanted to share some statistics…

Maybe some of you can relate??!!

I walked a total of 16.8 miles

Monday – 5.9 Miles

Tuesday – 4.2 Miles

Wednesday – 3.0 Miles

Thursday – 3.5 Miles

Friday – 30 feet

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Out of 185 #SMWChicago Events, I attended 25 Events.  Some I registered for, some I crashed!

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I cultivated 2 painful foot blisters

Happy Feet

I wrote 13 pages of notes

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I sent 71 Tweets

Unknown-3 Unknown-2

This was my most popular tweet.

  • Responses  4
  • Retweets  3
  • Replies  1
  • Reach  122.3k

I gained 43 followers on Twitter

I followed 84 new accounts

I was mentioned 86 times

I was retweeted 26 times

75% of my followers are Men

My Sprout Social Account gave me all these statistics!!  I love their platform!!

Men between the ages of 35 and 44 are the leading demographic

Twitter-Stats

I drank 8 cups of Starbucks coffee

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My most precious belonging was:

iphone-5-wall-usb-charger

Finally, I introduced one very weary British attendee to Ranch dressing and Garrett’s Chicago Mix Popcorn…

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thumb_600Have I forgotten anything??

exhaustedI’m exhausted!!

An Open Letter to Facebook… (Let’s Face it, this is a Blog-o-vention!!)

Dear Facebook,

We need to talk!!  (Famous dreaded words!!)  We have had a love affair for many years!  I love so many things about you.  I love that we know the same people, you remind me not to forget my friend’s birthday, you’re there for all the funny moments and all the sad moments.  You are a big part of my life, schmoopie, on both a personal and professional level.  I spend more time with you than my own family.  (Yikes!!)  But, I’ve been noticing some changes in your behavior over the last few months, so I’m staging this blog-o-vention!!  I’ve been unhappy with the information that you’ve been “feeding” me for sometime.

Breaking News

When you made changes to my timeline or to my wall or to my messages, I didn’t complain, I was happy about the change, change is good!  Right??  (Right!!)  So, I have to ask, what the heck is going on with your “News Feed”????  (Sigh…)

It’s time I put my foot down about what you call a “News Feed”!  What, in the name of Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat, is going on here??  Sheesh!!  Why are old (And I mean Ancient!!  At least 8 hours…) stories showing up at the top of my News Feed?  (Seriously??!! Yes!!)  I know that when people comment on a story that is older, your algorithm throws the story at the top of my “News Feed”.  For heavens sake!!!  When I check my News Feed, I expect to see “News”!!  Not a story from 8 hours ago!!  That’s what we call, “Old News”!!  See the definition of NEWS below as provided by a google search…  Notice option #1??  Hello??!!

News Definition

Yes, I know that I can change the feed to reflect either “Top Stories” or “Most Recent”, however, changing the filter to “Most Recent” doesn’t mean that you get the “Most Recent” news!  Yet, I still get news stories from the 2006.

So, my dear, we have to make a change to the way we operate.  Let’s keep the “News Feed” the “News Feed” and not the “History Feed”!!  There are a lot of options out there for a gal like me.  But I’m not ready to give up on you and I don’t want anyone else to give up on you either!  Please, Facebook, make my “History Feed” a “News Feed” again!!

With Love,

Marina C.

Socialty

Rules to Live by, When You’re Making Up the Rules as You Go Along

Before the Jaws theme plays us off the stage and before I fall into a blissful slumber, we wanted to post a short blog about the “Rules of Social Media.”  Well, really an info graphic about it…  Because, well, you know at Socialty, we LOVE, and I mean LOVE, a good info graphic.

<<Pause to watch Adele sing>>

As I post this blog, I’ve been re-reading the info graphic and thinking about the rules listed on the graphic.  These are not just “rules,” these are solid business practices that are habit.  There are no second thoughts about any of the rules below.  Remember, they are not suggestions, they’re Rules to Live by, when we’re still making up the Rules as we go along.

Social Media is a constantly changing beast.  What’s your favorite rule blow?  If you could add a rule,what would it be?  We want to hear from you!!

Rules of Social Media Graphic

Hey, Small Businesses!! Are you sure about that??

Socialty loves info graphics!!  So much so, that we have a whole board dedicated to info graphics on Pinterest!!  I recently found this info graphic about social media that I found interesting.  Many small business owners know “just enough” when it comes to social media.  However, they may miss their target audience by focusing on the wrong social media outlet.

The following info graphic may point you to the correct site, but navigating the site and using it properly takes a skilled hand, like Socialty.  You all know what we do, right?  We handle all your online marketing and reputation management for your small business.  When you’re ready for the next level, contact us, we know what you need!

Follow us – Like Us – Plus Us – Stalk Us – We dare you!!!

Twitter

Facebook

Pinterest

LinkedIn

Google+

infographic-how-to-brand-yourself-an-expert-on-social-media

2013 and Socialty – Social Media Resolutions for a New Year

As Socialty looks back at 2012, let’s discuss some New Year’s resolutions for your small business social media on Google+, Pinterest, Twitter and more.

It’s a blogging tradition at New Year’s – looking back at what happened last year and using your first blog to try and make sense out of what’s to come. Honestly, it’s probably also a way for bloggers to be productive while recovering from all that New Year’s celebrating! So as Socialty looks back at 2012, let’s also talk about what to do in 2013!

Here are some suggestions for your small business New Year’s resolutions. While many so-called resolutions are ignored or forgotten within a few weeks, you shouldn’t turn your back on these! Start with a vow to make the most out of your social media marketing efforts. While catching up on the college football championship game and putting away those holiday decorations, take a minute today to review your social media accounts. Here are a few things you can change to make a world of difference this year …

If your business has a corporate website, you may qualify for a Verified Google+ Page. Check out http://bit.ly/QvXPhT and consider making a request to have Google verify your page. It isn’t very complicated, if your page meets the qualifications – the most important of which is probably, “Your Google+ page must already have a meaningful number of followers.” Rumor has it they mean hundreds of followers (not just 4 or 5, like your Uncle Marty’s crab wine distillery).

Pinterest rolled out official business pages back in November. Previously, individuals and corporations shared the same features on Pinterest. But now, your business can have a page with a suite of additional features. If your company has a Pinterest page, take a few minutes this New Year and change it to a business account (if you haven’t done so).

Also last Fall, the social media service Twitter introduced cover photos for profile pages. You can personalize your page with any header image you choose. From the “settings” menu icon, click “design” and then “change header” to do so. In the New Year, resolve to freshen up your Twitter page with a new cover photo every month – it makes the virtual “place” look a little nicer for your followers!

Another quick idea: review your business’ Facebook page, because it’s often easy to forget to keep the details updated when you’re “liking” and replying to status updates; check and update your privacy settings on Twitter, Google+ and Facebook.

Finally, let’s look forward to February. Twitter users beware! Your social media outbursts and shares will have to deal with a change to Twitter’s URL shortener – the short links will now be two spaces longer. This means a tweet’s content will have to be two characters shorter. But thankfully this also means that every month, followers will receive 2,000 less characters from Justin Bieber and Kim Kardashian!

So now you have a few social media resolutions for the New Year. Remember that at Socialty, it’s our pleasure to make your social media accounts thrive and prosper every year! Contact us today and find out how Socialty can help you and your business. We mean it when we say that in 2013, “Keep social and carry on!”

Tags: social media,Twitter,Facebook,Google+,social media positioning,Socialty Inc.,Pinterest,social media marketing

The Good, The OK and The Bad….

Which social media sites are right for you and your business?  We recognize that a single approach to marketing will never fit all situations because every business is different. The greatest benefit of letting Socialty fulfill your online needs is that we can use our knowledge, skill, experience and talent to determine if certain sites do or don’t match your needs!

Several months ago, the online site CMO.com published its annual Guide To the Social Landscape. Each year the guide, which is published as a downloadable infographic, lists the major players in online social media and grades them on strengths and weaknesses that are important to companies wanting to leverage social media for advertising and marketing.

The 2012 guide features 14 social media sites – from heavy hitters such as Facebook and Twitter to lesser knowns like Quora – and grades them in four categories: customer communication, brand exposure, traffic to your site, and search engine optimization. To explain further, CMO’s list looks at the potential for a company to build business utilizing a site in each of those four ways, and then uses the simple grading scale of “good,” “ok,” or “bad.”

First I thought we might take a look at the sites that were graded “good” across the board. To my surprise, none of the 14 social media sites achieved that spread! That’s probably a great sign that CMO’s list is trying for fairness. While leveraging these sites can be good for your business, the use of each social media site has limitations when trying to manage your online marketing activities.

Four sites did achieve the high grades of “good” in three areas and “ok” in one. These are Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and YouTube. All four scored high marks in regard to customer communication and brand exposure. Facebook and Twitter were stronger in building traffic to your site, while Google+ and YouTube were more useful for search engine optimization.

I don’t think the high marks for those well known and recognizable names are shocking to anyone. A mild surprise was SlideShare – a site that’s rated very highly by CMO’s Guide To the Social Landscape. In its first year on the guide, SlideShare (which has been around since 2006) is called “an awesome communication method for companies” and “a great place to promote your brand.” It’s rated “good” for customer communication and brand exposure and “ok” for building web traffic and for search engines. Subsequent to the release of this year’s guide, SlideShare announced on May 3 that it was being acquired by LinkedIn. Business Insider reported it to be a cash and stock deal worth $119 million.

So far, the social media sites we’ve been discussing have all had two category strengths (communication and branding) in common. StumbleUpon comes from the other direction. In fact, it’s rated “bad” for customer communication. The guide states “reaching existing customers can be random and costly.” For branding, it’s “ok” with the site’s targeting praised for its accuracy. Cost, however, is a drawback. According to the guide, StumbleUpon is “good” for both building traffic to your site and for search engines. StumbleUpon is among those sites that are a bit hard to explain to non-users. According to Wikipedia, “StumbleUpon uses collaborative filtering (an automated process combining human opinions with machine learning of personal preference) to create virtual communities of like-minded Web surfers.”

Similarly, Digg is a social media site where its users submit an outside webpage, and then vote the page up or down (called “digg”ing or “bury”ing, respectively). This is done through voting on digg.com or by websites adding “digg” buttons to their pages. CMO’s Guide To the Social Landscape ranked it generally “ok,” but “good” for brand exposure, which is attributed to the opportunity for promoting articles via Digg. The guide pointed to declining traffic across Digg as its primary weakness.

Also among the social media sites that received mixed ratings:

  • Flickr was “good” for SEO. The guide points out that “proper optimization can rank well in Google Images.” Unfortunately “even with tens of thousands of views” very low click-through to your site earned a “bad” rating.
  • LinkedIn was also “unlikely to drive any significant traffic to your site” (a “bad”) but received a “good” for brand exposure, especially if utilizing its company page features.
  • Pinterest was rated “good” for brand exposure and driving traffic to your site. The guide suggests “Contests” for the former and adding “Pin It” buttons to your pages for the latter. However, this social media service was rated “bad” for both communicating with customers and link values decreasing, stating “Pinterest recently n0-followed its links.”
  • Quora was “excellent for communication with high-level customers” and sharing your expertise (a “good”) but the drawbacks include most traffic staying put on the Quora site and no-follow links (a “bad” and an “ok”).
  • Reddit was “good” for driving traffic to your site but the guide mentioned not to “try too hard and get banned.” It was rated “bad” for increasing your brand exposure as most of the content is from major news organizations. Plus there’s a problem with image attribution which knocked Reddit down to an “ok” for SEO.

Only two social media sites received fairly negative ratings in this year’s Guide To the Social Landscape: Delicious (“Not enough brand recognition to make [it] worth your time”) and Instagram (which received a “good” for brand exposure but literally doesn’t have ways to communicate with customers, drive traffic to your site, or a way to incorporate SEO).

Visit the Guide To the Social Landscape at:

http://www.cmo.com/social-media/2012-cmos-guide-social-landscape

Keywords: social media, online traffic, brand exposure, websites, communication, ratings, socialty, search engines, marketing, Facebook, Google+, Twitter, YouTube, SlideShare, StumbleUpon, Digg, Flickr, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Quora, Reddit, Delicious, Instagram

LinkedIn, It’s Here to Stay…

At Socialty, we have a simple, yet elegant, mission: to help small businesses manage their social media campaigns and online reputations. Socialty creates dynamic content, manages your presence and engages users to create word of mouth buzz. We use an online approach that focuses on sites such as, but not limited to, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, etc.

Today let’s take an in-depth look at LinkedIn, one of the fastest-growing social media sites. LinkedIn maintains a specialist approach to social media marketing.

On October 16, LinkedIn held a press conference to announce its new profile page design and other changes, upgrades, and statistics.

Chief Executive Officer Jeff Weiner began the event (also streamed online from company headquarters in Mountain View, California) by saying that LinkedIn is “about connecting talent with opportunity at a massive scale.” The social media networking site and its features aren’t “just tools that enable people to find their dream jobs,” Weiner said, “but tools that enable people to be great at the jobs they’re already in.”

The CEO then shared LinkedIn’s company mission statement: “To connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful.” He then emphasized the word professionals, and said that is the context with which LinkedIn creates value for its members as a social media service. Worldwide there is “one social platform – LinkedIn – that has that exclusive focus on a professional context.”

Weiner stated that LinkedIn has over 175 million registered members, and has added 50 million of those in the last year alone. LinkedIn is currently adding an average of 2 new members every second. Interestingly, Brazil has recently become the fourth nation in which more than 10 million LinkedIn members reside. The other top countries are the United States, India, and the United Kingdom.

LinkedIn ultimately helps professionals “connect, find, and be found by other professionals,” said Weiner. It has become “the professional profile of record.”

The CEO pointed out a phenomenon, saying that people update their profiles when they aren’t looking for work. He contrasted this to a traditional resume, which is often only dusted off and updated when a job change is wanted or needed.

Weiner went on to talk about the increasing importance of what LinkedIn calls “mobile solutions,” using the social media site via smartphones and tablet applications, especially via the iPad. He announced that mobile utilization (how often LinkedIn is being accessed by a person using an app) has increased from 10% last year to 23% now. In other words, LinkedIn is being used more and more by people who aren’t necessarily sitting at a desk in an office.

Weiner seemed proud to announce that over one million unique website domains have deployed a “Share On LinkedIn” button. This allows any LinkedIn member to easily post links from interesting or enjoyable online content to their own LinkedIn page, which then is viewable by that member’s professional contacts. Also, thousands of companies are utilizing a button to “Apply With LinkedIn” which makes filling out online job applications easier.

Over the last few months, LinkedIn has improved or introduced several features, said Weiner. He included:

  • A redesigned homepage at http://www.linkedin.com/
  • New capabilities for receiving optional notifications
  • New capabilities and apps for smartphones
  • Apps for the iPad tablet
  • The Endorsements feature (which allows members to vouch for other members who have a certain skill or ability)
  • A feature allowing members to “follow” professional luminaries
  • Long form content publication made affordable/free for those luminaries
  • “Engagement increases” such as status updates, “like” buttons, and the ability to comment on other peoples’ content

The press conference was then turned over to Deep Nishar, Head of Product for LinkedIn. He led off with a statement of the company’s product philosophy. It is to “build insanely brilliant and simple products that change people’s lives.”

Nishar then announced statistics provided by comScore, Inc. (http://www.comscore.com/) – LinkedIn has 135 million unique visitors per month and ranks 26th overall in the entire world (as of August 2012).

One month ago, said Nishar, the site launched a new design for the “LinkedIn Company” pages. It features insights into what is going on at a given company, and potentially it can share fresh information. On one corner of the page, the new design features “How You’re Connected,” listing “First Degree Connections” (people you know), “Second Degree Connections” (people those people know), and total employees of that company who are members of LinkedIn. Nishar added that the new company pages also feature a products section and a careers section, and that currently there are over 2 million “LinkedIn Company” pages.

Nishar then spoke about “LinkedIn Today.” He called it the “defacto professional trade magazine” for members and stated that by utilizing the knowledge of who members are, what members’ networks are, and what industries they are part of, it provides a tailored view of daily news they should be reading. It “gives insight and helps [the members] do [their] jobs today.”

The Product Head then mentioned that LinkedIn recently launched its “Top Leadership Series,” a sort of long-form blog which is being written by “150 of the most powerful business luminaries” from around the world. They represent 11 countries, he added, and they post “about what they care about to share it with the community.” The group includes a Nobel Prize winner and a MacArthur Fellowship “Genius” grant winner. The group as a whole has authored 29 books from the New York Times Bestseller List.

Nishar also expressed his pride in the “Endorsements” feature, repeating that LinkedIn is adding 175,000 new profiles per day (about the same as 2 per second), and announced that profiles on the site are now being viewed 25 million times every day.

When you choose to bring your social media campaigns to Socialty, you can definitely count on our company’s expertise to help you to create, freshen up, and then to maintain a dynamic profile page on LinkedIn.

In 2012, it’s more important than ever that you and your company’s interests be represented accurately and honestly on websites such as LinkedIn. Isn’t it time for you to contact us? Then you can “Keep Social and Carry On!”

Watch the entire press conference at:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IqfefJ6SYTk&feature=plcp

Keywords: LinkedIn, members, social media, professional, socialty, connections, page design, media campaigns

Social Media Marketing for Small Businesses… Why Socialty is for you!!!


Ninety years ago, radio broadcasting was becoming the most popular way for businesses to reach American consumers. Salesmen touted programming in a wide variety of formats and genres, from classical music to news & weather to dramatic plays, and businesses sponsored many of the popular programs during what is now called the Golden Age of Radio. The Bell Telephone Hour, The Voice of Firestone, The Planters Pickers, and Champion Spark Plug Hour are examples of how sponsorships made corporations and manufacturers into household names in the days before commercial interruptions became commonplace.

Sixty years ago, television began its ascent as a primary medium for informing, educating, entertaining, and again, advertising. Today, 60 minutes of broadcast or cable/satellite television includes about 16 minutes of commercial advertising. It’s an expensive option, but if planned and executed correctly, businesses using the TV medium can reach thousands or even millions of consumers.

Fifteen years ago, Internet marketing became a crucial part of advertising strategy. Banner images on web sites and the often-maligned pop-up ads were early methods of using the Internet to grow your business.

During the last decade, and especially in the last few years, social media has become the cutting edge for business advertising. Social media blends the technology that many consumers have at their fingertips with social interaction. Consumer-generated “buzz” – including reviews, rumors, and reactions to official news announcements – will usually result in more traffic to company web sites, and can drive sales, increase utilization of services, and expand brand recognition and loyalty.

Social media has exploded as a business promotional tool because, unlike traditional media (newspapers, radio, television, film) social media advertising is relatively inexpensive and very accessible to almost everyone.

Which brings us to SOCIALTY. We have a simple, yet elegant, mission: helping small businesses manage their social media campaigns and online reputations. Socialty creates dynamic content, manages your presence and engages users to create word of mouth buzz. We use an online approach that focuses on sites such as, but not limited to, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, etc. We also create blogs and email marketing campaigns that delivers your brand directly to users via email. Socialty can help a company take its brand to social media sites, paralleling a company’s existing media outlets. The ultimate benefit in optimizing social media is keeping the fans and followers of your small business interested in your products and services, and ultimately, attracting new fans and followers, and transforming them into loyal customers.

A primary concern of most small businesses is cost; “How will this decision help or hurt my bottom line?” Socialty not only understands this, but can help guide you through the decision-making process, developing a plan that fits your needs and goals.

Let’s take a look at a couple of great examples of companies that use social media to expand their online presence, reported by MP Mueller, a blogger for The New York Times.

Mueller writes that a three-year-old luxury watch e-retailer named Melrose Jewelers rolled out its Facebook page, YouTube channel, and a blog to great success. “The company has seen a 71-percent increase in year-over-year sales (and collected more than 100,000 Facebook “likes”).” This result might be better than average for many social media ventures, but a couple of things stand out in this report.

First, the marketing director of Melrose Jewelers recognized an obvious divide between groups of its customers. Facebook is great for reaching younger, technologically inclined people. For older, more wary customers, the Facebook page and its posts and comments lent credibility to the business. Even those concerned with making a high-end purchase online can be affected by the positive discussions about the business via social media!

Second, the online jeweler also used a Facebook application it commissioned from a third-party programmer to promote some of its products. Through developing a quiz that users could take, it drove buyers toward a certain item based on answers. This kind of personal tailoring is still a huge attraction to consumers, no different than the traditional sales tactic of matching a customer to a product “just right for” that person.

Nellie Alkalp, a small business owner and blogger on Mashable.com, made a couple of points that are important to remember. Just having your social media presence established isn’t enough. In a lot of cases, stated Alkalp, “a neglected social media presence will reflect poorly on your business. It’s actually better to not have an account if you don’t have the time and resources to actively manage it and participate.”

Along the same line of thinking, Alkalp also wrote that social media isn’t free. That is to say that even if building a Facebook page or creating a YouTube video doesn’t cost your business, the time and effort to build up and then maintain it will take its toll on your resources. Whether you’re a one-woman LLC, a small chain of stores, or a large corporation, working on social media takes capable people, numerous hours per month, and in general requires planning and execution to succeed.

That’s where Socialty can help you. Whether you need to take those first steps onto the social media scene, or you possess established pages that aren’t utilized enough, we will work with you to reach your goals. By understanding your needs as a small business, developing a plan for your social media can make an insurmountable task suddenly seem less difficult. By building, then maintaining your social media presence, Socialty can make your professional life easier. The goal is to get your business to where you want it, with speed, professionalism, and flair.

Socialty Inc.’s motto is “Keep Social and Carry On!” Like the old verbiage from the British Government at the beginning of World War II, Keep Calm and Carry On, we wanted a tag line that would convey just that… We’ll keep our clients social (“Keep Social”): blogging, Tweeting, Facebook-ing, and keeping them current for search engines. Meanwhile, you can “Carry On” with making your business succeed. We will Facebook, Tweet and blog clear, concise and coherent posts for the world to view.

Over the years, the media has changed dramatically. But that doesn’t mean your business has to suffer dramatically! Get the service you need. Solve your social media problems. Maximize the ways social media can help your business. Contact Socialty today and get started!

Links to the blogs Referenced above:

http://boss.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/07/11/small-businesses-that-understand-social-media/

http://mashable.com/2012/06/25/small-businesses-social-media-tips/

It’s a Brand New Day…

Keep Social and Carry On!

This has been a very exciting past few days for myself (Marina C.).  I’ve launched a new company called Socialty Inc.   

Socialty Inc. helps businesses manage their social media campaigns and online reputation management (ORM).  We will create and manage your social media following on several sites including, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ etc… We will brand your social media sites to match and run parallel to your existing websites.  Personalized social media will keep your fans and followers interested in your services and attract new ones in the process.

Info:

Socalty Inc.

1523 Plainfield Rd

Joliet, IL 60435

http://www.socialtyinc.com

facebook.com/socialtyinc

@socialtyinc

http://www.linkedin.com/company/socialty-inc-

marina@socialtyinc.com

Keep Social and Carry On!

 

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