Social media news and views in 2013 and advice to take into 2014

12:03AM | Tuesday, 31 December

No matter what your opinion of social media, it’s become a ubiquitous feature of our lives.   It’s also rapidly evolving, with new platforms and features being developed to capture people’s attention and possibly become the next Facebook.   Businesses are also catching on with their own presence on platforms as they need to be where their customers are.   There was plenty of news and advice for readers this year on the latest developments and ways to get the most out of tweets and hashtags and posts and pins.   Quixomatic consolidates social media pages   The story of Sydney-based start-up launching its platform that consolidates a company’s social media pages generated plenty of interest for readers.   Co-founder and managing director Brett Poole, who previously worked for Yahoo, told StartupSmart the idea emerged from the trend of start-ups and small businesses being active on social media first to build traction before investing in creating a website.   Quixomatic uses the information already on a company’s Facebook page to generate a mobile-friendly website. It also plugs into other social media platforms such as Instagram and YouTube.   Who owns what on social media?   When you post content on social media, who do you think owns it? Many people will say the person who posts the content. That may be true, but the content maker may not be the only owner.   Mentor Vanessa Emilio looked into the issue here and warned readers to be aware of what could happen to their content.   Time-saving tools for Twitter   A tweet has become more than what a bird does. It’s now a message to the world that can whip up outrage, embarrass or entertain. It’s also a powerful tool for business engaging with their customers through the Twitter platform.   But for the busy businessperson, managing their Twitter account can be time consuming.   Lauren Ridgway offers here some time-saving tools when using Twitter, including using Tweetdeck and various analytical tools.   Facebook accelerator program for small business   Many small businesses have a Facebook page. For those who don’t want to create their own websites, it’s a relatively simple option for them.   The news that Facebook was offering places in an accelerator program to help small businesses get the most out of Facebook was widely shared.   “Many small businesses are doing great things on Facebook and we are committed in helping them continue to unlock the opportunities open to them,” Nick Bowditch, Facebook’s manager of small business in Australia and New Zealand, said.   What’s better – advertising a business or using social media?   Advertising and social media provide different paths for promoting your business, as mentor Dean Ramler writes. But in today’s business world, it’s no longer a question of one or the other.   In this post he outlines how social media can be great for engaging with customers while online and traditional advertising also play a role.   “Any good marketing program should combine both advertising and social media for maximum impact,” he says.   Some more articles worth reading: How to build social media hype for a crowdfunding campaign; Twitter announces a partnership with a young Sydney start-up; and Why social media is a must when you want to sell your business.

Content marketing isn’t a buzz word, it’s here to stay

8:24AM | Tuesday, 20 August

Creating compelling content that builds audiences is an important marketing pillar for anyone starting out in business.   Known as content marketing, custom media, custom publishing, branded content and branded media, this style of marketing is particularly important given consumers are increasingly seeking out information they can trust.   Content marketing enables businesses to deliver content via tutorials, email newsletters, white papers, custom publications, ebooks, free reports, blogs or social media.   Anyone can create relevant content that spruiks their business. If you’re a landscape gardener launching your own business, you could own a niche audience of followers keen to hear your thoughts on drought-resistant gardens, for example.   Content marketing is the way of the future, says the chief executive of the Association for Data-Driven Marketing and Advertising, Jodie Sangster.   “The future of marketing is content marketing. The convergence of data, technology, new consumer consumption habits and digital distribution mean the business case for content marketing has never been more compelling.”   Craig Hodges, chief executive and founder of King Content says content marketing has been around forever. It works best for companies that want to drive leads and sales, working across multiple sectors from banking and finance to fast moving consumer goods, he says.   “It’s not something that has developed in the last couple of months, as many people might think. The real game changer has been the transformation in the way consumers find brands and ‘stuff’ in general.   “Google has played an integral role in this by determining they wanted a search engine free of keyword-stuffed landing pages, instead ranking quality sites with great content,” Hodges says.   This has encouraged brands to begin investing in owned, searchable content assets that are of value to the consumer and share the essence of what the brand stands for through storytelling, he says.   “If you couple this with the role of social media, a powerful sharing and amplification tool, it’s easy to see why there has been such a focus on developing quality content marketing strategies.”   Content marketing works well for new online homewares/linen store, I Love Linen.   Melbourne founder Lauren Roe has had strong results from Facebook despite the brand only launching a few months ago.   “A great Facebook strategy is based on engaging with customers and promoting a certain image around a desired lifestyle and then finding ways to link it back to your products,” Roe says. One of her recent posts was shared by a popular blogger with a huge Facebook following, which resulted in a day of high traffic and sales, she says.   “It’s so easy to manage because once you have a good content strategy and you know the themes around how you want to post, then you can pre-source and pre-load all the content. We do this once a week so it’s locked and loaded so we don’t have to think of content ideas on the fly,” Roe says.   “I know Facebook works because I track the click-throughs from Google Analytics and can track the purchase journey that way. A great example is a customer that I generated via Facebook has purchased with us three times in just under six weeks,” she says.   Content marketing is also a key marketing pillar for Intrepid Travel, with content partnerships forged to develop content that will appeal to potential customers.   One of its most successful partnerships has been with sustainable food filmmakers The Perennial Plate. This partnership sent two chefs to 13 countries to create short videos that reflect local food culture, which aligns with Intrepid’s new range of food adventures and commitment to responsible and sustainable travel.   “The videos are authentic and compelling and each has its own distribution strategy. The first video that was produced received over 300,000 views and the series so far has been viewed by 2.75 million,” global public relations manager Eliza Anderson says.   Many start-ups already embark on a PR campaign, but minor tweaks to existing PR, communications and social media content isn’t the same thing as content marketing, according to a report by technology research firm Gartner.   Hiring freelance writers to create your content, create a pipeline of talent via online freelance marketplaces like elance or outsource your newsroom can be great ways to get the content you need, says Gartner analyst Jake Sorofman.   Ultimately, businesses need to decide what end result they want to achieve from content marketing from the outset, he says.   “Do you want to create blog posts, build a special website or blog, or generate Facebook comments or Tweets? Ensure that whatever content management system you are using can create content forms that match your goals. Also ensure that each asset you generate can be shared socially,” Sorofman says.   But creating content is one thing. Making sure it’s reaching an audience is something else altogether. Distribution of content is a major issue, according to a recent roundtable forum held in Sydney.   Hosted by ADMA and content marketing firm Edge, it found that many businesses overlook the importance of developing distribution strategies.   Care needs to be taken when it comes to distribution as distribution via social media can turn consumers off, according to a recent report by Pitney Bowes Software. It found that 83% of consumers have had a bad social media marketing experience.   Simon Bird, general manager Australia, warns that annoying customers can mean lost revenue, with 65% of consumers saying they’d stop using a brand that upset or irritated them through its social media behaviour.   “It’s critical for businesses to develop an in-depth understanding of their customers’ communications preferences and what makes them tick. You need to approach customers through the channels they like and with content that is relevant to them and their current situation.”   Five tips to help start-ups thrive in the age of content   Create brand ambassadors. Use Twitter Advanced Search to find people who are talking about similar offerings to yours. Contact them and get them excited about your brand   Understand and track your SEO. Use free Google tools like Adwords, Analytics and Trends to compare keywords, view keyword search traffic demand and find out if your keywords are converting traffic   Take advantage of hashtags. Simple and consistent hashtags like #apps help your target market find your start-up. Use social dashboard tools like HootSuite or TweetDeck to find relevant hashtags.   Find free publicity. Sign up for free services like SourceBottle and HARO, which connect journalists with sources to easily and cheaply build a reputation in your industry.   Protect your reputation before you have one. Use free tools like Google Alerts and to find out what is being said about your company, competitors and industry.   Source: Ali Berg, head of content, Online Circle Digital

Learn some Tweetdeck shortcuts

3:36AM | Wednesday, 13 March

Are you using Tweetdeck to manage your Twitter account?

The best US presidential election coverage online

11:46AM | Tuesday, 6 November

With the United States presidential election underway, there are plenty of web-based resources to help you find out what’s going on.

Show media previews in TweetDeck

11:48AM | Thursday, 1 November

If you’re a fan of TweetDeck, then you’d know it has been through some pretty drastic changes since Twitter acquired the program.

Bankwest stung by Twitter impersonator

8:37AM | Tuesday, 28 August

A false Twitter account claiming to be that of a senior Bankwest executive has caused a headache for the bank and illustrated the importance of monitoring social media for business.

Digg reportedly sold to Betaworks for just $500,000

7:45AM | Friday, 13 July

How the mighty have fallen. Digg, the social news site that was once the hottest company in tech and scouted by Google for more than $US200 million, has now been sold to Betaworks, the company behind – and The Wall Street Journal pins the price at just $US500,000.

Add more accounts in TweetDeck

3:27AM | Tuesday, 27 March

This article first appeared December 8, 2011.   Did you know you can add more than one account in TweetDeck? It’s one of the best features of the program, and it’s quite easy to do.

Twitter acquires social start-up Bagcheck

8:37AM | Tuesday, 9 August

Social networking giant Twitter has acquired US-based online social start-up Bagcheck for an undisclosed sum, with one of the co-founders set to join Twitter’s engineering team.

Twitter to open up promoted tweets to advertisers

6:20AM | Monday, 4 June

Twitter is to place advertisements in the timelines of users who follow a particular brand, but an industry expert says small businesses should be wary of using the network as an advertising platform.

Change photo provider in TweetDeck

7:14AM | Friday, 22 July

TweetDeck is one of the better Twitter clients out there, and part of that is because of the sheer amount of ways to share content like photos and videos.

How to change notifications on TweetDeck

7:43AM | Tuesday, 19 July

Plenty of Twitter account holders use clients to manage their account, and TweetDeck is one of the best. It has the most features, and is probably the easiest to use.

Add new columns in TweetDeck

7:06AM | Friday, 8 July

TweetDeck is one of the better desktop clients used to manage your Twitter stream, and the main reason behind that is the use of columns which separate your tweets into lists.

Wednesday 6 July

7:03AM | Wednesday, 6 July

Today on StartupSmart, Jason Rose identifies six key marketing lessons for start-ups, drawing on his experience as the co-founder of newly-launched media buying site Adboss.

Twitter buys TweetDeck for $US40m

5:07AM | Wednesday, 25 May

Twitter has acquired third-party app TweetDeck in a deal worth $US40 million, in the latest of a recent series of big money buy-outs in the tech sector.

THE NEWS WRAP: Twitter finalises $US40 million purchase of Tweetdeck

5:08AM | Wednesday, 25 May

Twitter is set to finalise its $US40 million purchase of UK-based start-up Tweetdeck, in a cash and shares deal.