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Archive for the ‘Tools & Tutorials’ Category

How To Use Social Media Monitoring Tools For Outreach Marketing

Posted by TeamITI on September 29, 2010

Social media is all about engagement. Because of this, it is the perfect tool for outreach marketing efforts. Outreach marketing is the practice of seeking out individuals or organizations that have a shared interest in what you or your company has to offer. Sometimes, it is used in conjunction with direct sales, but often times it is used for more larger goals such as branding.

Generally speaking, when planning an outreach marketing campaign online there are two main areas that are important to define before you begin; your target audience, and your method of engagement. Picking the right audience is vital to successful outreach marketing. Engagement is at the core of  outreach marketing, the right type of engagement can make or break a campaign.

Defining keywords & audiences

When using social media monitoring tools for any marketing effort choosing the right keywords is an important step. When using social media monitoring tools to aid outreach marketing, choosing your keywords and targeting the right audience goes hand in hand. I like to break my keywords down into two sets, primary keywords and secondary keywords.

Primary keywords are terms that are directly related to the industry that you are in. For example, if you sell cat food, then you would use “cat food” as a primary keyword. You can expand on primary keywords by adding adjectives, such as, “dry cat food”, or “canned cat food”.

When choosing primary keywords, remember not to use your specific brand name. The point of outreach marketing is to target users that have never heard of your company before. Primary keywords are vital to finding the broadest base of audience. However, if you operate in a large ambiguous market, then you may need to refine your monitoring with secondary keywords.

Secondary keywords are still related to your market, but may not include your exact product descriptions. Back to the cat food example – you might want to refine your monitoring to “hungry cat” or “feeding the cats”. Using secondary keywords are useful at targeting your audience.

Engagement strategies

Targeting your audience with the right keywords is only half the battle. Now, we need to find an effective strategy for engaging each user. Responding to users with, “Hey awesome! You like cat food? Visit our web site!” isn’t going to cut it. Proper engagement needs to contain either one of two things a “click” factor or a “response” factor.

A click factor is an incentive for the user to click through a link. Some click factors might be pointing the user to a specific product that could solve a problem. “Oh whats that your kitty is overweight? Try some of our diet cat food.” Another click factor is combining contest marketing with your response. “Tired of buying cat food? Enter our contest to win a year supply!”

A response factor is an incentive for the user to respond and engage in dialog. This strategy is perfect for putting a personal touch on a brand. One of the easiest ways that you can utilize a response factor is to ask a question. “Whats your cat’s favorite thing to eat?” Utilizing the response factor is perfect for branding; however, it can require more time and engagement because the goal is having a valued dialog.

When executing outreach marketing in social media, social media monitoring tools can be very helpful. Defining your target audience and keywords is the first step. Breaking your keywords down into primary and secondary keywords can help refine and target your audience. Developing a strategy for engagement is vital. Combining both “click” and “response” incentives are important when engaging. So the next time you are looking for a new branding or buzz building strategy, consider combining outreach marketing with social media monitoring tools.

Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.

This article is published by Search Engine Land, click here to read the original article.

Posted in Social Media, Tools & Tutorials | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Social Media: Top 10 Reasons Why Your Audience Doesn’t Like You

Posted by TeamITI on September 29, 2010

Are you struggling with social media engagement? Struggling with building your audience? You have thousands of Twitter followers, maybe even 50 or 100 people who have clicked “like” on your Facebook page.

However, even with this early success you’ve seen in social media, people just simply aren’t engaging with your brand? You are not feeling the social media love that others talk about.

Top 10 Reasons Why Your Audience Doesn’t Like You

1. You are not engaging. You spend all day listening or retweeting. You are not genuinely engaging with your existing network. You are on the sidelines watching the game go on.
Tip: Engage. Have a conversation. Get in the game.

2. You are not providing value. Your website may lack content that resonates with your audience. Your tweets are well let’s say, tweets. They look, smell and act like everyone else.  There are more than 10 Billion Tweets sent  in a year.  Tweeting a simple tweet that looks and smells like every other tweeter will get you no where.
Tip: Provide value. Inspire and connect with your audience. Get in their head and learn who they are and what they need.  Provide content that helps them solve real business problems. Provide tips that help them move their business forward with new skills.

3. You are not following people back. If you have people following you and you are sitting on your arrogant Twitter mountain thinking you don’t have to follow them you might want to think again. This thinking drives me nuts. Show the love. Be a good friend.
Tip: Develop a follow-back strategy. There are different schools of thought on this. My personal recommendation is at minimum make an effort to follow people back. Don’t sit high on your Twitter mountain with the expectation everyone owes you something. They don’t.

4. You are not a good social media friend. You don’t retweet. You don’t thank people who show you love. You never follow back. You don’t comment on other blogs in a genuine way. You don’t thank people who comment on your blog.
Tip: Show the social love. Genuinely engage and make your audience and network know that you care about them. At minimum let them know you know they are there! Often times if I don’t have time to thank all of my retweeters or send a series of #FF follow friday recommendations on Twitter I will send a couple tweets during the day thanking my network.  I let them know I appreciate them and all the social love they gave me!

5. You are boring. Sorry folks but it could be you are just boring. I am seeing many people who have a boring profile picture, boring content. They are the same ones who sit all day and retweet news feeds of mortgage rates or market news. They are providing no value and not engaging.
Tip: Brand yourself.  Understand your audience. Who are they and what do they need. Who are you and what can you offer them. Give your business and brand a personality. Dare to stand above the norm.  If you shoot for status quo that is exactly what you will receive, if you’re lucky. It may be less.

6. Your website stinks. If you are boring, your content  is boring and your website stinks you have three strikes and you’re probably already out of the social media game.
Tip: Social media is about conversation. Engage in conversation with interesting content, design and brand.   Hire a web developer and freshen up your website.  If you don’t have the funds to do such then find a self-help site or teach yourself WordPress blog at minimum.

7. Your social profiles stink. If your Twitter background is the default and your Facebook Fan Page has no customization you once again are shooting for status quo.
Tip: Hire a consultant or an agency to spice up your profiles. If you don’t have the funds the leverage an off the shelf service. There are several Facebook Fan Page engines you can use yourself that are affordable.

8. Your Facebook Fan Page is all about you. What are you doing to engage your audience?
Tip: Engage your Facebook audience.  Have fun.  Ask them questions? Do some research. Ask them what they need, what they want.  Leverage the discussion tab to invite people to introduce themselves.

9. People don’t know the real you. You are hiding behind an avatar (social media profile photo). You are not sharing the real you. You are using corporate speak. You aren’t using video, no interesting blogs.
Tip: Let yourself shine. Try out video.  Come out behind the avatar and let people get to know you.  Don’t be afraid of video.  If you use video you will attract people who like you, people who want to business with you.

10. You are afraid. Because of what I said above you are afraid to come out and play in social media.  You have been intimidated by the mean blog posts that are surfacing the net on social media gurus, wannabe gurus etc.
Tip: Don’t let the bullies scare you! Be confident. Have fun. If you don’t you are never going to make it in social media, business or life.

This article is published by socialmediatoday.com, click here to read the original article.

Posted in Articles & Research, Social Media, Tools & Tutorials, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Five tips for working with PDF files in Mac OS X

Posted by TeamITI on August 12, 2010

One of the best things about Mac OS X is its built-in support for PDF files. Instead of testing your sanity while you wait (sometimes it can seem like forever) for Adobe Acrobat to open a PDF file, you can use Preview.app to open them up quickly. However, built-in PDF support allows you to do other neat things as well. Here are five of my favorites.

Print
At the top of the list is the ability to create a PDF from almost any document. Whether it’s a Word or Pages document, a spreadsheet, or a Web page, in most instances you’ll be able to create PDFs out of them. Many Windows users print to a PDF printer in order to create a PDF file, and in a similar manner, creating PDFs on Mac OS X involves selecting the print option from the app that you’re working in. Within the app, click on “File” and then select “Print.” Then, you’ll be presented with a dialog box with a “PDF” button on the left. Click on this button and select “Save as PDF.”

Annotate
Once you’ve created your PDF, you can annotate it. Open up your PDF in Preview.app, click on “View,” and select “Show Annotations Toolbar.” After doing so, a toolbar will appear on the bottom left of your document. Alternatively, the toolbar will also be displayed if you select any of the annotate options under the “Tools” menu. Annotations include the ability to create text boxes (useful for filling out forms), add notes, or highlight and create shapes (among other things).

Rearrange
You can also move pages around within Preview.app (like rearranging the songs in an iTunes playlist). Simply choose “Contact sheet” or “Thumbnail” view from the sidebar, and then drag and drop your pages as you see fit.

Bookmarks
Let’s say that a couple of pages within a PDF interest you, and you want to revisit them later. To do this, click on “Bookmarks” in Preview.app and select “Add Bookmark” (or use the Cmd+D shortcut). One of the neat things about this feature is that, even if your PDF isn’t open, you can still access your bookmarks.

Crop
I’ve made no secret about my fondness of Preview.app’s image editing ability, and this extends to PDFs as well. One neat image editing feature for PDFs is the ability to select an area and create a new image based on this selection. To do this in the PDF, click on the “Select” tool, select an area, and copy it. Then, in Preview.app, click on “File,” select “New from clipboard,” and voila, your selection is in a new document. This document can be saved in a variety of formats, including PDF, JPG, and PNG.

PDF parsing and rendering are core features of Mac OS X and iOS. While providing for native support for PDF files, it also served as the foundation for the recently released Web-based jailbreak for the iPhone.

This article is published by AllFacebook, click here to get more information and some examples and read the original article.

Posted in Articles & Research, Tools & Tutorials | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Why You May Not Need a Mobile App

Posted by TeamITI on August 2, 2010

Ever since Apple launched the iPhone app store, the company has been pushing its apps to get all of the attention. But when was the last time you read a review about a new mobile website? Thousands of apps and billions of downloads consistently steal the headlines, while the mobile web is largely ignored by everyone but the consumer. Yet, despite what the marketing would lead you to believe, consumers use the mobile web just as much as apps.

At my company, we raced down the same road, putting pedal to the metal on our apps while leaving our mobile website on cruise control. Our iPhone app has been a Top 10 iPhone reference application for almost two years with almost six million downloads, and even with all of the great chart positions and visibility – just as many iPhone consumers use our mobile website as the application. We are not alone; Comscore reported in April that 72 million mobile users accessed a website compared to 69 million users who used an application. Both are showing more than 25% year-to-year growth.

Mobile Web Gets Better

When the app store first launched, only apps could use and access the device’s location. Last July, Apple launched OS 3.0 which provided Safari with GPS/location functionality. Apple’s HTML5 agenda continues to advance the mobile web browsing experience with video, audio, and a limited amount of caching or offline storage of data. The lines between apps and mobile web are blurring and converging.

But Apps Make Money

Apps make more money because iTunes makes it easier for consumers to pay. Similar to Amazon’s one-click check-out, iTunes is a virtual wallet used by 125 million consumers. But a mobile website can’t integrate with iTunes billing — you need an app for that: We tested a premium offer via our iPhone app which achieved a 50% higher conversion rate than the same offer on the mobile web.

However, for advertising revenue, the rates we receive on the mobile web are similar to in-app advertising. In terms of performance, a study on the mobile web versus app for a major travel advertiser showed the mobile web out-performing advertising on the application. Apple does place restrictions on in-app advertising and has the right to block out ad networks they deem competitive. There are no such restrictions on the mobile web.

So which should you choose for your business: A mobile web site, or a mobile application?

Why the Mobile Web Makes Sense

Even if an app is still the right choice for you, consider building a mobile website first since it will allow you to build and refine a great consumer experience, optimizing touch screen navigation. Mobile search provider Taptuhas highlighted the importance of this through its listings of “touch-friendly” mobile sites.

Another benefit of the mobile web is that you can write once to be read everywhere. With the mobile web, you can reach more devices with a single development effort. Unfortunately, mobile app platforms are fragmented, meaning you have to build specific apps for iPhone, Android, RIM, and Palm Pre. A mobile website can be built to standards that works on all these devices. There are also some fairly easy implementations that allow you to manage device profiles and optimize for different screen sizes.

One of the most satisfying benefits of the mobile web is the freedom to rapidly innovate and refine without approval or requiring the user to update and download. When Google could not get its voice application approved, for example, it responded by building a web version that required no approval process and used HTML5 for audio playback and SMS/Email for alerting.

When To Create An App

Once you’ve optimized the experience, you can use your mobile website to graduate users to a more robust native app.

One of the most important differences between a popular app and the thousands you’ve never heard of is the merchandising from the iTunes App chart. Hitting the Top 4 on the Free App chart drove over 250,000 downloads for the WhitePages Mobile App. Download volume and positive ratings are important factors needed to get onto the chart. We achieved first week download velocity by promoting the app on our mobile website, which we had steadily built an audience for. Learning and optimizing our mobile website helped us create a better app that led to better reviews and ratings. It helps to think of the mobile web as a beta, and the app as gold.

On-device placement is also important, and a bookmarked site gets the same favicon placement on your iPhone as a downloaded app. Social media will continue to be an important distribution engine, and sharing the URL for a mobile website provides one-click gratification.

Whether you are just starting to put your mobile strategy together or have been at it for some time, don’t just chase the shiny lure of an app before catching the mobile users that are already surfing your site. Let me know about your experience and best practices for building a mobile website in the comment section below.

This article is published by Mashable, click here to read the original article.

Posted in Mobile Marketing, Tools & Tutorials | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »