7 Social Media Tools Reviews Via @TomPick

As the use of social media marketing tactics have expanded and matured, two consistent challenges that remain are 1) finding enough time for all the tasks that need to be done, and 2) measuring the impact of social media marketing activities.

Into these voids have stepped all manner of developers and entrepreneurs with tools for social media monitoring, management, measurement, and more.

Need to find out how widely one of your links was shared on Twitter? Identify your most influential fans and followers for outreach efforts? Automate repetitive social marketing tasks? Find new industry influencers to engage with to help optimize your overall web presence?

Social Media Tools

Here are helpful reviews of tools to assist with all of those tasks and many more from half a dozen social media experts.

  • Nicole HarrisonNicole Harrison is “adamant” that, properly managed and executed, will deliver measurable financial results to a business, and provides brief reviews of 11 free social measurement tools including Facebook Insights, Twitter Analytics, and TweetReach, which she calls “a great tool for tracking a campaign or conversation on Twitter.”

Douglas KarrDouglas Karr shares an infographic which showcases 25 helpful social media marketing tools across five categories: social listening, social conversation, social marketing, social analytics, and social influencer identification. The infographic also identifies high-profile customers, strong points, and ideal users for each tool, as well as whether it is free or fee-based.

Nicholas ScaliceNicholas Scalice highlights his favorite social tools across eight categories, such as Social Report for analytics, Klout for Business for identifying “your most influential fans and followers,” and Bitly for link shortening.

Sheye Griffin reviews three social media management toolsóHootSuite, Agency Platform, and Sproutófor their value across three areas: ability to capture streams from multiple social networks; keyword search and geographical/trend analysis; and ease of engagement with followers.

Ian ClearyAsking “Do you struggle to get all your social media tasks done every day? Do you find that you perform repetitive tasks?,” (questions likely to elicit two “yeses” from many social media marketers), Ian Cleary reviews more than half a dozen time-saving social tools, including Social Oomph and Zapier (a tool similar to IFTTT).

Priit KallasPriit Kallas reviews 69 free social media tools, divided into two groups: “the services that I use regularly or seem interesting to check out immediately” and “an alphabetical list of tools for you to play with.” Included in the first group are popular tools like SocialBro, TwitterCounter and Klout.

About The Author

Tom-Pick.jpgTom Pick is a digital marketing consultant who helps clients increase their visibility, credibility, and business success online. His expertise in web presence optimization, SEO, search marketing, social media, content marketing and social PR has helped b2b technology clients ranging from single-person businesses to $1 billion+ corporations. Tom is managing editor of the Webbiquity b2b marketing blog, and a co-founder of: WPOinc, a provider of web presence optimization metrics; the B2BMarketingZone.com portal for B2B blogs; and the Social Media Informer social media content aggregation site. He can be found on Twitter, LinkedIn and .

Blog Owner’s Note: Here’s a perfect example that guest blogging is NOT dead! Thanks, Tom!

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Use EverPost To Influence Klout

EverPost.jpgVia a LinkedIn group, a pitch came from someone I didn’t know asking for a review of EverPost.co. I let it sit and slide to the bottom of the priority list until a better time to find time.

About EverPost

To my utter delight, EverPost is the simplest tool I’ve come across for content shares of others’ material.

You register free with Twitter or Facebook.

Choose which channels you want to share on — either LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter.

Select five categories of topics you’d like to follow.

Voila! A board appears with content from a variety of sites in the categories of topics you want to peruse.

Click share or auto-schedule, and your share is on its way to the channels you selected.

It’s so simple, and there’s a plethora of content at your fingertips to push out to the Interwebz.

Why I Love EverPost

  • Did I say it’s simple?
  • There is zero learning curve; sign up and go.
  • I do want to share good content without strings attached; this enables that.
  • I get to share a wide range of topics from one dashboard. If I get tired of posting content in one category, then I go back to the drop-down menu and select another after deleting one of my chosen five.
  • There are no comments from the dashboard; however, you can go to the blog and read the entire post before sharing (ahem, as you’re supposed to).
  • The tweets show up with the author’s Twitter ID; they can see that a new person is sharing their material.

Klout Is About Influence

Triberr, my fave blogger sharing platform (please ask to join my tribe!), is getting into the influence game. That means influence scoring is going to be more about the Klout number, too.

If you’re at all concerned about lots of shares to keep the Klout score high, then you need to use EverPost.

In about 10 minutes, you can share 20 blog posts. Yes, you can scan the post and vet it prior to sending, too.

I find it always a challenge to concern myself with keeping my Klout score high. I don’t have the ability to sit around on the Interwebz and share content all day. Were I to be able to, my influence score would be higher than it is now.

Perhaps I’m going to use EverPost every day this week to see if I can sustain a higher Klout score just so those numbers prove I’m really an influencer. LOL.

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Triberr Is Blogger Treasure

Since the earliest days of Triberr, I have been on board. Triberr is one of the best and most-needed blog sharing tools around; in fact, there isn’t any other.

Bloggers can elect to join a tribe of nine bloggers or join multiples of tribes as I have. What happens to the tweet stream, though, when you’re in more than 25 tribes, like me, is chaos. Some of those tribes consist of 100+ members that connect me with 5 million folks? (Don’t think that’s really true, but OK.)

121217- Digging Into Triberr

121217- Digging Into Triberr (Photo credit: Rogier Noort)

Sound stupid? I agree, of course, but there is a method to my madness and insatiable thirst for knowledge and curiosity.

I have received several direct communications via Twitter and someone even filled out my WuFoo contact form that my tweet stream is too full of retweets. It has become annoying because of the quantity of content loading into my stream. I was asked to set up another Twitter account for retweets of Triberr content (which is totally impossible due to the RSS feed, branding and outreach). Others have said how boring it is to see the same tweet from a variety of bloggers (they’re obviously in the same tribe).

I understand all of the concerns from the folks who are not professional bloggers and who don’t realize the merits of Triberr.  I’m going to share why I continue to accept tribe invites and why I pay $10 monthly to Triberr so I can share more blog content faster. Besides, for any platform the likes of Triberr, they deserve my $120 annually to continue to innovate at the speed they have for the last three years.

Reasons Why Triberr Matters

  •  Founders. As I’ve joked with Dino Dogan, founder and front man of Triberr, the fledgling company is like Two Men and a Truck. They fly by the seat of their pants, but anytime you speak with Dino or Dan Cristo, the energy to innovate is palpable. I’m including a link here for my Soulati Media On The Street chat with Dino Dogan at Social Slam in April. Energy? Uh-huh.
  • Innovation. In the three years since the launch of Triberr, back when Dino and Danny Brown were gaming Klout with sheep (yes, that really happened), Triberr has launched about a dozen new tools to help bloggers automate shares. And, that word “automate?” In this case it’s not cuss.
  • Tribes. Being in multiple tribes means you comb for the cream of the crop.  You can mute bloggers not in your genre, and you can meet new bloggers publishing leading content. You can also launch and join an atomic tribe; one blogger with unlimited followers. I have learned so much from my peers on the ‘sphere, and the only way I can reasonably do that is via Triberr. I save productivity time being on one platform with ~500 bloggers at my fingertips on a given day.
  • Reader. Triberr has become my new reader. You see folks on the quest to find the next best Reader after the demise of Google’s and the migration to Feedly. Triberr works wonders for me; not sure I’m going to find any other blogger not already in a tribe I belong to. In fact, if I do, they get an invite to join my tribe.
  • Content. A newer feature called reblogging allows bloggers to republish content from another’s blog with the original author featured. This is one aspect of Triberr I don’t yet care for; when I read peoples’ blogs, I want to read their content primarily. If I see only reblogs happening 90% of the time, I’m discouraged visiting. For bloggers who want to post more frequently and don’t have time to post consistently, then re-blogging works; just not for me. I reserve the right to change my mind.
  • Reading. I love being able to read blogs from Triberr without going anywhere. I can quickly scan and see if the content is worthy of going to the blog and leaving deeper tracks. This has helped me be more share aware; there are so many who still say, “don’t share unless you read first.” That’s one issue for me being in so many tribes; I can’t read everything and have to trust the authors’ credibility which I’ve vetted already once they’re in my stream the first time.
  • Commenting. The new Triberr dashboard now allows easier reading of blog posts right on Triberr without having to go to a blog. What this means is not good for bloggers (because traffic isn’t recorded on the blog), but it is convenient for readers and tribe mates. An email comes alerting me that someone commented on my blog on Triberr. Comments are up 50% since the guys fixed all the glitches. I have seen some bloggers using the Triberr comment system along with another system like Google. Interesting.
  • Content Marketing. The best reason to use Triberr is to review the content and topics others are writing about and with what angle. It helps to know what’s new and trending and it also provides fodder for your own writing.  Topics can get pretty boring quickly when you see all the bloggers writing on Facebook hashtags and photos in comments, for example. That’s when I have to select one only and ignore the rest. It becomes an echo chamber and I know my Twitter followers don’t want that.
  • Shares. Shares are down with Triberr. Even with the ridiculous numbers of tribes I’m in, I have fewer shares of my blog content. Regardless, without Triberr (when it was down for an extended period), traffic is nearly zilch.

 When you add up all of the above, bloggers need Triberr. For those on the receiving end of the tweet stream for bloggers in massive numbers of tribes, patience is the virtue. It’s my responsibility to share my tribe mates content; in fact, if I don’t, they don’t share mine. So, I apologize to all of you not blogging and invite you into my tribe so you can experience what I’ve just shared.

 

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Brand Gamification Is Hot Trend in Social Marketing

enterprise-gamification-chart

Credit: ZDNet.com

Whether the term gamification connotes negativity or it’s just a word taken direct from the video game industry to entice, the trend is pulsing through social customer service, location-based marketing, and social marketing.

You need to begin now to view gamification as something that inspires, incents and motivates customers, employees, prospects, and others who engage with your brand in a variety of ways, on mobile platforms, in-person, via phone, or other.

At the core of gamification is a study in human behavior.

There is a burgeoning and nascent industry around the psychology of human connectivity which also stems from how we’re wired to compete.

About Klout

Several years ago, Klout hit the social stage, and many pioneer users were up because the platform was assigning scores on “influencers” based on the number of tweets and +K awarded on a variety of irrelevant topics and levels of engagement. Was that really influence or was it selective tallying of whose on Twitter longer than most?

Flash forward. After many closed their Klout accounts in public protest, I just received last week my first Klout Perk — a free Sony Walkman. My Klout hovers around 60, and I can influence that score by three points sitting at Social Slam and tweeting and Facebooking and Instagramming all day in conference. Is a Klout perk bribery or good marketing? It’s probably good old gamification — incentivizing Klout users to tout, share, post, feel good, and compete, while sharing the good news in a blog post that a free Sony Walkman just arrived. (Yes, I felt compelled to write about that; it’s a high-quality product and I paid nada.)

About Foursquare

Meanwhile, earning badges and becoming the mayor on Foursquare drives my competitive streak. While recently on spring break driving 2,500 miles, I was the leading scorer among my Foursquare friends until someone in the UK racked up 1,000 points literally overnight. My 11-year-old kidlet and I were not happy; so I tried to unfriend that guy to no avail. We knew he gamed the system and cheated while I diligently checked in at each Hilton hotel to earn 50 points in the Hilton Honors program.

With these two examples from one person, multiply that by Pi. I’m not even a gamer; I’m in a much older demographic, and I hardly engage with the platforms that would allow me to compete at a furious pace.

What Gamification Means To Marketers

Website magazine’s May 2013 issue has a short piece by Evan Hamilton, head of community for UserVoice, on this topic. He references Zappos, Wired magazine, and Gartner’s prediction that 50% of brands will gamify by 2015 and 70% of the largest organizations will have at least one gamification app.

What he also writes is of interest:

“Gamification is not about creating motivation, it’s about reminding people of their inspiration.”

Think about that a moment…

Hamilton says…”If you’re trying to get your users more engaged, take a deep look into what inspires them. Then try building in gamification that evokes that inspiration and reminds them of why they’re doing what they’re doing.”

Social customer service is an area ripe for gamification. The frontline ambassadors need to realize that their motivation is not about earning a badge for the most calls completed; rather, motivation needs to be satisfied customers.

I find the psychology of human behavior behind gamification fascinating. As marketers, we need to delve into the crux of customers’ competitive nature and their need to be acknowledged. Blend that core element into product marketing, customer service, and mobility programs and platforms to motivate response via winning beyond just earning a badge or free dessert.

By Jayme Soulati

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10 Reasons To Attend Social Media Conferences

Amy-Howell-Jayme-Soulati

Amy Howell of Howell Marketing w/ Jayme Soulati of Soulati Media

It’s the Monday after Social Slam, the Knoxville social media conference brainchild of Mark W. Schaefer of {grow}. I have attended three years running, spoke at the first, was a VIP at the second and attended “normal” the third.

You know what? It makes no difference if you attend a conference as someone special (depending on whose eyes are looking) or just yourself. You need to just attend already.

The energy, enthusiasm, ‘raderie, learning (yes, you’re bound to learn at least one thing or two), sisterhood in social are quite intoxicating. Here is my need-to-post-something-quick round-up of why you should attend social media conferences on this scale especially:

1. The chance to meet peeps face-to-face elevates relationship. It’s called relationship marketing (if you have to put it in those terms), and it’s amazing for your psyche.

2. Bloggers and peeps you Skype want to see what you look like and make that connection with a hug, laughs, a photo for the Wall of Fame, and a Facebook or Instagram post or two.

3. You get a Klout bump…ooh, did I say that; the channel everyone loves to snark about? Yep, I did…my score bumped 3 points sitting at the conference tweeting all the trending content from the conference.

4. You can learn. So many people are afraid to invest in tradeshows in fear of “I won’t learn anything.” Au contraire. The ticket price for Social Slam to register is still less than $100; the hotel is about $125; gas for a tank is about $50, and you can eat for $12. It was a sum total of less than $300 to participate, and it’s entirely a business expense.

5. Meeting the community is priceless. Enough said.

6. Ideas proliferate when slammed with that much information all day long; no kidding. You listen, you watch, you nod your head, you shake it in confusion, you get a book signed, you see a young upstart with such drive you want to be him (Christopher Craft, chief visionary of Nao Media); you chat with total strangers on an intellectually strategic level; you solve the world’s problems; you have immediate access and shoulder bumping with every single speaker on stage; and, you take video (watch this space for Soulati Media On The Street from Social Slam!) of one another engaged in all levels of business ‘raderie.

7. You get blog fodder; yes, lots of it.

8. You are inspired to create new products and services in your own business because of the ideas presented by John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing and featured in his new book he autographed, The Commitment Engine, Making Work Worth It.

9. You fuel your social media channel with peeps you’ve only met via avatar and 140; and you compare notes on who’s not there with a little gossip behind the scenes.

10. You build your brand and earn new followers and blog readers and respect for what you’re doing in social as a leader, and you realize just how great it truly is to be in this sector building roads for those on which to travel.

Don’t ever think you’re too jaded or knowledgeable that you shouldn’t attend a social media conference; there is always someone to meet the first time, hug in renewal of relationship, and vow to connect with on a deeper level. Your own inspired creativity requires this type of engagement; the cost is well worth the challenge of leaving the office.

Thank you Social Media Club Knoxville and all the faculty, planners, originators, emcee, attendees, and sponsors for making this show one I will always attend in whatever capacity I go.

Attend the New South Digital Marketing Conference, May 17, 2012! Jayme Soulati is on tap as a presenter!

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