Archive for the ‘Search’ Category

FILESHARE: Vital Social Media Stats for B2B Marketers

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

Don’t think Social Media is built for B2B (business to business)? Think again. The Earnest Agency put together a great little video that should statslap you into another way of thinking.

(Click here if the video is not appearing below in your feed reader.)

Love the action at 0:52. I’ve actually seen people doing that in meetings when social media comes up.

Key takeaways?

  • B2B is leading social media adoption (over B2C…Business To Consumer)
  • The B2B buyer process is fundamentally changing: 93% of B2B buyers use SEARCH to begin the buying process
  • If you don’t have a social media strategy, you should

I gave a presentation today and told the room of B2B folks that what I love about social media is that it is forcing B2B companies to look at their websites — and the web traffic that runs through them — in a whole new way. Marketing is communicating with the IT department again…and not just because their email isn’t working. Social media has breathed new life into how websites are being integrated into the overall marketing strategy and I, for one, think it’s rather refreshing. Now, if we could only get the whole “social media strategy” thing off the ground…

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Social Media Backup Tools

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

There are people that backup and people that don’t. I’m cool with that. This isn’t a post about the merits of backing up your hard drive…but for those of us that do, we might also want to consider how we can back up all the content we’re publishing on the various social networks. What if everything you posted to Facebook or Twitter or LinkedIn just vanished? Accounts get mysteriously deleted, hacked or suspended or whatever. It can happen, I’m just sayin’. So…what to do?

Here are a few social media backup solutions you might like to check out. Some free, some not. I use one or two of these myself. You may find, as I did, that the search functionality they offer is reason enough to set up an account.

Backupify

Backupify provides daily automatic backups, archiving and export for all your social media and SaaS (Software As A Service) data. You’ll get regular emails confirming when your backups have completed. They have a free basic plan or paid plans for more robust needs.

Backupify Dashboard Image

Here’s a look at backupify’s archive dashboard for Twitter:

Twitter_Backupify_Dashboard_Image

Socialware Sync

Socialware Sync provides “marketing departments, power users and socially-enabled businesses” with “enterprise-class archiving.” Sounds good to me. I’m in. Here’s what I have with Socialware Sync: a 30-day free trial for backup/archiving support for Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. This solution has some pretty cool search functionality if you’re into that sort of thing. You can search a term across all three of your profiles just by entering it into the search box. Easy breezy. Not sure if it’s worth the price of admission for an individual…but for a large organization I would think it would be rather handy in managing and monitoring multiple accounts.

Socialware_Sync_Image

Here’s a look at the Socialware Sync search dashboard. You can see where you enter the search term in the upper right and that you can select the profiles you wish to search with a little check box.

Need more basic backup for a single social profile?

Maybe you only want to focus your backup efforts on a single network. That’s cool, too. I’m not here to judge. There’s a few solutions I came across, but — disclaimer — I don’t use any of them because I prefer having one solution that covers multiple profiles. But that’s just me. Different strokes for different folks, right? That said, here are a few you might want to check out.

Back Up My Tweets

BackupMyTweets.com provides more control over your Twitter account. They also offer like-solutions for email, blogs and pictures (BackupMyMail, BackupMyBlog, BackupMyPics).

BackupMyTweets Screenshot

Tweet Backup

Tweetbackup.com provides a free, daily backup of your Twitter account.

Tweetbackup Image

Tweetake

Tweetake.com allows you to backup your Twitter account without revealing your name and password.

Tweetake Image

SocialSafe (For Facebook Backup)

SocialSafe will backup your Facebook Friends, photos, profile and wall status updates to your computer for a modest (one-time?) fee. I looked for the language “one-time” fee, but couldn’t find it. It seems to be a one-time license fee of $2.99 USD, but call me needy for wishing the copy were a bit more clear on this point. I actually had to click on “Buy” in order to satisfy my curiosity on this pricing issue. Perhaps that was the strategy, or maybe I’m just slower than most, or just very used to monthly fee plans. Halfway down the FAQ page, they mention that there might be an upgrade fee for a major version update. Really, we’re talking about a very reasonable fee here, I just was a little frustrated at how much time I had to spend to find all those pricing details as I’m trained, like most, to look for the fine print in today’s disclaimer culture. Would have been easier if that messaging were more clear on the homepage, IMHO.

SocialSafe Image

ArchiveFacebook

ArchiveFacebook is a free Mozilla Firefox add-on tool that allows you to “save content from your Facebook account directly to your hard drive” so you can archive your photos, messages, activity stream, friends list, notes, events and groups. But you need to be using Firefox. If you’re using Internet Explorer (IE) or some other browser, you can’t use this cool add-on or any of the other supercool add-ons and plugins that the Firefox browser supports. (See that? I refrained from launching into a whole spiel on why I think Firefox is superior to IE. I’m maturing, I guess. To show just how objective I have become on the subject of browsers, I offer you this little test to see which browser is right for you.)

Firefox_FacebookArchive

Want More Backup Solutions?

Get your Google on, friends. There’s a few out there for Flickr (Downloadr and FlickrEdit, for example) and I’m sure for other major networks. If you’re blogging, you naturally will need a backup solution there, as well. Make that priority one. If you’re looking for off-site backup storage, there’s a few “cloud storage” solutions, like Lifestream Backup, Mozy and Memopal that might be worth checking into.

Bottom line?

If you’re living a digital life, probably worth leveraging the digital tools to back it up, eh? No pressure. Just something to think about.

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The Social Media Sidestep – A 3-Step Strategy for the Anti-Techies

Tuesday, July 14th, 2009

No time for social media? Not interested? Overwhelmed? Think it’s a fad? Too busy? Prefer not to be “friended”? Nothin’ to tweet?

I’ve heard it all.

jump! (in 3 steps)

And I’m not here to convince you otherwise unless you ask me to…so feel free to sidestep social media if you’d like, but there’s a 3-step strategy that anyone who has a name, social security number, personal or professional interest, and a resume should know.

These are 3 simple steps that will keep you in step with “the latest technology,” even if you want to sidestep social media.

I always bring these three things up when I speak to a group about anything that’s going on online, and the pens/pencils always come out. (Oh, who am I kidding? No one uses pencils anymore.) These are pearls of Web 2.0 wisdom folks, three easy essentials that will cover you on the basics until you accept the power of social technology into your hearts and minds (and businesses).

  1. MONITOR: Set up Google Alerts. This is so easy; I almost didn’t include it but for the fact that it always surprises me how many people haven’t done it. If you want to be alerted ANYTIME your name (or your family members’ names or any other keywords that are important to your personal security or professional development) is published online, anywhere in the world, set up an “alert” using Google’s FREE Google Alerts tool and you’ll get an email notification. THE QUESTION: I have been asked, “Why would I want to know when my name is published?” THE ANSWER: My response is always the same, why wouldn’t you? google_alertsAlways a good idea to do regular vanity searches by googling yourself so you can see what other people would see if they googled you, but even better to set up an automated system to alert you and keep you informed and aware of your digital trail. (And these days, we ALL have a digital trail.) While you’re at it, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to have some kind of identity fraud protection on your SSN. It would cost less per month than what you might spend at Starbucks and delivers peace of mind without the caffeine.
  2. MANAGE: Set up an RSS feed reader. I’ve talked about this before. I even put together a handy “how to set up an RSS feed reader” step-by-step guide that you can download for free. Gratis. That’s how much this means to me. It’s my little gift to you.rss_reader_512 THE QUESTION: How do you get the information that interests you most? THE ANSWER: You do an online search. Everything is about SEARCH these days. THE NEXT QUESTION: Are you controlling the flow of information in your life or are you overwhelmed by noise, a slave to pages and pages of search results? THE REALLY IMPORTANT QUESTION: Do you only seek information when you need it, or have you set up an RSS feed reader so the information you desire most comes to you AUTOMATICALLY and is thus available to you to peruse or share at your convenience? THE DRIVE-MY-POINT-HOME QUESTION: In the Web 2.0 world of information overload, are you a victim of the volume or in control of your content consumption? THE EASY ANSWER TO ALL OF THESE QUESTIONS: Manage the content, kids — set up an RSS feed reader and live a happier online existence.
  3. MAINTAIN: Set up your LinkedIn profile. Got a phone? Got email? How about a job or a desire to have a job? THE QUESTION: How can you have all of that and not have a LinkedIn profile set up in the year 2009? THE ANSWER: Sorry, but you’re going to have to tell me the answer because I cannot come up with one! 😉 I’m not saying LinkedIn will revolutionize your life, but gee-whiz, it sure can serve to make your life easier.linkedin_logo_1 (Yes, I still say “gee-whiz.”) There are lots of ways to use LinkedIn. Use it as an online, access-from-anywhere Rolodex of contacts; use it as an online resume you can refer people to quickly and simply; and use it to throw your hat in the virtual ring because people who you liked once upon a time and lost track of might love to send some business your way. You don’t have to post status updates if you don’t want to in this space. (Though it is recommended.) You don’t have to post photos of your kids. You don’t have to connect with anyone with whom you don’t wish to connect. You don’t have to post what you ate for lunch on anyone’s “wall.” You don’t have to tweet anything. But you do have to be there and properly maintain your presence and your profile. It’s your online “web cred” and, all things considered, it’s pretty low maintenance. Seriously, not being there is like going to a meeting without a business card. You can sidestep Facebook, Twitter, FriendFeed, YouTube, etc., but I can’t figure out why one would opt out of LinkedIn if you’re in business. IF someone looks for you there for professional purposes and you’re not there, you miss the chance to make or enhance an impression. Being there is one more way to make it easier for business contacts to reach you if they haven’t seen you in a while or refer you to people within their networks in a few simple clicks. How is this a bad idea? I don’t see LinkedIn as being about social media as much as I see it as being about good business. Furthermore, should you ever find yourself in a position of needing to change jobs, LinkedIn ensures your network is quite literally at your fingertips. The big question here is: what impression do you think it leaves on prospects if you’re not on LinkedIn?

These are technology basics that EVERYONE in these curious times should consider, IMHO.

phone1

You can snub the social media mania for a while longer, if you’d like. As it was with the telephone and email, new communication tools are scary to some folks, and I’m down with that. But I swear by my Technology 3-Step.

Monitor, Manage, Maintain. It’s the very least you can do — for you.

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You ARE A Content Manager – With or Without An Internet Connection

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009
Wake Vortex Study at Wallops Island The air fl...

Content. It’s everywhere. Tons of it. Anytime you open your web browser, you are opening a virtual vortex.

You search. You learn. You connect. You are in control of your Internet adventure and you can type, click and link your way to anywhere. Sometimes you know where you want to go and sometimes you happen upon an new place after following an unexpected trail of clickthroughs.

The networking possibilities online are mind-numbing. The educational opportunities,  abundant. The chance to make quality connections simply rests in HOW you consume, manage and distribute content. Period.

There is so much information out there…you can truly get lost in it.

Or…you can do your best to manage it.

As the Internet grows and new content is published at incomprehensible volumes, how on Earth can you maximize your Internet experience—and your time? I think it all starts with a 3-step approach.

  1. Search. EVERYTHING online comes down to search. That is, it’s all about how you find things and how you can optimize your own content so it can be found easily. There are search tools for everything. Use them. Want a list? Start here.
  2. RSS. You guys, I’m telling you…this is the secret sauce to content management. If you do not know what an RSS feed is or if you DO NOT HAVE AN RSS FEED READER, PLEASE learn what it is and how to use it TODAY. Information is currency…whoever finds the best information (and shares it) WINS on so many levels. Find good content, automate its delivery, organize it and distribute it to your network. How? RSS. It takes WAAAAAAY less time than you think, if you take the time to learn how to use it. Speaking of your network, this brings me to my third key to being your own best content manager….
  3. Networks/Communities. Still poo-poo the “social media craze?” Be my guest. But what good is having information if you don’t USE it. Write a book, tell a story, pass on a bad joke…whatever. The point is, you distribute content, somewhere and somehow. Every day. You know people – online and offline – you are connected to people. When you have a phone call to chat…there’s content in that call. When you send an email…again, you’ve created new content. When you have a face-to-face chat, your conversation is content. So, you see, you’ve been managing content your entire life – sharing it with your friends, family, coworkers…um…you know, your social circles. You don’t have to “join” a community, because you’re already part of one, or two or three. The question is, how are you managing the sharing of that content with those communities and how much time does it take you. You add an Internet connection to all of the content you were creating and sharing anyway, and you are suddenly positioned to share more content with more people in less time.

This all seems obvious, right?

Well if it were, I wouldn’t STILL be having discussions with people about why I don’t think twitter is stupid and why facebook is about so much more than “information I don’t care about from people I’m not really friends with…” Baloney, I say. I don’t care if you think twitter is a waste of time or if facebook is juvenile. You can use them or not. The fact is, if you have an Internet connection, you consciously or subconsciously manage the content you consume online in one way or another.

So pick your platform(s) – online or offline – and pay attention to managing your time and your content.

Doesn’t matter how you communicate, as far as I’m concerned. But recognize this: the web has put the power of information into the hands of anyone with an Internet connection. There’s content all around you. Do you feel overwhelmed? Or empowered? If you’re dismissive of “social media,” could it be because it overwhelms you? It doesn’t have to…just remember it’s all about three things, IMHO: 1) Search and the tools that enable quality search, 2) RSS automation, and 3) Sharing your content with your network.

Social Media is a contact sport. Get in the game and find out what’s behind door #3. You have nothing to lose…except some really great content.

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