The 10 essential but lesser known social media tools that you should know about

Social media tools that aren't well known but are great (Image via Dreamstime)

 

The social media landscape is changing rapidly and we’re sure that by now, you’ve hopped on the bandwagon too. Every company, agency, or person uses their own set of social media tools to get the most out of their business. But we’ve got a few tools we use and think that they’re great! Although some are in beta or aren’t as well known you might find that they do wonders for your business!

 

Here are our top 10 tools that got our attention and will get yours too!

 

  1. Mention – A tool that replaces Google Alerts for capturing mentions, social media monitoring, it is really easy to use with great functionality. It also has simple controls to turn specific sources off with emails that take you straight to the source!
  2. Editflow– A WordPress plugin that allows you to manage your editorial team seamlessly. It gives you custom statuses, a calendar, editorial comments etc. This tool makes it easy to collaborate with your teams and is especially useful for those with many blogs.  If it’s a single tool you’re looking for to manage your accounts, this one is for you
  3. Tweetreach – Another great tool to see how far your tweets travel and how effective your tweets are. Who doesn’t want that!
  4. Addvocate– A social sharing tool for employees in your company. All you have to do is install a simple browser plugin that allows them to receive recommendations and to recommend content to the marketing or social media team.  You can get detailed statistics showing which employees are sharing content and how many clicks you get.
  5. Argylesocial.com– Perfect for team- based collaboration, publishing and merging social media with your business. A dashboard that allows you to monitor Facebook and Twitter, delegate tasks to your team. It’s easy to use and has easy reporting of your social media efforts. It is your go to tool if you are a social media manager or a client or agency to prove to your management that your social media campaign is paying off.
  6. Crowdbooster– This is a highly recommended tool for many. It offers social media analytics with suggestions to help improve your online presence. You get a bird’s eye view of analytics, audience insights and content schedules.
  7. Swayy – Swayy helps you discover the most engaging content to share with your audience. The articles are right in front of you as a dashboard and you can share articles across multiple platforms. Plus you can schedule them too!
  8. Twitter Search: A lot of people love this , in fact it’s one of Chris Brogan’s favorite tool. Most of us use this tool but here are a few tips on how to make the most of it (Source: Kissmetrics) Use Twitter to uncover top trending topics– by using the  -rt filter:links  code. So if you’re looking for “Social Media –rt filter:links” , the code will remove all retweets.

Find out who’s talking about you– what conversations are you in, or are you not involved in. Just use the search string. X-to:x-from :x-@x  replace x with your name. Ex: CoolEgg-to: CoolEgg-from: CoolEgg-@CoolEgg

 

Track multiple profiles– search using to: plus your twitter handle. For example; to: Patel plus your other Twitter handles.

 

Follow conversations about your competitors- Search with to: competitor or from: competitor. Replace competitor with their Twitter handle.

 

See pictures with trending topic– search for these using the string ‘trending topic twitpic/post.ly/twitgoo filter: links

 

Twitter search is also great for finding topics to blog about.

9. Traackr.com – A simple way to find and follow influential people in your space. Identify the authorities in your industry and watch how they respond and contribute to content that is shared. It’s great for agencies or brands who want to build their campaign.

10.Tagboard We saw Kim Garst talk about it and decided to try it out. It is fantastic! It monitors hashtag searches across multiple social media channels. You can check specific hashtags on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Google+ and create a custom board filled with content from across all platforms. It is useful for brand monitoring for your own or your competitor’s brands and content curation for a specific hashtag. You can also reply to the conversations right from within Tagboard.

These are our recommendations for you to try out; integrate them into your plan and see how it works for you!

Tell us your views of the tools and if you use any that is not as well known as the other social media tools.

 

-Social Pandora

 

Advertisements

What Leadership Lessons Can Businesses Learn From Sports?

leadership and sports(Image by WeSEE)

 In light of Sachin Tendulkar’s recent retirement, dozens of articles, posts, Tweets have spread all over the web, about his skills as a cricketer, his career moves and more so his leadership skills. Businesses have over the years had a fascination with sports. What are the sports stars like? How do they motivate themselves to play their best at every game? How do they do so well when faced with adversity?

We’ve known of a lot of companies who have inspirational sessions with these sports players, athletes and their teams to understand how these sporting legends do what they do. In fact running a business and playing a sport aren’t that different from each other. People learn to play a sport, as early as 4 years old and more often than ever, this sport will change them, mould them to be who they are today. Lessons we can apply to every day life. Fierce competition, dedication, courage, passion, teamwork, winning by the slimmest of margins, establishing short term and long term goals, strategies to achieve targets, hard work, dealing with success and recovering from failure in the same breath- all of these are prevalent in both worlds and will shape you as a human being.

What do these sports stars do? Have you noticed that after they retire, most sportsmen make good businessmen?

Here are  our top 15 tips to shape your business to success

  1. Always project a positive attitude: Having positive mental attitude increases self-esteem, self – confidence promotes self worth, and you gain greater self-control and are less likely to be affected by stress. During a peak performance, winners are free from anxiety, they are relaxed and alert. Try using this (Source: Richard F. Gerson) to help you focus and stay ahead.

F– Focus

I-Imagine

R-Relax

E– Execute

2. Set goals after careful planning and setting: Goals aren’t just action oriented but also outcome oriented. Setting short term, mid term and long term goals will help you plan for each stage and adapt to changes, if any. Don’t forget to make them S.M.A.R.T.

3.Develop mental toughness and strength. The stress caused by the expectation of success can be huge; overwhelming and definitely daunting. Performing well under such circumstances would mean to train your mind to relax; focus on the task at hand and performing in front of customers, bosses, suppliers etc. train your mind by removing negative thoughts and replacing it  with positive outcomes.

4. Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation: Intrinsic motivation comes from the inherent ability of a person to perform simply because they love what they are doing. Extrinsic motivation may include monetary rewards, holidays, incentives etc. You need both for success but you can’t achieve it without being intrinsically motivated.

5.Visualization and Imagery: Heard of a visual board? When your mind believes something it sees, the body achieves it. Create visual boards that help you visualise your goal. Every day you’re one step  closer to achieving it!

6.Learning continuously: In order to succeed, you are always expected to expand your minds and think laterally. Read, attend webinars, and learn on the job. Seek out your mentors or coaches. Continuous learning will not only broaden your thinking capacity, but will always ensure that you are in tune with what’s happening around the world and make you prepared.

7.Learn to Manage stress: it’s very hard to accomplish tasks without the stress of the job, but managing it is imperative. If you do you’re more likely to be alert, confident, insightful, creative and goal oriented. If most employees in an organization are able to manage stress efficiently, you’ll have increased levels of productivity, effective time management and improved decision making skills.

8.Maintain good health and well being

9.Provide continuous engagement:

What leaders do different

(Image by WeSEE)

10.                 Treat everyone as Equals:  In a sports team, everyone is equal and is addressed in the same way. Likewise, treat each member of your team the same way. Never play favourites.

11.Don’t dwell on Mistakes:  Making mistakes is part of the job and it is what will make you prepared as you progress further. But dwelling on the mistakes will make you lose confidence, and will lower your productivity.

12.Involve Everyone- make them feel a part of the same team

13.Communicate Effectively

14.Practice Performing Under pressure: What were the triggers for great performance before? Or what were the reasons for poor performance? Track your pattern so that you’re ready for when it happens again. Doing this will help you perform better the next time. Pressure and stress are good so long as it motivates you and keeps you alert, not if it affects you mentally and physically.

15.Work hard and be Persistent in your efforts.

What it means to be a leader(Image by WeSEE)

Leaders aren’t born but are made. “The function of leadership is to produce more leaders and not followers”- Ralph Nader

These top tips are what we have learnt observing sports legends and athletes and how you can implement them in your business.

What tips do you use that you’ve learnt from playing a  sport?

-Social Pandora

Adapt and Soar, don’t adapt and get left behind!

Adapt and Soar, don’t adapt and get left behind.

-Why your business needs to adapt to changes in technology to stay ahead

Time for new technology( Image by Shutterstock)

 The world is moving at an accelerating pace and it is changing everything in its path. Technological changes, automation, and social media are among a few. We’re sure you know this all too well so we’ll get straight to the best part!

Today, we’re writing to give you a few tips on how to accept this change and how your company can embrace it. Last week, our team had met a few clients. Clients who knew what social media could do for their business but were sceptical about doing it. Now don’t get us wrong but there are a great many companies out there who are doing really well but they haven’t considered using Social media or they don’t have senior management buy in to the concept. So we’re here to help you change all that!

Are you proud of your company?

Hell yeah!

Is it Agile enough?

Ummm.

Are you happy referring to your company as a dinosaur?

No way!

Well if your company is averse to change, that’s exactly what you’ll become, Extinct!  We’ve all read about so many companies that have shut down due to lack of agility to accept change in today’s market dynamics. Regardless of whether it is because of the inability to do so or the lack of motivation, you can’t afford to sit back and watch it pass you by!

If you’ve seen ‘The Internship’ starring Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn, you might just be on the same page as we are. The rate of adaption of new computing and communication devices are at a dynamic pace, so much so that businesses everywhere are changing their strategies. Add in Globalization, a shift in specialized and customized choices, social collaboration, cloud computing (phew!), enterprises need to be more flexible internally as well as externally.

So the winds of change are here, how will you harness it?

changing the way businesses work

(Image by Wesee.com)

  1. Understand the change in cultural and demographic references:

Customers you’re targeting and talking to today are not the same as they were before. Expecting them to listen to the Bee Gee’s in a world of Lady Gaga is almost impossible. But the digital world is having an impact on emerging customers. The social networking tools allow them to express themselves; create an online personality and connect in ways that were impossible before. So step one is to understand the changing market conditions and choose the perfect time to move from your existing business model to a new one.

2. Create a future or forward thinking team:

A good mix of the young and the key functional leaders in your company should sit together and rethink your game plan. Ask your customers, suppliers, go online and find out what’s being said about you. What UN-met needs need fulfilling? Do your products or services need updating? Keep checking with them to stay on top of their needs.

now is the time to plan for emerging trends(Image by Shutterstock)

 Right Technology + Vision= Win!!

 3.Know your fundamentals to accept change: Digital and Social media platforms will grow and evolve everyday, but your business fundamentals will remain the same. Are you adding value through greater experience, better service or cost structure? Regardless of the changing digital landscape, you need to understand the connection between your business & the platforms needed to drive these fundamentals.

4.    Prepare your company for change:

Change Management in Social Media(Image by Shutterstock)

“The world hates change, yet it is the only thing that has brought progress”- Charles Kettering

 It’s common Knowledge that any change management practice will be met with resistance. It’s a social process. But if your team explains the benefits, the bigger picture and what the end outcome will be, the resistance may not be so hard.

‘If you feel like it’s difficult to change, you will have a harder time succeeding’-  Andrea Jung

 Change will be a slow process but once you have most people’s buy in, it will be easier.

5.Map your network-

Check your value chain and gain new insights. Move across your network and understand what others in your industry are doing right and why.

6.Create a pilot model: Based on your analysis of all the market signals, your competitors generate ideas on what you need to change. Is it product pricing, product features or target customers?  Go out and get market feedback- how is your new model faring in a test launch? Since it’s a test launch, do it quick and as inexpensively as you can. Results from this will help you adhere to a strategy.

 

Why you need to Upgrade in Business (Image by Shutterstock)

If you don’t have the manpower or the time to do steps 5 and 6, create an ‘Imperfect Model’ and launch. You will still learn from it and it will give you time to get comfortable with it. Understand which customer touch points you need to digitize and which ones not to.

 

You have your new model in place and it includes social media. The next step would be to create and launch your campaign.

All you need is 6 steps towards change management for your business and then engage an agency to handle the campaign for you. Social media will be your extended arm in your marketing campaign. Armed with analytics, customer insights and competitor’s insights your company will be able to soar to new heights!

As Anders Sorman-Nilsson said recently “ Don’t throw the analogue baby out with the digital bathwater, but start making sure that you connect really well in the analogue world and also offer value in the digital world to your clients and prospects”

What tips do you have for adapting changes in Technology? How is your business adapting to the new trends?

Let us know!

-Social Pandora