One of the biggest challenges for a small business owner can be finding enough hours in the day to get everything done. And, when it comes to social media, this can mean the difference between using it well, or consigning it to the list of ‘nice to haves.’
But there is help at hand. With the development of more and more mobile applications, there are some really nifty tools available to make managing your social media accounts quick, easy, and enjoyable.
My personal favourite just has to be Hootsuite. Whilst there are other tools available, this one wins my vote due to it being web based, where others have to be downloaded. You can use it to manage multiple accounts such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Foursquare, and the easy to use ‘tabs’ function allows you to sort feeds from these accounts into separate, quickly viewed streams. Which means you can see all your social media accounts in one place, and can easily home in on those important tweets and status updates, without hopping between browsers.
Hootsuite also allows you to schedule your updates in advance, using a simple calendar function. So, in just 5 minutes, you can have all your daily tweets scheduled and ready to go. Leaving you free to get on with other things!
Whichever way you like to access your social media, Hootsuite has a version to suit: you can run it directly from your desktop via Google Chrome; Fluid; Mozilla Prism; and Firefox. When you’re on the move, there are apps for iPhone, Blackberry and Android too. But the one I love the most just has to be their iPad app. It is truly awesome, making wonderful use of the touchscreen technology and features of the iPad.
So, if managing your social media is taking up too much of your time, give Hootsuite a go.
What other social media management tools have you tried? Have they made a difference?
Here is viral marketing explained for those of you unfamiliar with it. Viral marketing is a fairly simple concept that can be much harder to execute. It is a form of social media that encourages people to pass your marketing message to others. Why would people do that? Because the message is in some way interesting, entertaining, clever or otherwise engaging enough for people to want to share it with friends. One of the biggest appeals of viral marketing is its low cost. It’s simply word-of-mouth marketing that passes information quickly from one person to the next. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to launch a viral marketing campaign. But to achieve success, you have to do it right.
If you want viral marketing explained in terms of how it works, you can sum it up in two words — exponential growth. One person passes the message along to two others. Those two pass it along to two more, and so on. In a short period of time, a viral message can quickly circle the globe via the World Wide Web. To initiate this rapid spread takes careful planning and a message that the people you are trying to reach can’t ignore. That’s when viral marketing shines as a remarkably inexpensive way to get the word out about your product or service.
Viral marketing explained through the many forms it takes is yet another way to understand it. It may be a simple as an email that you send to a small number of email addresses and that includes a free offer. The email further encourages the recipients to forward the email on to others who would be interested. Web videos are also commonly used in viral campaigns. Popular social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter can be fertile breeding grounds for a viral campaign. Once you determine your marketing objective, you can employ many techniques to get a campaign up and running.
Finally, viral marketing explained through the eyes of your customers is where you see the greatest impact. When you use viral marketing to reach out to a group of customers who are big fans of your product, they can become evangelists for your company who will tell your story over and over. Treat them well and you can ultimately receive some very positive exposure on the web and in the mainstream press. Remember, however, that the opposite can happen just as easily. Turn a cold shoulder to your supporters, and a negative viral campaign you never intended could damage your company’s good name. But with the right plan, your viral marketing efforts can give your company a tremendous boost.