Tag Archives: quora

Top 10 Websites You Know You Should Be Using but You Don’t!

Internet toolsEveryone wants to offer advice, uncover little-known resources and introduce websites that require more of your valuable time.  Many professionals overlook important and productive activities because they are too busy trying testing the next tool or website that claims to save time, maintain organization or improve productivity.

 

These are the 10 sites you are overlooking because you are too busy wasting time elsewhere and don’t realize what you are missing.  My favorite thing about the list is that it is “time-neutral”.  I’ll explain afterwards, but if you follow and execute the list it should become obvious.  I even threw in some bonus tools for good measure.  Start with the first 10, then move on to the bonus resources:

  1. Evernote – it’s not just for project management!  Download the app to your phone and use it to quickly save reminders, links, or content you want to share.
  2. IFTTT – don’t waste time posting and re-posting your content to multiple social networks.  Set up recipes using IFTTT to share content across several platforms with a single click.
  3. Quora – it’s LinkedIn Discussions on steroids.
  4. Google Plus – your profiles syncs with a Google account.  Strengthen your brand and social influence.  90 million+ members is no joke!
  5. Academia.edu – an academic approach to developing your brand.Crazy clock
  6. Yelp – establish yourself as a trusted source of feedback.  You offer your opinion through conversation anyways so you may as well reap the benefits of social influence.
  7. Foursquare – the easiest way to get on the mobile marketing bandwagon.  It’s a growing trend you can’t ignore.
  8. Google Voice – create a free account and use your Google Voice number to track response rates from specific advertising campaigns.
  9. About.me – build a customized landing page for you or your business in less than 30-minutes.
  10. Cloud Storage Services – I wrote about how I use cloud storage services.  Whether you use Dropbox, Drive or Box, all of your files should be backed-up properly and accessible from anywhere with internet access.

Before you continue to the bonus resources, read through the first list again.  Evernote, IFTTT, Google Voice and cloud storage are all tools that should save you time.  These tools help offset the little extra time required to execute the rest of your list.  Now that you are on a path to success, check out some of the bonus resources:

Checklist accomplishedBonus Resources:

  • Hootsuite
  • Mailexpire.com – avoid inbox clutter with temporarily email addresses that expire when you want
  • GifSoup.com
  • Ted Talks
  • StumbleUpon
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9 Steps to Stop Losing Your Facebook Page Audience

Grow Your Facebook ReachIt started with Fans, then you asked people to “Like” your company or brand.  Your audience and social outreach continued to expand.  Just when you were gaining momentum and thought you successfully navigated Facebook’s changes, Timeline torpedoed your page.

 

Saving your Facebook Page requires more than finding an acceptable cover photo and completing the missing information on your timeline.  The marketing value of a Facebook Page is limited by its Reach.  Facebook has indicated that posts are only seen by up to 20% of your audience.  Follow these steps keep your audience engaged, expand your reach, and prevent your page from becoming obsolete:

 

  1. Post unique & interesting content– duh!  People are not on Facebook to see your brand so your content needs to keep them entertained or they will:
  2. Be easy to find – encourage followers to add you to a list or visit your page directly.  Create and provide a custom URL so people remember and know where to find your page!
  3. Encourage social sharing – execute #1 properly and your audience will want to share your content with their Friends.  Sharing increases your Reach exponentially.
  4. Give a reason to come back – use contests, special announcements, and exclusive offers to drive traffic back to the page on a routine basis.
  5. Target posts by time, demographic, and location – track Page Insights to determine the most effective times to post, audience characteristics and behavior.
  6. Test Facebook Ads, sponsored stories, and promoted posts – these tools are affordable for any size business or brand!  Start with a $5 budget and closely monitor feedback to maximize your efficiency.
  7. Stop using third-party applications – Hootsuite and Buffer are great for organizing and tracking posts, but content delivered through 3rd party apps is less likely to appear in the Newsfeed.
  8. Grow audiences on other social networks – direct your Facebook audience to follow you on Twitter, LinkedIn, Quora, and other social platforms.
  9. Promote your page everywhere possible:
    • Include the link in your email signature
    • Add a “like” box to your blog
    • Invite all of your Facebook Friends & encourage Friends to invite others
    • Connect with other page admins & cross-promote pages
    • Tag your page in posts and urge others to do the same
    • Interact with other pages using your brand/company identity
    • Include your unique page URL on all company correspondences, newsletters, business cards, or other outgoing materials

Don’t let the value of your Facebook audience go to waste.  Start by implementing one or two suggestions, monitor the results, and make any necessary changes to your approach before you introduce another idea.  Some opportunities will produce better results than others and certain steps may not be ideal for your business or brand.  Treat your Facebook Page as a component of a broader, more comprehensive marketing strategy.  There are more important things in life than Facebook!

 

Don’t have a strategy?  Contact me for a free strategy consultation.  Ask me about the 48-hour, no-cost marketing strategy that  incorporates the online marketing elements that are critical to a successful strategy (SEO, content generation, website optimization, reputation management, etc).  At the very least I’ll teach you how to put the solicitors of these services in their place!

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A Perfect Social Media Strategy in 2 Hours or Less (Part 2)

social networking cartoon bubblesNow that you created an identity and general online presence, it’s time to focus on maximizing the impact of your efforts.  There are hundreds of social sites, profile pages, and databases that you will never have time to monitor.  With a solid framework in place, steps 6-10 are designed to optimize your results, protect your image, and measure the effectiveness of your social media strategy.

Steps 6-10 that complete your 2-hour social media makeover (see steps 1-5):

6.  Go Pro.  Professionals rely on social media for prospecting, hiring, and monitoring their brand.  Maintaining a professional image and establishing credibility are simple.  If nothing else, create a LinkedIn profile with your name, company, and position.  Joining groups, answering questions, and receiving recommendations are additional steps to improve your presence in the business world.  Use Quora and About.me to establish additional credibility and create your professional footprint.
7.  Become a trusted source.  Everyone has an opinion.  Reviews and feedback influence our decisions every day – Oprah’s O List, political polls, restaurant recommendations.  Establish yourself as a trusted source of information.  Start by posting your feedback on Yelp or Google.  Add details and examples to increase the value of your reviews.
8.  Drunk failA picture is worth a thousand words.  Too much to drink at a wedding?  The awkward headshot for your high school soccer team?  Don’t spend hours perfecting profile content only to have it destroyed by the first picture of you that people see.  Post a public photo album using Picasa or create a YouTube channel so you can control the material available to the public.  Photos and videos are also a great way to add depth to your social profile online.
9.  Be in the know.  You cannot always control the materials other people post.  Set your notifications on each profile so you’re aware of photos, comments, and other material tied to your identity.  Sign up for emails from Google Alerts to receive emails each time your name or alias shows up somewhere online.
10.  Where do you rank?  Before you started this makeover you were virtually non-existent.  The purpose of establishing an online identity and social media strategy is to improve your presence and influence others.  Sites like Klout, KredStory, and TrustCloud use complex algorithms to measure your prominence and impact on the online community.  Use this information to find areas you can improve and see where you stack up against others!

Steps 6, 7, and 8 represent trifecta #2 and should be a secondary focus in your overall social media strategy.  Steps 9 and 10 are designed to measure and monitor.  It took you less than 2 hours to go from social zero to social hero, but you’re not done yet!  A successful social media strategy requires commitment.  Once you’ve established a presence, neglecting your online identity is worse than not having one.  Stay current, provide content, create interactions and don’t use social networks as an excuse to procrastinate!  Revisit these steps in 30 days to see if you are still on track!

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A Perfect Social Media Strategy in 2 Hours or Less (part 1)

social icon assortment arrayI’m not going to lecture you on the importance of your online presence and monitoring your social profiles.  We’ll leave that to the social media gurus, warlocks, and ninjas.  My social makeover will transform you from a social networking wannabe into a borderline media mogul in under 2 hours.  The 2-part approach gives the skeptics a chance to bail on my plan at the halfway point.  Meanwhile, you can explore the results of your initial efforts, collect your first metrics, and note opportunities to improve your social strategy before you progress to the second phase.

10-step Social Makeover and Guide to Create a Social Presence in Under 2-Hours:

  1. Ron Burgundy online identity crisisDetermine your online identity.  I suggest seizing ownership of your name whenever possible.  Obviously if you’re a ‘John Smith’ that may be tough, but you want to choose a social alias that will become synonymous with real-life you.  Use this identity as your username for new accounts and your custom URL on each social profile you establish.  My preferred identity is ‘DanLeavitt’, but I share a name with a somewhat socially savvy musician from Colorado so I occasionally use my alternate identity: ‘DanLeavittJr‘.  Check KnowEm.com before you choose an identity to make sure your alias is available on each of the major social platforms.
  2. Outline your profile.  The information you publish should be consistent on every social platform.  Create a short version bio, long version bio, list of interests, books, TV shows, movies, and any other content you regularly see on someone’s profile.  Copying and pasting this info to the new profiles we plan to create will save time, ensure consistency, and improve SEO efforts.  Now we can focus on the personal and professional identity trifectas!  (Advanced Tip:  Create a document titled ‘profile content’ in Evernote so you can easily access and update the material)
  3. Facebook social media cornerstone & home baseGive Facebook a face-lift.  (trifecta pt. 1)  It’s time to stop being a creeper and become a contributor.  Facebook is the king of social networks and it represents the cornerstone of your online identity.    Contrary to popular belief, Facebook is not a forum to share every detail of your personal life.  The easiest way to create an audience is through content that is funny, cute, and/or relevant to a broad audience.  Avoid taboo topics and newsfeed-jacking (limit yourself to 1 post every few hours you little addict).  Keep an eye on your privacy settings and follow the golden rule: “If you wouldn’t share it with a stranger, don’t share it online.”
  4. Twitter isn’t a dirty word.  (trifecta pt. 2)  What do I write?  How come I only have 140 characters?  Does anybody pay attention to this crap?  Write whatever you want (something quasi-intelligent is preferable).  It needs to be short and sweet, so get to the point!  Millions of content addicts flock to Twitter each day to learn breaking news, helpful hints, or find an audience that shares a common interest.
  5. I think therefore I blogOnly the best blog. (trifecta pt. 3)  Blogging is the yellowbrick road to social networking Oz.  Follow the yellowbrick road.  What do I write about? Anything!  Follow the Golden Rule and write about your interests or share your expertise.  The content you create will become a portfolio you can share with your new online audience.  (Free blogging platforms: WordPress.com, Tumblr, or Blogger)

Tomorrow I’ll share steps 6-10, including the second trifecta necessary to solidify your professional identity.  Are you still concerned that managing your social presence will become a tedious time burden?  I’ll introduce you to my favorite tools and resources that will make monitoring your new social presence a breeze.

***BONUS: you can establish your online identity by joining social networks and interacting with that network.  Feedback is another tool that expands your presence.  Provide reviews on sites like Yelp.com, Google, and MerchantCircle to become a valuable source of information in your community.  Part 2 will include a couple of tools you can use to track your influence on the community.  Want to get a head start?  Go write reviews for your favorite restaurant, pub, and local attraction!***

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