Measuring Success

Social media communities are today’s newest way of promoting, advertising and building your own personal brand. Many people don’t know there are many ways to analyze and manage your social media tools. These social media measuring tools allow you to keep all your social media profiles together and provide analytic reports on how your website is being viewed and used by the consumer. Using social media measuring tools is an excellent way to use your social media profiles to the best of your ability and will result in greater success of your business. Below I am going to talk about three social media measuring tools; Hootsuite, Google Analytics and Socialite. I will give a brief description of the tools and provide some pros and cons of each.

The first social media measurement tool I’m going to be looking at is Hootsuite

1. So, what is Hootsuite?

“HootSuite is an essential tool for managing social networks by allowing teams to efficiently track conversations and measure campaign results.”
– Pete Cashmore, CEO, Mashable

Taken right from the Hootsuite page, there it is simply put. Hootsuite allows you to connect to different social media networks such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook from one website, creating an online management dashboard. Hootsuite provides industry trends and tracks campaign results to provide to their “Hoo’s”. When you are a member on Hootsuite, you can schedule regular updates to your social media networks as well!

Pro’s of Hootsuite

  • Mobile access
  • Free!
  • Easy to navigate
  • No downloading required
  • Businesses can create personalized reports
  • Online customer support is available
  • Analytic reports available

Cons of Hootsuite

  • Pro option is $9.99
  • Free option is very limited
  • Enterprise option requires a request for a demo
  • 50$ for an analytic report, or 50 points
  • $50/month for a customized URL
  • You need to consistently use the program, or a break in your monitoring system will occur

Next tool I am going to talk about is Google Analytics,

2. What is Google Analytics?

Google Analytics not only lets you measure sales and conversions, but also gives you fresh insights into how visitors use your site, how they arrived on your site, and how you can keep them coming back

– Google Analytics

Once again, taken right from the Google Analytics website! I personally find this program very useful for business purposes. Simply put, Google Analytics is a web based program that records activity on your website. Using JavaScript, this program gives you insight on why your visitors are coming back and what interests them! I thought that was pretty neat and could seriously benefit businesses for that reason alone.

Pros of Using Google Analytics:

  • Tracks how long visitors stay on your webpage
  • Your visitors interests
  • Your most popular pages on your website
  • Locates geographic of your users
  • Collects number of daily users
  • Analyzes your visitors as a whole
  • Offers six services to make a business better

Cons of Using Google Analytics 

  • There are always flaws in online data collecting, so numbers may not be accurate
  • The geographic of your users could also be inaccurate

As listed in the pro section, there are 6 tools that Google Analytics offers to ensure a better business:

  • Analysis Tool
  • Content Analysis
  • Social Analysis
  • Mobile Analytics
  • Conversion Analytics
  • Advertising Analytics

To read further into these, go to: http://www.google.ca/analytics/features/index.html or check out this video!

3. Finally, What is Socialite?

Socialite is a beautiful Mac OS X application, designed to make it easy to stay in touch with the social networks and services that matter to you.

From statuses and photos on Facebook and Twitter updates, to Google Reader RSS syncing and photos on Flickr, Socialite keeps all your social networks in one place.

– Socialite

Socialite is a MAC OS software that allows businesses to manage multiple social meia accounts such as Flickr, Facebook, Twitter etc.

Pros of Socialite

  • Manage multiple accounts
  • Easy to navigate
  • Free version to download

Cons of Socialite

  • Cost is $10
  • Download required
  • Only available for Apple products
  • No analytics available, more of a convenience stop for all social media platforms

Socialite has a limited target market as they are only available to Apple users. Being an avid Apple user, I personally would not choose to use this social media measuring tool as my first option.

In conclusion, there are so many different social media measuring tools available online today. To build your own personal brand, it would be wise to search through more tools to find one that works for your business, and many of them have different offerings. Personally, I would not use Socialite. Although many others may enjoy this software, I believe it is not affective as something such as Google Analytics.

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Developing a Social Media Plan

Today, social media is a fundamental glue for success in business. Businesses world wide are using social media to promote their goods/services and stay connected with their customers and other businesses.  The key to an effective campaign is creative ideas facilitated by preparation, time and execution. Similar to any marketing or public relations effort, a social media plan should include all the essential components of an equipped strategic foundation. This plan will keep a business organized, state the goals of the business, and the proper use of social media. Below I will provide the business profile of a fictional business, and then I will develop the plan of action I personally would find useful in terms of social media.

Business Profile:

Extreme Promotional Materials is a company that supplies personalized uniforms and promotional materials for sports teams and businesses. From team jerseys to pens, Extreme Promotional Materials works with quality manufacturers to provide a variety of goods that can be personalized with lettering and logos. The company predominantly serves school and league teams as well as small to medium sized businesses across south eastern Ontario, but is always looking to expand into both greater geographical and niche markets. Extreme Promotional Materials employs approximately 20 people, mostly in printing, sales and marketing positions. The company is inventive and friendly and has spent the last 15 years coming up with new and creative ways to serve its customers’ needs while establishing positive relationships along the way.

 

The Social Media Plan

Introduction:

Our company supplies customized and promotional materials, ranging from jerseys to pens. For the last fifteen years we’ve come up with new and creative ways to meet our customers needs and are always looking to expand into both greater geographical and niche markets. We believe the most effective way to expand our business and build new relationships would be using social media. Creating a social media plan will help us stay focused on our social media marketing goals and optimize social media to its full potential. Facebook is the most popular form of social media today and offers many tools that other online communities do not. Facebook is more detailed then Twitter, so we believe creating a Facebook page Promotional Materials will be able to display photos, keep our consumer updated through statuses, receive feedback on our wall and pictures and can reveal new products and services to the public quickly. If we use Facebook to our full potential, we believe that we can create a wider cliental base and give our customers full satisfaction.

Mission, Vision and Goals: 

Mission

At Extreme Promotional Materials, we strive to give our customers full satisfaction in our high quality products at an excellent price. We provide exemplary customer service and our customers are our first priority. We address each customer individually so we can meet the needs of everyone. We personalize items in the most creative, unique way, making our products distinctive and one of a kind. Using social media, we want to expand our cliental and show them our outstanding products and customer service. Extreme Promotional Materials believes that social media would give us the opportunity to display our amazing products and also gives us a chance to interact and build a relationship with new customers world wide.

Vision

Our vision at Extreme Promotional Materials is to network with as many returning and new customers. We believe this is possible by optimizing our social media tools to the fullest. We strive for excellent products and happy customers, leaving space on our social media platforms for positive reviews.

Goals

Using social media we hope to achieve many things:

  • Interact with new customers
  • Build new relationships
  • Learn new ways to optimize our services
  • Receive feedback, making our products stronger then ever

Mission Statement

At Extreme Promotional Materials, our goal is to provide the best products with the greatest service possible. We believe personality should shine through all aspect of our business, and our products offer personality. Extreme Promotional Materials strive to achieve the satisfaction of all customers, and thats exactly what we do.

Key Messages

  • We serve others as we would like to be treated
  • Satisfaction is 100% guaranteed as we work with the individual to ensure all needs are met
  • We offer the most unique and high quality products are excellent pricing

Target Audience

Our target audience is very large. All genders, ages from 15-60. Promotional products are used everywhere for many purposes. We believe that our audience is so large as there are many young people looking to start a business and many older people who are as well, or who already have established their business. Also, our products could be used for personal needs such as gifts. We believe by opening up our audience, we will also attract coaches for sports teams. By using social media, we will attract all ages as well, as many elder and young people are using Facebook today! Aside from businesses using Facebook pages, many clubs do as well. If there is a team/club on Facebook and they come across our page, they will be the ones to initiate the process of ordering things such as jackets, track suits or even bags. Personalized items are always for business purposes, students or parents may like to personalize things. Whether it’s a shirt, sweater, blanket, it will make an excellent gift.

Social Media Tools

We at Extreme Promotional Materials plan to use Facebook and our own personal website. We believe these two tools will lead us to our goal and help us reach our large demographic. Facebook has a wide variety of people on Facebook, from all ages, genders and races. We plan to use our Facebook to update our customers through statuses, show them our unique and finished products, and use our wall for reviews from former customers. We believe this will allow us to interact with customers who have placed orders one on one, as they can message us privately and we can post pictures of their products so that they receive the exact product they want. A traditional website for our business will cater to our less tech savvy group of individuals. This website will be easy to navigate, provide products that we sell, colours etc. Our website will not be as detailed as Facebook, but we planned to provide a link on our website so that our customers can see our updates, reviews and older projects. The team at Extreme Promotional Materials chose these two tools as Facebook is extremely popular and “new age”, while a website is a little more traditional. This allows us to optimize our social media and reach all of our demographic.

Social Media Engagement Strategy

To get our current/potential customers to view and like our Facebook page and see our website, we will advertise by word of mouth and in store flyers. Also, any promotional flyers and business cards from here on out, will state our Facebook link and website URL. We also plan to use our friends and family to advertise our Facebook page to get us likes. We plan to frequently check our Facebook page three times daily so we can ensure quick responses to our customers. When our business expands, more frequent updating would be needed. We believe we would only need to update our website weekly, as we only plan to showcase our products on our website. We will post our mission statement, about us, contact info and Facebook page on our website. We think this would be beneficial as more people are inclined to check our Facebook page, as it is more detailed and you can contact us much easier. Adding new pictures, status updates and other things will be done daily to our Facebook. We want our customers to keep coming back for more! Our tone will be enthusiastic, friendly and happy. We want people to know that our main priority is the customer and their needs.

Summary of Thoughts

In conclusion, we plan to maximize our use of a Facebook page and a standard website to interact with new and returning customers so we can build a bigger, broader and stronger network of relationships. Our age demographic consists of individuals ranging from 15-60, so we believe these two tools will reach that entire age group. We still will use old marketing strategies such as email, word of mouth, brochures and flyers. By using social media, our goal is to create a larger network of people, build a bigger cliental and bring in more business. We want our company to grow and provide excellent service world wide.

Facebook: King of Social Media – Louis Vuitton: A World of Elegance

Facebook: Is it really the King of Social Media? Some debate yes, some would say no. Regardless of one’s opinion, Facebook is known worldwide and is one of the fastest growing forms of social media, with over 1 billion registered users. No wonder some would consider it “the King”! Many think Facebook is just for personal use: to share their photos, update their life with distant relatives and friends, etc. What many don’t realize, is that businesses are beginning to have Facebook profiles themselves. By creating a “like” page on Facebook, a business can do wonders by promoting their product.

One designer that is using Facebook is Louis Vuitton. This French fashion house was founded in 1854 by Louis Vuitton. Many individuals today see the LV monogram that appears on many Louis products. Luxury trunks, leather goods, shoes, watches jewelry, accessories, sunglasses, books and many other products are available through this designer. Louis Vuitton is one of the world’s leading international fashion houses; you will only find real products through Louis Vuitton boutiques, high-end department stores (ie. Holt Renfrew) and recently, through sections of the Louis Vuitton website. From 2006-2012, Louis Vuitton has been named the world’s most valuable luxury brand.

Louis Vuitton uses their Facebook quite effectively. Their Facebook like page resembles their company in a way; classy, elegant and fabulous. The thing I personally enjoy most about the Louis Vuitton Facebook page, is the photos. They are constantly updating their albums from fashion shows, new products from handbags, shoes, luggage and other glamorous products! One downfall of huge designers and fashion houses such as Louis Vuitton, there will always be companies who try to mimic their creations, and pass them off as real. I believe by Louis Vuitton uploading so many pictures, you’ll be able to find the resources to find the exact bag you want at a boutique near you or a department store, ensuring the quality is real and not a replica. Louis Vuitton also posts news articles onto their wall regarding almost everything; from fashion shows, launch of a new product, and anything being posted in the media. I believe this is a great way for fans to keep updated on news about their favourite designer and products. A recent post that Louis Vuitton did was a picture thanking their fans …

I believe this is something great to see on Facebook. This reminds customers that the company cares and acknowledges peoples existence. This is something I respect the Louis Vuitton company for doing, because many people think that big brands, especially luxury brands would notice, yet acknowledge something like this. Since Louis Vuitton cannot communicate with 10 million fans, individually, I think this is an effective way to communicate on their Facebook page. Since the company uploads so many pictures, many fans comment on the pictures for reviews, opinions and just admiration.

In summary, I believe Louis Vuitton uses their Facebook effectively in many ways. I personally did not think such an old, large, fashion house such as Louis Vuitton would be using Facebook. This shows even older designers are now using social media tools to create their own techniques for selling and promoting their products.

What Else is Out There

There are so many forms of social media online today. Almost every form of social media has a different way of working – meaning you aren’t going to find two websites the same. I believe businesses today would find great use from using Pinterest and Instagram, as they are both on a photo sharing basis, but work completely differently. Personally, I use both Instagram and Pinterest and I find extreme use to both communities.

So first of all, what is Pinterest? 

Pinterest is a virtual pinboard. Pinterest lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. People use pinboards tot plain their weddings, decorate their homes, and organize their favorite recipes. Best of all, you can browse pinboards created by other people. Browsing pinboards is a fun way to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests.

– Pinterest

There we have it! Taken straight from the Pinterest website and simply put, it is a virtual pinboard. I believe that businesses could seriously benefit from using Pinterest. They could take photos of their products and organize it into categories on their pinboards. This would be an easy and organized way of getting your products out there and your own personal brand as well. Products go around Pinterest so easily, because once one of your followers repins something, you and all of their followers can see it on the newsfeed page. I believe pictures are an excellent way to showcase your products and what you have to offer. People are attracted to pretty things and visuals. By simply using a well taken picture, you are more inclined to draw customers in. I have been on Pinterest for quite some time now, and I have found so many interesting and new ideas its unreal! I have pinboards for recipes, fitness, city skylines and a couple other things that interest me. Regardless of who you are, you can find anything you find interesting on Pinterest.

The second social media app that I believe would be useful to businesses is Instagram. So now …

Meet Instagram

It’s a fast, beautiful and fun way to share your photos with friends and family. Snap a picture, choose a filter to transform its look and feel, then post to Instagram. Share to Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr too – it’s as easy as pie. It’s photo sharing, reinvented.

Oh yeah, did we mention it’s free?

– Instagram

Once again, taken right from Instagram and simply put, it’s a photo sharing phone app. The only downfall to Instagram is the fact that it is only available to iPhone and Android users. Although, you can share these photos onto Facebook/Twitter/Tumblr. Instagram is extremely easy to use; simply take a picture, choose a filter to make your image appear “vintage” and upload it! You can also add hashtags that are relevant to your picture. When you hashtag your picture, people can search these hashtags just like Twitter. If another user likes your picture, they will probably start following your stream of pictures. Unlike Pinterest, there are no virtual pinboards, so Instagram is a little more simple to use, but less organized in a way. The thing that could benefit businesses, is the fact that people can comment on your pictures! If a business posts a picture of their product, users could review it right there, on the picture. Businesses could use Instagram as a great source for feedback. I believe businesses could promote their products very easily using Instagram. I also use Instagram on a personal basis, and I follow a couple of makeup artists. You can learn many things just from a picture, and you can get so excited about a product by simply seeing a visual.

Personally, I believe that using Pinterest and Instagram could really help a business and could be an excellent promotional strategy. It is such a simplified way of getting new coming products out there because there are so many users on both of these online communities. Businesses that use social media tend to be more successful. Personally, I do not watch TV, so I would never know any new products coming that could interest me if it weren’t for social media. Standard television commercials are not a sufficient way of marketing anymore. We have so many new tools available to us, that businesses really need to find other sources to market their goods. I believe Instagram and Pinterest are excellent tools to be using for business.

All a Twitter – MAC Cosmetics

Twitter is one of the fastest growing forms of social media in todays society. It is a simplified way of getting your name out there to promote yourself and your own brand. One brand that uses Twitter to promote their products, is MAC Cosmetics. Makeup Artist Cosmetics (MAC), is a popular makeup brand which is recognized worldwide today. The company’s products were initially specifically designed for profession makeup artists, but are now sold to consumers globally.

MAC uses their twitter to promote new products, touch base with customers, and I’ve even seen them reply to consumer questions directly using their twitter. People who have used MAC products tend to tweet pictures of themselves using the product, and MAC retweets these pictures for other followers to see. I thought that was pretty interesting, as many big brand companies don’t always show that they care about this source of feedback. I believe that this creates a whole new way of networking, as so many people are getting their art out there, thanks to MAC. When MAC retweets others looks of makeup, this creates inspiration for other makeup users, which I believe is what a good company should do.

I think MAC is one of the most effective brand/company that is using their twitter today because of the way they interact with their fans. Also, they are constantly tweeting, keeping users updated and coming back for more. While reading MAC’s tweets, it is evident the tone of the tweets is sassy, fun and genuine, keeping customers intrigued in many ways. As a MAC cosmetics user, I respect them regardless, but I believe their twitter usage is phenomenal. They are constantly putting the customer first, and retweeting things that they know their customers will love. MAC literally follow the rule of “the customer comes first”, which is something that is truly hard to find in today’s business world.

Myself using MAC eyeshadows Woodwinked and All That Glitters