If you are in social media, you will be aware of HootSuite. It is arguably the most widely used social media management tool globally, with over 8 million users. This week in the SMToolbox, I was privileged to interview Hootsuite guru Mike Allton to get his take on HootSuite and why it is so popular. Along the way he shared his top tips and his favorite HootSuite apps.
HootSuite: The Elevator Pitch
In HootSuite’s own words, the tool “helps teams execute social media strategies across multiple social networks like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ Pages from one secure web-based social relationship platform.” There is a free version of the software, a Pro version and an increasingly popular Enterprise version.
The numbers behind HootSuite are impressive. In addition to 8 million users, there are over 1,000 enterprise customers, and there is a growing app directory with over 1 million app installs. The company is still growing at over 150 percent year-on-year, has just been ranked top for customer service and it has a new partnership with Brandwatch. We reviewed Brandwatch’s sophisticated social analytics software last week here on SMToolbox.
I've been thinking a lot lately about personal branding, in part because I'm about to begin a new commissioned white paper and so I've been re-visiting my popular white paper for Innocentive - Harnessing the Global Talent Pool to Accelerate Innovation, and what I wrote about personal branding there:
"... the world continues to move away from being a place where employees expect to have jobs for life, and fight against any change to this paradigm, to a world where portfolios, personal branding, and project-based work will become more common in an increasing number of industries. The evolving world of work is becoming a world in which individuals will need to be really good at collaborating and playing well with others, while also honing their skills at standing out from the crowd. At the same time, the external perception of your network value will expand from a focus on internal connections to also include the talented minds you might know outside the organization that can be brought in on different projects or challenges."
There are some businesses and entire industries that have struggled over the last few years to find how they fit into social media well. Then there are the industries for which social media seems to have been created in the first place. Sports and sports marketing fall solidly into the latter category.
The Perfect Fusion
What are sports all about for the average fan? Watching with friends, eating, drinking beer, yelling, laughing, having an enjoyable time at something you can get passionate about. In other words, it’s about being social.
Even if you don’t like sports, it’s likely that your Facebook and Twitter feeds get fairly clogged with comments like “Did you see that call????? #unbelievable”, or something to that effect, whenever some big game is on. Think about it. We’ve been yelling at our televisions for years while watching sports. Now we can yell to the whole world through social media.
Teams that harness the natural yearning of the sports fan to be involved well reap big benefits from their fans, the most important being loyalty. Not that loyalty to a sports team is an uncommon trait among sports fans, of course, but that energy can be channeled into bigger things through a good social strategy powered by good social media management software.
There is a great deal of buzz about the importance of creating valuable, high-quality content. Although such content is indeed integral to inbound marketing success, an effective company blog requires much more than valuable content. If you only focus on the content creation part of the equation, you are not maximizing the potential of your company blog. Optimizing your blog for lead generation and conversion—for prospects in various stages of your marketing funnel—can make all the difference.
After gaining a new blog subscriber, promptly send a personalized welcome email to show your genuine appreciation and kindly remind the subscriber what he or she signed up for. The welcome email is a great opportunity to increase your social following, so encourage your new blog subscribers to follow you on social media for additional content updates. Emailing too often is a common mistake, which can turn off new subscribers and land you in their spam folders. Offering various blog subscription options, such as daily, weekly or by topic, is a great practice.
If you looked at the title of this article and immediately thought of Facebook or Twitter, you are mistaken! Instagram is the grand champion of brand engagement based on a recent study done by L2 Think Tank. You might be a little skeptical considering that the 150 million monthly users that Instagram boasts are itty bitty compared to Facebook and Twitter. However, a study on posts by 249 top brands showed that interaction rates were 15x higher than Facebook. In fact, interaction rates for Instagram were much higher than Twitter and Google+ as well.
This Is particularly exciting for brands that understand that the social experience is much more than simply how the the bottom line gets effected. Ideally, the more time you can get a potential customer to spend with your brand, the more likely they will choose you when they need your product/service. This finding doesn’t mean you should abandon Facebook. According to this study, almost 9 out of 10 brands polled said that they have both an Instagram and Facebook account which makes perfect sense. Why only limit yourself to one or the other when you can install and Instagram tab into your Facebook page and get more bang for your buck?
What do you need to know about the social side of SEO? Social media now has a significant impact on your search rankings. SEO has gone social; your social media presence combined with the social capital of your content—the social signals generated by your digital publishing efforts—play an important role in how visible you appear in search results. Marketing success is unattainable without highly shareable content. When your content is curated and shared on social media, it sends social signals like tweets, +1s, likes, pins and LinkedIn shares, which indicate the popularity and social reach of your content.
SEO strategies used to rely heavily on link building. However, link building will no longer cut it; Google now requires social proof. This had to happen, because too many SEO agencies were gaming link building, and social influence is not so easy to manipulate or buy. A far-reaching social following can provide you with a base of loyal, dedicated fans and brand advocates, who frequently share and discuss your original content—generating ample social signals. Make sure you are creating content worth sharing, and really give your followers and fans something to talk about. Share-worthy content is unique, delivers helpful, valuable information in a stylish fashion, leverages the allure of visual elements, and leaves its audience wanting more.
- Socially Stephanie: Google Plus Engagement Strategy
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