Branding

Social Media Marketing + PR

16 Tools Every Social Media Manager Should Know


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1. Google Analytics Report

Those who have Google Analytics installed on their website can use Visually’s Google Analytics Report: an app that creates a custom infographic of your website’s activity and performance. This free report tells your website’s story for the week loud and clear. It highlights where your wins came from, giving you that push to make next week even better! You can opt to have these reports delivered straight to your inbox every week.

Pricing: Free

2. TweetDeck

This free, easy-to-use Twitter management tool allows you to oversee all aspects of your Twitter account(s) in one interface. TweetDeck gives each user the freedom to customize their display by showing or hiding various columns presenting everything from your home screen to search terms. Considering TweetDeck is specifically tailored for Twitter, it may not be the best tool for those looking to simultaneously manage various social networks in one place. Nevertheless, it gives great deal of control over the intricacies of your Twitter profile without the hassle of navigating across profiles.

Pricing: Free

3. Hootsuite

Hootsuite takes it a step further and allows you to manage multiple social streams like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Foursquare and many more in one place. Working across multiple networks with a social team can be difficult, and Hootsuite makes it possible for you and your team to delegate between responses to fans and followers, eliminating the stress of coordinating responses and potentially overlooking valued fans. While Hootsuite remains one of the most used social media management tools, though, it lacks a basic function: the ability to have images appear as image previews in the Twitter feed as opposed to collapsed links. Still, Hootsuite is a top contender in the space.

Pricing:
Free – Up to 5 social profiles, up to 2 RSS
$8.99/month – Up to 100 social profiles, up to 9 team members, advanced message scheduling and more
Enterprise (custom pricing) – Unlimited

4. Sprout Social

Like Hootsuite, Sprout Social is a social media dashboard that monitors and manages multiple social networks. It has a clean interface and user-friendly dashboard built around 6 tabs: Home, Messages, Feeds, Publishing, Discovery and Reports. Connecting your Facebook, Google+ (Pages only), LinkedIn, and Twitter accounts, Sprout Social suggests new people to follow or unfollow, and offers many ways to schedule updates in advance. Although Sprout Social still has much to improve on, like offering a wider range of social networks, it is paving the way towards fruitful social media managing.

Pricing:
$39 per user/month – Manage up to 10 profiles, real-time brand monitoring, comprehensive reporting tools, and more
$59 per user/month – Manage up to 20 profiles, Helpdesk and Google Analytics integration, deluxe reporting and more
$99 per user/month – Manage up to 50 profiles, ViralPost time optimization, custom interface, and more

5. Crowdbooster

If your main focus is Twitter and Facebook, then this is the tool for you. Crowdbooster helps streamline your social media activity so you pay attention to what matters. Aside from scheduling posts for both Twitter and Facebook, it allows you to easily keep track of new fans and followers by reminding you of followers you have not yet responded to and listing recently acquired influential followers. Although there seems to be a lag time between the syncing of Crowdbooster with Facebook and Twitter API data, it presents a dynamic tool that helps direct growth and engagement metrics.

Pricing:
$9/month – 1 Facebook page, 1 Twitter, 1 User and more
$49/month – 10 social media accounts, 8 users and more
$119/month – 30 social media accounts, 30 users and more

6. Twitter Showdown

To complement your Twitter tools, in Visually’s app center you will also find Twitter Showdown, which compares any two Twitter accounts head-to-head. The app is meant to be a light-hearted, fun way to see who rules the Twittersphere, but it can actually produce some insightful information on different Twitter accounts in your industry, or when comparing yourself to your competitors. Twitter Showdown gives you insight on follower-to-following ratio, level of tweet engagement, mentions per tweet, tweet timing and, overall, how two accounts compare.

Pricing: Free

7. Edgerank Checker

Although Facebook pages comes equipped with Insights and provides significant data on Likes, Reach, People Talking About This, etc., sorting through the data and making sense of it can be a hassle. One must keep in mind the algorithm Facebook uses to determine what posts even make an appearance in newsfeeds. Edgerank Checker helps admins understand how their followers interact with each post by assigning it an Edgerank score and makes recommendations to assist with future posts. With this tool, admins can even monitor each post in real time.

Pricing:
Free – EdgeRank score, EdgeRank score over time graph
$15 per page/month – Real-time analysis, post grades, recommendations, negative feedback analyzer

8. Facebook Insights (App)

If you’re already using great Facebook tools and have an understanding of your data, it’s time to take it to the next level. Visually has a great tool for admins to up their social game by visualizing the last 30 days of their Facebook Insights. Facebook Insights is impressive because your page’s performance literally materializes before your eyes. You can also download and print this report and share it with the rest of your team.

Pricing: Free

9. Buffer

Buffer is a simple and effective tool for sharing content through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. It’s particularly useful for small businesses that don’t have the time or resources to update their social media channels regularly, but would still like to maintain a social presence. With Buffer, you can schedule bulk posts ahead of time in a queue. It also offers a number of extensions through Chrome, Firefox and Safari that make sharing what you find on the web that much easier. On the downside, Buffer falls short when it comes to monitoring discussions.

Pricing:
Free service – allows for 2 profiles and 10 updates in the queue for each profile
$10/month – unlimited updates and up to 12 profiles

10. SocialBro

Specific to Twitter, SocialBro provides insights to your analytics, suggestions for targeting and engagement, and also helps keep tabs on your key influencers and competitors. It works best when coupled with a scheduling tool like Buffer or Hootsuite, because it is geared less towards publishing content and more towards offering reports for marketers. With SocialBro’s integration of both Buffer and Hootsuite, you can import the optimized schedule to sync with your queue and use the results to adjust your engagement.

Pricing:
Free 15-day trial
$13.95/month – Up to 20,000 social contacts across 5 Twitter accounts and more
$39/month – Up to 50,000 social contacts across 15 Twitter accounts and more
$149/month – Up to 200,000 social contacts across 40 Twitter accounts and more
Enterprise – On demand

11. Postling

Postling is perfect for businesses looking to expand their reach across social networks. Keeping track of responses, brands and people, this tool sends a daily digest of your recent activity across Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Blogs, Yelp, YouTube and Flickr. One cool feature is tracking news every time your business or brand is mentioned on the web. With a click, you’ll be able to share that tweet or review.

Pricing:
$1 first 30 days – unlimited usage
$10/month after 30 days – manage up to 5 social media accounts/ additional accounts cost $3/month each

12. Tailwind

Previously known as Pinreach, Tailwind tracks activity across Pinterest about your company, products and competitors. Pinterest is often overlooked when discussing tools for social media management, but depending on your business, it might be the driving force in traffic, branding and revenue. In addition to the general reporting of growth and engagement, you can connect Google Analytics to track conversions and see which activity is most profitable.

Pricing:
Free – Limited profile and domain trends
$29/month – 90-day history archive, track 2 competitors, invite 2 collaborators, basic audience IQ and more
$99/month – 1-year history archive, track 5 competitors, invite 5 collaborators, advanced audience IQ and more
Enterprise (custom pricing) – Unlimited history archive, track unlimited competitors and more

13. Social Mention

Social Mention is a real-time social media search and analysis tool that scrapes user generated content across the internet for any given company, product, or search term. In a single stream, this tool will give you the most recent relevant results, metrics on unique authors, reach, frequency of mentions, sentiment and top keywords. This tool should be on every social media manager’s shortlist.

Pricing: Free

14. BuzzSumo

BuzzSumo

BuzzSumo is a tool that gives you social data on top performing content and influencers based on your search queries. By entering a topic, domain or specific keyword, your results will be nothing short of relevant. Filtering your search by time frame will show you the most shared content over time, which can give you insight to trends or help with generating ideas for your own content! With this tool, you can view who has shared a specific piece of content and create a list of influencers based on your interest. The pro plans allow you to closely monitor keywords, domains or authors by setting up alerts when new content is published. With great data readily available, this tool is one you’ll want to use frequently to stay on top of the latest buzz in your field.

Pricing:
Free
$99/month – Ideal for small teams and content campaigns
$299/month – Designed for Agency teams to support multiple SEO and content marketing campaigns
$499+/month – Bespoke plans for brands and large agencies

15. Shoutlet

Shoutlet is enterprise-level social marketing software that aims to help companies understand their market, grow their social database and drive their business by creating a seamless platform that guides targeted campaigns through analytics. In addition to publishing and scheduling content, the streamlined community management platform makes it easy to create custom workflows to make sure the needs of all customers and fans are being addressed. The advance features in this social management tool are every marketer’s dream come true.

Pricing: Request a demo

16. Oktopost

Oktopost

Oktopost focuses on building your brand’s online presence by delivering your content to targeted audiences. It helps you establish and manage your most valuable content, making sure your efforts add value to your marketing strategy. Used by B2B businesses, Oktopost places emphasis on tracking conversions and identifying which channels and messaging drive results. With the recent shutdown of Argyle Social, many of its B2B clients have flocked to Oktopost. Underscoring their focus on B2B engagement, Oktopost integrates with Marketo, Salesforce, Act-On and others, directly linking social media actions to the impact on sales. One thing that places Oktopost above other tools is its ability to monitor LinkedIn Groups as well as company pages. As a whole package, Oktopost qualifies and quantifies better leads for you and your business.

Pricing:
$9/month – Getting started with social marketing
$49/month – All the basics for social media marketing
$119/month – A comprehensive tool for social media marketers
$249/month – The definitive tool for social businesses

Design

How Do You Bounce Back?


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bouncing back while building a brand

I’ve learnt that the best experiences we have are the sum of multiple “wow moments”, not just one. It’s the same feeling as the first time you used a great product. It probably felt like it was designed just for you. Every action you took while using it felt right. Your senses (vision, touch, sound) were in tune with the experience.You might’ve said “wow” while using it. The product touched you on an emotional level and you remember it. You shared it. And you want to use it again.

I felt this type of positive emotion the first time I used Instagram. At first, it may seem like using Instagram would not be that much better than just using any one of the other social networking platforms. But the trick to Instagram’s stickiness is not just one, but multiple “wow moments” that make it substantially better than using other photosharing sites. The first time I used Instagram, there were a few distinct “wow moments”:

1. Will my photos be safe? Instagram gives you a privacy option. You can turn it on anytime.

2. How will my photos be shared? Instagram has one newsfeed where your photos will pop up for friends to see, and visa versa. Only people who follow you will see them, and visa versa.

3. How do I fit into the global community? Instagram introduced hashtags, where your photo is categorized for anyone anywhere in the world to see.

4. Do I have to pay a subscription fee to use this service? Signing up to Instagram is free.

5. How do I upload a photo? Instagram connects to your phone’s camera + galleries, online or offline. You can choose any photo you want from anywhere you like at anytime.

6. How do I make my pictures look less boring? Instagram introduced editing features + filters so you can make your photos look better.

7. Do I have to be on my pc to upload to it? Instagram is only accessible via your phone. So all you need is you, your cellphone + the moments you’re capturing.

The way Instagram baked multiple “wow moments” into their product is one reason why their system is so strong. With each additional “wow moment”, your chances of using the app increases compared to not. Its simplicity is addictive. However, one of the challenges with creating multiple “wow moments” within your product is that they take time to construct. Instagram took over a year to build. You need to be patient and willing to go all-in on a problem to create an experience worthy of multiple “wow moments.” Creating the right experience is risky when you might not have all the signals to say what you’re building is the right thing. But that’s part of the road to building a differentiated product. You won’t have all the answers at the start. You might screw up a couple of times. The trick is persistance; bouncing back after you mess up.

To reduce risk, you can begin by focusing on the main one or two “wow moments”. This may not be good enough to create the full experience you’re after but as you build more and seek to reach that same level of quality of that one “wow moment,” your product will get closer to what you’re after.

Part of bouncing back is streamlining your definition of what you’re building. It’s often best to start by picking out the right problems to focus on + not get too caught up in solutions yet. How you solve each of the problems could be done a thousand different ways. To begin with, getting problems down is the focus. You can define potential solutions later.

Looks like bouncing back while in the process of building your dream product (blog, brand, service, item) could be summarised in a few sentences:

+ “Wowing” your audience

+ Making the experience as simple as possible

+ Defining what you’re building

+ Patience while you build

+ Persistance while you build

+ Learning each time you fall

Blogging

How Do You Keep People Coming Back?


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Building a brand is a funny thing. You want people to get the clearest understanding of who you are, but often you over complicate the process. My experience has taught me it’s really not that hard. Keeping things absolutely simple is key. If your business is online, it’s especially important to make your product easy to use for the user. Successful branding hinges on people coming back for more (products, information, entertainment). This means you need to become a habit for them. A habit is defined as: “a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up.” In his book on building habit-forming products, Nir Eyal (a Stanford lecturer + author) shares a perspective on how to think about building products people want to use. It’s called the Fogg Behavioural Model and was created by Stanford computer scientist, B. J. Fogg:

ImageThe Fogg Behaviour Model illustrates that the best path to get more people using your product is to make your product easier to use. If you make your product simpler, you increase the probability of your customers crossing the “Activation Threshold” + performing the behaviour.

Nir notes,

“Influencing behaviour by reducing the effort required to perform an action is more effective than increasing someone’s desire to do it. Make your product so simple that users already know how to use it, and you’ve got a winner.”

Remember this when you’re working on your next project. Keep it simple + you’re guaranteed to make your product, a habit.

❤ Africa, My Life in Africa

Stuff That Makes Me Smile


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In no particular order:

  1. Colour. In any way, shape or form.
  2. Watching Russell Brands YouTube Channel.
  3. Banting chocolate brownies (carb-free).
  4. Daily yoga, prayer + meditation.
  5. Having cream + honey in my coffee.
  6. Listening to Grooveshark, especially the EDM Broadcast.
  7. Being in Cape Town for Summer.
  8. Collaboration. On books, blogs, brands + business.
  9. French manicures.

What’s been making you smile lately?

Ps. Here’s the Brownie recipe. Takes 20 minutes!

Ingredients

¾ cup Almond Flour 3 Tbs. Cocoa Powder 1/3 cup Xylitol / Honey ½ tsp. Bicarbonate of soda Pinch of Salt Handful of assorted nuts 3 Eggs 1 tsp. Vanilla ¼ cup Butter, melted.

Method

Mix the dry ingredients; and add all the wet ingredients. Whisk till it is combined. Pour into a small baking dish/pan (we used a dish approx. 140mm x 220mm) and bake at 170°C for 15 minutes or until the brownie almost does not “jiggle”. Do not overcook, as the brownies will dry out quickly!

*Photo from behind-the-scenes of a knitwear shoot I did for a brand I’m managing, BaliBali Fashion Store in Kloof Street Cape Town

Social Media Marketing + PR

Social Media Stats South Africa


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One thing I find amazing is how popular social media is globally + especially here in South Africa. It’s grown a huge amount in the last couple of years, making way for unconventional + exciting jobs to open up for creative entrepreneurs like myself! Take a look at the figures………

I would love to give a workshop to aspiring bloggers + creatives in the Cape Town area on all I have learnt since beginning my online blog 3 years ago. Would you sign up? Here’s what I would cover:

+ How To Make An Income Blogging

+ How To Kickstart A Blog On A Budget

+ How To Style Your Blog

+ 10 Ways To Find Your First Clients

+ How To Grow Your Traffic With Social Media

+ How To Use Mailchimp To Grow Your Brand

+ How To Get Inspired

+ How To Write For The Web

+ How To Take Photos For Your Blog

+ How To Attract Dream Clients in 5 Steps

Social Media Users in South Africa 2013

❤ Africa, My Life in Africa

On Pets…


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Dogs Collages

There’s nothing like animals to ground you. Here are some photos of my pets taken last Christmas (they love our pool more than we do!). My golden lab is named “Joe Fox” + our chocolate lab is named “Bella Blue”. I love thinking up unconventional names for animals…. what are your animals named?

** the photo at the end is our friend’s dachshund, so cute!

Cute dogsCute dogsCute dogsCute dogsCute dogs

❤ My Work, Modelling

Sneaky Photo Shoot Sesh


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Hippi Chic
Photographer: Merrissa Lebetkin, behind-the-scenes

We had an impromptu little photo shoot session up in Hout Bay for BaliBali Fashion Store Cape Town….. I created their blog here and their Facebook here. Also their Pinterest here. The photos we are taking on the beach and on location in Hout Bay are all part of their new summer campaign. Marketing posters will be for the Lifestyle Centre in Kloof + digital advertising. I was thinking about 5 questions I would love to know from you (my lovely readers!)……

+ What’s one song that you can’t stop listening to?
+ What’s one thing you’re doing lately to make yourself better?
+ What’s your favourite piece of jewellery atm?
+ What have you been wanting to do but just…haven’t?

My answers:

+ I love EDM music the best. But lately it’s “Yonce/Partition” from Beyonce’s new album “Beyonce”
+ Banting diet. Read here and get involved
+ A ring I bought at Topshop
+ Go for a massage

** Ps. I wrote about the colour symbolism of ORANGE + PURPLE.

Orange Bali Outfit
Photographer: Merrissa Lebetkin, behind-the-scenes
Entrepreneurship

Top 5 Writing Careers For Young Women


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By now we all know people have made the shift from reading books to reading online blogs, websites, social media feeds and other digital magazines. They’re more keen to fire up their tablet, cellphone, kindle or ipad than open up a hard-cover novel. I read somewhere that in the last decade, publishing and other related industries have taken a big hit. While in the past, a career as a novelist was every English majors’ dream, today technology has created an expansion in the professional field of writing. As a result, I’ve done some research into the current top 5 writing professions for young women today.

1. Scriptwriter

The success of once unknown writer, director and actress Lena Dunham, the creator of the hit HBO “ShowGirls”, is a prime example of how the entertainment field offers unique writing careers for young women. Only in her mid-20s, Dunham has had the ability and creative freedom to allow her stories and observations to become a reality on a huge and lucrative platform. Though it’s important to keep in mind that Dunham’s success it not the norm, she at one time was a young writer who funded and created her own work without studio backing. Scriptwriting is something that takes years to get good at. However, with a lot of practice, constructive feedback and a little luck, you could enjoy a successful career as an entertainment scriptwriter for movies, films and radio.

2. Blogger

Successful female lifestyle, fashion and “mommyhood” bloggers have become an increasingly large and prolific part of the writing community. Blogging has become a great writing career that allows young female writers to cultivate an online presence, while also providing an inexpensive platform to launch a writer’s professional career.

Bloggers can present whatever version of themselves they choose, and create a following from admirers who really respect that blogger’s writing style and interests. The fact that it’s so easy to start a blog doesn’t hurt either! Instead of tirelessly searching for a publisher, publicist or other middleman to get their work distributed to the public, bloggers take matters into their own hands. Bloggers typically make their revenue from ad sales, corporate sponsors and lucrative business opportunities that can arise due to the brand/image that the blog has helped a writer cultivate.

3. Freelance Academic Writer

For some, writing is all about self-expression. For others, writing is the task of researching and synthesizing complex concepts into the written form in order to present a conclusionabout the evidence presented. If you find yourself in the latter group, freelance academic writing may be the right career for you. Academic writers typically prescribe to the more traditional conventions of formal writing. Academic writing spans across all fields of academic study. However, for the most part, all types of academic writing utilize the thesis statement format in order to present concise informative articles that are utilized and presented in academic settings. Academic writing isn’t for everyone. It requires advanced research skills, knowledge of the wide variety of citation formats, as well as an advanced degree. If you loved writing research papers in college, or you’ve always been a fan of footnote citations, freelance academic writing may be the right job for you.

4. Digital Copywriter

Ever wondered who writes the advertisements and web content on your favorite websites? Do you make a game out of spotting typos and grammatical errors when you’re browsing the Internet? Then a career as a digital copywriter might be the perfect job for you! Digital copywriters are the writers who draft all the writing you see on the Internet. Their job functions can range from creating product descriptions, advertisements, landing pages and an all other web content for official websites. The great thing about digital copywriting is that given the technological advances of today, many digital copywriters can work from home instead of having to go into the office. This is especially an advantage for stay-at-home moms looking to have a remote career.

5. Social Media Manager

Don’t feel like writing your own stuff? No problem. Write someone else’s. Social Media Management is becoming a huge career now, with big companies willing to fork out a small fortune for young digital gurus to manage their brands.

So, the opportunities for those who love communication is ample. What would your choice be?