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How to Use Twitter for Business: An Introductory Guide

June 15, 2012 in Community, Resources, Revenue, Technology

People are in more control over how they consume media and what messages they care to hear…

This changing nature of consumers‘ shopping habits means that instead of continuing to push marketing messages out, effective marketers must adapt to consumers‘ new behavior by creating marketing campaigns that pull people in to their business. This strategy is called inbound marketing. Inbound marketers offer useful information, tools, and resources to attract people to their business
and its website, while also interacting and developing relationships with consumers on the web. The three key inbound marketing tools are blogging and content creation, search engine optimization, and social media marketing.

Twitter is one of the most powerful social networks for your business…

Twitter is a relationship-building and relationship maintenance tool; the most obvious business use of Twitter is to meet potential customers and leads the same way you would at networking event or tradeshow.

However, You Can Also Use it To:

  1. Develop and promote your brand
  2. Interact with your customer base
  3. Track what people are saying about your company and brand
  4. Create buzz around upcoming events
  5. Help individual employees act as liaisons to the public
  6. Promote other content you‘ve created, including webinars, blog posts or podcasts
  7. Develop direct relationships with bloggers and journalists for potential PR placement
  8. Generate sales leads for your business

Source: How to Use Twitter for Business: An Introductory Guide

Engaging Audiences: Measuring Interactions, Engagement and Conversions

June 15, 2012 in Community, Resources

The rise of social media tools has empowered online news startups to distribute content, market their sites and track users. However, most small news sites say they cannot lasso data to track whether they are turning users into supporters who will help their sites survive.

According to a national survey on audience engagement, nearly eight in 10 online survey respondents said they could not measure whether their engagement strategies were also converting readers into advertisers, donors, content contributors or volunteers…

“Such an effort is beyond our capacity,” said one respondent. “We need help,” said another.

These are among key findings of a new survey, funded by the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, focusing on how “digitalfirst” news sites are engaging their audiences and measuring that engagement.

“These small sites can measure interaction with their content, but they don’t have good tools to measure meaningful engagement,” said Jan Schaffer, director of J-Lab: The Institute for Interactive Journalism, which spearheaded the research. “This affects both the future of their operations and the impact they can have in their communities.”

…At least four types of engagement surfaced in the survey responses, but how well the respondents optimized these engagement strategies varied by organization. They include:

  • Engagement as outreach, driving users to consume content.
  • Engagement as reaction, inviting users to comment, share, like and chat.
  • Engagement as stakeholder participation, getting users to contribute stories, time, funding.
  • Engagement as civic participation, activating audience members to address community issues.”

Source: Engaging Audiences: Measuring Interactions, Engagement and Conversions (pdf)

Social Media Biz

May 22, 2012 in Community, Resources

Welcome to Socialmedia.biz. We’re here for two related reasons:

  • To help businesses and organizations achieve maximum impact with their social media strategy or campaigns.
  • To highlight news, trends, tools and resources around social media, social networks and Web 2.0.

In 2007 Socialmedia.biz was named the #1 site covering the social Web. CNET named founder J.D. Lasica one of the top 100 media bloggers in the world after he launched Ourmedia.org (150,000 members), the first video hosting and sharing site.” Source: Social Media Biz

Social media isn’t just a marketing tool. It’s a philosophy and a way of engaging with stakeholders. It’s more than setting up a Facebook page. It’s about redefining how you do your work. The old model of doing business is disappearing and it’s no longer top-down. It’s not enough to delegate social media to an intern or even a consultant like myself. You need a game plan to incorporate it into all aspects of the organizational mission. When I talk to executives, they have their own set of priorities and social media can be jarring for them because it fundamentally shakes up how they do things. Change doesn’t come easy but when they see the lessons learned from successful organizations, they get excited about the possibilities.” Source: J.D. Lasica interviewed in Social Technology Review

Pew Research Center Report: 72% of Americans follow local news closely

May 3, 2012 in Community, Distribution, Innovation, Resources

Nearly three quarters (72%) of adults are quite attached to following local news and information, and local newspapers are by far the source they rely on for much of the local information they need. In fact, local news enthusiasts are substantially more wedded to their local newspapers than others. They are much more likely than others to say that if their local newspaper vanished, it would have a major impact on their ability to get the local information they want. This is especially true of local news followers age 40 and older, who differ from younger local news enthusiasts in some key ways.

One-third of local news enthusiasts (32%) say it would have a major impact on them if their local newspaper no longer existed, compared with just 19% of those less interested in local news. Most likely to report a major impact if their newspaper disappeared are local news followers age 40 and older (35%), though even among younger local news followers 26% say losing the local paper would have a major impact on them…

These local news and information consumers stand out from other adults in several respects related to community attachment, general interest in all types of news, use of sources for local news and information, and the particular topics of interest to them on the local scene.

As a whole, local news enthusiasts do not stand out from other adults in their use of technology or in the way they use technology to participate in local affairs, such as sending around links or posting comments on websites. However, among local news enthusiasts there are considerable differences in technology use across generations.

These are among the main findings in a nationally representative phone survey of 2,251 adults by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism and Internet & American Life Project, produced in association with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.” Source: Report (pdf)

Sparkwise

April 19, 2012 in Community, Resources, Technology

Data can be a powerful tool for change. Tracking the right metrics in the right context can help us gain a deeper understanding of the communities we serve, so we can make a lasting impact.

Sparkwise is designed to put data to good use. By collecting and comparing all kinds of metrics in all kinds of ways–and combining those raw numbers with video, audio, text feeds and PDFs–your data becomes a moving story. One you can use to promote your purpose and ignite your audience.

Sparkwise was created by a team of world-class technologists, data visualization experts and social impact strategists. It is free, open source and available to anybody with a story to tell.” Source: Sparkwise

Socialbrite Sharing Center

April 19, 2012 in Community, Education, Resources

A free learning hub for nonprofits & change-makers… Power guides, tools, tutorials, reports, resources & more. Socialbrite helps nonprofits and social enterprises with all facets of social media. Our services include strategy, creating a social presence and running campaigns.

In addition to our strategic consulting services, Socialbrite is a learning and sharing community with more than 1,000 free articles, tutorials and resources about how to use social media to advance your organization’s goals. See our Sharing Center and tutorials page, where we highlight social tools and strategies that can be used to advance the social good.

We hope you’ll contribute your expertise to help further expand what’s already become the deepest social media learning center on the Web.” Source: Socialbrite

Storify

April 19, 2012 in Community, Craft, Distribution, Resources, Technology

Storify lets you curate social networks to build social stories, bringing together media scattered across the Web into a coherent narrative. We are building the story layer above social networks, to amplify the voices that matter and create a new media format that is interactive, dynamic and social.

In the Storify editor, you can search social media networks to find media elements about the topic you want to Storify. Look through Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, Instagram and more to gather material for your stories.

Drag and drop status updates, photos or videos to bring together the social media elements that will best illustrate your story. You can always reorder elements in your story, or delete them if you find something better. And you can always add more items later on. Your story is always editable, so you can pull in the latest from the social web.
A Storify story is more than just a collection of elements from social media. It’s also your opportunity to make sense of what you’ve pulled together. You can write a headline, introduction and insert text anywhere inside your story. You can add headers, hyperlinks and styled text. Build a narrative and give context to your readers.

Storify stories can be embedded anywhere on the Web by simply pasting an embed code, just like embedding a video. You can also connect Storify to your WordPress or Drupal blog, publish to Tumblr or Posterous, or send an email newsletter through Mailchimp.” Source: Storify

Collaboration Central: Your Guide to Working Together in the Digital Age

March 26, 2012 in Community, Distribution, Experiments, Resources

We have a culture as journalists to fight our competition for scoops, to get there first, to beat everyone else. But with the devastating cuts that have hit traditional news organizations, combined with the power of new technologies, more journalists are finding strength in numbers — working together to cover more ground, tell better stories, and extend those stories onto multiple platforms in compelling ways…

Collaboration is a matter of survival for many journalistic organizations struggling to find a business model in the age of the Internet. The surge of non-profit journalism outlets has been a proving ground for collaboration, and as the Texas Tribune’s CEO Evan Smith told me late last year:

“We’re going to either hang separately or survive together.”

In Texas-speak, that means news orgs need to stay together if they want to live another day. Collaboration Central [offers a] roadmap to that very survival, with case studies on how others have handled collaborations, lessons learned, and what’s gone right (and wrong). We’ve already built up coverage of the topic over the past couple years, largely about how public media outlets have collaborated with each other and with their communities…” Source: MediaShift Blog

Data Management Platforms for Publishers

March 11, 2012 in Community, Technology

Publishers today live in a data-driven world. It is no longer enough to simply create content, build audiences, and sell ads. Ad exchanges, networks, demand-side platforms (DSPs) and supply-side platforms (SSPs) have turned ad-buying into a transparent marketplace where millions of dollars worth of inventory is bought in real-time every day. This fundamental shift in the way media is planned and purchased has led to audience aggregation across publisher inventory, primarily benefiting the buy-side.

Ad networks and DSPs have streamlined the media buying process and helped advertisers reach relevant audiences, but they also pose challenges to publishers accustomed to having more control over their own inventory and monetization. With all of the buy-side innovation and technology over the last few years, publishers of all stripes – from large media companies, to blogs, social networks, and e-commerce sites – are searching for ways to maximize revenue and take back some control, while continuing to offer cutting-edge technology and quality audiences at scale to their clients.

One of the most effective ways for publishers to take charge of their audience data is to use a Data Management Platform (DMP). A DMP allows publishers to separate audience data from media execution platforms, providing an independent method to evaluate the quality and price of individual audiences across various media partners, helping extract the most yield from their inventory…

This whitepaper provides a practical roadmap for publishers looking to leverage DMPs to monetize and increase yield from their site traffic, grow their audiences, and boost ad revenue.” Source: Data Management Platforms for Publishers