Recently I’ve been on the hunt for a new tool that allows me to more effectively monitor NITA’s social communities. I’ve been looking for something different from Hootsuite or similar tools, because those tend to focus on a one-way channel of content dissemination and on managing the creation of that content. I wanted a tool that allows me to receive a lot of information on what is going on in our community. I wanted to know what people are talking about, because you can’t have a conversation if you’re only talking at people–that defeats the purpose of an online community.
Through one of my LinkedIn Groups I came across a new application that focuses on Social Media. It’s not uncommon for someone to note a ‘cool new widget’ in these communities, and typically they don’t live up to their hype. But this particular post piqued my interest, and I checked out Bottlenose for the first time. I was extremely impressed right from the start. The entire focus of this app is to give you the ability to listen to your online community, which was exactly what I was looking for.
Enough of the small talk. Here’s some meat and potatoes:
Bottlenose allows you to link the following accounts: Twitter, Facebook, Buffer, Google Reader, and LinkedIn.
You can stay up-to-date on world events and topics in the “Global Trends” dashboard.
But the really impressive features of Bottlenose happen in the your Dashboard.
You can see what’s happening right now in “Your World”
Keep up on “Your Streams”
See what’s new in a customized “Paper”
And, my personal favorite, see how topics are trending via the “Sonar.”
Like any new application, there is a learning curve, but if you truly establish and maintain a successful online community and presence then this is an extremely useful tool that will go a long ways for you.
If you or your firm were an early adopter of Google’s social media platform Google Plus (g+ or Google+), then you most likely felt the pain of how seemingly disconnected the site was from the rest of the internet. With so few users, it was challenging to see the importance of the social platform. Additionally, Google didn’t allow any third party integration with g+ which meant that it was even more difficult and time-consuming to publish content onto g+.
Then Google decide to update it’s social platform to incorporate the ability to make search results more personal and social (Search, plus Your World). This made g+ accounts more valuable by making it easier to connect with people and post content. But g+ still hadn’t integrated with any third parties.
Until, finally, in late July, Hootsuite announced that it had integrated with Google+ pages. The Hootsuite integration has been extremely valuable. Users can now more easily and more efficiently produce and manage content for Google+, and are able to manage all of their online communities in a single location.
If you have been waiting to start up your Google+ account until it could be integrated with your other social platforms, now might be the time. Or, if you’ve been looking for a better way to manage your social platforms, it might be time to look into Hootsuite.
If you are interested in more information you can checkout the Hootsuite & Google+ sneak peak video from Hootsuite.
Whether you loved or hated that LinkedIn had a Twitter integration, at the end of June LinkedIn did away with that integration. The integration had allowed members of both online communities to update their LinkedIn profile with their Twitter account. There were a few different ways that members accomplished this, and it had created a fair amount of controversy around best practices for the communities. I was one of the early adopters of the integration and I was counseled to disable the integration.
It looks like Twitter was the company that decided to end the partnership between the two communities. In a blog post announcement on June 29th LinkedIn representitive Ryan Roslanksy stated “Tweets will no longer be displayed on LinkedIn starting later today.” This statement came out the same day that Twitter representitive Michael Sippey posted a blog announcement stating, “We’re building tools for publishers and investing more and more in our own apps to ensure that you have a great Twitter experience, no matter what device you’re using.”
It appears that Twitter is working to establish themselves as a unique internet experience and doesn’t want to be tied to third parties as much as they have been in the past. This direction seems to be confirmed as they have severed ties with several third party apps, and in May of this year they expanded their Developer Rules.
What implications does this have for you as an individual or as a company? Short term, unless you used the integration between the two communities you’ll probably see no direct effect. If you did use the integration, it now means that you are going to have to change how you update your LinkedIn channel, which can be easily solved. However, in the long term, as each of the social communities continues to establish and distance themselves from each other, you’ll have to pay more and more attention to each community, and won’t be able to ignore them.
While technology and online trend continuously advance and change, there is one trend that has remained relatively stable since its invention: email. For marketing efforts email continues to be the leading method of effective outreach. By now, most firms have incorporated a reoccurring email newsletter into their marketing plans, but they all face a similar challenge: making that email look good. There are so many email clients out there that all render emails their own way that developing your newsletter can become laborious. Luckily, there are some excellent tools out there to help with this process.
Litmus, one of the industry’s leading email rendering web services (and our personal favorite), recently developed a new free tool that anyone can use called the “Email Checklist“.
This easy-to-use tool allows you to copy and paste your HTML into a code box, where it is then analyzed. Litmus scans the HTML to see if you’ve missed anything from what they call the “Best Practices” list, which includes these 7 elements:
Once the analysis is completed, the results page gives you a template to work from with information on issues you may need to fix or address. This is something that we have already incorporated into our workflow for creating emails and we highly recommend it to our partners in the industry.
You can read more about the tool on the Litmus Blog.
Recently I discovered a new app called Timehop. It’s a service that shows you what you were doing–or more specifically, posting about–a year ago. Think “this day in history”, but the history is your entire social media stream.
For those of us how have been in the social media sphere for awhile, this is a fun way to review our social presence. I, for one, have enjoyed both reviewing and evaluating what I was posting a year ago.
Additionally, this has sparked further thought and discussion on what will become of the mass amount of content being created on social media sites. How will tweets and status updates affect us down the road? Instead of family trees, will we have social media trees? CNN addressed this in January in an article titled “Digital nostalgia: Do tweets age like fine wine?”
While that question remains to be answered, one thing is for sure: Timehop is a great app!