Hootsuite: A Brief Overview of an Amazing Social Media Tool

August 19, 2013

by Jeanine Vecchiarelli                        return to JayVee Media Link LLC

“What exactly is Hootsuite?”  That is a question I have been fielding lately, particularly from new coaching clients.  Here is an introductory look at the social media tool.

Hootsuite owlHootsuite is a tool that simplifies a user’s social media experience by allowing virtually all duties across a multitude of platforms to be enacted within one easy to use dashboard. When a person signs up for the service he/she configures that dashboard by securely adding user names and passwords for any or all of the following platforms he/she uses: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Plus, FourSquare, YouTube, Instagram and Tumblr.  A WordPress blog site can also be added.  After configuration, one user name and password allows the client access to all his/her social media accounts, eliminating the need for continuously signing in and out of them individually.

Hootsuite dashboard screen shot

Hootsuite allows users to monitor activity on their social media platforms, and to post to them. Posts may be shared immediately, or they can be scheduled for release at a future time and/or date.  They can be easily edited and even deleted from the scheduled streams.

Another great feature of Hootsuite is its built in URL shortening service.  When sharing links to Twitter we can’t afford to have our 140 character maximum be taken up by long URLs. Furthermore, they are unsightly even on platforms that allow unlimited characters for posting.  We need only paste our long form links into Hootsuite’s status box, click “Shrink,” and a much more manageable version is generated and inserted into our posts.  As an added bonus, Hootsuite tracks the short links it creates. This puts the analytics for what we share right at our fingertips.

Hootsuite link shortener feature screen shot

Two features that help keep Hootsuite close by for easy use are its mobile app for our smart phones, and its Hootlet plug-in for our desktop/laptop browsers.  Both are straightforward, fully functional and very easy to use.

Hootsuite mobile app and Hootlet browser plug in screen shots

Hootsuite offers three levels of service.  Its basic level is free for use by one client, who can add up to five social media accounts.  Its Pro level allows the integration of up to 50 social media platforms, and one “team member” to assist in management duties.  The entry Pro level costs $8.99/month, but add-ons are available if a user needs to handle more for expansion of his/her social media business presence.  The final level is Enterprise, which is for big businesses with large staffs and much to oversee.

As users grow their social media presences they may find useful the more advanced features Hootsuite offers.  They may, for example, wish to configure platform streams to allow for monitoring of specific groups or keywords, including mentions of their companies.  Undoubtedly they will also want to take advantage of the tool’s integrated analytics for research and reporting.

Have you tried Hootsuite yet?  What is your impression?  Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below!

Social Media Marketing? Go Where Your Clients Are!

February 25, 2013

by Jeanine Vecchiarelli                                    return to JayVee Media Link LLC

profile stick figures networking on laptopsFacebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google Plus.  And SO MANY others.  In the social media marketing realm there is a place and a purpose for each platform.  Of course, it would be counterproductive to try keeping up with ALL of them.  Each one requires a proper time investment.  But a strong marketing strategy will employ several, integrating them into a good, productive campaign.

After carefully selecting the best social media platforms to suit our business needs, it is not uncommon for us to gravitate toward the one or two whose style(s) we favor. That may well lead to us spending a greater share of our time on the one(s) we prefer.  But in order to court success for our clients – as well as for ourselves – we need to step outside of our own preferences and ask: Which platform are the majority of our clients and prospects using?  We owe it to them as well as to ourselves to become comfortable and fluent on the one THEY favor, and to invest a larger share of our time and energy posting and engaging with them THERE.

b to c stick figures shaking hands from laptopsAre our businesses primarily B2B?  Chances are the profile that holds the most potential for us is LinkedIn.  B2C? Platforms such as Facebook and Twitter may likely fit the bill.  Do our businesses lend themselves to visual displays and promotions?  Pinterest and/or You Tube may be the best places to court and interact with current/potential clients.  These are merely generalizations, of course.  The best platforms for us need to be determined through careful analysis of our specific businesses.

To recap:  Planning a successful strategy means determining which of the social media platforms will work best to service the general needs of our growing businesses.  Smart planning will result in setting up and using the few most likely to deliver the best results for our important business metrics.  After that, the largest segment of our time needs to be spent engaging on the one or two platforms that are most heavily populated by the people who are more likely to want or need the product/service we provide.  It is our duty to become familiar and comfortable with those channels in particular, so we may nurture the most potentially fruitful connections and hence obtain the best return from our invested time.

Which platform do you feel is most heavily populated by the best prospects for your business?  How will you use that social media channel to engage with them?  Please share your thoughts in the comments section below!

customer stick figure asking question

The Importance of Social Media Audits

September 17, 2012

by Jeanine Vecchiarelli                            return to JayVee Media Link LLC

I recently shared a wonderful infographic by Mike Lewis on my social media sites.  The topic was “How to Perform a Social Audit.”  I would like to talk a little about the necessity of this vital task for launching our clients’ social media marketing campaigns as well as for maintaining positive momentum throughout them.

social media audit with magnifying glassIt is important to approach our social audits on multiple levels as we begin developing strategies for our clients’ internet marketing efforts.  Obviously, the first thing for which we need to look is the kind of presence they already have on the World Wide Web.  How well optimized are their websites, and how visible are they to the major search engines?  Do they have profiles set up on various social media platforms?  What is the quality of their web existences, and how effectively are the sites being used?  In his infographic, Mike Lewis presents great tips for these questions in clear, concise form.  Note that while he uses Twitter and Facebook as examples, the advice he offers can and must be applied to all social media platforms.  And I second his recommendation to assess our clients’ internet presences in accordance with the general rules for set up and appearance AS WELL AS against the profiles of their competitors.  It is essential to research what those competitors are doing that is or is not working, and to use that information to better our clients’ presences.

A tip I will add to Mike Lewis’ advice is to revisit and update our social audits at regular intervals after we set up and implement our clients’ media campaigns.  As part of our research into the effectiveness of our strategies, we should continue to monitor what their competitors are doing, and how successful they are in their efforts.  Doing so affords us greater vantage points from which to tweak our clients’ strategies.

What tips can you offer for conducting our social audits?  Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below!

Social Media No-Nos

–an observation by Jeanine Vecchiarelli, founder of JayVee Media Link LLC

“My social media profiles have been up for a year! Why do I have only 11 followers on one and 9 on the other?” That was the question I was recently asked when I was hired to perform JayVee Media Link’s Social Media Evaluation for a new client.

The small business that hired me for this job is well known and highly ranked in its local area, so I was interested to see why its social media business plan was falling flat. It didn’t take long for the answer to present itself clearly. On the company’s Twitter profile, there was a mere handful of posts spread at approximately monthly intervals over the year, all of which shared news of upcoming events and service offerings. Over the past year, there was not a single instance of interaction with followers, and not a single indication that any effort had been made to build the company’s following.

I’m sure you already suspect that this businessFacebook page was similarly neglected. But there was one additional thing I saw on that profile that positively chilled me. There was a nine month old post from a prospective client saying, “I want to know more!” The post was never answered. It was never even acknowledged.

Social media is….SOCIAL. Internet marketing for business, large or small, MUST comprise an active, enthusiastic presence on a business’ social media profiles. A continuous effort to build a company’s following using any of the multitude of strategies on the internet, and ACTIVE ENGAGEMENT with a profile’s followers are ABSOLUTE MUSTS. Any business that is not prepared to do the work necessary to build and maintain a positive, interactive online presence, either in house or via the internet marketing services that are offered by social media companies like JayVee Media Link, should understand that it will not see success through that particular avenue of marketing.

Considering that social media marketing is the next big wave for advertising a business’ goods and services, it is strongly recommended that any company looking to expand its reach – even on a local level – learn to integrate successful internet marketing strategies into its business planning.

See also:  We’re Here to Help!

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Time Management: Get More from your Time — Guest Post

Today’s post is a wonderfully informative offering by top social media consultant Lilach Bullock.  Thanks, Lilach, for helping us to do more in less time!

Time Management: Get More from your Time

Do YOU use any of these time management aids?  Do you use any others?  Which do you prefer?  I’m all ears!  🙂

–Jeanine Vecchiarelli

return to main site: JayVee Media Link LLC

Social Media No-Nos

–an observation by Jeanine Vecchiarelli, founder of JayVee Media Link LLC

“My social media profiles have been up for a year! Why do I have only 11 followers on one and 9 on the other?” That was the question I was recently asked when I was hired to perform JayVee Media Link’s Social Media Evaluation for a new client.

The small business that hired me for this job is well known and highly ranked in its local area, so I was interested to see why its social media business plan was falling flat. It didn’t take long for the answer to present itself clearly. On the company’s Twitter profile, there was a mere handful of posts spread at approximately monthly intervals over the year, all of which shared news of upcoming events and service offerings. Over the past year, there was not a single instance of interaction with followers, and not a single indication that any effort had been made to build the company’s following.

I’m sure you already suspect that this businessFacebook page was similarly neglected. But there was one additional thing I saw on that profile that positively chilled me. There was a nine month old post from a prospective client saying, “I want to know more!” The post was never answered. It was never even acknowledged.

Social media is….SOCIAL. Internet marketing for business, large or small, MUST comprise an active, enthusiastic presence on a business’ social media profiles. A continuous effort to build a company’s following using any of the multitude of strategies on the internet, and ACTIVE ENGAGEMENT with a profile’s followers are ABSOLUTE MUSTS. Any business that is not prepared to do the work necessary to build and maintain a positive, interactive online presence, either in house or via the internet marketing services that are offered by social media companies like JayVee Media Link, should understand that it will not see success through that particular avenue of marketing.

Considering that social media marketing is the next big wave for advertising a business’ goods and services, it is strongly recommended that any company looking to expand its reach – even on a local level – learn to integrate successful internet marketing strategies into its business planning.

Social Media and Small Business

Social media marketing as part of small business planning; what are the latest statistics, and how are small businesses making use of the different social media platforms?

It is our privilege to share this informative guest post by Lisa Barone.  Her blog, “47 Percent of SMBs Still Not Using Social Media” originally appeared on the Small Business Trends site.  It not only underscores the importance of using social media to grow small business — via the use of various tools to target one’s market — it demonstrates the growing role of social media management companies like JayVee Media Link, which can ease the time commitment that is required for a successful social media marketing campaign.

read Lisa Barone’s blog post here