Tag Archives: Social Media Tips

10 Free Tools Every Business Needs to Measure Social Media Strategy

photo of to do listLet’s set up your FREE Social Media Strategy Toolkit!

All this talk about Social Media Strategy, how do you define it?

Social media strategy can be defined as having the knowledge of designing everything you do on-line, with an understanding of your target audience, the marketplace and your business goals.

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First Up, SEO Tools – An important social media strategy is making your website SEO friendly. SEO is search engine optimization. This is how websites are discovered. Viewers type keywords into their web browser to find the product or service they need and your site will show up if you have SEO.


1. Serposcope – This open-source tool from serphacker.com is a rank tracker to monitor your site and it’s Google ranking. Features –

  •  Screen Shot 2016-05-09 at 12.10.43 PMEasy 1 click download
  • Track any Keywords from any website (even competitors)
  • Do specific searches – local or by country
  • Monitor keywords for your clients
  • Captcha support
  • Install on Windows, Mac, Ubuntu


2. Spiderlog – discover how Google webbots crawl your site. Features-

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  • Daily reports, find out how many site pages are crawled each day
  • Remover bad links and invalid pages
  • Discover crawling error rates
  •  URL traffic stats
  • Page Speed
  • List of bots that crawl your site


3. YOAST is a plug-in for WordPress sites, features –Screen Shot 2016-05-09 at 12.18.56 PMCorrect canonical errors

  • Optimize post titles, page titles
  • Optimize Videos
  • Custom taxonomy
  • Clean up permalink
  • Xml sitemaps
  • RSS feeds


4. Google Keyword Planner – this is a free Google tool if you use Google AdWords. The Keyword Planner can give you site stats and traffic forecasts, search by phrases, websites or categories, make keyword lists and much more.
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5. Keyword Tool is an alternative to the Google Keyword Planner.  Features –
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  • Generates long tail keywords
  • Uses multiple languages
  • Do international searches for SEO & content creation


After starting off with good SEO, you will want to have a plan to deploy your social media strategy. A good start is having an editorial calendar and a social media calendar.  You can make up your own or use calendar tools that have complete dashboards.

Your calendars may look something like this-

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6. You can also use Google Docs or download free templates from Hubspot.  If you have a WordPress website, their plugin called The Events Calendar

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Event Calendar has tons of helpful tools, template tags, hooks and filters to customize your calendar. Includes –

  • Calendar month view, day view, list view
  • Event searcher
  • Class Schedules
  • Google maps
  • Promote events
  • Mobile responsive
  • Customize the calendar with add-ons to track ticket sales, manage attendees, import events from Facebook, have users submit new events, and much more.



How do you measure social media success?



After SEO and Calendars come the analytics of it all – knowing the stats is how you measure success on social media.  Before you buy expensive analytic plans, always check out the social media platform you are using.  Most of them have their own FREE analytic dashboard which is usually a highly comprehensive tool that will serve your social media analytic needs.

Let’s start with Twitter –

7. Twitter Analytics will define who your Twitter followers are and the level of engagement you are achieving on Twitter.

  • Screen Shot 2016-05-10 at 12.56.16 PMFind Out Your Top tweets Impressions
  • Engagement Rates
  • Link Clicks
  • Retweets
  • Likes
  • Replies
  • Comprehensive Audience Stats
  • Conversion tracking


 Audience Demographics including consumer behavior, lifestyle and mobile engagementScreen Shot 2016-05-10 at 12.57.30 PM


8. Google Analytics is an extremely broad dashboard with conversion rates, bouce rates, complete audience demographics, mobile conversion rates and just about everything you can think of for analytics.

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9. Headline Analyzer from www.aminstitute.com will analyze your headline for marketing value. It will tell you the percentages of Intellectual, Empathetic and Spiritual marketing value your headline has. Just type in headline up to 20 words and choose a category for your results. Great tool to improve the value of your post titles.

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10. PinAlerts

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  • Discover who is interacting with your content
  • See what content is being pinned from your site
  • Announce pins
  • Thank people for pinning your pins
  • Receive pin alerts on multiple domains



Social Media – Is it worth your time? Does your business benefit?

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Social media is a component of your overall marketing plan. The most important thing to note about social media is that you need to measure, analyze results and adjust your strategy for successful engagement. There is no sole purpose for using social media for your business but many. Social media is a way to be more interactive with your customers, gather useful data to help you constantly fine tune your product/service for your target audience and give back to community through your social media posts and helpful content. Take this as a unique opportunity to be real in our web world.


How Do You Choose the Right Social Media Platform to Market Your Business On?


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There are a few things to consider when choosing your social media platforms. Here are 11 tips about social media platforms to help you decide what’s right for you . . .


Tip#1 Know Your Target Audience

Before attempting to use any social media, make sure you know your target audience. It is also helpful to develop a marketing persona with a story behind it and use that to learn what social media platforms might this person be using and why. Will you want to use a messaging platform or highly visual platform? Where is your persona shopping and when?


Let’s take a look at 10 popular social media sites and see who uses them and why –

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Tip#2 Twitter

Twitter is the 140-character count communication method, which you can interact with customers, monitor conversations and see what the competition is up to. Who uses it? A very broad sector of population worldwide uses Twitter for their news, trends and communications. This is a platform that must to kept up with by tweeting daily, responding to notifications with retweets, follows and keeping track of the analytics. Twitter is not a place to display product lines or try and direct market followers, but it is good for –

  • Using #hashtags in your tweets to gain viewers and followers and stay trending
  • Reaching a large audience fast
  • Staying in touch with new trends and news in your industry
  • Using as a customer relationships tool
  • Fast and easy way to share your useful content
  • Easy to set up and get started

Tip#3     Pinterest

Pinterest involves making great images and works well for e-commerce sites. It is quick and easy to set up and doesn’t take a lot of time to keep up with the platform. Through your pins you will gain exposure. The nice thing about Pinerest is you don’t have to pin everyday so if your time is limited, Pinterest maybe for you. The demographics for Pinterest are less broad than Twitter. I have heard people say mostly women use Pinterest but don’t believe it. True, there are a large number of brides and party planners pinning but there are also car enthusiasts, home builders, designers and tech pinners to name a few. If you choose Pinterest to feature your brand, make sure you give your boards catchy titles and viewers can also clearly understand titles what your board is about. Carefully tag your pins so you get credit when they are re-pinned. If you are lucky, your board can go viral and be seen by millions of pinners. Include backlinks to your website and make sure your pins are colorful and of excellent quality.

Tip#4    Facebook

It is estimated that over a billion people use Facebook. This alone puts it into a large and diverse demographic. Using Facebook to target your audience means you should create a business Page. It is essential to update the page on a regular basis with useful posts. Facebook Ads is another paying means to reach your customers. Make sure you have the time and resources to keep up. People can browse through your products, leave messages, run promotions for followers and develop a community around your business.

Tip#5    LinkedIn

This is a valuable site for business people. It is not a site to directly sell your product but a site that will help build professional relationships. Join as an individual and as a business, sign up for groups in your industry or start your own group, contribute useful information you come across, make important contacts, answer questions. Groups are a fast way to get exposure to thousands if it is a large group. This is another easy platform to set-up and not a lot of time is necessary to successfully use LinkedIn. Linkedin is a way to establish your self as an industry expert.

Tip#6    Social Media Search/Review Sites

Viewers use these sites to find restaurants, locate specific types of retail, and make travel plans. Pick your search sites carefully, use sites that have been around and are well know that people use frequently like Yelp! The advantage of using these sites is customers can write reviews and you receive instant feedback about how well your products or services are working and how your customer feels about your company. Even if it’s bad, it’s good to know so you can make corrections. Some popular search sites include Yelp, Digg, City Search, Stumble Upon and Google Places.

Tip#7 Instagram

Instagram is great for mobile users, easy to upload photos from your smartphone and apply various filters to make your photos unique. The larger demographic for this platform is younger ages teens through young adults. It can be used to post snapshots of your business showing the human side of your company. Share your Instagram feed on your Facebook page, sell products and get shared by other Instagram followers.

Tip#8  YouTube vs. Vine

Just about everyone has at one time watched a YouTube video. YouTube is an easy way to put tutorials on your site. Make your video on a smartphone, upload to your YouTube account and embed the code on your site and you have instant tutorials on your website. Certain products and services lend themselves better to this type of format. Vine, on the other hand is a 6 second commercial that can be looped. You need to be creative and quick. Share your Vine videos on your Facebook and Twitter timelines. Vines are meant to be fun videos showing your audience something they will want to see. If your Vine goes viral, we may see you on the Today Show!

Tip#9    Tumblr

Tumblr is another microblogging platform and social networking site you can sell products on. Like Pinterest and Instagram, it is a visual site, mostly with a young demographic. You can easily post videos, links, music, and text and of course photos. If you have multiple types of media you want to post to your site, Tumblr is a simple way to accomplish this.

Tip#10 Snapchat

This app is quickly becoming a very popular messaging app with teens and young adults. Snapchat is a video message you can send which will self-destruct in a few seconds after it is sent. Why would you want to use this? This is quick way to send messages to followers, it doesn’t matter what time you post snaps, it’s not effected by a timeline, your snaps stay open until your followers have time to open them, then they disappear. Great way to tell a story, show a product in action, add humor. You can draw on snaps, giving a compelling reason to follow you with your witty, fun snaps.

Tip#11 Google+

Used by over 300 million people, Google+ can provide many search ranking benefits to your business. This is a platform that you must keep up being interactive with users and update your page as needed. There are too many services and benefits on Google+ to mention here but Martin Sherrington has a wonderful comprehensive guide at www.martinshervington.com/what-is-google-plus/.  

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There are many social media platforms out there, choose the right social media sites by –

  • Knowing your target audience

  • Develop your marketing persona

  • Find sites that lend themselves best to your persona

Do your homework and you and your business will have Social Media Success!


10 Free Tools for Data Visualization

It has long been proven that we are visual  creatures.  Data is much easier to digest when  displayed in a visual form than to read large amounts of lists.  Taking data from it’s natural form and making it into colorful charts and graphs can be a daunting task. Fortunately there are many tools to help you convert your data.

Lets explore 10 free tools to help you get your data into a visual form.

  1.  Google Charts

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Google Charts

Google Charts  has a large gallery of interactive charts which are customizable.  Connect your data in real time using Google’s data connection tools.  Google makes it easy to combine multiple charts in the dashboard and gives you interface widget controls to manipulate the data.   Google Chart Guides top bar menu explains how to connect your database to Google Charts, how to ingest data from other sources and how to implement a new type of datasource among many other helpful topics.


2.  ZingChart

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Download  and modify your chart template from the large gallery.  Some coding skills are necessary to use ZingChart. Interactive tutorials are on the site http://www.zingchart.com/try which allow you to practice using this tool.  The basic free service includes access to the entire ZingChart library of charts, maps, modules and features. For more features and support, paid subscriptions are available.

3. Visualize Free

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Visualize Free

Visualize Free uses your uploaded data file, spreadsheet or CSV file with their drag and drop user interface.  Choose your chart type and custom controls.  This cloud-based tool by default is private but can be changed to share with anyone.  To share datasets and visualizations, change the Protected mode on the detail page and email the link or embed on your blog with the iFrame code.  Free tutorials are offered on the site and a helpful FAQ section will hopefully answer any questions about how to use Visualize Free.

4. Timeline JS

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Timelines JS

Timelines are used in advertising and web posts as a quick and easy way to get a lot of information to readers quickly.  Timeline JS  by knightlab is an open-source tool to build interactive timelines.  It works on any site with 4 easy steps. Use their template to build a Google spreadsheet and drop your data in. Publish your file to the web.  Copy the URL that will appear in the window and paste into the box next to the Google Spreadsheet URL.  Embed the code by pasting it onto your site.  Timelines JS recommends up to 20 slides at most for readers to slide through.  Pull your media from any social media platform like YouTube, Vine, Flickr, Twitter and more.  Visit this free tool at timeline.knightlab.com.

5.  Modest Maps

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Need to make an interactive maps ?  The Javascript based Modest Maps gives you the basic controls to have an interactive map by allowing features like ranger sliders to animated zooming and setting the boundary on how far your map can be panned out.  Other features include adding popups, zooming levels, track points on your map and highlight specific regions on your map.

6.  Kartograph

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Kartograph  generates  inactive maps with Kartograph.py  which creates maps from its Python library using SVGs and Kartograph.js which runs on a stand alone basis, no server needed.   Download the framework from the site.  A basic knowledge of Adobe Illustrator is a must and Python and Javascript experience may be necessary in order to utilize the full potential of this tool.

7. Jp Graph

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Looking for a simple graph or line plot chart ? Jp Graph is an object-oriented graph creating library for PHP and can be used in any PHP scripts.  Plot types supported by Jp Graph include Line, Pie, Bar, Scatter, Geo Maps, Radar, Contour to name a few. This tools also supports creation of  anti-spam images which prevents automatic sign-ups to mailing list or on-line services. There is a pro-version available which supports Barcodes, Windrose and Odometer graph types.

8.  Dygraphs

screenshot of Dygraph


These inactive charts are a open source Javascript charting library.  They can handle large data sets with millions of plot points.  It works in all browsers and zooms down for mobile devices. The quick links menu has free tutorials to bring you up to speed to use Dygraphs. Customize your graph with the many options available.  Zooming, panning and mouseovers are all on by default.  New features of Dygraphs include being  retina compatible and dropped point optimization.

9.  Online Charts

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Chart Tool

Anyone can use this tool to make colorful charts and graphs. No experience in coding or extensive computer knowledge is needed. First pick your chart and follow the easy to use the data menu.  Customize your font colors, background appearance, transparency levels, grid line colors and more.  Over 12 types of charts to choose, just add your data and preview your chart before saving and sharing on-line.

10. ChartGo

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This on-line chart maker is for anyone who wants to make a colorful data chart or graph. It’s  for simple applications of data.  The format is easy to follow. Click the Create Chart link on the Home page. The Create Chart page is where all your data will be entered.  Two important  sections on this page are the Settings section which contains options that control what your chart looks like and the Data section where your data is entered. Hit the Results page to see your new chart and share it with others.

There are many more visualization tools out there and I hope you try some of these great tools. Some tools are more suited for the developer but as you can see here, there are great tools for average person who wants to spice up their data.  Remember, all the tools I have mentioned here are FREE ! So try them out and find the one you like.

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