Paul Greenberg, of DealsDirect, was the first speaker, and his message really set the tone for the entire convention. Being a small business never felt so big! With social networking dominating so much of the eCommerce world today, opportunities for the small business abound. Your mission? Connect with your customers, and in connecting, build solid relationships... which in turn, lead to trust. Paul stressed the importance of focusing upon innovation and speed, as well as using as many channels as possible, whether those channels be multiple venues or added social networks.
Today, let's talk about some of the tools that are available to simplify social networking. I wrote down links to many of these tools from a number of guest speakers, but in all honesty, John Lawson, ColderIce, was the most informative speaker on social media. I recommend that you watch his entire presentation online. What follows are some of the tools that I've already had the chance to research and/or implement.
This is an alert notification tool, similar to Google Alerts, that allows you to monitor search terms and keywords across Twitter. It is free and easily customized. Results are emailed to you.
Got a blog? A personal website? Wibiya is a toolbar that you may install on your blog or your website. (It works on all the popular platforms.) This multi-function toolbar allows your reader to:
- search your blog or website
- translate to other languages
- see and sort recent posts
- see videos on your YouTube Channel
- view real time stats about your page
- connect, recommend and "like" on Facebook
- connect on Twitter
- join a live chat
- and more!
At OnlineAuction.com, we already have this feature. The button is also standard on my Blogger posts. However, you can place this tool on your browser, or in your personal website, for quick sharing of favorite places to a large variety of social networks.
This site does exactly what you'd expect... it creates surveys for you! What a great way to find out what your customers think and what your customers want. I've used surveys before, (at PollCode.com), but what I really like at Survey Monkey is the analytics! And you can easily share these surveys across all your networks.
This one's my favorite! This application allows you to merge all your social networks onto one page, for simplified interaction. For example, I have personal accounts at Twitter and Facebook, as well as a Facebook Fan Page, so my HootSuite shows me recent activity on all three accounts at one glance! Not to mention, there is a little HOOTLET that you can drag and drop to your browser, which allows you to post favorites to any or all your networks with one click. So easy! Go check this one out.
I put Facebook on this post because I want to share two links with you... you're on Facebook, right? ;)
Start a Fan Page for your business.
Check out the Facebook Widgets page and make some badges to place in your blog, your website and in forum profiles outside of Facebook!
Rapportive is a simple, free, plug-in application that gives G-Mail Customer Relationship Management capabilities. What is this? It allows you to see information about the people who email you in G-Mail. It also allows you to make personal notes about the sender, for future referencing.
I haven't signed up for this one yet, but I am going to. Basically, TubeMogul is video distribution and tracking. This application allows you to upload and share videos simultaneously across multiple networks. It gives you analytics, too. Certainly worth investigating, and I will try this for Fleapirates' next video!
In his closing speech, ECTMA Director, Brandon Dupsky asked attendees to write down 2 goals that we wanted to implement over the course of the next 3-6 months. Mine? I'd like to bump up my social media skills, by putting to use these tools and being more proactive in social networks, and learn techniques to improve my use of video for advertising. What goals do YOU have?
Remember, perspective is everything.
Your definition of success is based upon your perspective...
the definition of a good, reputable business depends upon your customer's perspective.