9 of the Top Social Media Analytics Tools

Chances are that social media marketing in a major component of your overall marketing strategy. But, to find out if your social media marketing efforts are paying off and to identify areas where you need to improve, you must deploy social media analytics tools.

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The following is a list, in no particular order, of 9 of the top social media analytics tools.

1.    Cyfe

Cyfe is an all-in-one dashboard application that helps you monitor all your business data from one place. This helps you make better business decisions and save countless hours tracking your data. Cyfe lets you monitor individual departments, projects, multiple websites and anything else using dashboards. Once the social front, Cyfe has social dashboard thatallows you to pull data from popular services like Google or Facebook using pre-built widgets or custom widgets. Cyfe is free to sign-up but to unlock its full potential, you need a $19 per month subscription.

2.    Followerwonk

Followerwonk is a social media analytics tool that assists you to explore and develop your social graph. With Followerwonk, you can dive deep into Twitter analytics and find out who your followers are, where they are located and when they tweet. You can also find and connect with new influencers in your niche. Followerwonk has great visualizations that make it easy to compare your social graph with your competitors. It is also super easy to share your reports with the other people. Followerwonk offers a free account for one profile. For up to three profiles, pricing is $29 per month.

3.    Buffer

Buffer is a great tool to save on your social media tasks. With Buffer, you can schedule, publish and analyze all your posts in one place. Buffer also allows you to share your content at the most optimal time of the day so that followers and fans can see updates. This is in addition to other tools such as their image creation tool that allows you to create images with the perfect size and format for Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. Buffer is free for individuals managing one account. Pricing for teams and agencies starts at $99 per month.

4.    SumAll

As the name suggests, SumAll is a number crunching tool. With SumAll, you can connect  connect unlimited Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Google Analytics accounts for you or your clients. You can then organize them into as many reports as you like from a single SumAll account. Pricing is $99 per month.

5.    Quintly

Quintly is not only a social media analytics tool but a benchmarking tool as well. With Quintly, you can easily see your numbers compared to your competitors’ and hence take action where you find you aren’t doing well. This is a great tool if you want valuable competitor insights and data. Quinty offers a free 14-Day trial for all packages and pricing starts at $129 for 5 profiles.

6.    Keyhole

Keyhole is one of the best analytics tools to track social conversations on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Their products include hashtag and keyword tracking as well as account tracking and reporting. If you want hashtag analytics, then Keyhole is definitely the way to go. Pricing starts at $132 per month.

7.    Klout

Want to know how influential you are on the social web? Klout measures your influence by examining your ability to drive action. To improve your impact online, Klout suggests shareable content that your audience hasn’t seen yet and track how retweets, likes, and shares change your Klout Score. The Klout Score is on a scale of 1 – 100. Klout is free.

8.    ViralWoot

Viralwoot is purely a Pinterest social media analytics tool. With ViralWoot, you can grow, manage and monitor your Pinterest account. Use ViralWoot to boost your Pinterest presence and get discovered by thousands of active Pinterest users across all types of niches.You can also increase your reach by scheduling Pins for maximum exposure and engage Pinterest influencers. Signing up is free but to unlock all the features, you need a paid subscription that starts at $10 per month.

9.    Addictomatic

Addictomatic helps you monitor your influence and online reputation. You can instantly create a custom page with the latest buzz on any topic. Simply enter a topic in the search bar and the tool finds the most recent articles, images, videos and news items from Google, Bing, Twitter and over a dozen other sources. The results are broken down into easy-to-navigate headers. Addictomatic is free.

Conclusion

There are many other social media analytics tools that you can use to make sense of your social media marketing efforts. But, these nine are definitely in the top tier.

 

Casting the Net Wider: Reach More People Today

If your business has a core group of customers but struggles to reach people further afield, you have a clear problem. It’s impossible to grow and expand a business when it’s stuck in a very tight niche. You need to find ways of casting the net wider and reaching more people if you want to make your business bigger and better. When you do this, you mustn’t forget your core customers who provide the business with its base.

Broaden the Scope of Your Brand

The very first thing to do is broaden the overall scope of your brand. If people see your business as only being for a certain kind of consumer, they will be unlikely to even listen to what you have to say. That’s why you need to actively demonstrate how the business is changing and why this matters to your customers. Set up a marketing campaign that is directly aimed at people who have never used your business before. Confound their expectations and brand your business differently. On top of that, you will have to start selling things that have a broader appeal.

Be More Open and Communicative

Being open and communicative about your business is really important at times when you are trying to branch out and reach new people. If your business is closed off and not open to new people, it’s unlikely to do very well at all. So, to ensure your business doesn’t fall behind and lost traction, you should make sure your business has a presence in social media. And when you interact with people on these platforms, make sure you’re open and willing to be humorous. When you do that, more people will see the human side of your business.

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Improve Your Website and Make Sure Content is Optimized

You’ll need to build a new website for your company if you want to make sure that it has the online presence required of modern businesses. If you run a construction company, this is just as true as if you run a tech startup. People often forget that all kinds of businesses need this strong online presence. There are companies that offer general contractor website design services if you do run that kind of business. But no matter what type of business you run, make sure the website is modern, easy to find and easy to use. You should also post content on there that is fully optimized to improve your SEO ranking.

Build Trust Over Time

Trust is important when it comes to the relationships between customers and businesses. If people don’t trust your brand, they won’t trust what it says or what it offers. So, it’s really important that you aim to build trust over time and don’t take customers for granted. It will be a slow process, so don’t expect to see instant results overnight. It simply won’t happen like that. Be prepared to prove your business is changing and appealing to more people. Eventually, the change will happen and people will begin to recognize it as well.

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The Little Things. Important Areas Of Business That Often Go Forgotten

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When starting a new business, you have so much to think about. Your products need to be made, and your website needs to go up. And, of course, you need to find the time to breath! But, being busy often leads to forgetfulness. And, of course, this can be a big problem for a business owner. To help you out, this post will go through a few of the things that new business people tend to forget.

  • Customer Service

Customer service is the cornerstone of any customer facing business. It’s important to remember that your customers are the ones who drive your business. Without them, your business wouldn’t be anything. So, you have to treat them right. If you’re selling products, your customers need a way to contact you. If something goes wrong, they need to be able to get help. Ideally, you should have a way for customers to contact you by phone. But, email will serve you just as well. When you talk to customers, you should always be as polite as possible. They should leave the interaction feeling better than when it began. Customer service will make or break your relationship with your customers. If they don’t like you, they won’t buy from you.

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  • Social Media

Social media gives businesses a way to reach out to their customers in a way that they never have before. Of course, it means that customers can talk directly to you, and you to them. So, it should be used to it’s full potential. Most social media sites don’t charge businesses to use their services. So, it can be seen as a sort of free advertising. This means that the only thing social media will cost you is time. This makes it extremely valuable to a business on a budget. Content on social media should always be produced with quality in mind. You should never skimp on the posts that you submit. Your customers will be likely to find their way to you through your posts. So, they should look as good as possible. You can get help from a graphic designer to make your posts look as professional as possible.

  • Taxes

Okay, so those are fairly easy parts of business to master. But, there’s something much more complex that few people recognise. Taxes are something that can catch a lot of businesses out. If you don’t record your earnings well, it could be impossible to submit your declaration at the end of the year. This means that it’s especially important to make sure that you have a record of your money. Thankfully, you can professional help in this area. Attorneys such as Mackay, Caswell & Callahan specialize in taxes. These attorneys can do all of the leg work involved with sorting out your taxes. But, it’s best to get them onboard early. This will help to make sure that your business is being built to last.

Hopefully, this will help you with some of the more confusing aspects of business. During this time you may need help. But, that’s not a problem. It’s better to ask for help when you need it than to fail without it.

Start As You Mean To Go On: Hitting The Ground Running In Business

When people start their own business, they often aren’t prepared for the emotional rollercoaster that can ensue. Sure, they’re ready for the long hours. They know that it will take hard work. They expect to have to make adjustments in their life. But for anyone who has ever got as far as getting a business off the ground, the initial issue of what it does to you mentally is one not easily forgotten.

Firstly, it’s an exciting time. You have a plan that you are confident will work, and you’re in a business niche in which you feel at home. The opportunities that stretch out in front of you are plentiful and worthwhile. Then, you’re also apprehensive. The thing about opportunities is, they aren’t certainties. If this whole thing falls apart, that’s your reputation trashed. Why are you doing this again?

Ah, because you’re also optimistic. You know, if you do this right, that there is no reason for it to fail. And it’s something you’ve researched, so you feel confident that it has the potential to succeed. And, as you can see, this is before you even hit the ground. Your emotions can pull you in so many different directions. You won’t have much time to think once things are up and running. So you need to do a lot of thinking before you launch the business. You need a checklist.

Item One: Your Business Plan

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Every once in awhile you’ll see someone on the TV who has made their first billion before they even turned 30. As much as you may curse them when you hear that, you’ll go apoplectic when the next words out of their mouth are “Yeah, I don’t believe in business plans”. Somehow, they just stumbled into all that cash? How is that fair?

It’s not. They’re lucky. You still need a plan. What will your business do? Do you need premises? Do you need employees? How many? What equipment do you need? How much is all of this going to cost? Are you planning to borrow all of that? Are there grants you can apply for? Will you be looking for outside investment?

That’s nine questions, and there are more than those to answer. Take the time to answer them now, because if you want investment, or even for a bank to lend you the money, you’ll need coherent answers.

Item Two: Being Up On The Regulations

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Dependent on where you are setting up your business, there may be more or fewer regulations to keep up with. However, it is your job to make sure you are compliant with them. It doesn’t matter if you think they are unnecessary, or excessive. You will need to keep state and federal laws and regulations in mind so that you can keep your business ahead of the game. If you get a reputation for breaking regulations, you’ll struggle as an employer.

It may be that you are required to register with a Secretary of State and file a confirmation of your business details with them. You can find a version of that confirmation statement explained here. Mostly, the information you will need to register pertains to what your company does, who its directors are and where it is located. You may also need to pass certain inspections at state level, to show that your premises are fit to run a business from.

Item Three: Your Timetable For Launch

Having a business plan is, of course, essential. That is the document that shows what your business will do when it is up and running. Before you get to that stage, though, you will have a lot of things to deal with. Are you planning to start as a “lone wolf” entrepreneur, or do you need to hire staff? Picking the right people – headhunting them if necessary – can take a while, so allow yourself plenty of time.

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Your premises, also, are unlikely to arrive fully assembled and ready to plug and play. You’ll need to get them into shape – including testing all of the electrics and systems you’ll be using when you go live. You don’t want to have a “great switch-on” on Day One and see everything go up in smoke. Literally or metaphorically. Appointing a small transition team can be of major value to you in this respect.

Item Four: Contingency, Contingency, Contingency

No one sets up a business expecting it to fail, unless they are attempting to commit fraud of some sort. However, expecting a business to fail and being ready for what happens if it does are two different things. In some ways, it’s very simple. If your business fails, it goes bust, and you learn some valuable lessons. But that’s only if it fails completely. There may be chances to reset your expectations and rescue part of the business, if not all.

Your business plan will be based on revenues from operations – and at the start, these will always be projections. If your revenues fall short of what was projected, then there is the possibility that you will not be able to grow the business as you had planned. To set against this possibility, it is wise to have a contingency fund which can be used to cover shortfalls.

Item Five: Your Exit Strategy

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You should also have an exit strategy in place. In fact, you should have two: one where you get out having made a success of the business, and one where you accept it’s not going to happen and move on. The former may involve selling to investors for a healthy profit and moving on to pastures new.

The latter should include having a sector of the business that can operate on a reduced revenue and with a smaller core staff. This way, if things haven’t gone your way in the beginning, you can still make something of the business. Or, at the very least, have something to pass on to someone who can.

It may seem strange to prepare for failure in business, but it may be the most important thing you do. Having learned the lessons of business failure you can then take them, and the money from any sale, on to another business. Everyone fails a few times before they succeed; you just need to make the success bigger than any failure.

 

3 Goals to Make Before Starting Your Business

So the entrepreneurial bug has bitten you? Starting a business is an exciting and worthwhile decision, but you shouldn’t leap into it without having clear goals in mind. When you have a strong focus and know what you’re working toward, you’re more likely to succeed. Here are a few goals you should consider setting before your business opens its doors.

Please Your Customers

You never want to take your customers for granted.  Even if you have a monopoly on a certain type of business in your area, you should still have a strong focus on making your customers happy. If you don’t, you’ll find your business besieged by poor online reviews. When a competing business eventually does open up, you’ll find yourself hurting.

Good customer service can even help you expand your business. As happy customers go online or talk to their friends and family about the positive experiences they had with you, the people they contact are more likely to flock to you.

It’s important to measure your progress toward any goals you set. Therefore, consider setting up a customer-service survey for your business, or you could keep an eye on online reviews sites and make note of the number of negative and positive reviews you receive.

Be Innovative

If your business has nothing that makes it stand out from the company down the block, you’re missing out on a golden opportunity to find your niche. Regardless of what industry you work in, the goal should be to stand out among your competitors.

The thing that sets you apart could be as simple as an amazing refund policy, or it could be directly related to the products or services you provide. Frequently brainstorm new ideas that could take your business’ innovation to the next level. Also, don’t take the entire burden of innovation on your own shoulders. When you hire employees, encourage them to voice their ideas for how the business could improve.

Achieve Financial Success

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What do you personally want to gain from your business? Do you want to make enough to send your kids to college, retire to a luxe condo in Florida, or take an amazing vacation around the world? You might even have greater ambitions; you could follow in the footsteps of billionaire Daryl Katz and be able to purchase a multi-million-dollar home in Los Angeles.

Whatever you personally want to achieve, put that goal in writing and regularly monitor your progress toward it. True, not everyone makes it big in business, but if you have a clear objective in mind and make decisions centered around it, your odds of success are greater.

Whether you’ve owned business before or this is the first time you’ve put on the hat of an entrepreneur, it would behoove you to give serious thought to what you want your business to achieve even before you open its doors. A few simple goals you could set are to please your customers, be innovative, and strive for personal financial success.

Ashley is a full time student writing her way through college. When she’s not writing she enjoys hiking and any other outdoor activity imaginable.

How to Build a Strong Online Presence

A couple of years ago, BIA/Kelsey conducted a survey of over 100 sample consumers. A subsequent data analysis revealed that 97% of modern consumers use the Internet when researching local products and services. The percentage is probably the same today, but seeing how the number of both Internet (according to ITU data, it grew from 2.1 to 3.4 billion today) and mobile users (according to Cisco research, the number quintupled since 2000) grew immensely since then, you only now have a lot of more potential customers online. The bottom line is, for most people in the 21st century, their first introduction to your business and your brand is by discovering it online.

A strong online presence will not only increase your brand’s reputation, but it will also establish you as an authority figure in your particular niche. So the biggest question is this: How can you exactly stand apart from every other business that is trying to reach new customers online? According to last year’s findings from the Kauffman Foundation, there are over 530,000 new business in the US every month, so if you really want to differentiate yourself from the competition, you will have to use certain branding and marketing methods to increase your online presence.

Properly Optimizing Your Site

At this point, there is no valid reason why you should not have a business website. But surprisingly, according to the findings from the US Small Business Administration, over 50% of small businesses in America do not have an official website. When you consider how many people are searching for products online, this fact is troublesome, to say the least. Nevertheless, assuming that you already have a website, you have to make sure that it is properly optimized. It has to be mobile-friendly and it needs to have frequent information updates.

Going Beyond Blogging

Regularly updating your blog will build trust and help you define your brand’s voice, but you should not limit yourself to blog posts alone when creating new content. Instead, you should develop multiple forms of content such as infographics, eBooks or short, online videos. Dr. James L. McQuivey of Forrester Research argues that the only one minute of video is worth around 1.8 million words– that is an equivalent of 3,600 typical web pages. So just ask yourself do you really have the energy to write almost 2 million words? And even you are a quick writer, and write let us say, two pages an hour, it would take you two and a half month of writing to achieve the impact of 60 seconds of video.

Increasing Visibility through Email

And while many people today are quick to dismiss email, the fact is, email marketing is still ridiculously effective. A recent McKinsey & Company study found that email is still a more effective way of acquiring customers than social media. The researchers explain that the main reason for this is that more than 90% of consumers still use email on a daily basis. According to their report, email is 40 times more effective than Twitter and Facebook combined. This is one of the reasons why companies in the highly-competitive travel industry depend on email to boost their visibility and increase conversions. Therefore, if you are not sure where to start with building your online presence, maybe it would be a good idea to start with the most “primitive” tool you have at your disposal.

Conclusion – Staying on Your Toes

For instance, while we mentioned that you should definitely try some other forms of content rather than sticking to blogging, you have to keep in mind that guest blogging is powerful tool. While guest blogging is primarily used for link building purposes, it can also help you earn credibility and drive your site’s traffic. Simply put, if the audience of an established website (think Forbes or Entrepreneur) enjoys your posts, they will surely visit your site and possibly follow you on social media.

Finally, if you are not convinced that investing in your online visibility is essential to the success of your company, one fact will undoubtedly convince you – your competitors are already doing it. And if your business falls too far behind, it may become irrelevant in just a few years time. For that reason, you need to build your online presence, and increase the “findability” of your website, products, and services, if you want to stay one step ahead of your competitors both.

Oscar is a writer from Sydney and one of the editors at Bizzmarkblog. He enjoys conducting research in the vast fields of business and marketing and writing about the useful insights he gathers on a daily basis. Follow Oscar on Twitter.to stay updated with his latest posts.

The #Mobile #Business Makeover: Turning Your #Beauty Services Into Beautiful Profit

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Appearances are extremely important in this world, and so is money. If you have a love of beauty, along with the necessary skills, it can become the perfect career path. However, knowing how to provide great treatments isn’t the only essential factor. Understanding the business side is key.

Running a mobile company can open up a whole world of opportunities, and can allow you to operate on a far smaller budget. Sadly, without that business acumen, all of your hard work will go to waste.

Here are four key ingredients that will turn your mobile beauty salon into a winning business model. What are you waiting for? Let’s get the makeover started.

Build An Online Presence

Getting seen can be a slight problem, especially when you don’t have a shop or physical salon. Consequently, the need to take advantage of online opportunities is greater than ever.

Building an online presence should start with a quality company website. Adding a blog can go a long way to providing added insight while showing customers that you know what you’re doing. Just make sure you combine this with localised SEO and smart social media campaigns. You will not regret it.

Be Organised

If you’re going to get anywhere in business, you need to gain the trust of your clients. As a local mobile beautician, you have a huge opportunity to provide a winning personalised service. Poor organisation will impact the quality of treatments as well as the business endeavours.

Your commercial vehicle is essentially a mobile workplace. Investing in a van racking system can allow you to maintain far greater levels of control, which can create a far better impression. Above all else, this should help you relax to provide a far friendlier service.

You will be required to stay on top of your finances too, which is why a great home office space can be priceless too.

Spread The Word

The hardest challenge for any mobile beauty business is building a client base. Visiting customers can make their lives a lot easier, but they need a reason to quit their current routines in favour of your services. The power of recommendation is your greatest ally.

A lot of customers will naturally tell friends and family about great services. However, using referral schemes can accelerate that progress. One option is to offer discounts on their next service. Let’s face it; everyone loves getting value for money.

Encourage Loyalty

As a small mobile business, you probably aren’t going to gain thousands of customers. Therefore, it’s imperative that you ensure the clients you do see remain loyal to the brand.

Whether it’s hairdressing, nail treatments, or something else isn’t important. Feeling comfortable is almost as crucial as the treatment. Learn how to strike a winning bond with your clients, and it will seem like a social occasion as well as a beauty treatment. Once they feel this way, you can only be destined for success.

Clients still need a push in the right direction, especially when it comes to regular treatments. Offering discounts for block bookings, for example, encourages them to act now too. As long as it keeps your schedule full, you’re doing just fine.