Category Archives: Tumblr

Ten Alternative Search Engines and Social Media Sites

Alternative Social MediaWe can all name the most popular websites for search and social networking, but what about the countless other options available to us? Some of these alternative search engines and social media sites provide unique benefits that can help you search and socialize even more effectively than the big guys!  Whether you are looking to completely break away from the mega-brands of search and social media, like Google and Facebook, or whether you simply want to explore some new options, here are ten recommendations worth checking out:

 

  1. Blekko

Blekko is an innovative search engine with a clean and modern look. Most notably about Blekko is that it uses an initiative called “slashtags.” This is essentially a text tag preceded by a “/” slash character, which can be used for custom and categorized searches. One of its best features might be its categorized results which help you to quickly hone in on the information that is most relevant to you. For example, search “Nike” and you can narrow results by categories including: quick answers, top results, shopping, shoes, news and more – all to help you find what you’re looking for in less time.

 

  1. SocialMention

If you’re looking for a platform to provide you with real-time social media search and analysis, then SocialMention is worth exploring. This site allows you to search any term and it will provide you with relevant social media results. Additionally, it will also analyze these results by strength, sentiment, passion, reach and top keyword so you can monitor the trend and identify where most of your mentions are originating.

 

  1. BuzzSumo

BuzzSumo is a valuable tool for SEO research. For example, if you want to analyze what content performs best for a particular topic or competitor, BuzzSumo is able to provide you with this type of insight. Enter the keyword you wish to search and BuzzSumo will identify the most shared links on social networks, as well as influencers for specific topics. This is a must-visit for anyone looking to improve their search rankings on the web.

 

  1. DuckDuckGo

It may not be that you have anything to hide, but sometimes you just don’t want your search history made easily accessible to anyone who wants to dig around in your personal life. DuckDuckGo is an anonymous search engine, and while it doesn’t provide you with personalized results based on your search history, it does offer the peace of mind of complete anonymity.

 

  1. Topsy

Calling all Twitter junkies, if you want to easily search and analyze the hottest trends on this particular platform, then you should try this one! Topsy allows you to search by time and place, set alerts, and analyze sentiment for every tweet ever made – seriously. This can result in valuable marketing information like how often a term is tweeted or who is an influential person on a specific subject.

 

  1. GoodSearch

If you want to “do good” while searching the web, GoodSearch has combined both of these elements into a single search engine. How it works is that GoodSearch donates 50 percent of its revenue to charities and schools selected by its users. GoodSearch also helps users identify other “do good” businesses through features like GoodShop, a catalog of merchants that support charitable causes; GoodDining, a year-round “dine out for charity” program; and GoodSurvey, market research surveys that allow people to earn money for their favorite causes. This search engine is powered by Yahoo and on average pulls in 510,000 unique monthly visitors.

 

  1. Wolfram│Alpha

If you have a passion for trivial information and desire instant access to all the world’s facts and data, then WolframAlpha might become your new favorite search engine. This platform is a computational knowledge engine that uses externally “curated data” to answer fact-based questions in a matter of seconds.

 

  1. DogPile

DogPile is by no means new; it’s a tried and true alternative search engine that maintains its appeal because of its powered metasearch technology. Essentially DogPile runs its searches through Google, Yahoo and Yandex all at once and compiles a single list of results. Since each of these three search engines have their own methods for finding information, DogPile provides the advantage of running the equivalent of three searches with the single click of a button.

 

  1. Tumblr

This alternative social media site is growing in size and popularity. It’s an interesting hybrid between a short-form blog and a social networking site. Users create their own blogs and follow other blogs in a similar way to social networks. This platform has built in methods that drive a ton of engagement and visibility to its users blogs. Last year, Tumblr was the fastest growing social networking site even compared to Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest!

 

  1. Path

Path quite literally takes users “off the beaten path” with how they cultivate and interact with their social network. By limiting users to just 50 friends, Path allows users to share videos, photos and personal information with only the people who you know and trust. People’s Facebook networks have grown almost too large and impersonal and Path aims to take the trend back to fewer, but more meaningful communications.

 

So there you have it! Ten alternative search engines and social media sites that are work taking a look at if you desire something new and different. ~Stephanie

 

What other alternative sites have you used and liked? Share your recommendations by commenting below!

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Filed under Favorite Websites, Search Engine Marketing, SEO (Search Engine Optimization), Social Media, Tumblr, Twitter

Seven Social Media Mistakes

thumb downIn this day and age, social media is the quickest way to stay in touch with friends and family all over the world. With at least five popular platforms, social media is also turning into another way for businesses and individuals to promote themselves to others. Whether you’re just starting to dip your toes into the world of social media or you’ve been active for a while, there are certain guidelines to follow. An article from Business Insider (based on a survey of sorts conducted by a small business consultant by way of LinkedIn) helped narrow down the list of social media mistakes that are regularly being made.

Don’t post too often! Sometimes, often when people get bored or have time to kill, posting on Facebook or sending a tweet on Twitter becomes an hourly activity. Not only does this clog newsfeeds, it takes away from productivity. Think how much more you could get done at work if you weren’t posting every hour on the hour, even if it’s just a quick comment on something. While you want to actively post if you’re promoting a business, don’t post multiple times each day—keep it in moderation. However, do make sure to check your page often. Many times customers will post to your page or send you a message consisting either of praise or a complaint. More often than not, these comments go completely unnoticed and are left without a response.

Don’t avoid posting—followers do want you to be active on social media! Posting once or twice (at most) a day will suffice. Sometimes business only post once or twice a week! Followers may be more likely to interact with you if they see your name once or twice in a newsfeed where they see other names upwards of four times. Keep in mind that commenting on posts is very different from posting in itself—customers will be happy to receive a response from you on something they posted on your page, whether they gave negative or positive feedback.

Don’t post or share irrelevant information or content. If you’re a small business owner, say an online store specializing in clothing, don’t share political content or science-related articles via your business page. Instead, share a link to a new product you have in stock. Customers and followers want to hear about things relevant to them—they made the choice to follow your page, so make sure to consistently post things pertaining to your page.

Don’t limit your social media activity to just one forum. Many businesses create a Facebook page and think it is sufficient social media coverage. There is also Twitter, Instagram, G+, and LinkedIn (just to name a few). Why limit yourself? The only thing that could happen is your business could grow!

Don’t overshare on personal matters. Even if the focus of your time on social media is your business, you will likely end up making a page for yourself. When that happens, keep the private details of your life private. On each page, you represent your company, so your followers don’t need to visit your company’s page, find the link to your page, and see that your relationship just ended and you were out on the town the night before. Yes, posting pictures is fun, it’s a way for people to see you are enjoying life, but keep in mind all the people who could view your page. Each social media site offers a privacy setting, some even offer a way  to change who can see what you post—use these settings. Do not toe the line between what should remain personal and what should remain professional.

Don’t link to articles or products if the content isn’t complete! Everyone has come across it at one time or another—click on an article and begin reading only to notice grammar mistakes, simple spelling errors, or captions that are completely missing from pictures. It’s frustrating for the reader and it’s not going to give your company a professional image.

Don’t get involved in social media for the wrong reasons. Many companies are heavily involved with social media, but don’t jump the gun—work on building your company first, focusing on creating the relationships. After you have a solid customer base, progress to social media as a way to stay connected and keep customers updated. Creating, building, and maintaining relationships is a big focus for companies with social media activity.

It may seem daunting at first, but remember to start small and build your social media reputation as a small extension of your company. Keep the focus on your customers and your company, not on your personal life. With this list of basic social media mistakes, you’ll be able to build a strong social media profile to better connect with your customers and grow your business!  ~Hollysocial media icons

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The 10 Most Popular Social Media Sites and Why They’re Successful

Humans are social by nature and the multitude of social media sites tries to meet that need. Their popularity is measured by the number of unique visitors that each site has each month. With so many sites what makes the top ten stand out from the crowd? Each site identifies a new way for the members to connect with each other and makes it as easy as possible for them to make that connection.

Image courtesy of Flickr.com user mkhmarketing

Image courtesy of Flickr.com user mkhmarketing

1. Facebook – The most popular site with an estimated 900 million unique visitors each month. This incredible popularity comes from the wide range of ways that users can share information and connect with other users. Facebook has also taken full advantage of APIs and allowed their users to embed external content on to their personal profiles.

2. Twitter – Short tweets have become big news with an estimated 310 million unique visitors each month. Twitter’s popularity is based on the immediacy of the internet. Users can post short updates about their lives and easily keep their followers up to date on their daily lives. The final component of Twitter’s success is the ability for users to follow their favorite celebrities and feel as if they have a small connection to these incredible people.

3. LinkedIn – This is the first social media site with a specific audience in mind. This site is dedicated to individuals looking for professional networking. LinkedIn gives its users ways to publish their skills for potential employers to find. There is also a feature which allows the users to ask for an introduction to individuals through a mutual contact. Asking for introductions creates a method of networking that very closely resembles networking in person.

4. Pinterest – Pinterest owes its popularity to focusing on one function and then performing that function extremely well. On top of doing that single function well it is also simple to use so that no one will be intimidated by complicated methods of sharing information. Pinterest also focuses on what its users want their lives to be in the future instead of what they are right now. The focus on future hopes and dreams provides another type of connection that other social media sides do not address as plainly as Pinterest does.

5. Google+ – Google+ allows the users to customize circles of connections who all share the same interests. It also allows users to stay connected through all the Google applications instead of only on the Google+ site. The strength of Google’s software also allows its users to have video chats with multiple people at the same time. Finally by building a strong profile on Google+ individuals are building up their Google authorship and increasing web traffic to other sites created by the same individual.

6. Tumblr – Tumblr represents a combination of the immediacy of Twitter with the informative nature of blogs. Users are given the strong connection that comes from blogs as well as a much more social aspect that comes from easily sharing information to other users. Users are able to create customized profiles to highlight their individuality in a more visual way above and beyond the content of the blog itself. One difference between Tumblr and other social media sites is that the content can be found by individuals who are not Tumblr users.

7. Instagram – Instagram capitalizes on the phrase “a picture is worth a thousand words”. Instagram is targeted at the millions of mobile users who enjoy taking and viewing pictures on their phones and tablets instead of a traditional computer. Instagram also focuses simply on the images themselves and provides a simple method for viewing beautiful pictures. Instagram also provides a simple way for users to share their pictures across many social media sites without having to upload the same picture multiple times.

8. Flickr – Instagram may focus on quickly sharing pictures Flickr allows users to better organize and display a large collection of images. Instead of searching through cluttered news feeds or unorganized albums pictures can be easily organized and shared. Above sharing beautiful images Flickr boasts a large collection of communities focused on all aspects of photography from specific locations to the color orange.

9. Vine – Vine allows users a platform to post their short looped videos with the immediacy of a Twitter news feed. The incredible popularity if this app has created many Vine celebrities who are able to tell their stories in seconds. Vine, like Instagram, has capitalized on the number of people using their phones as cameras and has given them a simple way to display their creativity to other mobile users.

10. YouTube – YouTube has long been a popular site to search for a wide range of information. With 100 hours of video posted each minute there is a wealth of information to be found. YouTube also appeals to the new trend of video logging which is similar to the traditional blog but using a visual medium. Now YouTube is taking steps to become more social by allowing users to post videos as comments and increase their interaction with others who are watching the same videos.

Knowing why each site is popular can help you know how information is shared and who it is shared with on each site. This knowledge will help you create social content that others will appreciate and share.

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12 Steps to Create Your Own Infographic

My Web Writerseaselly_visual

It seems like there are infographics to cover every topic. There are even infographics about infographics. What if you have information that you want to tell others, but there is no premade infographic that has all your information? It’s time to make your own. Stumped on how to do that?  Follow these 12 steps to create your own.

Infographic Prep Work

1.      Plan it Out. Know what information you want to give to your readers. Keep your message short, simple, relevant, and original.

2.      Be Specific. Give your readers more than superficial details. Go in depth. Be sure you have correct information. Correct and specific details build your credibility.

3.      Balance Information with Graphics. Infographics shouldn’t be too wordy, but they do need words to get your point across.

4.      Grab Attention with a Headline. Your headline brings in readers. Make it snappy!

5.      Keep Attention with Sub-Headlines. Sub-headlines draw your readers’ eyes through your infographic. Give your audience reasons to keep reading.

 6.      Match Your Tone to the Information. You do not want to detract from your message by making light of a serious topic. Humorous information loses appeal if it is presented in a serious tone.

You’re half way there!  Once you have the information portion of your infographic lined up, it’s time to focus on the graphics.

Designing Your Infographic

1.    Find a Template. There are many websites that offer free templates that you can use, but most of them require you to register with them.  The three largest sites are infogr.am, piktochart, and visual.ly.  There are also templates that work with Microsoft PowerPoint from this blog post. No matter where you get it from use a design that catches the eye.

2.    Choose Your Colors. Use color wisely. Too many colors look chaotic, but too few look boring.

3.    Choose Your Fonts. This is not the time to use every font you can. Focus on readability and restrict yourself to only a few font choices.

4.    Create Your Graphs. Just like with the sources for templates, there are many websites that create graphs for you. Microsoft Excel is also another source for graphs if your information is already in a spreadsheet.

5.    Create Space. As you are putting all the pieces together remind yourself, infographics that share too much information look messy. Allow some open space around your graphics for a more readable finished product.

6.   Put it Out There. After you create infographics, they won’t go viral overnight. You’ll have to work to get them noticed. Share them on Facebook, Pinterest, Google Plus, and LinkedIn.

It may take a few tries to create the perfect graphic. If you have a relevant message and are using good information people will want to share it. ~Megan

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Filed under Content, Facebook, Google Plus, Infographics & Memes, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pictures, Pinterest, Social Media, Tumblr

3 Reasons to Use Tumblr for Business Marketing and Promotion

By My Web Writers

Tumblr has made a splash in the past month or so. News broke on May 20 as Yahoo Inc confirmed its plan to purchase the micro-blogging powerhouse for $1.1 billion. While Tumblr has many visitors, its lackluster revenues have led some to question Yahoo’s decision.

Digiday reveals that in March of this year, Tumblr had 29.2 million unique visitors. That’s a considerable amount of traffic that Yahoo certainly hopes will boost it’s own bottom line, but really, what are they all doing on Tumblr? Tumblr tends to specialize in incredibly niche blogs. To understand just how niche that is, check out Buzzfeed’s countdown of the top 16 Tumblr blogs which cover topics such as “White Men Wearing Google Glass,” and trying to find affordable housing in New York City a la “The Worst Room.”

There are many major brands using Tumblr. Publishing, fashion, and broadcast media seem to be the most successful at providing an endless stream of content to the mostly 18-24 year old crowds that populate Tumblr (only 1% of users on the microblogging site are 65 or older).  Even if your brand isn’t in the four categories that seem to work best on Tumblr, that’s no reason not to try out the platform. There are three big reasons to use Tumblr to promote your business and market your brand:

1.You get to use hashtags and images.

Twitter is mainly text based, and while Facebook has text, images, and now hash tags, it’s hard to search or compile. Tumblr offers gorgeous imagery and multimedia support, as well as searchable hashtags.

2. Setting up a tumblr account for a trial run is both free and easy.

Create an account and pick a theme. You can create your name to match a domain you already own or pick a different one, the choice is yours. Remember, though, the purpose of Tumblr and all its unique curation leads to point number three;

3. Build up a relationship to your brand.

As said in the MWW blog on making social media marketing more effective, it’s important to make it personal, and Tumblr enhances that aspect of your brand. You can share photos and insights, as well as using a feature that allows you to have a question box on your Tumblr page for you followers to submit to.

As with any marketing endeavor, you should have some sort of defined goals for your Tumblr, “and those goals, according to Mike Rynchek, president of Spyder Trap Online Marketing, shouldn’t be monetary, nor should you expect one service to pull your business up by its bootstraps.

‘I look at Tumblr as an ingredient in a bigger recipe,’ he says. ‘Tumblr helps facilitate your search efforts, which in turn drives more traffic to your site. This helps give you an indirect return on investment. Tumblr can also help create another indirect return through engagement.’”

Smoke Signals, a bakery in North Carolina, pairs beautiful pictures of their food and farm with notes on the process, their plans for the day, and thoughts on life. They never advertise prices or promotions, but their microblog makes you want to drive or fly to North Carolina and spend time with them, buy some baked goods.

Remember, Tumblr’s easy to set up, and you’ll never know whether it will be successful for you until you try it. While you’re there, check out the MyWebWriters tumblr and say hello. ~Sara 

Read more articles:

Short and Sweet The Benefits of Tumblr

Reflections of a Curator: Ideas for Capturing Your Audience

How Can I Better Manage My Company’s Social Media Accounts?

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How Can I Better Manage My Company’s Social Media Accounts?

by My Web Writers
Manage Social Media

For many of us, managing our own social media accounts is enough to keep us busier than we’d like. But when you’re given the responsibility of also managing your company’s social media accounts, this task should be given a fairly different approach and a lot more consideration. There’s no doubt that social media holds the power to become a business’s first impression for many of its customers. Because of this, a professional and well thought out social media management plan is critical for any company. Here are a few tips to get you on the right track of tackling this important marketing component:

Create an editorial calendar.

An editorial calendar allows you layout all of your planned social media posts for the coming month. For a company structure where such posts need to be pre-approved by the owner, this is an essential tool. To create an editorial calendar, there are several templates you can find online, or you can simple create a calendar in a Word Doc and format it to fit your needs. All it needs to include is what you’re planning to post and for what accounts. Include the links to any videos or web pages to make for an easy copy and paste action when you do go to post. Finally, an editorial calendar is just as beneficial to you as it is to a company owner. You will be able to easily see how often you’re planning to post and if there are any holes you need to fill. While the calendar may take several hours to initially create, it will make the rest of the month’s social media posting nearly effortless.

Automate your regular updates.

In speaking of making social media posting effortless, what’s less effort than when something is automated? Web sites like HootSuite.com and TweetDeck.com both offer automated social media posting for little to no cost. Once you create your editorial calendar, you can easily plug in the posts and schedule them in advance so that the rest of the month your regular updates are firing off exactly when they should regardless of how hectic your schedule gets. Note: it’s great to use automation for the pre-written tweets and updates, but social media is meant to be live and in the moment. Don’t tune out from all the news and announcements that may crop up unexpectedly that should be shared on social media. Be sure to get these out ASAP the “old fashioned” way—manually!

Make it a group effort.

While one person in a company may be designated as the social media manager, it’s important to remember that social media is meant to be social after all! Make this task a group effort by allowing everyone to offer input on what should be promoted or emphasized on social media. Many of your co-workers might have great suggestions for a contest to run or a question to ask to spark discussion. This input will also help fill up your editorial calendar with fresh ideas without you wracking your brain each month.

Do less, but do it better.

Just as in so many other aspects of life, you simply don’t need to do it all! There are countless social media platforms available to you, but that doesn’t mean you need to use every single one. Your time is not best spent managing 15+ social media accounts at a mediocre level. Instead, focus on your top performing 3-5 social media accounts (the ones with the largest audience and most interaction) and spend your time making these exceptional. For many businesses, these will include Twitter and Facebook to start. From there, you may also find YouTube, Digg or Google+ to be beneficial. Depending on your business and the product or service that you’re selling, your social media focus might be different from other businesses—and that’s OK!

Not only should every social media platform be handled differently, so should every social media account—business or personal. Following these tips, you’ll be able to create a professional image for your company that is both effective and well thought out.  ~Stephanie

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Top Media Managers Reveal Ideas for Better Social Media Marketing

by My Web WritersTips from Top Social Media Marketers

Social media marketing does not often conform to steadfast rules or conventional wisdom.  It’s a skill and a talent that takes patience, practice and a natural ability in order to excel.  Here are just a few powerful quotes from the world’s most experienced and influential social media mangers:

“A large part of this relationship marketing concept is allowing yourself to be a little bit vulnerable and let people in.”(Mari Smith, Social Media Speaker & Author)

Mari makes an excellent point – social media is a platform to get personal and really let people in. For a company, this means showcasing your “human element” and letting your customers get to know you and your people on a more personal level than what can be offered through your web site or business card alone. And from time to time, yes, it’s perfectly OK and sometimes beneficial to express a dilemma, difficulty or weakness and ask your network for input.

“Make influencers a part of your movement, even temporarily, and they’ll understand the brand and its worth far greater than if you just invite them on a factory tour or send them free product.”(Jay Bear, President of Convince and Convert)

This quote connects with one of the key tips to all social media marketing, which is to talk with your audience not at your audience.  Engage your followers! The more you can make your network feel a personal part of something your company is doing, the more they are likely to build a deeper relationship and a vested interest in your brand.

“Social media is not a media. The key is to listen, engage, and build relationships.”(David Alston, Chief Adoption Officer – Marketing Cloud at Salesforce)

When you have something important to say, it’s tempting to fire it out on every medium available to you. While a press release or media advisory are great tools for communicating with traditional press, these won’t work for social media marketing. Furthermore, every post for every different social media account should be slightly tweaked to connect with that specific audience. How you say something on Twitter (with #’s and @’s) won’t resonate on your Facebook page. Create thoughtful and genuine posts for each social medium and your information is more likely to engage and less likely to blend into the white noise.

“If you make customers unhappy in the physical world, they might each tell 6 friends. If you make customers unhappy on the Internet, they can each tell 6,000 friends.” (Jeff Bezos, CEO at Amazon.com)

Social media is powerful stuff. And though almost 100% of users would agree to this statement, we all too easily forget how quickly information can catch like wildfire and spread. For positive information you want promoted, this is great. But if you have a disgruntled customer, this could be devastating. This is even more reason to be careful with your actions and words on social media than in the real world because of how easily it can be shared with thousands or millions of other people with the click of a button.

“Social networks aren’t about Web sites. They’re about experiences.” (Mike DiLorenzo, NHL social media marketing director)

If you want to create the absolutely most effective social media to represent your brand and market your business, you must create an experience that is memorable to your networks. Social media is, after all, what broke the mold on traditional marketing. Your options are limitless as to how you can create a unique viral marketing campaign. Don’t settle for the easy or the obvious, continually push yourself to set a new creative standard.

“Don’t say anything online that you wouldn’t want plastered on a billboard with your face on it.”
(Erin Bury, Sprouter community manager)

This quote simply says it all – and if it could be made a banner on every social media web site to remind us of this before we post an update, it would save many people and businesses from the all too common social media “uh oh’s!”

Woven inside each of these quotes is a valuable lesson worthy of adding to our set of social media tools. While the authors may come from various degrees of experience and schools of thought, these quotes reach far broader than just social media marketing – and if you think openly – can applied toward many aspects of our business and our life. ~Stephanie

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