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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Why You Should Be Using Twitonomy

You can get Twitter analytics by promoting your tweets or handle. However, if you want to just see how everything else is going, or how well another user's account is going, you can use Twitonomy.

The Basics
The set-up is pretty simple with Twitonomy. You can log-in using your Twitter account. This will open the doors to a slew of different information involving your account and your followers.

What you can monitor:
  • Your handle
  • Your competition
  • Hashtags
  • Topics

There is also a premium version that gives you access to download the information. The rest of it is free, though.

Your Analytics
This is a great way to keep track of how your tweets are doing. In terms of business, this tool is a gold mind.

Check out what is going out on your page using the dashboard.

Have access to: 

  • How often you tweet per day
  • How many links you’ve shared
  • How often others mentioned you in their tweets
  • Who you retweet most often and who you reply to the most
  • What hashtags you’ve used the most
  • Which of your tweets were retweeted the most
  • Which of your tweets were favorited the most

See more features here

If you are considering promoting a handle or a tweet, this will give you great insight on what is most successful. 

Here is a preview of our top ranked tweets 

You can find everything you need to know on the "profile" and "mentions and RT" tabs. 

Your Competition 
Twitonomy has a feature that most analytics do not offer. You can also monitor your competitions' accounts as well as various topics. You can only do this for people who follow you.

To find the information:

  1. Click "Followers"
  2. Select a handle you want to review
  3. You will now be able to see the same analytics that are visible for your handle
The Dashboard

You can set up monitoring panels for a variety of keywords, users, or lists. You can also interact with the tweets all from the Twitonomy dashboard.

After upgrading to premium, you will also have access to the "search" tab which allows you to look for topics or hashtags to monitor.

Read more about the competition analytics here.

For more information on social media, contact a Blue Archer Professional.

Barbara Cline
Online Content and Support Specialist

Friday, April 4, 2014

04/04/14 Week Recap: What You May Have Missed

You missed a ton this week, but don't worry, we always have your back! Microsoft has an announcement, Mozilla gets controversial, FTC starts cracking down, Amazon reveils a new device, and FireChat walks without the internet! Stay caught up and read on!

Microsoft Announces Cortana
Microsoft finally took a page from the Apple book and created a feature much like Siri. It performs many of the same things that Google Now does. Cortana is powered by Bing. Turn on your devices and start chatting!

Read the full article here.

Mozilla CEO Steps Down
Brenden Eich showed support for anti-gay legislation that would ban same sex marriage. He showed this support by donating a large sum to proposition 8. His employees were the first to ask him to step down. OkCupid got involved by asking users to switch browsers.

Read the full article here.

FTC Cracks Down on Pinterest
Cole Hand was targeted by the Federal Trade Commission by being misleading on Pinterest with the "Wandering Sole" contest. The contest was motivated by a $1,000 gift card. The FTC considers this advertising on Pinterest while trying to pass it off as organic boards. Watch your contests, folks.

Read the full article here.

Amazon Unveils Media Streaming Device 
This new device costs a mere $99 and will allow you to access your internet from your television. Hulu and Netflix just got a whole lot better to watch!

Read the full article here.

FireChat May Change Our Connection
This messenger system is breaking ground by not requiring internet or a call signal to work. So, how does that work? Well this Apple only app uses Multipeer Connectivity Framework in iOS 7.

Read the full article here.

That is all we have! Tune in next week for more on your latest tech news. Enjoy the spring weather!

Barbie Cline
Online Content and Support Specialist

Monday, March 31, 2014

Content Marketing: Why It Matters

On an average day, you may be walking home from work, and pass a few massive billboards. Logos appear on every passerby's shirt, and even when you browse the internet on your phone there are more ads to be found. The bus stop and the bus are both covered in ads. We are over saturated with advertisements to the point where we can almost tune it out. Pop-ups ads, banners, commercials-- those all are just things to avoid. This is why content marketing is so important.

What is Content Marketing 
Content marketing creates something with substance.  It is tailored to the audience, and it is not just another call out to buy an item, but more so something interesting that will strengthen your brand by encouraging others to share it with their friends.  

We ignore ads and skip commercials, but we send funny pictures and links to our friends on social media, regardless if it is from a brand or a relative. This is what we need to keep in mind for content marketing. 

The Statistics
I love statistics, because they speak louder than words. Here are a few reasons why content marketing is the way to go. 

  • 61% of consumers say they feel better about a company that delivers custom content, they are also more likely to buy from that company 
  • Interesting content is a top 3 reason people follow brands on social media
  • Social media sites and blogs reach 8 out of 10 of all U.S. Internet users and account for 23% of all time spent online
  • Blogs give websites 434% more indexed pages and 97% more indexed links
  • 7 in 10 consumers prefer to learn about a company through articles, not ads

Read more about the statistics and see the research here and here

Whether you are on board or not, we know that content marketing is useful for businesses. You know what it is, who loves it, and now we need to figure out how to do it. 
  • Blogging: This is a great way to stay in touch with your audience, provide news updates, and give helpful resources. If you write a great blog, people will read it. If they really love it, they will share it or even quote it. 
  • Photos, info graphics, and memes: Nothing gets shared to the point of going viral quite like a good photo or meme. Most audiences love humor and inspiration. Info graphics, like the one above, provide resources and other blogs may use it or share it. 
  • E-Books and White Pages: This is helpful to provide educational resources for your clients or others in your field. Just like with info graphics, you never know who will quote your work or share it! 
  • Video: Whether it is instructional or entertaining, videos spread the same way photos do. This is why YouTube is essential for business. 
  • Podcast: This is the new version of the radio except you can download, link and share this content. Get your best voice ready and share some insight with you audience. 
People want something quality that they can relate to, learn from, or laugh about. If you give this to your customer base, they will spread the word. Best of all, it is typically free. Remember, if you pay it is advertising, if you inspire it is content marketing. 

Read about more ways to execute content marketing here

Who is Doing it Right
Some people are still shaky on it, and some people are doing it right. Let us review a few businesses that are great at content marketing. 

Magnolia started as a photography shop and later began selling electronics. This was a family owned business started in 1954. 

Here is where it gets interesting, though. The idea to start a mini magazine educating consumers on electronics, set up like a blog, took off. Best Buy later bought the company for $86 million. 

Foiled Cupcakes
This small cupcake shop did not have a store front and their website had a glitch. Customers couldn't even order the product. 

Everything turned around when the owner turned to Twitter. She went from 0 to 2,200 followers in 6 weeks which attracted national attention. This increased target sales by 600%, and the shop became a Chicago legend. 

Read more examples of businesses leveraging content marketing here.

If you decided content marketing is right for you, or you just want to find out more in general, contact a Blue Archer Professional.  

Barbara Cline
Online Content and Support Specialist

Thursday, March 20, 2014

03/20/14 Week Recap: What You May Have Missed

The tech world is coming out with more apps, more changes, and bigger updates. Read on to see what you missed this week!

Google Penalizes Guest Blogging Network
Google went after a large guest blogging platform, this may affect ranks and SEO. The reason is due to spam associated with guest blogging. 

Read the full article here

Facebook Introduces Hack
Facebook's brightest have spent the last few years building a programming language. It is said to be set apart from all of the other new coming languages. Will this be our new way of coding?

Read the full article here

Twitter Opens its Archives
Happy birthday Twitter! For Twitter's birthday, they have opened up the archives. This means you can search for any tweet you ever tweeted, even your very first one! 

Read the full article here

Alibaba Buys Tango
Alibaba paid $215 million for the messaging app Tango. This now makes the app valued at more than $1 billion. The app allows users to send free texts or make free phone calls. 

Read the full article here

New Version of Sheets
Google is updating Sheets to now allow offline editing. However, it only works in Chrome. We should see the upgrade in the next few weeks. 

Read the full article here

Social media is making big progress with a new language and an open archive, Google says no to guest blogging, Alibaba buys tango, and Sheets lets you edit offline. Tune in next week for more tech updates!

Barbara Cline
Online Content and Support Specialist

It is 2014, Where is Your Responsive Layout?

You have probably came across a responsive web layout while browsing on your tablet, phone, or desktop. This may have been sized a bit bigger, and the website just kept scrolling instead of being broken up multiple different pages. When you first land on one, you may love it or hate it, either way I am going to explore a few reasons why it is the way to go.

What is Responsive:
A responsive website is built with tablets and mobile in mind. Instead of having multiple website sizes for different screens, a responsive website reacts to the size of the device it is being viewed on. It is simple, convenient, and becoming the go to design of most modern websites.

See how Microsoft and GE mastered the web with their responsive websites.

The Stats
I can tell you my personal opinion on a responsive layout, but I will let the numbers do the talking for now.

  • It is predicted that 5 billion people will use mobile phones by 2017
  • 61% of mobile users use a smartphone 
  • In the United States, 25% of internet users only access the internet on a mobile device
  • 67% of mobile users say that when they visit a mobile-friendly site, they’re more likely to buy a site’s product or service

User Experience
Picture this: you have to quickly place an order you forgot before a certain time on a website. The deadline is approaching, and you are visiting with your grandparents who have not even heard of the internet. So you pull out your smart phone and get stuck on the website. Your fingers suddenly feel huge, you cannot touch the link you want, and you are now considering going to the eye doctor since you can barely read any of the text.

This is frustrating. Actually, it could be so frustrating that you decide you are done with the website in general.

Keep this in mind:
  • 61% of users said that if they didn’t find what they were looking for right away on a mobile site, they’d quickly move on to another site
  • 79% of people who don’t like what they find on one site will go back and search for another site
  • 50% of people said that even if they like a business, they will use them less often if the website isn't mobile-friendly
See more mobile statistics here

Responsive web design gives the user a better experience over all. The basics of the design work with the user in mind. It enables the user to share and find content the same way a desktop would. In a nutshell, the user wins, because they have the same experience whether they access your page from their home computer, their tablet, or their phone. 

 See more on the user experience here
Google is a fan of responsive design, and what google says goes. Simple as that. I promise they did not pay me to blindly follow their orders. However, they know what they are talking about when it comes to SEO. I may not rush out and buy a Chrome Book anytime soon, but if they give me advice on SEO, I take it.

The basics:
  • A single URL for the content helps Google's algorithms assign the indexing properties for the content.
    • They are not a fan of duplicate pages
  • No redirection is needed for users to get to the device-optimized view, which reduces loading time.
  • For responsive web design pages, any Googlebot user agents needs to crawl your pages once, as opposed to crawling multiple times with different user agents, to retrieve your content.

It improves SEO by making life easier for Google and allowing users to share and link content easily. In the mobile era, the word is spread by users sharing great content, and if they cannot do that then you are doing something wrong.

See what Google has to say here

ROI refers to return-on-investment. If nothing else changes your mind about responsive, then this should.

How it works:
  • Mobile sites often suffer from a higher bounce rate if the content is stripped down or difficult to read
  • You are increasing your market to those using tablets and smartphones
    • Earlier we gave the statistics that should convince you that about this argument
  • You are not balancing multiple websites that fit different platforms, which keeps your analytics all in one place.
    • This makes it so you can have a better understanding of your audience
  • It is cheaper to maintain and run one responsive site as opposed to a site for desktop and mobile.
Read more here.

For more information on web design, contact a  Blue Archer Professional.

Barbara Cline
Online Content and Support Specialist