Thursday, February 28, 2013

How to Calculate the ROI of Your Social Media Marketing Campaign


Running a social media campaign is often a very expensive affair. That is, if you take social media seriously. Specialized marketing companies around the world are finding ways and means to convince big businesses to get into social media campaign lest they feel left out. When competitors do it, you will have to do it, and do it on a large scale if you have to retain your lead. But the catch is managements will demand to know what the benefits will be like.

Is it really Possible to Calculate the Worth of Social Media?

Social media brings in benefits that cannot be measured like revenues from physical sales. It is like calculating the worth of kinship, your relationship with your wife, the cost of having a friend, and price for happiness. But, there is a way out sill and smart marketing companies are discovering it to convince their managements in this regards. And one of the ways to do it is present them with mathematical figures.

Why is it Tedious to Calculate the Worth of Social Media?

The problem with calculating the worth of a campaign is to measure revenue against the expenditure. If social media campaigns bring in direct sales, then the sale can be directly attributed to it. But, that seldom happens. When customers sign up for your company’s products or services they will not tell you the reasons for doing that. At best campaigns can bring only incremental gains, and that you can attribute to social media campaign. But again, what happens to the non-social media efforts which progresses simultaneously?

The Need for Experts and Tools

In the wake of enormous uncertainties, the best you can do to calculate Rate of Return (ROI) is to leave it experts if you can afford the cost, or better you use some specialized tools for making the calculation. These tools take several factors into consideration, like calculating the incremental rise in visitors to your website, the time they spent on your website, and finally enquires they made. Collectively all these information play a major role in calculating the ROI.

Free Vs Paid Tools Vs Google Analytics

There are numerous ROI calculation tools in the internet. They are often presented as apps. Some are free to use, while other collect a monthly fee. There still others that you can install at your webpage hosting servers. The free ones generally don’t live up to users’ expectations. The reason being they lack extensive documentation. The next you can consider is the monthly fee based services. These service providers are a little better, but you cannot always feel comfortable with the numbers they churn out.

In these circumstances it will be best to use Google Analytics. The biggest advantage is it is free to use. There is also a paid version to Google Analytics which will cost you substantially. Unless you are professional company doing research for other, the annual fee will simply not match your budget, especially for small businesses.

Google Analytics for Small Business

Google Analytics is increasingly being used by small businesses owning websites. If you are not calculating your ROI by the minute, it will generally satisfy most businesses’ requirements. The most important thing however is they will not cost you anything. All that you need to do is open an account and start using it. If you already have a Google mail account, you can use it for getting ROI information, though you shouldn't expect them to come by the minute.

Author Bio:
Carlene Masker is a technology enthusiast who is fond of writing helpful tips and fresh tidbits of information about the different fields in technology and innovation. She is currently working with Massbeacon where you can find the latest information on FiOS Internet.

FFwD - Chicken Breasts Diable and Spiced Butter-Glazed Carrots


Thank goodness we've made it to Friday again - and the first of March already!  It has been a steamy, hot week this week - which is very unlike Melbourne and much more like Brisbane, where I hail from.  Ironically, it is wet and cool there - has the earth been turned on its head?  Extraordinary!!!  The humid heat has made it difficult to sleep, so I am not sure whether I am coming or going this week.

This brings me to this week's French Fridays with Dorie dish, Chicken Breasts Diable - aka chicken breasts pan fried and served with a creamy mustard sauce.  My photo may not do the dish justice, but this was seriously good.  The hardest part for me was ensuring that the chicken was cooked through, as I overlooked the requirement to flatten the chicken breasts a little before cooking - oops.  It all worked out in the wash, although it took significantly longer than 8 minutes for the chicken to cook.  However, if you like things hot and spicy, don't be fooled by the name of this dish - it is tame as a lamb in the spice department.

I served my chicken with the lemon-steamed spinach (to be revealed later this month), and the spiced butter-glazed carrots that I missed way back in December 2010:


These were pretty good - I am a ginger fan so I especially liked the fresh sliced ginger flavour through the carrots.

The only dish I now have not made from our schedule is Salmon in a Jar - and that was deliberate.  Maybe one day I will get the stomach to try it, but not right now.

To see what the other Doristas thought of Chicken Breasts Diable, visit the LYL section of the FFwD website.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

How Will Facebook's EdgeRank Affect Your Page


Guest post by Steve Mehr, CEO of WebShark360

If you're administering a Facebook page, then you're likely concerned with how to reach more users with your content.  By increasing your reach and influence, you'll be more likely to influence these users to purchase your goods or services.  Unfortunately, it's not always easy to cut through the noise of a person's Facebook news feed.  In fact, many pages find themselves lost among the noise.  How do you keep up?

By knowing how Facebook determines your content's visibility, you can adjust your content marketing strategies.  Understanding Facebook's EdgeRank algorithm is critical to understanding how you can better reach your fans and followers.

What is EdgeRank?

EdgeRank is Facebook's algorithm which determines the content to show in users' news feed. Based on a number of factors, EdgeRank determines which content may be most valuable and therefore, interesting to its users. Understanding how EdgeRank works can help you to make smarter decisions in regard to your content marketing strategy. Consider the following elements of the EdgeRank algorithm:
  • Affinity - users' prior interactions with the Facebook page.  The more a user interacts with a Facebook page, the more frequently the page appears in users' Facebook news feeds.
  • Weight - users' prior interactions with Facebook posts of the same type. Users who typically engage with videos will find more videos in their news feed and people who prefer photos will be shown more photos in their Facebook news feed.
  • Time decay - EdgeRank shows favor to newer content over older content.  Therefore, fans and followers will not be shown older content from your Facebook page in their news feed.  Instead, they will be shown newer content.
  • Negative feedback - users' negative engagement with a Facebook post such as clicking to hide an item or unliking a page. The more negative feedback your page accumulates, the less likely it is that your fans and followers will see any of your content. 
Based upon these elements, Facebook determines whether or not to show your content to users in the news feed and which users it may show them to. To increase your visibility among Facebook users, it's crucial to understand how to avoid negative feedback and how to leverage the affinity, weight, and time decay elements to increase fan engagement.

How to Use EdgeRank to Your Advantage

Using a tool like EdgeRank Checker, you can determine how your content is shared and prioritized, or not.  By understanding how your page shows in users' news feeds, you can determine how to improve upon your efforts.  The analytical data provided can help page managers to understand how to improve their posts and engagement in the following ways:
  • Understanding what kinds of posts gain the most attention and interaction.
  • Determining how long users engage with posts you've made.
  • Knowledge regarding how often to post.
Understanding your EdgeRank is about understanding how to maximize your efforts to reach the most amount of people possible. Once you understand the fruits of your current labors, you can make adjustments to ensure that you continue to reach the most amount of people with your posts.

About the Author:
Steve Mehr is CEO of WebShark360, a premiere attorney marketing agency.  Based out of Irvine, CA, the WebShark360 team offers its clients world class attorney marketing services.  This includes website design and hosting, content marketing, SEO, public relations, social media, advertising, and media creation.  Visit WebShark360 at http://webshark360.com or call (800) 939-4850.

Patty's White Chocolate and Ginger Cookies



I have been feeling a little world weary lately, so I decided to bake some cookies, despite the heat, to cheer me up.  A little while back, I had seen some White Chocolate and Ginger Cookies on Patty's blog, Patty's Food, and printed off the recipe.  I have also had the pleasure of meeting Patty, and I shared a lovely lunch with her when I was in San Francisco last year.

How could you go wrong with white chocolate and crystallised ginger in a cookie? They sounded fab. Also, they are low cal - making them a guilt free treat in my book.

I whipped up these cookies fairly quickly, and was surprised that I actually got 24 cookies, as the recipe states.  Normally, I get more or less cookies than the recipe states, so these impressed me from the start.

Now, if you are hunkering for a massive cookie to sink your teeth into, these are not it.  Only one teaspoon of cookie dough goes into each cookie, so these cookies are more of a bite sized delicacy than a man sized munchie.  However, doesn't that actually mean you can eat more of them??

I really liked these cookies, and their Weight-Watchers friendly nature is a bonus for someone like me who expands on the sight of food.  Thanks for sharing this treat with us Patty!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Raincoast Crisps - Daring Bakers February 2013 - Crisp Crackers and Flatbreads



Sarah from All Our Fingers in the Pie was our February 2013 Daring Bakers’ host and she challenges us to use our creativity in making our own Crisp Flatbreads and Crackers!

I can't honestly say that I was too creative, because I used the recipe provided by Sarah for Raincoast Crisps.  However, they sounded pretty good, with their nuts, fruit and seeds (and mysterious name!), so I thought I would give those a burl. The recipe will be on Sarah's website. However, I did use my creativity in the substitutions that I made.  Instead of using pecans, I used brazil nuts, and instead of flax seed, I used LSA. 

These crisps tasted pretty good.  Not all of them were as crispy as they should have been (most likely because of my knife skills, the oven or a combination of both), but they were good.  I think Raincrisp Crisps would be perfect with soft cheeses like camembert or brie, but I did not have any in the house at the time of photographing, so you will just have to imagine that.

To see what crackers and/or flatbreads the other Daring Bakers made, visit the slide show on 27 February at The Daring Kitchen.  Thanks to our host, Sarah, for this month's challenge.

WWDH - Soy-simmered chicken


Chaya is this week's Wednesday with Donna Hay host, and she chose Donna's Soy-Simmered Chicken from Modern Classics Book I.  You can also find the recipe here.

This dish was simple but delicious - the sauce gave a slightly sweet flavour to the chicken.  I served my chicken with stir-fried veges. 

I really enjoyed this dish - it is quick to prepare, tasty and nutritious.

To see what Chaya, Kayte and Margaret thought of this dish, visit their websites.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Neil Perry's Strawberry and Yoghurt Cake; White Night Festival



On Saturday night in Melbourne, the first Australian White Night Festival was held.  The White Night Festival was an all-night arts festival, in the style of similar festivals held around the world and originating in Russia.  My firends V & C invited me to accompany them to the White Night Festival/  The thing that initially astonished me was the number of people clogging areas that are normally main roads in the CBD.  As an example, here is a shot of Swanston Street with some of the 300,000 strong crowd:

 


It was rather surreal wandering the streets that are normally out of bounds to pedestrians, with such enormous crowds. 

We didn't linger on the bands.  Rather, we went down to watch the light show on the Yarra River from Birrarung Mar, which was not dissimilar to (but not as grand as) the light show at the Bellagio in Las Vegas.  A number of CBD buildings were also lit up including Flinders Street Station with Harry Potter-like lightening bolts on the dome:


and a row of buildings on Flinders Street, including The Forum theatre:



While I enjoyed the lights, I was left a little puzzled by the White Night festival.  There seemed to be an awful lot of people moving very fast in all directions, but I am not sure what we were all hurrying to see.  However, the festival was lauded a success, and plans are afoot to repeat the festival next year. 

Moving on to the cake, The Age Sunday Life Magazine featured Neil Perry's Strawberry and Yoghurt Cake a few weekends back, and I tore it out as a "must bake".  The cake contains polenta for texture and colour, chopped strawberries, and the smooth moistness of yoghurt.  I substituted the yoghurt for cream, and it didn't seem to matter. The cake still looked wonderful and tasted delicious:


You can find the recipe online here

Provided that you are not adverse to polenta or strawberries, I believe that you will enjoy this cake, and urge you to give it a go - hopefully your weather will be kinder for baking than it is here at present.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Pretty in Pink Cupcake Decorating at CW Cakes


It has been another scorcher in Melbourne today - even though I am a Queensland girl, I am feeling the heat.  Of course, I chose today to book into a cupcake decorating class!!  Luckily, the classroom was airconditioned, so the class offered a short reprieve from the relentless heat that we have been experiencing.

Once again, the class was at CW Cakes in Malvern, and the teacher was once again the cheerful Ella.  I did not learn any new techniques in this class, but it was a good way to consolidate my existing knowledge and make some cute cupcakes.The base cupcakes were pink and white swirl butter cakes, and the flat fondant iced cakes were prepped with a coating of buttercream.

First up was a buttercream swirl topped by a fondant butterfly made using stamper cutters, dried in a folded position over a styrofoam block so that it "flies": 

 
Next, there is a lovely bow made using a silicone mould (tips - use half as much fondant as you think you'll need to press into the mould, roll a sauasage to fill the top of the bow and work it with your fingers to fill the rest, and don't allow any fondant to overhang the edge of the mould shape), sitting prettily atop a fondant disc patterned using an impression mat: 

 

Here is a bird made using a silicone mould, sitting in a stencilled (using royal icing) and be-glittered cage:


The next cupcake is a garden of roses and green cachous nestled in a buttercream swirl:


We made another stencilled cupcake, this time feauturing a cupcake:



And finally, there is my favourite, the pink gerbera on a black background with balck cachous for the centre glued on with sugar glue:



It was a lot of fun doing this class, although I think that to keep learning, I will have to move on from the cupcake classes.

Hope you are having a great weekend!


Thursday, February 21, 2013

FFwD - Cheating-On-Winter Pea Soup and Herb-Speckled Spaetzle


This Friday, Dorie has us cheating on winter with Cheating on Winter Pea Soup - but it ain't winter here, so I couldn't demonstrate my infidelity to the seasons.  The day that I made this soup (well, the Thursday night before reveal) was 32 degrees (86F) outside. 

I was a little reticent about this one - as you know, I am not a soup fan.  But again, this soup surprised me, and I quite liked it.  I made a half recipe using half frozen and half canned peas (because that is what I had about the house).  I had no issues with blending the soup because I just blitzed it in my little-used blender - I had more technical issues with the blender's safety lock than with the soup.

It isn't easy being green, especially this olive hue, but don't be fooled - this plain Jane soup is quite delicious.

I also finally got around to making the herb-speckled spaetzle from early January:


I enjoyed this dish but without a spaetzle maker, it is a real pain to make - I thought my left arm was going to fall off as I pressed the dough tediously through a colander-spoon with my bare hand (which worked better than using a spoon).  I served my spaetzle with beef stroganoff and green beans: 



This was a pretty awesome meal.

To see what the Doristas thought about this week's soup, visit the LYL section of the website.

Importance of PPT presentations and Infographics in Digital Marketing


What pleases your eyes pleases your mind. This concept is literally universal. Whether you talk about food, place, products or the digital market, the first sensation happens in your eyes before it impresses your mind.
As our world shifts online, so does our interest. Today, almost everything is sellable on internet. A good online marketing strategy is irremissible, but catering information with eye grabbing graphics and presentations add sugar to your cake. Our world today involves more and more data than ever before. This brings forth, the challenge of making this enormous sea of data pleasing and easy to understand to the readers or consumers. This is where infographics and eye-sticking presentations come in role.

What is an Infographic?

Infographics are perfect blend of knowledge, information and eye-catching design. These are visually compelling and a perfect mode to communicate voluminous data providing readers, ease of understanding. With the help of Infographics, you can take a pool of data and present it in visual shorthand. It is the best way to combine text with images and designs and make it interesting for readers.
What are Presentations?
PowerPoint presentations are another mode of visual representation of data. It offers slides, which can be used to narrate a story (about your product, brand or any sellable commodity). You can use varieties of graphics, charts, images, styles, videos and other tidbits to make your information more pleasing to readers.

Why is visual presentation of data necessary in Digital Marketing?
Attractive and Compelling
It is a fact that people prefer statistics and figures much more than a never-ending, time-consuming paragraph. In digital marketing, if your content is not attractive, your product will not reach people and to make your content attractive, Infographics and PPTs are key ingredients.

Easy to Scan and View
What will you prefer? A bulk of plain text or a cuddly graphic demonstrating what’s in that lengthy paragraph? Stating the obvious, no one have time to scan details out of a long pool of data. Therefore, it is best to use presentations and Infographics to demonstrate important information.

An eye-catching and easy-to-read content is more often shared on social networks
A content that has attractive graphics are shared more over social media websites. Therefore, Infographics and PPTs are important from business point of view.
Brand Awareness
Infographics and presentations with your company’s logo is a powerful mode to publicize your brand online.
Increase Traffic
An Infographic or presentation that is linked and is compelling to viewers is bound to drive traffic to your website as people like to click and share readable content to find what’s more in store.

Authored by Sarah Bruce. An SEO analyst, who predominantly works on removing Negative feedbackfrom websites, Do you face Online Complaintsabout your Business/Services? Do visit www.lemonpeak.com to get rid of it.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Tips to Choose the Right Social Media Platform for Marketing


Social media is taking the world by storm.  Be it interaction on a day to day level, between friends and acquaintances or marketing strategies on a global platform, Social Media is an integral part of our every day existence.  Whether it is Twitter or Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn or Pinterest, social networking has made the world a closer and more interactive place to live in.  Enterprise social networks assist employees to work as a team over departments and across organisations.  In the business world, social networking offers more recognition of the business and hence a viable route to project ones business and enhance marketing techniques to a greater extent. 

How exactly does one decide on the right social media platform for marketing?  This needs to be tackled at the very outset.  Going overboard and using every social media platform available on the web is not the answer to this question.  By doing so, one will risk spreading the brand too wide and this will in fact be detrimental to the business.

Selecting the right platforms for marketing will need to actually take goals into account, learn more about your customers and assess social media activities.

-    Take goals into account – Whether it is long term or short term goals, it is goals that form the very basis of any marketing techniques.  What exactly are you trying to portray through social media networks?  What exactly does one want to encourage and draw attention to?  Are you in need of direct connection with clients and buyers or are you trying to lead them to a marketing shaft?  Is there an urgent need to increase traffic to the website in the long run so as to contribute to a long lasting relationship with customers and clients?  All these need to be taken into account while selecting an ideal social media platform for marketing.  To understand this further, if you want to reach out to a target market for a particular product, a video on YouTube would be advisable over just showcasing the product on Twitter.  Twitter will spread to awareness while YouTube will draw immediate attention to the actual product, showcasing its positive aspects in a clearer light.

-     Assess the target group – Is the target group professional?  If so, then LinkedIn would be an ideal social networking proposition for marketing.  If you are targeting a more consumer related audience for your consumer product, then Facebook will be considered to be a better option where your product can be liked, shared and advertised further.  This facility of sharing on a global platform will increase the reach of your marketing venture.  Continually updating the blog will also add to its effectiveness.  If your target audience is more of the visual kind and if your product is, for example, travel related, then Pinterest, where more focus is on photos and pictures would work as a prime advantage.

-   Weigh advantages and disadvantages of each social media platform – Every social media platform has its own set of merits and demerits which work in a positive or negative way where marketing is concerned.  Once you decide on a particular social media platform to project your business and products, one will need to continually assess performance.  It is not that once you decide on one platform one is stuck with it.  If that particular platform is not giving the desired results or if the reach is not upto mark, one can always switch to another platform where better benefits can be achieved.  Continually tracking performance, assessment of potential customers and achievement of desired goals need to be kept track of in order to succeed.  For successful marketing, one does not need to restrict oneself to just one social media platform.  One can even resort to two or three platforms depending on the type of business and demographic audience.

Finally, the decision to select the best of the platforms is the key to success.  It is the one way to jump start any business enterprise.  Continuous update, liasoning with customers, follow up on feedback and all this at a reasonable cost is what makes social media marketing stand out from among more traditional methods of marketing.

Andrea Walters, a freelance writer for www.globalx.net – The Nation’s Lowest All-Digital Price Provider. dish tv packages

Social.me Connect all your Social Accounts !

The beauty of Social.Me is its simplicity
Unify all of your social networks and blog in one place and get a nice clean profile with your pic, bio, and skills/expertise tags so your audience can follow you on their preferred network. You get a cool, short URL that you can use on your business card and e-mail signature instead of referencing multiple networks, and you don't have to tell people that goofy username you got stuck with because someone else had the name you wanted. Plus, you get access to our web tools so you can add a social icon strip without having to link to each network individually.
  • Share just one username for yourself or your business (ie; social.me/yourname).
  • Unify all of your social networks on a single page
  • Use it on your business card
  • Use it on your e-mail signature
  • Add all of your social icons to your blog or website with one line of Javascript
  • Hosted in a high-availability CDN so it's always fast and doesn't go down!
  • Your profile is all about you! Social.me is not a marketing company - there will NEVER be ads on your profile and we'll never email you unless it's a matter pertaining to your account



Tuesday, February 19, 2013

WWDH - Food Processor Banana Cake


This week's Wednesday with Donna Hay recipe is Food Processor Banana Cake, chosen by Margaret from p160 of Off The Shelf.  You can also find the recipe online here.

To make this cake is a breeze - you bung everything in the food processor, wazz it up, pour it into a bundt tin, bake and and voila - you have cake in under an hour. I used up some aged bananas that I had stashed in the freezer, and though they looked gross when thawed, they were perfect in this cake. 

If you need a snack for a child's lunch box, I think this cake would be perfect - it is not too bad nutritionally while still maintaining the treat factor.

To see what Margaret, Kayte and Chaya thought of this cake, visit their websites.



Utilizing Tumblogging Without Utilizing Tumblr


Tumblr has asserted itself as one of the most popular and dynamic social media sites on the Internet. Even though it is technically a blogging platform, it blends some of the best features of social media with some of the best features of blogging. WordPress remains one of the dominant platforms on the Internet. Unlike Tumblr, however, WordPress hasn’t actually managed to make using the platform into such a distinctive activity that it has created its own gerund. Tumblogging, the term for adding content to Tumblr blogs, however, is coming to the WordPress platform.

How it Works

Tumblogging refers to the way people post content on Tumblr. The Tumblr platform is set up so that it’s very easy to use in terms of posting multimedia content and short blog posts. The platform is accessible from mobile devices and from standard desktop computers, which allows people to post content on the fly, as it is happening or to make more considered posts along the lines of what you might see on a typical blog.

On Tumblr, users are also able to repost content from other people’s blogs and to tag content. This makes finding content easy.

WordPress is famously easy to use, and the themes developed for this particular content management system are oftentimes what make it so easy to use. A whole series of themes have been developed around the concept of making it possible to Tumblog on the WordPress platform. These encourage the same short snippets of information, pictures, multimedia content and so forth that have become so popular on the Tumblr platform.

With these themes, the difference between how a WordPress theme looks and how it’s content is presented and how a Tumblr theme looks and how it’s content presented can be quite negligible. A great deal of the difference comes down to the network on which the blogger is trying to reach out to their audience. If you're using <a href="http://themefuse.com">premium WordPress themes </a>, they may have additional documentation that provides you with instructions as to how to use their specialized features.

Tumblr

Tumblr essentially provides users with everything they need to get set up and running with their own blog without requiring them to do any heavy lifting. The sign-up process is no more difficult than signing up for most free email accounts or other web services.

Tumblr users can choose from a variety of different themes that they can apply to their pages, which control the presentation of the content. This allows users to optimize their blog’s theme to present the type of content that they are most likely to post in the most attractive way possible.

Tumblr charges nothing for putting up a blog on their service. Users are given a URL in the format Site.Tumblr.com, which may not be quite as good for search engine optimization purposes as having one’s own domain, but which still does network the blog in question in with one of the biggest websites going.

For users, the principal downside to this platform is the fact that they have very little control over the website itself. The content is displayed, stored, and hosted by Tumblr. In exchange for the free hosting, the user has no real control over what they put up on the Internet. Even though Tumblr has been very hands-off with the content that people post, there’s no real guarantee that a user, for example, would be able to recover all of the work they put into their Tumblr blog if the site were to disappear.

WordPress

WordPress is a very easy-to-use platform, but it does require that the user has their own web space to get it set up and running. WordPress.com does provide hosting, and a WordPress blog can be hosted on just about any web hosting service out there, many of which already have the platform integrated into their servers, requiring nothing more than going through a wizard to set it up for users.

WordPress remains very dominant on the Internet, but it lacks some of the social networking features that people tend to gravitate towards on Tumblr. In addition to this, WordPress users are required to take care of their website, maintain their content management system installation and do all of the other web hosting tasks that go along with being a webmaster on their own.

Every blogger is looking for viewers. If you happen to get a lot of viewers on Tumblr, you’re not responsible for the extra load on their servers. The same is not true if you happen to be running a WordPress blog. If your WordPress blog should become one of the most popular destinations on the Internet, you’re going to find yourself exceeding bandwidth limitations and having to make accommodations for that heavy traffic.

With tumblogging features integrated into a WordPress theme, WordPress users can get the basic experience and basic look of Tumblr. Tumblr, however, has carved out a niche for itself among users who do not want to go through the process of maintaining their own website.


About author
Anny Solway is a dedicated writer at ThemeFuse – a web studio that creates original WordPress templates, that can be used out of the box. She loves to share blogging and technology  tips.

Top Six Mobile Apps For Doing Social Media Marketing


Today most mobile applications have emerged with an intention of making life easier for users by providing useful solutions that allow them to effectively tackle their everyday problems. In this context, marketing through social media has not lagged behind and there are several different mobile apps useful in facilitating this process.


If you are an administrator of social media or just want to manage your accounts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and more from a single platform, here are six applications that you can use from the desktop of your PC, via the web or from your smartphone. This ease of access may allow you to increase your followers and make social media marketing campaigns successful.


So, here are six mobile apps that can be a life saver while doing social media marketing:


1. Google Currents


This app is useful for improving marketing activities and finding content, for creating unique and personalized sales and organizing various sources of information on the web. It also identifies the news or publications that are a trend at any given time on specific topics which can be shared across different social networks to generate interest and participation from the audience.


This app is advantageous because of its ability to take care of finding the content to be shared leaving you with enough time to engage in interaction with your customers.


2. Flipboard


Besides functioning as a content search tool, it also allows the profiles on major social networks like Facebook , Twitter or LinkedIn to connect to each other and enables managing and sharing content in all profiles from a single application.


Thus, it presents a way to quickly check the reactions from the audience towards a publication, thereby allowing users to keep a check on the feelings and reputation that they generated online.


3. Postling


Today it is necessary for brands to have a fresh, dynamic and updated blog for reaching consumers. In this sense, this mobile application allows you to create content that can be posted directly on a specific blog from the app itself, with an option to add almost anything and customizing it to suit the dynamics of each blog. This negates the necessity of sitting in front of your computer for carrying out updates to your social media marketing campaigns.


4. Buffer


To schedule your tweets or Facebook updates, you can use Buffer so that your followers can see updates at different times allowing you to reach more contacts. Buffer is free for a certain number of tweets, however if your contacts are in thousands then you can opt for the paid version to add other team members and enjoy unlimited tweets. You can integrate Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter with this app.


5. Hoosuite


Hoosuite is a platform for managing social media marketing on large websites with high traffic, however with the free version, you can have Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Flickr and Tumblr at your disposal while operating from a single panel. If you need statistics to track campaigns, you have the possibility of hiring a Pro plan for $ 5 a month. This would enable you to carry out activities on the new social network Google+ also. It is compatible with Android, BlackBerry and iPhone platforms.


6. Digsby

Digsby is popularly known as a multi-protocol chat client like MSN, Yahoo, AIM, ICQ, Google Talk, Jabber, and Facebook Chat but here you can also view and send updates to your Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn accounts. Digsby does not have a panel or functions of Hootsuite but is effective in maintaining social media accounts, emails and daily chats.


There are no two ways about the fact that social media has emerged as one of the largest players in the field of marketing. The traditional rules of marketing viz. activity, participation and interaction apply to social media also. This necessitates the social media marketers to remain active on a number of social media platforms continuously to better engage their potential clients and customers.


With these tools to manage social networking accounts of companies, brands or even individuals, you'll get closer to customers or contacts and be able to send timely updates from one place. This can really be a big boon for all those who target social media as a marketing platform since these apps provide you much ease of access of all those accounts.



Author Bio:
Jason Smith is an online consultant for ABWE. Jason likes blogging about online strategies that are related to SEO, Content, PPC & Lead generation. In his free time he likes to study about web designing and practice Jiu Jitsu.

Internet Marketing with Pinterest

Pintertest! If you are new to this word, you might wonder what it is all about. Well, it is just another social media site with interesting ‘pinboards’ allowing you to build business relationships with the huge number of population who visit the site regularly. Pinterest is all about visuals where you will have to pin unique images on your pinboard. Specifically, it is like the boards at office or home where you pin pictures, cards, scenery, motivating phrases, goals, schedules, etc.

How to create an account with Pinterest?

Registering an account with Pinterest is a simple process. You can create your account using the email address and also connect with other social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. Once the account is created, setup a gravatar image and build your profile. The next important step involved in Pinterest is creating ‘pinboards.’ Your account comes with default blank pinboards, which can be converted into boards with a definite theme and title. Additionally, new ones can also be created when required.

Why should one pin contents in Pinterest?
  • Social media is all about sharing anything that is pleasing to the eyes and informative. A regular user can pin images that are unique and interesting. They are the main resources who help in promoting internet marketing.
  • If you are an internet marketer Pinterest can be effectively used to build backlinks for your site. This helps you to build your brand, relationships and audience.

A few rules that will help you to achieve great success in Pinterest Internet Marketing
  • The golden rule is to include the ‘Pin It’ button on your website even if you do not have a Pinterest account. Your customers involved with Pinterest will play a major role in promoting your product.
  • Post visually appealing material in the center and in front. Keep in mind that Pinterest is all about pictures.
  • Do not always post pictures related to your product. Widen your thoughts and pin pictures that provide customers innovative ideas to use your service or product. This will encourage them to purchase your product and promote it.
  • Use other sites and channels to promote Pinterest boards. Facebook, Twitter, blog, website and other means can be used for the same.
  • The ‘About’ section in your profile plays a major role in creating an impression in the minds of a customer. This section should clearly relate to your product or brand. It should impress the customer by providing a brief summary about your product.
  • As a rule, include your website URL (correct one) along with the Pinterest profile. This will help the readers to follow you on your site. Most businesses forget this and end up losing potential readers and customers.
  • Frequently post or pin contents and images in your account. Do not increase your activity on a particular day and remain idle on other days. Maintain a standard schedule so that readers anticipate the next image or content. (Try to keep up to your promise at all times)
  • Titles of your pinboard are the first to catch the attention of a reader. Catchy, short titles add to the interest of readers and make it go viral.
  • Include images to the contents in your website. These images can in turn be used in Pinterest to create awareness about the post and product. Most important of all, is that the images must be capable enough to convey the message related to your product or service.
  • For individualization and security of images, you can use watermarks. Watermarks need to be classy so they don’t affect the quality and attraction of an image.
  • Short descriptions and keywords related to your business can be added to the images on the pinboard.
  • Last, but not the least, engage with others on Pinterest. Like, re-pin and follow their pinboards and the favor will be returned to you.

You can also try adding price tags to certain images on your pinboard. Similar to any other type of online marketing, Pinterest will also take its time to produce positive results. Implement unique strategies each time for better results. It is equally important to spend ample time on Pinterest each day especially when you are in the initial stages of Pinterest Internet Marketing.

This is a guest post by Sharon Thomas of thecornersuite.com - a site that offers savings and current information on dish network internet, as well as dish.com services.                

Monday, February 18, 2013

BWJ - Boca Negra



Last night, I went to see Neil Finn and Paul Kelly in concert at The Palais in St Kilda. It was a stiflingly hot night, but no-one seemed to mind with the class acts that we had come to see.  My favourite song was Neil singing Split Enz's Message to My Girl - I was shivering with delight. Other great moments for me were Paul singing Before Too Long, and the Neil-led sing-along of Fall At Your Feet. Magic!

This week's Baking with Julia assignment was the very decadent Boca Negra (literally, "black mouth" which is what you will have after taking a bite), hosted by Cathy of A Frederick Food Garden.

If you are a chocolate fan, you will love this cake.  If you eat it warm, it is kind of like a chocolate self-saucing pudding, but  if you refrigerate it, the cake turns into a fudgy delight that will take you to heaven.  Here is my heart shaped version:




Eat this cake with icecream and raspberries to cut through the dense chocolate.  Enjoy!

To see what the other Baking with Julia bakers thought, visit the BWJ website.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Digital Marketing with StumbleUpon


As one of the products of the ensuing social media revolution, StumbleUpon is a popular content discovery engine that helps users find new content based on their interests. With more than 25 million registered users and close to one billion stumbles every month, StumbleUpon has joined the elite list of fastest growing social media websites. The website helps registered users find new web content, while also recommending content based on user interests. The website sources out recommended content based on user interests using social networking and peer-sourcing techniques. Users can make new friends and build relationships on the network.

Launched in 2001, StumbleUpon was founded by Geoff Smith, Garrett Camp, Eric Boyd and Justin LaFrance. The website was developed using the concept of collaborative filtering to link similar web users on a single platform. Users can rate web pages, update personal profiles and build peer networks connected by common interests. The website coordinates distribution of content, so that users stumble on web pages recommended by members in their peer network.

Getting Started with StumbleUpon

To become a member, you have to sign up with the website using a valid email address or sign-up using your Facebook account. Once your email address is confirmed and activated, you can start stumbling. Upon sign-up and activation, you will be required to select interests based related to which you would like to discover web pages. Once you have signed in, you can start Stumbling by clicking the Stumble button on the top left corner of the web page. Users can rate a web page by clicking ‘thumbs up’ or ‘thumbs down’. In addition, users can stumble upon content related to their interests.

Users can make the most of toolbar versions to start stumbling. Stumble Upon has launched toolbar versions for popular web browsers like Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari and Opera. For the benefit of mobile users, StumbleUpon has released mobile apps that are available in Android and iOS mobile platforms.

StumbleUpon for Digital Marketing

As one of the popular social voting and bookmarking websites on the web, StumbleUpon can help businesses promote their brand, while generating traffic to their website. Registered users can submit URLs to web pages based on their interests, while categorizing them with keywords known as tags. Once your business is registered with StumbleUpon, you can find target audience by filtering out users based on interests. As a business, you can post promotions, advertisements and deals, and promote them to members who have selected your business niche as their interest.

On the flip side, the website is built in such a way that it detects content related to user preferences and serves up exclusive web pages that match potential interests. By this means businesses can reach out to their target audience and get to know about the reception of a particular product or service. In addition, StumbleUpon helps businesses build the exposure of a website or brand, while enabling the business to establish a follower base.

The website helps drive traffic to your business website, which helps gain backlinks from visitors that boost search engine rankings. Businesses can make the most of paid promotions on StumbleUpon. Paid promotions helps businesses reach out directly to their target audience. For this purpose, businesses can purchase StumbleUpon Ads that are priced for every targeted user. With paid promotions, businesses can get valuable feedbacks and suggestions on web pages, products and brands, as users get to rate every web page.

The bottom line is that with the ensuing social media revolution raring to go, rapidly growing social media websites like StumbleUpon can yield desired benefits when included as part of your digital marketing campaign.

Tanya Hansen, a freelance writer for Homesecurityreviewsite.com – offers full home security to help protect your family, assets from burglary and other crimes. Home SecurityCompanies