Month: March 2014

Want a Free eBook? Come and Get It

Our free eBook, Astronauts in a Digital Universe: An Explorer’s Log Book, is now available for digital download! All you have to do is click here and you’ll be directed to the download page.

Also, just for downloading, you’ll automatically be entered to win a free social media consultation with tCloud Solutions’ Social Media Specialist.

What are you waiting for? We’re giving away a lot of free stuff, people! Go get it.

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Weddings, Live-Tweeted: A New Social Media Service Takes the Cake

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The concept of “live-tweeting” is simple: you log on to your mobile Twitter account and describe via words, photos and hashtags what is happening before your eyes. Think of it like social media-driven journalism. Sure, live-tweeting is expected during sporting events and concerts, but what would you say if people are now paying for specialists to live-tweet their wedding?

It’s a service that’s catching on in New York, specifically at W Hotels, as reported by HLN TV. While the idea isn’t completely far-fetched due to the popularity of live-tweeting, it seems many aren’t so keen on the idea.

However, W Hotels believes this is the cutting edge in wedding services.

“We’ve been noticing a huge trend among our wedding clientele to integrate social media into the wedding experience,” said Alyssa Kiefer, the Global Social Media Strategist for W Hotels. “Think about it — every milestone event, whether it’s a wedding, engagement, graduation, etc., is documented through guests’ personal social channels. Instagram, Twitter and Facebook have become the status quo. So many of our couples are asking guests to use a specific hashtag when uploading photos and we even have guests update their Facebook status while standing at the altar! That got us thinking… we at W pride ourselves on our “Whatever/Whenever” service, so what better way to stay ahead of the curve than to offer social capabilities as part of a wedding package with W Hotels? It’s one less thing a bride or groom has to worry about.”

What do you think? Do you think brides and grooms will start paying to have their wedding live-tweeted by a professional service? Let us know in the comments.

Source article: http://www.hlntv.com/article/2014/03/26/social-media-wedding-concierge-w-hotels-new-york

 

Join us for the second installment of “Leaving Impactful Digital Footprints”

 

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Our first webinar was received so positively that we wanted to do it again.

On April 17, 2014 at 2 pm, we’ll be re-presenting our webinar, “Leaving Impactful Digital Footprints“. If you’re a business owner or work for a company that currently uses or needs to implement social media, this webinar is for you.  We’ll be discussing the importance of having an online presence and how to maintain that presence once you’ve launched your company into the digital universe.

Registrants will receive the tCloud eBook, Astronauts in a Digital Universe: An Explorer’s Log Book.

Be sure to sign up today! We look forward to seeing you there.

REGISTER HERE.

Social Media Inspiration: Sioux Falls Edition

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If you’re one of those creative types, you know how difficult it can be at times to get a solid idea rolling, especially when it comes to an engaging social media post or blog entry. No matter how deep you reach into your creativity vault, nothing seems to stand out when translated from brain to computer screen. Don’t let  frustration or lack of motivation stop you from posting on your company’s social pages or blogs.  If you go too long without communication, your fans and followers might start to wonder why you’ve abandoned your online platforms.

Today, we want to share several businesses in the Sioux Falls, South Dakota area that utilize social media in an awesome way.  Take these examples as inspiration for your next online post:

1. Avera McKennan

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Courtesy: Avera Health YouTube

Avera’s latest marketing campaign, “My Avera Story” adds a human element to their social media. The health care organization uses amazing, personal stories that tug at the heartstrings to increase brand awareness and engagement on their Facebook and Youtube pages. Consumers want businesses that will listen to them and Avera is effectively tapping into this need through this social campaign.

2. All City Pet Care West

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Courtesy: All City Pet Care West Facebook

What’s better than a Facebook news feed full of fuzzy, cute faces? Using real photos of what’s happening around the veterinary office is a great way to connect with pet owners and show what they have to offer. It also increases their chance of having their posts shared by fans and followers. In addition to promoting services, All City Pet Care provides snapshots of adoptable animals looking for a new family. Posts are short, to the point and most importantly, visual.

 

3. AMaVo

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Courtesy: AMaVo Facebook

Local clothing retailer AMaVo does a fantastic job of providing original, eye-catching content across their social sites. They also cross-promote their social networks, advertising on Facebook that they have a presence on Pinterest and featuring blog posts on their Facebook page, and so on. The above post is a great call-to-action, encouraging their followers to check them out on other social networks.

4. Karmazin Family Dentistry

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Courtesy: Karmazin Family Dentistry Facebook

No matter where you work, your social media audience loves to see company employees in action. The above post from Karmazin Family Dentistry gives a sneak peak into a recent dental conference. If your company has representatives going to special events or seminars, let your followers in on the action, like Karmazin does.

5. Pomegranate Market

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Courtesy: Pomegranate Market Facebook

Pomegranate Market appeals well to its niche by posting timely, informative entries. In addition to photos of store displays, Pomegranate shares interesting articles from the natural food industry, promotes events and educational sessions, and highlights new product offerings. Sharing information relevant to your target audience improves social media engagement, which is why Pomegranate has a following of over 4,200 people. (Not to mention, Pomegranate employees take time to respond to questions on their Facebook wall. This is a must when it comes to businesses on social media.)

Do you know a company that’s doing well on social media? What do they do differently than their competition? Leave your answers in the comments.

The Best (and Worst) Times to Update Your Social Networks

Hello digital astronauts,

Check out this helpful infographic we found on Fannit.com. Go ahead, print this out for your office or cubicle to serve as a guideline for the best times to update your social media for increased audience engagement.

Courtesy Fannit.com

Courtesy Fannit.com

tCloud’s Take: Things People Do For Five Dollars

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What would you do for $5?

While some would hardly consider that viable compensation to drive down the street, others have a much different idea.

Enter Fiverr®, a website full of content creators willing to do anything (design, advertising, interviews, promotional videos) for $5. No, we’re not joking. Yes, it actually exists.

Launched in 2010, Fiverr® has become a creative global marketplace for small businesses to take advantage of advertising solutions. Sure, you can set a budget of $5 a day for Facebook advertising, but you can also get video testimonials, blog posts, radio commercials, logos, funny Youtube videos and more for the same amount through Fiverr®. This begs the question: Is the website a good option for your small business’s online marketing needs?

Here’s the pros and cons we came up with:

Pros:

  • You receive buzz-worthy content for your social media or website platforms
  • You’re not spending the entirety of your marketing budget in one place
  • If you use it for buying content, you create important connections all over the world
  • If you are using the platform as a content creator through your business, you generate new client/customer leads

Cons:

  • The quality of work may not be what you expected
  • Some platforms charge extra for convenience
  • There’s always the chance you may not receive your product after paying for it (but keep in mind, you’d only be out about $5).

Overall, Fiverr® offers businesses with a small online marketing budget a unique alternative.  Where else will you find someone willing to hang up your flyer around London or write your message in the sand?

Do you use Fiverr®? Would you use it for your business needs or offer your services through the site? Let us know in the comments.

Social Media Boot Camp: Deciding which account needs help

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All right, social media users, it’s time to get down to business. Welcome to tCloud Social Media Boot Camp, where inadequate social accounts are whipped into shape by our experts and molded into the best possible platform for your business.

In our first installment of the tCloud Social Media Boot Camp blog series, we’ll show you how to determine which of your social media sites need to shape up. After all, your social networks are meant to extend the voice of your brand to consumers and if your pages don’t even show up in search results, something needs to change.

So, how does one know which social network is under-performing? The answer lies within Google’s search algorithms.

According to HootSuite, one of the easiest ways to figure out which of your platforms isn’t up to snuff is by typing your name or business’ name into Google and taking note of where your social platforms rank.

Taking that into account, we did a Google search for tCloud Solutions, and this is what appeared on the first page:

google search resultsSo, using these listings as a basis for how our social sites are performing, we see that:

  1. Our LinkedIn profile has the highest search ranking, followed by our Twitter page, FourSquare and Facebook.
  2. We also have a Google + and YouTube account, but our Google profile isn’t shown until the second page (if you disregard the link under our main website entry) and our YouTube account is buried in the search results.
  3. This blog is also on the second page of Google search results.

What does this really mean?

While the exact algorithm is somewhat of a secret, we do know Google ranks search listings by a variety of criteria, the most common being:

  • Recently updated content
  • Keyword location on the site (SEO)
  • Hyperlinks to and from your website
  • How long the site has been in operation

Theoretically, social media sites that take these aspects into consideration will have a higher ranking. From our previous Google search, it’s safe to say our LinkedIn page and Twitter account are doing well. We post content on those sites nearly every day and make sure they have links to our main site as well as other social media sites. On the other end of the spectrum, our YouTube page is lost in the mix partly because we just created the account and don’t have any videos up just yet. It also has the lowest amount of traffic and no referral traffic to our main webpage, because we haven’t started publicizing it. Therefore, the account we’re checking into Boot Camp is YouTube.

Which one of your social media accounts is last on Google search? That site is boot camp material. Go ahead, take ’em to Boot Camp by leaving the URL in the comments.

Be sure to follow our weekly web series for tips on how to improve your Boot Camp social site so it moves on up in the digital world.

Which Social Network are You?

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Let’s pretend for a moment that social networking sites had the ability to transform themselves into people. Which one would resemble you the most?

Our Social Media Specialist at tCloud Solutions came up with a fun, sharable quiz that detects your personality and pairs it with your ideal social network.

Go ahead, take a break from work and give it a try:

http://www.playbuzz.com/katiep10/which-social-network-is-your-bff

 

Astronauts in a Digital Universe: An Explorer’s Log Book

We’re so excited about the upcoming release of our first eBook, Astronauts in a Digital Universe: An Explorer’s Log Book. The guide presents an overview of social media strategy and how you can use your online presence to better your company’s public relations and customer outreach.

This free download will be available in April through our website, but registered attendees of the March 27 webinar will receive advanced copies.

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Businesses: It’s Time to Get a Social Strategy Plan B

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By now, you have probably heard about Facebook’s plan to decrease how many of your business page’s updates post to your follower’s news feeds. If not…we’re sorry we had to break the news to you.

According to a ValleyWag report, a source says the social media giant is “in the process of slashing organic page reach down to 1 to 2 percent.” What does this mean for your business page? In short, you will need to “pay-to-play”. Consider this: if you have 1,000 fans, only 10 of them would see your post. If you only have 100 likes, only 1 fan is seeing your latest post. The only way to guarantee views and engagement is with paid advertisements.

No matter how large or small your business, the Great News Feed Depression will affect all company pages.

So, what’s happens next? You have a few options:

  1.  Pay for advertising through Facebook
  2.  Educate followers on the “Get Notifications” option
  3.  Come up with a social media Plan B…It’s time to start using other networks

Let’s pretend that paying for advertising is out of the question at the moment. If option #2 sounds like a good solution, you may wish to educate your followers as soon as possible before Facebook drops the hammer. Here’s how:

facebooknotificationscreen

Use a screenshot similar to the one above to illustrate the “Get Notifications” option. This choice is found in a drop-down menu in the navigation bar on your business’ Facebook page. All followers need to do is select “Get Notifications” to receive your status updates. Encourage your customers to use this option by posting this graphic on Facebook, your website, blog or any network you can. (Go ahead, you can take our screenshot if you need.)

Tip: If your followers don’t see that red notification box over their globe icon, encourage them to check out their news feed’s left hand module. Facebook users have an option that says “Page Feed” with a little orange flag beside it. That is where all liked pages’ latest posts are. 

However, Facebook is conducting a business page layout redesign, so it is unclear if the “Get Notifications” button will even exist in the near future.

In that case, option #3 may be your best bet. In that situation, what should you do if Facebook is no longer a viable option for generating organic views and engagement with your brand? Here’s our tips:

  • Evaluate your strongest social networks: Besides Facebook, what other social sites are driving traffic to your website? Is your Twitter account thriving? Do you have thousands of subscribers on YouTube? Or maybe your LinkedIn profile is generating the highest click-through rate. Find out which sites are booming and use them to engage your target audience.
  • Build your own online community: Perhaps launching your own social network is the key to gathering your online audience and keeping them engaged. This could be a subsection of your website or if you have the resources, your company can have its own social platform built and customized to your specific needs.
  • Promote your presence on another up-and-coming social network:  There are literally hundreds of social media sites out there for your use. (Here’s a list of just a few of them) Analyze your target audience’s demographics and promote your message through other platforms.

What do you think of the new stipulations for business pages on Facebook? Leave your thoughts in the comments.