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How to use Ping.FM to be able to update all your social statuses from one place.

Looking for ways to streamline the updates and set ups for your social media programs? The Social Media Guide  blog recently did a very good and detailed review of Ping.FM. I am always looking for ways to multi task in the social media world and this is a very good solution to issues all CMO’s face when it comes to updates and changes and how to get them on each and every social media tool we use in our marketing mix.

You or your team spend hours filling in profiles, joining groups,updating statuses as the list of social media tools grow in your marketing mix. So check out this option and the detailed instructions that they gave us.

How to use Ping.fm

Ping.fm, Social Media — By Matthew Tommasi

There are so many social networking sites around today and even more appearing on a weekly basis. 

If you are like me, it is likely that you are a member of more than one social network like Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, LinkedIn, etc. If you are one of the hardcore you could be a member of many, many more. 

How many hours would you have spent filling in your profiles, joining groups and updating your statuses within these social circles? It starts to add up. 

Wouldn’t it be good to be able to update all your social statuses from one place? Well you can with Ping.fm

Ping.fm allows you to send updates to all, or just a handful of your favourite sites. Updates can be made from your browser, email or sms. If you have an iPhone and are using the Twitter application Tweetie, checkout my guide on how to integrate Ping.fm with Tweetie. 

This guide will show you how to save time and be more efficient when it comes to updating your social statuses. 

Firstly, you will need to make sure you have added all your social networks. For this guide, I have only added Twitter, Facebook and MySpace. 

There are three different methods of posting – status updates, micro-blogs and blogging.. which I found a little confusing when it came to configuring my social networks. Do I set them as status only, or micro-blogging only, or both, or what? And what about updating via email? 

So I decided to test these out to see how they worked for real. Here is what I have found when testing out the various posting methods of Ping.fm. 

To check out the details go to:

http://thesocialmediaguide.com.au/2009/05/10/how-to-use-pingfm/

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Social Media web traffic stats mean changes in social media direction

 When the landscape is changing so fasts in social media, a stat like 41% of social media on Facebook would be a key driver for the 2011 marketing plans.  However for me the interesting fact is the growth of the others like Ning, and Hulu. The fact that MySpace has held it own and has not declined, is a definite relook, were many had started to count them out. The flattening of Twitter trend is also one to take into consideration when planning to use it in your social media mix.  The term – Social media mix, is the key to 2011 planning, it is not longer a one tool plan as an add-on that will work.  Social Media mix is now my new mantra.

Mashables article on social media stats gives a road map to next steps.   By Jolie O’Dell 14

Facebook and YouTube are displacing rivals and taking over the social web, according to data we’ve just received from comScore.

In addition to showing massive and continued traffic growth throughout 2009 and the beginning of 2010, Facebook and YouTube continued to capture the highest volume of social web traffic. Twitter also garnered a ton of mainstream attention, helping the company increase the number of visitors to its site by fivefold over the course of the year.

Taking a look at the unique visitors charts, we see the widespread migration from MySpace to Facebook even more clearly. As of March 2010, Facebook traffic made up 41% of all traffic on a list of popular social destinations. MySpace was in second place, capturing around 24% of traffic. Gmail had 15%, and Twitter had 8%. However, during the same period in 2009, MySpace was in the lead with 38% of site visits over Facebook’s 33%.

While Gmail continues to show slow year-over-year growth and sites such as LinkedIn and Twitter experienced exponential gains over the course of the past 12 months, MySpace’s traffic has been completely stagnant. Facebook, on the other hand, has exhibited strong growth and high volumes of traffic. Take a look at the difference between site traffic in March 2009 and March 2010 for these social sites:

comScore is an acknowledged leader in digital analytics and intelligence. comScore’s data for this post are based on a hybrid of site analytics and audience measurement for U.S. users at home, work and school.”

Adding Group SMS text messages to your marketing or communications plans

 Finding ways to leverage SMS or Text marketing is always a challenge on how to do carefully selected text messages to targeted audiences.  Messages like getting a key message out to your sales force or you need to change a location or time for an event and to grow customer engagement. Broadcasting text alerts to your subscribers and have it also push to your Twitter, Facebook and website visitors in one stroke is a valuable tool to consider. Mashable recently covered this subject.

” Christina Warren  from Mashable blog has done a very good outline of a way to easily do this.

This post is part of Mashable’s Spark of Genius series, which highlights a unique feature of startups. If you would like to have your startup considered for inclusion, please see the details here. The series is made possible by Microsoft BizSpark.
 

Name: TextMarks

 Quick Pitch: TextMarks group text messaging services turn any mobile phone into a powerful marketing tool.

 Genius Idea: TextMarks makes it easy to create SMS marketing campaigns by letting users send a text message with a custom keyword of your choice to 41411. You can also use TextMarks auto-post service to send out SMS messages to subscribers and also update Facebook() and Twitter().

As the Red Cross’s efforts in raising money for Haiti proved, text messages can be a powerful way to engage others and to spread information. It’s not just about joke-of-the-day subscriptions or other nonsense that you see at 2AM on TV — real money and real causes can be publicized through text.

 

TextMarks is a service that makes it really easy to set-up a mobile campaign to broadcast messages or updates to users that opt-in to your service by first texting a keyword. 

What we like about TextMarks is that the service is easy to set-up and affordable. You can try out the service for free and send unlimited ad-supported messages each month, and ad-free plans start at $9.95 a month. For small businesses or small groups like churches or clubs, that’s a really nice option. 

We also like that you can update Twitter and Facebook with the same messages you send out to other users. That way, if you’re using messages to keep people updated with scheduling information or other time-sensitive info, the message can go out across all of your social channels.”

5 Best Printer Friendly WordPress Plugins

Have you had trouble printing out information from a blog article?  I have and so when I saw this article on top Wordpress plug ins for printer friendly documents, I was all over it.   Take a look at the: Quick online tips blog.  They had great info for the options for printer friendly wordpress plug ins for your blog.

5 Best Printer Friendly WordPress Plugins
Posted: 22 Mar 2010 06:55 AM PDT
Guest post by Tom Walker.
“Do you know which are the best printer friendly WordPress plugins? When you are in the process of creating a WordPress blog, trying to get your head around all of the jargon and available plugins can seem quite daunting. To put it simply, a plugin is designed to help you achieve more with your blog and can make many tasks a whole lot simpler.

When you have visitors to your blog it is often the case that they would like to print out information to use either immediately or in the future. This could involve details about your company, contact numbers or email addresses, or general information that they have found useful and would like to keep as a reference.
If you have tried to print information from a blog before, then you will know how many pages end up coming out of the printer, many of which are useless, and sometimes even the full width of the page doesn’t print out. However, there are some extremely useful plugins that you can get that will help to make your blog printer friendly.
Best Printer Friendly WordPress Plugins
Most plugins can be used immediately to help improve the success and look of your site. Here are some of the best plugins available and we have outlined some of the features to give you a better understanding and to help you decide if they would be useful on your blog.
1. PrintWhatYouLike
This plugin is a great way to ensure that your blog prints out in a print-friendly manner for your customers or potential clients. It works by automatically formatting your blog for printing, but it also has some additional benefits as well. It will allow you to save a blog page as a PDF file, individually customise a page, and create your own layout for printing.
2. VoucherPress
If you would like to be able to offer discount vouchers or special deals to your customers and visitors, this plugin will allow you to customise your own individual vouchers that can then be downloaded and printed. One of the advantages of this plugin for those wishing to create a potential client base for email marketing purposes is that you can set the parameters to require email addresses and individual logins. This could very well set your WordPress blog up to be far more successful in the long run.
Another advantage of using the voucher or token system is that once downloaded, a specific voucher cannot be downloaded again. You could also place limits on the number of offers available, once the limit has been reached the offer will cease. This allows you greater control over specials and promotions, if you so choose.
3. PrintFriendly
This plugin is exactly as its name suggests, a button that can be added to your WordPress blog to enable potential customers and clients to easily print your pages in a friendly manner. Visitors familiar with the web will appreciate this add on, as they know they will be able to print exactly what they want, without multiple sheets of paper being used and wasting ink. This plugin will also allow you the ability to remove any imposing pictures when printing leaving you with a printout of information only.
4. Blog2Print
If you are extremely pleased with your blog and think it would have some value as a book, it is now possible to turn all of your blog posts that you have made into a book. It is up to you whether you would like to actually hold this book in your hands physically, or download and save it as a PDF document. If you would like it in a hardcopy, then it will cost you money, however the PDF version is free. If you wish to print the PDF, it is important to note that it is currently formatted to an A5 paper size only, and this could be a disadvantage for some.
5. Cleanprint
The use of this plugin will provide your readers with many advantages and will promote your blog as one that is thoughtful and professional. Having pages that have been optimised for printing, and showing readers that this is the case, could set your blog apart in terms of convenience and repeat visitors. This plug in will also enable you to customise the logo that will appear at the top of each printed page and will omit useless on-screen details that the reader doesn’t need on their printed page. Imagine your blog post coming out of the printer looking like a page straight out of a magazine, advertising your product or service. If this appeals to you, then this plugin is a must for your blog.”
This guest post was written by Tom Walker for Quickonline tips, a blogger who writes for a UK based specialist in ink, toners, paper and other supplies for the creative industry called Cartridge Save. You can subscribe to their blog to keep up with his posts on art, design and technology. You can also share WordPress tips and write a guest article here.

Foursquare vs. Gowalla location based mobile side by side look.

I was talking to a CMO friend about the difference between Foursquare and Gowalla.  Now she had not heard of either of these, thus a chart is worth a thousand words and Mashable did a wonderful job with a compare and contrast for the blog below. Note that is a few months old and the area has grown up a lot in the past few months, so it is a must be in area for companies and individuals. 

 

You can compete for mayorships of your favorite game or topic. Being the mayor has become the new hey are you on Twitter, that was the buzz last year. Also look at Brightkite, Loopt and Yelp in this space.

 

Foursquare vs. Gowalla: Location-Based Throwdown

foursquare vs gowalla imageBased in New York City, Shane Snow is a graduate student in Digital Media at Columbia University and founder of Scordit.com. He’s fascinated with all things geeky, particularly social media and shiny gadgets he’ll never afford.

 Just when you thought you had enough social networks in your life, two hot new ones are vying for your attention. Combine the benefits of sites like Yelp(), Twitter(), and Google Latitude, add in social gaming and some privacy measures, and you have the recipe that Foursquare(), the app that’s been called “next year’s Twitter,” by Mashable’s() own Pete Cashmore, and its chief competitor, Gowalla(), are cooking. Each has attracted a rapidly growing user base in 2009, and each is rushing madly to beat the other to your smartphone in 2010.


A Quick History


Many of the world’s great inventions – television for example – have been developed in parallel, unbeknown to their authors. Both Foursquare and Gowalla started development in late 2008, and both launched in Austin at SXSW in March this year. At the time, Foursquare stole the show, drowning out any fanfare that the then-buggy Gowalla tried to muster.

When asked if he was nervous when he heard about Foursquare’s simultaneous launch, Gowalla founder Josh Williams said, “On the contrary, I felt like the presence of other innovative location services was simply confirmation that we might be onto something interesting.”

Nine months and millions of dollars of funding later, Gowalla has positioned itself as a serious contender in the space. Bugs have been ironed out, and according to Williams, Gowalla is now seeing 20,000 checkins a day. While each app has its own specialties, they share some remarkable similarities, even in the liner notes:

foursquare vs gowalla about image

 I’m not sure who ripped off whom on this one, but at least we all love everyone!


Which Should You Use?


Regardless of who developed what first, these networks may soon work their way into your own social circles. The big question: Which should you use?

 The answer may simply be, “Whichever one your friends are using.” But if you’re the early adopter in the group, the blow-by-blow comparison below can help you sway your social circle to sign up for the one that fits you best.

foursquare vs gowalla chart

Cells shaded in orange indicate a feature that favors Gowalla, those in blue favor Foursquare, while crosshatching indicates a toss-up. However, opinions will vary on this, so please tell us what you think in the comments.

 As you can see, Gowalla trumps Foursquare in design and availability, but Foursquare takes the cake when it comes to check-in location accuracy, device support, friend management, and value added features like a city guide, and to-do list. Both apps are equally impressive in the way they dole out in-game and real-life perks and rewards.


The Problem with Gowalla


While Gowalla is very cool looking, my main beef is its tendency to emphasize you more, while Foursquare emphasizes your friends. One of the best things these apps have over other social networks is the ability to meet and interact with new, real people, meet up physically with your actual friends, and get recommendations from people you trust. I’m not saying you can’t do this with Gowalla, just that Foursquare seems to do it better. However, for those who enjoy the Pokemon-style gaming aspect, Gowalla with its pins and item swapping, is a definite first choice.

 Also, likely because of Gowalla’s slow start, although the service is available everywhere, even in New York City, where I live I rarely check in somewhere where an actual Gowalla user is also checked in. I bump into Foursquare users all over the place, though. If this were the board game Risk, Foursquare would be the guy who’s got 1,000 armies in Australia(Australia) while Gowalla has one army everywhere else. Unless Gowalla is really lucky with the dice, it’s probably only a matter of time before it gets edged out everywhere else too.

 As the location-based battle rages on, keep an eye on semi-competitors like Loopt and Brightkite(Brightkite) who may soon enter this particular fray. “I think both Foursquare and Gowalla are great apps – using the real world as the backdrop for a game is a lot of fun,” Loopt CEO Sam Altman recently confessed. “It’s probably a safe assumption that we’ll add some gaming elements.”

See also: 6 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Foursquare

What other blogs are saying about you and your products.

Blogs and monitoring of blogs and what is being said about you is a hot topic these days.  How do you monitor? Do you pay to monitor? What tools are available to you to monitor blogs and what is being said about you or your company is all the discussion in the CMO’s mind.

Social Mouths blog had some good ideas of free listening posts for your products and services, beyond the paid services for social media monitoring such as Radian 6 and CrimsonHexagon. 

Here is the short list URLs and Free blog listening tools:

IceRocket

Blog Pluse

Blog line search

Google blog search

Paid Services:

Radian 6

Crimsonhexagon.

Here is the blog I was reading on the subject.

Social Mouths blog 

Do You Know What Other Blogs Are Saying About You?

listeningDo you know if you are being mentioned on other blogs? Did you know there are ways of tracking this? And, why is this important anyways?

In this post, I’ll explain why paying attention to what other blogs say is important and how to be aware of these mentions.

So let’s get started…

Why You Should Care

SEO

When you get mentioned by another blog, the author usually links back to your blog/site and as you know, getting backlinks is one of the most important things you can do to your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) as they can improve your page ranking. The search engines want to know if your site is relevant.

Sentiment

The next thing you need to worry about is sentiment. Is the comment positive or negative? Of course you don’t want people saying something negative about you or your services. When you track these mentions at least you have the opportunity to participate, maybe try to do something to turn an unhappy customer into a happy one. Damage control.

If it’s a positive mention, it is also a good opportunity to engage in the conversation.

Reciprocity

Be human. Be thankful and participate by leaving a comment or giving the post a tweet. Not to make you feel obligated but return the favor if you can, there is a good chance the other blog is somehow related to your topic.

Don’t ignore it, keep this blog in mind.

Let’s Look At An Example

Herbert from Penn State | Outreach Marketing did a very, very nice piece sharing a post from SocialMouths on his “Why Is Social Media Not Working For You” (Thanks Herbert).

Outreach Marketing

OK, so this is an extreme example and it’s not always like this, the mention can be a simple link to your blog or to a specific post. The point here is how to find this, right?

Tools

There are many tools you can use to track these mentions, feel free to share your favorite ones in the comment section of this post. Here a couple you can try:

Go to these sites and do a search based on your blog’s name or URL.

IceRocket

icerocket

BlogPulse (From Nielsen)

blogpulse

Other tools you can use are Bloglines Search or Google’s Blog Search.

Get Alerts

rss readerAll these services and most of them out there allow you to get the search results on RSS. You should subscribe and organize them on your RSS Reader. The point is to get alerts and be able to react as soon as possible, there is no point if you come back a month after the post was published.

Final Tought

The social web gives you the opportunity to engage in ways traditional media can’t but if you don’t pay attention, those opportunities are wasted.

One more thing, when you mention somebody or share a post from somebody else on your blog, make sure you do it properly so you give credit and the other end is aware of it.

Happy Listening!”

Jing is free software that adds visuals to your online conversations

Jing by Techsmith, is a tool that has captured my attention. It is a simple to use tool for instant sharing. It can be used for screen shots, videos, call outs and to show people what you are seeing on your screen with a click of a button with a linking URL.  Much better than the process of screen shot, save to word ect.  It sits on your desk top as a yellow half-moon ready for when you want to screen shot with three choices of capture, history and more.

Their website says it is to add visuals to your online conversation. There is a free version and a paid version for adding video. With the free version you also get 2 mg on Screencast which is a nice benefit.

Here is a few ways they suggest using Jing

  • collaborateCollaborate on a design project
  • share snapshotShare a snapshot of a document
  • speechNarrate your vacation photos
  • bugCapture that pesky bug in action
  • family tech supportShow Dad how to use iTunes
  • homeworkComment verbally on students’ homework
  • tidbitsPost tidbits from your life on Twitter or Facebook

What I also like is that is integrated with their other programs, that are more complex.

Screencast.com Screencast.  It not only provides free storage and instant sharing of your Jing content…it’s also a super place to share your high-quality videos, images, presentations, and all manner of digital content.

 

Snagit Snag-It . This Swiss-army knife of screen capture picks up where Jing leaves off.  Powerful image editing, scrolling window capture, cursor capture, tagging, search, and rugged good looks.

Camtasia Studio Camtasia Studio.  Jing’s big brother on the video side—and the ideal choice for creating longer, more polished screen videos. Camtasia Studio can edit your Jing videos, too.