If you are considering adding social media and other interactive elements to your public relations and marketing plan, here is a comprehensive list of the more popular and effective applications. The bottom line is that all of these are free on a basic level. As you require more services, you can subscribe to paid plans. Most are very inexpensive.
If you’re not comfortable using these services and need assistance establishing accounts and installing / scheduling an application, we are happy to be of service. Contact us about our hourly rates or ask for a quote on packages.
* These links are resources used in creating the Social Media List below.
Facebook Fan Page – Facebook Fan Pages are better for brands, businesses, bands, movies, or celebrities who want to interact with their fans or customers without having them connected to a personal account, and have a need to exceed Facebook’s 5,000 friend cap.
- FBLM app – Use FBML to create a landing page instead of sending people to your wall, as most people do, you send them to a landing page with whatever message you want to provide. For example, you can give a short description of your organization and tell people to click the “becomes a fan” button.
- RSS Graffiti app – This adds your website’s RSS feed, monitors for any update and publish it automatically to your Facebook fan page so you don’t have to share your posts manually.
- Videos – You can add all your videos to your Facebook fan page
- Events – It’s very easy to spread the word and communicate with the members of your Facebook fan page with events. You can send messages to all the members and can be creative with the type of event.
- Discussion – Open up a discussion and “debate” with your Facebook fans or ask them to share opinions with you.
- Polls – Add a poll to your Facebook site.
- Like Box – Use the Facebook “Like” boxes on your website to promote your FB fan page.
* Facebook – http://slymarketing.com/why-you-should-use-facebook-events
* Facebook – http://www.directcreative.com/blog/facebook-fan-page
Twitter – Twitter is a micro-blogging platform. Companies also use it to promote themselves. On Twitter you will have people “following” you, and you will be “following” others. “Following” is being updated every time a new post is added to one of your contacts’ profiles. Being followed is the same; every time you have something to add, all your “followers” will be updated. The more people that follow you, the more exposure your business will get.
- Don’t spam others about your specials
- Follow other users
- Be active in the community(tweet comments about others’ tweets often)
- Only post useful and relevant information
- Don’t tweet every 5 minutes. It becomes annoying.
- Engage in conversations. Retweet (reply to others’ tweets) often
- Don’t promote your company directly. Do it the smart way.
- Every time you post on your blog, invite people to follow you on Twitter
- Search for Twitter users whose followers’ base you would love to have for yourself.
- See who is following them and follow those users. They will follow you back.
- See who is following your friends and follow them.
- There are Twitter directories that are great to find members who are likely to follow you.
- Use Twitter’s search feature to find profiles that interest you. Use Twitter’s RSS feed to be notified every time a tweet containing a certain keyword is made.
LinkedIn – LinkedIn operates the world’s largest professional network on the Internet with more than 90 million members in over 200 countries and territories. There are 12 million small-business people on LinkedIn.http://press.linkedin.com Use it to:
- Acquire new customers through online recommendations
- Keep in touch with people who care most about your business
- Find the right vendors to outsource services
- Find the right vendors to outsource services
- Get answers to tough business questions with a little help from your real friends
- Win new business by answering questions in your area of expertise
- Raise funding
- Network with peers in your industry for repeat business referrals
- Convince potential customers of your expertise by sharing unique blog content
- Keep your friends close and your competition closer
Hootsuite – Hootsuite allows you to take control of multiple social profiles (Facebook, Twitter, etc) from one dashboard so you don’t have to log into each one separately. Being a web-based platform, you don’t need to download a program onto your computer. You can access Hootsuite from any computer with a browser. Hootsuite allows you to schedule tweets on Twitter and status changes on Facebook and LinkedIn. That way, even people across the globe can hear from you while you sleep or you can schedule multiple reminders for special events or promotions way in advance
* Hootsuite – http://prinyourpajamas.com/use-hootsuite-like-a-pro
Google / Google analytics – The best statistics package out there right now. Google Analytics can generate up to 85 different reports that will help you analyze all possible data about your website traffic. It not only tracks visitors to your site or the number of page views, it can be used to see which content gets the most visits, time on site per visit, which ads are driving the most visitors to your site, it track the performances of your marketing campaigns, including AdWords, Adsense and emails and much, much more.
- Gmail Account – Create a free Google account, or if you have one, use it.
- Google Hangouts – Hangout and chat with up to 10 people at once in a private meeting, or go public and broadcast it, using your webcam
- Google Alerts – Get an alert when your name or keyword appears on the Internet
- Google Docs – Quit working on multiple versions of the same docuemnt — share files with members of your team and edit / view in real time
- Google Calendar – Keep track of events, meetings, and invite others to do the same. Put your calendar on your website
- Picasa – Photo sharing application, can make slideshows, videos or collages
- Google Blog – Maintain a Google blog that pulls the RSS feed from your website.
* Google Analytics – http://www.artofblog.com/rss-email-stats
YouTube Account and Channel – Put your videos on your own YouTube Channel. Increase Internet visibility with effective keywords. You can use it to show off your expertise, share knowledge, market your products and connect with customers, colleagues and prospects.
- Upload recordings of presentations you’ve given, to demonstrate authority and public speaking skills.
- Share slides from presentations that weren’t recorded.
- Create short videos of valuable tips of interest to your clients and prospects
- Demonstrate your expertise.
- Conduct an interview with an expert.
- Turn your podcasts into videos, to expand your reach.
- Engage with the YouTube community by leaving comments and uploading video responses to videos on topics related to your business or industry.
- Enhance your videos using YouTube’s special features, such as annotations, audio swap, insight, language options and quick capture.
- Record an important meeting to share with employees, shareholders and others, as appropriate.
DropBox – Share large files such as photos, docs and videos with others. No more emailing large files. It is the “cloud” so you can access it from any computer with an Internet connection and web browser.
*Dropbox – http://www.dropbox.com‘
Livestream Video Account – Livestream is the simplest way to broadcast your events live on the internet and to mobile devices. Broadcast live or keep a library of your YouTube videos available on your Livestream account. You can chat, use Facebook or Tweet while broadcasting live. Livestream also offers you an extremely simple, customizable way to broadcast your Livestream feed directly on your Facebook Page.
Livestream – http://www.livestream.com
MailChimp – MailChimp helps you design email newsletters, share them on social networks, integrate with services you already use, and track your results. It’s like your own personal publishing platform. Use MailChimp for email lists. It also integrates with WuFoo.
MailChimp – http://www.mailchimp.com
Wufoo Forms – Wufoo makes great use of Ajax to create a very nice user experience on the admin side of things. You can place your finished form in either an embedded iframe or on a dedicated web page. You can receive new responses by email or RSS, response data can be filtered and displayed in a variety of ways in the reports section and there is easy control over the look and feel of the forms your users interact with. There are many functions available.
Wufoo – http://wufoo.com
Your Website – This is your storefront. Make sure the information is accurate and all links work properly. Be sure to “blog” and make regular updates.
- Post upcoming events
- Use opinion polls
- Use forms for service requests
- Post links to helpful organizations
- Install Feedburner Feedsmith for RSS email subscriptions
PayPal – Shop and pay online quickly and securely. Send money to anyone with an email address. Accept online payments for items you sell. Accept campaign donations and make donations.
PayPal – https://www.paypal.com
Skype – Use Skype to connect with clients and business associates. Build relationships by working face-to-face with video and save on calls. Use it to grow your business, work flexibly and save money. Collaborate in real-time with colleagues and customers. Boost productivity with integrated collaboration tools.
Skype – http://www.skype.com
VOD Burner – Use with Skype to record video chats and interviews. You can have both cameras on the screen at once, or just one.
VOD Burner – http://www.vodburner.com