social media toolsDo you know what people are saying about your brand? Do you want to know how to monitor these conversations?

Regardless of the size of your business, chances are good people are talking about you and your brand via social networks and blogs. In this article I’ll cover four free monitoring tools to help you get started.

Getting Started: How do people talk about you?

A good place to find how people know and speak of your brand is to look at the keywords and phrases they use to find your website.

You can find these metrics in the analytics package you’re using with your website. If you’re not using an analytics package like Google Analytics, Webtrends or Clicky, then brainstorm keywords and phrases that you may have heard clients/customers use in discussions you have had with them.

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social media toolsWhat are QR codes and how can they help your business? Keep reading to find out.

Quick Response codes (QR codes) and other two-dimensional codes are expected to achieve widespread use this year – and for good reason. Consumers want immediate access to what’s relevant and QR codes are being used to make that possible.

QR Codes 101

If you’re not yet familiar with QR codes, they’re similar to the barcodes used by retailers to track inventory and price products at the point of sale. The key difference between the two is the amount of data they can hold or share.

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social media how toAre you tapping the social media data stream? Inside that river of data lives great insight that can give your business an edge.

Social media allows you to match data generated by social interactions with individual’s preferences and general interests. This creates useful profiles that give marketers insight into how to tailor future offers and products to their customer base.

In this article I’ll show you five ways to use the data generated by your social network profiles—and those of your competitors—to expand your reach and sales.

#1: Listening Data

Nearly every social media plan tells you to begin by “listening,” but what are you listening for? Monitoring news related to your local business environment and industry can give you a sense of the conversation around your products or services, but social listening allows you to expand this information and make it more relevant.

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social media toolsHave you been wondering what’s so great about HootSuite’s new freemium model? Are you wondering if it’s worth the investment? Are you upset about having to pay for something that used to be free?

HootSuite just announced that they’ve passed their millionth user at the end of November, so it’s time to take a deep dive to see what HootSuite is doing and how it’s going to impact the social media space. Here’s a review of the latest and greatest with HootSuite’s new freemium service model.

Last fall, HootSuite announced that they were changing their business model to offer new “premium” services for business customers. All HootSuite users received a message asking them to choose a plan when they attempted to log in for the first time after the change.

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social media how toTwitter is a powerful marketing tool.  But have you considered using the power of Twitter to enhance marketing efforts—social media or not?  This article will show you how.

Most people talk about Twitter in terms of getting to know people, building lists and using followers.  But for marketers and business owners, that’s just the start.

The Laser Focus of Twitter

One of the reasons I prefer Twitter to Facebook is that it’s much more focused, and in that regard, is much more business-oriented. As opposed to Facebook, where business and social are separated by pages and profiles, Twitter combines it all together in an easy-to-follow format.

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social media case studiesPicturesque Lake Arrowhead, just 90 miles east of Los Angeles, has long been a peaceful refuge for celebrities, film executives and families. More than 120 movie studios have filmed here and the area hosts several big-draw events every year.

Yet the lake community does NOT have a rock-star budget.

With a small percentage of county tax dollars, the Lake Arrowhead Communities Chamber of Commerce must support two visitor centers, multiple events and promotion for the area.

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social media how toFacebook fan pages number among the few social media channels that allow page customization for users. Instead of a mediocre interface, business owners and professionals can now apply HTML code to enhance their Facebook fan page presence to promote and build business branding.

Rich content creates a memorable interface that gets people talking, lets a special announcement or contest go viral, improves fans’ engagement and so much more.

To create an important hub to reach out to millions of potential supporters, you need to up your game and optimize your fan page to meet its ultimate purpose.

(Important Update: Facebook no longer supports FBML. Please refer to the articles on Facebook iFrame.) Everything is possible, thanks to the powerful Facebook application known as Static FBML. Many people may be unaware of the advanced functionality FBML gives a fan page, such as creating and naming your tabs or boxes freely. For those who are curious just how powerful Static FBML can get, we’re going to inspect it all here:

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