COMM0015 Blog Post 1: Tools and Sources

Understanding the latest trends is critical in the world of social media. You need to keep up the ins and outs of technology and social media.

You need the tools and sources for you to become a thought leader in social media (or at least appear it).

Fortunately, there is great tools and websites to keep your knowledge on tap within our ever changing world.

Regarding tools, my favorite social media monitoring tool is Google Trends. This offers me a lot of information on what is hot, or what impact a topic has in today’s social media world.

 

conversationprism

Image Credit Via Wikipedia via Conversationprism. Some Rights Reserved.

 

Google Trends allows you to check on how a topic trends over a period. You can check to see how well a topic did back in 2011. This allows for better planning and why I like Google Trends.

The other social media monitoring tool I enjoy using is Bit.ly. What Bit.ly does is shorten website links to make it manageable for Twitter. However, Bit.ly also tracks clicks on your links. Useful for understanding who is clicking towards your work.

While tools are great, you need great places of information to compliment tracking tools. Again, in this digital social media age there are many.

My first favorite is Mashable. I love Mashable. I call this site the “CNN for millennials.” It offers excellent coverage of news, technology, and science, through the lens of millennials. Excellent coverage on social media, as well as technology trends is why I prefer this site over the real CNN.

Gizmodo also is another site which keeps me up to date on all the latest tech and social media trends. It has daily updates on what is coming in new products including tablets, cleantech, and other products. This is good for understanding here future trends will lie in social media.

A wildcard source I often go to is Author Thomas Friedman, who is perhaps one of the best writers on Globalization on technology trends. His books including The Lexus and the Olive Tree, The World is Flat and Hot, Flat and Crowded all have been New York Times Best Sellers. His way of synthesizing complex political, social and technological issues all into a simple to understand books on trends is why I often go to for the source of information on where we were, where we are now, and what the future holds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

COM0015 – Post #4 – Out of the Box

Google Logo

I know Google is a vast empire and suspect that it will eventually take over the universe. What I didn’t know until recently, is that there is so much more depth to Google than I could have imagined. I’m not talking only about Google search, which makes me bow down to the keyword gods when I write blog posts for my clients. I’m also not talking about Google+ as a social media platform. What I’ve discovered is mega amounts of information and apps that Google provides for free to help businesses with their online marketing and communications both internally and externally.
Entry Symbol to Google Tools

If you have a Google account, and you should in order to take advantage of all the free stuff, click on your suite of tools in the upper right corner (that little array of 9 squares) and be prepared to have your mind blown by the sheer number of tools available. I’m sure most of you are familiar with apps like Gmail, Calendar and YouTube.

But have you ever used:

  • Google Drive: Improve your productivity with cloud based office software similar to MS Word, Excel and Powerpoint. Store up to 15 GB of files in your account for free. Use your space for additional backup and feel more secure. Work on documents from any location on any device. Working from home? Edit documents with your colleagues in real time. Never email a document back to yourself again! Collaborate and streamline your workflow in ways you might not have imagined.
  • Google My Business: Get your business listed to show up on Google maps. List your website address, hours of operation and phone number. Ask your customers for a review.
  • Google Hangouts: An alternative to FaceTime and Skype. Chat, send messages, make a call or join conversations on air. Schedule and hold your own live Google Hangout, record it and post it on YouTube. Write a “How To’ script to showcase your services. The possibilities for marketing activities are endless!
  • Google Trends: Get found online by Google’s search engines. Research keyword trends that are relevant to your business and work them into your web pages and blog to improve search engine optimization. See charts and graphs of trending search terms. Get ideas for variations and rising search terms.
  • Google Forms: Build your own survey and find out what your target audience is interested in.

I’ve used Survey Monkey, but I’ve never used Google Forms. As an experiment, I just created a survey to find out more about one of my target audiences – small and medium businesses (SMBs). The interface in Forms is very simple and I was done in about 15 minutes. I’d love for you to get involved, so please complete the survey!

 

These are all FREE tools and I’ve barely scratched the surface here. You can get virtually lost inside Google’s platform learning and taking advantage of online marketing tools, business apps and documents.

Have fun learning and please let me know which Google apps you tried for the first time. I’d like to know if they were useful to you or your business.