Instagram + Hootsuite = ♥

We’re incredibly excited to announce that Hootsuite now works with Instagram! That means you can now schedule posts, publish pictures, monitor your feed, and engage with your Instagram audience right within the Hootsuite dashboard–just like the rest of your social networks.

You can now:Instagram on Hootsuite from Simplified VA

  • Publish posts to Instagram immediately or schedule them to publish at a later time
  • Easily manage multiple Instagram accounts in one place
  • Grow your Instagram community by engaging your audience right within the dashboard
  • Get more done by securely sharing access to Instagram with Team Members (Pro only)
  • Keep an eye on the competition and find opportunities for engagement by creating search streams that follow specific users, hashtags, and keywords

Please note that in 60 days the existing Instagram application that you downloaded from the Hootsuite App Directory will be deleted. This means that you’ll need to add your Instagram profile and set up your current Instagram streams.

Once you’ve added the streams to your dashboard, you’ll have the option to delete your old streams, or they’ll be removed when the old app is deleted by September 29th.

 

Not yet a Hootsuite user? Ask us how it can benefit your business.

Enable Collaboration and Relationships

Written by Matt Foulger. Originally posted on HootSource.

Enable Collaboration and Relationships

Executives seem to be listening. IBM’s worldwide survey of 1700 CEOs reveals that business leaders see customer centricity and employee engagement as integral aspects of the same transformative mission. According to the report’s authors, CEOs now see technology primarily as an “enabler of collaboration and relationships”. Furthermore, they see a need for internal collaboration tools that their workers can relate to.“To connect with the new generation of employees,” one CEO acknowledged, “we will need to change communication methods. We are the e-mail generation; they are the social network generation.”

If CEOs take to social media, they can not only close the trust gap with customers, but also engage employees. A large majority of employee respondents to BRANDfog’s 2012 CEO, Social Media & Leadership Survey believe that CEOs can use social media channels to build better connections with customers (89%) and employees (85%). Their visible leadership is critical to the success of512px-owly-lumberjack social initiatives, whether customer-facing or internal.

Social media use for internal collaboration engages employees and makes them feel like true stakeholders in the brand that management would like them to promote. Therefore, any strategy for employee advocacy on external networks should take into account how the psychological conditions for advocacy are created on internal networks. Internal networks also directly support external employee messaging. For example, collaborative tools such as Yammer and Hootsuite Conversations amplify employees’ reach and impact on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

This dovetailing of internal and external social tools is accelerating the creation of the “extended enterprise”, a business with blurry organizational boundaries. Networking technologies not only bring employees closer to customers, but connect them to business contacts in the enterprise’s extended value chain, including suppliers, vendors and agencies. In this light, the distinction between business-to-consumer and business-to-business marketing starts to recede, and employee advocacy looks a lot like internal branding. Organizational permeability presents challenges and opportunities that each enterprise has to weigh as it formulates a social strategy.

June’s Quick Tips

SVA’s Favorite Helpful Desktop Apps or Extensions

To successfully multitask in the VA industry you have to be able to work smarter not harder. Here are some of our favorite applications & extensions for business. Just about any & all small business owners should take advantage of these great sites, especially if you work from a home office. The best thing about most of them…..they’re FREE.

LastPass: Free Password Manager / http://www.LastPass.comSimplified VA suggests, Work smarter not harder

Description: LastPass, a password manager that saves your passwords and gives you secure access from every computer and mobile device.

How we use it: LastPass is a VA’s best friend. For my Virtual Assistants to work with our clients, we need to have access to our clients’ websites, social media, & etc. LastPass preserves our client’s privacy when it comes to log in information. Our client sends us the links to their log-ins through their end on LastPass. What we actually receive is Log-in: ######## Password: ############

Check My Links / Chrome web store

Description: Check My Links is a link checker that crawls through your webpage and looks for broken links.

How we use it: We use it on all our clients’ sites. We also use it for email marketing. How many times have you sent out an email with dead links?! We send numerous emails out for our clients and it is vital to our clients’ identity to have a good email. Repetitive broken links will lead to a drastic decline in readership.

Hootsuite Hootlet / http://www.hootlet.com

Description: Quickly share web pages to all of your social networks using the Hootsuite Hootlet.

How we use it: Another great tool used for all of our clients. While logged in to a client’s Hootsuite account, we are able to auto-schedule or send immediately, any content we find online. Best practice tip – Have your auto-schedule parameters set-up prior to using. When sending via auto-schedule Hootlet will schedule separate your postings for various times, saving more time

MozBar from Moz / http://www.moz.com/tools/seo-toolbar

Description: MozBar provides easy access to SEO tools and data while you surf the web

How we use it: Basically we check all of our clients’ sites. We do not in any way claim to be website designers but we do create content for sites & do up keep for our clients. This is a great tool we use to check the sites before and after.

Page Analytics (by Google) / Chrome web store

Description: Allows you to see how customers interact with your web pages including what they click and don’t click.

How we use it: Another one where the usage is self-explanatory. We use it for each of our clients’ sites.

Pin It Button by Pinterest / Chrome web store

Description: Pin the things you find on the webSimplified VA suggests building a team to outsource to

How we use it: This pretty self-explanatory but we try to be our clients’ advocates & we love saving & sharing our clients content. We are pretty new to using Pinterest ourselves but we see and understand the awesome potential it has.

Pocket – Save to Pocket / http://www.getpocket.com

Description: Easily save articles, videos and more for later. Pocket Extension for Chrome – The best way to save articles, videos and more

How we use it: We save tons of good content for our clients and for ourselves. Sites providing industry news, free stock photos, & good blogs. All saved content can be reviewed or read offline at our convenience.

RiteTag Social Media Optimizer / http://www.ritetag.com

Description: Millions of free pics & influencer-tagging. Total post grading as you type in Facebook, Twitter, Tweetdeck, Hootsuite, Buffer & more.

How we use it: Awesome social cheat used with Hootlet. Click your Owly to bring up Hootlet. In the Hootlet window you’ll be able to find and use the best hashtags(#) and include stock photos if there are no pictures included. Another “totally cool” feature of this tool is it will tell you if your post is strong enough & give you tips on how to make it stronger.

ASANA / http://www.ASANA.com

Description: Asana is a web and mobile application designed to enable teamwork without email

How we use it: There are a few others but we find ASANA to be our preferred project management tool due to its ease of use. It is very user-friendly and has an easy to use mobile friendly app. Our clients are able to log in at any time of the day schedule a task or upload pictures. When we log in we are able to check due dates, new assignments & exchange messages with our clients. We have become completely virtual by using ASANA. No need for phone or emails.

MightyText / http://www.mightytext.net

Description: Text from your computer, sync’d with your Android phone & number

How we use it: True it’s only for android but I’m sure there is one for the iPhone out there. Now we tell all of our clients text in to use is completely unprofessional because let’s face it, it is. When conducting business with our clients, we do get friendly and at ties personal but business is business. Even though most VA’s work from home office’s, we really do not have the time to constantly text our family & friends back while we are in our “work zone” but MightyText lets us reply without touching our phone.

8 Tips for Social Business Part 5

Collaborate

Written by Evan LePage. Originally posted on HootSource.

Share learning internally. Encourage your Social Teams to distribute new learni512px-owly-campus-ambassadorng both within the Team and your organization as a whole. Keep an ongoing loop of discovery and dissemination where best practices, positive messaging or common questions are put forward for comment or collaboration. Social platforms like Yammer and Hootsuite Conversations are exceptional tools for supporting secure internal conversation and exchange of ideas.

Ultimately better internal collaboration supports improved external engagement, keeping messaging consistent, intelligent and brand-appropriate. The New York Public Library @NYPL uses Hootsuite to coordinate a decentralized team of experts.

Rather than impose a centralized Social Team to respond to inquiries, @NYPL tapped into the existing, extraordinarily deep knowledge base of librarians by training and empowering them to use social.

As the largest online public library in the world, @NYPL receives a very high volume of inbound requests. Using Hootsuite, the @NYPL experts are able to, through a shared dashboard, assign inquiries to the appropriate area of expertise, collaborate departmentally on a response, share and edit as necessary and schedule the response to go out at a time their audience is most likely to receive and read it. Visits to the library’s website coming from Twitter increased more than 350 percent in one year.

 

Employees Are Your Best Advocates

Written by Matt Foulger. Originally posted on HootSource.

Anatomy of a Brand Advocate

  • Invested in your brand’s success
  • Willing to defend your company
  • Aligned with your core objectives

In social media, there is nothing more powerful than someone advocating for your brand. Advocates give their friends, families and colleagues trusted advice that is far more credible than any source of advertising. They defend a business against negative messaging in the countless small interactions that determine a brand’s health. They volunteer ideas for product and service improvements. And they do it all for free.

It’s no wonder, then, that just about everyone is looking for advocates. Companies are executing deliberate social media programs to find, activate and maintain these vital assets. Understandably, current engagement efforts are focused on making evangelists out of customers, widely considered the most authentic and valuable spokespeople. Influencers in the news media, academia and other fields are also cultivated. But while enterprises reach out to these external constituents, the best potential advocates hide in plain sight — their own employees.

Employees Are Your Best Advocates

While not without its challenges, widespread employee advocacy is the surest, cheapest way to scale up a company’s social media reach. Instead of achieving linear growth in customer advocacy through incremental investments in social media teams, an enterprise can magnify its reach at very little cost by activating a broad cross-section of its existing workforce. The following illustration compares the maximum achievable social audience of an average Fortune Global 100 company to the maximum achievable social audience of its employees.

Copyright Hootsuite

The aggregate figures do not represent “unique” followers because corporate accounts have overlapping audiences, and employees have a number of social contacts in common with other employees. But in the case of employees, this overlap, or “network density”, is less significant than common sense might suggest.Pew Internet found that on Facebook, “people’s friends lists are only modestly interconnected”, with a network density “low in comparison to studies of people’s overall personal networks”. Your employees’ Facebook networks aren’t echo chambers, but viral gateways.

Each employee can be the first link in a long chain of intimate, person-to-person shares. By increasing the number of starting points for social sharing, a company greatly improves its chances of viral marketing success. Although many advertisers have sought the support of highly-connected “influentials” to initiate viral marketing campaigns, research indicates that the most likely path to virality is a “big seed” strategy. In this approach, viral ideas are seeded by a large selection of first-generation sharers, instead of a relative handful of highly- connected people.

Big-seed theory emerged from the computer simulations of sociologist Duncan Watts, but it has real-world evidence to back it up. A combined study of billions of page views by Buzzfeed and StumbleUpon found that “stories go viral when lots of people engage with their normal-sized circles to share content.” Marketing researcher Yuping Liu-Thompkins has also determined that when seeding content, “it is better to have a large number of easily influenced individuals than to have a few highly-connected hubs in a social network.”

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