Content manager and content marketers lives can get a bit hectic. They spend a lot of time identifying what is seen as relevant and valuable content, in relation to their product, with the intent of changing or enhancing consumer behavior.
That is content marketing and the belief of this marketing strategy is that if you help increase the intelligence of your consumer base by putting more information in front of them, valuable information, then they’ll reward you with their business and loyalty.
This often requires long hours of internet research to find what is considered relevant and valuable information that will elevate your target audience, putting together posts that have both great content and great visuals, and doing it on a consistent basis. These are 15 free content marketing tools that will help you deliver that amazing content to keep your customers coming back for more.
Tools for screenshots
Let’s face it, content is always great to have, but human beings are visual creatures. “I’ll believe it when I see it,” didn’t become an adage for no reason at all. There is universal truth in that statement, which is naturally understood. Consumers most often prefer to be shown, not told, about the features to help them best make their decision, or to increase their knowledge of your industry, niche, or products. This is where screenshots or how-to videos come in. These are the tools to help you with them.
Jing is a downloadable tool that allows it’s user to capture the screenshot, alter the screenshot with different markup features and send screenshots to your social media platforms with easy sharing tools. What sets Jing apart is its recording feature that is maxed at five minutes for “instant, focused communication.”
2. Awesome Screenshot
Awesome Screenshot is actually a plug-in that is created based on Google Chrome, but also can be used in other popular browsers such as Mozilla Firefox and Apple’s default browser Safari. Its stand-out feature is that it’s built-in to the browser, so if your work or product is internet based (what isn’t now a days?), it’s easier to utilize this tool than one that needs to be downloaded and ran separately.
Monosnap also comes fully equipped with the expected features of a screenshot tool, allowing you to highlight the important parts of the screen with pen, text, arrows and shapes. Be sure to use the blur out tool to blur out your confidential information. This tool comes with free cloud storage,
Writing & editing
The most important part of all content marketers’ job is the content. This is the bread and butter; the chicken & the gravy. Without professional, accurate, knowledgeable content delivered in an easy to understand manner, there is no work. There will be no consumers seeking out your company’s service or product. Ultimately there is nothing without content. Here are the tools to make sure your content meets all these criteria, or if you have difficulty generating content, resources that will help you do so.
4. Paper Rater
Paper Rater is a Natural Language Processing engine that runs behind Paper Rater is the stand-out feature of this website. It not only checks for plagiarism but it seeks to improve the writing of the author by avoiding false-positives on grammar detection which happens a staggering 50% of the time with other technologies.
5. Essay Mama
Essay Mama is different from paper rater, whereas instead of checking your work, you can purchase essays or content from writers who hold Master’s degrees and PhD’s in their field. If you have a large enough profit margin for your business, and think having 100% original content from experts in your industry will help boost the value you give to your consumer, then Essay Mama is the place for you.
Copyscape allows you to protect your content by seeking for exact copies online. It’s been ranked #1 by independent tests as the most powerful and most popular plagiarism detection software. You can purchase Copyscape premium for upgraded features; therefore, unlocking the full power of the plagiarism detection software. Copysentry is the second feature of Copyscape Premium, which automatically scans the web daily or weekly and e-mails you if any copies of your content are found.
Images and design
Beyond the penultimate, valuable content, with how-to tutorials and/or valuable screenshots, consumers want to know that their decision of utilizing your website for valuable information is the correct one. Having a great web design and utilizing images, helps increase credibility, and build your brand. Here are a few places to help make this component of your content grade A.
Embed content within your images with ThingLink, from product descriptions, links to purchase pages of products, tell the story behind the image, etc. all to increase your click-through rate and increase consumer interaction. They offer real time analytics of consumer engagement, and can even make a ThingLink image an interactive App on Facebook. Utilizing ThingLink is sure to increase consumer engagement.
Canva is a design tool that was founded by a design visionary to take as much hassle out of design as possible. Design software has been complicated from the beginning and can take weeks to months of trial and error before you achieve your desired result, even if you do. Utilize Canva, and you can create beautiful designs with the simplicity of their stand-out, drag and drop feature. The designs can be made for web or print and covers things such as flyers, presentations, Facebook covers, blog graphics, business cards, posters, and invitations.
PicMonkey has a bunch of cool things going on with their team, which includes a monkey of course. Their features include Touchup, which users can utilize to get the best look out of their profile pictures. They also have a photo editor, loads of collage templates, and graphics that can be used to customize the design for your brand, product or service. What is standout about PicMonkey are the tutorials that they offer for support. So not only do they provide you with the tools for free, they teach you how to use and get the most out of them for free as well.
Fonts, not just any fonts, but creative ones, help to create the creases and ripples in your brands fingerprint. If chosen correctly, and adhered to, it will help separate yourself and give you a more defined brand identity. These are a few sites that offer free, downloadable fonts that you can use as your brands namesake.
Either if you know it or not, Dafont has been around since October 15, 2000! Pushing on their fourteenth year anniversary is only a testament of how longevity favors simplicity. You can easily find fonts either via alphabetical order, or type and in a few clicks you can have it downloaded and running in your program of choice. Use their FAQ and Forums for help getting your newly acquired font, into the software or website where you want it. They also have a tools section which advertises purchasable font software.
11. Google Fonts
Google just seems to find any and everything they can capitalize on, and then do it. Here is another example of their subtle monopoly into every possible online frontier imaginable. With over 600 font families, Google Fonts makes it just three easy steps before the font is running on your website. The standout feature is simply that – the Open Source CSS font code is already prepared and easy as adding it to your website in seconds.
Infographic and video creation
If you haven’t seen an infographic, you’re not with the times. These are graphic visual representations of data or information that’s intended to present information clearly and quickly. The tools for video creation will be beneficial for the content manager who needs to make more than just a five minute how-to by using a tool like Jing.
Never made an infographic before? This is the tool for you. Hit the ground running with your choice of 100, fully customizable themes, a library of over 1,000 images to use or upload your own and share it with as many consumers you can reach. How many more consumers could you inform if you were spreading your product/service data with infographics instead of old school articles? The standout feature for piktochart has to be their support. They have the most comprehensive resource list out of all these tools and advertise the most support. There’s no way you can lose with Piktochart.
Infogram has already had more than 2.5 million inforgraphics made on their website, and yours should be next! They offer 30 different chart types, with a backend spreadsheet that allows you to easily edit your data and alter your charts. No design skills are required to create and you can download your infographics as PNG or PDF for presentations or to send to consumers via e-mail marketing. If you have any trouble you can contact them via their support bar on the side, or reach them via a social media channel such as Skype, FB or Twitter.
Wideo is an online video creation tool that allows its users to create, edit and share video for free. The videos are fully animated and are made with their own available images, movement, objects, shapes, audio or text; or you can upload your own images, backgrounds and music. Wideo has been utilized for business, education and just for fun! Either way, animated videos are always fun and if utilized appropriately can be very beneficial for your purpose.
Stupeflix, a startup online video creation tool, created in Europe can be used for personal reasons, education, business, and developers. The videos can be up to 20 minutes long and each one comes with a free theme, made and ready for the web with a single click. Standout Stupeflix features are its ability to add maps, custom transitions, add voice-over, set movie pace, individual durations or even slo-mo. Stupeflix does offer a PRO version with an additional fee.
What about you?
What tools do you use? Could you apply some of these tools to your content marketing tasks?
Look forward to hearing about your insights and experiences in the comments below.
Author Bio: Jessica Millis, an aspiring writer and editor. She is working as a freelancer and dreaming to publish her first novel.
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A few days ago, a friend of mine sent me a message on Facebook in which she encouraged me to participate to a webinar. Unfortunately, I was out of the office and had no access to any device that would let me connect to the internet.
I finally saw her message and read the title of the webinar,”Digital Storytelling and Content Marketing”.
Part of me said, “I already know about storytelling”.
A few days later, I found myself back in the office, checking my email. For the second time in less than 5 days someone recommended me to take a deeper look into the topic and importance of storytelling and it convinced me to start digging deeper.
The article provided me with insights I had never considered on the power of storytelling.
I took copious notes and hung them near my desk, just to have it in my sight’s area and to keep reminding me of the five guidelines that were revealed in the article.
But my story doesn’t end there.
The video was an edited animation of “Alice in Wonderland” from the ‘60s. The short movie emphasized the influence of the society over the individual. If it had been an article in a magazine the impact would not have been the same
The emotional engagement of the short video was powerful.
If it had been told in a seminar, published in a magazine or written in a blog post, I would’ve completely ignored it.
The story of Alice in its video format kept my focus on the screen for 12 minutes…and it was both entertaining and inspiring….. I loved it.
See the power of storytelling below!
It is not about what you say, but how you say it
Even if your content is extremely valuable because it solves your readers problems, it may not get as many shares as you wish if it isn’t easy to read, funny or scary.
Here are the five tips extracted from the article about the power of storytelling for any blogger or content marketer.
1. Introduce the dialogue
Introduce the blog post. Inspiration can come from conversations with colleagues at work, friends at a beer, beggars in the street or any conversation that teaches you something. Everyone is experiencing life differently from yourself, so be open and listen to what he/her has to share with you.
2. Use your imagination
Use your imagination to make up a short introductory story – put yourself in a situation and start imagining how would you act. Then, use analogies to communicate your ideas to the audience.
3. Focus on emotions
Emotions are powerful and the lack of them lead to a cold, descriptive text which could be valuable, but not readable. Adjectives will help you to express your thoughts in front of your audience and to become more creative.
4. Use popular stories
Use familiar concepts, stories or proposals. This can include movies, TV shows, cartoons and any other entertainment form that you and your audience relate to. What’s the purpose of doing that? Just think about what are you doing on the internet in your spare time: do you search for movie trailers, books reviews, concerts in town? I bet you do.
5. Include images
Pictures are your ally. Search for them on Tumblr, Flickr or make screenshots from Youtube, Vimeo or other sites that you like. The boring pictures that everyone is using will not appeal to an audience that is tired of the same patterns.
There are many ways to learn. Here are 20 different resources to assist you in discovering the art of storytelling.
5 “must read” books on storytelling
If you’re more inclined to learn in the classical way, start with reading one of these books.
I hope that you enjoyed my story. Start creating your own story right away, because its already within you.
Just access it.
Guest Author: Elena Dobre is learning about digital marketing, business and life at Marketizator.com, the complete conversion rate optimization tool. She plays the role of the content strategist, but she’s also experiencing with CRO and lead generation. She enjoys discovering new online tools, hacks, brilliant minds and beautiful souls. Follow her on Twitter @HDobre.
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When social media turned up the art of email marketing took a back seat with many marketers. But with Facebook organic reach reducing, email has become the new cool kid in the class.
It’s better to ask someone for their email instead of waiting for them to “like” you. Having a healthy email list and high open rates is now essential.
If you focus on the high deliverability of your content, you can’t lose. But remember you have many things in your way. This includes “Google bots” with the nanny abilities of determining who goes where. They determine your email placement such as do you go into the “Promotion” Tab today or the “Primary” in people’s Gmail account?
Which is the best place to be, you ask?
The correct answer would be, Inbox. But what usually happens is that people get discouraged with their low open rates and then turn to social media. They don’t realize that Facebook is already knocking your views there too. You’re lucky if 10% of your fanpage even see your next post, that’s without a link by the way. Many people turned away from email marketing to social media hoping for that silver bullet of success.
So let’s talk about social media for a minute.
The social media argument
Some will argue that email is dead and that other avenues are better. They feel like email shouldn’t get as much attention as other things, like Social media. Social media fads have come and gone (like Myspace), but one thing has never changed, they (social media) will always be asking for your email to register. Isn’t it amazing?
People will almost shoot you down about how Facebook trumps email marketing, and that email marketing is old school. Email can’t even touch the power of Facebook they say. Facebook is more hip and it’s where the money is at they say. I smile as I think about what it takes to even login into this powerful independent tool. Your email address.
Don’t get me wrong, social media can be a great way to get the message out. It’s just a cheap way to let people know that you exist, but it’s not the best way for traffic or introduction of your company. People would rather see what junior had for lunch than to buy your eBook for $9.99 on Facebook. I’m not saying it’s impossible, but it’s better to use the tool for what it’s made for and that’s to connect and remind.
How to get the most out of your list
So what can we do with your email list and to get more traffic? It’s quite simple, raise your open rates. Let’s do some math for a second.
If you have an email list of 10,000 people and you send your email 4 times a month. What would happen if you increased your open rates by 10%. I’ll show you.
Average open rate is 20%. So let’s use that.
20% of 10,000 on your list= 2,000 People open your email. 2,000 x 4 (times a month) = 8,000 People open your email in one month.
Now let’s increase by 10% after you read this post.
30% of 10,000= 3,000 People open your email. 3,000 x 4 = 12,000 People open your email in one month.
That’s 4,000 extra people saw your email this month. All because you took an extra 10 minutes to read this post. As for doing the work? You’ll be spending less time writing that email than what you was.
Can this really happen? Yes, if you do everything in this post, you will see a difference in your open rates.
The secret formula
I have written for many major bloggers like Pat Flynn, Problogger, Jay Baer, Social Fresh etc. and it’s amazing how soon Google likes to switch things up. You can still apply those things mentioned in those earlier post, but as Google gets smarter, so should we.
Here is the list of new things you should be doing:
Keep it short and sweet
Hold the links to one (possibly 2)
Include as much information about the reader
Be consistent with delivery
Every email must add value to reader
No sales pitch
Text Form In HTML
You must have an amazing subject line
Reply to Messages
Let’s break down each point.
1. Keep it short and sweet
People are on the go, no? They don’t want to read an eBook form of an email. They want something quick and something helpful. If you feel like giving them an eBook, then email them a link to your eBook. There is a reason why email’s are being checked more and more on mobile devices.
You know why?
They’re moving around with a little time in between stops. America is on the move, but she doesn’t have time to read the eBook. And if you do send that eBook form of an email don’t do it 3-5 times a week! They want to feel accomplished, that they actually read the whole thing. Make them feel better about themselves.
How does Gmail feel about long post? People have actually gotten away with this. Rami Sethi does it this way and it works for him. This isn’t penalized by Google usually. So it may arrive in the inbox at first for awhile, but if the person doesn’t seem to be opening them, Google will eventually scoot you along to the other tabs.
Example of this:
2. Hold the links to one (maybe two)
Pat Flynn does great with his open rates based on our discussions we’ve had. Unless he does this one thing, and that’s add 3-5 links per email.
Which this is somewhat of a new thing still for most. But it’s when his emails go bye-bye in my and your Gmail accounts.
I don’t do anything, it’s all on Google. I want to receive these emails, but their “nanny” filters thinks it knows best. So too many links will hurt you. And yes, the unsubscribe link is being counted by Google. Strict I know. I’m not saying 3 links and you’re out, but I am saying you’re risking it.
Emails with many links go to the Promotional Tab as you see here:
See! It’s in my promotional tab.
Note: Am I dissing these people? No! This is what Google does with these emails that have for instance, too many links. This isn’t saying that your content level is low, it’s just not making it to the Inbox. All these emails here are ones I have subscribed to and they still hit my promotions tab. And yes, I have a Magic Jack!
3. Include as much information about the reader
Break down your readers in the list they come in. Organize them based on the days they sign up. Say things like, “ Hey it’s been 2 weeks since you join the list and I’m so excited to tell you about……” You know, something like that. Include their name with name tricks provided by your email provider. Try to get as personal as you can with your audience. Also, write like you’re writing to one person. This keeps the connection burning. Be creative and divide your list up based on the say they signed up.
4. Be consistent with delivery
Have a set day that you send out emails so people know when to expect you. 10am or 3pm seems to be a good times unless you know something otherwise. Times vary on your email list and industry, but be sensitive.
Don’t email at crazy hours. Unless you’re Paypal. You can email them anytime. Sunday, 3am in the morning, with a message stating “You have received $10,000 from Jeff Bullas” never made anyone mad. Those always get opened with joy:)
5. Every email must add value to reader
Like Paypal, you’ve got to send something that your reader is looking for. Something that will either inspire them, make them money, save them money, save them time, save them pain etc. And it must happen in that email, not just the link they’re clicking. Everytime they see your name, they must feel that value is coming their way. So make that email a good one. It’s THE best way to get traffic, so you’ve got to make this one a good one.
6. No pictures
Sorry graphic designers. Studies have shown that emails do way better without the images. How do I know? Look at the below image.
All of these guys have images in their inbox. Every single one. And it’s why they never reach my inbox. Unless you’d rather have a corporation feel over open rates, I would remove the header and logos.
I know this one hurts. You may make better profit with the images in all your emails, but if you’re looking for higher open rates, it’s got to go.
7. No sales pitch
We all hate being sold, and definitely in our email. It’s pretty slimy feeling actually. It doesn’t work and it’s why Mailchimp has almost completely shut down affiliated marketing within their services.
So my suggestion would be? To be helpful. Sale on your website and possibly Amazon, but not Mailchimp, Aweber, Constant Contact etc. You can do affiliate marketing within your email, but you will see your open rates go down eventually.
8. No RSS
This is great for notifying your readers about your next blog post. I would suggest having one sign up box just for this. But if you’re looking for higher open rates, you’ve got to turn it off. Why? Gmail is directing your content to the trashcan. Well I say trashcan, it’s more like the Promotions tab or Social Tab. It’s a proven fact. Not only does Google see you as a nuisance, eventually people will quit clicking on you. People are looking for more connection these days than anything. But combine content with connection and bam! You have open rates soaring like the bald eagle.
9. Text form in HTML
The only reason I wouldn’t simply go just plain text is because you must be able to track progress. The other reason would be for that 1 link you’re wanting to include. So it’s why HTML is still the best option.
Last but not least, make sure to reply to your readers. Nothing is more important than this one thing. You complete that connection by responding. People want to know that you’re real. That you’re more than just about money. Make your replies #1 priority. And nothing is uglier than firstname.lastname@example.org. You’re emailing them, but they can’t email you? So this is a one-way street? Not a good message you’re giving here.
So hopefully you will apply these today. Start reaping the benefits and make the list work for you. It’s the best way to send your message and to be seen. And that my friend is half the challenge, and it’s simply being heard in this noisy world.
If you need further help with your email marketing feel free to join my list here! I write about email building because it’s the greatest way to reach out to customers and increase profits. I talk about other things, but my focus is email and how to make that email list sing! Getting your readers to interact. It’s what marketing is all about.
About Author: Luke Guy blogs at Lukeguy.com. He researches email marketing and how to grow businesses doing it. He talks about other things but usually it involves emailing.
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Social media is more than just a fun way to engage and communicate with friends. It can be an extremely powerful business marketing tool if strategically implemented. A common mistake businesses make is failing to develop a formal social media plan. Having a plan for social media is just as important as it is any marketing strategy. A savvy business owner does not buy traditional advertising without developing a plan, and the same applies with social media.
A social media marketing plan includes many of the same elements of a traditional marketing plan. Research into target markets and consumer purchasing is a must. Identifying brand strengths and weaknesses is also important.
Once you’ve conducted research, it is time to start outlining strategies and developing your plan. Heer is your 6 step social media marketing strategy plan.
1. Identify a social media manager
With the many tasks involved with running a successful business, social media can fall by the wayside. Before your business embarks on a social media campaign, it is a good practice to identify a person or multiple people who will be in charge of monitoring and posting content. It is important for the social media manager(s) to not only ensure content is posted on a regular basis, but also monitor and respond to all comments and feedback. The assigned staff should be willing to monitor the company’s social pages 24/7, which can be easily accomplished through e-mail alerts and mobile apps.
2. Create branded pages
Once you have identified your manager(s), it’s time to create branded pages. First, determine which social media sites you want to use. Small businesses should consider Facebook, Twitter and Google+ at the very least. In some cases, other sites including LinkedIn, Pinterest and Houzz may also be appropriate.
It is important for all of your social media to have the same look and feel as your company website as in the example below:
Facebook cover pages do have some flexibility and allow you to have some very specific elements can be incorporated for maximum impact:
Use color and photos
Integrate your profile picture into your cover
Incorporate a call to action
Point out where people can call or contact you
After you create your social pages, be sure to include links on your website and invite all of your customers and friends to join your pages.
3. Develop a planning calendar
Now that your social sites are “live”, it is time to start developing a planning calendar. Ideally, this should be done on a monthly basis. Your planning calendar may outline the following:
Number of posts per week
Time the post will be made (you should vary your posting times)
Identify content for each post (this will be discussed in depth in the next section)
A planning calendar lays the foundation and ensures you are maintaining your social sites and posting on a regular basis. Of course, you can also post other news, tips and ideas as they arise. The biggest pitfall businesses run into are they generally have a lot of excitement when they first establish their social media presence, but the momentum quickly fades. Having a monthly planning calendar will help keep your social media efforts moving forward.
4. Generate engaging content
Now that you have identified a manager, set up your pages, and developed a planning calendar, it is time to start generating engaging content. Once you generate content, you can plug it into the dates/times you have reserved on your social media calendar to compose posts. As you consider content, think outside of your company and put yourself in your customer’s shoes. What type of information is not only engaging, but is something followers would like to share? Creating sharable content is one of the quickest ways to pick up new followers.
Let’s take a look at some content ideas:
Weekly tips and advice
Post something humorous (in good taste)
Highlight and recognize your customers
Incorporate “social media” only offers
Be interactive – ask questions people will want to answer (i.e. “We are considering adding this new Italian chicken dish to our menu…what do you think?)
Photos and videos
Coupons and contests
“How To” videos
Sales and special events
Below is an example of a company posting a “How To” tip on Facebook:
Remember, maintaining the attention of your followers will keep them engaged.
5. Monitor responses and track your results
It is imperative to monitor all comments and respond in a timely manner. Good or bad, all feedback needs to be addressed. If someone praises your product and/or service, thank them. If they have a complaint or concern, reach out to them. It is important to investigate the validity of the negative comment and address it immediately. Customer feedback can help you better understand reaction to your products and/or services (we will discuss further in next section).
Also be sure to incorporate a good tracking system. This can really provide important insight into your customers and their behavior. Companies such as Global Response provide excellent outsourced social media analytics programs that can be easily incorporated and integrated into your social strategy.
6. Use results to better understand consumer behavior and reaction to your products/services
What better way to gauge customer demand than to ask them yourselves? Don’t be afraid to engage your followers and get their opinions. Doing so can help identify both areas of strength and weakness. As we discussed earlier, prompt response to comments is key to developing a relationship with your followers. Even big box stores work to maintain open and responsive communication with their followers:
As you can see in the example above, Wal-Mart does an excellent job addressing customer concerns. The first comment cues them in to the fact that that there is a high demand for a certain product because it is sold out at the local store. Wal-Mart directs the customer to a site where they can search other stores for the product. The second comment indicates a customer concern about order fulfillment. Wal-Mart addresses it and directs the person to a site where they can make suggestions on how the company can improve.
I find in my marketing practice, social media intimidates many small businesses. If you approach it like any other form of marketing and develop a plan, it can become a very useful and effective tool which complements your traditional marketing strategies. Good luck!
Guest Author: Gina Smith writes freelance articles for magazines, online outlets and publications. Smith covers the latest topics in the business, golf, tourism, technology and entertainment industries.
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‘He’s been taken in for questioning by the police.’
Woh! This was the outcome of a comment on Facebook that had been posted less than 24 hours before. A straightforward Facebook update generated a string of friendly banter — until one, very nasty comment. It was violent and sexually explicit.
The person monitoring the page immediately took a screenshot then hid the comment, the user was blocked and the issue escalated to the relevant parties including legal advisors. They then notified the police, who responded accordingly.
This was one of those very rare occurrences, but we were prepared for it. We had put in place a comment grading system, with appropriate responses and processes mapped out for each level. It was crystal clear what needed to happen when the comment was posted.
It’s sad that the process was required at all, but the potential for damage in social media comes from the unknowable scenario, the wild card, not just your regular complaints or what you’ve dealt with in the past.
There are 3 key factors here:
Someone was monitoring the page and saw the comment.
House rules were set on the page.
A social media response plan was in place for all comments.
There are a ton of different tools that you might use to manage your social media. Here are some you might like to try:
Hootsuite – is a great starting point. It starts off as a free tool and you can always upgrade to the premium paid version once you’re up and running.
Mention – is an awesome way to monitor what is being said about you online both on social and on websites. It also has a basic free version.
TalkWalker Alerts is a free service to fill the shoes of Google Alerts. They are a really simple (and free) way to keep an eye on what is being said about you online. For example I keep alerts out for “Bluewire Media”, “Toby Jenkins” and “Adam Franklin”.
Facebook Pages Manager mobile app – iTunes, Google Play – this app is a great way to manage and monitor the pages you administer.
“House rules” are your social media commenting policy which helps to set expectations for anyone wanting to get involved in your community.
We keep our House Rules very simple on the About Us tab on our Facebook page (feel free to copy):
Thanks for your interest in our page!
We really appreciate you leaving comments, photos, videos, and links here. However, we will review all comments and remove any that are inappropriate or offensive.
Thanks again for sharing and contributing.
Toby and Adam
Here are a couple of other examples I like:
Coca-cola’s Facebook page is a good corporate example with T&Cs that come with it:
This is your Fan Page and we encourage you to leave comments, photos, and videos here. However, we will review all comments and will remove any that are inappropriate, offensive, or contain external links. We will leave what you share that relates to the subjects covered on this Page. Please understand that comments posted to this Page do not represent the opinions of The Coca-Cola Company.
Tim Ferriss sets a simple standard for comments on his blog:
Comment Rules: Remember what Fonzie was like? Cool. That’s how we’re gonna be — cool. Critical is fine, but if you’re rude, we’ll delete your stuff. Please do not put your URL in the comment text and please use your PERSONAL name or initials and not your business name, as the latter comes off like spam. Have fun and thanks for adding to the conversation! (Thanks to Brian Oberkirch for the inspiration)
So what are the 6 critical types of social media comments you must plan for?
Let’s use a burger joint to work with as an example.
Any comment that’s favourable.
Eg: “My burger was awesome!”
It’s always nice getting positive feedback, so use these opportunities to strengthen the relationship with that person. A simple ‘thanks’ usually does the trick. You can also share the love internally with your team.
A comment that is neither good nor bad.
Eg: “I’m having a burger for lunch.”
Responding to this kind of comment is up to you, but we recommend it. It’s a great excuse to engage in a conversation with a customer but if you’re way too busy, it’s also fine to let it go.
3. Negative – respond
This is a genuine negative comment.
Eg: “My burger was cold and took forever.”
Genuine complaints typically make up 99 per cent of negative comments, so it’s very important to have a clear process on how to respond. It’s good to keep a record so always remember to screenshot the comment. If you acknowledge the issue, apologise for it and then act to resolve it, you’ll have gone a long way to sorting it out. Try to follow up to make sure the issue is resolved too. These can be great opportunities to create what David Meerman Scott calls “badvocates”. These are people who’ve had a bad experience with you that, through great customer service, become advocates for your business.
4. Negative – ignore
This is a negative comment by a “troll” (a deliberate trouble-maker).
Eg: “Burgers are evil and so are the people that eat them.”
As in the Level 3 example above, keep a record and screenshot the comment. The unfortunate reality of the Internet is that trolls exist and they crave attention. So the best approach is to ignore them. The rule of thumb is “don’t feed the trolls“. Responding to them only gives them the attention they desire and deleting their comments only throws fuel on the fire and gives them an incentive to comes back under a different alias.
5. Negative – remove
This is a comment that is offensive, malicious or spam. That is, it breaches your “House Rules”.
Eg: “My waitress was a %^&*.”
Screenshot the comment then remove it and explain that it has breached your “House Rules”. You can warn the offender or block them if necessary.Either way, it’s a good opportunity to enforce your expectations and set the tone for your community.
These are comments that have legal or criminal ramifications (eg. threat of violence, breach of confidentiality, defamation, PR disaster etc).
Eg. “I’m going to burn this burger joint down.”
Screenshot the comment immediately and then escalate it to police, legal advisers or management for further advice as necessary. Hopefully you’ll never need to use this response, but having a plan in place to deal with it is the most important part. Then you’ll know exactly what to do if the time ever comes and you’ll be able to respond well under the pressure.