Social Media Tools Review – Bit.ly, Facebook Pages App, Google Alerts

Toolkit Tuesday May 29, 2012

It seems every week there are new tools promising to invigorate your business’ marketing strategy – but figuring out which of these new tools will work for you takes more than just time and effort. At Be Visible we pride ourselves on constantly trying and testing new tools – so you don’t have to.

Here are three Social Media tools to help streamline your business’ marketing efforts:

Bit.ly

Bit.ly is a free service for shortening and tracking URLs. If you’ve ever wondered who’s clicking on the links you have shared in a Facebook status update, email marketing campaign, or in a tweet – Bit.ly is the place to do so. This service began when people started really using Twitter to share content such as blog posts and articles. They quickly realized that with Twitter’s 140 character limit there was not enough room for a comment – let alone adding a URL of 20+ characters in length.

How To Use Bit.ly: Sign up with your email address, Facebook login, or Twitter login. Once you log in, enter the link URL (the one you want to monitor for clicks) into the provided box and bit.ly will create a new shorter link for you, which you then use in place of the longer URL. You can even customize your shortened URL (such as bit.ly/bitlyreview).

Within the bit.ly dashboard you will then be able to track the number of clicks your link receives as well as where the person who clicked your link came from – whether it be Twitter, an email, Facebook, etc. This is what your bit.ly report looks like:

The Takeaway: For a free service, Bit.ly provides a solid measurement as to how many people are engaging with (clicking on) the content that you have used their shortened URLs’s for and where they found your link. Not to mention shortening URLs for your Twitter posts, emails, and Facebook Status Updates is aesthetically pleasing and user-friendly.

Facebook Pages Manager App for iPhone 

Facebook has had a mobile app for quite some time, but for those people who manage Facebook Business Pages (like we do) their app was simply not up to snuff. The reason being that page administrators (Admins) responding to fan comments appeared as their personal Facebook account and not the Page; Admins did not have access to Page insights, and did not receive notifications for new Page activity.

Shortly after the IPO a week or so ago, Facebook released a new mobile app for the iPhone called “Facebook Pages Manager.”  Here is a screenshot from the new application:

As opposed to the previous Facebook mobile application, Page Admins can now write status updates, share photos, and respond to fan comments as the Page itself, all while “on the go”. (Anyone using the old app knows how much of a pain, if not an outright impossibility this was.)

In addition to being able to update your Facebook Page on the fly and responding to fans in real-time, Admins can also check Page insights for the latest 2 weeks of activity:

The Takeaway: It’s a way to keep on top of your Facebook Business Page(s) without having to be in front of a computer. Notifications come straight to your smartphone instantaneously so you can respond to any fan comments, complaints, or questions in real-time wherever you are. It’s a wonder Facebook didn’t create this app sooner.

However, the app is still limited as there are yet to be real-time insights on posts; and you cannot access private messages sent to your Facebook Business Page. Also, this app is currently not available for Android devices.

Google Alerts

Google Alerts is a free service provided by Google that sends you an email alert for specific search terms you want to monitor. You can receive an email notification aggregating new articles, blogs, or news stories indexed by Google that match your provided search terms, enabling you to stay on top of your business, brand, and/or industry without constantly searching the Web. And you can choose the frequency and types of alerts you want to receive.

For instance, if you are a dentist, you may want to receive Google Alerts every day for the term “toothache” to see relevant news topics or industry blogs about “toothaches.” Here’s what a Google Alert for “toothache” looks like in an email inbox:

You can also keep an eye on your competitors by using the name of their business as the search term you provide to Google Alerts.

The Takeaway:  Google Alerts is an effective way to stay on top of mentions of your brand, competitors, selected search terms, relevant news, and stories pertinent to your industry without you having to take the time to scour the Internet. Talk about a time saver!

 

Have a question about any of the above tools or social media marketing in general? We’re here to help. Leave a comment or subscribe below. Thanks!

Betsy Kent

Betsy Kent

I work with ambitious entrepreneurs and businesses to uncover exactly who their ideal customers really are, what they want more than anything else in the world, and the perfect words to use on their websites, in their marketing, and when they talk about their business. I've guided hundreds of clients through my signature process and formula, and as a result, they’ve generated hundreds of thousands of dollars in new business revenue with more ease and confidence than ever before.

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