Posts in Apps
Can Tweet Jukebox improve your Twitter marketing?

BlogFeatured-TweetJukeBox Do you wish it was easier to send more tweets in a day? You know that success on Twitter comes from tweeting several times a day but do you find it nigh on impossible to make time to tweet? Then there's the challenge of coming up with something new to say!

Tweet Jukebox helps overcome these problems by providing a regular supply of tweets into your Twitter stream. Once set up, it can tweet away on your behalf, effectively forever.

Twitter works best when you use it to engage with others, by retweeting, replying and initiating conversations. These are most effective when done manually. Automation of some actions, such as tweeting pre-prepared content, can have a place in your Twitter strategy. It can supplement but never replace genuine human interaction.

 

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How to use Tweet Jukebox

Tweet Jukebox is very easy to use. Sign up with your Twitter account and you can immediately begin building a jukebox - that is, a list of tweets from which the app will pick randomly and post on your behalf.

Each jukebox has its own schedule, where you determine how often a tweet is posted. The frequency and timing of your schedule can be refined for each day of the week.

Add the tweets, set up the schedule, turn the jukebox on and you’re done.

If you don’t want to set up your own jukebox, you can choose from a number of existing jukeboxes containing generic tweets, such as inspirational quotes.

Tweet Jukebox also allows you to set up scheduled tweets, which can repeat over specific time intervals, such as every six hours, once a week or once a year.

Jukebox

Limitations on using Tweet Jukebox for free

I’ve been scheduling tweets for years and when I discovered Tweet Jukebox it looked like a real time-saver, because I could set up a tweet once and then re-use it several times. And all for free!

That came to an end within a short time, as the app introduced professional (paid-for) options. Currently the free version of Tweet Jukebox lets you have two jukeboxes with a total of 300 unique tweets, plus five scheduled tweets. You’re also restricted to tweeting just five times per day.

This shouldn’t be bad news because it should mean further investment in Tweet Jukebox. I’m happy to pay to use it, because the time-savings justify the cost.

Other features of Tweet Jukebox

Is it good practice to post the same tweet more than once? Opinions vary on this. I don’t have a problem with it because each tweet is only seen by a small percentage of your followers. If you have an important message to share, don’t be afraid to tweet it out several times.

There’s a balance to be struck between making your message as visible as possible and not boring people and having them unfollow you. Or worse, mute or block you.

On each jukebox you can specify that a tweet will not be posted again until a certain number of days have passed.

Other useful features include:

  • Adding a picture to a tweet.
  • A visual schedule, giving an at-a-glance view of when your tweets will appear during the week.
  • Stats on recent mentions or retweets by other Twitter users.
  • Ability to move tweets between jukeboxes.
  • Uploading and downloading tweets (paid accounts only).
  • Seeing when a particular tweet was last posted.

I’ve not used all these features yet. End dates on scheduled tweets (paid accounts only) are handy for promotional tweets you don’t want to appear after a particular date.

What I like about Tweet Jukebox

A successful social media strategy depends, in part, on maintaining a consistent stream of high quality content. Scheduling tweets in say Hootsuite or Tweetdeck allows you to create posts in the future, but you need to keep going back to add to the schedule.

Using Tweet Jukebox means you never have to worry about the schedule running out. Get the balance right between the number of tweets and their frequency of posting and you shouldn’t bore your followers even if the jukebox runs unchanged for days or even weeks.

I find scheduled tweets useful for messages I want to share relatively often over a short period of time, such as news about training courses.

I continue to check into Twitter daily and my jukeboxes are regularly tweaked, with some tweets retired and new posts added.

Tweet Jukebox can’t provide Twitter engagement

This app might sound ideal for spammers wanting to spew out a stream of tweets. Which is why the free version is now limited to just five tweets per day.

To get results from Twitter requires more than just tweeting over and over again - it requires real engagement.

Fortunately, it’s impossible to automate genuine human interaction on Twitter - thoughtful retweets, insightful or useful replies, timely thoughts and shares. These are what make the Twitter experience truly valuable. Tweet Jukebox, like other automation apps, is a useful supplement to manual tweeting, but you'll be disappointed if you hope that it can relieve you of needing to log into Twitter more than occasionally.

Done well, automated tweets can be effective and they could have a place in your Twitter strategy. I recommend that you take a look at Tweet Jukebox to see what it could do for you.

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How to start using Google Analytics
how-to-use-google-analytics

I was recently invited to help a group of local business owners understand how to start making sense of Google Analytics - a service that’s free for everyone. They all had websites that promoted holiday accommodation and some were already using Analytics, but they weren’t really sure what it was telling them other than the number of people visiting their website.

If you’ve ever looked at Google Analytics you’ll know that it’s packed with data. What people find difficult is converting that data into useful information. The aim of this article is to help you start making business decisions based on the information that you see.

I will look at how to:

  • Activate Google Analytics
  • See how many people are visiting your website
  • Discover the routes people are using to find your website
  • See which pages they are visiting on your website.

Google Analytics can become very complex very quickly, because there is so much data and not all the terminology is easy to understand. In this article I’m sharing my approach to looking at the information presented to me, while trying to keep it relatively simple and easy to understand.

How to switch on Google Analytics

To sign up for Google Analytics, click here and follow the instructions. The process includes adding a piece of code to your website, giving Google permission to capture analytics data and share it with you.

You should be able to add the code yourself, depending on how your website is built and managed. If you can’t do it, your website developer will be able to.

Once the code is in place, Google will begin collecting the data that’s presented in Analytics. To see this, you’ll need to log into Google Analytics.

How many people are visiting your website?

Analytics has a menu of options of the left side of the screen, with all the data displayed on the right as a series of tables and graphs. For a new user, these can be quite overwhelming.

Look out for the menu item on the left that says ‘Audience’. Click this and choose ‘Overview’. You’re now seeing a summary of information about visits to your website over the last month. The main graph shows visits per day. By changing the dates (top right) you can select a different period of time.

What’s good to look for here are trends and spikes. If you’ve been working to grow visitor numbers, the trend will, hopefully, be upwards. Spikes, where visitor numbers shoot up (or down) on a particular day, suggest that something happened to make a serious difference to visitor numbers.

Try to identify what caused those spikes, because it can help you understand what may bring more people to your site. For example, I had a spike in traffic to my site in the week before I wrote this. As we go through this article, I’ll explain what I learned from that spike. For me it was a major event because traffic to my website jumped by over 1,000%!

What screen are people using to look at your site?

Another option under ‘Audience’ is ‘Mobile’. Select this and then ‘Overview’. The table displayed shows you what percentage of your site visitors looked at your site on a mobile, a desktop or a tablet.

Over half of the people visiting my website come from a mobile, meaning they’re looking at it on a smartphone. This tells me that I need to be sure that my website looks good when viewed on a mobile phone.

When did you last look at how your website appeared on a smartphone? If, like me, you tend to work on a desktop or laptop computer, it’s easy to forget that the majority of the people browsing the web now do so from a phone.

If your website isn’t mobile-friendly, it’s time you got that fixed. Google offers a useful tool that checks whether your site is, in its opinion, mobile-friendly - click here to access it.

How are people finding your website?

Going down from ‘Audience’, look at ‘Acquisition’ and again, ‘Overview’. This helps you understand how people find your website. The pie chart and table both indicate routes bringing people to you, and these are:

  • Social - social media, such as Twitter, Facebook etc. Click on this for more detail.
  • Organic search - this is when someone types something into Google and they choose one of the links presented by the search engine.
  • Direct - people who have come directly to the website, by typing in the link or from a bookmark they use. Direct can also include visitors from other sources.
  • Referral - these are visitors who have come via another website, which referred them on to yours.

This information is useful because it tells you how the majority of people come to your website and gives you some figures for benchmarking. Let’s say that you decide to start making better use of social media to bring people to your site. A way to measure this would be to look at how the proportion of visitors coming via social changes over time.

Going back to the example of my recent website traffic spike - I used the date options on Google Analytics to look at the acquisition sources over the last few days, compared with over the last month. The figures showed that the Social percentage jumped up and, in particular, Twitter. So the spike in my visitor numbers seemed to be generated from Twitter.

What are people doing when they’re on your website?

We’re now looking at ‘Behaviour’ and ‘Overview’, because this tells us what people are viewing on your website.

A table of data will show you the top ten pages people are looking at, and what you see may surprise you. From this, you should be able to assess what is of most interest to the people visiting your website.

Now think about what it is that you want people to do after they’ve landed on your site and consider the design of your web page. Are you making it really easy for them to take that action? Don’t forget that many, possibly the majority, will be looking at the page on a smartphone. Be warned - you may decide to redesign your page as a result of this!

In the example from my website, where traffic spiked by over 1,000%, I immediately saw that lots of website visitors had landed on a page where I had reviewed a specific social media product.

Then I remembered that a couple of days ago the company whose product I reviewed had tweeted a link to my article. Checking back, I discovered that they have hundreds of thousands of followers. Clearly a small percentage of these followers (which was still a large number) had clicked through to my website.

Armed with this knowledge, I took another look at how that article appeared on my smartphone and, more importantly, how easy I was making it for them to do what I wanted them to do, which was to sign up for my mailing list.

I was shocked to realise that despite the efforts I had put into the design of the site, it was unlikely that they’d seen a call to action to sign up to my mailing list. So my next action was to fix that immediately - I added a call to action to the end of each article. Time will tell whether that will make a difference.

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Google Analytics - summary and bounce rate

In this article I have described how you can:  

  • Turn on  Google Analytics
  • See how many people are visiting your website
  • Discover the routes these people are taking to arrive at your website
  • See which pages on your website they are visiting

Finally, I’ll cover one more important number: bounce rate. You may have spotted this number, which appears in various places. You can see it under Audience>Overview and Behaviour>Overview.

Bounce rate tells you the percentage of people who, having arrived at your website, take a look at just one page and then leave again. If you have a bounce rate of 80%, this means eight out of ten website visitors take a look at just one page and then leave.

What’s a good bounce rate? This depends on what you want your website to do for you. If you’re just sharing information, a high bounce rate may be okay. But if you want people to click through your site to find a ‘buy now’ button or to sign up to your mailing list, a high bounce rate suggests that your strategies for keeping people on your site aren’t working too well.

If you have any questions about using Google Analytics, please get in touch through email, Twitter or Facebook.

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What is Periscope and why is it so important to my Dorset business?

BlogFeatured-BroadcastingApps If you want your business to grow and stay successful for more than just the next few years, you need to know about Periscope.

More accurately, you need to know about Periscope and similar apps. Why? Because in my view, they’re game-changers in the world of social media communication. If you thought Facebook and Twitter were at the sharp end of social media, think again.

What is Periscope?

Periscope is an app that allows you to broadcast live, to the world, from wherever you are. It’s not the only one - there’s a similar app called Blab and more apps like these are on their way. The technology is referred to as ‘streaming’.

At the moment, Periscope, which is part of Twitter, is relatively simple. You download the app onto your smartphone or tablet (it doesn’t work on laptops or desktops) and create an account. Like Twitter, it lets you follow people and others can follow you.

To broadcast, just tap the red ‘Broadcast’ button, add a title and press start. Then you’re live online and any other Periscope user can choose to join in.

People watching your Periscope can type in comments, visible to everyone, which float up from the bottom of the screen and disappear after a few seconds. To show their appreciation for your Periscope, people can tap the screen and a heart appears and floats upwards. These hearts are ‘likes’ and the number you receive is displayed on your Periscope profile.

When your Periscope is over, it’s available for replay for 24 hours. You can delete the replay version if you’d rather no one watched it!

Periscope

How Periscope can benefit your business

I think streaming video is a game-changer for social media marketing because it removes barriers between you and your customers. It’s now even easier to let customers inside your business and, as any retailer knows, a customer inside the door is worth much more than one who just looks in through the window, or walks on by.

That’s not to say that Periscope is only great for retail, because it can help any business.

Let’s say your business is accountancy. Using Periscope you could broadcast a short, timely snippet of tax advice on a regular basis - like weekly or even daily. Think of it as an extension to blogging. In time, it may even replace blogging.

Holiday accommodation providers could broadcast from local attractions or events, or give tours of their facilities.

The only limit to using Periscope is your imagination. Do it well and you’ll build an audience who are willing to tune in, and all the time you’ve got their attention, you’re building a relationship with them. Many sales, particularly higher value sales, begin with relationships.

I’m looking forward to seeing Dorset businesses begin to take advantage of streaming apps such as Periscope.

Find and follow me on Periscope - download the app and look up Dorset_Social.

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Can you grow your Twitter following fast with this app?

Followers Let’s be honest—who isn’t interested in finding a shortcut to more fans/followers on social media? It’s all very well breaking open a carton of orange juice to celebrate reaching that first one hundred milestone, but the mild euphoria is quickly replaced by envy at seeing others with fan counts in the thousands. How can you accelerate the process of adding zeros to your follower numbers?

Today I spotted a tweet from someone I follow announcing: “I gained 123 followers in the past week. This is the app: crowdfireapp.” I did a quick calculation—their average follower growth in the last two years was 35 a week, making 123 well above the average. There are lots of reasons why this growth could have happened, but it prompted me to think: "Okay, let’s take a look at Crowdfire" (previously known as JustUnfollow).

Can Crowdfire get me more followers?

This is not a comprehensive review of the Crowdfire app. I’ve spent a while looking at it and these are simply my early impressions.

Unsurprisingly, the app has free and paid-for options. Free seems pretty limited—just one Twitter account, 25 follows, 100 unfollows and 50 whitelist/blacklist. Quite what this means is not explained. I can use the app to follow 25 people a week? A month? A lifetime? And what are the whitelist and the blacklist?

I’m running the app on my Mac laptop. The screen layout is clean and accessible, with the options listed down the left side of the page. There’s a whitelist—click and there’s no one listed. Click on the little ‘i’ in a circle and it tells me that tweeps on my whitelist will never appear anywhere for me to unfollow. So there’s no danger of me unfollowing someone important by mistake, once I’ve added them to the whitelist. Nice idea.

Blacklist is the reverse. These are tweeps I never want to see on a follow screen.

The other options are useful: nonfollowers (I follow them but they haven’t returned the favour), fans (they follow me but I haven’t followed back), recent unfollowers (how dare they put me aside!) etc. The app only captures unfollowers from the point at which you sign up.

Inactive following is useful. You can see all the tweeps you follow who haven’t tweeted for a month or six, making it really easy to unfollow accounts that seem to have become redundant. I unfollowed 31 who hadn't tweeted in six months, presumably out of my free 100.

But can Crowdfire get me more followers?

Okay, so I have some nice follower management tools. But where do I go to push my follower count up?

The KeywordFollow option displays a list of relevant tweeps based on a keyword or hashtag that you choose. I type in #Dorset and I want to use the location filter, to limit it to people tweeting in the Dorset area. Great idea, except the location filter doesn’t have the county of Dorset listed, only places like Dorset Square or Dorset Street in London. Location filtering doesn’t work for me.

Crowdfire keyword search

Another follower finding tool is CopyFollowers. I type in the name of a tweep whose followers might also be interested in me—in this case the Weymouth & Portland Chamber of Commerce (@wpchamber). I’m now shown their followers and I can choose to follow some of them myself (up to my free 25).

The Crowdfire copy followers function

Another tool to support follower engagement is Direct Message automation. This allows you to set up one or more DMs that are sent to your new followers.

Personally, I detest automated DMs and I know I’m not alone in this. Perhaps I’m old school, but DMs are for private conversations, not unsolicited sales pitches or ‘thanks for following me check out my website’ messages. On the other hand, perhaps some people find that automated DMs can be a good way to engage with new followers,  even if it doesn't work with me.

Setting up DM automation on Crowdfire

Clean, simple but not for me

The cheapest Crowdfire subscription will set you back just $9.99 a month, which is not a lot and for that you can use it on two accounts (it covers Twitter and Instagram) and unlimited follows and unfollows.

Want to add multiple users and lose the references to Crowdfire in your DM? Then you’re paying from $19.99 a month upwards.

There’s no denying that the app makes it really easy to manage follows and unfollows. So it could help you find relevant accounts to follow, and if you follow them, there’s a good chance that some will follow you back.

But what this app can’t do is create genuine engagement with others on Twitter. And engagement, not numbers, is where you’ll harness the true power of social media.

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If you liked this post, take a look at:

What is Periscope and why is it so important to my business?

Why you're missing out on Facebook Likes and reviews

Dorset estate agent shares the secrets of her social media success

Did I get paid to write this app/product review? Click for the policy on endorsements.