Posts Tagged social media

Guess Who’s a HootSuite Brand Ambassador?

Posted by on Sunday, 13 April, 2014

HootSuite-Brand-AmbassadorHey, I’m in social media. I’m a marketer. I love to share and promote great products. That’s why I’ve joined the HootSuite Brand Ambassador program.

You all know the benefits of a strong community for brands. It’s a free extension of your PR team, word of mouth by peers is more trusted than your marketing messages, the list goes on. HootSuite have done this very well, and globally. Last year the volunteer HootSuite Brand Ambassadors held more than 150 HootUps (events) in 22 countries. That’s in addition to participation in online chats, creating links and mentions, and personal recommendations. I challenge you to put a dollar value to that.

What do I Get for Joining the HootSuite Brand Ambassador Team?

I do score a few perks. My HootSuite University and Pro memberships are comped for three months, a bunch of swag, a significant discount on the Newhouse Advanced Social Media Strategy certificate, inclusion in a active community, and the privilege of bragging about it.

Pretty good for what I’d do for free.

Is This Why I Switched from Sprout Social?

No. The switch and becoming certified with HootSuite University both occurred before I knew about the HootSuite Brand Ambassador program.

Around the time I wrote about my content curation process, we switched up the PSAMA social media process. We needed team members to have access to all our profiles, and at $40 per user, per month Sprout Social was just too expensive. I love their analytics and reporting, but I don’t feel I can ask volunteers to pay a subscription and I can’t justify it enough for the chapter to pay. HootSuite Pro gives me an additional user with the $9.95 per month fee. Even with adding HootSuite University I was financially ahead.

What’s Next?

Planning has started for #HootUpSEA – a Seattle gathering. There are a few other ambassadors local and we’re working together. Add search stream #HootUpSEA for updates. Also, I join in the weekly #HSUChat (soon to become #HSChat). It’s Tuesdays at 11am Pacific and a great conversation open to all. Even if I find the topic not relevant to me (last week was social media second screening television), I follow and get a tip or two.

If you have any HootSuite or social media questions, feel free to Tweet me at @BiancaJSmith. Or just Tweet to say hi.

Finally, the HootSuite Ambassador program is accepting applications for all regions. Complete the application form, and don’t forget to tell them I sent you.

PS, Seattle HootSuite users: do you want a content or purely social #HootUpSEA? Let me know in the comments.

Book Review: The Power of Visual Storytelling

Posted by on Thursday, 3 April, 2014

The-Power-of-Visual-StorytellingWow, The Power of Visual Storytelling launched with a bang.

My Twitter feed during SXSW was filled with praise for Ekaterina Walter and Jessica Gioglio’s new book. In the book, there are endorsements from power names, including Gary Vaynerchuk, Guy Kawasaki, and Charlene Li.

With these high expectations, what’s The Power of Visual Storytelling about?

It’s 221 pages of stats, profiles, and recent case studies of social media campaigns. I especially loved Ekaterina’s personal experiences with @BenefitBeauty’s #BeautyBoost campaign.

The call-out boxes off each social media platform make the book a valuable resource, for now at least. We all know that social media is dynamic and it’s often hard to get a conclusive profile and how-to for each platform. I applaud the research that went into this.

Who is The Power of Visual Storytelling for?

This question was tricky at first because I overlooked the sub-title and was expecting a book on actually story telling and using visuals to tell narrative. You know, all the hero’s journey and overcoming adversary etc. This book comes after that. There’s a short chapter on the benefits of storytelling, but if you’re looking for more on storytelling, check out Nancy Duarte’s books.

For the next few months, The Power of Visual Storytelling is a brilliantly useful resource show how to tactically use images on social media. Just get in quick, before facebook makes a major change… again.

HootSuite University – Celebrating My New Certification

Posted by on Sunday, 23 February, 2014

If you’re learning something and there’s a certification attached, it seems a waste not to sit the exam. This morning I passed the HootSuite University exam.

This week I switched back to HootSuite to manage my social media accounts, and it confused the bleep out of me. It just looks so cluttered and messy. But, Sprout Social is just too expensive to run teams of volunteers; I’ll live with fewer analytics.

My Saturday night was an hour of videos (yes, I’m such a party animal), and my Sunday morning an hour long exam that took 15 minutes.

Achievement Unlocked: HootSuite University
HootSuite Certified Professional

What was HootSuite University like?

I can think of better ways to spend my weekend. OK, it wasn’t that bad, but I did take a few breaks to stop the monotony. Others reviewing the course said it takes four to nine hours, so when the advanced videos (the second class) got a tad dull, I switched to the social media courseware. To be honest that was so basic (really, it defines a Tweet), so I switched to the exams and skipped a lot of videos. After completing these, I discovered they actually aren’t needed to be certified. Yes, that was wasted time. I didn’t need four hours.

There’s no FAQ or instructions on how to actually get certified. The HootSuite University website outlines the benefits and costs, but not which courses are required (they offer lots of courses), or the pass rate. This would have helped. I’m still actually not exactly sure the pass rate. It’s higher than 80%. Oh, and there are 40 questions to be answered within a hour. If you fail, you’re told which answers were incorrect and the chance to sit the exam again immediately. I was a little cheeky and copied my answers down before hitting submit. My 80% on my first attempt was easier to improve upon when I didn’t have to think about the 36 questions I got right when resitting it.

The knowledge I gained in the two classes plus exam needed for certification won’t actually help me be a better social media marketer. It only shows that I can navigate my way around HootSuite and I have the $21 per month to maintain the certification. However, the additional courses and lecture series, along with being listed as a certified social media marketer justifies the price.

Have you completed HootSuite University or another social media certification? What did you think?

Special Offer: Social Media Profile Reviews

Posted by on Sunday, 29 December, 2013

Social_Media_ProfileWe’ve seen the stats. 91% of recruiters search job candidates online. Professional and personal social media profiles are merging, and engagement is all about personality. But many are showing the “not-so-good” sides of their personalities … and don’t realize the impact.

That’s why I’ve launched a new service, Social Media Profile Reviews.

In a review, we look over your profiles to ensure they’re appropriate for your goals. We’ll discuss grammar and spelling, sharing posts, personal details and photography.

 

 

The Offer

This deal was launched with a GroupOn deal recently, but pulled quickly (that’s a story for another day). So i’m offering it here. Book a social media profile review before January 31, 2014 and get 50% off. That’s a $25 saving.

Book a review for yourself or as a gift. It’s an investment.

Book Review: Klout Matters

Posted by on Sunday, 22 December, 2013

Klout_MattersKlout Matters (Gina Carr and Terry Brock) is as close as you can get to a book-sized advertisement for Klout, without it being written by Klout.

If you’re wanting to know how to game your Klout score, then this is the book for you. Yes, I went there. Despite how many times the authors claim you can’t and they’re not instructing how to game Klout, this is a book how to game your Klout score.

The authors want this book to be a fair, definitive guide to Klout. There’s even an entire chapter on Klout’s shortcomings. It’s towards the back and positioned as their wishlist for development. Despite my personal dislike of Klout, I’m trying to be fair in this review. Author bias aside, there’s one major flaw with this book, the editing. I’m not sure any was done. My copy was a pre-release from NetGalley, a few days before its official release, so I can excuse the switching between podcast and pod-cast. I can’t excuse the inconsistent claims and weak narrative.

With some editing, this could be great. I’m afraid many would put it down before getting to chapter four and discovering why a Klout score is important or relevant. Also, mid-way through we’re told we must be content creators, but later we’re told to be expert content curators. Which is it? Personally, I think a mix. I’m also not sure who the book is targeting. It’s 90% at individuals for personal branding, but then a random corporate reference appears.

The marketing concepts are also a tad dated. Audiences and targeting are rarely mentioned, even within the tips on using social media to increase your Klout score. Chapter ten is definitely the most useful. It discusses getting to know your key influencers, putting value first, and, amusingly, that it’s not all about your Klout score.

Who is Klout Matters for?

This is tough. Probably people who are wanting a numeric score as a trophy, and are trying for freebies from companies. Not marketers who are wanting to see if Klout is relevant for their brands.

If there’s a second edition, with some strong editing, Klout Matters can be a useful book. Assuming Klout still has clout.