Archive for 2012

Social Media Review 2012

Social Media Review 2012

Social media networks continued to grow, expand and sometimes even explode during this past year.  New apps were added, new functions created, new networks launched in a frenzy of competitive emulation.

But was it all really necessary?  Aren’t people overloaded with social networking itself – let alone coping with change after change, new launches and other new shiny social baubles?

So what has changed globally about social networking?  What made 2012 a landmark year?

Here is a social media review of 2012:

Global Shifts and Changes

First let’s take a look at the most notable shifts and changes.

Facebook…

  • Went public, opening at $38 per share
  • Launched Timeline world-wide
  • Bumped Orkut from the #1 spot in Brazil
  • Still claims the top spot in global social networking, with 845 million monthly users at last count

Google

  • Frightened Facebook more than the latter expected with a Google+ popularity gain
  • Saw more people using Google+ Group video chats
  • Shut down PicNik photo-editing

Twitter

  • Ferociously tightened up its terms and policies
  • Parted ways with LinkedIn and (temporarily) Pheed
  • Lost thousands of referrals over the LinkedIn separation

Pinterest

  • The “best new start-up in 2011” continued to grow, with a 75% female user base
  • Added Pinterest business pages

Instagram…

  • Caught on quickly with the rise in infographic and photo popularity
  • Was acquired by Facebook for one billion dollars

Visual media such as Pinterest and Instagram experienced a volcanic rise in 2012, causing (or perhaps responding to) a major shift in social networking habits and the collective consciousness only partially explained by the corresponding rise in mobile device use.

In fact, Pinterest “referred more new business than LinkedIn, YouTube and Google+,” according to British firm, The SEO Company.

Meanwhile, the rocketing popularity of photo-sharing resulted in Facebook’s Edgerank algorithm (which weights photos more highly than any other type of media) becoming public knowledge.

Popularity also brought along problems:  Email viruses purporting to come from Facebook rose noticeably[1].  And while other social networks grabbed a satisfactory share of the market and improved their platforms dramatically, Facebook was still the star of the show, as The SEO company clearly demonstrated, based on Mashable findings.

 Google+ and Facebook comparison

Let’s take a closer look at Facebook’s most notable developments during 2012…

  1. Facebook:  Messenger for Windows

This was the year people found out that Facebook had officially released Messenger for Windows 7, allowing Windows 7 users to access Messenger without a browser (and thus pushing back competition from Google Gchat). 

Messenger for Windows

Using it is like chatting on Facebook, except you can do it from either your System tray or your home screen.  (It was actually released late in 2011, but the world didn’t start adopting it en masse until 2012.)

  1. Facebook:  Disappearing Cover Photos

Part of the new Timeline organization of personal news-feeds involved a new header area, consisting of tabs, a Cover Photo (background photo) and a Profile photo (head-shot or logo).  Facebook was firm in its guidelines – no promotional items or text in the Cover photo.  But it wasn’t long before people started ignoring that.

Recently people started reporting blank spaces in Facebook Eggshell Blue where their cover photos used to be.  No explanation has yet been given, but a common thread is emerging in the type of photos removed:

  • Any photo featuring a recognizable celebrity (even if that’s you standing grinning as said celebrity personally puts his or her arm around you)
  • Any promotional content – logos, recognizable brand names, prices, calls to action, etc.)
  • Text
  • Popular background images from download sites
  • Any copyright content – For example, movie shots, album covers or original artworks from well-known artists (or artists with a strong web presence).

So no more featuring your head-shot against a backdrop of Hobbits trudging through the snow; or against your favorite band performing onstage; or cozied up to Royalty.

 Forbidden Facebook Timeline cover photo

 In fact, if you attempt to upload any “copyright” photo (i.e. belonging to someone else), Facebook becomes eerily smart and will most likely slap you with a notice like this one when you try to re-upload it, according to at least one person who blogged about the phenomenon:

Facebook cover photo warning

  1. Facebook:  Face.com

Facebook acquired the rights to the facial recognition software it had been using, according to an announcement on Face.com’s blog in June 2012.

You are already familiar with Face.com through Facebook’s photo-tagging process.  Face.com already reputedly supplies certain other Facebook apps, including Photo finder (what you use when you locate tagged photos of yourself and un-tag them. So the acquisition seems a logical step.

But what are the implications?

Well, potentially, you could find Facebook “recognizing” every photo you’ve ever appeared in – whether these belong to your account, other peoples’ accounts or institutional accounts/Facebook pages.

Not everybody is comfortable with that option, as can be seen from just two of multiple negative responses to Face.com’s June 18, 2012, blog post:

 FB facial response 1

 FB facial response 2

  1. Facebook: “Gifts”

Yes, Facebook did get rid of “Gifts” a couple of years ago, but like Heather O’Rourke says in the movie “Poltergeist”, “they’re ba-ack…”.

Well, at least for some people.  If you have gifts enabled, you’ll see the present-box icon beside friends’ birthdays or with their posts, if you check their walls.

Facebook gifts

Face it, the ability to collect money directly from your credit cards for gift was most likely  just too tempting for Facebook to let die, so Facebook has resurrected gift-giving along with a whole new raft of willing partners, including:

  • Baby Gap
  • Dean & Deluca
  • iTunes
  • L’Occitane,
  • Lindt
  • Pandora
  • ProFlowers
  • Random House

(And that, of course, doesn’t include all those “Facebook credits” for games.)

Gifts functionality doesn’t yet seem to be enabled for everyone.  If you aren’t yet able to give gifts, the gift icon won’t appear; and if you go to the gifts page, you’ll see this announcement:

Facebook gifts page announcement

If you can see the gifts icon, this Facebook  help page further explains the process.

  1. Google+:  YouTube Developments and Integration

Facebook isn’t the only social network determined to push ahead.  Google has been doing its best to go one step further than its gigantic rival – particularly with visual sharing.

One sore spot among Google+ users concerned with branding and SEO was the way people creating new accounts on YouTube could apply their Google+ user names to their channels.   Existing YouTube users could not.  So now there’s a fix for that.  Those using YouTube for business purposes will appreciate the branding opportunity of syncing Google+ and YouTube accounts; plus the increase in Google searchability.

And to enhance your YouTube videos further, Google allows you to create rich snippets to show up as an enhanced listing in your Google search results[2].)

Google rich snippets

  1. Facebook:  Instagram Acquisition

Facebook purchased mobile photo-sharing network Instagram – reportedly for one billion dollars.

Instagram home page

Hard on the heels of this purchase, Facebook began to make unmistakable noises about eliminating user voting on its “governance policies”.

There has been alarm over the idea of Facebook building user profiles using data shared between its own network and Instagram’s.

Facebook has gone on record as saying that storing Instagram “server logs and administrative records” on its own systems is “standard for the industry”.  Prior to this, Mark Zuckerberg himself went on record as saying Facebook was “committed to building and growing Instagram independently”.

Instagram’s acquisition was reportedly in the works prior to Facebook shares going public.

  1. Pinterest: Business Pages

And now the development we’ve all been waiting for – Pinterest business pages.  Not only can you now join Pinterest as a business, you can create a Pinterest business page.

If you already have a Pinterest account, you will have to convert it from personal to business.  Pinterest then walks you through the page creation process.

You can:

  • Verify your website
  • Embed buttons and widgets
  • Select a custom URL for your page

Example Pinterest business page

To sum up 2012, it’s been all about three things, with social media:

  • Mobile integration and sharing
  • Photo and video sharing
  • Making money

And it seems as if the social media world has finally woken up to these facts.  That being said, only one thing seems consistent about social media networks in 2012.

They are constantly changing and growing along with their users.

 



[1] Don’t open any email saying it’s from Facebook if it has an extra “o” in its Address (e.g. “faceboook.com”)

[2] Further tips on managing rich snippets: http://www.bestrank.com/blog/the-trick-to-getting-your-rich-snippet-author-photos-to-show-in-google-results

How to Read Sendible Reports and Tips for Using this Data to Improve Your Social Media Presence

How to Read Sendible Reports and Tips for Using this Data to Improve Your Social Media Presence

One of the most powerful assets Sendible offers to your business is its Reports feature.  You can access this instantly via your Dashboard by clicking on the “My Reports” tab.

This feature works powerfully both in helping you monitor and in allowing you to accurately track your social media presence.

 

Sendible reports tab

You can check:

  • Your message volume
  • Your scorecard (interactions, audience, influence, clicks)
  • The best time to post, as proven on your particular networks
  • Number of clicks on posts over the month
  • A record of all messages and posts (including date and interactions
  • Mentions – your keywords; and whether or not these mentions were positive or negative.

report dashboard

Step 1. Building Your First Report

Before you can read any data, however, you need to build your first report.  Click on the “My Reports” tab, if you aren’t already there, and select the “Report Builder” tab in the left-hand vertical sidebar menu.

Select your layout from the templates indicated.

select report layout

You’ll be taken to the next screen, where you’ll notice two fields waiting for your input:

  • Report Name
  • Report Title

enter report details

Only you will be able to see the contents of the “Report Name” field, so go ahead and populate it with whatever you want.

Everyone who accesses the report will be able to see your “Report Title”, so put some thought into a strong title, preferably with a relevant keyword in it.

You can also select the exact period of time you’d like the report to cover (seven to ninety days).

The moment you click “Next”, you’ll be given a selection of modules you can add.  Choose the most relevant ones by clicking on the green “Add” buttons.

When you are done, click on the “Close” button.

add modules

The next page shows you your report skeleton and presents you with a button you can press to upload your logo (260 X 100 pixels), as well as allowing you to edit your personal data in the far right side of the report header.

upload your logoUnderneath, you’ll find the data….

report data like Facebook demographics

(This area can be as packed with fields and data or focused on one aspect as you’d like it to be.  You can also remove fields at this stage, by selecting the little wheel in the right-hand side of each field header slug.)

scorecard

You can then choose between four actions:

  • Print your report
  • Email it
  • Publish it to a live link
  • Export it in MS Excel or HTML

Step 2. Reading Your Data

Sendible’s “My Reports” functions becomes invaluable in analyzing data and monitoring your social network, email and site interactions.  In addition to all the fields you can add when populating your reports, you can also go to the “Quick Reports” tab in the left-hand menu and select even more functions.

quick reports monitoring

You don’t have to “interpret” in any one of these sections:  Simply read the results, which are all sorted, tabulated and in many cases compared for you.

When you’re ready to collect new data and create a new report, go back to the “Report Builder” tab in your “My Reports” left-hand, vertical menu.

Sendible report builder

You will see the last report you created – but on the extreme right-hand side in the Header section of your report, you’ll also notice the bright green “New Report” button.

new report button

Press it, and you’ll be able to “Add Modules” again.

Last time you created a report, we focused only on the vertical Modules within “General Reports”.

general reports tab

This time, check out the horizontal tabs in your “Add Modules” section.

add modules section

  1. “Channels” lets you set up and track activity across all your social media accounts:  Your Facebook Page, Twitter accounts, Facebook accounts and more.
  1. “Social Media Monitoring” lets you monitor all your “mentions” – positive, negative, over time, by source and more.

One tip, however – make sure the keywords you select is highly specific to your business.  If you use a general keyword such as “business solutions”, you will get a flood of “junk” results.

Do be sure to scroll down in the “Social Media Monitoring” section.  You won’t want to miss the chance to add a “Sentiment” pie chart – one of your quickest barometers of buzz-worthiness – and setting up a “Sentiment Comparison” between your social networking accounts.

This demographic alone is unique in that it fairly accurately measures intangibles such as liking, long thought to be non-empirical and non-measurable.

social media monitoring

“Sentiment Comparison” is a good category to add if you have multiple social media accounts.  And, finally, “Top Influencers” can show you who has been busy either competing or promoting your keyword the most (if you chosen keywords highly focused to your business USP).

  1. “Links” won’t be hugely valuable if your business is fairly new:  However, if you’ve built up solid backlinks, it’s worth your while throwing into your mix for this second test report.

links section

(Always select any modules with pie charts.  They impress clients, are great for giving you an accurate visual feel for data portions – and you can always take them out before printing or sharing your report, if the data doesn’t feel particularly impressive or relevant.)

  1. “Campaigns” is another tab that doesn’t look too impressive when you first click on it.  (In fact, it looks rather lonely.)   But press the “Setup” button for its one solitary field, “All Messages”, and it opens up a treasure trove of tracking options.

campaigns tab

In addition to the post data options displayed at first glance, you can also analyze and track:

  • Number of emails opened during the report’s specified time period
  • Number of people reached by your emails
  • Retweets during that period
  • Your top posts that have been shared over that period
  • The number of people who unsubscribed from receiving your messages
  • How many people viewed your blog(s)
  1. Google Analytics is your final horizontal-tab field to add.  You can instantly set up full analytics measurements – and you’ll never have to log into Google again to see your stats.

Google analytics tab

In addition to the fields you see here, you can also add (if you scroll down):

  • Visitor Countries
  • Visitor Cities
  • Pages Viewed
  • Search Keywords

Don’t neglect location-based targeting and measurement in your campaigns.  Even if you do one hundred percent of your business online, you may uncover a hidden gemstone of a local market who will buy from you simply because you’re someone they either know (at least by sight, if you’re putting in quality time investing in your community) or just someone from their home town.

Step 3. Editing Your Report

You can also “Edit” your report within the “Add Modules” section, which allows you the ability to change either the layout or the details within the report, making for a tighter, more focused report.

update report details

Get into the habit of editing your details.  Not only will it look and read better, it will give you a stronger, clearer picture of where your business online visibility and interaction level is really “at”, and what sort of actions you will need to take in which areas, to improve your statistics.

Step 4. Sendible Best Practices – Four Secret Stops to Make

Finally, remember to check out the horizontal tabs under “Add Service” in “Add/Edit Services”.  The more relevant streams you add, the more complete your tracking and monitoring results and reports will be.

“If you use it, add it” is a good rule to start out with.

And if you decide a stream is just not worth including, or you suspect it skews your results, you can always remove it later.

Two more tips for you:

  • Get in the habit of keeping up with Sendible Insights – and don’t let the name mislead you.  It is in no way a copy of Facebook Insights: Instead, it’s more of a blog that provides both basic and heavy-duty social marketing tips and news.

Sendible Insights

(Just select any post title of particular interest.)

  • Visit Sendible Resources before you start hunting for answers elsewhere.  This comparatively hidden area of their website contains not only the most clear and well-organized tutorial sections, but it also presents you with actual case studies you can follow, if you’re more of a “hands on” must-see-it-for-myself sort.

Sendible resources

  • Follow Sendible on social networks – especially on Pinterest.  Not only is Pinterest one of the fastest-growing social networks, you’ll pick up handy infographics and tips

Sendible on pinterest

  • Visit the Getsatisfaction “secret” forum.  Well, actually, it’s not so secret:  In spite of the fact it is now no longer active and archived (as well as “unofficial”, with a big site disclaimer denying any Sendible affiliation), Sendible’s support team actually includes it as a resource under their signature in automated replies.

While much of it is out of date (or about to become so, with Sendible’s recent upgrades and changes), it is still a place where you can find the odd diamond when hunting for glitch solutions (and waiting for Sendible support).

Jumping in the Pool

There is much  more to Sendible than we’ve touched on, but it’s something you can’t learn overnight.  You need to try it, tweak it, find what works best for your unique business – but these tips should help you start out with a firm foundation.

Oh.  And don’t forget to measure and track how much time Sendible saves you!

 

Setting Up Sendible Groups, Contacts and Other Useful Features

Setting Up Sendible Groups, Contacts and Other Useful Features

Sendible allows you to automate a multitude of tasks and functions for your business.  Some of these features are definitely ones you need to grasp right at the beginning as they’ll make your life a lot easier.

One of these functions is group set up and handling.  Instead of sending or assigning messages individually, you can designate a Sendible group to take care of an issue or task. And you don’t necessarily have to group people: You can create a group of email addresses or social media platforms.

You can also send SMS Text Messages – even from your mobile.

You can separate employees and contractors into groups of email addresses, if yours is a larger company.  For example, if you are a magazine publisher who makes use of social media or blogging, you can create a separate group for Production staff, one for Editorial staff and one for Distribution staff.

sample Sendible groups

So are you ready to set up your first Sendible group?

Step 1. Setting Up a Sendible Group

Nothing could be more simple than creating a new group.  While at your Message Box, just click on the “My Groups” tab.

my groups screen

A popup will immediately open, asking you to “Create a Group”.  Before you do, make sure you plan your groups first, rather than thinking them up on the spur of the moment.  (If you’re someone who thinks better in images rather than in words, use mind-mapping software such as Bubbl.us or MindMeister.)

When you are ready, enter your group name and click on the button.

create a new group

Once created, the group will immediately open up a Dashboard in your Message Box.  You’ll instantly see a variety of buttons, allowing you to perform functions such as:

  • Sharing
  • Renaming your group
  • Deleting your group
  • Creating a new group
  • Searching
  • Refreshing your group box
  • Adding Contacts/Services
  • New Contacts
  • Removing selected group members
  • Exporting data

group box

Once your group is created, you’ll find it in your Message Box services category.

One of the nicest features about groups is that each one you create will automatically generate and present you with its own email address, allowing you to post group messages to anyone, including external mail servers.

You can also post to as many types of groupings as you like – all in one post action.  You can post to groups of just about anything – a group of all the blogs you own, so that you update them all at once.  You can have all your email contacts in a group; all your Facebook Pages in a group.  Then access them all at once from your Message Box.

So setting up a group is easy… but then what?

Step 2. Troubleshooting Groups

The sad fact is that once your groups are set up, managing them is sometimes not as straightforward as Sendible would have you believe.  Parts of their User Manual seem to be out of date, and here and there the odd glitch seems to happen.

Unfortunately, these glitches seem to happen right in the most important areas.

Here are the answers to the most commonly-expressed handful of frustrations.

Q:  “Why aren’t my groups appearing in my Message inbox?”

A:  The only thing Sendible’s user manual has to say on the subject is that you should “favorite” the group by clicking on “the little yellow star” on your group listing’s right-hand side to make it appear.

Not only does the little yellow star sometimes not show up, but sometimes you can’t even see your group in your Groups box.  This latter is usually a classic case of newbie blindness, where people start looking for the complicated answer when it’s right in front of their noses.  If this happens to you, look for simple fixes, such as clicking the down arrow in your Groups field where it says “My Groups” within the Textarea box.  Your groups will drop down and you can select the one you want.)

groups drop down

When it comes to your groups not appearing in your Message inbox, here’s a more reliable solution:

    1. Click on your “Add Services” tab in your Message Box
    2. Click on the “Streams” tab
    3. Find the group you want in your “Streams” listings, and click the corresponding “Add” button over on the far, right-hand side

streams tab

Q:  “Why can’t I find and add my Facebook groups?” 

A:  If you can’t find your groups in “Add/Edit Services”,  direct add them through Facebook from this link.

You will be walked through the process of locating and easily adding your groups.

add groups from Facebook

Q: “Why doesn’t the link preview appear when I post to LinkedIn groups via Sendible?

A: The problem is with LinkedIn’s API.  There is nothing that can be done from Sendible’s end (though LinkedIn is in the process of making changes).

In spite of the occasional issue, Sendible Groups can provide a powerful tool to those concerned about maintaining a strong presence on social networks.

Step 3. Sending SMS Text Messages to Your Group

Not only can you email groups via Sendible, you can send text messages too.

When you are setting up a new Group, it’s easy to add individual Contacts, one by one; then ensure your main method of contact will be SMS text messaging.

contact

Once you’ve entered the basic profile information, select the “Contact Information” slug.

contact information

When the “Contact Information” slug opens up for you to populate it, simply mark “SMS” as your contact preference for that individual.

SMS option

(The Sendible blog also features detailed instructions on how to opt-in SMS keywords.)

Step 4. Creating Branded Posts

One of the most exciting factors about Sendible is its ability to help you brand your business.  In fact, you can easily create branded posts from right within your Dashboard and link them to your Facebook Pages.

Here’s how:

  1. Go to your “Add/Edit Services” tab and select it
  2. Select the “Add Ons” tab and choose the option you want – either add Facebook Pages or buy the ability to put your own branding in place of “via Sendible”.

branding

If you’ve added a Facebook Page and branded it, be sure to “Save Settings”.  You will see a notification that your Facebook  Page has been successfully added.  Click “Ok”.

Step 5. Preserving a Blog Format When Copying and Pasting

Those who use blogging as a way to increase web identity and presence will particularly appreciate this tip from the Sendible Community Help forum.

To make sure Sendible preserves your blog format after you copy and paste blog content into your Message Box:

  1. Select “My Profile”.
  2. Scroll down to the “Preferences” slug
  3. Open it up and set your “Messaging Preference” to “Blogging”
  4. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click “Save”.

preserve blogging format

Step 6.  Setting Your Clock and URL Shortening Preferences

While you’re still in “My Profile”, open up the “Time Settings” slug and select the clock preference option that works best for you – twelve hour or twenty-four hour.

setting clock preferences

Before you leave “My Profile”, set your “URl Shortening” preferences too.

URL shortening

And, of course, make sure you “Save”.

Step 7.  Getting Help

There are so many features available with Sendible that you will almost certainly need to ask for assistance occasionally.  Fortunately, there are several ways to find the help you need, besides clicking on the “Help” link at the extreme top-right of your page.

help link

  1. Get in the habit of watching for the green tip popups at the top of your Sendible screen.

tips This is where you’ll find notifications about upcoming webinars, new features, changes and just plain old tips!

  1. Use “Live Chat”.  This option is not always available (depending on the time of day in your Time Zone) but when it is, you’ll see a black pop-up in the bottom right corner of your screen.

Click on it to speak immediately to a live operator via the Olark platform.

  1. Use the “Support” vertical tab on the right-hand side of your screen (powered by Zendesk).

Simply type in your question and hit the “Next” button to see the closest and related answers from the Sendible database.

support

  1. Refer to your Sendible User Manual

user manual

  1. Get into the habit of using Sendible forums.  Browse their data or ask questions.

What you don’t find in the User Manual or “Help” section, you’ll most likely find here!

forums

Finally, experiment!  Start using Sendible – if you make a “mistake”, help is never more than a tip away.

It may seem obvious, but the real key to putting the power of Sendible’s features to work for you  lies in getting to know and use your Dashboard.

all tabs in Sendible

Do this and it won’t be long before you have streamlined Sendible into the powerful tool it was meant to be for you and your branded business.

 

Sendible Social Media Management & Team Collaboration

Sendible Social Media Management & Team Collaboration

Sendible’s team management tools and abilities give it extra value to those who outsource, manage, serve or employ others.

Sendible’s Business Package includes up to four extra users. If you would like to add an extra user or two, you can simply pay an additional $17.50 per month.  This means that you can add a client as a user without upgrading to a larger plan.  (You can also manage permissions so that he doesn’t have access to private areas of your account.)

But it isn’t only clients you can include in your Sendible stable:  Create valuable team members from your employees or favorite, regular freelancers – team members who can take care of tasks for you, receiving as much or as little supervision and accountability as you wish.

Sharing is secure and easy, thanks to Sendible’s ability to assign or deny specific permissions for each of your users.  No passwords involved (except the Sendible password you create for them).

The types of permission granted can vary too:  You can assign strictly sharing privileges for specific social network accounts without having to share your password.  You can also grant administrative privileges, depending upon team needs.

One other useful feature that allows you to ensure quality and consistency of all posts and messages is the ability to approve team member content before it is posted.

Step 1. Creating Users and Assigning Permissions

First you need to grant your team member access to your Sendible account.

Logging into your account will automatically put you at your Dashboard. Click on the “My Users” tab, upper right-hand corner.

my users on Sendible

Once you’ve opened the User section, click on the Sharing tab.

sharing tab

 

Select “Create New User”.

new user tab

A popup will open up, asking you to fill in the user contact details and advising you how many user slots are left for you to fill.  Go ahead and fill in the details for this user.

user info screen

If they belong to a different company than yours (e.g. your new user is a freelancer who has their own company name) you can change the “Fullname/Company” field to reflect this.

Note that you can use a drop-down menu in the “Managed by” field to change the person who manages your user.

You can also select what user type category you wish to assign them from a drop-down menu – in this case, “Team Member”.  (Other categories are “Client” and “Administrator”.)

  • Use “Team Member” if you wish to restrict your employee or freelancer to specific areas, tasks and privileges.
  • Use “Administrator” if you wish your user to administer and have access to your entire account.

Step 2.  Editing the Workflow

One last action to take:  Slide your eyes down to “Approval Workflow” and decide whether or not you need to approve your new user’s content before it is published. If you wish to change this setting, select “edit”.

Finally, when you are satisfied the New User popup is filled out correctly, click the “Save” button.

approval screen

Note that you don’t necessarily have to be the one who oversees all team members’ work.  In fact, you can go back any time and edit “Approval Workflow” to assign management of other team members to someone else on your team.

content approved by screen

For example, let’s say you’re the Administrative Editor of a magazine, and you’ve become so busy, you’ve just hired Merlin Smith as your new Managing Editor.  You can then assign all writers you’ve added to your Sendible team to Merlin Smith.

He is now the person in your company who approves everything your writers submit or post.  You don’t even have to worry about who’s doing what.

Here’s how it works:

  • User/writer John Doe reports to Merlin Smith.
  • Managing Editor Merlin Smith reports directly to you.  Now you only deal with one person – not a dozen.  You are free to focus on making executive decisions for the magazine.

You can also set separate permissions for each user.  Click on the “My Users” tab.  Select your team member.

select team member

When the popup for that team member appears, select “Permissions” from the bottom tabs within the popup.

permissions screen

Another popup will open up.  You can check and uncheck the boxes in the upper portion to grant or deny access to available features such as reports, groups and SMS.

remove services procedure

You can also remove services available to that user by highlighting the service in the “Added Services” field, then using the backward arrow tab to send it over to your “Removed Services” field.

backward arrow tab screen

Your user will then no longer be able to access that particular Service.

(Remember to “Save User” when you’re finished editing permissions!)

Step 3. Assigning Messages

You can customize Sendible for your team members even further.  One way is to assign particular messages from your own Inbox to specific team members.

Go to your Message Box and open your Inbox.

inbox shot

Find the message you’d like to assign to a team member.

Without opening the message, mark the checkbox to its left, then click on the “Assign” tab, above it.

assign tab

You can then send a message to your team member, if you wish, letting her know what you’d like done with that particular message.  Once you’ve composed it, press the “Assign” button.

assign message

When you’ve finished assigning messages, you’ll see the company or position of each team member at the extreme right side of each message in your inbox.  This helps you know immediately if someone else is taking care of it for you.

assigned to screen

You can also assign or delete tasks through the “Tasks” folder on the left hand side of your message box.

Either way you do it, your team member will receive a message in their Inbox, letting them know a new task has been assigned to them.  (Be sure to remind them to press the “Mark Done” button when they’ve completed it.)

Step 4.  Who Does What

The beauty of Sendible is that you can instantly allow team members access to certain social networks and clients without having to share confidential passwords with them.  Simply assigning these Services to your team member will allow them access to specific clients, tasks and social networks and services when they log onto Sendible.

You can also assign team members to monitor different messages from your “Monitoring” tab in your Message box.

Just select the checkbox to the left of the message you want your team member to monitor and then click on the “Assign” tab and choose the appropriate team member.

Sendible monitoring screen

Step 5. Let your Team Members Know!

There is sometimes confusion reported among business owners on the subject of notifying team members they’ve been added to Sendible.

Once your team members are able to log onto Sendible the first time, they will be notified of tasks assigned, messages to monitor and more through their Sendible inbox.  When you first add them to Sendible itself, however, you will need to let your team member know this has been done, and provide each one with his or her unique login information.  (Sendible doesn’t send out external emails to let new users know you’ve added them.)

Your team member then can then access Sendible and see what tasks have been assigned to her, send and receive messages, and discover what other privileges she can access.

Let her know:

  • Who she will be answering to
  • Whether or not her content needs approval
  • Which tasks she is going to be responsible for

And anything else you need to tell her.

Two links you might find helpful as you first navigate your way around this incredible social Dashboard:  Sendible’s User Manual and YouTube Channel, where you’ll find twenty-three “how to” videos – including a Quick Start video.

Sendible can feel a little tricky at first, but once you’ve got a few functions under your belt and slip into the Sendible mindset, it should suddenly all click into place.  It sounds like hype to say it, but once you’ve set up your team protocols and assigned responsibilities, it will feel as if your team is virtually managing itself.

The key is good initial communication, so once you’ve got everyone on your team in sync with Sendible, you should notice less confusion, less stress and better communication all round.

 

Sendible Review and How to Get Started Guide

Sendible Review and How to Get Started Guide

Sendible is a social media analytics and message management dashboard.  It allows you to:

  • Keep track of social media, email and SMS campaigns
  • Keep up with significant RSS feeds at a glance
  • Organize yourself with a calendar
  • Manage team members and other users
  • Schedule messages and manage your online reputation

…all from one simple platform.

Its many benefits include saving you time and reducing the confusion of managing multiple platforms and users.  We reviewed many social media analytics and management platforms over the past few years. This one works best for us and our clients. So instead of a traditional review, we will actually walk you through the process of setting up so that you can try Sendible for yourself. Since there is a free trial there is no risk in checking it out for yourself. That’s what we did.

Step 1: Start the Process

Signing up is easy and there’s a “risk-free” thirty-day trial. Click on the sign up link in the top right menu bar.

sendible signup

A selection of plans at varying prices will immediately open up.

Read through the features provided with each plan, then click on the green “Start Trial” button for the particular plan that appeals to your needs.  (Don’t worry – you don’t have to part with your credit card details until the end of your free trial.)

If none of the plans quite fits your needs, contact a Sendible sales representative at 1-315-623-4480 to see if you can work out a custom plan.

Step 2. Complete Your Information

Once you’ve selected a plan and clicked on the green “Start Trial” button for that particular plan, you’ll be asked to provide your personal information.  Go ahead and enter your name and contact information.

enter your info

(Be sure to select the correct time zone for your region.)

Next, choose a username and password.

choose username and password

Finally, enter your company and team information.  Read the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

company info and team info

What You Need to Know about Cancelling or Upgrading

If you decide you need a lighter or heavier plan than the one you signed up for, you will not be stuck with the type of account you signed up with – upgrading to any paid plan is acceptable.

Once you do upgrade, you will be billed for the first month immediately via your credit card (payment is always one month in advance).

You can also upgrade or downgrade at any time – the change and new charge will take effect on your new billing cycle.

If you decide to cancel, you can do so at any time within your trial period. The date your free trial ends is displayed right underneath the black “Start Free Trial” button.

free trial end

To cancel: 

  1. Log into Sendible
  2. Select “My Account”
  3. Select “Cancel”

Cancellation is immediate and your account information is erased.  (It is not recoverable, so make sure you really want to do this.)

Step 3. Setting Up Your Account

Once you have selected the black “Start Free Trial” button, you will be asked to set up your profile.  You will notice straight away that your company name and URL have already been pre-populated in the Textarea boxes for you.

setup your account

You then have the choice of allowing Sendible to automatically begin searching social networks and web content for mentions of your business.  If you don’t wish Sendible to begin this process right now, ignore the black “Continue” button and select the “Do this later” link.

do this later

Check your email inbox for Sendible’s Activation letter.  You can activate immediately via the “Activate your account” button at the end of the letter or continue with setting up your social networks and activate your account next time you log in.


Step 4.  Adding Your Social Networks

If you’ve allowed Sendible to search for your networks, it will walk you through an easy set-up process for all your social networks.

You’ll see a screen straight away asking you to add your Twitter account.

adding your social network

Select the black “Continue to…” button to be taken to an authorization page, where you will click on the “Authorize app” button.

The moment you’ve done this, you will see a message on your screen for a few seconds letting you know the process is in progress.

redirecting back

When it has added Twitter to your profile, you will see the next social network set up screen; in this case,  Facebook.

Select the black “Continue to Facebook” button.

facebook connect

As with Twitter, you’ll be taken to the log-in page.  Enter your Facebook username and password.

Once you’ve done this, you’ll be asked to authorize the Sendible app.  Be sure to select exactly who to display Sendible posts to by using the drop-down menu under the default “Public” button.

Once you’ve selected your preferred Sendible/Facebook privacy setting, click on the “Go to App” button in the top-right corner.

facebook app access

You’ll be taken to another page asking you to allow Sendible to take various actions on your behalf in Facebook.  Click on “Allow” to give permission for all actions.

click to allow

If you don’t want to give permission for a particular action, simply click on the “X” to the right of that action description, and select “Don’t allow” from the drop-down menu.

don't allow button

Once you’ve clicked on the “Allow” button, Sendible will also prompt you to add your Facebook Pages, plus select Pages you like; all from your “Pages I admin…” drop-down menu.

add fb page

Step 5.  Adding Your Blog

Once you’ve added your social networks, Sendible will ask you to add your blog.  Your first action will be to select your blogging platform from the drop-down menu.

adding your blog

Once you’ve selected your blogging platform, add your log-in details.

your blog login details

Step 6.  Checking Your Summary

You’re almost there.  Sendible will now display a summary of all the social networks, pages, platforms and sites it has added.

setup complete

You can now continue on to your Dashboard.

Step 7.  Getting to Know Your Dashboard

This is where all the magic happens.  Note that you can compose messages in an area that looks very like a WordPress blog “Add Post” area, with very similar formatting options.

Sendible dashboard

On the left-hand vertical menu, you’ll find your feeds, calendar, and message monitoring and handling.  You’ll also be able to check the buzz about you and your brand, as well as assign tasks to your team. (Less expensive packages will not have all these options.)

The best way to learn all about these options is to play around with them and start using them:  But before you get to that stage, one last thing you’ll need to do is set up your Profile.

Click on the “My Profile” horizontal tab in the upper right hand corner.

my profile tab

This opens to a page that lets you edit your personal details (#1), subscriptions and other categories (#2).

your personal details

When you click on the tab for each category, these expand further, allowing you to take the following actions:

  1. Contact Details – In addition to the usual contact information such as company address, mobile number and website URL, this category also allows you to add a short bio
  2. Picture/Logo – Allows you to browser your computer and insert a 150 X 150 pixel headshot
  3. Time Settings – Allows you to not only edit your local time zone, but toggle between a 12-hour or a 24-hour clock
  4. Preferences – Allows you to switch between toggle view and list view, turn inline help tips on or off, preschedule automatic messages, pause scheduled messages, manage privacy and more
  5. Group Posting – Allows you to designate Sendible messages to either be published to your groups or sent as drafts
  6. Url Shortening – Allows you to provide the password and key for your favorite url shortener, which you select from a drop-down list.  (If you don’t use url shortening, simply leave all the fields blank.)
  7. Images – Allows you to select from Twitter, TwitPic or yFrog image shorteners
  8. Location – Allows you to enter your exact street address for Sendible’s location-based services to use.  (They promise it won’t be shared with any third parties!)
  9. Remote API Key – You can give your API key to third-party websites and applications, allowing them to interact on your behalf with Sendible.  Security-wise, this is a preferred alternative to giving other sites your password

When you’ve adjusted these categories to your satisfaction, be sure to press the “Save” button!

Step 8.  Add/Edit Services

Finally, if you access the “Add Services” tab in your top-left horizontal menu, you can also add bookmarks and other sites you regularly use, streams, blogs, brand and review monitoring and a whole host of other tools. (Simply select the services you want and “add” them.)

add and edit services

This is only just the beginning of your journey with Sendible, but already you will have seen how easy it is to get started. You’re well on your way to eliminating the clutter and confusion of multiple login details and folders while dancing between different platforms and sites.

Sendible makes it easy for you to manage all your communication and monitoring in one easy Dashboard.  When you are ready, you can try it for free today.

How to Add a Yahoo Signature Image

How to Add a Yahoo Signature Image

This video explains how to add a Yahoo signature image with a clickable link. Note that the video explains how to add the image to your Yahoo signature using the new Yahoo email interface. The directions for the Yahoo Classic email interface is different.

How to Add an Image with Hyperlink to Your Gmail Signature

How to Add an Image with Hyperlink to Your Gmail Signature

Google doesn’t always make it clear on how to add images to Gmail signatures. This tutorial will walk you through the exact steps on how to add an image or images to your Gmail signature.

Watch the video below to get started:

 

 

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