Archive for November, 2012

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.