Archive | September 2016

Quote of the Day

“An essential attribute of a good conversationalist is to be an equally good listener”


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3 Takeaways From the Brand ManageCamp Conference

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By John Hall

It’s only September, and we’ve already seen some great marketing conferences this year. Personally, I’m the kind of guy who loves these events, and I love recommending conferences for entrepreneurs to attend. The people, the insights, the energy — it’s a perfect combination for my personality.
When I was a younger entrepreneur, I thought I had to attend all these events myself and work constantly so I never missed an opportunity. I traveled all over the country to go to events and meetings, aiming to learn about industry trends.
But as I’ve gotten older and my company has grown, I’ve realized I don’t have to attend every event myself. I’ve got a team full of people who are just as excited about in-person conferences and company growth as I am.
So this month, one of my VPs headed to Las Vegas for the annual Brand ManageCamp conference. We’d heard good things about the event from a variety of past attendees, and I’ve held webinars with the conference CEO, so I know he’s good about aligning content with what his audience is looking to learn. When we saw the awesome speaker lineup that addressed so many relevant marketing and branding topics, we knew we had to experience it ourselves.
The Lineup
Every speaker had something unique to offer, but my VP noted that Brian Solis and Ann Handley were especially inspiring. Brian’s experience as a digital strategist, an award-winning author, and a blogger came together really well, and he shared a valuable perspective on branding.
Your brand isn’t the colors you use, your logo, or your brand promise statement. Your brand is how you interact and communicate with your audience through content. It’s more about the experience and relationship you develop with your audience than any color you use.
That’s not to say that logos and colors aren’t important, but the way you present your brand and interact with people in the context of their own values is what really matters. He described a low battery, poor Wi-Fi, a weak cell signal, and loading bars as the Four Horsemen of the Modern Apocalypse and explained that these small disturbances rain judgment down on your brand.
Ann left out the horses and focused more on the current state of content marketing. She’s the chief content officer at MarketingProfs, so she understands the difference between “good content” and “good enough content.” She touched on the pressure a lot of brands face when they’re trying to determine the volume, frequency, and quality of their content. Now, it’s not impossible to execute a strategy of frequent, high-quality content — you just need to dedicate resources or hire a partner to help make it happen.
She also took the opportunity to remind attendees that everything they produce and publish is content. Product descriptions, blog posts, social updates — it’s all content, and it should all work together to reinforce your brand. One wrong move can ruin the effectiveness of everything you’ve accomplished.
The Takeaways
I’ve talked before about content triggers, and industry conferences are a gold mine for them. Every workshop, keynote, panel discussion, and conversation you have at a conference with people in your industry (and audience) has the potential to inspire content. That’s why my VP wrote down some of his key takeaways from the Brand ManageCamp conference in our company knowledge bank to share with our audience.
1. Commit to the climb.
No one at the top of Mount Everest made it there by accident. Commitment to the journey and consistency through setbacks is key. Mark Sanborn presented this idea in his talk, and it’s just as essential for brands as it is for mountain climbers.
Mark’s talk reminded the audience of the importance of being true to their brands. Like Ann mentioned, everything you create and publish is part of your brand. Every bit of communication and messaging should reflect the brand and voice you’re trying to establish — and it takes commitment and consistency to achieve.
2. Don’t crash the party.
3 Reasons to Start Your Business Immediately
10 Convincing Reasons to Consider Servant Leadership, According to Research
A Purpose-Driven Work Force
How to Use Webinars to Quickly Convert Paid Traffic Into Paying Customers
Actually, There Are 5 Different Ways Something Can Go Viral
The 4.3 Billion User Marketplace You Can’t Afford to Ignore
Your customers get to decide how they interact with brands. It’s their party, and they create the guest list. Get to know how your brand fits into your customers’ world and how it’s valuable to them — only then can you request an invite. It takes a commitment, not just a campaign-level effort, to being present where it matters most to your audience so you won’t be forced to drop in uninvited.
True engagement and influence can’t be purchased like PPC or traditional ads; authentic connection requires offering value. Understand what content from your brand engages your audience, soothes their paint points, and speaks their language.
3. Practice what you preach.
You’ve probably heard it before, but it’s still true: Marketing has a marketing problem. We’ve started to see more marketers drop the ball when it comes to selling their own C-suites on content, including explaining what they’re doing, why it’s valuable, and why executive involvement is vital.
If you’re selling to clients, you already know how to get someone on board with your services. Use a similar approach internally. Clearly communicate your goals, strategy, metrics, and ROI, just as you would to a customer or client. If it’s good enough for them, it should be good enough for you.
Remember, you don’t have to go to every conference yourself. If something seems like it could be worth your while, but your schedule is too hectic to fit it in, get an interested colleague to go and report back on it. The report on Brand ManageCamp: You should definitely consider it for your 2017 conference schedule.

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How to Land Your First Job Using Social Media

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By Sarah Dawley

After graduating college I remember dramatically throwing myself onto my (mother’s) couch and complaining about my unsuccessful job hunt.

“Every ‘entry level’ job wants ‘one to three years of experience’ but how are you supposed to GET experience if you can’t get an entry level job?!” I wailed.

Not only did I lack a wealth of job experience to back me up, I felt like my resume looked virtually identical to the resumes of everyone I graduated with. With my endless supply of free time, I began spending a lot of time on social media (Twitter in particular), following people in my industry who I thought I could at least learn from.

By developing these relationships, participating in conversations, and sharing content, I was unknowingly building a personal brand that filled the void of experience that my resume lacked.

As a result, I’ve had three jobs that can be directly attributed to Twitter—and each one happened in a different way. I used Twitter to build a relationship with someone who eventually became my business partner. I applied for a job I found in a Tweet and ended up moving across the country for it. And most recently, I reached out to someone I followed who worked at a company I wanted to work for (called Hootsuite) and they were able to put me in touch with a hiring manager.

Here’s what I’ve learned about landing a job using social media, and tips for how you can use it to demonstrate your own ambition, common sense, and curiosity—qualities that any employer should always be on the lookout for.

1. Make yourself discoverable

Recruiters use social media the same way everyone else does: for creeping people. When a potential employer searches your name, you want to be able to control what they find as much as possible.

Here are some tips for fine-tuning the SEO of your personal brand:

  • Make sure the name you use on your resume matches the name you use on your social media profiles.
  • If and when possible, use the same handle across all your social networks.
  • Ensure your profiles (especially LinkedIn) have the most up-to-date information about yourself on them. Using the same profile image consistently across each social network can make it easier for people to find you as well.
  • Create a personal website. Even the most simple site can increase the searchability of your name. Kissmetrics suggests creating a separate “profile page” on your site, (using  your name in the URL if possible) and having all of your social profiles link to this page. Services like Squarespace or Wix can make this really easy  to do.
  • If you don’t want to create a full blown website for yourself, Sumry is a webapp that allows you build a beautiful online resume that can also easily be downloaded as a PDF.

2. Balance the personal and professional

You may think you’re covering all your bases by having a squeaky clean social media profile that you link to on your resume and “private” accounts that you use to chronicle all your weekend debauchery. But nothing—I repeat, nothing—you post on social media is private. The day will come when you overlook a crucial privacy setting on Facebook, post something to the wrong account, get tagged in an embarrassing photo, or have a mutual friend in common with your new boss that makes your profile more accessible to them than you’d like it to be.

Instead of leading a double life, try to strike a balance between your professional and personal self on all your social media profiles. Don’t hide your sense of humor or quirky interests, but don’t post anything you’d be embarrassed by a potential boss seeing. This will help protect your reputation online while giving potential employers a glimpse of your personality—something that can help show them you’ll be a good culture fit for the company.

As Hootsuite’s CEO has said himself: “I do think the tide is turning and more people—and employers—are starting to understand that it’s okay to show emotion, vulnerability, joy, silliness, and the whole gamut of human experience on social media. The charade that we’re perfect little worker bees is giving way to an acknowledgement of the complexity and humanity that everyone brings to the table. This kind of honesty makes for a more open and more fulfilling office culture. It builds trust in a profound way.”

3. Write like you mean it

With 44 percent of hiring managers saying that a proficiency in writing is a top skill missing among recent college graduates, how you write on social media is an important reflection of your potential abilities.

You don’t need to Tweet as if you’re a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, but brush up on your spelling and grammar skills, use punctuation properly, and put some effort into the things you write. It won’t go unnoticed.

A great way of showing off your writing chops aside from your cover letter is by publishing posts on LinkedIn Pulse. To get ideas on what to write, browse through some of the most popular posts. Write from your unique perspective as a recent graduate and share your insights about the industry you’re hoping to work in.

4. Get your search on

Along with browsing sites like LinkedIn or Monster, monitoring Twitter is another great way to use social media to find potential job opportunities. Your best bet is to monitor both industry-specific hashtags (#prjobs, for example, is all about job postings for PR and communications) and location-specific hashtags (#austinjobs, #yyzjobs, etc).

Set up search streams in Hootsuite for these hashtags and you’ll be able to see a constant stream of Tweets related to the types of jobs you’re looking for. You can even geo-target the search results so that you only see Tweets posted from within a certain area.

How to Land Your First Job Using Social Media | Hootsuite Blog

  • Click “Add Stream” in your Hootsuite dashboard.
  • Enter your hashtag in the “search query” field under the “Search” tab.

How to Land Your First Job Using Social Media | Hootsuite Blog

  • Geo-target your search by clicking on the arrow in the search query field. It will automatically populate with the coordinates of your current location.

How to Land Your First Job Using Social Media | Hootsuite Blog

  • You can search within a larger area by editing the search radius (which is highlighted here).

5. Make real connections with real people

Instead of sending five emails a day to whom it may concern, social media gives you the opportunity to identify and connect with a real human being who can help move your job search along.

Introducing yourself on social media to a recruiter or hiring manager helps put a face to the name on your resume and keep you top of mind when new opportunities emerge. If introducing yourself to a stranger on social media apropos of nothing isn’t your thing, here are two ways you can ease into networking on social media (while learning a lot in the process).

Twitter Chats

Participate in Twitter chats about the industry you’re hoping to work in. Ask questions and try even sharing some answers when you feel comfortable doing so. Twitter chats are a great educational resource and an even better networking opportunity. Follow the people participating and introduce yourself. Thank people for their insights and ask if they’d be willing to answer any additional questions you may have.

LinkedIn Groups

Joining and participating in groups will allow you to learn directly from professionals in your field, make online connections that could turn into offline opportunities, and increase your visibility on LinkedIn for recruiters and hiring managers.

Browse through the directory of LinkedIn Groups and join a few that you think could benefit you in your job search. Join in on discussions and share relevant content you think the group would appreciate.

Most importantly, check out the “Jobs” tab in each group you join. This is different than the main “Jobs” section of LinkedIn, giving you access to job postings that are tailored for that specific group.

How to Land Your First Job Using Social Media | Hootsuite Blog
The “Jobs” tab is located under the box where you compose messages in your LinkedIn group. Screenshot via LinkedIn.

6. Aim for an informational interview

Along with recruiters and hiring managers, use social media to build relationships with people who can offer long term guidance and open the door for future opportunities.

An informational interview (which is just a fancy term for a conversation) is a way for you to get valuable insights into a particular company or industry and advice for beginning your career. Whether you chat in person, on the phone, or via email, these conversations will help turn your online connections into meaningful offline relationships.

You may instinctively want to aim for high-level executives but don’t ignore the people who are five years or less into their careers. They were in your situation more recently and may be able to offer you more practical advice as a result (plus, their schedules will be a lot more accommodating).

7. Have patience

Building a network, creating relationships, and propelling your career forward will take time—and it won’t always work. You’ll reach out to people and get rejected. You’ll nail a cover letter and never get a call back. You’ll go for an interview and you won’t get the job.

The good news is that social media moves at a lightning pace, meaning there are new opportunities popping up every day. Continue investing time and energy into your personal brand and relationships on social media, and you’re bound to reap the benefits.

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20 of the Best Google Chrome Extensions for Social Media Marketers


Check out this list of 20 of the best Google Chrome extensions for social media marketers, and start saving some valuable time and effort at work.

Useful Google Chrome extensions

1. Momentum

Sitting down at work and firing up your computer only to be faced with an overflowing inbox isn’t the best way to start your day. This extension offers a beautiful way to get in the right headspace before getting bogged down with scheduling posts, replying to followers, monitoring hashtags, creating new content, and everything else a busy social media manager is responsible for on a daily basis.

18 of the Best Google Chrome Extensions for Social Media Marketers | Hootsuite Blog

The Momentum extension replaces your “new tab” homepage with a gorgeous new photo every day along with a personalized greeting. Momentum also allows you to set one main goal for the day and keep track of a longer to-do list, helping you stay focused throughout the day. You’ll see the local weather in the top right corner, a list of links you frequently visit to the left, and a motivational quote at the bottom of the page.

2. StayFocusd

Just because social media managers get paid to be on the sites that other people use to waste time doesn’t mean they don’t suffer from bouts of intense procrastination elsewhere on the web. Thankfully, technology can be a source of discipline as much as it is a source of distraction.

18 of the Best Google Chrome Extensions for Social Media Marketers | Hootsuite Blog

StayFocusd is an extension that limits the amount of time you can spend on certain websites (a.k.a. the ones that you visit instead of doing work). Once you’ve used up your allotted time, you can’t visit the site again for the rest of the day. You can get pretty granular with what you choose to block as well, whether it’s an entire site, a specific page, or even certain types of content like videos, games, or images.

3. Evernote Web Clipper

Social media managers typically have to switch between their creative and strategic hats throughout the day, often needing to wear them at the same time. Jumping back and forth between these two dynamics during a busy day can cause even the most organized person to feel a little frayed. Enter: Evernote.

18 of the Best Google Chrome Extensions for Social Media Marketers | Hootsuite Blog

The Evernote Web Clipper extension allows you to clip any article or web page and save it in one place. Alongside the notes and to-do lists that you can create in Evernote itself, this extension allows you to pull in key text from any website or article you find while doing research online. This is also a great way for you to collect content to share on social without having to keep 20 tabs open all day.

4. Grammarly

Publishing a post with a spelling mistake is a nightmare for social media managers—and rightly so. While the occasional error happens to everyone from time to time, consistent mistakes can damage your brand’s credibility. Grammarly can help catch them all, including the mistakes that manage to evade the usual red squiggly line: an incorrect verb tense, a missing article before a plural noun, or the misuse of a comma.

18 of the Best Google Chrome Extensions for Social Media Marketers | Hootsuite Blog

The Grammarly extension can catch over 250 types of errors, many of which aren’t typically caught by spellcheckers. Along with catching your mistakes, Grammarly can actually help you write better overall, by offering synonym suggestions in line with the context of what you’re writing.

5. Figure it Out

The biggest challenge when working globally often has nothing to do with language barriers or cultural nuances—it’s figuring out what time it is in a different region without doing the math on your fingers under your desk.

18 of the Best Google Chrome Extensions for Social Media Marketers | Hootsuite Blog

The Figure it Out extension allows you to add up to 10 time zones to your “new tab” screen, which should help make scheduling posts or setting up meetings with different regions super easy. Figure it Out also displays regional national holidays, so you can avoid posting your best social content on a day when no one will be paying attention.

6. LastPass

Update 6/15: Lastpass just got hacked. Change your master passwords!

Social media marketers often run into the problem of wanting to share access to an account, be it a social network, SEO tool, Google analytics, WordPress or any other piece of software, without actually telling team members their passwords. Rather than change the password (and have to memorize a new one or insecurely write it down), LastPass allows you to share access with your team without actually giving them your password.

That’s only the beginning for this free password manager. LastPass operates on a ‘master password’ system, where as long as you remember one key password, the extension will store all of your other login information and autofill it for you when you arrive on a login page. It can also generate secure passwords, to help you avoid reusing the same ones over and over again, or resorting to the terrible “123ABC” level of password amateurism. And, should a team member quit or change positions, you can also remove access to a password you’ve shared with them. In these ways, LastPass offers a massive boost to your online security.

7. OneTab

Many social media professionals and marketers spend a lot of time scouring the web for great content, and even more time slowly reading through it. On an average work day, I used to have anywhere between five and ten tabs open to blog posts, news articles, videos and other pieces of content. That’s on top of the seven or eight other tabs I had open. I would lose things in the mess of tabs and end up just closing a majority of the articles without ever reading them. It was slow and unsustainable, which is why finding the OneTab extension was such a godsend.

Best Google Chrome Extensions - OneTab Screenshot

When you find yourself with too many tabs open, click on the OneTab icon. All of those tabs will close, but be saved into a list of URLs within a single tab. You can restore them all individually when you feel like reading or opening something, or restore them all at once. You can also export and share that list of links with colleagues or friends. And even if you close Chrome entirely, OneTab will save all of those links for the next time you open it up.

Not only does OneTab add order to the chaos, it also can save you up to 95% of memory within Google Chrome, making your browsing experience faster.

8. Pinterest Pin It Button

I have a Pinterest problem. The problem is that I don’t spend much time on Pinterest. At the same time, I recognize how important it is for a lot of people, and I want to be active on the social network as a poster, even if I’m not a browser. That’s where the Pinterest Pin It Button comes in.

Best Google Chrome Extensions - Pinterest PinIt

The extension throws that little ‘p’ logo into the top of your browser—reminding you to pin things. Then it facilitates that process by automatically pulling up images from whatever page you’re visiting, and allowing you to pin the image of your choice to the board of your choice. You can also edit the description and add any context you feel is important.

If the tiny icon isn’t enough of a reminder, as you scroll through a page hovering over an image will bring up a tiny ‘Pin it’ button which you can click to the same effect as the extension.

9. Share to Facebook and 10. Save to Facebook

Facebook introduced two new Chrome extensions in June 2016. With the Save extension, you can easily save articles, videos, products, and other links while browsing the web. With the Share extension, you can share any link on the web to your timeline, a friend’s timeline, Groups, Events, Messenger, and on Pages you manage.

11. RiteTag Social Media Optimizer

Ever wonder which hashtag you should be using for a certain event or story? Are you unsure about whether adding a certain hashtag will add value to your messaging? Tracking and comparing hashtags or dumping them into your analytics platform can be time-consuming, especially when you’re sending out 10 or 20 Tweets in a single day. Get that time back with the RiteTag Social Media Optimizer.

 Image via RiteTag
Image via RiteTag

The RiteTag Extension provides analytics on the hashtags you use as your write your social media messaging. The six analytics categories appear right within your compose box, offering real-time insight into the hashtag’s usage within Tweets, the number of times it has been retweeted, its reach, and more. Your hashtags will also be color-coded based on their value (green is worth using, red not so much). RiteTag can even provide you with the handles of influencers who use your hashtag, so you can connect with the leading sources on that topic.

12. Search in a Giphy

As social media professionals, we probably appreciate a good gif more than most people. Gifs aren’t an “all-the-time” thing, but when opportunity strikes and you can find the perfect gif for the situation, you can increase engagement and click-through on your social media messaging.

Image via Search in a Giphy
Image via Search in a Giphy

The Search in a Giphy extension focuses in on the “finding” part of that formula, making it easy to search for gifs from within your Gmail, Facebook, Twitter and Slack accounts. Find the right gif, and either drag and drop it into your message or right click and grab the image URL. No need to leave the tab or window.

13. Rapportive

Even though social media marketers are very active on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social networks, many of our interactions inevitably still happen within email. Though you’d like to get a conversation going on social media, you’re often stuck doing the delayed email back-and-forth, especially with new contacts.

Best Google Chrome Extensions - Rapportive Screenshot

The Rapportive extension helps to bridge that gap by providing you with valuable information about email contacts—including their social media profiles. If someone sends you an email, Rapportive will gather their information in the sidebar of your Gmail account. You can then easily add them as a contact on LinkedIn or follow them on Twitter.

14. MozBar

Search engine optimization, or SEO, is a huge part of successful content marketing. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most misunderstood parts. People new to SEO often find the tools to be complicated or too advanced, and their content suffers as a result.

MozBar results for a search on social media advertising
MozBar results for a search on social media advertising

The MozBar extension offers a simple alternative for people just starting out with SEO. Within Google search, this extension allows you to see the Page Authority and Domain Authority of any links. You can also click “Page Analysis” to get a list of inbound links to any piece of content. This is valuable for marketers looking to track links back to their blog posts or webpages.

15. Check My Links

You’ve just built your brand new blog post. You publish it and immediately push it out over Facebook and Twitter. Then you get your first comment: “The link in the second paragraph is broken.” Damnit.

We’ve all dealt with broken links at one time or another. They’re frustrating for you as a content creator, and for your followers who, rightly, expect better. We’re all human, we all make mistakes, which is why we sometimes need a robot that doesn’t.

Screenshot via Check My Links
Screenshot via Check My Links

The Check My Links extension for Chrome does exactly what the name says: it checks all the links on your webpage. Any broken links are highlighted in red, so you can go in and fix them before you send your content out into the world.

16. Page Analytics by Google

Every business with an online presence can benefit from knowing how customers interact with their website. Not everyone has the technical knowledge to find this information out however. If you want to know what your page visitors click and what they ignore, install Page Analytics by Google.

Best Google Chrome Extension - Page Analytics

Similar to the MozBar for SEO, Page Analytics by Google is great for people who are just starting to track the performance of their blogs or websites. The insights it provides offer a valuable analytics snapshot that can help guide your website layout and user experience. Plus, information on active page visitors, pageviews, bounce rate and more can help you shape your editorial strategy and social media promotion. This extension brings some of the best features of Google Analytics right onto the page for you.

17. Hangouts

Social media marketers tend to be chatty. We’re constantly talking with colleagues, clients and friends, often within Google Hangouts. With that in mind, Google created a Hangouts extension, so you can keep on chatting without needing to actually be in your Gmail inbox.

Reviews of the extension are mixed, with many people saying it’s buggy, so you may not want to depend on it for important business calls, for example. But as a tool to run in the background while you work, and notify you when a colleague sends you a message, the Hangouts extension is a great asset.

18. Chrome Remote Desktop

If social media marketers were Greek warriors, tech and internet problems would be our Achilles Heel. When IT problems arise, it can ruin your webinar, throw off your posting schedule, or frustrate customers who expect a timely social media response. In these moments, being able to quickly solve your tech issues is essential. Chrome’s Remote Desktop extension can be a life-saver during that process.

Image via Google
Image via Google

Chrome Remote Desktop allows you to hand over the reigns to your computer remotely, through Google Chrome. You can reach out to a trusted individual or company that you think can resolve your IT issues, and then give them control of your computer—even from across the country. Chrome ensures that this access is secured, and only the person you specifically identify can access your computer on that one occasion. No more rushing from your home office to the computer store. No annoying time delays. A huge asset for social media marketers.

19. Millennials to Snake People

If you work in social media, you are exposed to the word millennials an average of 26 times per day. That is, of course, a completely fabricated statistic, but you get the idea. With so much social media discussion and content focused on this highly overused generational moniker, sometimes we all just need a break. And now, there’s an app for that.

Image via Millennials to Snake People
Image via Millennials to Snake People

The ingenious Millennials to Snake People Chrome extension replaces any text using “millennials” with “Snake People.” The results are hilarious, and result in such headlines as “Dear Snake People, We’re Sorry” and “Why Snake People Don’t Want You to Talk Like Them.” This app might not exactly help you in your job, but it will give you a much needed laugh once in a while. And, I can tell you from personal experience, it’s a lot less imposing than the Cloud to Butt Plus extension.

20. Hootlet

A time-saving social media tool like no other. We may be biased when it comes to Hootlet but that’s because we use it day in and day out for our own work. The Hootlet, at its basic level, is a social media publishing extension. It allows you to share the webpage (yes, that’s any webpage) you’re on across your social networks.

It saves you time, not only by removing the need to switch between tabs or windows and copy and paste information, but also by pre-populating your social media message with the page title and URL. From the extension you can edit social media messages, attach images, and schedule them or send them right away.

Learn how to get even more out of Hootsuite with free social media training from Hootsuite Academy.

On top of all that, Hootlet integrates itself seamlessly into the rest of your web surfing experience. On Google search, the extension allows you to bring up social conversations about your specific search topic. On Google maps, Hootlet can bring up Tweets from people within a short distance of any location you choose. On content networks like Google image search, YouTube, Flickr, Twitter, Facebook, and more, a Hootlet button will appear so you can easily share that content to your own social channels.

Google Maps search for Sochi, Russia, with Hootlet results

We use the hell out of the Hootlet every single day. You don’t have to trust us though.

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7 Ways to Make Extra Income Even With a Full-Time Job

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by Taboola

Is your dwindling bank account impacting your health? The American Psychological Association (APA) released a survey showing that money stress impacts Americans’ health nationwide. And, as it turns out, the wealthy are also stressed about money — not just those in lower-income households.

You can eliminate some of that financial stress by earning extra income, even if you have a full-time job. Steve Chou of MyWifeQuitHerJob famously started two six-figure businesses while continuing to work at his day job.
Whether you’re looking for cash to launch your startup or make new investments with, or dig out from mounting debt, a few hundred to a few thousand dollars a month can change your life. Here’s how to get started.

1. Start a service business.

Launching a service business can be done without a large network, an online presence or much overhead. The easiest way to start is by telling people in your existing network what you’re offering and asking them to spread the word.

Noah Kagan from AppSumo nailed this concept. He decided to see if he could earn $1,000 in 24 hours, starting from scratch. He ended up founding a successful beef jerky subscription business that he gave to one of his students to run.

You can steal his concept, with a business like dinner catering, freelance writing or online marketing. Start by crafting a killer outreach email to get yourself up and running in just a few days.

Related: 105 Service Businesses to Start Today

2. Invest in real estate.

Becoming a landlord isn’t always practical for those who are employed full-time and already strapped for cash. But you can look at buying a condo or small property in another country as a vacation getaway instead. The price tag is typically cheaper, even when you hire a local property management group to manage renters while you’re away.

Commercial real estate can also be a lucrative way to invest and earn passive income, even without a large down payment. Get started with a site like Realty Mogul, and invest in commercial real estate for as little as $5,000. You’ll get vetted deals and access to high-end listings you wouldn’t otherwise find.

Read This: The Book on Investing In Real Estate with No (and Low) Money Down by Brandon Turner | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

3. Launch an online resource.

Share your expertise by launching an online ebook or course to help others while you earn passive income. My own ebook, 100 Days of Growth, ended up generating more income than my day job. It was a ton of up-front work, but once it was ready to go, it took minimal effort to maintain and to keep up with sales.

If writing ebooks isn’t your strong suit, launch a video course or bootcamp instead. I didn’t stop at books — I also launched a content marketing bootcamp through to help my clients master content-marketing abilities in 10 weeks.

Read This: Start Your Own eLearning or Training Business by The Staff at Entrepreneur Media and Ciree Linsenmann | Amazon | | Barnes & Noble

4. Leverage the power of Amazon.

It’s always an admirable goal to launch your own online store and build a customer base, but you’re also talking about wearing many different hats. You need to research products, find a manufacturer, market your site and figure out how to fulfill orders. Don’t forget about customer service and refund requests.

Instead, you could sell a product and develop a presence directly on Amazon without the need to take on so many roles. Some sellers even have their products shipped directly to Amazon’s fulfillment center and never touch the product itself.

Read This: amazon FBA: Step-By-Step Instruction To Start A Fulfillment By Amazon Business by Robert C. Hawthorn

5. Join the sharing economy.

It’s not hard to nail down a few hundred to thousands of dollars a month by leveraging the sharing economy. But it’s not just about renting out your spare bedroom or basement on Airbnb. Rent out your car on Turo and bike to work or carpool instead. Rent out your camera equipment lying around your house on Cameralends, your snowboard or bike on Spinlister or your sailboat on Sailo.

And if you are going to rent on Airbnb, consider helping your revenue skyrocket by renting out your entire house instead, and using the opportunity to visit family or go on vacation.

6. Host an event.

You can make money hosting events without aiming for thousands of sign-ups, vendors and high-profile guest speakers. Instead, form a free MeetUp group on a topic you’re knowledgeable about, like growth hacking, and run free events.

After you secure a loyal following, charge for an event with a reputable guest speaker. Rent out a small, upscale conference room at a nearby hotel, and grow your new MeetUp by hosting exclusive, sought-after events that charge a premium for fantastic content.

7. Get paid to do what you’re already doing

Take inventory of what you’re doing in your free time. People who love skydiving (like me!) can get certified to teach and do jumps on the weekend. You get to do what you love while earning extra money at the same time. Ask your local bar if you can help run its trivia night, or bartend a few nights a week while hanging out and getting to talk to interesting people.

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10 Benefits of Social Media for Business


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By Emily Copp

 If you’re wondering how social media can benefit your business, look no further. We’ve outlined key points below.

1. Gain valuable customer insights

Social media generates a huge amount of data about your customers in real time. Every day there are over 500 million Tweets, 4.5 billion Likes on Facebook, and 95 million photos and videos uploaded to Instagram. Behind these staggering numbers is a wealth of information about your customers—who they are, what they like, and how they feel about your brand.

Through daily active engagement and social listening, you can gather relevant customer data and use that information to make smarter business decisions. With Hootsuite Insights, for example, you can gather information across all your social networks in real time—allowing you to gauge customer sentiment, find the conversations happening around your brand, and run real-time reports.

Bonus: Download a free guide that reveals how to increase social media engagement through better audience research and customer targeting.

2. Increase brand awareness and loyalty

When you have a presence on social media, you make it easier for your customers to find and connect with you. And by connecting with your customers on social, you’re more likely to increase customer retention and brand loyalty. A study by The Social Habit shows that 53 percent of Americans who follow brands on social are more loyal to those brands.

Learn how to connect with customers like never before at Connect via Hootsuite, our virtual conference. Register for free to learn how to use social media at every stage of the buyer’s journey—from engagement and brand awareness, to driving leads and closing sales.


3. Run targeted ads with real-time results

Social ads are an inexpensive way to promote your business and distribute content. They also offer powerful targeting options so that you can reach the right audience. For example, if you run an ad campaign on LinkedIn, you can segment by things like location, company, job title, gender, and age—the list goes on. If you’re running a Facebook ad, you can target based on location, demographics, interests, behaviors, and connections. You can track and measure the performance of your social ads in real time.

4. Generate higher converting leads

Social media increases sales and customer retention through regular interaction and timely customer service. In the 2015 Sales Best Practices Study from research institute MHI Global, world-class companies rated social media as the most effective way to identify key decision makers and new business opportunities. In the State of Social Selling in 2015, nearly 75 percent of companies that engaged in selling on social media reported an increase in sales in 12 months.

5. Provide rich customer experiences

Even if you aren’t on social media, most of your customers expect you to be. Over 67 percent of consumers now go to social media for customer service. They expect fast response times and 24/7 support—and companies that deliver win out. A study by Aberdeen Group shows that companies engaging in social customer service see much bigger annual financial gains (7.5 percent YOY growth) vs. those without (2.9 percent).


6. Increase website traffic and search ranking

One of the biggest benefits of social media for business is using it to increase your website traffic. Not only does social media help you direct people to your website, but the more social media shares you receive, the higher your search ranking will be. For example, if every person who follows Hootsuite on Twitter Retweets this post, it’s more likely to rank higher in Google’s search engine results page for variations of “social media for business.”

7. Find out what your competitors are doing

With social media monitoring you can gain key information about your competitors. This kind of intel will allow you to make strategic business decisions to stay ahead of them. For example, you can create search streams in Hootsuite to monitor industry keywords and mentions of your competitors’ names and products. Based on your search results, you can improve your business to offer product enhancements, service, or content that they may be missing.

8. Share content faster and easier

In the past, marketers faced the challenge of ensuring their content reached customers in the shortest possible time. With the help of social media, specifically when it comes to sharing content about your business or for content curation, all you need to do is share it on your brand’s social network accounts.

9. Geotarget content

Geo-targeting is an effective way to send your message out to a specific audience based on their location. Social networks like Facebook and Twitter have tools that allow you to communicate the right kind of content to your audience. For example, in Hootsuite you can target Twitter messages to followers in specific countries, or send messages from Facebook and LinkedIn company pages to specific groups based on geographical and demographic parameters.  You can also use Hootsuite geotargeting to find conversations relevant to your brand.

10. Build relationships

Social media isn’t about blasting your company’s sales pitch on social, it’s a two-way channel where you have the opportunity to enrich relationships with your customers. For example, social media allows tourism brands to create dialogue with travellers, therefore creating relationships with customers before, during, and after they have booked a trip with the company. This kind of social media dialogue between brands and customers is something traditional advertising cannot achieve.

Get started on social to grow your business

Social media has a treasure trove of benefits to help you grow your business. By using it to learn more about your customers, engage with your audience, and extend your brand reach, you’ll be converted before you know it.

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