Social Media 101: Klout

Posted by Clayton Smith on November 1, 2011

“Social Media 101” is a series for social media beginners where we discuss the basics of social media marketing. Today, we explore the social media influence measurement tool Klout.

Klout is a program that analyzes and scores a person’s online influence through social media networks, such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Klout uses a secret algorithm in order to determine the strength of each person’s sphere of influence on a scale of 0-100. A low Klout score means a lower level of influence; a higher score means a higher influential impact. Klout arrives at its score by measuring True Reach (how many people you influence), Amplification (how much you influence those people), and Network Impact (the influence of your network). The more active and responsive you are on social networks, the higher your Klout score is likely to climb.

Klout is currently able to draw social media influence variables from 12 networks, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Foursquare, and YouTube. The more networks a person links to his personal Klout page, the more accurate the Klout score becomes.

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Topics: 101, facebook, Foursquare, google+, google plus, gremln, klout, linkedin, Marketing, ROI, social media, Social Media Education, twitter

Social Snafu -- Recovering from a social media marketing faux pas

Posted by Clayton Smith on October 25, 2011

It’s every social media manager’s nightmare. One tweet taken out of context. One Facebook post with a catastrophic grammatical error. One good-natured joke that offends legions of social media users. One accidental check-in at the strip club down the street on your company’s Foursquare account instead of your own. Before you know it, without any malicious intent, you’ve managed to spearhead the biggest PR disaster in your company’s history, in 140 characters or less.

The social media screw-up has become pretty legendary. The news seems to be flooded with examples of people making poor social media choices and putting their brands’ reputations at risk. From Gilbert Gottfried to Anthony Weiner, social media snafus are everywhere, and they can mean serious harm to your company and your career.

First, let's face facts: The social media faux pas happens. Hopefully it won't happen to you, but it might. In case it ever does, here are a few tips for dealing with it.

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Topics: Anthony Weiner, Business, business, education, embarrass, facebook, faux pas, Gilbert Gottfried, Marketing, Nivea, offensive, ROI, social media, strategy, twitter

Beta Testing: What it is, why we do it, and how you can get in on the action!

Posted by Clayton Smith on October 10, 2011

Things are really ramping up here at Gremln, and the word of the day is “beta.” We’re in the process of opening up our Gremln software for a limited, private beta test. Now, the term “beta test” is one that’s tossed around pretty regularly in the tech world, but Gremln is a tool designed for every business, not just tech companies. So for those of you staring warily at the screen and thinking, “What exactly do you mean by this ‘beta test’ or whatever it’s called?” – this blog’s for you.

A beta test is a step in the cycle of a software product release. The name comes from the Greek alphabet (not the fish—sorry, ichthyophiles, but that's "betta fish"), of which “beta” is the second letter, right after “alpha.” Why do we use Greek letters instead of the more popular English alphabet? Probably because “beta testing” sounds cooler than “b testing.” More to the point, though, the Greek language holds special significance in mathematics, and mathematical language is the basis for software development.

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Topics: beta, business, gremln, Gremln News, launch, Marketing, ROI, sneak peek, social media

What Would a Business Page Look Like on the New Facebook Timeline? We Want to Hear From You!

Posted by Clayton Smith on October 6, 2011

By now, it's pretty much common knowledge that Facebook is releasing a fancy new profile style called Timeline. While its full-scale launch has been pushed back due in part to a legal skirmish, some users have been given early access to the Timeline. (You can check out my recap of the changes at "The Gremln Guide to Facebook's New Timeline.") It should be rolling out to all users soon.

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Topics: branding, Business, facebook, gremln, Marketing, ROI, social media, Timeline

The Gremln Guide to Facebook's New Timeline

Posted by Clayton Smith on September 27, 2011

It may not exactly be a surprise to hear that Facebook is preparing to make some more changes to its seemingly ever-shifting profile pages. But unlike Facebook tweaks of the past, the recently announced Timeline update is a complete overhaul for the popular social network. As Facebook faces more and more competition from strengthening social networks like Twitter and Google+, it’s looking to reinvent itself in order to become “stickier.” In other words, Facebook wants its users to stick around Facebook for longer periods of time. The Timeline redesign is one effort to get people to do just that.

I was able to get a sneak peek at how the new Facebook profile pages will look when Timeline is released to the public later this month. All in all, I find the new design to be pretty slick. The profile page has moved to an overall more vertical design, opting for one wide column instead of the current three columns.

The top of the page now features a large “cover” photo that spans the entire width of the profile page. The typical profile photo that we’re used to is now a square in the bottom left corner of the cover photo. As one of our Twitter followers pointed out, this part of the redesign gives the profile page the feel of a blog; a large graphic masthead centered over the content below.

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Topics: business, education, facebook, google+, google plus, gremlin, gremln, Marketing, ROI, social media, Social Media Education, Social Media for Small Business, Social Media Updates, Timeline, twitter, update

Social Media Time! (A Very Special Gremln Survey)

Posted by Clayton Smith on September 22, 2011

When it comes to social media marketing, timing is everything. After all, 2am might not be the best time for Olive Garden to share its lunch specials, but it's probably a great time to market some Lunesta. Your social media strategies are going to be most successful if they're hitting your target audience at the perfect time, and unless you've just installed a flux capacitor in your DeLorean, there's not a whole lot of margin for error.

What if you knew when the biggest portion of your target audience would be focusing its attention on Facebook? What if you could schedule your tweets to go out every day at exactly the right time to reach the most potential customers? What if you could predict the future behavior of your target market?

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Topics: business, facebook, Foursquare, google+, google plus, gremlin, gremln, Gremln News, linkedin, Marketing, ROI, social media, survey, twitter

Beating Back the Boredom: How your social media marketing campaign can outlast your fans’ short attention spans

Posted by Clayton Smith on September 7, 2011

Bad news: Social media is killing your attention span. In fact, you’ve probably stopped reading this post already. If you’re still going, I applaud your strength and perseverance. You are truly an inspiration to us all.

How often do you log on to Facebook? Once every day? Once every hour? Once every seven seconds? I admit, I’m closer to the latter, and a lot of you probably are too. I check in on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ like a hyperactive six year old switches between Saturday morning cartoons, and when I do, I expect to see something new and exciting happening. Every single time.

That may be a little unreasonable (and it puts a heck of a lot of pressure on my friends), but it’s what social media has trained us to expect. It’s true for me, it’s probably true for you, and I can almost guarantee it’s true for your customer base. With the ever-shrinking attention span of the social media public, I can’t help but wonder—what’s the reasonable lifespan of a social media marketing strategy?

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Topics: Business, business, education, facebook, google+, google plus, gremlin, gremln, Marketing, ROI, social media, strategy, twitter

Social Discounts - 5 great ways to discount using social media

Posted by Clayton Smith on August 31, 2011

When it comes to selling your product, “discount” can be a tricky word. On one hand, discounts can be great for luring new customers or bringing back old ones, and they can also help move old inventory. But on the other hand, discounts often attract customers who are more price sensitive and less brand loyal. Discount purchasers are less likely to come back for more.

The reason is simple. Although you are giving buyers a reason to purchase (my wife would gladly trade my left arm for 40% off a yoga mat), you’re not giving them any reason to be charmed. There’s no interaction, no engagement, no reason for someone to think, “Wow, this company really is something.”

But all is not lost! There’s still room for the discount in our highly connected, prove-that-you-deserve-my-loyalty-or-I’ll-go-online-and-find-someone-who-is world. Enter the social discount.

Part traditional discount, part social networking, the social discount allows you to attract price sensitive customers and strengthen your company’s brand. The next time you feel the urge to blanket the town with 10% off coupons, consider using one of these social discounting methods instead.

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Topics: Business, business, discount, facebook, gremlin, gremln, Groupon, Marketing, money, ROI, SCVNGR, social media, tips, twitter

Staying Afloat in a Sea of Likes - 5 ways to stay relevant on Facebook

Posted by Clayton Smith on August 23, 2011

Just five years ago, Facebook was a virtual corporate wasteland. Business leaders weren’t really taking the social network seriously as a marketing outlet yet, and Facebook wasn’t trying very hard to convince them otherwise. Pages hadn’t yet been introduced, and any company wanting a Facebook presence had to create either a group or an entirely new account under a fake name, like Mr. Radio Shack, a 35-year-old male from Fort Worth, Texas whose interests included batteries, transmitters, and R/C racers.

Facebook was piling on new users faster than anyone believed possible, but despite the growing pool of worldwide consumers using the service, businesses shied away.

That’s all changed, of course. Facebook is no longer a subject of skepticism, and we’re now faced with the opposite problem; there are millions of businesses on Facebook. When you’re competing with 1.5 million other businesses for the public’s attention, you need to do a few things to stand out.

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Topics: Business, education, facebook, gremlin, gremln, like, Marketing, ROI, social media

Background Check – Making the most of your company’s Twitter background

Posted by Clayton Smith on August 17, 2011

When’s the last time you checked out another business’s Twitter page? I don’t mean when’s the last time you saw one of their tweets. I mean, when’s the last time you clicked through to view that company’s full Twitter profile and saw its Twitter background design? I’m betting it’s been a while. For most of us, any Twitter profile other than our own is out of sight and definitely out of mind.

But sooner or later, we all find ourselves exploring someone else’s Twitter profile. It usually happens when we’re searching around for new tweeters to follow. Sometimes it happens because we want to scroll back through all the person’s recent tweets. Every once in a while it happens because we’re just bored out of our gourds and have nothing better to do than surf through random Twitter usernames. (You thought you were the only one who did that, didn’t you?)

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Topics: Business, gremlin, gremln, Marketing, media, ROI, social, social media, twitter

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