Fireside / May 2013

Social Media Sonar Graphs with Bottlenose

So you have the Twitter account up and running and you’re posting daily, interacting with others, and following the conversations but how do you really know what the key trends are so you can contribute in a more effective way?  How can you take all those conversations and put them into a visually appealing graph so others can quickly digest the conversations?  Or, how can you synthesize the conversation occurring around one, key term?  The answer, my friends, is Bottlenose.

Bottlenose is currently in beta with a pro, paid version on the way, but for now you can use their service to analyze trends in real-time in your twitter and other social media feeds, generate sonar charts based on your choice of keywords, and more.  It aims to make sense of what is happening now so you can react and interact as conversations are happening.  And the best part?  It’s free!  It takes a couple minutes to set up with your Twitter account and then you’re up and analyzing the trends and conversations happening between you and your followers.
Wireside_Bottlenose

The feature I like best is the Bottlenose sonar graph.  It is a graphical depiction of the conversation around a chosen key word.  It’s great to use if you’re running a campaign and want to see in real-time what people are saying around a key term.  You will probably discover some trends you didn’t even know were occurring that will lead to richer engagement in the future.

Bottlenose Pro promises to have more robust analytic capabilities, but for those just starting to measure their social media reach and engagement, the free version is a good way to start.  So, what are you waiting for?  Jump on in – the water’s fine!

 

 

Visualize Google Analytics with Visual.ly

Have you ever gone into your Google Analytics account and wondered just how you can distill all the information into an engaging report that anyone in your company can understand and wants to read?  If so, you need to visit Visual.ly to try their new, free offering that takes your site’s Google Analytics data and populates it into an eye-catching infographic, easy for anyone to read.

Visually

And it’s easy to set up.  Simply sign up on their website and allow them access to your site’s Google Analytics account.  Within seconds a graphic depiction of your web traffic will pop up.  Best of all, they will send you a report weekly straight to your email so you can track your website’s progress week over week. Visual.ly pulls in a number of metrics including traffic to your site via social channels (Twitter, Facebook) as well as SEO traffic.  It’s so easy and hassle-free, why not try it today?

If you’re interested in other types of infographics, and don’t want to create your own (see our last post on a service to create your own infographics), Visual.ly also offers an online marketplace to connect with designers who will create infographics for you for a fee.   They also have quite a gallery of fun infographics to peruse and waste away an hour or two… not that I’ve ever done such a thing!

Impactful Infographics with Piktochart

Do you feel like you’ve been seeing eye-catching infographics everywhere and wonder how you can produce one too?   Do you not have the $700+ needed to hire a graphic designer to produce one for you?  Are you not a graphic designer but secretly wish you were?  If you answered “yes” to even one of these questions, then you need to check out Piktochart.

Piktochart is an online platform that allows you to create your own infographic from their pre-designed templates.  Unlike other infographic services out there, the templates are easy to customize with your own colors, images, charts, etc. with Piktochart’s WYSIWYG editor.

infographic_for blog

Piktochart offers a free version that includes access to 7 basic templates.  While not a huge range to choose from, they are each easy-to-use, customizable, and will get you started on the road to creating impactful infographics.  Once you get going, you can upgrade to their PRO version (currently $29 per month/$169 per year) which includes about 100 additional templates and removes the Piktochart watermark from the infographic.  After creating your infographic, you can export it as a jpeg, png or export to HTML and embed it in a webpage.

And voilà, your own, self-produced infographic to show off to friends and colleagues!

 

RebelMouse to the Rescue!

Wireside_SocialSocial media is the buzz phrase of the 21st Century.  Every company knows that they need to be involved in the online conversation, but with the vast majority being small businesses, there are not just enough resources to have an employee dedicated solely to running social media channels. Technology entrepreneurs are starting to take notice and a number of startups have sprung up over the past few years to help navigate and run social media campaigns. Here at Wireside we are always on the lookout for new technologies and love when we find great services at reasonable (or free!) prices. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing some of our favorites we’ve come across and are currently using in our agency.

One of our favorite recent finds is RebelMouse. RebelMouse bills itself as “Your Social Front Page” and a way for brands to showcase their social media presence. What RebelMouse does is aggregate a company’s social media channels (right now it is compatible with Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Google+) into one visually appealing, easy-to-read page.  The RebelMouse page can be embedded right into the company website to seamlessly add interactive social media content.  And it looks much better than those Twitter and Facebook widgets!  After just a few minutes of set up, the page populates itself with new content as it’s loaded onto social media channels.  RebelMouse claims that many of its customers have even swapped out their blogs for RebelMouse.  So, if you’re looking for an easy way to promote your social presence and get more interactive content on your website, we suggest checking out RebelMouse today.

And while you’re here, check out what’s happening on our RebelMouse page too!