We recently covered some free social media monitoring services, so today we wanted to offer some alternatives that are popular with online marketers, although they come at a price. Fortunately, most of them offer some kind of free trial so you can try before you buy – ideal in this tough economy. We also want to give you some software that hasn’t been mentioned in older blogs, covered here and here. Another point to note: the following tools are primarily for social media monitoring; however, many also offer analytics and interaction features as well.
A workman is only as good as his tools. A quote normally attributed to tradesmen, but it’s also true of modern marketing, specifically social media marketing. We’ve talked before about the various ways in which we can automate some of the tedious tasks involved in a social media campaign, so today we’ve decided to list some of the most popular software for doing this. Of course, the exact tools needed will depend on your goals and expectations, but the following five pieces of social marketing software should get you off to a good start.
SEO agencies are struggling to regain their rankings after an unconfirmed update penalizes backlinks. According to SE Roundtable, there were noticeable spikes in Google’s SERP results on June 27/28 and July 5, confirmed to some extent by forum posts and users’ dismay at significant drops in search results. Although it wasn’t an official update from Google, we do know that they change their algorithm daily – several times a day actually. Here is an example of what was said at Webmaster World:
The Court of Justice of the European Union passed a new law on May 13, 2014, that basically allows people to have content removed from search engines. Since Google is the head honcho in this department, we’re going to focus on them. You can view the official report here, or Google’s summary (no lawyer talk) here. The latter officially says that people can ask to have results removed if:
“The results shown would need to be inadequate, irrelevant, no longer relevant, or excessive.”
This seems quite abstract since anyone could argue that criticism is “excessive.” In regards to Google local optimization, imagine a plumber with 100 bad reviews and five good ones. He could simply have all of the bad reviews removed from search engines, meaning people searching for a reputable local plumber are duped into hiring a baffoon!
Press release distribution was once the main way for a company to inform people about its new products and services, but people started abusing it for SEO purposes. This abuse meant that websites could increase their traffic quite easily. However, Google are clamping down hard on this tactic. Recently, they penalized PRNewswire for content that was deemed spammy. This included older press releases as well as their newer ones.
The important thing to note here is that nobody is immune to Google’s algorithm updates. PRNewswire were quick to adapt, though, and have removed content that is of poor quality. Their CEO had this to say:
Although the efficacy of a communication strategy has diminished over recent years, it’s still an integral component for companies to manage, monitor and assess their plans of action. However, most of this can be achieved automatically when using a social media management program of some sort. HootSuite, Spredfast and Sprinklr are just three examples of this. We’ve talked about them before so there’s no point in going into too much detail again, but you can read about them here and here.
Google have started posting widgets at the very top of search results, in fact, certain searches produce a massive screen in which Google gives people useful information. That in itself is quite handy, but what about websites that have devoted countless man hours and money developing their niche. Google is basically stealing their visitors. One example is with the soccer World Cup, pictured above. The search term “world cup” produces useful data about past, present and future matches, with detailed analyses and current scores for live games. Very useful, yes, but slightly unethical. They seem to have completely disregarded websites that were produced specifically for this purpose.
We covered some useful free Twitter tools in the last blog, so today we wanted to share some software that works with other social networks. Of course, these ones are free too so you won’t have to spend a dime. First and foremost, Wildfire has to be at the top of the list. Why? Mainly because it’s owned by Google (like most things these days!). Being owned by the world superpower means their data is arguably more accurate that anyone else’s, in theory anyway.
Twitter is a strange social network, limiting each sentence to 140 characters, which some love and many loathe. Fortunately for them, enough people loved it to make it a success. That said, it’s hard to give people enough information in such a short sentence, regardless of hashtags and URL shorteners. Okay, you can add links to videos and blog posts, but it isn’t as diverse as other social networks like Facebook. Despite Twitter’s pitfalls, it has become one of the most used social venues in the world, so we wanted to give you some free tools that should optimize its potential. On a side note, there is a new social network that tracks and discusses trending hashtags, known as CrowdChat.
Just a quick blog to highlight some of Google’s recent algorithm updates, with Panda 4.0 and Payday Loan 2.0 introduced in May. The former is arguably the big-deal of the two, though I have my suspicions that Google have made a huge update in the past few days. Well, I could be wrong but my search results (results that always showed for me) have completely vanished! Yes, vanished. I don’t quite understand what happened; perhaps it’s a regional bug or just poor coding. Time will tell.