10 Must Have Tools and Apps for Social Media Marketing and Management

Most small businesses are short on time and definitely don’t have excess time to find and learn new tools to help them achieve their online marketing goals. Given that Envisager Studio is a web development and social media marketing firm, we thought it would be helpful to other small businesses to have a few recommended social media tools as a starting point to at least give them an idea of what may work best for their small business.

It’s also a good idea to have a plan. For example, what is the audience you desire to reach? What are you trying to achieve? You will notice that a few of our 10 must have social media tools below have similar features, so this is why you should have a goal so that your efforts are not duplicated.

Hootsuite is a great app website for scheduling posts across social media which makes it more convenient for you to send posts during the most popular times for your social following. This is a great tool for sites with traffic that peaks during lunch and/or evening, or for the busy marketers who need to multi-task and sitting in front of Twitter all day is not an option.
Socialbakers helps you to better understanding how your brand stacks up against your competitors using their Analytics Pro tools. You can enter social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, and gain valuable insight into channel growth, find out which channel contributors are most active, and channel engagements rates.

Komfo offers a good analytic tool for Facebook page content based on fan penetration, viral amplification (this goes beyond what Facebook insights feature provides), click-through-rate, and spam score.

FixYourFunnel is an Infusionsoft-specific tool that allows you to capture leads with pre-recorded telephone messages, collect data via SMS, call monitoring and more. This is a high-end service for serious marketers on-the-go. To get a real appreciation for the features and capabilities of FixYourFunnel, please visit the website.

Buffer and Hootsuite have similarities, but unique differences as social media management software. They both support Facebook pages, LinkedIn company pages and groups, but Hootsuite offers a few more social networks to connect to. Bottom line, Buffer ensures that shared posts are spread out and timed perfectly, while Hootsuite provides easier management of company accounts and in depth metrics.

Sprout Social is another great post scheduling and social network management software. The affordable price, alluring UI and initial free 30 day trial has an attractive appeal to small business owners.

SocialFlow is the first social media optimization technology to apply a scientific approach to understanding the real-time value of content on the social graph. With unparalleled access to the Twitter and Facebook data streams, the company developed the SocialFlow AttentionScore™ technology that is able to understand and quantify audience, attention, topics and engagement to provide an accurate value assessment of social media content for brands and businesses.

Argyle Social is social media dashboard designed to assist professional marketers in executing campaigns and optimizing their social ROI.

Constant Contact email marketing software is easy to use with a simple UI. List management, tracking, and deliverability would be the most difficult to duplicate on your own. It is also nice to have templates or you can access the advanced settings and upload code from a custom newsletter that perhaps your graphic designer has created for you. Constant Contact automatically prevents you from sending to those who unsubscribe as required by the CAN-SPAM Act. Constant Contact works with ISP's to improve deliverability rates. You get click tracking and open statistics. It prevents you from getting on SPAM list to keep your regular email from being tagged as SPAM.

Tagboard is an excellent way to monitor your hashtags (keywords) across multiple social media channels. It’s useful to anyone who monitors their own brand or other people’s brands as a part of their business. If you’re a small business owner and don’t want to invest in social media monitor, this free social media tool can be especially useful for your small business. From within Tagboard, you can even reply to conversations.

Don't Buy Twitter Followers

Did you know that having 250 followers that actually engage with you makes more business sense than having 25,000 followers that’s just for show?

During a recent analysis of several Twitter accounts, we were able to determine that followers were purchased. Some of us at some point may have felt the urge to buy followers; especially for a new Twitter account and compared your followers to similar businesses.

It would be worth a recommendation to some of the social networks to suggest listing the number of people who actually engage with an account versus having the number of followers so prominent. In business, especially marketing, technical and social media data rules, but be mindful of the type of data you’re collecting. How skewed are your numbers? What type of results are you trying to obtain?

There are a plethora of sites that will either boost your followers for free or charge a fee to boost your followers rapidly. There are numerous methods employed to boost your followers. Albeit, we having listed two of the most popular methods to boost followers below, we do not recommend either method.

  1. Aggressive Following Technique - By following a large number of people each day, waiting for them to follow you, then un-follow those who don’t follow you back. It is possible to artificially increase your followers very quickly. Twitter is very adamant about not doing this as it states in their online Rules and Best Practices. If Twitter thinks you are aggressively trying to increase your followers by follower/un-follower “churn” methods, you are likely to get your account suspended. 
  2. Zombie Account Following – You can get thousands of followers by paying a 3rd party company. Theses third party companies have a database of Twitter accounts (zombie accounts) that they will use to follow your account. This method is definitely one to stay clear of. Not only will the followers you receive be random names with numbers/letters thrown together, but you’re also taking the risk of infecting your email account should one of those random accounts have a virus. Not to mention, there’s absolutely no chance of new business to be acquired from these types of followers.

If you’re serious about your company and want to grow your business by getting legitimate and interesting people who are willing to engage with you --- don’t buy followers! Think about your business reputation and integrity.

Free St. Patrick's Day Stickers

Our little Leprechaun has created six high resolution round sticks for St. Patrick's Day, just for you. Each round sticker has a unique design and can be used by everyone. {click the title of this post to go to the post's page for download and printing instructions}

A set of six cute vector St. Patrick's Day round stickers that you can download and print using your desktop printer. Give them to your loved one, teacher, family, or whomever you want. There are six different round sticker designs, each sticker is 1.5" in diameter on one 8.5 x 11 sheet. Each sticker has a unique design and the artwork is vivid and crisp as you will see after you download the file to your computer.

To download and print:

  1. Download the .pdf file HERE and save it to your computer. A good place to save it is to your desktop.
  2. The stickers will fit Avery circular labels #5278.
  3. Print the stickers using your desktop printer or you can take the file to a print shop/copy center such as Kinko's and have them print out a few sheets for you on nice label type stock.
  4. You should be able to peel each rounded sticker from the sheet.
That's it - enjoy!

Don't forget to tell your friends and colleagues about us and subscribe to our monthly newsletter for more great freebies, special offers, and business tips and tricks. Don't worry, we won't spam your email with tons of irrelevant content, we hate that too.

Hair Replacement San Diego

Envisager Studio San Diego website design project for A Diva’s Hidden Hair Manufacturer was a labor of love.

Louticia Grier is the founder and CEO of A Diva’s Hidden Hair; a dynamic "hair replacement company" in Solana Beach, CA, and she is a Hair Replacement Specialist. She has worked tirelessly to educate the public about proper hair care, hair loss, and manufacturing hair care products for men, women, and children. She has a great understanding of hair and a great appreciation of what it means when individuals lose their hair. Louticia’s mission is to be a voice for ethnic people who are suffering from hair loss and to ensure they get the best possible care.

San Diego’s leading hair replacement specialists, now offering the latest breakthrough technology in non-surgical hair replacement. Hair replacement systems made by Louticia is by far the most undetectable method offered and is available only from A Diva’s Hidden Hair. For a natural undetectable look, schedule your free consultation and see for yourself.

Established in 1984 by a talented team of "hair replacement San Diego "professionals with over 50 years of collective experience, our exclusive discreet location in Solana Beach, California, they push the boundaries of hair replacement, creating traditional or new stylish looks for a mix of local, national and international clients.

Specializing in men, women hair replacement and kids cranial prosthesis wigs, their talented hair team will restore the natural volume and healthy look to your hair. Louticia's techniques can result in a sensational new look or a welcome return to your familiar style. Both men and women will receive the best care and the newest technology available. Shower, exercise, walk into the wind without detection. A Diva's Hidden Hair custom hair systems are just like your natural hair -- you'll forget you ever had hair loss. Put away the hats and scarves, stop restricting yourself.

A Diva’s Hidden Hair custom hair systems are safe and affordable. You deserve the Best, so trust Louticia Grier at A Diva’s Hidden Hair for your next Custom Full Weave System or Custom Hair Replacement System. Their hair systems are designed especially for you, and Louticia will give you personal and professional care to ensure you are 100% satisfied with your investment. Since the launch of A Diva’s Hidden Hair Manufacturer over 20 years ago, Louticia Grier has appeared in numerous magazines such as Hype Magazine, Black Hair Magazine, interview by Fox 5 Atlanta television as well as our very own San Diego Time Warner Cable business interview.

5 Facebook Updates Good To Know

Yes, they’re at it again. Facebook has been adding, removing, creating features for the social network.

Here’s a rundown of the most recent changes to Facebook that’s good for small businesses and agencies to know about.

1. You Can Now Edit Scheduled Posts
To make the process of scheduling posts more user-friendly, Facebook has added the ability to “Edit” scheduled posts. In their previous update, scheduled posts could only be edited if it included an image. Now they’ve made link-share scheduled posts available for editing as well. To do so, visit your activity log; in the right-hand corner of your scheduled post select the down arrow. Editing text-only posts is still not an option. Facebook notes that the post was edited from its original version after your post publishes.

2. News Feed Updated
There’s been a lot of chatter about this topic. In January, Facebook announced they were decreasing the organic reach for business Pages. They also made an algorithm tweak advising brands to abstain from posting text-based status updates. Facebook’s research indicated that individuals highly interact with text-based status updates from their friends but not so much from the brands they follow. In an attempt to rectify this, Facebook will provide higher reach to Link-share posts than text-only posts from brands.

 3. Trending Topics Added
Mimicking Twitter (again), Facebook has added a Trending Topics feature that shows the current most talked about topics across the platform. The Trending Topics section is located on the top right side of your Facebook News Feed. To view the latest mentions, posts, and comments about one of the trending topics, click on it.

4. Ability To Target Advertisers Who Visit Your Site or Use Mobile Apps
One of the biggest and most exciting changes for brands is the ability to target Facebook ads to visitors who have visited their website or used their mobile app. Through custom audiences you can narrow down your targeting and use enhanced call-to-action buttons to convert those visitors into customers. There are a few steps you need to take in order to set up advertising to your website or mobile audience, but they’re simple and the new feature is proving successful for many brands.

5. Add The Mobile App “Paper”
Facebook has released a mobile app, Paper. Paper functions as a stand-alone News Feed reader which can be customized into different sections based on the users interests. The app will include established and up-and-coming publications and sources.

Why Hire A Virtual Assistant?

Whether you're looking for a little help at the office or a new work-from-home business opportunity, a virtual assistant may be the solution. If you're looking for a work-from-home opportunity but think you have to be a writer or designer to do it, perhaps it's time to look into becoming a virtual assistant. Almost anyone has at least one skill they can leverage to do it. What's yours?

Oftentimes people misinterpret a virtual assistant as a mere customer service representative who just answers phone calls and assist with inquiries. Virtual support goes beyond administrative, proofreading, editing, correspondence, bookkeeping, time management and promotional.

So, Just What Is A Virtual Assistant?
A “virtual assistant” (typically abbreviated to VA, also called a virtual office assistant) is generally self-employed and provides professional administrative, technical, or creative (social) assistance to clients remotely from a home office. When most people hear "virtual assistant," they assume it's a secretary who works from home, however the duties of a “virtual assistant” entails much more than that and the field has exploded into a variety of skill sets that could be valuable to various professionals. These days, a virtual assistant is someone a lot of busy professionals just can't do without.

Why Would You Hire A Virtual Assistant?
You may be thinking that if you need an assistant, why not just hire a person to work at your business full time? Well, it comes down to time, money and convenience. A full-time administrative assistant can cost up to $50,000 per for beginner to senior-level administrative assistants in some states. That's not even including health insurance, bonuses, and other benefits. It can get pretty costly, especially if you don't need someone around all the time or if you only need their help on a few projects.

A virtual assistant job can be lucrative because the work for multiple people. So you can hire them to work for only the hours or projects that you need them for. If you just need someone for five or so hours a week to take phone calls while you're in meetings or showing property to a potential buyer, they can do that. If you need them to work more hours one week, they can usually accommodate that. And if for some reason you need to save some cash, depending on the kind of contract you have with them, you can usually just discontinue their services until it’s more financially feasible for you.

What Does A Virtual Assistant Do?
There are many different types of virtual assistants and they all have different skills and skill levels. Some may gear their work more toward scheduling and logistics, while others may focus on web-based services like manning email accounts, doing research or social media. There are so many things a virtual assistant can do, we can’t list them all, but are just a few things they can help you with.

  • Adding tags and images to blog posts
  • Respond to emails and set up email lists
  • Transcribe voice memos, conference calls and more
  • Run your calendar and plan your travel
  • Online/offline Research
  • Compile data into organized spreadsheets
  • Handle forwarded phone calls when you're unavailable
  • Moderating blog comments
  • Help you hire other employees by doing preliminary research on candidates
  • Write and distribute standard business communications
  • Prepare presentations
  • Transcription of video and audio files
  • Coordinate with vendors
  • Place orders for new supplies

How To Hire A Virtual Assistant
Just because virtual assistants can do all this stuff doesn't mean they can all do it equally well. Look for someone who has experience in what you need. A lot of VAs can type, for example, but often you're better off hiring a person who is also skilled at proofreading and editing, because oftentimes the content they receive to type has grammatical errors and/or fragmented sentences, etc. And a VA who's great at typing can't necessarily handle an extra-busy schedule. The key is to write down a list of which skills you need, and find someone who can do them all!

Free Valentine's Day Note Cards

We're sharing and spreading the love for Valentine's with our free Valentine's Day note cards, designed by Envisager Studio, just for you.  {click the title of this post to go to the post's page for download and printing instructions} A set of four cute vector Valentine's Day note cards that you can download and print using your desktop printer. Give them to your loved one, teacher, family, or whomever you want to show love or appreciation. There are four different note card designs on one 8.5 x 11 sheet. Each note card has a unique design and the artwork is vivid and crisp as you will see after you unzip the file to your computer.

To download and print:
  1.  Download the zip file HERE and save it to your computer.
  2. A good place to save it is to your desktop.
  3. Unzip the file.
  4. You will see two files. One is a .pdf and one is an image file which is a .png.
  5. Open whichever type you prefer to use.
  6. Print the note cards using your desktop printer or you can take the file to a place like Kinko's and have them print out a few sheets for you on nice card stock.
  7. Cut out each note card.
  8. That's it - enjoy!
Don't forget to tell your friends and colleagues about us and subscribe to our monthly newsletter for more great freebies, special offers, and business tips and tricks. Don't worry, we won't spam your email with tons of irrelevant content, we hate that too.

    You'll Love Your New Logo

    Now through Feb. 28th, get a custom logo design for only $75 with three revisions included. Why not spruce up your existing company logo or get a new logo designed at a super low price. Use promo code design214 submit info»»

    This Valentines Grow Your Email List By 60 Percent

    The unique aspect of a custom branded newsletter template is that each month or whatever your sending out periods are, you can use your custom template again and again to notify your subscribers about your great offers and what’s new.

    Custom newsletter templates puts your brand at the forefront of the product or service your subscribers and potential subscribers are looking for versus a generic newsletter that has more of chance to get deleted from email boxes before it’s even viewed.

    Now through the end of February, grow your email list by 60%. We would like to help you grow more this Valentine’s by designing a custom newsletter template that is branded for your business for only $130 – that’s 60% off our regular $325 price.

    Click here to view some of the custom newsletters we have designed for clients. To take advantage of this great offer, use our request a quote online form to tell us about your product or service and use promo code nwsltr214.

    Completed Free Website Design For Campaign Winner

    We are pleased to announce the website completion from our December 2013 "Enter to Win A Free Website" campaign (free 6 page website). The new AMG Ministries website is founded by the winner Pastor Alicia George. Visit www.amgministries.com and check it out!

    In addition to to the free 6 page custom website design offer, we add two additional e-commerce pages setup for their anointing oils and book products which totals 8 free web pages. We also created AMG Ministries' custom covers for their social network accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, custom logo design, and email marketing subscription service setup.

    Be sure to "LIKE" the Envisager Studio Facebook page  or join our mailing list to be in the know about our future campaigns and other great offers. You could be our next winner! We also design awesome custom websites at affordable prices. Give us a call at (858) 874-6528 to discuss your website or graphic design project.

    Custom Email Newsletter Special Offer

    Web design marketing special featuring a custom email newsletter special offer. From December 31, 2013 through March 31, 2014, get a custom branded e-mail newsletter design for only $175 (regularly $325). Build your fan base with opt-in newsletters and start communicating today. Your branded design that you can use over and over again. Designed by Envisager Studio – call (858) 874-6528 or complete our online request form. Be sure to use promo code nwsltr314