Sunday, March 29, 2015

Productivity software? Tried it. It never does what I need it to do and I spend more time setting it up and loading stuff into it than I do actually using it. Most of the apps I’d tried also had accessibility issues. Sometimes they synced, sometimes they didn’t and I was constantly maintaining the tool that was supposed to make my life easier.

Until now. In a nutshell, Evernote lets you add information to a database that is accessible through the web, a desktop app, and your iPhone,  or smart phone. Items are tag-able and fully search-able so you can add pretty much anything, run a search, and quickly find it again wherever you are.

Here’s an example of how I use it for blogging. Many of my best ideas for bog post come when I’m out for a hike or driving. I don’t always have a pen and paper with me and I never text and drive so what to do? SIRI to the rescue. I just tell SIRI to email Evernote with my special upload address, I make the subject line “blog post” and then dictate the idea, or sometimes even most of the post. and SIRI emails it to Evernote. I can finish what I’m doing and come back to my Evernote file full of blog posts, ready to finish.

 

Now when I say you can upload things, try to visualize this. You’re at a networking event and you suck at remembering names. With Evernote you can take a picture of a person with your phone, tag them with their name and they’re saved for future reference in your database. Even more interesting, include their name badge in the snapshot, even a handwritten name tag, and Evernote will recognize the handwriting and enter it as searchable text!

evernote-biz-cardWhile you’re at it, take a photo of that person’s business card through the app and connect your Evernote account with Linkedin. Evernote will digitize the image and create a searchable note in your account with the most up-to-date information about your shiny new contact. It will also prompt you to connect with them on Linkedin Attach notes about the meeting to the note in Evernote and you’ve got a great reference for the next time you meet.

evernoteEvernote can find text within images, recognize it and make the text search-able. The image at right is a snapshot of the bag given out at N2Y4 Mobile Challenge. The highlighted yellow text is the result of a search for the words “Mobile Challenge” in my Evernote database. I hadn’t even tagged it yet. I also found my notes from Raj Singh’s lecture, the images of the slides he put up, the website homepage with session info, and a reminder to connect with one of the people I met at that talk.

Never again will I collect a bunch of paper at trade shows just to remember the product offering. A few quick photos of the booth, and not only do I have faces to relate to later, but the booth itself, logos, products and the text of the brochures ready to use in my post. all in one swoop. This is going to make blogging after conferences a breeze.

 

What else does Evernote do? A lot. Here are some of the ways I use it.

  • Evernote now includes another of my favorite tools. Skitch. Skitch allows me to take a screenshot and annotate it. When I’m doing a webinar and need screenshots or a recording a tutorial for a client i can easily take the shots I need and mark them up to show the client exactly what I mean. Sweet.
  • Record an audio message to listen to later, take a photo and tag the two to record an event or item to remember.
  • Drag and drop content like a PDF right into Evernote from your desktop and it’s filed (and searchable).
  • Save your  Tweets (public or DM) directly into Evernotes database by simply including @myENin the message (quick set up required)
  • Create a shared notebook to share notes or whole notebooks with your team.

Evernote constantly syncs with the database, so you are only seconds away from totally available information.

Did I mention it’s free? Yes, you have to put up with some small rotating banner ads, but believe me it’s worth it. Odds are very good you’ll upgrade to premium anyway, not to get rid of the ads, but to get more storage because you can fill it up pretty quickly.

Are you using Evernote too? share some tips and tricks here. Got an even better app? Tell me, I love finding new toys!

(Note, this is a revised post from my first review back in 2009!)

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cookies restaurantAre you intentional with your social marketing? Most marketers will say yes–or at least most of the time, and hey, nobody’s perfekt right?

Today I want you to think about your intentions for using a specific network and ask yourself a few questions. Take a moment to think about each of the networks you are engaging on and write down your answers. I’ll tell you what to do with them in a minute.

Why did you choose this network?

  • Because somebody told you you HAD to be there?
  • Because your competitor is?
  • It seemed like a good idea at the time?
  • Because your market is there?
  • You like it personally so you use it for business too?
  • Holding the username as brand protection?

What do you intend this network to do for you?

  • Gain brand recognition?
  • Share information with your users?
  • Customer service?
  • Define yourself as a resource or expert?
  • A news resource for your brand?
  • Professional development?

Does the “voice” of this network suit your own?
Every social network has a specific voice or way of conversing with others. Evaluating this voice and seeing if it a good fit for you and your brand is important. If your voice doesn’t align with that of the network you’ll stand out like a sore thumb and it feels in-authentic. If your voice doesn’t adapt to this network you may want to rethink why you’re here.

Does the method of communication work for you?
Besides voice, platforms also have unique formats. Do you communicate best through video, short messages with links, long blog posts, images, or in-depth conversations with your community? Does this specific platform’s style work for you?

Look at the data
Hopefully you set up a list of intentions, (or KPIs) for your social media outreach before you started signing up for networks. Take a look at whatever metrics you decided were your measurements for success. How is this network doing?

Now what?
Look over about the results of your review and evaluate how useful each network really is to you. Are the reasons you’re using it still compelling? If you knew then what you know now would you still have signed up?

Think about how you can adjust what you’re doing for better results or to better fit the network. If that feels backwards to you, you may want to consider ditching the network. Networks come and go and if it’s not a good fit for you, consider devoting more time to the ones that ARE good for your needs to get your best possible results. Set up your intentions for each network, the people you intend to reach there and the results you wish to achieve. Setting up those intentions will help you keep your marketing on track and align your messaging with your mission.

 

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Do you MeerkatPeople are jumping on Meerkat, a relatively new app that allows us to live stream video directly to Twitter through the app.

Here’s how it works:

  • Download the iOS app to see who is streaming or click this link to see who’s streaming #meerkat on TwitterUse mentions on Twitter to comment or comment through the app and join the conversation there
  • If you’re streaming a Meerkat video it’s pushed to your followers on Meerkat in real time and viewable on Twitter in real time
  • Followers can “re-stream” your broadcast to their own followers in real time too
  • You can schedule a stream too, which will be broadcast to your subscribers
  • Once your stream ends you have the option to save your stream to your iPhone’s camera roll for editing and re-posting

Get started with Meerkat

Start your own session by simply adding a note about what you want to talk about. This is sent to your followers and posted on your Twitter stream with the #Meerkat hashtag and a link to watch live.It’s that simple to use.

I suggest you download the app and see who of your friends are streaming and watch some of the live streams on the hashtag above to see what they’re doing. Then just run with it. What’s the worst that could happen?

In some ways it’s like Snapchat in that it’s immediate and once the live stream is over the video is gone and can’t be seen again unless you save it and reshare it.

But why?

Now being able to live stream directly to your Twitter feed is super cool, but if your following isn’t there at the moment you are broadcasting does anybody hear it?

That’s sort of like that old ad adage if a tree falls in the woods does it make a sound?

Honestly some of the joy of Twitter is that serendipity of finding gems that you may have missed in your stream. That immediacy for which Twitter has always been famous. And of course, once you’re using the app you’ll get notifications when people you follow are streaming and can jump on to see what’s up.

I recently jumped on when Brian Fanzo and Daniel Newman broadcasted their #SMACtalk show from the IBM mobile conference. What a great way to take advantage of being at a conference. For example, say you attend a brilliant talk at a conference or even online. Jump on Meerkat and give us your impressions and your own perspective and discuss it with your following in real time. Grab the speaker and have them join you in a live chat, or if YOU are the speaker then have your own breakout after the session live on Twitter. The possibilities here are pretty mind blowing.

Other people are using it for quick one offs to their fan base. Gary Vaynerchuck has been jumping on the Twitter video opportunity so it’s natural that he’d use this too. He did a quick Meerkat session while coming home in an Uber yesterday and over 300 people jumped on to watch, He had 61 retweets of the broadcast and 119 favorited it. Not bad for a couple of minutes of raw video shot in a moving car!

It will be very interesting to see how long Twitter let’s this Meerkat live or if they snap it up and buy it (as they should). In the meantime come follow me on Meerkat, I’ll be posting tips and tricks and random thoughts about mindful use of social media for business and just for fun. Stay tuned!

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Is Brand Engagement Over on Facebook?

December 12, 2014

The news about Facebook lately has been pretty grim. The Wall St. Journal recently ran a piece on how smaller brands are seeing sales generated from Facebook in “the lower digits” even on pages with tons of “likes”, and Facebook recently announced that starting January 1 our newsfeeds will see even less of “promotional posts” […]

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When content calendars are not the answer

October 9, 2014

Content calendars can be an excellent tool to plot out your social outreach strategy for creating and sharing content over time. The calendar may include links to existing resources like e-books and white-papers, videos and other downloads. These are easily scheduled in a content calendar and that allows you to see the story you are […]

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Learning Facebook Business Manager

October 2, 2014

Facebook is making it much easier for agencies like ours to manage business pages and ads with Facebook Business Manager. You may have gotten some emails from the third party apps you use for ad creation, sweepstakes and custom tabs on your page. These are what Facebook calls “Grey accounts” These are accounts where you […]

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How social media is like spaghetti sauce

September 16, 2014

Malcolm Gladwell explains the secret to sauce, but what’s that got to do with #socialbiz? LotsTweet: http://ctt.ec/7ni05+ I watched this TED talk with Malcolm Gladwell the other day. In it he talks about research that was done by psychophysicist Howard Moscowitz, specifically about some research Moscowitz did on consumer preferences for Pepsi and Prego spaghetti sauce. […]

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