Social MediaTools

Social Media Marketing Tools for Small Business

Social MediaToolsSocial media marketing tools are a way to simplify your marketing efforts on the web. There are an incredible number of tools out there and it can get overwhelming and time consuming trying to weed through them all. Here are several great ones that are worth looking at and guess what, they’re all free.


I use Buffer for scheduling and sharing my posts to Twitter, Facebook, and Google + throughout the day. Buffer has an easy scheduling feature that allows you to pick the days and times you want to share your posts. It also includes detailed analytics so you know what’s working where, why and when. Another great feature is their browser extension. This let’s you “buffer” and share any web page, photo or text excerpt with just a couple of clicks.


It is easy to find and share great content with Feedly. This tool allows you to subscribe to RSS feeds to keep on top of your industry blogs or news sites. You can also use Feedly to discover new content related to specific topics you are interested in. When you use Feedly and Buffer together, you’ll be surprised how easy it is to find and share content with your audience.


When you are interested in what’s trending, you will probably learn about it first by reading it on one of your social media sites like facebook or twitter. The problem is that if you ask 10 different social networks then you’ll probably get 10 different answers. streamlines the process by providing a way to find out what’s hot across multiple social networks in real time. HashAtIt is a Social Search Engine for hashtags. It searches multiple social networking sites in real time giving users the information they want instantly, without having to visit multiple news outlets. This tool also offers a user-friendly interface that includes customizable hashtag boards to filter and organize hashtag searches.

How to get Started with Pinterest

Pinterest - SimpleJunglePinterest is a social media site that lets you “pin” or collect images from the Web. You create boards to help you categorize your images and add descriptions to remind you why you bookmarked them in the first place (“This lamp would look great in the den” ). Most of these images—or pins—link back to the original website they appeared on so you can easily access them later.

So here are the steps to get up and running.

  1. Join Pinterest
  2. Follow some Boards
  3. Verify your Account
  4. Adjust Settings
  5. Create your own Boards
  6. Get Pinning
  7. Get Social


1. Join Pinterest

Visit and click Join Pinterest. It will ask you to join by connecting with Facebook or Twitter, but a third option lets you sign up using your email address.

2. Follow some Boards

Once you have an account, you’ll need to choose some boards to follow. Pinterest gets you started by suggesting some. Select a category from the list that is provided.


To read the complete article from Meredith Popolo, Click Here.


How to Choose the Best Social Media Platforms for Your Small Business

Social Media PlatformsThere are many social media platforms that are available for you to join and engage with your customers. This is where the overwhelm can come in and you have to be careful. It is impossible to be actively engaging with customers on all of these sites while still running a local small business. Consider these two questions when determining which sites are best suited for your small business. First, which social platforms are used by the majority of your customers? Second, how much time are you willing to spend each week engaging on social media platforms? The first question requires you to do a little research. Take a look below to see five ways you can do this. The second question requires you to be realistic with your time. Your goal is to be actively engaged with your customers on whichever social sites you choose. If you can only do that on two sites, then start there. It is better to do a great job on a few sites verses a poor job on many sites.


Here is how you can do your research to determine which social media platforms you may wish to become active with.


  1. In Person – If you interact with your customers on a daily basis in your business, simply ask them. Find out which social platforms they are most active on. You can take it a step further and ask which type of content they are most interested in.
  2. Email – If you are using email marketing then ask customers the next time you send out a newsletter, etc.
  3. Social – You can also ask your customers via a social media platform that you are already active on such as Facebook.
  4. Competition – Research your competitors to see which sites their customers are using. Go on their website and see if there are links to social channels. Click on them and see how many followers, etc. they have.
  5. Content – Look at what type of content is posted to a particular social network. Ask yourself how that will help showcase your business. For example, Pinterest is a site dedicated to pictures. If you are a photographer then this site will do a great job showcasing your business. This site will also be a benefit to bakeries, real estate agents, etc..


Social Media Platforms

Here is an overview of the ten most popular social media platforms.

  1. Facebook – A popular free social networking website that allows registered users to create profiles, upload photos and video, send messages and keep in touch with friends, family and colleagues.
  2.  Google+ – A social networking site from Google
  3.  Twitter –  A service for friends, family, and coworkers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent messages. People write short updates, called “Tweets”, of 140 characters or fewer. These messages are posted to your profile, sent to your followers, and are searchable on Twitter search.
  4.  Pinterest – A pinboard-style photo-sharing website that allows users to create and manage theme-based image collections such as events, interests, and hobbies. Users can browse other pinboards for images, “re-pin” images to their own pinboards, or “like” photos.
  5.  YouTube –  A video-sharing website owned by Google. Users can upload, share, comment on and view videos.
  6.  LinkedIn – A social networking website designed for business professionals. It allows you to share work-related information with other users and keep an online list of professional contacts.
  7.  Instagram – An online photo-sharing and social networking platform that is owned by Facebook. This site allows its users to upload photos, apply digital filters to them, and share them. These photos can be shared through the Instagram website, email, and social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, etc.
  8.  Vine –  A mobile service that lets you create and share short looping videos. Videos you post to Vine will appear on your Vine profile and the timelines of your Vine followers. Posts can also be shared to Twitter or Facebook. Vine is owned by Twitter.
  9.  Snapchat –  A mobile app you can download to your iPhone or Android smartphone, which you can then use to “chat” with friends through photos, videos and captions. It is similar to texting with pictures or videos. One of the most unique things about Snapchat is the “self-destructing” feature for photos. When you chat with a friend by sending them a photo, the photo is instantly deleted seconds after it has been opened by the recipient.
  10.  Myspace – A social networking service with a strong music emphasis. It is owned by Specific Media LLC and pop music singer and actor Justin Timberlake.


Do you have other ideas on choosing the best social platforms? Share your comments.


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Local Business Directories -

Listing your Local Business on Local Business Directories

Local business directories will help potential customers find you when they search for your business or a keyword related to your business. Local business directories routinely show up on the first page of search results. You need to claim your business on these directories so that the correct information is listed.  Most local business directory sites do not charge anything to list your business. Many directory sites allow customers to rate, write reviews and make comments about businesses. By claiming your listing on these sites you will be able to respond to customers.

Here is a list of some popular local directories.

Here are some resources to help you with the process.

Moz Local –  An easy-to-use online tool. Simply enter your business name and hit enter. You’ll get a list of local directories and what information they have listed about your business. Moz also has a paid service if you want them to push all of your business information to all of the local directories.

Whitespark  –   A local citation finder tool that will help you find the best local directories for your business. You can also search for the names of your main competitors to see what sites they are listed on and make sure you get listed there as well.

Yext  –   This service will create a hub for the information about your business that you want to use for the many sites that have your business listing. By just updating the information on your hub you can update the information on all of your listings. This is a paid service. It will save you a lot of time and will allow you to easily keep all of your information current. Even if you don’t want to pay for this service, you can use their homepage search function for free. It will show you a comprehensive list of how your business appears on the many local directory sites.


Getting Local Reviews

Once you’ve claimed your business profiles on local search directories, the most important thing you can do to boost your visibility is get reviews. Having a positive rating can help you elevate your business in search results, especially on sites that allow visitors to sort businesses by the number of positive ratings.

Here are some tips for getting great social local search reviews.

• Simply Ask – If you interact with people on a daily basis in your business, simply ask people to add a review on your business listing. Most people will be happy to oblige.

• Encourage Reviews in your Store – If you have a store or restaurant, encourage local reviews by simply putting a mention or link to your Yelp or other business listing on receipts.

• Add a Button or a Link on your Website – Let your website visitors know they can rate your business on directories like Yelp by adding links to your business listing on your website.

No matter how great your business is, you still might encounter a bad review. Many sites, like Google+ and Yelp, allow business owners to respond to their reviews individually. Be sure to monitor your reviews regularly and respond to them as necessary. Leaving bad reviews unanswered does not make them go away. It just makes visitors to your profile wonder what, if any, resolution your unsatisfied customers received.

By responding to your bad reviews, you show potential new customers that your goal is to make sure everyone is happy, no matter what.

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Create a Local Google+ Page

How to Create a Local Google+ Page for your Business

Local Google+ pages are unique from other categories of pages because they have features that allow customers to easily connect with that business’s physical location. For example, local pages include a map of the business’s location and feature its address, phone number, and hours of operation.

Local pages also share the functionality of other Google+ pages — you can create and manage circles, start and join hangouts, and share content like posts and photos.

To create a local Google+ page for your business, begin by signing in to Google+. If you do not already have a Google+ profile, then click here to learn how to create one.

After you have signed in, click ‘Pages’ under ‘Home’ on the left.


Create a Local Google+ Page


Click the ‘Create a Page’ button in the upper right.


Create a Local Google+ Page


Select the ‘Local Business or Place’ category.


Create a Local Google+ Page


You will now get a map of your area. Click on ‘Agree to Terms’ and click ‘Continue’.


Create a Local Google+ Page


Enter the name or address of your business and select your business if it appears in the drop-down menu.


Create a Local Google+ Page


If you don’t see your business listed in the menu, click ‘No,these are not my businesses’.


Create a Local Google+ Page


You’ll then be prompted to enter some details for your business. Make sure you enter an accurate, complete street address, and a phone number which reaches your business directly.


Create a Local Google+ Page


After you submit your business information, you will be asked to verify your business. Google will mail you a postcard with a PIN number that will be used for verification.


Create a Local Google+ Page


Create a Local Google+ Page


After you click on ‘Send Postcard’ you will be taken to your new Local Google+ Page.


Create a Local Google+ Page


Now you can begin filling out your page with your business hours, contact information, photos, etc.


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