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Great articles roundup: Bold predictions, Jordan Satok, wolves in sheep’s clothing, becoming an entrepreneur, Google Analytics

By Leo Valiquette

As a regular feature, we provide our readers with a roundup of some of the best articles we have read in the past week. On the podium this week are MarketingProfs, TechVibes, Forbes, Inc. and Dan Barker.

What’s next in marketing: 29 bold predictions for 2013

MarketingProfs’ Veronica Maria Jarski makes the rounds to find out what we should expect in 2013. We of course are particularly pleased by the prediction that content marketing will continue to gain prominence this year. However, there is a diversity of ideas in her article and we will leave it to you, gentle reader, to decide which are insightful and visionary or just so much buzz word-ridden bombast.

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The free tools in my social media marketing toolkit — Part 2: Management & measurement

By Alexandra Reid

In my last post, I shared and reviewed my favourite (free) social media monitoring tools that I use regularly to carry out social media marketing strategies on behalf of clients. Today, I reveal the management and measurement tools I use to organize and keep track of the zillions of conversations I monitor daily across multiple channels.

To summarize, these tools are free and therefore great for small businesses and new ventures. However, they are useless if they are not aligned with a sound social media marketing strategy. They are also far from perfect so we must always cross-examine data with information provided by other tools and sometimes even check information manually to ensure everything is accurate.

I decided to combine my favourite management and measurement tools because many of them do both functions. Technically, some of these can be used for monitoring social media as well. At the end of the day, it’s not so much the tools that matter, but how you use them. These are the ones that I’ve found excel, particularly in the management and measurement departments.

Without further ado, here are my favourite social media management and measurement tools:

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Measuring social media: A step-by-step guide for newbies

By Alexandra Reid

Over the last two weeks, I have taught our readers how to grasp the basic concepts required for monitoring and managing social media so they can be more effective in marketing their businesses on these channels. As the last in my three-part series, this post discusses how to measure the information received through the first two processes to provide actionable insight required to carry out successful, long-term social media strategies.

In earlier posts, I explained how to develop a social media strategy and carry it through and how to track social media efforts and reach your benchmarks. Your strategy should include your social media goals, determined by analyzing your business to decide what you want and are able to achieve through social media and what you are able to offer your audiences as well as other businesses to understand what they are doing successfully so you can compete. You can also look at reports and other key benchmarking data, provided by organizations such as MarketingSherpa, MarketingProfs and Forrester. Your strategy should also include your plan for measuring success, laying out your key performance metrics and how you will collect and analyze the data. I suggest you read these posts first to provide you with a good starting point for today’s discussion. This post will provide details on how to actually measure social media, including tools and measurement methods we employ.

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Community management: Simple ways to keep track of key information

By Alexandra Reid

This is part two of my three-part series on monitoring, managing and measuring social media. Last week, I discussed a range of tools for monitoring social media and how to use them to their best effect. This week, I’ll teach you about modern, yet free and simple, management methods that I use to organize the information that ours in from my monitoring efforts.

Choosing what to track

Online tools such as Google Analytics, HootSuite, Social Mention, Kurrently and others provide users with excessive amounts of information that can be hard to digest. In my previous post, I explained how to channel the waterfall of information into relevant streams and then filter out the content that is most relevant to you. Part of the management function is to understand what it is your business wants to get out of social media. Knowing the long-term goals and key performance indicators will help you narrow your focus and determine exactly what it is you need to track.

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How to track social media efforts and reach your benchmarks on a startup budget

By Alexandra Reid

As in all marketing efforts, establishing benchmarks and measuring metrics in social media are fundamental to determining success.

Benchmarks are the standards against which all measurements and metrics are measured. In order to determine if a social media strategy is effective, businesses must establish their desired outcomes and what it will take to achieve those outcomes. To track progress, key performance indicators, including competitive performance metrics to reach these targets, must be determined. But how do you determine benchmarks and which data points require measuring? And, more importantly for startups, how can you measure and track these metrics consistently to ensure targets are being reached on a limited budget?

The difference between metrics, measurements and benchmarks

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  • Francis Moran : I'm so glad to see you warming to this idea, Luc. Not that you were ever one of those mindless critics who automatically opposed the proposal; you were properly skeptical and demanding that it contain more of what folks like you and I believed was necessary for success. Looks like the city is listening.

  • Luc Lalande : Hi Francis, thank you for the steady and keen eye on the development of this important project for the City. I share your view that open spaces in the building’s design will be critical components for encouraging spontaneous interactions between people. Integrating such spaces in the Innovation Complex sends the right signals to the community-at-large and not just the local startup ecosystem: everyone is welcomed! With respect to Patti’s comments about the arts sector, it would be worth bringing back to light that the Hintonburg-Mechanicsville area has emerged as the first Arts District in the City of Ottawa, housing many artist studios, performing arts studios, and media groups. While the 7 Bayview located Innovation Complex may cater to the entrepreneurial set, there is still considerable property on these lands that could, one day, be developed and capitalize on the area’s sizable artistic community. But perhaps the open spaces at the Innovation Complex can be equally accommodating for anyone who embraces creativity and entrepreneurship: artists and innovators alike.

  • How can we foster culture of entrepreneurship? | Waterloo Innovation Summit : [...] Velocity also provides hands-on workshops for anyone at the University to learn about becoming a successful entrepreneur, and awards over $300,000 per year through the Velocity Fund to promising early startups, to help launch their success financially. We keep finding really good problems that are worthy of solving and that we think we’d be good at solving. - Mike Kirkup, Director of Velocity and Student Innovation Waterloo’s Velocity accelerator is 5, and growing fast [...]

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