Social Media Examiner: Monitor KPIs In a Single Dashboard!

Social Media Examiner: Set Up a Single Dashboard to track KPIsWe just got HUGE ink in a great article from Social Media Examiner and we couldn’t be more excited. It’s all about tracking KPIs from a single spot. It’s an awesome read: How to Monitor Multiple Social Media Metrics in a Single Dashboard.

Writer Brandon Olson who is the Content Marketing Manager at AWeber, one of the world’s leading email marketing providers, walks you through how to choose the right tool for your business (so yes our competition is in there, we like them!) how to connect Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and LinkedIn social media KPIs.

And it’s not a surprise Brandon also talks about how to tie in Google Analytics KPIs as well as an email marketing dashboard.

Also check out his other Social Media Examiner article: How to Generate Leads With Social Media Quizzes

Startup Lessons Learned: Your Network is More Than Your Social Network

This is mScreen Shot 2016-04-14 at 5.40.24 AMore like a ‘startup lessons remembered’ but worthy nonetheless. It’s about your social network, and how that can be limiting if you only rely on it to establish partnerships.

I’m working on a large partner strategy here at Dasheroo, and have 10-12 potential companies I’m targeting. Do I have C-level contacts at all of these companies? Nope. My awesome advisors have contacts at some of them; some very recent and relevant and others more of just a LinkedIn connection. And as we all know, all connections are not created equal. For instance, I’m connected to a few thousand folks; I may only really know a few hundred of those, and of those I’m not really that up to date on where they are or what they are doing.

So for the companies I was really lacking connections for, I started with what I call ‘LinkedIn stalking’. Go to my favorite social network LinkedIn and start searching for CEO, CPO and CMO folks to connect to. Then when they connect, BAM! I start a dialog that develops into my pitch.

This can be a laborious effort. And since it’s semi-cold, not always going to have a great success rate.  Same can be said of the intros you can get from one of your 1st degree connections to someone you want to connect with.

So the other day, I was having drinks with an old friend of mine. Nothing business related, just a catch-up after not seeing him for a year or so. Eventually we touched on business & I mentioned my big project. After a few minutes, Nick’s eyes lit up and he said “Have you ever thought of <company name>? They’ve switched their strategy the past year and this could be a perfect fit! I just spoke to their CEO last week.”

So Nick introduced me to their CEO, with great context and a very personal ‘in’. We instantly scheduled what was a very productive meeting that hopefully leads to a great deal for both of us.

What this reminded me was: all too often we hope or expect a connection on social media will turn into something, but working your personal connections can be far more productive. So get out there, hop on a Zoom or meet up in person and work it!

Why a Social Media Dashboard is Imperative to Your Business

We all know that social media is not a fad, it’s here to stay and stay for a long time. Consider this nugget of information from the Pew Research Center: as of January 2014, 74% of online adults use social networking sites.

As a business owner or marketing pro, you should never overlook the power of social media. From Twitter to Facebook to LinkedIn, there are a variety of platforms that deserve your attention.

It’s easy enough to use social media. After all, it only takes a couple minutes to Tweet and post an update to Facebook. But that’s not a sound social media marketing strategy. You need to dig much deeper. You need to understand why a social media dashboard is imperative to your business.

Screen Shot 2016-01-22 at 11.34.25 AM1. Keep an Eye on Your Channels

Have you noticed your Twitter follower count increasing month over month? Are you wondering why you aren’t achieving the same traction on Facebook?

With a social media dashboard, you can keep a finger on the pulse of your growing channels and more importantly those that need more attention.

Your social media channels should always be growing. This is a positive sign for your business.

2. Know what Type of Content Your Audience LikesScreen Shot 2016-01-22 at 11.34.50 AM

You can post as much as you want to social media, but none of this matters if your engagement is subpar.

Let your social media dashboard show you what type of content your audience likes. Focus on the posts with the highest engagement rate, as these are the ones generating the most interest.

Once you know what your audience enjoys, you can tweak your strategy to publish similar content in the future.

3. Track Your TrafficScreen Shot 2016-01-22 at 11.37.56 AM

Just the same as engagement, it’s important to track the amount of traffic generated through social channels.

In addition to overall traffic in Google Analytics, break this down to see which channels are most effective in terms of driving visitors to your website. This data will allow you to accordingly adjust your content creation and posting strategy.

Shortly after implementing a social media dashboard you will be faced with more data than you ever thought possible. And there is nothing better than that!

P.S. Get a free social media dashboard from Dasheroo, it takes minutes!

LinkedIn Marketing: 9 Reasons We Love It!

I started to count the ways that LinkedIn really helped and continues to help us grow our business and had to stop at 9 or this would be a dang long post. And it’s not really LinkedIn marketing, it’s really LinkedIn relationship management but that keyword phrase gets no love from Google.

And it’s not only reaching out to people that might be able to help. And it’s not all about “selling.” It’s about getting to know people who could help at some point. It’s also about how you can return the favor too. On top of that you need to be open to getting connection requests like the one you send, and expanding your network. You never know who is going to be on the other end of a connection.

  1. We got a great meeting with Chad Pollitt, Relevance.com. Matthew Toren's LinkedIn PageHe asked JP to write for them and he gave us some great tips for future product features.
  2. We had a great meeting with Viveka Von Rosen, author of LinkedIn Marketing: An Hour a Day, who Tweeted us out to her huge following singing our praises. Always grateful Viveka.
  3. We got in front of Pratik Dholakiya, of E2M Solutions for a demo since he writes articles for many popular publications. He also happens to run an outsourced development shop where we now outsource our mobile apps to. We also hooked him up with a bud who wants an app developed. Nice!
  4. We connected and demoed Dasheroo with Matthew Toren, author of Kidpreneur, who just included Dasheroo in  an article he wrote for Entrepreneur: 7 Tools That Can Help You Rapidly Grow and Automate Your Business!
  5. We reached out to Jay Baer, CEO of Convince and Convert. We had a great demo with him and got some awesome feedback.
  6. On a wild-ass try, we reached out to Warner Brothers who got right back to us for a demo. They answered, no lie.
  7. We reached out to Eve Mayer, LinkedIn Queen and CEO of Social Media Delivered, to get a meeting with her. She looked at our site, passed the information along to her tech consultant and now they’re using Dasheroo! Thanks Eve!
  8. An awesome writer, Chris Bibey, reached out to us to see if we needed any blog help. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect. We connected and now he helps us write every week. (He’s not writing this BTW 🙂
  9. Barry Feldman, Feldman Creative, who we’ve followed for a long time, reached out to us to see if there was something he could help us with, there is, we’re working together! Plus he gave us an intro to the great Andy Crestodina, Orbit Media.

The list goes on and on and we’re less than a year old! Now we’ve got a ton of new friends and the list keeps growing. It pays to connect with people on LinkedIn. LinkedIn has helped us form some awesome relationships with super people. Are you using it to the best of your business ability?

P.S. Don’t forget to check out our LinkedIn Analytics dashboard. You can track engagement, followers and impressions for your LinkedIn Company page and personal profile right in your Dasheroo dashboards, free!

Startup Lessons Learned This Week: Setting Our Pricing

Last week in Startup Lessons Learned I discussed the importance of establishing sales strategies on both ends of the business spectrum – from a strong ‘auto convert’ for the SMBs all the way up to big ‘ol enterprise types. What that means is this – folks that will pull out their credit card for a $19 purchase when electronically prompted, all the way up to negotiated contracts in the several of thousands of dollars.

So when deciding on your startup pricing strategy, there are so many important items to consider. But I’m going to focus on the 3 biggies we drilled into when setting our initial ‘auto convert’ pricing, as I feel they establish the foundation of a good pricing strategy. Here we go:

1) Your costs. Evaluate both fixed and especially variable costs. For us, the incremental costs of supporting each new user is relatively low. Our incremental costs get down to efficiently scaling the backend server and database costs, being very efficient with API calls to the 3rd party applications we connect to, and customer support. With a business freemium model like we have, incremental variable costs must remain low. For yours? Who knows, but start with your cost basis, and make sure you are very realistic on your costs now, and how they will change over time, especially if you grow.

2) Your competition. You need to be mindful of the competitive environment. Businesses are very cost-sensitive. Does that mean you need to undercut your competition? Not necessarily. First, try to understand your competitor’s pricing approach. What are they basing it on?  Is it per user or per ‘widget’? Figure out their pricing metric(s). If you can understand that you can shape your pricing to be a greater value. And that is really what it comes down to, to win the long term race. Value.

Note: Don’t get too crazed by just one competitor’s pricing. You could whip yourself into a frenzy trying to compete with it, and then they change their pricing the next day!

3) Your value. Here’s where your pricing strategy culminates into a successful business. Answering the question “What do users derive the most value from?” You can’t trick, cajole, or hold important stuff hostage, in order to drive long term profitable relationships with your users. And although price points are a huge consideration, if they are not based on ‘value realized’ it won’t matter.

Bottom line, here’s what we did for our SMB auto-convert pricing (I’ll talk agency and larger company pricing in a future post.)

Ou just launched business dashboard pricing

Our just launched business dashboard pricing!

  • Free! We call this our “Tall” pricing tier. We feel business freemium reduces the risk a business takes, and allows for rapid global adoption. Sharp folks like Mailchimp, LinkedIn, Hootsuite and SurveyMonkey have all proven this out. Otherwise, users are forced to make a pay/flee decision after a 14-30 day trial, and often these busy users need a longer period of time to derive value from a product. We felt that leading with a 100% risk-free offer satisfies my three considerations above,  provides a huge value, a competitive advantage and fits within our cost structure.
    • We’re big believers in really providing great value in the freemium edition. No stripped down bait-and-switch type stuff. At VerticalResponse (where a lot of us have experience from) we re-tooled the traditional 30-day free trial into a freemium.

Dilbert: Freemium Model Cartoon

  • No ‘per user’ pricing. We really deliberated on this one! Debated. Argued. Hell, I think I argued with myself on this decision! But at the end, we all came to agreement that our pricing should be more like Basecamp’s pricing for project management than Insightly’s per-user pricing for CRM. CRM tools like Insightly naturally lend themselves to a per-user pricing schema, but with business dashboards, you get some users that may casually log in once per month, others that log in daily. So why make people hesitant to invite that casual user?
  • Great conversion price points and clear value triggers. So, the next pricing tiers are Grande and Venti, tipping a hat to Starbucks. You want to achieve a couple things here. First, there are natural price points that tend to drive a conversion. As in our $19 Grande plan. Sure we could have priced at $23 or $16. But we’ve done enough testing in our (long) lives to know that we’ll get as many folks to pay us $19 than $16 (I’ll take an extra $3/month to invest in innovation), and probably drive 30%+ conversions than pricing a couple bucks over the magic $20. Same goes for the Venti pricing. Secondly, our value-add (triggers) are clear. It’s completely usage based. You consume more Insights, we hope it’s clear that you should budget a little more per month for that additional usage, and a couple more bells and whistles.

A guarantee? We’ll most likely change our pricing at some point. As we learn, instrument (we love Mixpanel!) usage, get feedback from our awesome users and add more features and functionality we’ll adjust our prices. But we plan on always treating our current users well, and offer ‘grandfather’ plans to them.

Oh yeah, why the caffienated pricing? It just seemed catchy and fun. Hopefully it’s clear to people, otherwise we may change those labels as well!

3 Cool Must-Reads This Week: Social Media Marketing

In an effort to get you all that you need to track important metrics for your business we’re scouring the social media marketing sphere for articles we think are important. Here are our 3 must reads:

LinkedIn Unveils Analytics for publishing Long Forms on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is constantly changing the access they give companies like Dasheroo access to their API so we can get data for your business dashboards. They’ve actually made a recent change that’s going to affect some of the data we present for your personal stats. Either way, we love LinkedIn and think it’s important for you to know the data that you can get.

Image of LInkedIn's new stats.

Image courtesy David Petherick.

++ In this article, David Petherick steps you through all of the nifty things you can see if you’re publishing long form posts to LinkedIn. Ask the folks at LI if Dasheroo can get access to this data for ya 🙂

++ In this article on Linked into Business, author John White takes us through how to get your LInkedIn long form posts to show up in Google Search.

10 Ways to Use One Piece of Content

duct tape marketing logoNow we’re huge on content marketing. Why? We believe in developing relationships with our users and readers and we have some really great knowledge of what we do and what we’re passionate about. This builds trust with our followers. So John Jantsch over at Duct Tape Marketing posted this beauty this week and we couldn’t agree more.

++ In this article it starts with a simple blog post as a lead generator, and he turns it in to 9 more ways to use that same piece of content to reach different audiences. Brilliant John, brilliant.

How to Clean Up Your Content for More Credibility

Convince & Convert logoWe love short easy-to-understand articles where we get sheer takeaways we can put to work quickly and this article does just that!

++ Thanks to Hillary Byers who wrote this gem for Convince & Convert, we’ll be taking a keen look at our own content for readability, SEO and overall quality.

Happy reading!

I’m John Hingley and This is Dasheroo’s Startup Story

That's me, John Hingley, one of 4 very proud Dasheroo co-founders today.

That’s me, John Hingley, one of 4 very proud Dasheroo co-founders today.

John Hingley here, I’ve been around the marketing, e-commerce and sales business for quite a while both full-time and consulting with great businesses. In one of these businesses I was brought in to fill a huge gap the company had, a sales and marketing leader. Although the business ran pretty sophisticated marketing programs – email marketing, Google AdWords, all forms of social media marketing, SEO, content marketing, trade shows, you name it – at this particular time, they weren’t growing as fast as they needed to.

I observed that most of the weekly meetings were those typical ‘status updates’ that often devolve into, well, a waste of time! So I initiated a weekly meeting called the Triple-S. People around the office asked me what it meant. It was simple; Sell Some Sh*t. If you weren’t talking about the metrics driving the business, you weren’t in the meeting.

The format of SSS was a metrics-driven meeting driven off a Google doc. I wanted a place where everyone could put their data in a shared, collaborative environment. A ‘unified view’ of the data if you will. And you know what? It worked! Our lead generation folks got a better understanding of what the landing page optimization people were doing, and the content marketing people started to create content that was more relevant based on the keywords people were coming to the site from. And so on.

But after a few of these, I noticed some faults. About 2 hours before each meeting, I noticed the team scurrying around, gathering the charts and graphs to place in the Google doc. Time suck! Next, there was little transparency in many of the numbers as some of the team would create their own Excel charts from the data of the native app, like Facebook. How did I know if it was accurate? And last, WTF do we all have to wait until Tuesday at 1p to look at all this great stuff?! It should be updated and available to any of us, any time, from anywhere.

So I took a step back, looked at it and asked, why the hell isn’t there a solution  for any business that automatically gathers all of this data up to the minute (or hour even!), eliminate human error and display what’s going with the biz RIGHT NOW, not what happened 6 days ago?  RIGHT NOW we can affect change, we can’t make up the 5 days we lost if we could have seen the reports now.

We've got Dashboards for all kinds, free!

We’ve got Dashboards for all kinds, free!

When I stopped my consulting gig I decided to toy with the idea of starting this new company we lovingly call Dasheroo, and create the best product for businesses that need business dashboards. (Did I mention every business needs a business dashboard?)

Luckily our idea of bringing data together in an easy-to-read format was met with smiling faces of people around me. After a few months James Ryan our amazing VP of Engineering (sold his last company to Get Satisfaction) came on, set up shop in Austin, TX,  and we worked to get an alpha version of our product out with 800 users.

We piqued the interest of a venture firm, Cloud Apps Capital Partners, that believes in everything we’re about; delivering productive business apps in a ‘business freemium’ model. Matt Holleran and Judy Loehr have been amazing to work with, they’ve given all of the support we need and more, and the best part is, they’re really, really nice and are part of the Dasheroo family already.

Screen Shot 2015-04-25 at 12.21.09 PMAmazingly, to round out the team this past year we scored Josh Feinberg (VP Product) and Alf Brand (VP Customer Success and UX expert) to join. These guys all have the experience we need to make an awesome product even more awesome.

And now we have the best tool any business can have in their tool chest; all of the important business metrics in their own business dashboards, for free.

How can it be free, you ask? What’s the catch? We know a lot about how to make things for small & mid-size business owners, agencies and even enterprise businesses, being that we’ve always been one ourselves. And we know that you need a break, but you’ll pay for bells and whistles you really need. Plus, I used to run an agency, so I hope other agency types see value in Dasheroo too. So that’s the deal, it’s free, you’ll love all of the functionality you’ll get and when you grow, we grow. Can we shake on that?

So thanks to the 1,700+ amazing beta users who have been banging on Dasheroo for the past few months, telling us what you like and more importantly what you don’t. This product is yours, not ours. It grows with you.

We’ll keep being transparent with you, we’ve always told you 99% of what’s happening behind the scenes, there’s not a chance of stopping that now.

So take us for a spin, we’re ready to grow and grow fast. And if you like us tell your friends. We don’t want to spend our money on advertising, we’d rather give it to you in the form of a stellar product.

Cheers,

John, James, Josh, Alf, Court, Andrew

P.S. Special thanks to the following friends for helping us get to this point:

John Jantsch (Duct Tape Marketing), Viveka Von Rosen (Linked Into Business), Alex Theuma (SaaScribe), Matthew Toren (iSmallBusiness), Adam Toren (Kidpreneurs), Dave Kerpen (Likeable Local), Jay Baer (Convince & Convert), Lauren Simmonds (Small Business Computing), Bryan Eisenberg (Idealspot), Pratik Dholakiya, Tom Taulli, Mark Evans, Steve Strauss (The Self Employed), Carol McManus (LinkedIn Lady), Ken Herron, Emily Crume and Erik Fisher (Social Media Examiner), Anita Campbell (Small Biz Trends), Matt Mansfield (MattAboutBusiness), Ramon Ray (Smart Hustle Magazine) and last but certainly not least Janine Popick.

Our friends and family of amazing investors (who are literally our friends and our family 🙂

For the full press release, go here.

Track Our Startup: 6 Days to Launch New Business Dashboards

Image of a bug zapper, cuz that's what we did at Dashesroo this week, zapped bugs.

James or VP Engineering posted this simple image to his “What I’m working on” list. Nice!

Nope you’re not seeing things, seems like we already had a “6 Days to Launch” message out to you. The thing is, we ran into some issues where a new feature we’re working on threw us and our app for a loop. So, a) we didn’t want that, especially as we launch our company,and 2) we haven’t worked for over a year to give you a sub-par experience with your business dashboards, especially when an awesome customer experience is our #1 goal.

Sooooo, since we let you in on this last Thursday what have we done?

  • Fixed the dang issue! Now we’re in heavy QA with this feature.
  • Zapped some annoying bugs. Bzzzzt!
  • Focused on some really nice UI changes.

LinkedIn will be changing up their API which is likely going to affect a few of our Insights. More on that as we find out more but the changes will take place on May 12 🙁

We also had some great conversations this week showing off Dasheroo to folks like Jay Baer from Convince & Convert. Thanks for the time & great feedback, Jay!

Alf showing off our new Dasheroo trade show booth.

Alf showing off our brand-spankin’ new Dasheroo trade show booth!

Since we had an extra week, we also focused on getting MixPanel instrumented for all of the new features we’re introducing. So now we can measure if you use feature “a” do you also use feature “c”? It’s important for us to look at this data as we concentrate on where to place things in the app where you would expect to see them. It’s a crazy science that we, ahem, love. (geek)

We’re closer than ever to closing our round of funding and we couldn’t be more excited. More on that when we launch next week!

We’re readying our awesome new website, we just got our trade show booth for our trip to New York in May for Market New York, are you going?

We’re still working on insights for Facebook Ads and My Emma so stay tuned for those after we launch!

3 Easy Ways to Use the Power of LinkedIn Marketing

LinkedIn is a powerful tool, we love it and use it profusely here at Dasheroo. But it’s not s spray-and-pray form of marketing. LinkedIn offers that cool way to cultivate a relationship by offering up what your profile and your posts say about you, to someone who may not have a clue who you are! So you need to be careful about how you go about asking someone to connect all the way to a possible meeting with them face to face.

What are the most powerful parts of LinkedIn you ask?

Get the 1st level Connection

One of the greatest things is becoming a first connection with someone on LinkedIn. Why? It gives you the digital “OK” to send someone an email that will go directly to their inbox. The first connection is the most important because your new connection is saying “fine, I like what I see from your profile and I’m open to some communication from you.” Pretty cool .

If you don’t get the connection right away, you can resend the invitation to connect but be careful, you don’t want to come of as a spammer!

image of sending someone an email in LinkedIn

Tag ’em!

Viveka von Rosen, author of Linkedin Marketing: An Hour a Day says in her post that tagging is powerful! We love that. When you tag one of your first connections it’s easy to target a message to that group. “This will allow you to quickly send a message to a group of people that you want to stay top of mind with a few times a month.”

Image of tagging someone on LinkedIn

Stalk the stalkers!

Send an invitation to “People who’ve viewed your profile” in LInkedIn. These guys are obviously interested in you, you need to reach out to them to get that level 1 connection where you can start to build a relationship with them. “People who view your profile are usually clients, competition or leads!” says von Rosen ” Why not message or invite a few of these folks to connect?”

image of people who have viewed John's profile on LinkedIn

We’ve been wanting to get in front of Mr. Scott Monty, now we know he’s seen us!

 

There is so much more to LinkedIn that we’ll be writing about for sure, but these are three great places to start.

3 Easy Ways Put Influencer Marketing To Work For Your Biz

Stalking influential people in your industry can be fun and dangerous. Kidding. Seriously though, if there is one thing you should know it’s the people writing and talking about companies like yours to the masses.

But first the most important part, you need to start with a great product. If you have a crappy product you can get in front of all of the influential people all the time but if they hate the product they’ll either never talk about it or worse yet, say bad things about it.

So here are three easy ways we’ve found to unearth people you need to talk to.

Search Keywords on Google

Say you sell gluten-free barbecue sauce and it’s really, really good. Well gluten-free diets are all the rage and it helps with celiac disease, right? So you wouldn’t search “bbq sauce” as a keyword you might search “gluten free experts,” “gluten free books” or “celiac disease experts.” There you’ve got a list of experts or authors to go after.

Screen Shot 2015-04-19 at 8.09.35 AMScreen Shot 2015-04-19 at 8.09.56 AM

Search Your Competition on Google

If you see that your competition is getting some great placement on blogs when you search for them on Google (we searched on Annie’s gluten-free bbq sauce” below), contact that blog owner and tell them you’d like to send them your gluten-free bbq sauce. Follow up with them to ask them what they think and if they might possibly write about you.

Screen Shot 2015-04-19 at 8.20.09 AM

Search LinkedIn with Keywords

People are using LinkedIn more and more so they’re found when searching in Google so they’re using the keywords that are important to their business. A cursory search on “gluten-free experts” returned exactly what we wanted! Now it’s time to reach out, connect and try to get in front of the experts!

 

Screen Shot 2015-04-19 at 8.14.25 AM

 

It’s ok to be a stalker, you’re stalking methodically to target the exact person who might want to help you get the word out. After all your passion is in what you make and if you make a great product people should want to tell the world.