The Finding Forward Coalition of Wisconsin is a group of statewide associations representing a broad range of interests that have come forward to support safeguarding transportation user fees from being used with non-related projects. Their website seeks to educate visitors and communicate with them about this important topic.
The main home page spells out the coalition’s purpose and stance on how they feel transportation fees should be handled. There are links to related news and press releases, frequently asked questions, and to a ‘media room’ where visitors can find contact information and a map of the states where transportation fees are only used for transportation-related projects.
To contact a member of the coalition for more information, a visitor can click a link to enter their external website. Likewise, they can sign up for the group’s newsletter or subscribe to their RSS feed to get updated news as it happens. There are links to Facebook and Twitter so visitors can keep tabs while on the go, while a link to Youtube enables them to watch videos of news stories as they are posted. This site is a great example of how a non-profit organization can utilize social media to spread their message simply and effectively!
Check it out! www.findingforwardwisconsing.org
Features: RSS feed, Feedburner, HootSuite, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Blogging, Email Newsletter through BLASTnewsletters.com, Custom Design
HootSuite’s feature-rich application gives anyone the ability to post updates to their social networks, including Facebook and Twitter. This tool can be used by your business to manage multiple networks using one interface. HootSuite has many features including the ability to schedule tweets, add attachments, and shrink long web addresses so they fit nicely on Twitter – which is restricted to 140 characters. In this tutorial, we are going to provide steps for connecting HootSuite to both Twitter and a Facebook Page. If you give a hoot, stick around!
Step 1: Register or Login…
If you are new to hootsuite.com please register by clicking the big green button that says Sign up now. After registering, return to this page and go to step 2. If already registered, sign in and proceed to the next step.
Signing in to HootSuite is simple. The login and password fields are found on the top-right of the homepage.
Step 2: Find the owl on HootSuite’s dashboard…
After logging in, the dashboard will appear. For those of you who are unfamiliar with HootSuite, below is a screenshot of what it looks like. At the way top, towards the left, you will see the owl. Go ahead and click it.
Click the Hootsuite owl.
Step 3: Social Networks…
Once the owl is clicked, a drop-down menu will appear. Hover the mouse over Settings to have a sub-menu appear. Then click Social Networks. If Settings is accidentally clicked, it will take you to the same destination. (No big deal.)
Click either Settings or Social Networks to get to the Settings dashboard.
Step 4: Add a social network…
The Settings dashboard will appear. Click Add Social Network.
Click Add Social Network on the Settings dashboard.
Step 5: Let’s start with Twitter…
Once the ‘Add Social Network’ dashboard appears, click Connect with Twitter.
Click the blue button that says Connect with Twitter.
Step 6: Allow HootSuite access to Twitter…
First, you must have a Twitter profile. If not, read The Simple Guide to Setting Up Your First Twitter Profile. For those who are not already signed in to Twitter, the following screen will appear. HootSuite needs permission to access the Twitter profile. Enter the username (or email); followed by the password, and then click the blue button Allow.
Connect to your Twitter account by signing in.
If Twitter has been added, it will appear on the Settings dashboard. Good job!
The HootSuite Settings dashboard will display the Twitter profile.
Step 7: That was fun! Now let’s add Facebook to HootSuite…
From the Settings dashboard, click Add Social Network.
To add Facebook to HootSuite, click Add Social Network.
Step 8: Connect to a Facebook Page…
Since this article is meant for businesses, we are going to connect to a Facebook Page, not a personal profile. If your company is using a personal profile, it would be best to create a Facebook Page. Facebook’s policy prohibits the use of personal profiles for business. Read How-to Guide to Create a Facebook Page for detailed instructions. Let’s proceed – click on Facebook Page on the left. Then click Connect with Facebook.
After clicking Facebook Page click Connect with Facebook.
Step 9: Allow HootSuite access to Facebook…
Just as we did before with Twitter, we need to give HootSuite permission to access the Facebook Page. Enter the Facebook email address and password. Then click Login at the bottom.
Provide HootSuite access through the Facebook login screen.
Step 10: Your pages on Facebook…
Once access has been given to HootSuite, the ‘Your pages on Facebook’ dashboard will appear. Check your Facebook Page and click Add to HootSuite.
Check Facebook Pages to administrate them through the HootSuite dashboard.
Step 11: Finished!
Well, not yet. Go ahead and click Finished.
If you want, go ahead and ‘Like’ Hootsuite. Otherwise, click Finished.
Step 12: Review and exit…
After clicking Finished, the Settings dashboard will appear. The Facebook Page should have been added. While here, have a look around to see other available options. Once done, click the X on the top right to close it. Now we will send our first tweet and post!
After adding Facebook Page it will appear on the Settings dashboard.
Step 13: Let’s say something!
Hold your horses – let’s review the features before we make our first post. At the main dashboard, click the text area that says ‘Compose a message’.
Click in the text field to start your first post.
If you didn’t know already, Twitter will only show the first 140 characters of your message. Facebook is restricted to 420 characters. If you want to send the same message to both networks it might be best to stay within 140 characters. The character limit is found on the bottom right of the text area. Keep an eye on it.
While typing, keep an eye on the character limit.
Choose the network…
During, after, or at the beginning, you can choose which networks where the message will be posted. We have a choice between Twitter and Facebook, or both. The Twitter icon is obvious, look closely to see the little flag for the Facebook Page. For now, go ahead and select both of them.
Pay special attention when choosing a network(s) to post a message.
When adding links to the text field your screen will refresh and display a few snippets from that website. This is known as Facebook Share. If needed, it can be edited or removed. Sometimes it’s good to use because it adds more content to the Facebook Page. Other times, it adds clutter. If you do choose to close it, click on the X on the top right.
HootSuite can share content from a website through Facebook’s Share feature.
How to get an Owly URL…
Because of the character limits, URL shorteners are handy for Twitter and Facebook. To get started, copy the URL from your browser. Then paste in to the left of the ‘Shrink’ button. Click Shrink. Automatically, HootSuite will create a short Owly URL (http://ow.ly) and add it to your message.
Use Shrink for shrinking long web addresses.
Adding images and files…
Upload images and files right into your messages. The files are instantly converted into super-short Owly links for space saving and easy sharing.
Upload files to your messages.
According to HootSuite , you can ‘provide rich, nourishing content to your followers at any time of day using the HootSuite tweet scheduler. Pre-schedule anything you like, from radio programming to birthday well-wishes. Or, tweet live!’ To schedule a tweet (or post to Facebook Pages), click the calendar icon. Then choose the date and time. When completed, click Okay.
Schedule messages to keep your Twitter and Facebook Page active.
Saving a draft message…
When time is running out the ‘Save’ button will come in handy. Save draft messages to finish later.
Save now, finish later.
Restoring a draft message…
Simply restore draft messages by clicking the View Drafts arrow. Then select the message to restore.
View draft messages by clicking on the arrow.
Step 14: Let’s get the word out!
We started out adding Facebook and Twitter to Hootsuite. Then we become familiar with a few of the many features built into HootSuite. Now, let’s send out our first tweet and post. Woohoo! The last thing to do is click Send Now. Go for it!
Click Send Now to send your first tweet and post from HootSuite!
Review your work on Twitter…
Until you are accustomed to HootSuite, we recommend double-checking the tweet on Twitter. View the example below to see how it will appear on Twitter.
Example of a tweet sent through HootSuite.
Review your work on Facebook…
After posting, go to your Facebook Page to make sure it looks good. Test the link by clicking it. If everything is perfect, give yourself a pat on the back. Good job!
Example of a post sent through HootSuite. Hootsuite will brand it with their logo.
This concludes our tutorial on connecting Twitter and Facebook to HootSuite. HootSuite is one of the best tools available when managing multiple social networks. There are many features, that we haven’t covered, which can be put to use – hint; check out Linkedin and Foursquare. If you’re interested in mastering HootSuite, become a graduate of HootSuite University. Good luck with your social marketing adventures!
In previous Noteworthy articles we have gone over the steps for submitting a listing to Google Maps and Places, and now, here are the steps for including one with Yahoo! Local. Following them will help create a basic listing that could turn up in Yahoo’s main search results (Yahoo 5-pack) in addition to its local directories. This translates into many potential clients coming across it while searching locally! Are you ready? Let’s start!
The Sign In and Sign Up links can be found on the homepage of yahoo.com.
Step 1: Getting Started
For those who currently have a Yahoo account go to www.yahoo.com and click Sign in (upper right of the Yahoo page). If not, set one up by clicking on Sign Up (It’s free!).
The Sign In and Sign Up links can be found on the homepage of yahoo.com
Step 2: It’s time to sign up…
Once signed in, go to http://listings.local.yahoo.com. The Business Details window should appear. Click the big yellow button that says Sign Up.
To get a free business listing click the big yellow button that says Sign Up.
Step 3: Listing Details…
After clicking ‘Sign Up’ you will be taken to the ‘Listing Details’ page. Most of your time will be spent here. Make it easy for customers to find your business by providing quality content that include words people would use when searching.
Screenshot of the Listing Details page on Yahoo! Local.
Step 4: Account Contact Information
Scroll down to ‘Account Contact Information’. Enter the first name, last name, email, and phone number of the person responsible for the Yahoo! Local listing. Most likely it will be you. The red asterisk indicates this is a required field. If it’s not filled in the listing cannot be completed.
Enter the required information for the account contact.
Step 5: Local Information
The ‘Local Information’ area should be easy to understand. Enter your business name, local phone number, web site address, fax, etc. These can be very important for site visitors, especially if they live further away. Yahoo! Local typically doesn’t need to verify the listing information through postcard or phone calls like other local search sites, but please make sure everything is correct before proceeding to the next step. The wrong address could confuse site visitors if they try to visit your location. In addition, make sure to use the official local phone number for the ‘Local Phone’ field. The area code helps other sites verify that the business’s is located where it says it is. It may be tempting to use an 800 number but we recommend against doing so.
Fill in ‘Local Information’ to help local searchers find your location.
Note: We recommend checking ‘Automatically send me reviews of my business’. In future articles we will explain why reviews are necessary for ranking on local search engines such as Yahoo! Local Maps. When a review is added to the local listing it will be sent to the email address listed under Account Contact Information (step 4).
Check ‘Automatically send me reviews of my business’ to be notified when a searcher leaves a review.
Step 6: Hours of Operation
Next, the hours of operation can be added. When displayed, there is a choice of ‘Do not display operating hours’, ‘24 hours a day’ (never closes), or specifying the days and hours the business is open. If there are special hours or appointments outside normal hours, they can be entered into the ‘Additional Hours of Operation Information’ box.
Enter the operating hours for the business.
Step 7: Payment Methods Accepted
There’s not much that can be done if someone forgets their wallet. At least we can give them a heads up on which type of payment methods are accepted before they spend time driving to your location. Check the payments methods that will be accepted at the cash register.
Check the payment methods accepted at your business.
Step 8: Additional Information
Additional information, such as the year the business was founded, any languages spoken, brand names carried, products and services offered, associations the business belongs to, and specials honored can be entered in these boxes. We recommend filling out all relevant fields as they can help searchers learn more about the business and its offerings. As an example, it would be important for customers to know if your staff can speak Spanish in addition to English. Likewise, mentioning being a member of a professional organization or having accreditation can be a great selling point. Unfortunately Yahoo! Local restricts the amount of characters that can be used. Languages Spoken, Profession Associations and Specials are limited to 50 characters. Brand Names Carried and Products and Services Offered are restricted to 500 characters. Be creative, write quality content, and consider words that searchers will use to find a business such as yours.
Fill in the details to make a profile that stands out from the competition.
Step 9: Step-By-Step Preview
Click Listing Page and Details Page to view how the listing will appear.
To see the listing in action click Listing Page and Details Page.
When clicking Listing Page a visual example of the listing will appear.
Click Listing Page to view an example of your new listing.
To get a better idea of how it will look on Yahoo! Local, check out the screenshot below.
When searching Yahoo! Local the listing will appear with contact details and (possibly) reviews.
Click Details Page to get a glimpse of how the page will appear to searchers. Carefully review the details page to make sure the information is accurate.
Review the details page and update the listing if any information is wrong.
Here is what it will closely resemble after the page as been approved by Yahoo.
A screenshot of wisnet.com’s listing on Yahoo! Local.
Step 10: Review and continue…
After previewing the listings, double-check your work. Make sure there are no spelling mistakes, broken links, wrong phone numbers, and most importantly – a wrong address. Once the listing is perfected click Continue.
Click Continue to move to next step.
Step 11: Modifying an existing Yahoo! Local listing…
After clicking ‘Continue’ a warning might (most likely) appear. Go ahead and select your listing and click Continue. If for some reason it is not correct, select the option under ‘Add a New Listing’ that says ‘My business does not appear in the list above. Please add my listing to Yahoo! Local’. Click Continue when done.
Choose from an existing listing or add a new listing.
Step 12: Category Selection
Selecting the right categories for your business is very important. Most likely searchers use these words when searching locally. It is restricted to five categories and the first one will be the primary. To get started you have the choice between selecting from the drop-down menu or clicking on Need Suggestions. Go ahead and spend some time using both tools to categorize your business.
Review the choices available by clicking on the drop-down menu.
Step 13: Step-by-Step Preview and Continue
After finding the best categories that suit your company, review the listing by clicking Listing Page and Details Page. If it is accurate click Continue.
Review the listing and page and then click ‘Continue’
Step 14: The Preview page…
This will be your last opportunity to review the listing. Review all the information to make sure it’s accurate. Click Submit when completed.
Preview the listing one more time before submitting it to Yahoo! Local.
Note: Enhanced Listings is a Yahoo service that costs $9.95 a month per location, and offers such features as the ability to upload a picture or logo and to include more detailed business descriptions.
Step 15: Verification and Terms of Service
At the ‘Verification and Terms of Service’ page enter the code, read the terms of service, and then click I Agree at the bottom.
Accept to terms of service to continue.
Step 16: Thank You!
You’re done! We recommend creating a reminder in your calendar to come back and check on your listing. It might have been rejected.
Success! Your listing will be reviewed within 5 days.
If the listing was successfully posted to Yahoo! Local, they will send a confirmation email. It will indicate the status (Congratulations!) and provide a link to edit it if you would like to improve the listing.
Congratulations! Your Yahoo! Local Basic Listing has been posted.
Now that your listing has been posted to Yahoo! Local, you have the potential to be seen by anyone searching locally! Using this powerful resource, in addition to Google Maps and Places, will give you more visibility and control to make your business a strong presence in your neighborhood!
Join wisnet.com for some summer fun! The wisnet.com team is setting sail with the Lakeside Spirit Tuesday, July 27 at 6pm. We want you to come along!
Best of all – wisnet.com is picking up half the tab!
A little about Lakeside Spirit…
Dine, relax and view the Niagara Escarpment on Lake Winnebago’s only excursion yacht! Let yourself be taken in by the romance of cool lake breezes, enjoy mouth-watering food, refreshing beverages and pleasant conversations. Find out more by visiting www.lakesidespirit.com.
Lakeside Spirit Dinner Cruises in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin.
Hurry – the limited seats are going fast!
Step 1: Reserve your seats…
Go to the Calendar page located at www.lakesidespirit.com/inner.iml?mdl=calendar.mdl.
Step 2: Find the date…
Find Tuesday, July 27th and click 6:00 PM: Mexican Dinner.
Choose 6:00 PM on Tuesday, July 27th to join our team for a cruise on Lake Winnebago.
Step 3: Apply the coupon code to receive the discount…
Enter wisnet50 to the right of ‘Coupon Code’ to receive 50% off the tickets. Then click Apply Coupon.
Enter the coupon code to see your savings!
After the coupon code is entered you will receive a confirmation message.
Complete the form…
Complete the form along with a credit card number. Then click Send.
After completing the form click ‘Send’ at the bottom.
Good food, relaxation, spectacular view – we look forward to seeing you there!
We just wrapped up a pretty cool project for Adashun Jones Real Estate of Fond du Lac, WI. Check this out!
Adashun Jones will be putting magnets on their signs that say something like TEXT AJ 1041 to 511511 for more property details. Mobile phone users can text in the number and instantly receive a text message back with the address, price, bedrooms, baths, agent information, and a link to Adashun’s mobile website.
Now that’s making real estate property information appear right at your fingertips!
Contact us to see what texting can do for your business!