42 Social Networking Tips & Tools For Computer Repair Marketing

Get a crash course on maximizing web 2.0 and learn how to leverage social networking sites and tools to market your computer repair services for greater profits.

For those of you technology service providers who missed the boat on the web 2.0 explosion, there’s still time to catch up and use social networking to grow your business on a shoe-string budget.

Here is a crash course on how best to use social media, followed by the top 42 tools to help you maximize your social marketing.

Advice #1: Look at social media as a toolset rather than a checklist of websites you have to have a presence on. Not every website will be useful or appropriate for your business. You have to look at each website’s strengths and weaknesses and compare them to the kind of exposure your services can benefit from.

For example, if you don’t have a lot of news to update clients with, Facebook will probably not be very useful. Instead you should consider starting your own blog, because this will give you a controlled, slow-drip medium to deliver your message about your services and talk about breaking news in the industry that your clients should know about.

Advice #2: You don’t have to respond to every comment, wall post, or message you receive on your social media sites. There’s a lot of pressure now-a-days to respond to every tweet or comment you get. This can appear to be very intimidating for companies who simply don’t have the time or manpower to handle such indepth measures.

The truth is, it’s unrealistic to try and respond to everything.  What’s important is that you make your users feel listened to and loved.  You can do this in a number of ways like gathering the most common questions you receive and writing an article addressing them all called “Answers To The Top X Questions (Insert Type Of Clients) Have About (Insert Service).”

Advice #3: Track all of your social networking data in addition to traditional website analytics. This is a key strategy in my Computer Repair Business In-A-Box, and can be very effective. While it’s important to track basic analytical data about visitors to your websites, it is ALSO important that you focus on strategic data from your social sites. You won’t be able to track page hits and unique visitors on your social sites, but there are a ton of other things you can track. Consider these:

  1. How many comments is your blog post getting on average? Is that number going up?
  2. Which blog posts receive above average comments? What topics do these posts cover?
  3. How many wall posts, messages, and comments are you averaging per day on each site? Do specific news or status updates cause these numbers to rise or fall?
  4. What are people saying and how MUCH are they saying?

The more your users engage with you, the more you’ll know that you are growing a captive audience. This type of tracking will also help you find out what exactly your clients are interested in. This will help you tweak your marketing and the services you offer.

Here Are 42 Social Networking Tips & Tools To Get Your Computer Repair Business Started:

Analytics/Measurement

Tips: Google Analytics How-To Videos
These videos offer great insight on how to improve your use of website analytics.

Tips: Web Analytics For Dummies
The basics of web analytics is explained beautifully in this article.

Tools: Feed Analysis 1.1
This is a great tool to analyze Feedburner statistics over a period of time. Use this if you plan to blog or publish articles.

Tools: Feedjit
Show off your live web traffic to the world.

Tools: RobotReplay
Record and watch the actions visitors on your website take. You can view every click of the mouse and keystroke.

Tools: The BuzzMonitor
An aggregation tool that is produced by the World Bank.

Tools: Websites As Graphs
View your website’s social growth as visual graphs.

Blogging

Tips: RSS Specifications
All things regarding RSS feeds.

Tools: CoverItLive
Blog events in real time with this hosted service.

Tools: WordPress Plugins Resource
You can find an awesome assortment of wordpress plugins here.

Tools: Top Blog/Website Template Generators
Self explanatory.

Micro-Blogging

Tips: Six Signs That Twitter Isn’t For Your Nonprofit
Very helpful advice on how to — and how not to — use Twitter.

Tips: The 10 ways I learned to use Twitter in 2007
Dan York spells out how and why he uses Twitter.

Tips: Twitter: Crisis Case Studies
Examples of ways to use Twitter and tools to make it more effective.

Tips: What the Web Strategist should know about Twitter
Jeremiah Owyang introduces Twitter, outlines its benefits & limitations, and explains how to use it.

Tools: Buzzter
A Twitter search tool.

Tools: JTL
This pull extracts the 50 most recent links in your Twitter feed.

Tools: Snitter
A popular desktop application for Twitter.

Tools: Terraminds
A great search tool for Twitter.

Tools: Tweeterboard
Track conversations on Twitter. This is a very helpful tool to use but is still a little buggy.

Tools: Tweetscan
Search Twitter in “real time”.

Tools: TwitDir
An online directory of Twitter users.

Tools: Twitter Karma
Tells you exactly who is following you and who you are following.

Miscellaneous

Tips: Black belt scheduling with Google Calendar
Great tips on using Google Calender.

Tips: A “How To” Guide On Embedding Google Calendar
A helpful resource that teaches you how to embed Google Calendar.

Tips: Journalism 2.0: How to Survive and Thrive
Provides an excellant introduction to web 2.0.

Tips: Simplifying Ajax For Marketers
Nifty article about the benefits of using Ajax in your marketing.

Tools: 11 Secure Open-Source Projects
A list of open source projects that have been certified as being free of security defects.

Tools: AnchorFree
A very reliable wifi security tool.

Tools: My Office 2.0 Setup
A complete source that lists useful online office programs.

Mobile/Telephony

Tools: Eye-Fi
The Eye-Fi Card is a wireless memory card that will automatically upload pictures from your digital camera to your favorite photo sharing site, blog, or social networking account.

Tools: High Quality Conference Calls With Superior Voice Quality
Dan York covers a Skype extra that adds better voice quality and conference call features to Skype.

Tools: Spinvox
A tool that lets you make posts to twitter, blogs, and other social networking sites using your voice.

PR/News Releases

Tools: PR Web
A free online service that distributes your press release to thousands of published sites.

Tools: PRX Builder
An online press release creation tool.

Tools: Social Media Newsroom
SHIFT Communications provides this awesome template for creating a social media newsroom.

Tools: Social Media Press Release
This is the original template that SHIFT Communications released for your own social media newsroom.

Tools: Social Media Press Release: The Next Step
A great HTML template for your online news release.

Search/SEO

Tips: How to Generate Web Site Traffic: The Meta List
This is a list of free resources to increase your web traffic. I haven’t checked them all out but the ones I did visit were helpful.

Tools: Searchmash
A non-advertised testing area by Google. Some really cool results using Ajax.

Social Bookmarking

Tips: How To Become A del.icio.us Power User
Great tips on how to maximize your use of del.icio.us.

Tools: Social Bookmarking Submission Tools
Lee Odden provides a few great tools that make submitting social bookmarks easier.