Author Archives: ptomaras

I want my analytics tool FREE and LOCAL

After trying for hours to find a decent analytics tool and find nothing but greedy or overseas garbage, I decided to BING “free social media analytics”.  That’s right, I binged it…bing is also free and local.  It finally worked, I got a great local Seattle company that didn’t want my first-born child in exchange for their border-line worthless services.  The site name is “Simply Measured” and they have a whole suite of analytics tools worth checking out.

In the free report, I get to see some information that I would never really think about but tells me a lot about my followers.  For instance, who would think to look at what keywords are in your followers’ description?  But this could tell you about what is important to your followers and therefore adjust your tweets to interest your followers.

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“Emotional intelligence” eh?  Now I know that some of my followers like to hear about fluffy, non-tangible, non-measurable, artsy-fartsy stuff.  I can now adjust my tweets accordingly.

Although Shaping Sherpas is devoted to helping children in Nepal I always wondered: “Am I reaching anybody actually IN Nepal?”.  Looking at my followers Time Zones I can happily say that yes we are:

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The greatest aspect about “Simply Measured” is that they, like us, are merely trying to increase their popularity via social media.  In lieu of charging for their services, they ask that you help their online presence:

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Free and local…nothing beats that.


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Tweriod: Know when to Tweet

Having many followers on twitter is a great start, but do you how many accounts your followers are following?  Your tweets could be getting buried deep in the endless myriad of tweets floating out there on the internet (As of early 2013, there are over 400 million tweets a day).

Tweriod helps fight this battle my giving you statistics on the online behavior of your followers.  Armed with this data, you can time your tweets during the hours when your followers are most likely to be active and therefore increasing the likelihood that they will be seen.  Coupled with a timing tool like futuretweets, you can fully automate your tweets and the time which they will get the greatest exposure.

There are different purchase options but a free service does exist to test out.  Here is a screenshot from a free report of @shapingsherpas:

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Premium options include more automated services and analysis of more followers.  There is both monthly pricing and one off ad hoc reports so in terms of running trial premium reports there is very little to lose.


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Fat kids rejoice! Skillet Street Food is everywhere!

Food trucks are entering their heyday in America and nowhere is this more evident than Seattle.  One of the earliest and most popular food trucks is Skillet Street Food.  Since 2007, Skillet has been creating innovative lunch menus based on American-inspired food out of a vintage Airstream trailer.  In about 6 years that initial trailer has turned into 2 trailers, a diner in Capitol Hill, a counter in the Seattle Center and a line of condiments sold at retail outlets (the most popular condiment being “Bacon Jam”).

To reach the popularity that Skillet currently enjoys required more than just a presence on Yelp.  Being constantly mobile with an inconsistent schedule requires constant updates to their loyal following.  Ever since I saw their smokestack billowing in downtown Bellevue I became one of those followers.  By monitoring Skillet’s whereabouts on Facebook I was able to schedule my poutine break in advance (when I say “schedule”, I literally mean scheduling it in outlook so nobody at work can arrange a meeting on my calendar).  I now also follow them on Twitter to get up to date notifications of location and specials.  On April 4th, they were speaking directly to my heart:


For those of you that have not enjoyed a Skillet poutine before, this is what you are missing:


Skillet’s use of social media has not been restricted solely to luring in fat Canadians.  They have also used it to advertise cookbooks, new condiments available in retail stores and even special events catered by Skillet.  In just a short 6 years, social media has allowed Skillet to transform from a quaint food truck into a Seattle culinary empire.

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