10 Features Every Social Media Dashboard Must Have

Reports and insights from social media monitoring tools are a valuable resource to understand the status and development of your brand or company on social media. If you want to be a ‘social brand’, it is not sufficient to just monitor. You have to create unique content, read and respond to individual messages and monitor. Only this way you can build a community and a relationship with brand fans.

social media

There are many free and paid tools on the market to post updates in advance, have a look in reach and monitor on the basis of keywords or hashtags. A few examples of these dashboards are: HootSuite, TweetDeck & Buffer.

Not all dashboard have the same options. But, from experience, I can recommend dashboards that are or have at least the following things:

Easy
An social media dashboard should be easy to use. The features should feel natural or native to you. If it is too complicated chances are you won’t make the most of it.

Coverage
Which of my social media platforms can be linked with this dashboard? Important, because you don’t want to use different tools for different platforms.

Flexible
You need a dashboard that can be arranged to fit your wishes. It al depends on your goal at that moment. Are you live tweeting an event or are you monitoring the sentiment of your latest campaign?

Look & Feel
Does it look fresh and clean to you? Dashboards that are too full, have too many colours or graphics can feel overwhelming and might distract you from the most important stuff.

Intern & Extern
Does your social media dashboard has an public option? Would be nice to share a compact dashboard with a Twitterstream, latest updates and fan count for public rooms where your clients can see how social you are.

Relevancy
There is a lot going on. And most of it is white noise. A dashboard that offers features to filter this noise into e.g. relevant mentions is exactly what a busy community manager needs.

Real-time
You don’t want to refresh every 5 seconds. You don’t want to be on top of old news. In 2014 we want real-time information.

Posting
A great social media dashboard let you schedule posts for times that you are not around. The weekend of evenings for example. Make sure that you can schedule rich content such as pictures and videos.

Multiple members
Bigger brands and companies have several people who manage the social content. To keep things tidy it is advisable to create a personal login for each member of the account. It makes delegating a lot easier.

Reports
You are probably too busy to create weekly or day to day social media reports. So don’t! Most social media dashboards offer some kind of report system, many of them are only available for paid accounts.

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What you need to know about your venue of choice, before making a decision..

You are planning a business meeting, conference or brainstorm session, as a meeting planner, head of HR or maybe just because you volunteered for the job. In the search of the perfect venue you’ve seen countless options that just didn’t spoke to you. But this particular venue.. Wow! But hold up.. Before you make the decision to book it, have you thought about the following things? Have you asked the venue owner about it?

venue

What is the maximum capacity?
You don’t want to deal with the local fire department. So it is important to know the exact maximum capacity of the space. When you are in doubt if the space is big enough talk about options, perhaps an extra room or outside tents.

Is there Wifi?
In 2014 most of the venues have Wifi. But is it included in the price? Do you have to pay extra? And do you pay by person, data or per hour? Quite important right?

Are permits required?
Depending on what your plans are in and around the venue, certain permits could be required. Building a structure inside, serving alcohol or giving out flyers on the street. Check these plans with the venue owners, they know the local law.

What are the exact time slots?
It takes some time to set up your meeting, conference or session. Maybe you want to bring in goodie bags, have to build up stands or create a certain atmosphere with branding. Therefore it is good to know what the time slots of your contract are. Do you have time to break down and set up during office hours or do you have to buy extra time slots?

How about vendors?
Many venues have preferred vendors and some even have exclusive vendors. It has a lot of impact on the rest of your planning activities if the venue has exclusive vendors. Knowing this early on in the process of planning your meeting can save you a lot of time.

What technical equipment can be used? 
Is there technical equipment, such as beamers and microphones, available? And can you use this within the contract or is this extra?

What other questions do you ask yourself before committing to a venue? Let me know in the comments, I’m curious!

The Meetings Show UK #TMS14 recap: enter the competition and win a trip to Holland

Wow, London you were great! Only one week ago we were meeting, taking selfies and cheering for Holland during the Meetings Show UK. I hope that you all are fully recovered from the awesome and exciting days. Back home I am flicking through all the cool pictures, with old and new friends. Since you all contributed to this unique experience, I want to share my favourite memories with you. Here are the best pictures of the Meetings Show UK 2014.

Don’t forget to tag your photo!
Are you one of the hosted buyers, who took a picture (masterpiece) with me at my Holland booth? Then you should visit my Facebook Page to tag yourself in our picture and participate in my photo contest. Call your friends to collect as many ‘Likes’ as you can. If your photo has the most ‘Likes’ on Monday July 21st 2014 (13:00 CET) you win a trip to Holland with KLM, stay at Mövenpick Hotel Amsterdam City Centre and receive tickets to the Rijksmuseum. For instructions check the terms & conditions of this contest.

The 5 Dutch summer festivals you shouldn’t miss in 2014!

The summer is finally here! During the warmer days there are plenty of festivals in Holland. I’ve selected my favourite ones for you:

festival season

Zwarte Cross 25-27 July
In just a few years the Zwarte Cross grew to be the biggest music festival in Holland and the largest motocross event in the world. However, there is so much more to live and love than just motocross and great Rock ‘n Roll. From theatre to reggae to poetry to hardrock/metal to quality EDM. You can find it all here!

Solar weekend 31st July – August 3rd
This creative cross-over festival is held since ten years. This years theme: fairytale. Solar weekend offers 17 different areas with exciting line-ups. You can buy a one day, weekend, or 3-4 day ticket.

Lowlands 15-17 August
Lowlands festival is one of the most popular festival amongst Dutch people. This three day event offers music (e.g. Blaudzun, Gregory Porter, Janelle Monáe, Kaiser chiefs, Snoop Dog and Portisheid) theatre, literature, food and everything else! You can stay over at the camp site for the ultimate experience.

ZAND 22-23 August
Beach festival ZAND (translated: SAND) offers the best of the best of Dutch popular music. This years line-up includes runner up of the Eurovision Songfestival 2014 Ilse de Lange, Racoon, The Opposites and Van Velzen.

CityRacing August 31
Are you into speed, cars and F1? Then you should really visit CityRacing. In the city centre of Rotterdam the sound of screeching tires over the marvellous bridges and excited applause will be the soundtrack of the day. Pro-tip: don’t forget to bring your earplugs!

Gezellig: a typical Dutch non-translatable phrase

In every language there are a few words that just cannot be properly translated into the English language. Let’s have a look at the Dutch word ‘gezellig’ or ‘gezelligheid’. A phrase often used by the Dutch and therefore utterly important for your next visit!

Having a 'gezellige' time!

Having a ‘gezellige’ time!

Gezellig – which, depending on context, can be translated as convivial, cosy, fun, quaint, or nice atmosphere, but can also connote belonging, time spent with loved ones, the fact of seeing a friend after a long absence, or general togetherness that gives a warm feeling. The word is considered to be an example of untranslatability, and is one of the hardest words to translate to English. Some consider the word to encompass the heart of Dutch culture.

There are a lot of blogposts written by tourists, expats and locals about the word ‘gezellig’. Check it out if you would like to know more about ‘gezellig’!

Dutch top export products

Traditionally the Dutch are tradesmen. And we still are. Did you know the Netherlands is the second-largest exporter of agricultural products worldwide, after the United States? And that we as the fifth largest exporter of goods in the world, occupy a prominent position when it comes to world trade? I thought so. Let’s have a look at our export products!

dutch cheese

Cheese
Gouda, Edammer, Old Amsterdam, Leerdammer, Maaslander. The Dutch know their cheeses. Something that did not go unnoticed. Everywhere around the world Dutch cheese products can be found.

Flowers
Every year, during the Easter speech of the Pope, the Dutch are thanked for the flowers they decorated the Sint Pieters square in Rome with. It’s not a coincidence that we are the supplier on this important day. The Dutch are famous for their flowers, especially the tulips.

Beer
The Netherlands exports the largest proportion of beer of any country in the world. Therefore Dutch beers can be found on every corner of this world. Heineken is the world’s third-largest brewer of beer, after Anheuser-Busch InBev and SABMiller.

Telecommunications
Our prominence in European exports can mainly be attributed to transit exports to other European countries. In this sense, we really are the gateway to Europe for many products from other regions. Half of our exports consist of transit exports. One of our top export products? Telecommunication devices and equipment.

Energy
The Dutch are big in energy as well. Ever heard of Shell? Yep, they are Dutch! We have a lot of oil drilling platforms in the North Sea.

Music
For years we have been dominating the top 3 of the top DJ’s in the world with DJ Tiëtso, Armin van Buuren and Hardwell. Electronic music is born here and keeps on innovating in the Netherlands. But not only are we big in house and techno. André Rieu, the classical violist from Maastricht, might be one of the most successful artists from our country.