Posts Tagged ‘Social Media’
If you keep hearing about Pinterest and want to hop on the bandwagon because you heard about the SEO benefits, it’s time to hop off. Pinterest is a social community, not an SEO tool.
With every social community, (the most popular being Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn), in order to have your business succeed on a social network, you’ve got to be present, active and participate. This is where most businesses fail using social media. They think they can just open up an account and the business comes pouring in. Not so.
There’s no denying that Pinterest does have some SEO power because it can drive traffic to your site. Visits to your web site is just one of MANY elements of SEO, but, recent studies are showing that the bounce rate is high. So, people click to your site and click right off in a matter of seconds. You can’t make a direct sale that way.
Pinterest’s REAL power is building a visual representation of your brand. See Better Homes and Gardens on Pinterest as an example of a brand who’s doing it right. Choose good images to pin that are relevant to your business and whenever you see a box to fill in, always customize with your keywords and link people back to your blog (this is where the SEO part comes in). You should always write a pin description (it appears under the pin image and provides additional information about your blog post).
Make sure the image makes sense on its own, as some images only make sense in the context of the blog article. You may need to overlay some text onto the image for major impact.
As you are getting started in Pinterest, find followers who are genuinely interested in your site and build targeted connections for link building (that means, make friends online and then talk about how they can link to your website – Twitter is also great for this.) This is where the real SEO benefits begin.
One of my clients, Katy Goshtasbi, owner/founder of Puris Image, a personal branding company asked me to be the subject of a video series she is creating on her YouTube channel. She had a great idea to create quick 2 – 3 minute videos with her flip cam, interviewing her clients on their experience personal shopping with her at Stein Mart and posting the videos to her social media sites.
What I love about her video series approach are several things:
- She’s uploading new videos every week with new client interviews and using her keywords with each upload.
- She’s giving the embed code to each interviewee to get them to add it to their blog (see below), this gives “in-links” to her content.
- She’s keeping the videos short so that she can keep the viewers interested.
- She’s promoting the video on her blog, her Facebook site and in Twitter.
- She’s promoting a strong brand, Stein Mart, in the videos, which is a great way to get noticed, especially if Stein Mart monitors social mentions of their brand. The goal would be that Stein Mart would reach out to her to thank her for all the kind mentions and perhaps it could turn into a great online relationship for her, if the Stein Mart web site or Facebook page links to her videos content. It could help her go viral online and get her more viewers.
If you’ve been thinking about using video to promote your business, take a look at Katy’s approach and see how you can do something like that for yourself. What do you think of her series so far? I’d love to hear your comments below.
Have you seen any Twitter hashtags on your favorite shows lately? I’ve started noticing this myself and then read a great article in TV Guide Magazine about the introduction of hashtags (#) scrolling at the bottom of your TV screen for certain shows.
Many broadcast and cable networks are now starting to add Twitter hashtags to the bottom of their shows: Fox, CBS, NBC and Comedy Central included. Fox marketing president Joe Earley says, “We thought if we provided the official hashtags, then more posts would aggregate.” Joe is right. If you want to aggregate information to view real time activity on your brand, name, product or service, hashtags are the way to go.
Monitter.com is a great online resource that lets you monitor hashtags in real-time from their website. You can even monitor up to 3 hashtags at once, which appear in three columns with the newest tweets in each column popping up at the top. It’s a powerful way to see trends and get in on the conversation that people are having, real time!
As DVR’s become more popular, social media is now helping TV networks drive people to watch their favorite shows in real time so they can be part of the conversation. In fact, NBC just launched NBC Live, a whole site devoted to promoting its shows via social media, while CBS just recently held its own “Tweet Week” devoted to its shows.
Social is starting to weave itself into the daily fabric of our lives, from the computer to our phone, to the way we search for information online and watch TV (which you can also do from your phone). So much cross over is very exciting for those of us in the social media industry. If you are not using the power of Twitter or Facebook to promote your business, you need to take a look at these results below and then ask yourself why not?
Last month, Comedy Central jump-started the hashtag trend with its Comedy Central Roast of Donald Trump. The network reports that the show became it’s “most watched in history” and credited some of that success to its decision to run a “#trumproast” hashtag at the bottom of the screen throughout the special. Analysis shows that the “#trumproast” hashtag was used more than 27,000 times on Twitter during the telecast. That’s a lot of social activity for a 1 hour Television show.
Think there is no power in social media? Think again!
If your business has jumped on the social media bandwagon, congratulations to you! You’ve taken a big step towards marketing time well spent. But, before you launched it, did you and your company do some strategic planning to decide what your blog should be about?
If not, take a step back and get your strategic planning hat back on. In order to achieve business success through blogging, you need a plan and to determine the following:
- What is the voice of your blog
- What is the end result / goal you wish to achieve
I attended a recent webinar where SouthWest, P&G (specifically ManOfTheHouse.com) and McDonalds spoke about the effectiveness of blogging for their respective companies. There were some big takeaways every blogger and business can learn from:
- Be Authentic and True to your Brand
Every blog should mirror the company voice. SouthWest Airlines has a very fun blog called Nuts About Southwest. If you’ve ever seen a southwest commercial on TV, you can see how their online presence mirrors their brand. They state their goal on the blog itself, “Give our visitors the opportunity to take a look inside Southwest Airlines and to interact with us.” Started in 2006, their blog posts content from 30 bloggers companywide and they have won the Best Corporate Blog award 3 years in a row.
- Add Value with Your Article Content
You need to give people a reason to visit you, subscribe via RSS and comment on your content. All social media sites (Facebook, Twitter and Blogs) are communities first and foremost. What information can you bring to the community that will make them want to visit you and learn what you have to say? How do you add value?
- Reach Out for Other People’s Content
Blogging does not have to be an island in itself. Reach out for others to write content for you. Take P&G for example. ManOfTheHouse.com found great success promoting the Gillette P&G product by reaching out to 12 bloggers to create custom, personal, heartfelt content about their own personal Dad stories in their “Thank You Dad” campaign.
McDonalds actually does not blog for themselves at all. But, rather, they invest in bloggers who already have a strong online presence, like Mommy Bloggers, who are happy customers. They find that having a 3rd party voice lends credibility to their restaurant as the story is told with through a true voice who loves the products.
If you have not yet figured out what your blog is about or why you are blogging, take a look at successful corporate blogs online, think about the ideas above, and create a plan and goals for your blog today. As with any traditional marketing activity, without goals and planning in place, you will have trouble achieving the desired results.
Combining social media with traditional marketing works. Facebook is great for not only connecting with your current customers online, but also getting new leads and exposure via referral.
Here’s one way a hairdresser used social media (Facebook) for lead generation.
I discovered Rely Local from a postcard at a local shop in my neighborhood. I visited their site and “liked” them in Facebook. A few weeks later, I noticed a post entitled “click Like and be entered to win a free haircut from Hair by Chandra.” I really never expected to win, but, as a social media consultant, I know how beneficial clicking “like” can me to a business, so I was happy to click.
When I won, it was such a nice surprise and this was a really great example of how timing is everything. I had been considering finding a hair stylist in my neighborhood, instead of making the 1 hour round trip to visit the shop I’d been using for awhile. So, when I saw the post asking me to click “like”, I was at the perfect time in my “buying cycle” to pay attention to the post and find out more about WIIFM (What’s In It For Me?)
After the free service, she took my picture and uploaded it to her Facebook Business page from her Iphone. I went online to Facebook as well and added my happy comments and review of her service under my photo and also as a separate post right to her Facebook wall (which showed on my own personal Facebook wall and was viewed by all my friends.)
Because of her contest offer, both her Facebook wall and Rely Local are getting new “likes”, engagement, and the opportunity to be seen by all my local friends (and others like me) who may be interested in using her services, or learning more about Rely Local. This is the viral beauty of social media sharing and how you can build your Facebook “fans” and get more leads with social media.
What a business really needs to realize is that social media tools, like Facebook, can serve as another touchpoint (or “eyeball” if you will) to keep you top of mind to your audience. The more someone sees your posts, they will be much closer to buying from you when they are ready to purchase because of the relationship you’ve built with them in the social media community, in this case, Facebook.
I was thrilled to get a free haircut and happy to have found someone local that I liked. It was a win, win for all. Thank you social media!
As Social Media becomes more and more the norm in online marketing, there are many resources now available where you can keep current on social media tools, results and tips. I thought it would be helpful to share some of the resources I use. Visit the sites below and “like” them or subscribe to their blog via RSS, or ask to receive their e-newsletter. The more you know, the better you will be able to manage your own social sites for maximum engagement, “likes” and, (what everyone really wants), sales and revenue increases:
Social Media Examiner
Mari Smith – Facebook Expert
Search Engine Land
Darren Rowse – Problogger
Brian Clark – Copyblogger
Denise Wakeman – The Blog Squad
Lewis Howes – LinkedIn Expert
Did you set up a Facebook Fan Page for your business recently? Great! Do you know what and how often to post in Facebook in order to make the News Feed? Are you aware that Facebook has two news feeds and that if you are not active with your fan community, you may not even be shown based on the Facebook Algorithm?
OK – that’s a lot of questions, but, I’m trying to get you thinking. Facebook is a wonderful free tool you can use to market your business online. But, just creating a fan page is not enough to achieve success in social media.
Here’s 3 things you may not know about Facebook that can hurt your online marketing:
- There is a Facebook Algorithm!
Facebook, like Google, has an algorithm they use in order to determine who you see in your news feed. Have you ever wondered why in your personal profile you only see about 8 of your friends posts, when you have 178 contacts? Facebook has decided for you that you will, by default, see only the “Top News”. They determine who is part of this feed based on interaction (comments, likes and shares). To see every post by everyone and every business you are connected to, you must click “Most Recent”.
If you have a business fan page, and you are not getting comments, likes and shares, you may NOT be making it into the news feed of your fans. This means no one is seeing your marketing messages and Facebook will not be effective in getting leads, building your brand and driving sales for your business.
- Community Engagement is Key
The only way to ensure you are part of the “Top News” feed is to get your fans engaged with you. By posting often (I recommend 3 times per day, spread out throughout the day, or when you know your fans are online); varying the posts with video, text and URL links; asking questions people will comment on, being shared, and asking people to “like” the post, you can improve your probability of being in the valuable Top News feed.
- Live vs. Pre-scheduling
I love pre-scheduling! It’s a time saver and great for those who have a small staff (or just themselves) as their Facebook Community Manager, but, automated and pre-scheduled posts all the time will not help you become part of Top News. Live posts are also necessary (ie. Log into Facebook directly and post from the wall).
Also, when someone leaves a comment, you should reply in kind – and make it personal (ie. Use their name). This goes back to the engagement piece above. When your community is responding to you, you must also be involved in the conversation. Social media is not just online marketing, it is relationship building and your “fans” are your community. Nurture these relationships, and give them a reason to seek out your posts and come back to visit your Fan page often by entertaining them, providing good content they cannot get anywhere else and coupons for your products and services.
I hope this article provides food for thought. I wish you a successful day of Facebook marketing!
I recently had a chance to hear Mari Smith speak again at the Facebook Success Summit (#fbss10) this week and she gave a great presentation about Facebook Engagement and creating Superfans!
It’s so true that Facebook is a community, and your Fan Page is part of it. For your fans to enjoy interacting with you on your business fan page, they must feel valued and depend on your updates as a source of relevant information.
But, how can you engage them? The best posts that will get your fans “engaged” or participating, commenting and communicating with you will have a mix of text, URL hyperlinks, videos and photos (with photos being the most engaging). And, you must be posting content with frequency, not just once a week. You need to put a Facebook strategy in place for three posts per day, when you feel is the optimal time for your audience to be online. (Check Facebook.com/insights and click “details” to determine where most of your fans live).
Everyone likes to be acknowledged, so, when someone comments on your post, be sure to comment back and thank them. Use their name, be personal. Recognize fans when you can, such as randomly choose a fan of the day, or feature a fan who uploads the most photos to your Fan Page wall.
Most of all, be sure to ask questions in your posts. “What do you think?” “Give us your comments below.” Tell them “we want to hear from you” or “click like if you liked this post”. Let your fans know you are interested in what they have to say. Create a fun place that your fans will want to visit again and again and post great content they will look forward to reading.
Here’s wishing you successful Facebook marketing for business.
I’m speaking at the Good Ol Gals Women’s Business Networking meeting Tuesday October 26th at 7:30 – 9am regarding the very important topic: Why Keywords are your Key to Online Marketing Success.
Online marketing is here, now. A business must have an online presence to survive and if you do not know what your keywords are, you don’t know how people are searching online for your products and services, so, you can’t be found.
And, if you are aware of what your keywords are, do you know where to use them online for optimal results? Come to this meeting and learn how to identify your keywords and where they must be placed online to improve your Search Engine Rankings.
The Good Ol Gals Scripps Ranch/Poway meeting meets every 4th Tuesday morning of the month, at Mimi’s Café on Mira Mesa Blvd. When you join us on October 26th, you’ll get to meet a great group of women, network about your business, and learn how to improve your online marketing results through knowledge and placement of keywords.
I hope to see you there. Sign up at Good-Ol-Gals.com.
Social Media Marketing Consultant
This event is ideal for any marketer or business owner focused on business-to-business OR business-to-consumer. Who’ll be there? Radisson Hotels, Microsoft, AAA, Cisco, Universal Studios Orlando, Ikea, California Travel & Tourism Commission, Philips, Kellogg, MetLife, CNN, HP, Henkel, Autodesk, Country Music TV, AARP, HealthNet, Tropicana Atlantic City, Long John Silver’s, Cutco, Ben & Jerry’s, Mary Kay, Warner Bros. Entertainment, Otis Spunkmeyer, Wyndham Hotels, University of Tennessee, Brueggers, Herbalife and hundreds of small businesses.
Here’s what you’ll learn:
- Discover the best ways to market your business with Facebook
- Find out how to build an engaging Facebook presence
- Learn how to grow a loyal Facebook following via news feed optimization, creative promotions and Facebook advertising
- Discover how to create an active community using Facebook
- See how successful businesses built Facebook pages and how you can achieve similar results
- Interact live with Facebook marketers from recognized businesses, including Intel, Microsoft Xbox, Cisco, SAP and the Washington Redskins
- Connect with the industry’s top experts (Brian Solis, Mari Smith, Jesse Stay, Paul Dunay, Justin Smith, Darren Rowse, Jay Bear, Michael Stelzner and many others!)
- Learn how to integrate Facebook with your website, blog and other marketing programs
- Gain a leg up on your competitors, helping you stand out and providing an early mover advantage
- Ask live questions and get answers
All this from the comfort of your computer. Attend real time, or view the recordings for session you miss. No travel cost and transcripts are included.
Keeping up on what’s current with Facebook is a full time job. That’s why I highly recommend the Facebook Success Summit to any business who wants to succeed with their social media marketing strategy.