Tag - Social Media

Social Media Marketing Expands Your Reach

Does Your Corporate Strategy Include Social Media Marketing?

Social Media Marketing SMM

Social media marketing is the word-of-mouth that drives customer perceptions and purchasing decisions. Today, any effective corporate strategy requires that you need to be actively involved in the conversation. Here are a few essential points to think about if your company’s not already immersed in social media marketing:

– Most adults in the U. S. use social media. The social media explosion is far from over. Future growth is expected to come from duration or total time spent interacting via social media sites. In other words, your clients are already using social media and will do so at an even greater rate in the future.

– Social media impacts other organic search results. Social media is increasingly used to rank other forms of online content ranging from a website to blogs. Google and other search engines place great relevancy on sites that engage users in a meaningful manner.

– Social media is already part of the corporate strategy of most businesses. Sit on the sidelines and you run the risk of surrendering a meaningful market share to your competition.

– Social media expands your reach. The possibilities for growth are limitless. No other marketing medium compares to social media’s ability to connect with the vast network of user friends and family.

– Reaching new clients through social media costs less. Finding new clients can be expensive. Numerous studies show that social media marketing tends to cost less per new client – and substantially less for existing clients, than traditional methods.

– Social media is timely. Today’s pace of news and information is measured in hours or even minutes and seconds. Are your marketing efforts able to keep up? For businesses effectively using social media, the answer is “YES.” Advertising and marketing campaigns can be created as soon as a hot trend is spotted – leading to increased insight, active participation and sales.

A well-planned corporate social media marketing strategy allows you to focus on existing clients while, at the same time, target new customers. Social media marketing is allowing businesses to expand into new areas and reach new audiences that were totally unanticipated just a few years ago.

Local SEO: 4 Essential Factors of Success

Keys to Successful Local SEO

Incorporating keywords your prospecs use to search the internet is the key to a successful local SEO (Search Engine Optimization) strategy. Optimizing your web pages to get “organic” traffic from the search engines is critical for successful local SEO, but today it is much more complex. It’s about integrating with the other internet marketing strategies such as social media marketing, content marketing, Pay Per Click (PPC), blogging, and website design.

1. Strategy & Initial Optimization

The first step in any local SEO plan should begin with a keyword discovery process that focuses on achievable primary keywords and “long tail” keywords. The approved keywords are embedded into your meta tags and content — this helps search engines (including Google) organize and rank information. Coding, style, positioning, and saturation levels of relevant keywords are also important factors that are a part of on-page SEO process.

Your local business’ domain name, keywords in titles on your own websites, and the presence of key NAP (name, address and phone number) contact information on your websites have a significant influence in determining performance. Make sure this information matches the info in any and all directories you use.

2. Link Building

Link building creates links that connect directly to your website. The quantity and quality of links to local business’ websites from external sites significantly influence performance. The more quality links to your website, the more your rank increases. Relevant and effective link building through partners, articles, press releases, bookmarking, blogs, reference sites, etc., is one of the most important factors in your search marketing.
Create a listing in Google Places that includes accurate and optimized categories, notable keywords in business titles, and the business address, and contact info.

3. Content Marketing

Articles, press releases, blog posts, eBooks, webinars, landing pages, and more, will allow for the enhancement of your digital “footprint” in your industry. Fresh, original content needs to be written for submission to industry channels and social news sites such as Digg, Reddit, and StumbleUpon, and it needs to be promoted through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn, among others. Social signals such as Facebook Likes, and Twitter Followers can have a significant influence in determining SEO performance.

4. Reporting & Analytics

To measure the success of your efforts, regularly review your site analytics. Traffic, the referring sites, keywords, etc. must be analyzed to see which pages are working and which are not. Based on these reviews, your local SEO plan may need updating or infused with fresh ideas.
Social Media Optimization (SMO)

Social Media Optimization Impact on SEO

Building Social Media Profiles Impacts Search Engine Optimization

Social Media Optimization (SMO)

Trying to get more exposure online? Want to connect and engage with fans and customers better? Boost or rebuild your online reputation? If you answered yes to any of these questions regarding your personal or business brand online, then creating social media profiles are an absolute must. Social media nowadays acts as an extension of your brand and enables your customers to feel closer and have more ways to contact and interact with you as well as fellow customers. It’s in many ways an extension of your company’s branding, PR, marketing, and customer service departments. Creating this easy access to you helps build customer loyalty and consumer trust, two things that lead to acquiring good reviews and therefore a good online reputation. It’s also worthy to note that the number of online reviews and the positivity of those reviews are also big factors in local search rankings.

Why are social media profiles so important?

Think of each social media profile as another landing page for your brand. You never know how someone will have that first encounter with you. It could be direct to your website, through an online review or perhaps via a social channel like Facebook or Twitter. However they reach you, that first impression must be first-rate so the visitor will want to learn more about you or your business. Consistency across your social networking profiles is also essential to maintaining your brand recognition.

One of the most important reasons for having comprehensive and up-to-date social media profiles is that it improves SEO (Search Engine Optimization). SEO may seem complicated, but it’s mainly all about optimizing content, on a website or on a social media platform, in order to appear higher in search rankings. Creating strong social media profiles across various channels will boost your rankings on the search engine results page (SERP), that is when people search for you or for words or phrases relevant to content on your website.

Create top-notch social media profiles

Social Media ProfileHere are some tips for creating top-notch social media profiles:

•  Guidelines & Specs – Know your social media network design guidelines and specs. Although, various channels may have similarities, each social network has its own image specs and limitations. A profile image for your Facebook page may not work for your Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+, or Instagram page.

•  Imagery & Media – Add pictures, video, audio, etc. pursuant to social media design specs and guidelines. Incorporating show-stopping images and multimedia (where allowed) makes your profile stand out and more interesting for visitors as well. Hire a professional if needed because this is critical for your brand identity.

•   UpdateBe sure to update and refresh your social media profile images from time-to-time (monthly, quarterly, or other time frame), depending on your needs in order to keep current and relevant images/information on your social networks.

The bar has been raised and in order for you to be memorable, creating compelling, well-designed graphics and media are essential and should be coordinated with all social media, branding, and marketing efforts.

SMO or Social Media Optimization

SMO or Social Media Optimization is about optimizing a website and its content in terms of sharing across social media and networking sites. SMO, a term first used in 2006 by Rohit Bhargava in his article “5 Rules of Social Media Optimization” is a lot like “social SEO.”  It’s the notion that social media links and interaction play a significant role in a website’s search rankings. It’s similar to SEO in that the goal is to generate traffic and awareness for a website, however, SMO suggests that the use of a number of social media signals will generate more publicity and increased awareness. SMO is more concerned with quality of content, expertise of author and the user experience all of which helps to improve SEO performance.

As social networks continue to evolve and search engines look for these social signals to help rank content, the relationship of SMO with SEO is becoming more and more important. Social signals are becoming the new “link” in terms of overall importance in search rankings. The value of links as a ranking signal will more than likely not completely disappear, but the impact of social signals will eventually surpass links as the more valuable ranking factor. Check out the Social Media Marketing Optimizer (Infographic).

Improving your website’s social impact

The social media elements to focus on in your website include items/buttons that allow visitors to:

•    Share Content – Recommend, like, tweet, etc.
•    Connect to Social Media Profiles – Use buttons to connect through to your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn pages, etc.
•    Access a Blog – For updated and relevant content on your blog page.

You should ideally engage in all social media platforms that are relevant for your business. If you’re just getting started, then you may want to begin with a Facebook or Twitter page to get familiar and then later add new social media profiles. The more you’re out there with an online presence the better it is for business and brand integrity.

•    Facebook page
•    Twitter account
•    LinkedIn company page
•    Pinterest account
•    Google+ account
•    Youtube account
•    Other social media platforms

Once you have a presence in each of these social channels, it will help to establish the credibility of your brand. Here are additional tips:

•    Be social! – Network and start a dialogue with people. Start by spending some time visiting other people’s profiles, adding new friends/connections and commenting. You must engage and reach out to build new relationships.
•    Content – Content is key but what’s more important is to add new content regularly. With social media, posts are quickly archived and can disappear within a few days or hours even. Create an editorial calendar or schedule for posting regularly, remember quality is better than quantity so don’t post for the sake of posting something new. Make it count.
•    Shareable Content – Add share buttons for all of your social media sites. Integrate these buttons as much as possible on your website, blogs and other content to leverage traffic you already have. In addition, if you’re creating interesting, relevant and useful content then encourage your visitors to share it! When your content goes viral it can result in a lot of exposure for you.
•    Keyword Optimization – Get your keywords and key phrases into your profiles and posts but only when it works. That is, incorporate your keywords naturally. You don’t want to compromise the “user experience” because you’re focused on keywords and SEO.
•    Be Thorough – Search engines show preference for profiles with all the details filled in. Be sure to be as detailed as possible in the “about”, “information” and “bio” sections. Doing so also creates a more professional and comprehensive appearance.
•    Timing – Be mindful of the timing of your posts and monitor results. You may find certain times of day get you a better response therefore focus on those high traffic time frames.
•    Analytics – Use the analytics tools provided by the social media sites, Google Analytics, and pay attention to what people are doing. Monitoring behavior will tell you what’s working and what isn’t. If some features aren’t being used, then you can eliminate them, revamp or try something new.
•    It’s Not All About You – Not all your posts should be about self-promotion. Of course there’s an element of self-promotion in social media but remember to also focus on topics that are helpful to your network and/or that offer advice or beneficial information.

It’s important to be personal and sincere on social media. By consistently providing interesting and exciting content, you’ll inspire others to share your posts and attract more search engine traffic.

Common mistakes to avoid:

•    Don’t forget to make your business’s social media sites PUBLIC.
•    Be sure to customize your URL. Use a vanity URL.
•    Don’t forget to use your business’s name as your Page name.
•    Upload images with meaningful titles or file names rather than Photo1 or IMG1287. Image SEO can also help your rank.
•    If something appears to be a fast and easy way to improve your SEO it’s probably a black hat tactic (i.e. bad). Google frowns on these unethical techniques and penalizes those who implement them.

Remember, if SEO and SMO sounds overwhelming you’re not alone! These don’t happen overnight. Developing strong and optimized social media profiles takes time. Be patient and always focus on developing an eye-opening and exciting experience for your customers, as this will help you build your business through natural word-of-mouth, online and offline.

social media productivity tool

Social Media Becoming a Business Productivity Tool

Increase Productivity with Social Media Networks

social media productivity tool

Until recently social media networks like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ were largely limited to marketing and community building functions at companies. But a recent survey conducted by McKinsey & Co. concluded that a majority of the estimated $1.3 trillion in untapped value from social technologies lies in “improved communications and collaboration within and across enterprises.” In other words, social media as an office productivity tool, in much the same manner that email did in the late 1990s.

Companies are moving beyond advertising on social media networks and are using social networks to build internal teams that solve problems faster, share information better among employees and partners, and bring customer ideas for new product designs to market earlier.

And as a bonus, the enormous popularity of the major social media networks means that for the most part your employees already know how to use them. That means that employees already have a basic ability to access company information simply because it’s easier to get to it. And because of employees’ familiarity with social media networks, very little training may be required.

In recent years, companies have begun to use social media tools such as internal networks, real-time chats and wikis for uses that go beyond marketing and community building to improving office productivity.

Other objectives where social media networks can improve for your business productivity and bottom line:

Wikis: Lets you build a knowledge-base that keeps the latest most up-to-date information in front of your managers, sales team and customer service reps with a wiki.

Blogs: Brainstorming and vetting new ideas. After all, your small business thrives on bringing new ideas to market faster. Blogs let you do that.

Web-based file-sharing:  You probably have the ability to share documents internally, but web-based file-sharing gives you the ability to share private documents with customers and partners in a secure, auditable way.

Micro-blogging: Lets you manage projects more effectively. Your team can’t always meet in person; micro-blogging keeps everyone in touch.

Much of work is social. But in today’s economy many employees now spend much of their time away from the office. Using social media as a productivity enhancement tool helps workers stay connected and can increase your ROI.

Google Plus 1 Your Way to Higher Local Rankings

Google’s latest big shake up in the search ranking algorithm looks at social media clues — specifically through its own social network Google +. In short, Google + users who do a search while logged into their Google account may see some results from pages that people in their network have shared in Google + or have clicked on a +1 button for that page. Those pages will now rank more favorably for that searcher. And the searcher will see icons of the people in their network who have +1′d that page. In other words, people they know and trust have already vouched for that page.

Google search has been going through a lot of recent changes. A search ranking position is no longer a number as much as it is a probability within a range. Factors such as localization, personalization, the user’s search history, whether the user is a Google user and whether he/she is logged in, and whether the user is using a mobile device to search, all effect position in the search results. And means your business’s next position in the rankings can vary considerably.

This could be big for local businesses as Google + use continues to grow. As Google injects + 1’’s into its search results, Google Plus will get more exposure and see more growth. The average user will have networks consisting mainly of friends and family and those networks will be predominantly local.

And as a local business, you want to encourage locals to Plus 1 vote on your pages. This will help your search results to be favored for more and more local searches by local people logged into their Google accounts.

Here are some ways to encourage users to +1 your small business website.

· Place Google +1 buttons on every page of your website

Place the +1 button in a prominent place on all your web pages, much like you’ve probably already done with Facebook and Twitter icons.

· Include a message about sharing your link in “Thank You” emails

On emails you send thanking customers for doing business with you, place links to your social media profiles and ask for the +1. Also include links to your Google Places listing, Yelp listing and maybe a couple other local review websites.

· Include the Google +1 button with a message in your contact form “Thank You” pages

If you have a “Thank You” page after a customer submits a form (or makes an ecommerce purchase), customers are often are more likely to take an extra action. Show them a special message on that “Thank You” page about + 1’ing you.

· Create a Google Plus + profile for your business

Google has now opened up Google + to businesses. Set up your business profile then build circles by adding locals.

· Link to your social profiles in your email signature

Create an email signature (if you haven’t already). In addition to your name, phone number and website address (at a minimum), your email signature should include links to your Google + profile, Facebook page and Twitter pages.

According to Google, 100 million people are using Google+ each month — numbers that your small business can’t afford to ignore.