Archive for the ‘Social Media Marketing’ Category
Emma-Julie Fox writes for Pitstop Media Inc, a Vancouver company that provides SEO services to businesses across North America. If you would like to invite the author to write on your blog too please contact www.pitstopmedia.com
Social media optimization is very different than SEO. Rather than implementing strategies that are tailored towards search engine algorithms, developers must focus on engaging with human visitors.
That beings said, an effective social media optimization campaign can help you improve your search engine rankings as well. After all, search engine rankings sole concern is promoting the satisfaction of their users. Google is more likely to rank a site higher if it sees that your visitors already enjoy the content that you are providing. You boost your search engine rankings considerably if you develop an effective social media optimization strategy that makes it easier for your visitors to access, engage with and share your content.
Here are a few simple strategies any website or blog owner can handle them on his/her own.
Social media marketing should be part of your basic SEO. Image source
These techniques can work whether you are doing your SEO in-house or have hired a company or a Virtual Assistant to help you out, including the following strategies in your SEO campaign can help you give a huge boost to your SERPs (Search Engine Results Page):
Use Twitter’s Hashtags
Trending topics in Twitter are preceded by hashtags.
Don’t underestimate the power of the hashtag. People use the hashtag to search for tweets about a particular topic. For example, if someone is looking for tweets about seo tips, they will use type it in twitter search as #SEOtips. As a business you can take use hashtag to improve the chances of your tweets being seen by people searching for information in that niche.
The following are some top tips to get the most tractions from your hashtags:
1) Identify trending hashtags that you can connect with your business in a manner that appears natural. For example, if you are app developer, and the trending hashtag is #AustralianOpen you may tweet about apps that can help you keep track of the games being played, and use the AustralianOpen hashtag in your tweet.
A word advice here, never use a hashtag, unless you know what it’s about. The popular fashion brand Kenneth and Cole learnt this lesson the hard way.
2) Create your own hashtag and use it in all your tweets. Remember hashtags are always used without any space between the words. This way your tweet will be displayed whenever someone searches for the hashtag you used. A good tip here is to create hashtags using the your targeted keyword as well as your business name. The latter will help improve your brand’s visibility on Twitter, as your business name will feature in all re-tweets.
3) Don’t use more than two hashtags in a tweet, or it will make it hard too read and people may skip it all together.
4) Participate in hashtags associated with live discussions; these usually happen around sporting events, news, etc. This is a great way to build new connections on Twitter.
5) There are several twitter chats across niche areas scheduled at fixed times during the week. You can use hashtags to participate in these chats. Here’s a spreadsheet that has over 500 such chats listed.
Update Your Business Blog Regularly
Blogs are considered as part of social media because readers and visitors can really interact with one another through the comments section. In fact, numerous blogs have formed large online communities already, and these people stay in contact even beyond the “premises” of the blog.
Your blog will be one of the most important aspects of your SEO strategy, especially if your business website is not the type that needs to be constantly updated with new content. After all, how many versions can you make for your company’s vision and mission without butchering the original essence of the text? A blog will take care of the need to produce fresh, high-quality content regularly.
A good tip to draw more traffic to your blog is to write about subjects that are either in news or are being highly debated, needless to say they should be related to your industry. You can get great ideas for your posts by setting up Google Alerts for industry specific keywords. This will help you stay on top of all industry developments and will also get to keep tack of opinions of thought leaders in your niche.
Install Social Sharing Widgets in Your Blog/Website
In relation to creating a blog, be sure to install social sharing widgets into your blog roll. Each post or article in your blog or website should be accompanied with these widgets. This makes it easier for loyal readers to share your posts (which are additional promotion for your website, blog or business) in their social media circles.
To encourage people to share, make sure you include a Call To Action, in your blog post. Even a simple statement like, ‘Found this post useful, share it with your friends’ can help.
The more shares you get, the better you social signals will be and that is going to give excellent SEO benefits, in terms of improved SERPs.
Use Bit.ly and Share Shortened Links To Your Site With A Call To Action
You want social media to help draw traffic to your site, right? Mentions of your website will help improve your site’s visibility in search results. Therefore try and include your website’s URL in some of your posts with an attention grabbing or engaging call to action.
For instance, you can create teasers of your latest post and paste the URL in your post. Or, let’s say if you are giving away a Free E-book on cake recipes with your newsletter subscription, you could create a tweet like ‘Make sinfully delicious cakes with my FREE E-book. Download Now!’
Bit.ly can be a great tool to help you with this. It’s a tool that shortens URLs and tracks the number of clicks you receive. A shortened URL is also easier to fit into your tweet and looks neater when used in Facebook posts.
The fact that you’re already in social media territory justifies the need for human interaction. Avoid automated posts. Reply to questions and comments, especially those that are complimentary in nature. This way, you endear yourself to the public, foster their trust, convince them to patronize your business, and earn their loyalty in the long run. These are the accomplishments that will ultimately matter the most.
This goes far beyond the benefits of SEO. It also serves to help you improve your brand value. A good tip is to divide your social media marketing time into ‘one-on-one engagement’ and ‘posting content and forging new connections.’
The Following is a Guest Post From Grace Beckett
Google+ is rapidly growing to be an essential part of online marketing. It will soon be an effective social media strategy by majority of the businesses. Google+ is playing a major role in search engine optimization today and boasts of around 240 million users globally. The number is growing quickly and it will very soon become a powerful marketing tool.
Here are a few tips on how Google+ could be used effectively to maximize SEO:
Have as many keywords and relevant links as possible on the ‘About’ Page
The ‘About’ page plays a very important role in providing an overview of what your business does. Provide links to specific pages and services from there. This will help redirect prospective clients to the relevant and most important pages of your website.
This page is also important to maintain a balance of the SEO friendly keywords. Use words which searchers would be keen to know about in your company. Google+ also lets you use bullets in the description. This helps to create a list that could be easily comprehended. Linking these to specific pages in your website provides greater visibility.
Use Google+ events to connect with people
The recently launched ‘Events feature’ lets Google+ users to send invitations, which are customized, to everyone. The invitation can also be sent to people who aren’t on Google+. This feature beautifully syncs with the invitees calendars and will show after they’ve confirmed the invitation. This helps to identify and maintain a list of the interested customers whom you could engage with for your event.
In addition to this, it would also keep a track of the events you would be attending or hosting. The feature ‘Party Mode’ in Google+ enables pictures to be uploaded instantly. This helps in providing a real time environment for a photo journal to be maintained in a secure place.
Post regularly for optimum search results
The Social Search results by Google+ will rank posts higher in the feeds when they have a strong social presence. Include keywords in your posts to increase the chance your posts will show up in the search results.
The Google search algorithm involves pulling out personalized search results from your Google+ activity. Posts that are relevant to specific topics and are based on your business content are bound to show up in far more search results.
Setting up Authorship with Google
Google is extensively making use of the benefits of SEO to lure the webmasters and bloggers around to join Google+. Google Authorship will authenticate your information and recognize your site’s content as being more trustworthy and higher quality.
To set up an Authorship with Google, you just have to use your Google+ profile to identify yourself to Google and then link back to it from the content. Google Authorship also provides the feature of your picture showing up besides your posts in the search results. This almost guarantees more clicks and greater visibility.
Hunt for relevant users and conversations
Look for Google+ platforms and communities that provide relevant discussions to your business. You can also increase value by adding personally identifying information. Your engagement in your personal pages as well in public forums helps improve visibility.
The truth is, in most cases, Stumbleupon means one of two things for your website – either zero traffic despite painstakingly submitting each article you post, or a flood of traffic that destroys your bandwidth and takes down your site. (Geez, I’m really selling it for you, right?!)
Maybe there’s a happy medium between the two, but in my experience, sites tend to receive traffic from Stumbleupon that falls at either end of this spectrum. Let’s look at each scenario in more depth…
In 99% of cases, submitting your articles to Stumbleupon in the conventional way – that is, popping in, slapping up a link to your new post and running away – results in very little traffic or interest. Really, Stumbleupon is a very insular community. The people who participate on this site take it seriously and don’t always look kindly upon those marketers who blast links without offering anything else of value.
So what’s the alternative? Simple – if you want to generate traffic from this site, you need to become a part of the community yourself! You don’t need to spend hours a day hanging out and sorting through the links that others have shared, but a little effort in terms of filling out your profile, sharing a few links to good sites besides your own and promoting other people’s links goes a long way. In fact, you should be able to accomplish this in under a half hour a week.
But say that even this moderate investment is too much for you. No worries – that doesn’t mean that your site will be cut off from the Stumbleupon love entirely. In fact, it’s entirely possible to pick up floods of traffic from the site without ever stepping your digital foot on it. How do I know? Because it happened to my site…
In September 2011, a blog post I’d written on how to find paid writing work was picked up on the site, and since then, it’s resulted in over 57,000 visits to my site. Although the traffic isn’t the highest quality, I was able to capture some of these visitors and turn them into subscribers, making the minimal amount of effort I put into converting this traffic worth it.
In my case, I can point to two things that very clearly led to this success: generating good linkbait content and making use of social sharing buttons.
Linkbait articles are those that are designed to generate viral interest. In my case, I wrote a list post (linkbait characteristic #1), that was very in-depth (at over 2,000 words long, people were more likely to want to share it with friends) and that covered a subject that many people were interested in (the title of the article was “15 Ways to Get Paid to Write” – what kind of writer wouldn’t want to know that?!).
The article was built to go viral, and darned if it didn’t – picking up thousands upon thousands of views on Stumbleupon. Of course, the other key to its success was my readers’ ability to share the article on these social networking sites. Keep in mind that people aren’t going to go out of their ways to share your content. Instead, make it as easy as possible for them to do so by including social sharing buttons on every single one of your posts.
I use the free plugins Digg Digg and TweetMeme to do this, although there are a number of different options out there to choose from. I prefer Digg, as it allows you to create a floating button bar that tracks along with readers as they scroll through the post. If you don’t like the look of that feature, maximize your social shares by including buttons at both the top and the bottom of each article.
So now, I want to hear from you. Have you ever had a piece of content go viral (on Stumbleupon or any other social sharing site)? If so, share your tips on generating this social traffic in the comments below!
People spend more time on Facebook than any other website in the world. You can choose not to use Facebook to promote your business, but you’d have to be a fool to ignore the opportunities it provides. Facebook can provide more targeted traffic than Google.
Many web gurus publish secrets on getting Facebook traffic. Although there are some pretty creative ways to generate business through Facebook, the business model is really pretty straightforward. You need to be friendly, honest, engaging and persuasive. Spammers don’t get anywhere with Facebook. If you are a genuine human being and a compelling marketer, you will win almost every time.
Steps to a Great Facebook Marketing Strategy
The shot-gun approach won’t work with Facebook. Remember, you are promoting material to your own friends. You don’t want to upset them by spamming them. You also don’t want to develop a reputation for developing dishonest marketing tactics. Unfortunately, there are too many unscrupulous marketers on Facebook already.
How Will Facebook Help My Company?
Here are some ways an honest marketer can help their business thrive on Facebook:
- Take advantage of groups. People join Facebook groups to build a rapport with other people who share a common interest. There is a group for almost everything from “Reasons Why I Hate Bed Bugs” to “Internet Business.” Facebook groups can be very general or very specific. You may want to join the more specific groups, but only if they relate to your niche. Focus on groups that have a reasonable number of members with an interest in the product or service you are promoting.
- Facebook fan pages. One of the best ways to use Facebook is to create a fan page for your business. There is no reason not to have a professionally laid out page for your business on the most popular website in the world. The best part is that people will “like” your fan page. Other Facebook users will be impressed when you get a lot of “Likes” and be more interested in checking out your business. Word of mouth has always been one of the most effective ways to generate new business. A Facebook fan page is a great way to get the word out about your business.
- Develop Facebook applications. Facebook applications are awesome tools to take your business viral. Some applications have millions of users. The Cityville application has over 77 million users and receives over 200,000 more every day. You can come up with a killer idea for a new Facebook app and watch your content really catch on.
- Advertising. Paying for Facebook ads is another way you can get some great exposure to your business. The value of Facebook ads is questionable, but it shouldn’t be entirely discounted. Users prefer to interact with the site itself, so you might get more of a benefit by participating in groups. Still, these ads are a great way to target a very specific demographic. Facebook data-mines different people’s profiles and will help you target the most appropriate audience.
- Facebook site plugins. You can also put Facebook plugins in your own site. Visitors to your site can then share your content with their friends. This is an effective way to take your content viral with minimal effort.
Facebook is the most popular social networking site in the world. There are countless ways Facebook helps businesses build their brand and increase their sales. Any smart business should consider promoting their work on Facebook.
Many businesses measure the effectiveness of their Facebook campaign by the number of fans they have. This simple metric doesn’t even begin to measure the effectiveness of their Facebook campaign.
If you want to make the most of your Facebook marketing campaign, you are going to have to be smarter than 99% of the businesses who use it as a promotional tool. Establish your benchmarks (sales, traffic to your website etc.) and develop a system for measuring them. Here are a few other things you should think about:
- 1. Traffic to Your Fan Page. You want to know that people are finding you. Don’t be discouraged that not all of your visitors are going to become fans. Many people don’t want to use the like button on Facebook or are too focused on learning more about your business. Determine which traffic helps your business and how much is just noise. This may help you realize that you need to change the structure of your fan page to improve the experience of your visitors and the effectiveness of your marketing strategy.
- 2. Number of Active Fans. You may be excited about having 1,000 followers on your fan page, but you should ask yourself how loyal those fans are. Many people are click-happy with the Like button and a much smaller percentage add any value to the community.
- 3. Demographics of your Visitors. Most of your visitors are probably not going be interested in your business. If your convergence rate is much smaller than you would have expected, you may be attracting the wrong visitors. You need statistics that will tell you how well optimized your page is for your target audience.
There are a variety of ways that you can measure traffic to your Facebook pages and track conversions. The best place to start is determining how engaged your community is. The number of wall posts and discussions will tell you how many people interact on your Facebook page. Even if some of the feedback is negative, at least you know that you’ve got them engaged.
There are a number of free analytics programs that you should take advantage of to measure traffic and demographics. SocialToo is a popular tool that provides detailed analytics such as:
- Unique and returning visitors
- Location of your visitors
- How they found your page
- What browsers they used
- How long they spent on your site
All you need to do is create a free account and SocialToo will track all of your social media profiles for you. You can also measure the effectiveness of any Facebook app you launched.
You can also use Google Analytics on your Facebook fan pages as well. You will probably need a Static FBML app to insert the Analytics code. Otherwise, you should have no problem integrating your Even Analytics account with Facebook. Google Analytics will give you the same information as SocialToo, but you will only be installing it on your Facebook account.
Once you’ve looked at your analytics data, compare it to your benchmarks. If you feel that sales and traffic have declined, start thinking about how you can improve your Facebook strategy. The bottom line is to work on your Facebook strategy every day if possible. You will need to be consistent if you hope to get any loyalty from your followers.