With the rise of digital marketing, it can leave you wondering how you can improve your web presence and where to start! Let us give you some quick tips….
The Obvious Social Network Route
As the movie The Social Network hit screens, the time came to reflect on the phenomenal success of Facebook and other social media sites. Facebook has an estimated 500 million users and this is likely to increase even further. Twitter now has well over 100 million users and is attracting an average of 300,000 new users a day. This makes it plainly obvious as to your main 2011 social media strategy. Facebook seems to attract users in the ‘right’ age group for marketing purposes, so dedicate a considerable amount of your budget towards setting up campaigns both on Twitter and Facebook.
Video Kills The Behind The Times Company
Yet it is important to push yourself to the front of the queue when it comes to jumping on the video marketing bandwagon. A recent whitepaper by Cisco suggested that more than half of all web traffic will be video-related by 2014. The days of the 30 second advert are dying out with more and more consumers skipping these dull and unimaginative productions. Sites like YouTube need to used more frequently with thought provoking and lengthier adverts the key to success. If you want someone to buy your cereal, don’t depict a happy family with 2.4 children eating the product by the kitchen. Edgy, new and deep will sell in future where fast, predictable and cheesy once ruled.
Email And Mobiles
As one might expect, email marketing is moving with the times. An extraordinary 97% of American households use email so a well constructed email campaign will reap dividends. It is a fact that social networks such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter are being integrated with email. The smartphone, Android and iPhone are linking even more users to their mail. The challenge facing digital marketers is to find a way to tailor their campaign for customers who view their email on a mobile device. The best strategy is to use a tool such as Litmus to find out more about your audience and tailor your campaign to them. This is necessary because it is difficult to find a current strategy that will work well for all mobile users.
SEO Is Still King
Believe it or not however, despite the huge budgets set aside for the all of the above, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is still top of the list when it comes to 2011 digital marketing tactics according to a poll carried out by Top Rank. Yet in order to get your content to the top of the search engine ladder, you still have to know your targets and audience. If you know your audience but not their triggers, start surveying. If you know what you want to market but have no idea to who, check out sites like eMarketer for market statistics. It should be remembered that no amount of marketing will work if your content is poor, sort it out. Oh, and avoid those nasty “please stay on my page and click on cancel for something special” pop-ups, these REALLY annoy consumers!
So where will this leave your marketing strategy for 2011? All four of these pieces will make your marketing plan come together and keep up with the ever-changing trends for digital marketing.
Posted on Oct 18, 2010 by Michael Herman |
Posted in Social Media
I think we can all recall our childhood of walking through museums and libraries and constantly being reminded to use our “inside voices” when taking field trips. You are listening to the teacher or tour guide and speaking softly when talking with friends or asking questions. Don’t you feel that the same applies to social media?
As individuals or businesses get started in social media, their first reaction is to start shouting out information to anyone who will listen about themselves or the products or services that they offer. What’s the first word in the phrase “social media”? – “Social” – right? We can’t be very social if we stand in a room full of people and shout out information without listening to what people are saying and even responding to their needs. Maybe a review of “Field Trip Rules” is necessary!
Rule #1 – Listen And Learn
When beginning your social media strategy, take the time to stand back and listen. What are people looking for and how could your business help them? As you gather some of these ideas, start adding some helpful posts on your blog. Once you do start interacting, you can always share your post with them, but most importantly these posts will help you stand out as a reputable source in your industry.
Rule #2 – Use Your Inside Voice
As you see areas for you to start conversing with people, the best way to jump into the conversation is to start with a whisper. Offer a quick tip to see if you could help solve the problem. No need to shout at them about your company and all that you offer when you first meet. Remember, if you are talking on Twitter, you only have 140 characters and trust me…you don’t need to use them all! A conversation starter could be to ask a question about their business or even an interest of theirs that you noticed in their profile. By beginning the conversation slowly, your trust is built with your new connection.
Rule #3 – Don’t Roughhouse
Whether you are using social media as a means of customer service, lead generation, or a mixture of both, you are sure to run into some individuals that might say things you don’t want to hear. Don’t be too quick to react, but take a step back and think of the potential dangers to your reputation if you push, pull, or say harsh words back to your online connections. Always practice good manners, courtesy, and respect.
Don’t be caught in “social media timeout”…. Just practice the basic rules and you will be sure to enjoy engaging with your connections. What rules could you add from your childhood?
Posted on Oct 5, 2010 by Michael Herman |
Posted in Social Media
A new theory has been experimented. Indexing the URLs of all the pages on your website is important for SERP. The more pages you have under your domain that spiders can grab relevant content from, the better off your site is in search results. This is why SEO consultants and companies will always suggest that you create an XML sitemap for your website.
But what if your client can’t give you access to create a sitemap (we’ve seen this happen when a company website is part of a corporate system or franchise structure). What you can do, is try this new theory on how to index pages using Twitter to post your URLs.
Now, you don’t want to spam your followers with a whole bunch of links, but if it is relevant to what your posting, don’t miss out on the opportunity!
Here is a very intelligent article that walks you through an experiment with indexing pages through Twitter.
Posted on Oct 1, 2010 by Michael Herman |
Posted in Social Media
Are you hiding under your desk scared of what social media could mean for your company? Remember thinking that you are “safe” if you don’t get involved? If there is one thing we hope you realize is that disasters aren’t caused by social media! Social media is what lets you SURVIVE them! No matter how small or how large your company is, your customers are still talking about you! Avoiding the conversations makes you look like you aren’t interested in connecting with your customers. When taking a look at social media, don’t only think about Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or MySpace. Think about using these tools to connect with your target audience…social media is about people.
So are you ready to take that leap of faith into the social media world? The only way to start is by developing a social media plan. No plan? Well, let’s get you started – no one is successful without a plan, right?
Define Your Success
You shouldn’t enter into social media unless you know what you want to get out of it! If you aren’t sure what defines “success” for your company, then you aren’t ready! Some examples of metrics are:
* Building buzz and conversation around your product
* Gaining more traffic
* Knowing how your customers view your brand
* Better overall brand awareness
* Leads or blog subscribers
Once you know that, the next step in the planning process is to figure out how you will measure it! Be sure you understand your challenges and goals to determine how “buzz” will be quantified. Are you looking at blog comments, conversions, links, Twitter conversations, or better brand recognition? No measurement = not meeting goals!
Tell Your Story
The best way for you to connect with your customers is to use social media tools to tell them who you are! What are the values your company holds? Are you known for anything in particular or do you have something you want to be known for? Marketing is telling a company story! When your story is being shared by your customers, you know you have been successful because they WANT to be associated with you!
Make sure that you understand who your customers are and where they are located. If you aren’t sure, start some research to find out. Starting with Twitter, search for your brand name, your competitors’ names, your keywords, industry, etc. You will then need to decide if there is enough conversation to start engaging. With Facebook, see if there are Business Pages dedicated to your company or industry. If there aren’t, are there a lot of people who list it as an interest and possibly interested in joining a community on that topic? You can also check out Yahoo Answers to see if people are asking or answering questions.
Rules for Engagement
There might be some times where your company is called names and have some negative comments come from customers, but make sure you set up a strategy for dealing with them! Having ground rules is a must! You also need rules for not just what you will say, but WHO will be in charge of saying it and what their role is. Better to create the rules before you get started and not while the fire is flaming!
Check Your SuccessYou can’t set up your account name on your social media accounts and then just wait for things to happen. You have to make sure that you are engaging with your community, but then also taking a look at your efforts to make sure you have been successful. If you haven’t, what are you going to do to fix them? Make sure you give it time…. Social media efforts start showing their effects about 2-3 months into your plan. When you begin, you start looking at Twitter followers and Facebook fans, but those aren’t the metrics you should be evaluating all the time. You should really be looking if your rankings have increased based on traffic and links, if social media users are actually engaging or converting, and if you have increased awareness about a product that has led to a sale.
Whatever you had outlined as determining “success” before, now is the time to see if you’ve gotten any closer to that goal. If you have, congrats. Keep on doing what you’re doing. If not, figure out what’s broken and fix it. If you can’t do it yourself, you may need some help! I’m sure you know where we will point you ———–> Digital Street!
Posted on Nov 6, 2009 by Michael Herman |
Posted in Social Media
First of all, I don’t believe in getting all preachy when it comes to using Twitter. The neat thing about Twitter is that you can use it however you want. That being said, you can enrich your Twitter experience and gain a ton of followers in the process if you adhere to some basic rules of the road. Guy Kawasaki (the dude who co-founded Alltop.com) lists 11 common mistakes that new Twitter users make over at Open Forum.
Here are the first two:
1. Don’t tell other people how to tweet. There are two kinds of Twitter Fascists: first, the “social media guru” who believes that he is the conscience of Twitter and has the God-given right to regulate the use of Twitter. Arguably, there are three people who can do this: Biz Stone, Ev Wiliams, and Jack Dorsey. (I would even debate this at this point, but that’s another posting.)The second kind of Twitter Fascist is the “ninety-day wonder”—that is, someone who’s been on Twitter for less than ninety days, has less than ninety followers, follows less than ninety people, and has made less than ninety tweets but believes that he should be telling everyone else how to use Twitter. This is the Twitter version of the “Ugly American.”
There is no right and wrong with Twitter. There’s only what works for you and what doesn’t, so telling people how to use Twitter is as laughable as telling people what kind of websites were acceptable in 1980. Twitter is a platform—do with it what you want, but don’t tell others what to do.
Nota bene: I realize the irony—even hypocrisy—of me telling you that you shouldn’t tell others what to do on Twitter in a post that is doing just that. The difference is that I’m not doing it personally and publicly to “call you out” in order to make myself feel important; I’m not a social media guru; and I have more followers, followees, and tweets than ninety.
2. Don’t tell the world that you unfollowed someone.
Just why do you think that anyone cares?
What’s going through your brain: “I’m showing this orifice who’s boss. I’m telling my fifty followers that I’m not following her anymore. That will teach her not to tweet the kind of stuff that I don’t like.”
What’s going through the brain of your fifty followers: first, technically, forty are porn spammers. The other ten are thinking: “If you don’t like how someone tweets, just unfollow her. Is this iCarly or Twitter?”
Think of Twitter as television: if you don’t like what’s playing, change the channel. There’s no upside to making a grandiose play for attention because few people care why you did it and even fewer are willing to change if they did know. If anything, you may cause more people to follow the person you unfollowed—and that may piss you off even more.