Posted by: Ben Austin
Posted on: January 30, 2012 9:29 am
As different as social media marketing sounds and is to other marketing efforts, they are still a part of your whole marketing strategy and should be treated that way.
Even though the methods used for social media are completely different to that of PPC, they still aim for the same results. This is why social media should be seen as part of the team, as opposed to the only way.
Social media should be used tactfully to achieve these objectives:
- To achieve targets that cannot be accomplished by other marketing methods.
- Increase access to your target audience.
- Make your business more available to a brand new audience.
- Turning potential clients into converting sales.
- Improving experience for existing customers.
It’s vital that you remember social media is another form of marketing. It is not its own individual field of marketing. Although it can be used to achieve many different goals, it generally is used to achieve a higher amount of sales. However, social media campaigns can be aimed at strengthening the relationship between customer and company.
Whatever you are using Twitter management techniques to achieve, you must remember that you can use your other marketing campaigns, such as SEO to help benefit your marketing campaign. If you use web design strategies to help visually optimise your social media profiles, ontop of your other marketing techniques, then you are sure to see a better return on your social media efforts.
Posted by: Ben Austin
Posted on: January 27, 2012 9:04 am
Selling is one of the most important things when it comes to a business. Without it, there would be no incoming money, thus no funds for campaigns such as social media. Your social media agency can use the audience that has been acquired to sell to, but there is a fine line between what is ok and will result in sales, however a too aggressive approach will result in negative feedback and maybe even a loss of following.
What Not To Do
First off, it’s important to know what not to do. Social media, is a social environment which is built around friend ships and conversations. Your audience do not want to log on and be sold to constantly, if you do this, then it is likely that you will lose their interest because you have annoyed them etc.
The first and probably the most beneficial is promotional codes or discounts. Everyone loves a bargain and are more likely to purchase when money is being saved. Exclusive social media vouchers are great, it makes your followers feel “exclusive” but it’s also a great way to measure how many people are using the social media voucher code. Using voucher codes is most likely the best method to sell on social media, it is not direct and if anything can be seen as a nicety online.
Sending links to new or old products is also a good way to get sales, although not as good as voucher codes. If links to products are constantly posted out and make the majority of your content, then it is likely that your followers are getting annoyed with the constant stream of sales and will begin to ignore them. Getting the balance is crucial.
Contests are similar to voucher codes. They can be posted about all day long, however it does not necessarily convert to a sale; it will help establish a following but not an instant sale because these followers would be interested in receiving your product for free. This can however convert into a sale organically or with the help of a voucher code.
Selling on social media is difficult and is a completely different tactic to SEO or even web design. Social networking sales are very laidback and are more of an “the offer is on the table” situation, where the follower does not feel pressured into purchasing anything but is aware of the products and offers available.
Posted by: Ben Austin
Posted on: January 26, 2012 9:18 am
Social media can be used to improve a lot of areas in your business, especially areas which directly involve your customers. If you have an active campaign and a great level of engagement with your followers, you will find many of these tasks easier to do with the use of social media.
Detecting And Resolving Customer Complaints
Finding and resolving complaints is very easy to deal with when using social media. The most easy would be twitter management to accomplish this. This is because you can run searches for your business name and receive all tweets containing your company name, this way you can deal with any negative opinions. You can also acknowledge and thank any good comments. Both of these actions will help improve your following and relationship with your followers.
Through proper Facebook management techniques, you can run polls and ask questions to your fans about anything you want, so this can be very helpful as you can receive feedback on new product and find out what your customers really want. You can also do the same thing on Twitter, however this is a little harder to manage than Facebook because all you can do is tweet out and hope for your followers to reply.
Providing Technical Support
Tech support is usually handled over the phone, but we have so much technology available nowadays and social media really helps with this. For example, you can use Google Plus hangouts to visually answer and explain answers to your customers, and text support can be given easily to followers via Twitter and Facebook.
Social media has many benefits, and using social media to benefit the customer experience is a great idea and is something that very company should be trying to do. A social media agency can run these kind of techniques effectively and beneficially to you and your company, whether you’re a retail company or an SEO agency.
Posted by: Ben Austin
Posted on: January 25, 2012 10:46 am
Social media management of a marketing campaign can be extremely beneficial. These benefits are only gained in the long run and will not appear instantly. A positive about social media is that it doesn’t cost a penny to get it started, although it does require a huge investment in time, which is why using a social media agency can be a huge weight lifted off of your shoulders.
Many users on twitter are simply listeners and only want to receive updates from those who they are following without posting many updates themselves. The power users of Twitter, e.g. celebrities, companies and influential people in niche industries create the majority of tweets, which is very interesting to know because you as a business are most likely targeting an audience, and this audience has a tendancy to listen, as opposed to feel the need to be heard.
Chances are that you have heard this a million and one times, but social media is great for branding as it establishes brand awareness as more and more people will like/follow your social media profiles.
As well as branding, building relationships is something that social media can be used for, it is also very easy to do. There are a few points you should remember to build an effective relationship:
- Know what you talking about
- Contribute to the community regularly
- Avoid “in your face” sales techniques
- Provide valuable, third party info via links.
It is important to keep in mind that social media is a long term commitment and should be treated as such, if your Facebook management campaign or even Twitter management campaign is planned for short term success, the benefits will be a fraction of what a long term plan would bring.
Posted by: Ben Austin
Posted on: January 24, 2012 10:44 am
Many social networks can be broken up into many categories and most networks fall into more than one category. Knowing what category a network is classed as is vital to plan out a social media management campaign and also to have a successful return on your social media efforts.
There are seven main types of social network and every social service can be categorised into at least one of these: Blogs, Social networking services, Social media sharing, Social bookmarking, Social news services, Location based networking and Community building services.
Blogs were one of the first forms of social media and have really evolved. Blogs are designed to allow easy content posting, and also easy commenting and sharing. Examples of blogging services are: WordPress, Type Pad and Blogger.
Social Networking Services
Social Networking Services were originally created for the soul purpose of two way communications and content sharing, e.g. videos, picture and information. Even with this category, there are three child categories: Full networks (Facebook/Google +) , Micro blogging (Twitter/Plurk) and Professional Networks(Linkedin/Xing).
Social Media Sharing Services
Social media sharing services are based around posting content such as videos and pictures, and sharing the content and also commenting on it. There are three types of these networks, video (YouTube/Vimeo), Photos (Flickr/Picasa), Audio (Podcast Alley).
Users of social bookmarking services can bookmark their favourite pages for other users of that network to see and enjoy. Recommendation sites (Stumble Upon/Delicious), Social Shopping (Kaboodle/This Next).
Social News Services
Users of social news services can favourite news for the rest of the network to see, these articles are usually voted on in some way. Examples of these services are Digg and Reddit.
Location Based Networking
Location based networking is something users have to help bring them closer together and explore their local area, examples of this are Foursquare, Gowalla and Loopt.
Community Building Services
Community building services are mostly forum like networks such as Yahoo! And Google Groups, these networks can be very niche.
It is important to know exactly what category the network you are going to be using falls into, this way you can make the most of your social media agency and have the best return on your campaign. Whether you are using social media as an SEO company or even PPC.
Posted by: Ben Austin
Posted on: January 23, 2012 4:05 pm
Social Media is a great way to brand your business, bring in new customers and so on. However the one problem with social media is that is really difficult to measure, unless you have the right procedures or reporting software in place.
Step By Step
Using a process to record progress is extremely time consuming. There are many different factors that must be measured and for a really helpful report on your campaign, stats should be measured daily to see what works, and what doesn’t.
The more networks that your business is on, the more time you have to devote to making notes of new stats and so on. So by not using a reporting suite, you’re wasting time measuring your profile’s success and not helping it to succeed.
Choosing A Reporting Suite
There are tonnes of social media tools to help you measure your social media campaign, so how do you find out which is the best? Many of the suites offer free trials, so assign your social media profiles to the systems, and give them time to sync with stats. This can take a few days with networks like Twitter, but Facebook should sync automatically, this is because Facebook has it’s own insights available.
It is important to take note of the networks that the reporting software in question supports. If it is limited to Twitter and Facebook, it is likely that a tool that supports many others, such as Digg and Google Plus, would be much better for the present and future if your company is thinking about going from Facebook management, or even Twitter management to social bookmarking and many others.
The general layout differentiates between the suites and will appeal to some people’s tastes more than others. So it is just a case of testing the networks and seeing which is best for the job.
The only way to find out what is best is to try before you buy. Chances are that you will only be using one, and the prices that are charged, it is well worth making sure you are 100% happy with the services that are provided.
Whether you are using social media as an SEO company, or you are in the retail industry, it is important to be able to measure your social media activities precisely and accurately.
Posted by: Ben Austin
Posted on: January 18, 2012 2:37 pm
It has been made public as of now that Google are definitely against the SOPA act, and they definitely have just reason to be. Although they are with the SOPA movement, you won’t be sent to a black screen, Google has used their staggering traffic to the best of their ability.
If you log onto Google.com, you will notice at the bottom of the page there is a message from congress which states “Tell congress: Please don’t censor the web”, and by clicking this link, it will take you to another section of Google in which you can sign an online petition to stop SOPA and PIPA, on top of that… information about the two bills are available. More importantly the effects of these bills are explained which is something that is hard to find. Then there is a community section that proves the growing community that are opposing the movements. Internet giants such as Facebook, Twitter, eBay, PayPal and of course Google, not to mention the countless others who are opposing the censorship of the internet.
According to Google, SOPA and PIPA will do more harm than good. This is because it will force internet businesses to closely monitor everything linking to their site and if they are in violation of any new laws according to SOPA and PIPA, then it could potentially mean the end of the business, which will leave a huge number of people jobless.
It would be different if SOPA and PIPA actually worked, according to the big G!, these acts won’t stop online piracy. The regulations written in these bills wont successfully shut down their sites, they will simply transfer them to another domain and continue until they are caught again.
Anyone who works on the internet frequently has had their work stolen and pirated before. Whether you’re a writer or film maker, it happens so often and there is not much we can do about it. We do need a bill or law to prevent online piracy. However we need one that will work and not end up crippling the internet as we know it. This change will have a huge effect on social media and could potentially put a stop to it, not to mention SEO and PPC as the algorithm will be a completely different and most likely biased, and that is if it hasn’t been banned by a government.
Posted by: Ben Austin
Posted on: January 17, 2012 3:05 pm
SOPA is the stop online piracy act that many sites are partaking in. Sites such as Wikipedia, eBay and even Google are protesting this act, Wikipedia are even taking their site down for the day and so are many other sites. This will show how much the bill will affect the average joe and help to raise awareness about the act.
Whether you are for, or against SOPA, we really need to consider both sides, especially before we jump into any rash decisions like take our site down for the day because of SOPA. Granted, if this act does become approved, then the internet will be a completely different place for every user. Many huge sites are taking action against SOPA and if you are against the act, you must think abou what will happen if you join the blackout movement.
Points To Consider
The first point would be the obvious “am I going to make a difference”. The chances are that you won’t. As blunt as that may be, it is the truth. Compare your impact to what a site like Google would have. If Google blacked out their site for the day, then it would have a massive effect on users of the internet. It is the most popular site on the web so there would be a devastating impact, if anything would get the word out about SOPA, then no doubt it would be by Google. That said, your site is most likely no were near as popular… Unless your name is Mark Zuckerberg. Consider how much money you would lose to having a website down for a day, it can be fatal for some sites, this loss would need an indefinite gain, and unfortunately since there isn’t, then I feel it would not be a wise move to blindly jump on the SOPA band wagon, in terms of blacking your site out.
Another point would be to think of other ways you can help the cause. You can raise awareness from other methods, whether you’re for SOPA or against it, there has to be something you can do, this is where you can use your own personal experience and creativity to “fight the power”.
There are many reasons in which why not to jump into the SOPA act, whether you are a supporter or not. If you are not getting traffic on a scale of Facebook, Google and Twitter, it is unwise to jump into a decision like that. The best thing you can do is use your skills, whether you are a plumber or a SEO company, there is something you can do to help your side of the argument.
Posted by: Ben Austin
Posted on: January 6, 2012 2:46 pm
For bloggers using social media networks know as Google Plus, there is a way, it has been available for a few months, to claim an article as your own. Having authorship of an article has a few benefits.
What’s The Point?
The first and most obvious when seen is that your Google+ photo appears in search results. This is more of a vanity feature but it is a cool one and makes blogging a real form of writing. Very similar to a hard copy book In the way that the author is given a lot of credit for it.
Another benefit is that it makes all content written by an author easier to find, when you find the author icon on a search result then there will be a link for more by that author. So this makes finding content by a specific blogger easier than ever.
One of the biggest points is that it puts your name on your own articles, which means that the problem of having articles stolen is finally combatted. This problem will no doubt continue, but if someone is stealing an article, it is easy to prove who the content really belongs to, which will make it embarrassing to be proved wrong and that you are stealing articles.
How To Do It
Matt Cutts has made a few videos explaining how to add authorship to content and this can be found easily on Youtube. The simpler way is to add HTML code. I will show an example, for your reference “URL” would be the URL of your Google Plus profile. <a href=”URL”?rel=author> +You</a>. The text within the link can say whatever you want but its best to say +”your name” but it really isn’t essential.
According to the instructional videos, the next step is to share the article on your Google + profile, this seems simple enough and if you are an active Google + user you are most likely already doing this.
The benefits of having authorship are definitely worth the effort of inserting a small chunk of HTML code, and if you’re a heavy Google + user then the only thing you will have to do differently is add the HTML code which can be copied and pasted.
Written by + Lewis Austin
Posted by: SEO Positive
Posted on: December 22, 2011 4:13 pm
On a fine and bright morning, you take your seat with a cup of coffee and start doing the usual stuff in Google analytics. It is a perfect setting for a great day but lol! Something is wrong in Analytics. It just cannot happen. How could the number of visitor plummet to an all time low? And the mad rush begins. Most of us, especially who have to deal with visitors trending, conversion optimization, PPC and other stuffs are well aware of the fact that this is not anything unusual as long as you are completely dependent on a single entity – Google. A slight change in algo or a minor tweaks in its existing pattern and you lose everything you have built up so dearly for long. A single wrong move in your online marketing can devastate all your good efforts. So, if you are tired of playing the patience game with Google or looking for an alternative way of generating some leads, here we are going to list some ideas that can be catapulted into success depending on how well you are using them.
Less is More: After the panda update, we have realized the hard way of course that quality and quantity cannot go hand in hand. I personally feel that we need to upload only those articles that have spark on them and that can trigger fierce debate. So, that means, you need to publish those articles that really adds value to users experience. Now, these kinds of articles take time to write. So, take your time and publish 1 article in a week rather than go on heaping up garbage on garbage. Great article will lead to great brand presence and this has got nothing to do with Google. You will have a steady flow direct traffic no matter what Google introduces.
Tweet To Blow Away: Twitter is a great marketing tool but still majority of marketers are clueless about how to use it to their advantage. You do not need to tweet insistently or 24X7. This has got nothing to marketing. You need to make people retweet your coverage without doing anything sneaky and this is bottom line with twitter marketing. It is a vicious circle of promotion and all you need to do is to make it roll. Just a push and there it goes. It will keep driving visitors to your website who are really interested about your product or service.
Connect via Facebook: Facebook is one such source that could help you keep alive your website even if it got thrashing from Google panda. To draw a good amount of traffic, you need to create a buzz in facebook and this can be done by adding some controversial elements in your posts and then posting that thing in the facebook wall. As the debate rages on, more and more facebook users will be engaged in the discussion and the number of visitors from facebook will surge. However, to make it work on regular basis, you need to do a real brain storming session before we publish something.
Do More than What is Necessary: Just blatant promoting for driving traffic to a website may not work all the time. So, why not reverse the trend. Rather than slapping a facebook fanpage box in the website, we can work hard to make social presence of the website as an inseparable part of the living presence of the website. Website should be transformed into a social content delivery mechanic that contributes to the growth the website as a whole.
Tie up: You can either save your skins by signing business partnership with some websites that are similar to your niche, forgetting the old animosity. But this pact has its own share of advantages and shortcomings. On the positive note, it can help you get some supports for the rainy days but on the slip side, your brand image may come under fire. Another alternative way is getting your articles published in other sites. Now, this is a win-win situation for both the parties. The hosting site is getting a really well written article whereas you will get some visitors thanks to the presence of a link at the end of the article.
Do Not Miss Out On Opportunity: You need to monitor every single metrics and changes of your website analytics daily. Out of these complex analytics, you should try to find out the perfect scope for new opportunity that may come along the way. A small opportunity can be snowballed into a massive opportunity that may drive a considerable amount of traffic to your website.
Michael Evans is a writer who enjoys writing in the tech niche and he also promotes Flash templates with the integrated Flash CMS.