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Must read digital marketing stories of the week: crafting a social media strategy

Getting out of the gate quickly is what most organizations want to do, but in social media the gate is not so obvious. In this weeks top digital marketing story, Sean Carton provides a list of questions you should ask yourself before you get into the social media race.

Before jumping into the social media bandwagon you should think about strategy first says Sean Carton. There isn’t anything new about thinking strategy first, it’s just that the ROI on social media is very tricky. Nonetheless the checklist of questions he provides helps gets you prepared for uncharted territory.

Key takeaway: this checklist provides good guidelines, be honest with yourself and remember that no strategy is set in stone.

 

Lisa Barone of Outspoken Media says that before you get your feet into social media it’s important to know who you are and what you stand for.

There are a lot of companies helping clients navigate their way through ‘social media’ waters and they all suggest the same things: start by listening (who’s talking), define the outcome (what do you want to accomplish?), pick your spots (where is your audience), promote (spread your message), nurture (build community) and knowing what the score is (metrics).

Key takeaway: Ask yourself , how you choose to behave is telling of what your strategy should be.

argues that following ‘best practices’ in SEO delivers no competitive advantage in internet marketing.

While I agree with his point that best practices become ‘they way things are done’, he doesn’t really provide any specific alternatives other than just be creative.

What exactly is radical SEO?

To build on his argument I think that, while SEO helps determine search engine positions, the game has shifted to social networks such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. People are now using socnets to find the things they’re looking for, they provide trust from peers, immediacy and relevancy in ways that search results cannot.

Key takeaway: Optimize your website taking into account ‘best practices’ but also optimize for social media. The game has changed and the field of play has shifted to social properties where you yield greater influence.

 

Brands come and go, only the one’s that go from the edge to the mainstream and back stay relevant argues the branding firm BlackCoffe through a graphic.

Key takeaway: staying relevant depends on being able to go from the edge to the mainstream and back to edge. It’s a process of reinvention. How are you reinventing your brand? What activities are you doing so your brand stays relevant?

 

“A social business is one that has products and services but prioritizes connecting with people, and facilitating connections between people, in an environment that is conducive to the company’s success.”

Designing your organization to be social is nothing new, in one way or another all businesses have been social, the only difference now is that connecting organizations with customers through the internet has shown that being social has it rewards. Customers loyalty, intimacy and creating a complete brand experience where your customer is at the center is what ‘being social’ really means.

Key takeaway: understand that ‘being social’ is just jargon for being customer focused. Master the tools that let you be even more customer focused and use them to your advantage.

 

On what days are user more likely to click on your posted links on Facebook?

Marketing firm Virtue says 10% of the time on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and 9% of the time on Mondays, with much lower rates later in the week.

Key takeaway: Take this with a grain of salt, I suggest to test it out. Focus on publishing more content on these days and then check the fan page analytics for results.

Test your calls to action and unique selling proposition in 5 seconds

On our previous post we mentioned the importance of having clear calls to action and letting your visitors know what you offer to .

The guys from created a nifty little tool that, using their own words, helps test those out:

 

A simple online usability test that helps you identify the most prominent elements of your user interfaces.

 

It’s a pretty straightforward tool:

  1. You upload your screenshot
  2. You pick your test type which includes a) testers will be asked the things they remember after viewing the image for five seconds and b) testers will be given five seconds to click areas on the image and then asked what they clicked.
  3. You let random people test the image.

 five second test

 

It’s a pretty good tool for user experience designers, as it provides valuable feedback before uploading the real thing and not to mention it’s completely free to use. There’s nothing to lose here, try it yourself!

 

Credit:

How to Improve your website in 10 minutes

Your opening a business and you want to develop and design a website for it to let the world know about your ideas. Where do you start?

We’ve just been contacted by a that’s in this same situation the only difference is they have a website but it’s poorly done! Remember when you were in high school and developed your first website in HTML 1.0? You get the idea!

While I was reviewing said website and started writing down our recommendations to improve it, I thought this would make a good blog post.

Here are a few tips that can help you improve your website in ten minutes: 

  • Who are you and what do you do? Tell me what your big idea is and why should I care. Have it present on every single page, in marketing speak this is called your ‘unique value proposition’.
  • People don’t read, they scan. Prioritize. Not all text is important, help people know what is important to them by having headers in different colors, short paragraphs and bullet points.
  • Most people don’t use menus for navigation. There needs to be linked text within the content that takes a visitor to another page.
  • What do I do next? Need to have clear calls to action buttons or text after copy that tells the visitor what to do next.
  • Make sure your website is optimized for search engines. Make sure to have keywords present in the copy, headers, page titles and description.
  • Make your most important content stand out. What’s your big idea? Some of the most important content is hidden in interior pages, help people know what your most important content is.
  • Make it easy for people to find you. Add local information in the home page like where you’re located, phone number, etc.
  • Tell your story. Why are you doing this? Have an about page to tell your story. If this is your dream, let people know how excited you are.
  • What’s this about? Every page in your website must have focus. For example if you sell birthday cakes of all kinds, make sure your internal page for ‘super hero cakes’ has only content related to that. In the short term this will help you for that keyword.

 

Following these tips will point you in the right direction, in what other ways can you improve an existing website?

 

to get your daily fix of branding and social marketing tips.

REPORT: Most important search engine ranking factors

The anchor text from external links is still considered the most important factor for SEO according to SEOmoz.

Yesterday SEOmoz published their , released every two years, which surveys some of the top minds in SEO about the dominant factors that determine search engine rankings. Here’s a summary of the results. According to the SEOs surveyed by SEOmoz, the following are the most important ranking factors:

 

Ranking Factors Version 3

 

As most things, SEO doesn’t work in a vacuum. It’s important to understand that following each and every single point here will only get you so far as other factors come into play such as competition for your keywords and the amount of competition your up against.

With it’s not surprising to see most websites get the most of their traffic from social networks such as Twitter, Friendfeed and Facebook where factors such as immediacy and freshness play a bigger role.

SEO has matured, the game has shifted to social media and the .

Key Takeaway: Your best bet is to optimize your website with these factors in mind but focus most of your marketing efforts in creating relationships, bonding with your audience and giving the best possible brand experience, social media makes this possible in ways SEO can’t.

VIDEO: Social Media is not a fad

Are you overlooking social media because you think it’s just a fad that won’t outlive it’s hype?

Erik Qualman doesn’t think so! In an effort to promote his book “Socialnomics”, which is about the business of social media, he created the video below and makes a strong case that it’s not a fad! It’s a revolution to use his own words.

With some , this video is already going viral!

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