[By Jeff Androsko]
Social media... you know... for kids. WRONG. It's actually incredible how many prospects we speak to that think it's either a fad or pointless.
What's really valuable about Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and other sites are their rich, potential S.E.O. value. I know... S.E.O. is kind of a mystical term for folks that aren't totally immersed in the world of website marketing, but I will tell you this... tweeting, posting, liking and sharing can be your shortcut to inbound traffic (even if you don't know anything about Search Engine Optimization).
Look at it this way: everything that goes on your website affects your S.E.O. rankings, so keep in mind that the same goes for your social media interactions. The beauty part about social media is that it can associate certain keywords with your website and assist Google and Bing (among others) in providing searchers with your site as an answer to their inquiries.
Here are four ways social media interaction affects your ranking:
- Who is Interacting
Some of your inbound traffic from social media will depend on with whom you are interacting. For instance, if craig1045 from Kinosha, Wisconsin (with a whopping 26 followers) suddenly retweets your brilliant entry, chances are it's not going to do anything for your results. If someone like Lady Gaga suddently takes an interest in your witty and timely humor and shares it with her 9,000,000+ followers on Twitter, you may see a spike in who is now finding you.
- Using Keywords in Your Posts
For those of you who are new to S.E.O., your website pages' keywords and descriptions have a lot of say in who finds you and how on the internet. If you are sharing promotions and content which contain those same keywords and descriptions that tell search engines what your site is all about, you've got a better shot at coming up before one of your competitors. (Don't know if your site has optimized content [S.E.O.]? Ask your web developer or get started with us by clicking here!)
- Volume of Content & Blogging
Some people don't consider blogging as a form of social media. I beg to differ. What a better way to interact and share pertinent information than to load up a blog entry with valuable, engaging information optimized with keywords? The more intriguing content, the better the chance of getting found and creating valuable interaction.
- Give to Get
Just like you were taught when you were four years old, sharing is important. The way in which you build a community and buzz about your products and services will certainly lend itself to search results. If your material has people talking, commenting, sharing and liking, search engines will notice hot topics and associate them with results linking back to your content.
Interaction with your contributions on social media is essentially what is going to get you found on search engines. If you identify the social media outlets which make sense for your business to use, formulate a social media plan (Who will manage it? How often? What's the goal? What are you going to share?) and create interaction with that content, your growth can be exponential.
*Apologies to craig1045 if you are real.
[By Jeff Androsko]
You don't have to like Radiohead... more for me. But if you examine the history of their marketing success, you'll realize that Thom Yorke & Co. aren't perpetually cool and successful by accident.
They would probably scoff at me if they were to read a life-long Radiohead obsessor trying to spin their unique success into some kind of explanation of inbound marketing techniques... but guess what? I'm going to do it anyway.
So the marketing buzz about Radiohead—a somewhat dark and acquired taste—started in 2007 when they released "In Rainbows", a 10-track LP sold exclusively on the band's website. The kick was they gave their fans (and anyone, for that matter) the nail-biting option of paying whatever they wanted for the new album. That's right... two bits... nothing... $1,000,000... whatever. Their DIY approach and bitter attitude towards the music industry drove listeners to buy at least three million copies (only Radiohead knows for sure how many were "sold"). But the ground-breaking tactic itself was the real news. It worked on an entirely new, moral and existential level.
What is your music (or any product you buy) worth? It put the ball in the listener's court. Avid listeners, like myself, knew the material was going to be fantastic, but it's a question I never really asked myself before that.
Independent of any record label, whatever money Thom, Johnny, Ed, Phil and Colin were going to receive was going to them. So what does this have to do with inbound marketing? EVERYTHING.
Here's what you can learn from Radiohead's "In Rainbows" release:
- Your Website is Paramount
If Thom Yorke and the gang didn't have a reliable, reachable website, their independence from record labels would have never allowed them the e-commerce success that they achieved.
- Give a Little, Take a Little
We know... you work hard to develop and sell your products. But giving away a little for free is the nature of the beast. Give away some of your product or service and, in exchange, get their email address so you can provide them with more specials, offers and pitches.
- Quality Counts
Did Radiohead's DIY marketing approach work because they play on a street corner in Bristol, collecting change in an empty guitar case? No... they're masters of their domain. People can't get enough of their music. Get your audience hooked and you will see your following grow and loyalty stick.
I've been listening to their new album, "The King of Limbs", incessantly for the last three weeks. Even though they didn't implement the "pay what you want" tactic this time around, and even though there are only eight tracks, I demonstrated my loyalty and went right back for more, as so many will do. Isn't that what marketing and sales is all about?
[By Jeff Androsko]
No... this is not an excuse to truck out my best Charlie Sheen jokes (mainly because I only have one) or even to beat the "tiger blood" joke into the ground. All I'm saying is that Charlie Sheen, regardless of how you feel about his antics, has built a brand for himself.
Call it "winning" or America's uncontrollable and unhealthy obsession with celebrities; he managed to break Guinness records and stir up an entire nation with a few simple TV interviews and tweets.
So is Charlie Sheen the "King of Content" at the moment? Answer: yes. But how long will it last? As long as the media is still paying attention (which they undoubtedly are), he will remain a hot topic.
It would appear that Charlie Sheen unknowingly nailed down two fundamental inbound marketing techniques: social media and public relations. Want to harness Charlie Sheen's power without a tiger blood transfusion (gross)? Here's how:
- Entertain and Inform
Not all of your content (written and spoken) needs to be stern and serious. By keeping your audience entertained and informed, you can build a following and brand trust. Sheen snagged 500,000 followers without breaking a sweat. He has now reached over two million followers and continues to grow in popularity. Give him some competition by loosening your tie and speaking your mind.
- The Thin Line Between Confidence and Narcissism
According to two studies, we love narcissists (at first). They come off as charismatic and confident. However, confidence is a double-edged sword. You want to be vocal and sure about your products and services, but not send overly-boasting messages that will make you look like a Sheen one-on-one.
- Konsistent Kontent is King
Tweet it, blog it, post it, like it, promote it. Let's face it... you're not going to get 500,000 Twitter followers overnight. But if you consistently keep up with your social media and website updates (which will do wonders for your site's S.E.O.), your audience will recognize your conscious effort to answer their questions and serve them as consumers.
- Work the Media
Chances are you won't be on the Today show for two weeks straight, but that doesn't mean you can't have your own spotlight. If you have accomplishments, special events and benchmarks your company has reached, promote them with press releases and work your local media for some air-time.
To be honest, I have been following Charlie Sheen on Twitter. Reading one of his tweets is like watching David Hasslehoff eat Carl's Jr. on the floor of his bathroom. The truth is that he isn't that appealing, memorable or funny. His value will wear off quicker than a viewing of Hot Shots: Part Deux. You can beat him at his own game by pursuing longevity instead of shock value. Become your industry's King of Content.
[By Jeff Androsko]
Another feed-clogger spamming me with their useless and repetitive URL's that bring me to 10 windows with exponential popups. Say goodbye to annoyingtweeter7!
If you've started using Twitter, you'll find out swiftly that following certain people doesn't always turn out to be advantageous to you. That's why they invented the "unfollow button" (seen below).
This may get you thinking, "Am I a Twitter jerk, too?" Well, before you go committing Twitter hari kari... think about how you use it.
"Do I tweet incessantly?"
"Do my followers retweet my stuff?"
If you answered "yes" to the first question and "no" to the second, you've got some thinking to do; mainly about etiquette and intrigue. It's OK to be a heavy user (for personal or business), but remember that there's a distinct line between following and being followed. Here are 5 actions that will turn you into a Twitter jerk faster than you can say "#newtwitter sucks!"...
- Having a Poor Follower / Followed By Ratio
Check out the amount of people you follow and how many followers you have. Is the scale tipped in favor of those you follow? Though this may go unnoticed to you, it may not to others. They're going to ask, "Why does this person have 17 followers but follows 839?" This golden ratio may turn your reputation into a spammer and turn off potential followers. Be careful.
- Feed Clogging (it's for the birds)
Hey megaphone! Don't tweet everything that pops into your head. If your followers start seeing tweet after tweet about your upcoming trip to Comic Con, guess what... you're going to lose a few folks.
- Becoming Carlos Mencia with Tweets
A grand way to fulfill your Twitter jerk status is to bite off of other people's tweets (like Carlos Mencia with jokes). The retweet feature (RT) is there for a reason. It's great to like other's contributions, but give credit by mentioning them if you're going to share it with your followers.
- URL and Hashtag Vomit
Want to share that YouTube video with the URL which contains 28,000 characters? Tighten it up! Free services like TinyURL and Bit.ly will help you not look like such a n00b... because let's face it... no one wants to be a n00b.
Hashtags (#hashtags) are ways to share common interests and related tweets. Just use these sparingly. The general habit is to find a trend you like and tweet every 20 seconds. #slowdowntiger
- Having a Potty Mouth
Just like any other social network, anything you say can and will be held against you... in a court of Robocop. Keep your tweets intriguing, professional yet relaxed, innovative and friendly.
Twitter is a great way to share concise and interesting messages with massive amounts of people. Don't abuse your power and become the smelly kid on the playground. Avoid the five jerk-moves and you'll have more followers than @ladygaga before you know it. Well... probably not... but at least you won't be Carlos Mencia.