Saying It Social

Your Social Media Marketing Resource

12 Reasons Your Business Needs a Social Media Marketing Program YESTERDAY

1. Own your brand’s social presence: If you don’t create official channels online, it’s only a matter of time before your customers/clients do it for you and create their own profiles and communities around your brand. It’s important to claim your brand name across all the major social media platforms. Here are two sites that will help you do this:

  • KnowEm: KnowEm has the highest number of sites (over 350) available for checking username availability. Simply by entering your desired username, you’ll be able to find out instantly if it’s still available. KnowEm also offers paid plans, from just signing up and registering you at 150 sites, to a full-featured plan which also fills in all profile details, complete with pictures, at 100 to 300 different networking sites.
  • namechk: Covering 72 major social networking sites, namechk is simple, fast, and easy to use. If your desired username or vanity URL is still available, you simply click through each one to claim it. If your brand isn’t consistent across the Web, namechk can help you by determining which usernames are still available on a number of the most popular sites.

2. Look like you “get it”: Your target audience is becoming more shrewd about leveraging social media sites as an integral part of their daily lives. If you want to appear relevant and in-step with the latest advances in technology, your potential customers will want to see you on these sites as well. If you don’t have a presence, you appear as if you’re not very savvy.

3. Brand recognition: You need to go where your customers are, and they are increasingly spending a great deal of time on social networking sites. Using social media enables your company to reach a huge number of potential customers. Getting your name out there is incredibly important — studies suggest that people need to hear a company’s name at least seven times before they trust and respect it enough to become a customer.

4. Take your message directly to consumers: Social media tools enable you to directly engage consumers in conversation. Be sure to build trust by adding value to the community consistently over time.

5. Increase your search engine rankings: Social media profiles (especially those on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn) frequently rank highly with major search engines. Creating keyword-rich profiles around your brand name can help generate traffic for your both your social-networking sites and your company’s Web site.

6. SEO benefits: Many social media bookmarking sites use NOFOLLOW tags that limit the outbound link value of posts made on their sites, but there are still many leading sites that allow DOFOLLOW tags — including Friendfeed, Digg, and Mixx. You can also benefit from posting to bookmarking sites that use NOFOLLOW tags if people read your posts and link back to your Web site.

7. Social media content is now integrated with search results: Search engines like Google and Bing are increasingly indexing and ranking posts and other information from social networks. Videos from popular sites like YouTube can also be optimized for indexing by the major search engines.

8. Brand monitoring: Having a social media presence gives you a better understanding of what current and potential customers are saying about your products and services. If you actively monitor social conversations, you have the opportunity to correct false or inaccurate information about your brand and address negative comments before they take on a life of their own.

9. Generate site traffic: You can create additional traffic if you regularly post updates on social networks that link back to your Web site. Social media bookmarking tools like Digg, Reddit, and Stumbleupon can also generate additional traffic to your site if you create frequent articles and blog posts.

10. Find new customers through your friends: You shouldn’t neglect your personal social media accounts as potential avenues to promote the activities of your business. Posting regular updates relating to your business and activities can remind your friends about what your company does and influence them to use your services or make referrals.

11. Find new customers through your company profile: Your company profile is a great opportunity for you to post regular updates on your activities and about important news and trends in your industry. This will attract the attention of new customers interested in your industry and increase your reputation as an expert in your field. It’s important to post regularly if you want to increase your followers or fans and convert them to potential leads.

12. Niche marketing: Social media enables you to reach very specific subsets of people based on their personal preferences and interests. You can create unique social media profiles to target these audiences or create strategies based on addressing individual interests.

Are you using social media to grow your business? Please share your experiences!

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June 4, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

It’s Time to Think about Integrating Search & Social Media

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Google and Microsoft’s Bing recently struck deals to incorporate social media into their real-time search results. Google signed a deal with Twitter that will add tweets to search results. Microsoft signed deals with both Twitter and Facebook to incorporate tweets and status updates into Bing. Microsoft recently expanded the arrangement with Facebook, making Bing its default search engine.

Have you integrated search with your social media? Marketing divided into silos is inefficient and only lets you reach narrow goals. Don’t delay, because the major players in search and social media are getting better at integrating the two disciplines everyday.

Here are a few tips to get you started integrating your search and social media marketing as well:

Use keywords in tweets and status updates. Social media is a great keyword suggestion tool; let social media help your SEO. These days, it’s critical to use the right keywords with every tweet and status update. Don’t just apply the same high-level phrases to every update. That will bore your audience, or worse still, scare them away. Use the long-tail phases that apply to deeper pages, and then link to those pages with strong anchor text. Search engines like this and reward it. But don’t stop there. Keep on linking, provided there’s something interesting and relevant to say.

Link from profile pages. Social media provides many linking opportunities and one of them is the profile page. Let everyone know where else to find you. People use various social media sites in different ways. Be there, and tell them you’re there. The links from the profile page may have nofollow tags, but they will drive traffic and different search engines treat the nofollow tag differently. There could be an SEO boost in it for you.

Expand your social network. Google is already beta-testing the inclusion of blogs from your social circle in search results. Tweets can’t be far behind. Your social circle includes:

  • Direct connections from Google Chat and Contacts.
  • Direct connections from links on your Google profile.
  • Secondary connections publicly associated with your direct connections.

The bigger the social circle, the more likely your content will appear in the search results of those connected to you. Expanding your social circle will help get you found.

So what are you waiting for? Get out there and be social, but be smart about it.

March 22, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | 1 Comment

How Google Ranks Tweets

By David Talbot

Algorithms judge the relevance of microblog posts containing 140 characters or less.

To deliver useful search returns from the so-called real-time Web–such as seconds-old Twitter “tweets” reporting traffic jams–Google has adapted its page-ranking technology and developed new algorithmic tricks and filters to keep returns relevant, according to a leading Google engineer.

how google ranks tweets

Google rolled out real-time search technology last month, to offer searchers access to brand-new blog posts and news items far faster than the five to 15 minutes it previously took Google’s Web crawlers to discover newly created items.

Bing, Cuil, and other search engines also provide various kinds of real-time results. Both Google and Bing have also forged major deals with Twitter to get real-time access to tweets, those 140-character microblog posts sent out by Twitter members. But Google claims to offer the most comprehensive real-time results by scanning news headlines, blogs, and feeds from Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and other sources.

The tweets are a mainstay of Google’s real-time results, but Google has not previously discussed how it ranks them. A fundamental Google strategy for identifying tweet relevance is analogous to that used by Google’s PageRank technology, which helps find relevant Web pages with traditional Web search. Under PageRank, Google judges the importance of pages containing a given search keyword in part by looking at the pages’ link structure. The more pages that link to a page–and the more pages linking to the linkers–the more relevant the original page.

In the case of tweets, the key is to identify “reputed followers,” says Amit Singhal, a Google Fellow, who led development of real-time search. (Twitterers “follow” the comments of other Twitterers they’ve selected, and are themselves “followed.”)

“You earn reputation, and then you give reputation. If lots of people follow you, and then you follow someone–then even though this [new person] does not have lots of followers,” his tweet is deemed valuable because his followers are themselves followed widely, Singhal says. It is “definitely, definitely” more than a popularity contest, he adds.

“One user following another in social media is analogous to one page linking to another on the Web. Both are a form of recommendation,” Singhal says. “As high-quality pages link to another page on the Web, the quality of the linked-to page goes up. Likewise, in social media, as established users follow another user, the quality of the followed user goes up as well.”

But Google’s social-ranking tricks are hardly the only method the search giant uses to extract relevance from tweets. Google also developed new ways to choose which (if any) tweets to surface for common terms like “Obama”–and to avoid spam or low-quality tweets–all within seconds.

Read on….

February 2, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | 1 Comment