Category Archives: social media

Social Media and SEO

A post or two back was a bit about why social media isn’t going to be surpassing search engine optimization as the “golden egg” in advertising as it were. Interestingly enough, there is even factual evidence to add to the mix.

Tracking the numbers, traffic and uptime firm Pingdom, has proven that Facebook is demolishing all comers in the social media arena with 260 billion page views. When it came to monthly page views, Facebook was front runner by more than 10 times the views that MySpace had. There were nearly 60 times more page views for Facebook than Twitter, which ranked 4th in the study. It’s not a huge surprise that Facebook is the dominant entity in social media, but as little as 18 months ago (June 2008) MySpace was still larger worldwide, and kept a hold on that title for a few more months in the states.

At that time as well, there were a couple of key points, on Facebook’s end, which made the service unfriendly and unsearchable by Google/MSN/Bing. Being hidden behind a login page, and long, complicated urls were partly an issue for the soon to be giant. Since that time Facebook has made some changes in their privacy policy which allow users information to be crawled and indexed and searchable online, if they allow access. Allowing users to reserve custom URL’s was also a boon, as businesses had another advantage in their SEO efforts, by being able to reserve their business name as a portion of their URL. Much more conducive to being searchable as opposed to a string of random database numbers.

Are these the only factors which contributed to Facebooks overwhelming success? Of course not, but, when social media, embraces SEO fundamentals as a built in function of their website, it’s obvious they know where the merits of the internet are. Because after all, what good is it to sell advertising on a social media site, if it can’t be searched? And the best way to be found?

Follow SEO basics and fundamentals.

Social Media vs Search Engine Optimization?

A portion of the SEO industry seems to be focused on this topic as of late, and while I can see why the idea that social media over taking search engine optimization may be seen as a very scary prospect, it really won’t be that bad. Let me tell you what I see happening.

Jon (fictional of course) cranks up the internet, goes on over to Google and decides to check out “deals on netbooks” for example. Upon hitting enter, and getting their search results, lets pause for a moment to see what it is that actually comes up for Jon to peruse. There’s the option of the sponsored listings off to the side of the page of course, as well as the organic search results which populate the center of the page.

Almost all users understand the sponsored links are on the edge of the page, and don’t use them, but there is a certain number of users who still use them, so that’s a positive. The center column, with all of the organic results, are where your organic SEO skills come into play. With a quality website, well written and properly optimized content, you will be viewable within those organic rankings. Now there’s a new twist however, using the more options tab, you can include real time posts into your search as well. Blog posts, twitters and the like can be intermixed with your results for a very well rounded opinion on the search Jon has made. A true SEO Expert will advise, and assist, their clients in the initiation and use of a blog as well as how to continually update their entries with relevant, quality posts.

The internet is an incredibly huge arena to have a presence in, and having a presence of authority isn’t just expensive, it’s priceless. And with the proper tending, skills, and time invested, it would be entirely possible for a company to rank exceedingly well in all 3 areas, practically ensuring the highest possible ROI on the SEO performed for their company.

Is Social Media going to overtake, and run past Search Engine Optimization as a more powerful form of marketing? No, but if you have the real SEO Experts working for you, they won’t try and feed you that mis-information either. True SEO experts will advise you, and assist you, on ranking highly in all areas of online marketing.

Blocking Social Media at the Workplace

You hear all the time about employees using social media websites while at work, well if you haven’t already blocked them, here’s a simple trick.

In Linux, you can type “sudo vi /etc/hosts” and add the following lines:

127.0.0.1 twitter.com
127.0.0.1 www.twitter.com
127.0.0.1 facebook.com
127.0.0.1 www.facebook.com
127.0.0.1 myspace.com
127.0.0.1 www.myspace.com

What these lines say is “Computer, when you try to use the domain name system (DNS) to resolve twitter.com to an IP address, hard-code the IP address to be 127.0.0.1.” Note that 127.0.0.1 is a special IP address that corresponds to your own computer. In essence, these entries make it impossible to browse to Twitter, Facebook, or Myspace. You might need to reboot your computer too for the settings to take effect.

Thanks to Matt for the tip.

Social Media in Politics

Sometimes the most important revolutions are the quiet ones. This is especially true in the case of technology, which has a way of sneaking up on us.

Take cell phones, for example. A decade ago, they were a luxury item. Suddenly, everyone seemed to have one. What had once been a sign of status became commonplace, all with hardly anybody noticing — and without any central direction.

Such is the case with new media. Back in 2004, when Howard Dean launched his run for the presidency, his campaign’s revolutionary use of the Internet to raise funds and organize was considered novel.

Political writers spilled gallons of ink trying to understand the Dean campaign’s youth-oriented, technological approach to American politics. Then Dean let out his famous scream. John Kerry won the Democratic nomination. Dean’s campaign innovations faded in the background.

Dean took the Democratic Party to the new-media frontier. But it was Barack Obama who settled there. The Obama campaign’s use of technology was groundbreaking.

The campaign brass knew that Obama had a special appeal to young voters. They knew that young people communicate through media — Facebook, MySpace, SMS Text messaging, YouTube, Twitter, podcasts and so on — that leave the old fogies who typically run campaigns scratching their heads. So they recruited a bunch of tech-savvy youngsters to run Internet operations.

The Obama campaign blog was packed with content. The campaign updated it regularly. One of Obama’s top advisers was Google CEO Eric Schmidt.

The Obama team announced Joe Biden’s selection as vice presidential nominee through a text message. When he became president, Obama didn’t end his embrace of technology. The White House has a blog. Obama records a video edition of his weekly presidential message and posts it on YouTube.

Social Media by the Numbers

It’s everywhere, on cabs, on bus stops, in the papers, on the radio.. social media. “Find us on Facebook! Twitter with us!” etcetera, but really, how prevalent is this lucrative advertising medium?

Interaction with larger companies, brand names, was up to 78% of all social media activists; an overall increase of 32% from 2008. And of all users, 95% believe that not only should big brands have a social media presence of some sort, and 89% of all users believe that active interaction should be taking place in this manner.

As for customer experience tieing into social networking (a survey conducted by Tealeaf via Econsultancy), 75% or respondants ahve said their choice of retailer was influenced by what was read on social media sites, while 56% admitted to avoiding a company after a bad review had been posted. In total, 51% of respondents came about as being influenced by what they have seen on social media sites.

All business can benefit by exploring, and taking advantage of all advertising opportunities available to them, but small business owners tend to benefit most as the ROI (return on investment), most often only your time, is greatest. And yet, only 9% of small business owners take advantage of Twitter as a means to market themselves. 32% of small business owners intend to use social media networking within the next year however, and 39% plan to include customer reviews and ratings on their site.

Just in the US, Facebook popularity increased by 194% through to September 2009, launching it into the number 1 social network spot, with 59% of all US visitors to social networking sites. Myspace, came in at the number 2 spot with 30% of market share, a drop of 55% from September 2008. Bringing up the back end was Tagged at 2% and Twitter with 1.9% of the market visits. Twitter, being the newest player to the field should definitely not be discounted however. Getting Mom and dad online has helped, as usage of social networking rose by 77% by users over 55.

Another SEO Tip

Social media, is it right for your business? Could it be a free substitute for a traditional (read: expensive) advertising plan? How much time should you spend in the care and feeding of all those profiles? The answers may surprise you.

Twitter grew 3,000 percent in April. Facebook hosted 61.2 million visitors in March. LinkedIn counts 20 million users worldwide.

With a potential audience that big, it’s no wonder savvy marketers are looking to unlock the secrets of social media as another way to get the word out about their businesses. Free access to many social media accounts (and potential clients) just adds to the allure.

Though the platforms will differ based on the type of business, with the accessability of the internet, all small organizations should have a solid Web site, e-mail list, and a contact database before venturing into social media.

Blogs: Write Your Way to Success
If you want to build customer loyalty, start blogging now. It takes minutes to setup, and can be the beginning of branding your business. Blogging takes disseminating information about a company a step beyond formal press releases, ads, marketing brochures and Web sites.

That attachment doesn’t have to equal a huge time commitment, but expect to spend an hour or two to knock out a post. The rewards are can be seen immediately: Blogs that are refreshed regularly get a boost in search engine rankings. In addition, it also helps to establish you as an authority in your field.

Twitter: Tweet Tweet
To Tweet or not to Tweet, that is the question. The answer? Yes, and ideally as soon as possible! Twitter, with it’s constant communication, and somewhat instant answer sessions, provides an immediate interactivity for your company. If a customer has a question about a product or service, they can simply Tweet your page for the answer. It provides the “hands on” feel to the internet, which appeals to consumers.

YouTube: Be a Star
With a little creativity and relatively low overhead (Flip video cameras can be had for as little as $100) uploading a short clip can be a rapid way to test the market, another way to capitalize on the fast pace of social media is by posting videos on YouTube. Attach your blog, twitter, and website address in your channel info, and watch your traffic bloom as you gain subscribers.

To learn how to create good content, just pick out some viral videos and take note of their methods. The payoff? There are more computers in homes in this day and age, that’s a massive potential audience.

LinkedIn: Business Networking Made Easier
Creating a profile allows an entrepreneur to create an online career history, then to connect with others they’ve worked with. Obtaining a recommendation from a former colleague or existing client may help sway a potential investor or customer. A glowing recommendation is a gold star for any type of business, so why not collect and post them for all to see? It’s easily done on LinkedIn.

Time is money, it’s all about how you manage it. “Previously wasted down time like sitting in taxis for 20 minutes or standing in a bank line for 10 minutes is now spent on my mobile phone, bouncing between Twitter and Facebook. It’s getting easier and easier, and for branding an entrepreneur, I think it’s golden.”

No matter what the platform, Blanchard says the true value of social media is found in the conversation. “You are not necessarily going to get 150 comments per day, but you are engaging a potential customer or client in the way you wouldn’t in an ordinary day.”

Retailer 'turns to internet marketing over TV'


The Gap has chosen to forgo traditional television advertising for its new fashion line, instead opting for social media as its marketing channel.

Born to Fit, a new line of denim wear, will be using Facebook as its main advertising channel in order to reach consumers.

Created by AKQA, the campaign will feature banner ads placed on blogs to state what each page is there to do. The banners on popsugar.com – a lifestyle and entertainment site – state the journal is ‘born to strategise’.

Although the campaign will also use more traditional marketing methods such as cinema, print and outdoor ads, their purpose is to send more consumers to the Facebook page. Once there, users will find a video of Rada Shadick – Gap’s fit engineer – explaining the inspiration behind the new line.

Experts in the online marketing sphere recently suggested that it was necessary for digital advertisers to harness the power of social networking as it offered good campaign opportunities.

Brought to you by FreshTraffic – experts in Search Engine Marketing & Internet Marketing.

Work Together to Build Strong Links

To make the most of out your SEO linking strategy, make sure that the rest of your marketing team understands what keywords and pages you’re targeting.

Some of the best natural links come from work you’re already doing elsewhere, from press releases to social media.

To build an efficient and successful marketing campaign, be sure to cross reference your marketing efforts with every other member of your team.

Profiting from social media

It seems like a long time since Internet startups thought they could offer a free product and make a living selling ads. That would be in 2004, during the birth of Web 2.0.

Suggested is the incredible pace of change in the Internet’s evolution. In its own historical scale, that moment would be equivalent to the Renaissance: the Dark Ages of the dot-com bubble was past, but superstition still at times superseded reason.

To wit, the mantra was: “Build a community of users first, monetize later.” How far we’ve come.

“This is very clear now. It wasn’t clear until a while ago.” Though the Web is filled with free tools that let people talk, share content, and offer advice, few of them make money. Twitter, the social network where people communicate in 140-character bursts, is the most famous among them. Though it boasts millions of users and continues to grow at a cheek-rippling rate, it has yet to make a dime.

Its leaders said they won’t display ads on the service, and they won’t ask its users to start paying for it.

But they’ve hinted at a revenue model that is becoming increasingly popular with new startups in social media: Charge the companies that use it as a marketing tool.

Helping businesses harness social media

Tweets got you down? Blue about your blog? Friendless on Facebook?

No clue what all this means?

It’s OK. There’s help out there, at least for business owners.

Social media is the new communications frontier; and while some are reaping the benefits of these modern customer channels, others are still stuck trying to figure out what it all means.

When we talk about social media, it is different from traditional marketing methods. In the past all we’ve always done is talked at our clients, told them what we wanted, enticed them to use our product,”

Social media is different in that we aren’t talking at our people anymore, we are having conversations with them. They get to have an opinion now.

Treat your computer as you would treat a business networking event, the only difference is you would spend 30 minutes getting there, an hour there and 30 minutes back and how many contacts have you made? “You’ve made maybe three to five good contacts. But you are so busy, you didn’t return the call, you didn’t put the business card in your database.”

Compare that with the millions of potential contacts that could be made on social networking sites. Get Blogging, Tweeting & Linking In today