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.”
Free SEO Tools, Check your Links, PR or get a spiders view, make use of the search engines good practice guide and check your website.
In some circles, search engine optimization (SEO), has acquired a bad reputation. The industry moves fast because search engine algorithms (the unknown “logic” search engines use to associate searched terms or phrases with germane Web pages) is constantly changing. It is simply not in the search engines’ best interest to make this logic known (Google, Yahoo, etc. host advertising platforms and would rather a business pay for rankings – hey, they are running a business too!). The vast knowledge needed to implement SEO created an “us” and “them” dichotomy – if one didn’t “know” seo, then it was better left to the “experts”. The obvious problem being that if one does not know, how would they know their SEO services “knows”. It is kind of like bringing a car to a mechanic – one can get an outrageous bill and not acquire the knowledge to determine if the large amount was vindicated or not.
The specific “logic” is constantly changing, but SEO implements online initiatives to help a business’ quest for visibility. Simply, SEO is marketing for words and phrases associated with goods and services, in comparison to traditional marketing, which would seek to promote a business’ name, executive, etc. That is a very simple definition, and SEO is a lot more complicated (such as the need to acquire in-bound links from reputable sources), but it is an easy, elementary way to begin thinking about search optimization.
It is strongly suggested that any businessperson, thinking about using search engine optimization, do some reading on the subject. Frankly, there are many “SEO experts” out there who will take money, obfuscate, and get no results. On the other hand, many genuine providers exist that can greatly help a company. Researching the topic makes for a better result in finding a provider (after research, a business may find SEO services are not in their budget or presently desirable).
I think Danny Sullivan first described search as a “reverse broadcast system”. It’s a great way to describe the value of search, and how to approach search in terms of marketing.
I liken search engines to being a ‘reverse broadcast network.’ People pay tons to be on television because you can get your message out in front of millions of people: broadcasting. With search engines, millions of people are telling you *their* messages: what they want to buy, purchase or get information about. You don’t broadcast to them; instead, it’s the reverse, they broadcast to you. There’s very little if anything as a marketing or information medium that I can think of that compares to this. It’s golden and still today amazingly unrecognized.
In search marketing, you prosper when you let your visitors determine your content. They broadcast their intent to you, by phrasing a search query, so you should listen to that intent, and respond by providing appropriate content. Google does the match-making.
If you could tell the web 2.0/read-write/blogging/crowd-sourcing crowd one thing about search marketing, what would it be? In a recent talk, given to bloggers, by Google Engineer Matt Cutts, Matt posed the question: “What Do SEOs know that bloggers might not know?” Matt goes on to talk about the merits of keyword research in terms of topic selection, and how understanding… More
With so much emphasis on search engine optimization (SEO) in recent years, companies have worked hard to get their keywords to rank high in SERPs, but will all that be for naught if Google adds “Caffeine?”
On the 360i blog, they wrote that a change to Google’s Caffeine would “substantially” affect search rankings for keywords.
By comparing 40 retail keywords in Google “Decaf” versus the beta version of Google Caffeine, they found that there was about a 15 percent shift in first page rankings.
There also appears to be more relevance placed on Universal results, meaning that SERPs will contain more instances of videos, news, images, books, blogs and local search results.
When looking at the Universal results from Caffeine, it appears that an increasing emphasis is being put on news. 360i notes that currently news makes up about 1 percent of web listings but in Caffeine, news jumps to 5 percent.
Since it was first introduced earlier this month, SEOs have argued that Caffeine will mark a dramatic change in rankings if it were to go live. In a post for PC World, they called Caffeine “potentially a very big deal” for businesses that rely on their search rankings in Google.
Traditionally, companies are accustomed to making large outlays in the promotional material and merchandising of their products and services so to exist in this merciless aggressive world. Then, the coming of computers and the internet made the way for efficient and cost-saving company operations via the establishing of sites and other internet technologies. SEO or search engine optimization services are one specified innovative methods applied to elevate your site in major SEs like Google and MSN so that the unequaled and advanced services of the web site extend to a multitude of prospective clients leading to increased profits.
The benefits of search engine optimization services have now been experienced by nearly all webmasters who try to stay in the business for a sustained time period. People today fall back to a number of SEs to search a specific piece of info, merchandise, seo services or anything additional by placing in keywords in search boxes. Just think of a position where your site Is not listed or inhabits an inferior ranking in majority of search engines.
FreshTraffic.ca recently launched their brand new website dedicated to internet marketing. They are a leading seo company offering their services at exceptional prices and are beating their competitors hands down. They offer services such as link building, content writing affiliate marketing and many more.
A golf magazine is now using SEO With more people heading online to look for news and content every day, a growing number of media outlets are using search engine optimization (SEO) to increase traffic – a trend that is being adopted by even niche media markets.
Golfweek, a magazine for golfing enthusiasts which boasts a weekly readership of more than 1.3 million people, says it has revamped its website and plans to make the site easier to find through search engine optimization.
The website has already seen a boost over the past few years, with 111 percent increase in unique viewership between May 2007 and May 2008, but this new site the company content will be more accessible.
By using search engine optimization (SEO), Golfweek says news and articles will be easier to find through typical searches while the site itself has an upgraded search feature directly on the site.
The site is also jumping into the world of web 2.0 by featuring new blogs from staff and readers along with links to the site’s Facebook and Twitter pages.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is becoming a must in the world of journalism, with Jerry Booth, CEO for Freshtraffic.ca, recently saying,he’s surprised more job seekers in the industry are not well-versed in SEO.
With the recent influx of SEO Experts, there’s been a flurry of activity in the industry,both nationally and locally. Website design being evaluated, online presence (notably lack there of) is being felt by businesses in Winnipeg, and in Canada as a whole.
The idea that Search engine optimization is a required expense moving forward in a successful business has slowly been seeping into the collective business mindset. It’s apparent to the true experts in the field, and when you see half hearted attempts by those trying to wedge their way into the niche, it’s a time to just shake your head.
Some of the gems found in just an afternoon of browsing::
Poorly optimized websites from the “experts”
Blogs/Blog sites setup and used once or twice
Companies guaranteeing position
“One time SEO” websites
The majority of the above examples came from web design company websites, who’ve decided that they are ready, and capable to jump into the deep, dark sea of Search Engine Optimization(SEO)/Search Engine Marketing(SEM).
There are a millions of pages on the web packed with information on SEO, on some of the general guidelines, and the pros and cons of the marketing avenue. But, for every page out there, there are 2,3, 10 pages of mis-information as well.
In the end, it’s best to remember: SEO/SEM is a niche industry, horses for courses, and the real pros don’t just publish all of their tips and tricks. Their results, speak for themselves.
It’s that time of year here in Winnipeg, the summer is coming to an end, (not sure it ever started this year) and company’s start looking to the budgets for the coming year ahead.
Advertising, New websites and of course the new buzz words in Winnipeg, SEO, Internet Marketing and Social Media for the Internet.
STOP RIGHT THERE!!! BUYER BEWARE !!!!
You do know that every web shop, graphic designer, marketing department and web design company have become experts in these fields in recent months.
Yes you can read online, or buy the book and it will tell you everything.
People it is BALONEY.
If the company you are talking to are any good they will list on Google at the very top for what they do. example
A Winnipeg Web Design Company should be at the top for Winnipeg Web Design
A Winnipeg SEO Experts Company should be tops for Winnipeg SEO Experts.
Don’t forget people can buy an advert on a Google paid listing for these terms, BUT it doesn’t mean they are any good, CHECK the true organic listings down the left side, this is where Google list’s it’s trusted results.
If a company is there at the top for what they do, you should be pretty good, if not BEWARE.
Internet Marketing, SEO are the new gravy trains for Winnipeg and Canada and every Tom, Dick and Harry wants a taste.
Simple rule, if the company lists on the search engines top pages for what they do then the proof of the pudding is in the eating.