All posts in “Social”

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Your Brand Needs To Stop Celebrating Random Holidays… seriously.

There is nothing wrong with brands celebrating holidays, but when you are celebrating holidays simply because they exist, it’s time to re-consider your marketing strategy.

Father’s Day has just gone by, and obviously your social media manager was scrambling around to find a cheesy image of a father and a son walking on the beach. Your brand makes knitting needles, so it went something like “Fathers are what make a close knit family”. Cute. But how many consumers see that on their feed and want to go out and buy your knitting needles?

Lets take this further, you are a consumer and for whatever reason you enjoy crocheting (that’s a kind of knitting right?) so you see this post and what do you think? Im guessing you are just bored by the 2861763162316 father’s day posts you have already seen on your feed, or if you do engage with it, it just feels kind of flat. That indifference is because you know intrinsically that it is being done, just because. It means nothing. It stands for nothing. All it means is you have less data now.

SEE SOME CAUTIONARY TALES HERE: http://www.inc.com/will-yakowicz/the-top-social-media-fails-2015.html

So how do you create the kind of content that capitalises on public holidays without all that cheese? Firstly, stand for something, be authentic. Like the famous David Ogilvy quote: “The consumer is not a moron, she is your wife”. The average person consumes enough media, they can tell the difference between a gimmick and a clever brand push – they don’t mind smart marketing, they mind bad marketing. So do it well.

Secondly, choose the holidays that make sense for your brand. You don’t have to have presence at every opportunity, only the ones that matter. Consumers remember clever, quality content not the fact that you have put out a tweet on every major holiday.

Thirdly, just take a step back. It’s so easy to think so much about your brand that you forget that you are also a consumer. Always try to think of situations as though you are the the target market. Would you like to see that content on your social media? Would you care about the message? Is the message appropriate?

SEE SOME BRANDS THAT GOT IT RIGHT : http://www.linkdex.com/en-us/inked/fathers-day-marketing-2015/

Lastly, time and place. Sometimes your brand has a really cool concept, but the delivery just doesn’t land. Ask the right questions, Is this something that is mostly visual (Instagram) or do I want this content to start a conversation (twitter)? Which is the best place to reach my target market? Am I using the correct words?

When in doubt, just think about whether its worth the data we have to spend to view it.

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Why Kevin Spacey Deserves a Content Marketing Award

Any good marketing conference has at least one compelling keynote speaker that offers sage, relevant counsel to the crowd. The key ingredient here is relevancy. We crave new thinking, but we also seek application of that thinking to our own lives. Deanna Lazzaroni reports on LinkedIn Marketing

When I tell you that Oscar-winning actor Kevin Spacey presented recently at a marketing conference — no, the largest content marketing conference — you may question the relevancy of his keynote address to such a crowd. I did. He did, in fact, asking himself this very question as he opened his presentation at Content Marketing World last week.

What followed I believe deserves a content marketing award.

In Kevin Spacey’s mind, the connection between his world and ours as marketers is the fact that we all have audiences, and those audiences demand great stories. It is our job to tell stories, better stories, and to do so by incorporating three main ingredients.

The Simple, Yet Powerful Ingredients of a Truly Great Story
Simply put, Spacey explained that what makes a great story is conflict, authenticity and, most importantly, the audience itself.

He went on to detail how each ingredient played a pivotal part in the narrative, providing relevant examples of his own experience as well as marketing examples for us to establish a relevant connection. Spacey, the seasoned storyteller, knew his audience.

Why Creating Conflict is a Good Thing
“A great story creates tension,” he proclaimed. “Without it, there’s no driving force, no passion, no involvement.” When we think about the great advertising campaigns of our time, a tension is embraced and often relaxed through the brand’s effort. Spacey gave the example of Nike, a company that has built its brand around our ambitions to be better, faster, stronger. Dove’s “Real Beauty” campaign also comes to mind; a campaign that embraces the tension women hold within themselves, fueled by the pressures we put on ourselves and on society, and lifts that tension by tapping into our emotions and creating a positive impression.

“Our stories become richer and far more interesting when they go against the settled order of things,” Spacey professed. When we challenge the status quo, when we refuse to accept things for what they are and choose to be part of a movement for change, we build great stories. Presenting at Content Marketing World was certainly not norm for Spacey, but he had a message to deliver and a compelling story to tell.

Winning with Authenticity
What I believe won the audience over at Content Marketing World wasn’t the story itself, but the fact that Kevin Spacey delivered it as only he could. He played an authentic role. He spoke with conviction… He also worked in three perfectly placed quotes by Frank Underwood, his character in the acclaimed series House of Cards. Again, the man knows his audience.

“There’s no better way to overpower a trickle of doubt than with a flood of naked truth,” he spoke in the tone of Underwood. The takeaway for marketers: “Stay true to your brand and true to your voice and audiences will respond to that authenticity with enthusiasm and passion.” Spacey gave the advertising example of Volkswagen’s 1960’s campaign, when the brand embraced who it was and delivered the message “Think Small” even while large, over-priced American-made vehicles were all the rage. Volkswagen’s new Beetle stood out against the Ford’s of the world, and it served them well. Like Spacey, the automotive brand had something unique to offer its audience and played that card to its advantage.

Give the People What They Want
Kevin Spacey’s third sage lesson for the group was to stop making content for content’s sake. Instead, he commanded us to give the people what they want, when they want it, and at a reasonable price. The reality is that today the speed of the internet and advancement of platforms has had a major impact on the creative industry – and today, as Spacey put it, “anyone with a camera and an idea can create an audience.” People no longer have to wait for brands and entertainment giants to deliver great stories; they are finding them and creating them.

Today, Hollywood is partnering with Internet stars to produce and market content; brands are co-creating with their audiences; and new talent and new companies that enable this collaboration economy are rising to the top. “Get your minds to work,” Spacey urged us, “for the risk takers are rewarded.” And, quoting Frank Underwood again he reminded us, “There is but one rule: Hunt or be hunted.”

It may not have been what I expected. But by embracing the conflict of this content marketing keynote, delivering his authentic self, and giving his audience of marketers exactly what we wanted, Kevin Spacey demonstrated his own best example of a well-told story. And that, to me, is award-worthy content.

Image source: Cleveland.com

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What @iamjohnoliver’s Twitter Rant Can Teach Social Marketers

 

 

 

HBO television host and Daily Show alum John Oliver took some pointed shots at brands on Twitter this Sunday, criticizing several specific brands, and Corporate America in general, for trying to cash in on touchy trending topics. Kevin Shively explores this topic futher.

It’s become common practice for brand marketers on Twitter to “newsjack” popular topics and hashtags, cashing in on the influx of traffic, even when it isn’t appropriate.

Oliver condemned this type of marketing, calling for more responsibility from brands, telling corporations that Twitter is “a cocktail party” and that they don’t belong there, so they should act responsibly. He even provided a “pledge” for brands who agreed with his sentiment.

You can watch the video clip here. Please note excessive swearing and controversial content.

That was Oliver’s point. There are many ways to engage and grow your audience on Twitter. Trying to leverage these more serious conversations has more potential to backfire than the good it presents.

Look companies, your silence is never going to be controversial. No one will ever go, ‘I can’t believe it. Skittles didn’t tweet about 9-11 yesterday, they must support terrorism. I’m never eating them again.’

–   John Oliver, Last Week Tonight

What Oliver’s Segment Can Teach Us

It would be easy for a brand marketer to get upset by Oliver’s lecture, but that misses the underlying value of his rant. Oliver and his team brilliantly pulled off a strategic Twitter campaign as a brand without appearing inauthentic, disrespectful, or tacky.

As marketers, it’s our job to think this way. We may not have TV shows to kick off our campaigns, but we’re in this line of work because we’re creative and resourceful. Piggybacking on tragic, difficult, and personal conversations is a risky tactic that doesn’t add a lot of value.

Meanwhile, Last Week Tonight created a unique experience that encouraged other high profile users to help promote for them. As a brand, this should be the focus, and a basic sense of logic should be used when interacting with a topic.

On Twitter, we follow and engage with brands for the experience they provide (and because we love their products), not because they’re able to jump into every random conversation on the web. Focus on your brand experience, and always be cautious when an organic opportunity presents itself. You’re responsible for protecting your entire brand image, and maintaining your audience’s trust. Don’t take that lightly.

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7 Social Media Résumé Concepts That Will Make You Rethink Yours

An Irish pub is only accepting Snapchat résumés. KFC recently held 140-second interviews to fill its manager of digital greatness position. Does it seem like your paper, text-based résumé may no longer do the trick? Check out some of these amazing social media résumés to spark your job hunting creativity By Aleksandra Sagan:

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Brennan Gleason, a web and graphic designer, created the résume-ale to promote himself and his design work. The cardboard box holding four beer bottles filled with blond, home-brewed ale is adorned with his résumé. Each of the bottles has a QR code on the label, leading to a piece of Gleason’s online portfolio. The spiffy packaging – each bottle cap even had his self-designed logo – helped Gleason land his latest gig as creative director at Techtone, a digital marketing agency.

 

 

 

 

The QR code mouth-piece

Victor Petit, a self-described creative working in marketing and advertising, felt a standard print résumé would not be enough to land him a highly sought after internship. So, on the backside of his résumé, he printed a photo of his face with a QR code in place of his mouth. When scanned, the QR code directed prospective employers to a video of Petit’s mouth that could be laid over the photo on his résumé so they could see and hear him speak about his experience.

Facebook profile

Sabrina Saccocio ditched the traditional résumé template and opted for something everyone would recognize: a Facebook profile. When she submitted the resumé to Steve Pratt for a gig at CBC’s Radio 3, he called it “the most creative résumé I’ve seen in years,” on his blog. The profile included the basics—like her contact information and education history. But, also included comments from “friends” recommending her work, samples of content she’s created that had gone viral, and showed off her sense of humour—her relationship status? Married (to her job).

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The living résumé

While most people don’t immediately think of Pinterest when they’re hunting for work online, that didn’t stop Rachel King from creating her living résumé on her Pinterest page. On the board, King pinned her résumé, media coverage of her work, and various speaking engagements. She recently accepted the head of communications position at DogVacay, a dog-sitting service.

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The Amazon sales pitch

Philippe Dubost seems to know that the point of a résumé is to sell yourself. So, he turned his into an Amazon product page. The page shows off his relevant work experience in the form of reviews, and includes short recommendations from former employers and colleagues—who also happen to give him a 5/5 average customer ranking. How did the unique résumé format turned out for Dubost? He’s currently not available, and it’s unclear when or if the item will ever be in stock again.

The Google search

Experts are constantly reminding job hunters to clean up their social media profiles in fear of the imminent Google search by a prospective employer. Eric Gandhi decided to use the Google Search format in his favour instead by turning it into his résumé. The search term to find his résumé? Creative+Hard-working+Talented+ Excellent Designer+Unique+Autodidactic… and on it goes. The first result reads: Did you mean: Eric Gandhi? His contact information and work experience are found below, ending with some clever Google search suggestions, including “Try Eric Gandhi.”

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#Twesume

#Twesume forces job-seekers to sell themselves on Twitter in 140 character or less. The twesume includes a brief synopsis, #twesume, and a link to some secondary material—like a LinkedIn page, YouTube video or perhaps one of the more creative résumé formats from above.

Social Media’s Power of Persuasion

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Dr. Robert Cialdini’s wrote a book called the “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion”. The book was written almost 30 years ago and up to this day it is still a highly regarded book in marketing. For specialists and newbies, this is considered as one of the bible in social media, that each must have. The book talks about the six key principles of influence which are discussed below:

Reciprocity

We are wired to basically tend to return a favor. In psychology we just hate to feel indebted to other people. One of the best examples of this principle are those websites and other businesses that will give free services or products for a Facebook like, a Twitter re-tweet or a personal email.
Quicksprout.com is a blog that focus on giving techniques and helping people, in return those regular visitors became the site’s loyal customers.

Commitment and Consistency

We want our beliefs to be consistent with our values. The key to attacking Cialdini’s principle of commitment and consistency is to get your fans and followers to make an initial commitment, because they are likely to behave in accordance with that commitment. Invite them to a free marketing seminar, free downloadable music then upsell them with the rest of your album.

Social Proof

People will do things that they see other people are doing. Social proof is not just influenced by large groups, but also high profile individuals. For instance, a single celebrity becoming associated with a product will make others want to be associated with the celebrity’s positive traits, and then will utilize the same product.

Authority

Social Authority refers to the “natural born leaders” of any social group. This is why having a good number of followers, views and likes takes place. Credibility is the game…

Liking

People are easily persuaded by other people that they like. That is why it is important to fill in your “about us” in your Facebook page, Twitter description and Linkedin profiles. It will become your business pitch that tells potential fans or followers about the similarities between you and them.

Scarcity

This is Caldiani’s principle that has been used by companies and social media specialists over and over again to boost sales or conversions. A good example would be the “limited time offer”. In psychology we purchase something if we’re informed that it’s the very last one or that a special deal will soon expire.

New Facebook Insights for Pages

One of my biggest pet peeves with Facebook is the fact that their insights weren’t great. Many frequently asked client questions weren’t covered by Facebook Insights and a 3rd party tool was needed. To my delight, I received a prompt to check out the new Facebook Insights and so far I am very happy.  The new dashboard is broken up into four main sections: Overview, Page, Posts and People. Let’s take a deeper look at each of these

Overview

This section gives you a 7 day snapshot of your page’s performance. Similar to the old Insights you can see overall page Likes, Reach and Engagement. Here you can also check out the performance of your 5 most recent posts detailed with stats about Reach, Post Clicks, Likes, Comments and Shares. The Overview section is pretty straight forward and features a more visually attractive layout.

Page

The Page section is filled with information about how your fan base has grown and how people are connecting with your Page. There is a ton of great information that is divided into 3 parts: Page Likes, Post Reach and Page Visits.

  • Page Likes – Here you will find information about your Page’s Likes including total Likes, Net Likes and Where Your Likes Came From. This information is great for when you need to really get down to the nitty gritty about how your community grows and where the growth comes from.
  • Post Reach – The Post Reach section digs deeper into your content’s reach and the actions that influence it. Here you will find Overall Reach, Engagement Actions that Influence Reach and Negative Engagements such as Hide, Report as Spam and Unlikes. I am so happy they included these items as many clients ask why their reach may have dropped. Now there is no speculation. I wrote a blog about how Negative Engagements will impact EdgeRank some time ago and now I predict the conversations around them will begin to grow. If you notice youre reach increasing or decreasing, now you can learn more about why.
  • Page Visits – This section shows you information about what sections of your page get viewed the most including includes Page Tabs. There is also very useful information included here such as Other Page activity which outlines Mentions, Posts by Other People on Your Page and Checkins. Finally, a nice little graph outlines the number of times that people came to your Page from outside of Facebook. This is all great information for when you are trying to understand where your Facebook Traffic is coming from.

 

Posts

I am a BIG content nerd, so this section of the new Insights really excites me. Facebook provides you with information about All Posts, When Your Fans Are Online and Best Post Types. This section is a MAJOR improvement and provides a ton of great data.

  • All Posts – Here you will find the basic breakdown of all of your Page’s posts. The data points include Reach, Post Clicks, and Engagements.
  • When Your Fans Are Online – I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THIS! This graph shows you when your fans are online. This answers that magical question about when is the best time to post. This proves that there is no magic standard and optimal posting times are unique to each page.
  • Best Post Types – Want to know the success of the different post types? Now you know! This section shows data based on average reach and engagement.

People

This section allows you to compare the demographics of people who have Liked your Page with the overall demographics of Facebook’s total population.  The data here is split up into 3 parts: Your Fans, People Reached and People Engaged.

  • Your Fans – Here you will find basic demographic data including Age, Gender, Location and Language.
  • People Reached – This part shows you the demographics of the people who saw your content compared against the rest of all your Fans.
  • People Engaged – Here you will find information about the demographics of the people who engaged with your posts compared with the overall demographics of your Fans.

 

Overall, I am very excited by the Facebook Insights overhaul. Have you seen the new Insights yet? What is your impression?

“Source: http://socialmediatoday.com/node/1585996”

Facebook Introduces Hashtag Support

Hashtags are coming to Facebook to help users create better conversations

Support for the controversial “topic organization system” was rumored in March and will roll out to a small percentage of users Today. Facebook will roll out hashtags to more users in the coming weeks.

The social network wants to make it easier for users to find content already on Facebook, and functional hashtags are the first step. According to Facebook, many users already post hashtags anyway, so why not make them work. Hashtags will be both clickable and searchable, so, for example, topics like #Create or #JustSaying will now exist.

 

 

Hashtags from other services, such as Instagram and Twitter are clickable as well. Users will also be able to compose posts directly from a hashtag feed and search results. That could make adding real-time content to specific streams easier than before.

Twitter user Chris Messina created the hashtag as we know it today in 2007. Twitter eventually adopted the system of organizing tweets around a certain subject into its API and its broader ecosystem. Since then, the hashtag has been adopted by other services, including Flickr, Tumblr, Google+ and even Facebook-owned Instagram.

What do you think about Facebook’s decision to finally embrace hashtags? Let us know in the comments.

Image composition by Mashable.

The Social Part of Social Media

Introduction: The failing promise of social.

Stop thinking about social media as a business tool for a second. Think about how you use it. Think about how your friends, your coworkers, and your family use it.

As a community, we use social media for amusement, for sharing, and for inclusion. We laugh at tweets from our favorite fictitious characters. We share moments, ideas, and thoughts that we hope to spread far and wide. We also participate in event hashtags, brand campaigns, and social chats.

Chances are, you’ll find a data point that backs the legitimacy of every social media use-case mentioned. But as marketers, it’s time to understand that social media is not meant for one distinct use-case — it follows us through the entire marketing funnel. This top-to-bottom social relationship should be emblematic of a real, human relationships.
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While the infographic highlights the social media love story, this brief guide provides tactical approaches for sustaining that relationship at every marketing stage. It includes a one-page that should be handed to every social media stakeholder: your marketers, your sales reps, and your customer support reps. Social media flows through your entire company, involving each of these key players.

The promise of social media was relationships. We’ve strayed away from that promise, but by sharing this social methodology far and wide, we can stay true to that initial promise.

How social fits into Your overall marketing

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Attract: Facebook has over one billion users worldwide. Attract audiences far and wide through a platform that gives you access to their attention.

Convert: Share and promote content and landing pages that turn your social media followers into sales leads for your business.

Close: Identify which leads are interacting with your social content to nurture those leads into customers with personalized social conversations.

Delight: Use social interactions to provide ongoing, customized customer service that helps keep your company front-of- mind.

How to attract Visitors Using social media

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Here are four ways a marketer can attract visitors using social media.

1) Identify Influencers: Use tools like SocialStatistics.com’s Google+ statistics, LinkedIn Groups top contributor lists, or Twitter’s recommended list of who to follow to discover influencers in your industry. By following and interacting with influencers for your brand, you’ll hopefully attract their reach to your own accounts. Remember, existing customers are influencers of your brand too!

2) engage in communities: Google+, Facebook, and Linkedin each have their own respective communities or groups you can join and participate in. use them as an
opportunity to share your voice — not spam your content — with users who have interests as your target audience. A directory of Linkedin Groups can be found here to help you get started.

3) create captivating content: this one is said time and time again, but without the right content distributed to the right audience, you’ll have little luck capturing the attention of a social media user.

4) Target with lists: twitter lists and Google+ Circles can help surface the social messages that you should be responding to. Think about who each user is to your business — a subscriber, lead, or customer — and interact accordingly.

How to convert leads Using social media

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Here are three ways a marketer can convert the visitors attracted into actual leads for the sales team.

1) interact, don’t respond: saying “ok” or “lol” back in a text message isn’t going to prompt a conversation. Neither is a simple “favorite” or “like” on social. if you want to have a conversation with a lead, give them something to talk about. Conversations should be founded on shared value, so share content that gets your leads talking.

2) share customer case studies and landing pages: if you want someone to like what you have to offer, show off what you have to offer! While to some this means
product promotion, a more welcoming approach is to feature your customers. if people see the good in you from third-party testimonials, they’ll be more likely to contact you. Long form content that drive conversions through landing pages can also help meet this goal. Friendly content is much wider received than product promotions.

3) Use context in conversations: Cross-reference a name on social with your contacts database or customer relationship management (Crm) software to get context on who the person is to your business. this will help you identify which prospects need to be converted into leads with forms on your landing pages.

How to close customers Using social media

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Here are three ways a sales rep can close marketing-generated leads into actual customers for the business.

1) obsess over the lead, Not over the competition: Don’t take actions or make comments that show you’re better than the competitor. instead, reach out to the person you truly care about: the potential customer. Show them value: true, differentiated, value. Don’t just say what you have to offer is “better,” say what distinguishes your brand and makes you worth it. Using the available profile information and messages shared can help personalize each conversation.

2) Be the first to respond: When you see a lead talking on social about a product or service you offer — or better yet your company itself — it’s imperative that you are the first to respond. Your immediate interest in providing solutions or answers to their questions will create a sense of credibility and trust, as long as your response is pure and human, not spammy or aggressive.

3) Use social context to inform sales calls: Using social media can give you an idea of what’s actually important to the lead. by showing subtle support through a retweet, or engaging them in conversation that has nothing to do with your agenda, you end showing them that you have their interests, challenges, and needs in mind, as opposed to your own. this provides a greater window of opportunity for you to adjust the actual phone pitch to your liking.

How to delight customers Using social media

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Here are two ways a customer service or support rep can delight customers on an ongoing basis.

1) stay in Touch: the last thing your company should be doing is forgetting about your customers after the conversion. real life relationships rely on sustaining communication, and maintaining love past the “honeymoon stage.” use social as an easy place for your customer support reps to continue chatting with customers.

2) make communication clear: Don’t leave customers wondering how they should get in touch with you when a problem or concern comes their way. Try creating a customer-
specific hashtag that all customers can use to get in touch with your company. Your customer team can use this list to monitor conversations and respond when needed.

SEO VS Social Media

Introduction

We marketers talk a lot about growing the top of the funnel — you know, getting as much traffic as possible to your website. So, how do you fill the top of your funnel so it’s practically overflowing? Time and again, social media and SEO take the inbound marketing cake. But for marketers with limited time and money, SEO and social media often become competing priorities. I mean, it’s not like you necessarily have all the resources in the world to throw your full weight behind SEO and social media. And the thing is, it’s usually better to do one thing well than two things, well, not well.

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So, what gets sacrificed — SEO or social media — if you only have the bandwidth to seriously dedicate resources to one or the other? which is the biggest lever you can pull? will seo have a stronger impact on building the top of your marketing funnel, or is social media the place to spend your time for maximum results? Let’s figure out what SEO and social media are good for, and where they fall a little short, so you can select which tactic is right for you when in a marketing resources pinch.

ADVANTAGES OF SEO MARKETING

1.Creating content you can repurpose

Social-Media-VS-SEO-4constant content creation is inherent to good seo. if you do little else with your seo other than blog utilizing keywords important to your business, you’ll see significant gains — granted, not as many as you could see if you had a full-time seo professional working on your business; but you would get some serious lift. So if you’re dedicating time to SEO, you’re probably creating content that is also feeding your other marketing efforts, like lead nurturing, email marketing, lead generation, and yes, even social media.

2.LONG TERM GAINS THAT DON’T DIMINISH

SEO content is the gift that keeps on giving. When you create a web page, it’s indexed in search engines and will return as a result in the search engine results pages (SERPs) for years to come. So if you write, say, a blog post — especially if it’s evergreen content (content that remains relevant for a long time) — your few hours of effort writing and optimizing that content can continue to drive traffic and leads for years. That’s some pretty good ROI.

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3.Long-tail search yields targeted traffic

Investing in SEO means you’re probably optimizing for long-tail search. Long-tail search is just what it sounds like — a search term that is long, usually containing three or more terms. And the longer a keyword is, the more specific it gets. Think about the difference between the search term, “marketing,” and “marketing analytics consultants in boston.”

that second search term tells us that the searcher is looking for three things: consultants, who specialize in marketing analytics, and who are located in Boston. That’s way more information than a short-tail keyword, and it drives extremely targeted traffic to your website that you can then convert with very targeted offers — based on the searcher’s problem, their stage in the sales cycle, or even their persona. plus, long-tail keywords are far less competitive than their short-tail brethren, and as such yield quick traffic wins for your website.
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4.Inbound links help your website And your reputation

part of a well-rounded seo program is generating inbound links, and one of the best white-hat ways to get inbound links is by offering your services as a guest blogger. What’s so great about this is that not only do you, well, get inbound links … but you form strong relationships with heavy hitters in your industry while you do it! essentially, as your website gains clout, so do you.

5.SEO gives An edge to local businesses

If you’re a local business with a brick-and-mortar location, you can capitalize on the growth of the mobile market with seo, too. mobile searchers are typically out and about when searching for information about your business. that also means they’re closer to the point of purchase. Focusing on local SEO ensures you’re the first business a lead sees when they’re looking for, say, the closest copy center, or an inexpensive place to go to dinner in their zip code.

6.SEO is easier than it used to be

Google’s algorithm is getting smarter. Since the first Panda update debuted in February of last year, up until 2012’s first Penguin update, Google’s algorithm has swayed more and more toward rewarding websites in the serps that create stellar content for readers, not for search engines. And google can do that because their algorithm is smarter!
It doesn’t need to rely on hacky tricks to identify what a web page is about. that means that, while there’s a lot that technical SEO could still to for your website, “doing” that basic seo we talked about in the beginning of this section isn’t a mystery that marketers can’t master — at its core, it’s simply the creation of excellent content.

Disadvantages of SEO for marketing

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1.SEO takes A lot of time

All that excellent content creation that is the basis of strong seo is also a disadvantage for some marketers — because consistently creating top-notch content takes a lot of time. seo is no longer as simple as peppering keywords all over your web page and in your meta data. And if you’re seriously crunched for resources, the content creation required to maintain a sustained seo program may be overwhelming.

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2.You still need to invest in technical SEO

while constant quality content creation as an seo strategy will get you far, it will only get you so far. there are still some things that are a little out of your reach unless you consider yourself well versed in technical SEO — you know, 301 redirects, site structure, site hosting, 404 configuration. If that sounds like seo gobbledygook, even the most steadfast on- and off-page seo will reach a ceiling. or worse, if you’re working on some legacy technical problems, could see no results because crawlers can’t read your site, you’re suffering from duplicate content you didn’t know about, or some other issue that’s preventing you from really taking off.

3.You don’t have just Google to think about

you know, there are search engines out there other than google. shocking, i know. marketers wisely spend most of their time optimizing for organic search on google, but the fact is there are plenty of other search engines — bing and yahoo! come to mind — as well as smaller, niche search engines that keep cropping up every day. this just means that there are different sets of rules to follow for each, making a truly comprehensive seo strategy just a little more divided.

4.Too much is out of your control

While on-page SEO is important, off-page SEO has a bigger impact. And by off-page SEO, we chiefly mean generating inbound links. The problem is, it’s way harder to get quality inbound links than it is to practice on-page optimization. so while you can work really hard to optimize every single web page, you still have to rely on other high-authority sites to link to you, use proper anchor text, and not split the juice of that link by linking to several other sites. And unfortunately, that’s all extremely hard for you to control.

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5.You can’t measure everything

Does everyone remember the great google ssl encryption of 2011? it made it so that google no longer passed referral data for logged in users when those users clicked on a search result. As a result, marketers lost serious insight into a chunk of their organic traffic. google said it would only adversely impact <10% of searches.

our analysis of Apex customers showed it impacted anywhere from 11.36% of search results to more thAn 50%.

And a marketer with impaired analytics is about as effective as an airplane pilot with an eyelash in her eye.

6.SEO requires long-term upkeep

While you may be rocking the SERPs today, if you don’t consistently put forth effort to create optimized content and generate inbound links, your rankings will slip, and all your work will be for naught. in other words, seo is not a one-and-done solution to fill the top of your funnel.

Advantages of social media marketing

1.Social media improves your SEO

Since we just finished talking about the advantages and disadvantages of SEO, you might be interested to know that social media actually helps your organic search presence. just like inbound links are a “vote” for your website — and as such, Google’s crawlers love websites that have lots of inbound links — social shares of your content are a vote of sorts, too. think about it, the more people love your content, the more google will want to return those results in the serps. so investing in a social media strategy can actually get you a little seo bang for your social media buck.
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2.You’ll build strong personal relationship

guest blogging for inbound links lets you build a few good relationships, but social media lets you build hundreds of thousands. maintaining an active social media presence lets you carry on prolonged, friendly conversations with your followers. And while you do that, your social reach extends even more as their network sees you popping up in their feeds. When you’re talking with people one- on-one like you do on social media, you can provide seriously personalized service that other marketing channels struggle to match.

3.Social content can be repurposed

If you’re investing in social media, it’s simple to scalably grow your presence across more than one network, because you can easily repurpose the content you share from network to network. so while you’ll rewrite the copy you use in a tweet versus a Facebook update, you can still link to the same great offers, blog content, and visual content to grow your following across several networks without multiplying your required content creation resources.
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4.More targeted networks means more customers

Social media affords you the opportunity to be extremely targeted if you’ve figured out which networks work best for your business. for example, we know that linkedin is an extraordinary performer for b2b organizations.

65% of b2b organizAtions have acquired A customer on linkedin.

Compare that with twitter, from which only 40% of b2b organizations have acquired a customer, and facebook, from which only 43% have acquired a customer, and you can better prioritize how much time you spend on each network. on the other hand, facebook drives the most conversions for b2c organizations, where 77% of companies have acquired a customer. It’s followed by Twitter, where 55% of B2c organizations have acquired a customer, and trailed by linkedin, where 51% have acquired a customer. (source: hubspot state of inbound marketing 2012)

5.social media provides the user-generated content you need to drive sales

Social media is powered by user-generated content, and if you didn’t already know, user-generated content is critical to driving sales for your organization
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“More than 80% of gen y — Also known as the largest consumer group in history — is influenced by user-generated content when considering a purchase.”

“51% of them actually rated it more important than the opinions of their friends and family”

And when it comes to purchases like major electronics, cars, hotels, travel accommodations, credit cards, and insurance, many of them won’t even make a purchase without first consulting user-generated content. Starting to sweat your social media presence yet?

Disadvantages of social media marketing

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1.Social media fails without content

Since we’re talking about the resources needed to scale your social media presence, we should also consider that it’s useless if it’s not backed by a strong content strategy. Think about it — if you don’t have anyone creating blog content, offer content, videos, memes, infographics, etc., what exactly are you going to share in social media? you can tweet ‘til the cows come home, but if there’s no link to drive them back to your website, your social following doesn’t do much for your business’ bottom line. And like we mentioned in the seo section of this ebook, all that content creation takes dedicated resources that time-crunched marketers don’t typically have in excess.

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2.Success takes a long time

for your social media presence to drive meaningful results for your business, it needs to grow. but growing a social media following doesn’t happen overnight. It takes months upon years to build up a strong social following and wide reach that will drive serious traffic to your website. of course, you can speed that up a little bit if you abandon the organic growth route and opt for the paid promotion route — but that costs money and management time. is that something you have as a resource-strapped marketer?

3.social media content expires quickly

unlike content in search engines, social media content expires quickly. so while you thought that quippy tweet with the link to the best blog post ever written was this month’s crowning achievement, it’ll be buried in people’s tweet streams within minutes, and within their facebook news feeds within hours … and that’s if they even see it at all. Social media updates are decidedly not the gift that keeps on giving.

4.monitoring is time intensive

because those streams keep updating, and updating … and updating … you have to vigilantly monitor your social media accounts. every day. yes, there are social media monitoring tools out there to make this more efficient, but the multi-tasking marketer can easily get bogged down trying to read and respond to all of the content that comes through their multiple social media accounts.
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SO, WHICH IS IT?

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CAN’T IT BE BOTH?

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Social media and SEO work better together

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—They both rely on quality content

Neither SEO, nor social media, can survive without a consistent stream of quality content. without content, there’s nothing for Google’s crawlers to pick up and index in search engines — which means they’ll visit your website less and less frequently. Without content, there’s nothing valuable for you to share in social media, which means, much like Google’s crawlers, your fans and followers will stop engaging with your updates and eventually stop following you.
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—The lines between search And social Are blurring

not only are search engines weighing social shares of content much more heavily when deciding how to rank a web page in the SERPs since 2011’s Panda updates, but Google has also launched its own social network — google+ — and integrated the social updates that appear there within Google’s organic search results. The importance of the integration of social media and organic search has even gotten to the point where twitter had to speak up, calling google out for showing preference to google+ updates in the serps despite the fact that tweets were often a more relevant result to return.

HOW TWITTER CAN SOLVE CHALLENGES FOR SUPPORT

Twitter for Customer Support

When customers want to make their voice heard, they often tweet. After that tweet is sent, the customer may consider that his/her concern has now been heard. But that tweet was sent to the official @brand handle, not to the customer service team. in fact, 56% of customer tweets to companies are being ignored. We’re not listening, and that’s a problem.

Ideally, as customer service reps, we’d like to know about customer concerns before they get upset. by monitoring customer interactions on Twitter, you can spot people trying to figure out how to use your product or service.

There is one main challenge i frequently encounter with customer communication. Let’s dive deeper into that and how to effectively solve it.

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Challenge: Customers Don’t Know Who to Turn to

Whenever customers have an issue with a product or service, they don’t actually know which Twitter handle to contact. They end up tweeting directly at the main brand handle, and oftentimes the social media marketing manager of that account isn’t equipped to answer product or service-specific questions.

Solution: Create an Easy-to-Monitor Hashtag

start a program of communicating and teaching customers a hashtag on twitter. by having one consistent hashtag, customers know that a brand’s entire community of customers has one place to communicate. The result is a hashtag that the customer service team can monitor on Twitter in order to respond to only the tweets that matter.

At ApexMedia, we use #ApexMedia, and we make that hashtag loud and clear to our customers in our phone consulting, in our messaging on webinars, and so on. For ApexMedia users, our social media monitoring tools allow you to easily create filters on Twitter for specific keywords and then have mentions of those keywords sent to you via email. That helps me stay in touch with my customers.

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