Tag Archives: social media

The Plus Sides to Google +


google pic

When it comes to social media sites Google+ is the newest social networking site creating a buzz in the online marketing world. Launched by the search engine giants’ Google, Google+ or G+, is the latest social media site creating a storm online and has been attracting attention from all over the world with businesses in particular taking a shine to the ‘professional’ and more business orientated which is one of the reasons why it is perfect for growing your business from a marketing point of view. As it is relatively under the radar in terms of social media sites Google+ has, until now, been left alone by businesses looking to expand their online marketing strategy but there are many reasons why you should be signing up to this new social site:

  1. Google is the most recognised brand in the world alongside Cocoa-Cola and Apple, making it very worthwhile to  be a part of
  2. Google is the number one search engine, forcing Bing and Yahoo to fade into the ether of the internet- use this to your advantage in terms of search engine results for your website
  3. G+ is the equivalent to Facebook in social networking sites but has a more professional approach than its competitor, making it ideal for businesses and companies looking to create a professional and social profile.
  4. Content shared and ‘plus oned’ on G+ sends a positive signal to Google that your content is good and worth reading, this helps gain page rank whilst creating a strong site recognised by the search engine.
  5. A recent investment, made by Google themselves, of half a billion dollars into the social media site indicates just how important they envisage G+ being in the future. If its good enough for Google, it must be good enough for your business
  6. G+ allows you to target very specific communities and groups on the social media site, relevant to your business
  7. Make the most of the current low key reputation Google+ has and promote your business in a small community with less competition. The more you build your profile now whilst G+ is relatively unused the less you will need to do when more companies sign up and try to create competition.
  8. Use the fact that it is now the second largest social media site in the world to your business’s advantage! Join the community and benefit from a global audience at your fingertips
  9. Google+ is seen as a ‘pure’ social site as it is free of adverts whereas Facebook generates a large amount of its profits from advertising alone. A ‘cleaner’ user experience will only benefit your followers as well as business connections by using G+, adding to its professional approach to social networking.
  10. Lastly, you should take the massive hint as being suggested by Google themselves and sign up to G+, because Google said so! Use their social media site and reap the benefits of maximised SEO and positive signals- all being read by the search engine themselves.

 

The underground buzz surrounding Google+ is beginning to reach the mainstream in terms of online marketing and social media strategies so why not sign up and make the most if this relatively new site and take the opportunity to build a profile for your business whilst the competition is still ‘liking’ away on Facebook.

10 Tips To Get a Retweet

retweet

Undertaking a successful Twitter marketing campaign requires valuable time and resources, it can be very frustrating to devote so much time to social media marketing without getting the results you need.

Luckily, we’ve gathered ten of the best tips to help your business get the right results;

1. Install a Twitter button

Many websites have their own Twitter ‘button’ that directs traffic to your Twitter feed, Twitter recently launched their own official button.

Tip: If your website directs a decent level of traffic, then it’s a good idea to drive some of those numbers towards your social media channels.

2. Repeat your best Tweets

Keep an eye on your most successful Tweets, for instance if you’ve asked a question that’s getting a lot of responses, make a note and save it for a later date. Some of your followers may have missed that particular Tweet so bear that in mind, keeping track of your most successful info is a valuable aspect of the social media learning curve.

Note; You will of course need to be careful of being perceived as spam, if possible try and rephrase your tweets to avoid this.

3. Including @mentions to those you’ve referenced

Always include the username of those you’ve mentioned in a post, letting them know you’re giving them a shout-out. If you don’t mention them via the @ tool then the person you’ve mentioned will not be aware that you’ve included them.

4. Trending Topics

Particularly if you’re operating a business Twitter account it’s a good idea to get involved with topics that are relevant to your industry.

For instance an electronics retailer would look to play an active part within the discussion surrounding the new Playstation 4.

Trending topics offer a useful way to tap in to a never ending stream of tweets, which many people will be viewing, getting some valuable exposure for your business.

5. Use Quotes

Whilst quoting Marilyn Monroe may get a lot of people’s attention it’s unlikely to be relevant to your business, try and find quotes that are both useful and applicable to the information you share. Quotes are often shared between users, so try them for yourselves.

6.Tweet Links

Your Twitter account has to offer a service to your followers, offering them a link that they may find interesting may get you some valuable retweets.

Tip; Try sending your visitors to websites that aren’t related to your business to avoid being too promotional.

7. Keep an eye on the most retweeted phrases

Words such as blog, social, free, help, follow are some of the most searched for phrases on Twitter, try to include them whenever you can.

8. Run a Twitter contest

Contests are much more likely to ‘go viral’ than just sharing information, try offering your users a prize for retweeting your information, you’ll be surprised at how much attention you can attract.

9. Time your Tweets

There are peak times to tweet your information, different times attract different demographics. For instance information shared in the morning will attract those sat at their desks, Tweets after 5 PM will be targeted towards those on the way home from work who may not be interested in talking about work.

10. Try Promoting Others

Twitter is a community, by taking an interest in other people’s business you increase the chance they’ll show interest in yours, you can also form long term relationships which may result in more retweets in the future.

Anti-Social Media

 social media pic

When it comes to using social media, from a business perspective, there are several rules of etiquette to stick by to ensure you remain professional and subjective when using such a public and easily accessible platform. There are several very obvious do’s and don’ts when it comes to using social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, as a business, for example not using bad language, interacting positively with customers and being careful when expressing opinions. Having a presence on social media brings great responsibility; if used wisely your social media presence can have such a positive effect on SEO, customer relations and company profile generally. If used badly however, it can cause irreversible damage to your reputation and have a very negative effect on your business.

Corporate companies are always making the global headlines with their use of social media sites, often for all the wrong reasons. With companies such as McDonald’s, Skittles and budget airline RyanAir, demonstrating how not to use social media to boost their business and company profile, it’s easy to see where it can all go so wrong. Offensive campaigns and swear-words published by official accounts as well as controversial opinions being tweeted are just some examples of the anti-social behaviour committed by these companies. Making headlines most recently for her anti-social behaviour on social media site Twitter, the newly-appointed Police Commissioner has come under heavy scrutiny for her misuse of such a public platform. It is very easy to post things online that you may not think twice about but can so quickly be miss-interpreted or taken offensively by followers. Social media when used properly can provide many benefits to businesses, such as improving SEO and generally helping their online marketing all for free, but so often it is the misuse of the social networking sites that makes the headlines. By sticking to a few simple rules as a business user on social media sites, you can really reap the benefits of sites such as Twitter and facebook:

1.Remain polite– Remember your posts will be seen by anyone and everyone with a Twitter and Facebook so remain professional and polite at all times. Even if you are posting something unrelated to your company and business you should remain polite and avoid offensive language.

2.Interact responsibly– Don’t respond and reply to accounts or users that are linked to offensive content or could damage the reputation of your business by being associated with you or your company. The same goes for responding and replying to customers and clients; always remain polite and professional even dealing with complaints or negative comments.

3.Be aware when using contextual content– If your approach is to engage with your followers with current affairs and discussion on contextually-related topics and events, be responsible when discussing. Many large companies and high profile celebrities slip up when discussing news stories and end up offending or commenting at the wrong time for example many MP’s use colloquialisms to appear apart of the community but end up offending members of the public.

 

Learn from the global companies who make these disastrous mistakes on social media and ensure your company remains professional- avoid being anti-social on social media sites.

Bing vs. Google – How these search engine giants can affect your SEO

google vs bing image

Online marketing strategy SEO, or Search Engine Optimisation, is an increasingly important and popular way to maximise your business presence online and improve your marketing technique so getting it right is within the interest of your entire business. When it comes to choosing which search engine to focus your SEO strategy on there really is only a choice of two main directories; Google and Bing. With Microsoft working hard to improve their search engine Bing and Google constantly updating their powerhouse of a search tool, it can be hard for any business, particularly smaller ones, to know which would be best for their strategy. Online marketing is becoming increasingly important for any business, search engine optimisation being the main focus of their strategy so choosing the right search engine can make all the difference. Google and Bing offer the same principle for all businesses and the right SEO techniques can get your business top ranking on all relevant searches but does it differ per directory? Does the appeal and visual attraction of Bing encourage people to use their search engine over Google’s very basic and easy to use search bar?

The first very important thing to consider is reputation for your business; Google has 80% of the world’s online market place which can make businesses question why they should register on any other directory, but with the vast number of companies and businesses already on Google comes a rather large benefit for their rival Bing. Bing may only have a small share of the marketplace when it comes to directory but for smaller businesses this is ideal. A smaller number of competition ensures higher ranking almost immediately, with very little SEO involved, perfect for smaller businesses starting out. SEO is largely affected by an individual’s presence and use of social media; the higher their activity generally on sites like Twitter and Facebook, the more traffic and interest is generated back to their site. Bing has very strong social integration’s with Facebook and Twitter, featuring links to both major social media sites on their main search engine page. This integrates any social recommendations into its search engine results page (SERPS) less cluttered, whereas Google has actively avoided any sort of relationship with either sites, choosing to have only access to their own lesser-used social networking site Google +. For the world’s largest search engine this may have been a rather risky move as social media is fast becoming one of the most successful forms of SEO.

Search engines are always working on ways to help businesses approach their SEO in a positive or ‘White hat’ way, Google opting to update their SEO strategy every few months, creating more hurdles for companies and filtering through the spam-type SEO moves. Bing however is less hot on the heels of the ‘Black Hat’ SEO approach, causing their searches to be less quality and more spam-type in comparison. The constant updates run by Google cause businesses to stay on top of their online marketing and can create far more work than first considered which is not great for a small company or business. Ultimately search engine preference is down to the individual and their needs for optimising their SEO strategy; Bing is excellent for smaller companies as it has a small audience but Google ranking is often sought after and speeds up the growth and popularity of a site.

The Top 10 Web 2.0 Sites

Web 2.0

A web 2.0 site is a name that was coined in the early days of the internet for sites that use technology beyond that of regular static pages. The name comes from O’Reilly Media’s Web 2.0 Conference that was held in 2004. Although the name suggests that Web 2.0 is a newer, updated version of the internet that’s familiar to the public it’s simply the name given to the ways software developers have modified the initial version of the work-wide-web.

What does a Web 2.0 Site look like?

Web 2.0

Instead of viewing a website passively, a web 2.0 site could allow users to interact with each other through Social Media as well as allow user-generated content.

This can be found in social networking sites, video sharing sites, web applications, blogs and more.

So, to give you an idea of the type of website that uses this format, Here are 10 of the most popular Web 2.0 sites out there.

1. Facebook: Unsurprisingly Facebook is the most popular web 2.0 site, Facebook has become one of the most widely recognised brands in the world and has been described as a website that defined a generation, the website thrives on user-generated content, images, applications, video and more. The website now generates an estimated 750 million visitors per month, with around a billion users world wide.

2. YouTube: Although some are unfamiliar that the website is a Web 2.0 site, like many other sites on the list it focuses on user-generated content rather than content of its own. It’s estimated that the site receives 450 million visits per month making it the second most popular site on the list.

3. Wikipedia: The Internet’s chief free online encyclopedia thrives on content from well-informed (though not always) users on an enormous variety of topics. Users are free to add and edit information as they please, pending approval by the site. Contrary to many other sites on the list, the website thrives on volunteer donations. Nevertheless the site generates around 350 million visitors per month.

4. Twitter: This social networking site is perhaps the most improved social media brand of the last two years making massive inroads in to the domination of Facebook. The site is estimated to be worth around 7 billion pounds and gets around 200 million unique monthly visitors.

5. Craigslist: Is a classified advertisements website for products, services, jobs and CVs. The site was invented by Craig Newmark in 1995 and has become increasinly popular in the United States and throughout the world, generating around 160 million visitors per month.

6. WordPress: (Which I am using as we speak) Is the perfect example of a Web 2.0 site, it allows users to manage and create content for their own websites, it is an extremely useful tool for web and content management. WordPress generates an estimated 150 million unique visitors a month.

7. IMDB: The “Internet Movie Database is an online database for movies, television shows and video games. Users and critics alike use the website to review visual entertainment as well as individual actors, the site is owned by Amazon and generates around 100 million unique visitors a month, it also has a rapidly developing mobile presence!

8. Flickr: Is a popular image hosting and video hosting website that boasts an impressive online community. The site was purchased from Ludicorp in 2005 by Yahoo! The website thrives on user generated content, whether it’s images, videos or when used as a tool for bloggers. It’s estimated that the site receives around 90 million unique visitors per month.

9. Blogger: Is a blog-publishing website that allows users to create and promote Blogs. The site was bought by Google in 2003, the blogs are hosted by Google via a subdomain at blogspot.com. The Site has an estimated 75 million visitors per month!

10. Tumblr: Is a social networking website and a microblogging platform that allows users to post multimedia and other content. Users can follow each other’s blogs or make their blogs private. It was estimated that in 2012 that the site had over 77 million blogs live on the site. It now generates an estimated 60 million visitors per month.

So there we have the 10 most popular web 2.0 sites on the internet, these websites focus primarily on user-generated content and social media which is why they have become some of the most visited pages in the world today.

 

Is your Social Media Marketing strategy working?

Social Media

Both SME and industry giants have increasingly turned their attentions (and investment) towards Social Media. Social Media Marketing (or SMM) has become a strategy of its own as a bi-product of marketing itself. Businesses are convinced that Social Media will eventually deliver monetary results, this is often the case, there’s no disputing that SMM has extraordinary potential to attract revenue but importantly the strategy has to be delivered correctly.

In recent years businesses were reluctant to invest time and money in an SMM strategy, now even the most stubborn “old school” business man or woman will find it hard to dispute its potential.

Statistics show only 6% of businesses believe SMM is a waste of time that will not result in a Return on Investment (ROI).

In this post we’ll look at businesses attitudes towards social media in 2013 and what exactly makes a successful SMM strategy.

For example 64% of businesses are confident that their current SMM strategy will deliver a return on their investment. This means that the majority of businesses in the twenty first century believe in the potential of social media to market their products or services, they also believe that the strategy they are currently utilising will result in revenue.

Clearly most businesses out there are confident, but how exactly can you measure the “success” of a social media strategy? You’ll have to take many factors in to account including;

  • Followers/Likes
  • Sharing, forwarding, retweeting and commenting
  • Visits to your page
  • Increases in Sales
  • General Brand awareness

Luckily for you we’ve got some tips to find out how effective your strategy really is.

  • Try measuring the effectiveness of your different social networks collectively and individually to see what medium is helping you the most, what’s generating the most traffic, revenue and interaction. Perhaps you’ll get more interaction from your 1000 Twitter followers than your 5000 Facebook followers for example.
  • Track how many visits to your site actually come through Social Media and how many lead to any sort of conversion.
  • Monitor the behaviour of your isolated social media traffic, explore how social media “leads” enter, explore and spend time on your page. Are they simply passing by or researching what your business actually offers.
  • What content on your web page gets the most traffic, try tailoring your SMM strategy to what’s getting the best results.

For more information on Social Media, how to implement your SMM strategy and the benefits social media can bring in traffic and revenue, take a look at some of our previous entries on the blog.
 

Your Online Marketing checklist for 2013

Online Marketing

As the new year begins, it’s a good idea to review how your Online Marketing strategy fared in 2012 and what can be improved or implemented in the coming months. With that in mind we’ve picked out a couple of basic fundamentals that your strategy should focus on in the new year.

Social Media has been growing from strength to strength in the last couple of years (with the exception of a couple of setbacks for Facebook). Businesses have quickly realized that this is something that can’t be ignored as having the potential to appeal to an audience of say 900 million people makes for a fantastic online marketing strategy. More recently Twitter has made a huge impact on Social Media too, studies released today claim Twitter would be worth more than 11 billion dollars (nearly 7 billion in British Pound Sterling) if it intends to go public next year.

There is plenty of information in our previous blogs on how to improve or implement your Social Media marketing strategy, take a look at our “Online Marketing, What’s Trending” post for a better look at the statistics.

Mint’s first tip for 2013 is, Don’t neglect Social Media.

As with any aspect of Online Marketing the environment is dynamic and always subject to change, SEO has seen numerous developments over the past couple of years. Google is attempting to shift the focus of its ranking system from traditional internal SEO to a more content based algorithm.

This has already been illustrated by Google Penguin and Panda update in previous years.

Our second tip for 2013 is that as far as SEO and Google is concerned, Content is King.

2012 was an important year as far as technological development is concerned, as you can see in our previous blog post “5 tips to Make Your Page Tablet Friendly” many experts have dubbed 2012 the year of the tablet, with more than 122 million units sold worldwide with 70 million sold in the United States alone. With this development it is suggested that laptop sales will begin to decline this year, studies suggest that only four of the nine major laptop companies will expect to improve on their results this year, that’s Apple, Sony, Asus and Lenovo.

So our third tip for 2013 is to make sure your website is “Tablet Friendly”

Google+ is a developing social networking layer, at the end of last year the site reached more than 400 million members, one of the reasons you should look in to setting up an account is so you can set up Google Author. Google Author is an extremely useful as an SEO tool it’s been suggested that implementing this within blog posts can improve your click through rate by as much as much as 20%. Setting this up is relatively simple all you need is a Google + account, take a look at the “Are you using Google Author” post on our blog for more details on why and how you can implement it and you could attract a lot more traffic to your website.

Our fourth and final tip for 2013 is to implement Google Author.

Online Marketing is always developing but following these guidelines could dramatically improve the amount of traffic and revenue your website generates, make sure 2013 is a successful year for your business!

The Rise of SMM, PR and Real Content

content

SEO is changing, so your strategy must change too.

Google is in the process of changing the SEO industry and making some aspects of it, obsolete. Google is attempting to downplay the role of Keywords and shift the focus solely on content. They have already made the initial steps through the Google Panda and Penguin update in April 2012.

At the moment SEO is divided in to two categories.

Internal SEO> Designing your site so it follows the best practices to rank highly within a search engine’s results.

External SEO>Writing Articles, Press Releases, Blogs, Comments, content and SMM.

But the real question remains…

What does Google actually want?

  • Relevant and REAL content, that people want to read and share.

In essence, if Google isn’t bringing you the BEST info then it isn’t doing it’s job correctly.

The Penguin update is proof of Google’s intentions, it changed the weight of their emphasis from backlinks towards Social Media, likes, shares, Tweets and of course it’s own personal favourite, +1’s.

In the modern world of digital media, the focus has shifted to followers, comments and views.

What does all this mean?

Google used to think if you linked to someone on the internet they must have valuable content. Now Google seems to believe that if you promote content with Social Media it’s far more indicative of relevant content and less likely to be fake.

Though unfortunately many attempt to fake their social presence through buying fake followers on Twitter for example.

Perhaps the only essentially REAL external SEO practice is in the creation of actual content through writing, blogging etc..

Overly aggressive marketers are those who Google is attempting to make pay the penalty, those who cold call and SPAM. However SEO is developing in a way that decreases the value of links, it’s now more about the content and your level of social engagement.

To conclude therefore, the Online Marketing world is seeing a resurgence in the importance of PR as well as your social “buzz” and the value of the information you provide to your followers. If Content Is King then it’s the communities and avid followers that elect that “King”. Google is trying to make digital information purely democratic.

The mantra for any SEO strategy should still follow internal SEO practices, but simultaneously ensure the focus is ultimately on real, valuable and relevant content that your audience wants to see.

Are you using Pinterest?

Pinterest

Pinterest is a website that launched in early 2010, the site is designed to share articles and images from social media, users can “Pin” content that interests them and share it with others, users can also browse other pinboards and “re-pin” images to their own collection.

Pinterest

Pinterest stated that the aim of their site was to “connect everyone in the world through the things that they found interesting”

Using Pinterest for Social Media Marketing can be a great way to garner more traffic to your site. In January 2012 it was suggested that Pinterest directed more traffic than Linkedin, Google+, Reddit and YouTube combined. Understanding the Pinterest’s potential from a Social Media marketing and SEO perspective may significantly improve your overall marketing strategy.

With this in mind we’ve pulled together a few things you should know about Pinterest and how it can benefit your business.

1.Pinterest is visual: Pinterest separates itself from other types of Social Media by being so visually orientated. For many here lies a stumbling block, if your site lacks imagery you may have to re-think your strategy.

2.Commenting and Likes are essential: Try not to be self-centred, commenting and engaging with other users is essential, use the @ to directly communicate with other people and businesses, sharing is a vital aspect of the website.

3.Pinterest is followed by Google: Be sure to use keywords when creating a pin because Google does pay attention which of course makes Pinterest an effective SEO tool

4.There are more Women than Men: As is with many Social Networking sites, there are more female users than male, make sure you’re aware of your audience and who you’re targeting

5.Pinterest is Addictive: New users spend an average of 15 minutes a day “pinning” which is a remarkable amount of commitment to such a new site.

6.Connect your Pinterest with Facebook & Twitter: Connecting with your already existing friends adds another dimension to your online interaction with them, since it’s heavily interest based. Pinterest is a useful tool for forging and improving business relationships too.

Finally remember your profile is important, fill out your details and make sure you’ve inserted the appropriate keywords to make sure your page, and most importantly enjoy yourself!