Methods for Improving Your Social Media Optimization Services

Seven Methods for Improving Your Social Media Optimization Services

  1. Engagement – encourage more engagement, sharing & reciprocate
  2. Authority – become a notable authority in your field of expertise
  3. Leadership – harness originality & creativity, be a Thought Leader
  4. Social – be social, find and engage sociable experts in your field
  5. Media – know your social media platforms to maximize influence
  6. Optimization – improve technical aspects to increase optimization
  7. Reputation – build your reputation as a reliable qualified source

These seven steps provide a good benchmark against which you can assess and plan your current SMO activity.

If I may be allowed to stand on the shoulders of a giant I would add my thoughts to each of these seven steps as follows:

1. Reputation

Your reputation in my view starts with ensuring you are either an expert or you act as an expert curator. This means undertaking thorough research and producing original content or curating quality content. This will make you a respected and qualified source.

Your reputation is also about how you engage and support people. Your reputation will be enhanced if you openly share your content and expertise including content that is not your own, engage with others through discussions and commenting, and if you are friendly and helpful to people.

I think fundamentally your reputation is enhanced by simply being helpful to people.

2. Engagement

You need to actively engage with your audience. This can include commenting, mentions, shares, likes, and plus ones. No one is as smart as everyone so share other peoples’ content and provide a good user experience by providing feedback and comments.

You need to target the networks with which to interact and make it easy for people to interact. It may be that people will interact with content on your site but you may find a far greater number of people willing to interact in their existing communities such as Google+ communities and LinkedIn groups. You can combine these by using say Google+ comments on your blog. Asking users to create accounts on your site will discourage users from commenting so use existing social logins such as LinkedIn or tools such as Disqus.

You can also encourage people to engage with a call to action, for example if you find this article helpful please shares it. If you think I have missed anything please add your comments below.

3. Authority

There are many aspects to authority. Search engines are interested in ascertaining what individuals and brands are seen as authoritative and trusted by real people on the Internet. The most obvious example of a move in this direction is Google Authorship. Setting up Google Authorship can help establish you as an expert and show your profile prominently in search results. For example I have spent many years researching the elearning market and writing a monthly market update. Thus when you search for ‘elearning market’ you will hopefully see my result (image below) with my picture and a link to my profile.

You can also enhance your authority and the value of content through social proof. In essence the more your content is shared through plus ones, retweets, bookmarks or likes the more it indicates the value and usefulness of your content. It may also encourage others to read your content. For example, my recent post on Google+ and SEO received over 2,500 plus ones and a thousand retweets. Hopefully this means a fair number of people found the article helpful and shareworthy. I am sure it also helps the SEO, as if you search for “Google+ SEO” the article was at the time of writing appearing high on page one of the results page.

4. Leadership

To me leadership is about high quality research, thinking and original content production.

A leader will research everything they can about their areas and share thoughtful insights which will add value to your audience. Poor quality content will be perceived as such and as a consequence will not be shared. As a leader you can also create value for your audience through content curation. This means adding value to content by providing a summary, adding context or a perspective to the content you are sharing.

5. Social

You also need to build high quality networks; quality potentially matters more than quantity. Seek out the experts in your field, read what they say, engage them in debate and share your ideas.

6. Media platforms

It is important you focus on the right platforms and communities Where does your audience hang out? Find and focus on the platforms, communities and groups where your audience hangs out. Some platforms are far more effective in improving the SEO benefits of SMO than others. In my view the most effective platform is Google Plus for many reasons which are set out in the article I mentioned on why Google Plus will improve your SEO.

This was reinforced in recent days by the post I mentioned from Dustin Stout on social signals and Google+. His research led him to conclude that Google is counting all activity from all Google+ posts back to the original blog post. Thus in Dustin’s view “Google is trying really hard to give your shared links all the social credit they deserve.”

7. Optimization

I have included below some of my thoughts on the practical and technical aspects of optimizing your SMO below. Share buttons – make it easy to share for users by adding share buttons to your content. You should also show the numbers of shares to demonstrate social proof. Social Icons – group and display your social icons in a prominent place on your site.

  • Subscription options – group together subscription options such as email, RSS, and newsletters.
  • Shareable content – some content is more readily shareable such as infographics or 5 top tips articles. I think this is partly because it is short and scannable. However, I hope and believe longer but well written content will also be shared.
  • Social login – use social login options to make it easy for users to comment.
  • Rich snippets – social networks pull in rich snippets, data designed to summaries the content of a page. These are very useful for users. The different social networks pull in this data in different ways. Facebook uses OpenGraph, Twitter uses Twitter Cards and Google Plus will take values from OpenGraph, you just need to set up your authorship profile for your rel=”author” tag to work correctly.  If you use WordPress you can use the Yoast plugin to manage and optimize these rich snippets
  • Title tags – Optimize your title tags for sharing, especially on Twitter where there is a character limit and include your name.
  • Images – they really do say more than a thousand words. Include images that add value and include an image that can be used as a thumbnail for your content.

Thanks again to Joshua Berg for his Real Social Media Optimization framework and for the work of Dustin Stout and Mark Traphagen. I hope through my reflections and additions I have added some value to the way you think about and approach the Social Media Optimization of your Search Engine Optimization.

Difference between Traditional Marketing and Social Media Marketing

Traditional Marketing:

Mostly everyone thinks of marketing as the business of promoting and selling products or services.

Marketers commonly refer to a “pyramid” to describe the way they attract new prospects and convert them into customers.

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What Do We Mean By Pyramid?

Traditionally, we’ve prioritized our limited resources and time on trying to find and convert new prospects (the top of the pyramid).Keeping those hard-earned customers (the bottom of the pyramid) has often been an afterthought.

That’s because, until recently, there was little we could do to keep existing customers that was drastically different from the tactics used to attract new ones.

Historically, the best you could do after turning a prospect into a customer was to provide a great customer experience and just hope they come back to buy more—and bring their friends with them.

But technology, namely social media and email, has changed the game.

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But in case of social media marketing what we do is the reverse the reversing the pyramid .

Social Media Marketing is about recognizing that your existing customers are your best assets.And technology now enables us to influence consumer behavior both before and after the sale.

With low-cost and easy-to-use tools like social media and email, you no longer have to hope that customers come back and bring their friends with them.Now you can reach out to your existing customers to remind them to come back, and make word-of-mouth as easy as clicking the share, like, or tweet buttons.

Bottom line: successful businesses understand that marketing does not end with the sale, but rather it begins after the first sale (the bottom of the traditional sales pyramid).

Social Media is an Important Part of Your Marketing Mix, but Not the Only One:

Social media marketing is not a replacement for other marketing tactics and we highly recommend that you continue to do what has worked for you in the past.

Traditional marketing activities that still work for you, like advertising in a newspaper, sending direct mail and attending networking events, are still essential.

However, for most, social media marketing is now a critical component of an effective marketing strategy.

In fact, social media marketing works best when combined with other marketing activities especially email marketing.

Benefits of Social Media Marketing to Provide Marketplace Insights

Monitor social media to find out more about your prospects, customers, business partners, employees and competitors. 71% of marketers benefit from social media optimization to provide marketplace insights.

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Actionable Social Media Marketing Tips:

  1. Check what your competitors are posting on social media services. Examine the quantity and quality of their interactions. What can you learn from them?
  2. Find out what your followers want by asking questions. Where possible use open ended inquiries that require more than a yes or no.
  3. Examine social media platforms by categories. This is particularly important to see what information customers are seeking. Look at YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram who are very much work in social media optimization India. How are your products and your competitors’ products being shown in context?

For more information visit us at SMO Expert

Benefits of Social Media Marketing to Increase the Fan Following

Remember that not all fans are created equal. 72% of marketers benefit from social media marketing to develop loyal fans.

To support loyal fans, you need to be present and engaged on social media. This means regular interactions.

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Fans that have purchased from you in the past provide credibility that’s hard to acquire as a marketer. Marketers are learning that most fans become fans post-purchase, according to research by Synapse.

Many prospects will follow your company just for the special offers or discounts.

Actionable Social Media Tips:

  1. Build your social media fanbase. Make targeted offers and special content only on social media so that your customers will want to be associated with you there.
  2. Leverage your website and other owned media to build your fan base.  Social media fans rarely happen without marketing. You need to leverage each element of your marketing mix to support this goal.
  3. Use your follow up emailing to drive fans. Ask fans in your emailing and other content to like you on Facebook.
  4. Include a call-to-action on your post purchase email to encourage photo sharing and reviews. Go one step beyond the easy fan action. Ask new owners to strut their stuff wearing your stuff. Bear in mind Instagram is starting to hit its stride with buyers.
  5. Encourage fans to invite their friends. The logic is that people are friends with other people who share their interests. Of course, with social media services you may need to make them a special offer!

For more information visit us at SMO Expert

Benefits of Social Media Marketing to Increase the Exposure

In part the strength of this benefit is due to the fact that marketers must be present where their potential audience is. 92% of marketers benefit from social media marketing to increase exposure.

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Remember that multiple impressions are needed before prospects act.

Also, it’s an easy answer that doesn’t require hard analytics, the way that lead generation, sales and expenses do.

Actionable Social Media Marketing Tips:

  1. Tailor the content you share by social media platform. Social media is NOT one-size-fits-all. Your social media efforts will drive better results if they’re adapted by platform.
  2. Use images. Make your content stand out by incorporating attention grabbing visuals. People process images faster than text.
  3. Write attention grabbing headlines. Realize that only 20% of your readers will get past your headline according to Madman David Ogilvy. Make them work harder.
  4. Brand your social media content. Incorporate your 360° brand into every interaction you make on social media to support your image.
  5. Drip out social media shares over time. Where appropriate, chop your content into small bite-size shares. This works well with tips and quotes.
  6. Add social sharing icons to your owned content. Encourage your audience to help distribute your content more broadly.
  7. Involve influencers and fans in your social sharing. This doesn’t mean make a pest of yourself but rather ask others to help you social media optimization services where they’ve been involved in the creation process.

For more information visit us at SMO Expert

Hidden Pros of Social Media Marketing That can Make You a Big Win !!

Most businesses venture into social media marketing expecting to see a big return on investment. The hope is that new customers will come in droves, and that the benefits and revenue generation will be huge. However, this is rarely the case. It takes time to build momentum with social media, and the benefits aren’t always as obvious as we would like.

Social media Marketing

If you’re feeling a bit skeptical about social media marketing and whether or not it’s worth the effort, following are some reasons why it may be working better than you realize.

1. Brand Recognition – One of the most powerful ways to use social media is as a brand-building tool. With social media services, you get to decide how you want to position your company and what you want people to know about what you do. With consistent effort and great content, you can build a reputation for your brand around your company’s values, benefits, and advantages.

2. Community – There is nothing like social media optimization when it comes to cultivating a community. When your followers become part of your community, you gain instant access to them. That means you can find out what challenges they are facing and what they like and don’t like about your offerings. You can engage in ongoing dialog that can be more valuable than any kind of paid market research.

3. Repeat Exposure – There is an old marketing adage that says it takes six to eight exposures to a product before a customer decides to buy. A clear benefit of social media is repeat exposure with your network. You have the opportunity to remind them over and over again about what you have to offer, which can shorten your sales cycles dramatically.

4. Authority – For coaches, consultants, authors, speakers, and other service-based businesses, social media can be very powerful in helping you establish authority in your field—making you the go-to resource for your target audience to seek out for help. Share great content, answer questions, and serve your audience, and you will inevitably build loyal fans.

5. Influence – As your following increases, your influence grows. Having a substantial social media audience creates a snowball effect that can attract new customers, media interviews, joint venture partnerships, and all kinds of other opportunities. It’s a bit like when you see a crowd hovered around something. You can’t help but want to see what all the fuss is about, so a large audience will only attract more interest.

6. Website Traffic – Many people don’t realize that social media marketing services can be a leading traffic generator. When you share blog posts, videos and other content from your website, you give your audience a reason to click through and visit your site. Once there, you have the opportunity to inspire those visitors to take action by inviting them to sign up for your mailing list, make a purchase, or call to schedule a free consultation. Install traffic monitoring service, such as Google Analytics, and if you are committed to your social media efforts, you will clearly see that social media services brings traffic. Also, make sure that your visitors receive a clear call to action when they visit your site so that you can convert that extra traffic into business opportunities.

7. Ahead of the Curve – Whether you realize it or not, your prospects and clients are checking to see if you are engaging in social media. I always find it a bit odd when I’m investigating a potential service provider online and I can’t locate a social media presence or worse, I find Facebook pages that haven’t been updated in months, empty Twitter feeds, and a clear lack of interest in engaging. Social media isn’t a fad and it’s not going away. Even if it’s not your top priority, if you stay current with activity, your prospects will notice.

8. Mindshare with Lurkers – There may be days when you wonder if anyone is paying attention to your social media networks. But if your efforts are consistent, I guarantee that more people are paying attention than you realize. Give it time and you’ll start to understand what’s happening behind the anonymity of the internet. You will eventually hear from people who say, “I’ve been following you on Twitter for ages. I love your posts!”

9. Competitive Advantage – The reality is that most of your competitors aren’t likely doing a very good job with social media (most companies aren’t), which gives you the chance to stand out. Also consider the flip side. If you avoid social media, you leave a big opening that allows your competitors to capture your audience.

10. Big Wins – While many businesses large and small are trying to justify the cost and time investment for managing social media marketing, an important benefit often gets overlooked: Big Wins. For example, if someone from LinkedIn connects you with a significant government contract, then that would certainly qualify as a Big Win. If a major media outlet finds you on Twitter and interviews you for a national article, then that is also a Big Win—one that you can’t measure based on revenues directly generated.

Big Wins don’t happen often, but when they do, they make it all worthwhile. It’s easy to forget results like these six months down the road you’re trying to assess whether your social media efforts are paying off. But that one contract you landed could cover your social media optimization costs for years. And that major media interview could lead to subsequent interviews and a line item on your resume that impresses a corporate sponsor three years from now. Never forget to factor in the Big Wins in social media.

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The Basics of Using Social Media Marketing Services to Market Your Business

Social media are internet services that let you interact with others and share and create content through online communities.

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Social media present great marketing opportunities for businesses of all sizes. You can use social media to:

  • Promote the name of your brand and business
  • Tell customers about your goods and services
  • Find out what customers think of your business
  • Attract new customers
  • Build stronger relationships with existing customers.

Advantages of using social media

Social media marketing has many advantages:

  • Broad reach – social media can reach millions of people all around the world
  • Ability to target particular groups – many forms of social media (e.g. Facebook, Foursquare) allow businesses to target specific groups, often in particular locations
  • Free or low-cost – many forms of social media are free for business, and paid options are usually low-cost
  • Personal social media services allow you to communicate on a personal basis with individual customers and groups
  • Fast – you can quickly distribute information to many people
  • Easy – you don’t need high-level skills or computer equipment to participate in social media marketing. The average person with a standard computer should have no difficulty.

Risks of using social media

Of course, marketing through social media also has its risks. These include:

  • Wasted time and money for little or no tangible return
  • The rapid spread of the wrong kind of information about your business (e.g. incorrect information accidentally posted by you, negative reviews posted by others)
  • Legal problems if you don’t follow privacy legislation and the laws regarding spam, copyright and other online issues.
  • It’s important to be aware of these risks and to have social media optimization strategies in place to avoid them if you decide to get involved in social media marketing.

Key social media services

Different types of social media are good for different marketing activities. The key social media services are:

  1. Facebook – a social networking site that allows you to have conversations with customers, post photos and videos, promote special offers, and more
  2. Twitter – a ‘micro-blogging’ service that allows you to send and receive short messages from customers and potential customers
  3. YouTube – an online video-hosting service that lets people share their videos
  4. Blogs – internet sites that contain a series of entries or ‘posts’ about topics of interest to the author, much like an online ‘diary’
  5. Coupon sites – websites that offer discount coupons for goods, services and events
  6. Online photo-sharing services – websites that allow users to store, organize and share their photo collections
  7. Location-based marketing sites – websites that deliver targeted marketing messages to customers in particular locations, through mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets
  8. Customer review sites – websites that feature customer reviews of goods and services.

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