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.

Why You May Be Losing Followers on Twitter??

Many join Twitter to grow an online presence. But not everyone gets fast results. Here are 10 things NOT to do to ensure you won’t sabotage your Twitter growth.

Since Twitter banned auto-follow and auto-follow back (see my earlier article from July 1013), I’ve been spending a lot more time vetting who I follow and follow back on Twitter. As a result, I’ve been following far fewer people on Twitter every week than I used to. Naturally, this is due in part to the fact that it takes a lot more time now that automation is no longer allowed. But it is also due to the fact that I have become much more selective about who I want to follow.

During the vetting process, I’ve noticed the same 10 criteria keep cropping up as ‘deal breakers’ helping me decide whether or not to follow, follow back or unfollow people on Twitter. As these criteria are probably being used (consciously or not) by other Twitter users, I thought I’d share them with you today, so you can avoid these pitfalls, and make your Twitter profile an irresistible force to you ideal audience.

Reason #1: Inadequate bio information

Twitter gives you 160 characters to fill in your profile. Use them. Make every character count. Make sure it SAYS something about you and/or your business, so people can judge whether or not they want to follow you.

Reason #2: No profile image

No matter how camera-shy you may be, don’t fail to upload a headshot or company logo. When people see the default Twitter image in your profile, they tend to assume a) that you don’t know what you’re doing on Twitter yet; b) that you don’t care; or c) that you’re not a ‘real’ person but a spammer/robot. Say cheese!

Reason #3: You have a private account

If you set your account to ‘private’, prospective followers won’t be able to see your Tweets. Why would people follow you if they cannot know what you Tweet about? I wouldn’t.

Reason #4: You don’t speak the same language

If you are multilingual and you are trying to target a specific audience, be sure your Tweets are consistently in the language of the audience you are targeting. Otherwise, people might start unfollowing you if they start to see Tweets they cannot read. Remember: you might understand their language, but they might unfollow you if they cannot understand yours. You might wish to have multiple accounts for different languages.

Reason #5: YOU USE ALL CAPS ALL THE TIME

Gosh I hate that. I never follow people who ALWAYS WRITE IN ALL CAPS and I unfollow them FOR THE SIMPLE REASON THAT IT IS ANNOYING.

Reason #6: You use WAY too many hashtags

I love hashtags, but some people will put a hashtag at the beginning of every word (frequently combined with #USINGCAPSALLTHETIME). Apart from being damnably irritating to your followers, there are SO many reasons why over-using hashtags is pointless. See my earlier article ‘5 Ways to Use Hashtags on Twitter or Facebook’ to find out wise ways to use them.

Reason #7: You’re just interested in getting followers and have no focus

Some people are on Twitter for no other reason than to get followers. They talk about NOTHING other than to say ‘Follow me’ or #TeamFollowBack. All they tend to do is tell how many new followers they got that day. I never follow such people. What’s the point?

Reason #8: You don’t bother to follow people back

In direct contrast to #7, there are also people on Twitter who hardly ever bother to follow (legitimate) followers back. Personally, except for large organisations that don’t tend to follow anyone back, I will unfollow people if they haven’t followed me back after a couple of months. Some people will unfollow you if you don’t follow back within the week. If you are losing followers, this might be the reason. Take a look at who’s following you that you are not following.

Reason #9: Never talking to anyone else

If you never take time to say ‘hi’ or ‘thank-you’ to people, or you never ReTweet or reply to people’s comments, your followers will get miffed and are likely to unfollow you. If prospective followers see no engagement, they might not bother to follow you in the first place.

Reason #10: ALL you do is talk to other people

The flip side of #9 is when someone ONLY uses Twitter as a kind of global instant messaging service, and is constantly engaged in chat. Being sociable is great, but if all you ever do is chat-surf, some people might not wish to follow you.

Hey don’t miss out I’ve 10 more such reason so stay tuned visit us at Social Media 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.

Social Media Marketing:social media optimization

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 Reduce Marketing Expenses

A few short years ago, marketers called social media the free marketing format. The reality is that, while some social media marketing platforms may be free to use, they were NEVER free since they required employee effort and other resources.

Social Media Optimization

Instead marketers should measure improved return on each marketing dollar invested in social media. This requires tracked all resources used including employee time (across departments), special services and outsources support. 51% of marketers benefit from social media marketing to reduce marketing expense.

This means that marketers must become better at capitalizing on each social media interaction. Think beyond vanity metrics such as likes to engagement and hand raisers.

Change your thinking from increased interaction to more effective interaction, even if this means additional resources are needed for better quality content or supporting social media advertising.

Actionable Social Media Marketing Tips:

  1. Track your full breadth of social media activities. This means employee time (across disciplines such as marketing, creative and technology), resources and outsourced support.
  2. Create more effective and reliable metrics to track your social media investment. Work with your finance / analytics team. With regard to expenses, this means return on social media investment and sales and leads attributable to social media.
  3. Augment your social media optimization interaction with social media marketing. Many platforms are starting to test and rollout advertising products. As a result, your natural social media traffic and reach will get eroded. Therefore add a small budget to test advertising.

For more information visit us at SMO Expert

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.

social media optimization

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.

social media optimization

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