Socialnomics with Suzanne Downing

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Month: July, 2012

Social Media and the Press Release: 5 SEO Quick Wins

Yes, the letters S-E-O still cause press release writers to shudder when mentioned. Getting ranked on internet search engines for the purposes of online marketing is now a skill itself, requiring immense planning and knowledge of terms like ‘keyword density’.

There was a time when writers had to resort to producing two article versions; one that was written for the purposes of SEO and one constructed making it noticeably newsworthy.

Thankfully, search engines have begun to recognise the value of press releases that contain ‘quality’ content over articles that are mass-produced simply to score high rankings.

So how can you benefit from these changes?

#1 – Make your press release engaging – The majority of search engines now emphasise the importance of press release content that is posted constantly on social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Therefore, it is imperative that press releases written for the purpose of SEO contain information that is valuable to readers. When considering what to feature in your next press release, try to avoid ‘telling’ potential customers about your company, product or service.

Instead, consider what prospective customers will ‘want’ to read. If they consider something worth reading, they will discuss it with friends and colleagues, expanding the reach of your release.

#2 – Use ‘natural’ language – Avoid industry jargon and construct copy that is used in ‘everyday’ discussion. The importance of creating natural flow will make an article much more captivating and compelling as opposed to trying to force your content to work around ‘unnatural’ SEO phrases.

#3 – Keep it short, keep it simple – Pick out the unique points that you want to cover in your SEO press release and form one clear and concise story over 1 or 2 pages based around these points. Don’t clutter your press release with too many themes and topics, search engines are unable to identify what the article is about. From a human perspective they will simply not engage if an article fails to ‘get to the point’ quickly.

#4 – Create an eye-catching headline – A strong, clear headline attracts readers and is more likely to inspire people to share on social media sites. Research suggests that headlines should use no more than 120 characters, which is just as well, as search engines only tend to index the first 65 characters of article headlines. Therefore, be sure that your priority keyword features within the recommended character range, especially for SEO purposes.

#5 – Don’t ‘link litter’ – Providing a link to a website within an article is not bad practice, but don’t go ‘over the top’. Search engines are immediately suspicious of articles that feature too many links. In some cases, SEO press releases with too many links in are often considered to be spam and will not be acknowledged by search engines. Furthermore, some websites convert content to plain text. This means that your article could end up containing long URLs, which are an ‘eyesore’ to human readers.

Happy press release writing! Remember, keep it real.
Thanks to PRWeb for this informative information.

Socialnomics: a perpetual wave.

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How to Claim Your Business Online

Remember the phrase, “Let your fingers do the walking?” This used to refer to the Yellow Pages, but now this phrase applies to your computer keyboard.

Think about it. When was the last time you plopped a bulky yellow page book on your kitchen counter to  find a plumber? Realistically, you used your smartphone, PC, or iPad and Googled away. This is exactly what your potential customers do.

In today’s world of technology, more than 70% of inquiries about local businesses come through search engines and online business listings like Google Places, Yahoo Local, Bing Local and Yelp.com. If your business isn’t listed online, you are invisible to potential customers. And you don’t want to be invisible to potential customers.

Start by implementing a process called “Business Claiming.”

Business claiming allows you to gain control of online listings, maintain them on a consistent basis and match them with your current promotions. You can post hours, correct website links, coupons, category and brand listings, and more. All for free.

Top 8 places to start:

Google Local, Yahoo Local, Bing Local, Yelp, Facebook Places, Gowalla, FourSquare, and City Search.

But wait…there’s more!

Since we live in a world where navigations systems are the norm, you need to publish your business information to GPS and Navigation systems like OnStar, Navteq, infoUSA, and multiple Portable Navigation Systems.

Why? So your customers can find you on whatever device they use to navigate the city streets.

It just makes sense. Don’t be invisible online.

Socialnomics: a perpetual wave.

SEO: What is an “organic” keyword? And why should I care?

Do you remember watching E.T. as a kid?

Well, think of the title of the movie E.T., or the long title E.T.: Extra-Terrestrial as non-organic keywords.

Why? Because you are searching for something specific. You want information on the movie E.T. (Or, “et” in today’s non-grammatically correct search terms). So you type in your Google Search bar, “et”. Therefore, Google knows where to send you. Google knows what content you want.

Actual statistic: According to Google AdWords Free Keyword Tool, the keyword “et” generates 101,000,000 global monthly searches, and the keywords “et the movie” generates 246,000 global monthly searches. (Okay, my boss would be doing cartwheels if our brand name generated that much traffic!)

Yes, you want people to find your website this way, but you also want new visitors/customers, right?

So that’s where “organic” keywords benefit you. That is why you should care. Organic keywords generate new visitors (potential customers).

And that’s where the “brain” work comes in.

SEO ORGANIC KEYWORD BRAINSTORMING

Let’s make a list together.

Think of who may want information about the movie E.T., but they don’t know they need this information. Then, think about what they would type in Google to find it (this is an “organic” keyword). Perhaps someone born in 1990 doing a college research paper on 1980’s Science Fiction movies?

[Tip: You can look at your Google Analytics to see what people are already typing in Google to find you “organically.” Add those keywords to your list.]

How about…

“Steven Spielberg movies”, “alien movies”, “drew barrymore films”, “best 1980’s film”, “sci-fi classics”, “1982 sci-fi”, etc. (Is it clicking?)

The examples above are all “organic” keywords that will generate “organic” (a.k.a. natural) traffic to your website.

Of course there are many next steps to make in the SEO world after you identify the “organic” keywords you want to rank for. For example, you need to research the keywords on your brainstorming list using Google AdWords Free Keyword Tool to see how many people are typing in that exact phrase into Google’s search bar and eliminate the poor performing keywords. Then, you need to see who your competition is for those “organic” keywords. Finally, once you have a filtered list of “organic” keywords, you need to start optimizing for those “organic” keywords on your website.

Research is key!

Socialnomics: a perpetual wave.

Skype: 5 Social Tips for Professionals

Are you ready for your next professional Skype call?

Use these 5 social tips for beginners to Skype with confidence.

1. Make eye contact. Social rules are no different in Skype than in person. But what is “eye contact” in the Skype world? It’s simple: the camera. Think of the person on the other end as a Cyclops. Although it is socially acceptable to look at the person on-screen when they talk, when you talk, look at the camera. Keep Skype “eye contact.” It’s just polite.

2. Brand your background. Pay attention to your background. Dirty laundry? Jimmy Hendrix poster? Clutter? Think of what your surroundings say about you. Use a warm colored background, not white. (White washes you out and says, “Hey, look at me and my police mug shot.”) Brand your background. Make it on purpose. Make it simple. Make it professional with no bright lights.

3. Wear Skype friendly clothes. Avoid patterns and the color white. Naturally, our eyes gravitate to white. You want the person you talk with to look at your eyes and teeth, not your shirt. As a rule of thumb, the first three buttons of your shirt should be visible. If not, you will look like a floating head. Comical, yes. Professional, not so much. Ladies, the same social rules apply. Dress modestly. And yes, if you want to wear your PJ pants and no shoes and socks (for the work-at-home crowd), feel free. No one will never know.

4. Test your technology. New to Skype? Then test it out with family, friends or colleagues for connection, sound, and video. Make sure your Internet connection is solid. Sometimes wi-fi can drift in and out. Nothing says, “I’m not prepared for this call” than technological disruptions. Know how to troubleshoot before you begin.

5. Choose a professional Skype account name. Use a variation of your first and last name. It is professional. There’s no need to get fancy. Something too weird or personal could raise concern. Think about it, would you want to have a professional conversation with “itsfiveaclocksomewhere,” “motherofalldrugaddicts,” or “officedivaforlife,”? I guess it depends on your business. Most likely, the straight and narrow is professional.

Happy Skyping.

Socialnomics: a perpetual wave.

 

Social Brand Monitoring: 3 Quick Wins

Yes! People talk about you and your brand across the ever-expanding World Wide Web. It’s like the question, “If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it does it make a  sound?”

Brand monitoring is simple. People are talking about you and your brand. You want to know what they are saying. You want to be proactive, capitalizing on key influencers and responding to negative comments.

When trees fall…you must be there to hear them!

You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars for an agency to monitor your brand. Here are some FREE sites that do the work for you.

Brand Monitoring: 3 Quick Wins

1. Google alerts is simple. Just type in a keyword or phrase you want to receive alerts for (email or RSS). Then, Google’s fancy virtual spiders crawl through blog posts, news articles, videos (You Tube), and even various social groups to spy for you. They report back via email or your RSS fees so you know what people are saying about you and your brand. I have alerts set up for my organization via my Smartphone. So when I’m on the go, I am connected.

2. Yacktrack is a searchable site. Just type in your keyword(s) and Yacktrack does the work for you. It searches sites like Blogger, FriendFeed, Stumbleupon, and WordPress blogs. So when people comment about you and your brand, you can join the conversation. Yes, you can search social media sites too using the “Chatter” feature. Just type in keywords in the search and Yacktrack will notify you when someone mentions your brand.

3. Social Mention also searches blogs, news, You Tube, Flickr, Digg, Delicious, microblogging services (Twitter), and allows you to track any mentions of you and your brand. Social Mention is easy to set up and use.

So start listening to what your constituents are saying about you and your brand! It’s easy.

However, what you do with the information you get is also key. Make sure you have a strategy in place to handle both positive and negative brand feedback.

Socialnomics: a perpetual wave.

Creative meshing of social and traditional media

Think about it. When was the last time you actually sat through a TV commercial and watched the entire commercial. Most likely you sent a text message, played Scramble with friends, updated your Facebook, or tweeted about the show you were watching.

That is exactly what TV shows are banking on. They are on to you. They are listening.

SOCIAL AND TRADITIONAL MEDIA INTEGRATION

The “Tweet” TV generation is here. Now you can  watch Drop Dead Diva and discuss what’s happening in real-time on your mobile device right on the couch. You can make new friends interested in the ongoing suspense of Grayson not knowing his ex-fiance is inside Jane’s body. Will they ever discover the true love or will Jane’s guardian angel always stop them from being together? Why not tweet about it?

But is this really a new concept? Think about radio campaigns. They lead you to a website to give money. Now, they lead you to a blog or a Facebook page. Or, they reward you for tweeting or texting. Think about American Idol voting by text message. That was only the beginning. Look at Twitter hashtags like #americanidol or #thevoice. Using social and traditional media will only continue to get more creative over time. And it should. The way we interact with media is ever-changing.

During the Superbowl, you can win prizes by entering sweepstakes through social media. This is clever. It makes you listen to the advertisement. Hey, if I can win a giant TV by listening to a secret word or phrase, I just might pay attention during the game. Although, I have to admit, Superbowl commercials are some of the best! I watch them anyway.

Remember the Haiti earthquake? Text to give produced millions of dollars in revenue. People followed updates via social media sites, not just traditional TV.

Look at newspapers and how they reach their readers. I don’t know about you, but I can’t remember the last time I picked up a paper from my front porch step. Antiquated? Sadly, it is.

The possibilities are endless.

Use your creativity to engage your customers online. Spend the day brainstorming. Then test away!

Socialnomics: a perpetual wave

3 SEO Quick Wins

So you have a website with rich content. Once people get there, they stay. But how DO they get there?

That is where SEO (Search Engine Optimization comes in…) Make your social media sites strong and always link to your website. It’s a socialnomic strategy. A circle. All roads lead to what brand you present to the world. Make it count. Track results. Use these tips.

3 SEO Quick Tips

1. USE FRESH CONTENT

If your site content doesn’t change often, your site needs a blog because Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc. search spiders like fresh text. You should Blog at least three time a week with good, fresh content to feed those little crawlers. (Looks like I need to step up my game on Word Press!)

2. LINK FOR QUALITY

When link building, think QUALITY, not quantity. One good, authoritative link can do a lot more for you than a dozen poor quality links, which can actually hurt you.

3.WRITE NATURALLY / BE HUMAN

No actual human wants to read a jam packed keyword article. And now, Search engines (as they are ever-evolving) want natural language content. Don’t try to stuff your text with keywords. It won’t work. Search engines look at how many times a term is in your content and if it is abnormally high, will count this against you rather than for you. Google is getting smarter (imagine that) and they are on to all the keyword stuffing and tricks.

So get to work! Post more frequently on your blog. If you don’t have a blog, create one. The more links to your website the better. On your Facebook, link back to your website. Do this, too, with Twitter, LinkedIn, Flickr, and more!

Socialnomics: a perpetual wave.

Kickstarter “Fund and Follow Creativity” an emerging social trend

Think of it as an online “Sharktank.”

Kickstarter gives anyone with a project, the opportunity to get that initiative funded by those who choose to (and patrons receive something in return). A crowdsourcing platform for would be inventors called Quirky lets the best product ideas rise to the top and then helps them get produced and sold while the “inventor” takes a cut. Air BnB turns homes into hotels and travelers into guests, providing both parties with an opportunity to make and save money. These examples may point to a new future reality where economic value is directly negotiated and exchanged between individuals over institutions.

So now with the click of a mouse, you can get in front of stakeholders through Kickstarter.

A Kickstarter example: KNUT A WiFi enabled device with interchangeable sensors and a mobile app. has initiated more than $46,000 in funding with just 70 hours to go. This is 184% funding. Emerging trend? You be the judge.

http://www.kickstarter.com

Thanks, David Armano for sharing this content. Good stuff!