Category Archives: Social Media

Twitter the New Ad Ticker

I started out on Twitter a month of two ago and initially loved the interface, the interaction, and reading mundane information posted by others. Now I am looking at Twitter with a different perspective after having used it for a while.

I think if you have a community of close associates Twitter would be great like instant messaging on the fly, but if you don’t, Twitter is now all about marketing, self-promotion, and advertising. If you look at any mature Twitter site, it is chock full of links to eBooks, to people’s blogs, or how to buy their new T-Shirt. In fact it has gotten so bad now, that mainly I use Twitter to post my blog feed and occasionally monitor it for information.

Twitter is mutating as people figure out how to use it and integrate it into their lives. I do still feel that it’s a fine tool for a network of colleagues or close friends, but for me I am seeing it as a marketing vehicle and I’m not sure I want to read other people’s advertising messages in the rare free time that I have.

I’m sure that the makers of Twitter did not intend for the application to become an ad vehicle, but take a look at my Twitter friends posts and that’s all you see. http://twitter.com/mccordweb

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Social Media Marketing Packaged For the “Extreme” Push

I have been watching this trend and thought it was a good blog post. Social media networking started out as a must have for the everyday person. When MySpace was new, you just had to have a page. Then there was Facebook, then LinkedIn. All the sudden there were too many sites to participate in and it became difficult to find out what you should do and where you should invest your time.

I have all these tools in play, but have found that the social networking is just too time consuming to do personally. What I have seen is all the sudden the PR field has jumped with both feet into social media networking and in a stroke of genius now is packaging social networking sites with viral video, and online and offline push with an effort to spin a client into the stratosphere.

Is it workable, yes you bet, these tools in the hands of a PR expert can get the online media exposure that some clients and products can really benefit from. I have one marketeer who is doing just that and just got a call from Microsoft that may turn into a consulting gig to teach their staff about social media.

What I found totally interesting was that the PR world is not just selling the social media aspect but by packaging set up as a part of multiple services they are hiding the cost of the set up needed to get going and getting a  big fee in the process. Truthfully anyone can set up these account for free, but this is where the parallel ends, it is what you do with them that make the difference. Having the account open means nothing, it is about building, linking, and the viral video aspect that makes these programs different and possibly worth the money you will spend.

Although for many of my clients the social networking medium is a novelty and a must have, but what do you do with it once you have it, the PR firm puts social media on steroids. This trend is definitely worth watching. Here’s just one example that I have found recently that is worth reading about.

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Viral Marketing Using Video

I have a friend who pointed me to this short video and I thought it was interesting to point to you on how others are creatively marketing their business.

The woman in the video is a face reader. She uses an ancient Chinese art to identify things about you from your face. She was consulting with my friend to get more activity for her business. My friend recommended that she show people what she does on a video. She went to Facebook and at random chose people to give reading too. She then posted the video on Facebook, YouTube and on the site below. Buzz was created which has driven traffic to her business in a highly creative way.

Way to go! This was a great idea to get out what she does, offer something free to others, and then market herself doing it.

 

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Using Squidoo For Organic Search Placement

I don’t do much with Squidoo but I have a client that I blog for that has really used Squidoo to garner organic search placement. I think that the approach that he has taken is actually very savvy, time consuming, but savvy.

If you don’t know what Squidoo is check it out now. Squidoo allows you to easily set up a targeted one page content page in their network called a lens. This lens is best if it is very narrow and very keyword dense. Sounds easy, but you will have to use the custom advanced page interface to create this kind of mini website.

My client’s optimization team has literally created hundreds of Squidoo pages on one topic pointing to his main website. When the specific topic is searched, his Squidoo page does appear above his regular website. We are actively pointing blog posts to his Squidoo pages to build links and authority as his blog resides outside of his main web domain.

I have tested Squidoo myself and find it is similar to setting up a LinkedIn or Facebook page; modular in nature, but can be time consuming. If you have loads of time or deep pockets to pay someone else to create these pages for you, I can see that it is a very workable strategy, but not one that I am adopting for my own business at this time, but it is interesting to see how others are using Squidoo.

Here’s a link to our Squidoo page so you can see what one looks like. Ours is on search engine optimization.

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Put Twitter to Work for You

Twitter heads reading your Twitter feed.Ever go to a social networking site and see a new “friend” who has literally thousands of connections? How about at Twitter how do people get this number of people to follow them and find this many people to follow? How can you get this kind of activity on Twitter?

If you’re new to Twitter, start first by searching for people in your field, search on a keyword phrase like Internet marketing, or even just search on your family name. Twitter will return a slew of people who match your category and then click in to just follow as many as possible. You can always delete someone later so initially you are after volume. You will be amazed at how many people in return will choose to follow you.

Then as someone follows you, visit their page to see who they follow and select the people that you want to follow too. It’s that easy. After a while you will find that there are some people who seem to post on Twitter every five minutes. You can select following from your own Twitter sidebar and just block them.

You’ll find that when people first start with Twitter they will write every little thing that they are doing and after a while will settle down. Those that don’t just block them unless you really want to know what they ate for lunch.

What I like about Twitter is the ability to watch literally hundreds of mini blogs in a moment. I pick up interesting tidbits, cool applications, and new blogs all the time. I use Twitter to promote my own blog and to watch what others think are important. I’ve even used Twitter Feed to add my blog posts automatically to Twitter and Twitter applications to bring my Twitter posts automatically to my own blog sidebar. Twitter is just a new version of social media and one that you can put to use for your website and business. The possibilities are endless. If your family and colleagues are on Twitter, you’ll have more the friend and social aspect and you can even make your posts private and available only to them. Twitter is just a cool new way to connect.

Some of the ways you could use Twitter for business are to post new products and links, if you’re a real estate agent post your new listings on Twitter, if you have an ebook you can offer tidbits and link to your purchase page, if you are monetizing your blog point to your blog. Think of what you could do with Twitter to put it to work for you pointing others to your content and online services.

My Twitter ID is McCordWeb, add me to your Twitter panel and I’ll follow you.

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New Blogging Trends for Clients

Click my post title to read what Darren at ProBlogger feels are the five emerging blog trends from his point of view. His blog is a good read and one that I routinely follow, but his is a focus for professional bloggers. So here is my list of blogging trends for clients to consider (not professional bloggers).

Trends in site and design that you should consider implementing as you set up your own business blog:

  1. Slick magazine portal page style blogs are the rage right now versus the typical one or two column blog layout. Here’s an example of that style to consider: http://www.problogger.net/ Notice the use of multiple columns and blocks of content and advertising.
  2. Multiple writers on one blog. Routinely we have two writers on five day a week blogs, but now we’re seeing blogs that we work on have more guest bloggers or staff writers post occasionally on the blog and all are listed on the mast head as writers. You can take this approach too. We’ll help you get started.
  3. Multi-content blogs. Now on this point, I disagree with Darren at ProBlogger. All we do is focused on search engines. You will fragment your message, your search engine authority when you start blogging on many different topics on one blog. This may be fine for some “magazine” style blogsites, but for the typical client to stay on topic is very important. You do not want a pest control blog to be blogging about shoes or how to find coupons to buy a PDA! You need to stay on pest control and service topics. To do otherwise is to chase away your readers.
  4. Soft monetizing of sites. Yes, blogs are moving to include advertising, but for the typical client the only ads you should have on your blog are those pointing to your products and services. I do not know of many people who are really racking in the cash from monetizing their blog. Additionally ads can be distracting and can affect the “look” of the blog. What would work is small ads for your own products, white papers, and coupons for your services.
  5. Integration with other media. Yes, this is a new trend and one you can certainly leverage for your own blog. Introduce a Twitter feed, headlines, and other widgets in the sidebar of your blog site. Connect in new ways with your readers and provide ability for them to interact with you. Get signed up for Google’s Friend Connect as an easy way to implement these new widgets and features without programming skills.

The world of blogging IS changing but not all of ProBlogger’s recommendations are effective for business blog owners. If you need professional writing services for your business blog, consider us first.

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