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Social Media Playbook for Business, a video book review

Social Media Playbook for Business, a video book review:

The ideal companion for managers

Tom Funk’s Social Media Playbook for Business Reaching Your Online Community with Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and More is an all-encompassing social media book that covers various aspects of social media: From strategy to platforms to “next level” steps, successes, failures, and future predictions.

Managers who are not directly involved with day-to-day social media may find Funk’s explanations most helpful. He covers social media platforms, competitive analysis, setting up profiles on platforms, and monitoring blogs, etc… Unfortunately, Funk is not very in-depth when discussing what to expect when hiring consultants.

Funk’s book covers everything from

  • Listening
  • Ownership
  • Customer service
  • Legal rights
  • Establishing mission
  • Publishing a plan
  • Goals
  • Tracking
  • ROI
  • & Deciding if your company is right for social media

Funk succeeds in discussing the importance of writing a sound social media business plan.  He explains how to formulate a social media plan like a business plan by translating how social media can benefit businesses in a language more oriented to MBAs than marketing-communications specialists.

A social media business plan, like a business plan, should include

  • Competitive analysis
  • Operations plan
  • Goals
  • Objectives
  • ROI
  • Knowing the difference between earned vs paid media.

The chapter on the future of social media was highly engaging and scientific, covering the topics of

  • Social shopping
  • Neuro-linguistic programming
  • How social media is likely to integrate with our everyday expectations
  • How social becomes the new “normal”

Tom Funk’s Social Media Playbook for Business Reaching Your Online Community with Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and More combines the creative and analytical aspects of using social media to succeed in your campaigns.

Follow Tom Funk on Twitter

Social Media Playbook for Business Reaching Your Online Community with Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and More

By Tom Funk

Published February 2011

Best for:  Managers or business owners interested in learning more about how to combine social media into their businesses, or people who are generally curious about creating a successful social media campaign.

Content Is Required for Sites Seeking Link Love

Link Love Boston: When you seek links, you’ll need quality content

Link Love Boston 2012 Zwickerhill Photography

Link Love Boston 2012 courtesy of David Zwickerhill Photography

A few talks into the Link Love Boston conference, someone tweeted: “Link Love? More like Content Love.”

Bottom line from Link Love: Invest in content; links are are not what they once were in the SEO realm. Social is where it’s at. And what makes something share-worthy?

Link Love Boston aligned a small galaxy of search marketing superstars, best of all in little ‘ol Boston. Normally, you’d have to trek to New York or San Francisco.

The best part of the day? A single track of presentations. No running across campuses or wondering which presenter will be asleep at the podium.

Highlights from Link Love Boston, featuring Rand Fishkin, Wil Reynolds, Tom Critchlow, and more show links require quality content + social media.

 

In the SEO battle, CONTENT reigns as king

  • Storytelling, belief, trust is what makes us buy. Create content with those aspects!
  • You don’t have to limit your content to your work: find what your audience cares about and build community.
    • Tell stories that mean something to your audience, i.e. create cool stuff and they will come.
  • The value of a link isn’t based on cost to acquire it.
    • Content wins long-term. You pay upfront rather than paying each month: Google increasingly devaluing links.
    • Content will continue to win sooner, as Google places greater emphasis. How soon until we’re all swimming in content?
  • Negative ROI to start, but content always wins over paid links, and it always wins earlier.
  • Rather than remove links, need to ensure you have lots of quality to balance out your profile.

Best practices with links

  • Quantity quotas diminish quality; this applies to links like everything else.
  • We always think in volume. But really, it doesn’t matter how much traffic you get if it converts terribly.
  • Marketing needs to be holistic and integrated, rather than myopic link-network. Google may catch up to you.
  • Cramming your title tag with keywords is bad practice.
  • If it looks spammy ultimately cuts down traffic.

Create a content team

  • 20 people creating content, 5 people on outreach, 10 people doing design/development.
  • Create a new position: A chief content officer can turbocharge results.  She will focus on strategy and make the inflection point happen.
  • Make the blogger into a permanent position: It is an important part of branding agenda.

Tactics for creating content-rich links

  • Help people get more traffic if they deserve it.
  • Find related articles, develop infographics. Reach out to original source & everyone who shared and interacted.
  • Rich links help to enhance search engine optimization.
  • SEO is half assignment-editing, half circulation.
  • SEOs look more like the leaders in digital publishing every day.
  • Treat the meta-description like it’s a sales copy: capitalize words, include phone numbers, etc.
  • For niche B2B: focus on building thought leadership and experts, PR outreach.
  • Don’t cram keywords into titles, make them read like headlines and make sense.

Links tools to consider using on a tight budget

Rethink the way you produce content for Pinterest

  • If planned correctly, Pinterest can drive over 100,000 visitors to your site.
  • What Pinterest wants: great ideas to guide through life, steps and guides.
  • Infographics don’t work as well on Pinterest.
    • Instructographics for Pinterest must be at least 500 pixels wide and max 5,000 pixels long.
    • Ideal graphic size for Pinterest 500 pixels wide by 2,500 long, want them to click through to your site.
  • Best time to “Pin It” – 5 AM & 5PM EST.
  • If you’re a business, pin IDEAS not products to Pinterest.
  • Create attractive images for Pinterest and post to your blog, pin the image to your page.
  • Make sure your text is small enough Pinterest visitors have to go to your site to really experience your pin.

These are simply a sampling of Link Love gems. Watch to know more? Check out the Link Love videos. And don’t miss Search Love San Francisco 2012.

 

Special thanks to @josephschaefer@fairminder@randfish@BigGuyD@timothyjjensen@dohertyjf@sarahbethgo@shawnccpr@sicodeandres@bankonjustin@seomoz@foliovision@JustinMattison@colbyalmond,  for their insights!

 

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Group Deals Begin to Grow up: Tips for Retailers, Restaurants From South by Southwest Interactive

How can small businesses benefit from group deals like Groupon?

Kara Nortman Senior Vice President of Publishing CityGrid Media

Kara Nortman, CityGrid Media

One of the best South by Southwest Interactive 2012 talks was jam-packed with lessons, tips, and stats on the state of group buying. With fatigue setting in on both sides of the equation, consumers and merchants, how can everyone get what they want?

Kara Nortman, senior VP of publishing at CityGrid Media, took the stage solo and wowed everyone attending.

Here are some highlights

Group Deals Are Killing Your Small Business: How small businesses can uniquely and effectively tap into group deals as a key piece of a smart overall marketing strategy.

Have you heard about Groupon?

Create a more effective group deal strategy

  • SMBs and deal sites are at odds … SMBs must show clear return on investment. Businesses are being more critical
  • Prior to 2008 there were 2 personas: enjoy a high-price experience (get-what-you-pay-for) and the couponer
  • Prepaid transactions are not dead. Consumers will get more relevant deals through them
  • Deal sites need to provide their clients with great analytics
  •  Correlating behavior with credit card data is commencing, but it still needs consumers’ trust with data and privacy
    • Proximity marketing and credit are going to be the most exciting developments in next few years

Deal sites to consider

Think Near

  • Pulls in demand patterns, weather, traffic, and events reports. It allows you to auto-generate 5-10 campaigns each week for each business
  • Targets local, high-quality customers
  • Became bigger than Groupon in NYC

Savored

  • Targets high-quality restaurants and has focuses on experience and high value – creating a clear brand can help your deals succeed
  • Forces users to commit to reservations and align them with restaurants’ slow times. Offer 30% off with no embarrassing coupons
  • Encourages diners to post pictures of their receipts that shows their discount

Punchcard

  • Aims to collect who loyal customers are without merchant cooperation, then present to the business owner
  • Users take photos of receipts to collect data for PunchCard
  • Targets low-frequency and high-spend customers

The truth is in the numbers: Group deals statistics

  • 44% subscribe to 4 or more deal services – often causes user fatigue
  • 44% of daily-deal customers will come back, but some might have already been customers
  • 66% of people let their deals expire before redeeming
  • A third of all Americans shopped on Small Business Saturday and saw 23% boost into small shops. This is Amex taking a long-term approach
  • 15% of Punchcard customers generate 50% of revenue – you consolidate loyalty cards and even redeem at businesses that don’t offer cards
  • 20%-30% of Groupon’s 10,000 employees are in sales
  • Studies show it didn’t matter whether you offered 50% off or less, the majority just want some discount and will convert

Thanks to @mauriciopina, @journalynn, @DeeSwartz, and @lorennoel for sharing their insights!

 

Science of social media: Attracting, engaging, measuring with Dan Zarrella

Social media: Attracting, engaging, measuring

Based on years of research and careful analysis, Dan Zarrella‘s Science of Social Media webinar hosted 10,899 people. Utilize these highlights to effectively use social media: from building a network, to formulating ideas, to measuring results.  Science of Facebook Marketing by Dan Zarrella

View more presentations from HubSpot Internet Marketing

The webinar transcript is available at HubSpot.

Engaging in conversation is NOT the best way to build a social media following.

So, how do you do it?

Share social content

  • You will be seen as an authority on a topic
  • Builds your reach better than conversation
  • Builds your reputation

Social media campaigns: Dan’s best practices

  • Publish interesting content
  • Write easy-to-read content
    • Use more nouns and verbs than adjectives and adverbs
  • Be unique & present your best content
  • Ask people to comment on your content: Social calls-to-action

Twitter tips

  • Post interesting content
  • Add links to your tweets to increase reach
    • People w/ more than 1,000 followers tweet more links & share information
  • Don’t over-tweet. Post content, and let it sit.
  • Tweets that have “Please ReTweet” have 4x more retweets & gets 3x more Retweets than “Please RT.”
  • Friday is hottest RT day
  • Identify yourself as an authority
  • Have picture as your avatar

Facebook tips

  • Negative stories will not compel positive action
  • Make content easy to read: Simple, not dumb
  • Use nouns and verbs for content, not overly flowing language

Blog tips

  • A lot of comments do not mean a lot of links to your blog

How can web specialists prepare for the next Google Mayday?

While Google’s May algorithm changes caused a stir, search marketers found best practices still effective

How can we prepare for the next Google Mayday?

Eric Covino of Creative Signals offered his insights about Google Mayday update at the June 7 SEO Meetup.  Was it overrated and overhyped?

  • When working with website upkeep and SEO, “there’s really no secret sauce” and there are never 100% right or wrong answers.
  • Consistent SEO practice will keep your website functioning, making you ready for the next Mayday.

Google Mayday update: overrated and overhyped?

If you know what you’re doing, no.  Mayday was really overhyped.

People start to take their foot off the gas when they’re ranking high enough, says Corvino:  “Don’t do this. Give your site a quality check.  Spruce it up a bit and refine it for your target market.”

Be savvy and know how to increase or maintain your site’s popularity.

Tips to enhance your website

  • Don’t just have 4-5 pages with no content.
  • Blog, interact with parallel marketplace, who would be a potential partner?
  • Social interaction is huge:
    • Facebook, Twitter: Have to have a business that will fit socially.
    • What can you converse about online?
  • Success on Facebook: Embed “Like” button on your site.
  • If you have a site about dog food, better that link is from the words “dog food,” not “healthy dog meals.”
  • Dashes and hyphens are seen spammy (— guilty!)
  • Only .com, .net, .org  are seen with authority.
  • Look for underserved markets or those that are over-served but with crappy content:
    • Create better content.
  • Check out your competition

Link-building tools and Search Engine Optimization tips

  • The most difficult aspect of SEO
  • Backlink tracking tools: Opensiteexplorer.org
  • Link tracking: advancedlinkmanager.com
  • Advanced webranking can search by lat & long, show query by location)
  • Update it 1x/month, discover new links, tell if links are active or not
  • RavenSEO tools: link toolbar for firefox
    • $19/mo just for links, as opposed to SEOmoz @ $79/mo
    • Majestic, also fairly inexpensive
    • Tools.SEOBook.com for free tools