Online Marketing Solutions
What is Social Media SEO?
In previous blog posts, we discussed Social Media Marketing (SMM) and Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Next we’ll describe how you can use SEO to get the most out of your efforts in social media.
In the simplest terms, Social SEO is “using social media -- as part of an SEO campaign -- mindfully, that is: putting what you know about SEO to work in Social Media with an eye towards driving traffic/visitors to your website or other online content...”
Further, now that Google has launched “Search Plus Your World” -- a change to the way the search engine performs that promises to make internet search more personalized than ever, Social Media is now a crucial part of SEO:
“Google Search has always been about finding the best results for you. Sometimes that means results from the public web, but sometimes it means your personal content or things shared with you by people you care about. These wonderful people and this rich personal content is currently missing from your search experience.
Search is still limited to a universe of webpages created publicly, mostly by people you’ve never met. Today, we’re changing that by bringing your world, rich with people and information, into search” (Google Blog).
“Since Google is the most influential search engine and they are clearly integrating and favouring results coming from people’s Google+ circles, this becomes the most important social outlet to focus on from a SEO-Social perspective. No more ignoring it” (www.agent-seo.com).
There are a variety of ways to optimize Social Media as part of your company’s SEO campaign, including:
> Creating a custom Facebook Page your business, and posting there regularly
> Maintaining a Twitter Feed for your business, and tweeting to your followers
> Adding Social Sharing to your business’ online marketing material
A secondary sort of optimization includes making use of social media activities being carried out by others. That is, participating in online conversations related to your industry or involving your target market, like, for example: commenting on other blogs, joining discussion and forum groups, and “liking” or sharing social media content (posts, links, tweets, and videos).
Really, in a nutshell, both direct and secondary optimized social media activities have to do with taking advantage of the existing and powerful word-of-mouth marketing happening on the internet to build your brand, increase brand, product, and service knowledge, engage clients, employees, and media, improving customer relations (and, in turn, customer sentiment);
...it’s taking everything you’ve learned about SEO and Social Media and putting the two together for the best chance at gaining good momentum online.
So, what’s the first step?
Mashable says: “Making the most out of combining SEO insights with social media marketing tactics can be accomplished with a roadmap that identifies the audience you’re after, the goals you’re trying to reach (and can measure) as well as a strategy that sets the stage for the tactics you’ll use to execute your game plan” (mashable.com).
Stir, for example, works with new SEO and Social Media clients to create a Strategic Internet / Social Media Marketing Plan at the beginning of each project. This plan includes defining the audience, clarifying goals and objectives, outlining a plan (tactics), and measuring success and redefining goals.
More from Mashable: “From a marketing standpoint, you can look at the benefits of SEO and social media two different ways. First, implementing a social media marketing program without optimizing content is leaving money on the table. Useful social content (blog, video, images, audio) that cannot be discovered via search is a lost opportunity to reach an audience that is looking.
On the flip side, implementing SEO programs without leveraging the content distribution and linking benefits of social web participation makes link building for SEO an uphill battle. The nature of the social web encourages participation: sharing, voting, commenting and linking. Popular social content gets exposure, traffic and can result in a substantial number of relevant inbound links.
However you look at it, SEO and social media work well together as long as there is a framework for doing so. One way to build SEO and social media programs efficiently is to follow a social media roadmap:
By involving SEO insight in a social media marketing effort and vice versa, marketers, public relations professionals and advertisers can extend the value of their investment. Well optimized social media content marketing efforts can attract new network participants via search. News content that experiences distribution via social news and bookmarking channels can facilitate links to company website content directly and indirectly. Advertisers that fund social media campaigns can continue to realize the traffic benefit from keyword-optimized interactive content long after the campaign has ended” (Mashable.com).
Below are some tips and tricks to make the most of your Social Media SEO efforts:
> Start with a comprehensive Road Map (Strategic Internet / Social Media Marketing Plan)
> Consider audience, goals, tactics, analytics (how you’re going to measure success)
> Remember the rules for online content - post interesting, timely, relevant, and actionable content
> On your social networking sites, build, engage, and follow-up
> Encourage people to share your content
> Make sharing easy by providing clear calls-to-action
> Optimizing your sites for social media sharing (consider Sharebar)
> Continue traditional SEO tactics
> Support all efforts with Local SEO and Video SEO
Most business owners today lack the time, staff, and resources (budget) to carry out a thorough and successful Social Media and Search Engine Optimization campaign, so consider hiring a professional internet marketing agency, like Stir, to help. Contact us today.
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Last month, Google changed the face of “internet search”, and made search engine optimization (SEO) just a bit more ponderous. How? They launched Search Plus your World, which makes searching the internet more personalized than ever: your personal Google+ platform will now be integrated with Google Search.
For SEOs, that means that while Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, and now Google+) used to be complements to a good SEO campaign, they’re now essential components.
Google+, launched last year, is Google’s own social network, one that claims to “turn the whole search engine into one giant social network”, and makes connecting online more like connecting in the real world.
“At its core, Google+ is a social network” (B. Parr, 2011, Mashable.com), and its “stream” feature is a lot like Facebook’s News Feed feature: it allows users to share status updates, news and views, photos, videos, and links. But that’s where the similarities sort of stop and Google+ starts to look quite different from its counterparts.
Here’s what Google said: “Google+ makes connecting on the web more like connecting in the real world. Share your thoughts, links and photos with the right circles. Use easy, spontaneous video chat to strike up conversations with as many as nine people at once. Get everyone on the same page with fast, simple group chat. We’re very excited about the new approach to sharing we’ve created through Google+, but this is really just the beginning.”
Google+ is a “project” that will be rolled-out/revealed in stages, but here’s what we’ve been introduced to so far: Circles (which allow you to group your connections and communicate with them as specific targeted groups); Huddle (which is a group chat feature); Sparks (which allow for “accurate and personalized content discovery”), Hangouts, Games, Search, and more! If Google+’s goal was to “topple” Facebook, it might have a shot: “[Google} certainly has a lot to work with, including Picasa, Gmail and Google Maps and information and functions from all of these will be integrated into the Google+ experience” (B. Parr).
But only time will tell. In the meantime, as a business owner looking to leverage the power of social media to build brand awareness and brand loyalty, network, benefit from powerful word-of-mouth advertising, increase sales, and garner support, is Google+ something you should consider devoting time, staff, and resources to?
Should business owners join Google+?
Hot on the heels of the Google+ launch, Google announced the release of Google+ Pages (like Facebook’s Pages feature): “So far Google+ has focused on connecting people with other people. But we want to make sure you can build relationships with all the things you care about—from local businesses to global brands—so today we’re rolling out Google+ Pages worldwide” (Google Blog).
To get your feet wet (before creating your own business page), consider signing up for an individual/personal account and learn the ins-and-outs of what’s poised to become the next big thing in social networking.
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Today, the best business owners spend significant resources in building their brands online -- it’s what you have to do to compete. In business, after all, your brand’s good reputation is your greatest asset.
But what if - despite your efforts to build your brand online - negative sentiment about your brand develops online? And what if it develops quickly? Thanks to the popularity and power of social networking, online news and views spread like wildfire, and a brand’s hard-won reputation can be ruined in hours.
Not very long ago, “it was fairly easy to outrun a disgruntled customer, a misinformed journalist or some other minor blunder. That time now belongs to another world. Today’s hyper-connected socially responsible individual can connect with millions across the globe inform not only friends but legions of others as an exercise of radical transparency . Are you listening or are their words falling on your deaf corporate ears? Are you joining their conversation or hoping you can drown out their words with yours? What do people know about you from a simple online search?” (Bryan Eisenberg, author: Waiting for Your Cat to Bark?: Persuading Customers When They Ignore Marketing from www.radicallytransparent.com)
Online Reputation Management (ORM) is the act of gathering and measuring that online feedback, analyzing online sentiment, and then promoting positives and eliminating negatives. It has quickly become an essential part of any successful company’s marketing and communications plan. Why?
Your business and your brand have a reputation online whether or not you choose to activelyparticipate in online promotional activities. And if you don’t manage and monitor what’s beingsaid about your business and brand online and control your online reputation, someone elsewill. So, whatever your online marketing efforts entail, the management/monitoring is as important as the marketing.
But you’re busy growing your business in “the real world”, and most companies today lack the following crucial elements to successfully carry out regular and successful Online Reputation Management:
6) access to cutting-edge ORM tools and programs
That’s why you need to hire a professional. A good professional online reputation management firm will help you to: hear what your customers (and your potential customers), as well as competitors and industry insiders (bloggers, critics, and journalists, for example) are saying about your brand; analyze trends in online feedback; manage critics and complaints, and then respond to it in a way that will build your brand, create positive sentiment and loyalty, drive sales and grow your business -- perhaps by re-branding, changing service/product offerings, or refocusing targeted marketing campaigns.
You simply can’t (and shouldn’t) do it on your own.
You can, however, learn quite a bit about your current online reputation just by searching for yourself, your brand, your company in Google, Facebook or Twitter. What do you find? After initial analysis, your company can decide if you have to:
1) create a positive online reputation because none currently exists
2) monitor, manage, and maintain an already positive online reputation, or
3) prepare for/mitigate bad press that could lead to a bad reputation online
Then make the positive and important choice to partner with a professional.
In choosing a professional online reputation management firm, look for one that incorporates extensive knowledge, high-quality online brand and product reputation monitoring programs, and customizable analysis and reporting tools to measure the efficacy of campaigns– business owners like you can generate brand awareness, benefit from powerful positiveword-of-mouth advertising, increase traffic and sales, and develop customer loyalty.
Stir Solutions is that company. We are a team of internet marketing experts with over a decade of experience in Social Media Marketing and Monitoring who specialize in helping you to manage and grow your business through a customized and comprehensive social media monitoring and online reputation management system. Our team offers, among others, the following Online Reputation Management Services:
• Social media reputation management
• Social media brand management
• Social media monitoring and reporting
• Campaign/Product Launch monitoring
• Corporate and staff monitoring
• Twitter monitoring
• Facebook monitoring
• Linkedin monitoring
• Youtube monitoring
• Blog monitoring
• Search engine reputation management
• Analytics and reporting
• Monitor blogs, forums, social networks (Twitter), and image- and video-sharing sites
• Learn what people are saying about your brand, your industry, and your competition
• Track what people like and dislike about your brand
• Monitor negative and positive conversations about your brand across cyberspace
• Monitor the efficacy of product launches and campaigns
• Provide summaries of the most buzz-worthy stories
• Implement tools, systems, and policies for online reputation defence & building
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You’re not alone!
Today, most business owners understand the importance of internet and social media marketing for success and financial growth. But, as one survey indicated, “Social Media Marketing is so new and so different that many companies, large and small, locked in a traditional mindset, simply do not know how to use it”.
That being the case, the most savvy business owners partner with experienced professionals to navigate the rapidly changing and consistently confusing world of social media marketing on their behalf.
Stir Communications Group is an internet and social media marketing company in Vancouver, BC and, since 2002, we’ve helped countless clients like you to build their brands, beat the competition, boost their sales online.Stir tailors specific communications, web, and marketing strategies around each client’s unique needs, budget and objectives. We are committed to excellence in communicating with clients and consistent in creating positive results for clients.
Choosing to partner with Stir Solutions for your business’ internet marketing campaigns and projects can make the sometimes difficult task of getting started (or gaining momentum) in internet marketing easy, educational, and fun!
To learn more about Social Media Marketing and Stir’s Social Media Marketing Services, click here. Or call Stir (1-866-899-7847) to book your social media marketing consultation with one of Stir’s Internet Marketing Experts.
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