Posts Tagged ‘Social media campaign’

Get the Most Out of Your Branding – Twitter Cover Photos

Branding is one of the first marketing steps that a company usually takes. The basic questions asked start with ‘How do we want the customer to feel about our company?’ ‘What tone should the company take?’ Often, the answers to these questions boil down to a few words. Sporty. Out-going. Friendly. Professional. Trust-worthy. Wholesome. Everything which a company then does in terms of marketing, advertising and other forms of publicity and outreach are then done with this brief in mind. This used to be relevant mostly to print media, but, nowadays, we have to consider social media branding.

At the most basic level, social media branding is similar to regular branding. The most instantly recognizable aspect of a business is usually their logo, and this should be used somewhere predominate. For Twitter and Facebook, where users have updates scrolling past them faster than they can read, it’s best to have the company logo as the profile photo. It’s easier to spot a recognizable picture in a list of updates than it is to even skim-read users names.

However, now that both Facebook and Twitter have implemented ‘cover photos’, it’s possible to get creative with your homepage. Your Twitter profile picture will appear in the center of the Twitter cover photo, so using a team photo will often result in someone’s face being obscured – but it might be possible to use this to a humorous advantage.  For example, we’ve seen some pretty creative cover “hacks” like this one from Ryan Seacrest

This juxtaposition shows you exactly who Seacrest is in his cover photo.  Just make sure to estimate spacing for your tagline and webpage.

The cover photos on Facebook and Twitter are an incredibly useful tool when it comes to social media branding, as businesses are no longer limited to just a 180×180 square company logo. Cover photos can be used to indicate the purpose of the company in a fun and interesting way, or to show people interacting with the company in a positive way.

Have you integrated the new Twitter cover photos into your branding strategy?  Check out some quick twitter branding we did for artist, Wyly Astley!

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Why Social Media Makes Marketing Easier

What if you could reach five hundred local customers in just a couple of minutes? What if you could click just ONE button, and watch the product orders flood in? These are just a couple of promises made about why social media is going to be great for your business, and the kicker is – they’re true.

If you have 500 (or more!) followers on Twitter, then you can easily write and share a tweet in a couple of minutes. When you have engaged readers of your blog and website, you just have to hit ‘Publish Post’ to alert your community to the new, awesome, item you have, that will improve their lives no end.

Long-time readers of social media advice might notice that we left out a couple of steps. In order to get 500+ local, relevant followers on Twitter, someone has to put in a concerted effort to make your fan base aware of your online presence. The same with creating that blogging community, or finding Fans for your Facebook page. Social Media makes it so much easier to share news and information, but it’s no longer a case of ‘If you build it, they will come.’

Social Media Marketing needs to be fully integrated into all other avenues of marketing

This includes print and tv marketing, if you want to see your marketing campaign achieve its full potential. If you’re a big enough brand, then maybe people will make the effort to search for you on Facebook or Twitter, but smaller companies will need to make it as easy and as clear as possible to potential customers where they can be found on-line.

Integrating social media into a print or tv marketing campaign need be no more taxing than adding in your Twitter handle where you already have your address and telephone number onto your next batch of catalogues or flyers. Use traditional marketing to pull people in, and engage them on social media to keep them interested in and aware of your brand.

Have you successfully used traditional print marketing in conjunction with social media marketing? How did it go? 

How Much do Social Signals Improve Page Rank

At RoryMartin.com we stress the importance of a fully-integrated social media strategy for your company’s branding. Social media improves customer relations, draws in potential new customers, and allows your company to discover where improvements can be made to your business, directly from your customers. Social media increases the trust that your current and potential clients have in your company, and increases the liklihood of positive and immediate referrals from customers to their friends and followers.

However, a recent article on the SEOmoz blog asks the question “Do Improved Social Signals Cause Improved Rankings?” which is clearly a contentious issue for many social media consultants!  The comments range from skepticism, to outrage, to full-on agreement.

The keyword in this question about social signals is ’cause’.  How do you determine the final result of social signals?

Many of you will already be saying to yourselves that you’ve seen your website, or certain pages, go up in page rankings after having a link tweeted by a few influential tweeters, but as the article says – correlation does not equal causation. It’s often true that after a week or so, once people have moved on to the next fresh and exciting piece of content and have stopped tweeting and retweeting your piece, that you see search engine rankings drop once again.

The Freshness Factor

Some social media experts attribute this to a ‘freshness factor’ – the idea that search engines prefer new(er) content. Some say that during the period in which a link is being retweeted, it will also be linked to from websites. This may even be due to people who have their tweets displayed on their website. If they link to you in a tweet, it will appear on their website – but only until their new tweets push yours off.

It’s a complicated piece, and a complicated argument to make! When we see a number of social signals, or see an influential social signal coming into a website, and then see the page rankings shoot up, we want to attribute one to the other – whether this is true or not.

There are a couple of important takeaways from this in-depth research on social signals.

The first is that regardless of how many influential people you can ask to share a link, most people will only share good quality content. It may even be that what causes both the shares and the improved page rank is the quality of the piece. Focus on creating top quality content and your piece will garner a wide range of social signals, and move up the page rankings.

The second takeaway is that whether or not Google follows Twitter or Facebook links and uses them to attribute better page rankings to sites, social signals are still important.  Having an integrated social media strategy means that more people will see your new piece sooner than not. This then leads to, not only social shares, but also links from websites – links which we know do affect SEO. The more people who view the piece, the more people are likely to create SEO-affecting links.

At RoryMartin.com we work to create integrated social media strategies for companies which involve top quality content that is infinitely shareable. What do you think of this research?

Forbes: 10 Social Media Mistakes

We found an article on Forbes this morning listing 10 social media mistakes businesses commonly make.  They range from not addressing negative feedback, to skimping on social media time, to not measuring your return on investment.  Forbes tells you what to do, and at RoryMartin.com, we tell you how to do it:

Mistake No. 1: Not Having a Plan

Sit down with your marketing guru and map out where you want to be with your social media campaign and what you want it to do for you.  Be realistic about what you can achieve in 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, 1 year, 3 years.  Figure out how you’re going to do it and who’s going to administrate your accounts.  Map out your monthly social media calendar and estimate how much time you need to spend on each piece of the puzzle.  Great planning produces great results.

At RoryMartin, we create customized social media calendars for each of our clients, making sure we match our marketing recommendations with your marketing plan.

Mistake No. 2: Too Much Too Soon

You don’t have to do everything all at once.   Your plan (above) should work in waves.  That way, you have ample time to put into each step of your plan and nothing is missed.  If you follow your social media calendar you should avoid that overwhelmed feeling of trying to do it all.  Keep it simple, and only build when you’re ready to take on a new challenge.

If you don’t have the time to keep up with your social media accounts, consider hiring a company like RoryMartin.com, a search engine optimization, web design and web development, social networking, and social media marketing firm.

Mistake No. 3: Not Measuring Your Success and Return on Investment

You need to know if what you’re doing is producing results, right?  Get Google Analytics and become familiar with that tool.  Check out Google Webmaster tools (and yes, the two are very different).  Create Google alerts, email alerts and Twitter alerts to find out when, where and how your company is being talked about.  Analyze which avenues work the best and build on them, which will help you cut out the unnecessary steps in your social media plan.

RoryMartin.com specializes in helping businesses create social media strategies with the analytics and reports that help you see the effects of a good social media strategy.

Mistake No. 4: Underutilizing Social Platforms for Branding

Make sure you fill out every available field you can on those social media accounts.  It’s like talking about your company or touting your elevator pitch.  The more complete your profiles are, the more accessible your business becomes and the more transparency and brand value those sites have.  Won an award?  Manta asks for those kind of stats, and that can be the reference your brand needs to pick up that high profile account.  Got a blog that offers industry insights?  Put that into your LinkedIn profile, to make sure other professionals in your industry know about your blog and have the chance to stay up to date.  Make sure your Twitter account is linked to that blog, and to your LinkedIn, and to your Facebook.  Leave no stone unturned.

Mistake No. 5: Promoting Without Listening or Engaging

We’ve talked about social media engagement, here on the RoryMartin blog.  Social media is a communicative tool.  As with any form of communication the best thing you can do is listen. Listen to your audience, your competitors, and people you want to work with. Listen, or look for conversations that you want to be a part of. Listen to, and watch social media influencers and keep track of ways that you can contribute to become an authority.

Be a part of the conversation – the HUMAN conversation. Creating relationships in the social media world is important to creating trust between your brand and the world. Develop a deeply human relationship with your audience, and your audience will reward that relationship.

Figure out why your customers would want to befriend you in their social media networks.  They want to know “what’s in it for me?”  And you need to be able to answer that question.   At RoryMartin.com, we can help you answer these questions and show you how to engage your social media customers.

Mistake No. 6: Not Addressing Negative Comments or Feedback

Instead of responding with ire, or just ignoring this conversation completely, ask those negative commenters what you can do to “make better”.  Customer service is all about finding better ways to communicate and better serve your customers.  Look at those avenues of social media as creative ways to give better customer service.  Start a dialogue with your unhappy customers, and they’ll be a lot less unhappy.

Mistake No. 7: Not Claiming Existing Profiles

Your business is most likely listed in several places you didn’t know about.  And the info on those sites may be old, outdated, incorrect or incomplete.  The strategy here is to search for your company, across the web, to find out where you are listed and what needs to be updated.  After you’ve made a list, go through and systematically update your profiles to reflect your website, your address, your contact info and interlink your profiles – adding things like your Twitter account and Facebook page.

Mistake No. 8: Skimping on Time

Let’s face it:  Social media is a time investment.  It can take months for your social media efforts to pay off, and patience is key.  That’s why tip  #2 is so important.  Don’t bite off more than you can chew, and know that you’re going to have to block out chunks of time to monitor and engage in your social media efforts.  If you don’t have the time, hire a professional who knows the ins and outs of social media engagement, or look for a Social Media Marketing company like RoryMartin.com who can help you build and implement your social media strategy – so that you have more time to run your business.

Mistake No. 9: Lacking Passion

If there’s one thing we have here at RoryMartin.com, it’s passion for social media.  Without the passion, your social media efforts may fall flat – you know your brand and as a business owner, you more than likely love what you’re doing.  Try to channel that into your social media efforts, since social media is an extension of the way you promote what you love.  If you just can’t get jazzed about interacting on the social web, consider hiring social media professionals who have the passion and knowledge to be the voice of your brand.

Mistake No. 10: Not Knowing When Social Media Isn’t Right for Your Business

81% of entrepreneurs still don’t take advantage of social sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and 40% small and medium-businesses don’t even have a Web site.  That said, internet users spend approximately 22% of their Internet time in social media, making social media a priority for any company that wants to be visible.  Think about your target market and your audience.  Who are they and where do they spend their time.  Maybe social media isn’t right for your business, but how will you know unless you try it?

At RoryMartin.com, we’re focused on finding the right social networking and social marketing options that are right for you.  We do the work so you don’t have to, bringing social tools to every business, and making social media simple.

Make the Most of Linkedin for Your Business

As a web design and web developmentsearch engine optimizationsearch engine marketing and social media marketing firm, we like to keep on top of the trends – and exploring trends on LinkedIn is no exception.  We stumbled across this article that boasts 10 LinkedIn Tips for Professionals, that says:

Despite the hype over Twitter and Facebook, Linkedin offers the greatest opportunity for professionals to make connections that lead to business.

We agreed with Ian Brody’s article, especially the following tips

1. Don’t make your profile look like your resumé.  Brody says that the number one temptation when setting up a LinkedIn profile is to fill in all those prior job slots, but that’s ineffective where LinkedIn is concerned.   The business connections that you’re looking for are going to want to see solution-oriented details.  Add the business name and title, leave out things like,  “managed four people who perform business-related tasks.”   Explain where you went above and beyond the basic job task, improved something, saved money, or where you were excelled and were just plain awesome.

2.  Find Connections – Know your Strategy.  LinkedIn is social, and there are a lot of professional networks on LinkedIn, where you can flex your knowledge and show off your skills – for example, you might find us in the LikeSocialMedia.com group.  Of course, like any social network, it’s best to get a feel for the pulse of the community.  Listen, watch and learn; find out what other pros in your industry are doing and saying and be cautious at first about sharing dissent.  Like anywhere (or any social network) first impressions are lasting impressions.   And Ian Brody notes, “Create a connection strategy to build valuable discussion.”

3. Ian Brody suggests updating your status to remind people what you do, and what you’re currently working on.  If you connect with a lot of people, staying current with status messages can do anything from help you connect with someone who’s looking for YOUR expertise to keeping you up to date on news in your field, to helping you and your brand grow in ways that your clientele are looking for.

What do you think readers?  Have anything to add to Brody’s tips for LinkedIn?


If you’re curious about how to use LinkedIn for your business, contact RoryMartin.com to find a strategy that fits your social networking needs, as well as the social tools that simplify your social media integration.  We offer a comprehensive set of services from website design and web development to search engine optimization and search engine marketing and social media marketing.  If you need creative ideas, easy implementation, and a limited investment into your social media campaign, RoryMartin.com has experts available to assess your needs, provide excellent customer service and innovative marketing tactics before you’ve even signed a contract.

The State of LinkedIn

Have you ever wondered how LinkedIn actually affects your business?  Ever asked yourself why LinkedIn is important to your company’s potential?  At RoryMartin.com, we’ve been researching ways for businesses to use LinkedIn to build a better social media strategy.

The State of LinkedIn 2011

Having your business profile out there on the web WILL help increase your organic search results, so if you’re not optimizing sites like LinkedIn, you’re not fully optimizing your search engine potential.   LinkedIn also helps your business look more complete, and is an established tool for reputation management – especially through customer testimonials.

LinkedIn is also a powerful tool to analyze your company and its connections through your employee network. An article on Mashable notes that, “…it will automatically calculate your company’s median age, top schools, and other companies that they are well-connected to.”  This can be effective for recruiting job candidates, and networking in your industry.  Through LinkedIn you have the ability to post polls, and receive answers, letting your business know what your clients are interested in, and keeping you up to date on industry standards.

If you’re curious about how to use LinkedIn for your business, contact RoryMartin.com to find a strategy that fits your social networking needs, as well as the social tools that simplify your social media integration.  We offer a comprehensive set of services from website design and web development to search engine optimization and search engine marketing and social media marketing.  If you need creative ideas, easy implementation, and a limited investment into your social media campaign, RoryMartin.com has experts available to assess your needs, provide excellent customer service and innovative marketing tactics before you’ve even signed a contract.

 

Time Your Social Media Efforts for Maximum Effect

We found a cool infographic on the best times to send out social media posts.  We like to couple this with the Problogger strategy for blog postings when we’re considering the best way to send out social media messages.  This is a great infographic to keep in mind – especially if you’re using something like HootSuite to schedule your posts.  The original post says,

Included are stats for Facebook and Twitter on what days and times are best to maximize the audience size and the possibility that your content will be both found and shared.

science of social media

As a Seattle Web Design company that specializes in Seattle Search Engine Optimization and Seattle Social Media Marketing, RoryMartin.com can help you build a Social Media Strategy that reflects your unique brand, draws and keeps visitors on your page.  We help implement exciting content and social tools that will make your business stand out.  From a one-time site analysis to full search engine optimization strategy and execution, RoryMartin.com can help your business grow.

Make Your Keywords Pack a Punch

Keywords play a large role in search engine optimization, and are a key factor in social media marketing.   Having the right combination of keywords will generate hits, increase traffic and drive sales; however, it’s not always easy to determine which keywords are right for you, and where your keywords aren’t packing a punch.  At Rory Martin, we specialize in helping business come up with relevant keywords that drive traffic to their site. We do the research so businesses don’t have to.

– Ask yourself: What would my customers search for?

This seems relatively easy enough. If a customer would find your services by searching “freelance writer Los Angeles”, put that on your list. Your keywords might be words your competitors use or words that are industry specific. Think up simple terms and phrases that specifically target your site or business, but know that using one word is going to decrease the likelihood that your site will stand out in a crowd.

You will get higher search engine ranking by choosing a mix of specific longer phrases, and general targeted keywords.  Look at the breakdown of search terms as they show up on Google:

Number of Google Matches

Term

11,600,000

writer

1,200,000

real estate writer

48,000

freelance real estate writer

9,000

freelance real estate writer los angeles

Source: WebsiteHelpers.com

You’re going to have an easier time getting click throughs if you narrow it down a little – by adding your location, but be cautious about being too specific.   For example using “Neon Helmet Tacoma WA” won’t drive people to your site. Phrases that are just too specific may offer you the #1 slot on Google, but still won’t deliver the clicks you’re looking for, because they’re not keywords that people would search for. Ranking #1 on terms that nobody is searching for is just as bad as ranking #300 for terms that everybody is searching for. You can’t get the traffic if people aren’t using your search terms, no matter how well you’re ranked.

When you have a list of possible keywords, check out tools like Google’s Keyword Tool, that will help you determine whether or not people are actually searching for those keywords, by populating a list of terms related to the keyword you entered. Look for targeted keywords, and specific phrases that are relevant to your business and your industry.

Search Engine Optimization through keyword analysis is one of the most effective ways to increase targeted traffic to your web site. At RoryMartin.com, we put our Seattle Search Engine Optimization experts to work to research your target audience, determine what keywords they are searching on, and then make sure, through proven search engine optimization tactics, that your web site is the one they find.

As a Seattle Web Design company that specializes in Seattle Search Engine Optimization and Seattle Social Media Marketing, RoryMartin.com can help you build a Social Media Strategy that reflects your unique brand and meets your business goals. From a one-time site analysis to full search engine optimization strategy and execution, RoryMartin.com can help match your keywords to your SEO needs.

The World, in Social Networks

We found a cool infographic from Vincenzo Cosenza’s blog (Vincos.it) showing the world in Social Networks.  Vincenzo says,

Facebook is slowing gaining users around the world (almost 700 millions) establishing its leadership in 119 out of 134 countries analyzed (in this edition I’ve added Ethiopia and Tanzania).

Europe has now became the largest continent on Facebook with 205 million users…

It’s interesting to look at how these numbers have changed this year.

World Map of Social Networks

Facebook is by far the social network winner here, so we encourage our clients to make sure they have a solid presence on Facebook and are actively engaging their customers.   Need to know what goes into your Facebook strategy?  In this article we tell you how to make an impact on Facebook.

RoryMartin.com is that secret weapon that will revolutionize the way you engage with your clients and end-users. We offer a comprehensive set of services from website design and web development to search engine optimizationsearch engine marketing and social media marketing for companies large and small.

Make an Impact on Facebook

One of our focuses at Rorymartin.com is helping customers create and execute their social media campaigns. An effective social media campaign should be married with your marketing campaign, and should use a wide variety of social media tools – including Facebook. Facebook is one of the most useful social media marketing tools out today; yet many businesses don’t quite know how to implement Facebook into their social media strategy. One key point to Facebook as a social media tool for business is building interactions.

Initially, Facebook didn’t offer pages, and so businesses created profiles as a way to reach out to users, especially since messaging users has continued to remain a feature reserved for profiles. Yet, one of the most common mistakes businesses make on Facebook is creating a profile instead of a Facebook fan page. What these businesses may not know, is that profiles have not been as visible and don’t necessarily get the visits that pages do. While Facebook updates may seem like a way to alert fans to events and news – showing up like messages in users’ inboxes – a very small percentage of updates are actually visible to fans, because of an algorithm called EdgeRank.

EdgeRank gives every post a quality score – measuring the number of comments, likes, and shares per post against the number of fans a page has. Businesses who want to be seen need to build up their EdgeRank, by making their posts interaction friendly – which means businesses need to spend more time building community with their fans. Fans don’t interact with self-promotion nearly as much as they interact with conversation. Your page needs to have a conversational, community feel – a give and take that makes your brand appealing to your fans and their friends. To really optimize your Facebook experience, mix up the types of posts to include blogs, videos and engaging questions.

Building the interactions your Facebook page is just one part of a good social media strategy. Seattle Social Media Marketing company, Rorymartin.com focuses on helping our customers build their EdgeRank. This helps our clients educate their markets and build brand awareness while winning and retaining customers with engaging and impactful websites and web marketing. We offer a comprehensive set of services from website design and web development to search engine optimization and search engine marketing and social media marketing.

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