Showing posts with label social media for business. Show all posts
Showing posts with label social media for business. Show all posts

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Advanced Content Marketing Strategies - Bring Brand on TOP

You can’t be a marketing professional and NOT create content. In fact, the Content Marketing Institutionsaid so when it published this interesting statistic: “93 percent of marketing professionals create, or plan to create content marketing as part of their overall programs in the next year.”
The question is…are you creating that content in such a way that it takes your business to the next level like American Express, and HubSpot did? And is your strategy advanced enough to handle all the changes to the content landscape?
Well, if you don’t have a strategy…or if it’s not where it needs to be…this guide will help you get up to speed.

Creating content marketing personas

The demand of delivering constant content are very real for any business, and that demand can sometimes force you to generate and push out content that is not geared to your audience.

Neil Patel
In fact, push the wrong content out and you might attract the wrong prospect and even lose high-quality prospects.
The best way to make sure that never happens is to have a plan that identifies your ideal prospect and then run all content ideas through that filter.
This is done by identifying their needs, creating behavior-based profiles and using demographics to create user personas.
Segment – To build the proper content marketing personas you need to ask yourself these questions:

    * Who is your customer?
    * What are their problems and desires?
    * What kind of content do they consume?
    * Where do they consume content?
    * How can you engage them?
From this data you can start to think about your ideal content marketing prospect…and build a representation of this individual.
To get started, simply study your current readership. Use online surveying tools to identify what they like and want.
As you uncover information you will probably start to see patterns.
For instance, if you provide content on house cleaning you might discover that you have people who read your content because they want to do the work themselves; have a crew they want to teach; or want someone else to do the cleaning for them.
Identify needs – Next, start to build an outline of the needs of each segment by asking questions like:

    * What is their number one challenge?
    * What trends are driving their industry?
    * What one need can you fulfill?
    * What’s the best way to solve those needs with content—through video, white papers, blog posts, etc.?
When it comes to identifying needs, look at the path those prospects take to get to you with your web analytics. As you study that path uncover insights about that segment.
Once you’ve rounded out your segment personas you’ll be able to create content geared to them on a fly…never having to worry about neglecting their needs or attracting low-quality prospects.

Creating a content marketing strategy for tablets

For the longest time content marketing strategies geared to desktop views dominated. That is until the iPad…which changed everything.
Just under 2 years Apple sold over 55 million iPads. Last quarter alone they sold over 15 million units.
And in the months of December 2011 to January 2012 the number of people who own an iPad doubled.
According to the Economist, because of tablets like the iPad we are moving toward a new lean back age of content consumption we haven’t seen since the book.
Jason Calacanis’ called this new age “curl-up” technology. On public transit you’ll notice less people reading books and more people using tablets. And if you are on a plane you’ll notice the same thing.
Of course, they’re not all doing the same thing. Some are playing games while others are reading and still others are listening to music.
The days of how we consume content online have changed…you have to wonder about your content marketing strategy and how it fits into this new tablet world. In fact, crack open your Google Analytics and you’ll see the number of people hitting your site with tablets is growing quickly.
So, what you create won’t change as much as how it’s distributed. For example:
  1. Combine multiple channels of content into one tablet-friendly stream – If you are a content publisher that produces multiple content channels (think about all the channels like Gawker, Gizmodo, Jezebel, etc. under one masthead), you can create a unique experience by combining all of those sources.
  2. Think newsreaders as modern form of SEO – People are starting to discover and consume content through news readers like Taptu, Pulse and Flipboard as if they were search engines. The bonus is content tagged gets hire rankings.
  3. Team up with tech developers – If you are a content publisher, you don’t need to create a new way to consume content via the tablet. Find a startup creating the content and hook up with them. These partnerships can build both of your audiences without you having to re-invent the wheel.
  4. Develop for multiple users – Until the price of tablets drops, more than one person will more than likely share a tablet. So design for a multi-person device. For example, users may not want to stay logged in [which affects passwords] and your app icons should be easily identifiable.
Another noticeable change will be the duration of content. You can now create longer videos knowing that they are more likely to get consumed than when our only option was viewing them on desktop.
This is true about longer blog posts, too. The adoption of tablets with content usability apps likeReadability makes reading a screen a better experience.

Creating a mobile content marketing strategy

Your biggest challenge to your content marketing strategy will come from people who use mobile phones to consume content. While smartphones have improved, mobile is still a pretty difficult user experience for several reasons:

    * Downloads are slow
    * No mouse for selection
    * No physical keyboard
    * Small screen and small text
Even reading comprehension suffers when it comes to mobile content consumption. So what should you do? Follow these eight steps:

    * Step 1 – Create a goal that states what you are creating (app or mobile site) why you are producing it (generate leads or produces sales) and how you plan to measure success.
    * Step 2 – Develop content for people of all ages even though the data might suggest that young people are the only users.
    * Step 3 – Remember that you will be competing in a very distracted arena. Your user will only being thinking of you for only the smallest of a fraction…so you got to make that sliver of attention count for them.
    * Step 4 – If you decide to build an app, make sure it’s not just because “everyone else is doing it.” You must have a solid business reason for creating an app…
    * Step 5 – Using the information you collected above for personas to understand your target audience…and then deliver the substance and distribution channel they want. Make them feel special and they’ll stick around.
    * Step 6 – Consider location as a key to your mobile strategy…and how your content and their location can be used to deliver even better products.
    * Step 7 – Don’t repurpose count…but recreate. Give your mobile users, especially if you’ve created an app, access to exclusive information.
    * Step 8 – Build social sharing features into your mobile content and constantly work on keeping them engaged.

Creating a content marketing social promotion strategy

Speaking of social sharing, what do your plans to spread this content look like? You are planning to promote the spread of your content, right?
Even if you are on top of your game…it’s best you understand the best strategy for social promotion.
For example, were you aware that Twitter and Google+ are both beat out by Facebook as traffic generators? And were you aware that this was the case because of Facebook’s new subscribe button?
This was based on an informal study done by Kevin Rose:
What’s important to notice about this finding is that Kevin Rose has over 1,200,000 Twitter followers at the time, but received 10 percent more clicks from Facebook.
To boot, he only got 1/7th as many clicks over at Google+.
The lesson is this: the Facebook audience is way more engaged than the other two social media sites.
Do you think this would change your social media content marketing strategy? You bet it should!
This is not lost on major brands like Good Housekeeping, Cosmopolitan and National Geographic who’ve noticed that Facebook is slowly passing Google Search as the top referrer of traffic to their sites.


Five years ago your content marketing strategy was pretty simple: create content for the web. This meant writing posts, creating videos or building an archive of podcasts.
While those elements still apply, the landscape in which that content is consumed has changed drastically. You need to be prepared.
What other advanced strategies do content marketers need to pay attention to?
Neil Patel is the co-founder of KISSmetrics, an analytics provider that helps companies make better business decisions.
Written By: Neil Patel Source:

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Content Marketing Wisdom: “Any Content…Has to Be More Than Just an Occasional Exercise.”

Weidert Group is a full-service marketing firm that has established its employees as thought leaders in the field of inbound marketing via the Whole Brain Marketing Blog. The Weidert team also develops content marketing strategies for its clients, covering a range of industries that include alternative energy, healthcare, food service, and various others.

We recently spoke with the crew behind Whole Brain Marketing—editor Sean Johnson, account executive Frank Isca, and creative director Meg Hoppe—about how their content marketing program has progressed, as well as their advice for companies looking to develop their own content programs.

We blog five days a week. For this we have five regular contributors and a part-timer. When blogging so frequently, burnout is inevitable. We prevent this by having weekly meetings to talk about ideas and themes to keep the content fresh and moving. We also ask our sales department about the questions that are frequently asked by customers and compile the answers into a blog.

In the beginning, we were blogging because it seemed like it was something that should be done. We weren’t very dedicated to it and, not surprisingly, we didn’t see a lot of feedback from the blog. Now our goal is to publish information that answers a need, and to create opportunities to convert prospects into leads and eventually into customers. We regularly review our content to see what types of posts are driving reader responses.

We keep our topics to a 70/20/10 rule. Seventy percent is informational content on inbound marketing, 20 percent is geared toward tools and how-to, and the last 10 is content designed to promote us. Our content integrates a call-to-action, which we leverage through HubSpot, in order to gain new leads and new business.

We’ve had steady growth in our blog’s readership since we committed to publishing each business day. There are some topics, such a Pinterest, where we see large spikes in readership, and others that do not get much traction. We review those results regularly and are always trying to refine how we present information in our blog. We want to make sure we are providing information that is useful, as well as links to additional and more detailed information.

Content marketing and inbound marketing need a commitment if you expect to see positive results. Any content, whether it is a blog or tip sheet or a Facebook post, has to be more than just an occasional exercise. You need to provide quality information on a regular basis to keep prospects interested and see any benefits in your search results.

A good blog can support many other things—from tip sheets to e-books to content for your social media—and it can function like a backbone for your content marketing.
Written By: D.T. Pennington Source:

Monday, March 26, 2012

3 Key Questions & Answers - Small Business Blogging should have Values

small business blogging

Earlier this week Frank J. Kenny did a Skype interview with me about small business blogging and why or why not it makes sense. Frank’s audience is the network of Chambers of Commerce across the U.S..  I think it’s a timely question considering the ongoing “blogging is dead“, “no it’s not“ debate that’s been going on for the past 5 years or so.

As a small business owner myself, I’ve been blogging here at Online Marketing Blog for over 8 years and can testify as to the pros and cons like few others can. In our case, we’ve had great success with our blog as a way to achieve industry awareness and credibility, attract new business, employees, media coverage, speaking opportunities and many other benefits.
In the interview with Frank, he asked 3 key questions about blogging and social media that I wanted to share here since it’s had such a huge impact for both our clients large and small, as well as on our own small business.

Why should small businesses blog?

Blogging is a method of creating and publishing conversational content. Blogs are an easy to use content management system. The value is in the content and ability for companies to leverage the inherent promotion and engagement capabilities of the blog publishing platform. Blogging offers a few key advantages:
  1. Easy to use platform to create sharable, linkable content that addresses specific prospect and customer interests
  2. Serves as a hub to a hub and spoke model of content marketing and promotion
  3. Creates a promotable SEO and Social Media asset – every post is a potential destination for a link and an entry point through search engines.
Through multiple channels of discovery, blog content can reach:
  • Prospects
  • Existing customers
  • Potential employees
  • Marketing partners, investors
  • The media: journalists, bloggers

What is the impact of Google+ on search and how does it affect business blog marketing?

Google+ personalization and it’s impact on search is the hot topic and any company that wants an advantage in Google search results needs to consider Google+ and other social media participation. The behaviors of content creation, sharing and engagement are incredibly rich signals that search engines can use to improve search results quality and search user experience.

The more people that have included your Google+ profile or page in their circles, the more likely content that you’ve created, shared and engaged with will appear in their Google search results while they’re logged in. Google+ optimization should be an essential part of any business blog effort.

At the same time, social media content, whether it’s text, images or video is content that can be crawled and ranked in search results. Social media optimization can improve search visibility of that social content for people that are actively looking for solutions.

When we make optimization recommendations, we go beyond search keywords and have our clients consider social topics as well. Understanding what keywords consumers are searching on as well as the topics they’re discussing on blogs, twitter, and other social networks can inform an editorial plan that does a much better job of attracting new customers because it’s focused on their language and the things they care about. Incidentally, I go deep, deep into this within Optimize.

How much emphasis should small business bloggers place on SEO vs social media?

The consumer journey through the sales funnel is increasingly weaving through a social and search experience. Our model of optimization focuses on how consumers Discover, Consume and Share content so the notion that people will come across a small business solution because of a social connection to a friend that then leads to a search on Google or Bing to get more information is entirely likely and common.

When people use specific words in a search they are segmenting or qualifying themselves to a certain degree because the words they use indicate intent to a particular purpose or outcome. Creating, optimizing and socializing blog content according to those purposes or pain points can be very powerful for any sized business that wants to be found or talked about where relevant customers are looking.
There’s so much more I can say about this (and I will – see my upcoming speaking schedule)

Here’s the video version of the interview:

Despite the success we’ve had with our own business blogging efforts at TopRank Online Marketing, we’re probably only realizing a fraction of the potential benefits from business blogging. If that’s the case, why do so many other companies with significantly greater resources fail at blogging for their business? They quit, lack vision, underestimate resources and timeframe, and fail to understand where blogging can be integrated with achieving multiple business goals.

Hopefully you’ll find the advice above useful to help your business blogging effort. If you have specific biz blogging questions, please ask them in the comments.
Written By: Lee Odden  Source:

Friday, March 16, 2012

21 Key Points Must Know Marketers - Facebook Timeline for Business Pages

If you have not yet converted your Facebook fan page over to the new Timeline design, your page will automatically convert on March 30th, 2012 which is coming up fast. This post covers the majority of basic settings and features you need to know. Even if you’ve upgraded, you’ll find some tips here!
First, review this marked up screenshot for a tour of most of the features — click the image to view full size (you may need to click again on the image on the next page):
Facebook Timeline for Pages - Guide
Facebook Timeline for Pages - Guide (click to see full size)

Cover image replaces default landing tab

One of the biggest feature changes that many businesses are upset about is the removal of a default landing tab. That is, where you can create a custom landing page for non-fans using an iFrame app, and add rich media, an opt-in box and/or a compelling reason to join your fan page. In addition, many businesses made use of the “like-gating” or “fan-gating” feature on these default custom landing tabs where you could entice your fans to click the Like button and then reward them with a special benefit such as a coupon code, or unique content just for fans.
The good news is you can still have custom tabs, plus the like-gating element still functions. You just can’t set a default landing tab. However, each of your apps still has its own unique URL. That means you can drive traffic to any “landing” page you wish – from within Facebook via ads, your profile and other places as appropriate; and from outside Facebook on your website/blog, other social profiles, tweets, email campaigns, email signature files, and so forth.
With the new Timeline design, you’ll notice the generously large cover image at the top of your page. You may find that you care less and less about a default landing tab with this piece of prime real estate that is always visible to fans and non-fans as they land on your page. The dimensions are 851 pixels wide by 315 pixels high. It’s a wonderful place to showcase photographs and graphics pertaining to your brand/business. Personally, I’m very excited about the cover image! The possibilities are endless… even with the tight rules around what content cannot be placed on cover images (see key point #4 below).

21 Key Points To Know About Timeline for Pages

To keep you on track with the change, here’s a list of 21 key points about the new Timeline design:

1. Preview

You have a chance to preview your page(s) first, made all the edits you wish, get it just the way you want it, then publish. Look for the preview option at the top of your page in the old design. Or, see a list of your pages here and turn on page preview mode. Before you publish, at minimum just have an attractive cover image loaded.

2. March 30

Your page will automatically convert on March 30. My advise is don’t wait. There really is no strategic advantage to waiting … okay, maybe if you have a really hot custom landing tab with a like-gating campaign that’s going extremely well. Otherwise, go for the upgrade now and lead the way by educating your fans on all the new features.

3. Cover Image

Dimensions for the large cover image is 851 x 315 pixels.  If you upload an image that’s smaller than these dimensions, it will get stretched to this larger size. The image you upload must be at least 399 pixels wide. Facebook encourages you to change your cover image as often as you wish. Newsflash: each time you change your cover image, this posts on to your wall and goes out into the news feed of your fans. You may find the activity itself doesn’t get great Edgerank (visibility score in the news feed). So, what you can do is hide the activity on your wall, then share the new cover image with a call to action in the textual area, e.g. We’re celebrating 10,000 fans today and just changed our cover image in honor of all of You! Click like if you like! :) (To be clear, that message does *not* go ON your cover image itself. You’re posting your cover image on your wall with the message as a description.)

4. Image rules

Do not put contact info, calls to action, or arrows pointing to the Like or Share button on your cover image. See the Page Guidelines here. Contact info should go in your about section. The no calls to action rule is likely because Facebook has been very generous with this large piece of real estate … however, the company does not want us to run hogwild with all manner of promotions and campaigns for free! Those come at a price and are called Facebook ads! And the new Premium Ads and Reach Generator. And, the one I’m most excited about: Offers (that one is actually free to set up, though currently only available to large brands).

5. Profile picture

Your profile picture is always a square and is displayed at 125 x 125 pixels or 150 x 150 pixels, depending on the size of someone’s screen. The photo you upload must be at least 180 x 180 pixels. Facebook discourage page owners from changing their profile picture that often. This is the primary, instantly-recognizable image that tracks you throughout Facebook wherever your posts go and wherever you comment as your Page.

6. Landing tab

You can no longer set a default landing tab. Make good use of the cover image, instead (see #3 above) and the three main apps (see #8 below). Plus, drive traffic to whichever tab you wish (see #7 below).

7. App URLs

Custom apps all still function, including the fan-gating feature. Each tab/app still has a unique URL so you can drive traffic from inside or outside Facebook to any ‘landing page’ you wish.

8. Showcase apps

Just below your cover image, your ‘tabs’ are now displayed as apps or views. You can have a max of 12, though only four are always on display. The first one is always Photos and cannot be moved. ‘Views’ are Facebook’s default apps or features such as Photos, Events, Likes, Notes, Map. Apps are all third party apps.

9. Custom thumbnail

You can add a custom thumbnail image to all your apps. The dimensions are 111 x 74 pixels. These are great areas to get creative and add seamless branding, calls to action, and specials. To add/change a custom thumbnail, first expand all apps by clicking the small down arrow to the right of the four app display. Then hover over any app > click the edit pencil > click Edit Settings > click Change next to Custom Tab Image (opens in a new window) > click Change > upload an image. Voila. The image loads and saves right away. (I have noticed bugs with this feature and have often seen other pages’ thumbnails appear… you may need to upload a couple times to get your image to stick!).
My Irish and Scottish friends across the pond have done a super job of their Timeline branding on Social Stars – the image below shows their creative use of the custom app thumbnails. But do check out their cover image, too. It’s one of my favorites!
Social Stars - Custom App Images
Custom App Thumbnail Images on Social Stars UK Fan Page

10. Liked button

The like button now tuns to “liked” when clicked. Users can HOVER for options, including adding to an Interest List(s). The Liked button is a great new feature as it visually informs fans that they have already liked the page. However, the hover feature and ability to add pages to Interest Lists is very new and really not obvious at all. (See #11 and my next blog post!)
Facebook Liked Button Options
Facebook Liked Button - Options on Hover

11. Interest Lists

Encourage your fans and visitors to add you to an Interest List; let them know which topic is best, e.g. my Page would be best added to a list called Facebook Tips, or Facebook Marketing, or Social Media Marketing. (Interest Lists are brand new as of March 8th. More on the new Interest Lists in an upcoming post! Speaking of lists, please do subscribe to my popular Facebook Experts and Resources list, with 77 people and pages and currently over 800 subscribers.
Got Facebook questions? Come join my community of over 260,000 fans and subscribers! Just click the Subscribe and Like buttons below to connect with me on Facebook!

12. Milestones

You can go back in time to add business milestones on your Timeline. When you do, these will post at the right date, and go out into the news feed of your fans and create more visibility and engagement. The full extent of the actual timeline element of the Timeline design is geared toward what Facebook calls “Legacy Brands” – those brands with historical data spanning decades that they’d like to feature.

13. Wall Filters

Page walls now have four filters: Highlights, Posts by Page, Posts by Others, and Friend Activity. There is no way to set the wall to be posts by everyone. The default is always Highlights. In your page settings (Admin Panel > Manage > Edit Page > Manage Permissions), you can choose to not let anyone write on your wall, or to not display Posts by others. However, I recommend that you leave the settings on to allow everyone to write on your wall, everyone can add photos and videos, and show the box for Recent Posts by Others.

14. Pin posts

Any post made by the Page can be pinned the top of the wall for up to 7 days. I suggest rotating which posts are pinned and not letting any post sit there for longer than 1-2 days. You never know how many repeat visitors are coming to your Page and you want to keep it fresh for them.
Enjoying this post? Tweet to let me know – just click the button below (opens in a popup, you’ll have a chance to see and edit the tweet!):

15. Highlight posts

Page admins can choose to display any post made by the Page or by others as ‘double wide’ – meaning the post spreads across both columns of the Timeline. Hover over a post and click the star icon to highlight.

16. Posts by others

Posts made by others (fans and non-fans) are in a small box at the top right called Recent Posts by Others. You can scroll in this field without leaving your wall: first click ‘More Posts’ on the lower left of the box and use your mousewheel or the vertical scroll bar. Or click ‘See All’ for a popup box. For viewing and moderating, it’s easier to view these posts on the Posts by Others wall filter, though, as mentioned in #13 above.

17. Default wall

You cannot set a default wall view – it’s always Highlights. I’m seeing a few disappointed page owners talk about this. I tend to agree – the new Timeline for Pages design seems to really favor brands and businesses showcasing themselves vs. making it community-focused. However, with creative use of your cover image and changing it regularly, I believe you can build a wonderful culture of mutual respect between you and your fans. (I’m working on a strategy just now to change up my fan page cover image every 1-3 days; I’m experimenting with montages of featured fans which has been received very well by my Facebook community).
Mari Smith - Facebook Page - Montage of Fans
Mari Smith - Facebook Page - Montage of Fans

18. Personalization

Page Timelines are personalized for each person viewing: every page wall includes ‘friend activity’ at the top right where the person viewing will see one post from the past from a friend (or a Facebook user to whom the viewer has subscribed). Frankly, I think this is a complete waste of valuable real estate and I’m already tiring of seeing old (no-longer-relevant) posts repeatedly dredged up when viewing my own page and/or other pages while logged in as my profile. I hope, on the next feature overhaul, that Facebook removes this section and replaces with something more valuable – or enlarges the Posts by others area! That’s my $0.02!
In addition to the one post displayed at the top right of the wall, any Admin or visitor to your page can view your Timeline wall via the ‘Friend Activity’ filter mentioned in #13 above.

19. Adjust photos

You can now reposition photos shared by you or others on your page: hover and click the edit pencil, then click Reposition photo, then drag the image where you want it, and click Save.

20. Messages

Fans and visitors can now private Message fan admins – you can turn this feature off in your settings but it might be a good idea to leave it on to encourage connection from prospects! You cannot initiate messages as your page; you can only communicate via Messages when someone contacts you first. The one drawback of yet another method of communication is that you may need to add more community managers to deal with the increase in emails. You’d be surprised at how many people start to contact you via your page!

21. Admin Panel

It takes several more clicks to get to the various settings of your Page now. You may have to dig deep to find features that were once just one click away. For example, to view your Hidden Posts (posts flagged as spam by Facebook that are only visible to Page Admins, to the person/page who made the post, and to friends of that person) – previously it was ONE click on the Hidden Posts link under your Wall on the left. Now, it’s FIVE clicks to get to the same place! Click Admin Panel > Manage > Use Activity Log > All (upper right menu) > Spam. From there, hover over the spam icon to the right of any post that is not spam, and click Unmark as Spam.
So, those are 21 key points I’ve compiled. I’m sure there are many more to add – stay tuned for additional posts on the subject of the new Timeline for both Pages and personal Profiles. Meantime, here are even more tips and resources to help you on this journey of mastering the latest round of Facebook changes. (I hope your seatbelt is fastened; it’s been non-stop at Facebook HQ for some time now what with the IPO.)

Customize Your Facebook Page – video tutorial

If you’re brand new to the Timeline design for Pages, this handy video by the Facebook team is well worth the 3.5 minute watch:

Facebook’s Page Guidelines and New Timeline Page Tutorial

Unlike many of Facebook’s past product launches and feature upgrades, the company has outdone itself this time with the comprehensive range of guidance for the Timeline design for pages. The following resources are all from Facebook:
  • Plus, for even more guidance, go to for an interactive course – this is brought to you by Facebook and is very well done! You may need to temporarily disable popup blockers for the course to start.
  • View more Facebook video guides here.
  • Read the revised Page Guidelines here.
  • Download Facebook’s PDF Pages Overview here.
  • Want to read up on how other businesses are creating success with Facebook’s variety of products? Check out this nifty, interactive resource – Facebook Success Stories.

Recommended reading:

You made it down here! Good news – when you convert your page to the new Timeline design, you won’t lose anything. Well, that is, unless you’re a local business with a Place Page, in which case you will lose your Recommendations, for now. I understand they are coming back in the next week or two. Last week I did see that anyone could still write a Recommendation for your business and post to their personal profile to share with their friends – the popup shows upon clicking the Like button. However, I’m not seeing that popup option any more. Plus, the new Timeline design of Place Pages currently has nowhere to display these Recommendations. At least not that I could find. So, it seems Facebook is working on this feature.
Phew, so there you have it!! This turned into a monster blog post, even though I kept saving more in-depth discussion for SO many of these new features – and new optimization strategies – for future posts. Let me know if you found this helpful in the comments below. Is there anything missing? Where are you feeling most stuck?

Facebook 2012 Fan Page Checklist

To download my 14-page Facebook 2012 Fan Page Checklist, just pop your name and email below and I’ll give you instant access to this popular document (over 17,900 downloads!). The checklist part is the first five pages; the rest is all endnotes explaining the elements of your page and how best to set up and optimize for marketing and engagement.
Facebook Fan Page Checklist - Thumnail2
This version is hot off the presses, and includes all the latest Facebook Timeline features

Friday, March 9, 2012

50 Social Media Marketing Tips You Must Follow

Social media marketing has at  its core the foundation of valuable, shareable content in all the various forms of rich media whether that be text, video or images.

social media networks

People watch YouTube videos because they are entertaining, educational or just plain funny. Viewers turn up to your Slideshare account and take the time to view a presentation because the content is compelling. LinkedIn works well for personal branding because you are providing answers to your peers to questions in the Q&A section and providing updates that answers problems, informs and educates.
Twitter teases you to click on links that are engaging blog posts or news that is topical and timely. The knowledge economy is all about the content. Facebook is where your audience is online so content needs to be posted and updated to the social giants ecosystem.
So here are 50 synergistic social media marketing tips and tactics to market your content and ideas and help them to spread to a global audience. Apply some of these tips and you maybe surprised in the journey that unfolds as you and your company are discovered and shared and your goods and services are purchased
because you were ‘found’.

The secret sauce behind these tips is to allow you to create a ‘social media synergy’ that totals a sum far greater than the individual parts. This approach is to guide you to go beyond being just ‘Facebook Centric’ and provide substance, endurance and longevity to your on-line presence and digital assets. These tips are also about assisting you in optimizing and integrating the multiple social media platforms listed below
Some of these tips are basic for some but this is a checklist that may assist you in synergizing your online presence and bring traffic and viewers to your global digital properties.

50 Social Media Marketing Tips and Tactics


  1. Produce inspiring, educational and awesome content that is so compelling that people want to share it, this is the foundation of your marketing. All media is about good content and social media is no different
  2. Write regularly and consistently, people will then come and visit regularly and keep coming back because they know it will be new and topical (that is why magazines have regular publishing time frames)
  3. Learn to write a headlines that make people want to read the rest of your article
  4. Use ‘list’ posts (eg 50 Fascinating Facebook Facts and Figures) regularly. They may be a bit passe for some, but they work and tend to get passed around online
  5. Place a Retweet button on your blog at the top of the posts (WordPress plugins make this really easy to do)
  6. Place a Facebook share  button at the top of all posts
  7. Include a Facebook ‘like box’ near the top right side of the blog so people can ‘like’ your Facebook page even while they are on your blog
  8. Place a LinkedIn share button on your blog (LinkedIn has over 100 million users and they are typically high earners and influential)
  9. Comment regularly on other bloggers in your niche
  10. As you grow your traffic and followers, highlight this on your blog and demonstrate some ‘social proof’. This could even include the number of Twitter followers you have or awards you have won or your website grade or even your Twitter grade
  11. Make it easy for people to subscribe via email (email marketing may be perceived as old school but it works big time!)
  12. Offer to guest post on a another influential bloggers blogs and provide a link back to your blog as part of the agreement
  13. Provide subscribe buttons so people can follow you on your other web properties (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc)
  14. Provide a subscription button via RSS so people can have your posts pushed to them in their  ’Google Reader’ account after they are published
More reading


  1. Update your Facebook ‘Page’ with your blog posts straight after publishing
  2. Provide content and links on your Facebook page that will make them want to share and like your updates
  3. Include Twitter in your menu (This is available as a standard setting on your Facebook fan page)
  4. Run polls using the standard Facebook ‘Question’ feature (above the ‘Write something’ box) to engage your audience and involve them
  5. Link to your Facebook page in your email newsletter
  6. Run a competition on Facebook
  7. Use a reveal tab that is set up as your landing page that provides access to unique content, this could be a video a content or even a voucher
  8. Respond to all comments on your Facebook page in a timely fashion
More reading


  1. Acquire  Twitter followers – quantity is important
  2. Engage and develop Twitter followers within your niche using Tweepi ( makes it easy to follow followers of influential bloggers on Twitter) or (Twellow provides a tool that enables you to find powerful Twitter follower lists in your niche) – this is the quality part of the Twitter equation
  3. Share the content of  influential Twitter people and let them know by including their Twitter name eg @Jeffbullas
  4. Automate the tweeting of other bloggers content that you trust and add value to your followers with other peoples articles and content
  5. Tweet regularly and consistently the posts of other influential bloggers in your topic category
  6. Automate the retweeting of your great content so it is not forgotten and buried in the archives (SocialOomph professional can be setup to do this)
  7. When tweeting your posts include # tags that deliver the Tweet to # groups/lists eg #SocialMedia
More reading


  1. Interview influential people in your topic category on video and post them to YouTube
  2. Include your website/blog link in your profile
  3. Automate sharing after posting (available under ‘Account settings” then ‘Activity Sharing’ , then choose the social accounts and as a minimum select Facebook and Twitter (Reader, Orkut and MySpace are also able to be enabled)
  4. Write a headline that is ‘keyword’ rich for your industry and niche
  5. Write a tempting and teasing headline that makes the potential viewer want to ‘hit’ the play button
  6. Place a link to your blog at the beginning of each description for each video and make sure you write a description that includes keywords and inviting description
  7. Include keyword tags for each video
More reading


  1. Use all three website or links that LinkedIn allows in your profile (these can point to your website, blog and Facebook)
  2. Make your LinkedIn profile ‘Public’ in your settings
  3. Pose questions in the Q&A section of LinkedIn with links to your possible answer as a post link
  4. Setup a LinkedIn profile for your blog (not just your personal profile)
  5. Integrate your Slideshare into your LinkedIn account using the ‘Add an Application’ button at the bottom right of your home page
  6. Integrate your Blog post feed into your LinkedIn account using the ‘Add an Application’ button at the bottom right of your home page
  7. Add your Twitter feed into your LinkedIn account using the ‘Add an Application’


  1. Turn your posts into PowerPoint presentations and post them to Slideshare
  2. Write a good headline both on the presentation itself and the Title area
  3. Include keyword tags that would be used to find the presentation
  4. Promote your presentations on Twitter
  5. Allow viewers to download your presentation to assist in making it easy for people to share
  6. Post them to your Facebook page
  7. In choose a license make it  CC (Creative Commons) License so people can use your content and then attribute and link to your blog
What other social media marketing tips and tactics have I left out.
By: Source:

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

9 Social Media Hacks We Must Use Daily

Social media isn’t inexpensive, it’s just different expensive. To do it well requires a tremendous time commitment, and regardless of what your life and lifestyle entails, the time you spend on social comes with an opportunity cost price tag. Thus, one of the characteristics that sets adept practitioners of social media apart from less successful adherents is wise use of time.
Using your limited social media time wisely is all about going beyond the obvious activities. If you’re doing the exact same things everyone else is doing in social, I can guarantee you will not have an advantage. But, if you do some things differently, you may find activities where the reward is disproportionate to the effort. These nine efficiencies — hacks — are what you need to embrace right now.

1. Listen to Podcasts

Sure, they’ve been overcome by newer and sexier social flavors du jour but podcasts are still the best way to spend time when you’re not in front of a screen. Driving to work? Listen to Mitch Joel’s Six Pixels of Separation or MarketingProfs’ Marketing Smarts with Matthew Grant . Working out? Put on the earbuds and embrace John Jantsch’s Duct Tape Marketing , or Chris Penn’s Marketing Over Coffee . I’d love to have your ears on my weekly Social Pros Podcast, where we focus on real people doing real work in social media. (you can put your eyes on it too, because we run full text transcripts here).

2. Take and Curate Photographs

I’m not certain if a picture is worth a thousand words, but it’s definitely worth 140 characters. This is the year that photos challenge writing as the lingua franca of the social web: Instagram; Pinterest; Path; Google +  using large thumbnails in the news feed; face recognition technology. All trend lines point toward photography. If you’re not taking and posting pictures to dedicated photo networks and cross-posting (when appropriate) to Twitter and Facebook, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to grow your network and see the world through the eyes (or cell phone cameras) of thousands of new friends.

3. Read LinkedIn Today

Today LinkedIn 300x277 9 Social Media Hacks I Use Every DayIt’s pretty safe to say that most people keep their LinkedIn shrubbery more closely pruned than their Facebook or Twitter trees. Thus, when content is shared in LinkedIn, it often has a better chance to have been shared by people you trust, or at least people with a modicum of business sense. That’s why when I’m looking for a summarized source of what’s happening in the categories I care about, I turn to Linkedin Today.

4. Buffer Your Links

One of the most insidious time sucks in all of social media — especially for content curators — is the “Oh, I found something cool. I should share this on a social network or four!” keyboard fire that spontaneously erupts a few times a day. This kills your focus and productivity. The better approach is to set aside a chunk of time first thing each morning to find the handful of truly interesting content bon mots that are worthy, and use Buffer to automatically share them across your chosen social networks at pre-determined, optimized times. While you’re at it, add the Buffer button to your blog too. (disclosure: I’m an investor in Buffer)

5. Use “if this, then that” Recipes

If This, Then That (IFTTT) is the best social tool nobody ever mentions. It’s like a virtual assistant social media robot, where you can create an almost infinite array of conditionally-defined, time-saving tasks. Create an account and hook up all of your social profiles, blogs, cell phone numbers, etc. Then sift through the mountain of existing recipes to find processes that will save you effort.
For example, want your Twitter profile photo to change automatically when you update your Facebook profile photo? Done. Want to have your favorited tweets automatically emailed to you? Done.Want to automatically store your Instagram photos in a Dropbox account? Done.Want to automatically post to your Pinterest board any link you add to Facebook? Done.
The opportunities are nearly endless at

6. Create a Stalker List

Grab a piece of paper, or open a new document and write down a list of the 20 people you most want to interact with in social media — people you don’t know, but want to know. Then, create a list for these people on Twitter and Facebook, and a circle for them on Google +. Where applicable, visit their blogs and bookmark them. Also subscribe to their feeds (via email, not RSS because you’ll check your email every day, but not your RSS.) Find them on Instagram, Pinterest, and LInkedin and connect in those places, too.
Done? Starting tomorrow, spend 15 minutes total per day interacting with some of these 20 people. Not in a yucky way, and not in a pandering way. If you have something interesting and relevant to add via Twitter, blog comment, or elsewhere, do it. If you don’t, keep your hands to your sides. But pay attention to your list of 20, and find ways to interact with and help them. In short order, they will recognize you and you’ll have grown and leveled up your network of social contacts. Make a new list every three to six months.

7. Interact on Google +

Let me make this clear: If you’re reading this, you should be on Google +. Not for the SEO benefit — although that’s not insignificant. Not for the entertainment value — although the large number of videos and GIFs there can be a hoot. Do it for the opportunity to interact and engage with industry professionals in a comparatively quiet and efficient location. You want to get on Chris Brogan’sMari Smith’s? Or Brian Solis’s? Google + is the place to do it. It’s Twitter before Oprah; Quora for the masses; blog comments but easier to use. It may not last, but for now Google + is the place to interact with people that no longer answer every tweet.  radar? Or

8. Blend Personal and Professional

Favorite Tequilas 300x203 9 Social Media Hacks I Use Every DayQuit worrying about showing your real self in social media. If your social media bios talk only about who you are at work, you’re leaving attention on the table. The reality is that unless you’re a sword swallower or an astronaut, your personal life is more interesting than your professional life. You’re a marketing director for a B2B software company? Yawn. You’re a marketing director for a B2B software company, and you happen to grow prize-winning roses? That, I’ll remember. What you love makes you memorable in ways that what you do cannot. There’s a reason most of my bios say I’m a tequila lover.

9. Quit Obsessing Over Case Studies

How much time do you spend reading case studies, trying to find evidence that social media will work for your company? Case studies should be used for ideation, not ratification. Beyond the fact that case studies are often strategically irrelevant because the company profiled is in a different industry, with different goals, competitors, and customer expectations (among other variances), perhaps the biggest problem with most social media success stories is that the measures of that success are largely without real merit.
Even in the best possible scenario, where the case study in question is extraordinarily applicable to your business goals, social media situation, KPIs, budget, timeline, customer personas, and more (which is a rare alignment indeed), you are placing significant influential value on one outcome. Worry less about what some other company is doing, and worry more about doing your own work.
Social media is too complicated for you to be wasting your time, spinning your wheels on activities and behaviors that won’t make much difference. I know these nine hacks will save you time and propel you forward, because I use them all consistently. But I’m sure I’ve missed many terrific ideas. What are you doing to save time and boost your social media efficiency.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

SEO Checklist for New Websites by Jocelyn Wilhelm

So you’re thinking about having a new website? I’ve put together 6 SEO Checklist for New Websites to guide you along the way and make sure your website is optimized for search engines which will help your customers easily find you online.

1. Accessibility

Make sure users and search engines can access your site easily and readily. If your page has a slow download time or if visitors are being directed to a page other than your own, people will most likely opt-out and not visit your site again. These are sometimes caused by missing or broken links on your site. Having too many plugins on your site, can also slow down your load time. Here are a couple of tools that you can use to check if your site is optimized for search engines: Google Webmaster Tools or SEOmoz Pro Web App.
SEOMoz Best Web SEO Checklist for New WEbsite Resource
Click on the image to go to their site!

2. Keyword Targeting

Have you worked on finding and using the right keywords to use on your site so your ideal customers can find you online? Base the content of your site on the products and services you are offering. And make sure that the keywords you’re using have good search volume, high relevance and low difficulty. So for example: You may have a better chance at finding your target market by using the word “thingiemabob” rather than “thingie”. You get my point! :)

3. Content Quality & Value

Does your site offer content in such a way that makes your customers happy? Did you offer them solution(s) to their problem(s)? Did you answer their question? Make sure your content is visually intriguing to your customers so they learn to trust you…so they’ll come and visit your site again…so they’ll tell their friends about you and your services.

4. Design Quality. User Experience and Usability

Unless you have a design background, maybe look into hiring someone that can help you with this. This is something you really can’t skimp on. Your website is an extension of you, for brand. You want this something that can provide an exceptional experience to your customers. Make sure it’s pleasing to the eyes, easy for people to navigate through, easy to read, and make sure it’s fast! I can’t stress this enough. If your customers are frustrated with your site, they’re not going to come back. And one more thing, make sure it’s viewable on mobile devices. Mobile marketing is on the rise, I’ll cover this on another topic. But if you want to succeed in this ever-evolving digital world, you need to exist where your customers are.

5. Social Account Set-up

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, SEO and Social Media makes for a very happy marriage. They’re a good complement to one another. And as such, using both in your marketing strategies will contribute to your overall online business success. It is so easy nowadays to share content across the web so at the very least, make sure you have a Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ accounts.

6. Link Building

OK, so you’ve spent so much time crafting your content and using all the right keywords, but what good is it if no one reads it? Learn some organic ways how to direct more traffic to your site, by reading my article about “Link Building Best Practices”.
Good luck! Hope these handy SEO checklist for your new website will help you become more successful with your online business and let major search engines know your website exist.
Feel free to post below if you have any questions or comments or if you want to share other suggestions. Thank you for stopping by!

‘Til next time….
Jocelyn Wilhelm, JW Social Media CEO