Here are some digital marketing tips to help you get started to create your fan base. These 4 simple tips will help you grow your fan base into a dynamic and stable following you have always hoped for.
1. Be Visible
Because the internet has become the primary source of information for people when it comes to deciding on what pages, business and the like they will frequent, it’s critical that you are present in multiple locations on the web. Ways to become more visible include having the following:
A professional-looking website that’s updated frequently and contains menus, location information, and hours. The website should also include a blog to help you tell your story and links to your other social sites (Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, etc).
A Facebook or Tumblr Page that it is updated constantly with your content.
There are other ways to be visible such as Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.
2. Tell Your Story
Your fan base love to know the back story of how you came about. They love to know things like how you got started, what the significance behind your posts, and what you’re passionate about. Social media tools are the perfect platform to tell you story and encourage your fan base to share your story with their circle of friends.
3. Listen & Engage
People like to feel like they are being listened to, even online. A social media strategy is an easy way to establish a two-way channel of communication in which you are giving your fan base the opportunity to communicate with you with the click of a mouse. Successful blogs, websites, etc. encourage people to interact and engage with them online. They encourage feedback through tools like Yelp, Digg, StumbleUpon. Welcome any communication you get and make sure you reply! This engagement will payoff in the long run.
4. Think Outside the Box
Don’t be afraid to try something new. There are some real innovative social media platforms out there. Some like Empire Avenue allow you to engage your fans while linking incentives to your posts on your blog or your tweets on Twitter.
But like I always say, at the end of the day this will work if you have content that people like to read, share and talk about.
Anyone who has spent time in the brand space will have certainly come across Marty Neumeier’s “The Brand Gap” – it’s one of the foundational books on how to cultivate a brand, and is a must-read for any brand manager.
The central premise of the book is that a brand is not simply a logo, identity or even product. Neither is it what you, the brand manager say it is. Rather, a “brand is a person’s feeling about a product, service or organization.In other words, it’s not what you say it is, it’s what they say it is.”
Branding is all about creating an emotional clarity by providing a story around what you are selling, and social media will fan the flames of those companies that live up to their brand promise, or quickly take down those that are merely selling a false idea.
But what kind of role does social media play in crafting successful brands today? If at it’s core a brand is “what they say it is,” and we have more “theys” sharing their thoughts and ideas with the world, then what does that mean for how brands grow in today’s marketplace?
Let’s take a look at Neumeier’s five basic principle of branding, and how each idea is transformed by social media.
When setting out to launch your product or company and embark on thinking about what kind of brand you want to help shape, don’t start with thinking about the website or the kind of ads you’ll run. Instead, focus on how you can foster interactions with your customers. It’s through those interactions with your consumers that your brand will be shaped and influenced.
The Brand Gap spells out five key disciplines about how to build a brand:
Well, just as social media has impacted marketing, customer service and public relations among others, it is influencing these five core disciplines of brand building.
Differentiate: Great brands start with great products, and that differentiation needs to continue through to delivering great customer service and attention to their needs. Some have suggested that customer service is the new marketing, and brands like FreshBooks and Zappos are setting themselves apart from the competition through not just a solid product, but through a passionate desire to build relationships with their customers.
Collaboration: Perhaps more than any of the five principles, social media is giving companies the ability to collaborate with their customers and extended communities. It’s more than just crowd sourcing for “cheap” advertising. Shops are taking it another step further and letting customers shape actual products and services. Champion’s Hoodie Remix not only let’s their fans design a sweatshirt and vote on the best entry, but that winning hoodie design will be added to Champion’s product lineup.
Innovate: How do you know when an idea is innovative? When it scares the hell out of everybody – it’s continually pushing the boundaries and trying something new without ceasing. Social media can be scary ground for some organizations, because when done well, it forces brands into an honest reckoning with their customers about who they really are.
Validate: Neumeir sees Validation as bringing the audience into the creative process, and brands that are listening first on social media platforms are going to gain the insights needed to better meet their customer’s needs. Starbucks, Dell and even American Express are learning how to connect early and regularly with their customers, even in the face of the economic downturn.
Cultivate: “If the old paradigm of brand management had been to control the look and feel of a brand, the new paradigm is to influence the character of a brand.” Paul Isakson addressed this beautifully in his presentation on Modern Brand Building:
The way and speed with which people discover, process and share information has changed dramatically. Create room for agility, flexibility and iteration.”
With some advertisers contemplating a massive $3 million Super Bowl ad buy this coming Sunday, one has to wonder whether a company should attempt to strengthen it’s brand through a mere 30-second spot, or 365-days of continually providing the channels and platforms for developing meaningful connections with their customers.
The brand is no longer omnipresent. Consumers’ response is fueled by tweaks to a brand which are fueled by more change. It’s a symbiotic relationship that allows for more transparency and through that constant discussion, produces better creative and a more honest message for for both the consumer and brand.
How has your social media strategy impacted your company’s brand?
Don’t miss out on Manhattanhenge! Tonight is one of only two times a year when the setting sun aligns perfectly with Manhattan’s east-west street grid. This makes for a perfect chance to snap photos of the sun setting between the skyscrapers of Manhattan! Take a look at photos of this unique sunset on Instagram by browsing #manhattanhenge.
Penguin has successfully created a thick line of difference between Spamming and Online marketing. All those good for nothing tasks like directory submissions, article submissions, RSS feed, thin content etc…
Penguin has successfully created a thick line of difference between Spamming and Online marketing. All those good for nothing tasks like directory submissions, article submissions, RSS feed, thin content etc are not going to add any real value to your website.
So, as expected, some great SEO professionals have gone nuts as they simply do not have any idea as how to promote their website apart from figuring out how to start spamming in a whole new way. However, you would not have to spam the web for the same purpose. There are ways to market your website ethically and we are going to explain that thing in simple English:
Do not rush for the ranking: However, it is easier said than done. Why you are supposed to get paid as an SEO professional if you cannot guarantee better raking of targeted keywords? Valid question as it may sound. But take a deeper look; you are supposed to ensure better visibility of your clients’ website and voila, there lies the hidden gem. Better online visibility can be acquired through a hell lot of ways. Well let me show you that. It is not that the techniques have to be new or innovative. In fact, you know them already, however, it is another story that you never give them that much importance they deserve:
Social Media: Believe it or not, social media do send traffic and if you are a genius, you can find a viable alternative of Google as the major contributor to your website’s total traffic. Share something nice and interesting, participate in some real discussion, add great images, keep your profile fresh and happening and believe me there are tons of things to do when you are on Facebook, twitter or their likes. Just got involved and see what happens next.
Social comment is a hot new trend as it gives immense opportunity to get involved. All you need to do is to place Social comment plugins, zillions of available them online, and do a little promotion and wait for the impact. It will have a vital impact since his friends will be able to see his post and this might inspire them like the Post or go through the post carefully and then post a comment and the story thus will go on.
Moreover, a robust presence in social media sites means that you are more likely to have a bigger and better presence on Google too. As Google is shifting its attention from links to something more tangible and robust, you should not discard the importance of social media anymore.
Go for the paid advertisement: I am not going to ask you to pour all the money in Google Adwords. Rather you should be exploring all the available vertical and see, which one works for your website best. I personally like BuySellAds.com. They have a robust interface and it has a network of some great sites where you can get permanent placement. So that means you would not have to bother about keeping a track on the Quality Score, bidding value and all that. Simple and straightforward like 1-2-3. You pay the money and you got top placement and guaranteed traffic.
However, Adwords should certainly be on your top to do list. You simply cannot have your marketing strategy up and running without having Google’s poster boy on their side. Since you are going to spend a lump sum amount on Adwords to get your website promoted, data crunching is certainly coming to you. Moreover, there is hell lots of things involved there. You need to follow all the rules and regulations carefully, otherwise the account may be suspended at any point of time. If you give less attention to “Quality Score”, you may end up paying ridiculous amounts of money for less competitive keywords. So, think before you leap.
Promote Your Brand: This should be the goal of every marketer. Since all the shortcuts are vandalized by Google, you have fewer options other than to focus on attention on brand building. For say, while guest blogging (the only ethical way to get some backlinks to your website), you should put less weight on keywords and more on branded terms. Company name, URL, name of the trusted employees can even be used for the same purpose.
Have unique, natural and informative title and description for each page and choosing a proper canonical URL. Shunning forceful internal linking etc. Make the navigation simple and focus on creating a great user experience.
Have a Blog: Blog is the life source of your website’s brand presence and all the marketing activities are supposed to revolve around it. Come up with great content and there is no such hurry to post two or three articles in the blog. Do a thorough research and then come up with something that is supposed to add some value to the user experience and once it is ready spread the words by sending emails to subscribers and posting a snippet of the blog posts in major social networking accounts. Engagement is what you need to attain and once it gains enough exposure, your website will start getting links from different sources almost naturally without any coercion from you.
While people’s day-to-day activities have changed, our motivations are pretty much the same as they have always been. Those theories that old-school psychologists were studying and proposing in the twentieth century (think Maslow’s Hiearchy of Needs and Ainsworth’s Attachment Theory) apply to the behaviors and needs that we display today. Now, they just happen to be playing out on a digital state.
According to these theories, people evolved to have the feeling of loneliness as a survival skill. It became instinct for humans to feel a need to connect with others because thousands of years ago when we all had very specialized roles in our societies and had to work together to live. How does this translate to social? Now, when we have that twinge of loneliness, we reach for a device to connect virtually.
Once online, social media satisfies three primary needs: the need for connection, the need to bond (for attachment), and the need to establish one’s identity, respectively. We start in social media because we seek connections and use these connections to identify ourselves in online communities. What do we accomplish by fulfilling these needs? A higher self-esteem – it makes us feel good.
We connect with people and brands because they are useful to us – they boost our self-esteem and grow our network. We continue in social media because we form attachments. Why do people become “addicted” to social media? For many in online communities, the behavior of connecting can be addictive — it’s a self-reinforcing cycle of real and perceived benefit.
How do you feel about the psychology of social media? Why do you think people feel a need to connect online?
In recent days we have seen Facebook’s IPO’s fall below 36USD/share, a falling in social media stocks and general negative commentary on the IPO in general. It all seems pretty bleak, but after my last post I realize that I may have been a little harsh.
When I look back at Facebook as a platform, it is really unique. There are many apps, groups and games that really are pulling the global population together (and sometimes apart). From an investor’s point of view this means nothing if no income results.
From the global population’s perspective there really is a greater good because of Facebook. Think of apps such as “Causes” or even the Facebook page of your favorite rock group there is really a scope for us all to give, share, care, create, like etc. Product development at Facebook has created a platform that we can all use to add to the greater good. Be wonderful if it can continue on this path.
Facebook has been about developing products. Many of which are useful and beneficial. Hopefully the new shareholders of will be able to find a balance between profits and Facebook’s product development. If product development in the future slows or is sidestepped I really think we’ll be worse off. It takes time for products to be developed and eventually turn a profit. Most products never make a profit, but still can be useful. Let’s just hope we don’t see some aspects from pre the IPO days gutted for profits.
Hong Kong is a city that likes to play until the sun rises, which makes late night dining options a necessity. While it does not have food carts parked outside clubs and high traffic areas like in New York, it does have a good cluster of late night restaurants which cater to all the night owls. These late night joints not only hit the spot in your stomach, but are also great places to mingle with people. Check out these six places to get your late night grub fix in Hong Kong.
Facebook’s IPO is great lesson of “me first, the rest later” mode of thinking. Let me explain. Firstly let’s look at who benefited from the IPO? Secondly, let’s look who will suffer from the IPO. Lastly, let’s look at what the future of social media and social platforms holds as a result of this IPO.
To begin with, I am not a techie per se but have much respect for the opportunities that social media and social platforms have provided in the last decade. I come from an age where the fax and telex where king. During this time markets for products were not at all global and opportunities to grow markets were limited. Friendships during this period were real, between real people and conversations took place with ‘real’ people. The advent of social media and social platforms has expanded all of this exponentially and globally. That is great and all of my respect goes to the founders of this brave new world.
Now back to Facebook’s IPO. You really have to congratulate Zuk, his team and his bankers. They managed to benefit the initial shareholders (basically themselves) immensely. Although the IPO was lackluster, they managed to raise multi-billions in capital. So, Zuk becomes one of the wealthiest people on the planet; those close to him and Facebook become millionaires and the bankers well they get their huge fees. I think you can see where I am going with this. The “me first” gang of Zuk, his team and bankers got what they wanted, big bucks. Big bucks based on 100 times earnings, hype, little corporate assets and a poor earnings potential. Damn they got a good deal.
The rest of us, many Facebook users, idly watch by the sidelines. All the posts, likes and what not are freely given to Facebook. For what? So, Zuk, his team and the Bankers can simply rake it in. Actually, I don’t really care. I knew all along that by being on Facebook my data was free for all and that Facebook would use it to sell to advertisers. For me the biggest losers are not the users of Facebook. The real losers I think are other social media platform developers who need capital from the VC’s and the stock market. Facebook’s IPO was pure profiteering. Sure we all want to make a profit. However, with all the hype, the capital markets soon realized all the BS around the IPO and acted accordingly. In the future I feel that potential investors will discount investments into up and coming social media platforms. I come to this conclusion based on the outcome of Facebook’s IPO. I hope I am wrong.
What of the future then? I think there is real potential for less future funding for up and coming social media platforms. We need more platforms to make the social media world more competitive, so the services and offerings in the social media world improve. If not, we are going to be left with only a few or a small collection of platforms that we are forced to use. Given that Facebook is somewhat of a public company now, it will be forced to prove itself to investors. Probably it will be more aggressive in selling our data on the sly. On a more positive note, hopefully with all this capital they may become altruistic and start a cool incubator for other techies. That would be cool, but unlikely. Zuk doesn’t strike me as an altruistic guy or a person who likes competition. He really is a “me first” kind of the person. Gosh, how judgmental of me. Probably they will use the new earned cash for social media world domination. I am getting bleak now. So in the end, my opinion and mine only is that the consequence of the IPO is that the “me first” gang made it rich with the expense of the rest. What a shame. Well it is what it is!
Many thanks to those of you that read to end of my rambling! Enjoy the rest of your weekend.
I know most of use social media to share photos, keep up with family and all that. But believe it or not a strong social media presence is a powerful tool. It can give you valuable insights into your audience and clientele. Read and create conversations with consumers online, you can read their needs, opinions and criticisms regarding particular products, companies and brands.
Here are three ideas to get a little market research out of your social media:
Just through simple observation social media can provide a lot for market. On a regular basis tune in to what your target audience is saying—on the Facebook pages of competitors, in LinkedIn Groups, every day on Twitter—you can easily pull from that data as you like.
Less structured than polls or surveys, routine observation offers the advantage of immediacy and ease—requiring nothing more than the ability to pay attention.
2. Polls and Surveys
Polls and surveys are a more formalized and yet easy way to conduct market research online: use them to gain information from many readers at once. It is pretty easy to post an online survey that quizzes users for info. Designed to be easy to create and easy to answer, surveys typically have good response rates.
Having a successful survey or poll make sure to consider the following: Publish it on all your networks, make it simple to fill out, offer an incentive (i.e., a chance to win something) and include a short, personal message with the announcement. Remind your followers about the survey before it ends—or even to encourage them to spread the word.
It sounds almost too simple, but the age-old advice is true: if you want to know, ask! Reach out to Twitter followers, Facebook fans and blog followers by simply asking them what you would like to find out.
Then, take the generated user responses and use them to build knowledge on how products or services are being received. You can even engage with individuals on social networks with follow-up questions and responses, building relationships in the process of gathering info.
What do you think? Does your brand use social media to gather info on customers, competitors and your industry?
I don’t care what anybody says, but social profiling is here to stay. In the future, no doubt, social profiling is only going to increase. So, do you stay away or do you jump on the bandwagon?
I opt that you jump on the bandwagon. Very simply put with the advent of Kred, Klout and similar platforms anyone can easily profile you. This profiling is a step up from the, “let’s go and learn more about you on Facebook”. It is going to become the norm for people, employers and whoever to use social profiling in the future.
These new platforms have metrics that measure your digital influence. That’s scary on one hand, but also thinks of it as a level playing field (where one can easily compare you against others on set criteria).
So what do then? Once you are on Kred or Klout, you’ll find out quickly where you stand. For example I started out at 18 on Klout! Damn, I thought, that really is bad (out of a 100). Here are some tips to help boost that up for me (and for you):
1. HAVE SHARING WORTHY CONTENT Any type of content you create needs to be worthy of sharing. Here are some ideas:
Tweet your Niche: Tweet what you specialize in, your niche. As well people like tips, how-to’s etc. Try to make people benefit from your content.
Use Quotes: Quotes are short and sweet and people can easily relate to them. Make your quotes about your niche is important. Being short and sweet it is easy for people to retweet your quote, that is very cool.
Photos: As they say, “a picture is worth thousand words”. So true! Also remember that photos are easily retweeted. Like quotes, photos are easy to digest.
2) START A DISCUSSION BY ASKING A QUESTION Ask a question, but something related to your niche. This is tough, but if you have small following, a question can lead to a discussion. Through this for example you can increase your klout score through “feedbacks” from people or more “actions” taken upon your tweets. You can do so by posting tweets such as:
Niche Questions: People are more than happy to share their opinions. Ask questions like, “What do you think the trend will be for _____?”
Chat in Blog: Connect with new people and start a discussion on blog chats. It is pretty active and a good way to start new and meaningful conversations with others.
3) ENGAGE WITH INFLUENCERS The last method is to engage with influencer users in your niche. Get into into their conversation, tweet them, respond to their tweet but make sure that its something that they can respond back too. Hope this helps! I went from 18 to 38 in one day!
Internet is accessed by people all over the globe on the daily basis as it is the reservoir of knowledge and information and above all it has become a medium for the online business. To increase the traffic to your website it is very essential that the site should have the maximum visitors visiting the site.
Social Media Marketing? (SMM) Social Media Marketing (SMM) is an effective way to grow a connection portfolio by way of social networks, blogs, message forums and online communities. It involves driving traffic to a website through new channels because search engines aren’t the only sites that drive big traffic anymore. Whereas it’s not the end of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). But Social Media Marketing (SMM) is another way to drive traffic to your website.
Wikipedia says about SMO:
“Social media marketing is a recent addition to organizations’ integrated marketing communications plans. Integrated marketing communications is a principle organizations follow to connect with their targeted markets. Integrated marketing communications coordinates the elements of the promotional mix; advertising, personal selling, public relations, publicity, direct marketing, and sales promotion.”
Overall, social media furnish the large range of online marketing methods of leverage and maximize targeted visitors. The Social Media Optimization Services creates your web page highly prominent in social media searches. This cost efficient online marketing strategies assure to encourage your business concern internationally.
Social Media Optimization? (SMO)
Social media optimization is a more narrowly defined activity then social media marketing. Social media optimization is often limited to making a web site or blog more adaptable to social media.
Wikipedia says about SMO:
“Social Media Optimization is in many ways connected as a technique to viral marketing where word of mouth is created not through friends or family but through the use of networking in social bookmarking, video and photo sharing websites. In a similar way the engagement with blogs achieves the same by sharing content through the use of RSS in the blogosphere and special blog search engines.”
The idea behind social media optimization is that by adding compelling, dynamic and fresh content on a regular basis, e.g. through Tip Sheets, How To listings, white papers, a podcast or bl-og, a web site gets more easily and frequently linked to and achieves top ranking and visibility in the general and specialty search engine such as Technorati, Blog Pulse and podcast directories. Other examples of SMO are the implementation of links to social media web sites to make tagging, sharing bookmarks (Del.icio.us), and voting for content (Digg, Netscape and Stumble U-pon) by visitors easier.
Social Media Optimization is in many ways connected as a technique to viral marketing where word of mouth is created not through friends or family but through the use of networking in social bookmarking, video and photo sharing websites. In a similar way the engagement with blogs achieves the same by sharing content through the use of RSS in the blogosphere and special blog search engines.
Rohit Bhargava explains five suggestions for social media optimization.
1. Increase your linkability 2. Make tagging and bookmarking easy 3. Reward inbound links 4. Help your content travel 5. Encourage the mashup Read his post here
Some additions by Jeremiah Owyang:
6. Be a User Resource, even if it doesn’t help you 7. Reward helpful and valuable users Read his post here
Couple more from Cameron Olthuis:
8. Participate 9. Know how to target your audience 10. Create content 11. Be real Read his post here
Some more from Loren Baker:
12. Don’t forget your roots, be humble 13. Don’t be afraid to try new things, stay fresh Read more here
Some additions by Lee Odden: 14. Develop a SMO strategy 15. Choose your SMO tactics wisely 16. Make SMO part of your process and best practices Read more here
Remember, SMO is not a one-time game. You need to keep the ball rolling, be consistent. If you are writing a blog, trying podcasting or joining conversations, just be consistent. Consistent effort is the key to success.
Benefits of Social Media Optimization service include a better understanding of product issues, awareness of consumer opinions and feedback from various sources, and other posted content found that talk about your company, products or services, employees, or other company information.
Think of SMO as a lead generation and SMM as the collateral you use to give to your leads.