Each year, more businesses are adopting social media marketing strategies to enhance their traditional, offline marketing efforts. The overall reach of social networks is impressive, with the combined user base of Facebook, Twitter and Google+ accounting for about 1/7 of the world’s entire population. However, the vast scope of social media has left some business owners concerned about being “lost in the shuffle” and struggling to attain discernable visibility.
One important element to gaining recognition and visibility in the social space and within the SERPs is relevance. The term “relevance” goes beyond merely generating on-page content and keywords that are in line with a page’s general theme or context. Researching trends in social media and discovering ways to relate those trends to a brand’s offerings is one of the most effective ways to maximize the value of social media marketing and enhance brand awareness online.
Last week, fellow WebiMax.com Blog contributor and VP of Marketing & Digital Strategy, Todd Bailey, appeared on FOX News to discuss the hot topic of Penn State and how the university can repair its online reputation. Additionally, he wrote a follow-up blog post and hosted a video News Update further detailing the situation and possible long-term reputation management solutions for PSU. By relating a trending news topic to one of his areas of expertise, Todd was able to gain considerable visibility for his knowledge of reputation management and its application to a widely known issue.
Creating pertinent content not only positively affects organic search rankings and social engagement, but it is a crucial component of building brand awareness and establishing brand personality. With the roles of P.R., rich content and social media becoming substantially larger in online marketing initiatives, businesses should expect to see significantly increased value in generating high-quality, original content from trending topics.
The social gaming company, Zynga, is facing serious financial difficulties. Yesterday, the company reported losses in the second quarter of 2012 and the subsequent stock devaluation saw shares drop by 39% to just $3.09. These figures indicate a decrease of almost 70% from Zynga’s initial public offering in December.
Additionally, roughly 15% of Facebook’s revenue is attributed to Zynga’s offerings on the social network. As WebiMax CEO Ken Wisnefski predicted yesterday on Bloomberg Television, Facebook also saw its stock values drop yesterday. While Facebook is likely to rebound by the end of 2012, Zynga may not be so fortunate. The two companies have vastly different business models, but Facebook is decidedly more versatile and adaptable. Rumored upcoming features such as the “Want” button indicate that Facebook may be investigating E-Commerce as a potential future revenue stream. Should such efforts prove successful, they could diminish or even eliminate the need for Zynga’s games as a major source of income. Although Zynga is developing new games outside of Facebook, the company’s potential for alternative revenue is much more limited and there may be difficulty entering new markets.
Despite the stock decline and disadvantages, there is still hope for Zynga. The company should utilize its own substantial social media presence to better promote and market its newer titles. If Zynga is able to achieve the previous success of older titles such as FarmVille by capitalizing on its social user base, the company could foreseeably become more profitable on a long-term basis.
Currently, Zynga is on a challenging road to financial recovery. However, the implementation of proven Internet marketing strategies may be the answer the brand is undoubtedly looking for.
Link building strategies have come a long way since the early days of SEO and search algorithm updates such as Google’s Panda and Penguin have made the process even more complex. Formerly, link profiles existed merely to bolster the authority of pages within the SERPs. However, the quality of those backlinks was not deemed to be nearly as important as quantity. As the search engines have improved their functionality, quality and relevance have become crucial and certain link building strategies have been rendered obsolete.
Many webmasters find the task of building high-quality links to be particularly challenging and some may even wonder if there is still value in link building processes post-Penguin. Does a strong link profile still matter to online businesses? Yes. In fact, it may be more important than ever before.
Why Links Still Work
Although Google, Bing and other search engines now consider quality to be paramount, quantity still plays a part in determining organic rankings. Link building isn’t dead, it’s just different. Paid links that were once effective for gaining authority are now penalized and backlinks from reputable sites have become even more valuable.
An Optimized Profile
P.R. initiatives, guest blogging and social media are proving to be effective ways for business owners and webmasters to gain high-quality, authoritative backlinks. Additionally, these strategies also enhance overall brand awareness and visibility outside the SERPs.
The future of link building looks to be very secure. It always has been and likely, always will be, a key component in SEO and digital marketing. However, online businesses must be prepared to forge a new kind of link profile with quality at its core in order to retain their presence in the organic search rankings from here on out.
In recent months, Yahoo has endured major financial struggles and the company is currently undergoing restructuring efforts to streamline their business and return to profitability. While many experts have offered their opinions on Yahoo’s recovery attempts, the brand has yet to see any substantial improvement. Of course, re-inventing the business model of an international, multi-million dollar corporation is not a rapid process.
Although Yahoo understands that an enhanced focus on their core brands and features and the shedding of unnecessary offerings is now integral to their survival; there are challenges in doing so. Yahoo must monetize its most popular features while limiting the scope of their business. While it is certainly possible for the company to achieve this without losing its valuable user base, quality content will be a crucial element of the company’s future success.
Maximize Quality to Maximize Success
Yahoo’s top priority going forward should be delivering quality content while reducing expenditures on its lesser-known or utilized features. By increasing their focus on quality, rather than quantity, Yahoo may very well be able to re-establish itself as a brand that only does a few things, but does them particularly well. Yahoo’s initial rise to prominence in the 1990s was based on this strategy and revisiting it is likely to be a viable solution for renewed success.
Going Beyond Yahoo
Developing high-quality content and minimizing excessive functionality is a wise move for many other online businesses, as well. Companies should consider targeted marketing campaigns geared toward specific audiences in order to better establish their identity as a brand and build a more efficient, smarter business.
Terms such as “domain authority” and “page authority” are part of the everyday vernacular in the Internet marketing industry, but what do they mean for online business owners? As it pertains to visibility on the Web and greater revenue, they mean a lot.
Essentially, a website or page’s authority is the prevalence it has in organic search engine rankings. Higher authority correlates to more visibility and potentially, more conversions and sales. In digital marketing, gaining said authority is a common goal of many campaigns. In the past, that goal was achieved through efforts such as link building, content development and routine site maintenance. Today, however, social media is playing an increasingly important role and maximizing social engagement is gradually becoming a crucial part of marketing initiatives.
Companies that specialize in social media enhancement understand the value of networks such as Facebook, Google+, Twitter and Pinterest. Friends, fans, likes and tweets provide much more than bragging rights for a business; they can also provide authority to individual pages or domains. Additionally, social media is an effective platform for gaining brand recognition, which is valuable both on and offline.
Consumers spend a significant amount of time online searching for brands, local businesses or products that they like and sharing them amongst their peers. This phenomenon has grown to worldwide proportions and has become a cornerstone of social media marketing. Delivering content to users and offering products and incentives via social shares has proven to be impactful on the profitability and visibility of many brands.
Once a greater social following has been established, it is important to encourage shares and feedback through social media outlets. By creating a “call to action”, businesses are more likely to gain more momentum in the SERPs and throughout the social space.
Social media is a long-term investment for a business. Profiles must be carefully maintained and frequently updated. However, a properly optimized social media presence is almost certain to increase authority and ensure success in the online marketplace.
What do Google, Microsoft and Apple have in common? A lot, actually; and following their respective developer conferences earlier this summer, several new commonalities have been revealed. We now know that new tablet devices are being developed by Google and Microsoft and that Google and Apple are both looking to capitalize on their mapping software. We’ve also learned that iOS 6, Windows 8 and Android 4.1 are going to incorporate more Internet and social media functionality than any previous operating systems. This enhanced focus on social connectivity will undoubtedly be an important component of these new systems, but its impact on Internet marketing may be even greater.
A More Social Future
Despite Facebook’s apparent inability to succeed on Wall Street thus far, the network is still as popular as ever. With upwards of 900 million users, nearly 1/7 of the world’s population is using Facebook. That’s an impressive reach for a social network that began less than a decade ago as a college project. Microsoft and Apple have both seen potential in Facebook and their confidence in the brand is reinforced by its incorporation into their new OS offerings. The move to integrate social media directly into the operating system itself will only bolster its popularity, which will significantly impact the Internet marketing industry.
Effects on Internet Marketing
SEOs and SMOs are likely to see a substantial rise in their client base. Online marketing initiatives will become increasingly valuable as the Internet itself continues to become more accessible. Today, the role of social media in marketing initiatives is larger than it has ever been and it has proven effective for many companies worldwide. Search engine optimization and social media are expected to become even more closely related going forward, as well.
The release of iOS 6 and Windows 8 are also likely to impact current social media campaigns and increase their overall effectiveness. The future of social media looks to be very bright and with the help of tech industry mainstays such as Microsoft, Apple and Google, it may become the very cornerstone of online marketing.
What are your thoughts on the future of social media marketing? Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @brwebimax.