I hope you brought a few extra cookies to the lunch table, because with the way SEO is evolving, you’re going to need to make some new friends – and those friends are Twitter and Pinterest.
I’ve been SEO writing for several years, and the increasing overlap of the two circles in the Venn diagram of “content” and “social media” is the biggest change to which I’ve had to adapt. Now, there’s scarcely a time when I’m in the process of writing or posting a blog post, article, infographic, or what-have-you and I don’t visit one of these social media platforms. This is not to say that there isn’t a place in the SEO world for Facebook, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn, Yelp!, and the rest of the gang, because those provide a whole new slew of optimization opportunities. I’ve simply found that these two are a) largely accessible to content writers of any level of experience and/or expertise, and b) the ones that make it super easy to pigeonhole your audience.
Let’s delve further into how the writing and social media departments of SEO overlap, shall we?
When deciding on a blog topic, we know how important it is to choose a title that’s attention-grabbing. One way to go about that is to make sure it’s current and relevant. We’re a culture of short attention spans – we’re so connected that there are constantly a million different things competing for readers’ attention, and that’s why you need to be strategic if you’re one of those competitors. For this reason, you want to make friends with Twitter and, more importantly, its ‘Trending’ and ‘Discover’ tabs. Twitter is your inside source, letting you know what people are talking about right now – it lets you know what already has people’s attention, so all you have to do is stay on-topic so social media users can’t resist a click.
Keep in mind that hashtags are the best thing to happen to social sharing since sliced bread. Once you’ve posted your blog post or infographic, tweet it and slap one of those trending hashtags on it. Just like that, you’re automatically visible to the millions of people browsing that hashtag.
People go to Pinterest for ideas. You’ve got ideas, don’t you? Otherwise, you wouldn’t be writing that article or blog post. The best way to make use of Pinterest is to be creative: write a lively how-to blog post, or create an infographic with wild and interesting facts. (Another helpful tip from me to you: try not to get sucked in in the process.)
Once you create a pin of your post and post it to the relevant category, the nature of Pinterest does the rest of the work for you. You never know when something might go viral – I once pinned a blog post on bridal showers, and it got over 800 re-pins.
On the flip-side, if you don’t have ideas, you can be one of those people who uses Pinterest for just that reason. Go to the relevant category and see what’s getting the most pins – what are people interested in right now? On my feed right now, I can tell you that an article on how to make an all-natural slug repellent (yum) has tons of re-pins. It makes sense, it’s springtime and this is a current issue. Play off the seasonal idea since that seems to be working.
As I said before, one could easily make the argument for other social platforms and their usefulness, but based on my experience, these have the fewest limitations for both resources and sharing. They require the lowest level of craftiness (and don’t ask for any money, which is always a plus) for making what you share visible to a large audience, and it’s easiest to search for what’s popular on any given topic.
How does your content socialize? Comment and let me know, or drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
From celebrities to grandmas, everyone is using Twitter to share content and links. As one of the most popular social networking sites in the world, Twitter boasts a huge following. By increasing social influence on Twitter, businesses and individuals can reach a huge amount of people with little effort. Here are five ways anyone can gain Twitter followers fast!
1. Search for Keywords
Let’s say you have a business that sells picture frames online. By searching for keywords that other Twitter users post, for example the keyword “photo frames,” you can find Twitter users that might follow your account if you post about related content. Instead of simply typing “photo frames” into the search in Twitter, search for entire phrases that include your keywords or search for similar words like “picture frames” in order to have a more specific search result. Include words like “want” and “need’ photo frames to view who is interested in wanting your product in real time. After finding your targeted audience, reach out to them on Twitter and begin interacting with them by first following their account. Favorite their tweet and let them know what you offer, without overly self-promoting. Take it a step further and reply to them in a comedic way – they will appreciate it
Here’s a perfect example of this idea in action:
2. Analyze using Followerwonk’s Bio Cloud
By using Twitter analytics, you can find out more about followers and recognize trending data to gain more followers. The analytics app Followerwonk includes a bio cloud search tool that analyzes the bios of your current followers and displays the keywords most used. This feature will help you not only find other users to follow, but will map out and graph the demographics–age, gender, location and data related to your audience–so you can tailor your posts and interactions based on their Twitter activity.
3. Compare users with Followerwonk
By searching for information about your competition, you can strategize about how to grow your audience based on what other people in your industry are doing right. Using Followerwonk’s compare users feature, you can type in three Twitter handles of people or companies that are similar to you, whether they’re in your industry or sell the same type of products as you. The “compare users” search feature will show you which users follow two or three of the accounts. You should follow these users since they are obviously interested in the same product or niche that you are connected to.
4. Suck Up to People & Ask Questions!
Tracking users, following them, and engaging in a conversation with them usually results in them following you back. You can praise people by tagging them with their Twitter handle, favoriting their Tweets, and asking questions based on their expertise. This starts a conversation in which the user thinks positively about you right away and will consider following you. To sum it up, people like to be recognized. Hopefully, after they follow you, they will retweet or reply to your post, which will have your handle appear on their Twitter feed, and will result in their followers follow you.
Here are examples of conversations I started with Twitter uses about picture frames:
5. Use Twitter’s Advanced Search
Some users forget it even exists, but Twitter’s advanced search can be a valuable tool in finding more users to follow and be followed by as well as narrowing down exactly what you want to search for. This feature allows users to find Twitter handles, exact phrases, posts containing either or both search keywords, tweets sent to and from handles, keywords related to or near locations, tweets sent by a certain date, posts with links, and more.
Through user interaction and analysis, you will gain more followers and help increase your social media influence on Twitter. What tactics do you use in order to gain Twitter followers?
The folks at Nielsen are pretty good at media market research and providing extensive (and more importantly accurate) data within various verticals including entertainment, advertising and recently, a growing industry which combines both: Social Media.
In this year’s Social Media Report which Nielsen released earlier today, a staggering statistic was revealed regarding social media usage – Americans collectively spent 121.1 billion minutes on social networks in July of 2012 alone!
Image Courtesy of Nielsen
According to the infographic published by Nielsen, 5.7 billion of those minutes were logged via mobile devices, 40.8 billion were through apps and somewhat surprisingly, 74 billion minutes were attributed to desktop/laptop users. Even more surprisingly, apps and PCs experienced significantly more growth in this sector than smartphones and tablets.
What’s less shocking is Facebook’s continued dominance in the social media industry. The world’s largest social network accumulated an average of over 300 million visitors per month this year. Facebook also proved to be the most engaging network in terms of audience retention, as users spent more time on the site than any networks such as Google+, Twitter or Pinterest.
Speaking of Pinterest, the up-and-coming, visually-appealing social startup has earned the title of Fastest Growing Network of 2012, having grown by over 1,000% since 2011. Blogger, Twitter, WordPress and LinkedIn were amongst the other top networks this year.
What do these stats mean for business owners? Most importantly, they’re an undeniable indicator of social media’s staying power and usefulness as a marketing tool. Every minute that a user spends on a networking site sharing, following and liking is another opportunity for businesses to achieve greater consumer awareness and gain new customers. With literally billions of minutes a month being spent on social media, those opportunities are virtually limitless.
Furthermore, these statistics show that while Facebook is the most obvious target for Social Media Optimization & Social Media Marketing campaigns, rapidly emerging networks like Pinterest are truly capable of gaining market share and getting noticed in the social media landscape and shouldn’t be overlooked as potential marketing platforms. The data speaks for itself: Social Media is a valuable resource for businesses and those not utilizing it are undoubtedly missing out on one of the world’s largest and most effective promotional outlets.
What are your thoughts on Nielsen’s 2012 Social Media Report? I’d like to know your thoughts on how social media marketing will change in the year ahead. Leave a comment below, send an email or a tweet with your opinions and insights on the future of Social Media!
In recent years, mobile Internet usage has increased dramatically and smartphones, tablets and other mobile computing devices are now the primary point of connectivity for a rapidly growing mobile demographic. For Internet marketers, reaching this massive user base is essential in creating more effective campaigns.
In order to truly achieve optimal visibility throughout social media, developing mobile-friendly sites, pages and content are a must. With Facebook and Twitter ramping up their mobile advertising efforts, it has become easier for social media marketers to build campaigns which target tablet and smartphone users, but even with some help from the networks themselves, it is still important to fully understand the metrics of mobile online marketing.
The Big Difference
The most critical aspect to keep in mind when developing mobile-specific content is compatibility. Does your site have a design that looks good and loads quickly on a tablet or smartphone? Is your rich content mobile-friendly? If not, any pages or content shared throughout the mobile Web is virtually useless. Additionally, social media marketers can take full advantage of popular apps such as Instagram in order to generate more original content geared toward mobile users.
The impact of mobile device usage on social media campaigns is already being noticed and as new “must-haves” such as Apple’s iPad Mini, Google’s Nexus 7 and Microsoft’s Surface make their long-anticipated debuts this holiday season, the market is expected to grow even larger in the months ahead. Every social media marketer should pay attention to their mobile audience and understand the value of building campaigns with this ever-increasing demographic in mind.
Earlier today, I read an article posted on Reuters.com discussing the impact of Twitter on this year’s historic Presidential election. One quote within the article that particularly stood out was:
“Through the course of a long and bitter presidential campaign, Twitter often served as the new first rough draft of history.”
It’s a great point and a hard one to disagree with. In fact, last night truly displayed the power of Twitter as one of the most significant public media outlets, both on and offline. A record-breaking 31 million tweets related to the election spread throughout the Web last night, with 23 million of those appearing between 6pm EST and midnight. Just after 11pm, Twitter users generated an incredible 327,000 tweets per minute leading up to the announcement of Obama’s victory. According to Twitter’s spokeswoman, Rachael Horwitz, the election was “the most tweeted about event in U.S. political history.”
Although President Obama and Mitt Romney aggressively utilized Twitter during their respective campaigns, last night’s unprecedented social engagement levels truly brought the network to the forefront of mainstream news and media.
Twitter, as well as Facebook, YouTube, Google+ and other prominent social networks, provide a level of both visibility and credibility to individuals and organizations that have proven difficult to achieve through other platforms. With both candidates extensively using social networks to help gain votes and raise greater awareness to their campaigns, the popularity of these networks has soared and only continues to grow and prove their value as promotional tools.
Last night, history was undoubtedly made as the incumbent President was re-elected. Before I was even able to get to the nearest TV or radio to find out who would be residing in the White House for the next four years, the following tweet appeared on my Twitter feed:
Today, as Obama begins to prepare for four more years in office, myself and thousands of other social media users will remember the tweet that announced his victory to the world and the instrumental role social media played throughout this historic campaign.
Although this year’s election has been the most expensive in US history to date (with a total price tag of over $2 billion), the most significant platform utilized by both Romney and Obama to enhance their visibility throughout the campaign may, surprisingly, be the most cost effective, as well. Social media first proved its worth in the political arena during President Obama’s groundbreaking 2008 campaign. The usage of YouTube and Facebook to connect with a vast, diverse audience had undeniably helped Obama pull ahead in the polls and capture coveted demographics in crucial swing states such as Ohio.
By creating a new form of “digital grassroots” campaign, Obama was able to successfully reach voters who spent more time on Facebook and YouTube than watching C-SPAN or reading political publications. Additionally, the least expensive element of Obama’s campaign proved to be the social media component, as the President’s social following was largely organic and the campaign’s online ad spend was far less than its print and television counterparts. The first ever “Social Election” was a complete success and had paved the way for future campaigns.
Fast Forward to 2012…
As the incumbent, Obama now maintains a sizeable lead in terms of social following. As mentioned by both Todd Bailey and Mike Stricker in our “Social Media & Election 2012” Web series, Obama’s following has been substantially greater than Mitt Romney’s on networks such as Facebook and Twitter since the outset. However, Romney’s campaign has placed a strong emphasis on social media and this has made the race to the White House much more competitive.
While the size and scope of this campaign has been greater than any before it, the role of social media marketing has played an instrumental role in the overall reach of the campaign. Going forward, candidates will almost certainly need to make social media a major part of their campaign efforts in order to raise awareness and establish themselves amongst the ever-expanding Internet audience.