Are You Developing Your Social Media Strategy?

Another rainy Friday morning in Los Angeles! We began this one with the first out of a series of implementation courses by The Art of Online Marketing and Rachel Perlmutter.

Equipping Your Marketing Tool Belt
From the beginning, a very important point was made and that is: social media is just another marketing channel. Think about social media tactics as another marketing tool. Like other traditional channels, this means that you need to set a strategy in order to realize your goals. A big mistake many make is that they get too caught up in social media without realizing any success. Friends and fans mean nothing if they can’t be translated into real life.

Your Virtual Reputation
Next, when you’re present on social media sites, how do you portray yourself? Do you have a professional picture? Are you comfortable with this picture and profile representing your brand? An easy way to think about this is to think about how you behave at an actual networking event. You want to be friendly and make small talk before pushing your business cards into other people’s faces. At the same time, be wary of the people you meet and see if they are actually interested in providing you with value.

Don’t Waste Your Time

Many may get caught up in the social media marketing hype because it’s “free”. But remember, your time is certainly not free! Self and time management will help make your time spent on social media sites more effective and efficient. Rachel suggests taking an hour or so out of the day dedicated to your social media activities. Who really spends hours on end on Twitter? Except for the Twitterholics, most people will want to break up their time spent into 10 minute blocks. Sounds like great advice for those who don’t want to waste their time.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

Email’s Not Dead

The topic of yesterday’s webinar was social media and email marketing presented by Peggy Hatch with Blaine Mathieu. With the emerging world of social media, email marketing efforts can easily get left behind. While there are problems with email marketing, the solution may lie in combining it with social media efforts.

The Problem with Email
My favorite point that Blaine brought up was the email is the first form of social media. Remember how excited the world was when email peaked? Who could forget the classic, You’ve Got Mail? After all, when we want to share something with friends or family, a majority of us jump to email. According to marketing studies, only 22% of internet users use social media sites to share, while a majority still rely on email. When utilizing email for marketing campaigns, marketers have problems knowing where to start and how to properly integrate email into their overall efforts.

Social Media Sharing is the Answer
According to researchers, social media is not slowing. the growth of social media is not slowing. In fact, 8 out of 10 marketers agree that these sites are a great place to extend their reach. Why not create a dynamic duo of social media and email marketing? In a simple but effective example, Mabel & Zora sees sharing opportunities in their email campaigns. In all their emails, they provide social sharing opportunities where users can share with their friends. Maybe this means posting a coupon deal on their Facebook. In turn, their friends can share with their own network via Twitter, blogs, etc. As this webinar showed, the reach of email is wide reaching. Marketers can benefit from incorporating social media efforts in their emails and users will get an enhanced experience.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

Webinar Wednesday: Website Conversion and Social Media

Another day, another webinar! Today’s presentation was a double-header moderated by Steve Ziemba with Darren Guarnaccia and Adam Mertz. It was very useful to follow the corresponding hashtag on Twitter to see other users’ real-time comments. Here are some highlights on the two topics:

Website Conversion Tips
Habit #2: Find a balance between user experiences and your site goals
How to do this: Make sure your promises measure up to your calls to action. Your users will be happy to get what they want and you can effectively guide users to where you want them to go. Think about how each segment react and how their goals differ. Build credibility – this leads to higher conversion rates.

Habit #4: Learn to listen and listen to your segments and then optimize your message
How to do this: Once you learn to listen,you can  measure your performance by testing each segment. Can’t emphasize testing enough! It’s the key to understanding and improving your campaign!

Social Media Tips

Get ready for a dramatic change! Don’t fear the change and progression with the “social” movement. Marketing used to be a one way disengaged channel but now, you can instantly be where your customers are – social media sites. Social media marketing is quickly becoming a respected and useful tool.

Don’t underestimate the power of social. When peers connect, you can harness that community and increase your website’s success. Word-of-mouth doesn’t just raise awareness, you can see real results. For example, IHG saw a 24% increase in booked nights from an email campaign which encouraged user-generated photos. (Keep in mind the expenses they saved for this campaign!)

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

Just Attended: Social Media Club

Last night, we braved the rain and made it to join, “Social Media: Getting it Right in 2010”, with the Social Media Club of San Gabriel Valley. Moderated by Sally Falkow, the panelists included: Dana Chinn, James Macpherson. and Jessica Gottlieb. With good people and good fudge, what more could we ask for?

In about 2 hours, a wide array of topics were covered. It started out with what’s changed in the media. Nowadays, you small businesses can take advantage of bloggers to monitor your brand and listen to what customers want. No doubt, the theme of the night was to measure your efforts and adjust accordingly. Just because we’re talking about social media marketing, doesn’t mean that you should throw the basics of marketing out the window!

Useful Tips and Takeaways
– When it comes to social media, you don’t necessarily need to be everywhere. Utilize the right platforms that will work with your overall goals.
– Make use of location-based review sites: Foursquare and Yelp. Listen and be nice to your customers!
– Don’t forget to be engaging. Leave comments and interact with your fans and friends frequently.
– Communicate your passion. Chances are, there are many readers out there who share your enthusiasm for certain topics. Even if they don’t, your excitement is a great way to bring them in.

All in all, it was a fun and informative night. Looking forward to more of them in the future!

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

Just Attended: Writing for the Web in 2010

We love TopRank Online, so I was thrilled to catch a webinar with Lee Odden this morning. The topics were of new strategies to make better use of SEO tactics in online press releases and vice versa. So much to absorb in 1 hour and there was little time for questions at the end. Anyways, here are some important things that I took from the presentation:

Starting out with SEO Basics
As Lee puts it, “If content can be searched on, then it can be optimized for better performance in search”. However the definition of SEO is changing nowadays. You can make the most of your resources and you can also optimize your video, images, and even audio. As always, we emphasize that this is possible through relevant content and links. They are your friends and don’t forget it!

More SEO Tips
– After you have compiled a keyword glossary, use a keyword tool to target your audience more efficiently.- Keyword placement is up for debate, but Lee recommends that the important ones are placed upwards towards the top
– Optimize your content for your readers first. Then, you can go back and make adjustments to make it more search engine friendly. (Doing it the other way around!)
– Don’t overlook the importance of using keywords in the title, subheading, and text body. The title is the most important place for your keywords to be. At the same time, you don’t want your content to be overflowing with keywords. It helps to use variation and synonyms to make your piece more visually appealing and easier to digest. In a normal 500 word press release, you’ll want to use a targeted keyword around 2-4 times.

Making a Press Release Work
Traditionally, you may think that a press release is just a type of announcement. An online press release is so much different, in that you can do more than just pitch a message or event. You’ll want to inspire a call to action, whether it is having readers click through to your website, add you on Facebook, or make a call. You can direct them to a landing page for optimization analysis. Think of a press release as more than a one-time thing. A credible piece may be passed along by journalists, readers, and bloggers. With your links in place, a press release can be a very valuable investment and asset.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

Social Media Things to Keep in Mind

Going Overboard

Twitter. Facebook. YouTube. Blogger. Tumblr. WordPress. Vimeo. MySpace. People can tend to go a little overboard when it comes to social media nowadays. It’s not a bad thing to be everywhere, but you may be spreading yourself thin. Instead, examine the right platforms for your campaign. Having a Twitter or WordPress is pretty useless you’re active. No one said it was easy, but it does take time and effort.

Overlooking Google Profiles

With all the profiles you currently have, who as the time to consider their Google Profile? It is always worthwhile to take advantage of free resources to make sure that your latest info is updated. While Google may have failed with Orkut, they have many social innovations that have grand potential. Google Wave is a favorite among web designers and other busy professionals, while Google’s What’s Popular is looking to rival Digg. There are new social media sites coming out all the time, but it’s especially worth it to keep your eye out on Google products.

Someone’s Always Watching

A little creepy? But yes, we should all be a little more careful with our personal information on all these social media sites. It’s common sense and yet, it can’t be reiterated enough! Facebook’s founder recently claimed that we’re no longer in the age of privacy. According to Zuckerburg, he would make all private info public, if he launched Facebook today. Although many oppose his remarks and Facebook’s recent privacy changes, the best we can do is guard our online identity. Another sketchy source came out saying that Facebook knows who you stalk. Not sure how you guys feel about all this, but I just like to be aware of what’s going on.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

5 Link Building Tips

Link building is an effective way to bring traffic to your website. The more traffic and quality interactions you get, the better your Page Rank will be. Instead of quantity, it’s time to reevaluate the quality of your links. Here are some methods that you can utilize to benefit your business:

  1. Submit a press release. The purpose of a press release is to announce your new website or upcoming events. PR websites will distribute your release to different online news outlets, while allowing a greater control of what demographics to target.
  2. Embrace social media profiles. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and more. There are so many social communities where you can insert a link to your website.
  3. Protect your online reputation. When you get requests for link exchanges, make sure you carefully research the site. You don’t have to accept every request – it’s okay to say no.
  4. Share useful content. People will always appreciate info on a relevant or interesting topic. Whether it’s just random blogging or a more serious subject, be an expert in your field.
  5. Stay relevant. Don’t forget to demonstrate your knowledge and submit to relevant websites and blogs. It’s easy to get distracted, so stay on track!

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

Video Marketing for a New Decade

Why Video?

Why read about it, when you can see it? 2009 has definitely been the year for video marketing. With more YouTube views than Google searches, what can you do to ensure that your video won’t be lost in the crowd? You can’t just throw together a video, throw it on a video-sharing site and expect business to roll in. Nowadays, you can attract viewers to your website by integrating videos for certain topics. Whether it is a welcome video, virtual tour, or helpful tutorial, videos are a riveting way to compliment your content and glorious web design.

Tips for Successfully Using Videos

Are you using video to its full potential? Even though we are coming up in the new decade, chances are that most of your competitors are not taking full advantage of using website video. Here are some helpful tips you should keep in mind for optimizing your videos:

  1. Embed and share – From viral videos, trailers, to informative video clips, you’ll benefit from being able to share your videos with an embeddable feature
  2. Using the right format – There are countless video formats out there (FLV, MP4, AVI, etc). Using the most popular ones will make it easier when editing and viewing.
  3. Accurate tracking tools – What’s the use of your video marketing efforts if you can’t see how they’re helping you? By measuring your performance and the impact of each new video, you’ll be able to better your assess your progress.
  4. Video seo – Did you know that videos are 53 times more likely to appear on the first page of search results than text pages? Utilize tags and keywords to make your videos more visible.
  5. Be consistent – If you plan on integrating a lot of videos across your website, make sure to present a reliable message. Don’t confuse your customers or make promises that you can’t keep.

Not only is it a brand new year, but we are embarking towards a new decade. Why not do something good for yourself and your company?

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

Who Uses Facebook’s Marketplace?

New and Improved

Earlier this year in March, Facebook re-launched its Marketplace that is now powered by Oodle. If you haven’t heard of it, the Marketplace is a classified ads section where users can list and respond to advertisements. The Marketplace gives users the ability to buy, sell, and trade all their goods with other Facebook users.

Marketplace Features

So, who really uses the Facebook Marketplace? You may have seen friends trying to sell their used chemistry books or their extra phone. But, did you know that there’s also a section for housing and free stuff? That’s what’s so great about this application. Originally created in 2007, the new Marketplace is revamped with a user friendly interface. While it is like Craigslist in its free listing of classified ads, but it also integrates an important social factor that Craigslist lacks. Wouldn’t you rather buy something from a friend or a friend of a friend than a complete stranger?

Seeing the Potential in the Marketplace

Marketers are warming up to the market place as they see ease and convenience of its features. With every listing, you can promote the sale of your goods and services by adding pictures, putting it in an appropriate category and even sending out personalized messages. Such custom settings make it easier for those looking to buy and sell real estate. Because Facebook thrives on the social thread, word of mouth will still be important. If your friends have had a successful transaction with a certain seller, they’re likely to spread the word. Before you brush it off, not everything on Facebook is a time-waster. In the past, Apple has even posted a listing looking for iPhone engineers on there!

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

5 Social Media Tips for 2010 Webinar with Sally Falkow

Just attended a great webinar moderated by Sally Falkow. Here’s an overview of some great tips she focused on:

1) Use news feeds to push and pull your content.
Make use of RSS (really simple syndication) to push info on your site. From blogs to content pages, search engines look favorably on your links when they show up in news feeds. On the plus side, news feeds can expose your content to new audiences and give your site more traffic.

2) Monitor what’s said about your company.
Whether it’s using Google Trends or a service like NetVibes, it’s important to stay updated on who’s saying what about your company.

3) Measure the effectiveness your social media efforts.
Using Google Analytics, you can track where your traffic is coming from. If your bounce rate is fairly high, you might need to update your content and make it more user-friendly. Make the most out of these tools to measure all your social media and marketing efforts.

4) Use a branded video player.
Video views on YouTube are exploding as users are rushing over to the site over Google for their search needs. By using a service like Veeple, you can track real-time analytics of viewers watching your videos.

5) Integrate a social media newsroom into your website.
It’s a great place for bloggers, journalists, and readers alike. With a newsroom, it’s convenient to organize all your press releases, videos, pictures, and testimonials. Having ‘connect this’ buttons (like Digg and Twitter), makes it easier for readers to share your content.

Stay tuned for the next webinar in January!

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.