Improve Everwhere’s Mp3 Experiment # 7

Tomorrow night, Improv Everywhere is set to carryout their 7th Mp3 experiment!

It will all take place in Manhattan, NY and you can read more about it here. The goal is to have as many people as possible download an Mp3 file that contains instructions – everyone will listen to that file for the first time tomorrow night at 6PM. As the crowd gathers, hilarity will ensure! Last year, the crowd imitated popcorn, followed strangers, and participated in a friendly game of Bats vs. Hammers.

Take a look for yourself in the clip above. Does it remind you of one of your favorite online viral campaigns?

I think they should bring it to Los Angeles!

5 SEO Plugins for WordPress

Before you start blogging, you might want to consider some of these SEO plugins. They’ll help search engines find and crawl your content:

1) All-In-One SEO Pack – No blog should be complete without this tool. It’s a quick and simple way to enter all your keywords, tags, meta information, categories and more.

2) Google XML Sitemaps – This useful plugin will notify search engines every time a post is updated. This is the most efficient way for search engines to find and index all your blog content.

3) SEO Slugs – This plugin improves SEO visibility by automatically renaming the post’s file name . It will remove words that aren’t necessary in the eyes of search engines – words like “a”, “in”, and “if”. Optimized titles will help your blog get crawled more efficiently.

4) SEO Smart Links – If there’s one thing search engines like, it’s interlinking or self-linking within your own blog posts. This shows that your content is relevant and connected. This plugin automatically links keywords in your posts with other corresponding posts.

5) Simple Tags –  Simple Tags allows you to mass edit tags, suggest related tags, create tag clouds and more. It’s an easy tool to manage all your tags from one place.

What are some of your favorite WordPress plugins?

Social Media and SEO: The Perfect Pair

Emarketed social media advertising and SEOEver have a client (or someone else) ask you what the point of social media is? They may tell you, I already have a new website and I do SEO and PPC – why would I need social media?

Let’s now take a look at some ways that social media and search engine optimization go hand in hand:

Boosting Organic Search Results

Believe it or not, participation on social sites counts as content. Search engines are constantly changing to adapt to this when displaying results. You’ll be surprised at how you’ll benefit with consistent participation. I’ve Googled my name a couple times and see my comments or “Likes” on Facebook Pages in the results. Just as you blog and optimize videos with advertising keywords, you can also incorporate this strategy when making updates.

Staying Visible in Real-Time

Using social networks increases the immediate visibility of your brand. We currently have a client whose site doesn’t show up in a search of one of their common aliases but their Twitter account does. This will help them while SEO is in the works. There are also real time search engines like Twitter Search and 48ers where users can look up any word. You can think of social media advertising just like another form of offsite promotion or in a way, linkbuilding.

Getting Back to Your Goal

In the end, social media makes sense when it comes back to your goal – bringing relevant traffic to your site. Social media sites make it so simple to share. More sharing = more clicks = more conversions. With that being said, social media cannot replace your traditional marketing efforts. It’s a flexible tool that complements your other strategies and site assets. Just think of it as another useful tool in your tool belt!

If Twitter is NOT a Social Network, What Is It?

Emarketed Twitter social media advertising

Earlier this week, Twitter’s own VP of business and corporate development, Kevin Thau, shook things up when he said that Twitter is NOT a social network. In his own words, “Twitter is for news. Twitter is for content. Twitter is for information.”

Maybe Kevin has taken allegations that Twitter is “pointless” to heart. Twitter is trying to revamp their image a place where news is broadcast and transformed. I’m not sure why Twitter wants to suddenly re-position their image as a news aggregator.

Twitter is a great place for social networking, so why would they want to turn away from that? I think it’s strange that they don’t embrace it but instead, turn to a direction that most users don’t associate it with. As one reader put it, “Since Twitter can’t compete with Facebook as a social app, they’re now redefining themselves as a news source. That’s my read anyways.”

What is Twitter to you and how do you use it?

Webinar: How to Harness Internet Video Marketing

Emarketed video marketingIt’s Tuesday and we attended a webinar with Firm Media this morning about “how to harness internet video marketing to promote your business online”.

Video Marketing is Useful
The most important thing about video marketing is that it can help create conversions. How exactly does that work? It depends on the planning and execution you put into your videos. The goal is to create quality videos that stand out from the crowd and your competitors. On the webinar, we found out that 75% of customers would rather see a video in place of lengthy text on your website. Search engines also prefer videos if you optimize and use keywords in title tags and descriptions. If you think pictures add a personal touch, think of the impression that videos will make on your customers!

Different Types of Videos
There are a variety of videos that you can incorporate onto your website. Here are some common ones that were discussed:

  1. Testimonials
  2. Introducing your team
  3. Showcasing the user experience of your service/product.

Whether you own a restaurant or an online marketing firm, the benefits of video is that it helps you accomplish something that you CAN’T with copy. If you own a restaurant, a video can really show the ambiance and food that your business has to offer. If you own an online marketing firm, it can add a human touch to what some consider a “sterile and cold” business.

What are you waiting for?

There are times for informative videos and experimental viral videos. Today, the point is not to give your best “elevator pitch”. Don’t you think customers are tired of this? It’s a chance for you to convey emotion and show your human side. Your customers can get a chance to meet you before they actually make a connection. This could even be the deciding factor in their decision. People like to actually see and hear WHO it is that will be helping them.

Help, My Dad is on Facebook!

“Just watched my dad type in mail.yahoo.com into the username field on the Gmail homepage. Wow.”

Comedian, Aziz Ansari shows us that some of our parents aren’t as internet-savvy as we’d like them to be. So, how do you feel knowing that your parents are on Facebook?

Fastest Growing User Segment
There’s a myth that only teens and young people are on Facebook – that would be wrong of course. The 35+ age group has grown drastically and actually, 55+ females was one the fastest growing groups earlier this year! Facebook surpassed 500 million users earlier this summer and I’m sure that only more “older” people will sign up. Can’t they enjoy Mafia Wars and Nightclub City like the rest of us?

Scams to Watch Out For
No, my dad hasn’t fallen for any email proposals from Nigerian princes but he does have the bad habit of opening pretty much every email he receives. Which is only one reason that I now worry that he is on Facebook… From password phishing, fake “Unlike” buttons and worms from applications, there are plenty of Facebook scams out there. Even though all this stuff is out there, I think the benefits outweigh the potential negatives.

Please Don’t Friend Me
Some people may find it “creepy” or “weird” that their parents or older relatives are on Facebook to check up on them. Two words: privacy settings. Facebook doesn’t have to be all about businesses or games. I actually think it’s a great way for my parents to stay connected to our relatives (most who live in other states) and reconnect with old friends. What’s your opinion?

Social Media Tips Learned from Groupon

One aspect of a group + one aspect of a coupon = Groupon. So, have you used it yet?

It Pays to be Social
As we all know, social media advertising depends effective communication. Did you know you can log onto Groupon through Facebook and not have to create a new account? It pays to be social and make things easy for customers.
When Groupon first started, a local daily deal would need a certain number of buyers in order for it to be valid. For example, 500 people needed to score a dozen cupcakes at a bakery for 75% off. People would pass this Groupon to their friends and family via social media or email. Nowadays, so many people use Groupon that I rarely see a deal that hasn’t met its buyer requirement. Nonetheless, it’s still fun to pass on great deals.

Who Doesn’t Love a Great Deal?

Whether you’re a serious shopaholic or frugal foodie, Groupon is a great way to find deals throughout your city. It’s a fun way to try restaurants you’re skeptical about and they also make great gifts. Most recently, a national retailer gave Groupon a try. GAP offered $50 worth of apparel for $25 and over 200,000 people jumped on the deal. That’s 10 sales per second! What’s the lesson learned here? Offer good deals and the customers will come.

People Love Good Customer Service

I recently saw a deal for Mr. Cecil’s California Ribs: $30 of BBQ for $15 – doesn’t seem so bad. I checked out their reviews on Yelp and saw some less than flattering reviews. When so many people are going to be doing their research on your business, you’d better be prepared. I saw that a manager at Mr. Cecil’s was personally responding to negative reviews and offering customers a gift certificate so that they would try the restaurant again. Lesson: learn from your mistakes and offer superb customer service.

Have you learned anything else from Groupon? If your business is interested in giving Groupon a go, it’s a great way to bring in new locals.

The Difference Between Web Development and Web Design

Emarketed web design and developmentYour clients have a misunderstanding between web development and web design – ever had this problem? It’s important to explain the difference between these two services because the terms shouldn’t be used interchangeably.

What do you think is the best way to explain web development and web design?

An Eye for Website Design
When people talk about “web design”, they often refer to the look and feel of a site. This means all the creative and visual elements of a website. In (very) broad terms, web design can be like planning out something in print. This means arranging the layout of the site and other graphic elements. To what degree that designers should know how to code is highly debatable…

Web Development Is…

Web development usually refers to the programming of a site to ensure that everything is working. This occurs in the “back end” of the site where all the content is added. Developers use script languages like PHP to make this all happen. When it comes to coding and programming, web developers take it to another level to make sure that these designs are functional. Without efficient development, the vision of your web design can’t fully be realized.

Finding Balance with Search Engine Friendly Web Design
So now that you know that web development and design have to work together, what do you get? Search engine friendly web design is when your site is fully optimized for search engines, as well as human visitors. Customers will take interest in your appealing web design while developers make sure that they find what they are looking for and that it’s working. If you think that websites have to be one or the other, you’re wrong. Read our previous post on bad website design. Some people may consider the design aspect more of an art and the development part to be more technical. What’s wrong with having both sets of skills or wearing two different “hats”? Finding a balance can be a good thing.

Check out some more discussion on what designers and developers should know about their respective fields.

The 5 P’s that Power Twitter

Emarketed Twitter social media marketing

Looking for some powerful ways to amp up your Twitter or social media campaign? There are many things to consider, so let’s focus on some P words that can help you on your way:

1) Participation – If you’re on Twitter (or any social site for that matter) you can’t expect success without participation. Communication consists of listening and responding, so don’t expect it just to be a one way street.

2) Packed – There’s nothing more inefficient than an inactive Twitter account. You can’t just sit back and expect things to happen. Your Tweets need to be packed with information, resources and tools. Sounds boring? Not really, this translates to: articles, blogs, infographics, etc. People are always looking and sharing helpful things.

3) Persistence
– Depending on your industry/business and the time you put into your Twitter account, it could be taking off slower than you expected. In the end, don’t give up. It pays off to be persistent and it can start with something as small as researching your competitors’ tactics.

4) Pleasant
– Real life is depressing as it is. No one likes a sad sack or creep on Twitter! Be personable and show that you’re a real person. Share something interesting you did over the weekend or a short anecdote.

5) Promotion
– This could be the most difficult P to tackle because it could backfire easily. What’s easier: promoting a new TV show or asking people to vote for a certain candidate? It all depends, so use this P sparingly. But then again, promoting doesn’t just have to relate to yourself. You can tweet about your favorite blogger or share a service that you’re happy about. Who knows, they might even reply or reciprocate. For example, the Salvation Army tweeted us some thanks after this post, which is pretty cool!

Hopefully, these tips will help for more than just your Twitter strategy. What about your blog or email campaigns? Feel free to share other P words!

What Bothers You About Facebook?

emarketed Facebook advertising
Whether you think that change is good or bad, it’s one thing for sure: inevitable. Facebook faces harsh criticisms as they are always changing features and updating their looks. Let’s take a look the pain points of Facebook:

Constant changes – People don’t always like change, especially when it comes to something that they’re familiar with. Facebook is always changing how Pages look and have recently put a size constraint on Facebook Page tabs and eliminated Boxes. They claim that the purpose of this is to enhance the user experience but how is it helpful for Pages to take things away?

Facebook Places also made its debut and people are up in arms over privacy issues, so learn how to disable it if you’re interested.

Lack of focus – Should I focus on gaining more Fans? Constantly updating my status? Adding new content? What’s the point of all this?! Many people find themselves asking these questions. It’s hard to find a balance in all this but you’ll eventually find the spot. To me, the most important aspect of a Facebook Page is to show your personality. An updated Page shows that you’re active and “social” so yes, it’s important to show your customers and fans that there is a real person behind your Page.

Irrelevancy and distractions – This article shows how Facebook Pages are becoming irrelevant in some ways. It claims that less people are visiting Pages. I think that well-maintained Pages will still get hits.
So, what are people doing on Facebook? I just noticed that I got a complimentary 25 credits for Facebook Games such as Resort World (nearly 2.5 million players) or Happy Island (nearly 9 million players). Time to spend that virtual money!

What are some other things that bother you about Facebook?