How Do You Retweet?

Twitter RetweetRetweeting is a great way to share a interesting facts, shocking statements and little nuggets of wisdom. Even though there are countless types of messages to Retweet, there are two basic ways to do so. Twitter has an official Retweet button but some users still prefer the “old” style, by manually typing a RT in front of a tweet.

But does it really matter how you choose to Retweet things and here’s a better question, “Do Retweets make a difference in your social marketing campaigns?”

Manual RT Versus the Button

RT: When I mean the “old” style of Retweeting, that means copy and pasting a message after adding “RT @user” to the front of your message. This method allows you to answer questions, fix spelling mistakes and add whatever comments you’d like. Pros include customization, searchability (your RTs will show up when searched for), your username will be included in the message as others you want to credit. The downside is that makes your message more limited and can be more time consuming.

Official RT Button: If you use Twitter’s official button, your account will show up along all the other users who have Retweeted the same message. In a way, I feel that this is similar to ‘Liking’ a Facebook update. Your RT will not be counted as an individual message but rather, it will give that post more prominence. Highly Retweeted messages show up near the top of Twitter search results and that’s a good thing.

Why Does Retweeting Matter?

Either way you do it, Retweeting is an important part of the social aspect of Twitter. What makes a RT so important is the potential to reach a greater audience that what your account has alone. If one friend Retweets it, their friends will also be exposed and so on.

Remember, the timeline for a Tweet is very short lived and the message brief (140 characters). That’s why the most powerful tweets will be interesting, useful and/or also contain relevant keywords. So that when they do get Retweeted, that Tweet-juice will be counted in your favor SEO-wise.

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.

Managing Your Online Reputation

As Joan Jett famously sang,”I don’t give a damn ’bout my bad reputation.

If you’re amongst the few with this mindset, there’s always room for improvement. One important aspect of social media marketing is managing your online reputation. And that consists of two basic parts:

1) Staying alert about negative feedback
2) Being ready to respond quickly and appropriately

Social Media Monitoring
There are many different tools and services that can keep you updated on what’s been said abut your business. Good ol’ Google Alerts should be the first on your list and it’s also free. Radian 6 and Monitter are a few others that come to mind.

Regular participation on your social media profiles should also help if you get any customer inquires or direct complaints. (Another reason why you shouldn’t just create profiles and let them sit there.) Remember, these are only tools that will help you be more aware of customer satisfaction or dissatisfaction. Crafting a response is another area to focus on.

Choosing an Appropriate Response

When I see a bad review on Yelp or Facebook, it’s always refreshing to see a meaningful reply from the business owner. Unless, it’s something like this: “Why don’t you come in here and say it to my face?”

As verified business owner, you can respond directly to reviews on Yelp, Google Places or Yahoo! Local Listings. But remember, your online reputation and future business is on the line, so it’s probably not wise to blame or threaten the customer. There are many things you can do in these cases but it’s best to take action first – especially before the complaints pile up. You can invite the customer to a more private mode of communication and help fix their problem. You can also apologize for their experience and invite them to try your products/services again. I’ve seen this happen many times with reviews reversed (from bad to good) when customers are offered a second chance.

Brand monitoring is a key function of social media marketing. Don’t let your little problems snowball into a reputation crisis that you can’t avert!

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.

Tools for Measuring Facebook Engagement and Growth

Measuring engagement and ROI can be tricky topics… but even more so when it comes to your Facebook Page. As of now, there is no definitive answer or “right” way to do it. Luckily, there are many tools and strategies that will help give you a better understanding of the social activity on your Facebook Page.

  1. Facebook Insights – I’m not a very big fan but it does the job. Facebook Insights give you an overview of’ ‘Like’ growth since your Page’s creation, fan demographics, and analytics per post. As Mari Smith puts it, impressions are based on the number of times your post is loaded on someone’s Facebook stream. This isn’t very helpful and also doesn’t take into account unique views.
  2. Google Analytics – If you prefer using Analytics, you can embed a tracking code onto a custom tab on your Facebook Page. Again, it might not be too helpful because it can’t be used to track activity on the Wall.
  3. Manually – Depending on how much time you have dedicated to a campaign, tracking engagement manually can be a cost-effective method.

In the end, Facebook measurements can fall short, so it’s important to avoid getting too caught up in numbers. How do you keep track of your Facebook Page growth?

And before I forget, here are some great (free) tools that you can use to track your social media marketing campaigns:

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.

Optimizing Your YouTube Videos

The American Dream film

There’s nothing worse than the misconception of, “If you build it, they will come.” Of course, this also applies to your website video marketing. YouTube views don’t just add up by themselves!

Just like Google’s search engine algorithm changes on an everyday basis, YouTube’s search engine also has a system for ranking your videos as it applies to related terms and keywords. So, in order to make the most out of the hard work you put into making a great video, it’s important to look at a few different ways you can improve your YouTube search rankings.

Titles, descriptions and tags – When choosing these keywords, remember that you’re not just appealing to the YouTube search engine but more importantly, the viewers. It’s important to use interesting terms that people would actually want to click on when your video shows up in their search results.

Positive user interaction – YouTube considers the number of views, comments, subscribers and ratings of your videos. Make it easy for your viewers to comment on and rate your videos. (Depending on the nature of your video, you’ll also have to keep a sharp eye out for YouTube trolls.)

Encouraging clicks – Make sure to add your site URL in your video descriptions and main channel info. Keep your viewers engaged with a call to action such as “Visit our site” or “Support our cause”. Also if you receive video responses, you can accept the links to also help increase the visibility of your videos.

PS) Remember to also optimize the technical aspects of your YouTube videos and don’t forget to check out The American Dream Film.

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 To-Do List for 2011

It’s the start of a new year, what do you have to show for it? Instead of making useless resolutions that you probably won’t keep, take some time to consider some meaningful ones for your social media plan:

Defeat randomness: It’s tempting to be random because of the social nature of these sites. But don’t!
Start off with a plan and develop objectives that you can stick to. Just like failing with your New Year’s resolutions, you start off by falling off on one day of working out, then three, then weeks and months go by! This is why you see so many abandoned Twitter accounts and Facebook Pages.

Avoid over reliance of social media – Instead of trying to branch out all at once, it’s easier and more effective to focus on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn, depending on your industry. Do a few things at a time so that you can do them well. You can always add more sites later if needed.

Another thing: if your site, products and services suck, do you really expect a handful of tweets to fix that? Think of social media as an extension of your brand’s image.

Invest in the biggest asset of time – Research and training will help you effectively carry out your social media objectives. It will also give you a better feel of the changing social environment and possibly build more more genuine online reputation. The main problem is that of time and many business don’t have the want or patience to invest.

What are some of your social media resolutions for 2011?

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.

Do You Have Enough Time for Social Media?

Feeling a little overwhelmed this holiday season? Between work, family, avoiding sick co-workers and shopping for gifts, you’ll be glad to know that you can also effectively schedule in some time for social media. Great. More stuff to add to your list!

Always start with an objective in mind. Don’t have one? Here’s a list for some helpful ideas. These are some things that you’ll realistically be able to accomplish if you put in the time.

Get rid of distractions. It’s easy to get lost on social media sites as the links lead you to more interesting places. But don’t lose sight of your goal. If your priority is to Tweet or date on a daily basis, you can easily make that happen. Set aside a certain amount of time for social media so you aren’t constantly checking throughout the day. Unless you’re 50 Cent, there’s no real point in checking/updating your Twitter account every 5 minutes. (And even then, it’s highly questionable!)

Use the right tools. I find SocialOomph and Hootsuite very helpful for scheduling purposes. I started using Crowdbooster and it gives some helpful suggestions. Check it out below:

Crowdbooster

How do you stay on schedule when it comes to social media?

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 Gives ‘The Walking Dead’ a Hand

Last night, Conan O’Brien made his triumph return to late night television on the debut of his new show on TBS. Not only did Conan beat David Letterman and Jay Leno, but he also managed to pull in more viewers than Jon Stewart’s Daily Show! Perhaps, this wouldn’t have been possible without the help of the 1 million+ devoted fans of I’m with Coco.

Let’s take a look at how social media has also helped one of my new favorite shows, The Walking Dead:

Home to Mad Men and Breaking Bad, AMC brought life to the comic book series in 6 episodes for the first season of The Walking Dead. After just 2 episodes, it’s been confirmed that the network as OKed 13 episodes for the second season!
How exciting can zombies really be? Check out some fan feedback: “This is the best zombie show ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” and “This by far is one of the best made series, ever, I truly can’t wait to see what you do next. Thanks.” Note how the Page updates frequently with Q&A, conversation and extras to engage their fans.

The marketing team hasn’t just stopped at their Facebook Page though. Fans can also Spread the Dead, which is a way for them to generate a unique URL to share on their social networks. This is a great way to generate buzz and encourage conversation. Meanwhile, more clicks = more points. The contest ends Nov. 19th and prizes consist of $5000 and other Walking Dead memorabilia. Check out the leaderboard to see who has exposed the most friends to the undead.

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.

Tips for Growing Your Twitter Profile

Twitter is currently over capacity yet again! What’s a better time to stop and share some Twitter tips? Check out these simple ways you can grow your Twitter account:

Tweet
It can be difficult to think about what to Tweet about. Novice tweeters could fall into the missteps of sharing mundane information of their everyday lives or over promoting their products/services. When it comes to the types of Tweets I like to mix it up between:

– Educational resources
– Recent events that are relevant to your field
– Your own blog posts or other site content
– Re-tweets from others that you find useful
– Occasionally participating in trending topics (mostly for fun)

There is no perfect formula, so it’s up to you to find the perfect blend of Tweets.

Timing
Regular Tweeters like to participate at peak times. I’d like to think that this is around 9am, noon and 5pm. These peak periods are usually when people are on a break or have the time to check their Twitter account. Whether you’re actively Tweeting during these times or scheduling, aiming for these peak times means that you’ll more likely to get a response on retweets. Emarketed reppin’ the West coast means that we can be behind on East coast conversations, so don’t forget to keep the different timezones in mind!

Tools
Scheduling tools (like Sendible) is a helpful to give your profile an active presence. Being lively on Twitter shouldn’t mean that you’re spending all your time on the site – that’s why scheduling tweets ahead of time can be helpful. Conversations aren’t something that you can schedule so make sure to check regularly for Twitter mentions!
As for gaining followers, I don’t like to use automated tools. I find that adding followers manually allows for better control for weeding out spam and irrelevant accounts. Don’t forget to list yourself on Twitter directories such as WeFollow.

Growing your Twitter account doesn’t have to be difficult but I am surprised to see different obstacles in the different industries. I think focusing on these three categories is a great way to start growing and maintaining your Twitter profile. Check out Twitter Grader to see how you’re doing.

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.

The New Twitter is Finally Here

The new twitter design layout rolled out for many users at the end of September and has finally arrived for the Emarketed Twitter account!

Some cool new features include:

  • Endless scrolling for tweets on the lefthand panel. No need to click “More” to view additional tweets!
  • View offsite media – You can now see embedded videos and video directly from the right hand panel. For your convenience, you can see it all without leaving Twitter
  • Preview profiles before you follow. Clicking on a user will showcase a mini profile preview on the right hand panel. You can see all their info and quickly scroll for more or exit before you follow.
  • And of course, shortcuts for the busy folks:

Some bad things about the new Twitter:

  • Too much going on. Going from one panel to two is a big change. It took awhile to get used to, especially because everything is now in one place.
  • Doesn’t leave much room for design and branding. The customizable space on the right is significantly reduced.
  • Can’t view the time and date of a person’s last tweet without clicking on their profile. It only takes one click to see but I miss this feature when browsing users from a list.

Check out Mashable’s take on the new design and how it it’s based on the Gold Ratio. What do you think? Love it or hate it?

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.

What Makes Good Causes Successful on Facebook

Two weeks ago, Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes revealed his new project, Jumo. By the end of the year, Hughes hopes to unveil this social network for non-profits. This is in part of an effort to create a forum where people and non-profits can develop a long-term relationship. We’ve talked about how well the Salvation Army takes on social media so let’s take a look at how other good causes are doing on Facebook:

Animal Lovers for The Gentle Barn
I first learned about The Gentle Barn through Facebook. It is a local sanctuary in Santa Clarita, CA which houses and rehabilitates abused and abandoned animals. Even though it is a relatively small cause (compared to the Salvation Army or the Red Cross), the Barn has nearly over 25,000 fans from all over the country

Their Page has a prominent donate tab which encourages a direct action to donate. The Wall is used to post frequent updates about the Barn’s inhabitants and upcoming events. How interesting can animals really be? A post about new fluffy chickens got over 160 likes! The Gentle Barn fans really care about animals and like to stay engaged by learning about the animals’ conditions. I got the chance to pet an emu and feed horses on my visit. It is a worthy cause and Facebook fans  definitely help contribute to it.

TOMS Shoes Gives Back
Even though TOMS Shoes is a commercial product, they stand behind a commendable cause. As a consumer, you know that for every pair of TOMS shoes you buy, the company will give another pair to a child in need. This message is clearly displayed on their welcome tab on their Facebook Page. Their Page is well-organized and robust for fan engagement.Over 5000 fans have submitted pictures of their favorite TOMS shoes.

Sharing Your Good Causes
Remember to do research on the non-profits and causes that you donate to. Bono’s ONE foundation recently angered many as it was revealed that it only donated only 1% of funds raised! Like any other Page, good causes are successful on Facebook if they:

1) Have a clear message
2) Provide customers/fans with resources and content
3) Make it easy for fans to participate

What are some of your favorite causes?

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1314543/Bonos-ONE-foundation-giving-tiny-percentage-funds-charity.html#ixzz10TNqfRuo

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.