4 Reasons Social Media Just Isn’t Working for You

social media failMany people think that social media is a cure-all to their business woes. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. If you’re  struggling with social media efforts, it doesn’t mean that you should give up. But rather, take the time to look at some top reasons why it might not be working out for you:

  1. You think social media can replace blogging and SEO content.
    As I’d like to think of it, a little blogging can go along way. While a little time spent on social media isn’t very effective. Your SEO content is a permanent asset that will help you as the days/weeks/years go by while the timely for social media is very time-sensitive and more fleeting. Take a look at how they can work together instead of choosing one over the other.
  2. You don’t have enough time and lack management.
    The briefness and spontaneity of social media updates make it seem so “easy”. But, for social media to be most effective, you need to involve as many people/departments as possible. From sales, web designers, writers to your CEO, it’s important to have a coordinated view of your social media plan and goals.
  3. You don’t know where to go.
    Social media news and usage can often mean information overload. Instead of trying to diversify and being everywhere halfheartedly at once, why not try a few platforms and specialize?
  4. You might need to reevaluate your business model.
    As the sayings go, you can’t put lipstick on a pig. You can’t make a racehorse out of a donkey and you can’t polish a… well, you get the point. If you have problems with your business and are looking at social media as a way to put a superficial spin on it, chances are that it won’t work – for long anyways.

The best thing about social media is its potential to amplify your online presence. Trying things out for yourself and experimenting doesn’t hurt and you can always learn from your mistakes and successes. It also helps that you can take a good look at what your competitors are and aren’t doing as you try your hand at the social media game.

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 the Fark?

Fark

StumbleUpon, Reddit, Delicious, Digg… I could go on and on when it comes to social aggregation and bookmarking sites. Although these sites are all a little bit different from each other, Fark stands out on an off-beat class of its own.

When you arrive on the site, you’ll see that Fark focuses on what it calls “Not News“. This means all outrageous topics, from politics to humor. A standout factor is that Fark stories are exclusively chosen by the site’s editors – unlike other sites where users are allowed to submit and vote on/rate content. Have you used Fark and what do you think it can do for small business owners?

This isn’t a run-of-the-mill place to submit your SEO content. Go ahead, browse for yourself and see what types of articles are featured on Fark. How about “The newest extreme sport: Daredevil lawn mower racing. ‘Ready, Set, Mow‘” by Mother Nature Network? Sure, there are a lot of funny pictures and bizarre lists on Fark, but many sites are turning to eye-catching headlines to bring new life to otherwise mundane articles. If you have some fresh content with a side of wit, it won’t hurt to submit your story to Fark. Did I mention how much Fark loves pun-y headlines?

Sometimes, words are just words but with Fark, you’ll see the viral effect of an interesting story that you just can’t reach by only using “traditional” types of online marketing.

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.

3 Thoughts on Social Media Marketing

Are you feeling overloaded by social media marketing news? If you find that there’s just too much to keep up with, here are 3 recent stories that caught my eye:

Yahoo News Like Log StudyThe Like Log Study by Yahoo! Labs

WHAT: This is a study that is a must read for statistics-fanatics and social media lovers alike. Over a span of 3 months, Yury Lifshits compiled an overview of Facebook Likes, comments and shares of some of the biggest websites and provides insight into what it means.

WHY: Did you know that social media engagement sharply after the first day it’s posted? Timing is everything and it’s possibly why social media optimization is becoming more important.


Is the Twitter RT Irrelevant? by Joel Postman

Twitter Retweet

WHAT: Is Twitter becoming so overflooded with Retweets that they’re actually becoming meaningless? In terms of “usefulness” and originality, RTs may be losing their weight, but what about when it comes to etiquette?

WHY: Last month, we dug a little more into retweeting. This article is thought provoking as we delve into netiquette and how it plays into interacting with your peers.


Brands That are Winning with Multichannel Marketing Strategies by Courtney Boyd Myers

social media best practices

WHAT: A quick overview of how successful brands are playing the social media game. It’s never a bad time to look at some best practices and to see how others are using the multi-channel strategy.

WHY: As much as we’d like to “win” solely using Facebook, Twitter, SEO, or PPC. It’s probably not going to happen. Diversifying your online efforts will give your business better leverage when it comes to amplifying your brand message.

So, after browsing these three stories, what do you think? Are there any other stories that have caught your attention and why?

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.

Posterous for Simplicity

PosterousIf you haven’t heard of Posterous, it’s a blogging platform similar to Tumblr. As for simplicity, many users say that it takes the hassle out of blogging and that it’s even easier to use than WordPress!

Whether you’re thinking about switching platforms or starting a brand new blog, it’s helpful to take a look at why Posterous is becoming a popular choice amongst bloggers today.

  1. Design: Like WordPress and Tumblr, you also have a wide variety of choices when it comes to your blog’s theme and it’s also fully customizable.
  2. SEO – While Posterous isn’t exactly known for being search engine friendly, some say that the ‘constant theme’ is a plus. Since your pages will all look the same, this will help search engines crawl your blog and easily tell the difference between design and content.
  3. Social media integration – Posterous is extremely flexible when it comes to connecting to your social media profiles. Have you ever tried connecting something from your WordPress blog to Facebook? It’s do-able but rifling through plugins is time consuming and takes away from your blogging time. With Posterous, you can connect to Facebook, Twitter,  Flickr and more in one easy step.
  4. Simple blogging – Most bloggers use Posterous because it makes it easier for them to blog. There’s no need to deal with complicated plugins, updates and errors that can pop up in WordPress. With an email option, bloggers can collect any thoughts that pop up and post it as fast as they can fire off an email.

Posterous seems like a great light-weight blogging platform for those who don’t want to deal with the hassles of other services. While it may not have as many tools for internal customization and help with SEO, it’s social media integration is far ahead of WordPress and Blogspot. The good thing is that it’s free, so if you’re an avid blogger looking for new things – why not give it a try?

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 Facebook Posts (Part 1)

You’re on Facebook and making posts. But, did you ever stop to see IF your posts are even being seen? Before we explore how to make the most out of those Facebook posts, it’s important to understand the method behind it.

The image above should look familiar. When you log onto Facebook, your friends’ posts or organized by ‘Top News’ or by ‘Most Recent’ posts.

Personally, I always like to view Most Recent posts. But according to an article on Social Media Today, a staggering 95% of people only view posts on the Top News feed, missing other posts that don’t rank as high. By default, posts are automatically organized by Top News.

So, did you know that Facebook has an algorithm for ranking these posts? It’s called Edgerank and consists of three main factors:

  1. Affinity – this relies on the relationship between you and the other user. If you guys interact more on Facebook (messages, wall posts, profile views), your friend’s “affinity score” will be higher than other people you don’t really talk to.
  2. Weight – Facebook gives a different weight of importance to things that you can engage in (Like, comment, tag).
  3. Time – Facebook is pretty much based in real-time so it’s not surprising that older posts become less important.

Knowing this should give you a better idea of what shows up on your main Top News feed and why. This is especially important for businesses because it’s only estimated that 40% business wall posts show up on Top News feeds.

Make sure to stay tuned for our next post later this week as we explore different ways you can optimize your Facebook wall posts!

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 Happens After Reaching #1

Even after you reach the oh-so coveted #1 spot in search engine results page, your work is not done! Here are a few things that you still need to keep an eye on to make the most of your top ranking position:

Customer service – Are you ready to pick up the phone and help potential customers? Wait… before all that, make sure that your contact information is easy to find and up to date. If you use contact forms and have undergone recent site changes, check them to make sure that they still work work! There’s nothing worse than a customer inquiry that goes unanswered.

Search engine friendly web design – A well-optimized page and consistent SEO will help you maintain good rankings. This means that the search engines see that your site/pages are relevant with corresponding keywords and what business owner wouldn’t want that?

Search user friendly – Many sites have a bad habit of being too cluttered with content and other media. While these pages may help your SEO efforts, they can deter users. Content should be easy to find in appropriate sections so that your site is user-friendly. Imagine ranking #1 for a competitive keyword only to have users bounce away quickly from your site because they can’t find what they need!

PR and personality – Whether you utilize social media marketing or other forms of PR, it’s important to throw your brand name out there once in awhile. Press releases and social media not only help show your relevancy in your field but it also helps bring a personal touch to your business. Even in today’s world of overreliance on telecommuting and email, people do like to see the human side of your business. And yes, I think that you can also accomplish this with regular blogging.

What do you think are some other ways you can improve your site/marketing after reaching the #1 spot in SERPs?

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.

Making the Most of Your Social Media Content

content creation

After all your hard work , you want to make sure that your efforts don’t get lost in the sea of online content. From your regular blog posts to  Tweets, here are some ways you can make sure that you’re making the most out of your social media content:

  • Blog – Writing a post-worthy blog isn’t enough to get your content found. Make sure to fill out the Title, meta description, anchor text, tags with meaningful and relevant keywords before you post. You can also edit the URL of your post to make it shorter and more concise (see: the url of this post vs the title)
  • Images – When you add pictures to your blog or website, always remember to add a title or description. Even if it’s just your brand name or a broad description, these words will go a long way!  My pet hamster made it to the first page of Google Images because I optimized a Flickr photo his name in the title, tags and description.
  • Video– It’s easy to optimize YouTube videos. Properly optimized videos are powerful assets that will benefit your brand in the long run because they have a strong staying power (especially if you get them to rank for a specific location/niche.)
  • Twitter– Keep your messages short and sweet and don’t be afraid to include target keywords and other terms you want to be associated with. A fun part of Twitter is that your responses to other users and retweets also count as content.
  • Facebook– This isn’t the place to blast the same messages over again. Neither is it a place to overtly self-promote. With New Facebook Pages rolling out, you can make your fans keep them engaged and make them feel like they’re part of something exclusive by creating unique, well-timed messages.

What are some other ways you properly optimize your social media content?

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.

Social Media and Shameless Self Promotion

“Magic Mirror on the Wall, who is the Fairest one of all?”

Your social media profiles are an online representation of yourself and your brand. This is why it’s so important to remember NOT to go overboard when it comes to self promotion. Not only will it annoy your customers but it can also drive them away.

But I’m Just Networking…
It’s unbelievable actually. Can you believe that some people still think shameless self-promotion is synonymous with “social networking” or even “social media marketing”? Instead of looking at it from only a sales perspective, you also need to consider that it helps to create brand buzz in your specific industry. It’s also helpful to improve customer loyalty and perception of your brand.

How to Avoid the Narcissism
This isn’t very easy as the nature of social media is pretty narcissistic. With phrases like “Follow Me on Twitter” and “Like Us on Facebook”, it doesn’t get any more self-serving. You can put your own spin on it: how about “Join” or “Connect”, instead? Ask your fans and followers questions and appreciate their input.

Things to Remember
It’s very cheesy but customers are number one. Instead of using social media all the time for self-promotion, think of it as a way to build connections so that fans can trust you before they buy.

Do you have any good examples of brands that shamelessly self-promote?

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.