Are You Feeling the Pain of Social Media Promotion?

Nowadays, a blog here and there just isn’t enough to get your content out there. It can be hard to go that extra step but the effort is worth it. Promotion with social media doesn’t have to be a painful process for writers and bloggers. Many people see social media as a medium for personal relationships, so why can’t you apply that concept to engage your readers?

Add a Personal Touch
It’s easier than it seems but fans will appreciate it when you add a personal touch to your social media efforts. Instead of just linking a news story or site, give them a good reason to read and click. People aren’t just interested if you’re throwing a URL out at them. Give your opinion or a different spin on the subject. Here are some examples:

  • Have a sense of humor. Being genuine and funny is one of the best ways to get a response or RT on Twitter. Also, don’t be afraid to ask!
  • Give people shout outs. On Twitter and Facebook, you can use the @ tag to show your fans and followers appreciation.
  • Retweet others and comment. The best way to engage is to start with outreaching others. Remember, it’s not all about pushing your URL.

Simple is Always Best
It helps to stay simple and you can start with your content. Unless you’re focusing on a niche topic or doing some technical writing, more people will be able to connect with a simple subject. Reading other blogs and articles can help give you ideas and also improve your writing. These are simple steps you can take for inspiration and learning more about your area of expertise. Simple doesn’t necessarily mean easy and it takes practice. Just think about it, what’s more difficult: writing a concise one sentence summary or writing a summary paragraph?

Bloggers often focus on consistently coming up with new ideas and writing the content. After the writing process, it can be tedious to promote your work on different social media channels. Try to force yourself to do so by following a few of these tips. Remember that in the end, you get what you put in but you can always work to change the outcome. No pain = no gain!

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.

Taking the 7 Link Challenge

It’s time to take the 7 Link Challenge with Darren Rowse of Problogger:

Your first post
I remember this took a lot of time and editing for two measly paragraphs. I haven’t really looked back on it but it’s cool to see that it has gotten 21 retweets! Using Twitter to Achieve a Higher Search Ranking

A post you enjoyed writing the most

I was suffering from a case of writer’s block and didn’t really know what to write about. Sometimes, it’s good just to force yourself to write and you’ll find a topic that is inspiring. Add Pieces of Flair

A post which had a great discussion

A recent guest blog post that got a lot of comments for and against the EZineArticles WordPress plugin. 3 Social Media Tools That Help Bloggers Interact with Readers

A post on someone else’s blog that you wish you’d written

I wish I wrote a valuable resource that other bloggers bookmarked and referred to. For me, it’s Chris Brogan’s 100 Blog Topics I Hope You Write.

Your most helpful post

It was helpful for me to write this post because I was researching link building resources. Hopefully, readers learned about different types of links. What’s Your Link Building Focus?

A post with a title that you are proud of

A fun topic to think and write about. I think the title sums the post up nicely. Does the New Facebook Make You Miss the Old MySpace?

A post that you wish more people had read

It would be nice to get more input about this topic and see what other people think about the topic. Does Social Media Help or Harm Your Blogging Efforts?

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.

Does Social Media Help or Harm Your Blogging Efforts?

Everybody uses social media advertising to promote their blog nowadays. Besides, what good is so good about blog without the sharing aspect? But, does social media actually help or harm your writing efforts? Either way, it’s important to look at both sides of things before you implement a social media plan for your content.

How It’s Helpful
The best thing about social media is that it gives you the power to share your content beyond just your blog domain. Through your RSS feed, Twitter retweets, Facebook ‘Likes’, diggs and more, these tools give you the opportunity to give your writing exposure. When paired with your online network or blogging community, social media broadens the audience that has access to your posts. How awesome is that?
Social media is also a great way to get ideas for new topics to write about. Let’s face it, writing is fun but not when you run out of things to write about. Searching my favorite blog communities is the best cure for my writer’s block. Even if you’re just feeling lazy, you can expand on a comment you’ve been meaning to make or react to a current news story.
Sharing through social media also provides an open way for you to strengthen your online brand while demonstrating your knowledge.

How It’s Harmful
Now, on to how social media can be harmful to your blog. Two words: damage control. If you’re a big brand, you really have to watch what you say. Is it wrong to say that readers are waiting for you to make a wrong movie? Just take a look at Consumerist who reveals the mistakes and slip ups of big companies. They also take consumer tips!
It’s easy to give into information overload on social media networks. Some bloggers argue that social media can also be a sheer waste of time. While you start using social media as a way to find ideas, it could lead to clicking irrelevant sites that just pointless to your blogging goals!

How about you? In my experience, social media has been an extremely helpful part of the blogging experience. I started my first foray into guest blogging and it’s going better than I initially expected! Again, it’s the social aspect that made this all possible.

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.

Thoughts from Prince & Kenny G: Is the Internet Dead?

Prince Slams the Interwebz
In a recent interview, Prince talks about how he has turned his back on using the internet and iTunes to promote his music. Instead, Prince is opting to give the UK’s Daily Mirror readers FREE copies of his new album. The interview also shows that Prince has shut down his own official website. This doesn’t come as a surprise to me, coming from a man who shut down his biggest fan site a couple years back. But what exactly is his logic behind this? This is what he has to say:

“The internet’s completely over. I don’t see why I should give my new music to iTunes or anyone else.”
“The internet’s like MTV. At one time MTV was hip and suddenly it became outdated.”
“Anyway, all these computers and digital gadgets are no good. They just fill your head with numbers and that can’t be good for you.”

Kenny G Loves the Internet
Don’t worry, Kenny G is ready to stand up for the internet. Like Prince, he’s also promoting a new album but admits that he isn’t too “Internet and download savvy”. In a short interview with the sax master, Kenny states:

if the Internet is dead “then I must be dead, too, ’cause I use it all the time.”

So, whose side are you own? I don’t really get why Prince is alienating what’s left of his fan base… You can’t just completely blast the entire internet and say that it’s no good. That’s like people who claim that they don’t watch TV or read books. Really? With all the choices out there? I doubt that Prince will do any backpedaling now but we’ll see how his new album does.

PS) Did you know that Kenny G was one of the original investors of Starbucks?

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.

A Haiku for SEO

Ah, yes. The ancient art of Japanese poetry. When it comes to writing a haiku, the most important numbers are 5-7-5. The poem consists of three lines of 5 syllables, 7 syllables and 5 syllables again. Although a traditional haiku typically focuses on nature and changing seasons, we thought we would mix things up. After all, it is Friday!

Keywords are in place
Blogging and sharing content
Tomorrow is new

Find relevant blogs
Engage readers with comments
Where is my link juice?

Keeping up daily
Search engine algorithm
Google, show me how

Facebook is my friend
Growing a community
Please do not leave me now, friend

Now, it’s your turn. We’d love to hear your haiku about search marketing or whatever topic is on your mind!

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.

Online Viral Marketing Catches Sports Fever in 2010

Doodle Jump and the World Cup
I’m not a huge sports fan, so I never got the fervor that fans feel during the finals, championships, etc… until this year! I’ve also been paying more attention to online viral marketing and internet memes that come from these events. Soccer is the most watched sport in the entire world and Doodle Jump is one of the most popular iPhone apps, so it’s no wonder that these would go hand in hand for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. This addicting game features creatures that represent team Italy, Norway, Japan and more. Instead of shooting regular balls, our beloved Doodle shoots out a fountain of soccer balls.

Death to the Vuvuzela

If you tuned into the World Cup, you’ll notice a distinctly annoying horn noise in the background. Half-sheep baaa and half-bee swarming, the vuvuzela is a South African stadium horn. Fans like to use it to show their enthusiasm, distract the opposing team, or just to make A LOT of noise. Sports officials have even made attempts to ban the instrument as they are so loud it can even lead to hearing loss. Check out Mashable’s wrap up on the vuvuzela. Someone has created a Twitter account with updates that mimic the instrument’s sound while another vuvuzela-hater has even uploaded an Ewok remix.

Social Media Stats: Lakers vs. Celtics
With the LA Lakers and Boston Celtics tied at 3-3, it’s winner take all at Game 7 of the NBA Finals tomorrow. While the Celtics have home court advantage, Laker fans are sure to riot whether the team wins or loses. Let’s take a look at these long-time rivals and how their social media stats compare:

  • Facebook – Celtics: 827,550 fans | Lakers: 1,272,429 fans
  • Twitter – Celtics: 57,447 followers | Lakers: 1,559,464 followers
  • Twitter mentions via TweetVolume – Celtics: 1,620,000 times | Lakers: 4,130,000 times
  • Google search results – Celtics: 18,800,000 results | Lakers 26,600,000 results

With that in mind, we’ll see who the true winners are after tomorrow night … go Lakers!

Photo credit: Doodle Jump in the App Store

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 Social Media Challenges Do You Face?

Feeling Lost
Many companies who take the big dive into social media can be left feeling a little lost. This is understandable as it can be confusing to organize what to do and who to listen to. If you’re feeling confused, it’s time to do something about it! Many companies and social media resources offer free webinars or white papers for educational use. For example, SEOmoz has resources ranked by difficulty so you don’t have to feel overwhelmed if you’re a beginner. Once you have a better understanding of what you want to accomplish, you can begin looking into social media tactics that can help you pursue this plan. Remember, social media is just another channel where you can extend your reach in the areas of marketing, customer service, partnerships, leads and even hiring.

Spending Too Much/Little Time?

Do you feel like social media helps your brand or hinders it? It depends on how you look at it of course. If you don’t have a plan, things can get messy and you can find yourself spending way too much time on Twitter. Depending on your schedule, you may want to assign yourself a couple minutes (I like 5-10 minute bursts) of time to check your social media profiles. If it gets too overwhelming, ask for help. A big mistake you can make is trying to manage everything on your own, especially if you don’t have the time or understanding. Don’t be afraid to enlist the help of a Twitter whiz or Facebook specialist.If you don’t know where to look, an internet marketing firm is a great place to start.

Problems with Consistency
Many companies need help and motivation in keeping consistent with participation on social media sites. Think of this task like a project for a client or a personal goal. You need to establish time lines and can start realistically. It might be a long shot to aim to write 10 blogs a week, so why not start with every third day? You can always build yourself up without any pressure. Just like all the good things in life, social media success doesn’t come without hard work and dedication. The misconception is that people get frustrated with their progress because the services are “free”. But remember, you get out what you put in, so plan accordingly. Set aside some time to set targets for your blog, tweets, Facebook Page updates and you’ll be glad you did!

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.

Does the New Facebook Make You Miss the Old MySpace?

Privacy Concerns
Facebook’s privacy shuffle is not quite done as founder Mark Zuckerberg reveals that new settings will be coming very soon. Great, just what we need!
Facebook’s integrity may be unraveling as many users are angered by privacy violations, profile bugs, and Zuckerberg’s pompous behavior. A recent source reveals that Zuckerberg called users “dumb f****” when a friend asked why users would trust a stranger with their information.

Profiles Lacking Personality

Privacy is not the only thing that Facebook user profiles are lacking – what about the personality? Remember when you could make your interests “unique”? Maybe you enjoy ‘music to sleep to’ or some other obscure band or activity. Thanks to the site’s new feature, you can’t even add something you’re interested in to your profile unless it already has a presence on Facebook (via Group, Page, Community etc.) On top of that, adding an interest to your profile instantly connects you to other users who like the same thing, whether you like it or not.

Now everyone is stuck with a boring, generic profile layout and you can’t even add an interest that Facebook doesn’t like. Remember when you could add your favorite song to your MySpace profile or change your background layout to match your mood? No, we aren’t talking about the obnoxious animated gifs. What if you just wanted to simply change the background color and font? Not possible with Facebook. Although my MySpace account has been laid to rest many years ago, the new Facebook makes me miss it sometimes. Facebook’s features seem to be getting more problematic and restricting. That’s not to say that MySpace didn’t have privacy issues of their own… but still.

What’s Next?

Thousands have already pleaded to commit social suicide and quit Facebook by May 31st, will you join? I’m also looking forward to Diaspora, an alternative to Facebook, which is set to launch September of 2010.

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.

Appealing Ideas from Social Media Guides

Lately, I’ve been inundated with newsletters and downloads about a “definitive” guide to social media. Although these are helpful, there is a lot of repetitive info about getting the process started. They explain what Twitter and Facebook is and the different functions, but what about some realistic tips that is helpful for everyone who aren’t newbies? How do I grow? How can I branch out and attract people? Here are some interesting ideas that I’ve come across. I hope it’s more interesting than generic recommendations out there.

  • Presentation and document sharing. .docstoc is one of many document sharing websites that allow businesses and professionals to spread their know-how. If your content is helpful, others will be willing to link to you as a resource!
  • More commenting. Nowadays, a lot of sites and blogs enable comments by signing into your Twitter or Facebook account. I like this feature because you skip the hassle of filling out info fields. It also gets rid of spammers and others who don’t have relevant comments to share. It’s a good way to increase your brand awareness on high traffic blogs like Social Media Examiner.
  • Photosharing on Flickr. As Rohit’s article discusses, photo sharing can be a great way to engage customers. With the right content, this indirect method is exciting and will tie back to your site/blog/business in the end.

I’m always on the look out for interesting tips, so don’t be afraid to share. Feel free to also connect with us on Twitter and Facebook!

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 + Innovation: When Is It a Business?

This Saturday, we attended the Cal Tech/MIT Enterprise forum about social media and innovation. The stand out speakers had to be Oliver Starr of Clean Green Guy and http://www.cleangreenguy.com and Oded Noy of Social Approach. A nice turn out for a sunny Saturday morning – we even spotted a frog at the Cal Tech lily pond!

Oliver is all about the people and not the numbers. As a long-time successful blogger, Oliver has had a history of providing engaging conversations. We must admit that his’ was the most interesting presentation we’ve seen in awhile! (You can try out this tool for free at Prezi). Some takeaways from his talk:

  • Focus on the individual
  • Expand your method of reaching out. Don’t just comment on the big blogs to self-promote, reply to other commenters and even visit their blogs
  • How can you use Twitter to add a personal touch? Comment, announce interesting events, give info and provide value

Eventually, Oliver would like to see more research about the new data gathered about social media. He predicts that location based social networks will expand and help people in their collaborative efforts. With more efficient tools, Oliver would like to see more spontaneous and integrated social gatherings. He likened it to going to a large venue and identifying the people with your interests. This way, you’ll be able to convene with them to have a more effective conference. Sounds like what we would all want and need, right?

Oded shared a similar point with Oliver as they both stressed the importance of a community of like-minded people. Oded brought us back to the days before technology when people would meet and talk over a campfire. Old school, I know.

  • Before: face to face interactions
  • Next: those with money (corporations) can buy a bigger platform to reach more people
  • Now: the internet has reduced the cost of self-publishing

The biggest question remains – how do you utilize social media to make money? Social media sites are a place for individuals to share in these conversations and seek out areas of their interest. It’s hard to say how and when you can convert this into $$$. All of the speakers on the panel agree that as much as it is cliche to say, “It really depends”, it really does depend on your individual situation. The sure thing is that once your social activity urges consumers to search and find your product/service, that’s when you acquire customers. That’s where business begins.

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.