Monday, July 13, 2009

Social Marketing

I'm starting to really love They explain things any normal person can grasp! I received the best article from them today, so I'm posting it. Thanks to Lyndon Antcliff of Wordtracker for this great article!

by Lyndon Antcliff, 8 July 2009

Social media marketing (SMM) on sites like Facebook, Twitter, Stumbleupon and Digg has exploded in the past year. But what exactly is it? And what’s in it for you? And what’s in it for you? Let social media marketing expert and the man behind Magnetic Web Content, Lyndon Antcliff, gently introduce you to the subject and perhaps change your marketing life.

Earlier this year police closed Liverpool St Station in the UK after 13,000 people ‘flash mobbed’ the station, mimicking a TV advert for a phone company by all dancing to music playing on their MP3s. The idea for the flash mob was spread on facebook.

It doesn’t matter if the flash mob idea was planned by professional marketers or happened ‘organically’. The original advert inspired it, people loved it enough to travel across the country to take part, and Facebook allowed it to go viral. Oh, and T-Mobile got a lot of cheap marketing. Everybody was happy (even the policemen were smiling).
How social media works

When a user of a social media website discovers your story and likes it, they have the option to share it with their friends. This can cause the story to 'go viral' and be shared with even more people. This can deliver hundreds of thousands of visitors, launch a website or new product and bring significant [inbound links]. Those inbound links will directly bring your site visits and indirectly help your SEO.

When using social media marketing the quality of your content is crucial, the better it is the more likely it will be passed around. We’ll be talking about how to create such ‘sticky’ content in a future article.

Stunning content will still need a push to get going, the bigger your network on these social media sites the better. Your network can help you give it that initial push, increasing the chance of the story going viral.

Direct marketing will reduce the chances of a piece of web content going viral. People do not want to be sold to, the initial social media marketing push should be more about the conversation than the sale. A more aggresive sales angle can be added later, once the social media push has ended.

Keywords and SEO in social media

Your social media marketing can support your search engine optimization (SEO) by including target keywords in headlines. Then when your story goes viral and other sites use your headline to link back to your site – Bingo! - you get keyword-rich inbound text links.
Smart SEOs love social media.

Keyword research can also be a great way to find ideas for stories that people want to read. One of the points of keyword research is that it shows you what people are searching for. Many is the social media marketer who goes to Wordtracker’s Keyword Question Tool to look for inspiration.

Smart social media marketers love keyword research.

Bigger than TV, radio, newspapers, magazines and books

18-34 year olds now spend 4.3 times more time on social media than with TV, radio, newspapers, magazines and books combined. This is happening because social media allows users to talk to each other (which they prefer to being talked to) and choose for themselves what they see and read. Social media is a many-to-many conversation and not a one-to-many communication.

This conversational aspect of social media is crucial to understanding social media marketing because you can’t fake a conversation and you can’t automate it.

We’ll now have a quick look at four gorillas of the social media jungle – Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon and Digg.

Facebook is growing faster than Google ever did

Facebook is the biggest social site with over 250 million users. It took Google ten years to reach 50 million users – something Facebook achieved in just 19 months.
Facebook is the world’s online scrapbook and meeting place in one. Friends, customers, stars, fans, and anyone who crashes the party use Facebook to stay in touch, swap photos, pay homage and talk to each other.

At a recent meeting, a client told me ‘I don’t use email anymore, I only use Facebook’. Everyone she communicates with (including for work) is on Facebook, so why leave?

Facebook is viral by default. For example, if I post and comment on a photo, my ‘friends’ will all see it on their Facebook pages. Then if any of them comment on my photo, then their comment, my photo and my comment will all be seen by their friends. With one post, I can start a conversation with my friends and all my friends’ friends. That’s powerful.

If you have a large network on Facebook and talk about something interesting enough or present a Facebook application (like a game or a quiz) that users like, then it can spread across the internet. This is what happened with the Liverpool St Station flash mob.

You can share your thoughts, ask questions and chat with Wordtrackers on the Wordtracker facebook group.

Twitter might be the ultimate networking site

Twitter is a microblogging site on which each post is no more than 140 characters long. Friends, colleagues, admirers and the interested all ‘follow’ each other and can read each others’ posts.

The result is a collection of thousands of different conversations and mini monologues. This can seem like a mad mess but that chaos is like the hum of chatter at a lively party - narrow your focus and you find that people are amusing each other, helping each other, sharing ideas, making connections and doing business.

A local coffee shop @coffeegroundz in Houston, Texas, used Twitter to double its customers.

If you have something interesting to say then networking on Twitter can help your business. Try Wordtracker’s How to Twitter to get started and follow Wordtracker on Twitter.
StumbleUpon can deliver a steady stream of specialist visitors

Stumbleupon can seem peculiar at first. As a ‘viewer’, you ‘stumble’ via a browser toolbar and are shown seemingly random website pages. But they are selected by an algorithm that considers your tastes and others’ ‘votes’.

For many sites, StumbleUpon is amongst those that bring the most traffic. Below is a report showing referring traffic for a sports injury site and StumbleUpon is the biggest referrer with almost 19,000 visitors:

StumbleUpon works via a toolbar which is used to vote ‘up’ or ‘down’ and categorize web pages whilst browsing. This allows StumbleUpon to both know what you like and show other stumblers content they will probably like. Stumblers can ‘friend’ each other, view and comment on each other’s ‘favourites’ on ‘blog’ pages.

Below is a screen grab of the Stumbleupon toolbar on my browser:

The result of this voting is a ‘wisdom of crowds’ that delivers wonderful web pages to stumblers. This can work for you because Stumblers befriend each other according to their tastes and interests. So whatever your website is about, if you have quality content and a network of friends on StumbleUpon then your site can go viral within a relevant specialist audience and bring thousands of visitors a day.
Please use the link above to read the rest of Lyndon's article.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Optimize Your Press Releases!

Optimize Your Press Releases

When people consume news offline – in newspapers, magazines and broadcast media - their relationship with the material is usually transitory. After the day of publication, a newspaper is thrown in the trash can while a broadcast story can fade from memory very quickly.

But that’s not the case online – and therefore a different approach is needed for online press releases.

Online news stories tend to stay put and they can still generate fresh readers for months or years after their original date of publication. So a consumer thinking about buying your products, groups of users discussing your company, a journalist researching a story or a consultant preparing a report can all find your story at any time. That can bring long
term publicity benefits as well as links from authority sites as a search engine bonus.

But to get those benefits, your story has to be found – and to do that it must contain popular keywords.

The normal rules of press release writing still apply online:

• Make sure your story is newsworthy – if it’s not, don’t send it.
• Keep it brief and to the point, but provide opportunities for follow-up.
• Use quotes from real people in your release – journalists are more likely to use direct quotes
than anything else.
• Use the first paragraph to summarize the whole story.
• Make sure you get your release to journalists who are genuinely interested in your subject

However, when you write an online press release, make sure that in addition to all of the above, you:
• Focus the press release on a primary keyword and make sure you include it in the press release headline, in any quotations and throughout the copy (but don’t overdo it).
• Make sure your summary contains the primary keyword as well as a couple of secondary keywords.
• Keep it even briefer – and link to further resources that journalists can read if they are interested.
• Don’t just use press distribution services to blast your story to thousands of journalists – do research to find a handful of journalists or bloggers who are genuinely interested in your subject area.

Online publicity is still an emerging discipline and the potential for spectacular results is real. Here are some important pointers:
  • Use news channels that exist only online. These are often related to the major search engines and you need to be on them–for example, Google News, Yahoo News and MSN News.
  • Niche information sites publish editorials. As well as recognized news channels there is a huge number of niche information websites that publish editorial material. These range from large general websites to many hundreds of small sites that will be specific
    to your area of business and will be read by a high proportion of your prospects.
  • Journalists use the web for information. Journalists now use the web as a primary source of information. They will use it both to generate story ideas and to research, to check facts and to follow up stories that they are working on.
  • News stories online get an almost instantaneous reaction. Many blogs have built up a strong following, and getting your business covered positively on them can be very beneficial. You need to be aware of reaction and comment and take an active part in the discussions that your press releases generate.
  • Press releases are available to everyone. Your press releases can be found and read by members of the general public. So unlike traditional public relations, issuing a press release can be a way of reaching (and selling to) the public directly.
  • Finally, don’t forget social media sites such as and bookmarking sites such as The links you get from such sites can drive fantastic levels of traffic.