Archive | September, 2017

Social Media Marketing for Link Building: Top Tactics and Strategies

25 Sep

The role of social media marketing in SEO isn’t that obvious. Some people feel skeptical about social signals affecting Google’s rankings in any way. Some separate social media marketing and SEO as fields with different goals and methods. Yet these people constitute a minority among SEO experts, as it has recently turned out.

In the largest industry survey on how SEO professionals do link building in 2017, the results showed that most specialists use social media for link building. Namely:

  • 88 percent of SEOs include links in social media profiles.
  • 81 percent share their social media content.
  • 53 percent have experimented with viral campaigns (social media contests, etc).

That is how we know link building with social media is a widely used tactic and an effective one, but overseen by many specialists of the field. If you’re one of them, keep reading. This article will give you an overview of tested methods that are worth trying out.

Include Links in Your Social Profiles

Social media is often thought as pointless for SEO for one simple reason: links from social media platforms are unfollowed. Even Google Plus, YouTube, Pinterest, Tumblr, LinkedIn – platforms that either used to be exceptions to this rule, or thought by some to be – have at one or other points of their existence gone down the same road.

Today, Reddit is the only exception. However, marketing on Reddit is barely possible. Your product has to be extremely relevant to some subcommunity for your promotion and link building to work.

Yet you can’t afford to just ignore social media link building because it’s nofollow. What about social signals? What about traffic that comes from links in the news feeds? Matthew Woodward in his tutorial points out the importance of social backlinks for SEO and provides us with some tips on how to go about it.

For example, on Facebook, make sure to add:

  • Your website link in the website field under Contact and Basic Info on your About tab;
  • Your website URL anytime you post something on your wall, including images and videos;
  • A link to your website to your group’s pinned post.

Similarly to what you’ve done on Facebook, go through your other social media pages and include links to cover photos, bios, images, descriptions, and so on. Even if you won’t keep up working with these social media pages, there’s no harm in having a rich description with links – only potential traffic!

Get People to See and Read Your Content

One of the main struggles of SEO and content marketing is getting people to see content. It’s no surprise that given the plethora of content online, it’s hard to find the audience that your articles will be relevant to. So here are some essential tactics for content promotion.

1. Make Your Text Readable

It should go without saying, but many people still write badly. Your content should be engaging, mistake-free, and concise if you want it to be seen. Even if it exists for SEO purposes only.

2. Research Competitors

By looking at your competitors’ link profiles you’ll find loads of opportunities for content promotion. Many heads are better than one! Remember to look at any niche-related industries, not just your direct competitors.

3. Aim for Evergreen Content

Easier said than done, but evergreen content should be your ultimate goal. Also, focus on content that can be rediscovered regularly. For example, an article about Halloween has a good chance of attracting new traffic every October.

4. Consider Translating Your Existing Content

If your audience is international, you’ll get more exposure and so much more links if you simply translate the content you already have.

5. Submit to Niche News Sites and Content Communities

Not every industry has a niche news site or content community, but most do. For example, in digital marketing, there’s GrowthHackers.com, Inbound.org, and BizSugar.com. Triberr.com features blog posts about almost anything. Look for similar websites in your industry, and submit your content for more exposure.

6. Submit to Communities on Social Networks

Communities on social networks are no less important. Depending on the niche, they can be active and therefore valuable to you. There are Facebook Groups, LinkedIn Groups, and Google+ Communities, but you can also attempt marketing in the relevant Reddit or Tumblr communities.

Don’t forget about niche or local social platforms as well! There are some of them dedicated specifically to books or music, some are popular in specific countries only.

On all of these communities, you’ll have to engage with the readers by commenting and answering their questions. This is a good thing as readers may end up borrowing your content and linking back to you.

Create Viral Content

Going viral is the quickest and hardest way to earn links. When social media campaigns or even social media crisis cases go viral, the links appear on popular resources and news websites with no further effort from you.

While getting into a social media crisis to end up on The Guardian is risky, creating viral content is the dream many marketers have. But not many even attempt to do that.

While some videos go viral purely by chance or due to their outstanding content, many are created by marketers that know the key to viral marketing. Let’s try to reverse-engineer the process by looking at companies whose campaign go viral quite regularly.

1. Aim Your Social Media Marketing at Teens & Young Adults

Let’s look at the brand stars of social media: the American fast food chain Taco Bell and the British mobile network O2. While loads of grown-ups eat fast-food and all of them use mobile network (and are more likely to actually use O2 since it’s a rather expensive one), social media marketing of both brands seems to be aimed at teens and young adults. It’s all about jokes, banter, emojis, and sometimes swear words. To be natural at it, brands hire millennials – people who grew up with social media and all its viral culture around them.

Why do brands aim at this part of their potential buyers when creating their social media strategy?

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6 Social Media Marketing Mishaps to Avoid and Why Hiring a Professional is Smart

18 Sep

95% of online adults age 18 to 34 are most likely to follow businesses on Social Media. Over 70% of online adults age 18 and 65 and over are using Social Media.

Users are tapping Social Media to get their news, research products, read reviews, connect with brands and businesses for information, find special offers and coupons, connect with friends, network with business colleagues, participate in special interest groups, and so much more.

Social Media is now mainstream. Businesses, large or small, no longer have the option of using Social Media, it is now a requirement for future success. If you want your business to be relevant you need to use Social Media.

Unfortunately, many business decision makers have no idea how to properly leverage Social Media for success. Mistakes are made and even with the best intentions Social Media efforts can be useless and sometimes even harmful.

Here are 6 of the most common Social Media mishaps to avoid and why hiring a professional Social Marketer is the best decision.

1. Misinterpreting the Intent

Social Media Marketing and Advertising is more than just posting a link to an article or posting coupons and specials. The Social sites provide analytics and insights into your account’s followers. Learning the demographics of your accounts is important in deciding what to post and when to post it. Additionally, learning what your audience wants to see and is most interested in is valuable to understand what to post to keep your followers around and to encourage them to engage with your business.

When the proper content is posted and your followers are engaged and interested your business will generate a positive reputation and attract new followers, all of which helps to potentially convert these folks into paying customers.

2. Misreading the ROI

Posting an update or running an ad does not mean certain sales. Social Media provides the vehicle to drive people to your website or your store to convert the sale. Additionally, updates and ads are primarily to introduce your business to an audience, to generate interest in your products/services, and to improve online visibility. If people are following your Social accounts, clicking on your ads, commenting on your updates you are doing it right. The more you stay in front of people the more likely they are to buy from your business.

3. Not Targeting the Right Market

There are so many Social sites to choose from. Each site is different, with their own unique audience and their own way of engaging with users. It is important to understand your business’ targeted demographic and figure out the Social site that these folks are using. Focusing your message to the right people makes sense.

Drilling down even further, most of the sites allow you to target very specific demographics within their platform. Facebook ads and updates allow businesses to select from a variety of criteria to ensure your message is reaching the exact people who will benefit most.

Using the wrong Social site or running an ad to the wrong audience is a waste of time and money.

4. Sharing Useless or Inappropriate Content

There is an old golden rule of dinner conversation, avoid discussing politics and religion. This applies to Social Media as well. It’s best for businesses to avoid controversial topics and not get involved in useless debates, it does nothing but make you look bad. Additionally, sharing fake news or NSFW content is also discouraged. Providing useless information that is not interesting is also not recommended. Instead stick to content related to what your business does and use the analytics to learn what your followers are most interested in and find content they will deem useful and interesting.

5. Ignoring the Importance of Consistency

There are over 50 million small business pages and over 2.56 billion Social Media users, this translates to a lot of content streaming to a lot of people. It’s important for your efforts to be consistent. Posting updates to your Social accounts daily is required, and on some platforms posting several times a day is a necessity.

Also, a business account on Facebook that has no updates and no activity is a negative. Users want to see that your business is involved and participating in the Social scene. If you have Social accounts that you don’t ever post updates on it is better to delete the account than have an inactive account.

Fun Fact: The Facebook algorithm determines what updates and ads get out to the most people, the algorithm considers the user posting the content or running the ad. It recognizes if the user has been active on the site and the more active the user the higher the content will rank in reaching its desired audience. Bottom line, use a marketer who has been active on Facebook every day for a long time and your updates and ads have a better chance of getting out to your audience.

6. Misunderstanding the Commitment

Social Media isn’t just for the kids anymore. Social Media is a serious platform that is used for news, as a resource for researching products and services, sharing reviews, reading reviews, and more. There are recommended times to post updates, images should be professional, information should be verified. There are specific demographics that can be targeted and ads that should be optimized to be effective. In short, it takes a bit of research and monitoring to ensure it is done correctly.

Social Media rules also change frequently, it takes time to learn the ins and the outs of what works and what doesn’t. A professional marketer does nothing but learn the changes and keeps on top of what to do to be most effective and leverage Social Media to a business’ advantage.

 

4 easy ways to take social media marketing to the next level

11 Sep

What should brands be thinking about in the second half of the year to take their social media marketing to the next level and create standout digital customer experiences?

What many traditional marketers don’t know is that the world of social media marketing is changing rapidly. The ways brands use social to engage with customers are not the same today as they were a year ago.

That’s due in part to the rise of new technologies and platforms, the endless stream of data we’ve got access to and the growing consumer expectations that keep us all on our toes.

We’ve also seen some massive shifts within organizations themselves, where a customer-centric mentality across every touch point is quickly becoming the status quo. The great thing is: Social is at the heart of it all.

We’ve officially entered an era where social media marketing has matured. However, the question marketers need to ask themselves is, “Has my organization matured alongside social media?”

More often than not, the answer will be “no.” In fact, research by Lithium (my employer) shows that as many as 98 percent of brands still use social media to broadcast to their customers, but not truly engage with them; this basically undermines the entire value proposition of social as a two-way street.

So, if your brand is still operating within the “dark ages” of social, don’t fret. There’s never been a better time to think about how social can work harder for your business — and actually execute on it. Here are four things you can do to get moving in the right direction.

1. Go beyond listening

Remember not so long ago when we all talked about “listening” as the bona fide game-changer of social? Well, not much has changed, except for one important thing: “Listening” involves a lot more than just listening. Mind-blowing, right?

Listening implies that there are two (or more) parties involved in a conversation. Sure, go ahead and listen, but be ready to engage — whether it’s in response to a potential customer reaching out with a question, a brand loyalist giving you a positive shout-out or an upset patron screaming from the rooftops about a bad experience.

For too long, many of us have treated social as a reactive platform. It’s way more than that. Brands must be proactive on social at all times. Every time someone engages with your brand on social, even if it’s indirectly, it’s your responsibility to make that person’s voice heard — and to make it known.

It’s about personalizing the customer experience by engaging prospects, customers, influencers, and even competitors, in conversation. It’s also a way to get a temperature check on consumer sentiment, to see what topics related to your brand are spiking, and even to pinpoint who could eventually become advocates and influencers.

This is why listening is so important — but you must take action on what you hear.

2. Scale your engagement

Listening and responding to every customer across every channel is hard. But it doesn’t have to be — and fortunately, there’s a whole slew of tools and technologies available today that can do the heavy lifting for you.

All too often, I hear from our customers that, over time, they’ve managed to piece together a number of platforms like a patchwork quilt to get through the day-to-day. And as teams grow — both internally and externally via agencies and consultants — all those technologies can quickly get in the way and slow you down.

That’s where social media management tools come to the rescue. Such tools can help cover all the bases, from social media marketing and social response to giving your teams a central dashboard where they can schedule and publish content, route inbound queries to the appropriate customer service representative and listen broadly to what’s being said about your brand across the web.

When you think about it, scaling your engagement is really all about simplification (And who doesn’t want that?).

3. Accelerate brand awareness

Traditional advertising taught us the value — and limitations — of paid media. Social, on the other hand, has fewer rules. Brands can reach consumers through social in a variety of ways: paid, earned, owned and shared content.

The truth is, there is no silver bullet for reaching and engaging consumers via social. Each media type plays a role in the process. The savviest brands will take a multichannel approach and make sure they engage with customers on the channel of their choosing.

More importantly, though, is being smart about what you publish and how you go about publishing it. You must be clear on who your audience is and use data to target them with precision across channels. You also need to understand what they want and expect from you in order to deliver relevant content that your target audience wants to engage with. Then, it’s just a matter of using data to inform when and where you publish that content.

The end goal here is to get the right content in front of the right consumer on the right channel or device (or both) at a time when they are most likely to want to engage with that content. Doing so improves the relevance of your message while maximizing reach.

4. Unite people, processes & technology

As much as we’d like to think that technology alone can save the day, we can’t forget that there is an entire ecosystem of people and processes that truly bring it to life. Winning in social means mastering the balance between human and machine: figuring out which processes and interactions can be automated versus those that absolutely require human interaction.

There’s never a time when any piece of the social marketing puzzle should fall out of place: the masterminds behind your social media efforts — from data scientists to digital marketing experts, and everything in between; the processes that make it possible to leverage data to maximize impact and gain insights; and the underlying technologies that enable more efficient and effective operations at scale.

Everything is interconnected. The brands that understand the importance of people, processes and technology working in unison are those that most successfully meet — and oftentimes exceed — expectations along the customer journey.

Start taking your social media marketing to the next level — now

The primary goal of any marketer is threefold: to acquire new customers, serve current customers and, over time, grow a more loyal customer base. Social can play a crucial role in achieving these goals. The brands that unlock its power stand to win.

To do this, you must get your brand out in front of your target consumers through a combination of relevant and engaging paid, earned, owned and shared content. Then, it’s absolutely critical that you listen and respond to every customer across every channel, which can be tough — unless you have the right platforms and technologies in place to effectively scale your social media management efforts.

And, last but not least, you can’t forget that social media marketing doesn’t operate on autopilot; you must have the people, processes and technologies behind your operations seamlessly integrated to ensure that no stone is left unturned along a customer’s journey with your brand. That’s your recipe for social media success.

Tasks You Should Be Outsourcing to A Virtual Assistant!

4 Sep

When it comes to running your business, you have loads of tasks to complete each day. You are probably trying very hard to race ahead of your competitors and operate your business on a global scale, but, if you are thinking that you would manage it all alone, you are quite mistaken.

Shocked, right?

But, it is the ultimate truth of the modern world of business.

You always need an extra hand of assistance for achieving greater success. Moreover, you can safely trust a virtual assistant to carry out many important tasks for you while you concentrate on your next business meeting without any interruption.

But, why delegate tasks to a virtual assistant when you have your own office assistant?

The reason is very simple!

You do not have to pay to a virtual assistant for the office space, computer and the internet connections that they use to get your work done.

They are dedicated professionals who can provide the best administrative and business services to the offshore clients and meet their demands irrespective of their geographical location.

Just pay them as per the work to be performed and avail their service!

So, when your inbox starts flowing with mails and you need to juggle among multiple tasks, spare yourself some free time by delegating your tasks to a virtual assistant who would happily share your work load.

Not sure what to delegate or where to start?

Listed below are 12 important tasks that you can outsource to your virtual assistant.

Keep reading…

1. Online Research

The quickest way to find information on any topic, product or event is through online research. But, conducting online research can be daunting and time-consuming.

Delegate the research work to your virtual assistant who would look for any kind of information on the web for you.

Do not forget to share the important credentials, such as ids, passwords etc., along with specific instructions to get the best of their assistance.

2. Data Entry

It is one of the most repetitive and laborious administrative task which can be very well handled by the virtual assistants.

The work actually involves collecting data and entering into spreadsheets which require sitting at the computer for a long period of time.

Virtual assistants would assume the responsibility of updating your database entries for a prolonged period of time so that you can relax and enjoy some free time.

3. Data Presentations

When you are gearing up for a business meeting, making a power point presentation on it is one of the most essential task for you. But, these presentations take longer hours of preparation which means a waste of your productive time.

Assign these tasks of data presentations to a virtual assistant and utilize your valuable time for enhancing the prospect of your business.

All you need to do is to provide clear instructions to the VA about how to perform the presentation task.

4. Market Research

For an entrepreneur, market research is necessary to understand the industry, competitors and the customers. Without marketing knowledge, your venture will  always be held back.

You can ask your VA to conduct a methodical market research to find relevant marketing information about your business.

They would do an extensive study on your competitors and their products, and send you the findings in a very organized and systematic manner for easy comprehension.

5. Online Marketing

Online marketing is essential for you if you want to expand your business or want to get competitive advantage. But such virtual marketing needs implementation of efficient techniques and expertise from you which might make you think that you are just not the right person for it.

Stop worrying over it.

Make your online marketing endeavours a great success with the help of VAs!

With a wide range of online marketing tools and methods, virtual assistants can do online marketing on their clients’ behalf. Moreover, they hold expertise and profound knowledge in this area which would surely reflect in the financial outcome of your business.

6. Call Answering

In a business, you need to make calls either to your business associates or to your customers. Moreover, operating business activities on an international level requires you to keep your phone lines active all the time because a closed phone line might result in a loss of good business opportunities.

Share your work load and ask your VAs to make or answer calls on your behalf. They would make all the necessary calls, respond to any incoming calls and note down all the important information for you in a way which you find simple to understand.

The best part?

You do not even need to monitor the progress of the tasks. VAs would complete your work with amazing proficiency and keep your business running even when you sleep!

7. Social Media Marketing

In today’s media age, it is essential to increase brand visibility, boost sales and draw more traffic to a website. But these tasks are repetitive and need a lot of patience.

Hire a skilled VA who can appropriately and tactfully do social media marketing on your behalf. From generating leads to posting latest video files, these virtual assistants would never disappoint you.

8. Email Management

Sometimes, it becomes daunting to manage huge volumes of email that you receive in your inbox on a daily basis. In such a case, a VA can come to your rescue by managing your email, i.e. answering your mails on your behalf, checking promotional messages and deleting spam mails effectively.

9. App Development

Application development is quite a significant task in the business scenario. But, you  cannot always manage the time that each business application requires.

Just find a virtual assistant who comes with a specialization in application development. They can customize and enhance the performance of these applications without any external help.

10. Search Engine Optimization

It is the process of drawing in more traffic to your site from the search engine through search results. Here, it is important to mention that improper SEO practices can adversely affect your business and your online status.

Therefore, it is always better to seek services of expert VAs who can provide effective SEO services. They would search the relevant keywords for your articles and blog content, and perform periodic assessment on the search engine analytics to send you a comprehensive report on the virtual status of your business.

11. Web Development

Your website is the first thing that helps your visitors to build an impression on the nature of your business and your offered products/services. Therefore, if you cannot make good sales, it means that visitors are not staying on your webpage.

Opt for the professional help of VAs who can create as well as develop your websites using various website applications and tools such as WordPress, Dreamweaver, Joomla, etc.

Moreover, they would provide in your website just the right combination of graphics and content which is sure to fetch you more customers in future.

12. Content Writing

A content writer has to understand the nature of your business and develop a content which supports your ideas and expounds on them. Therefore, it is a task which requires not only expertise but also dedication to the content writing process.

You can outsource writing tasks to VAs who have expertise in the relevant field. Your skilled VA can write content for articles, websites, blogs and social media sites after doing extensive research on the topics and deliver results which is up to your satisfaction.

 

Are you ready to work with a VA? Contact Sala Social Marketing today for a free discovery call!  We’ve been providing stellar VA services to clients worldwide for over 6 years.