The Connection Between SEO And Social Media: Using Social Media To Boost Your Web Presence

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Believe it or not, but your social media presence has a direct impact on your search engine rankings. Whether you’re a small business, a blog or a giant corporation, the same is true. The world wide web is essentially a giant game, and it can be mastered. As long as you have an understanding of how all the pieces work, you’ll be sure to dominate.

How are SEO and social media connected?

For years and years, a company website was really the only way to find that company online. Twitter wasn’t even launched until 2006, and Facebook was two years earlier.

As such, these social media platforms are still… well, new, for lack of a better word. They’re very early on in their life cycles and have a long way to go.

In short, we use social media to follow those businesses and personalities we care about, but we rarely find them through social media. Have a quick Google of ‘Coca-Cola’ or ‘AMC’ and the first result will always be their site.

Their social media will be a bit further down the page, and that’s how we should think of the two. The website is the tree, and social media is the branches.

Those websites aren’t the top result by accident, either. They’ve been optimized to within an inch of their lives! In terms of SEO, there are a ton of basic tips that can go a long way. Jeff Millett at TheSEOWhiz.com has some great general SEO advice that can help you boost your web presence.

And, what’s more, a lot of these link right back into your social media pages. It’s important to think of your Twitter and Facebook as little side projects, and start prioritizing them. Use them in conjunction with effective website practices to get the best results.

There are several key ways that social media can give a boost to your SEO, and several key ways that it will define your SEO. Social media is changing our world, so don’t get left behind.

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Social media shares count as link building

When you post something to Instagram or Twitter, there’s a chance it will be shared. Link building is a way for companies to place links back to their website all over the web, creating a widespread presence.

When somebody shares a post you created, this is effectively another ‘link’ back to you and your page. Social media sites are arguably the most credible in existence as they rely on user satisfaction. So, a ton of shares will be looked upon favourably by search engines.

Gives a boost to relevant keywords

There are only so many places you can place keywords on your website, but social media gives you another place to do so. Most companies will have a short description of themselves in their bio, with relevant terms embedded in it. In addition, all the tweets and posts they write are another way to embed search terms, meaning your power is relatively unlimited.

So, hopefully, this article has cleared the subject up for you. If you’re new to social media and SEO, they can both be daunting tasks to take on. In reality, they’re simple and effective tools on your web utility belt. So get out there and get building!

5 Ways To Build Brand Recognition. Quickly

When you think about the biggest companies in the game, you instantly think of their branding. Imagine Coca-Cola, Nike, and Apple for a second. You immediately picture the red branding of Coca-Cola. You picture Nike’s adrenaline-pumping, adventure branding and iconic tick. You imagine Apple’s apple, and its link to beautiful, creative products.

This is an exercise in great brand awareness and recognition. Unfortunately, it’s why many startups fail to make an impression. Establishing your brand and building recognition is one of the hardest mountains for new startups to climb. Why? Because there are simply so many others out there. How do you get people to become familiar with your branding?

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  1. Media coverage

Step one, secure as much media coverage as possible. Seeing your startup’s name in national newspapers and high profile websites has a subconscious effect on people. They instantly begin to see your brand as established, and respected. Customers respond to brands that are supported by media outlets. So, once you’ve honed your branding, start a PR campaign to tell your story or launch a product. Use a press release distribution service to get your message under the nose of key journalists. With your name in lights, you’ll start to build that brand recognition.

 

  1. Partnering with another brand

We’re big fans of startup partnerships here. So long as you pick a company that doesn’t compete directly with yours, you’ll gain a lot. Consider partnering with a related company to host an event or sponsor a new initiative. This cross-promotion allows you to tap into their customer base, and get your name in front of new people. Think carefully about the right company to approach. Don’t choose a rival, but do chose a business that has a similar target audience.

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  1. Let the product promote itself

The smartest new companies let their product do all the heavy lifting. Media outreach and marketing is expensive, not to mention exhausting. That’s why organic ‘word-of-mouth’ promotion is so fantastic. It teaches customers to buy from you, without you imposing on them. But, how do you start the ball rolling? Consider Uber’s marketing model. It used the simple process of referrals to grow. They offered their users a free $20 taxi ride when they referred a friend (who also then got a free $20). It was a domino process, and these referrals drove brand recognition (and sales) through the roof.

 

  1. Content

Establishing a name for yourself online is rarely easy, due to the sheer competition. However, phenomenal content might just set you apart. Start by creating great content (articles, videos, infographics), and brand it heavily with your imaging. The best content is shared far and wide across the internet, taking your brand name and imaging with it! Simple.

 

  1. Advertising

So far, we’ve covered the organic methods of building brand recognition. If you’re looking for a quicker method, tap into the incredible reach of advertising. By using online ads or real-world advertising, you can get your brand and image in front of thousands.

 

Remember, people need to see your branding roughly seven times before they’ll trust your startup. Where would you start?

Are You Smarketing or Smelling? Guest post by Gerry Moran

Great organizations’ sales and marketing teams converge to create a strategy, an approach, a culture called smarketing. The ones who do not do it so well are, well, are smelling.

And your Modern-Marketer customers don’t like smelling, This convergence is a natural evolution led by a better-informed and more-empowered customer.
Smarketing

Smarketing by Kenny Madden

Johann Wrede, a customer engagement specialist for SAP states, “Customers have less tolerance than ever for content-free interactions, and sellers are struggling to connect early enough in the buying journey to exert influence on the decision. To adapt, marketers and sellers need to assess and remix their skills, regardless of the organizational silo they happen to be in, rather than wait for organizational boundaries to change.” So, the customer and content is king.

Are you a smarketer or a smeller?
Why Smarketing Makes Sense

While there is no specific scorecard to discern the smarketers from the smellers, there is solid research to support the integration of sales and marketing strategy, content and activation makes sense.

Smarketing Drives Growth. Aberdeen research indicates companies who ‘get’ sales and marketing integration grow 20% faster than those who don’t. Smart marketers, right? No, smarketers!

Content Smarketing Generates Leads. HubSpot research suggests blogging companies generate 55% more leads than non-blogging companies.

Smarketing Gets Sales Reps Involved With The Buying Cycle Earlier. SiriusDecicions findings show 70% of the buying journey is completed before the buyer is recognized as a prospect and in the CRM ‘books’ by the selling organization.The key inference is that there is less chance to frame the sales opportunities and more chance to complete an RFP.

7 Guiding Principles For Smarketing Success

1. Move from silos to outcome-based activity. Day-to-day reality in many organizations manifests in managing daily call reports, creating marketing content for social media channels and communities, and closing sales for the quarter. Quarter after quarter this set of sales and marketing activities is a ‘wash, rinse, repeat’ cycle.” Rhonda Holloway, Founder and Senior Partner of Six20 Partners has a holistic solution to this chasm. Holloway states, “Sales and Marketing should be SMARKETING for the greater good, but the two roles are vastly different. Perhaps B2B companies should institute 3 month job rotations between Sales & Marketing. After the rotation, the salesperson should have a better understanding of how to partner with Marketing and better use the great content and Marketing should have a better understanding of the material that really makes a difference in the field. Both jobs are hard and I think the problem is we both think the other is easy – hence the chasm.”

2. Manage The Sales and Marketing Convergence. Corporate silos and fiefdoms (remember, the customers are in charge of the kingdom) need a strategic group or individual to bridge the gap and broker the convergence. This person is a Smarketing Director. Although I’ve not seen this official ‘Smarketing Director’ moniker, it is present in evolving smarketing organizations. They are the ones taking the leadership role by laying the foundation. They are bridging the gap between sales and marketing. Most start with a single project, like social selling awareness program or provide structured LinkedIn tune-ups to the sales and marketing departments.

3. A Sales, Marketing or Smarketing Playbook Drives Quicker Adoption. Sometimes the quickest way to drive adoption is to bake the ingredients into an established recipe, to make it new and improved! The fastest way to drive smarketing adoption is to co-opt native behavior and not to ask someone to do something completely different. Just integrate it into a smarketing play.

Smarketing 1 by Kenny Madden Are You Smarketing or Smelling?

4. Measure Smarketing Success To Monetize It. It is likely no smarketing KPIs exist for any organization. However, revenue, quota and efficiency are common KPIs. Getting out of bed isn’t a KPI either. However, you need to get out of bed and you need to use smarketing to reach revenue, quota and efficiency goals. Ultimately, success is measured and monetized by accelerated sales pipeline and fewer resources required to do the job. Heidi Schwande, Chief Digital Office For WSI World adds “Getting sales and marketing to see themselves as allies instead of rivals improves the company’s bottom line.”

5. Let Customers Guide You. Martin Weinberg, a Philadelphia-based digital leader states, “From the buyer’s perspective, it truly is one continuous journey, so this type of thinking is long overdue. Separately, it’s too easy for each department to generate activity instead of accomplishment by focusing on short-term metrics. One of the top benefits (of smarketing) would be an opportunity for more effective messaging by pre-handling real objections salespeople encounter within marketing communications. Now that most communication is digital, it’s more cost-effective than ever to take this approach, though the opportunity is often overlooked.” Kenny Madden, a Market Developer for Spiceworks, underlines the need for smarketing with the buyer, “You have to get through the 1st 50% of the sales cycle to get to the last 50%.” I’d call that “percentage smarketing!”

6. Content Marketing Strategy Is Key To Being A Smarketer. Marcy Hoffman, a Miam-based Independent Consultant who helps start-ups and small businesses who people start the process by looking for information often because they know their problem, but haven’t defined the solution; adding Knowledge/content at the beginning of the process helps identify the content creator as a leader in their industry which serves to reinforce the next stage.

7. Adapt and Adopt or Be Overlooked. Victor Clarke, principle for Clarke, Inc, a marketing services firm, states, “I have sold everything from Xerox copiers in the 80s to the first computers to be installed in the US House of Representatives and the US Senate in the 90s to marketing services currently. Sales has been turned upside down in the last 5 years with smarketing. SPIN selling is dead and sales folks either adapt or they are gone.” Mike Ausloos, Head of Business Development for Northern Concrete Construction stated “I don’t know how any system can be effective without operating with SMARKETING. Both are gathering market info & there needs to be collaboration to form the correct content, selling points, etc. seems to be missing a determiner before it.”Barbara Giamonco states in her book, The New Handshake: Sales Meets Social Media, “In the midst of this communication revolution sales must adopt a new approach that incorporates social media. When we overturn the old business practices, what emerges is something called “smarketing.” Sales and Marketing need to work in tandem, as Giamonco notes. However, some forced ‘hard wiring’ likely needs to happen for evolution to effectively occur.

Do you have a smarketing guiding principle or point to share? If so, please comment below. Or reach out to me directly at MarketingThink.com, LinkedIn, Twitter or Google+.

Combining sales and marketing to achieve company goals is key. If you do it right, then you are a smarketer. If you don’t do it right then you are a smeller. Which one are you? A smarketer, or a smeller?

How Content Transforms Salespeople [Infographic]

Forget the sleazy salesperson stereotype.

Today’s most successful salespeople act as thought leaders and industry experts, connecting prospects with content. They challenge buyers to be on the cutting-edge of their industries.

But unfortunately, many people still harbor a negative perception of sales reps. So what’s a salesperson to do? Load up on content.

This infographic explains how content helps sales teams build relationships that lead to revenue.

Use content to create revenue

Digital Trends for B2B and B2C Marketers in 2014 [Infographic]

What are the most exciting opportunities for digital marketers this year and where should they focus? Content marketing, customer experience and mobile dominate. Check out the results from Econsultancy and Adobe’s 2014 Digital Trends Briefing.

Content, Customer Experience and Mobile dominate

Content, Customer Experience and Mobile dominate

Does this inforgraphic represent your priorities? What would you add? Join the conversation and say “Hi” in the comments below

Visual Content is Key on Twitter

Twitter is known for content sharing, and top brands are no exception. Looking at some of the
top link types, it’s no surprise that the highest performing links are pic.twitter.com links, which is Twitter’s image service, and allows photos to display directly in a user’s Twitter feed.

Pic.twitter.com links average 210 engagements per Tweet. The next highest performing types are Tumblr.com and Pinterest.com, followed by another Twitter property, Vine.co.

Visual content performs well on any network, and with Tumblr, certain types of images are supported by Twitter cards and are natively displayed. Pinterest, on the other hand, is a surprising leader, considering the visual assets don’t display directly in Tweets.

Bit.ly links are one of the most common link types, and a default option with Twitter management software like Tweetdeck. The links however, which show no indication of what to expect, are some of the lowest performing links we see large brands using.

Visual Content on TwitterTweeting with pictures can help your brand see more exposure, and
if you include a link alongside the image, your potential visibility is much higher than average.

 

Source: SimplyMeasured

Listen “sales”, – There is no such thing as Social Selling!

No doubt this statement will bring the wrath of those “social selling” experts who have arisen over the last few years.
Don’t get me wrong – there is an incredibly powerful and commercially viable way of selling by leveraging social platforms, so let me explain.

First, I have a problem with the phrase “social selling”, mostly because it gives the impression that if you jump onto a social media platform, you will immediately be able to sell something. You won’t, at least not straight away. Using social platforms as an additional channel requires a strategy and one that teaches you to move from a day trader to a long term investor and builder of relationships. Yes you may be stumble upon an update that says ” I need to buy [your product], please contact me” but this is an exception and not the rule.

I also struggle with calling a sales person a “social seller”. Does this individual now only sell on social platforms, or more importantly are they a seller who not only utilises the traditional methods of selling but also blends in the benefits of using social tools to add tremendous value to those traditional face to face and telephone meetings?

Social selling does not work when detached from traditional sales methods. I want to share a strategy that will enhance those traditional methods and if done correctly may even negate the need for cold calling.

Now that I have sorted out the jargon lets look at how the commercially viable Social Sales teams do it. The rule is; create the social wrap.

Below is a suggested approach to blending your traditional methods of selling to enable or influence a purchase decision. Here are my five tips:

1: Build your brand.

2: Contribute to discussions.

3: Network

4: Provide relevance through thought leadership.

5: Practice the law of reciprocity, always.

Build your brand.

Building your brand is key and should be the foundation of any great sales person. You are researching your clients and gaining insights to their personality, interests and business synergies. It would be naive to think that your clients are not similarly checking you out. Right now the strongest platform to convey and market your expertise is LinkedIn, but that platform may not be the only one! Yes you are in marketing now, the marketing of your value and credibility.

Contribute to discussions

Participating in discussions is not just about listening to what your clients are saying or understanding what they are listening to. It is about adding your point of view to the conversation. Don’t sell your product; instead offer advice, strategies, coaching on things to consider, how to guides. Add value to a discussion, and in so doing become the authentic helper.

Network

Network and connect with people. Whether you met face to face or virtually, if you feel that reciprocal value can be achieved then invite them to be part of your network. Top tip; always personalise the invite, because not doing so shows a lack of professionalism and integrity.
Utilise your network. Earn social credit by connecting people to others that will add value and benefit them. By doing so you will increase your network in size.
Also use your network to influence, for instance Twitter is business networking on steroids. Surround your self with people you want to influence and provide them great content, relevance and value.

Provide relevance through thought leadership

You need to understand your network. Two important question you could ask yourself are: What types of information would they benefit from? Where and when are they seeking it? This will help you ascertain which platforms will benefit you the most. Consider blogging, as this will become a huge asset to your branding and thought leadership. As your network increases in size so will the diversity and quantity of your content.

Practice the law of reciprocity

Trading favours is a huge part of doing business in the social world. If you are already utilising your network and introducing people to others, you are already practicing this law. Read more at Wikipedia 

So those are my top five tips for creating a social wrap.
It is all about building a brand, sharing your expertise, offering your helpfulness and building relationships and influence that will enable you to sell more using social media.

Share your best practices and tips below on how you are using social tools to help sales. And don’t forget to practice the law of reciprocity now

So How Powerful is Visual Content on Social Media?

So How Powerful is Visual Content on Social Media?

Simply Measured looked at Facebook’s top 10 brand pages to find out the real numbers and facts and figures on the engagement and sharing levels of photos and videos in comparison to text and discovered:

Videos are shared 1,200 percent more than links and and text posts combined

Photos are liked 200% more than text updates

To put some perspective on the power of visual content other studies show that Photo and video posts on Pinterest are referring more traffic than Twitter, Stumbleupon, LinkedIn and Google+.

For more insights into the power of visual content below are some more revelations.

5 Reasons your should be using Images in your Marketing

The Facts and Figures about the Power of Visual Content - Infographic

via The Facts and Figures about the Power of Visual Content – Infographic.