Social Media Marketing: Listen to Your Target Audience to Help Build Relationships Part 2

Listen to help build relationships with your target audience Source - http://brandlegendary.com/5-signs-you-arent-using-social-media-effectively/
On Monday, we discussed the advantages of listening to your target audience. Now, let’s discuss how you can go about listening to your target audience via Google Alerts and the different social media networks.

By listening, your brand will be able to build relationships with your target audience, create superior content, and deliver exceptional experiences.  If you missed part 1, you can still review the advantages to listening to your target audience.

By paying attention to the ongoing social conversations in your industry, you can pick up on emerging trends, new customer pains, and other valuable information. Here are some ways that will help you follow your brand and industry easily.

Gathering information from a multiple of sources will give you well rounded view of your brand, industry, and target audience.

Different Methods to Listen to Your Target Audience

  1. Google Alerts and RSS Feeds
  2. Facebook
  3. Twitter Hashtags
  4. Twitter
  5. LinkedIn
  6. Google+
  7. Blogs

#1 Set up Google Alerts and RSS feeds

When you create a Google Alert, you will receive email summaries on the subject matter you specify. Google Alerts will pick up anything included in Blogs, and you should follow any blogs that appear on your Google Alerts consistently. You should also identify any RSS feeds that consistently talk about your brand, competitors, and industry.

Different Google Alerts and RSS feeds you should follow

  • Your Brand
  • Keywords specific to your industry
  • Your Industry
  • Your Competitors

#2 Facebook

First, follow your competitor and listen for keywords or emerging trends.

Second, identify and participate in any Facebook groups that impact your brand. The more people in these groups, the more it gets promoted to their friends and social networks.

Next, organize different lists for different topics and influencers that you want to follow. These lists allow you to view and post to different groups or companies.

#3 Listening via Twitter Hashtags

Hashtags have become one of the best ways to monitor the discussion around a particular topic, trend or idea in your space.

Hashtags to Follow

  • Your Brand
  • Specific Keywords
  • Your Industry
  • Your Competitors
  • Your Competitors

#4 Listening on Twitter

First, conduct a couple of searches on your brand, keywords, industry, and your competitors. Identify the influencers, analysts, journalists, and other knowledgeable people in your arena who appear in your searches and follow them. Monitor what your influencers say and discover who is retweeting your influencers tweets.

Twitter Lists

  • Organize all of the people you identified into different Twitter lists.
  • Each list should be segmented/grouped together by similarities.
  • Twitter lists can be public or private.
  • Consider making your influencers group public to show that you are actively collecting information from knowledgeable sources.
  • Monitor what each group is saying.
  • If there are any complaints, develop a customer service method on how to handle the complaints.
  • Discover if you need to make tweaks to your services to satisfy your target audience.

#5 Listening on LinkedIn

Search for any groups based on your brand, industry, competitors, or keywords. Next, follow your competitors to monitor the conversations happening on their company pages. Finally, pay attention to any comments that are said on your company pages.

#6 Listening on G+

First, conduct a search on your brand, keywords, industry, and competitor and see what comes up.

Google+ Circles
Similar to Twitter lists, you can create different Google+ Circles of people. Each circle can have their own personas allowing you to tailor your communication based on the personas. When you notice people talking about your brand or industry, include them in one of your circles.

Google+ Hangouts
You can also use Google Hangouts makes to connect people in different circles. Google Hangouts gives you face time with your target audience on their terms.

#7 Listening on Blogs

Back in #1, you should have started following any blogs that appeared in your Google Alerts consistently. Listen for any news about your brand. Every once in a while you may choose to make a comment to show your target audience that you are listening, and this will indicate that you care.

Once you set your methods of listening, you may feel a little overwhelmed. However, you have access to an abundance of intelligence about your target audience to help you build relationships with your target audience.

My suggestions is to set aside some time once a week or take 30 minutes everyday just to listen(read). Don’t comment on anything or post anything. This is time for you to just learn about what people are saying. Take notes and make a list of action items.

When listening, look for consistencies and patterns. This will help you prioritize any action items you need to take. Look for potential marketing messages, or opportunities to connect with your target audience.

As you listen, remember to your purpose is to build stronger relationships with your target audience, so your brand can deliver exceptional experiences.

After reading today’s post, please comment on any ways you like to listen to your target audience via social media.

Take Care and Happy Listening.

Sources

Additional Social Media News and Resources

Getting your Social Media Audience to Share in this Weeks Social Media Discussion

Getting your Social Media Audience to Share Source:http://semomarketingsolutions.com/small-business-social-media-marketing/Participating effectively in social media accomplishes two goals for Digital Marketing Managers and Social Media Marketers:

  1. Connect with your target audience in the form of social media audience.
  2. Ability to extend your reach when your social media audience shares about your brand for their social media connections to see.

When you accomplish goal number 2, this is similar to creating word-of-mouth marketing.

Importance of Getting your Social Media Audience to Share

According to a Nielsen Survey, 33% of buyers believe what brands say about themselves. On the other hand, 92% of buyers believe what their peers have to say about a brand. Therefore, when your social media audience shares about your brand, their connections believe what is said.

Keeping this in mind, you want to create an environment on social media where your audience like, retweet, comment, and recommend your brand.

To do this

You need to provide your social media audience with compelling reasons to share your messages that is seamless. Tell your social media audience what is in it for them to like, retweet, comment on, or share their thoughts about your social media content.

5 Motivators for your Social Media Audience to Share

  1. Reputation
  2. Access to something exclusive
  3. Co-creation
  4. Competition and Winning
  5. Altruism

Source: Marketo’s The Definitive Guide to Social Sharing

Given these Statistics from a New York Times Study on Social Sharing Do this to spark a response in your social media audience?
75% say sharing helps them better comprehend the news they’re interested in Provide compelling content where a comment will help them understand your content
Before posting a link, 94% consider how helpful a link would be to others Make them feel like they are helping their connections if your brand’s link is in comments
68% share as an advertisement for themselves to teaches others about them Make your audience feel like they are teaching their connections about them when they like, retweet, or comment about your brand
73% say it helps find people with similar interests Give them an opportunity to connect with your followers because they have a common interest in your brand

Source of New York Times Study was included in Marketo’s Definitive Guide on Social Marketing

7 Tactics to Motivate Your Social Media Audience to Share

Sharing Content on social media networks Source:http://www.designzzz.com/free-wordpress-facebook-plugins/

  1. Social Sharing links/buttons before or after your content – ask for people to click the social sharing buttons because they may not see the buttons
  2. When someone downloads your content – provide a pop-up or some message where they can share what they just downloaded
  3. Listen and Respond – Listen to what your social media audience is saying. Respond with content that meets your audience needs.  This action, you will show your audience and their connection that you care.
  4. Refer-a-Friend – provide a compelling offer for your audience if they refer someone. These offers can also be extended to the friends.
  5. Social Sweepstakes – Create a content where entrants spread the word for you.
  6. Polls and Voting – Engage your audience to share their opinions through polls. Your audience votes will be seen by their connections.
  7. Flash Deals – Create a time-sensitive deals that are fun and have the potential to go viral and increase brand awareness.

Conclusion

Since peer recommendations influence how people view a brand, you want to get your social media audience to like and to share about your brand for their social media connections to see your content.  When those connections see your audience sharing about your brand, you are extending your reach.

To get your social media audience to like and share about your brand, you need to post content that will motivate your social media audience to share your content with their social media connections.

2 Great Articles from Social Media Examiner that Show you How to Get your Social Media Audience to Share your Content:

Sources for a Blog Post

Social Media Network News and Resources

Facebook

Twitter

LinkedIn

Google+

Pinterest

Instagram

How to Write Meta Descriptions that Standout and Increase your Click Through Rates from Search Engine Result Pages in this Week’s SEO Update

Meta Tag Description Source: http://www.mysecondmillion.com/meta-tags-title-tags-meta-descriptions/Your keyword strategies and SEO tactics have landed your website on page 1 of a search engine result page (SERP), but now, you need to convince people, searchers, to click the link to your website versus another link. A well written meta description about the content on your website can help you stand out from other websites on a SERP page.

Is the likelihood of your competitor landing on the same SERP page as you high?

If yes, you can use Meta Descriptions to persuade searchers and make your website seem more appealing than your competitors.

What is a Meta Description?

The text below a webpage link on a SERP is a meta description about the content on the webpage. The meta description can lure searchers to click through to your website instead of another website.

Think of a Meta Description as a short sales pitch for your webpage.  This is an opportunity to engage searchers before they get to your website.

An Example of How Meta Descriptions Appear on a Google Search Engine Result Page:
Example of a Meta Description on a Google Search Engine Results Page Source: http://www.inmotionhosting.com/support/edu/website-design/meta-tags-explained/adding-a-meta-description-tag

Personally, when I complete a web search, I always read the meta descriptions to find out which website can meet my informational needs. Reading the meta descriptions can be a time saver, so I try to find the meta description for the best website to satisfy my search query. If I personally use meta descriptions to find the best website to click through to, I wonder how many other searchers might read meta descriptions as well.

A snapshot of the HTML Code to Help You Set Up Your Meta Tag Descriptions:
HTML code for Meta Description Tags Source: http://www.mycomputerforum.com/tutorials/meta_tags_seo.html

How to Write Meta Descriptions that Standout?

Components to set up effective meta tag descriptions that increase click through rates Source:http://www.polepositionmarketing.com/emp/complete-guide-meta-tags/

  1. Use Action-Oriented Language – use action words to tell readers what they will see if they click.
  2. Include a Solution or Benefit – give a convincing preview of how your content will satisfy the searchers needs.
  3. Length should be under 150 characters – the date when the content was posted could be included in the meta description, so you want to convince searchers to click through to your website in 130 characters or less. Best to be on the safe side.
  4. Be Honest – make sure your content on your webpage can deliver what your meta descriptions says it will deliver. This is your chance for searchers to build trust in your website. Don’t waste this chance.
  5. Be Relevant and Specific with Descriptive Words
  6. Meta Description should Accurately Describe the Content on Your Webpage, so expectations are met, and bounce rates are decreased.

Avoid these Meta Description Pitfalls

  • No Meta Description – Google will use text from somewhere on the page that matches the searchers’ query, and this text may not convince users to click through to your website.
  • Keyword Stuffing – Only using keywords may not properly describe the content on your webpage, and you do not want to mislead searchers and risk them never clicking through to your website in the future.
  • Bounce Rate – To avoid searchers from clicking the back button when they click through to your site, make sure the sales pitch in your meta description will be fulfilled by the content on your webpage.  Be aware that a high bounce rate may hinder your SEO and reduce your ranking.

Finally, don’t you hate it when Wikipedia outranks you on your keywords?

Use your Meta Descriptions to stand out and lure searchers to click through to your website instead of clicking to Wikipedia.

Have fun creating Meta Descriptions for your website and come back to learn more SEO tips and tools to help drive traffic to your websites from search engines and reach your digital marketing objectives.

Sources

Additional SEO News and Resources

Spelling, Grammer, Proofreading Oh My! from Digital Marketing Manager’s Weekly SEO Update

Keep calm and SEO on Source:http://seogadget.com/beware-of-the-google-over-optimization-update/Everything on your website affects SEO, and as a Digital Marketing Manger, you want to do to as much as you can to help your SEO. As the different search engines make refinements to their algorithms and updates in order to deliver better search experiences for their visitors and try to increase their market share, you need to keep up with your SEO to drive traffic to your website from search engines, and you need to be aware of search engine updates and tweaks to see if it will affect the amount of traffic from search engines to your website.

This weeks SEO update from Digital Marketing Manager includes news on search engines:

Matt Cutts Explains How Comments With Bad Spelling and Grammar Affect A Page’s Ability to Rank– While providing the opportunity for your website visitors to comment on the content on your website helps SEO, comments often have spelling and grammar errors, but these errors will not affect your SEO. However, if your content contains spelling and grammar errors, your SEO could be affected.

Make sure to PROOFREAD.

Example, let’s say your website talks about different species of bears, and you type the word “bare” in multiple locations of on your website.  Since “bear” and “bare” mean different things, search engines may get confused. Search engines are not people, and search engines can’t tell the difference between “bear” and “bare.”  Therefore, you need to proofread your content and make sure that when you want the would “bear” to appear, the word “bear” appears.

My example may be a little silly, but it was the first thing that came to mind. However, it does illustrate my point to proofread and reinforces the idea that websites without spelling and grammer errors is important.

In other news SEO news,

Also, in SEO news:

Yahoo Improving Local Search through Partnership with Yelp – In order to improve the search experience on Yahoo, now you can see local listings, reviews, and photos when looking for local establishments.

Struggling with getting your SEO back on track with all of Google’s major updates from last fall? Check out this Infographic to help you wrap your head around how to implement your SEO strategies for 2014. This infographic brought to you by Just Go Web helps translate your old SEO strategies to the new SEO strategies after the search evolution from last fall.

Want people to link to your content? Check out these 7 Ways to Attract Higher Quality Links With Better On-Page Content. These tips not only will help you attract links to your website, but these tips will help you produce great content to create superior experiences for your target audiences.

Contact or Learn More about Digital Marketing Manager, Cindy Plough

Building a Social Media Army to Extend Your Reach Plus Updates and Tools for Social Media Networks

Building a Social Media Army Source:http://fingercandymedia.com/7359-building-a-social-media-army-3

Finding target audience members to follow your brands on social media networks can take time, but there are people within your grasp who can help. As another tool in your digital marketing toolbox for your social marketing efforts, you can recruit these people to become members of your social media army to help your brand extend it’s reach on social media networks.

Last fall, I attended a presentation by Jason Miller, Senior Manager, Content Marketing & Social, LinkedIn. During the presentation, Jason made a reference to using a social media army to promote your brand on social media networks.

With the help of Marketo’s Definitive Guide to Social Marketing,  I’ve taken Jason’s idea and put together a rough outline how you can recruit members and build your own a social media army to extend your brand’s reach.

Purpose of a Social Media Army:

Share your posts and retweet your messages in social media networks to reach army members’ connections and attract additional potential customers to experience your brand.

Think about what you want your army members to share and engage their social media connections to seek you out.

NEXT, start recruiting your own social media army.

Potential Social Media Army Members:

  • Internal Stakeholders
  • Employee Advocates of Social Media
  • Internal Thought Leaders
  • Top Industry Influencers
  • Brand Evangelists
  • Long-Time Customers

What’s in it for them to become a Social Media Army Members?

  • Personal Branding
  • Building personal social media marketing skills
  • Building relationships with your target audience
  • For Internal Members, building customer relationships
  • Increasing your company’s reputation as a thought leader

Train your Social Media Army Members:

Teach social media army members to create army strong stories Source:http://mashable.com/category/u.s.-army/

  • Provide background/history on the different social media networks
  • Explain the types of content that gets posted to each social media network
  • Outline the social media participation rules
  • Provide content tips
  • Instruct them how to post images, video
  • Provide formatting parameters for posts
  • Tell them how to optimize messages for SEO
  • Teach them how to create army strong stories to entice their connections to find your website
  • Tell them how their connections can give you their email addresses
  • Create a series of blog posts for your social media army members for communication and training

Think about the following quote from Pete Cashmore, CEO & Founder of mashable.com, “We’re living at a time when attention is the new currency. Those who insert themselves into as many channels as possible look set to capture the most value.”

A social media army can get your messages inserted into as many channels and increase your value.

Facebook Like in Fatigues Source:http://www.army.mil/article/84850/You can’t do it all. HOWEVER, with a social media army, you can participate in more social media networks and your messages can reach more potential customers than if you tried to build a target audience on social media networks all on your own.

SO, recruit some help and start building your social media army today.

Sources: Marketo’s Definitive Guide to Social Marketing

To learn more about Building a Social Media Army, look at Jeff Bullas’s How to Get Others to Do Your Social Media Marketing for Free article.

Updates and Tools for Social Media Networks

Facebook

Twitter

LinkedIn

Google+

Instagram

Pinterest

Next Weeks Social Media Update Topic: Getting your Social Media Followers to Share your Brand’s Messages

Learn More about Digital Marketing Manager, Cindy Plough

SEO Monday: Earning Links with High Quality Content to Increase Search Rankings instead of Relying on Link Building Strategies

Don't Build Links Earn Them! Source:http://www.seo.com/blog/earning-links-vs-building-links/In reaction to Matt Cutts, Head of Google’s Webspam Team, announcement about guest blogging not being a good link building strategy, I felt there was a need to discuss link building, and how to deploy positive SEO tactics.  Also, recently, Google has made several announcements about poor link building strategies that will begin to affect your rankings, and Digital Marketing Managers and SEO Managers are struggling to find replacement SEO tactics to assist them in ranking high on search engine result pages.

Before we continue, the heart of the matter is that you need awesome content with an authoritative voice in order for any SEO tactic to generate results.

You need to become a thought leader as well as create awesome content that does one of the following:

Content is King Source:http://techtwisted.com/good-quality-content-can-beat-google-updates/

  • Offers a solution to your target audience’s problem
  • Answers a question
  • Teaches the audience
  • Consistently provides valuable information when needed
  • Content is shared and liked on social media networks
  • Consumed by your audience

Once you become a thought leader with your target audience and create content that meets one or more of the above criteria, you can start deploying SEO tactics to increase your rank on search engine result pages.

One of those SEO tactics will be Earning Links. Per Marcela De Vivo, we need to change the terminology. Instead to referring to Link Building Strategies, we should start using the term Earning Link Strategies.

Now, let’s take a look at different ways to Earn Links and get working on your SEO tactics for 2014:

  • Build an Engaged Target Audience on Relevant Social Media Networks – Create a community that possess the characteristics of your target audience, and then, amplify your posts to expand your reach to increase your followers.
  • Share your Content on Social Media Networks – Post your content on the Social Media Networks where your brand and target audience are located.  Any of your social media followers that Like, Retweet, +1, or shares your content on their pages, will signal Google to give you credit, and these signals will be taken into account in your site’s ranking in search.
  • Guest Blogging in Places with your Target Audience – If you find relevant and useful websites whose audience match your target audience, guest blogging/posting is appropriate, and Google will not reprimand you. Google’s new guidelines just restricts guest blogging on websites that aren’t relevant. Therefore, find websites with the same target audience as you, and do some guest blogging/posting with links back to your brand to help increase your exposure, branding, and reach. This will help your audience see you as a thought leader.
  • Create Offline Relationships with Industry Influencers, Journalists, and Bloggers – you can host an event or mail a four color post card to introduce them to your brand and content. The event and post card will start conversations about them linking to you and creating partnerships.  Also, you can urge industry journalists and bloggers to quote you in their articles to demonstrate your authoritative voice.
  • Lastly, if you have awesome content, you will earn links naturally, so it pays to produce great content.

Sources:

Additional Resource: I came a across a really great Infographic to help you and your organizations SEO strategies for 2014.  Given all of Google’s changes last year, SEO has changed, and this Infographic will help you reorganize your SEO strategies. For each old SEO tactic, the Infographic tells you the new SEO tactic.  I highly encourage you to look at this Infographic to help put your SEO worries aside and start deploying on tactics to increase your search ranking. SEO Evolution 2014: Quick Tips on How to Optimize Website in 2014

Learn More about Digital Marketing Manager, Cindy Plough

SEO Mondays: Improve your Google Rank by Implementing 7 Link Building Strategies

7 Link Building StrategiesKeyword strategies get the most attention for SEO, but link building is another SEO strategy that Digital Marketing Managers can utilize to increase website rankings on search engine results pages. Today’s SEO Monday blog post talks about 7 link building strategies.

7 Link Building Strategies:

  1. Manual Link Building
  2. Competitive Link Building
  3. Links via Embedded Content
  4. Linkbait & Viral Campaigns
  5. Content, Technology & API Licensing
  6. Partnerships, Exchanges & Trades
  7. Link Reclamation

Whatever link building strategy you decide to employ, just keep in mind that you should create relevant links for your content to increase the trust with your customers and search engines. The more relevant your links, the higher the quality of your links, the more value search engines will place on your content, and ultimately, the higher you will rank on search engine result pages.

Before starting your link building strategies, create a profile of websites and social media sites where your target audience spends time. Then, think about how you can build links from those sites to you site.

7 Link Building Strategies Details

1. Manual Link Building
Create a list of relevant non-competitive sites and pages, and then, make a request for a link with the website. Try to find an actual person who manages the site to make a request for displaying your link. This form of link-building is the most time consuming, but it produces high quality links.

2. Competitive Link Building
Complete a search of places where your competitor has links and see if you can post links on those same pages. Examples of where you and your competitor might both have links include industry directories or associations. This process doesn’t produce links with the highest quality, but it isn’t time-consuming like the Manual Link Building Strategy.

3. Links via Embedded Content
By offering widgets and embeddable forms of content, you can earn links back to the page of your choice when other websites include your work in blog posts, articles, or webpages. For example, you can use scribd.com to upload one of your PowerPoint presentations and embed a mini graphic of the PowerPoint on your website. When someone clicks on the graphic, scribd.com earns a link. This link building activity is not time consuming and produces high quality links.

4. Linkbait & Viral Campaigns
Find industry bloggers or content hobbyists that offer relevant content to your website where you both have similar audiences. Contact these individuals and ask them to post your content on their site with a link back to your site. It may take time to develop relationships with industry bloggers and hobbyists, but if both of you share each others content, you can build high quality links.

5. Content, Technology & API Licensing
With this strategy, you syndicate your content or create licenses with other websites to post your content.  Then, who ever distributes your content produces a link back to your site. Producing these types of links my take time, but once the relationship is formed the opportunities for building high quality links is limitless.

6. Partnerships, Exchanges & Trades
These types of links include reciprocal links, discounts, or invitations to events.  To maintain the quality of these links, don’t sell links. Building these types of links can be simple as long as both parties are happy, but the quality isn’t as high.

7. Link Reclamation
Find all potential broken links, out-of-date resources, and 404 pages, and then, redirect them back to your homepage. While this takes time, this strategy produces high quality links. Plus, this strategy is just good practice and can help build a relationship with customers.

Good luck utilizing one or many of the above link building strategies. Just remember to build relevant links for your content. For every link you build, ask yourself if the link feels natural or not.  If the link doesn’t feel natural rethink the link.

Additional Link Building Strategies listed from hard to easy to implement

Strategies in the above graphic are list from hardest to easiest to implement. However, think about implementing a combination of these strategies to reap all the benefits for your websites SEO. The source of the graphic is from Brands Exposed.

Learn More about Digital Marketing Manager, Cindy Plough