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

Follow 8 Golden Rules of Social Media to Avoid the Pitfalls of Social Media in This Week’s Social Media Update

To implement your social marketing strategy seamlessly, Digital Marketing Managers need to follow the golden rules of social media to make your social marketing successful and help you reach your overall digital marketing goals.

Golden Rules of Social Media

Golden Rules of Social Media Source: http://rebekahradice.com/golden-rules-successful-social-media-marketing/

  1. Create specific social media objectives – Give your organization a clear understanding of where you are going with your social marketing.
  2. Inbound is not enough – Social Media will not fulfill your overall digital marketing objectives on their own. Digital Marketing Managers need a well-rounded mix of inbound and outbound strategies to fulfill your overall digital marketing goals.
  3. Good content – make sure you create engaging relevant content.
  4. Strong call to action – your social media content needs to clearly express what you want your followers to do after they consume your content; otherwise, you are wasting your time and your followers time.
  5. Always add value – make sure your content adds value to your brand.
  6. Never forget that social is a two-way street – Once you make a post, followers will make comments, and you should take comments seriously and respond to them timely and sincerely.
  7. Peer-to-peer sharing is the best way to get your message heard – Social media creates an open dialogue with your followers, and it gives brands and Digital Marketing Managers the capability to create engaging experiences and relationships with followers.
  8. Most important! Don’t take yourself too seriously – participating in social media gives Digital Marketing Managers the chance to give their brands a personality and be likable. However, don’t go off the deep end, you need to have some decorum.

If you follow the above golden rules of social media, you can avoid the following pitfalls of social media:

Pitfalls of Social Media Source: http://www.socialsamosa.com/2012/04/social-media-pitfalls-to-avoid/

  • Don’t brag – yes, you want your content to add value to your brand, but you don’t want to sound conceited.
  • Don’t be afraid to try social marketing – just because social marketing is different doesn’t mean you should avoid it. By creating objectives and a plan, social media can appear less daunting.
  • Don’t be afraid of social media because measurement is difficult – there are ways to measure the impact of your social media. Plus, social marketing extends your brands reach that will impact your bottom line indirectly.
  • Don’t use social media sites as advertising opportunities – Social media is a chance for you to give your brand a personality and truly connect with current, past, and future customers. Traditional advertising methods will not allow you to connect with your followers.
  • Don’t assume every social media site is good for your brand – Not ALL social media channels will work for ALL brands. For example, if you are a B2C company, Facebook may be a better fit. On the flip side, if you are a B2B company, LinkedIn might make more sense. (Remember this is just an example and not proven to be true)
  • Don’t create social pages and think you are done – If you can’t create a relationship with a new person in one day, what makes you think you can create engaging ongoing relationships with your target audience in social media if you don’t update your pages or posts regularly? However, keep in mind, this doesn’t mean you should be on social media all day every day.

General Rule of Thumb: Use social media sites as one digital marketing tactic in your digital marketing toolbox to extend your reach with your target audience, and use it where it makes sense for your brands to build relationships and create engaging experience with your current, past and future customers.

Source: Marketo’s Definitive Guide to Social Marketing

Additional Articles for Social Media Networks:

Facebook

Twitter

LinkedIn

Google+

Next Week’s Social Media Update: Creating a Social Media Army to Help Reach your Target Audience

Learn More about Digital Marketing Manager, Cindy Plough

Social Media Wednesday: 3 Social Media Techniques to Coordinate with your Email Marketing

As a follow up to yesterday’s Email Marketing Tuesday, today we’ll explore how Digital Marketing Managers can use social media to compliment and enhance their email marketing efforts.

Social Media IconsSince people interact with your company in a multitude of channels (social media and email), messages in the different channels need to flow seamlessly.  Therefore, you can use your social media to continue the conversation that started in an email marketing effort. Another goal of coordinating social media and email is to extend your reach beyond your email list.

Social media and email marketing can work together to create engaging experiences for your target audiences by implementing the following 3 social media techniques.

  1. Social Connecting – you can use your email list to increase your social media followers by including social media icons and links in your email efforts.  You can also give your email recipients a reason to follow you on your social networks.
  2. Social Sharing – entice your email recipients to share your email content on their personal social networks for their Facebook friends and Twitter followers to see. There are 3 ways to conduct social sharing. First, you can use “share with your network” and “forward to a friend” in you emails. Second, use hashtags or “tweet this!” in your emails. Third, create a social sharing contest.

Example of Social Sharing:  In this example, it is an article that includes “Tweet the stat!” after each statistic list in the article.

  1. Social Promoting – you can use social media to entice new people to give you their email address. Just include links to your website’s email sign-up page in your posts or tweets. Then, amplify those posts with the links to your website’s sign-up page. Next, build an email opt-in app that lives on your Facebook page. Finally, use social media to reconnect with follows who are on your email list but haven’t responded to your emails.

Other social media techniques you can use to enhance other digital marketing efforts:

  • Look for potential keyword phrases that you can try using for your SEO
  • See who your followers follow and look for their interest to learn more about them

With the social media techniques mentioned today, you can see how social media and email marketing cross-over and work together.  Have fun using one or more of these techniques to increase your social media following and get you closer to achieving your digital marketing objectives.

Source: The Definitive Guide to Engaging Email Marketing by Marketo

Additional Articles for Social Media Networks:

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

A Digital Marketing Manager’s Journey to Keep up with Technology Visits Day 1 of Salesforce’s Dreamforce 2013 Cloud Expo1

Technology is constantly changing and to stay up to date and discover the multitude of tools available to me as a Digital Marketing Manager, I spent part of yesterday walking around Salesforce’s Dreamforce ’13 at San Francisco’s Moscone Center meeting with different exhibitors to educate myself about strategizing, deploying, measuring, managing, analyzing with the latest technology.

As a marketer, it is important for me to stay on top of new marketing tools and technologies that can either engage customer experiences or improve marketing processes.  To deploy email marketing, social media, and other digital marketing efforts, finding the right technology that fits with your company and customers is important to maximize responses and revenue.  In an effort to reduce the length of this post, only a portion of the exhibitors that I met with are mentioned.  The companies mentioned below are no more important than the companies that I didn’t mention, and the companies not mentioned will appear in future posts.

In today’s digital marketing age, capturing data and analytics does not always happen in a timely fashion. However, waiting for analytics from digital marketing efforts may be a thing of the past with Birst, a Salesforce plugin.  Birst pulls all of your data from all of your digital marketing efforts in real time making it easier to calculate return on investment, ROI, make any changes if necessary, and make data driven decisions.

While Birst helps deliver real-time results of your digital marketing efforts, you need to develop objectives that your digital marketing efforts need to meet.  To help you develop those objectives, First Rain can assist you.  They can deliver real-time relevant knowledge and data about your market to help you design realistic objectives and market strategies for your business.

Every day, marketers utilize many types of media for various marketing efforts that drive customers to websites to take actions.  The different types of media include direct mail, email marketing, Social Media, online advertising, mobile, etc. As customers take action on your websites, they follow a path that originated from one of the types of media used.  Standard Register’s SMARTworks Connect solution with Salesforce, you can figure out which effort motivated your customer to take action and calculate return on investment by type of marketing effort.

If your product is subscription based, Kinetic Growth can assist you with renewal automation, billing, invoices, quotes, credit card payments, and account management.

All of these applications assist marketers in their jobs.  Just keep in mind, these applications plug in to Salesforce.com.

Dreamforce ’13 is a conference for marketers using Salesforce.com and developers of Salesforce.com applications to help keep you up with the tools and technologies to maximize your revenue.

Learn More about Digital Marketing Manager, Cindy Plough

Social Media for Digital Marketing Managers – Marketo’s 7 Golden Rules of Social Marketing

Most of yesterday was spent thinking about the most effective way to organize a weekly Social Media post for the Digital Marketing Manager blog that the day was over before I could post something for you.

Since Social Media falls under the digital marketing umbrella, it is necessary for the Digital Marketing Manager blog to cover Social Media, but how can one blog posting per week contain everything that happens every week in the world of Social Media with 500 words or less.

Social Media has a high number of tactics within digital marketing that a whole separate blog could be dedicated to it.

After contemplating how to organize the Social Media post for the Digital Marketing Manager blog, I found a solution for the time being. However, nothing is set in stone, and I welcome your comments on what you think should be included in Social Media.

Since I believe the strategizing process behind implementing social media tactics is extremely important rather than just diving in head first, the weekly Social Media post will primarily discuss planning and strategy, and then, the post will include links to articles about individual Social Media sites news and tips. Now, for the stuff you have been waiting for.

Social Media for Digital Marketing Managers – Marketo’s 7 Golden Rules of Social Marketing

  1. Don’t take yourself too seriously – give your brand a good personality to make your brand likeable.
  2. Inbound Marketing is not enough – combine inbound and outbound marketing efforts into all aspects of your marketing.
  3. Good Content and Solid Offers – Need content to engage customers.
  4. Strong Call to Action – After your content is consumed, what do you want your audience to do?
  5. Always add value – Social Media doesn’t work if there is no value added to your brand.
  6. Social Media is a 2 way street – Social Media opens the line of communication with prospects and customers, so you need to respond quickly and sincerely.
  7. Peer-to-Peer sharing gets your messages heard.

When implementing your Social Media tactics, keep these rules in mind to help you create superior customer experiences.

Source: Marketo’s The Definitive Guide to Social Marketing

Additional Links to Social Media Sites News or Tips

Thanks for reading Social Media Wednesday on this Thursday evenings.

Tomorrow’s topic – Blogging

Call to Action

Does it make sense for Social Media Wednesday to primarily discuss Social Media strategizing process as well as include links to additional Social Media articles? Please send me your comments.

Learn More about Digital Marketing Manager, Cindy Plough