(7/10) My top 10 tips for implementing social media

continued from part one, this article will be published in 10 instalments

seven: be an altruist, think user-benefit vs. company-benefit

If you want to try social media, you had better start thinking differently. It means putting others first and your business interests and objectives second. Start thinking YOU YOU YOU rather than WE WE WE. Anyway, this is not just for the Web, but all your Marketing approach should be like that. If it’s not, chances are you could improve your sales quite significantly by using a little empathy. Your tone of voice has to be very straightforward and very honest and you have to avoid patronizing your visitors. The social media spirit implies that the user-producer be respected and showed confidence and appreciation.

to be continued …

(6/10) My top 10 tips for implementing social media

continued from part one, this article will be published in 10 instalments

six: great causes can work wonders

Great passion emerges often (always?) from great causes, not from small products. Think about user benefits: don’t forget to serve users and to analyse why they will be attracted to your content and why they will come back to the website. If all you can do is think about yourselves, and your company, you will be the only ones to go and visit this website. And being alone on a collaborative website is not a decent objective. A great example is Kaiser Permanente’s story on its fight in favour of healthier eating habits.

to be continued …

(4/10) My top 10 tips for implementing social media

note: this is the unabridged version of a post originally published at http://bnet.co.uk of which I am a regular contributor

continued from part one, this article will be published in 10 instalments

Four: facilitate, facilitate, facilitate

In order to create a new effective collaborative website, facilitation has to happen at all times, and especially at the beginning of the initiative. Collaborative websites do require that a large volume of information be created upfront in order to attract new visitors before generating collaboration (caution! This content has to be real and not just formal). You will then have to respond to suggestions or comments as soon as they have been added. The Web is about real-time. If the user-producer feels that his suggestions have not been taken seriously, or too late, then he or she will be discouraged and will never come back, or might be tempted to badmouth you on social media platforms. Spontaneity equates to social media politeness because it shows the interest that your organisation is bestowing upon the user-producer.

(3/10) My top 10 tips for implementing social media

Social media landscape - Fredcavazza.net

note: this is the unabridged version of a post originally published at http://bnet.co.uk of which I am a regular contributor

Tip No. 3: avoid social media proliferation and do away with renegade initiatives

As Social Media is becoming more popular, it seems that everyone else wishes to create one’s twitter account. But how many twitter account does a company need? More than once, I have seen such efforts fail anyway, because communities aren’t created without effort and one has – as Tara Hunt would put it – to work on one’s whuffy first. Those who forget about these fundamentals are bound to fail anyway. They will also cause aggravation and havoc amongst social media enthusiasts and there will be a price for this.

A Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) survival guide for marketing managers (part 2) – unabridged

note: this is part 2 of 2 in a series of articles on the subject of SEO and marketing, originally published at Bnet.co.uk. This piece is the unabridged version of the article.

10 steps for improving your SEO dramatically and simply

including a slideshare pictorial guide for SEO marketers (see bottom of article)

Important notice: it is reminded that this is not meant to be a comprehensive guide to SEO. All steps have been voluntarily simplified in order to help marketing managers, not to turn them into bespectacled anoraks. My method described here is simple, it is certainly not scientific, it is bound to make any SEO guru scream in dismay I’m sure, but I’ve tried it and it worked time and time again, so I believe there must be something good in it.

Step 1: define your SEO niche

Trying to be all things to all people is a bad thing in Marketing in general, but in web page optimisation it is a lethal mistake. First and foremost, one has to target a so-called SEO niche in order to be well positioned in search engines. Reaching number one rank is a nice to have but can rarely be achieved from day one. On the contrary, it is easier and more effective to aim at niches, one at a time for each page you want to index, and eventually, your ranking will improve.

1.       Target 3 keywords (or combination of). I don’t mean that one cannot index a page for more than 3 keywords, I have seen counterexamples. What I mean is

a.       It’s difficult to target more than 3 keywords from a resource viewpoint,

b.      If you want to be consistent, these keywords will have to be repeated all over your text, so imagine if you have 10 of them!

c.       Your website has probably more than one page so do use other pages to target other keywords, based on relevance (the more the keywords are repeated in the page the more relevant because it means that this page really is about that),

d.      Don’t try and spam search engines, their designers are really shrewd, so spamming a page with repeated keywords may sound very clever but I assure you it’s not plus your readers might not appreciate your style.

2.       Analyse popularity AND competition and focus on that KEI

a.       keyword popularity will tell you how much a keyword combination is sought after,

b.      competition will tell you how often your competitors have tried to use this combination of keywords for their own SEO,

c.       the right combination between a & b is called the Key Efficiency Indicator index (aka KEI), a very effective way of balancing the two factors,

d.      bringing realism using personal judgement is also advised. Some of the numbers given by some keyword generation tools (see last section about useful tools) will not make much sense unless you interpret them properly and eliminate irrelevant keywords. For instance, networks appears as if it were a relevant keyword for telcos but in fact it’s not because it’s too vague as it mostly refers to social networks. A simple search engine query will prove the point very quickly and therefore, the ambiguity can be removed by qualifying the keyword better (network security is more relevant for instance, etc.)

e.      each page can/must be indexed with a different strategy in mind. This is how you can ensure that different targets are reached from the same website.

note: “The Keyword Effectiveness Index (KEI) was developed by search engine guru Sumantra Roy. it compares the daily searches with the number of competing Web pages to pinpoint exactly which keywords are good enough so you can use them while optimizing your site.” (source: sitepoint)

Step 2: fine tune your page title

As said in our previous post about Internet content, good content shows in the title. Good SEO too, and this is rather obvious so I won’t expatiate.

Step 3: implement keywords in the URL

Adding your keywords to your URL is also very effective as it will improve the search engine friendliness of your website. It also means generic keywords. Business people are always obsessed with their brand – and this is natural to an extent – but Internet visitors aren’t forcibly. What you have to do is get them to associate your brand with the good content that you are providing. It’s just the same objective but it works the other way round.

Read more