Article Archive by Heather Wall

July 27 2009

What social media channels are right for your business?

by Heather Wall

Social Media is a necessary part of any company’s online marketing strategy.  Businesses just starting to investigate social media have to determine what social media channels fit best.  Each channel requires a different amount of invested time to manage and promote.  Also, some social media channels cater to certain types of demographics and types of content.  Audience can vary greatly depending on the channel.  In order to help you through the process of learning what channels fit, read below, as it will offer some high level perspective in selecting which channels might make the most sense for your organization.

Facebook-Has a very impressive amount of users-over 250 million users monthly.  2/3 of those users are out of college, and the fastest growing demographic currently is females over 55. Average incomes among FaceBookers are: 25% at 30k-60K, 29% 60k-100k, and 29% 100k+.  FaceBook’s audience is worldwide, with 50 supported translated languages.  About 75 million users are in the United States, and 175 million users are logging in internationally. If you want to reach the widest amount of users, with all kinds of interests, ages and professions, this channel is definitely the place to be.  FaceBook does require a person being in charge of updating the page often, and responding to inquiries.  Typically, this channel would need 2-3 hours weekly to promote, update, and respond to inquiries for a small to midsize business.  To make the channel more engaging, having collateral such as pictures and videos are great.  If you have a web developer, creating widgets & applications is a definite plus, but not necessary. 

Myspace-Has around 120 million users, of which 62 million are in the United States.  Over the past year or so, MySpace has been losing ground to FaceBook.  While this channel still has a very large audience, it is much younger overall, so products geared to tweens, teens, and young adults will have more success in this channel.  6% of users are 18-34 and 27% of users are 12-17 years of age.  MySpace has about 14% more females than males, and 56% of users have no college background, while the other 44% have some college, or graduate college.   The average incomes are spread pretty evenly, with 22% making under 30k, 27% making 30k-60k, and 26% making 60k-100k.  This channel also requires 2-3 hours weekly to promote, update and respond to inquiries for small to mid-size business.  Marketing collateral such as pictures and videos are wonderful ways to enhance user engagement in this channel.  

Twitter-Has about 27 million users, and is one of the fastest growing social media sites.  45% of users are male.  There are about as many users with a college degree as those having not attended college.  43% of users are 18-34, where 31% are 35-49, and 19% are 50+.  Average incomes in Twitter are 29% 30k-60k, 25% 60k-100k, and 26% making 100k+.  The Twitter platform is very different when compared to FaceBook or MySpace.  Twitter is a micro blogging site, and requires constant updating, pretty much all day long, so having dedicated resources to this channel is a must!  Pictures and Video content for Twitter aren’t really ideal, as this is a site all about sharing text content quickly. Twitter has been popular among news media since spreading information through Twitter is instantaneous.  If you have information you want to share quickly, this is a great resource to use to reach your audience.

YouTube-Has about 550 million visits each month, with 72.5 million users logging in.  A lot of YouTube visits aren’t found on YouTube’s own website. Instead people find videos in Google search results, or videos uploaded to websites from Google.  YouTube claims visitors are 50% female/50% male. 52% of users either have college education, or completed graduate school, while 48% haven’t attended college.  Statistics seem pretty even all the way around; even average incomes are spread very evenly.  YouTube is a very powerful social media channel, but serves a very specific purpose: video content.  This channel is great for someone who has video assets at their disposal, and/or has plans to start creating video content.  This channel can be more expensive and time consuming, since video production time is both expensive and takes time; that is unless the company is already producing video content.  In those situations just uploading existing content them to this channel would certainly be ideal if you want to get your videos in front of as many people as possible.

July 13 2009

Why is it that I have 500 keywords and only 5 of them are getting clicks?

by Heather Wall

Your Question Answered: Why is it that I have 500 keywords and only 5 of them are getting clicks?

If you are faced with this question, you should consider how your campaign is structured. In most cases, it means you have too many keywords sitting in one ad group.

For those who are unfamiliar with how an SEM campaign is structured, there are some basics to know. I will cover this at a very high level.  First, each search engine you run traffic in will require you set up an account.  The account is the highest level, overarching component.  Within your account you are able to set up campaigns.  The campaign level is responsible for setting daily budgets, as well as campaign targeting settings (example: selecting demographics and geographics, etc).   Within a campaign you can set up Ad Groups.  Ad groups are responsible for housing the keywords you are bidding on, and determining of the overall budget, how much you are willing to allocate to this keyword ad group. It is also at this level that you set the bids you are willing to spend on individual keywords.

If you have 100 keywords in one ad group competing for the same budget, it goes without saying only the most popular keywords will consume that budget. These keywords they will be clicked on more often than the niche keywords simply due to broad keywords having higher search volumes. 

So what is the solution?  First, find out what keywords are getting the most clicks and put them in their own campaigns.  These keywords need to have a budget controls set so they don’t exhaust your entire budget. Why should you worry about this?  In most circumstances, keywords that are getting the most clicks are broad keywords.  Broad keywords probably aren’t converting as high, but they are very important in the early stages of the sales cycle to be found for. Thus, when a searcher learns about your brand while they conduct their initial product search investigation.  By nature, these keywords are certainly getting you traffic, but as a default they are eating up your budget.

The remaining keywords you have are probably more niche in nature, which means they have a tendency to convert higher.  Niche keywords usually means a searcher is now at the buying stage, and looking for exact product specifications.  These keywords are going to have lower search volumes, but they are also valuable since it’s an indication someone is ready to buy. These keywords should be pooled into their own relevant ad groups and given their own budget, so when a searcher does come, you have much greater probability to have your ad displayed.

June 4 2009

Social Media and your Link Building Campaign

by Heather Wall

Social Media is all the talk these days.  With marketers jumping on the social wagon, it is important to note that engagement in social media channels shouldn’t be considered as something to do just because everyone else is. There are many benefits your website can receive by engaging in social media channels.  One of the benefits relates directly to your Search Engine Optimization efforts.  Most SEO initiatives involve some kind of link building campaign and social media can really aid that cause.

Utilizing social media channels is a great way to enhance your link building campaign and there several ways to make this a successful effort. Whether you post a really interesting tweet, update your Facebook status with a compelling message, or involve yourself in the answers forum on LinkedIn, each social media channel has the potential to have your content reposted and shared through the community.  Each time your content is reposted or shared, there is an opportunity to increase links back to your website, therefore aiding your link building efforts.  No matter which social media channels you are involved in, you should consider link building as a part of your strategy. You’ll make some great Organic gains.

There are some pointers that I would like to highlight.  First, in order to have your content shared, it has to be interesting enough for people to want to read it, and then share it with others.  Social media is online word of mouth marketing, and people love to share funny or compelling content.  Avoid posting mundane info, like “just got to the office,” or “I’m starving can’t wait for lunch time.”  These posts don’t serve any benefit. Instead try getting creative, or use humor to capture your audience’s attention.

Whenever possible make sure the content you post has links back to your website. This way as your content is redistributed, you are increasing the number of links back to your website and therefore building up your backlinks in a very natural manner.  The more links back to your website you have out there, you increase the likelihood for the search engines to find their way back to your website over and over again.  The more this happens, the more search engines will view your website as a reputable source, and over time, you will begin gaining stronger organic positions.

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