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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.
Do social networks have the power to influence what we buy? Do people actually turn to social media sites for guidance on products or services? If the answer to either of these questions is NO, should businesses ignore the social networks as a viable marketing channel? The answer to that last question is ‘absolutely not’.
I recently read a report conducted by Knowledge Networks and found the information both interesting and ridiculous at the same time. Here are some of the “highlights” from the report that I found interesting:
The report continued by indentifying how social networks are used by their loyal followers for guidance on making purchases. Here are some of the “highlights” from the report I found ridiculous:
I won’t list the other 8 categories (all the stats were lower than the 4% for travel) but the overall message from the report was that people spend time on social networks for many reasons…the least of which is to get guidance on buying products and services. That sounds a lot like television and radio to me. I do not know a single person who says, “Hmmm, I need to turn on the TV so I can watch the commercials and get some help buying my next car”. In addition, I do not know a single person who turns on their radio while driving home from work, so they can switch off the songs to find radio commercials in order to help them buy their kids next birthday present!
The premise that people do not use social networks, like Facebook or MySpace, for guidance on purchasing decisions is ridiculous…of course they don’t (well 96% or so do not). They visit and spend time on social networks to be entertained, and that’s the same reason people turn on their TV at home or their car radio during a long drive. But TV and radio can be powerful advertising mediums because you can reach a large (and somewhat targeted) audience. The same applies to advertising on social media sites…you can reach a large and highly targeted audience to promote your message, product, or service. The notion that people don’t “turn to” social media sites for purchasing decisions should not stop you from marketing to this large, targeted audience…it works for TV and radio…and can work for social media networks as well. Add Google Analytics into your marketing program and you can track how well these social network sites perform in terms of driving quality visitors to your site. This is something TV and radio advertising cannot provide as a measurement of success (yet I still see and hear commercials on TV and radio all the time, interesting).
YouTube has undergone massive changes in the past few months. One major change is the move toward concentrating on advertisers and partners. YouTube has discovered how to better monetize their site by adding features to help brands, big and small, with their marketing initiatives. In an effort to reach that segment of its users, YouTube launched the YouTube Biz Blog.
YouTube Biz Blog is targeted specifically for partners and advertisers and provides tips, tricks and the latest feature updates. The forum was designed to introduce business opportunities to advertisers and partners. By showing businesses how to leverage YouTube, the video giant hopes to help businesses engage their audiences more.
There have already been a few blog posts on topics such as the integration with YouTube Brand Channels and Google Analytics, YouTube Partner Program, and Mosaics. Partners also have the option to subscribe to the RSS feed so they are always kept up to date.
With businesses still trying to discover ways to use social media to build brand awareness and boost their bottom lines, the YouTube Biz Blog is another tool in getting helpful ideas designed solely for advertisers and YouTube partners.