Originally published on the WebMarketCentral blog between September 2008 and September 2009.
Take Advantage of .TV Domains for SEO and Reputation Management by Search Engine Journal
Loren Baker describes how to use a .tv domain to enhance your company’s web presence. While his focus is on television commercials (b2c), the tactics he outlines work equally well for video content produced by b2b enterprises. As Loren explains, “The simplest (way to create a video domain) is launching a WordPress Blog and then embedding your YouTube, Google Video or other video sharing service commercials on the blog, one for each post, with a unique title tag and description for each post. A more effective way to launch your branded video site is to use a service like ClipShare (paid) or PHPmotion (free). These services let you launch a ‘YouTube clone’ and offer various templates and plugins, similar to the strategy behind WordPress.”
Top 30 Largest Social Bookmarking Sites by Anything Goes Blog
A great list of the top social bookmarking sites, with visitor statistics, as of late last year. If you are planning to use these for SEO, check for do-follow status first. Unfortunately, several of the largest sites including Digg, delicious, Reddit, Mixx and Mister Wong now partially or completely use insidious no follow links.
9 Reasons You Need Social Media Marketing in 2009 by Stuntdubl
This compelling and straightforward post tells you how to pitch the value of social media within your company, then provides nine (plus a bonus tenth) reasons why social media marketing can’t be ignored, including: your competition is doing it; you can’t buy links anymore (so you’ll need to earn them; and this simple formulation—”More Social = more Search. More Search = More Customers. More customers = More business.” Builds on the arguments made in Social Media ROI vs. RONI (risk of not investing).
Companies Believe Social Media Can Increase Revenue! by Social Media Today
Jacob Morgan reviews a report from the Economist Intelligence Unit which concludes that 80% of companies believe social media can increase company revenue. As Jacob writes, “Shocker huh? I mean who would have thought that building relationships and interacting with your customers could possibly increase sales? You know what else is funny? Apparently company CEO’s are the folks who are the most excited about social media!” CFOs are the most skeptical (yeah, another shock).
10 Simple Steps To Increase Blog Traffic Via StumbleUpon by How To Make My Blog
Marko Saric outlines a process for generating more traffic through StumbleUpon, walking through the steps of sharing great content, making friends in the network, and analyzing results.
Superlist of What NOT To Do In Social Media by Interactive Insights Group
Knowing what not to do in the social media realm is every bit as important as knowing what to do, and in this post Robin Broitman shines the light on social media missteps and gaffes from Target, Motrin, Starbucks, Whole Foods, FedEx and more.
Three Ways People Who Aren’t Running for President Can Make Social Media Pay by HubSpot’s Inbound Marketing Blog
Rick Burnes explains three ways that even organizations which don’t have tens of millions of dollars to spend and thousands of volunteers can use social media for marketing and PR, and measure the return.
Facebook Steps Up SEO for Brand Pages with Millions of New Indexable Links by Inside Facebook
Justin Smith shows how Facebook’s indexing changes, designed to make it easier for potential friends to find each other, will also benefit corporate SEO efforts—at least for companies that can attract lots of fans on Facebook. In Facebook Adding ‘Fan’ Pages To Public Search Listings, Mark Walsh of MediaPost provides additional detail on this announcement and its implications for marketers.
How I attracted 8000 Twitter followers in 14 weeks! by Jim’s Marketing Blog
Though the title may sound spammy, Jim Connolly isn’t hawking some bogus “Internet marketing” software here. Instead, he offers a positive philosophy and thoughtful approach to attracting worthwhile, like-minded Twitter “associates” (like many Twitters, Jim finds the term “followers” a little creepy).
This excellent post a great set of tips (such as “try to meet in real life” and “ask for help”) for turning passive social media connections into active relationships that lead to additional online exposure, leads or sales.
What Companies are Missing in Social Media Marketing by Pravda on Media and Technology
Kfir Pravda explains—concisely, thoughtfully and somewhat acerbically—why social media isn’t a magical marketing tool and why “a brand or a political candidate has a Twitter account that is operated by a communication studies freshman” is unlikely to make a difference. He explains how social media, to be effective, requires a significant commitment of time and effort.
Are Comments the Next Social Layer? by Social Media Today
Martin Edic shows how tools like Disqus, IntenseDebate and BackType take commenting out of the narrow realm of specific blogs and enable the commenters themselves to get much wider exposure. They turn commenting on various blogs into a form of microblogging, but “unlike Twitter, commenting has a threaded context (the post that started the conversation) and no limits on length. It includes the discourse elements of Twitter but goes further.”
3 top tools for branding in a Web 2.0 world by iMedia Connection
John Gray explains how to use Facebook, Wikipedia and Twitter as components of an integrated Web 2.0 branding strategy. His recommendations on using Facebook as a CRM tool are an interesting twist, and he astutely notes that while Wikipedia is appealing to marketers because of its incredibly high traffic, it is also challenging because the site is actively monitored by an army of “editors” freakishly hostile to any content that could even remotely be considered promotional.
The wise and prolific Rand Fishkin provides thoughtful guidance on choosing a name, avatar and strategy for personal or corporate social media branding and online reputation management.
Grant Crowell describes a clever trick for integrating a free call to action with any video you place on YouTube, and even a way to do A/B testing for video and landing page variations.
16 Examples of Huge Brands Using Twitter for Business by Search Engine Journal
The brilliant, enigmatic Ann Smarty reports on how several major consumer brand companies are using seven different strategies to reach out to customers on Twitter, including direct promotions and coupons (Dell and Starbucks), customer service (Comcast, Home Depot), customer interaction (Southwest Airlines, HRBlock) and sharing company news (Ford, Samsung).
5 Spheres of Social Media, Guest Post by The SEO Review
In this thought-provoking post, Jason Keath proposes a five-part model of social media: networking (e.g., Facebook, LinkedIn), publishing (WordPress, YouTube…Twitter?), linking (Mixx, Reddit), interactive (Second Life, NameThis) and niche (Kirtsy, My Church). It’s an interesting taxonomy, a bit different from the social media landscape previously described here, but certainly worthy of consideration.
The POST Method: A systematic approach to social strategy by Groundswell
Forrester’s Josh Bernoff outlines the POST (for People, Objectives, Strategy and Technology) method for approaching social media. Rather than starting with tools, technologies or tactics (e.g., should we write a blog? should we be on Twitter?), Josh advises marketers to begin by figuring out where members of their target audience congregate online, identifying specific objectives in reaching out to them, and developing a strategy to achieve those objectives. As he puts it, “It’s time to stop doing social because it’s cool. It’s time to start doing it because it’s effective.”
Is YouTube the right pipeline for you? by iMedia Connection
In this insightful missive, Matthew Pollock elaborates on two essential points about social media. The first is that marketers need to choose the right social media platforms to support their business objectives rather than focusing merely on traffic numbers. YouTube generates enormous views, but isn’t appropriate for every brand. Second, achieving results with social media takes time, because it is about building relationships rather than landing the quick sale. The biggest challenges CMOs face in social media are therefore establishing the right metrics for evaluating success and maintaining the effort over time.
5 Daily Social Media Builders In Less Than 10 Minutes (Total!) by Conversation Marketing
Proclaiming himself “sick of social media,” Ian Lurie provides a list of quick but powerful steps for taking advantage of it in “a total of 10 minutes a day, because that’s all I can stand.” Okay, even this brief regimen would probably take a bit more than 10 minutes, and he notes that this is a minimum level of participation, but the list is a good starting point and Ian is always an entertaining read.
A List of Social Media Marketing Examples by Being Peter Kim
In this truly amazing resource, Peter Kim lists and links to examples of how more than 300 brands are using social media, from Abbott Labs on Facebook to Zappos on Twitter. Looking for ideas on how your company could expand its use of social media? You’ll find examples here that serve as a great inspiration and starting point.
Social Media Marketing best practice even used by Google by LEADSExplorer
A brief post that makes a solid point: blogs have become a primary conduit for corporate announcements and news releases. Got something to tell the world? Pitch an influential blogger on the story. Just make sure you can articulate the news in way that’s interesting to the blogger and his or her readers.
Is Social Media Passing Your Business By? by OnlineMarketerBlog.com
If your boss is a social media ostrich who still thinks social media is a fad, show him or her this post. DJ Francis outlines why social media is important for business and how to approach it. As DJ notes, “Some people think this new way of doing things is bogus. But as General Eric Shinseki said, ‘If you don’t like change, you’re going to like irrelevance even less.’”
5 marketing tips for tackling Twitter by iMedia Connection
Though the statistics quoted here by Steve Mulder are already quaintly out of date (remember when Twitter had only one million users?), but his advice stands up to the test of time. Steve details helpful tools and techniques for monitoring buzz, sharing information, promoting your product or service (carefully), and using Twitter as a platform for conversations—not monologues.
5 Ways to Maximize Your LinkedIn Profile by Social Media Musings
Tom Humbarger offers helpful tips for those who aren’t yet experts in social networking, such as “LinkedIn lets you add up to 3 links to your profile. Many people add their company website and/or blog. The trick is to select the Other option because this lets you label your link instead of using the default name provided by LinkedIn. You can get more visibility for your website by customizing with your name instead of the default ‘My Website.'”
Oddly, Frank Levert had an outstanding list of do-follow social networking sites on his blog, but the URL for that post now just redirects to his marketing site. You can still find his list of 55 Do-Follow Social Networks on Google’s cache for now, however.
Online Chatter – Six Free Tools To Monitor What The Public Is Saying About You by Six Pixels of Separation
Noting that “understanding the myriad conversations that are taking place online is core to not only having successful marketing and communications campaigns, but it’s key in understanding how people actually feel about your brand, products and services,” Mitch Joel lists six no-cost tools for tracking social media discussions, from Google Alerts to Facebook Lexicon. Another tool well worth checking out though not on Mitch’s list is the “freemium” version of Techrigy SM2.
Google Social Bookmarking and Blog Recommendation Engine by Key Web Data
The inimitable Chris Lang explains social features added to Google Reader (such as bookmarking capability and a friends list), why they were added, and how Google will likely use this information (to create a Digg-like system that can’t be gamed). In another post, Chris provides detailed instructions on how to add friends in Google social bookmarking. Why? According to Chris, “You are going to have to push Google Reader to your visitors and you WANT ALL your subscribers in Google Reader…this is going to be real important to getting ranked well in Google. A high number of RSS subscribers is going to be your best Google indicator.”
6 Tips for Making a Business Marketing Video by HubSpot’s Inbound Internet Marketing Blog
Guest blogger Catie Foertsch provides tips for producing an effective, professional business video, such as starting with a script, using an external wireless microphone, and setting up proper lighting. In another helpful guest post on the topic of business video, Kate Morris offers tactics for “produce quality videos that spread,” such as producing content that is relevant to your product or service and using a broad variety of media (not just online) to promote your content.
SES San Jose: Social Media Analysis and Tracking by TopRank Online Marketing Blog
Jessica Cameron-Ruud provides detailed notes on this SES panel discussion featuring Todd Parsons of Buzz Logic, Rob Key of Converseon, and Edmund Won from iCrossing. Her post nicely summarizes the panel discussion as it delves into social media strategy, monitoring and measurement (indirect impact and direct engagement metrics), and social media ad design.
Top 10 Business Applications for Facebook by Duct Tape Marketing
Of the 1,000+ Facebook apps built thus far, only a very small number—perhaps a couple of dozen or so—have value for B2B marketers and PR pros. John Jantsch here shares his 10 favorites, including SlideShare, CircleUp (a group collaboration app), and Introductions, an app which “speeds the process of effective networking.”
Web 2.0 Secrets by Traffic Travis
The creators of SEO analysis tool Traffic Travis present a helpful mini-course on using social media to drive web traffic. Topics include finding popular keywords, generating backlinks, tagging, using WordPress with social media, Twitter, and creating and promoting content. The tone is a bit spammy at times, but the information is valuable.
5 More Business Social Media Sites You May Not Know About by The Caffeinated Blog
In this follow-up to her original post on 5 Business Social Media Sites You May Not Know About, Kari Rippetoe reviews five more business-oriented social media sites including wiki site Smallbusiness.com and local business site Briz.
Discover Niche Social Networking by I’m Blogging That
An organized plan for maximizing traffic to your blog from social media sites, from using search and monitoring to find the most relevant niche social media sites for your blog and connecting with top users through submitting content and evaluating results.
How to Build an Impressive Social Networking Presence, Beginning with Facebook by Social Media Power
Advising businesses new to social media to avoid a scattershot approach and “choose one or two social networking sites that fit your business well and invest the time to maximize your presence in them,” Deltina Hay provides a helpful step-by-step guide to using Facebook for business.
Grab Your Profile Link Before Some Jerk Does by The Link Spiel
Echoing (and perhaps improving upon) the arguments I made about the importance of online reputation management in Don’t They Know Who You Are? Why Reputation Management is Critical, Debra Mastaler states, “Online, reputation is everything. It drives you professionally, personally and algorithmically. Have a good one and you’ll see positive returns.” She makes the case while it’s impossible to monitor every social media and networking site (plus the new ones that keep appearing), it’s nevertheless crucial to “protect your reputation by registering your known brand/name with as many social media, forums, and discussion sites as you can.”
Online Reputation Management with Video SEO by Search Marketing Standard
Grant Crowell explains why video is a powerful component of reputation management (e.g., because people are looking for it, search engines give it prominence in results, and it’s viral) then provides tips for how to effectively use it. One of his recommendations is to subscribe to TubeMogul, a free service that enables you to upload video to multiple sites and provides detailed viewership metrics.
Social Bookmarking Done Right by HubPages
In his own uniquely straightforward fashion, Chris Lang explains how social bookmarking can actually harm search engine rank if not done properly; how (and how not to) submit your site and blog posts to get SEO value from the backlinks; and why your blog is (or at least should be) at the center of all of your social marketing efforts.
How to Level the Playing-field With Digg by Skelliewag
How to game Digg to get your content onto the front page, by building and utilizing a grassroots network and selectively targeting power users. Which raises the question: is a secret still a secret if everyone knows it?
Taking time with ex-IBM search guru Mike Moran by BtoB Magazine
Carol Krol asks search marketing guru Mike Moran, now with interactive agency Converseon, about how search marketing and social media work together, asking customers to take initiative, and the challenges of b2b social media marketing.
You Can’t Separate Social Media and SEO by Conversation Marketing
The brilliant Ian Lurie explains how social media and SEO are inextricably intertwined, to the point where the work and the talent can’t be separated. “Search engine optimization, at its core, is based on relevance and authority”—and relevance and authority come from thought leadership content (e.g., blogs), community interest and links, all of which are built through social media participation. The relationship works the other way as well, as Ian points out in his inimitable fashion: “You can no longer succeed in social media without a boost from the search engines, either…In spite of my wide-ranging stardom, readership of nearly 10 people and my 3 friends, Google still drives most of my site traffic.”
The 100 top Web apps for 2008 by Webware
The top 100 web applications as chosen by Webware readers, across 10 categories including browsing (e.g. Google Reader, Opera and Firefox), audio (e.g. last.fm, emusic and Pandora) and communication (e.g. Gmail, Skype and AIM).
Video Links: The Best Lures in the SEO Tackle Box? by E-Commerce Times
Writer Peter Hamilton makes the case that online video is useful not only for producing a short-term boost in traffic but also, through blended search, for SEO efforts. He includes some highly compelling figures for support: “MarketingExperiments Journal investigated whether viral video content could actually produce click results. It pulled in more than 80,000 views in only one month by producing and posting 28 amateur-style videos for the Web. After two months, that number grew to 300,000 with no further work or investment.”
Mythbusting: Why Video Should Be A Core Search Marketing Tool by Search Engine Land
Another post about the SEO value of video, this one from Glenn Pingul, VP of marketing for online advertising company Mixpo. Glenn pokes holes in nine myths about online video, small business and search marketing to bolster his contention that “video has the promise to not only alter the rules of search engine marketing but also online marketing in such a way that can tip things in the favor of SMBs.”
SAI 25: The World’s Most Valuable Digital Startups by Silicon Alley Insider
Billed as an iterative list of the most value private digital companies that “changes as facts and markets change,” this site shows the rankings of the top 25 online startups as well as 25 more top contenders. Some rankings are surprising (Webkinz is worth more than LinkedIn?), some are disturbing (the Huffington Compost is worth as much as Twitter?) and many are controversial, as indicated by the comments here.
StumbleUpon Traffic IS Worth Something: Links by Conversation Marketing
The brilliant Ian Lurie uses hard data from personal experience to show that “there’s a clear connection between Stumblefests and link growth.” StumbeUpon isn’t just great for producing low-quality traffic surges, it also produces more high-quality links over time, which is of course great for SEO. Unfortunately, Ian was recently banned by StumbleUpon, so use this service very carefully.
Building Your Blog With StumbleUpon by ProBlogger
This guest post provides detailed instructions on how to maximize your influence, exposure and blog traffic through the use of this popular social bookmarking site. Be warned that it takes some work, but the results may well be worth it. As far as I know, this author hasn’t been banned by StumbleUpon (yet).
Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile by SEO Chat
Inspired by sources such as Guy Kawasaki’s LinkedIn Profile Extreme Makeover, writer Terri Wells provides step-bu-step instructions for overhauling your LinkedIn profile to get the maximum social networking, SEO and reputation management benefit from it.
Is Your Site Social Media Friendly? by Search Engine Land
Internet marketing consultant Brent Csutoras provides eight tips (and creative use of clip art) to “make sure your site is designed and performs in a way that is suitable for social media,” including the use of a modern design template, avoiding pop-ups or other annoying roadblocks, a clear call to action and avoidance of “spam words.”
Who’s In Your Audience or Community? by Search Marketing Gurus
Contending that “An online marketing strategy includes SEO, PPC, Social Media and even Word of Mouth. With that in mind, there are more segments (beyond those identified in Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies by Charlene Li and Josh Beroff) of an audience to take into account when you begin to strategize,” Li Evans engagingly identifies eight other types of users your online programs need to consider, including Brand Evangelists, Promoters and Got To Have It Nows (but watch out for Trolls).
Seven Buzz Monitoring Sites To Watch by Search Insider
What’s hot in your industry? Who’s talking about you (and what are they saying)? To help you find out, David Berkowitz provides a guide to seven of the best buzz monitoring sites, including Twitter search tool Twist, keyword demographics from Quantcast, and blog search engines Trendpedia and BlogPulse.
How 30 minutes a day can result in 250 inbound links by Search Engine Marketing Exposed
Anthony Kirlew, a.k.a. OldSchool, shows how to dramatically grow the number of high-quality backlinks to your website by using social bookmarking sites and blogs.
Video Tours Increase Sales by Social Media Optimization
Blogger David Wilson summarizes a SellPoint/Cormetrics study showing that audio/video “product tours” can increase e-commerce conversions by up to 35%—plus they’re portable, so they can easily be re-used in other online venues.
How Can Marketers Harness The Social Web? by NxtERA Marketing Blog
Ex-Forrester VP Elana Anderson provides five strategies marketers can use to harness, rather than manage, the social web for the benefit of their brands. Listening and sincerity are high on her list.
‘The Office’, ‘CSI’, and ‘Ugly Betty’ get it by CNET News
Search marketing strategist Brian R. Brown contends that the webistes for these three shows really “get” social media, offering fans more than the usual static trivia. The best of the lot is the site for The Office; in Brian’s words:
- The Office blurs the lines between fantasy and reality with character blogs, “Schrute-Space” and “Creed Thoughts.” Amazing that so many companies still haven’t adopted blogging, and here, two fictional characters have their own blogs. The Office didn’t just stop there. Dunder Mifflin, the fictional company in the show, took their episode of the dinosaur paper company getting hip and modern with the launch of their new Web presence…Dunder Mifflin Infinity. So why stop there though when you can really launch the Web site for this fictional company–literally an online social media venue in itself. Fans can join the company, buy company merchandise, and even compete against other branch offices in weekly tasks.”
DazzlinDonna writes a lot of great stuff on her blog, but here she turns the reins over to social media marketer Dan Zarrella, who offers his tips for maximizing social media including how to best use keywords, comments and links.
Building Your Business With Social Media by Search Marketing Blog Online
Search marketer Jon Clark recommends using some of the lesser-known social bookmarking sites—like Mixx, Linkinn, MetaFilter and others that don’t use evil nofollow links—to help with SEO on your site. Plus the post includes this cool graphic from Elliance, an eMarketing firm specializing in results-driven search engine marketing, web site design, and outbound eMarketing campaigns. Clark’s list is good overall, though I’d avoid Slashdot, as the site rejects too many worthy links.
Spokeo, the Big Brother of social networking by Pandia Search Engine News
Internet consultant Phil Bradley reviews Spokeo, a profile aggregator that takes social networking to a disconcerting level. Actually, they even advertise the service that way on the Spokeo site: “Want to see something juicy? Spokeo searches deep within 40 major social networks to find truly mouth-watering news about friends and colleagues.” As Bradley explains, while the individual pieces of information that Spokeo finds are innocuous enough, “together they paint a picture of a person that is more detailed than I personally appreciate. It must be a gold mine for private investigators, stalkers and other unsavory people.” You might want to look yourself up Spokeo and adjust your online profiles appropriately.
10 Popular Knockoffs of Digg.com by Talkgold.com’s Online Money Making Blog
More than just a list of lesser-trafficked social bookmarking sites, this is a list with attitude. For example, here’s the review of Sk*rt (that link wasn’t working when I last tried it BTW): “This is another site that is almost a direct clone of Digg. The only difference is the ugliness.”
30 Largest Social Bookmarking Sites by eBizMBA
A fantastic list of the top 30 social bookmarking sites, in rank order, and including for each site the number of inbound links (as of August 2008), number monthly vistors according to both Compete and Quantcast, Alexa ranking and Google Page Rank. The only thing missing is each site’s policy on the use of insidious nofollow tags.
Max Freiert lists the top 25 social networks ranked by number of monthly visits, along with their year-over-year change. Some of the information here is expected (e.g. MySpace and Facebook hold the top two spots) while other findings are more suprising (such as that LinkedIn is only #9, and Twitter—which I use but have never really understood the appeal of—grew more than 4,000% last year).