A Lesson in SEO

A Lesson in SEO

This past week we’ve gotten a crash course on vital SEO-lingo, learned the power of online video viral marketing, and rode Facebook’s IPO hype-wave as it came crashing back down.

SEO 101

A lot of businesses know they should be optimizing their websites as part of their comprehensive marketing strategy; however, some might not be familiar with how terms like “anchor text” or “meta keywords” play a part in the overall web-marketing big picture. Fortunately, SEO (search engine optimization) is not as scary as it seems and being able to recognize basic SEO lingo will not only help your company’s web-marketing strategy in the long run, but also help you impress your boss at the next team meeting:

SEO Lingo Defined via Search Engine Journal

Going Viral

The folks over at Mashable posted a online video viral marketing piece this week about a California political campaign’s satirical video against Big Tobacco. With over 200,000 views and 300 “likes”, the video highlights just how far viral marketing campaigns on social media sites like Youtube and Facebook can go in getting your organization’s message out. Every hit your video gets equals traffic and possible revenue for your site, as well as tons of free publicity. Check out the video below:

California Supports Big Tobacco [OFFICIAL VIDEO]

IPO Woes

Dominating the tech-social media sphere these past weeks has been, of course, Facebook’s much hyped IPO, which debuted on the(?) NASDAQ last week. After a week-long teeter-totter ride, shares are under $30 as of Tuesday this week – and claims against the social media giant have already mounted as high as $100 million.

CNBC: Facebook Social Offering IPO Losses

Find out more about current trends and techniques in online marketing, SEO and online video marketing for your business or organization, by connecting with Fulcrum Marketing Group in Washington DC today.

Crowdsourcing for Community Engagement

The site Popularise.com is bringing the concept of crowdsourcing to the world of real-estate. Created by brothers Ben and Dan Miller, whose father Herbert S. Miller developed several well-known DC area properties including Gallery Place, Georgetown Park and Washington Harbour, the site lets users vote on what type of tenant an empty retail space should have.

Hip wine bar or children’s book store? It’s up to the community to decide.

The Millers call Popularise.com a “21st century version of a community meeting” and several thousand people have already voted on various properties in Washington, DC.

This type of community-wide engagement is indispensible in today’s social-media driven world, and especially useful for small-businesses looking to create a presence in the community. Whether it be through a Facebook or Twitter campaign that lets users vote on their favorite service or product, small businesses should more than benefit from applying the concept of crowdsourcing to their online brand-building.

The Necessity of Social Media

What is Social Media?

Social media is constantly evolving from one form of communication to the next. When lumped together, social media becomes a space where people can interact with one another through a seemingly endless amount of mediums and social media sites. Those interactions involve photos, videos, stories, music and more. Now companies, big or small, have found ways to use social media to “put a face” on their brand and build relationships with potential and current customers.

While there are a number of start-up social media sites that emerge every day, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube remain at the top due to their enormous fan base.

Why do I need Social Media?

Having a presence on various social media sites has multiple benefits. Here are a few:

  • Obtaining Feedback: Interacting with customers allows for honest conversation and is a great way to obtain feedback about your company. This allows you to correct and avoid future problems with your service or product and understand what is currently working.
  • SEO (Search Engine Optimization): Having a presence on social media websites is becoming more valuable to search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing. However, driving a vast amount of traffic to your social media channels is necessary in order to see the results.
  • Showcase Your Products & Services: The ability to use photos or videos for your product or service can be invaluable if used correctly. Social media timelines and streams are being built around the ability to share these forms of media because their ability to engage users.
  • Reach Your Target Audience: Sites like Twitter and Facebook allow companies to get their message out quickly. Announcing sales, new products and urgent news has become common practice in the social media realm amongst businesses with a solid following.

Creating a strong social media presence has become as essential as creating a website. Engaging your customers and creating a valuable experience for them will legitimize your brand as well as create a sense of trust and rapport.

A conversation is happening right now. Let Fulcrum Marketing Group help make that conversation about your brand.

Twitter Insights for Business Marketing

Search Engine Watch posted a great piece this week on the results of Pew Internet’s study on Twitter use that highlights valuable demographic information that businesses can use when developing their overall marketing strategy that incorporates Twitter. Some key findings include:

  • Twitter attracts younger users
  • Twitter usage correlates with use of mobile devices
  • Urban/Suburban residents use Twitter at higher percentages than those who live in rural areas.

This is useful information for any business when building a comprehensive social-media strategy that includes a Twitter-based outreach. For the full article including findings, check out: Twitter User Insights for Marketers via Search Engine Watch.

Sam Walton’s Winning Formula for Business

I came across this today when doing some research for a client – on a wholly different topic mind you, but this just caught my eye and I had to read on.


Wal-Mart, either you love them or hate them but you cannot deny that Sam Walton was a marketing genius. I found these rules fun, entertaining and refreshing. Enjoy!


Rule 1: Commit to your business.

Believe in it more than anybody else. I think I overcame every single one of my personal shortcomings by the sheer passion I brought to my work. I don’t know if you’re born with this kind of passion, or if you can learn it. But I do know you need it. If you love your work, you’ll be out there every day trying to do it the best you possibly can, and pretty soon everybody around will catch the passion from you — like a fever.


Rule 2: Share your profits with all your associates, and treat them as partners.

In turn, they will treat you as a partner, and together you will all perform beyond your wildest expectations. Remain a corporation and retain control if you like, but behave as a servant leader in your partnership. Encourage your associates to hold a stake in the company. Offer discounted stock, and grant them stock for their retirement. It’s the single best thing we ever did.


Rule 3: Motivate your partners.

Money and ownership alone aren’t enough. Constantly, day by day, think of new and more interesting ways to motivate and challenge your partners. Set high goals, encourage competition, and then keep score. Make bets with outrageous payoffs. If things get stale, cross-pollinate; have managers switch jobs with one another to stay challenged. Keep everybody guessing as to what your next trick is going to be. Don’t become too predictable.


Rule 4: Communicate everything you possibly can to your partners.

The more they know, the more they’ll understand. The more they understand, the more they’ll care. Once they care, there’s no stopping them. If you don’t trust your associates to know what’s going on, they’ll know you really don’t consider them partners.

Information is power, and the gain you get from empowering your associates more than offsets the risk of informing your competitors.


Rule 5: Appreciate everything your associates do for the business.

A paycheck and a stock option will buy one kind of loyalty. But all of us like to be told how much somebody appreciates what we do for them. We like to hear it often, and especially when we have done something we’re really proud of. Nothing else can quite substitute for a few well-chosen, well-timed, sincere words of praise.

They’re absolutely free — and worth a fortune.


Rule 6: Celebrate your success.

Find some humor in your failures. Don’t take yourself so seriously. Loosen up, and everybody around you will loosen up. Have fun. Show enthusiasm — always. When all else fails, put on a costume and sing a silly song. Then make everybody else sing with you. Don’t do a hula on Wall Street. It’s been done. Think up your own stunt. All of this is more important, and more fun, than you think, and it really fools competition. “Why should we take those cornballs at Wal-Mart seriously?”


Rule 7: Listen to everyone in your company and figure out ways to get them talking.

The folks on the front lines — the ones who actually talk to the customer — are the only ones who really know what’s going on out there. You’d better find out what they know. This really is what total quality is all about. To push responsibility down in your organization, and to force good ideas to bubble up within it, you must listen to what your associates are trying to tell you.


Rule 8: Exceed your customer’s expectations.

If you do, they’ll come back over and over. Give them what they want — and a little more. Let them know you appreciate them. Make good on all your mistakes, and don’t make excuses — apologize. Stand behind everything you do. The two most important words I ever wrote were on that first Wal-Mart sign: “Satisfaction Guaranteed.” They’re still up there, and they have made all the difference.


Rule 9: Control your expenses better than your competition.

This is where you can always find the competitive advantage. For twenty-five years running — long before Wal-Mart was known as the nation’s largest retailer — we’ve ranked No. 1 in our industry for the lowest ratio of expenses to sales. You can make a lot of different mistakes and still recover if you run an efficient operation. Or you can be brilliant and still go out of business if you’re too inefficient.


Rule 10: Swim upstream.

Go the other way. Ignore the conventional wisdom. If everybody else is doing it one way, there’s a good chance you can find your niche by going in exactly the opposite direction. But be prepared for a lot of folks to wave you down and tell you you’re headed the wrong way. I guess in all my years, what I heard more often than anything was: a town of less than 50,000 population cannot support a discount store for very long.


Fox News Google GOP Debate Takes Social Media to the Next Level

I was blown away by the precision with which the Fox News Google Debate was run on September 22, 2011.

This debate to me was the ultimate in conversational marketing. Fox News and Google utilizing a wide variety of social media assets to engage the audience before, during and after the debate …
isn’t this the goal of social media?

In April 2011, I blogged and tweeted about Social Media Marketing Prerequisites. I instructed that “building a successful social media marketing campaign is really about creating and sharing quality content – images, text, videos, comments, FAQ, tweets, newsfeeds, answers across the social web. Then, driving engagement and interaction with your followers across the social web.”

Engagement and Interaction with Viewers Across Broadcast and Social Networks

I was more engaged in this debate than any other I’ve watched. I applaud the fact that with all of the moving parts – live online polling, Google search analysis, YouTube streams, live Tweets, Tag Cloud analysis, and more – it was smooth and engaging.

Prior to the debate, more than 20,000 questions and 100,000 votes had been submitted via text or video to YouTube. This enabled us, the viewing public to weigh in and vote on questions we wanted asked.

Also prior to the debate, Fox News and Google used public data and Google search trends to help provide context to the questions and unveil the hottest topics people are talking about. The Fox correspondents shared these trends on air throughout the debate.

I particularly enjoyed how each new debate topic opened with a visual of a Tag Cloud or graph generated via Google analytics. At the opening of the Foreign Policy portion of the debate, viewers, the audience, and candidates alike virtually saw the word Israel stand out as the most important topic on the minds of the American people.

During the debate, new poll questions were presented to viewers every three minutes; then analyzed both online and some on air by Fox correspondents – talk about real time.

Also during the debate, viewers were able to offer their reaction to the debate. Some of those comments were shared at the debate. This gave at-home viewers privy to the reactions of many people, rather than just the reactions of the live audience.

No matter your political preference, you have to agree that Social Media is taking our decisions, reactions and interest to a new level.

I didn’t miss the buzzer either!

Lead Generation via LinkedIn

Most people use LinkedIn to simply connect with friends, colleagues, or former coworkers.

If this is all you do with LinkedIn, there’s a chance that you’re not taking full advantage of the network’s lead-generating potential.

LinkedIn is an amazing lead generation tool, you just have to know how to maximize it’s potential …

Nurture Your LinkedIn Network.

When was the last time you truly connected with the people in your first-degree network on LinkedIn?

Many of these people may have hundreds of connections to your potential customers

Other than sending or accepting a connection invitation, use the opportunity to build relationships and remind them of your talents.

Use Advanced People Search in LinkedIn.

This tool makes it relatively easy to build a preliminary prospect list using a combination of keywords, industry descriptions and job titles to find key decision makers at target companies.

If you find potential leads in extended networks, you can ask one of your contacts to make an introduction—but only if you’ve laid ample relational groundwork.

Participate in Group Discussions in LinkedIn.

When you answer questions and provide insights, you gain the trust of others—and become a natural resource when it’s time to explore purchase options.

Leads won’t fall into your lap at LinkedIn—but they’re there if you’re willing to do the work.

Social Media Tools for Small Business

Social media sites are exploding with users. As a savvy businessperson, you can focus your efforts and concentrate on creating interactions that will help turn the social media noise into solid relationships.

For a business without a lot of time or large marketing budget, social media is a great place for a targeted interaction to become a viable lead.

It can often seem daunting to cut through the social media clutter; however with these simple strategies, you’ll be well on your way to social media marketing success.

Narrow Your Target

For small businesses, it’s important to connect with people in your geographic area to ensures that you are interacting with viable leads.

Be Proactive

There are so many tools out there whose sole mission is to make it easier for you to target your exact customer, make use of them.

Join Facebook Groups, LinkedIn Groups, check out lists in PeerIndex.net, and look at a person’s Twitter Grader score.

Give Others Credit

There are so many collaboration opportunities in social media.

Retweeting is a great way to show your followers you have your finger on the pulse of your industry, plus it’s a great way to get the attention of the person whose content you are pushing.

You can start a lot of great strategic partnerships with a simple Retweet.

The Keys to Social Media Success

The key to success with social media is to outline a strategy that considers the amount of time you can realistically dedicate each day to your online marketing efforts.

Plan Ahead

  • Map out a weekly schedule that outlines the specific days and times you will spend on social media.
  • Figure out what’s realistic and what makes sense for your company and go from there.

Use Time-Saving Tools

  • Take advantage of the various social media tools that are designed specifically to save you time. For example:
  1. TweetDeck, HootSuite, Seesmic that allow you to send updates to several social networking assets at one time
  2. Cotweet, that allows you to schedule posts in advance and updates even if your not online

Make sure your ROI Expectations are Reasonable

  • Rather than expecting to see a surge in sales, you should hope to see people interacting with your brand.
  • The goal of social media marketing is to create a network of meaningful relationships – it’s not a numbers game.

Be visible and engage in conversations and over time, these activities will give you credibility; which in turn leads to building your brand and your sales.

10 Ways to Distribute Your Content and Extend Your Brand

Most of us learned to share in kindergarten, maybe earlier if we had siblings. Who knew the art of sharing would become even more important when we became adults?

We’ve heard it, we’ve read it, we’ve even said it: To create and maintain a successful online presence, you need to be friendly and helpful—and you need to share relevant content. But is there a way to extend your brand while sharing content without being overtly promotional? Of course.

A positive experience with your brand lingers with those who encounter it. These 10 quick tips encourage you to share liberally and make it easy for others to find, use, and distribute your content… all the while subtly increasing your brand’s influence online.

1. Multichannel Distribution

Use multichannel distribution media and platforms, such as Posterous and Tumblr that allow you to assemble your content and send it via email. Once your branded content is distributed, users and fans can easily share it with others.

2. Social Bling

Use social-sharing icons, such as ShareThis, AddToAny, and AddThis, to enable single-click sharing on your website, blog, or other online property to make it simple for users to share content immediately.

3. Tweet and Re-Tweet

Using Twitter, post short messages with information or links to your content. Followers will re-tweet posts of interest.

Be alert and reciprocate, and thank those who re-tweet you: It’s a good way to start, or continue, a conversation.

4. Mobile Apps

Aggregate your content from various sources into a branded iPhone, Android, or other smartphone app. The market is competitive, so make sure your app is interesting, relevant, valuable, useful, or entertaining.

Give your content away as branded e-books, whitepapers, and audio or video downloads. Make it available on multiple platforms.

6. Flash Drive

Upload you content onto a portable device, such as a branded flash drive, and personally hand it to (or send it to) a prospect or influential person.

7. Incentive to Share

Create a contest or sweepstakes to attract people to your content, then provide them with incentive to share that content with others to view, enter, or vote.

8. Copyright Management

Use Creative Commons to manage usage rights for your content on sites like Flickr.

Sites like Creative Commons protect you, the author, and facilitates liberal sharing of your content.

9. Content Creation as Team Effort

Collaborate from the outset to make your content a team effort.

When people share in the process of content creation, they become invested in it.

10. Branded Watermarks

Tastefully embed a logo or other watermark in the corner of your photos and encourage other content creators to use them in other digital applications.

I’ve just successfully distributed content and extended the brand of MarketingProfs by sharing this great information. I read their tips and articled everyday and find a lot of great ideas worth sharing!

Let’s Talk!


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