Social Speak

01
Mar

Outreach

When you open the gate, they will come. That’s good.

It’s not all roses in the world of Social Media. Just because contacts in some of the most important social media sites are called “friends” doesn’t mean building an effective social media presence is easy.

The first thing to expect when you open a social media site is customers with issues.

The fact that you want customers to participate means it’s easy for them to make comments, both good and bad.

Good comments prove a point you’ve already made and help other visitors “believe”. Bad comments on the other hand increase the website’s credibility. How?

Because bad comments make your company more “human” and give you an opportunity to show your customers count.

The trick to transforming a negative comment into a positive dialogue is to acknowledge and address the real problems and disprove the false ones immediately and publicly.

This is where “outreach” happens.

Outreach is where you monitor the web and major social networks (Twitter and blogs primarily) for conversations about your brand that aren’t under your control and then activate measures to resolve the issues back at your home site.

By participating in external dialogues you show you’re listening, then by bringing the issue “home”, you address it publicly for a wider audience, gaining more authority and even greater trust.

Outreach then, by its very nature, is the fastest way to get your customer service division involved in your social media activities.

28
Feb

The Secret of Google

“If you are going to have a public conversation about your brand, you might as well do it on the first page of Google…”

Paid Vs. Organic Search

To many, Google – and search engines in general – is a mystery. “Ranking high” or appearing on the first page is often considered as something you have to pay Google for.

Anyone who works in social media will tell you the same thing: you will never build a brand by paying for an advertisement on Google – that serves another purpose entirely. Brands are built on the actions they take and values they embrace, and in the case of social media, that takes a lot of commitment.

Search engines in brief

Google and all the other search engines aim to deliver results that are as close as possible to what the person doing the searching actually wants and “ranks” the pages they display in the search results based on their “relevance” to that particular search query.

Therefore, the more “relevant” the page is, the closer it “matches” the search request and the higher it ranks for that particular search query.

How it does this is obviously quite complex but there is one thing that your base site should be generating as often as possible in order to show up in the search engines, and the only thing you need to concentrate on at the beginning: Content.

If your site provides regular, relevant, informative and above all authoritative content, then customers will find you, follow you and link to you and when that happens, Google and the other search engines will start to “rank” your site higher for particular keywords, and that sends you more visitors over time.

Put simply: The more articles you produce worth following, the more “power” you have in the search engines.

Once you have regular content, you can then start to fine-tune your articles so that they rank better for specific search results and that’s when you start to use SEO (Search Engine Optimization) techniques like, keyword research, link building and article seeding.

Most companies know this already and that’s OK. But there’s so much more you can do with search engines, and great articles, engaging content and busy communities are just the beginning.

27
Feb

Measuring your Success

Despite being around for quite a few years, the widespread adoption of social media by companies and brands into their communications mix is still in its infancy, and while the results of a successful social media campaign might appear to be relatively intangible, they nevertheless exist and can be measured.

Visitor numbers, percentage of comments per article, number of referrals are just some of the metrics to prove a campaign has substance.
Essentially, a social media campaign, by which we mean actual conversations and relationship building exercises, and not widgets or non-strategic Facebook pages, is more aligned with the goals of a PR program than it is with marketing.

With that in mind, here are a few ways to consider measuring social media ROI for your business:

Qualitative

First, determine what you want to measure, whether it’s corporate reputation, conversations or customer relationships.

For example, if the objective is to measure ROI for conversations, you can start creating benchmarks by asking yourselves questions like:

  • Are we currently part of the conversations about our product/industry?
  • Are we mentioned?
  • How are we currently talked about versus our competitors?

Then to measure success, set yourself deadlines and ask whether you were able to:

  • Build better relationships with your key audiences?
  • Participate in conversations where you hadn’t previously had a voice?
  • Move from a running monologue to a meaningful dialogue with customers?

Quantitative
If the objective is just to measure traffic or Search Engine ranking, you can take a more quantitative approach using Google Analytics and other analysis tools to provide visitor numbers, geographical origins and referral sites, in order to understand which are the most popular posts, keyword optimization and additional trends.

Regardless of how your company chooses to measure engagement, it is essential to have a success metric in mind before you begin because without defining some sort of benchmark, it’s impossible to determine your ROI.

Thoughts? How do you set KPI’s and measure results?

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