49+ Ways How Businesses Can Use Social Media to Increase Visibility and Traffic

1)      Social Bookmark Links – Improve sharing by incorporating social bookmark links to your most important web pages and/or blog posts.

2)      Social Profiles – Build buzz that leads up to the holidays by using your social profiles. People often only start as holidays are happening. Start early and build up the buzz to the holidays in your social profiles.

3)      Good Content – People want to share compelling, inspiring, educational and valuable content. Produce great content which are interesting and it will automatically be shared virally online.

4)      Writing Blog Content – Content is crucial to kickstart a successful social media campaign. Write blog content that is catered for your target audience and what your community wants to know about. Here’s how to create a blog that matters: http://startablogthatmatters.com

5)      Branding – Use social media to enhance your branding. Design a seasonal branded image to match across all social networks and the company site.

6)      Be consistent – Update your content regularly and consistently. People tend to keep coming back to a site if they know that the site is frequently updated with new content.

7)      Craft Compelling Headlines – When promoting your content on social media networks, craft headlines that interest people such that they want to read the rest of your article. You could take up a copywriting course to learn more about writing compelling headlines: http://www.copywritingsupremacy.com/

8)      Evaluation and Measurement – Track and measure social media ROI by analyzing how it performs compared to more established channels or advertising methods. Compare the quality of traffic they drive to your website and the conversion rates.

9)      Metadata and Tagging – Metadata is data which is a description of the characteristics of a piece of information. Tags can be terms or keywords that are assigned to particular resource. Tagging and incorporating other metadata can help improve searching and measure the spread of information.

10)  Popular Lists – ‘List’ posts tend to get passed around online very quickly. An example will be the “Top 50 ways to make money online”.

11)  Combine Social Media with Traditional Marketing – Include social media profile addresses on printed advertising materials like brochures, fliers, newspaper ads, etc. Discover how to fully utilize social media here: http://www.thesocialnetworkingacademy.com/

12)  Retweet Buttons On Blog Posts – Locate and install WordPress plugins that enable you to place a Retweet button on your blog at the top of all your posts.

13)  Community platforms – Build up community platforms like forums, fanpages, groups and etc. around real communities of shared interest and keep the conversation going.

14)  Microsite – Build a microsite that encompasses all of your social and overall marketing efforts. This site can contain a hyper-focused campaign as well.

15)  Facebook Share Button – Locate and install WordPress plugins that enable you to place a Facebook share  button on your blog at the top of all posts

16)  Be Careful When Using Hashtags On Tweets – Studies have found that hashtag-stuffing caused 5% fewer click-throughs.

17)  Facebook Like Box – Add a Facebook ‘like box’ near to the top right side of your blog / website. In this way, people can ‘like’ your Facebook page even while they are on your blog / website. Here’s how to get more Facebook Likes: Http://doubleyourlikes.com/

18)  Having More Followers Than Following – Having more followers than following on your Twitter account enhances your Twitter influence and thus adds to your Twitter account’s SEO potential. Here’s a software that automates your Twitter marketing: http://twittenator.com/

19)  Posting Useful Content – Avoid aggressively pushing your products or services on your social profiles although it may be the holiday season. Rather, post useful content on your social profiles and think about how to help the people on your network to get through the busy holiday season. In this way, people tend to trust you more and like you more hence increasing the chances of them converting to buyers and customers.

20)  LinkedIn Share Button – Locate and install WordPress plugins that enable you to place a LinkedIn share  button on your blog at the top of all posts. Here’s how to master LinkedIn Marketing: http://www.linkedinfluence.com/

21)  Online Community – Build a substantial online community by asking for feedback, offering prizes and giveaways, and actually saying “thank you” for their interactions, mentions, and contributions of good content.

22)  Advice And Tips – Give advice and tips on your topic’s challenges. You can do this by providing short tips on Twitter (using a branded hashtag). After which stream these tweets into a dedicated Facebook tab, and expand on these tips by creating tutorial videos for YouTube.

23)  Blog Commenting – Make a connection with influential bloggers in your niche by commenting regularly on their blogs and posts.

24)  Benefit-oriented Content – When writing a blog post, share about the problems that your product or service is able to solve. No one actually cares about what is your product or service and their features, they are more interested in what your product or service can do for them.

25)  Conduct Polls – Research by polling people about what are the biggest challenges they face. After which, look at how your own product or service can help them and communicate that to them.

26)  Tell Stories – Marketing is like storytelling and your customers are just like the characters in the story. Craft content that motivates your customers or readers. Let their actions, wants, and needs drive the story.

27)  Influential Bloggers In Your Niche – Find which bloggers are most influential in your niche and learn how they got their influence through their content and social media efforts. Imitate and implement.

28)  Creating a Personable Image – Post and share photos of your company parties, or your participation in charitable events. This brings the company to a personal and amicable level with your readers and customers. People nowadays value that personal touch.

29)  Email Subscribe – Make usability of your website easy for people. For example, simplify the process it takes for someone to subscribe to your updates via email. You can use an autoresponder account like: http://www.aweber.com

30)  Show Some Discretion In Sharing – Being personal draws people to you but there is a need to show some discretion when doing so. Always stay professional and positive in the portrayal of your online social profiles. Avoid depressing tweets, vague tweets, humblebrag tweets and etc.

31)  Audio And Video – Create a short series of audio podcasts or video podcasts as content marketing. Here’s an excellent video software: http://www.thetrafficplayer.com/live/

32)  Think Long Term – Create content for the long term and envision keywords with next year in mind. This is so that your subject can enjoy ‘longevity’ with your readers.

33)  Guest Post – Write to influential bloggers in your niche and request to do a guest post on their blogs. Craft an agreement that encompasses them to provide a link back to your blog.

34)  Answer Simple Questions – Think about these questions: Who am I speaking to? What do they want from me online? And cater your content accordingly.

35)  Talking About The Weather – People like to talk about the weather where they are at. So, pay attention to the weather where your customers are located and sensitively consider this when posting content.

36)  Social Media Subscribe Buttons – Place social media subscribe buttons such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc. in a visible place on your website / blog so that readers can follow you on your social media networks.

37)  Tweeting Blog Posts – When you publish a new blog post on your website or blog, post several tweets of that post and track the conversions of different times and keywords you use. In this way, you can evaluate what times of the day, which keywords are optimized for conversions. (Note: Please take note to include tweets that are of value and non-promotional in between these blog post tweets.)

38)  Flickr and/or YouTube Groups – Build media for your events by experimenting with Flickr and/or Youtube.

39)  RSS Subscription Button – RSS feeds is a powerful medium to push your new blog posts to people in their ‘Google Reader’ accounts or other reader accounts. Hence, provide a subscription button via RSS so people know that your blog or website is updated and new contents are published. Here’s how to unleash the power of RSS: http://relatedrssplugin.com/cb2/

40)  The Secret Of Retweets – Tweets referring to the author himself or herself have been shown to get fewer retweets than other information. Hence, share more relevant and good information that is not about yourself. Retweets drive traffic to your blog posts and can boost SEO. Start generating quality content on Twitter that helps you connect you with more followers.

41)  Staff Blogs – Get your staff to start personal blogs on their personal interests. This is so that they can have a feel of what it would be like to promote, drive traffic to a particular website and etc.

42)  Fine-tune Your Strategy – Test out different techniques on different social networks and determine what type of content your readers are responding to.

43)  Blog Updates On Facebook Page – Once you have published new blog posts to your blog, update it to your Facebook ‘Page’. There are programs that do that for you automatically, ie. Networked blogs

44)  Social Media Campaign Plan – Plan out an integrated social media promotion project that incorporates blogging, use of commercial social networks, and a face-to-face event to build leads and drive awareness of a product or service.

45)  Thematic Pictures – Post interesting and cute pictures that revolve around a theme and share it on social networks such as Twitter, Facebook etc. For example, Halloween theme – Pets in Halloween costumes.

46)  Ask For A Response – After posting cute thematic pictures on your social network, start a conversation with your followers by asking them questions relating to the theme. For example, what their best Halloween costume was as a child, and ask them to share a photo as well.

47)  Facebook Page – Share content and links on your Facebook page that will make your fans want to share and like your updates. Here’s a course that will help you master Facebook marketing: http://fbinfluence.com/

48)  Measuring Social Media Metrics – Take a step back and think about why you are tweeting this information, or why you have a Facebook Page. Is it because you want sales? Then measure conversion rates. Is it for market research? Then monitor trending topics etc. Here’s a software to track social signals: http://socialmetricspro.com/v1/

49)  Live Videos – Conduct live interviews, online talk shows and etc. with uStream.tv and Mogulus, or Qik on a cell phone. Such sessions become viral very fast.

50)  Contests And Competitions – Create competitions or contests on social media networks such as Twitter, Facebook etc. to conjure up buzz surrounding your company products or services. Here’s a software that helps unleash the full power of contests: http://www.contestburner.com/

Erika Kirsten Beck is the founder and president of Ryder Media Consultants which designs, develops and implements custom social media business strategies and campaigns that create awareness for an organization’s products or services. She specializes in social media strategy development. Follow her on twitter: @RyderMedia. Like her on Facebook: www.facebook.com/RyderMedia or  http://klout.com/#/RyderMedia.

Making Social Media ‘One Giant Hangout’ #smm #socialmedia

On a recent weekend afternoon, dozens of people showed up at the New York offices of Warby Parker, an online eyeglasses retailer. They were there to participate in a “photo walk” organized by the company. Every participant got a pair of novelty glasses to use in photos taken across the city. The company awarded prizes to images that received the most “likes” after being uploaded to Instagram, an online photo editing and sharing application.

“Up to that point, we had 700 photos on Instagram tagged with Warby Parker,” said Tim Riley, the company’s director of online experience. “Then the day of the photo walk, we had about 750 additional pictures tagged with our name. We also had 120 people in our offices and got to talk to all of them. It was a giant friendly hangout.”

As social media becomes an increasingly important part of retailers’ marketing and customer service efforts, it’s not just a matter of having the largest number of fans on Facebook or Twitter. Retailers also have to know how to engage users and how to turn those online conversations into positive offline interactions.

At a panel discussion on social media held this week as part of a conference organized by Wharton’s Baker Retailing Center, Riley and others from the industry discussed efforts to unlock the value in their online followings.

Read the full findings from KnowledgeToday

The Inc. 500 Social Media Use: Facebook, Twitter Up; Blogging Down

Facebook and LinkedIn are now the most popular and most effective social media tools among the nation’s fastest-growing private companies, according to a study by the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth, Center for Marketing Research, under the direction of researcher Nora Ganim Barnes, PhD.

Meanwhile, the number of Inc. 500 businesses that publish a corporate blog has fallen over the past year, the study found, as companies appear to be shifting away from maturing tools (e.g., blogs, message/bulletin boards, online video, and podcasting) toward popular platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Foursquare.

Key social media-related findings among companies listed on the 2011 Inc. 500, according to the study:

  • Facebook and Twitter use is still growing, albeit slightly: 73% of Inc. 500 companies use Facebook, up from the 71% that did so in 2010, and 64% use Twitter, up from 59%.
  • Blogging and online video are down: 37% of Inc. 500 companies now publish a blog, down from 50% in 2010, and 24% use online video (vs. 33% in 2010). Among those not using blogging, 56% plan to start, whereas only 34% of those not using online video plan to do so.

The use of podcasting has also fallen sharply—from 16% in 2010, to 6% in 2011.

Below, other findings from the 2011 Inc. 500 study of social media use, conducted by the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, Center for Marketing Research.

Across other social channels and digital marketing activities, LinkedIn enjoys nearly the same popularity as Facebook among the Inc. 500:

  • 73% use LinkedIn and 45% use YouTube (adoption levels were not measured in 2010).
  • 13% use Foursquare, up from 5% in 2010.
Some 14% of Inc. 500 companies are developing mobile applications (that activity was not measured in 2010).

Blogging: Inc. 500 vs. Fortune 500

Among the Inc. 500, the use of blogging may have peaked as a primary social media tool.  By contrast, among Fortune 500 companies, blogging has leveled off over the past three years, at roughly 23% penetration:

Crowdsourcing Explained [Infographic]

Crowdsourcing has attracted the attention of brand marketers as a way to engage customers using social media. The term has become popular with businesses, authors, and journalists as shorthand for the trend of leveraging the mass collaboration enabled by Web 2.0 technologies to achieve business goals.

Crowdsourcing is a distributed problem-solving and production model. In the classic use of the term, problems are broadcast to an unknown group of solvers in the form of an open call for solutions. Users—also known as the crowd—typically form into online communities, and the crowd submits solutions. The crowd also sorts through the solutions, finding the best ones. These best solutions are then owned by the entity that broadcast the problem in the first place—the crowdsourcer—and the winning individuals in the crowd are sometimes rewarded.


How Wells Fargo Tracks Twitter Interactions

In this video I interview Kimarie Matthews, vice president of social web for Wells Fargo.

Kimarie shares how Wells Fargo uses Twitter to improve customer support. You’ll also discover how she documents Twitter interactions to monitor customer sentiment and uses the data to develop a business case for social media investment.

Watch the full video interview at SocialMedia Examiner

Does QR stand for Quasi-Ridiculous? (an analysis)

I understand QR codes are the new “it” thing, the Taylor Lautner of calls-to-action. And indeed, given the increasing ubiquity of smart phones (41% in the U.S. according to new research by my client ExactTarget), many of your potential customers have the capacity to interact with your QR code.

But whether they will or not isn’t about technology adoption, it’s about design, relevance, ease-of-use, and suitability of purpose.

Read Jay Baer’s complete analysis on his blog Convince&Convert

3 Pressing Questions Facing the Future of Social Media

The conversation about social media in our society is shifting significantly. We’re no longer asking questions like, “Will people use social media?” or “Are sites like Facebook and Twitter simply trends that will soon lose steam?” After billions of tweets and 600 million people on Facebook, it’s settled: People want to share online. And with Facebook moving toward a $100 billion valuation, there is money to be made.

The emerging conversation is not if we will be connected but is instead, “How can we effectively and productively connect?” Now that we can get constant updates on just about every aspect of our friends’ lives, how do we receive that which is relevant?

New paradigms are beginning to emerge as user habits shift toward greater relevancy. The companies that successfully address these changes will have a huge advantage over those that don’t.

Read the full article on Mashable by Soren Gordhamer, the organizer of the Wisdom 2.0 Conference, which brings together staff from Google, Facebook, Twitter and Zynga along with Zen teachers and others to explore living with awareness and wisdom in our modern age.