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.

Hoax Facebook Privacy Notice Goes Viral

A privacy notice starting off with the fact that Facebook is now a publicly traded entity has been going viral in status updates over the past few days. However, it’s not true.

Sophos’ Naked Security blog reported that the message is a hoax, and that Facebook’s terms of service and privacy policies are not affected by the alleged disclaimer.

The hoax message reads:

Facebook is now a publicly traded entity. Unless you state otherwise, anyone can infringe on your right to privacy once you post to this site. It is recommended that you and other members post a similar notice as this, or you may copy and paste this version. If you do not post such a statement once, then you are indirectly allowing public use of items such as your photos and the information contained in your status updates.

PRIVACY NOTICE: Warning — any person and/or institution and/or agent and/or agency of any governmental structure including but not limited to the United States Federal Government also using or monitoring/using this website or any of its associated websites, you do NOT have my permission to utilize any of my profile information nor any of the content contained herein including, but not limited to my photos, and/or the comments made about my photos or any other “picture” art posted on my profile.

You are hereby notified that you are strictly prohibited from disclosing, copying, distributing, disseminating, or taking any other action against me with regard to this profile and the contents herein. The foregoing prohibitions also apply to your employee, agent, student or any personnel under your direction or control.

The contents of this profile are private and legally privileged and confidential information, and the violation of my personal privacy is punishable by law. UCC 1-103 1-308 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED WITHOUT PREJUDICE. (M)

The Perfect Moment Goes Perfectly Viral

Two weeks ago, the planet’s most unlikely film star turned from a Ugandan warlord to a nine-year-old kid who runs a homemade cardboard arcade out of his dad’s used-auto-parts store, Smart Parts, in East Los Angeles. Invisible children to a child’s imagination: the world could smile again. “Caine’s Arcade,” an eleven-minute film about Caine Monroy and his first customer, a struggling filmmaker named Nirvan Mullick, quickly acquired all the metrics of a viral sensation: millions of YouTube views, a top trending topic on Twitter worldwide, the Reddit front page, a call from Letterman’s people. The adulations flooded Mullick’s inbox, including one from the hacker collective Anonymous: “I commend you for your great work. You should be proud,” the e-mail read.

“It felt as though I had been knighted by the Internet,” Mullick told me. (When he tried to reply to Anonymous, the message bounced back with a scrambled auto-response.) Next, people began posting videos of themselves crying while watching the film. A seventeen-year veteran of “The Simpsons,” one among legions of recent pilgrims to Caine’s Arcade, broke down weeping at the sight of the real thing. He told Mullick that the moment recalled for him the scene in “Ratatouille” when the cynical food critic eats a bowl of soup, evoking visceral memories of his own mother’s cooking. “That’s what happened to me when Caine crawled into the box for the first time to push tickets out of a hole,” said Mullick. “It brought me back to when I was a kid, and reminded me of why I used to make things, why I wanted to make films, for the pure joy of creativity.”

When Mullick first posted “Caine’s Arcade” to YouTube, on April 9th, he added a way for people to donate to for Caine’s tuition—“imagine what this kid could build with an engineering degree”—and set a goal of twenty-five thousand dollars. He shared the link with an editor of Boing Boing, and then went to the climbing gym. While there, his phone began pinging with e-mail alerts—donations were already streaming in. Two dollars. Five dollars. Thirty dollars. Three hundred dollars. By the time Mullick went to sleep that first night, the film had raised six thousand dollars for Caine’s scholarship fund; when he woke up, it had reached sixteen thousand, and, later that day, surpassed a hundred and twenty thousand dollars. (Invitations to a summer program at M.I.T. and an offer from U.C.L.A. to customize an academic track for Caine would come later.)

And this is just how the grownups reacted. The film sparked an unexpected wave of young D.I.Y. activity around the world. Kids posted videos and photos of their own cardboard creations—pinball machines, bubble-gum machines, a photocopier inside of which a small person sits and draws whatever is laid on top of it. Teachers started showing the video in school. It’s not a stretch to say that “Caine’s Arcade” makes a convincing case for “connected learning,” a model that embraces social media as a way for kids to link up with peers and mentors—a kind of crowdsourced education. Riding the viral wave, Mullick has also launched Caine’s Arcade Foundation, with seed money from the Goldhirsh Foundation and a mission to “find, foster, and fund creativity and entrepreneurship in kids.” Naturally, there’s a TV series in the works, which will document young kids who make things, and match them with storytellers and entrepreneurs. “Caine’s Arcade” was released online, so it’s not eligible for an Academy Award. Even so, Hollywood studios have started circling for the film rights. A major studio has proposed that Mullick, whose longest film has a running time of eleven minutes, make a hundred-million-dollar, live-action feature based on the story of three characters in the film who were destined to meet.

That story unfolds like so: Caine, a shy boy with an active imagination who loves to make things. His father, George Monroy, owns an auto-parts business that has struggled in the Internet economy. (Caine’s parents are separated but live together; his mother doesn’t speak English.) And Mullick, who had been around Los Angeles for twelve years, making conceptual projects like the The 1 Second Film and flirting with the idea of doing more commercial work. Turning thirty-seven, Mullick was forced to consider how long he could keep driving a crappy car, live without health insurance, and chase an elusive dream of artistic prosperity. He had ventured into East L.A. that September afternoon because he needed spare parts to sell his ’96 Toyota Corolla. After passing all the stores that had men aggressively waving flags out front to attract business, Mullick settled on a quiet store that had a cute-looking swing hanging off a tree on the sidewalk.

Last weekend, the three stars of “Caine’s Arcade” visited the San Francisco Bay Area for their first road show of sorts, since the film hit the Web. The Exploratorium, an interactive science museum, sent a seventy-foot semitrailer to Smart Parts to retrieve Caine’s cardboard arcade for a one-day exhibition, called “Open MAKE: Trash.” The night before the event, after closing time, Caine set up the arcade with the help of volunteers, and ran around the place as though he was the museum’s V.I.P., which he was. “This is the coolest museum I have ever seen!” he noted from the back of a cart in which he was chauffeured.

That morning, the group had stopped in for an interview with Channel 7, the local ABC affiliate. The director Richard Linklater was there to promote his new film “Bernie,” and told Caine that he was a big fan of the arcade. The nine-year-old shrugged. (Word that another unknown, Oprah, had posted about the arcade on her Facebook page had prompted a similar reaction from the boy, although Justin Timberlake’s tweeting that Caine was his “new favorite entrepreneur” generated more of a response—at least Caine had heard of the guy.) Linklater was bumped to a later slot, and America’s most famous arcade proprietor was squeezed in, awkwardly, after a segment about April 20th as “weed day.” “Not ideal,” Mullick remarked.

Hundreds were queued at the Exploratorium for the exhibition—whether for the arcade or its maker was not clear. Three girls were gushing about Caine to a KCBS radio reporter. “We saw his video in school, and we thought he was the most adorable little kid in the world, so we decided to come here to see him,” one said. Another added, “Caine is like Justin Bieber,” but was corrected by the third: “He’s cooler than Justin Bieber. Justin Bieber doesn’t have a cardboard arcade.”

As a philosophy student at New College, Mullick had been intrigued by the notion of the “perfect moment,” which Sartre explores in his novel “Nausea.” What are perfect moments? Do they exist? Can you create them? “I distinctly remember putting the book down and thinking about ‘perfect moments’ and how I’d lose myself when I do a drawing, and all track of time.” Mullick said the other day. “What if you could look into a stranger and know what it was that they wanted more than anything else in the world, and figure out a way to choreograph, and make that perfect moment happen for them in their life,” he continued. “When I ran into Caine, I knew how to create a perfect moment for this boy. I knew what he wanted more than anything: customers.” Sitting at breakfast on their final day in San Francisco, Caine had found a perfect moment of his own devising. Reaching for a sugar shaker, he filled a metal spoon resting on the table with granules. “Imagination sugar!” he beamed. The arcade-maker bowed his head over the spoon and licked it clean.

New Era Hits a Home Run with Latest Viral Campaign

A new video from New Era–the largest and fastest growing headwear manufacturer in the United States is a hit with YouTube viewers because it resonates with its target audience. The spot features actors Alec Baldwin as a die-hard Yankees fan. John Krasinski pledges his allegiance to Red Sox Nation. The ad works extremely well for several reasons: it’s funny, it has celebrity endorsements, and it taps into a universal theme the target audience instantly recognizes. I for one won’t be celebrating in April but I will definitely be dancing in October.

If Buzz Comes Naturally, Make The Most Of It

Some brands naturally attract positive word of mouth, but that doesn’t mean they can afford to rest on their laurels, writes Andy Sernovitz. If you’re lucky enough to be in this position, be sure to support your fans’ efforts to spread the word, whether by creating online groups, managing e-mail lists or even hosting offline events. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Social Media http://r.smartbrief.com/resp/vfmUdcmouYAijAyAajcefgalypkihttp://r.smartbrief.com/resp/vfmUdcmouYAijABoajcefgalKhwLhttp://r.smartbrief.com/resp/vfmUdcmouYAijBcsajcefgalJiCLhttp://r.smartbrief.com/resp/vfmUdcmouYAijBfgajcefgalJSOe

How To Pitch Social Media To The C-Suite

Selling executives on the potential of social media doesn’t have to be difficult, says Gary Spangler, corporate e-manager at DuPont. Do your homework thoroughly and contrast your plans with your competitors’ social strategies, he suggests. Set your sights fairly low when you’re testing the waters, and don’t rely too much on outside experts, he says, so that executives won’t worry about losing control of the brand. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Social Media http://r.smartbrief.com/resp/uKswdcmouYzqeckIajcefgalRQBMhttp://r.smartbrief.com/resp/uKswdcmouYzqecnwajcefgalWKknhttp://r.smartbrief.com/resp/uKswdcmouYzqecqkajcefgalcYqc

3 Lessons For Community Managers

The community manager is the most important person in any social-media venture because he or she deals directly with customers, writes Michael Brito. Community managers should engage customers on whichever platform the community favors, and they should work to create personal relationships as well as business opportunities, Brito argues. Community managers should look for ways to get customers involved in the brand, instead of only listening to their comments, he writes. SocialMediaExaminer.com http://r.smartbrief.com/resp/uKswdcmouYzqedfgajcefgalVqbJhttp://r.smartbrief.com/resp/uKswdcmouYzqedhUajcefgalXuJKhttp://r.smartbrief.com/resp/uKswdcmouYzqedkIajcefgalaTQx