So, how do you optimize your social media so that it helps in the increasingly important objective of being found online as easily as possible?
Recently, at JeffBullas’s blog, the five top social media channels (Facebook, Blogs, YouTube, Twitter and LinkedIn) were targeted for search engine optimization purposes. Basically, how these five channels help you get noticed and found online. In light of Google’s recent initiative of Real-Time Search Results, social media activity and content are key components in search results. Ultimately, wouldn’t it be great to have all of the top five social media channels, YOUR channels, on the first page of your brand’s search results? Maybe even within the first five of six results sandwiched around your brand’s website? Well, the following, as clearly identified in the aforementioned blog, will help you achieve your SEO goals and objectives.
How To Optimize Your 5 Top Social Media Channels
As originally posted on JeffBullas’s Blog on January 14, 2010
Facebook has 3 types of ways you can participate, Profile (Personal), Groups (clubs and associations) and Pages (companies and businesses).
The primary goal of having a Facebook “Page” is to get fans (or subscribers) and invoke interaction. The secondary goal is drive them to an offer page or get them to your target website. How do you do get more fans and visibility within Facebook? By pushing content out tactfully. The Wall within a Page is the same as a Wall within a Profile. Therefore Page Admins can publish stories, news, and offers to their Fan’s home page streams. The other internal way to communicate with Fans is by direct messages to their inboxes, which is reportedly being used less and less. Who uses email these days anyway right, right?. Here are some ideas to get you started
- Use a group or page profile for your business rather than personal as they are much more transparent to search engine crawlers
- Choose a vanity URL that contains your keywords (such as facebook.com/widgetwholesales)
- Exclusive offers for Fans only is great Fan bait
- When you post content, always include video or imagery. Facebook users are very visual.
- Publish fresh content at least 2-3 times per week
- Analyze, iterate and optimize using the Facebook Insights Tool to get “high-level demographic and geographic insights about your Fans”, and to “analyze the number of interactions and overall engagement with your Page and posts.”
Blogging demonstrates true commitment and passion to your industry that you really can’t fake long-term. Most won’t be able to sustain it over long periods of time with frequency, but those who do so are rewarded in spades and stand out from the crowd. So here are some tips on optimizing your blog
- Buy ( I know that says get your credit card out) your own domain name not a subdomain or name under typepad or wordpress .. buying a homebase is a lot better than renting one.
- Purchase a theme such as WordPress Thesis theme that can be optimised for SEO such as URL’s and meta descriptions
- Post content regularly (at least once a week) .. Search engines love new unique content
- Promote your Blog on Twitter regularly (Google now has real time search feed into Twitter API)
- Include share buttons to other social media channels on each blog post so visitors can add your blog and posts
The increasing impact of Social Media “Online Video and its importance to getting found online because of the facts and figures emerging that can’t be ignored… in fact its hard to get your head around them. Comscore announced in August, 2009 that over 25.4 Billion video views ocurred in the USA alone (Yes…. Billions not millions). This is up from 14.3 Billion In December 2008. This is a 78% increase in just 8 months. Google’s sites such as YouTube had a 39% market share with the closest competitor being Microsoft sites with 2.2%. (Google owns YouTube by the way). Here are some tips to get you started
- Create your own YouTube Channel
- In your description section for your video, always put your link to your blog or your website to make it easy for people to link back to your site
- Put the category such as [Social Media Marketing] in Brackets before each Title of your video
- Put “Tags” in your video tags section, make them relevant to your video title, fill up your tag allotment quota allowed and optimize them
- Again promote your YouTube video on Twitter and place them on your blog in a Video or YouTube Channel section
Twitter became mainstream in during 2009 and has continued to provide ways to connect, communicate and promote your content from your website and blog.
- In the account settings, be sure to add your website’s URL
- Write a great title (approximately 42 characters are factored into each tweet’s title tag, including the account name, as well as the initial characters of each tweet. Keep in mind that your full tweet and all its characters are still being indexed by major engines).
- Place a retweet button on your blog articles and integrate your Twitter URL within your site’s Global Footer, which appears at the bottom of every page of your site. Both of these options offer usability to your site visitors and help drive your Twitter URL up in the search engines.
- Include “Follow me on Twitter” buttons on your emails and blog
- Leave at least 20 characters spare (make your tweet no longer than 120 charcters), so that it allows room for people to – “Retweet” your “Tweet” with comments like “Great post”
- Almost always include a link back to your blog posts in your tweet (don’t waste a Tweet), this is a significant traffic driver for bloggers.
LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network which started up in 2003 and now has over 55 million members and growing rapidly (It is one of the top 5 social media channels). LinkedIn connects you to your trusted professional contacts and helps you exchange knowledge, ideas, and opportunities with a broader network of professionals. So how do you optimize this platform to enhance you and your companies brand.
- Create a public profile (don’t lock it away) This is an easy way to start building an on-line presence for yourself, since LinkedIn ranks high in the search engines
- Use the questions and answers feature to start conversations, create community, and position yourself as a subject matter expert. By answering questions, you are simultaneously endorsing your candidacy and expertise this can also be used to drive traffic to your blog when you leave your answer or when you place your question.
- In your homepage activate your Twitter and LinkedIn interfaces.
- Activate your blog feed to your homepage on linkedIn (where your last blog posts are displayed). Use the questions and answers feature to start conversations, create community, and position yourself as a subject matter expert. By answering questions, you are simultaneously endorsing your candidacy and expertise
- In your settings (in the edit my profile section) make sure your websites and blogs (you can enter 3) with relevant customised key word descriptions. (mine includes My Company, My blog (jeffbullas.com) and My Facebook “Page” URLs
Be sure to check out the original post on Jeffbullas’s blog as there are additional tips and links that are valuable resources for learning how to effectively utilize these top five social media channels.
Many within business circles, including franchising, initially believe social media is only LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter and have a difficult time grasping the many other forms of social media that are alive and well. Certainly, very valuable resources when integrated with each other and then integrated with (and within) traditional marketing. The following is an excerpt from Wikipedia.com that includes links to various Wikipedia pages relating to the many different forms of social media.
Social media can take many different forms, including Internet forums, weblogs, social blogs, wikis, podcasts, pictures, video, rating and social bookmarking. Technologies include: blogs, picture-sharing, vlogs, wall-postings, email, instant messaging, music-sharing, crowdsourcing, and voice over IP, to name a few. Many of these social media services can be integrated via social network aggregation platforms like Mybloglog and Plaxo.
Examples of social media software applications include:
- Blogs: Blogger, LiveJournal, Open Diary, TypePad, WordPress, Vox, ExpressionEngine, Xanga
- Micro-blogging / Presence applications: FMyLife, Jaiku, Plurk, Twitter, Tumblr, Posterous, Yammer
- Social networking: Bebo, BigTent, Elgg, Facebook, Geni.com, Hi5, LinkedIn, MySpace, Ning, Orkut, Skyrock, Qzone, Vkontakte, RenRen, Kaixin, ASmallWorld, studivz, Xing, RunAlong.se
- Social network aggregation: NutshellMail, FriendFeed,
- Events: Upcoming, Eventful, Meetup.com
- Wikis: Wikipedia, PBworks, Wetpaint
- Social bookmarking (or social tagging): Delicious, StumbleUpon, Google Reader, CiteULike
- Social news: Digg, Mixx, Reddit, NowPublic
- Photography and art sharing: deviantArt, Flickr, Photobucket, Picasa, SmugMug, Zooomr
- Video sharing: YouTube, Viddler, Vimeo, sevenload
- Livecasting: Ustream.tv, Justin.tv, Stickam, Skype
- Music and audio sharing: imeem, The Hype Machine, Last.fm, ccMixter, ShareTheMusic
- Presentation sharing: slideshare, scribd
- Reviews and opinions
- Product reviews: epinions.com, MouthShut.com
- Business reviews: Customer Lobby, yelp.com
- Community Q&A: Yahoo! Answers, WikiAnswers, Askville, Google Answers
- Media and entertainment platforms: Cisco Eos
- Virtual worlds: Second Life, The Sims Online, Forterra
- Game sharing: Miniclip, Kongregate
- Information aggregators: Netvibes, Twine (website)
- Social media monitoring:[clarification needed] Sysomos Heartbeat
- Social media analytics: Sysomos MAP
1) http://BackTweets.com : A search engine for Twitter. See who’s tweeting your links and more. Can also sign up for email alerts of new findings.
2) http://Addictomatic.com : A little different than the others , you type in a keyword, topic or phrase and out it goes searching the top blogs, news sites, Google, Technorati, Ask, YouTube, Flickr, Digg, Topix and more. You’ll be given a personalized results page to bookmark with everything it finds related to your topic.
3) http://Buzzoo.net : All about Internet buzz, it tracks several different websites to bring you what’s “hot” right now.
4) http://Surchur.com : Search for the latest and greatest on topics that are popular right now. Type in a keyphrase and it searches blogs, social news sites, photo and video sites for your chosen topic.
5) http://Commentful.Blogflux.com : This service watches for comments on blog posts, Digg, Flickr, and others and notifies you of any findings.
6) http://AlertRank.com : A better way to organize and sort Google alerts. Get a daily report emailed to you in a spreadsheet format of what it finds.
7) http://BoardTracker.com : A search engine for forums only. Monitor discussion boards and be notified by email when a thread matching your search terms is discovered. Free to use.
8) http://www.google.com/alerts : I’ve been using this “secret weapon” for years. Simply type in your name or company name and receive daily emails of results found. They do the work, you receive the links. Free and nice.
9) http://BrandsEye.com : An online reputation management tool with a real-time, concise overview of your online reputation. Multiple levels of services and pricing available. Starting at $1.00.
10) http://Twazzup.com : Another Twitter only search engine.
11) http://SiteMention.com : Type in your url and find out what’s being said about you. The results returned are gathered from Google Blog Search, Twitter, FriendFeed, YouTube, MySpace, Digg, Delicious and many more.
12) http://Brandwatch.net: This service tracks your brands, companies, even the competition. Sign up for free weekly updates on any brand. Their detailed reports break down what sites like you, your most talked about features, weekly summary of all blogs and forum activity. Very similar to the old “press clipping” service.
13) http://Trackur.com : A tool that scans many websites including blogs, news, image and video sites, forums and notifies you of any mention of your brand, products/services. Easy to use and affordable. Prices vary depending on need, a personal account is only $18.00 a month, corporate account $88.00 a month with other options also available. Try a “personal” account free for 14 days.
14) http://FiltrBox.com : This one searches online news sources, Twitter and others to find out what’s being said about you or your company. Pricing is based on the number of users, but there is a free version that provides “5 filters” and 15 days of what they call “article history”.
15) http://SocialMention.com/alerts : Just like Google Alerts but for social media. Enter your keyword phrase and email address to be notified of any new findings. Searches blogs, microblogs like Twitter, bookmarks, comments, events, images, news, videos and more.
16) http://BlogPulse.com : A search engine that searches only for data posted to blogs. Enter your keyword, hit submit and off it goes to gather results.
18) http://sm2.techrigy.com : Industry insiders claim this to be the leading social media monitoring solution online. Choice of free or paid version. Free is limited to five searches and 1,000 results. There are three paid professional levels: Gold, Diamond, or Platinum.
19) http://ReputationDefender.com : This paid service finds out everything there is to know about you online, and if negative information is found they try to have it removed. Different types of plans are available such as “My Reputation”, “My Privacy”, starting at only $14.95 a month.
20) http://Topsy.com : Topsy will track your tweets that have been retweeted so you can find out who’s been sending you all that “link love”. Type in your Twitter user name and you’ll be amazed at what you find.
Originally posted on AddMe.com
The following article was written by franchisEssentials Guest Author, Joe Caruso. Joe is a respected franchise veteran with 19 years of extensive franchise management and development experience, spending the better part of his career in C-level positions, most recently as Chief Development Officer at Kidde Academy. He is quite active in franchise circles and frequently participates in LinkedIn franchise group discussions and at many franchise-related events from Washington D.C. to Philadelphia. Joe routinely shares his perspective and insight that has proven beneficial to several franchisEssentials startup and emerging franchise clients. We look forward to his continued participation and contributions.
Of course you’ve heard about the recent franchise fee giveaways that some franchisors have publicly announced. Is it a good idea? Does it diminish the brand to prospective franchisees? What does it mean to existing franchisees that invested at full price?
Certainly not charging a franchise fee might seem like an attractive offer to prospective franchisees. And franchisors that usually take this approach argue – “we make our money from royalties not franchise fees”. While that belief might rationalize the decision to forgo upfront fees it doesn’t sufficiently address the realities of franchise recruitment and the relative expenses. A franchisor might make “its money” from royalties, but it pays for selling costs, lead generation marketing, legal compliance and development sales/support personnel typically from upfront franchise fees.
Logic of forgoing upfront fees escapes me. It seems to me if your cost per sale is for example $15K, your franchise fee is $30K and you want to sell more franchises you could instead of giving away your upfront franchise fee you might invest more money in your franchise recruitment marketing budget?
What are your thoughts?
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