Facebook, Google+, Now Twitter Profile Pages?

facebook business pages

Facebook Timeline, Google+ Business Pages, now Twitter Profile Pages!

facebook

I started this post with a history lesson – then I remembered I don’t really like history so why go that route?  Sure, I could post stats, when the platforms were created, when they offered what, blah blah blah… it’s informative, sure, but that’s too left brained for me.  Facebook has been introducing their Timeline on their personal profiles since September last year.  Luckily for the stragglers, it hasn’t been mandatory (yet).   This laid back-do-as-you-wish attitude may turn around to bite them in the behind because now Facebook is threatening to introduce it to their business pages a/k/a fan pages on February 29, 2012.  (Notice I say threatening?)  Because it took them so long to actually release Timeline on the personal profiles, I’m in the “I’ll believe it when I see it” boat.

Now we have Twitter offering what they call  Enhanced Profile Pages.   Twitter has only released these to a select few and there is currently no release date to the general public. (At least they’re not making promises they can’t keep.)  According to a quote from Twitter’s site, the Enhanced Profile Pages:

“…increases your brand’s Twitter presence by prominently featuring your most important content and visually branding your page. Your enhanced profile page is completely public — users can view it without joining or logging into Twitter.”

If you want to know more about these pages, just click on Enhanced Profile Pages.

twitterenhancedprofile

 

Then of course, you can’t forget Google+ and their business pages!  They haven’t quite caught on in popularity as Facebook fan pages, but they are getting there…  I’ve created mine, have created a few for clients, and know a few who have created theirs as well.  As someone who has to manage Google+ accounts, it’s not as intuitive as Facebook, but you’d be amiss not to set up accounts with Google being the search engine giant they are.

Google+ also doesn’t play well with others and hasn’t released the necessary API (application programming interface) necessary that allows us to post to Google+ from third party applications like TweetDeck, HootSuite, MarketMeSuite or others.

Businesses are starting to realize just how beneficial social media can be so they scrambling to create social media marketing departments, create positions like social media specialists, even add the duties to existing administrative personnel just so they will have an online presence.  The real question is, when they do create their pages, will they be managed properly?  Will they be interactive, interesting, engaging, informative, and relative or will they be like the old-style marketing we continue to see some businesses implement?  Push, push, push marketing?

What is your take on the different business pages?  Have you set up business pages on various social media platforms?  Do you think they are beneficial? Tell me what you think!

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What’s the Big Deal About Social Media?

social mediaBelieve it or not, I still get asked the following questions on a regular basis:

“What’s the big deal about social media?  What’s the value of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+? Do I need to get online?”  To which I have to reply  ARE YOU FRIGGIN KIDDING ME?!!?!  O.K., now that I’ve gotten that out of the way – let me calmly make some points that many of us who “live on line” take for granted.

1) Social media is not a fad.  It’s not going away.  I would say it’s safe to say almost every Fortune 500 company has an employee or several dedicated to their online presence and inbound marketing using social media and social networking.

2) Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Google+ can be valuable tools for getting you or your company in front of potentially millions of people depending on your ability to create unique content people want to see.  This has been proven time and again by viral videos on YouTube, tweets on Twitter, and Facebook posts.

3) Anyone who thinks they don’t need to get online doesn’t realize a growing portion of the population no longer uses the phone book or yellow pages to find necessary phone numbers when looking up the number of their local plumber.  Why should they when they can go online to various websites that not only give them phone numbers of local contractors, restaurants, dog groomers and more, but they also get reviews from people who have used their services.  You can’t get that from a phone book!  Many businesses even offer special discounts to their fans on Facebook or followers on Twitter, or even text their customers on their mobile phones!  What better way to keep your existing customers than to stay in touch with social media?

If you ARE new to the whole social media world, I have one piece of advice for you if you don’t learn anything else.  Remember to keep the “social” in social media.  Social media is NOT a push medium like e-mail, radio, or television.  If you treat social media like it IS a push medium, your followers or fans will hide you from their stream or just unfollow you.

Do you have a question why you should use social media or why you should get online that I haven’t answered?   If so, please post it here or on my Facebook fan page and I’ll be happy to answer it for you.   If you, like me are one of those who spend hours and hours online each day and have more to add, please do!  All comments are welcome! 🙂

 

Support-A-Thon: Submit Your Free #Backlinks

support-a-thon

What’s a Support-A-Thon?

Well that was my question when I originally read the headline on Yomar Lopez’s blog.  I don’t know if he originally came up with the idea of thesupport-a-thon Support-A-Thon, but he definitely encourages us to take advantage of this marketing idea.  A Support-A-Thon is a free link exchange where participants actively help each other by posting links on each other’s social platforms.

What’s the purpose behind this Support-A-Thon?

As a participant (someone who submits your information) all you are asked to do is hand-pick a few other participants and share their links with your friends via your social networks.  Whether you choose to share by posting to Google+, LinkedIn, StumbleUpon, makes no difference which social platforms as long as you share.  For the full story of how the Support-A-Thon works, please read Yomar’s post.

The following is straight from Yomar’s blog:

Why A Support-A-Thon Is For You

The goal here is to allow little-known business entities and creatives to share their online content with a wider audience.  This blog has gained great momentum and I’d like to share some of that traffic with you.  Of course, do not share your stuff here if you do not plan to support others here.  By joining our unofficial effort here, you pledge to…

  • Share the benefits, urgency, and highlights of any content you promote via the Support-A-Thon effort.
  • Never spam your links or the links of others.
  • Personally introduce content to the most interested, hand-picked targets.
  • Use StumbleUpon to Like content and share it to your network’s toolbars.
  • Cross-promote via a blog, site review, LinkedIn recommendation, etc., if you wish.
  • Leave quality comments on target content that will build conversations and add value to the content.
  • Introduce your favorite influencers to people personally, via Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or other preferred social networks.
  • Promote the Support-A-Thon by using #supportathon where appropriate and perhaps blogging about it!

Link Building And Sharing Guidelines

When creating links outside of StumbleUpon (i.e. in blog comments, HTML-enabled profiles/bios, and discussion boards), it’s important to make them natural.  What is a natural link?  I’m glad you asked!

  • A link that leads to something relevant to the referring content.
  • A link with anchor text that describes the target content accurately and honestly.
  • A link given proper context so it does not seem like unsolicited spam or mere self-promotion (and people know what they’re clicking).
  • A link that adds value to the online conversation at hand.
  • A link that provides an action or connection that has been pre-approved.

Essentially, just like you are considerate and try to add value with your comments on other sites, you want to do the same with links.  If your links do not add value to content, have not been pre-approved, and break a site’s guidelines, chances are it is spam.

On the matter of pre-approval, most sites that enable links in comments, signatures, profiles, and other areas assume you know that it is meant to be used sparingly.  To avoid seeming like a leech, try to link to others and back to your top referrers more than you link to yourself.  Sure, this takes longer than other, more questionable link-building methods, but it ensures your links are not taken down.

So there you have it!  What a Support-A-Thon is and why you should participate.  I thought it was a splendid idea!  I love supporting others!  So please, post your information in the comment section.  Please know, however, I will be pre-approving the links in the comments so please, no spam, no “adult” sites, etc…

If you have questions or comments relating to something other than the Support-A-Thon link sharing, please post them on my Facebook fan page.  Thanks so much for your participation and support!

Social Media Strategy – Who’s Talking About YOU?

Who’s Talking About You?

As human beings we are curious creatures.  Many of us want to know what’s going on, who’s saying what, who’s talking about us and when planning your social media strategy it’s even more important.

First impressions

What is it they say? You’ve only got 10 seconds to create a good first impression.  Whether you are a Fortune 500 Company or an individual, you need a brand that will create a good first impression.  This includes not only your logo, but it also carries across to your social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook fan pages as well as your online marketing such as your website or blog.  I will admit, there are many sites online that I wish mine was more like theirs,  I guess you could say I have “blog envy”.    But, rather than dwell on the negative, I continue to make my site better because I know each week I will have new visitors.  I know I will make a good first impression to new people as I continue to make improvements.  The point I’m trying to make is regardless of where you are now; it’s never too late to start improving to make a good first impression.  Once you’ve got your branding taken care of you definitely want to concentrate on who’s talking about you!

Twitter

I’ve discussed Twitter in previous posts.   I’ve talked about  how to get listed, get retweeted, get more followers, and be more social with other people who use Twitter.  Another important feature of Twitter many individuals and businesses overlook is researching their own brand.  Search your own brand name, or put a hashtag (#) on your posts when possible to find out who’s talking about you.  (i.e. If I wanted to search for CNN I would more likely find more tweets in a search with #CNN.  Then – when you’re big and famous like CNN or perhaps sooner – other people will also put that hashtag with your brand.)

who's talking

Some of the larger companies have individuals whose primary function is to search who’s talking about them on Twitter.  They will search either by using the brand name or a hashtag.  They need to do this throughout the day in case there are negative comments so they can quickly and publicly address the issue in a positive manner. (i.e. A customer has a bad experience with a restaurant, the restaurant is on top of their game and addresses it immediately by tweeting “I’m so sorry you had a bad experience, please contact our customer support at xxx.xxx.xxxx and we will be happy to address this immediately.”   The customer’s complaint was addressed, but more importantly, the customer’s followers SAW the complaint was addressed because the restaurant replied immediately.  That’s a GREAT social media strategy by listening to who’s talking about you on Twitter.  There are some tools you can use so you don’t have to stay glued to your laptop all the time, one is Tweetbeep.

That’s just one example of course how you can keep track of who’s talking about you online.  If you have a Facebook fan page, or a website with a customer support area or forum, hopefully any complaints would be posted there so public complaints could also be issued.  If you do have a Facebook fan page, you want to make sure you monitor the page closely so you can address the complaints and the compliments in a timely manner.  Regardless of what the comments are, your customers, followers, or fans, want to know you are listening because if you aren’t chances are your competitors are!

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to post them on my fan page or here in the comments section! 🙂

 

SEO: Tags & Meta Tags

meta tags

Why Do Tags & Meta Tags Matter?

I remember when keyword tags were the big thing.  One of the main components of SEO was plugging in the right keywords relating to your website and you were good to go.  Then the unscrupulous spammers and black hat SEO progammers came in and ruined all that for us by keyword stuffing, inputting invisible text and other unethical practices.  Google and the other search engines had to come up with alternative measures to counter these measures and the new Tags & Meta Tags practices discussed in this post are just one aspect of the SEO practices that were changed.

Title Tags

meta tags<Title Tags> as it looks in HTML format is the same as it was before.  The title tag is used by all search engines and is the first thing spiders (also known as web crawlers, web robots, or automatic indexers) will index and the first thing people will read. </title tag>

Description Tags

<meta name=”description” content= This is where your sample content goes you want to show up in your search engine results.  You want to keep this description length less than 170 characters.” />  The description tag should read well, and be interesting enough to make someone click on the link to visit your site more than your competition. Think of the description tag as an advertisement.  Take some time to put your best material in this space.

Keyword Meta Tags

<meta name=”keywords” content= “Tags, Meta Tags, SEO, Title Tags, Social Media” />  Remember what I said at the very beginning of this post how spammers pretty much ruined keyword tags?  I’m still stickin’ to that, but I wanted you to see what it looked like in HTML format.  If you are working with WordPress you will be able to toggle back and forth between “Visual” and “HTML” format.  My research indicates Yahoo does still use keyword tags, but they don’t carry much weight, and if you do decide to use them, don’t use more than 10.tags

Robots & Additional “Bot” Tags or Meta Elements

The robot attributes or tags are supported by most of the major search engines and determine whether search engine spiders are allowed to index a page or not, and whether they should follow links from a page or not.  the no index prevents a page from being indexed and the no follow prevents a page from being crawled.

meta name=”robots” content=”noodp”
Google: <meta name=”googlebot” content=”noodp”>
Yahoo!: <meta name=”Slurp” content=”noodp”>
MSN & Live Search: <meta name=”msnbot” content=”noodp”>

 

Now if all of this sounds like a bunch of technical jibber jabber don’t feel bad.  It can be overwhelming at first.  There are plenty of people who handle SEO for a living and love it if you would rather not bother.  But if you want to take a stab at it, keep reading, post questions on my fan page and follow me on Twitter.  Even if I don’t know the answer, I know LOTS of really smart people who do!