Ring, ring, ring... your small business phone probably rings off the hook. But between important customer service calls you are also likely bombarded with cheesy sales scripts – where in a dingy room scattered with pizza boxes someone breathing heavily into the phone asks to speak with the boss.
He says they have a revolutionary way for your company to grow leaps and bounds – they have search engine optimization (SEO).
The man claims he only wants ten minutes of your time, time in the middle of a busy workday.
You have a million things on your mind. You are on the verge of losing your largest client, your kid is sick at home, and... oh... you forgot about the presentation you are supposed to give to your investors in an hour. Crap. You blew the last meeting... you really need to prep.
Sensing you will hang up, he interrupts your train of thought and says, "you will regret not talking to me – I will call your competitor next."
Scenarios like the one above occur all too frequently. Between relentless phone calls and contact form spam, search engine optimizers have made a bad name for themselves - a name that has cast a dark shadow over an already murky industry.
So is search engine optimization a real marketing tactic? And how can you make sure you are hiring a legitimate company?
1. SEO can generate leads and revenue
Social media can deliver the kind of return few other marketing tactics can, if you use it wisely.
As a marketing tool, social media seemingly knows no bounds. Businesses large and small, B2B and B2C, and all manner of brands are flocking to it like monster truck fans to free beer hour. Any time something experiences such rapid growth, be it a technology or a marketing tactic, there are bound to be growing pains, and social media use among marketers is no different.
As we ease our way into 2013, here is a look at some of the top social media marketing mistakes marketers are making now. Recognition is the key to avoidance for your organization this year. Take a look at this social media mistake 6-pack, and plot a course around them to social media marketing success in 2013.
Not Enough Segments.... or Worse, None at All
Failure to segment is a massive fail indeed, yet it one of the most common social media marketing mistakes organizations make. They embrace social media, but their hug grabs everything at once. Better to take a step back and address each market segment individually.
Who Are They?
As an on line marketing consultant, I have to constantly search out inventive ways to generate traffic to my clients' offers. It is not always easy, because every business is different. The approach I take will vary according to what industry and marketplace I am targeting.
But, having said that, I find that there is a basic set of rules you can follow to make sure you reach your target audience and convert at a higher rate. In my opinion there are 5 important parts to making sure your marketing via social media is effective.
People in the business of figuring out why some content goes viral on the Internet are still trying to figure out what goes viral on the Internet. Let's face it: no one has any clue – unless it's a 15-second video of a kitten attacking a dolphin. If someone told you last year that the video of a Korean techno-rap song would be the biggest Internet hit since "David after Dentist," you would have scoffed at that person, and yet here we are living in the shadow of Gangnam Style.
So while we ponder what sort of content might achieve viral lift in 2013, let's take a quick look back at the viral memes of 2012. It will do very little to help us anticipate or generate future viral content, but it will be fun and we can pretend like it's research.
Here's a quick and unofficial rundown of the best of the social Internet's viral memes of 2012:
1. Gangnam Style
What can be said about Korean pop star Psy and his crazy dancing that hasn't been said already? With over 847 million views, Psy's Gangnam Style became the most watched video in the history of YouTube (link bonus: AMA performance with MC Hammer), beating out #2 – Justin Beiber's "Baby," which is currently stuck at a mere 807.5 million on YouTube.
LinkedIn is the gold standard for online professional networking. The social network is a great place for individuals, companies and organizations to network with industry contacts, make new connections, stay up-to-date on relevant news and trends, share content, create a following and increase brand awareness and lead conversions. One of the most impressive facts about LinkedIn is that it has a visitor-to-lead conversion rate of 2.74% —almost three times higher than the conversion rates of Facebook and Twitter. As the world's largest and most influential professional network and a rich avenue for lead generation and conversion, you and your company should certainly start taking full advantage of all LinkedIn has to offer. Sharing high-quality content, actively participating in industry discourse and building a following via LinkedIn could win you a reputation as a thought leader and increased publicity and reach for your company.
Garner Recommendations and Endorsements
To get the most from LinkedIn, you need dive right in and fully immerse yourself. Fill out your profile completely—listing all your skills and full work history. One of the most effective ways to generate new business is to get recommendations and endorsements from industry contacts and current and former clients. LinkedIn allows you to request recommendations for each position in which you have worked and for your educational experience. You should aim to garner as many recommendations and endorsements as possible. The endorsements show up on your profile within the Skills & Expertise section. Endorsements are fast and painless, as all you have to do is click on the + sign next to a particular skill on a user's profile. Endorsements and recommendations are powerful word-of-mouth marketing tools.
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