It seems like every time I get a handle on a social media channel or a search optimization technique—something changes. Facebook expands its insights, Google introduces Panda 20, and the list goes on. Keeping up-to-date with changes impacting search and social is an overwhelming (and sometimes frightening) task for marketers. Heraclitus was correct: change is the only constant.
Hiding from this reality will only make matters worse. To ensure that you stay in the know and keep your online channels in lockstep, we've included a few recent updates.
Google and the Guest Post
In a recent interview article on the art of guest posting, Matt Cutts of Google encourages companies to not "overdo it" when it comes to guest post submissions. No matter where it is--Google will serve up the most relevant, high-quality content and punish publishers who try to "game" the system. Guest posting is still worthwhile so long as brands are creating articles, infographics and videos that are original and relevant. As Google's Panda algorithm continues to evolve, quality remains critical. Stuffing a post with keywords worked at one point, but not anymore. No matter where you submit and publish your content, be authentic and focus on the needs of your audience.
Rumor has it that Facebook is on the verge of creating a new classifieds listings, which could put it in direct competition with Craigslist.
According to The Daily's Matt Hickey, two anonymous sources within the social network revealed information on the project and said that it's likely to be finished sooner rather than later.
The service would reportedly let users create ads to show up in friends' news feeds. These would essentially offer the same sorts of things Craigslist posts do -- jobs, apartment rentals, and items for sale -- but would only target users who meet specific criteria (for instance, those who live in Topeka where there's an apartment for rent). Users could also add photos and links to these advertisements.
Hickey claims that Facebook would charge users a small fee to post some ads, such as items for sale. Others, such as rooms for rent, would be free. Users could also spread the ads far beyond the original poster's social network by directing them to their own friends, whether or not they even knew the original poster.
"A difficult situation that is very obvious but not discussed or addressed."
That's just one of I'm sure many definitions of the phrase "elephant in the room." Frankly I don't really care which definition you subscribe to. The fact of the matter is that mobile marketing - despite all it's continued hype and promise has been severely under utilized by marketers of all shapes and sizes.
And the word "continued" is absolutely the operative word in the sentence above.
Last week in a piece for Digiday, Brian Morrissey wrote of the Ad Industry Lies and at the top of his list was mobile:
1. It's the Year of Mobile (for the fourth year in a row)
Everyone talks about the power of mobile and how it will change advertising. But the truth is, no one has figured it out yet. Mobile advertising is like going back to the internet 1995, except on a much smaller screen."
Would you expect a newly recruited chief financial officer to plan next year's budget without first understanding your corporate priorities? Or a human resources manager on their first day to choose which employees should be let go without first letting them know who are your thought leaders and outstanding achievers?
No smart business would hand over the keys to the castle and send a new hire in at the deep end without a solid knowledge of the brand, the culture and the company's future goals. But when it comes to adding a social media manager to the team, too many businesses simply supply them with their key pass, show them to their desk, and then leave them to it with the expectation that they will quickly begin to generate huge profits for the company.
Clearly this is not the best way to set your new employee up for success. Most companies know they need to do more to amplify their social media identity, but they do not fully understand what social media marketing is or, more to the point, exactly what a social media manager does. All too often, this leads to companies placing a new hire at the helm and crossing their fingers with the hope that all will go well.
To make the most of your new social media manager, you must at least begin with an awareness of the fundamental role they will play in your organisation: to be 'social', to be the centre of a network of social innovation that requires a connection and adequate communication with every other part of your business.
I recently attended the #140 conference in San Francisco. At the event, one of the many presenters made a rather poignant and relevant presentation titled "Why Small Business sucks at marketing". While the title may be arresting, the sentiment might be right given today's rapidly changing marketing environment.
Let's examine, for a moment, the impact of social media on small business. As the new networks and community platforms of social media have evolved, many experts have made compelling arguments that user-generated content would some day take a significant share away from the traditional media and message distribution pie. The reasoning behind this view was that there is no production cost associated with social media and that people can create it for free (really?). The thinking prevailed that user-generated content could better meet the demand for fragmented online audiences that have smaller sizes and more specialized interests.
The promise of shiny, new objects
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