Build Your Facebook Page

By Denise Gabbard

Facebook is second only to Google in search engine rankings, and currently has over 500 million users all over the world. And the best part of all of this? It remains a free site, and you can build a “page” for your business and it costs you nothing. Whether you business is online or offline, building a presence and “branding” it online is easier now that it’s ever been before.

Basic Pages
The first step is to actually build a page on Facebook. This is relatively easy. When you are logged into your personal account, on the left will be an icon that says “Ads and Pages.” Click it, and it will open up any other pages you already have, and take you to a page where you can click “Create Page” and do just that.

Add some photos and other pertinent information, including links to your website to your page. Just like other sites, compelling content is king. You want people to come to your Facebook page, look around, get comfortable, and interact with you by commenting or replying to other comments. Continue reading

How To Make Websites Work With Social Networking Sites

By Lena Morrish and Dima Nikolayenko

Making a website work with social media

E-mail and social media work great together for marketing your website.

With all the buzz about social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace, many people are wondering whether emails and email marketing will be a thing of the past. This is highly doubtful since emails are still one of the most used forms of communication for both individuals and for businesses, which still leaves email marketing pretty high on the list of market strategies of today. The question is not whether you should use either emails or social network sites for marketing, but rather one of how to make websites and all of their tools work with social networking sites.

Whenever you are researching how to start and run an Internet business, you should include research into integrating your business with social network sites. There are many ways these sites enhance your email marketing campaign and drive traffic directly to your site. Continue reading

SEO 101: Twitter Twips, uh, Tips for Tweeps

By Richard V. Burckhardt

SEO 101 Twitter Tips
Twitter has become an important communications tool. Here are some tips to optimize your tweets.

Who would have thought? I have to admit that when Twitter was first launched, I was one of those folks who thought it was downright silly. Who cares that you’re sitting in a coffee shop texting a 140 character status report? Sheesh. Bound to disappear in a few months…

Wow, was I ever wrong. Twitter has taken the world by storm, providing communications for everything from patriots in repressed regimes to emergency information services. And, yes, you’ve still got those nerds tweeting about sipping a latte at Starbucks, too. Oh, well…

Twitter has been a natural magnet for SEOs and Internet marketing tweeple, er, people.  Twitter allows an unprecidented way for an individual or company to get immediate insight from around the world, allow you to break out of your social group (follow friends of friends, industry leaders), grow your channel of distribution and build your brand.

Here’s a list of twips, er, uh, tips to make your tweeting twouble fwee, ah, er, uh, trouble free! Continue reading

Social Media Tactics

Social Media TacticsFor those of you who have read my blog in the past, you know I love to give quick tips on search engine optimization and web marketing. So as not to disappoint anyone, here’s a quick list of Dos & Don’ts for your social media campaigns (you ARE including social media in your online marketing, right? If not, find out how to get started in social media.)

1. Don’t go into it just for the links. You’ll get shot down by the community instantly. Social media is all about conversation and creating advocates for your brand, so share and engage in the conversation. Active conversations about specific topics attract passionate audiences.

2. Give your visitors a voice. Social media gives consumers some control and a voice. If your site doesn’t include a way for visitors to comment on or rate your content, you’ve got some work to do. A static web site that’s one-way (the visitor can only read it) won’t cut it anymore. Interactive sites are the norm these days, so you need to join the 21st century.

3. Join in on the top social activities. These are currently watching videos and sharing photos. In addition to posting and sharing on YouTube and Flickr, consider adding video and photo sharing to your own site, if appropriate, and create videos that can be shared (see Video Optimization). Just be careful with Flickr. They are cracking down on accounts set up by companies and deleting them. They only want personal use of their service.

4. Social media is NOT a substitute for SEO or PPC. Social media optimization must be integrated into your complete marketing plan.

5. Great customer service. This is a natural outlet to social media. Visitors can leave comments or questions on your site or on other sites like Facebook and you can respond. It is essential to monitor the various social outlets, not only to provide service, but to head off any problems or complaints before they build into something difficult to manage. Among the many tools that I use are Google Alerts and Tweetscan to send me alerts for Google and Twitter mentions.

6. Lock down branding. Combining SEO, PPC and social media can be great for this. Great rankings in the organics, advertising and social presence are a dynamite combination.

7. Grab your Twitter name. Twitter is incredibly powerful for weighting in the serps so use it! Just be sure to grab your name before someone else does!

8. Link to your profile pages. Make sure visitors can find your social site pages. Make your first weighted link to your profile pages a link from your company site.

9. Treat your YouTube videos just like HTML pages. In other words, give them a title, description, tags and make sure the very first thing in the description is the URL you want folks to land on.

10. Last but not least. If you don’t know where to start, go for videos and move on from there. In addition to YouTube, videos can be distributed and shared through Metacafe.com, Yahoo Videos and scores of others. Heck, even Flickr has video now.

Keep in mind that many of the top traffic sites these days are social media sites and that Web 2.0 is really about empowering users, not promoting you. And, take note that social search is different than web search because in social search, it’s about sourcing information from trusted people as opposed to general information that is dished out by a search engine.

Once further tip – using cloud tags can give you an idea of what is generating conversations as well as alert you to trends. I use one on my own blog, but there are a ton of other WordPress tag cloud plugins available.

Until my next list of inspirations, good Internet marketing!

Social Media & SEO: I Want My MTV!

MTV as exciting when first introduces, like social media is todayRemember MTV? Not the also-ran cable channel we have now with its bad reality shows, made for TV movies and music documentaries. I’m talking about MTV when it really was Music Television. When MTV debuted in 1981 it featured 24-hour a day music videos with a VJ (short for video jockey) who introduced the videos, talked to the musicians and segued into commercials.

It was magic. It was innovative. It was fun.

It had power! Thousands of musical artists and acts got their careers started with music videos and a lot of forgotten acts were rediscovered. For example, a simple weekend marathon of the old Monkees TV show resulted in the once trashed group getting together for what turned out to be the biggest summer tour of the year 1986. New records by the group, more reruns and the rebirth of a made-for-TV band followed.

But most of all, MTV was exciting!

That’s where I see social media today. Like MTV in the beginning, social media is all of the above with innovative features being rolled out right and left and the ability to connect with folks around the world 24 hours per day. It’s like magic!

But, again, most of all, it’s exciting!

And, it’s now a part of SEO, which some have also likened to magic.

Unlike MTV, which was one-way, social media is about interaction. You connect with folks who connect with other folks and everyone provides user generated content and links that help bolster your SEO, traffic and conversion goals. You do this through photo or video sharing, news and networking sites as well as blogs.

There’s the power!

And, like the young MTV viewers of the 1980s, social media users tend to be cutting edge, comfortable about innovation and technology. Using sites like YouTube, Facebook, StumbleUpon, Digg and del.icio.us, etc. just comes naturally.

So how do you tie your SEO efforts into all of this excitement and power?

Continue reading