Monday, December 31, 2012

How To Use SEO Properly: Shake It Up

colored pencils

 You’ve heard the adage “don’t put all your eggs in one basket”? Well it turns out the goose’s advice reigns just as true for digital marketers as it did the gatherers of old.
When it comes to search engine optimization, or SEO as it’s more commonly known, the biggest mistake digital marketers make is focusing solely on one tactic. “Blog, blog, blog!,” “We need links,” “The website, people!” In channeling all your efforts into one of these activities, you optimize that area only at the expense of all the others.
Why not diversify your tactics and reap the benefits of many methods? In doing so you’ll reach a larger audience, build a more complete brand, and save yourself from many monotonous afternoons engaged in the same SEO activity.
Here are some areas in which you should switch things up:

1. Your Blog

The casual nature of blog format lends itself well to variety. Your blog is the one place on your site where you can let loose a bit and showcase the personality of your brand. So rather than have a single writer contributing all articles in the standard 300 word paragraph form, spice things up a bit. Feature guest bloggers whenever possible and ask all employees to contribute posts on their areas of expertise. This way the personality of your blog will vary depending on the given writer.
Another way to add variety is by trying out different formats. Podcasts are a great choice when posting a demonstration. Infographics encourage interaction and are helpful in illustrating complex topics, and bulleted or numbered lists always make for easy reading.

2. Your Traffic Sources

Google is great, and if your site is properly optimized you can generate a lot of traffic through it. But even the king of SEO can’t solidify his company’s top place in the rankings. A competitor could suddenly churn out novels of content and climb ahead or a new agency enter the industry and knock you down a few places.
So while it’s important to optimize for search engines, it’s essential to seek out other sources of traffic. Make use of e-mail marketing as a quick and easy way to reach a large number of potential clients. Spend time on social media engaging potential clients, or go back to the basics and spread your company’s charm through word of mouth.

3. Your Links:

It’s important to remember that it’s not just the number of links your company has that affects its standing with search engines but the quality of these links. So if you have 50 links but they’re all coming from the same business (which just happens to owned and operated by your brother,) you need to look elsewhere.
The more relevant to your industry the site providing you a backlink is, the higher the quality of said link. So search for businesses providing similar services and share content with them. Use your clients as well. They know you, and clearly trust your business, so they’ll more than likely be willing to credit your company on their own site.
In making efforts to diversify, make sure you don’t spread yourself to thin. Blogging, link-building, and lead generating are useless without the proper resources to maintain them. This article from SEOMOZ will help aid you in adding variety to your SEO campaign.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Year in Review: Lessons from Two Social Marketing Hits

Making sense of conflicting predictions
With over a billion Facebook users worldwide, everyone’s life has been touched in some way by social media. The question, however, is how brands can best leverage this medium. With Gartner predicting that half of all web sales will come from social and mobile by 2015, we must learn how to judge the value of social media. Everything from final sale attribution, to number of touch points, to social’s influence on various aspects of the marketing and sales funnel, plays a role in companies benefiting from and measuring the results of social media.
We’ve started the legwork for you, combing through the best social marketing stories from 2012 and analyzing what sets the winners apart from the losers. Read on for two key lessons from social marketing hits, and download our white paper Top Social Engagement Lessons from JetBlue, Zappos,, and Kirkland’s for in depth reviews and takeaways from 5 of your favorite brands. 
Success generating revenue with social endorsement: Zappos
As a digitally focused company, Zappos found itself poised to take advantage of social media, and it has successfully leveraged the social space in a way many companies have not: to drive direct revenue.
Using social evangelism to drive revenue
Zappos engages in Social Activation by allowing customers to easily share their purchases across Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, which results in tangible monetary benefits. For each ‘Share’, Zappos earns $33.66 on Twitter, $2.08 on Facebook, and $0.75 on Pinterest in incremental revenue. The brilliance of facilitating and promot­ing social endorsement comes from the fact that this revenue does not actually rely on Zappos’ so­cial media presence, but rather it relies on the social graphs of their customers. When a customer ‘Shares’ a Zappos purchase, they post it to their own social network rather than a Zappos-owned presence, by­passing the need for a strong social following on Zappos’ part.
Image 1: Zappos provides a clear call to action to share, while also providing options that give users control over the amount of information to share with their social networksImage
The lesson: Facilitate customer activation to drive sales through social
While a strong social presence is essen­tial for overall success, what sets Zappos apart from other companies successful in social engagement is their ability to leverage consumers to sell products for them. Gartner believes that 50% of all web sales will soon come from social and mobile, and if the $33.66 Zappos earns for every pur­chase shared on Twitter is any indication of influ­ence potential, they’re right on track.
Success integrating social onsite to increase paying customer base:
Go to and click “Log in”. If you’re hesitant to create yet another account, don’t worry: Fab allows you to log in using your existing Facebook account. Where sets itself apart is in the integration of Facebook into the core design of their website, effectively driv­ing website traffic through social media.
Creating a website with social built in
In addition to eliminating the need for a traditional login, has done everything from facilitating and incentivizing social endorsement to actually creating a live “newsfeed” on the site using Facebook Open Graph. This Newsfeed populates in real-time with user activity like purchases and ‘favorited’ items on Facebook, taking advantage of consumers’ influence over each other and allowing users to browse and buy this socially shared content directly from Facebook or their website.
Image 2: Sample of the live user-populated newsfeed built into Fab.comImage
Using these tactics, in just four months Fab was able to double its referral traffic from Facebook and ex­pand its membership from 1.8 to 3.2 million users, with 50% of these new members joining as a result of Facebook. Even more impress­ive is that these socially involved members generate twice the lifetime value of members who do not en­gage with Fab using Facebook, combining the short-term benefits of an increase in paying customers with long-term benefits of higher lifetime value.
The lesson: Incorporate social media into your website proves that the value of social marketing expands beyond the platforms themselves.  Creating an engaging social experience across both social and traditionally non-social channels will play an ever-more important role for marketers. The more social value Fab creates – such as adding recommendations based on friend’s purchases in the live stream – the more users will purchase their products and share with their social graphs.
Success requires shifting your strategy
Zappos and succeed with social marketing because they don’t treat it as a separate “social” initiative. Both companies built social media into their e-commerce solutions, combining on-site and off-site social marketing tactics to maximize their results through increasing awareness and engaging in customer service on Facebook, Twitter, and other social channels, while integrating user-generated social purchases into their e-commerce framework. Socially engaging consumers wherever they spend their time, either in the newsfeed or on your website, will be the key for success in the coming years.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Make It All Connect with a Customized Youtube Embed

To compliment all of your blogging and article efforts online, maybe it is time to create a 
Customized Youtube Embed
comprehensive content marketing strategy that implements pictures and video. In particular, online video is rapidly becoming a go-to staple for any content strategy, mostly for its ease of use and easy access to all demographics that can be easily shared through Facebook and Twitter. One of the leading websites in video social media currently is, of course, YouTube. And one of the most popular ways to boost revenue and exposure to your website is to customize YouTube embed all of your videos.

Once you have created a custom media player for all of your video content on your website, a certain attitude of professionalism is added without having to deal with the lower professional grade of simple YouTube embedded videos which also don't include the content of calls-to-action, subscription buttons, and much more. Instead, make it all connect through your video to create a highly engaged and comprehensive content strategy.
Video is going beyond simple YouTube channels
The majority of YouTube has become branded channels which provide just about anything in the form of online video entertainment, but technology has come a long way since the humble beginnings of YouTube. Now businesses can customize YouTube embed their videos with a personally branded player and create content that can go beyond the usual engagement.
Video is more than just viral videos of cats and funny pranks, online video has now become part of an important piece of the content marketing puzzle for most businesses--and added apps only adds to that value.
Add calls-to-action and more to video
Speaking of adding more value to your video, it is now possible to implement comprehensive subscription forms, calls-to-action, geolocation technology, and much more into a completely personalized video player. And be able to closely follow the analytics of all of these apps right at your fingertips to boot!

Adding even more engagement to your videos for a higher awareness of being connected is only going to become a requirement for all video in the future, why not start being an early-adopter for such easily distributed content right now?

Embedding video on your website isn't so 90s anymore

Back in the day, video on a website was viewed as gimmicky or too much of a sales pitch and less about the actual content being played in the video. Also, a lot of embedded video players were on an auto-play function or just had a very low quality about them. Thankfully, that part of the Internet age is over and a customize YouTube embed can mean the difference between no engagement to full engagement on your website.
Embedding video doesn't mean having to have a gimmicky sales pitch, scam business, or auto-play features anymore. All of the customization can be placed into your hands and you can decide what kind of engagement and video content can be displayed on your website for a full connectivity experience for your users. After all, video is only going to continue to become a leading content trend for most industries.   

Friday, December 28, 2012

HootSuite: Maximize Your Social Media Efforts

Marketing has shifted from a one-way communication effort from marketing firms, towards a seamless conversation between the company and its target market. Social media has made marketing a fluid, transparent public relations effort that should not be ignored. However, there are many social media platforms available and businesses find it difficult to stay active on all relevant channels. Hootsuite aims to solve this problem through its integrative feature set.
Hootsuite is free to use if you plan on managing 5 or less social media profiles. Users who are looking to add more profiles should opt for the Pro Plan, which costs $9.99/month with a 30-day Free Trial. Once you have created your account, users will be presented with their Hootsuite Dashboard. From here, you can add all of your social media accounts from Hootsuite’s wide range of supported platforms, including:

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google Plus
  • LinkedIn
  • foursquare
  • WordPress
  • MySpace
  • Mixi

The Streams view of Hootsuite is your window into your target market’s activity. Click “Add Stream” to monitor a specific keyword, group, mention, etc. This tool is pivotal in replying to users’ questions and joining relevant discussions to build your online presence.

One of Hootsuite’s most powerful features is the ability to schedule future posts and cater them towards each particular social media platform’s strengths via the “Publisher” feature. This way, companies can create and execute a complete social strategy of how they will reveal their new product, promote their upcoming business event, or disperse a promotional initiative. Posts can be customized for each platform so that Twitter posts can include hashtags and mentions (@Mentor_Works) and Facebook can include pictures and locations, etc.

Once you have joined discussions via direct messages and promoted your company’s initiatives via Publisher – Analytics now quantifies your effort. Through this feature, you have access to preset analytics and the option of creating custom reports. Reports include helpful feedback such as your click through rate, demographics, sharing rate, and more.

Social Media: New Tools For Business Growth

Since the industrial age, businesses have learnt to acquire tools that bring mechanical advantage and help achieve more with less effort. Now, the digital age has brought a lot of enterprise applications to improve business efficiency. Social Media has further added social productivity tools, which bring fun, ease and convenience to business.

Business growth
In this piece, we present some of the social media tools already helping businesses worldwide become more efficient.

Businesses now use social media for more activities than just chatting with existing customers. Moreover, different business departments now have peculiar ways of using social media. Sales departments use social media to get new leads, monitor the leads and close sales. Human resource departments use social media to get new employees. Advertising departments reach out to more customers on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social networks. Similarly, marketing and R&D departments now mine forums, blogs, social networks and review sites to get better understanding of their target markets.

There are several social media tools to use. It doesn’t matter what tools you use as long as you get the results you want to achieve. However, it is best to focus on using tools that are easy to use, secure and really efficient, and most importantly get tools that fit your business requirements. Also, you should ensure the tools you finally decide on can serve your local needs. One of the major advantages of web applications is that even the most expensive ones usually allow trial periods, during which you can evaluate whether a tool suits your business needs or not. Besides, many paid applications have free alternatives. However, it is advisable for big businesses to opt for paid versions over the free alternatives in order to get more security and guarantees.

The Web Has Changed Our World

The web has grown so fast and tightly woven into the normal lifestyle of almost everybody. According to reports, the number of active users of Facebook is already over 900 million, now pushing 1 billion; that’s about 14% of the population of the world. Also, Twitter is expected to hit 500 million registered users in the next few months. LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube and other social platforms are growing in leaps and bounds. Obviously, people are becoming more comfortable using online social platforms to interact with one another.

The present generation of consumers and the next generation spend most of their time on mobile devices and computers. They tend to find things like chatting, texting, sending instant messages and making other short continuous conversations more convenient than emailing or writing long letters. They spend most of their time with laptops, netbooks, smartphones, tablets and other new gadgets. Secondly as business competition gets stiffer, more and more people tend to consume media (news, entertainment etc) on their mobile devices while commuting in order to save time. Hence, the new best place to stay connected with team members, employees and partners is on these devices. 

Therefore, you cannot continue to neglect social media and expect your business to survive for long. No matter the size of your business, getting involved and using social media is your sure bet towards mastering the language of this generation and the coming generations. To be frank, this is just the beginning of the new lifestyle of the world, and social media is not going away any soon. So get your business to adjust to this new culture and enjoy better business results.

Tools that Can Transform Your Business

There are several social media tools to choose from. You can’t possibly use all the available tools for your business. The solution today is to decide the best set of tools that can be adapted for your business based on your business peculiarity.

Here, we shall highlight a few major social media tools based on their relevance to your business:

Monitoring and Managing Your Brand

One way to describe the digital age is the “age of information overload”. Consumers have access to all sorts of information, which they use in making buying decisions. Social media tools for monitoring brands help you track the mentions of your brand anywhere on the Internet. By tracking where your brand is mentioned, you will be able to encourage positive reviews and quickly tackle negative comments and also understand your customers better.


Keeping track of all your social network accounts can be very daunting. Hootsuite is an incredible tool, in this respect, for managing multiple Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts, monitoring the mentions of your name and replying where necessary. It also enables you to schedule updates and get reports on the number of people that share your updates. Similar tools you can try are SocialOomph, Sprout Social and Monitter.


Crowdbooster is another tool for managing social networks and is specifically built for businesses. It autoposts contents, monitors new fans and followers and provides statistics about how your content is being shared It also lets you know the fans that are most interested in your posts and recommends the best time of the day to post updates to enable you get the highest engagement. It also helps to remind you to reply tweets. A similar tool is Bufferapp.

Google Alerts

Google Alerts is an indispensable tool for monitoring your business reputation online. It is a free tool from Google that works excellently well for monitoring your brand. Every time your business is mentioned on any website on the Internet, Google will send you an email. You can choose to receive the emails as it happens, daily or weekly. You can also use Google Alerts to monitor the mentions of specific products, brand names or name of a person.

Creating a Strong Online Presence and Maintaining It

Your website and blog form the home-base and fortress of your online presence. They are the best place to get fans to connect with your brand more deeply. They are like the headquarters of your business, built and furnished to your taste; whereas other social media destinations are like outlets of your company, where you try to attract and retain more customers. Your blog and website are always yours to fully control, but Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media destinations can be tweaked and changed by the providers. So, get your website and blog in order as much as you can.


You can use WordPress to build great blogs and really powerful and dynamic websites or both. As a small business owner, you can begin with their free domain name and webhost and later upgrade to a personal one. WordPress blogs are well optimized for search engines, and they integrate excellently with social networks. That’s why WordPress powers many of the sites you see online.


A great alternative to WordPress is Blogger, which is a free blog publishing service provided by Google. It lets you create blogs for one or more people. The blogs are hosted free by Google at a sub-domain of Like WordPress blogs, Blogger blogs can be built on very low budget.

Other alternatives for building free websites are GNBO (for Nigerians) and Tumblr. The advantage of these platforms is that they can help you have a website on very low budget.

Connecting on Social Networks

Though a lot of people do not know, some of the most amazing business tools today are social networking sites. They let you find customers based on their interests, locate partners easily and also maintain a presence for prospecting, gaining leads and getting customers.


For business connections, try and spend more time with LinkedIn, and you will be amazed at the potentials. LinkedIn can be regarded as the best social network for getting new leads. It is a professional social networking site of over 161 million users. To properly harness the power of LinkedIn for your business, you need to create a complete profile, join relevant professional groups and participate in discussions. On LinkedIn, you can ask business questions and get answers from experts all over the world, or you can simply read the conversation of others to learn practical business wisdom.


Aside the regular chatting and messaging, you can use Facebook to create brand pages for your business, install relevant extensions and use it to keep your fans abreast of your business updates. You can set up a vibrant discussion group for communicating with your partners or customers. Having a Facebook business page is indispensable for your business. Currently, Facebook has over 900 million active users, making it a place you should go and spend time with your customers and not lose them to competitors.


Twitter is excellent for disseminating short information and keeping track of discussion trends around the world. It is a real time information network that connects users to latest news, stories, opinions and ideas. It lets you send and receive text-based posts of up to 140 characters. Twitter currently has over 140 million active users and is pushing 500 million registered users according to Twopchart.

Google Plus

One of the best business features of Google Plus is their Hangout. It is a free but powerful video chat service for up to 10 persons. With the relevant extensions, you can share documents and much more while video chatting. While ten persons can participate in the video chat, many more people can watch the discussion.


Today, many people share videos on social networks. This presents a unique opportunity for your business to get new customers and engage existing ones. By uploading short videos to YouTube and sharing with friends, you will be taking advantage of the over 800 million unique visits to YouTube every month from all over the world.

Reaching Out to Customers

Email still remains the most effective means of business communication to clients. Here is an effective tool for email campaigns:


Currently, 1.8 million people are using MailChimp to get effective results from email campaigns involving large number of email subscribers. It has all the features you need to create effective email marketing campaigns. It lets you create great designs of newsletters and preview them before sending to your subscribers. Also before sending your emails, MailChimp checks all your emails with Delivery Doctor to ensure your emails will not end up in spam boxes. Additionally, it lets you use social networking in conjunction with emails. You also get excellent graphical reports of your subscribers’ activities – open rates, clicked URLs and so on.

Team Collaboration

Without the possibility of collaborating, managing businesses and executing projects would have been a nightmare. Impressively, one of the greatest good brought by the social media is greater ease and fun in business collaboration. Here are some tools that make collaboration on the web very easy:


Manymoon is one of the best free tool available on the web for collaborating on projects. It is a free social productivity, project management and task management web application that lets you create as many projects as possible, assign tasks, set milestones, and monitor completed projects among team members. Also, members of your team can easily update everyone on the team about the progress of their work, and also view the projects handled by other members. A paid alternative to Manymoon is Basecamp. It is more expensive, but it provides greater convenience.


Yammer is an enterprise social network. Unlike Twitter that lets you broadcast post to the public, Yammer enables groups of people to keep conversations private. It provides a unique and secure way for employees to communicate, collaborate and share information. Users can share ideas, posts, news, links and also ask and get answers to questions within a close network. Using the basic service is free; and anyone can start a Yammer network and begin inviting others. A paid alternative to Yammer is Precurio, built in Nigeria by Nigerians.

Additionally, there are platforms where you can hire best talents from different parts of the world to perform tasks that do not necessarily require physical presence. They are called online outsourcing platforms. The next time you need a website, mobile app, press reports and so on, you can simply go to any of these websites, publish your request and get job applications from people across several continents. The platforms have different operating models; so you may have to stick with one or two that fit your requirements. Some of them are Freelancer, oDesk, eLance, Scriptlance and vWorker.

Final Tip

Don’t allow the competition come crashing on you. Social media tools have been tried and tested to greatly improve results. Moreover, social media tools enable you to properly monitor and analyze your business efforts more easily. Even if your business is large already, these tools will greatly improve your business.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

The 12 Days of Social Media & Content Marketing

Days 1-6: Social Media Marketing

A Partridge in a Pear Tree: Know Your Customers
The first step in creating a successful social media strategy takes some research.  Understanding who your best (and worst) customers are and what issues are most important to them will lend themselves to a successful social strategy.  Start by utilizing your existing customers to:
  • Run surveys to identify their pain points
  • Ask essential questions during regularly scheduled meetings
2 Turtle Doves: Always Be Engaging
Setting up a social media profile and expecting to immediately generate results is an unrealistic approach to social media marketing.  Identifying and reaching out to prospects, influencers, and current customers on a regular basis will begin setting the groundwork for an engaging social strategy.
3 French Hens: Offer Guidance
In addition to providing relevant and engaging content for your online community you should also offer guidance and help where appropriate.  Say for example that you are spending time on a LinkedIn group and find that someone within the group poses a question related to your area of expertise.  This presents the perfect opportunity to offer something of value without asking for something in return.
4 Calling Birds: Implement Tools
It doesn’t matter if you’re responsible for the implementation of social media for 1 client or 10 you’re going to need to use tools in order to get the maximum value out of your campaigns.  Social media tools don’t have to break the bank.  There are a number of affordable tools on the marketing including:
  • Hootsuite
  • Commun.It
  • Sprout Social
  • Vocus (TopRank Client)
5 Gold Rings: Spend Time Where Your Customers Interact
Depending on what industry you’re in, your customers will likely use a mixture of different social media sites to interact with personal and professional contacts.  As a rule of thumb you will always want to have a presence on the “Big 5” social networks:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Google+
  • YouTube
6 Geese-a-Laying : Measurement
How many golden eggs are you getting from your social strategy and how many are duds?  Many of the tools that you are using to implement your social strategy can also provide insight and reporting of how your social profiles are performing.  Platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn have built in insights that do not cost any additional money.

Days 7-12: Content Marketing

7 Swans-a-Swimming: Create An Editorial Plan
Now is the time (if you haven’t already) to begin planning your content for 2013.  There are a few easy steps you can take to start the New Year off right including:
  • Determining your content themes for each quarter
  • Include any upcoming events in your content calendar
  • Research topics that lead to conversions on your website or blog
8 Maids-a-Milking: Map Content to Customers
Depending on what stage of the buying cycle your customers are in, there are different types of content that will need to be used to attract, engage, and convert them to close.  The different stages of the customer buying cycle include:
  • Awareness
  • Consideration
  • Purchase
  • Service
  • Loyalty
9 Ladies Dancing: Hub & Spoke Model
A hub and spoke content marketing model is similar to a choreographed dance.  Once you determine which of your web properties will be your centerpiece (or hub) you can begin creating and promoting content for your other sites (or spokes) that will drive traffic to your hub.
10 Lords-a-Leaping: Build Remarkable Content Regularly
Creating engaging web content on a regular basis is an essential part of content marketing best practices.  However, if you truly want to wow your customers and prospects you need to create remarkable content that will stick with them.  Examples of remarkable content include:
  • Infographics
  • Visual eBooks
  • White Papers
  • Powerpoint Presentations
  • Unique Graphics
  • Videos
11 Pipers Piping: Promote Your Content
For good content to become great it must be shared.  In order to make your content as easy to share as possible you must make sure the content is at their fingertips.  Adding social sharing buttons to your blog can make social sharing just a click away.  Remarkable content that your team creates can also be repurposed on different social networks in the form of :
  • Photo albums
  • Individual social posts
  • A series of web videos or blog posts
12 Drummers Drumming: Take Advantage of Your Network
Your online network can provide a great deal of inspiration for your content plan.  A simple yet engaging question to your Twitter or Facebook followers can provide a wealth of content that can be used for blog posts, website content, additional social posts, etc.

Facebook Halts its Ad Network Before it Ever Gets Off the Ground

Picture of a guy saying stop!
Facebook’s highly anticipated ad network has been put on the backburner, for now anyway.  The ad network, when (and if) it does get off the ground, is said to be much like that of Google’s Adsense network, and would likely generate substantial income for users.

Facebook launched a test earlier in the year that placed its own ads on the mobile apps of other developers.  According to sources, discussions that had been ongoing between Facebook and publishers regarding running ads on publishers’ mobile websites have been put on hold as well.  Ultimately, it looks like the ad network, which many marketers have been patiently waiting for, won’t be launched anytime soon.
Brandon McCormick, Facebook spokesman, said via email that “We are pausing our mobile ads test off of Facebook.”  McCormick went on to say that feedback and results had been positive, their primary focus is on scaling ads in mobile news feed.  He said that the testing had allowed them to learn a lot, and that test results will be useful to Facebook in the future.
The concern seems to be that Facebook isn’t prepared to deliver ads on external websites which are significantly valuable for either the ad network or its partner.  Considering that the ads on the Facebook site continue to command rates that are relatively low, this is thought to be one part of the equation, and a stumbling block between Facebook and potential partners.
Google and other networks have propelled their ad programs off the ground in the past by guaranteeing a certain amount of revenue to publishers regardless of how their ads perform.  However, this is a step Facebook has yet to take.  According to one publisher who has been in discussions with Facebook about running the company’s ads, Facebook has discussed the possibility of what they describe as a “generous” revenue split.
It’s been assumed for years that Facebook would someday launch an ad network similar to Google’s Adsense network, and someday they probably will – but that day isn’t today, and doesn’t seem to be on the horizon, either.  However, don’t give up hope; Facebook is currently involved in deep discussions to acquire the Atlas ad tech platform, a Microsoft product.

Social Media A-Z: A Glossary for 2013

With the 2012 marketing season soon to wind down, we are all gearing up for 2013. Here are some questions that should be on every good marketer’s mind: What are new strategies? How can we execute? What is our budget? To help you find the answers, take a look at the social media glossary below – think of it as a concise guide to refer to when you are planning out your 2013 social media marketing plan.
Attention – always pay attention to everyone in your online community. Remember, those fans and followers are real people.
Blog – no matter what field you are in, you should have a blog that reflects your brand or organization; this will build readership among other thought leaders in your field.
Community – this is what social media is all about. Social networks are simply online communities. Engagement, discussion and respect are top priority within these communities.
Delete – don’t do it! Unless there is graphic content that must be removed, do not delete what your community is saying. It negates transparency. If you host a community where profanity or hateful comments abound, then post a “house rules” disclaimer stating you will remove certain kinds of comments. This will protect you from angered fans.
Engagement – do it! Always. By actively engaging with their communities, brands build zealots and open lines of communications – this leads to great word of mouth. We all like the good chatter. It’s a great way to thank those who support your brand.
Facebook – Once the mothership, but with many other platforms such as Twitter and Pinterest gaining traction, it is not seen as the head of social networks anymore.
Google+ – I firmly believe that Google+ is essential in today’s social media marketing plan for brands. Three words, S-E-O!
Help – always be willing to lend a helping hand as a brand. Fans and followers use social to get answers, be there for them.
Instagram – one of the most popular social networks. Why? Multimedia always wins, especially filtered multimedia. Visual content is key and Instagram is an easy way to make your photos even better.  Great visuals +  branding = a social win.
Jabber – don’t unintelligibly ramble on. It’s a turn off and will make people want to leave your community. Keep it short and to the point.
Klout – Albeit a little faulted in many experts’ opinions, it still helps identify who is influential with-in defined categories. Don’t invest too much in the actual numbers though.
Listen – one of the most important practices in social media. Listen first, speak later. No one likes the person who only talks about themselves at the party, and you can gain key insights to your fan base.
Myspace – oh snap! I said it. It’s coming back. Don’t believe me? See here.
Network – what it’s all about.
Optimize – stay on top. Make sure all of your channels, sites and marketing plans are up to date and as functional as possible. Cross promote your properties as well. Make it easy for fans to find you.
Pinterest – the new business pages are here. Get crackin!
Quiet – don’t go quiet. When a brand goes away so does all of the word-of-mouth (well, at least the good kind…). Your once dedicated fans will not be happy campers. If you have gone silent then start posting again as soon as possible, no excuses, just do it!
Reach – strive to have a big reach with your brand message, but don’t sacrifice community engagement for bigger reach.
Statistics – always always always measure your data. You can’t know where you’re going if you don’t where you’ve been. We recommend spending a little here to get the full picture. There are lots of affordable tools out there. Invest in social and you will get more out of your efforts.
Twitter – many call it the most important social network. Twitter is essential. Think of it as the salsa dance of social media.
Unfollow – go through and unfollow people you do not interact with on Twitter, as well as inactive users, spammers and egg-heads. Value conversation and connections over your ‘followers’ count.
Visuals – multimedia is king. Try and include still visuals and motion picture in your content strategy. Be wary though, a video that is too long is dangerous.
Websites- where you probably invested a lot of money at one time. Although the party is no longer on your website, you should make sure it is functional, attractive and has links to all of your social platforms.
XXX – don’t incorporate inappropriate content. Graphic images and/or language is the number one way to make your community go rotten.
YouTube – can’t leave this out. Gotta have my ‘GangnamStyle‘ network!
Zealots – what every brand strives for. Your community should be filled with zealots who are passionate about your brand. Where do you think all the good word-of-mouth comes from?
Transparency – be transparent and open with your fans and followers. Allow them to be part of the brand. This builds dedication, something that helps everyone.