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7 Ways to Revive a Dead (or Dying) Social Presence

March 29, 2014

PrintIs your company still not active on social media?

Did your company get started on a social media site such as Facebook or Twitter, but become discouraged because no one followed your company – or “liked” its posts?

Do you have competitors who have an active social media presence – but no idea how to get your company there?

If so, you already know how overwhelming social media – and finding people to connect and engage with – can be. But, what you don’t know is that there are a few basic steps you can take to revive a languishing social presence. Here are 7 things you can do to bring your social profiles back to life.

#1: Invite People You Know to the Party
To build an audience on social media, start with people who already know and love you in real life – your company’s employees, customers and vendors! Create a short email inviting these folks to “like” you on Facebook (or whatever social network you have a presence on), including a few benefits of liking your page. You can also provide a post that your employees can use on their personal social networking profiles to invite their associates to “like” your company’s page.

#2: Find Your Peeps (and Tweeps)
If your company has a solid list of email contacts, this is a very valuable asset for social networking too! Uploading a CSV file of your contacts to Facebook – or importing your email contacts to social networks such as LinkedIn, Twitter or Pinterest – is an easy way to see which of your customers and prospects are already active on that social network. Once you’ve found your contacts on a social media network, simply “like” or “follow” them – and they will probably return the favor.

#3: Advertise to Build Audience Faster
You can also use your email list to build a fan base more rapidly by running paid ads to promote your social media presence. On Facebook, you can use Custom Audiences to target ads to everyone on your email list who has not “liked” your business page yet. Since these folks already like your company, they are highly likely to “like” its Facebook page too!

#4: Promote Your Social Presence Everywhere
For your presence to grow, you also need to promote it outside of social media. So, be sure to add a link to all of your company’s social networks on your website and in every printed and online marketing communication that you use, including your business cards. And don’t forget email! Add links to all of your social networks in your email signature, any promotional emails your company sends out and your monthly enewsletter.

#5: Post Content that Is Interesting to Others
Most dead (or dying) social media profiles have one thing in common – an endless stream of posts promoting their company and products. Remember, social media is supposed to be social! Take the time to create an editorial calendar that will ensure your company has a plan to post a variety of content that will be of interest to your customers and prospects, including curating content created by others that is of interest to your audience.

#6: Network with Other Pages
If your page doesn’t have any engagement, networking with other business pages can help you get started. For example, use Facebook as your business page and participate in status updates posted by other pages (such as liking or sharing posts by partners, suppliers and trade magazines in your industry).

#7: Leverage Your Most Powerful Social Network
If your company is having more success on one social network, you can leverage this to help build your presence on other sites. For example, if you have a large following on LinkedIn, you can post Company updates asking your followers to “like” you on Facebook too. In fact, Boomm has a much larger following on Twitter than other social networks, and we’ve had great success using Direct Messages (sent in real-time, not automated) to ask new followers to “like” us on Facebook.

Using the seven steps listed above, you should be able to quickly attract a few hundred fans to give your business a respectable social media presence. Then, you can begin sharing relevant, valuable content with your new followers to help build brand awareness and establish your company as a thought leader in its industry.


5 Free SEO Tools to Help You Analyze the Competition

March 2, 2014

In recent years, many marketers have come to the sad realization that the effectiveness of marketing tactics such as print ads and trade shows is fading fast. Rather than paying for pricey print ads that their customers will probably never see, many marketers have begun moving their promotions online to generate new sales leads.

According to a 2013 study by the Business Marketing Association and Omobono, digital marketing now accounts for 42% of B2B marketing expenditures. But, digital marketing success requires more than an attractive website. You also have to make sure that customers and prospects can find your company online. That’s where search engine optimization (SEO) comes in.

If you’re just getting started with SEO, the task can seem daunting. From finding the right keywords to locating legitimate inbound linking opportunities (that Google won’t penalize your website for), SEO can be extremely time-consuming if you don’t know how to go about it. Luckily, there are some fantastic competitive analysis tools that you can use to reverse engineer the websites of other companies in your industry – and jump-start your SEO efforts.

Marketing Grader
If you’re not sure how to begin your competitive analysis, the HubSpot Marketing Grader is a real fine place to start. This free tool will analyze your website and provide actionable insights that you can use to improve your digital marketing. You can also enter the URLs of your company’s main competitors – and receive the same data about their websites! In addition, Marketing Grader assigns each website an overall “grade” (on a scale of 1-100), which is based on a combination of factors, including SEO, blogging, social media, lead generation, and mobile.

Tag Crowd
Whether you’re brand new to SEO – or an old pro – a picture truly can be worth a thousand words. Especially when it is a picture of the most frequently used keywords on your competitor’s web site! If you would like to see which keywords a competitor is using – and how often they use them – Tag Crowd can help. Simply input any URL, and Tag Crowd will generate a word cloud of the keywords that the site contains. Here’s what the word cloud for looks like:

Competitive analysis tools

The size of each word in the cloud indicates keyword density (i.e., the bigger the word, the more often it is being used on the website).

Alexa offers you a way to go beyond keywords to reverse engineer your competition. Simply enter the URL of any website and Alexa will provide a variety of traffic information and site statics, including:

  • The website’s global and U.S. traffic ranking
  • Analytic data, including the website’s bounce rate, page views per visitor and average time on site
  • Audience demographics, including gender, education and browsing location
  • Visits due to search engines, including 5 of the top keywords that bring visitors to the website

If you want to dig deeper into your competitor’s keywords, be sure to give KeywordSpy a try. Simply enter your competitor’s URL, and this tool will give you a list of the organic keywords that their website is currently ranked for in Google – as well as any pay-per-click keywords they have used and the text of PPC ads they’ve run recently. While KeywordSpy does provide some information for free, if you’re really serious about SEO it’s well worth the monthly fee to gain full access to all of your competitor’s keywords.

Open Site Explorer
While keywords are a big part of SEO, the recent Google Hummingbird algorithm update has made off-page SEO more important than ever. Off-page SEO refers to your site’s overall “authority” on the web, which is determined by what other websites say about – and how often they link to – your website. You can use Open Site Explorer to see the domain authority and inbound links of any website. Best of all, if you enter your competitors’ URLs, this site will provide a list of the inbound links to their website (including URLs). You can use this information to request links from the same websites – or similar organizations.

Twitter 101: How to Interact with Other Users to Promote Your Company

September 15, 2013

Social networks like Twitter make it easier than ever to connect with customers and prospects. Once you have launched your Twitter presence, begun posting interesting status updates and started networking with other Twitter users, the final step in your Twitter strategy is communicating with other users who are publicly promoting your company – or sending you private direct messages.

Communicating with Other Users

Using Twitter to promote your company and its products – and get readers to visit your company’s website – is the basis of all communication on Twitter. But there are other ways that you can use your Twitter account to communicate – and connect – with other users. Three of the most powerful tools available to you are Lists, Favorites and Direct Messages.

Create Lists and Favorites

Creating Twitter lists is a great way for your company to connect with and organize other users. If you’re doing really well on Twitter, other users will list your company too! To see who has listed you, click the Lists tab on your Twitter profile. You’ll see two options at the top: Subscribed to and Member of.

  • Subscribed to shows other users’ lists that you’ve subscribed to and lists that you’ve created.
  • Member of shows lists that other users have created that include your company.

To create a new list, click the Create List button. For example, Boomm Marketing & Communications has created lists of helpful B2B marketing resources as well as our connections from other social networks, our clients and our competitors (which we’ve marked “Private” so that only we can see the list members – and they are not aware that we’ve listed them).

Another helpful part of your Twitter profile is the Favorites tab. You can use this feature to highlight compliments and recommendations that others tweet about your company, which will serve as testimonials.

Use Direct Messages Wisely

Also be sure to check your Direct Messages (DMs) when you log in to Twitter (you can access these by clicking the email icon below your company’s bio). While 99 percent of these messages are spam or advertisements that you do not need to reply to, you will occasionally get a direct message from someone who is truly trying to communicate with your company.

NEVER click a hyperlink in a DM, even if it is from someone you know. Many DMs are attempts to hack your account, which are often from someone you know after their account has been hacked. Hackers send intriguing messages that make you want to click (see the first message below), and then send you to a login page that “looks” like Twitter; however, if you enter your login credentials they will take over your Twitter account.

B-to-B Twitter

While DMs can be troublesome, they also allow you to communicate with other Twitter users privately. This can be especially helpful when another user is complaining about your company. If you read or receive a complaint on Twitter, simply send a tweet to respond publicly in a helpful manner and let them know that you hear them and have sent their message to the appropriate area at your company. Then, take the conversation offline using the Direct Message feature. This gives you a private way to provide an email address that the person can use to contact someone at your company directly.

Twitter 101: How to Network Effectively with Other Users

September 7, 2013

Using the first two blog posts in our Twitter series, you should have already created a Twitter profile for your company and begun posting interesting tweets. Now, you need to begin building an audience for your company on Twitter.

Connecting with Other Users on Twitter

Being “social” is the key to social media success. So, it’s important to be as polite and responsive to people on Twitter as you are in all other aspects of your business.

To see who is talking about – or trying to interact with – your company, click the @ Connect link near the upper left corner of your Twitter profile. This will display a list of all tweets that include your Twitter handle. Once your Twitter account is established, you’ll see several types of tweets on this page:

  • Re-tweets: Other Twitter users who have re-tweeted one of your posts.
  • Mentions: Tweets that mention your company.
  • @Mentions: Other Twitter users who are talking to your company.
  • Favorites: Other Twitter users who added one of your tweets to their Favorites.
  • New Followers: Twitter users who recently followed your company.
  • Lists: The name of a list that another Twitter user has added your company to.

When people are talking to – or about – your company, be sure to acknowledge them as you would in real life. Be thankful to those who are promoting your company. Reply quickly to those who asking questions or complaining. And be “social” by sharing information posted by others that your audience might be interested in.

To reply to another user, simply click the Reply icon underneath their tweet about your company. You can also compose a new tweet to them by typing @ followed by their Twitter username in a tweet dialog box (i.e., @BoommMktg).

B-to-B Twitter

Add Hashtags to Your Tweets

To help other users find your company on Twitter, you’ll also want to include a Hashtag in your tweets. Hashtags make it easy for other Twitter users who are interested in your company or industry to find your tweets.

Hashtags consist of a # followed by a popular term. For example, since Boomm Marketing & Communications often tweets about social media, we add the hashtag #socialmedia to our tweets.

If you are not sure which Hashtags are prevalent in your industry, check out tweets by thought leaders and competitors. You can also use Hastags such as #FollowFriday to build relationships with others or trending Hashtags that you see on your Twitter home page to newsjack top stories (such as #SuperBowl).

Twitter also offers some more advanced ways to interact with other users. We will talk more about this in next week’s blog post on using lists, favorites and direct messages.

Twitter 101: How to Engage Your Followers with Interesting Status Updates

September 3, 2013

In last week’s blog post, we showed you how to create a branded Twitter profile for your company. This week, we’re going to explain how you can build engagement on Twitter by posting interesting status updates.

The Importance Creating Engagement on Twitter
To create an audience who will see – and hopefully share – the information your company posts on Twitter, you will need to find other users to “follow.” To start engaging with other users, look for thought leaders in your industry and follow them. If you’re not sure who to follow, use Technorati to find thought leaders and begin building relationships with them. (This is also a good way to get content creation ideas for your company.)

You can also use Twitter search to find topics that are important to your company. When you do a search, check out some of the profiles that come up in your results. If you find some interesting folks, click their Follow button to see their updates in your Twitter feed (many of them may follow you back).

After you’ve started following other users, be sure to check your Followers tab to see who has followed you – and be sure to follow them too (i.e., you don’t want to upset a potential customer by not following them back). However, there are two exceptions to this rule: Your company’s competitors and users with offensive avatars/content.

How to Send Your First Tweet
On Twitter, your company will communicate in 140-character messages called “tweets.” Of course, you’ll want to use your Twitter account to promote your company and its products – and link to your company’s website, blog posts and landing pages. But, due to the 140-character limit, you’ll need to use “shortcuts” such as to shorten URLs and brackets to describe the content, such as [Blog Post], [Video], etc.

To post a tweet, click the “Compose New Tweet” icon in near the upper right corner of your Twitter profile and type the text you want to share. You can also include a photo in your tweets by clicking the Camera icon in the lower left corner of the tweet dialog box.

Most importantly, never forget that Twitter is a social network. Be sure to post or re-tweet (RT) content created by others that would be helpful to your audience (such as blog posts and news articles). You can also ask others to share your tweets by adding “Please Re-tweet” or “Please RT” to your tweets, which can be amazingly effective.

B-to-B TwitterNow that you’ve sent your first tweet, you’ll need to communicate with other Twitter users who respond to it. We will talk more about this in our next blog post on connecting with other users.