Archive for March, 2012
Thursday, March 22nd, 2012
Wednesday, March 21st, 2012
SXSW just wrapped up, and as we speak, MozCon is well underway; for those not in the know, MozCon is the place to be right now if you want to be rubbing elbows with the best talent in internet marketing.
We all know how great conferences can be for mixing things up and refreshing your ideas, they’re also great for networking and meeting with industry leaders. If you’re not lucky enough to be in Seattle this week, fear not, there are still many conferences lined up for the rest of the year, and they’re all around the world. So here are some top tips for making the most of conferences… Or any networking opportunity for that matter.
- Harness the power of social media and make plans to meet people before you get there; but don’t limit yourself to this group of people only. It’s nice to have a bit of background knowledge about the people you’re going to be bumping into, but be sure to use the opportunity to meet as many people as possible without being rude.
- Don’t be the guy (or gal) who walks in, litters the place with business cards, and leaves. No one looks at these business cards again; we use them to scrape chewing gum off shoes and fix wobbly tables. Don’t hand over a business card until you’ve had a real conversation and there is a mutually beneficial reason for handing one over.
- If you’re terrible with names, scribble a little reminder on the back of business cards you receive (when they’re not looking, of course). This will help jog your memory when you get back to the office and you’re looking at stack of identical business cards and trying to remember who ‘Jake’ is.
- If you want to talk to one of the speakers, play it by ear. I’ve read advice which says you should march over to them before their slot; as this way, you’ll be more memorable; this could hideously backfire if you’re marching over to a nervous or highly focussed speaker who will forever remember you as the great pre-speech distraction. Play it by ear, ask if it’s a good time, and pick up on social cues. They’re not going to flat out tell you to go away, so just be perceptive.
- If there’s a drinks mixer involved, do not, and I repeat, do not! Be that person. Have one too many drinks and that is all you’ll be remembered for. Also, remember that there are probably a lot of cameras around, people like to record these events, so just be sensible and grab an OJ.
Tuesday, March 20th, 2012
When you’re running a social media marketing campaign, it’s likely that you’ll want to measure the result of all your hard work. If you’re dedicated to pinning, tweeting, posting and liking—which can be rather time consuming—you won’t want to be spending hours looking at the analytics for each individual profile and assessing which areas need improvement.
When you log in to Twitter, in the ‘connect’ area you can see your retweets, favourites and replies; which is great, but maybe you want some more succinct and easy to measure. Likewise, in the Facebook admin panel you’ll see a whole array of interesting data; but again, this doesn’t show you the whole picture.
Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest are used in such different ways that the data provided by each isn’t comparable; a Retweet by someone with 20 Twitter followers may be less valuable to you than a Like by someone with 350 Facebook friends, but if those 20 Twitter followers each have high social impact it could sway the other way.
So, what you need is a way to compile your social media performance for one quick glance per week to stop you from obsessing over your various stats. Here’s a round up of some of the top social media measuring tools to give your ego a boost.
- Klout: combining your Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, YouTube, FourSquare, Instagram, Blogger, WordPress, Tumblr, Last FM and FlickR analytics. You’ll get one score, out of a hundred, which reflects your online ‘klout’. It also gives you access to valuable information like: your reach, the most influential people in your network, who you influence, and your Style. Your style will help you to understand if you’re creating, sharing, observing, or getting involved.
- Pinreach: Like Klout, but specifically for Pinterest (although, it probably won’t be long before Pinterest is included in Klout statistics.) This is great for assessing the monetary value of your pins, particularly if you’re trying to direct traffic to your online store. It will also tell you the reach of your pins, so you’ll know how far they’re going once they’ve been re-pinned outside of your circle of followers.
- Friend or Follow: A great way of monitoring who is following you on Twitter, and who isn’t. If you’re overly concerned with your number of followers and the number you’re following staying relatively close, then this is a great way to find out who you’re following that isn’t returning the favour.
- Crowdbooster: Similar to Klout, but with more in-depth analytics, and also, personalised recommendations for extending your reach. Although, be warned, this website is fairly new and there are still some kinks to work out. Your information may not be immediately available. When it is available, it will be worth the wait, as it can tell you anything from your most influential follower, to how many impressions your last tweet got. Great stuff!
So there you have it, a complete guide to getting obsessed with statistics. I should point out that there is a possibility that these sites will tweet or post updates on your behalf, if you don’t want your network to see you’re obsessed with stats, just read before you click, it’s usually in the small print.
What do you do to stay ahead of the curve with your social media analytics?
Monday, March 19th, 2012
Content Marketing: it’s the latest buzz word. ‘Content is king’, it’s ‘here to stay’, it’s the next ‘big thing’. In the days of all-things-digital-and-social, consumers can’t get enough of the content—apparently. Also know as branded content, content journalism, brand journalism, digital entertainment, and a whole host of other names used to distinguish one companies efforts from another. It basically amounts to the same thing: create content that your audience can’t help but share.
In a way, all advertising and marketing is content marketing. There has to be something there to get your message across. The difference now is that we live in a fast-paced and highly connected world; and we also love to share our experiences; from funny videos to great ads, we can’t help but pass things on. With all the possibilities that social media offers, the days of one-way marketing communication are over. From the precisely executed huge budget efforts, to the accidentally viral marketing gems, here’s a round up of some of the best content marketing and branded content to get your creative juices flowing.
The Sainsbury’s Tiger Bread Viral Hit
Although this wasn’t technically a planned marketing strategy, the viral outcome lead Sainsbury’s to change the name of their famous tiger loaf to ‘giraffe bread’. It reached out to so many people, young and old, and tugged at our heart strings. What can you learn from this? Don’t be afraid to be human, no matter how large the company is. While you can’t expect every little touch you add to your customer’s experience to go viral, you still have to remember that people talk, and they would much rather be telling their friends about a great experience than an awful one.
The Red Bull Music Academy
This music academy pops up around the world and offers local musicians and music enthusiasts the opportunity to collaborate and create music. It’s a great example of a huge brand giving something back. Although not everyone can be expected to execute a campaign on this scale, it’s always important to remember to give something back to the community. It’s a great way to show you care, and an excellent way to create social media buzz.
Create a video, tell a story
Cartier did a pretty impressive job of this, with this stunning ‘feature length’ ad which took three years to make, cost millions, and required three panthers. Along a similar theme, this video from David Tart explains how his industry works, and sums up his skills pretty well. It’s entertaining, it’s fun, and it makes you want to watch it through to the end, and then to share it with friends.
The challenge today is to go beyond traditional marketing and find new and exciting ways to engage with audiences. So digital media is an obvious route to this; what better way to connect with your audience than providing entertainment when they’re least expecting it?
Sunday, March 18th, 2012
Plans are currently in place to roll out Semantic Search for Google over the next few months. After some adjustments to the Google search algorithm, the search giant will begin to ‘learn’ and be capable of making associations between search terms.
So what exactly is Semantic Search?
According to Wikipedia, it’s an improvement on accuracy, but if you peruse any Internet forum or message board, they will tell you it’s a way to make search even less relevant. The theory behind this form of search lies in the way we search for particular pages on the Internet. While Semantic Search won’t make any difference to ‘Navigational’ search—where the user utilises search to find a particular page—it will, however, be beneficial to those with a ‘Research’ style. In this case, the user doesn’t know which exact page they are looking for, but instead has an idea of the kind of information they want to find when they get there.
Search engines like Bing already use Semantic search; claiming to take some of the decision making process out of the debacle of searching. But do we really want to relinquish this kind of control? And will this make it even more difficult to find accurate results for exact phrases. Sometimes you don’t want a search engine to guess what you mean, you just want it to return results containing a particular phrase.
Google has been under fire since the decision to make +1’s—a feature of their social network—an influential part of search results. Will this most recent change mark the beginning of their fall? Google got to where it is today by having few competitors, and by doing a pretty good job. But, Internet users are a fickle crowd, and it would only take a few poor search results to send people elsewhere.
How do you feel about Semantic Search?
Saturday, March 17th, 2012
Wouldn’t it be great if there was a way to compile interesting things from across several social media platforms, and then present it in a beautiful and searchable way? Well, you’re in luck, as the lovely folks at Storify have been allowing you to do this since they won the “Startup Accelerator” at South by Southwest back in 2011.
Like a Pinterest for social media communications, Storify allows you to curate and collect tweets, Facebook posts, and other social media mentions. In true Blue Peter style, here’s one a made earlier.
I see you looking at your screen like you’ve just stumbled upon the ramblings of a crazy person. “How does that relate to my social media marketing campaign?” you might be wondering…
Earlier this week I shared some of my top tips for Twinteraction, and this is essentially phase 2. Once you’re at the stage where you can push a hashtag, get oodles of user responses to your tweets, or you’re hosting an event with a strong social media presence—storify will be there to help you curate and share these precious memories.
Twitter is great for right-here-right-now updates, but blink and you’ll miss a large chunk of the conversation. Storify lets you pull content from: Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, FlickR, FourSquare, Instagram, GetGlue, Tumblr, StockTwits, Google, Disqus, Chute, Breaking News, SoundCloud and RSS Feeds. Or, you can embed your own URL; a link to your website, for example.
So here are some top tips for keeping everyone up to date in a fun and quirky way:
- You can search for either a specific term, or a #hashtag, across all the social media sites, once you’ve found something you want to use, just drag it across to your story. You can add annotations too, if there’s a change in topic for example, or if you’re sorting it by positive/ negative responses to your subject.
- If you’re running a live debate or Q&A session you can easily curate the responses by encouraging everyone to use a specific hashtag.
- If you’re hosting an event, encourage guests to use hashtags in tweets, Facebook updates, images on instagram and Tumblr, and on their blog posts. Consider setting up a projector, and live curate responses to the event. This will allow you to moderate the comments, which is a safer option that displaying a live #hashtag feed.
- Compile stories which create a snapshot update of a day, week, month, or even year in your industry.
- It’s also a good way of keeping track of public perception of your company, or your competitors; while you may not want to publish these, it’s useful to know what people are saying about you.
- You could even get even more creative and compile a storify of impressive storifies… I’ll give you a minute to let that one sink in. This is the perfect way to flesh out a blog when you’re feeling lazy, I mean busy!
And then of course, share them! Anyone acquainted with Storify already? Share your Stories below.
Friday, March 16th, 2012
Breaking News this week—I got another dog! He’s a terrier mutt from the rescue centre; his name is Kiko, and he is awesome.
And on to the SMM and SEO news, which is probably what you expected to find here! SXSW was in full swing this week, and the internet was awash with news, product updates, hands on demos, and start-up buzz.
Not entirely recent, but here’s an interesting press release about updates to Google image search.
Infographic about Social Media at SXSW
Reminiscent of the mobile patent wars, Yahoo is seeking legal action towards Facebook for alleged patent infringement. Facebook isn’t the only one in trouble, as the patents in question affect most social networking sites.
If you’ve ever wondered what goes on at Google, this 8 minute video gives you an insight into the kind of effort that goes into making Google search wonderful.
Great article from Search Engine Watch about where in-house SEO should live; IT or Marketing?
Why should you care about Klout? Great article from GigaOm
How to: Track traffic from Pinterest using Analytics
A touch of SEO chemistry: how to craft the perfect press release as part of your SEO potion
Kony2012 went utterly viral this week, promting people to ask if this form of ‘slacktivism’ really promotes change.
Thursday, March 15th, 2012
Unless you’ve been hiding out under a rock for this past week, you must have seen something about the Yahoo/ Facebook debacle. Just to bring you up to speed, Yahoo is suing Facebook over alleged patent infringement. The short of it is: Yahoo patented social networking. Yes. You read that correctly, as ridiculous as it sounds. Trust me, it feels silly just writing it.
The reaction across tech blogs and social networking sites couldn’t be less divided. We’ve sided with Facebook, and everyone is looking at Yahoo with a mixture of pity and, in some cases, contempt. Randi Zuckerberg, ex marketing director of Facebook, and Mark Zuckerberg’s big sis broadcast this particularly venomous tweet via her personal account: “This Yahoo stuff feels to me like the business equivalent of when celebs do “Dancing With The Stars” in a last-ditch effort to save a career.”
She later commented that she wanted to take this tweet back, since Dancing with the Stars is at least a good form of entertainment. (This tweet has since been removed, so I can’t be sure of the exact wording.)
Facebook is accused of infringing 10 patents held by Yahoo. Speculation seems to be that Yahoo is vying for an out of court settlement, which is perfect timing, since Facebook has a whopping pile on money lying around following the IPO.
What makes this case more interesting is that Facebook is not the only social networking site guilty of patent infringement. As reported by TechCrunch, other sites could be equally at risk of being Yahoo’s next victim.
Is this just a case of Yahoo refusing to go down without a fight? And will this mark the end of the company?
Wednesday, March 14th, 2012
Following on from the Pinterest dilemma, which shows no signs of being resolved any time soon, we have to ask: does the Internet need a standardised code to ensure credit is given where credit is due? If the code was universally recognised and widely used, then finding the original source of shared content would be a cinch.
With blogging, micro-blogging, content sharing and content curation being the current “big thing” in internet trends, BrainPickings.com founder Maria Popova has proposed we use icons to clearly show where we found the content we’re sharing and curating.
The two symbols ᔥ and ↬ represent a ‘via’ and a ‘hat tip’, both of which are widely established terms used by bloggers and internet folk alike.
A via link shows that you found the content directly, so this would be used if you post an image on your blog, or use a quote from a press release.
The hat tip symbol would be utilised to demonstrate an indirect link, where the content you are sharing is derivative of an original source. So if you used a blog post as the starting off point for your own post, you would attribute it with a hat tip.
Again, I reiterate that these are already established and widely used terms within the blogging community. So, why does Popova assert that we need to use the symbols?
In reality, Popova is just highlighting that more needs to be done to ensure content is correctly and fairly attributed; the symbols and the fancy website are just placeholders for this message.
In a blog post she writes:
“The Curator’s Code is an effort to keep this whimsical rabbit hole open by honoring discovery through an actionable code of ethics — first, understanding why attribution matters, and then, implementing it across the web in a codified common standard, doing for attribution of discovery what Creative Commons has done for image attribution.” ᔥ
The suggestion that we need such a code has angered some, with Mashable’s Christina Warren tweeting:
“The Curator’s Code is the most idiotic, histrionic and self-serving pseudo ideal I’ve seen in a long time.”
“And for the record, I via like a mofo, I don’t need some lamea** symbol.”
Her discontent is understandable; the suggestion that we need a Curator’s Code is the equivalent of accusing bloggers of not being fair in content crediting.
So, fellow bloggers, are you doing your bit to keep your content fairly attributed? And how do you feel about being told you should be using a specific symbol to make sure you’re doing it right?
Tuesday, March 13th, 2012
As the competition for jobs is more fierce than ever, it pays to take those extra steps to stand out in a crowd of applicants. Here’s a quick look at creative CV websites and some tips for creating your own.
Call me an insufferable snob, but since when have sharp web design and a high page rank been mutually exclusive terms? A few weeks ago, I wrote about the potential for helping yourself to stand out as a SEO specialist by creating your own website to house your CV. The idea is that you would then use you SEO pixie dust to get your site up in the page rank and explicitly demonstrate that you can, indeed, do what you claim in your CV.
I embarked on a quest to find some great examples of this by using some choice keyword searches:
“SEO CV Website” “cv websites SEO” “cv websites SEM”
I even Americanised it and tried “SEO resume website”
Before I pass judgement on what I found, can I just give a bit of background, and then hopefully you’ll forgive everything I write.
I’m a typography nut, I like sleek design, white space is my friend, I’m also a neat freak, and borderline obsessed with colour swatches. So back to my original question: why can’t good CV website design and a high page rank exist alongside each other? Everything I found—although very informative—was just so dull. (I’m sorry I’m so judgey)
While I have to commend the owners of the pages with a high page rank; you’ve proven your point that you are an SEO whizz kid, but why not add a little excitement and interest to the design?
I’m a firm believer that creative CV’s are not the exclusive property of graphic designers; take this for example, a CV printed on fabric to highlight the applicants love of sewing. It’s a small, memorable touch.
Copyright All rights reserved by mwashin
Hagan Blount, a New York-based social media strategist, is incredibly creative in his approach to finding employment. While I’m not suggesting that you don a sandwich board and start pounding the pavements offering your SEO services in exchange for food, a quick look at his website will give you some great inspiration.
- If you aren’t a graphic designer, consider hiring one. Or team up with a graphic designer friend—he or she makes your CV and website beautiful, and you help optimise his or her portfolio. This is great interview fodder for both parties.
- Include a QR code on your business card which links to your website; just be sure your site is optimised for mobile.
- Utilise social media to really drive your message to the right people; but be careful about mixing personal with professional accounts. You don’t want to encourage potential employers to check out your photos from your last night out.
- Don’t go overboard on the design front; you still need to make sure you content is top notch. It’s a CV site, so the same information should be there as you would expect to find on a paper CV, you just have the flexibility of making it interactive and engaging.
Share your creative CV links below; we always love to find interesting new approaches to job hunting.
Another interesting Infographic from Appmarket.tv, showing how video marketing is rapidly growing in popularity. Follow Bigfoot Digital On YouTube!