Top 10 Social Media Blogs

Are you looking for some good social media blogs to read? Look no further!

Our fifth-annual social media blog contest generated over 600 nominations.

Our panel of social media experts carefully reviewed the nominees and finalists. Each of the social media blogs were analyzed based on a number of factors, including content quality, post frequency and reader involvement.

With that in mind, here are 10 social media blogs to put at the top of your reading list.

#1: Jon Loomer

Jon Loomer consistently delivers long-form articles, videos and detailed educational content that share an impressive depth of Facebook marketing knowledge.

jon loomer blog

Jon Loomer’s blog is enthusiastic, helpful, detailed and well-illustrated.

#2: RazorSocial

RazorSocial explores social media tools and technology with well-illustrated, detailed posts written by Ian Cleary.

razor social blog

RazorSocial’s useful content is delivered with no-nonsense, practical, actionable, step-by-step instructions.

#3: Socialmouths

Socialmouths, authored by Francisco Rosales, gives readers down-to-earth social media advice that can be applied to practical and tactical uses.

socialmouths blog

Socialmouths publishes how-to articles with examples and case studies.

#4: Post Planner

Post Planner provides a witty yet intelligent and actionable collection of easily consumable Facebook marketing posts.

post planner blog

Post Planner’s well-formatted and easy-to-read posts include useful examples and images.

#5: Dustn.tv

Dustn.tv‘s Dustin W. Stout shows readers how to become better social media storytellers.

dustn.tv blog

Dustn.tv shares excellent case studies and how-to articles.

#6: Danny Brown

Danny Brown publishes timely, informative and in-depth marketing advice and SlideShare decks.

danny brown blog

Danny Brown’s easy-to-read blog posts are smart and thoroughly cited with third-party links.

#7: Boom Social

On Boom Social, Kim Garst provides conversational posts, advice and case studies on social media marketing.

boom social blog

The content on Boom Social is easy to read and speaks directly to the reader.

#8: Jenn’s Trends

Jenn’s Trends is where Jenn Herman uses simple, concise language to deliver personal perspectives on social media trends.

jenns trends blog

Jenn’s Trends has an engaging style that is easy to digest.

#9: Top Dog Social Media

Top Dog Social Media, the blogging home of Melonie Dodaro, focuses on what’s happening in social media.

top dog social media blog

Top Dog Social Media publishes tips in Q&A format and a mix of personal and professional posts.

#10: Simply Measured

Simply Measured focuses on trends and measurement in the social media space.

simply measured blog

The content on Simply Measured benefits any social media marketer.

Source –  Top 10 Social Media Blogs

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How to Use Visual Content for Real-Time Engagement

Is visual content part of your social media strategy?

Is your content flexible enough to engage fans in real time?

Your audience is never more primed to share content than when they’re “in the moment” at an event, on location or while experiencing your brand.

In this article I’ll show you four ways you can use visual content to motivate real-time interaction.

Why Real-Time Interaction

If you want fans to take an action (e.g., share an image, post a picture or enter a contest), you need to tap into the moments when they’re most likely to do it. And those moments are usually during an event, not after.

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People aren’t likely to share when the excitement is over and they’re back home on their computer faced with more deadlines and too much content to sift through.

Here are four ways you can tap into real-time experiences to engage your audience with visual content and encourage them to take action.

#1: Make It Easy to Shoot and Share

Do you have a physical place of business? There’s no better time to ask someone to share visual content about you than when they’re on location experiencing your brand.

The 1888 Hotel in Sydney has been dubbed the “World’s First Instagram Hotel” because the staff actively encourages guests to document their stay in real time via Instagram.

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A fitting title for a hotel named 1888—the same year Kodak’s Box Roll camera was released to the market.

The hotel uses everything at their disposal to motivate people to share as much visual content as possible. They have a custom hash tag, a fun place for selfies, iMacs with featured photos, photo walks and Wi-Fi and iPads in every room for frictionless sharing.

As soon as guests arrive at the hotel, they can start their visit by taking a fun selfie. 1888 Hotel features a selfie space with classic picture frames ready for Instagram action.

Guests at 1888 Hotel can’t resist the selfie corner and love getting creative with hash tags.

The hotel encourages guests to tag their photos with #1888hotel so they can see their photos streamed live to two iMac computers in the lobby, as well as on the hotel’s website.

The hotel encourages even more participation by choosing a photo of the month and rewarding the photographer with a free night’s stay.

Guests love seeing their images showcased on the two iMacs in the lobby.

But why stop at hotel selfies? 1888 Hotel worked with local bloggers to develop an Insta-walk that showcases the most “Instagrammable” locations in the local Pyrmont and Darling Harbour area. Guests are encouraged to take the walk during their stay and share images to Instagram (with the hotel’s #1888hotel hashtag, of course).

Got some time before your room is ready? Take a stroll with Instagram!

The Insta-walk is a brilliant idea because guests don’t just use the hotel hashtag in their photo captions, they also use other popular Australian travel hashtags, resulting in further exposure for the hotel.

Wi-Fi is paramount to frictionless sharing, so the 1888 Hotel provides free Wi-Fi in the lobby and guestrooms. But they take it one step further than most businesses: They provide access to an iPad in every room, complete with social sharing functionality, ready to go.

Take every opportunity to make it easy for your audience to share in real time.

General Manager Andrew Adams-Smith believes real-time marketing is a big part of 1888 Hotel’s success since opening in 2013. “Instagram is integrated into our whole culture. All of our staff members have Instagram accounts and anyone can reply to posts.”

1888 hotel doesn’t do any advertising, relying solely on social media and earned media (free PR). As such, 1888 Hotel is a great example of the power of real-time visual content.

#2: Ask for Contributions

If your business is completely online, you can still ask fans to share visual content about where they are and what they’re doing at a particular moment. For example, podcasts are entirely audio, but with a little creativity, hosts can incorporate visual content in fun ways.

You’re most likely familiar with Mike Stelzner’s Social Media Marketing Podcast if you follow this blog. Recently Mike ran a contest to win a copy of his book Launch and 30 minutes of “ask me anything” Skype time with him.

Mike announced the contest during the podcast and asked his listeners to take a picture of where they were when they listened to the show and share it in the comments. The result? Almost 400 comments and counting. Approximately 100 of those comments were photos from around the world like this one:

Even if your business is digital only, you can motivate fans to share pictures.

Sometimes asking your fans to share is all it takes to get a new kind of interaction and draw attention to your business. Make sure you ask everyone to use a specific hashtag so you can track the engagement and respond in real time.

#3: Expect the Unexpected

It’s hard to plan memorable moments. They just happen. Be ready to respond quickly to unexpected events because your timing is part of creating awesome content that fans want to share while the event is still happening.

Remember the famous 2013 Oreo Tweet? Ad agency 360i took just 5 minutes to conceptualize, design and caption the image that was tweeted worldwide just 10 minutes after the power went out at the Super Bowl.

Oreo set the bar for rapid response with visual content—the tweet was a hit and the online chatter continued overnight.

Being a first responder with visual content can massively increase your chances of engagement. Fans look to join in on the conversation as it happens.

#4: Plan Ahead

Prepare to lead or join conversations that are popular with your community by planning targeted content ahead of events.

Dunkin’ Donuts does this extremely well—so well, in fact, they’re often referred to as the brand that hijacks events with content, whether it’s the World Cup or the Grammy Awards.

By planning ahead, Dunkin’ Donuts is able to join in on (or initiate) popular conversations:

The good news is that any business, no matter how small, can identify the events customers are most interested in and then post about them.

Casey Lightbody, a marketing consultant from Brisbane, has a target market of international women for her Empowered Women network. She released this image on Facebook early in the morning on International Women’s Day:

Plan ahead! Make and share an engaging image related to a current event.

Even though hers is a relatively new business page, Casey was able to achieve a significant number of shares.

Source –  How to Use Visual Content for Real-Time Engagement

 

SEOlympics: Best Marketing Blogs of the US East

It’s only fitting we return home to the USA for this month’s edition of SEJ’ SEOlympics – it is the month we celebrate our independence and all. However, we’ve opted to break the list up into regions – starting with blogs located on the East Coast. This way we won’t leave out any of the phenomenal marketer blogs in America.

But, before we get into the list, here’s some interesting stats surrounding content marketing in North America.

Based on research conducted from the Content Marketing Institute, 9 out of 10 marketers were using content marketing in 2013. Marketers also increased the number of marketing tactics they used from 8 to 12. Furthermore, the use of social media for content marketing jumped from 74% to 84%. Finally, marketers increased their content marketing budgets from 26% to 33%.

There is clearly a lot going on in the USA marketing world.

Don’t be surprised if more marketers in the United States jump on the content marketing bandwagon during the remainder of 2014.

To help you along your journey, here are 10 spectacular marketer blogs based out of  the Eastern U.S. put together using subjective criteria like voice, content strategy, and quality.

If we forget to include a blog that you feel is worthy of this list please feel free to add your suggestion in the comment section below.

Finally, the following list is in no particular order. Enjoy.

map SEOlympics: Best Marketing Blogs of the US East

Seth Godin probably doesn’t need an introduction. But just in case you’re not familiar with this best-selling author, here’s a brief bio.

Godin was in Mt. Vernon, New York. He graduated from Tufts University and later earned a MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. In 1986, he launched his first business Seth Godin Publications from a New York City studio apartment. Over the years, Mr. Godin has founded, or co-founded, Yoyodyne and Squidoo, was Yahoo’s vice president of direct marketing, authored 20 books, developed the idea of “permission marketing,”and hosts the podcast the Startup School on Earwolf.

And there’s also his blog.

Seth’s Blog is one of the most influential blogs for marketers. He keeps things short and gets right to the point. Besides teaching you a lot about marketing, Seth’s Blog can show you how to blog effectively everyday.

SEER Interactive

2014 07 02 20 25 55 SEO SEM Analytics Insights   SEER Interactive 1024x721 SEOlympics: Best Marketing Blogs of the US East

SEER Interactive was founded in Philly back in 2002 by Wil Reynolds. Originally, SEER was just one a man operation that focused on search. Over time, SEER Interactive has built a team of talented and innovative people who have experience in search marketing, SEO, and analytics. However, what makes this agency unique is the team uses analytics to help companies land those important leads.

The SEER Interactive blog posts informative posts everyday of the week focusing on everything from creating engaging content to improving PPC performance. One example of an awesome recent post is “Launching An Infographic: 7 Steps To Success.”

While not directly related to the posts featured on the blog, we really enjoy the fact the profile picture of every team member is from their childhood. It’s a fun little feature that proves why SEER Interactive was named the Top Workplace by Philly.com.

Chris Brogan

2014 07 02 20 28 19 chrisbrogan.com %E2%80%94 Building the Digital Channel Beyond Social Media 1024x695 SEOlympics: Best Marketing Blogs of the US East

Boston resident Chris Brogan has become a respected journalist, marketing consultant, and speaker on all things social media marketing. He’s also a best-selling author. His 2009 book Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation, and Earn Trust was a New York Times bestseller. Mr. Brogan also founded PodCamp and Kitchen Table Companies. He’s president of Human Business Works and also serves on the board of advisors of HubSpot.

Mr. Brogan also happens to run a popular blog, which was once included in the Top 5 of the Advertising Age Power150.

What we really like about this blog is that Chris asks: “What do you SEEK from me? Not what I’m selling. What do you SEEK? What are you hoping to glean? When you come here, you say, “If I read X, I’ll be able to do something in my world HERE (where?).”

That’s a refreshing approach for a blog designed to help your business grow.

Internet Marketing Ninjas

2014 07 02 20 30 13 The latest SEO Industry news notes and chat. SEOlympics: Best Marketing Blogs of the US East

We doesn’t enjoy a story about a company launched in a basement? That’s what happened when Jim Boykin founded We Build Pages in 1999. Over the last decade, the name was changed to Internet Marketing Ninjas, and today their team of 100 employees works out of its office in Clifton Park, New York. Notable employees include the incredible Community and Brand Manager Ann Smarty.

The Ninja Army, however, is what makes this blog stand out. The team has experience in a number of fields ranging from sales, customer service, content writers, design, social media, and even an IT team. In short, the Internet Marketing Ninjas blog is a one-stop destination for all your marketing needs.

Chief Marketing Technologist Blog

2014 07 02 20 30 38 Chief Marketing Technologist Marketing Technology Management SEOlympics: Best Marketing Blogs of the US East

Prior to launching this blog in 2008, Scott Brinker earned a BS in computer science from Columbia University, as well a MBA from MIT and an master’s degree in computer science from Harvard University. Throughout his career, Mr. Brinker has developed apps for CBS Sportsline, Tribune, the Miami Dolphins, and Fujitsu, founded a web development agency, and co-founded ion Interactive, a software company that tests post-click experiences.

The Chief Marketing Technologist Blog focuses mainly on posts, webinars, and videos in marketing data, management, tactics, and software. One of the most popular, and interesting, posts was the discussion on how “Strategy, marketing, and technology are all intertwined.”

Heidi Cohen – Actionable Marketing Guide

2014 07 02 20 33 58 Heidi Cohen Actionable Marketing Guide SEOlympics: Best Marketing Blogs of the US East

Heidi Cohen’s Actionable Marketing Guide has been included in Social Media Examiner’s “Top 10 Social Media Blog” for two consecutive years (2012, 2013). And there’s a really good reason for that; Cohen uses her past marketing experience to explain and breakdown all of the latest marketing trends.

This blog does an excellent job of discussing topics related to social media marketing, mobile marketing, and content marketing. And don’t worry if you’re a newcomer to online marketing. Heidi also posts articles that provide insight on the basics of marketing and ideas on blog posts.

When she’s not busy on her blog, this New York City resident is also a professor, journalist, and speaker.

Convince and Convert

2014 07 02 20 35 53 Blog   Convince and Convert  Social Media Strategy and Content Marketing Strateg 1024x772 SEOlympics: Best Marketing Blogs of the US East

Jay Baer has rather impressive resume. Since 1994 he has consulted over 700 brands including power house brands like Nike and Caterpillar. In 2008 he launched his fifth marketing firm Convince and Convert. The blog has since become a favorite and trusted source in the industry. In fact, it was ranked as the worlds #1 content marketing resource by the Content Marketing Institute.

Besides Baer (who happens to live in Bloomington, Indiana) the Convince and Convert blog also features posts from the talented 8-person team, along with the occasional guest blog. You can expect everything from how to gain brand advocates to using social media to create personal connections to how to run a SMS campaign.

B2B Marketing Insider

2014 07 02 20 38 39 Michael Brenner on B2B Marketing and Social Business   B2B Marketing Insider SEOlympics: Best Marketing Blogs of the US East

West Chester, Pennsylvania, resident Michael Brenner has been involved with leadership, marketing, and sales for over 20 years – including positions at SAP as VP of Global Marketing and Content Strategy and Head of Digital Marketing for SAP Americas. He also founded the social news site Business 2 Community and the thought-leadership blog Business Innovation.

The B2B Marketing Insider blog features posts surrounding content marketing, strategy, social media, demand generation, mobile, and search marketing. The blog is used to discuss the latest ideas, topics and strategies that can help businesses improve sales, leads and customer loyalty.

Annielytics

2014 07 02 20 40 49 Annie Cushings Blog Covering Analytics SEO and Data Visualization SEOlympics: Best Marketing Blogs of the US East

Annie Cushing clearly loves analytics – it’s in the blog name, after all. But what can you do with analytics? Cushing uses analytics to improve sales and social media campaigns by providing easy to understand blog posts that are short and sweet.

This Cherry Hill, New Jersey, resident posts frequent articles full of useful tips, tricks, and strategies you can use to gather and visualize data, especially with Google Analytics and Excel. You may not think analytics is a big deal, or even interesting, but this blog will prove otherwise.

MarketingSherpa

2014 07 02 20 42 03 MarketingSherpa Blog SEOlympics: Best Marketing Blogs of the US East

Based out of Jacksonville, Florida, Marketing Sherpa is a unique marketing blog. It provides surveys, case studies and data that can be used for all of your marketing campaigns. The blog also hosts lots of informative videos, as well as topics that range from LinkedIn to email marketing.

Source – Best Marketing Blogs of the US East

3 Mindset Shifts: Get More SEO Out Of Your Content Marketing

Google is constantly working to provide users with a better experience, and marketers are constantly trying to adapt to these changes. Content-based SEO creates a compelling blend of authentic content and search engine eye-candy, but it also necessitates mastering both worlds (content marketing and SEO) instead of trying to rely on just one.

And Google is continuing to push the SEO community in that direction. Content marketing has been gaining acceptance as an SEO practice ever since Panda was rolled out — and with the release of Hummingbird, some content marketers have now become better at SEO than the long-time SEO practitioners that haven’t stayed ahead of these changes.

Whether you call yourself an SEO, a content marketer, or something in between, here are three key paradigm shifts you will need to understand in order get the most SEO out of your content.

Keywords & User Intent: Content For Every Combo

Keywords have always been an essential element of an effective SEO strategy, but their role is evolving. Yesterday’s SEO strategy would order a piece of high quality content for every keyword you’re working with. Today, keywords aren’t enough anymore; or rather, keywords aren’t the whole picture.

Take, for example, the top four results from a Google search for [content marketing strategy] (as depersonalized as I could manage):

content_mktg_search_results

How in the world can Google justify giving its top four spots to the same website?

Obviously, authority and popularity are factors. The Content Marketing Institute is the fastest growing B2B media company and is a well-known, respected authority on content marketing. But it’s rare to see 2 results from the same domain on page 1, let alone positions #1, #2, #3 and #4. Something else must be going on here — and that something is user intent.

Look closely:

  • The first result is about developing a detailed strategy.
  • The second gives a basic definition.
  • The third provides a simple framework.
  • The fourth promises a source of updated, new information.

A user looking for detailed instructions will want the first link, while someone just starting out might prefer the third result. If someone is just looking for a basic definition he will click on the second result, while a user who needs a recently updated resource may be looking for the fourth one. Google provides all four, because all four are trusted and popular, and because they all speak to a unique user intent.

How do you determine the different user intents of a single keyword? Google it! Then examine the SERPs and think through why the algorithm chose to display those specific links. The results represent Google’s best guess at the user’s intent for that search (and Google has a lot of data behind those “guesses”). Are there landing pages and resources on your website that mirror each one? Are there any user intents that are missing? Any unmet needs that you can fill?

Keyword percentages are so 2000s. Today, the cool kids are aligning content with keyword and user intent combinations.

Optimize For Intent: Targeted Blog Posts

SEO used to develop blog content strategies around keywords, and then optimize each post for those words and phrases. But when blogs are optimized for keywords alone, this kind of traffic happens:

blog_organic_traffic

Most of the posts on this popular blog drive no more than a handful of organic search visitors. But what happened on July 24?! We could filter through that post and try to duplicate every nuance, and never get the same result — because, from an SEO standpoint, that post probably just got lucky. It managed to hit that sweet spot where keyword optimization and user intent collide, and they really found their audience on search results. (And we’re pretty sure it was luck, because almost all of the posts on this blog failed to drive any noteworthy organic search traffic for many months.)

Now, here’s a look at the organic traffic to that same blog throughout the rest of the year as the authors began to focus on keywords and user intent.

keywords_user_intent

Keyword optimization alone simply doesn’t cut it anymore. Google’s not looking for keywords — it’s looking for useful content that outperforms the competition. Crafting content to meet a specific user intent (and still meet the needs of your blog’s editorial calendar and social media strategies) does take more work, but blogs posts that attract organic traffic each and every day for months and even years to come are very much worth it.

The Future Of Content-Based SEO

Sound easy so far? Well, don’t get too comfortable. Even as marketers expand their content strategies to include combinations of keywords and user intent, Google is still segmenting — still perfecting their people modeling.

Google is uniquely positioned at the intersection of search and social (and more), which means the amount of user data at their fingertips is massive. Their understanding of user behavior is allowing their services to infer user interests – so even if they don’t have much data on you, but they know who your friends are, they can target content for you based on your friends’ interests.

In other words, Google is the epitome of Big Data, and that means Google’s search results will only become more fine-tuned and even more personalized.

What we know for certain right now is that the data giant is building “audiences” based on websites visited, user information provided to Google partners, and third-party data. These “audiences” are convenient for traditional marketers because they can easily choose to send ads to a very targeted group. Regarding SEO, it’s further evidence that Google is collecting and organizing user data from all over the web, and the content in search results will become more and more tailored to each unique IP address (far more than geo-localized personalization).

Designing SEO content for each combination of keyword and user intent is a great first step, but the day is coming when we will need to consider content for every keyword + user intent + audience/persona combination. That’s right, my friend: Google is only going to get smarter.

Everybody Wins, Probably

It may seem daunting. Most marketers aren’t necessarily cheering Google on in their conquest of the online world, because this amount of data – enough to create such advanced affinity and market segmentation – is enormous, frightening, and perhaps even monopolistic. The end result, though, is the potentially for everybody to win. Users get better search results, traditional marketers get better ad campaign results, and content marketers that develop smarter content strategies earn more traffic. But sorry guys, there are still no guarantees in the wild world of SEO.

Source – Get More SEO Out Of Your Content Marketing

Yahoo Search Share Falls Below 10 Percent For “All-Time Low”

We’re on the cusp of new comScore U.S. search market google-bing-yahoo-logosshare data for June. According to financial analyst notes, releasing the numbers early, desktop search declined for the fifth consecutive month after a period of growth in mid-2013.

The big headline, however, is what we’ve been anticipating: Yahoo’s share has now fallen below 10 percent. This is an “all-time low.” The combined Yahoo-Bing “search alliance” share remains flat at 29 percent. Bing has grown almost entirely at Yahoo’s expense.

Here are the figures for June:

  • Google: 67.6 percent
  • Bing: 19.2 percent
  • Yahoo: 9.8 percent
  • Others: 3.4 percent

These figures do not include mobile search, which is an increasingly large share of overall volume. Mobile now drives more than 30 percent of total US internet traffic.

Paid search growth was one of the bright spots for Yahoo in an otherwise disappointing Q2 earnings release. Yahoo paid search brought in $403 million in Q2, a 5 percent increase vs. $385 million in Q2 last year. Obviously eroding PC search volumes will dampen Yahoo’s future growth opportunity.

StatCounter mobile search

According to StatCounter, Yahoo has a 9.3 percent share of the US mobile search market. Google dominates at 85 percent and Bing’s share is 5.5 percent.

Source – Yahoo Search Share Falls Below 10 Percent For “All-Time Low”

4 Points to be Followed by Every SEO Company to Boost Traffic & Sales

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Do you ever analyze past SEO mistakes while hiring a new company to increase your organic traffic? Probably not, because that’s how most of the websites go about it. It’s time to investigate the reasons of loss whenever you see a drop in your sales & traffic even after spending enough on optimization experts fee.

Don’t sit back thinking that you have hired the best SEO firm

Usually companies take it quite easy if they have SEO professionals to take care of search engine rankings. But, that’s a big mistake as to get sales you must have both relevant traffic and a conversion focused website. Not all SEO companies take this into account and so achieve half of results. To attain potentially convertible traffic first ensure that your SEO strategy implies:

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Research Based Plans

It is a must to adopt research based planning amid the stiff competition for search engine rankings to ensure results. Using smart tools for keywords and competitor analysis is essential if you want to be safe from the consequences of guesswork & weak estimations. These tools give robust figures that eliminate the risk of misjudgments.

User Focused Practices

Add value to search engine results by meeting Google standards and offering best user experience to online users who seek solutions to their queries. Don’t depend on black hat SEO to get higher rankings. Indulge in ethical linking to get steady results.

Don’t waste your time & money in old SEO practices

Apply Modern Techniques

Unique Content

Google prefers content so avoiding it can cost you heavily. What kind of content shall be used for optimizing search engine is the most important question to unravel. If your past SEO efforts could not meet desired goals, then poor content could have been the reason. Analyze now & change your approach.

Follow on page & off page content guidelines to improve your domain authority and boost search engine rankings. This may also save you from Panda hit as that focuses on improving content quality on Google.

Social Sharing

Social media is a great source of attracting traffic and it helps you improve the online presence on web as social domains have high domain authority, attract great deal of users and always rank higher in SERPs. They also act as good source of quality backlinks but if you really want to own all of this, you have got to ensure that your social media content is user engaging & shared on regular intervals. Consistency is the key to success when we talk about social media benefits.

Not sure which package will be suitable for you? Our SEO experts can help you out.

Discuss Your Requirements

Ably Soft, as the global SEO partner for many websites applies all these techniques to work and ensures improved results. Our clients’ stable rankings give us opportunity to suggest similar techniques to other online businesses too. If you lack information on improving your web traffic, then consult us.

The Art and Science of Getting Content Shared on Social Media

When excellent content fails to attract the readership it deserves, likely there were lapses in marketing efforts either before and after it was published. There is no guaranteed way to send your content viral but a few, reliable techniques boost the odds your posts receive well-deserved attention from social media users.

Related: How to Leverage Celebrities and Social Media to Build Buzz

Leverage influencers. You don’t need to be a social media star to see your blog posts widely shared. You can depend on others who’ve nurtured loyal followings to amplify your content across Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus.

Before you hit ‘publish,’ make sure you’ve quoted a few experts who have shared their opinion on your topic. When the story goes live, notify those individuals about your mention of them. They will likely respond with a ‘like,’ tweet and share of the post that will reach many of their followers.

This is a classic win-win-win. You add credibility to your post by noting what an industry influential has said about the same topic, those experts lend their social media presence when they share your content and you develop great rapport with the individuals you quote.

For more tactical advice, here are four foolproof strategies for getting social media power users to share your content for you.

Related: How to Get Your Content Shared More on Pinterest

Turn off comments. Sonia Simone, co-founder and chief content officer of Copy blogger, recently decided to do away with comments on the Copy blogger blog. As surprising as it was to many readers, others embraced the change, believing it would lead to better content and conversations. So far, the experiment has proved successful.

Upon reaching the end of a post, the Copy blogger audience is encouraged to “take the conversation further” on Google Plus and Twitter. This has proved brilliant at getting readers talking about and sharing Copy blogger content. Judging by activity on Google Plus, the conversations could not get any better.

Engaged fans enthusiastically contribute thoughtful insights to the conversation and, more often than not, will then interact with you one-on-one.

Use language that clicks. The social media management app Buffer published a study that analyzed the most popular words used in viral headlines and evaluated winning headline strategies. Experiment with your headlines to see which words and phrases resonate with your unique audience. Soon, you’ll have a list of what drives social shares.

Research conducted at the University of Texas, Austin, found Facebook users manifest their regular selves both online and offline. Content that speaks directly to who your readers are encourages them to share your post with people they care about as a way of publicly sharing a bit of themselves.

Source – Content Shared on Social Media

The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide To Finding Your Audience In Social Media

Social media marketing platforms are constantly evolving, so newcomers are at a disadvantage compared to those who’ve been around the social media block over the last decade. There are more platforms to learn, more features to leverage, and larger audiences to engage.

For small or new businesses venturing into social media marketing for the first time, focusing on the fundamentals is key. In this two-part series, we’ll do just that.  Read on for a guide to getting started, including defining your target market and choosing the right channels to reach them.

Step 1: Defining Your Target Market

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Before diving into anything, start by defining your target consumer.

Demographics are important, but key insights into the what type of person they are, their likes and dislikes, etc., will give you stronger direction later for creating engaging content.

If you’re like most small businesses, you likely don’t have a professionally developed marketing strategy with person as defined for your target consumers. The great news is, these don’t take a rocket scientist (or professional marketer) to create!

Start With The Easy Stuff: Demographics

Putting pen to paper and defining the more obvious characteristics of your audience is the best place to start. If you’re not familiar with these key characteristics of your target market, you’ll be lost in the long term. For an HVAC repair business, your target customer might be a homeowner. Homeowner: it’s a start, but wouldn’t tell a writer much about how to craft content your audience will appreciate.

To further define the demographics, ask yourself the following questions, thinking of the customers that currently drive most of your business today.

  1. How expensive is your product or service? Do your customers need to fall into a certain income class to afford you?

  2. Is your product or service specifically for men or women? If either, think about your typical customer. What is their typical age? Are they married? Do they have a family? Who makes the purchasing decisions?

  3. Where is your target customer physically located? Are they local to you? In the neighborhood or neighboring town? Do you have an online store and want to appeal to customers across the country? Do you have a storefront or do you travel to your customers to provide service?

  4. Is your product or service ethnically neutral? Does it appeal to people of a certain ethnicity?

By the end of this Q&A exercise, aim to have the following key demographics outlined: age, gender, location, income level, occupation, marital/family status, ethnicity and education level.

Now, What Makes Them Tick? Defining Psychographics

Now that you’ve nailed down the basic information about your target market, it’s time to start thinking about who they are as people. This is the key step to crafting appropriate content for your social media marketing, blogging strategy, and even your traditional marketing efforts.

I’ve found that many small business owners can get lost in the idea of psychographically defining their typical consumer. To guide this thought process, collaborate with your front-line employees — those who work most directly with your customers — and ask the following questions:

  1. What are your customers’ likes and dislikes and what does that tell you about them?

  2. What types of television shows do they watch? What magazines or website might they read?

  3. What are their values?

  4. What kind of lifestyle do they lead? How does your product or service fit into their lifestyle?

In this exercise, you should also look at your product or service. These questions can help you better understand your target customer:

  1. What features appeal to your current customers the most?

  2. When do they use the product (or hire you for the service)?

  3. Do they use it in a certain way?

Aspirational Customers: Not Today, Maybe Someday

If you’re looking to expand business (perhaps you’re more of a novice than a beginner), think about your “aspirational customers.” An aspirational customer is someone who may not buy your product or service today, but perhaps this is the kind of business you’d like to do more of.

Our original example of an HVAC repair company may consider business owners as aspirational customers because they would like to do more commercial business, which is more lucrative than residential.

Perform the same two Q&A sessions above for your aspirational customer. Remember to keep this separate. You might not use this target market in your immediate marketing strategy, but defining it is the first step to achieving your goals!

2 Pro Tips For DIY Defining Your Target Market

  1. If you get stumped at any of the above steps, take a look at one of your competitors that performs well. If they are already doing any social media marketing, review their content and strategy to look for clues as to whom they believe their target customer really is.

  2. Write it all down. Once you’ve outlined your demo and psychographics, you might realize you have several target customers. Give each of them a name and persona. This will help you (or whomever helps with your creative) relate to them and craft effective content.

Step 2: Choose The Right Networks To Reach Them

One of my favorite infographics of all time, puts a purr-fectly matched personality to each social network (pun intended).

social-media-explained-cats

There is a vast menu of social networks at a marketer’s disposal today. Truly knowing your target audience will help you select the proper networks to reach them.

BI Intelligence recently released a report on demographics of social network users. Business Insider reported on the results, including some of the key takeaways:

  • Fast-moving consumer goods will perform better on Facebook than luxury goods because the user base skews younger.

  • Twitter is primarily a news source for its users.

  • Pinterest is the place to be for food and drink related products or content, as well as family or parenting content.

  • Instagram’s audience is primarily female (with projections to even out by 2016) and between the ages of 18 and 44. Clothing, accessories and entertainment-related brands find Instagram attractive for this reason.

Coming up in my next column, we’ll review beginners’ steps to starting up your content strategy, best practices, and how to stay organized!

Source –Social Media Marketing Column

The Top 10 Brands With the Most Influential Content Marketing on LinkedIn

Forbes is the global brand with the most influential content on LinkedIn, according to a recent report from the social network.

The ranking was based on data from LinkedIn’s Content Marketing Score tool, which measures member engagement with a company’s pages, groups, employee updates, influencer posts, and sponsored updates.

The second most influential brand on the network is The World Economic Forum, according to the analysis.

The rest of the top 10 are media outlets and tech companies: Inc. Magazine, Microsoft, the Financial Times, the Wall Street Journal, HP, Salesforce, IBM, and Mashable.

An earlier study in February by LinkedIn found high-tech and media companies are generally the most effective content marketers on the platform, with the top 10 brands in each category earning the highest average scores.

Other industries with a number of highly effective brands on the platform include professional services, financial services, education, manufacturing, and consumer goods.

LinkedIn also shared the most influential brands in 16 individual countries as part of the recent report.

The geographic breakdown revealed a wider range of industries compared with the overall top 10 list. For example, one of Canada’s most influential brands on LinkedIn is an educational institution (Queen’s School of Business) and one of Indonesia’s is a hospitality business (Club Bali Resorts).

For more findings from the report, check out the infographic:


Read more: http://www.marketingprofs.com/charts/2014/25510/the-top-10-brands-with-the-most-influential-content-marketing-on-linkedin

Infographic: cameras and smartphones in a photography face-off

infographic_15th JulyIn the ongoing battle between cameras and smartphones, which takes better pictures? This infographic reveals all.

Over the past few years, smartphones have come into a realm of their own; offering up some of the best cameras, with the best photo apps out there allowing smartphone users to snap away to their hearts’ content. Here, this infographic pits the two devices against each other to see which way you prefer to capture your memories.

The ‘Camera vs Smartphone’ infographic was created by Treat, with illustrations showcasing a wide range of statistics such as how many photos each person takes on average; what percentage of people are on film or how different the usage behaviour of smartphone camera users compares to that of digital camera owners.

So, does the infographic turn out how you thought it would? As ever, we’d love to hear your thoughts – which do you prefer? Digital cameras or smartphones?

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