Archive for the ‘Social Media Marketing’ Category

postheadericon Tweeting Without Meaning

I read an interesting article today regarding the importance of social media in the new world of search engine optimization and website rankings.  It has been by and large confirmed that social media is quickly becoming a necessity for all companies if you want to stay at the “top of the charts,” so to speak.  So now, you have a Facebook account, a Twitter account, you probably have your own blog with WordPress or Blogger, maybe you are trying out the new Google Plus, and you have a company LinkedIn page.

What next?

You need something to write about.  Having these accounts without having any content is like fishing without a fishing pole.  You went to the lake and expected the fish to jump out of the water and into your hands, but that isn’t the way it works.  You need a pole, some bait, and you need to be in the right time and the right place.  Sometimes that means waiting with your line in the water for a long time, but if you take it out, you will never catch anything.

However, there is a difference between posting something meaningful and something pointless.  If you are only using your Facebook account to say “Check out our new Product!”, you probably won’t get many followers.  The reason is that what you are saying is boring.  I don’t mean that as an offense, but rather to remind you of what Facebook was created for.  It is for sharing stories and interesting tidbits.  It is for making you laugh, cry, or angry because of what someone else said.  It is supposed to spark emotions in the reader, and that just isn’t going to happen with words like “Check out our new Product!”

Where is the laughter?  Where are the tears?

You have to approach social media marketing the way that we have been approaching traditional marketing for the last century.  Make it interesting.  Make it memorable.  People will remember it better and come back to you more often.  Lure them in with stories of other customers.  Show them interesting pictures or funny videos of someone who has used your product or service.  Once you have baited them, reel them in.  And once you have caught them, turn their experience into the stories you use to lure in the next customers, thus creating and completing the social media marketing cycle.

This is how you use social media and be meaningful about what you post, while driving customers to you.  Hey, if you are still reading, then it obviously works, doesn’t it?

postheadericon The New Google Social Media: “Plus” or Minus

Well, it’s official.  Google has finally rolled out their new social media platform, Google Plus.  In a blatant attempt at coveting the mass market appeal that Facebook has been garnering since its inception 7 years ago, we now see Google trying to get into the social media game.  The platform, while still in its infancy, was started with nothing less than a full throttle exposure by Google, utilizing every aspect of its web presence to reinforce the potential uses and powers of the new social media outlet.  The three most powerful features, or perhaps most important when it comes to search engine optimization and web marketing, are the social media pages, the “+1” button, and the search engine integration.

Social Media Page

From a glance, Google Plus has all the basic features you would expect with social media these days.  There is a place for basic information, your profile, photos of you, contact information, and a space to say how you are doing (the basic equivalent of Facebook status or a Twitter tweet).  There is one minor difference in that when you are messaged, you are actually emailed (using your gmail account, of course), instead of the message being stored somewhere else.  In addition, you are able to easily search for people to add t your circle of friends based on pasty emails or using Google’s own search engine.  The biggest difference is the addition of the Google Plus Circles, which is how Google organizes your friends and family.  Facebook has similar organizational groups, but Google actually forces you to put all of your friends in a specific circle (even if it is called “Friends”) which would differentiate them from your family, coworkers, etc.  This could be very useful for when you want to share something that perhaps you don’t want your family or your boss to see, but other than that it doesn’t really add much that I can see yet.

+1

I mentioned in a previous post about the new +1 buttons that we are adding to all of our SEO clients pages.  The Google equivalent of a “Like” button, these buttons which are coded into the page help to both track who and how many people like a particular website, but also helps to bring inbound links into the page which increases the rankings of the site in search engines.  The biggest difference that I see between the way that Facebook did this and the way that Google is doing this is where the inbound links are going to be found.  For Facebook, this is was in a post made on the wall of the person that clicked the “like” button.  Whereas in Google, this is actually a separate tab, next to photos and basic info, that lists all the pages that particular person has +1’d.  The pages are listed in reverse chronological order so the first thing you see will be the person’s latest interest.

Search Engine Integration

Google’s new platform already proves that it has a significant amount of power behind it.  However, the real power behind the new social media platform is the integration with everything else that Google is already offering.  Google’s approach to business seems to be, if we can do 1 thing extremely well, we can probably do everything extremely well.  Oddly enough, they seem to be right for the most part.  From their original search engine to their power email solution, an internet browser, a smartphone operating system, and now its social media platform, there seems to be no end to what Google will do.  What makes it better is that everything is integrated.  On Google’s website now, you will see the +You button (which changes “You” to your first name when you are logged in) next to the web search bar.  From within the platform, you can use gmail to send messages, Picassa to share photos, and the search engine to find friends, and this is the tip of the iceberg for what I am sure Google will do.  This would make the new platform a very powerful tool in the internet marketing world, where social media has become the way businesses build reputation and create buzz about the company.  At the moment, it seems more geared towards individuals, but it is only a matter of time before Google branches out to businesses like Facebook has done.

What do you think?

We want to know you’re opinion about the changing social media environment and how Google Plus compares to Facebook.  Keeping in mind that it is still in beta and has not been finished yet (as if Facebook is ever actually finished either), what do our readers think?  Gives us a rating, 1-5, so we can find out how many people are using it and how they like it so far?

postheadericon Being “Like”‘d Helps Being Looked At

There was an interesting article I read some time ago about the benefits of social media marketing, with the use of Facebook in particular outlined in the article.  We have all seen the “Like” buttons on various websites that we have visited, as well as the Facebook “Pages” which form mini-websites of their own as well as powerful advertising tools.  Facebook can certainly be a powerful tool for increasing website traffic and search engine rankings.

The Facebook Page:

While Facebook was traditionally a way for individuals to connect with one another, Facebook needed a way to allow for groups and organizations to promote what they have on its site as well.  Hence the addition of the Facebook Pages.  These mini-advertising sites are helpful in that they form a bridge between your personal Facebook account and your company’s website.  While you are allowed to make posts on your Facebook page’s wall, thus proving how current and up-to-date you are, there is enough room for advertisements on your page that it is well worth the effort.  Plus, there are a million different places to put links back to your website, in addition to the Like button for the page, that helps bring in more people.  The more people “Like” your page, the more people will see and visit it and the more opportunities for you to get them to visit your main website and hence use your services.  It is all about a way in.

Facebook for your Site:

As much as you want people to Like your Facebook page, your actual website is even more important.  Many websites these days have embedded the code whereby people can actually Like your website itself.  They click on the button and the counter on your site goes up while a post appears on their Facebook wall telling the world that they liked it.  This means that on their wall, you now have an inbound link where their friends can see your website and have a reason to check it out.  That inbound link also works in search engine rankings.  Google counts every Like from a Facebook user as an inbound link and each inbound link will hep to boost your rankings in all the search engines.

postheadericon ActiveNation Returns Better Than Ever

We’re Back!

To our loyal readers, ActiveNation proudly returns to this blog after our months of being away. While we apologize for our lack of posts over these last few months, we would like to assure all of our followers that we are back from our hiatus.

In these last few months, we have been busy transitioning after our recent acquisition by Data Control, LLC, a local Richmond based database programming company that has been partnered with ActiveNation many times over the past years when we have needed each others’ services.

Now, as the two companies have merged into one, we have become a more efficient well-oiled machine that is ready to serve all of your search engine optimization, search engine marketing, pay-per-click management, and website development and maintenance needs and desires, as well as a variety of other programming services through our new parent company.

 

Moving Forward:

While we have been away, the world has kept turning.  The internet never stops changing, and so we must always be vigilant in our attempt to stay on top of the newest in internet trends.  While there isn’t enough space in this blog to go into detail about all the changes that have taken place, we wanted to list some of the topics to be covered in the upcoming posts, if only to whet your appetite.

 

The World Goes Mobile:

Smartphones have become the name of the game in the market of the modern age.  The internet is no longer limited to big bulky desktops or laptops where a local ethernet jack is readily available.  All of the world’s information now rests literally in the palm of our hand, and we must be prepared to face it.

Google Plus: The New Facebook?

Google has finally decided to get into the social media game with their new platform, Google Plus.  How will this affect the way we do business?  Is this the wave of the future or a fad that will fade into the background as quickly and quietly as myspace has over the past few years?

QR: Decoding the Trend:

If you have seen the square barcodes around, you know that these days people are being directed to websites and advertising material even when they are not surfing the web.  You could be walking around the local art museum or shopping mall, see one of these qr codes, scan it into your smartphone, and suddenly you are looking at the company’s specialized website.  How do we utilize this new trend in all of our marketing ideas?

 

It’s All About The Future

These topics and more are only the beginning of the latest in internet trends.  Internet marketing has become a whole new ballgame, and as we continue along the never-ending path towards website marketing, it will only get more exciting as the technology continues to radically change the way we do business everyday.

postheadericon Top 5 Facebook Brand Designs

…At least according to me! I stumbled upon tons and tons of Facebook fan page designs for some of the most recognized and creative brands of our time. Check them out below and let us know if there are any that you like as well or any that you want us to know about!

Red Bull

Smashing Magazine

Inspired Magazine

Livescribe

Blackberry

Pretty cool huh?Have you guys run across any enticing brand pages on Facebook? Do share!

postheadericon How You Doin’ Twitter?

While Facebook is the reigning King of social media, it may need to make some room for another social network that’s gaining some momentum in the interactive race.  It’s no secret that Twitter has become an online phenomenon, I mean who doesn’t wake up first thing in the morning and check their Twitter time-line to see what they missed during their hours of slumber? It’s almost calming to know that much activity can still go on even when you’re not a part of it at that moment. It’s like the social network that never sleeps. But I digress…

Recently the Pew Research Center and the eMarketer conducted surveys and studies regarding Twitter’s current status in the digital world and have even made predictions regarding Twitter’s future. So how do you think the site did? I’ve included some of their statistics that may exhibit some astounding and surprising information about where the site currently is and where it could be in just a matter of a year.  Are we ready to turn over the crown to Twitter eventually?

One thing that can definitely be said is that Twitter is on a roll when it comes to overall earned revenue and even predicted increases in the network’s 2011 ad revenue. Just last year Twitter generated $45 million and is expected to make a huge jump by over $100 million this year.

The Pew Research Center has analyzed the typical Twitter user and their behavior when using the social site. Surprisingly despite the success Twitter has seen and will continue to see in ad spending, the percentages for the demographics that utilize the service were slimmer than I had imagined. In fact it seems that even though there are millions of people that sign up for the online social service only 8% of online adults said they do use Twitter, with 2% doing so on a typical day. The survey also exemplified that 74% of American adults are Internet users, which means that the Twitter cohort amounts to 6% of the entire adult population.

I would’ve thought those numbers would be bigger. But in due time I can only imagine how much these figures will increase within the next couple of years, especially considering the predictions being made regarding Twitter’s successful ad revenues and increasingly amount of accounts being opened each year. In fact at least 100 million accounts were opened just in the year 2010. Can you imagine by 2014 or 2015?

All we can say is stay tuned and keep a close observation on the evolution of social media. I have a feeling that these social networks will not only change the face of the internet and how we use it, but may even change the world. Imagine that.

postheadericon Interesting Online Marketing Trend Tidbits

I stumbled across some pretty intriguing information regarding anything and everything an online marketer would want to identify their typical consumer’s profile  and when targeting their ideal audience. Check out some of the interesting tidbits I collected while navigating through different online infographics. Hopefully this will help some of you on your journey to successful internet marketing and even more specifically social media marketing!

Enjoy!

How Global Users Spend Their Time Online

  • Percentage of User’s Time Spent Online: 22% Social Media; 42% Viewing Content; 36% e-mail, e-commerce and other.
  • The average American spends up to 60 hours a month online which equates to 30 days a year.

via Visual Economics

via Marketing Pilgrim

Also:

  • 61% of adult internet users view videos online and 61% view online videos on a video sharing site.
  • The most common online video viewing and sharing age group is 18-29 at 78%, 30-49 age groups at 66% and 45% of 50+ ages watch videos online.
  • Men appear to watch more online videos than women. In fact 65% of men watch online videos while only 57% of women do.
  • The most popular age demographic in the blogosphere is the 35-44 age group with 28% and following closely behind at 25% are bloggers aged 25-34.
  • When it comes to what age group utilizes the internet the most, ages  18-29 spend more time online at 93%!

What do you think about some of these statistics?

postheadericon A Peek Into Facebook’s Growth

Recently All Facebook posted this istrategylabs data. The data was apparently collected “directly from Facebook’s Social Ads system”. It’s basically information regarding different demographics of U.S. residents that are Facebook users. It’s a pretty interesting overview. What do you think about the info? Do you think this helps internet marketers with consumer targeting and online social media behavioral trends?

postheadericon Top Ten Viral Ads of 2010

Now that we’re finally living in the year 2011, reports of what was “in” digitally last year are coming out of the woodwork; and when it comes to internet marketing, 2010 was big year for online ad viewing, posting and sharing! It seems as though television ads have inspired people to go online to review these popular advertisements and share them with their friends and family.

The numbers are in for the most popular television ads that gained viral popularity. So which ads made the top ten list for 2010?

Check out the countdown below and see if you’re favorite online ad made the top list!

Number 10: E-Trade Super Bowl

Number 9: Gillette Perfect Length

Number 8: Pepsi- Oh Africa

Number 7: Old Spice – The Return of The Man Your Man Could Smell Like

Number 6: DC Shoes- Gymkhana Three

Number 5: Nike – Write the Future

Numbe 4: Old Spice – The Man Your Man Could Smell Like

Number 3: Doritos – Crash The Super Bowl 2010

Number 2: Old Spice – Odor Blocker

And drumroll please….

The Number 1 viral ad of 2010 is:

Number 1: Old Spice – Responses

Top Ten via Advertising Age

postheadericon Can Celebrities Raise Awareness Through Social Media Campaigns?

We use social media on a daily basis for means of communication and sharing our thoughts, feelings, and happenings; but another good way to use social media  is by spreading a positive global message. Recently for World Aids Day numerous celebrities did that exact thing. In hopes of bringing awareness to the global aids crisis, celebrities like Alicia Keys, Ryan Seacrest, Kim Kardashian, Lady GaGa and so many more took a vow of social media silence, in an effort to raise funds for the “Keep a Child Alive” organization. They promised not to reappear to their social networking accounts until the goal of $1 million was reached.

Alicia Keys co-founded the ‘Keep a Child Alive” charity and orchestrated the marketing campaign in an effort to bring awareness to the impact of aids in the world and our children while focusing on getting treatment and care to patients. In an effort to draw attention to the campaign, she assembled a team of A-List Hollywood elites to begin their “digital death” on World Aids Day and even released controversial promo pictures of the stars posing in coffins symbolizing their “digital death” in hopes of raising awareness and money for the cause. They encouraged their fans to buy back their favorite celeb’s digital life by making a donation via text.

I, for one, thought this was a pretty good social marketing strategy considering the influence these celebrities have on their fans and even general public opinion. It was a creative approach to reaching the public and persuading them to donate money to the charity, especially since fans look forward to reading real time tweets and status updates from their favorite artist or entertainer regularly. I know I do. So why did such a cool and creative campaign fail at getting their donations within their goal time frame?

Unfortunately there was still something missing to boost the campaign’s momentum because it has been looked at as a failure. Although they raised the $1 million goal, it didn’t come easy or as fast as everyone predicted.  The target goal was expected to be achieved within a day or two but after five days and only $300,000 donated, there was worry.  Finally, billionaire and philanthropist Stewart Rahr matched the public’s fundraised donation of $500 thousand which helped the organization reach its $1 million mark.

There has been debate about what exactly caused the campaign to fail; it’s been speculated that the initial minimum donation amount of $10 may have been too high for fans which prompted the amount to be reduced down to $1. Another theory is that instead of taking a vow of digital silence, they should have talked more informatively about the cause and donated some of their own money to generate their goal by their 1-2 day deadline.

Regardless of how long it took, the purpose of the campaign was to digitally raise their goal of $1 million in an effort to continue aiding those who are infected with the aids virus and they accomplished just that. The effort was very commendable and I’m sure a great learning experience for Ms. Keys and the Keep a Child Alive charity.

I guess the questions isn’t so much, “Can celebrities raise awareness through social media” but the real question is “How”? What do you think about the “Digital Death” campaign? What could celebrities have done differently with social media to raise more money in a shorter span of time?