Archive for June, 2010

Beyond the Big 4 – Flickr Digg Delicious

Thursday, June 17th, 2010

By the Social Media Dynamics Team

What Flickr, Digg and Delicious can do for your business

After you’ve developed your routine on the Big 4 social media programs of Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and blogs, moving beyond to Flickr, Digg and Delicious offers important benefits:

  1. Increased web presence
  2. Increased search engine optimization, backlinks, Google “juice”
  3. Increased community, relationships, new audiences
  4. Sources of creative ideas

Flickr, Digg and Delicious each offer all of these benefits. In general, every link to your site and every additional web presence you create increases the opportunity for greater returns in new audience and higher site rankings.

Each offers you a Profile section to share information publicly about your business, website, events, charities, teams and locations.

Each offers community and group participation to develop and engage in relationships with members. Be sure to “lurk” in all sites to get comfortable with what is said. Monitor conversations. Then join in and leave comments, being sure to leave your contact information in the signature you leave on your post. Let the listening you do suggest new ideas for what more you can provide your audience in terms of education, reputation management, information and entertainment.

  • Flickr is image and video hosting website, web services suite, and online community owned by Yahoo! Popular as a website for users to share personal photographs, Flickr is widely used by bloggers to host images used in blogs and social media. As of October 2009, it claims to host more than 4 billion images.[1]

Posting images of new products, locations, community activities, and industry events helps a business get better ranking due to Google’s affinity for indexing images and video. Join Flickr groups to engage like-minded visitors and share images. All images help: logos, photos, headshots, product and store shots, portfolio graphics and stills and video from events. The benefits can include the viral nature of your new audience sharing your images with others, increasing your prospects and community.

Look for images that you might like to get permission to use in your blog posts and the like. Note copyrights and give attribution where required. Make sure to “tag” images with great keywords and captions to make them easy to be found with search terms.

  • Digg is a social news website, letting people vote stories up or down, called digging and burying, respectively. The website traffic ranked 100th by Alexa.com as of April 2, 2010.

Digg likes postings of recent news including articles, fresh news events and new products and services, helping to gain short-term traffic surges while stories are current. Again the viral nature of sharing comes into play in terms of getting in front of more and more new audience members. You begin to see the value and importance of strong content and creative that’s interesting and compelling enough to share.

  • Delicious is a social bookmarking web service for storing, sharing, and discovering web bookmarks that is owned by Yahoo. By the end of 2008, the service claimed more than 5.3 million users and 180 million unique URLs bookmarked URLs.

I’ve seen suggestions to submit every page of your site to Delicious. Certainly submit articles, site sections, and blog posts that you think offer great content value. Take advantage to develop your Profile, add photos and even a blog if you like. Explore the applications available to see what might be helpful.

Yahoo’s ownership of both Flickr and Delicious certainly helps get pages indexed faster. The intertwining of these services with your Yahoo and My Yahoo account increases the exposure of graphics, profile and contacts.

Many of these services let you tie back to your Twitter, Facebook, blog and other social media activities to share in their venues. So share away, develop new audiences, explore and benefit from your expanding social media universe.


[1] Source for all definitions: Wikipedia

See also: Beyond the Big 4

@social_dynamics

Canonical Tags – What are they and should you use them?

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

By Sharon Hill with Guest Shannon Evans

Over a year ago, Google, Yahoo & Microsoft Unite On “Canonical Tag” To Reduce Duplicate Content Clutter.

In revisiting this issue, we asked Shannon Evans,  SEO (Search Engine Optimization) expert if this is still in play and about the significance.

Shannon Evans author of “Get Found Now – SEO Secrets Exposed – How to Optimize Your Website to Rank High on Search Engines” and owner of Practical Local Search sums it up as:

“What is Google’s “canonical tag”? In a nutshell – a 301 redirect for duplicate content pages. This is especially useful to know if you have one of those pesky problems like home pages accessed through multiple URL’s. If you have websites out on the world wide web linking to your content then you can end up with a diluted rank value and perhaps a revised page rank for that content. Canonical tags were created so the website owner can declare the “authoritative” copy of the page. Clear as mud?

Let’s assume your homepage is located at:

homepage.com, www.homepage.com, www.homepage.com/index, www.homepage.com/index.html, homepage.com/home.asp, etc ad nauseum.

In the old days, you had to write a ton of code creating a 301 redirect for each of these addresses so search engines would go to the version of the page you want indexed. If you did not go to the effort, you would end up with confused search engines that might assume you had duplicate content floating around. Those smart folks over at Google then came up with canonical tags so you as the site owner had more control over the preferred URL.

How do you indicate a Canonical Page?

To create a canonical link to the page www.homepage.com/index create a <link> element: <link rel=”canonical” href=”http://www.homepage.com/index“/>

So there you have it…I do…but mostly for websites with lots of pages…or blogs as they blossom and grow. When you have 20K pages in text you should have them!”   – Shannon Evans


If you have one website for your business, you still have multiple ways for your visitors to type in your website address.  As Shannon Evans stated you have:

http://www.homepage.com

http://homepage.com

http://www.homepage.com/index.htm and/or index.html

http://homepage.com/index.htm and/or index.html

All websites have home page.  This home page is saved as a file.  This file is saved as index.htm, or index.html or home.asp or even default.htm or default.html.  This is no different than saving files as .doc for Microsoft Word.  The difference on the internet is you can have multiple files that are trying to take the visitor to the same place.

Type in your website address (i.e. www.homepage.com) go to another page on your website and then go back to home.  You most likely now see www.homepage.com/index.htm (or html)

Trying typing in the different variations that we have shown for your own website.  Some designers have created multiple files of the same page so that if a visitor directly types in the address they will not find a Page Not Found.  For example:  www.homepage.com/products.htm could also be saved as www.homepage.com/products.html

By adding the canonical tag these two pages are treated the same and the popularity of the page is not diluted by the search engines.

While it seems relatively easy to add the canonical code, as Shannon Evans states: “So there you have it…I do…but mostly for websites with lots of pages…or blogs as they blossom and grow. When you have 20K pages in text you should have them! “

You can read about this subject at http://searchengineland.com/canonical-tag-16537

Special thanks to:

Shannon Evans -
Author: Get Found Now – SEO Secrets Exposed – How to Optimize Your Website to Rank High on Search Engines
Practical Local Search
Small Business Marketing Tool Kits
Strengthen Your Business with a Great Local Web Presence.
http://practicallocalsearch.com/
206-780-2257
Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/shannonevans

@social_dynamics

Are You Interacting with Moms? New-Age Marketers Embrace Customers in Social Media

Friday, June 11th, 2010

By Jan Carroza

“You no longer market to moms, but you market with moms.  Moms expect brands to be their partner in parenting,” according to Maria Bailey, CEO of BSM Media.

Marketers can learn from pros who let us all know that advertisers are no longer in control of the messaging about their company. They need to monitor, embrace, and RESPOND to the conversations about them, their competitors and work to create experiences to be shared by their audience of happy customers.

Why are moms so important to marketers? Moms control 80% of household spending. Having a child led 62% of moms to change what brands of apparel and automobiles they purchased.

How is the media behavior of moms different? Use of mom-centric social media goes up 68% after having a child. Many read, comment and write blogs. Since media use of TV, radio, newspaper and IM dramatically decrease, it’s important to connect with them where they communicate.

EMarketer Research has put together a collection of studies with one of their own: “How Mom and Retailers Interact Online” http://j.mp/atH0gd.

Bailey shares how Build-A-Bear CEO Maxine Clark is on Twitter (@ChiefExecBear). “The company actually holds Twitter parties where they give away products online and all the moms meet up, play games and socialize” http://j.mp/99KBap.

Providing information, education and entertainment to build their own communities with customers will be a growing and important addition to every marketing plan.

Social Media – An outlet for Complaints

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

By Sharon Hill

If you had to guess would you think that blogging, tweeting and posting on social media sites about good experiences outweighs complaints, or the other way around? My guess is the bad outweighs the good.

If you have a twitter account with followers you can immediately tweet about an experience;”The employee at [business name] on [any street] was so rude! Don’t expect good service. (87 characters)

Your followers can then tweet their thoughts and retweet your tweet spreading the comment exponentially. Is this what you had in mind?

Have you wondered about Facebook pages?  Do businesses remove posts that paint them in a bad light? Go to American Airlines’ Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/aa) to see how they handle posts to their wall.  There are several not so flattering posts from flyers regarding service.  American Airlines does not monitor all postings, but does reserve the right to remove posts when they are abusive, fraudulent, violations, offensive and the like.

With Facebook, the page/profile owner is ultimately in control and can remove unwanted posts.  Even as someone who posts to a wall, I have the opportunity to remove my posts.

Blogs can be re-posted at other sites and is subject to the internet Permanent Record issues – could stay forever.

When you post something negative about a person or business, keep in mind that more folks may see the remarks than you intended.   You may be able to remove a blog or Facebook comment, but you can lose control of your comments being re-published with or without your permission or even knowledge.

@social_dynamics

Get Blog Subscribers by Email – the Easy Way

Friday, June 4th, 2010

By Jan Carroza

If you are doing your blog in WordPress, here’s an easy way to offer your blog posts to your readers automatically and one that they might prefer: email.

Denise Wakeman, author of Build a Better Blog,  took a survey and learned that half of us still prefer to sign up for blog posts by email. The other half like to use Readers like Google to receive favorite feeds.

Those choosing blogs for business choose to receive email 12 times more often than by RSS feed, according to Hubspot (http://j.mp/b1nuij).

Check your Wordpress theme to locate this widget. Here’s what it looks like in your widget choices:

Blog subscriptions by email

Here’s how it will look on your site in one of your columns:

Blog email subscription signup

Review your email subscribers and download your list in a .CSV format. You will also have control to remove subscribers from your list. Look under your Blog Stats navigation tab.

You have the flexibility to modify the copy used in the Sign Up box:

Blog subscription widget

Read the entire document at: http://en.support.wordpress.com/blog-subscriptions.

Enjoy the easy way to connect with more of your audience while letting them have it their way!

@social_dynamics

Permanent Record

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010

By Sharon Hill

Most of us know what a Permanent Record is regarding school transcripts. Has the internet and social media become the business version of a Permanent Record?

Recently I was looking up a business and came across a complaint – from March 2007. In addition, a client has a posting on a complaint site that goes back to August 2008.

Some of the sites allow for a rebuttal. Satisfied customers may also write in about their experiences. Unfortunately, the complaint is what shows up in the search engines synopsis, not the positive responses or a rebuttal.

Many of these complaint sites are legally protected by Communications Decency Act of 1996 which in summary states: “No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.”

One such site in order to keep a working history of the individual or company, does not allow the author to remove the original complaint. I would assume the author could write another post if the issue was resolved. Of course, just because an issue is resolved doesn’t mean it never happened.

These types of sites provide the framework and platform for folks to let others know of their dissatisfaction. In other cases, folks may just want to vent and can be somewhat over-the-top.

I have used these types of sites myself when checking out a company and I have thought about writing up a company or two as well. Knowing that my comments are going to become a Permanent Record causes me to pause, as it should. What if the employee/owner was just having a bad day? What kind of business is it and does it lend itself to more complaints and dissatisfaction? Were my expectations in line with the cost of the service?

Make no mistake rude is rude and misrepresenting information, especially for personal gain, is just wrong. Back in the day complaints were made face-to-face or in written form. Most knew that without a name the complaint had little impact on the business. The internet allows for anonymous (first name, user name only, screen name) complaints with no requirement that it be a fair representation of the issue.

More on this subject regarding social media sites next time.

@social_dynamics