Brain Vibe

marketing muses to stay engaged

Social Media Content – Too Big, Too Small, Just Right

B2B marketers are an interesting breed when it comes to social media. Our training is to create relevant content in the form of white papers, collateral, and deep websites.  When it is time to tackle the subject of content creation, out come the media, event, and campaign calendars.  Enter 140 characters on Twitter, blogs that should stay in the 300-500 word range, and video or audio that is less than 5 minutes and it is enough to drive us mad!

Certainly the venue will dictate a bit of what you actually post.  But, the B2B marketer will break the rules when possible.  We’ve got so much to say!  Don’t you want to know how smart we are and what great things our company provides?

Here are things I think about when creating content:

  • If you can’t use a single word to describe what you want to say, move on.  My word for this post, “Size”
  • If it takes longer than a minute to read what you write, people get bored and stop reading
  • If it needs to be read more than once, its only good if what you said was amazing (most of the time it is not…sorry)
  • If you need to think too hard about what to say, you are trying too hard
  • If you post multiple tweets in order to get your point across, it should have been a blog, email, or phone conversation

Social media isn’t complicated, there is no need to make it so. Live in Twitter for a while, it teaches you brevity and spontaneity.  Embrace the medium rather than fit it into what is comfortable to you.  And lastly, enjoy it.  Marketing is so much more fun when you break from the confines of structure and dogma.  Have a digital conversation.

What helps you get your content just right?

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Filed under: blogging, social media, social media marketing, , , , ,

The Importance Of A Compelling Blog Title

search seo sem long tailMost people adhere to the fact that to improve SEO a key component is having a keyword rich blog title.  Okay, that’s a no brainer.  However, I think there is more to a great Blog title than savvy SEO, but still a big factor in search.  You need to create a compelling blog title that stands out in long tail search and after PPC efforts.

I wrote an article several months ago on social media in Latin America.  It was never a show stopper in terms of first day visitation.  What is interesting is that it is no. 2 of my top most read posts and almost never fails to get at least one reader per day.  Outside of a topic that is probably compelling, when I’ve analyzed the results of long tail searches and those specific to latin america, this post is not on the first page.  It is not on the second page.  In fact, it is ususally pretty deep in the search results.  At times I just give up. (Yes, Google will customize results based on your profile, but I don’t think it alters the results drastically.  For those unfamiliar, do a search with your name on Google then have your friend do the same thing on their computer.  You’ll get similar but different results.)

This really got me thinking about how people determine what search results they are going to click through and I’m coming to the conclusion that two things are happening.  1)  Search results at the top are more marketing driven and may not actually be sources seekers consider a good source of information for a variety of reasons.  2)  Once a seeker has determined to head down into the bowels of search results, they need an easy way to realize the information they seek.

As marketers, we spend a lot of time focusing on the former.  However, I think there is something to the latter to consider.  People are pretty savvy at cutting through the marketing results.  URLs are a dead give away as to who is providing the information which can be pro or con depending on what the person is attempting to know or do.  Long tail searchers are more indicative of researchers trying to educate themselves and are looking for trusted sources.  Thus, moving deeper into search results let’s them move beyond perceived biased information driven by savvy marketing.  But, if you’ve ever gone more than a couple pages deep, you know search titles become more and more irrelevant and vague with a few gold nuggets thrown in.  Thus, the title of your blog is even more important to stand out from the pack.

For acquisition strategies, best practices for SEO/SEM are still the way to go.  If you want to cultivate a market and reach deep grabbing customers at the beginning of their consideration process, having a better understanding of long tail search and the ability to stand out after primary search pages is key.  Not all of your blogs will be able to stay at the top of search results over time, but a good number of steady pullers in your portfolio will help attract visitors over time and help them become more aware of what you have to offer.  Pick a strong blog title to stand out.

Filed under: blogging, social media, social media marketing, , , , ,

Timing Is A Critical Success Factor for Blog Posts

Timing is a part of content relevanceThe success of your blogs and it’s post is as much about the timing of your article as it is about the content.  We often get caught up in trying to have the right message or idea and take for granted that when we post our readers are ready to hear it.  Thought leaders are ahead of the curve in their ideas and have been spinning a story for some time.  The posts can be eye-opening, but readers may not be ready to implement on those ideas.  Relevance of the content takes on two aspects – it addresses a need, and the need is for an imminent event.

If you’ve taken the advice of blogging often, building a network or readers, and put SEO to good use, there comes an ‘aha’ moment when it actually works for you not only to get your voice heard, but to be available at the right time when a reader is ready.  I found this out recently after several months of blogging.

One my my very first posts discussed leveraging social media tools in schools to better connect educators, students, and parents.  That was back in February.  As soon as I posted it, I groaned, as at the end of the day I felt it was too niche and not quite in the writing style that I wanted.  Results were lack luster, and while a big part of that was that this blog was new, I also felt it was because it was a bad post.  So, as time when on, it was further buried in my blog archive where I thanked the blog gods that it would be too old and deep for anyone to actually read it.

Low and behold, the end of the school year came.  I logged into my stats tracker expecting dismal numbers as my posts have been few of late since I began working at an interactive agency.  To my surprise, traffic for the day had reached the second highest number of direct visitors ever.  What did it?  The blog on social media tools for schools.  Why?  It was right at the time that teachers were stepping back from the everyday activities of teaching and having the time to consider how to improve for the next school year.

Looking at my long tail search and traffic trends I’ve found the aspect of timing to be key.  My blogs on metrics spike at times when people are planning or at quarterly transitions.  When iPhone begins leaking information on upcoming products or features, the couple of posts on my obsession with my iPhone go up.  I also find that posts that aren’t big on particular days, seem to be consistently pulling in traffic and I’m thinking this also has to do with the readiness of readers to address the blog topic, like mobile opportunity in Latin America.

It took me a while to figure out why some blog posts did better than others as they would be of such diverse topics and depth.  I’m beginning to think it has to do with TIME.

Filed under: social media, social media marketing, , , ,

My Twitter Connection

 

Twitter

To be honest, I’m still working on the Twitter thing.  I haven’t written much on this little tool mostly because I’m still trying to get my arms around it and what I want from it.  Although, I think maybe this is what Twitter is all about.  Instead of a tool that comes with deep instructions on what to do with it – a real purpose – Twitter lets you figure that out for yourself.  How cool is that?  

 

I’ve had my head down for most of the past week working on a research report.  For those that follow regularly, I apologize for the long pause of conversation.  But, I found out something about myself and Twitter in the process. The interesting thing is that as I was consumed by data, spreadsheets, charts, and prose, the way I stayed connected was through Twitter.  My trusty Tweetdeck was up all the time chirping away as the people I follow kept me informed of what was going on through news and comments.  I ignored email, which took too long to read and would detract me from my work.  I let my calls go to voicemail unless caller ID told me I really shouldn’t ignore this person.  My time on Facebook and LinkedIn was as quite as my blogging – except for my wistful call for the cold Guinness my dear husband was bringing home on Friday.  I never even read my newsfeeds, web surfed, or turned on my IM.  Yet, Twitter made sure I didn’t truly fall off the face of the earth.

Right now, Twitter is my dutch door to the world.  I try to provide content I think people want to hear about, whether it is my own or from others, and I avidly scan and read what others send.  Even if last week my clicks on shrunken URLs didn’t happen, the headlines that came with them kept me in touch.  Amazing what can be said with 140 characters!  On the other hand, the bottom of the dutch door, ‘conversation’, is still something I’m working on.  Haven’t quite figured that one out for myself.  Probably because I’m a bit of an introvert. 

On that note, it seems that my Twitter crowd has gotten interested in Twibes.  I joined several Twibe groups and look forward to connecting this way.  Maybe this will help me open the bottom of my door.  Anyhow, looks like an interesting twist on the Twitter community and can’t wait to really work it.

What do you use Twitter for and why is it powerful for you?

Filed under: networking, social media, , , , ,

Creating Endurance in Social Media Marketing

Endurance

Social media marketing is about endurance, not the blips and clicks you watch daily.

As a runner, I think about this constantly. Now with spring starting, I hit the pavement for the first time this weekend since snow started falling. This point of endurance resonates with me as I think about how to get back on my game. I move along my route listening to my body to determine how I’m doing: too fast, too slow, do I need to change my stride, what is the next landmark in my route, can I go farther today?

Social media marketing is the same, as is marketing in general.

You may have sprints through your marketing vehicles, but it is how you create endurance through your total efforts that is the real pay off. Social media marketing has a variety of tools to use: blogs, networks, micro-blogging, advertising, etc. Each one is your sprint or a segment of your run. Combining these vehicles you create your long distance run. Think about the fact that you have different levels of success across various vehicles and there are peaks and valleys. What you are shooting for is that through a combination of vehicles you marketing efforts increase the connection to your audience over time and drive your business.

Relationship building takes time. You’ll get initial successes as you enter the market through social media because what you offer is new. It is how you continue to provide value in the conversation and engagement that will determine if you social media marketing efforts will continue to provide ROI. After the launch, do you maintain your engagement levels and grow them? Or, is there a drop and leveling off? Is there a drop and then nothing? You have to continue to focus and work on it.

Some of the things that I’m looking are measures that tell me that I’m building trust and relationships. These measures are based on trends rather than points in time.

  • Subscribers – Is it increasing? What are the retention rates?
  • Comment trend – Is it increasing, decreasing, or remaining the same?
  • Readership trend – Is it increasing, decreasing, or remaining the same? Are readers going deeper into additional content (more views)?

One other thing I’m thinking about is the steepness of trends. You may get a big benefit from a steep and fast growth but, it may be better to be slow and steady. It’s the runner’s pace. Until you reach leader status and have the reserves and resources, it sometimes pays off to create a pace that is aligned to your resources that will let you stay in the race rather than peak early. Peaking too early may deplete your resources and you are left without the ability to sustain the relationships you were acquiring.

For social media marketing, think marathon, not the sprint.

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Filed under: metrics, networking, social media, , , , , , , , , , ,

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