How to Monetize your Social Media

http://www.myviralweb.com/featuresWith social media getting older by the minute, people are getting wiser and finding their way around the clutter. Sure, there’s plenty of nonsense and useless memes but there’s still relevant and creative merit out there waiting at every corner. If you’re a small business owner, finding the right platforms that run parallel with your business goals is a tedious but rewarding task as they will soon be the catalyst in your online strategy.

I’ve found that for every business structure there is around 4 or 5 social networks that are relevant and hold potential for business development. For instance, a business that is service based would have less success than a business that is product based on Instagram, Pinterest, and Flickr. But those that are service based can have more success on Twitter, Linkedin, or even Four Square.

The point is that there is a unique environment in every social media platform that demands a certain type of content and promotion. If you’re a little cafe or restaurant don’t be afraid to get interactive with your clients, put a sign in your window indicating a social media contest: Enter your picture of your favourite XYZ dish and you’ll be entered to win a free XYZ meal every day for a month! You can do this with food, coffee, or pretty much anything you can take a picture of.

The tedious part in finding your business’ preferred social networks is A/B Testing. I sat down last night with a photographer friend and we went over the social networks he was on and the ones he’s made sales on. Obviously, you want to focus more on the channels that drive your development but you also want to diversify and reach into different segments without stretching yourself thin.

Don’t feel by setting up a Google+ account that you have to stay consistent with it, if it’s not for you, it’s not for you. However, pay attention to where your competitors are, if they’re already on Google+ maybe you should stay on and post content regularly. Going back to my photographer friend, he didn’t want to post his work on Pinterest because of their user terms. I suggested that he could just post the pictures that he’s already sold on Pinterest in hopes of using them for promotion and potentially driving traffic to his point of sale.

I think a lot of new business owners, free lancers, artists, and people with little online marketing know how often get intimidated by social media marketing. I’ve found that people are often misinformed, intimidated or they feel like it doesn’t apply to them or their business structure. Look at what we’re achieving with social media:  civil uprisings went viral, we increased political involvement, we documented and monitored war, and we ensured a sense of internet freedom.

Social media isn’t going anywhere and with its maturity more people will catch on. The question is: will you be left behind?

Author: Anthony Baisi

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Quick Guide to Onpage SEO

Website marketing contains many approaches, to name a few: searonpage offpage seoch engine optimization, email marketing, social websites and analytic tools. However, one of the most important elements is SEO because it allows people to find you based on relevant queries. Let’s face it, when the general population has a question about something they usually turn to Google. We now produce around 4.7 billion searches a day where around 20% of those queries have never been searched before.  It only makes sense that businesses become as visible as possible on search engine result pages.

Completing SEO for your company means that you first need to optimize your on page presence. To begin setting your site up you need to review the following:

  • Proper URL – The URL is very important as it serves to catch the reader’s eye in SERPs it should be descriptive and relevant to your product or service, they should be easy to spell, say, remember and they should also be set up in a logical way. Ex: URLs like www.xyzcompany.com/index.php?987  makes it impossible to guess what the page will contain,  www.xyzcompany.com/blogi makes it clear as to what the page will contain
  • Keywords – Do proper keyword research, edit the list for moderate competitiveness, decide on a primary keyword for title tags and in first paragraphs of content, use variations of this keyword, such as plural or in a phrase
  • Map your website – organize hierarchy of pages to allow for a relationship based approach in assigning keywords, this provides the most proper and relevant placement of assigned keywords and will eliminate competition on your own website
  • Delete Duplicates – Ensure titles are unique and there are no duplicate pages on your website, this is important because search engines will pull the site’s title for each of the page’s meta description, you also want to remove the brand name from internal pages and create more unique titles and try adding no follows to unimportant pages
  • Implement proper indexing – create xml sitemaps that provide search engines with the right information to properly index your website, add a link with ‘related pages or articles’ to your pages, it helps with indexing as well as with visitor engagement and implement missing pagination guidelines
  • Page content ­– Try t to incorporate primary and secondary keywords in content without appearing unnatural, try to bold or italicize keywords using mentioned tags
  • Include Social Media – Try to  include sharing buttons for social media sites that you wish to be affiliated with, this encourages sharing and higher traffic, try mentioning popular influences and collaborators in your website and give them a shout out, by tagging them in your content it encourages a wider network of sharing
  • Html Tags :
    • <Title> – 20 to 70 characters, the primary keyword should appear first, each page should be unique, separate keyword or phrases with ( | )
    • <meta> – 140 to 170 characters, include primary and a secondary keyword in conversational context, meta titles appear in blue in SERPs and descriptions are the excerpt, make them catchy and appealing
    • <alt> – use keywords in alt tags, do not duplicate, should be a phrase or sentence, are used by images for providing search engines information about the image, the file name should be separated by dashes and the alt text should match the file name minus the dashes
    • <a> – use a variation of your keyword, do not duplicate keywords, represent a link which allows the search engines to credit your website with confidence. Ex: you should link to a page covering monitoring tools and analytics with the anchor text ‘monitor tool’
    • <h1> to <h6> – always use at least one <h1> tag, however you can use 3 or 4, always include keywords, try to incorporate the primary keyword in your <h1> tag, the <h1> tag should be at the top of the page and the first thing people see
      Also use: <b> bold <i> italics <p> paragraph

On page seo optimization is the first place to start when building your websites presence. It provides the right information, structure and confidence to search engines so that they can refer traffic to your site.

If you have any other suggestions or tips, please share with us. For the next article we will be covering the external approach to search engine optimization.

Author: Anthony Baisi

What About Google?

google+With all this talk about Twitter’s Vine, Facebook’s Graph Search and content being king, I found myself thinking, what about Google? This led to a discussion this morning with a colleague where I couldn’t explain the difference between a Google+ Community and a Facebook Group. I couldn’t let this uncertainty sit for long so I quickly jumped to it and developed a little clarity on Google’s Social Network.. Google+ Communities offer businesses a platform where they can quickly find a large amount of relevant people that all share similar interests.

People join these communities because they have similar interests with the founder and hope to learn, grow and build their network. Through sharing, the group becomes more knowledgeable and gains reach with every new member. Google Communities allow people to manage a public or private group where they can house an unlimited amount of members. But, unlike Facebook, when you share in your public or private GC your comments will not show up in your network’s feeds. They will only show up on your page if you allow them to. GC’s allow for unlimited discussion categories as well as events and hangouts. Members of Google+ are also permitted to participate, create and moderate within the community. An added bonus to GCs is that the network is relatively more organized than Facebook groups. With +1 you can also share anything from across the web with your community. Ultimately, GC’s are very similar to Facebook Groups, but with subtle differences, better organization and SEO benefits. It is more discrete, provides more services and if you use it, Google rewards you.Google-Authorship2

I’ve read a lot of flack on Google+’s popularity based on its adoption rate, and how it was a ploy to copy Facebook. You’re wrong. I was also guilty of believing this. What really convinced me was how much I started using Google myself. This was shortly after I found out that Google’s search recognizes +1’s coupled with the discovery of Google Authorship. Employing Google Authorship as a PR channel has proved very beneficial to Google as they are now the second largest social network, next to Facebook. I’m calling it a marketing channel because it has helped Google build their social network around business trends and technology. I mean that it is now largely populated with geeky types who write, advertise; and you know what else? Know PR like the back of their hand. These writers encourage people to check out their articles and share their work via Google+ because big media sites pay these writers by the traffic they generate. The writers are also eager to get their faces beside their latest posts in Google’s search results because it increases their familiarity, credibility and following.

Google also corralled small business owners for the purpose of showing up in Google Maps and local searches. The added value of showing up in searches requires business’s to set up a Google+ Local Business page and you need a Google+ account to do so. This has resulted in a surge of accounts and why not? As business people we are taught to opt for the win-win solution, right?

Some say that this was Google’s plan all along. That it chose to rise to the top with the “slow and steady” approach. Personally, I don’t know if I believe that, but I do believe that by the end of the year Google+ will present some exciting new features as well as a much larger audience.

Author: Anthony Baisi