Inbound & Digital Marketing Blog

Troy Adamson

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SEO Keywords – Ranking Highly in Search Results

Posted by Troy Adamson

June 22, 2011

Keywords for High SEO Rankings

If you’re familiar with SEO, you’re familiar with the concept of keywords. But, do you know which keywords are most likely to generate the best results for your website? What works for your competitor’s site may not necessarily work for yours…

The best keywords are not always obvious.

When you go about identifying keywords, it’s natural to think of the obvious choices – for instance, if you’re in the business of selling vehicles, you might assume cars, trucks, and SUVs are good, solid keyword choices. Well, they may be great choices IF you have a massive budget to corner the market on those highly competitive words. The reality is there are thousands of competing sites that already have decent rankings for those keywords. If you focus on words like cars, trucks, and SUVs, you’re going to be spinning your wheels near page 378 in Google search results.   

Long tailed keywords are the way to go.

If you’re in the auto sales industry, you’ll naturally include words like cars, trucks, and SUVs on your site pages because, after all, that’s what you’re in the business of selling! However, that doesn’t mean you should focus on these specific words for SEO purposes. Instead, focus on long tailed keywords that have moderate to low competition AND receive reasonably high monthly searches. How do you pick strong long-tailed keywords? Here’s how:

Finding competitive keywords.

Go to Google’s AdWords Keyword Tool. Enter, let’s say… affordable trucks in the “Word or phrase” box. Be sure to checkmark the box that says, “Only show ideas closely related to my search terms.” Choose the proper settings for your Location and Language too.

Google AdWords Keyword Search

Over on the left hand side is a column labeled, “Match Types.” Checkmark the box labeled, [Exact]. If you’re looking for how many people search on your specific keyword, use this option. An exact match word is always enclosed in brackets.   

Google AdWords Match Type

Under Search Terms, the phrase, [affordable cars], has 1,900 local monthly searches and the competition meter shows that it has high competition.

It would be pretty hard to rank highly for this particular keyword in Google search results, so let’s take a look at some better options. On the right hand side, click on the “Local Monthly Searches” header to sort the column in the order of largest to smallest. 

Keyword Search

Keyword Search Ideas

The results that show the highest monthly search count all happen to have medium competition levels. If you happen to be in the business of selling used cars and sports cars, [affordable used cars] and [affordable sports cars] might be good keywords to consider. Also, [best affordable cars] and [most affordable cars] would be ones to consider.

Takeaways
Effective SEO relies heavily on keywords, so be sure to choose your words wisely. If certain keywords don’t seem to produce good enough results, experiment by switching them out for other keywords. Cut your competition by focusing on long tailed keywords. Own the keywords you select and aim at ranking highly for them.  

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Topics: Inbound Marketing, SEO


Writing Press Releases the Right Way

Posted by Troy Adamson

June 12, 2011

Have you ever considered publishing a press release about your business? If you’re like most businesses, the thought probably never crossed your mind. Want the potential to draw thousands of people to your website? Think about creating press releases for your new product, service, or upcoming event.

Press Release Writing and Submittal

Image by: Eivind Z. Molvaer

The Benefits

The beauty of a press release is twofold – not only are you promoting news about your business to the world, you’re also enticing readers to link to your website. Anyone who knows a thing or two about SEO knows that the more inbound links you can generate, the better your website will rank in search results.

If coverage is what you want, coverage is what you’ll get! Premium press release distribution services can send your releases to every major news site and search engine on the Web, placing your news squarely in front of thousands of readers. 

Proper Format

Writing a press release is a lot like writing an article. Though some press release distribution sites urge you to follow a specific format, the general structure for any press release should be as follows:

  • Headline: create a catchy headline that’s sure to attract attention. Think of the headline as a big announcement that summarizes the purpose of your release in 170 characters or less. The primary keyword of the topic should be included so both the reader and the search engine know up front what your release is about.     
  • Summary Paragraph: sometimes called the “sub-headline,” the first paragraph supports the main headline by elaborating on the main point of the press release. It should be a short, concise sentence that is italicized.   
  • Location and Date Line: the city and state where your business is located, the name of the news distribution service shown in parenthesis, and the date of the release should be included.  
  • Body: the body typically consists of two or three paragraphs that each focus on a single idea. Each paragraph should be separated with a blank line between them.
  • Company Information: a short overview of your business follows the body. This same overview can be used in all press releases.    
  • Contact Details: include your contact information so readers can reach you. This section should include your name, phone number, email address, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter information, and your company’s URL.

If you’d like to see a perfect example of how a press release should be formatted, take a look at the B2B Inbound Launches HubSpot Partner Services in San Francisco Bay Area release submitted by Greg Elwell of B2B Inbound.

Distribution Services

There are a number of news release distribution services that publish press releases. Some sites will circulate releases for free, but if you’re SEO-conscious and would like to maximize your reach, stick with quality services like PRNewsWire, BusinessWire, MarketWire, and PRWeb.   

What kinds of results have you had with press release submission services? Have any stories to share?

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Topics: Lead Generation, Inbound Marketing


Inbound Marketing in a Nutshell

Posted by Troy Adamson

June 4, 2011

Internet Marketing Comprehensive Review

Inbound marketing is all about getting found by customers. Unlike dated and costly outbound tactics, inbound marketing relies on leveraging web content to bring customers to your cyber doorway. To ensure your web content is out in view of your target audience, optimize it and place it in locations where they’re most likely to run across it. Here’s an overview of the 3 key components of inbound marketing strategy. 

Inbound Marketing in a Nutshell

Image by: Giles Gonthier

1. Content
Content is the cornerstone of any successful inbound marketing campaign. It’s what generates interest in your business and draws people to your website. Content is strategically formulated – it’s optimized with keywords that are search engine-friendly, and conveys a valuable message to your target audience.  Publishing high quality content enables you to showcase yourself as an expert in your field. If you come across as a credible problem-solver, people are likely to hire you for jobs. Your content should also revolve around keyword topics applicable to your business. Blogs, videos, white papers, podcasts, webinars, and eBooks are some of the most effective ways to get your content out into the world.     

2. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
The objective of SEO is to maximize your website’s visibility in organic (unpaid) search results. Prospects begin the buying process by entering keywords in popular search engines like Google, Yahoo! Search or Bing. Isolate which keywords they’re most likely to use when searching for your product or service. Incorporate these keywords into your content and aim for keywords that are most likely to get your website ranked highly in search results. Here are the main factors that influence SEO results:

  • Title tags that are brief but descriptive, unique for each page, and accurately describe a page’s content.
  • Descriptive meta tags that include keywords and summarize the subject of your page.
  • Simplified site structure that organizes your content and makes it easy to find. Create a naturally flowing hierarchy that makes sense to viewers and search engines.
  • Create 2 sitemaps – one for viewers, and one for search engines. 
  • Anchor text that describes the page to which it’s linking.
  • Use heading tags to emphasize important text.
  • Optimize site images by giving them descriptive filenames and using the alt attribute.
  • High quality content that is compelling and useful. Influential sites will earn recognition on their own.
  • Write fresh content regularly and ensure your text is easy-to-read.
  • Use the robots.txt file to tell search engines not to crawl parts of your site that are not useful to viewers.
  • Focus on generating a large number of quality inbound links.

Google offers an excellent Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide. For some valuable SEO tips, check it out!  

3. Social Media
Social media allows for the creation and exchange of user-generated content. It puts your supporters in control, making them more engaged and connected with your business. Social networking is extremely valuable for branding. As our society has grown more “casual,” consumers feel greater comfort buying from businesses that have a face and personality to their name. Social media channels like Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and YouTube are ideal for engaging with prospects. Show them you’re personable and open to listening to their suggestions and concerns. Build a social media presence using multiple sites so your ability to connect expands.

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Topics: Inbound Marketing, SEO, Social Media


3 Social Media Tips for Businesses Large and Small

Posted by Troy Adamson

May 23, 2011

Social Media for Big Businesses (GF302)

More and more big businesses are realizing what small businesses have known for a long time – they need to be personable with their clients if they expect to gain a loyal customer following. That is, engage them in continuous and meaningful dialogue. This requires using social media tools to create interest and encourage responses from clients while building lasting relationships with them. In an age where consumers have grown jaded and more skeptical about the world around them, businesses NEED to find ways to build trust with their audience.

1. Create blogs that are personable.

In recent years, the blogosphere has proven itself to be an ideal forum for getting the word out. Company blogs are the place for virtual focus groups, posting breaking news, and generating new ideas. Not only are they valuable from an SEO perspective, they’re the perfect platform for company employees to share industry knowledge. Creating a voice for your blog is essential. If you have knowledgeable employees who are passionate about their work and have a story to tell, leverage their skills and enthusiasm to create company blogs. Blogs should be written in a personable voice – like the way you’d carry on a friendly conversation with a co-worker. At the same time, they should be credible and relevant to your company’s industry.       

2. Make your site interactive

Visitors stay on a site so long as it holds their interest. Paula Berg of Southwest Airlines offers some great tips on how to make a website more interesting. Paula recommends adding features like personalization options, reader polls, photo and video galleries, links to company communities, user login and profiles, a consumer-generated Flickr feed, video blog, sharing features, a news feed, podcasts, and rating opportunities. All of these features encourage interaction from site visitors. Interactive sites experience more visits, more individual page views, and more visitors who remain on the site longer. From a consumer perspective, site interactivity conveys an image of friendliness and openness – just the kind of company they’d feel comfortable doing business with.

Enable your site for customer commentary – it’s the best way to gauge public sentiment. Consumers are fed up with the communication barriers big businesses throw up in front of them. Restricting the communication link between you and your clients will not win your business points. Businesses that communicate with their customers openly are viewed as credible and trustworthy. Ignore people and they perceive you as untrustworthy and disinterested in their needs. 

3. Be an active social media participant

The company blog may be your social media anchor, but it’s not the only place where customers can find you. They’re at other outlets like Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Flickr, and Twitter. If you’re going to cover your social bases, reach out to your customers wherever they’re most likely to be found. Social media outlets are also useful for promoting new product/service launches, branding campaigns, building a strong fan following, and receiving direct customer feedback.  

From time to time, the names of big companies appear in the news headlines. The media sometimes gives them bad raps through accusations that may not be necessarily warranted. If you’re ever the target of bad publicity, you’ll be glad you have social media channels in place to defend your good name! Your social media outlets are where you can publically defend your actions and clearly state your position. There are many instances where companies saved their brand reputations by delivering publicity through their social channels.

Takeaways

  • Your company blog is the epicenter of your social media communications. Create blog content that sounds conversational and is relevant to your audience. Build credibility and trust.
  • An interactive website generates interest and allows customers to become engaged with your company.
  • Broadcast your product/service via social media outlets you’re customers use. Establish a fan following.      
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Topics: Blogging, Inbound Marketing, Social Media


Inbound Marketing Using Video Content

Posted by Troy Adamson

May 13, 2011

Passion-Inspired Video and Other Creative Content (GF502)

The use of video to market powerful content has exploded in recent years! Whether it’s used in blogs or as a viral content strategy, video gets peoples’ attention! When searching popular keywords, Google now gives videos first-page rankings. Sites that would otherwise score unfavorably are now able to make the top of first-page search results by posting video content. So, what does this tell you? Video is an incredible opportunity to drive more traffic and leads to your website!    

Inbound Marketing Using Video Content

Image by: laverrue

The video advantage

Since video is fairly new to online marketing, there’s less video content to compete with. This means, if you’re smart about optimizing your video content, there’s a pretty good chance it can show up at the top of Google search results. Many businesses are still preoccupied with optimizing keywords for only text-based mediums. They haven’t discovered that keywords can be optimized using video as well.

Where to post video

Hosting your videos on third-party sites like YouTube may be a good strategy if you’re only interested in getting your content out in public view, but if you’re serious about directing more visits to your site, focus on hosting content on your own site. YouTube generates lots of traffic, so posting your videos on YouTube will help you generate lots of views quickly, but won’t do much for your site rankings.

Optimize your video content

Use rich keywords and position them as far to the left of the title as possible. Video itself doesn’t contain content Google can decipher, so be sure to upload a transcript of your video. Transcripts should be time-coded and the video script broken down into segments. Here's a useful video that shows you how to upload a transcript to YouTube videos.

Create a video sitemap

Search engines must know how to index the pages on your site that contain video. Building a video sitemap will accomplish this. A video sitemap is able to identify and tag videos on your site. It should include the URL for the video file, a thumbnail URL, play page URL, and title and description information. Take a look at how to create a video sitemap using Google's Webmaster Tools.

Measure your content

Like blog posts, keep your videos short and concise. People watch videos because they’re trying to absorb meaningful information in a short amount of time. Ten minutes should be the maximum length for your video. If it runs longer than that, consider cutting it into a series of shorter videos. Make sure your content is relevant and informative to your audience. Videos have the potential of attracting lots of inbound links IF they contain content people find useful.

Promote your video

Spread the word by posting links to your videos on your LinkedIn and Facebook pages. Send out tweets to your Twitter followers so they can check out your new content postings. Generate more activity around your videos by encouraging others to leave comments about them. Video is a popular medium for viral marketing. If you have something valuable to share, your content could spread like wildfire!

Online video is a dynamic tool to use in your inbound marketing strategy. If your site's having difficulty getting higher search rankings, consider tapping into the SEO potential video can offer. Video can be an effective way to sell your brand, educate your audience, and generate more traffic for you site.

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Topics: Lead Generation, Inbound Marketing, SEO


Twitter Tips for a Better Business

Posted by Troy Adamson

April 28, 2011

Twitter for Business (GF501)

Twitter is becoming an increasingly important platform for online business communication. It’s a microblogging service that enables users to send out and read tweets of up to 140 characters. Twitter has unfolded as a valuable and easy-to-use social media tool that enables businesses to share up-to-the-minute information about their products or services. Businesses that are active members of their business community rely on Twitter to share ideas and keep tuned in to what their competition is doing.

Twitter Tips for a Better Business

Image by: stevegarfield

Building relationships
Twitter is useful for building a more personalized brand for your business by developing deeper relationships with your customers. If your business has the reputation of being sociable and approachable, people will want to do business with you! When consumers have questions about a product, they want to be able to reach the manufacturer quickly and easily. Nowadays, so many businesses restrict their communication channels by throwing up barriers between them and their customers. Remove the barriers and give your buyers access. Twitter provides them access via real time interaction with your business.  If you can establish deeper relationships with your customers, they will feel more loyal about doing business with your brand.    

Receive consumer input
Listen to your customers…closely. Twitter is a perfect way to discover what people are saying about your business. Before considering a new product launch, get feedback from your Twitter followers on whether or not they think it’s a good move. No one understands the value of your products better than the people who use them. Consumer input is the key to developing better products. People buy your products to solve their unique problems. If your products are not delivering the intended results, you want to know about it. Twitter provides an open channel for you to learn ways to better enhance your offerings and make them more marketable.

Promote your business
The nice thing about Twitter is that it’s ideal for people on the move who use mobile devices like iPhones or Blackberries. You can easily deliver your message straight into your customer’s pocket without having to depend on email or expensive printed media. Twitter is the perfect medium for sharing the latest news, promotions, or events related to your business. It’s often easier to announce an upcoming webinar in a short tweet than in an email because many people are more apt to acknowledge tweets than emails. As long as you adhere to the 140-character limit, Tweets allow you to include links to your web pages, blogs, or videos.   

Broaden your horizons
Develop greater expertise in what you do by following industry experts on Twitter. Staying connected with the leaders in your industry provides you with a steady stream of fresh ideas, resources, and tips focused on how to build a better business. Engage with those you follow by joining conversations. Contribute answers and make suggestions so you can build a reputation within your business community. Retweet particularly valuable content with your Twitter followers. The more informative content you forward them, the more reliable they will view you. As your reputation grows, so will your list of followers.    

Chris Brogan’s 50 Ideas on Using Twitter for Business post offers some practical steps on how to get your Twitter business network set up. Do you have some additional Twitter tips for business? We’d love to hear your comments! 

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Topics: Lead Generation, Blogging, Social Media


Inbound Marketing PR Campaign – Your PR Mission

Posted by Troy Adamson

April 20, 2011

PR for Inbound Marketing (GF402)

In HubSpot’s Inbound Marketing University video, PR for Inbound Marketing, Todd Defren of SHIFT Communications eloquently sums up public relations for inbound marketing as “frequently distributing relevant content via the right channels, to boost credibility and findability.” What running a successful inbound marketing PR campaign comes down to is adding value to your buyer community. If you target the right prospects in the right places, and prove your content to be valuable for them, you’re running an effective inbound marketing PR campaign.  

Inbound Marketing PR Campaign

Image by: Fritz Park

We’ve undergone a revolution in mass media distribution. A social media explosion of blogs, podcasts, and RSS feeds now enables the common person to communicate directly with the world via social networking tools. The objective of PR for inbound marketing is to generate prospects who will convert into qualified leads. If you can draw prospects to your website where they opt-in and eventually create purchase orders, you’ve successfully completed your mission. Where do you begin? I’ll show you how:

Steps to Complete Your Inbound Marketing PR Mission

  1. Pinpoint your targets. Who are your prospects and where do they go to acquire their information? The more you know about your prospects (what they do and where), the more accurate your targeting strategy will be.
  2. Blog your targets regularly. Craft relevant blog articles your prospects are likely to find valuable and post them frequently (at least 3 times per week). Distribute your content through channels that are most likely to reach your targets. Analyze your website traffic often and tweak your SEO accordingly.
  3. Check for explosive content. Measure the relevancy of your content. Is it explosive enough? If your content is not being actively shared through the social networks or your conversion rate is dwindling, it may not be relevant enough to your target market. Reassess your target audience and figure out what they find relevant for solving their unique problems.
  4. Unleash your content arsenal. Use every social media tool at your disposal to direct your valuable content at your target audience. In addition to blog posts, leverage videos, podcasts, articles, tweets, and eBooks to promote your message. 
  5. Assess mission effectiveness. Determine which of your blogs is generating the most traffic by using Google Analytics, HubSpot’s Blog Analytics, or Technorati. When you tweet, are you using TweetReach to track just how far your words are spreading? If you’re deploying video content, use TubeMogul to spread your content across several sites.
  6. Get promoted to a higher rank. How are you ranking? Are you building enough credibility for your community to view you as an authority in your field? Prospects are unwilling to convert to qualified leads until they’re convinced that you have what it takes to solve their problems.
  7. Strategize outbound tactics. Give bloggers in your industry a reason to write about you. Bloggers not only help your search engine rankings by creating inbound links to your website, but they help promote your brand by getting its name out there in front of others.  
  8. Remove your camouflage. Get yourself found by making SEO at the forefront of everything you do. Optimize your social media content as you would your website to make it as easy as possible for your prospects to find you. The more interest you can draw, the more apt prospects will be to find you.        

Takeaways

  • Add value to your community of buyers by helping them solve their unique problems.
  • Create compelling content that prospects find interesting.
  • Leverage social media outlets to reach your audience.
  • Analyze your campaign’s effectiveness on an ongoing basis using analytics tools. 
  • Build credibility with your online community and enable your business to be found.    
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Topics: Lead Generation, Blogging, Inbound Marketing, SEO, Conversion


SEO - Building Link Popularity

Posted by Troy Adamson

March 11, 2011

Advanced SEO Tactics: On Beyond Keyword Research (GF401)

When it comes to SEO optimization, links are king! Everyone knows creating remarkable content is vitally important to SEO – but, the best written content in the world will only get you so far if no one links to it. There are some extremely important factors that help your content rank highly with the major search engines. Here are the top five most important page-specific ranking factors.

SEO Building Link Popularity

Image by: mando2003us

Factor 1: Anchor text

This one ranks at the top of the list! Create keyword-rich anchor text links and get others to post them on their sites. The strategy is to create anchor text using the keywords you’re targeting. As more and more people add your anchor text link to their sites, you’ll rank higher and higher for your desired keywords. Also, it’s important that your anchor text describe the content of the target page it links with – it must be relevant to the target page. In the blogs you write, get in the habit of including anchor text for targeted keywords and you’ll begin to see your rankings improve.

Factor 2: Link popularity

Externals links are important for indexing and crawling. The more people who add links to your website from their own pages, the greater your rankings will be with the key search engines. Having a large quantity of links is important but having quality links is even more important. Long established sites that are reputable and rank highly with search engines hold a lot of water. Earning external links with the pros means a lot in the SEO world. When link building, target sites that have the potential to boost your rankings.      

Factor 3: Link diversity

Search engines prefer sites with high link diversity. Build links with as many different domains as you can. Establish a healthy link profile for your site by leaving behind link trails from diverse sources.  Be active – post fresh content and comment on others’ content that pertains to a wide range of related topics. The idea is to establish content from diverse sources, but maintain links that are relevant to your site. When using anchor text to optimize your keywords, don’t use anchor text for the same one or two keywords repeatedly. Instead, use anchor text that targets multiple keywords. This will enable you to diversify your link profile.      

Factor 4: Ranking with trusted sites

Search engines look suspiciously at links to untrustworthy sites. Trusted sites are not in the business of using deceitful marketing gimmicks or underhanded tactics that trick search engines into giving them good rankings. Trustworthy sites actively produce new and genuinely useful content for the benefit of the user community. Be choosy with the sites you link with. Establishing a host of backlinks with unscrupulous sites will do nothing positive for your search engine rankings. When determining your site rankings, Google will evaluate its trustworthiness, so don’t allow bad sites to drag it down.    

Factor 5: Ranking with PageRank

PageRank is Google’s link analysis algorithm – it measures how Google views a page’s level of importance. Pages perceived as important receive a higher PageRank and are more likely to receive favorable search result rankings. When a trustworthy site links to your page, a vote for its importance is cast on your behalf. The more votes that are cast for your page, the greater your page ranks in level of importance. The only way to rank highly with PageRank is to establish as many good external links as possible.

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Topics: Lead Generation, Inbound Marketing, SEO


Inbound Marketing - Going Viral

Posted by Troy Adamson

March 4, 2011

Viral Marketing and Worldwide Raves (GF301)

Did you know it takes only a handful of people to create a worldwide rave about your product or service? Be smart about how you present your content, and word about your business will spread like wildfire! Write compelling content and place it in front of people who are interested in reading it. If you generate attention with the right buyers, your marketing will go viral!

Inbound Marketing Going Viral

Image by: ausnahmezustand

Write to your buyers’ personas

Knowing your buyers’ personas is critical for success. Determine the demographics for the buyers you’re trying to reach, and then reach out to them. Many businesses make the mistake of writing content around their products. They go on and on about the greatness of their products and why people should buy them. Did you ever stop to think that buyers don’t really care? They’re not interested in reading about fluff – they’re interested in reading about how your product will help solve their problems. Write your content around your buyers’ personas and you’ll capture their attention.   

Earn your buyers’ attention

If you get your buyers’ attention through cold calling and spending gobs of money on advertising, you’re likely to wind up with ticked off ex-buyers and empty pockets. Everyone knows buyers distrust pushy car salesman tactics, so why do so many businesses still use them? Annoying customers into buying your products just won’t work. Use your marketing to genuinely help them, and they’ll feel compelled to do business with you. Deceiving your customers into buying from you won’t work either. If you portray yourself as authentic, they’ll feel good about doing business with you. If you dupe them into believing your product’s something it’s not, you’re sure to receive payback in the form of negative publicity.

Spread your message

Shake the world by spreading your marketing message! You want your ideas to be discovered, right? So, go viral by sending them across cyberspace. Remember, you want to gain as much attention as possible. Draw attention on the social media sites where your buyers hang out most. Speak their language by reflecting their personas in your content. Offer up free information that is valuable to them – something that will keep them coming back for more. Being helpful gives them a reason to blog about your remarkable content. As your ideas go viral, you’ll be creating your own worldwide rave!       

Professor: David Meerman Scott, author of New Rules of Marketing & PR and World Wide Rave      

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Topics: Lead Generation, Blogging, Inbound Marketing


Social Networking - Growing Your Business

Posted by Troy Adamson

February 27, 2011

Successful Business Uses for Facebook and LinkedIn (GF202)

If you’re jumping on the social networking bandwagon, consider LinkedIn and Facebook. Interaction on these popular sites will help your business gain momentum. A good strategy for any social media objective includes:

  1. Strategically connecting with people in groups who share common expertise in your industry.
  2. Creating unique content that is valuable to your audience.    
  3. Enticing your audience to interact with you.

Make connections 

Connections are extremely valuable to the growth of your business. The more like-minded people you establish connections with, the more resourceful your network becomes. Your connections not only create job opportunities, they introduce you to a community of experts willing to share their knowledge with you. When you run into tough questions, tap into the wisdom of your peers to find answers. Be choosy about the connections you make. Focus on building quality connections rather than quantity of connections.

Gain referrals

LinkedIn and Facebook are great places to get business referrals. A connection who’s pleased with your work is likely to refer you to one of their peers. If you run into a project beyond your area of expertise, it’s easy to find helpful vendors through your peer network. Establish a mutual referral system between connection vendors – refer web design work in exchange for copywriting work.      

Stir interest with unique content

Create valuable content on your LinkedIn and Facebook pages. If your content is useful to your target audience, they will follow your work. Promote your social network by posting links to your website or blog from your LinkedIn and Facebook pages.  Post fresh content frequently so you keep your audience engaged. Make your content unique and informative. Resist overusing it as a means of self-promotion. People get turned off when content reads like spam.     

Stimulate interaction

Engage your audience by commenting regularly on their postings. This stimulates interaction and allows opportunity to showcase your knowledge. Encourage interaction further by posing questions on your blogs and responding to public queries.  Your thoughtful responses are a demonstration of your expertise. People will view you as an expert in your field and a go-to person when making referrals.     

Professor: Elyse Tager, Silicon Valley American Marketing Association

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Topics: Lead Generation, Inbound Marketing


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