How to track social media marketing results

It’s easy to jump into social media without really thinking through how it will work for you.

How are you going to determine the results (in fact, in a lot of cases, what do you WANT the results to be? But we’ll come to that in a future post)?

What should you be measuring? How can you measure it?

This great infographic from Infographic World offers answers. Not only does it tell you WHAT you should be measuring, but it tells you the tools you can use to give you the information you need.

Click on the image to see a larger version.

tracking-social

 

Simplify your online marketing efforts in 7 easy steps

SIMPLIFYDespite what the snake oil sellers might tell you, there are no miracle shortcuts in internet marketing. It’s an ongoing conversation requiring commitment, effort and perseverance – but that doesn’t mean it has to be gruelling.

Smart planning can pay off, so here are seven tips to get you started.

1) Set up email alerts

Whatever your business, it’s important to track your brand’s internet mentions so that you can respond promptly to opportunities or criticisms, but running internet searches everyday is time consuming, so this is one job it’s wise to automate.

With Google Alerts you can set up multiple key words or phrases to be monitored. Choose the ‘comprehensive’ and ‘as-it-happens’ options and you will alerted immediately whenever Google indexes a web page containing those terms.

2) Subscribe to follow up comments

Commenting on a blog post or forum thread has numerous benefits – you will usually be allowed to hyperlink your name to your website, and if your comment is insightful, it may raise your profile among peers and potential clients. However, if your comment is responded to, you may need to come back to keep the conversation going.

You can’t revisit every post you comment on indefinitely, so always tick the ‘Notify me of follow up comments via e-mail’ checkbox and know automatically if you need to come back.

3) Recycle your blog posts

Go back through your old blog posts and see if they’re still relevant to your current audience. Bloggers often only promote their new content, but this isn’t giving due credit to your older work.

During your conversations online, look out for opportunities to mention an old post in relation to a current event and consider editing and re-publishing some posts to create a more contemporary version of some old material.

4) Share and re-share your pearls of wisdom

Once you have been blogging, tweeting and commenting for a while, you will have amassed a considerable amount of valuable advice. From time to time, review what you’ve written and extract the best pearls of wisdom into a central reference sheet.

When you have a spare moment, search through forums, message boards or LinkedIn Q&As for questions relating to your core topics. Chances are, you’ll already have ready-made advice on file. A word of caution though, while the core points will be the same, it’s important to make sure every answer is tailored to the questions asked– if you just re-paste your points verbatim, it’s essentially spam!

5) Don’t use all your best material at once

Lots of people take a town-crier approach to internet marketing – they just want to be the first and the loudest to get a new piece of information out. While being among the first to link to – or blog about – a new story can win you attention, it often pays to hold back.

Not all material is time sensitive, so if you’re online for an hour and find a dozen really useful articles on a subject, resist the urge to share one every five minutes. Keep a central record of valuable information and share it intelligently over time. That way, you’ll never be lost for things to say, and you’ll have plenty of inspiration for future blog posts.

6) Schedule your tweets

You can’t be on Twitter 24/7, so scheduling posts can be an effective way to make sure you reach different audiences at different times, and don’t miss out when you’re away from your computer.

Tools like Hootsuite and TweetLater enable you to schedule your Twitter posts, but be warned: repeatedly reposting items with identical wording is spam. As a general rule, vary your wording so that your posts aren’t duplicated verbatim, and limit yourself to three tweets, at least four hours apart for any one link.

7) Take a systematic approach and stick to it

People who struggle with interacting online as part of their marketing toolkit generally fall into two groups: those who lose momentum and forget to log in for days, thereby failing to engage people or retain followers, and those who log on with the intention of doing 30 minutes work, only to find they are still chatting several hours later. Either way, the problem is one of planning and efficiency.

The best way to get internet marketing working for you is to do a little bit each day, with some set targets that you write down and stick to. For example, “In addition to blogging once a week, I will log on to Twitter for an hour each day, comment on three blogs, have a couple of chats and post three links, one of which will link to my own site.”

Yes, there’s still a lot of work involved in internet marketing, but if you employ these time saving measures, it’s entirely possible to see a great return without breaking your back.

Need some help? Try my Social Media Marketing Mentoring taster for just£25!

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

50 things you could do today to promote your website…

… or 50 Shades of Yay!

If you can manage to put down Mr Grey, and drag your mind back to your business ;) let’s take control of your website.

twitter logo map 09

twitter logo map 09 (Photo credit: The Next Web)

For any small business owner it’s easy to feel shackled to your website, chained to Google, and to tie yourself in knots worrying about how to bring in the traffic.

My 50 Shades of Yay will give you release from all of that frustration, allowing you to fulfill your potential and giving life to your website.

50 Shades of Yay!

50 Shades of Yay is an ebook split into 5 different areas of promotion. This blog post aims to give you a sense of each section, but you’ll need to download the ebook to get the full 50 (don’t worry, it’s free).

Yay! 1 -SEO

1: Check your page titles

Your page titles are the words that appear at the top of the browser window. For example on the front page of my website, mine says ‘Social Media Marketing Support – NikkiPilkington.com – Internet Marketing Expert UK’. Titles are one of the most important aspects of SEO, as they tell Google where to put you. Change yours to describe what you do, not just to say ‘MyCompany.com’. Make each page’s title different. You should be able to do this in your Content Management System.

2: Work on your META descriptions

Although general theory says that the description tag isn’t used in determining where a website is placed in a search engine, it is still an important part of SEO. Your description is the thing that will make people click through to your site – if it’s dull, people won’t click. Again, every page should have a different description tag, and you should be able to do this through your CMS.

Want the other 8 Yays in this section? Download the free ebook now and please share with other people!

Yay! 2 – Blogging

1: Sort out your tags and categories

Tags are like keywords for your blog – you should add 4 or 5 to each blog post. Let’s say you wrote a blog post about children needing sunblock in the summer – your tags could be: children, kids, summer, sun care, skincare.

Categories are there to help you and your readers, so use them. They’re different to tags in that they can be more generic, and relate to areas of interest, topics, rather than specific posts. So, a telemarketing blog may use categories such as these: telemarketing, telesales, appointment setting, business development, lead generation. All related to telemarketing, but in different areas.

Tags and categories help search engines and readers – use them!

2: Write an editorial calendar

If you’re rubbish at blogging, the best thing you can do is put together an editorial calendar. This is a document that plans your blog posts for the next month, 3 months, however long you want. It not only makes you think about what you’re going to write, it gives you a sense of resposibility to then write it :) WordPress has a great plugin called Editorial Calendar  that allows you to look at each month at a glance and enter topic ideas for the future. Or just make your own in Word and stick it above your desk!

Want the other 8 Yays in this section? Download the ebook now and why not mention this blog post in your next blog?

Yay! 3 – Twitter

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

1: Ask for the business

We’re so bombarded with people telling us that we shouldn’t use Twitter to sell, and social media is about being social, that we’re scared to put a foot wrong.  I’m not saying those statements are wrong – anyone who has known me for any length of time knows I’m a great believer in the ‘Social’ in social media.  However, most of us are there to build our businesses – we’re not just in it for a laugh. So I’ll be interested to see how many of you take up my next challenge – which is to ask for the business.  Not from your followers, but from people they know.  In the true spirit of networking, ask your followers if there’s anyone they could refer you to:

–       Who do you know who needs xxxx, I’d love an introduction

–       If anyone says they’re struggling with xxxx pass them my way, I may be able to help

–       Do you know someone looking for xxxx, please introduce me to them

No hard sell, no desperate please, just straightforward networking. If you see others posting this kind of thing, think about who you’ve seen or know who has been saying they have that particular problem recently, and introduce them.  I get a lot of my suppliers from Twitter, but I also post Tweets looking for suppliers that get no response – one of those could be one that may bring you business.  So go on, ask for the business – I dare you ;)

2: Track your results

As in anything, it’s nice to see how well you’re doing on Twitter. There are many tools out there to measure Twitter impact, both free and paid. Twittercounter www.Twittercounter.com will track the amount of followers you have, predict how many you’ll have in X days and allow you to see how many Tweets you’re sending a day. Tweetstatswww.Tweetstats.com – this is an amazing free application that will graph your Tweet stats for you.  Tweetreachwww.Tweetreach.com – will tell you how many people your Tweets reached, counting reTweets – well worth playing with.  SocialMentionwww.socialmention.com – allows you to track mentions of your name in various social media and is very addictive! There are many paid Social Media tracking systems out there – of these, in my opinion, Sprout Social is the best – www.sproutsocial.com. Pricing starts at $39 per month.

Want the other 8 Yays in this section? Download the ebook now – then please pay it forward by Tweeting about this post.

Yay 4! – Facebook

1: Update your description

I see many Facebook Business Pages not using their description effectively. The ‘about’ description is the text that will appear when someone shares your page on their profile – use it to fully describe your page so people will know what it’s about. Change it regularly and track what works best.

2: Highlight a post

Once you have written a post on your Facebook page, if you hover next to your name and click the star, this ‘highlights’ the post. What this means is that the post is made double width and thus gets more attention from visitors to your page. I’ve used this to good effect to promote my 30 Day Challenge books, so it’s well worth doing for important posts.

Want the other 8 Yays in this section?  Download the ebook now – please consider posting this to your Facebook wall and share the love 🙂

Yay 5 – Extras

1: Pinterest – rename your boards

When you first start with Pinterest, it’s tempting to give your boards funky and funny names – but that’s going to do you no good in search. Look at your boards and give them names that mean something and are likely to show up in a search. As an example, my board called So True is never going to turn up in a search (which doesn’t matter because it’s only quotations and funnies) but my board named Business Blogging Beginner To Pro, and the one called Facebook for Business, does show up. Don’t just give your boards generic names such as ‘blogging’ and ‘telemarketing’ – think this through as an SEO exercise and use your keyphrases where you can.

2: Forums – change your signature

Often when you sign up to a forum such as UK Business Labs, you’re entitled to use a signature file with links. You set it up, include a bit of HTML to create a signature, and Bob’s yer uncle, your signature is set in stone, to be appended to any post you make. If you’re like most people your signature will stay as it is for months, maybe even years, with no change. But if you regularly change your forum signature you not only create interest within the forum itself, you’ll be developing varied links into your site (which Google loves).

Want the other 8 Yays in this section? Download the ebook now and consider sharing this post on Pinterest, in forums, LinkedIn etc.

Bonus Yay!

1: This post – share it on your networks ;)

Yes, that benefits me, of course. However it also benefits you. Why? Well, for one, your networks will appreciate the share and probably remember you for it, making them more likely to recommend your content in future. Secondly, if you tell me that you’ve shared it, *I’M* more likely to promote your content and share your Tweets etc in future.

So, go ahead, Tweet, Facebook, LinkedIn, Stumble, Digg, Pin, Blog and more – and if you’d like to offer ebook as a free download on your own website please drop me a line on nikkipilk@gmail.com

Enhanced by Zemanta

Is your website breaking the law on cookies?

English: Peanut butter cookie with a chocolate...

Someone want a cookie?

Alas no, I’m not talking about the chocolate-chip variety, but instead the little bytes of memory that are stored on your computer by websites. Like how your computer remembers login details, or how adverts for ‘black shoes’ appear in a web page side- bar after you’ve just been doing a spot of retail therapy in the Kurt Geiger e-store.

But earlier this year in May, a new EU legislation came in to prevent these cookies from being stored without the consent of the user. As a measure to protect the privacy of the web-user, it is now down to the website provider to ensure that their visitors ‘opt in’ to receiving cookies, and that they are not forced on them.

If you have a self hosted WordPress blog, then you’re using cookies – lots of your plugins will be using them and your readers need to opt in.

So, if you don’t fancy breaking the law, then install the new EU Cookie Law WP plugin for just a tenner (for a single use site; £25 for multi-use). It only takes a minute, and basically just installs a lightbox pop-up that asks whether or not the user is happy for the website to install the website’s usual cookies. As well stopping website owners from breaking the law and receiving a hefty fine, it also shows the user that you abide by the law and appreciate their right to online privacy.

It’s a pretty cool plugin, and you can change the wording on it and the way it looks (I’m playing with mine right now!)

Although we don’t know the future of the United Kingdom’s position within the EU, and therefore how long this consent will be enforced, but for now, that’s the way the cookie crumbles…

Get your cookie plugin and find out more about this law now.

Enhanced by Zemanta

5 Great Features of WordPress

WordPress

Image by Adriano Gasparri via Flickr

WordPress has long been considered one of the best content management systems for all sorts of websites. It is popular for lots of reasons, such as you can do a lot with it for free and it is extremely versatile. For those unfamiliar with it, read on to find out about 5 great features of WordPress.

Themes
One of the things that draw people to WordPress is the fantastic range of themes it has on offer. Everyone from casual bloggers to professional companies can find something to suit the style they are looking for. The vast range of choice also means it’s relatively easy to find a theme that stands out, captures the spirit of your website and won’t be used by too many other people. This is particularly great if you aren’t especially comfortable with custom coding, as it means you can still get a good website without too much hassle.

Easy-to-use Content Management
The content management system has to be one of the best things about WordPress. It has comprehensive options that allow you to add all sorts of graphics, images, videos and more to your site, and it’s all pretty easy to do. The clean, easy-to-understand interface is a definite benefit as it appeals to beginners and advanced users alike.

Custom Options
WordPress also allows you to tailor a large number of its themes, so you can do relatively simple things such as add your own header graphic, as well as more complicated things such as insert your own coding to create a truly bespoke, unique website. This versatility and adaptability is one of the enduring appeals of WordPress and external software providers make use of it to give users further options. An example of this would be the Genesis Framework powered by Studiopress, which has a focus on SEO that allows users to boost the performance of their website while still making sure it looks fantastic.

Social Media Integration
Most businesses now make use of social media. As Facebook has over 500 million users and Twitter has more than 200 million, it’s easy to see why this might be a good idea. WordPress websites make it relatively easy to integrate social media features so you can continue to grow your online presence in alternative ways while still keeping your website as the centre of your online operations. This is important as it is always useful to have an online ‘base’ in the same way it’s useful to have a physical office – being able to access your social media from your homepage is a definite plus point for a lot of web users.

It’s Open Source
Finally, another great thing about WordPress is the fact that it is open source. This means that not only are new, user-generated themes always being added (thereby giving you more choice as to what you want to do with your site), but it is constantly being upgraded and improved – so you can benefit from the latest developments and access them easily, practically as soon as they become available.

Are you using WordPress as the basis of your website?

Enhanced by Zemanta

Why WordPress is a Good Choice for your Website

Image representing StudioPress as depicted in ...

Image via CrunchBase

When you create a website, it is important that you choose a really good content system to help back up your great design. This will help you to manage your website more successfully and help it reach its full potential. WordPress is one of the best content management systems out there and is a great choice for any website. Read on for five reasons WordPress is a good choice for your website.

Popular
WordPress has got millions of users and there are close to 50 million WordPress websites in the world. This is a huge amount, and it suggests that they certainly must be doing something right for so many people to choose them for their website.

Lots of themes
Another great thing about WordPress is that there are lots of different themes that you can use. This means you can change the look of your website really simply: even if you are a complete beginner when it comes to websites, you’ll be able to choose a theme to suit your need and make your site stand out from the pack. With so many themes to choose from, there is something to fit with every style of site, from professional to fun and funky.

Easy to update
A lot of people also use WordPress for their websites because the content management system makes it really easy to update. The process for adding new content to your site is straightforward and efficient, so even if you’re not the best person in the world with technology, you’ll still be able to do it.

Customisable
WordPress also has loads of options that allow you to customise its themes so you can adapt your website to exactly what you’re looking for. This could involve something relatively simple such as adding your own graphics to the site, to more complex things such as adapting the code to meet your needs. There are also some great external software options that use WordPress to create fantastic, customised websites.

One of these options is Genesis Framework, which is powered by Studiopress. This offers a range of themes and has a focus on SEO, enabling you to boost the performance of your website while still benefitting from the best bits of the WordPress experience. There are different packages available for the Genesis Framework, which means you’re sure to be able to find what you’re looking for and, whether you’re a novice or an advanced user, it’s sure to be able to meet your website needs.

Multiple uses
There are also lots of different things you can do with WordPress. For example, as well as creating a professional website for your business using a service such as Genesis, you could also start a WordPress blog to further enhance your online business. There are also ways of linking WordPress to your social media accounts, such as Twitter and Facebook, so you can bring together all of your online activity into one place, allowing for more effective management and a more focused website that will ultimately be of benefit to you.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Want to make £60 for doing next to nothing?

International Money Pile in Cash and Coins

Image by epSos.de via Flickr

Sounds a bit too good to be true, doesn’t it? But one of our affiliates did just that in less than 3 weeks last month.

OK, £20 a week isn’t going to set the world alight, but it’s better than nothing, I’m sure you’ll agree!

So what did he do to make this magnificent amount of money?

Well:

1) He signed up to our affiliate program, to sell our ebooks

2) He emailed his newsletter list, recommending our last book, the 30 Day Blogging Challenge

3) He updated his Facebook page, recommending our latest ebook, the 30 Day Facebook Challenge

4) He added details of our 299 Steps to Blogging Heaven to his email signature, and posted about it on his blog

5) He let everyone he knows know that 299 Steps to Website Heaven is available for just £3

That’s it! It probably took about 20 minutes all told, and he’ll continue getting affiliate payments every month while his links do all the work and sell for him.

Like I said, it’s not a life changing amount of money, but it’s better than nothing and might pay for a night out once a month – so what are you waiting for? Sign up as an affiliate now and get started!

Enhanced by Zemanta

Need business blogging help? You need this ebook :)

11,000 words, 56 pages, and more blogging hints tips and help ideas than you can shake a stick at!

We’ve been working on the 30 Day Blogging Challenge ebook for a couple of weeks now, and if I do say so myself, it’s looking fab!

Here’s the list of contents to whet your appetite:

Overview
Welcome to the Challenge
Day 1 – Are you ready?
Day 2 – Top Tips
Day 3 – Call to Action
Day 4 – Questions questions questions
Day 5 – Be their guest
Day 6 – Say something nice
Day 7 – A day in the life
Day 8 – Picture this
Day 9 – SEO
Day 10 – Make it work
Day 11 – How did you do?
Day 12 – Round up, round up
Day 13 – Sing, sing a song
Day 14 – How did you start?
Day 15 – Blog post post mortem
Day 16 – Spread the word
Day 17 – Tag, you’re it!
Day 18 – Comment cava?
Day 19 – Review time
Day 20 – More questions questions
Day 21 – Registration agitation
Day 22 – Ask away
Day 23 – Heads up
Day 24 – Everyone has one
Day 25 – Receive a guest
Day 26 – Testimonials
Day 27 – Multi National
Day 28 – Subscribers
Day 29 – Interview
Day 30  – What did you learn?
Appendix I – Resources to help your blogging
Appendix II – Blogging books
Appendix III – Articles to help your blogging
Why small businesses should blog more
You’re not blogging for YOU you’re blogging for THEM
Make blog posts look better with Zemanta
Want to create more hype about your products or services?
Choosing keyphrases for blogging
Why you should always include a picture in your blogs
A blogger’s code of ethics
And Finally…

If I do say myself, it’s a great book, and at just a fiver, how can you say no?

Visit the 30 Day Blogging Challenge eBook page to find out more and purchase.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Facebook EdgeRank 101: What Is It?

Have you ever wondered if your business page was doing all that it could do on Facebook? What if you could learn exactly how well your business’s Facebook presence compared to those of competitors? It’s not uncommon for more and more businesses to rely on Facebook for advertising. However, you might be shocked when you find out exactly how much Facebook is doing your company justice. If you’ve ever wondered whether your Facebook page was making the grade, there is finally a way to find out.

EdgeRankChecker.com take a bunch of values that help determine how much traffic your Facebook page gets, as well as the likeliness of being visible on a Fan’s news stream. The higher the EdgeRank that your Facebook page scores, the higher the visibility you have. Along with being able to check out how you rank against other businesses, EdgeRankChecker.com also offers some valuable advice on how to improve your visibility.

How useful is EdgeRankChecker.com? It depends. The score that you receive is just an estimate. It could be way off, and the equations that the site used are being constantly tweaked in order to get a better view of how Facebook works. For small businesses which just want a rough estimate of how well their online presence is developing, using EdgeRank is a great tool, and can often inspire some hard work in a company’s marketing department.

However, EdgeRank isn’t actually completely solid data. It is an estimate, and shouldn’t be treated as the be-all and end-all of internet marketing. The reason for this is because Facebook has yet to unveil most of the data that would be necessary in order to get a complete picture of internet visibility on Facebook. That being said, it has some definite niche users who can’t get enough of the program. Company owners who are interested to see how they score, or people who are simply curious about how their Facebook page ranks, will love this short but sweet application. Despite being an estimate, many marketing personnel swear by it.

EdgeRank does have some great perks to its algorithmic studies that should be mentioned. For instance one user was raving about how she “can find out the best days to post” using EdgeRank. Many of the users enjoy using EdgeRank for tips on how to increase internet traffic, and the ability to detect Facebook trends that are specific to your Facebook business site.

Have you checked your rank yet? We were pretty happy to have an Edgerank of 20 – let us know what yours is in the comments below!

Enhanced by Zemanta

Why am I suddenly getting so much spam on my WordPress blog even though Akismet is installed?


I awoke this morning to many irate emails from clients and over 400 spam comments to be moderated on my own blog – what on earth had happened?

Off I went to check, and Akismet seemed to be installed properly, and there were no alerts. Hmm, further investigation needed. A quick post on Twitter and others were having the same problem!

Off to look at Akismet configuration I went – and I found this:

Along with a link to the Akismet site to get an API key.

Clicking on the link took me to http://akismet.com/wordpress/ – where it now appears that for a business site they want you to pay $5 a month to use Akismet. Now I’m not bothered about this – I run a business site, Akismet works well and I’m happy to pay.

The plans vary depending on how many sites you have (click on image for larger version):

As I’ve said, I’m happy to pay, and $5 a month is nothing compared to the time it took me to get rid of the spam this morning, but I would have liked some warning, if this is indeed the reason behind the sudden switching off of Akismet. (There is a free/donation option for personal sites)

Anyway, if you suddenly have loads of spam comments, this could be the reason why – were you deluged this morning?

Enhanced by Zemanta
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Real Time Analytics Google