Social Media & SEOSocial Media & SEO: In the last month or so I have published quite a few posts on Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). I talked about the importance of Basic SEO Knowledge, the chances Google offers you as a marketer, Self SEO Diagnostics and Developing a Keyword Strategy.

But this blog is about marketing on the social web. So, what’s with all the SEO?

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You may have been an early adopter of social media. But is it getting you real business results? Here’s a quick overview of where, in my experience, the market is at, and where you need to focus for effective social media marketing.

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So, you are now on Twitter and you are welcoming your first followers. You must be thrilled with all the self promoting DM’s (Direct Messages) you receive every day. Sure, there are a lot of gold diggers on Twitter.

What you are after is building a qualitative network of followers. People that actually value what you have to contribute to the online conversation, and vice versa.

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Currently more than 300.000 people a day, register an account on Twitter. Registering an account is easy. Basically Twitter only needs your full name, user name, and email address.

So before you know it “John Doe (john_doe_67) is now following your tweets on Twitter” rolls into people’s mailbox. I often get these kind of followers. Sigh.

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Last Monday I was writing about ‘Twitter eyeballs on valuable content’. The essence of the story was that if your content is valuable and if you make sure the right people can find it, you have a much better chance of converting them into readers, followers or buyers.

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Last night my business partner Steve Seager and I finally cleared some time to study the analytics on our blogs. We usually do this every day, but the last few weeks have simply been mad busy. When we took a closer look at Steve’s stats for December we saw a huge spike in traffic on December 7. A bit like a whale in a fish pond.

Where in the name of Zeus did those people come from? Did we post a great presentation? Send out a press release? Publish a ground breaking blog post? Got a mention in the New York Times? After some research we found the answer.

A Retweet.

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Seven + 1 ways to start promoting your blog…

Try typing “Promote your blog” into Google. Wow! Lots of interesting stuff.

Interesting: yes. But also: lots. So, where do you begin? Where do you start promoting your blog?

Here’s my little ritual to shamelessly promote my blog:

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UPDATE: Check out this updated post “Shameless Blog Promotion 2013

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Getting the basics right…

I see many businesses getting their feet wet with social media. I guess it is natural for businesses to discover new channels.

As my business partner Steve Seager points out in his blog post “Social Media is a lot like Aikido. Advertising is a lot like Karate”, social media channels are very different to radio, TV & print.

Many businesses I see on Twitter, embrace it as a broadcast channel. Wrong. People don’t care what you’re doing, what your products do or whether or not you have made it to the newspapers.

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Getting started in social media…

In an interview with PR Week, John Bell, from Ogilvy’s 360 Digital Influence, notes that more and more clients are asking for pilot programs rather than ‘full scale’ marketing campaigns.

So, is a pilot program a good thing? It’s a valid question. I’m often being asked this as well.

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Break it down into easy chunks…

Many marketers are hesitant to start investing in social media, because they struggle with the metrics. Before they start they would like to know what the potential ROI is of their Facebook group, Twitter chats, blog posts and activities in forums and discussion groups.

Activities in social media build relationships and trust. As such it is a long stretch to connect social media activities directly to a sale. And that is what ROI is.

That can be a problem. But it’s the same problem that traditional mass communications has: if you air a TV ad or publish a print ad, can you link directly to a specific sale in a retail outlet? Not really: you need to look at the sum of your activities and your overall results.

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