Browsing articles in "Online Marketing"

2010 LeadingRE Conference: TopRank Digital Marketing Sessions

Mar 17, 2010   //   by Erik Olson   //   Blog, Corporate Blogging, Industry News, Mashable News, Online Marketing, Social Media  //  No Comments

Last week, I was in Las Vegas for the LeadingRE annual conference and marketing technology event speaking on social media and SEO strategies for real estate professionals. It’s always interesting to see where different verticals are at with their willingness to embrace social channels, and I’m pleased to report the top realtors globally are already engaging, or at the least starting to define their path.

I gave the opening presentation to the MarTech part of the conference – a track of panels/sessions designed to help real estate professionals better integrate their marketing initiates with technology. Additionally, I spoke on two panels in the general sessions of the conference: one on online reputation management and one as an open panel Q&A answering marketing strategy questions.

For Online Marketing Blog readers, following is a wrapup of each of my sessions and some key takeaways.

Architecting A Web 2.0 Marketing And PR Strategy

For this session, I took event goers through an overview of the process we at TopRank implement for companies seeking social media strategy: a social media roadmap. I took audience members through the essential elements of the roadmap:

1. Define an audience
Who is it you are trying to influence? Where are they participating, what types of content resonates with them? Understanding your audience comes first, and will drive the next pieces of the roadmap.

2. Identify objectives
What outcomes do you want from this audience? Only after you understand your digital audience should objectives be solidified, as research may uncover new opportunities not conceived initially. While many skip to objectives, audience research provides the current situation necessary to proceed to identify objectives.

3. Develop strategic approach
For a social media marketing strategy to be effective and not a cookie-cutter application, you must have a strategic approach unique and logical for your brand. Audience data + objectives + insight into your industry + strategic mindset as a marketer will enable you to formulate a strategic approach that delivers results and permeates the market.

4. Implement tools/tactics
Even more popular than skipping to step 2, most marketing and PR pros skip immediately to step 4. It’s a cliché to say “we need a Twitter account” or “we need a Facebook page.” You don’t know that yet. Nor do you have the proper roadmap elements to execute them successfully by skipping immediately to tactical elements. It’s like entering a battle by sending in the latest wave of ultra-sophisticated fighter jets but not having any sort of plan of how they work into your larger strategy. Yeah, they might be bigger/faster/stronger but it’s setting yourself up for failure without knowing how they integrate with other elements.

5. Measure results/metrics
What will your success metrics be? Formulate not just an ultimate objective measurement, but define the right KPIs that actually roll to those objectives. Understand how they all work together and stagger them in the right order in your marketing dashboard to keep your finger on the pulse of success.  It takes a comprehensive understanding of web analytics reporting before getting into this phase.

Online Reputation Management Panel

For this panel, I presented alongside Jennifer Baumann, Esq. of DLA Piper. As I am not a lawyer and cannot provide any legal counsel, it was a good idea for Eric Brin, conference organizer for LeadingRE to pair us. I shared prevention and response strategies and Jennifer discussed legal issues.

In terms of online reputation management, the old adage of “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” could not be truer. I spoke mostly on prevention, but also response. Some key takeaways from this panel:

Negative PR gets referenced – The web is referential, and we are actively tagging brands to their actions. For example, the first thing many mom bloggers now think of when they hear the name Motrin is the Motrin Moms fiasco. We are constantly archiving and building upon events, news and essentially our lives digitally. This paints a larger picture of people and companies, and the scars of negative PR are not going to go away. By having a presence yourself and already established as a brand digitally, you get to be a part of that debate as opposed to silently sitting on the sidelines and allowing others to dictate how you are seen.

Additionally, if you foster a community of supporters, that negative PR might get hedged in the first place. If I wrote a blog post titled, “Apple Sucks,” almost immediately I’m going to get comments defending Apple – not just in my own comment section but on other blogs that debate and interact with me. Instead of a one-sided story, it will turn into a lively discussion and debate, with all sides being considered. A community of brand advocates is a powerful force for defending a brand or personal reputation.  In the case of Apple, whether by design or simply due to fanatical fans, they are now a part of the brand’s organic response.

Search engine brand awareness – If your brand has a large digital footprint with multiple domains/sub-domains, an authoritative presence across social channels and a fan-base, owning page 1 of Google for your brand name is possible. By doing this, you won’t let a negative (and let’s hope isolated) event or experience show up in branded searches.

Of course, in cases where negative PR spirals out of control (aka a Groundswell) a negative situation can acquire so many links/attention it ranks on page one for your brand. In those cases, buying search ads to help counter the negativity, posting responses on the offending site, adding a response on your own site, and strategizing ways to regain control of page one via organic SEO methods are just some potential steps you can take. But of course, it all depends on the specific situation what the response strategy should be.

Speaking of response strategy – for problems you anticipate may arise, having one is critical to be prepared for the worst.

Consult PR before engaging legal The RIAA’s reputation is irreparably damaged by their continual treatment of their biggest fans as criminals. Whether they legally can do something is not necessarily a reason they should. When technology comes along that makes a previous model obsolete, the natural reaction of the incumbent is to rally against it to defend a previous world. Unfortunately, all this succeeds in is positioning the organization or industry as draconian and opens the door to innovators who are designing models that embrace the new.

When someone says something truthful but biting against your brand, the natural reaction might be to call your laywers to suppress that information. All this does is provide ammunition for that individual or media entity to succeed in gaining greater attention.

In 2003, Barbra Streisand tried to sue photographer Kenneth Adelman for $50 million for taking a photograph of her house as he documented the California coastline as part of a project. As a result of the case, the picture substantially increased in popularity – quickly attracting 420,000+ views of a photo that otherwise would have existed in relative obscurity. Mike Masnick reported on the situation and coined the phrase “The Streisand Effect.” The name stuck, and now even has its own dedicated Wikipedia page documenting multiple examples of companies suffering from the Streisand Effect by calling legal before consulting PR.

Of course, there are situations where legal should be consulted, but they should be considered carefully, with legal being used as a last resort.

Strategy Salon Panel

LeadingRe-Panel

L to R: Matt Dollinger, Matthew Ferrara, Adam Singer, Steve Harney – image by Barbara Springer

This was an open Q&A discussion from the audience, where, Steve Harney, Matthew Ferrara, Matt Dollinger and I all riffed on answers to audience questions (moderated by Eric Bryn).  A few of the riffs from our discussion included:

Getting your company to buy in to social media – This needs to happen from the top. If your leaders aren’t fully bought in and driving forward the items you want team members participating in, you can’t expect them to succeed. As one example, if you have a company blog, someone up top should be leading and driving it if you want the rest of the team to contribute as well. To inspire people to stay motivated and engaged, create feedback loops within the organization to highlight success and nurture participation.

The perfect company website – There is no single archetype of the perfect website. Also, yours shouldn’t necessarily model competitors or one you think is pretty, rather it should resonate with prospects. Keep SEO in mind from the start and work with developers cognizant of search engines or consult an SEO firm to guide your development process. Site search matters, and is one of the most important features of any website according to Google. Leverage site search to gain data/insight into your customers and also tweak results to highlight fresh content or current specials.

The real estate company of the future – Instead of doing everything in-house, you may begin to outsource certain elements like design, marketing or IT. Why have generalists when you can have specialists in each field and work with them across distances and time zones via agile project management systems? Also, for smaller companies, it will be about more than just those within a small radius; recruiting top talent will be vital for performance. Of your full-time team members, leadership will be an integral role and not something simply relegated to management. You need to find and empower leaders at all levels within the organization if you want to succeed against competitors.

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2010 LeadingRE Conference: TopRank Digital Marketing Sessions |
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5 Ways to Electrify Your Social Network

Mar 16, 2010   //   by Erik Olson   //   Blog, Corporate Blogging, Industry News, Mashable News, Online Marketing, Social Media  //  No Comments

social networking

A typical situation for many marketers when it comes to social networks is this: Setup LinkedIn profile, check. Corporate LinkedIn page, check.  Facebook profile, check. Facebook Fan Page, check. Twitter account, check. Corporate blog, check. Check check check!

But where’s the buzz? Where are the fans, friends, followers, comments, links, traffic, search engine rankings? Where’s the customer engagement? And the most pressing question of all: What is all this social web participation doing for our company and our customers?

Showing up to the game doesn’t mean there will be an audience. This is as true with the social web as it is offline.  The problem that marketers have with attracting interested customers and growing their social networks often stems from approaching social participation tactically and without a plan.  Testing and experimentation is great, but if what you’re doing is something that has a cost and is to be accounted for, then you’d better have a plan and objectives.  How can you score without a goal?

Here are 5 tips to help business marketers energize and electrify social network development:

1. Decide to start

You must start by deciding what business objectives you intend on meeting as a result of social network involvement. Once you’ve clearly identified objectives, then you can create a strategy that outlines which tactics make the most sense to reach and engage your audience.

Common objectives for companies to develop online social networks include:

  • Create connections with those interested in the type of solutions you offer so you can better meet customer needs
  • Build out a channel of distribution for promoting content
  • Connect with existing customers, create a place for them to connect with each other
  • Initiate discussions around product for new ideas, enhancements, focus group
  • Extend reach to influentials in your market for publicity
  • Tap into active user base for content
  • Facilitate conversations about your products & services to aid in new customer acquisition and/or upgrades
  • Create a communication channel that reaches employees for internal PR
  • Build up the personal networks of executives for thought leadership with journalists, analysts and key bloggers

2. Know your customer

If marketers spend their time on the social networks dujour without really knowing where their customers are spending time, then of course there will be a disconnect between experience and expectations. Picking friends, at least initially, on social networks should be very intentional, not random. Understanding customer preferences towards information discovery, consumption and sharing along with which web sites they prefer is essential if a marketer wants to connect in a meaningful way.

3. Be real, be useful

There are a lot of buzzwords like “transparency” and “openness” that describe the need for marketers to be “genuine”. Oops that’s another.  To be real is being honesty in your intentions.  I’ve seem highly respected marketers make absolutely idiotic statements about transparency, taking it to the extreme.  Ignorance is bliss I suppose, but there’s not much money in it.

The core principles of understanding the needs of your customers and then finding a way to meet those needs in such a way that is helpful and that at the same time leads to product sales, need not be elusive.  Approaching a social network blatantly announcing that you’re a marketer and that you will be marketing so buy some product dammit, isn’t being transparent. It’s being stupid.

Identifying yourself as a representative of a brand, product or service and communicating your intentions both in words and helpful actions is what I mean by “be real, be useful”.  Those good deeds create trust and relationships.  They create word of mouth and a certain gravity of popularity for your brand with your own identity as the proxy.  Fans, friends and followers “happen” because the word gets out that your brand promise is meaningful and being followed through on.

Developing relationships can be hard work. People already know this through the relationships they have in daily life. Yet  it’s very common for corporate marketers to initiate online social networking efforts only to become disillusioned at the lack of immediate sales results.  It’s important that social web participation for a company become a part of what the company is, long term. Not an “add on” marketing tactic.

4. Recognize and reward

When developing an active social network, participants will demonstrate certain behaviors that are more desirable than others.  For example, standing up for the brand when a troll appears or mashing up content in a creative way.  They say people will work for a living but die for recognition. This is a key concept for electrifying your social networking efforts.  First, understand what behaviors you want to reward. Participate and identify those behaviors that will influence the kinds of outcomes you’re looking for. Recognition can be active and passive. Active recognition is to reach out and recognize specific behaviors publicly and/or privately.  Passive recognition is built into the social CRM system you’re using or the platform within which customers participate. An example would be points based systems that provide rewards or more access based on accumulating points for completing certain behaviors such as comments, ratings, contributed content, etc.  The key to “Recognize and Reward” is for the recognition to be deserved, genuine, relevant and consistent.

5. Monitor, measure, feedback loop

All the good intentions in the world won’t result in relationship and business growth from social networks unless there’s management of content and curation of interactions with the outcomes from participation. It can be as simple as noticing “5 of this” or “10 of that” tips blog posts yield 200% greater engagement scores (comments, retweets, inlinks, etc) than posts that focus on a single, general topic.

Web analytics along with social media monitoring and a CRM component can facilitate the feedback loop to know whether customers are responding in the ways that you’d hoped.  Simply focusing on fans/followers, comments or sales can leave out some of the essential pieces of why some efforts fail and others succeed. Social media monitoring tools are essential for upfront research, ongoing monitoring and after-action results measurement.

In the end, the steps to take for growing a social network for business must be rooted in an understanding of the customers and their needs combined with whatever it is you decide you’ll provide to meet those needs. Being useful by itself doesn’t turn an active network into achieved business goals. Provide opportunities for interested members of your social network to opt-in to a more commercial relationship when they’re ready.  That could be as simple as moving from a Facebook Fan to a Webinar participant or Email Newsletter subscriber. In some cases it might mean becoming a buyer of products/services.

If your business has successfully developed it’s social network presence, what have been some of the roadblocks you’ve overcome? What insights can you share on best connecting with networks and growing your business as a result?

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© Online Marketing Blog, 2010. |
5 Ways to Electrify Your Social Network |
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Shutterstock Voted Best Royalty Free Stock Photos Site for Bloggers

Mar 15, 2010   //   by Erik Olson   //   Blog, Corporate Blogging, Industry News, Mashable News, Online Marketing  //  No Comments

Winner - TopRank Reader Poll A great photo can really add a lot of flavor to a blog post and in our own analysis at Online Marketing Blog as well as with clients, including quality images with a blog post can boost traffic and referrals 30-50%. To make posts more personal, I try to use my own photos as much as possible and do use imags from Flickr under Creative Commons from time to time. This is an area of significant impact for blogs as effective communication and marketing tools, so last week we ran a Reader Poll on the best site for royalty free, stock photos for bloggers.

We had the most comments from iStockphoto users and interestingly enough, the “Other” category came in second place with suggestions including: screenshots, stock.xchng, PhotoXpress.com and Creative Commons imagies from Flickr.

Shutterstock

The poll results are below, but as you can tell from the image, Shutterstock was the winner: Best Stock Photo Site for Bloggers.

Online Marketing Blog has been using iStockphoto for the past 3-4 years but after seeing this poll, we’ll check out Shutterstock.  In fact, I ran into the Shutterstock booth while at the SXSW Interactive conference and shared the good news in person. There was a photobooth within the exhibit booth (with props) that was very popular with conference attendees.

Congratulations to Shutterstock on winning Online Marketing Blog’s Best Royalty Free Stock Photo Poll.

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Shutterstock Voted Best Royalty Free Stock Photos Site for Bloggers |
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10 Tips on Live Blogging & Content Marketing at SXSWi

Mar 12, 2010   //   by Erik Olson   //   Blog, Corporate Blogging, Industry News, Mashable News, Online Marketing  //  No Comments

So here I sit in the DFW airport hanging out with David Berkowitz waiting for my connection to Austin. What better way to spend that 45 min than to write a helpful blog post? A big part of my “mission” for SXSXi is to create content after all.

I have several other goals like networking (reconnecting and especially new contacts), competitive research, recruiting and potential client prospecting. But content marketing is our bread and butter. It can be an effective tactic for you too, especially if you can learn to be highly efficient at liveblogging conferences.

Here are a few tips that will not only give you a tested and proven guideline but should improve your efficiency and quality of output.

  • Create a schedule. Whether you’re blogging on your own or with a team, pick which sessions and related topics you plan on covering before the event. SXSWi has almost too many concurrent sessions and with such a large event, not planning will lead to getting to sessions late. That means a crappy seat in back and likely not anywhere near an outlet.It’s very easy to get distracted while at the conference and with live blogging, there’s no time to waste. If you know which sessions you’ll be covering, it can help to create draft blog posts ahead of time and include as much information in the draft as you can. This will make it easier to finish off the post as close to the session time as possible.
  • Plan ahead. When planning out which sessions, interviews or events you’ll cover, put together a grid showing session names, times and who should be covering (if you’re part of a blogging team). Coordinate sessions coverage avoids duplication and ensures the topical mix of content you plan on covering is properly represented.
  • Write the posts offline in an application like notepad. Then transfer the post to the blog. Many session rooms have poor if any internet connection at all. Make posts in an offline document and transfer them over to your blog software when you’re ready to publish.
  • Take photos. Photos of the panel or an individual speaker are great and can add a lot to what otherwise would be a text heavy post. Photos of the PowerPoint slides can be particularly useful if the presented goes fast or doesn’t follow a logical order. You can reference them later when finishing the blog post after the session ends. With photos, we’ve set up a TopRank Blog account at Flickr just for conferences. There, we create a “set” for each conference event and are sure to link to those collections of photos from within the blog posts.
  • Promotion tips for conference photos on Flickr: Be sure to add titles and descriptions to each photo. Include an anchor text link from the description back to the blog post it’s used with. With your Flickr account, be sure to network with other Flickr members that would be interested in conference photos. When we set up an account just for SES San Jose, we exported our 400+ network contacts from LinkedIn and used the feature in Flickr that allows you to invite 100 people at a time to our Flickr network. The more relevant people in your Flickr network, the more people that “see” what photos you’re posting. Images taken through out the day and eve should be uploaded, titled, tagged and commented/linked before the next morning.
  • Take videos. Just about ever digital camera can take web quality video. We added 4gb memory cards over an hour of video for each camera can be taken. Interviews with attendees, speakers and exhibitors are particularly popular. You must keep in mind that with large companies, employees can rarely do a video interview without approval from their Legal and/or PR departments, so you need to schedule those ahead of time. You also need to be aware of the video taping policy of the conference. Most events do not want you to take videos of the sessions themselves.
  • Add some flavor to your videos. You don’t necessarily need a pro level of post-video production to get good promotion value out of conference videos. You should however, be sure to use software like Windows Movie Maker (free) to add text to the video indicating the topic and your blog URL. Also, set up a channel on YouTube as a way to organize and promote your posts along with accounts at other video sharing sites.
  • Sit close to the panel AND the screen. Also, if there is just one large screen in the room, sit between that and the panel. That way you can get clear photos of both the panel and PPT slides. If you have one of the most common digital cameras, don’t bother with a flash if you’re not close to your subject.
  • Network with other bloggers. When in the sessions or in the press room (if your blogging on a press pass) be sure to connect with other bloggers. You have something in common – the formidable task of taking a mix of presentations, some great and some psychotically unorganized, and turning them into a story that makes sense to a savvy search marketing audience – all in real time. Connecting with other bloggers both offline and online can facilitate information sharing as well as links.
  • Promote your posts. Once your posts go live, then be sure to make an effort to promote the posts to your network and to interested social communities. For example, promote screen shots of your videos to Flickr with a link to the video post. Let interview subjects and other bloggers know when you’ve posted. Leverage your social community networks (StumbleUpon, del.icio.us, Facebook and niche/vertical specific sites) to draw attention to particularly “promotable” content.
  • Tag your posts and media. For some conferences, the organizer will advise the attendees to use a specific tag to make it easy for readers to find posts specific to that event. For example, the recent MediaPost event in Park City Utah used an image tag of: sisutah07. Generic tags are also useful. Use these tags not only with your blog posts and Technorati, but also with photos, video and social bookmark/news submissions.
  • Establish a few basic blogging guidelines or simple processes. Here are a few that we start with:
    • Create drafts of posts BEFORE the conference with notes.
    • After sessions posts are saved in draft form.
    • All posts must have images, ideally of the session panel.
    • All posts are associated with relevant categories and tags.
    • Alternate title tags with keywords are written.
    • Post titles start with a consistent naming convention along with a short description.
    • Once posts are edited, editor makes them live.
    • Better quality posts are vetted for promotion within blogger networks.
    • Round up posts are published at the end of each day or at the end of the conference.

The biggest takeaway for better liveblogging is to plan ahead and follow through with promoting your content once it’s live. What liveblogging tips have you found to be effective? Any tips or tricks on being more efficient?

5 Social Media Tips for Ecommerce Marketing

Mar 12, 2010   //   by Erik Olson   //   Blog, Corporate Blogging, Industry News, Mashable News, Online Marketing, Social Media, Twitter  //  No Comments

If you run an ecommerce business, chances are your customers – regardless of their age, gender or economic status – are active on social networks and social media sharing sites.

Just consider the statistics from social media monitoring site Pingdom:

  • Males and females almost equally use social sites (47% vs. 53%)
  • 61% of Facebook users are middle aged or older, with the average age being 37
  • 18- to 24-year-olds don’t dominate any particular social networking site; they’re spread out all over

The bottom line: If you aren’t discovering which in social networking channels your customers spend time and include them in your ecommerce marketing mix, you’re probably  missing out on building relationships, community and increasing new customer acquisition through online word of mouth.

Leverage these five social media marketing tips for ecommerce to either get started with more social digital marketing or take your current social strategy to the next level:

1. Go Where Your Customers Are

Very few things in life promise endless options – digital and social media marketing being one exception. From Facebook to Twitter to LinkedIn to YouTube, there’s no limit to the number of social networking channels available for your business to leverage. Key to successful social media marketing for ecommerce is choosing the right channels to reach customers.

Find out where your customers are congregating by:

  • Asking them. Sounds overly simplistic, but sending a formal survey to customers or more informally polling them on your website can provide a wealth of knowledge.
  • Monitoring social sites. Use a free tool like Social Mention or Trackur. For something far more robust use tools like Radian6 to discover how and where customers are talking about your brand, your competitors or target keywords.
  • Leveraging the stats. Some sites like Facebook are transparent when it comes to user statistics. Or leverage research conducted by third-party firms like eMarketer.
  • Revivew backlinks, job postings, news announcements and keyword rankings of competitors on a regular basis to get a glimpse into their online marketing health.

2. Monitor What Your Competitors Are Doing

Whether your ecommerce business is new to social media marketing, or just need to take your efforts up a notch, competitive intelligence can be very useful. Spend some time by conducting a competitive audit of your top five competitors on the social web. Include:

  • The social sites in which they are active
  • The type of content they publish on the social web
  • The number of followers/fans/views they have on each site
  • How they promote specific products, programs or events via social media

For even more inspiration and insight into what works well on the social web, look to ecommerce sites in other industries or even successful B2B social media examples.

3. Promote Exclusive Offers Through Social Media

In order for your ecommerce business to gain a following on whatever social channel you choose, entice customers with something they can’t get anywhere else.

For example, promote a contest via social media. Last fall, TopRank® Online Marketing leveraged this tactic for one of its ecommerce clients. TopRank used the client’s blog and Facebook fan page to promote a Halloween contest to name the best costume. This initiative not only drove additional traffic to the client’s website, but also helped increase the number of Facebook fans.

Alternately, offer an exclusive item to social media followers or fans, such as free shipping or a weekly coupon. You can also offer “breaking news” that does not appear anywhere else, like pre-product release announcements or an inside look at your company’s inter-workings.

4. Don’t Just Push Products and Promotions

The primary goal of your ecommerce site may be to sell products, but your social media marketing strategy should encompass a wider range of tactics that simply promoting offerings. With too much product pushing and not enough engagement, you’re unlikely to experience optimal success.

Incorporate some of these ideas into your ecommerce social media marketing strategy:

  • Share messages or news stories from external sources
  • Create a blog on your website and feed blog content to your social accounts
  • Ask questions, participate in discussions or poll your customers via social media
  • Post pictures from company events or videos from your CEO’s speaking engagements

1-800-Flowers maximizes the use of social media for its marketing efforts.

5. Sell Products Through Social Networks

Many ecommerce sites leverage social channels to make it even simpler for customers to purchase their products. 1-800-Flowers has taken this idea to the max (see image above). It was the first ecommerce site to launch a Facebook store, allowing customers to browse and purchase its products directly through Facebook.

1-800-Flowers may be an extreme case, but ecommerce sites large and small can still indirectly sell products through their social profiles. For example, highlight new products or best-sellers and provide a link to the order page on your website. It may not be quite as simple as purchasing directly from the social profile, but it can be just as effective.

The five ideas are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to ecommerce social media marketing. What social media tactics have you found to be successful?

BIGLIST Social SEO Blogs Update 031110

Mar 11, 2010   //   by Erik Olson   //   Blog, Corporate Blogging, Industry News, Mashable News, Online Marketing  //  No Comments

BIGLIST SEO Blogs

Welcome to the post-Winter/pre-Spring version of the BIGLIST review of SEO blogs.  Snow is starting to melt and you can actually walk around outside (in Minnesota) without your eyelashes freezing together. We have a nice group for you to review so fire up your RSS reader and subscribe.

LyndiT blog gets our attention for great design and user experience in this BIGLIST update. Lyndi Thompson is a Social Media and Online Marketing Specialist and like me, is addicted to peanut M&Ms.  Besides writing about a mix of social media, SEO, web design and online marketing topics, you might be interested to know Lyndi lives on a mini farm, owns several animals including a donkey and supports some great causes in the Northwest.

  • Frank Thinking About Internet Marketing – Frank Reed blogs on several sites including Marketing Pilgrim and Biznology. Here, he shares is talented writing skills to tell stories about SMB internet marketing topics. This isn’t a how to blog, it’s a broader topic and things to think about blog as the name implies about Search, Mobile, Social and Local.
  • State of Search – What’s going on in the search and social media marketing space?  This new blog from Dutch internet marketer, Bas van den Beld of Search Cowboys fame, and friends promises to be a source for what’s happening in the world of search and social.  It also compliments a weekly radio show on WebmasterRadio.fm of the same name.
  • ezlocal blog – If you’re in search of great advice on local search marketing, this might be your lucky day. You can expect detailed how to posts including those about Google Maps and Local Business Center and local marketing topics. ezlocal itself is a local business search resource and directory.
  • Digital Marketing Zen – David Wells is a digital marketing strategist for an agency in Charlotte, SC and publishes a blog that documents his observations via posts, podcasts and a curated collection of videos on topics that include everything from Augmented Reality to SEO and Social Media to Web Analytics.
  • Single Grain Blog – This agency blog is written by Sujan Patel and Ross Hudgens on SEO, PPC, Design, Link Building and some social media.
  • Website WorkshopBuzzhound Learning Lab is a St. Louis, MO based agency with a newer blog that has started writing posts again about SEO and topics that support the SEO training courses offered.  Hopefully they continue.
  • Aussie Internet Marketing Blog – Sean Rasmussen writes “down under” about practical tips on a variety of online marketing topics including SEO, blogging, social media and general web 2.0.

Did your SEO or SEM blog make the cut? Share the good news with your readers using the badge and link below or choose one from the badges page.

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BIGLIST Social SEO Blogs Update 031110 |
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11 Free Tools for Social Media Optimization

Mar 10, 2010   //   by Erik Olson   //   Corporate Blogging, Industry News, Mashable News, Online Marketing, Social Media  //  No Comments

Plenty of bloggers are talking about the inevitable intersection of social media marketing and search engine optimization. Keyword optimized social content and channels of promotion provide abundant signals to search engines for improved visibility on standard, social and real-time search.

The changing nature of social media marketing and optimization create the need for tools whether for research, marketing and promotion or analytics. Here are 11 social media and SEO tools you might find useful:

What low cost or free tools have you found to be effective for social media optimization tasks?

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