As more and more companies jump on the social media bandwagon, they’re beginning to realize that running an SMM (social media marketing) campaign isn’t always as easy as it looks. It’s not like you sign up on Twitter, send out a few meaningless Tweets, and then experience a sudden surge in business. Social media marketing requires a long term commitment, and the results are not always easy to measure.
Today, I want to talk about some of the challenges you’ll face when you start an SMM campaign. By knowing what you’re up against, you’ll be better prepared to avoid these common pitfalls.
• Finding the time—Personally, this is my biggest challenge. I run a one-man show, so it’s overwhelming finding the time to do all of my work plus staying active on social media outlets. But here’s the thing you (and I) have to realize: Marketing can never be placed on the backburner. It’s just as important as doing your actual work. Marketing should be something you do day in and day out. It’s the only way you’ll ever gain any attention and build a following on the social networks. I recommend scheduling time each day (maybe in 10 or 15 minute blocks a few times each day) for handling your SMM business. Consistency is key.
• Handling negative comments—This is usually the challenge that leads to a company spiraling out of control with their SMM campaign. Look, at some point, someone is going to say something about you or your company that you won’t like. It might be a comment on your blog or a random Tweet, but how you handle it will determine how successful you’ll be with your social media campaign. The thing is there isn’t really one set method of handling negative comments. For me, if the comment isn’t just pure hate, I take the time to respond thoughtfully, letting the person know I respect their opinion and asking them some well thought out questions. There’s nothing wrong with a polite conversation between two people who disagree. However, if the comment is just pure Internet hate, it’s probably best just to ignore it.
• Balancing personality with professionalism—This can be a tricky challenge to overcome. The whole point of social media is to be personable and to connect with your audience. This means you can’t come across as a corporate stiff shirt. However, you also don’t want to be too informal and risk creating a negative image for your company. My suggestion is to find a balance of the two. Obviously, you probably shouldn’t post pictures of yourself doing a body shot at the bar, but you also want to avoid sounding like a corporate robot. Simply put, just be yourself, but always proofread everything before you post.
• Staying committed for the long haul—Like I said at the beginning of this post, social media isn’t a quick fix. It’s something you need to stay committed to every day over the long haul. Unfortunately, many companies fail at this. They’re very passionate when they first start a Twitter profile or a new blog, but inevitably, a couple of months pass, and they gradually disappear. This usually happens to those who don’t set any actual social media goals and who are just blindly blogging and Tweeting away with no real purpose.
• Measuring SMM results—The value of SMM has always been debated. Some people claim that, since they don’t generate any physical business through their Twitter or Facebook account, SMM is a waste of time. Others say that social media is a great way to increase brand awareness, gain insight into your target audience, and build useful business connections. The reason most people have a hard time measuring results from their SMM campaign is because they don’t know what to measure. Is the goal of your campaign to earn more back links to your site? Is it to increase search position? Or are you simply interested in boosting your sales? By having a clearly defined purpose for your SMM campaign, you’ll be better able to measure your results.
What challenges do you face when using social media marketing? Share them with us the replies!
On April 2nd, Digg launched the DiggBar. In Digg’s words, the DiggBar allows you to “Digg directly on the destination site, easily share stories, access, view comments while on the story page, discover related stories, see more stories from the same source and discover random stories.” In reality, as TechCrunch noted on the day that this new feature from Digg was launched, the DiggBar is a way to keep “you on Digg and shows the site being pointed to in an iframe wrapper.” This means that while Digg used to send large amounts of traffic in exchange for being able to feature great pieces of content on their web site, they are now trying to have the best of both worlds by not only using content from other publishers but by also benefiting from the traffic that content generates.
Not surprisingly, this new feature has generated a lot of controversy throughout the Internet community. While there has been a lot of scattered discussion about why many people feel the new DiggBar is pure evil, here is a centralized look at the three main reasons people are getting upset:
Steals Traffic and Links: As some people have stated, “Digg is just a glorified scraper site now.” The reason that this statement has some validity to it is because not only is Digg stealing traffic by framing in content from other publishers, but because the DiggBar includes a URL shortening feature, people will be linking to the “Digg URL” instead of the actual URL of the content. Regardless of how you feel about SEO, social media optimization, linkbait or any other related topics, I think we can all agree that when a publisher takes time to create a piece of content that people enjoy, they should be the one to receive the links and traffic generated from that piece of content, and not a third-party service. Just imagine if Google started framing all of their search results and creating their own URLs instead of linking to the original URL of the content!
On the last day of March Marko from HowToMakeMyBlog.com wrote a post, Do not worry about SEO, just concentrate on your blog readers encouraging bloggers to worry more about interacting with their readers and creating great content instead of SEO. As someone who is active in the blogging and social media world, I agree that this is solid advice for bloggers. However, as someone who also works in the SEO world, I do know from experience that a well-optimized blog can increase the amount of traffic that you receive from search engines. So, while Marko provided several good tips for your initial blog SEO in his post, I wanted to write today about how you can automatically do SEO for your blog.
Balancing blogging, social media and SEO; photo from Marcio Okabe
As long as you are using WordPress, you can perfect your blog’s SEO with the Platinum SEO plugin. Now, before I discuss this plugin, I want to address one issue. I am sure that many of you have heard of the
Now that you know why I recommend the Platinum SEO plugin, let’s dive into it’s features:
-This plugin will automatically optimize your post and page titles for search engines. This means that you can focus on writing great titles that will attract human readers, and the plugin will make sure that the titles are optimized for the search engine crawlers.
-The Platinum SEO plugin will generate all of your meta tags automatically (however, if there is a specific change you want to make to a meta tag, you can easily do so). So, instead of spending five minutes creating meta tags for your post, you can use those five minutes to embed a great picture into your post from Flickr that will grab the attention of your visitors.
-Although WordPress is a great platform, one of its biggest problems in terms of SEO is that it creates a lot of duplicate content issues (which can negatively impact your search engine rankings). Fortunately, this plugin has features built into it which will take care of those duplicate content problems.
-While Marko mentioned that you should change your blog’s default permalink structure to a “prettier one”, if you already have a blog, you may be worried that changing your permalink structure will create a lot of broken links. However, with this plugin, you can change your permalinks in the WP Dashboard and the plugin will automatically take care of any broken links by creating a search engine friendly 301 redirect.
-Since there are certain pages of your blog that you may want readers to have access to but not search engines, the plugin makes it easy to add the following tags to any post or page that you choose (all of which are designed to block search engines from indexing that specific post or page):noindex, fnofollow, noarchive, nosnippet, noodp or noydir.
By using this plugin, you will be able to get the best of both worlds: not only will you be able to enjoy more search engine traffic, but you will still be able to keep your focus on interacting with your readers and writing top notch content that keeps them engaged!
Do you have any , questions, opinions or insights? Please let us know in the comments below.
Arguably, the most popular type of social media web sites are social voting sites. The reason that social voting sites can be more addictive than crack and more alluring than the song of a siren is because they can send a huge surge in traffic if a piece of your content gets popular.
As many of our regular readers know, I have taken time to explore most of the major social voting sites. While they are all alluring, I have discovered that they have their distinct advantages and disadvantages, as well as their own unique social culture. So, without further ado, let’s review six of the most popular social voting sites:
Digg.com: Digg seems to be one the most popular and well-known of the social voting sites. My personal views of Digg are that they can be excessively picky about the source of the content, and it definitely takes a significant investment of time and commitment to succeed on this platform. However, I still think Digg is a lot of fun, as well as a great platform for networking. I know that I have personally made many great friends from Digg!