Kaila Strong

Top 4 Books on Social Media

Although we’re only a mere two months into the year, I have been doing quite a bit of reading. I am excited as this list includes some of my favorite writers like Guy Kawasaki and Ryan Holiday. The industry moves and changes quickly but I feel that these particular books are still very relevant, at least conceptually. Sometimes the biggest takeaway from a book is not the exact figure or tactic but the thought process of how to come to that conclusion. What may have been the trend in 2012 is not the same story for 2015. I think it is important to look at how an author not only finds but analyzes that trend. Going through this site I noticed that there weren’t any other social media book reviews and I thought that was odd. These authors are the thought leaders of the industry. There are so many to choose from and I thought it would be useful to highlight the top books to read this year. I’m afraid that if I don’t, attempting to make a list later this year with all the new releases this year, it may be so overwhelming to put together that I simply don’t do it. With that said, here are my top 4 books. In no particular order, the list features books written by entrepreneurs and social media experts boasting content ranging from a...

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Optimizing Your Small Business Reputation Online

Making the most out of your small business reputation online involves many of the factors that build your brand to begin with. Using your reputation as leverage to push down negative results in search engines while at the same time increase sales, reduce costs, or build relationships can occur naturally as your company’s reputation grows. Simply put, there are five factors that will help you to optimize your company’s reputation online and help remedy any online reputation management issues. Leverage Strategic Online Relationships Keeping pace in today’s business environment demands that your company remain sharp in every area of business. However, in the real world there are simply too many aspects of business to be experts at everything. So, it’s a good idea for companies to establish and nurture strategic relationships with other experts. The strategic relationships may lead to outsourcing contracts or distribution points in the future. Healthy relationships with other experts and leaders in related fields may be the key to giving your company a friendly advantage. In addition, guest posting opportunities may arise to allow you to post content on their sites or vise versa – drawing in visitors as well as helping with SEO. Make Quality Improvements Prioritizing the bulk of your organization’s resources into one specific area can serve as the catalyst for a world of growth. Your organization needs to continue to perform its...

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Inspiration for Online Marketing Success with Pinterest

If you don’t know already, I’m obsessed with Pinterest. I use it a bit as a hobby but mostly I’m interested in browsing to see what others pin and how they organize their pins. There is so much valuable marketing inspiration contained on Pinterest, you just have to go out and find it. Tomorrow I have a post going live on Search Engine Watch that discusses using Pinterest as a way to conduct market research. One of the things I share in the post that I discovered, is what a wealth of information you can glean to help you improve your website using Pinterest. In the end I think I’ve narrowed it down to 4 key areas in Pinterest that can help inspire a website owner. Categories The sheer nature of Pinterest is enough to inspire a bit of a website upgrade. The site is so clean, sleek and modern that it’s easy and simple to browse. Additionally, the site’s magazine type layout and heavy photo focus is what appeals to many. Using the categories as well as search function on Pinterest, you can conduct a bit of research to see the images and items in your niche or industry that are popular. Whether it’s instructographics and how tos to infographics and photos of products, each of these image asset types can be developed and used on your site....

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Google Webmaster Tools You Should Use Today

Whether you have a large site or a very small site, having a Google Webmaster Tool account set up is essential. In GWT webmasters can see the inner workings of a website as it relates to Google. That information can be extremely valuable when evaluating your sites performance and tailoring your efforts to achieve your goals faster. Crawl Errors In GWT users can see what errors were encountered by the Googlebot when crawling and indexing your site. Errors with crawling sitemaps, HTTP errors, pages not found or broken links, URLs not followed, URLs restricted by robots.txt, URLs that take too much time to load, and pages that are unreachable can be seen in the “Crawl Errors” section of GWT. This information is extremely helpful if you have a large site to manage. Errors may indicate an issue with innumerable items on your site. Each error should be examined in detail by an expert to determine its accuracy. Servers can often act strangely and not perform correctly for search engines. Some have even found Googlebot has crashed their sites, but offer solutions in many posts available online. Look at the error reports and determine the cause. Attempt to fix the issues you find because a site that can be crawled without error is certainly a good thing. Meta Descriptions & Title Tags I find the meta descriptions and title tags...

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6 Tips: Diversifying Anchor Text

Do you vary your anchor text? Surprisingly, many individuals that do their own SEO and link building activities don’t diversify anchor text enough. Today, over use of your keywords can lead to some pretty severe consequences – penalties, ranking drops and traffic decreases. Luckily, there are easy ways to combat the issue of over optimized anchor text. Diversifying the keywords pointing to your domain is the best way to avoid this issue. Here are 6 tips to help you understand your options when diversifying anchor text. Branded Anchor Text The easiest way to start diversifying your anchor text is to use your brand as the keyword phrase. For large brands, the anchor text most often used when linking to their sites is their brand name already. Use a tool like Open Site Explorer to examine your backlinks. Use their distribution of anchor text tab to help you see what keywords are being used most often. How often is your brand name used, or variations of your brand name? Keep an eye on the keyword variations showing up in your backlinks and actively pursue opportunities that will allow you to link to your site using your brand name: social profiles, directories, guest blogging, etc… Misspelling It’s natural to see keywords misspelled or used incorrectly. This is true too, of your backlinks. Purposely misspell and use keywords incorrectly every now and...

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Using Facebook Interest Lists to Market Your Brand

During the most recent updates to Facebook, users were presented with Interest Lists as a way to help better organize the content they digest from Facebook connections. Users are encouraged to organize their interest lists and customize them according to the topics that they enjoy seeing status updates about. If you’re active on Facebook, then you know what a fire hose of information it can be. Interest lists help you to lessen the fire hose affect and allow you to better organize your interests in a way for easy digesting. The new add interests button is located on the left navigation bar. Clicking the button will take you to a list of hundreds of existing interest lists that you can subscribe to. Additionally, you can add your own and others can subscribe as well. The concept is very similar to Twitter lists, where you don’t need to follow or “like” a page in order to add it to a list. Lists are completely customizable including the name of the list. As marketers we can utilize this new tool in our arsenal in many ways to attract new subscribers. Brands can receive much more exposure with interest lists. Here are 4 key ways your brand can start using Facebook interest lists to market to new customers. Unique Content Does your brand provide sought out information on the internet on a...

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Getting to Know Search Operators

Are you an expert researcher online? The average online user over time has become better and better at finding the things they need online. The use of advanced search operators is commonplace. While search engines work to combat spam everyday, there are still many sites you wish to avoid in your search. Advanced search commands can help you sift through billions of websites quickly and easily by narrowing down your search with operators or commands. There are many options when it comes to advanced search commands. One of the more common commands is phrase search operator (“”). When you put quotes around a keyword or phrase, you’re telling the search engine to look for that exact match phrase online. They’ll serve up results with that exact phrase, or tell you that none exist. I use this one all the time when doing link building activities or trying to find out the name of the song stuck in my head at any given time. When you only know bits and pieces of the information you’re looking for use this operator to narrow down your search. Don’t want to see a result in the SERPs? Use the exclude search operator (-). Exclude words from your search and websites too. Example: Command -.edu will take out all instances of .edu domains in your results. You’re also able to exclude specific domains simply...

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Testing Your Message is Easier with Facebook Timeline

Do you know what type of messaging strategy works best on your Facebook Page? Most Page administrators might look at Facebook Insights every so often and may drill down to the per message detail to get their answers. Unfortunately, this isn’t enough to truly measure the effectiveness of your messaging strategy. Some element of test and target must be done, in my opinion, to effectively measure how well your messages are really doing. Unfortunately, with Facebook it’s pretty much impossible to set up split testing and if you’re thinking about multivariate testing… then forget about it. That is, not in the traditional sense anyways. As an administrator of a page you have the ability to control certain things on your wall. Targeting messages to certain fans and not others, hiding messages from fans, testing message type or time of day, etc… all possibilities on Facebook. When you drive traffic to your wall whether it’s through ads or referral traffic from other sources like TV or radio ads, testing can be made easier. You can control traffic a bit easier, allowing you to manually perform a split test. Whats the first message going to be that they see on your wall? This is all the more important with Facebook Timeline. No more landing pages! Figure out which message strategy is the most effective for your goals to maximize the traffic going to your wall. Without the...

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4 T’s to Help Improve Your Facebook Marketing Strategy

You’ve seen the Facebook stats: 845 million active users (161 million active US users), 2.7B daily likes, 60% of all internet users in the US and UK are on Facebook, and 2 billion total registered users. The social media site we’ve been use to for the past 5+ years has grown and evolved – and your marketing strategy should as well. Improving your Facebook marketing strategy over time requires a bit of trial and error. Heavy testing is involved and is my – 1st T: TEST. If you aren’t testing now, you’re missing out. Having your social media team utilize Facebook Insights is crucial to your success. Test and monitor your messaging strategy in the following ways: Time & date of successful status message updates Type of content and it’s success – pictures, video, etc… Trends in weekly total reach – look for cyclical patterns and spikes Friends of fans count – look for spikes to help you determine your most influential fans # of engaged users and reach per message There are key sets of data you can obtain by testing, as you can see above. Utilize this information to target your messaging in a better way to your audience – T #2: TARGET. It makes sense that messaging strategies that target your demographic are going to be the most successful, but surprisingly many Facebook admins update their...

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Are You Sure Your Customers Are Social?

How much do your customers really use social media? This seems to be a question that’s asked often and answered often. You might ask this question if you’re just starting out in a new industry or maybe you’ve been in your industry a while but just don’t have a clue where to start online. Lack of knowledge, disconnect with data and not knowing who your customers are can cause issues when trying to figure out how social your customers are. The first step in figuring out how social your customers are is research. Turn your lack of knowledge into expertise just by putting in the research. Conduct social listening exercises across multiple platforms to get started. Here are some suggested social listening exercises to help you gain the social insight you need into your industry. Site Search Monitor the large social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and even MySpace. Use the search functionalities of each of these sites. Search for keywords related to your products or services. Who is talking about your products and services? Are any of these users very influential – you can figure this out by going to their profile and looking at how many friends they have and how active they are. Additionally, try typing in frequently asked questions into the search bar. Are there users asking those questions? Make note of...

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