Go Social Conference Comes to Spokane
Spokane, WA (July 30, 2012) – Spokane’s largest social media marketing conference for businesses is coming to town. Hosted by nectarMEDIA, Go Social – Winning and Building Business Online – aims to educate, motivate and equip businesses on efficiently using social media and relationship marketing to win new and build existing revenue. “We are in the largest fundamental shift in the way consumers interact with businesses ever,” says nectarMEDIA owner Josh Wade. The all day conference is sponsored by Washington Trust Bank, Journal of Business and Red Lion Hotels and in partnership with Gonzaga University’s Hogan Entrepreneurial Program, Unleashed Online Marketing, KXLY and more. Nationally acclaimed author Rick Bakas, former Nike brand executive, and VP of mobile payment provider Press Pay and Nansen Malin, the world’s most followed non-celebrity on Twitter join a host of regional marketing experts to provide a day of educational talks and hands on breakout sessions.
Go Social is September 25, 8am – 5pm, at the Red Lion Hotel and Convention Center at the Park. Tickets are $149 and include lunch. Early bird registration is available through August 15 at only $99.
“The Go Social conference will change the way you look at reaching customers and could potentially save you and your company thousands on traditional marketing expense,” says Wade. Register your company and your whole marketing team today.
Tickets and conference information can be found at http://gosocialinw.eventbrite.com (enter promotional code “Earlybird” to save through August 15).
Visit http://nectarmedia.co or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information
04 Apr 2012
Google recently announced the most major transformation ever to their search algorithm and how it displays results to users. The “Search, plus your world” combines data from Google+ networks and the public internet. These changes propel Google+ into the status of major player in the social network wars for our attention. How will these changes effect search engine optimization for web sites? What does this mean from a social search strategy? These questions and more had me curious and stumped, so I turned to the person who I knew could best shine a light into the changes and their implications; Ed Reese of Spokane’s Sixth Man Marketing.
Ed, and his company are among the most regarded and respected in their field of search, SEO, and other geeky type stuff, so I thought I’d sit down and ask Ed to “shine the search light” into what all this means.
So, Ed, explain the new Google changes in regular people talk?
What do the changes mean from an SEO and web site optimization standpoint?
It definitely makes an impact. This somewhat “officially” announced to the general public how important Google believes social signals to be in determining quality content. And while it’s still a read-between-the-lines statement to some degree, they aren’t hiding that fact that incorporating a Google+ strategy into your marketing mix will likely help search rankings.
So how did social media influence search ranking algorithm in the past? Google’s big announcement made it sound like this is a new ranking factor.
We’ve been tracking social media’s influence on search engine rankings since February of 2011. SEOmoz wrote a great blog post about Twitter and Facebook’s influence on search rankings last Spring that documents what was going on at the time really well. The best example I’ve personally seen is from the Bloom Spokane. Last February they wrote a blog post that ranked #3 on page one of Google for the very broad phrase “birth advice” within 48 hours of it being published. For a small non-profit to outrank big sites like Mothering.com, the BBC, and Wikipedia that quickly was pretty crazy. We found out that the blog post was shared by nearly 200 Facebook pages in those first few days. And some of the Facebook pages had A LOT of followers. Google was tracking Facebook shares as a signal that this was quality content. It was the social sharing that was the main signal to Google that this was quality content out of the gate. It’s received natural inbound links (the traditional ranking influencer) since and has gone to the top spot for phrase “birth advice.” But it was the social sharing on Facebook that got it to the top of page one so quickly.
How does Google+ play into things now?
Google+ amplifies that effect. By adding circles (networks) of people on Google+ with common interests Google is able to create its own social graph of and determine what the these Google+ circles determine to be valuable content. The biggest upside, however, is that through personalization people in your circles are MUCH more likely to see your content (whether a website, blog post, etc). The downside is that Google+ still isn’t widely adopted by the masses (and I’m not certain that will happen). That said, Google has been very aggressive in marketing it and the likely increase in organic search traffic will be a continued to bring business owners and marketers on board. We’ll see how that plays out in the long run, but for now it’s something that I believe people can’t ignore from a marketing perspective.
What additional information is out there that people should check out?
I’d talk to people with direct experience using Google+ that have SEO and social media experience. Get Listed University is coming to Spokane on April 27th and will be a great opportunity to talk with some of the best folks around to understand how it fits within a good SEO strategy.
GET LISTED UNIVERSITY TICKETS ARE $199. Get admission for only $149 with the NECTAR discount code at THIS LINK.
I know you have a Google+ class coming up as well. I think that would also be a great opportunity for people to learn more about it in person. In terms of online information, I think that SEOmoz has some great information about both Google+ and social media’s growing influence on SEO. Here’s a quick list of their best blog posts and presentations on the topic:
- Why Every Marketer Needs a Google+ Strategy
- How Google+ Uses SEO to Steal Search from Facebook & Twitter
- Social Media for SEO (Presentation by Rand Fishkin of SEOmoz)
Thanks, Ed, for dropping the knowledge bombs about Google, SEO and Social Media. Looks like ignoring Google+ is a foolish thing to do and properly optimized social media profiles on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest are essential for rankings and listings.
01 Apr 2012
Groupon and daily deal sites are projected to be worth over $4.2 billion by the year 2015*. There are dozens of daily deal sites,
although most of them operate in generally the same way; for small business owners, these daily deals can make or break a business.
Thinking of a Groupon? This $20 class can save you thousands. CLICK HERE to REGISTER.
The way daily deals are structured
Generally, daily deal services are structured in such a way that both the merchant and the daily deal service both make money in some way. Groupon splits the income from the daily deal half and half, and requires a 50% or more discount on the product or service.
For example, a Groupon that costs $10 must be for a product or service worth $20. The merchant gets $5 of this income, and Groupon gets $5. Most daily deal sites also charge a credit card processing fee of between 1 and 3 percent. At the end of the day, this means the merchant gets approximately 22% of their usual charge for the item included in the coupon.
Each daily deal site pays out income from their deal differently; some in one lump sum, though many pay out in smaller installments.
The benefits of running a daily deal
For business owners, there are a multitude of benefits associated with running one of these daily deals.
- Very targeted customers: Generally daily deal sites offer very tightly controlled targeting of their customers, based on age,
previous buying habits, and geographical area. There are also daily deal sites that aim for a very targeted demographic; services such as Gaypon, for example.
- New customers: Many of the customers that purchase and use a daily deal are customers that may not have otherwise spent the money to visit your location or utilize your service; these new customers can be a much-needed shot in the arm for a business.
- Social presence: Most daily deal website users are already comfortable with the web and social media. Running a daily deal means attracting customers that are already primed to use social networks and offer their opinions on your business to friends.
- Search Engine Optimization: The spike in traffic, topical links to your website, and social media discussion of your business that will happen the day a daily deal runs with your business can do great things for your search engine optimization, if your website is ready for it.
There are a multitude of benefits to running a daily deal, but unless you are truly prepared for the onslaught, then a daily deal can ruin your business. There are hundreds of thousands of stories online of businesses that have been put out of business by their Groupon or daily deal. Before you decide to run a daily deal, you should carefully consider:
- The cost of the deal: In order to run a daily deal, you will likely giving a discount of 75% or more to every customer that uses
the coupon. Consider if your busienss can take that kind of a discount, and if not, then running the deal may not be worth it.
- Utilizing the information: You can get a wealth of information from and about the customers that buy and redeem your deal. If you do not yet have the structure to utilize the information in the future, however, then it may not be worth the cost.
- If you are prepared: A daily deal means several large spikes for your business. A spike in website traffic, a spike in orders the first few days, and another spike a few days before the deal expires. These customers are also very vocal and very likely to share, so if you are not prepared to handle the onslaught, you could do more damage to your businesses’ reputation than you could help.
So – should you run a Groupon?
So, in the end, should you run a Groupon or other daily deal for your business? The answer depends on if your business is prepared for the deal, and if you can structure the deal in such a way that the deal will not drive your business out of business. Do the math very
carefully, know your goals for the deal, and structure it in such a way that you can turn the one-time daily deal customers into a boon
for your business, rather than a drain.
To learn more about doing a daily deal the right way, check out Groupon – Deal Sites the Right Way on Tuesday, April 3 at noon at Nectar Media. 120 N Stevens
27 Mar 2012
Facebook timeline for brands is here. Regardless of your likes, dislikes or opinions or the controversy of change, businesses who embrace the timeline and maximize its features will build more engagement…and, engagement, after all is what we’re after. The more people you are “Top of Mind” with, the better off your business and brand will be. Stay tuned at the end of the video and I’ll tell you how you can get a free resource for effectively using Facebook Timeline for brands.
While you’re here, go like the new nectarMEDIA Facebook page.
Let’s dive into five essential things to know about Timeline for brands.
1. Cover Photo
Big real estate for brand awareness. The large 851 x 315 pixel image is an awesome opportunity to create a big brand impression. Keep in mind that Facebook has some strict rules that you cannot use this space for calls to action (like, join email list, etc), promotions (big sale) or even contact info like web sites, email addresses etc. Think through this image and real estate as it is the first thing users will see. This is a phenomenal branding opportunity, take advantage of it.
2. The Timeline
The timeline gives you an opportunity to tell your story. You can add a history of your business, milestones and continue with engaging pieces of content. Various aspects of the timeline are now customized to the user experience. Users will see content specific to their friends who interact with your page.
One major change is the way user posted content lives on the page. As an administrator you can choose to moderate content, have content live in a specific region of the new timeline or turn off fan posts entirely.
Timeline is more engaging bringing users back to the actual page more frequently than the previous version of brand pages. Be sure to post frequently 3-5 times per day and be engaging with photos, videos, questions, etc. Facebook is hoping timeline directs visitors to your page more frequently.
3. Default Landing Tabs
With timeline, the first thing every visitor is directed to is the home page. Landing pages that direct new users to “like the page” or incent users with coupons or email sign ups can no longer be made the default. Landing pages and custom content tabs are under the cover photo. Three are visible with an infinite amount available. Landing pages now become part of the content you can share and direct visitors to as part of your status update. One cool new feature is that brands can now create custom images for the landing pages.
4. Pinning and Highlighting
Timeline allows administrators the ability to showcase pieces of content by either highlighting or pinning. Highlighting stretches the content across the full space of the timeline. Planning on highlighted content. Customize with a 843 x 403 image
The pinning feature pins a status update at the top of the timeline. Now you can bring popular posts or create specific campaigns where users can interact with a specific piece of content. Pins last for 7 days. The pinned image dimensions are 403×403 square.
5. Messages and engagement
Timeline allows users to send private messages to a brand as well. In addition to messages, brands can no longer restrict the wall view to only show their posts. Brands CAN manually approve posts from fans. Facebook is looking for engagement between brands and fans. That engagement is important.
Timeline provides a lot of opportunity to connect with your fans. Keep these five items in mind and you will run a successful and engaging page.
Now, we want to give you a helpful resource. Our friends at Wildfire Apps have put together a resource guide. Click the link to get the free resource with helpful reminders and tips.
Thanks for joining me at nectarMEDIA. We are your resource for relationship marketing and social media mayhem.
nectarMEDIA is owned by Josh Wade of Nectar Tasting Room and Spokane Wine Magazine. nectarMEDIA provides relationship marketing and social media branding, management and mayhem for small and big business. Josh was voted one of the region’s top business people under 40 in 2011. Josh’s businesses were built exclusively using social media and the power of relationships. Nectar Tasting Room was voted the best new business of 2011 and after it’s first year was nominated by readers of The Inlander (the region’s most read publication) as the Best Wine Bar (3rd place). Visit the nectarMEDIA web site and find nectarMEDIA on Facebook and Twitter.
31 Jan 2012
Pinterest is now one of the top five drivers of referral traffic to brand / product web sites. What is all the Pinterest craze? How can proper use of Pinterest drive traffic to your web site? In short, Pinterest is a highly addictive visual sharing tool where users ‘pin’ items they like onto virtual boards. Think of it as a virtual vision board or even a visual version of your ‘favorites’ folder. The social side to Pinterest is users who follow you or your boards can share (repin) your items onto their boards, creating a viral aspect to the things you like. The kitchen counter top you pinned from Home Depot to your “kitchen remodel” board may inspire another kitchen remodel 3,000 miles away from you.
How is Pinterest Driving Traffic?
An image is either uploaded by a user or pinned from a web site. Those images attached to a web site will always be connected to that domain name. As users click the image to see a larger size or more information about your kitchen counter top they are taken to the web site in which it was pinned from. Boom, traffic to Home Depot!
I started noticing a trend in November with more traffic to my “7 Creative Uses to Recycle Wine Bottles” post. The majority of the referral traffic was coming from Pinterest. I made a mental note and started to watch traffic more closely to other visual and viral images. In looking at the last 30 days of referral traffic to my web site, Pinterest outnumbers Facebook 3 to 1. The 800 million user network was losing the referral game in my world.
Best Practices for Businesses
Rule #1 – Avoid “SELLING” – Pinterest is not about selling, it is about sharing. Let your product images speak for themselves. Users will virally share your product and the referral traffic will lead them to your site. From there, you need a good rule #2.
Rule #2 - Develop a conversion strategy. What are you going to do with that traffic once it is on your site. Do you make it easy for users to buy your product, download your recipe, opt in to your mailing list? If done right, you can convert the eyeballs to dollars.
Rule #3 – Organize your Pinterest boards. Be thoughtful about how you organize your Pinterest boards. Make it easy for a user to understand what you’re about and how your products relate to each other. Whole Foods has a great Pinterest board that is engaging, fun and educational. A local company, Apple Brides wedding event planners, does a great job of showing users how to plan a wedding. I also like to see brands create a few boards that have nothing to do with their product. If appropriate for your business add boards like “Books I like,” or “Things that Inspire Me.”
Pinterest is still in BETA and will naturally evolve over 2012. It’s easy and it’s fun, but be warned it is highly addictive. Give it a try for your business or brand and watch the referral traffic to your site grow.
Below is an infographic from Mashable.com explaining more.
ONE UPCOMING CLASSES ON PINTEREST $19.99
4/19 @nectarMEDIA 120 N Stevens http://nectarmedia.eventbrite.com