Preparing for 2012
Preparing for a new year is never easy no matter what line of work you’re in. In social media, it’s damn near impossible. Regardless of how much analysis of the previous year you complete or how strategies you put in place to start the year, things change… rapidly.
That all said, if you aren’t at least thinking about how you can improve or tweak your social strategy on a big picture basis, you’re already behind. Throw in Google’s announcement of their social search integration and you’re plain out of sight.
While they may be basic, here are some things you should be thinking about while you’re building your plan for the next month, 6 months, or even the whole year.
What is the connection between social and the bottom line?
Time and time again, we see businesses jump into social media with a bunch of buzz words at the helm of their strategy. They say that they’re doing social to converse with their customers, find new customers, have authentic engagement, etc. Those reasons aren’t wrong – they’re at the core of our values. That being said, business owners aren’t asking themselves how their efforts will connect to the bottom line.
We are far enough along in social media where the ROI is meaningful. We should never lessen the value relationships and authentic conversations, but we should be thinking about why we are spending the time and money and what the benefits will be in the end.
The line between social media to the bottom line may not be a straight one, but in the end, they should connect.
What networks actually matter and why?
I don’t need to be the one to tell you this but that said, the networks we use are evolving and all serve a different purpose. That also means that each network might not be important to your bottom line or message. This is where ROI is very important. It is important to evaluate each network separately and then determine whether it belongs in the mix of your social media strategy.
Where does social rank as a priority?
In my current position, I try to focus on social media as much as I can but in reality, social is often not the most important form of marketing for our goals (especially when you’re competing for Google ranking in “online mba programs“. That isn’t to say social doesn’t matter or isn’t a continuous part of our communications strategy. Instead, we have figured out what its importance is and how many resources should be dedicated.
Because we have evaluated its importance, we understand how to maximize our efficiency and what the most direct lines of success are within our overall marketing mix.
What is your voice?
Sometimes, being conversational and open isn’t the way to go for brands. Some brands need to be more authoritative or resourceful rather than being a friendly face. That doesn’t mean they don’t understand the nature of social that just means they understand what their public persona is and what is the best voice for their brand to possess. Find your voice and you’ll carve your place in the social atmosphere.
What defines success?
All of these questions lead into the final one. What defines success in your social strategy? This may be the most obvious question, yet it is the most important. If you don’t understand what you are working towards or what you will be evaluating at the end of your reporting period, it makes it extremely difficult to understand how to move forward.
Social is always evolving, but your overall goals shouldn’t waver past minor adjustments. They should stand firm from the beginning – otherwise your messaging and path will change to where your original goals are unrecognizable.
Everyone’s success in 2012 will look different from one another – it’s your job to understand what you are aiming to toast to in 2013.
SEO is one of the most effective methods for increasing visibility and boosting traffic online. And with Google the being undisputed king of the online search game, its ranking system is the one most publishers and marketers aim to please with their SEO efforts. However, many have found that keeping up with the company’s ever changing algorithm can be a full time job in and of itself.
If you’re among those who feel this way, brace yourself because the advent of the Google +1 button could lead to one of the biggest changes yet.
The +1 Button’s Potential Impact on Search Rankings
Since rolling out the +1 button in the spring of 2011, it was apparent that Google had big plans for the feature that instantly drew comparisons to the Facebook Like button. What became clear was the search giant’s ambitions of using it as a measure of good content and ordering rankings in the results pages. According to a recent article published by technology news site Wired, it has now been confirmed that Google will indeed use the +1 button as a tool that helps it organize rankings and weed out search engine spam, a problem the company and its competitors have been fighting for some time.
In order to get an idea of where the Google +1 button stands in terms of importance, one must first understand how it works. Remember, this feature is quite similar to what Facebook has going on with its Like button, so the best way to describe it is a convenient method for giving a piece of content your stamp of approval, an endorsement if you will. Slowly but surely, the +1 button has been making its rounds throughout the web. In fact, you may have noticed it more often in the search results and on web pages alongside buttons from Facebook, Twitter, and other sites.
The Wired story featured quotes from a Google spokesperson, who states that the company will not only be studying +1 button clicks in regard to influencing rankings and the order of results, but also as a measure of overall quality. Judging from the spokesperson’s comments and what has already been speculated for months now, it is starting to look like webmasters may need to tally up a certain number of clicks if they want to enjoy a comfortable spot in the rankings. From this perspective, the +1 button could become one of the many crucial factors that help determine PageRank, which would make it extremely important for obvious reasons.
Another Step in the Evolution of Search
To be clear, Google is not doing away with its PageRank system. Instead, it appears to be using the +1 button to improve that system and the quality of the results it delivers to the searcher. Above all, it looks like another step in the evolution that has seen search become more personal and relevant right before our very eyes.Read More
We won’t be posting until the 19th. Go away. Here’s why: Stop SOPA.Read More
Facebook changes make it almost impossible to keep up with the dimensions of image sections across the board. Googling to try and find each dimension can be difficult to find every image size for this Social Network, especially with the newest addition of the Facebook Timeline. Below is a useful resource for you to have on-hand to customize your Facebook Profile to look its very best, after all, presentation is essential.
This Cheat Sheet can even help you make the best impression for your Facebook Page and therefore can assist you in creating a presentable representation of your brand on the most popular Social Media outlet there is.
Facebook Profile Dimensions
Background Timeline Photo: Width to Height – 851×315 pixels
Profile Picture: Width to Height – 180×540 pixels
Thumbnail: (Note: Your Thumbnail is created via your profile picture, so in order to display the best looking thumbnail you must use the following dimensions within the profile picture to where you want it to be seen on Facebook). Width to Height 90×90 pixels (Your Thumbnail is what is seen within the Newsfeed next to a status update).
Facebook Page Dimensions
Facebook Page Usable Area: Width to Height – 520xunlimited pixels
Images within Photo Albums: Width to Height – 960×720 pixels
Facebook Ads: Width to Height – 110×80 pixels max size: 5mb
Text in Ad: Header: 25 Characters Copy: 135 Characters
Size: 1024MB Length: 20mins.
Your Facebook Dimensions Cheat Sheet
(click to enlarge)
Erin Ryan is a writer for various blogs and a Social Media Promotional Director who has a keen understanding of the power of Social Media for business and fervently stays up-to-date with the Social Media Industry. Erin enjoys teaching and helping people and businesses on how to use and connect through Social Media. You can connect with Erin on Twitter.
Read More Social Media News on our Socialeyezer Blog.
If you really want to ruin a life, here’s the perfect last minute gift to give to those you hate. In the future, we may see a need to use Facebook credits as a true form of legal tender that can be used for a variety of things, but right now it’s a pretty safe bet that anyone who uses this will be buying virtual goods on various addictive Facebook games like Farmville.
Get them hooked. Make them pay. The Facebook master plan.Read More
Early signs of the mass exodus from GoDaddy are already starting to show up and the unofficial Leave GoDaddy Day is still later this week. First, they supported SOPA, the evil bill that would weaken the internet as we know it today. Then, due to a mass uprising by prominent GoDaddy users and attacks coming from prominent social media sites like Reddit, they dropped their support of SOPA and did what they could on Twitter to get the word out.
Everything’s better now, right?
In an interview on Techcrunch, GoDaddy CEO Warren Adelman was wishy-washy about the stance that GoDaddy really had about SOPA, prompting many to point out that “GoDaddy’s SOPA flip-flop is a PR stunt to try to stop losing money“. The carnage continues today and will only get worse on December 29th.
It may be too late already. If there was one thing that GoDaddy could do to save them from further domain casualties, it would have to look something like this:
“GoDaddy unequivocally opposes SOPA, PIPA, and any attempts by the government to promote censorship of the internet. We have heard our customers and the voices of the majority on the internet and we now understand the errors of our ways. We will use our resources and our connections in Washington to do whatever it takes to stop the relentless attacks on the rights, privacy, and security of the internet community and the websites that support an open and safe web.”
If GoDaddy makes a statement that is powerful, clear, and that leaves no room for doubt of their stance, it will be a good start. From there, they will need to become a poster child of internet freedom by truly using their resources and political clout to stop the tyranny that the government is attempting to throw over the internet like a Drakonian blanket of Big Brotherhood.
Anything short of this and the company will be harmed tremendously over the coming days.
Some people are starting to ask why GoDaddy is getting the brunt of the attacks when there are hundreds of companies supporting the bills. When we want to lash out at a company, we know that the best way to do it is to hit them in the pocketbook. So many people (this blog included) have registered through GoDaddy over the years and when the prominent website owners like the Cheeseburger Network and Wikipedia started pulling their support, others followed in the same manner.
The coming days will show more companies getting attacked. GoDaddy was the “low hanging fruit” in the internet’s loosely unified attack on SOPA. We had to make an example of someone and GoDaddy won that honor.
Who’s next? We’ll be watching Twitter and Reddit to find out who the next major example will be.
It’s Not All Bad for GoDaddy
A complete turnaround through denouncement of SOPA can go a long ways towards helping them rebound. Their current attempts at damage control such as calling (former) clients to let them know that they stopped supporting the bill and the more nefarious techniques they are allegedly doing such as returning incomplete WHOIS information to Namecheap will not be enough.
IF they make a statement like the one above and IF they go on the offensive against SOPA, they have an opportunity to go from hated enemy to hero. It won’t be easy, but it’s possible.
On a brighter note, this controversy has given them a boost in Klout.
If they lose domains at the rate they are now, punctuated by the mass exodus on December 29th, Klout may be all they have left to hang their hat on (and we all know how useless influence scores really are).
Do the right thing, GoDaddy. It’s your only hope.Read More
It was a year where a ton (perhaps too much) attention was given to social media. While it’s relatively old in internet years, every day brings more people onto Twitter, Facebook, and apparently even Google+. 2011 proved to have some very excellent uses for social media from amplifying rage in Egypt to major IPOs in the tech industry (met with relatively little success, unfortunately).
For every good use of social media, there was the Anthony Wiener or Charlie Sheen making asses of themselves on it. Whether for cutting-edge innovations in information transmission or to simply laugh at the follies of morons, social media enjoyed another year of high-level interest from the population.
This infographic breaks down some of the big hits and misses, the bullseyes and the missed shots, that populated our Twitter feeds and made for excellent discussions on our Facebook walls. Click to enlarge.Read More