Assignment 5: SEO for Social Media

“SEO for Social Media” is a course I took on Linkedin Learning. I chose this event because throughout the entire Social Media course, SEO is the one thing I have had a difficult time wrapping my head around. I know search engine optimization is very important in social media and therefore I wanted to take the opportunity to expand my learning on it.

Gabe Villamizar was the instructor, and unfortunately because this was not a live event, I wasn’t able to interact live with him. However, I did add him to my linked in account, and will not hesitate to contact him, if ever I need to know more about SEO. I found him to be a great speaker and very intelligent. He knows his stuff.

            He mentioned some things I already knew how to do thanks to the social media course (such as hyper linking in a blog post) however, he went on to explain how important adding these links are for SEO. He also mentions that articles that are 2000+ words get more top 10 places in searches. That was definitely something I learned that I will keep in mind. I also learned that when doing B2C the best platforms to post on are Facebook, Instagram (which is almost a 50-50 balance of men and women users) and YouTube.

Gabe explained how important profile optimization is when working in social media. Something he said is the quote I will take away:

“Begin seeing your accounts and profiles as your digital worldwide billboard on the busiest freeway where hundreds, thousands and millions of cars drive by 24/7, 365.”

He went on to explain how important is to make sure your accounts are completely filled out “Account Completion”  He also explained that consistency across all platforms in the name of the game, which I remember learning throughout the social media courses. All of these things help with SEO, which in return gets you the results you want, traffic to your website.

I will definitely being attending more courses and events when they are offered on LinkedIn Learning. I believe they are credible and I take a lot away from them. It is great that there always seem to be new videos/sessions coming out and so I can always improve my skills.

Find your Blogging Voice

how-often-blog-why-blogging-writing-ideas

A blog “is the best bet for a voice among the online crowd. It’s a personal website, packed with features, as easy to use as your e-mail”(What’s your story). 

I seemed to have made myself a little theme with my last few blog posts so I decided I was going to do a blog about blogging.

I have my own personal blog, along with the blog posts I put on this site. I must say, my blog has taken the back burner since I started this program, as I have just gotten too busy. My blog was started last January, it was started with a co-worker of mine, and we did it as a challenge. We had decided that we were going to be trapped in our closets for 2015, that we were not allowed to shop for the year, and that we must wear all of our clothes in our closets. In my business, I have many events that I attend in a week, from store-openings, to charity events, to gala’s and I seemed to buy a new outfit for every event. The blog gave me a reason not to shop. It gave me a purpose! So I completely understand why people are bloggers, and why it is so enjoyable. But I often wonder…

Where do people find the time!

Now there is nothing wrong with being a blogger and spending time on your blog; however I couldn’t make my blog work, because I couldn’t spend enough time on it. Don’t get me wrong, I really liked blogging, but I felt let down when I wasn’t getting a lot of views on my blog, and I wasn’t getting the followers I wanted. It made me feel that I was writing for no reason. So I am here today to discuss how you can write and manage a successful blog.

Some questions came to mind when I first started writing this blog post, that made me stop and re-evaluate my own blog. I suggest you ask yourself the following questions as well about blogging before you put more time into your blog:  what do you want to achieve with your blog? More followers? PR opportunities? Just sharing your thoughts, opinions and tips? Once you have answered all of these questions, you can best plan out the next few moves on your blog. Here are a few tips on how to make your blog better:

  1. Find your Niche; writing a blog about an idea or concept that no other blog is writing about is going to be key. You want your blog to be different. You want your readers to come back to your blog everyday, and choose to read your blog over another blog.
  2. Be original; as mentioned above, you want your blog to bring in the traffic, so you need to be original. It is going to be hard to find something to write about when everyone is writing blogs nowadays however if you are original; with your pictures, with your attitude, with your writing style, you will bring the readers to your blog, even if your subject matter is the same as other bloggers.
  3. Social Media; each time you post something, post it on your blog’s Facebook page, Twitter, and Instagram and ask readers to check out your new blog post.
  4. Google+; Create a Google+ account for your blog, the more you post on google+ the higher your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) rank goes up. Every time someone searches on google something that links to your blog, the higher the chances are your blog will be seen. Also don’t forget to add those tags to your blog!
  5. Photography; Make sure any pictures you post on your blog are well-lit, clear, and feature your picture in the best light. Readers want to understand what you are talking about and adding more pictures will help. However they don’t want to see photos that are blurry and that they can’t make out.
  6. Contact me; make sure your blog has a contact me button. The easier it is to get in touch with you the easier collaboration will other bloggers will be. The great thing about collaborations, is that the other bloggers’ followers will go to your blog because you have collaborated with one of their bloggers they follow.
  7. Keep it simple; don’t make your blog complicated. I believe people read blogs to escape reality, and when your blog is too confusing, you are going to lose followers/readers, because the reader can’t escape reality.
  8. Comments; make questions in your blogs, so that readers want to comment on your blog. You can leave an open-ended question, or ask readers to post their opinion in the comments, this creates a sense of unity to the reader, and they will come back to your blog. You are creating a community!
  9. Add new content; remember to post regularly. As with any social media, you are going to lose readers if they have nothing to read. Readers are not going to come back to your blog, if there is never any new content. Try making yourself a schedule, plan out your post on a calendar and stick to it.
  10. Headlines; remember to make your titles of your blog catchy. People will be intrigued to read your blog if your title triggers something in them.

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So the question is are you going “to blog or not to blog”. I think in our social media driven society, that everyone should have a blog, as it is a way to share your experiences with friends, family and random strangers on the internet. Please post any other ideas or suggests in the comment section on how to run a more successful blog 🙂

COM0014 Post #7 – Have I learned to be a better storyteller?

The answer is yes. I have become a better storyteller and I have this course to thank.

Storytelling

Source: Rosenfeld Media Flickr

I have learned the digital storytelling is the process of oral storytelling with multi-media elements. Digital storytelling helps to create and build communities, to learn to communicate effectively and to help those reflect on their pasts.

But the question you must continue to ask yourself is, is your content strategy guided by audience intent or simply your intent? When it comes to content strategy your purpose should be to target your audience effectively with the intention that your audience should benefit from your story. The old-school content strategies are always around keywords, but what about audience  intent? There’s a lot of focus on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) around optimized landing pages (as there should be). Content, on the other hand, is more than just optimized website pages. Content is a means of communicating and building a relationship with an audience.  So, you should understand the audience intent. What would they consider useful? What would they consider interesting or engaging? What would they consider shareable? A great piece of content requires all of the things.

Source: Stories from the storytelling dog meme

Source: Stories from the storytelling dog meme

I know that there is a variety of stories that I want to tell, even shout from the digital mountain. I know that moving forward, I will continue to tell the story of our Waterfront Campus of Algonquin College including, our successes, our amazing and enthusiastic student body, and our lesser know stories – the diamonds in the rough so to speak. I hope that my passion for the college is seen as genuine and authentic – that I am engaging enough to cultivate an online audience.

What have your learned about digital storytelling? I want to know!

To blog or to Facebook – that is the question!

It was once said that with the ever growing popularity of Facebook that the blog was dead. Throughout this course we have also touched on the slow  and possibly inevitable death of Facebook. So which is it – Facebook vs. Blog?

wordpress_vs_facebook

According to a recent infographic by Infographiclabs, Facebook receives more than 2.7 billion “likes” each day and accounts for 1 of every 5 pageviews on the net. And while Facebook should play an important role in any marketing campaign, it should serve as an extension to the action taking place on your website.

A website that is created dynamically and which incorporates a blog forms the foundation of all social media marketing. Your website is where the conversation happens – it’s current relevant information.

Content marketing specialist and overall guru Patricia Redsicker created the infographic below pointing out the benefits of Blogging for business vs. Facebook marketing (I’m an especially big fan of the SEO benefits of blogging).

It’s not a question of whether or not Blogging is better than Facebook. The two should work hand in hand. That being said, dropping a business blog in favor of Facebook could be a big mistake. Again, it’s finding the time to do both well.

Facebook-vs-Blog

Are you for Facebook, a pro-blogger or are you trying the make the best of both but having difficulty?

References:

  1. Web Design
  2. Infographiclabs
  3. JAL Communications

COM0015 Post 4: Out of the Box

Empty Box

We’ve been outside the box for awhile now…(Photo credit: z287marc)

As I read more and more about reaching out to customers in different ways, I feel less like any of the social media is truly ‘out of the box’…unless the box is the computer. I feel like social media is humanizing online interactions. The focus is moving away from the ‘sell sell sell’ mindset and more towards providing online interaction and good content.  Yes, there’s a few bad eggs that use the Internet to hide behind keyboards and pass judgements, but those are more on the person to person level. In terms of online marketing, the purpose is moving to information and engagement.

I recently read an article that stated that search engine optimization was dead and it was now about online audience optimization.

“OAO allows online publishers to leverage their greatest assets—their wealth of high-quality content—to create a consistent web-wide presence, and generate consistent new and repeat visitors”

mediashepherd.com

I think that while some part of me knew that already, it was ingrained in me to create content targeted at SEO rankings rather than audience engagement. Now the further I walk down the social media path, the more I recognize that this is true. We saw that LEGO made an online advertisement that was emotionally targeted to people who grew up playing with their products. What was surprising to me was that they didn’t even track it’s effectiveness with regards to sales. They just wanted to rekindle the love of their brand. Even in an online forum, it is the building of relationships that is the major goal, just as it always has been here…outside of the box.

COM0011 – 521 Blog Post #6: Using Effective Content

Being an online company, we have so many possibilities when it comes to effective content. The internet is our playground which we really need to explore more of and use to the best of its abilities. One thing that we are currently doing effectively is sending out bi-montly email newsletters with coupon codes. They always generate a decent amount of sales, and we often get customers posting on our Facebook page asking when our next coupon code email is going to be.  We put them on coupon sites such as retailmenot, and we’ve found them shared on other coupon based sites. We put them on Facebook as well, but we could probably be doing that better, and reaching more people if we used better pictures and hashtags.

Something we aren’t doing that we really should be is making videos and putting those in our newsletters, social media sites and our own site.  Having learned how important videos are in terms of content and SEO, we have started planning a few videos to use on our site and social media pages, and I am excited to see how effective they are. We hope that they will attract more people to our Facebook and Twitter so that when we put up question posts people will actually start answering. It would be great to but some questions on Facebook and receive feedback from customers and expend our reach.

We have a photographer/graphic designer on site and another thing we do well is product pictures. We should be utilizing Pinterest more and putting a mix of product pictures, videos, and staff pictures up there. Since you can add sales and links to your site on each “pin” it would be another way to advertise our products and coupon codes. Having the name Feelbest we should also try putting up infographics on how our products benefit your health and how to effectively use the product. I think that is content that could really help us gain a following.

-Alison Collins