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Thursday, 30 October 2014

4 Social Media Tricks You Should Be Using for Your Business

Businesses today rely on social media as a way to connect with their customers. There are many different channels available to make sure that you are reaching out to your target audience.

There are many tricks that you can use on your networks to make the most of your content. If you want to be able to engage with your audience, take the time to incorporate some of these things into your social media posts.

Put the Spotlight on Positive Feedback

A lot of comments left on Facebook business pages show your brand in a positive light. You wouldn't want those good vibes to get covered up by so many other posts. That good feedback can do a lot to bring in new customers.

There is a way that you can make sure that those comments stay out in the open:
  • Select Posts by Others under your page's Activity Log.
  • Click on the pencil icon beside the post you want to share.
  • From the drop-down menu, choose Allowed on Page.
This will keep those positive posts about your business on your page, where other users will be able to see them.

Design your Twitter to Match Your Brand

Most of the social networking sites do not allow much customization when it comes to your brand page. Twitter, however, offers brands a lot of choices when it comes to creating a look that best suits your business.

Building a solid brand identity will make you more recognizable across the Web, from one platform to the next.

On Twitter, you can change your page wallpaper to reflect your business. You can also match your hashtag, hyperlink and tweet text to your brand colors.
To start customizing your own page:
  • Click on the gear icon and select Settings then Design.
  • Customize your own theme or choose one of the pre-made themes.
  • Upload your own branded wallpaper or choose colours that match your business.

Find New Customers with Pinterest

As Pinterest continues to grow in popularity, you notice that it has started showing up in search engine results. Take advantage of this by turning off the search privacy for your business account.

Users will be able to see your profile and boards when they conduct a relevant search on Google or Bing. You can turn off the search privacy in your Pinterest Account Settings.

Also, make sure that you are including relevant keywords in the descriptions and board titles.

Mix Up Your Google+ Post Format

With Google+, you get to make your posts look a little more interesting thanks to the formatting options available. You get to highlight different words by making them bold or italicized or both.

You can even use the strikethrough feature in your posts and comments. To add these features to your posts:
  • Bold: Place an asterisk ( * ) before and after the words you want to enhance.
  • Italic: An underscore ( _ ) at the start and finish or the text.
  • Both: Asterisk and then an underscore (*_ ) at the beginning and end
  • Strikethrough: Place a hyphen ( - ) before and after the text.

There are so many ways that you can get the most out of your social media content. The more you are able to draw in and engage with your followers, the wider your brand will reach.

Learn how to optimize your Social Media accounts for maximum engagement if you want to succeed online. What have you done to see better results through social media?

Monday, 27 October 2014

7 NEW Social Media Solutions to Grow Your Business

Oct14When it comes to creating buzz online, it’s hard to keep up. You want to hit your social media marketing out of the ballpark, but with so many changes, updates, and new features, how can you know you’re leveraging every avenue available?
Here are seven new tools and solutions that you should be aware of when marketing your business on social media.
1. Pinterest Messenger
Pinterest users send over two million pins each day. With so much engagement on Pinterest, it’s hard to ignore their newest feature –Pinterest Messenger.
The messenger feature allows people to chat about sent pins. Users can plan trips, projects, and weddings easier and faster by keeping the conversation visual and on the popular social media platform.
2. Twitter Promoted Videos
Twitter took the guesswork out of video marketing through Tweets. After months of testing, Twitter found that Tweets with videos generated better engagement and more views. Now, the popular social media network is bringing video marketing to a new level with promoted videos.
With this new tool, brands can upload, distribute, and enhance marketing campaigns using videos on Twitter.
Unlike Facebook’s automatic viewing feature, this new tool offers one-touch viewing. Marketers only pay when the video is clicked on and watched, making it more cost effective. Marketers get access to a wealth of metrics including reach and engagement, percentage of video completions, and organic vs. paid video views.
3. Facebook Save Feature
Newsfeeds are busy, cluttered messes. Many Facebook users love to quickly scroll through their newsfeed to get a quick glimpse at what their friends are up to. For marketers, this can mean lost opportunities.
Now, Facebook offers a save feature. If a Facebook user is on the go but wants to read your article or visit your website when she has more time, she can. With a simple click of the “Save” button, anyone can mark your article as interesting and come back to it at a later time.
4. BuzzSumo
Having a say in the conversation happening on social media is one of the easiest and most effective ways to generate brand awareness. The more you participate, the more people view you as a thought leader, contributor, and valuable resource.
Finding where the conversations are happening isn’t always easy. You might check for trending topics on Twitter, or monitor your competition for new stories and updates. This is no longer enough. Now there’s a new tool to help you stay current and offer fresh perspectives online – BuzzSumo.
To use BuzzSumo, simply plug in a keyword and let the magic happen. This solution will gather updates and show you the most popular content online. Use the search results to keep track of what other companies are talking about for each topic and the response your audience has to the subject at hand.
You can even filter your results by type of post, such as infographic, article, giveaway, or guest post. This tool enables you to reach out to influencers and engage the people who will spread the word about your brand.
5. Updated YouTube App
YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world. The apphas been available for television users looking to watch their favorite videos on the big screen for a few years. Now, the app just got a major update.
In the latest upgrade, YouTube made it easier for users to search for YouTube channels, find playlists, and view subscriptions in the new Guide.
6. Facebook’s Buy Button
Let’s face it. Facebook users are distracted and don’t want to be taken away from their precious newsfeed to go buy a product. Now Facebook is solving that dilemma by making it possible to buy products through the social media network.
Here’s how it works: Marketers post products available for purchase directly on Facebook. When a buyer clicks on the buy button in the post, she can quickly snatch up her new item without leaving Facebook. It’s the essence of point-of-purchase; you capture buyers with credit card in hand and product on the mind. You don’t have to rely on your buyer to find you later when she’s ready to purchase. You can make the sale faster and easier, growing your business.
7. Pinterest Specialized Interests
Pinterest is getting smart. The social media giant knows that its users love to browse through for ideas and inspiration. To better facilitate that, they have released specialized interests sections in some of the top categories.
The special interests section narrows the user’s search for articles, information, and images to Pin. It makes it easier to find websites that match interests and projects that match ideas.
Put These New Tools to Use in Your Social Media Marketing
One of the best ways you can use these new tools to grow your business is to find your contacts on social media. Some CRMs allow you to track down social media accounts to engage with your audience on a deeper level. Insightly is a great example. TheInsightly CRM automatically adds social profiles to your customer’s data. This makes finding and engaging with your audience easier and faster.
What new tools are you using on social media to grow your business?


Thursday, 23 October 2014

Link-Building Software: With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility

Link-Building Software: With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility
Link-building software is amazingly powerful when it comes to automating and streamlining your SEO campaigns.
But use it incorrectly or irresponsibly, and your site will drop from the rankings faster than the Titanic post-North Atlantic iceberg.
These programs can literally build tens of thousands of links in a week. But having tools like that is like having a loaded gun. Yes, you can hunt with it, but if you’re not careful you can also shoot yourself in the face!
Automated link-building software can have a place in your SEO campaigns... if used correctly. We’re not going to judge anyone and say you’re some Black Hat spammer if you use this method.
That’s just not realistic…
However, before you jump in and start firing off links like bullets at midnight during a Wild West New Year's Eve party, let’s go through what SEO link building software is exactly, the dangers of using it, what you can do to protect yourself and our product recommendations.

Link-Building Software Explained

While it might seem self explanatory, there’s a lot more to automated link-building software than the name might suggest.
Different software packages offer a variety of features but generally speaking, link-building software usually:
  • Allows you to build links at PDF submission sites, article directories, web 2.0 platforms, social media sites, blogging sites, social bookmarking sites and others.
  • Automatically sets up accounts at all of the different sites.
  • Helps you submit “unique” content to each site by giving you the option to spin your content.
  • Helps you avoid detection and deletion by the sites they are submitting links to through the use of proxies.
  • Spreads out your link-building over time to avoid a giant influx of links.
Obviously, the biggest selling point here is that you save a whole heap of time. No more setting up accounts, verifying them, optimizing them, adding content and all of the other things associated with in-depth link-building.

The Dangers of Link-Building Software

Software like this can easily create more backlinks and accounts than you ever thought possible with a few clicks of a button. But more and bigger does not always mean better in SEO.
Some of the dangers of using automated link-builders are:
  • High-Velocity/Volume Link-Building: When your site goes from 0 to 10,000 backlinks in a few days, you might get the wrong kind of attention from Google and the other search engines (ex: manual actions, “sandboxing,” deindexing, etc)
  • Footprints: When Google updates its algorithm to improve organic search results, it often attacks a large group of sites that share similar attributes. When using automated link-builders, it’s easier to get caught in one of these sweeps because the software uses the same patterns and variables for its users. This has the potential to leave a large footprint that Google (and your competition) can easily identify.
  • Content Quality: These programs typically use content spinning in order to avoid duplicate content issues. However, when not properly done, spun content can read like pure gibberish. While you may not be using it on your main site, junk content in your link-building system may throw up red flags.
  • Identification: Building this many links with this many sites can easily trip spam filters. Your IP, cookies and other identifying features can be targeted and blocked.  

Protect Yourself

Yes, there are some risks in using link-building programs that you need to be aware of.
Here’s what you can do to protect yourself and your site from an unwanted search engine backlash.
  • Steer Clear: If you’re that worried about your site and backlinks that it’s keeping you up at night, then don’t use automated link-building software. No one is saying you have to dance just because the band is playing.
  • Use Proxies: You’ll want to invest in a solid proxy list or a VPN program like HMA to keep your identity clear.
  • Take Your Time: Rome wasn’t built in a day. If you try to throw 10,000 links at your site, you’re going to have a bad time. Spread your campaigns out over weeks to make things look more natural.
  • Diversify: When making all of these links, make sure you’re not over-optimizing titles, anchor text and other on-page SEO factors. Generally speaking, you want to only target your keywords with about 10-15 percent of your links. The rest should be long-tail variations, your URL, your brand name and general keywords ("click here," "read more," etc).
  • Use Buffers: Unless you are ready to invest heavily in antacids and anxiety medications, don’t send all of these links to your main “money site.” Create web 2.0’s and other sites that will act like buffers for your main site. If any site takes the fall and gets de-indexed, it won’t be your main money-maker.

Link-Building Software Recommendations

If you feel like you’re ready to take on the risk and responsibility of using software like this, then you’re probably wondering which ones are worth your time and which ones aren’t.
There are a fair number of these programs out there but, in our opinion, the best link-building software programs are:

SeNuke XCR

SeNuke XCR is the “household name” when it comes to automated link-building and definitely the first place you should look.
The platform is extremely robust, offers all the bells and whistles you could ever hope for and is supported by a giant community of experienced users and knowledgeable staff. It’s so widely used that you can even find freelance marketers to run campaigns for you without buying the software yourself.
But nothing is perfect, folks. The drawbacks to this platform are:
  • Cost: Prices go for around $125/month
  • Availability: If you don’t want to pay the monthly fee, they offer lifetime licenses but only from time to time.
  • Complexity: Yes, beginners can get by just fine but this platform has so many features it’s going to take you awhile and some work to get things humming like a pro.

Ultimate Demon

If you’re thinking about using an automated link-building system but don’t want to jump into the deep end with SeNuke XCR, then Ultimate Demon should be on your radar.
It offers most of the same functions and is pretty user friendly. It’s cheaper too: $49/month or a one-time fee of $349.
The one drawback is that it’s not as widely used as SeNuke so there is not the same support community out there.


Personally, I have never used GSA’s software, but several marketers I know and trust swear by it.
It’s a $99 one-time fee and definitely the cheapest out of the major link-building systems out there. It also operates without having to connect to databases like Ultimate Demon and SeNuke, which many marketers like.

Do You Really Need Link Builders?

All too often novice Internet marketers start thinking that if they don’t have the latest tool or system they won’t be successful.
“Oh, if I only had this crazy new link-builder then I’d be making $100,000 a month in SEO like the big guys (claim they do)!”
However, a lot of the time these link-builders are so advanced and can build so many links that they are not needed and should not be used by beginner SEOs. As we discussed earlier, you can do a lot of damage by building too many links too fast to your site.
If you are just starting out, have a limited budget or won’t spend the time and effort to learn how to properly use these tools, then you should just pass. You can do a lot more harm than good.
You don’t necessarily have to dive in headfirst with link building. Use FiverrElance, other freelance sites and online marketing forums to find experienced providers that can run a couple of campaigns for you.  
Check out their history, get recommendations if possible and make sure they are building links responsibly. If their work pays off for your rankings, then maybe this is something you will want to invest more money and your time into.http://www.affilorama.com/blog/link-building-software-with-great-power-comes-great-responsibility

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

10 Ways to Make Your LinkedIn Profile Stand Out

When it comes to your LinkedIn profile you might miss the opportunity to create a stellar impression. It’s not enough to just complete your profile – it is critical to write a profile using the best strategies and tactics to increase your profile views and the number of opportunities on your radar.
Here are top 10 tips to make your Linkedin profile stand out.
1. Sell yourself!: Your headline should be catchy. Your title and company may require explanation. It should contain your email address as well.
2. Share valuable content: Publishing posts or sharing relevant articles will increase the number of profile views, connection requests, and followers. It’s social proof that builds your following and enhances your credibility. Regularly share your status with posts on your News Feed along with other updates to gain exposure outside of your network. Make sure you’re creating value for each post you share.
sharing post linkedin
Share articles that help your network
3. Optimize for Linkedin Search: Be sure to include industry keywords so you will be found in searches. For keyword ideas, search for examples of your ideal role’s job spec, candidates that are currently in the position and company, or request for proposal specification documents.
amy porterfield facebook
Amy Porterfield: Expert in Facebook Marketing
4. Use other mediums: Display rich media such as video or your portfolio work to further illustrate your value proposition. Studies have shown that adding video has increased website conversion rates.
5. Get descriptive: Be precise in your job history descriptions – quantify each achievement, preface each bullet point with an action verb, demonstrate skills competencies, and what problems you have solved for clients and companies.
6. Tweak your profile for more endorsements: Drag the Endorsements section to the top of your profile, above the fold so that connections can more easily endorse you. Place more important skills at the top. Include key skills that are required to land your next gig or client.
endorsements linkedin
Notice how Endorsement is on top of my profile?

7. Reach out to get connections:
 Be indiscriminate about accepting connection requests.1 I accept all requests – they could potentially endorse you for multiple skills, share your profile to their network, and expand your reach. You should aim to have 500+ connections on your profile. When sending out connection requests, try to modify the default message to something more personalized to increase the chances of your request being accepted. You can include your LinkedIn profile URL in your signature, “Connect with me.”
linkedin invitation
Example of a personalized invitation

9. Get recommended:
 Ask all past and current colleagues and clients for recommendations. It is really important to tell the people you are asking for recommendations what you would like them to say about you instead of just leaving it open. Even though you may think “I’ve worked for this person or this person knows me so I just want them to write whatever they think best describes me”, not specifying what you want someone to say really makes writing a recommendation difficult, no matter how well you know the person. You can come up with a list of attributes/skills you would like someone to say about you before asking them for a recommendation. Agree to provide them a recommendation as well. That alone will heavily increase your chances of receiving a recommendation.
Hi John,
Hope you’re well. When I was working for you, I did x, y, z which I thought really demonstrated my ____ skills; I would really appreciate it if you could write me a quick recommendation from our experience of working together? I will do the same for you.
10. Be human: Volunteering and listing interest can show a more human side to your profile. It’s a good idea to list interests and volunteering groups with no obvious political or religious affiliations. I would encourage you to build community through LinkedIn relationships. You’ll find your career journey much more interesting with connections to empathize with along.

What are some of your best tips on making your Linkedin profile stand out? We’d love to hear them.http://blog.nextsociety.com/make-linkedin-profile-stand-out/