September 2, 2014

Calendar of social media, tech & marketing events: September 2014

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Fergie from the Black Eyed Peas at a recent Oracle OpenWorld (Photo by Sen Chang)

Guide to the month’s best conferences & events

JD LasicaAs summer slides into fall, it’s time to gear up for a slew of social media, tech and marketing conferences.

Among the notable events on tap: the annual conferences put on by Oracle OpenWorld, the Social Shake-Up, Content Marketing World, SMX East and the Online News Association.

If you can’t attend the event in person, find out the hashtag and follow the goings-on on Twitter.

For the full year, see our full Calendar of 2014 social media, tech and marketing conferences. Let us know if we’ve missed anything in the comments. And drop me a line if you’ll be in the neighborhood! Continue reading

August 25, 2014

17 steps to get more (legit) Twitter followers

Twitter-followers
Image by Matthew Johnson

Post by Pete Bray
VP of Social Strategy, Moz

Target audience: Brand managers, marketing professionals, SEO specialists, PR pros, businesses, nonprofits, educators, Web publishers, journalists and anyone with a Twitter account. This article originally appeared at Moz and is republished with permission.

pete-brayLet’s talk turkey! How do you get more followers on Twitter? To start, put aside those quaint olden-times notions that seeking more followers is unsavory. Heck, even Twitter promotes their tools as means to quickly get more followers.

Of course, the early days of Twitter were very different than today. Back then, there were all sorts of spammy ways to get followers. Perhaps it is the hangover from those days that makes people queasy when thinking of “techniques” to get followers.

Nowadays, though, Twitter has clamped down hard. Spammy techniques will get you banished quickly. And most of those old grey-hat methods don’t even work: Twitter has radically limited how many people you can follow, as well as how many you can follow each hour.

You might ask, why do I want more followers anyway? Twitter does little for SEO, or search engine optimization, at least not directly. Continue reading

August 20, 2014

Always write for Google, never for humans

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Google bot image by Jeff Lowe (CC BY SA)

To be found online, create headlines & leads with the all-powerful Google bot in mind

Target audience: Marketing professionals, SEO specialists, PR pros, brand managers, businesses, nonprofits, educators, Web publishers, journalists.

Chris AbrahamWhen it comes to dominating search, especially when it comes to blogging and publishing, you need to always write your headlines and copy first for Google, then for people. Humans (and their flexible brains) are forgiving when it comes to reading stilted, “robotic,” keyword-explicit headlines and articles, but Google is not when you don’t.

You always need to write the copy — the exact phrases — that you believe people will most likely use to find what they’re looking for — that’s who you’re writing for. It’s true, no matter what anyone says — even at Google HQ! The title is the most important but so is the first paragraph, especially if you can insert that copy into your Description Meta Tag and your Keywords Meta Tag headers. It just makes sense, especially with breaking news, when you’re proffering content that Google will not have the time to ruminate and deeply examine before they need to include it in the real time web where it will show up in search. Continue reading

August 15, 2014

SoundSlates: Get your music heard above the noise

singing
Photo by Garry Knight on Flickr (CC BY SA)

Ayelet NoffIf you’ve ever seen your favorite performer live, then you know the feeling of being a part of a crowd of hundreds of people sharing the same emotion. That’s one of the greatest things about music – it enables groups of people to share a unique bond. The feeling is even greater for musicians, when they create music. The problem is that finding the right people to create with and to get your music out there takes resources that many artists simply can’t come up with.

Many of my friends (we all have that one friend who is desperately trying to make it big as an artist) ask me for my advice on how to succeed in the music industry, and I immediately point them towards social networks. “Won’t I get lost in the masses?” They ask. “Well,” I reply, “it’s all about picking the right one.” Not that I have much experience as a musician, but I do know what it takes to market yourself and be heard. Continue reading

August 14, 2014

Choosing the right social media management system

Target audience: Marketing professionals, PR pros, brand managers, businesses, nonprofits, educators, Web publishers, journalists.

Post by Andrew Lisa

Andrew-LisaI‘ve talked with people who are juggling as many as 25 business profiles for Twitter alone — and these are legitimate accounts. If the nature of their business demands that they’re also wrapped up in multiple profiles on other social media sites like Facebook and LinkedIn, there are simply not enough hours in the day to keep up.

Here are the five social media management tools that I hear positive reviews about most frequently (and isn’t word of mouth the best barometer?):

 

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SproutSocial: Collaboration & keyboard monitoring

1SproutSocial has a clean, sleek interface and powerful features that come standard with every plan. It has an easy, single-stream inbox feed and tasking tools that make it nearly impossible to miss a customer’s question or comment. You can also post – and schedule postings – for Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn simultaneously. Keyword monitoring lets you keep tabs on what people are saying about you and its collaboration feature allows you to split up tasks between team members.

postling

Postling: Manage multiple accounts — and your blog

2With one single inbox at Postling, you can manage not just Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, but also YouTube and even your blog. Even more, Postling lets you monitor reviews on sites like Yelp, CitySearch and TripAdvisor. Publish everything in one place and choose to respond either from your social media account or via email. Postling also has one of the best mobile apps in the industry.

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Spredfast: Famed for its analytics program

3Spredfast is big-time social marketing for big-time operations. Its renowned analytics program is provided in readable graphs and charts, perfect for presenting to clients or customers regarding their own outreach programs. It’s not for the little guys, however – fees range from $12,000 to $1 million a year, on top of whatever you pay for high-speed business Internet.

expion

Expion: Analytics + content marketing

4Expion steps it up by providing not just social marketing, but analytics and content marketing as well. It has a customizable interface that allow users to manage and govern personalized accounts. There is a whole world of social media management tools, and it can be big and confusing. The proliferation of social media, of course, resulted in the parallel rise of countless supporting applications. The first thing you should do is narrow down potential sites by clearly identifying clearly what size business each site is geared toward. From there, you can get into price and functionality.

socialEngage

Social Engage: Buff up your online profile

5Aimed at small businesses, Social Engage (formerly CoTweet) does everything you’d expect from a social marketing app, but it has a feature that makes it unique. Its +Engage feature frequently changes the design of your profile to follow the latest Internet trends.

Andrew Lisa is a freelance media writer. Follow him on Twitter.
August 11, 2014

Top takeaways from a growth hacking conference

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Rand Fishkin, founder of Moz, speaking at the Weapons of Mass Distribution conference in San Francisco on Thursday.

Make sure your content is unique, relevant and looks great

Target audience: Marketing professionals, SEO specialists, entrepreneurs, PR pros, brand managers, businesses, nonprofits, educators, Web publishers, journalists.

JD LasicaToday, it seems, just about all startups — and even more mature companies — want to wield the growth hacking buzzsaw. Growth hacking was the theme that drew several hundred marketers, entrepreneurs and business strategists to the Hotel Kabuki in San Francisco on Thursday for the fancifully named Weapons of Mass Distribution conference put on by 500 Startups.

And while growth hacking may be hot hot hot right now — even marketing consultant Sean Ellis, who coined the term, was on hand — the impressive lineup of speakers made it clear that to succeed, a new enterprise can’t spin flax into gold. You’ve got to have some kick-ass idea to begin with, and you have to have a product team that knows how to execute. And then, yes, by all means, call in the growth hackers and marketers to run the numbers, size up your analytics, get feedback from customers, and create a virtuous product development loop that fast-tracks your company on to its inevitable trajectory of fame, riches and a guest spot on Jason Calacanis’s “This Week in Startups” podcast.

I captured some of the magic on stage and in the room in this Flickr photo set. (Ah, Flickr, you were on that fast track once!) Continue reading