New algorithms are making the online search experience more rewarding for those of us who search for information of all kinds using Google (i.e., all of us!). Those new algorithms also make it much more difficult for lazy marketers to rely on tricky SEO (search engine optimization) games rather than original, high-quality content.
Marketing at its best has always been about engaging the consumer in a dialog, in providing food for thought and information of value—and not simply advertising slogans. Google’s new rules are now forcing business owners and marketers to do just that. Which is excellent.
Each social channel has unique uses, and smart brands are using each one to exploit its unique properties. So, what should you do? Here are a few suggestions:
Stir up conversation on Facebook. Make your fans feel like your friends.
Brands who simply paper their homepage with ad-speak and announcements about their new product lines are not generating any communication—or interest—among their stakeholders. Instead, savvy Facebook marketers post information that their own consumers will find interesting
Retweet, Share, Keep it Current
Sharing tweets that are, again, actually interesting to the followers of a brand is the way to go. Twitter will allow a brand to spew an endless stream of one-way tweets about why their brand is the bee’s knees. But their stakeholders won’t care. The point is to provide information that people will find to be actually useful. Brands that do this earn not only lots of followers, but also retweets, which introduce the brand’s name and message to ever-widening audiences.
The example above of St. Croix Food & Wine Experience’s official twitter, allowed @StxFoodandWine to get into the networks of their visiting chefs. Getting them smack-talking amongst bout the event increased followers, interest in the event and hits to the website – all good things that will hopefully translate to more ticket sales and sponsorships.
Google owns YouTube, so use Youtube. So you know the comments received, and the brand’s responses to them, will find their way into the Google search mix. Also, when people like a brand’s videos and share them with their friends, they frequently also add a link to that brand’s website. Viola!
Dabble and get comfortable in the other social networks. Yelp, TripAdvisor, Pinterest, Google+, LinkedIn, Reddit, more more more… Pick the ones who are relevant for your market and watch your google analytics to see what works. Jump into Google+, the newest social media outlet, for another online presence to help with branding and SEO.
Thanks to Google’s crackdown on tricky SEO sleights of hand, marketers are being forced to improve not just the “how” of social marketing, but the actual content of their messages. And that’s a good thing for all of us.