Tag Archives: social media

HootSuite RSS to Facebook and Twitter

Ok, I promise, this is the last time I’m going to talk about this. I finally got the RSS feeds to send posts via HootSuite to my Facebook and Twitter accounts. I had to delete all the feeds I had added, reconnect to my FB and Twitter accounts (though there was nothing wrong with the connections that I could tell – other, older, feeds were working properly) and then set them back up again.

However, what I didn’t realize is how “messy” the feed would look when posted through to Facebook. Twitter wasn’t horrible because it’s text based and very short. But Facebook… I’m used to being able to have a nice thumbnail image with my posts and having the text of the link be just the title and meta-description of the blog post. Unfortunately, with an RSS feed, the images are skipped altogether and the text fields all run into eachother:

HootSuite RSS Post

Bleh! So, after all that troubleshooting to get the RSS feed working, I’ve decided that I much prefer the look of posts that I create and post myself.

If you have suggestions for a way to automate social media and still get a nice looking post with thumbnail image on Facebook, please let me know. Thanks!

Lunar Maven FB Post

HootSuite for Social Media Automation

I use HootSuite for social media management and have for many years. However, I’m still learning all that it can do. I have used the RSS feeds before, but haven’t done the setup in a while. Yesterday I setup links between the RSS feeds from my various personal and special interest blogs and my Hootsuite account so that new posts on my blogs would post through to my Twitter and Facebook accounts.

Getting setup is simple:

  • Start in your Hootsuite Dashboard, click on the gear in the left hand sidebar (Settings) and then go to RSS/AtomHootSuite Settings
  • Next click the + sign to add a new feed
    Add New RSS
  • Paste in the URL for the RSS feed you’d like to “feed” your social channels
    Add RSS Feed
  • This is where you choose which of your social networks the feed should be sent to, in this case, since it’s a personal blog, it will go to my personal Twitter Account (you set up separate feed items for each social network).
  • This is also where you can make changes like how often the feed updates, how many posts are posted at a time and whether there should be any text pre-pended to the post.
  • After you click “Save Feed” you should be all set. Any new posts to the RSS you’ve specified will “flow through” to the social network you’ve just identified.
  • Repeat the process if you’d like the same RSS to feed another social network, like Facebook, LinkedIn or Google+ (Google+ only works for Pages not for your personal Google+ Profile… I think HootSuite is working on getting connected to G+profiles)

I think I have to be patient…. I set mine up last night and am impatiently waiting to see if they are working properly. So far, no posts have come through, but it hasn’t yet been 24 hours since I set them up. I’ll keep you posted on how it goes.

Updates:
HootSuite RSS Not Working
HootSuite RSS no images!

Why Blog for Business?

I’ve been doing internet consulting for many years, about a dozen at this point, and while I am an early adopter on some things (getting a website, learning SEO) I’m a little slow on some of the other things (social media, blogging). However, in the last couple of months I have learned a thing or two about blogging that I would like to share.

I’m going to let you in on some “behind the scenes” and show you my Google analytics stats for the month of May 2013 compared to May 2012.

Ask Joanne AnalyticsI began blogging regularly in April 2013 and have written about a post a week since then (sometimes more but not less). My site traffic has increased by 143% year over year, Unique Visitors are up 120%, Pageviews are up 448% and Pages per Visit are up 126%. Most remarkable to me is that my bounce rate (which used to be dismal) has improved by 95% (there is a reason why my bounce rate used to be so high, more on that later).

All from writing a blog post a week!

Now, I don’t claim to be an expert at blogging by any stretch of the imagination, but this is what I think has worked for me.

I’m a naturally curious person and when I have a question about something or learn something new, I like to share it. In fact, I’m very like a “Malcolm Gladwell Maven” in that sometimes I can be “pathologically helpful.” My current most popular blog post is one I wrote on a whim when I found a cool Visual XML Sitemap generator for my colleague Beverly Sastri.

I try not to be too “sales-y” and directly promote my business or services too often. Blogs are not really about selling, but more about providing relevant information. That relevant information can be tips and tricks that are helpful to your audience, it can also be information about who you are … people like to know and trust who they are working with and a little bit of a personal spin on blog posts is not a bad thing. It’s also great to keep the blog open to comments so that you can engage your readers in conversation.

Sometimes my blog posts are just a quick recap of someone else’s content that I have “curated.” I include quotes and links in my posts from the original articles. Sometimes I write a summary of an article, or my opinion on the points being made. Sometimes I include an embedded graphic or video (my own or someone else’s).

And then, the step that I think could help any blog…. is telling people about what you’ve written. I use HootSuite to manage my social media channels. When I write what I think is a good blog post, I will send the link out to the appropriate social media channels, like Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and Twitter.

Has all this blogging resulted in more business? Well, not yet. But, remember:

The Rule of 7 Touches There is an understanding that it takes 7 touches for the customer to buy from you. Touch them with a telephone call – #1. Touch them with a direct mail piece – #2. Touch them with an article written about you and your company – #3. Touch them with a reference given by one of their friends about you and your products/services – #4. Yada, yada, yada.

read more at: http://www.kordellnorton.com/The_Numbers_Rules_for_Prospecting.htm

Maybe my attitude is a little too laid back, but I just LIKE blogging, providing relevant information and being a little “pathologically helpful.” If I get more business from it, great! If not yet, blogging is satisfying in it’s own right.

Understanding Why Social Media is Important

Love it or loathe it, social media is here to stay. And now that “social signals” are factors in how your website is ranking, it becomes even more important to at least understand how the social animal works.

Social Icons
First a little basic SEO background. Here are some of the things that are important factors in how your website ranks in the search results:

  • relevancy of your content (how closely does your site content match the search query?)
  • age and size (number of pages) of your site
  • quality incoming links to your site

Active involvement in Social Media can impact both the size of your site (if you are blogging on your own domain) and the number of incoming links to your site.

Here’s how.

  • Every blog post is a new page on your site
  • If you title your blog post with your important keyphrases you increase the relevancy of your content
  • Content you post, like photos and video stay under your own control and can increase click-throughs to your site when the images show up in search.
  • If you then post your own blog posts out on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ the visits and links back from those sites can increase both your incoming link value and your site traffic.
  • If you engage in conversation with your audience via Blog Comments, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn you increase the “social signals” that can impact rankings.

Do you  have questions about Social Media? Please ASK!

Resources/References:

How to Use Picasa to easily create Profile Images for Social Media

I am finally getting back into making screencast tutorials – this time I’m uploading via Wistia (more on that later.)

Here’s a quick tutorial on making custom profile image collages using your own photos and Picasa.

I tried to get a transcription* with captions but OMG, the voice recognition was terrible. I guess I have to train my software and speak more clearly. I won’t even tell you the number of UMmmmms I had to delete!

Oh, one last note, obviously you don’t have to create collages for your profiles pages, often you have a terrific single picture you want to use. The custom aspect ratios you create can be used when you are cropping photos. So you can choose exactly how the image will be cropped and displayed on your profile page.

* Having a text transcript on your videos can be a real boon. Not only to the people who would prefer the sound to be off and read the instruction, but also because your transcript is yet another way the search engines know how to index your video.

Questions, Comments? Let me know.

Google’s Guide to Google+ For Business

http://www.google.com/intl/en/+/business/get-started.html#feat-2

Stumbled upon this downloadable guide while working on my presentation for Newtown Savings Bank’s Business Before Hours on November 29th.

Will post my thoughts on it shortly…

Later….. It’s a good read w/basic info on getting your Google+ business page setup. It doesn’t address some of the current issues for former Google Places users (can’t merge old listing w new Google+ page format, you lose all your previous Google Places reviews, etc.), but overall a good guide to getting started.

Social Media Marketing Doesn’t Replace SEO

Looking at the latest search marketing conference agendas, articles, and online news in the SEM space, it certainly appears that social media marketing and networking are the wave of the future.
Photo Credit: webtreats
To a certain extent, they are.

Social media, and social networking in particular, create a back-and-forth conversation with your target audience, so you can virally market your website through the “buzz” that can be created. When something interesting, cool, or unique is being talked about in “all the right places,” it can certainly provide a boost in website traffic.

We search marketers tend to hang out in numerous online and offline communities where it’s easy to promote our own products and services, yet I can’t help wondering if our view of Web marketing is skewed because of this.

Are potential B2B clients and even B2C customers spending time at Digg? Do they attend SEM conferences in order to hire a company, or are they just trying to learn to do it themselves? And what about other industries? Is there a Sphinn equivalent for developers of product lifecycle management software? Are there groups of people online comparing the various brands of auto parts? Are there really people seeking out articles on these topics?

Perhaps.

And if so, we’d be remiss not to promote our clients’ websites in those spaces. But is this search marketing? Or is it simply online marketing? Arguably, it becomes search marketing when it increases link popularity, but surely that should be the secondary goal of this type of marketing campaign. True link popularity comes from having something worth linking to, not something you’ve asked your insulated group of cronies to link to.

Certainly, the boost in direct traffic that a site can gain when it is being discussed in all the right places online is not to be taken lightly – and that alone is reason enough to try to be found in all the right places. Yet how much of that traffic actually converts into anything good, and how much does it help your organic search rankings?

More important – how does it increase your bottom line?

For instance, I’ve written a few articles that received upward of 1,000 visitors a day fromStumbleUpon alone. The spike in traffic was nice, and the slight increase in newsletter subscribers was certainly welcome, but for the most part, those StumbleUpon visitors spent just a few minutes on our site, and only a small percentage signed up for our free newsletter. None of them were interested in using our services. They read the article and then stumbled their way to the next site of potential interest.

Isn’t participation in social media really just preaching to the choir?

You reach your peers, not the people who will buy your product or service. Sure, it’s a nice ego stroke to have others in your industry tell you how cool you are, and there’s something to be said for building credibility within your own community. I’m certainly not knocking that, and have built my own credibility via various online communities in which I’ve participated over the past decade.

But how does it sell your products and services?

Do you gain customers and sales from your social media marketing and/or your participation in social networks? Does it increase your rankings for the keyword phrases your actual target audience is typing into the search engines? If your business model depends on traffic for traffic’s sake, or on how many ad impressions your site generates, then there’s an obvious value. But if you sell a product or a service – then not so much.

My fear with all the hype about social media marketing is that people new to search marketing will believe it’s what SEO demands and what SEO is all about.

It isn’t. Not by a long shot.

Social media marketing is a great addition to any traditional SEO work that you do, but it’s not a substitute. It’s more akin to hiring a PR firm once you’ve launched your already-SEO’d website. On-page SEO is definitely not as sexy as social media marketing, but it is still the most important investment in your website that you can make. Period.

So, go to all your social media conferences, and Digg your way to increased traffic. But first learn exactly who your target audience is, what they’re searching for in the search engines, and how your website can solve their problems. Then make sure your website does exactly that. All the social media buzz and traffic won’t amount to anything if your target audience isn’t already part of the online conversation.

Be sure to have your own house in order before you give social media marketing a try.

And don’t be surprised if it doesn’t actually provide you with the ROI you hoped it would. In most cases it will depend on who your target audience is, where they hang out, the types of services or products you offer, and whether your website truly provides people with what they’re looking for.

Getting back to SEO basics – that is, creating a crawler-friendly website that is built around the keyword phrases people use at the search engines to find what you offer – is the first and most important thing you can do for your website and your business. Yeah, it’s not as fun and exciting as social media marketing, but skip this step at your own peril!

Jill

Jill Whalen is CEO of High Rankings an SEO consulting company in the Boston, MA area.


Reprinted with permission

Social Media Explorations…

by: +Joanne Marcinek

OK, so I am finally getting into learning about all the social media tools and how they can work together to spread news and information. I’m experimenting with http://ping.fm and http://hootsuite.com to consolidate some of the work of posting to several networks. I’m also playing with http://wisestamp.com to add links to all this “stuff” to the signatures in my emails. I’ll keep you posted on how it all goes…. stay tuned.