Every company needs to be concerned about how they appear on social media channels. To start, you need to have a planned-out strategy for brand awareness, a team that understands how to represent your company, and plans in place to avoid disasters.
Master the 7 spiritual laws of social media success and grow your brand by adding purpose, potential, and giving. Lisa Buyer shares easy and actionable tips to grow your brand using social media with timeless wisdom inspired by Deepak Chopra.
February was a relatively mellow month in the social media world. Facebook only had a few, while smaller players like Pinterest and YouTube had several as well. Snapchat’s IPO also provided a variety of enlightening data for marketers to use. Here are some of the top social media updates from February 2017.
In this article, we’ll explore a few ways influencer marketing can make your SEO campaigns into digital powerhouses.
Influencer marketing builds inbound links
The issue with using influencers for inbound links is that many will disclose the links as sponsored. One way to get around this is to create content-driven influencer campaigns. Traditionally, brands use influencers to create “commercials” for their brands. They are very sales-driven and are focused on pushing a product or brand directly.
When working with influencers, why not create campaigns that are related to specific issues in your industry? Instead of making them an extension of your sales team, get them to create video or text content based on their thoughts on a specific topic, citing your site as a resource. This may be a way to bypass the need for disclosure.
Depending on your budget, you may need to start with micro-influencers (influencers with smaller, but highly engaged audiences) to begin earning those inbound links.
Influencer marketing boosts brand visibility and engagement
The biggest challenge many brands and marketers face is getting heard over the buzz. The competition in today’s digital marketplace is fierce. In fact, engagement and traffic ranked number five among most important ranking factors, according to Moz.
Simply put, the more your engage your target audience, the more traffic you will drive to your site, products, and services. This makes influencer marketing an essential asset in every industry.
According to an advertising survey by Nielsen, 92 percent of people trust recommendations from other people over brand advertisements. And whom do consumers know? The influencers they follow on social media. In fact, a study by Annalect and Twitter found that users have as much trust in influencers as they do their friends.
Influencers amass followers who hang on their every product review or recommendation. You can take advantage of their community to enhance your brand’s visibility via social media, blogs, and vlogs.
The traffic your influencers drive to your site will boost your SEO rankings in ways paid ads simply cannot. But don’t forget about content engagement. An influencer with one million followers may not be as powerful as a micro-influencer in your niche with 20,000 followers.
“Posts from people with small followings get strong engagement, and bring an air of authenticity and trust,” according to Business Insider.
A great example of reach versus engagement is the different between the audiences of celebrity Jimmy Fallon and YouTuber Connor Franta. Falon may have a bigger reach, but Franta has a much higher engagement.
Improve your social visibility with influencer marketing, and also keep your engagement high. This is an influencer marketing tip many marketers and brands will overlook.
Influencer marketing keeps your content fresh
Creating fresh content can be challenging for marketers and brands, thus emphasizing the need for influencer marketing. The sole job of influencers is to develop unique and compelling content that your target audience can’t resist.
Influencers can also leverage their followers to produce content for you. They can maximize a social campaign by encouraging their community to share unique images or thoughts associated with your brand or campaign.
One excellent influencer marketing case study is when the brand Gloria Ferrer used influencer marketing to boost their brand awareness by launching the #GloriousBites campaign. Influencers used the hashtag to create buzz around the campaign, netting 44 million social impressions.
Generating millions of social impressions via influencer marketing will surely increase your social visibility and brand engagement.
Influencer marketing leads to collaborative content and publishing
Cultivating meaningful relationships with influencers is a powerful way to maximize your SEO efforts. A quality partnership with your influencers ensures exceptional content with collaborative opportunities down the road.
This is a long-term goal, but once you and your influencer have a mutually beneficial thing going, collaborative content like an interview series or industry report could be in the mix.
You and your influencer can benefit greatly from borrowing one another’s authority, proving to add more visibility for both sides. As partners you can earn more links to add to your robust link profile for a boost in SEO.
The relationships you develop via influencer marketing could also provide you and your brand with an in to otherwise off-limit high-authoritative publishers. You influencer networking can open doors, and those doors could lead to social visibility on a global scale.
Finding relevant authoritative influencers
Finding relevant authoritative influencers is the most important aspect of influencer marketing. You want your influencer content to reach your target audience with engagement. This will make your influencers SEO assets to your brand.
Key influencer metrics include…
Check the influencer’s domain authority
How many unique visitors does the influencer get per day, week, and month?
What does the influencer’s engagement per post look like?
What are the audience demographics, such as age, location, and gender?
Despite influencer marketing’s trending nature, many marketers, SEOs, and brands are still coming up short. Don’t fail to utilize the true power of a well-cultivated influencer campaign.
Social media has become indispensable for reputation management as far as brands are concerned. However, when managing their accounts, it is possible for brands to make mistakes. Sometimes crucial mistakes can be hard to correct, but some of these tips will help you handle the issue in a better way, in turn, helping you to mitigate social media blunders.
How to optimize for audience trust. Plus, four tips for dealing with mistakes that can kill your brand’s reputation.
Trust matters. Whether you’re creating content for a standalone brand publication or a company blog, you want people and search engines to trust the information on your website is accurate and current.
Now, with engagement metrics seemingly becoming a larger factor in SEO, you can’t have one without the other. Google won’t trust (and reward rankings to) a website that doesn’t attract and engage an audience, and visitors won’t trust (or even find) content that doesn’t rank well on Google.
Trust is how you build that audience.
For publishers, content is your product and your brand. You establish a relationship with your audience through the content you publish.
But something even worse could happen. For most publishers, it’s inevitable. It’s not a question of if, but when.
You could publish content that contains inaccurate information. Not just small typos or spelling mistakes – stuff that’s worthy of an apology and a correction (or even a retraction).
Will such a huge mistake be forgotten by the following day? Perhaps, especially if you’ve built a really strong brand and you don’t make any more huge mistakes.
But if your brand consistently publishes content filled with errors, will it make your core audience start to question whether your brand can be trusted? Absolutely. Your brand will look amateurish.
People have zero tolerance for content that wastes their time.
Losing the trust of your audience will ultimately damage your brand and cause serious harm to your SEO efforts.
Optimize for your audience
You need to have a clear idea of your target audience. Who do you want visiting your site on a regular basis?
What are the demographics of your target audience? Age, gender, location, job title, and income level are just a few elements that might matter to you.
What topics are of interest to your target audience? What are their wants, needs, and pain points?
What’s your content goal? Why are you creating this content – will it be the best answer or solution to a question or problem your audience has?
Figure out what topics your target audience wants to read about and will engage with. Provide that content to them and speak to them in their own language.
Optimize for authority
Although author authority may have gone out of style, authority still matters to your audience. They want to know the content they’re reading or watching comes from people who know their stuff. In other words: authors who are experts in their industry or niche.
Do your authors have full biographies? At minimum, they need a byline, photo, and details on their career and areas of expertise. If any of these elements are missing, it raises serious questions.
Do you make it easy for people to find contact information for your brand? Give your audience ways to connect with you how they want, whether it’s via social media, a contact form, email, or phone.
Do you link to your sources? Doing so gives credit to the work that helped make yours possible, helps strengthen your argument, and can be helpful for anybody reading who might want to go deeper into that subject.
Optimize for accuracy
Your audience demands you to be accurate. When you get it wrong, you’ll hear about it – in your comments section, on social media, and (should things spiral too far out of control) on other websites.
Or, even worse, you won’t hear anything at all. Traffic will just slowly erode.
Have you ever tried out a new restaurant and experienced terrible service or received the wrong order? Or both? Did you go to a review site like Yelp or TripAdvisor to give the restaurant a scathing 1-star review – or did you simply just never return to that restaurant? (Either outcome is bad for you, obviously!)
After you’ve done all the hard work of optimizing your content to get someone to visit your site, don’t greet that user a terrible content experience. Don’t let one of your worst moments be their first experience with your brand. They likely won’t be back.
Is your content edited well? Hire a great editor and content team or outsource your content marketing to a proven agency that will handle it for you.
Is your content objective? Acknowledge any biases you may have, explore multiple viewpoints whenever possible, and always try to avoid potential conflicts of interest.
Is your content current? Make it part of your regular routine to check old content. Update as needed.
Optimize for reputation
Building up a loyal, engaged audience or community has big benefits. Direct visitors spend far more time on your site and consume far more pages per month, according to Pew Research.
Readers who find your content valuable (because it is useful, solves a relevant problem, provides insight, shares a new discovery, or is just entertaining in some way) are also more likely to share that content, which leads to more people discovering your great work, subscribing, and sharing future content pieces, further expanding your reach.
The surest way to fail to halt any momentum or see your audience abandon you is to publish subpar content. As the old saying goes, bad news travels fast.
If a site declines in quality, for whatever reason, people will notice. If you screw up, people will talk about it.
In an era where fake news, alternative facts, gossip, and anonymous claims are reported as fact, your brand must hold itself to the highest standard. “Publish first and apologize later” is a losing model in the long-term.
Ultimately, people can love you or hate you for what your content says. But if your loyal audience loses trust in you, they simply won’t be there anymore.
4 tips for dealing with harmful content errors
Whether it’s mainstream media or an industry/niche site, editors are the last line of defense. Be ready.
1. Have a Plan
We all know the importance of having a social media crisis management plan. Do you have a plan in place should your content create a crisis?
Just as you should have a fire escape plan if the worst happens at your home, it’s better to have a content “fire” plan and not need it than to never have one. Decide who will own it. Ideally it should be one of the top editors or the trusted “face” of the publication.
After the crisis has passed, review whether your plan worked or failed. Adjust for the future (though hopefully you won’t have a repeat, right?).
2. Act Quickly
Internally, make sure everyone who needs to know what is going on is apprised of the situation.
Externally, acknowledge the problem across your digital channels and platforms. Explain what you’re doing to address or fix the error. Apologize.
Update the post or be present in the comments and on social media around discussions about your content crisis.
Aside from being combative toward upset readers or customers, appearing unresponsive is one of the worst things you can do now.
3. What Should Happen To Your Post?
When things go so wrong the only option you have is to remove/retract the post, what should you do? Generally, it comes down to three options:
Leave the post. Take your lumps publicly. Make sure an editor’s note or a correction appears at the top of the article. In theory, when you admit you screwed up, it will restore some level of trust. See Rolling Stone’s “A Rape on Campus” as an example of a publication that left a controversial article on its site.
Leave the page. But only with a correction or apology, explaining what happened. Here’s an example from Upworthy, which had to retract a post on artificial sweeteners.
Delete the content. Ideally, 301 redirect the page to a page on the same or a similar topic, or if that doesn’t work, to the homepage. If the information is inaccurate, you may decide to just get rid of it. You have to decide if it’s worth bringing people to a page that has zero value to you.
4. Reduce the Odds of Having a Disaster
A few quick tips to prevent some major and minor errors:
When in doubt about the claims made in an article, ask the writer for evidence (e.g., images/documents).
If still in doubt, ask for more evidence (and consider legal advice, depending on the topic).
Publish images as evidence (don’t just claim you “have images”), especially when there is no previously existing documentation.
Check names (people, places, things).
Check job titles.
Attribute ideas/quotes to original source.
Verify and link to useful sources.
You are what you publish
One major content error could be a fluke. Twice might be a coincidence. But after this point, clearly there’s a bad pattern. Your editorial process needs fixing.
It’s sort of like that famous scene from “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” where the Black Knight is fighting with King Arthur. You can say your content errors are “just a flesh wound,” but really your brand is being sliced to bits.
There’s a lot of pressure to provide readers with a steady dose of content that is educational, informative, inspiring, or entertaining. But that doesn’t mean you should ever lower your standards.
You are what you publish. All the SEO in the world won’t help if the content you publish compromises the health of your brand.
Danny Goodwin is a content strategist at Longneck & Thunderfoot, a brand publishing company. A professional editor, writer, and ghostwriter with over 10 years of experience in marketing, he has created content for SMBs and global brands alike, spanning all things search and digital. He was formerly the editor of Search Engine Watch. Follow Danny onTwitter.