Game Changer: Google Plus Changes Search And Social Media Marketing

On Tuesday, Jan 10, 2012, Google made the biggest change to their search algorithm ever.  They have integrated their 60 million (and growing) user strong social media network into their results.

Above, I searched the term “Internet Marketing”.  If I was going to pay for this keyword on Google I’d probably pay $100 a click.

This result shows Facebook expert Mari Smith as the number one result on the far right.  This is the coveted paid real estate.

You can also see that I was not even signed into Google Plus.  Which means they are not just showing me things in my social network.  They are deeming her important because of what she has done on Google Plus overall.

What It Means

The game has changed.  The reason Mari is now number 1 for a highly competitive search term is because she earned it.  The days of gaming Google for rankings are over.

Mari is number 1 there because she creates content about that topic and has close to fifty thousand people who have her in their circles.  If you’re not up on your Google Plus terminology yet, that is the same as a Like on Facebook.  And those likes and circles, that’s just good old fashioned list building.

Google Plus has decided she is a top influencer in Internet Marketing based on what she has created on their social network.  Social media has dictated who appears on top of the search result page, put her picture up and gave her primo real estate.

Told Ya So

I hate to say it, but I’ve been shouting this for a long time now.  I’ve been telling everyone who will listen that content and social media are going to be the key to search.  And today we wake to validation and proof of that fact.  It is no longer a theory.

Like Aragorn said to Frodo; “You can no longer wait for the wizard.  They are coming…”.  Businesses can no longer wait to get into social media.  Your competition is coming and they’re about to eat your lunch.

Search Results
Made To Order

In the picture below I am now logged in to Google Plus.  And you can see the results are similar but now personalized to me.  I am actually the number one organic result for Social Media.  But, I may be the only person who sees this result this way because they’re giving me results from my own life.

 

The Lords Of Content
Will Prosper

What does this mean? Simple, content and connection is king!

These results may not yet be seen by everyone the same way as Google rolls out this massive change.  And things may change as advertisers very likely shout about their lost real estate.  Or as Google itself decides to make tweaks.

But one thing is for sure, the handwriting is on the wall that people who create valuable content and draw an audience will win.  And win big.

Google will now show you not only influencers that have big Google Plus followings but also people you may already be connected to.  If someone who is connected to someone you know talks about what you’re looking for, it may bring that back to you as a personalized search result.

What Should
Businesses Be Doing?

Create high value content and connect and share it with people in Google Plus, Facebook, Twitter and whatever other social media channel important to you.

Make sure your profile is optimized.  Look at Mari’s profile page below.  Notice how choc-full of keywords it is.

She’s got pictures and links to her other social profiles.  Optimize yours like she does hers.

Internet Marketers
Are Freaking Out

In the not so old days, as in up until Tuesday, you could use black hat SEO trickery to fool Google into ranking you.  Smoke and mirror tactics like building backlinks by bulk commenting on blogs or forums.

There’s many things that people could do to get Google to see your site.  Then Google thinks your important because of all this inbound activity and you’re ranking high.

Now we know- and this has really been going on for a while-that they care about the quality of the content.  If people go to your site and bounce out, (which means they see the content sucks and leave), you’re not going to rank.

So now you have to make them stick to your site like never before.  You have to have great content that makes them want to stay and participate.

With social media though, this really makes it very hard, if not impossible, to trick the search engines.  Social media is self policing. If people don’t see you as a real human who has something of value to say, they won’t follow and participate.

Fakers and spammers just lost their jobs.  2012 is the year of content and connection.

I’d love to be added to your circle.  You can find me on Google Plus here.

 

My Interview With Triberr’s Dino Dogan

Triberr Is Wicked Cool

The other day I jumped on Skype with Dino Dogan, creator of Triberr, and recorded the whole thing.  It was a blast.

Triberr is one ingenious little tool.  I will let Dino explain it in the audio below in more detail.  But if you have never heard of it, you become a member of a tribe with other bloggers in your niche.  Everyone promotes everyone elses’s blog posts.  Brilliant!

Instant readers, promoters, comrades, commentators, network, advisers, trusted allies.

It is just under a year old and mark my words, if you are unfamiliar with Triberr now, you won’t be for long.  I feel it is going to exceed even Dino’s wildest expectations.

It has always been invite only but, as I write this, it is open to the public today.  Anyone can go register right now and you should if you write a blog.  If you don’t write a blog… go start writing a blog and then register.

Technical Glitches Be Dammed!

Aside from Skype dropping us 3 times, we spent over an hour talking about everything from The UFC to starting Triberr to the future of Social Media.

I had gone back and fourth on how I wanted to present this interview to people.  At first I was thinking I’d use it as a ‘free bribe’ to get folks (like you) to join my mailing list.  Still will do that (if you want the unedited version that you can listen to on your own computer, burn on a CD, load on your Ipod or print as 1’s and 0’s enter your email…).  I was also thinking of transcribing and posting it here for folks to read.

But the thing is, Dino is a cool dude and he’s got a great personality that is just infectious.  So, I decided to embed the audio right here, in it’s entirety for your listening pleasure.

Get This

If you want the unedited version of this where Dino and I wax poetic about martial arts and other nonsense for a good ten minutes, join my mailing list somewhere on this page.  And don’t worry, not only won’t I spam you, it is highly likely I will even forget to send you the recording.  Just being honest.

 

Who Are You Blogging For

 

Day 29 Of
The Thirty Day
Social Media Challenge

 

Got a question for you.

Are you looking for traffic to your blog?

I am assuming you said yes.  But what kind of traffic do you want?

I started getting traffic right away.  Killer spam robots found me.

Sometimes it is an automated system or a person who seek out blogs to make comments with the sole purpose of getting a backlink to their site.  These are usually obvious.  They make very generic comments about how much this information helped them.

Because of stuff like this, bloggers are very careful about approving comments.  I have no desire to give a backlink to someone trying to promote his porno or Viagra website.

But this is traffic.  The same 15 blog spammers come back to my blog every day.

As my site takes root more in the search engines, more of these types, which I affectionately refer to as ‘Internet Ruiners’, will find me.

Did You Identify
Your Readers?

Earlier in the thirty day challenge we created our vision and strategy for our content.  So by now you probably have a good idea of the types of people you want to attract to your blog.

But now that your content is aplenty and you’ve been doing this blog thing for a while, I think it’s good to come back to this.

I do believe that over time if you’re consistent and never give up, eventually you’re going to attract an audience.  But I also believe you can make it happen much faster when you speak to a very specific, laser targeted audience.

The Big
‘Project Killing’
Mistake

I’ve been selling products in the online world for years now.  I’ve created my own information products and sold other people’s products.

The biggest mistake newbies to Internet Marketing make is they try to be everything to everyone.  They don’t target correctly and before long their campaign is a failure.

Take the lose weight industry for example.  This is a multi-billion dollar industry.

Within this industry there are sub niches.   Women who want to lose weight have different objectives and needs than men.  You can probably dig even deeper and find more sub niches of the sub niches.  Women in their 20’s are different than women in their 60’s.  Some women in their 60’s may need to lose 100 pounds.  Others are just looking to firm up.

If you start a blog in the weight loss niche that is generalized you’re going to be lost in an ocean of competing blogs.   It doesn’t mean you won’t find success.  Just if you’re blog is super specific to a certain group, you’ve got a much greater chance to build an audience.

But by talking to everyone, you run the risk of talking to no one.  You won’t make an emotional connection.

There Are Riches
In The Niches

When I ran the martial arts school, we had a very specific type of person we were looking for.  I created our avatar of the perfect customer for us.  When I then created marketing, it would be to that avatar.

But when I first got into the business, I was going after everyone.  The school tag line was ‘classes for ages 3 to 103’.  Pretty broad, wouldn’t you agree?

Well, because we were marketing to everyone, we really were engaging no one.

I finally realized our perfect prospect was a stay at home mother of a boy age 4 to 6.  The boy does not like team sports.  He gets teased in school and doesn’t seem to fit in with the crowd.  Mom knows he’s got self-esteem issues and could use a male mentor to look up to aside from his dad who works all the time.

I could go into even more detail about this perfect avatar.  I could tell you about her personal values, income level and much more.

When I did anything in that business it was for her.  That not only includes marketing, but how we put our curriculum together.  We even created our schedule to be convenient for her.  The school lobby had her favorite single serve coffees available.

People Who Were
Not Our Avatar
Found Us Too

When we started to just speak to her, everything about our school flourished.  Not only did that age group grow, our adult program grew.  Turned out parents of kids who take martial arts happen to be adults.  Who knew?

Some of these kids had siblings.  Some of them had friends and neighbors.

By being really specific and working to engage the specific group, we were able to make a connection in everything we did.  People identified with us and our message.

As more of those avatars became members, the wider masses found us; the parents, the brothers and sisters, the friends, the people who happened to walk by and peak in the window to see people sweating and smiling.

And because we got super specific, the business grew larger than we had hoped for.

Define Your Avatar

So now that you’ve come to the end of our thirty day challenge, I want you to take a second look at who you’re writing for.  Who is your avatar?

The more you know about this perfect customer/prospect/blog reader, the better.  What is her favorite color?  What types of food do they love?  The more you know the more you will be able to connect.

Once you’ve identified your avatar, go back and see how your content measures up.  Have you been writing to them or to some random group?

The great thing about a blog is it just keeps growing and evolving.  As you go forward with each new work, make sure you write for your avatar.  The better you get at this, the better your content will be and the more people will enjoy it.

 

Does Size Matter – How Long Should Your Blog Post Be

Day 26 Of
The Thirty Day
Social Media Challenge

 

There was a great conversation going on today in one of the forums I follow.  The discussion was about how long blog posts should be.

At this point in the challenge, I probably don’t need to mention this, but I will anyway.  If you want to create a strong social media presence, you need to have great content.

People need to want to come back for more.  Your content has to speak to them in a way that is different and more valuable than all the other choices they have available to make.

And it’s not getting any easier.  Every passing day, there are more people competing for the same readers as you.

There are a ton of different opinions on this.  Since this is my blog, I get to promote my opinion.  Here are my thoughts on the subject.

1: Make every post as long as it needs to be and no longer than it should be.

Every word must earn its place.  If the word, sentence, paragraph don’t need to be there to move the article along, they’re out.  Make every word count as opposed to counting every word.

2: Write for people.

There are way too many blogs out there that are written for the search engines.  And they read like it.  This is one of the key reasons why Google is always making algorithmic changes.  So writing for the search engines may work in the short run.  But it is not a quality strategy for the long term.

3: People will read what they’re interested in.

Many people feel they need to keep articles short because of the ever shortening attention span of the reader.  To a certain extent that is true.  But who is your reader?  If your reader hates reading, make videos instead.

4: People don’t need to read the entire post for it to do its job.

What’s our goal when creating content?  Getting people to become fans, make comments, share our stuff and come back for more.  I follow people religiously who’s content I don’t read all of.  Sometimes I just scan it.  Sometimes I read enough to get the main idea.  But I still comment, share it, like it and return all the time.

5: Write for yourself.

Enjoy the process.  If it is something you find interesting and would want to read, chances are great that there’s others out there who will feel the same.

6: Turn one article into two.

If a post is running really long, I can usually find a way to turn it into two different posts.  As long as it makes sense, break up the wicked long ones.

7: Break things up.

You will notice I use a second readership path in all my posts.  These are sub headlines that appear every few paragraphs.  I also may use images, bulleted or numbered lists to break up the post as well.  This may not make the article any easier to read.  But it will make it look easier to read.  And when it looks easier, it is easier.  Plus, scanners like me can still get the main idea.

It All Comes
Down To Interest

At the end of the day, I really think that if you write great content people will read it.  If it interests them they will clamour for more if it’s too short and read it to the end no matter how long.

I’ve seen Field Of Dreams a lot of times.  If it’s on TV, I will drop what I am doing and watch the entire thing.

If someone wrote a really long blog post talking about Field of Dreams, I’d probably read it.  Wouldn’t matter how long it was.  Why, because I love that movie.

Write to your audience and let things fall into place.  Even more than that, assuming you love the topic like your audience does, write for yourself.

In case you didn’t catch the earlier post where I mentioned I am turning this Thirty Day Challenge series into a book… I’m turning this into a book.  So, if you want to be in a book, leave your comment below and share your thoughts on this.

Now I’ve gotta go before this post gets over 700 words…

 

Content About Creating Content With Contributed Content

Day 25 Of
The Thirty Day
Social Media Challenge

We’ve reached Christmas together during this challenge.   This means that I only have 6 more days left in my challenge that I started on December 1st.   The last post in this challenge is going to be on New Years Eve.

We’ve been talking over the last few blog posts about how to get other people to create content for us.  In yesterday’s post on tools and tactics one method I discussed was crowd sourcing.  A tool I love to use to crowd source content is Linkedin.

In preparing for the article on crowd sourcing, I actually crowd sourced some content.  Cool, eh?

Like the title of this article? Content About Creating Content With Contributed Content.  Say that ten times fast.

As a member of several blogging groups on Linkedin, I started a discussion in each looking for contributors to a blog post on how they generate content.  I received several responses.  So you can see crowd sourcing in action, here are their responses:

 

Ken Moorhead

I recently started a new project focused on cocktails and nightlife in my local area. My approach is to gather feedback. I sent each and every follower a quick personal message asking … drum roll, please … what were they interested in reading? This is an incredibly broad question, of course. But I didn’t want to make things too narrow to start. Within a few hours, I had a significant amount of feedback, all of it actionable: how-to articles, reviews that focus on the people behind the bar, and where to host a party in the city.

I’m so thrilled with this smaller-scale effort that I’m going to duplicate it on some of my larger profiles. It’s a good bit of work to send so many personalized messages, but well worth the effort for the feedback gained.

 

Rosemary Orchard

Explore your niche within social media. Find groups on Facebook, SubReddits, Quora topics and so on. Look at what questions are being asked and what sort of people are using these areas – professionals or people new to the niche? You can use these questions to spark ideas of your own and also directly as blog posts.

It’s also worth exploring other areas of social media – Skydiving might be completely unrelated to your niche, but someone could have posted a great quote, or you might simply stumble across a great idea for a blog post “Why Blogger’s Shouldn’t Skydive” could be a random one related to both my niche and the example given.

 

Deb McAlister-Holland

I’m director of marketing at a software company, and one of the best sources of content ideas for my website and blog is customer questions asked of our implementation, training, and customer support staff. If two or three of our customers — who are very sophisticated marketers in their own right — are wondering about something, it’s a pretty sure bet that others are, too. Our blog publishes “best practices” content for marketing professionals three times a week, and we also publish monthly white papers on marketing topics, so I’m constantly looking for content ideas. Over time, customer questions have been my #1 source of ideas, followed (of course) by LinkedIn posts and questions.

 

 Collier Ward

Since my blog “Building Content” is “The Architect’s Resource for Professional Blogging” I have used special content curation software to find appropriate architectural articles from around the Internet and link them on a dedicated series of pages.

 

 

Everyone Benefits

Through this process, I got great insights from other content creators that really add value to what I was doing thus making it even better.  What they got out of it is even more exposure for their projects and voices.

Not only did I get other people to provide usable content for me, but I also made some new connections.  One of the contributors here invited me to guest blog for them.

I love synergy.  The whole is greater than the sum of their parts.  Two people can come together to achieve so much more than one person or even the two would separately.  This is why this method is one of my favorites.

Tools And Tactics For Content Contributions

Day 24 Of
The Thirty Day
Social Media Challenge

 

Today we’re going to pick up where we left off yesterday and the day before.  In this multi-part blog post we’re getting into the subject of leveraging other people to create content for you.  Today we’re going to dive into tools and tactics for finding content contributors.

There are three main methods that I like to use:

1: Guest Blogging – Here you find a person who will write an entire article for your blog.  Or, you can also write for their blog to build your brand and drive traffic back to your own blog.

2: Crowd Sourcing – Here you look for a short comment or quote from other people.  Many people contribute smaller pieces that you can then put together into a blog post.

3: Curated Content – This is something someone else wrote that you share with your community.   You can take one or many blog posts written by others and talk about and share them with your community.

It goes without saying that with each of the three methods, you must give proper credit to the author.  Linking back to their website or blog is standard practice.

Big Dogs To
Newbies Are Welcome

When I first started doing this, I looked for the superstars to help me out.  Why not?  If they help you, it can really put you on the map.

But the problem is, when you’re new to the game and have nothing to give in return, (like traffic back to their blog), you may hear a lot of no’s or just get ignored altogether.  But every now and then you may hear a yes.  And that one person can help by driving their traffic to you.  Never hurts to ask.

Don’t forget, the superstars all started at the beginning.  There was a time when they were no one too.

Finding future superstars makes getting a yes much easier.  And the more yes’s you hear the easier it will be to get more content.  And likely the good ones will work really hard to give you great stuff.  After all, they want to be superstars someday.

Methods For
Finding Contributions

Linkedin

This is an absolute treasure trove of talent and resources.  This social network was built to connect business professionals with each other.  Facebook and Twitter are great but for business networking; Linkedin is ‘It’.

Status Updates – Talk about your project here to attract contributors within your own network.

Groups – Join a group that matches your topic of choice.  Participating in discussions will build up your credibility and attract others to connect with you.  You can start discussions inviting people to contribute to your blog.

Answers – This feature is a great crowd sourcing tool.  You may find questions already exist for your specific topic.  All you need to do is get permission from the people who answered to use their comments.  Ask your own question to crowd source your project.

It takes some practice to find the correct way to engage people so the responses are what you want.  The best way to learn how it’s done is to join groups, read discussions and answers by others.

People in your offline network

Personally, I have a lot of people I network with locally.  I also have my clients.

I’ve tuned my ear to really listen to people when I speak to them.  When I hear someone offering something in conversation that I think would be good, I’ll write it up and then show it to them for approval.

People in your online network

Through all of my social networks I am connected to several thousand people.  And they all know other people.  My connections run wide and deep and yours probably do to.

On Day 7 of the challenge I talked about an interview I did with Mari Smith.  She was in my online network so I reached out to her.  Simple as that.

Your email list

Do you have a list?  If not, you should start building one.

A simple email to your list asking for contributors or help on a post may lead you to a lot of great responses.  If they’re on your list, your rate of response should be pretty high since you’ve already cultivated a relationship with them.

Blog Stampede is a crowdsourcing tool that I use occasionally.  You can actually add code into your blog that automatically shows all the contributions you like.  I like to use this with my email list a lot but you can use it in conjunction with any method.

You’re Turn

What do you think?  Did I miss anything?

Let’s do a little crowdsourcing right now and leave your comments below.  Tell us what your method is. Next post I will share the results from my crowdsourcing I’ve already done on this topic.

 

How Gary Vaynerchuck Pissed Me Off

Day 23 Of
The Thirty Day
Social Media Challenge

 

I have to interrupt this regularly scheduled post where I was going to go over tools and tactics for getting others to create content for you.  I saw something today that I had to share and it’s actually pretty relevant to what we’re discussing.

I actually planned to post about the topic of this after this series of posts was done.  But I got so worked up I had to stop and squeeze it in here.  Hope you don’t mind.

Quite frankly, I also think this is a great illustration that fits right in.  After all I am using a piece of content created by someone else to build my own content.

There Is No Such
Thing As Social Media

I’ve been a big fan of Gary Vaynerchuck for a while now.  His book “Crush It” may be one of the most important marketing books of recent years.  But recently, he said something that just got my tail feathers all ruffled.

Watch this quick video to see for yourself:

In his video he says there is no such thing as social media.  His take is that social media is the same as the Internet.  “Asking what the ROI of social media is like asking what the ROI of the Internet is”.

He says that social media is just a word to describe the Internet.  He also states something very true and very profound.  “In 2012, if you bet against the Internet, you’re going to lose”.

I actually think that was true of every year for the past 10 years (at least).  But each year, the stakes really do get higher as the Internet makes our world much smaller.

I’ve Always Felt
This Way

It was one of those head slapping moments when I saw this.  I’ve been telling my prospects and clients this for a long time.  Of course, I can’t look really cool now and take credit for it.

The concept of social media, as far as I was always concerned, has been around since the early days of the Internet.  Bulletin boards, chat rooms, forums; they were all social media tools.  We just didn’t have a name for it until recently as it went from something only nerds like me used to something that became a part of pop culture.

I’ve used the analogy on ROI that Gary mentioned above, albeit not so simply or eloquently as he did.  When we sign a new client on social media, what we’re doing is managing their Internet marketing.

In the two minute video Gary created, he made a great piece of content that actually had some controversy in it because people will most certainly disagree with him.  And that will attract more attention to his content which is exactly what you want to happen.

I couldn’t help but kick myself when I saw it.  Why didn’t I turn that into a piece of content myself?  It should have been obvious since I was already technically preaching it.  Gary found a way to discuss it that I didn’t see.  He put his unique angle and voice to it and boom… great content!  Man that pisses me off!

What Else Could
I Be Missing?

Now I am scouring through things I’ve written and my own thoughts to try to unearth what else I may have that I’ve not written about yet.  Is there something profound I’ve said that someone else will beat me to the punch with?

Ever have an idea for something that you thought was cool but no one will be interested in?  Then two years later you see it on some TV infomercial.  Some other schmuck is getting rich.  Could have been you!

The reason I bring this up is to illustrate the importance of reading, watching and studying others like Gary.  I love case studies of successful people because success really does leave clues.  Want to be successful, study and then do what others are doing.  Gary is one of those I study regularly.

You Are What
You Read
(Or Watch)

One biggie I always learned from people like Anthony Robbins was to find people who are already successful doing what I want to do and then do what they do.  Robbins became who he became not by going to school for 10 years (in fact, he didn’t even go to college).  He became the world’s leading success coach from understanding what others do to achieve greatness.

Gary is one of my personal success coaches.  He’s one of many people on a long list of phenomenally smart and successful people doing what I do whom I watch very carefully.

The reality of it is that I want to be pissed off.  I want to be challenged and made to feel uncomfortable.  That’s how we learn, grow and become better at what we do.

Who do you follow?  Who pisses you off?  Leave your comments to share with the community.

 

Getting Other People To Write Content For You

Day 22 Of
The Thirty Day
Social Media Challenge

Today we’re going to pick up where we left off yesterday and talk about leveraging the power of our network to create content for us or with us.  We’re going to follow the rules we talked about yesterday.  We’re going to come at this from a true givers gain philosophy.

There Are People
Who Want You To
Use Their Content

Remember the movie Tom Sawyer from the early 70’s?  I loved that movie when I was a kid.

One of my favorite parts was when he tricked his friends into painting the fence for him.  He pretends that it is more fun than anything.  Then he allows the others to paint only if they give him payment of a snack.

We’re not going to ‘Tom Sawyer’ anyone into doing our work for us.  We’re going to help others.

There are a lot of people out there on the Internet trying to get their content noticed.  They’re tying like crazy to build their own audience and following.  What better way to help people like this than to feature their expertise with no strings attached.

Beware The Spammers
And Scammers

The difficult part comes in finding these people.  Because out there on the Internet are also lots of lazy marketers.  They want to hit home runs without ever having to pick up a bat.

Scammers and spammers abound.  You have to cut through the very loud noise to find the diamonds in the rough.

These are the folks who are, first of all, creating their own unique content as opposed to buying prewritten junk or paying someone to write for them and taking credit for it.  Or even worse, they’re plagiarizing someone else’s hard work.

Stay Away From
These Types

Then there are the blatant self-promoters.  They only want to promote their own agenda at every turn.  While I am all for giving people credit and helping promote them, you don’t want someone who is only in it for themselves doing nothing more than plugging their stuff.

It takes work to find the really good ones because there are so many of the bad ones in the online space.  Something about the Internet that attracts the get rich quick, do nothing crowd.  Don’t mean to hurt feelings if that’s your plan.  But it’s a poor model on which to build a real business.

People will operate in ways online that they would never dream of in face-to-face meetings.  Imagine meeting someone in a networking environment who without introduction tells you they have a white paper that you should read?  And that you just need to give them your email address to get it?

Build Relationships That
Benefit All Involved

Following the rules we talked about yesterday will give you a real advantage.  Take the time to build real meaningful relationships and you will have powerful allies in your network.  Like anything worthwhile, it takes time and continued effort.

In this 30 day stretch that I’ve been following the challenge, my goal was to write my own content every day.  But the objective as I see it is really to publish one piece every day.

So if you decide you don’t want to write every day, that’s just fine.  But you must publish.  Finding someone to write the content as a guest blogger for you is perfectly acceptable.

Build Your Brand
By Reciprocating

The other side of the coin is that you may find yourself writing as a guest for someone else.  The very first time I reached out to people looking for a guest blogger, I was asked to write for their blog.

First off, I saw this as an incredibly generous gesture on her part.  While most of the other people I asked were busy trying to show me how important they were, she was building a relationship.

So I built a relationship with a person who can not only write great content for me but I can write for her.  Since she has nice traffic on her blog, I will reap a nice reward if my article is good.

Take Away Any Hurdle
Or Barrier For Them
To Contribute

Tomorrow we’ll cover tactics and tools for finding other people to provide content for you.  Before we do that, you need to understand the overall method for finding people as we discussed above.  But you also need to understand what you want from them.

The easier you make it for people, the more they’re going to see that you really do care.  And the more they see you care, the more they will care.

Some things to consider are:

  • Topics you want
  • Specific details on style and length of article
  • What you need from them – picture, by-line, website to link back to, resource box
  • Deadline
  • Resources that may help them

The easier you make it for them to write for you, the easier it will be to get great content from them.  And the more your network of people who can write for you and who you can write for grows.  The more successful you’re social media and theirs will be.

Another Reason For The Thirty Day Social Media Challenge Revealed

 

Day 20 Of
The Thirty Day
Social Media Challenge

 

So you’re two thirds of the way through.  Today, I feel it’s time to reveal my ulterior motive that I’ve kept hidden.

I hate to keep secrets but there was a very good reason for it.  See, by now, if you’ve been doing the challenge with me, you’ve got momentum.  You’ve got a bunch of content.  And you have probably found the whole process to be much easier and even, dare I say it, more fun than you might have initially thought.

If I told you about this first you’d probably have had the same things occur for you that it did for me in the past.  You’d feel overwhelmed and never have even started.  Been there, done that.

How To Achieve
Instant Credibility,
Authority And Celebrity

My ulterior motive… I am writing a book.  In fact, this is the book.  When it’s completed, it will have 31 chapters.

Now, for the purpose of the blog, it was not always done in order.  And there may be more in the book than here.  But for the most part, once I’m done with this challenge; the book is 99% done.

This approach was, for me, designed specifically to create an expert book on how to create social media content.  But if I attacked it as writing a book, I never would have even started.  I know, I’ve tried.  I have started many a book.  Each one seemed so enormously over whelming that I just gave up either before I started or a few chapters in.

This Person Changed
My Perspective About
Writing A Book

I borrowed and followed the method taught to me by my copywriting teacher; John Carlton.  He is arguably the best or one of the best sales copywriters living on planet Earth.  And he’d even tell you so himself.  All joking aside, he really is.  And I’m only half joking.

I always remembered something he said.  It was simple and powerful.  Book equals expert.  I think he followed that up by saying ‘Write that down, Bucko!’

Even My Dog
Can Do This

Think about it, when you see that someone has written a book, don’t you give them just a little more credibility than the average Joe?  Maybe a lot more.  And if you’re the rare person who doesn’t, trust me, most people do.

The thing is, anyone can write a book.  My dog can write a book.  Well, he won’t write it himself.  He’d hire a ghost writer.  Or, if he’d stop getting into the garbage every time I turn my back, I’d even spring for the ghost writer myself.  That and self-publishing on Amazon or any one of the other services that do it for you mean my dog can be a published author.

All you need to publish a book these days is a bunch of words put together in a somewhat logical fashion.  Actually, it’s quite possible you don’t even need to do that.  See most people won’t even read it.  The effect is still the same, however.

Now I highly recommend you make sure that you have words in your book.  Lots of them.  The above was just to illustrate a point.

People just automatically assign expert status to someone who has written a book.  And if you want to be considered an expert in your business niche, then writing a book can be a tremendous boost.

You’ve Already
Written Most Of It

Now trying to write a book is going to seem daunting at best.  But when you tear it down into its basic chunks, what you have is a sequence of single pieces of content.  Like blog posts.  Hmm…

And now that you’re twenty days in, and you (hopefully) have been creating content daily, you have a future book.  You need to take a few more steps before you can publish like formatting, creating your table of contents, index, bibliography, cover art, graphics or any other book type things you want to include.

But the really hard part is done.  And that is creating the vision and content.  Pretty cool, eh?

How To Write A Book
With Audio Or Video

Now you may be saying, “But gosh darnit, Mike Brooks… you told us we didn’t have to create written content so we made an audio or video blog”.  Have no fear.  All you need to do is slide on over to Elance.com, Odesk.com or any other place you can hire a person and have it all transcribed.

There’s certainly more things you can do, but it really is just that easy.  You can even go get all your friends and family to buy it all at the same time and become an Amazon bestseller.  Albeit that will probably only last for a few minutes.  But now you can say you’re a best selling author… wink wink.  I’m only ha

So don’t stop now.  Keep going and finish this challenge up.  While you don’t have to publish this as a book, if you want to, you have the option.

Besides, if my dog can do it, so can you!

How To Keep Your Fans And Followers And Get New Ones

Day 18 Of
The Thirty Day
Social Media Challenge

On Day 15 I wrote an article about driving traffic to your social media channels.  Today I want to expand on this even deeper.

In the article I gave some ‘Must Do’ things for you to do.  These are designed to get traffic to your page.  But in short order you’re going to have fans and followers.

Once you do, you’ve got two goals you need to focus on when it comes to these folks.  The first is to keep them your fans and followers.  The second is to get more fans and followers through them.

Keep Your Fans…
Your Fans

It’s a dog eat dog world out there. There’s a ton of competition for our attention.  Combine that with our ever shortening attention spans and if you’re not careful, loyal fans will move on to the next thing that grabs their attention pretty darn quick.  Better to be the dog doing the eating than the one being eaten.

Make sure you employ a strategy for keeping your fans.  It’s hard enough to get a fan.  Keeping them is even harder.

And quite frankly it’s more important than even getting a fan.  Most people focus all their efforts on getting fans and then wonder why their base never seems to grow.

Back when I ran a martial arts school, we used something we called the Integrated Marketing Approach.  Ever hear the old saying: “It’s easier to get new business from a current customer than to get a new customer”?  It is so true!

New customers are just one profit center in any business.  Retaiuning that customer is also a profit center.  There’s other profit centers.  In the martial arts school they were: upgrades, special events and retail sales.  If we focused on just one, we were leaving a ton of money on the table.

Think of retention as closing the back door.  If you spend all your effort on getting people to come in the front door but your back door is wide open, you’re loosing customers and you’ll never grow no matter how many new ones you bring in.

When we focused on all those profit centers, the business quadrupled.  Same thing can happen with your social media channels.

Here’s an article from Sarah Goliger on Hubspot called “4 Ways To Keep Your Facebook Fans From ‘Unliking’ Your Page.  Sarah says you want to keep your posts interesting, publish relevant and valuable content, find a good balance for publishing frequency and keep them coming back for more.

Notice a lot of what Sarah talks about revolves around content.  You can never go wrong by giving your fans and followers great stuff.

Get New Fans Through
Your Current Fans 

The other side of this is leveraging your current fans and followers to get new ones.  This is the place social networking really shines.

If one person shares your content, it is possible that hundreds (the average Facebook user has 130 friends) of their friends will see it.  If they like what they see, maybe they’ll click through to learn more about you.

Engaging your fans and followers is vital.  Not only to keep them coming back for more, but to get them telling the world about you.

Here’s some rules for your fan engagement:

Know your audience:   Before you start speaking to them, you need a great understanding of what makes them tick.  What are their likes and interests?

Keep it real: Talk to them the way you would any person face to face.  Be congruent with your marketing message, but don’t be fake.  People see right through it.

Act naturally: Think about what you might do in real life to get a response from someone and just do the same thing in social media.  This isn’t rocket science.

Ask A Great Question
Get A Great Answer

If you were face to face with me and wanted me to respond to you, what would you form the words coming out of your mouth into?  A question!  If you want someone to respond to what you say, end the statement with a question mark.

Asking a great question in social media will result in a great answer.  Then everyone connected to the person answering has the opportunity to learn about you and your content.

My friend Jason Silverman, (whom I’ve mentioned in several other articles), called to ask for advice on something yesterday.  He is going to a New Year Eve costume party where guests are supposed to come as a TV or Hollywood couple.

My answer to that question was not suitable for this blog as it contains humor that some may not find very funny.  You can use your imagination but that’s beside the point.

What I did offer is that a question is perfect for fan engagement and that he should ask it on his social channels.  It has all the right elements of a question that gets great mileage in the socialverse.

  • It is interesting – Many people love going to costume parties and can relate.  It’s a fun topic.
  • It is personal – Builds rapport with his fans and followers
  • It asks for help – People love to feel like they’re helping out.  People will follow a random stranger into a dark alley if they were lost and needed directions.
  • It allows people to be clever – People will want to provide their funny and interested answers

Sure enough the post grabbed an immediate response.  So far after one day he has at least triple the response he would normally get.

There are a lot of tactics and techniques, (here is a great post from Social Media Examiner by Mari Smith on how to better engage your Facebook fans), that you can use to up your fan engagement.  Clever comments, great content from others, pictures, videos to name just a few.   If it follows the simple rules discussed above, there’s a great chance it will get shared and bring other people back to you.