Entries from May 2011 ↓

Building Your Twitter Following

followersAs a self-confessed Twitterholic, I’m always on the lookout for great advice on how to get the most out of the social media revolution that is Twitter.

One of the questions I get asked a lot by people who are just starting out on their Twitter journey is how do you find people to follow?

Once they set up their account, follow friends, family and colleagues they suddenly hit a brick wall. Where do they go now? Who should they follow?

I began using Twitter in 2008 and I’ll admit to not understanding it all to begin with. It took quite a while before the penny dropped and I worked out how to use it, how to find people and that it was OK not to follow everyone back who followed me.

I used various search tools to find fellow tweeters in my industry (copywriting), those involved with marketing and social media and those who just seemed interesting.

But what I would have found really useful was a list of tools that could be used which would have sped up this process.

Luckily for you I came across Leon Widrich’s post on SocialMediaExaminer.com which shows various tools you can use to find interesting people on Twitter who you’ll want to follow.

His post shows you some of the tools to use and how to engage with your followers to make the most of your Twitter experience. Whether you’re new to Twitter or have been tweeting a while it’s well worth taking a few minutes out of your day to have a read and discover how you too can build your Twitter following.

Thanks for the tips Leon.

Getting the Most from Your Email Marketing

googlemonsterIs yours one of the many businesses out there that sends regular newsletters to your customers?

You probably spend hours slaving over the content (or get a copywriter to slave away for you) to ensure your message is spot on, you’re offering your readers great information and, of course, the odd offer to encourage them to buy from you.

So what happens once it’s been sent?

If you just broadcast it, forget it and then move on to the next month’s issue you’re missing a HUGE opportunity.

Shall I tell you why?

Using your newsletters to boost your SEO

Let me tell you something about your newsletters.

You already have a strong subject line/header, your content will be SEO friendly (stands to reason as you’re writing about your company, products and services) and it’s original content.

So why not breathe life into your newsletter once it’s been sent rather than forgetting about it?

Placing it within your website will help your SEO no end because you’ll be feeding the Google Monster fresh, original content each and every month – yum.

Of course, you can’t just cut and paste the content into your website; you’ll need to make a few amendments such as:

  • Create a new page for each newsletter, so you’ll be treating them like articles.
  • Use links within the text (hyperlinks using your keywords) to point to other relevant information within your site or other articles.
  • Remove any mentioned of forthcoming events etc. Unlike your newsletter which is transient, your new web page will be around for a long time to come.
  • Take out any special offers for subscribers.
  • Play around with the layout to make sure it looks attractive. Add sub headings, images and even video to enhance your message.

By repurposing the content in this way you’ll add volume to your website, boost your SEO and offer your readers some great information.

The Money’s in The Relationship

riding the social media waveA new wave of marketing is taking over.

OK, to be honest it’s not that new but it is changing the way you do business.

Cast your mind back to the way it used to be done. Marketing your products and services involved paying vast quantities of cash for newspaper or magazine articles – one little add competing with hundreds of similar ads.

You sent cold mail shots or put inserts in your local paper…which usually ended up in the bin or used as an impromptu coaster.

Finally you unleashed your secret weapon – the cold call. Every day you would sit with your list of phone numbers crossing them off one by one as you doggedly dialled them in the hope that one day someone would say ‘yes’ rather than ‘**!~~~@@#####’.

“But it works!” I hear you cry. Does it really?

Do you love having your evening interrupted by an unsolicited call trying to sell you double glazing? Do you enjoy your working day being interrupted by a persistent stationery salesman who just won’t take no for an answer?

I didn’t think so.

And is the one sale to the person who said yes (just because you happened to phone them at the exact moment they were considering buying an entire set of Encyclopaedias)really worth hacking off the other 299 people?

Forget ROI and think ROR

Social media marketing has opened up a wealth of new opportunities for businesses.

Now you have the opportunity to listen, engage and converse with a massive market place. You can tweet with people and offer advice when they are in need of your help. By helping them and giving them tips you’ll build trust which could land you some serious sales.

So what’s stopping you?

Many businesses are obsessed with ROI – and the one thing that’s very difficult to measure through social media is your ROI. But you can’t think of it that way. What’s far more important to your business is the ROR – return on relationships.

Listening and talking to people is worth its weight in gold. Giving timely advice when people need it will show your company as one that cares, that wants to help, and that’s open and approachable. In other words, your company is one that will be good to do business with.

As a freelance copywriter I use social media a lot. By listening to my followers on Twitter (and others through searches) I can step in and offer advice and guidance when they need it the most.

What have I gained from it?

  • New clients
  • Great friends
  • Help and advice when I’ve needed it most
  • More traffic to my website and blog
  • Service providers
  • A lot of fun

So what are you waiting for?

Get yourself online and join in the conversation. If you need some pointers follow me (@sallyormond) and I’ll be happy to show you the ropes.

Watch Out For SEO Con Artists

SEO con artistJunk email seems to be a part of life these days.

But just recently I have noticed a vast increase in my inbox. It’s either for Viagra, to tell me the FBI has tracked me down to pay me several million dollars I’m apparently owed, or from SEO companies who claim to be able to get my website to rank for everything.

It’s this last bunch that prompted me to write this post.

Practically every day I get an unsolicited email from an SEO company who claims to be able to get me on the front page of Google for all my keywords.

As soon as they arrive I delete them but their sheer number got me thinking. Someone somewhere is probably falling for their hyped up patter – they must be because why else would they keep sending them?

Don’t fall for the con

Most of these emails will make huge claims about their SEO effectiveness.

Some of them will claim to be able to get great results for much less than you’re paying your present SEO Company.

But they all have one thing in common – they are unsolicited.

I don’t know about you but that’s not how I run my copywriting business.  The people I email are either clients, people who have made contact with me to talk about my copywriting services, or people who have already opted in to receive my newsletter. The one thing I don’t do is randomly select email addresses and bombard them with sales emails.

These people are spammers, pure and simple, and on top of that they are most likely the type of SEOs who use black hat techniques.

Choose your SEO Company wisely

If you receive an email out of the blue from a company offering their SEO services, think very carefully before contacting them.

The best advice I can give to find a genuine SEO Company who really understands their subject and will only use white hat techniques, is do your research.

Ask other people you know and trust who they use for their SEO and what results they’ve had.  Plus good SEO Companies should be more than happy to provide you with client recommendations.

Tread carefully, don’t believe the hype and don’t act on an unsolicited email.

The last thing you want to do is fall foul of Google – make sure your SEO Company understands the techniques and abides by the rules.

QR Codes – What Are They?

QR Code You’ve probably seen these curious boxes of random black squares on a white background and wondered what on earth they are.

Well these little fellas are QR codes (Quick Response Codes) and can be used to boost your business.

Not convinced?

Well I came across this great post on Vertical Response’s blog which goes into detail about what the QR Codes do, how they work and how they can help your business.

Basically, anyone with an app on their smartphone will be able to scan the QR code and gain access to a web page.

So how does that help your business?

Well it means that you can display your code practically anywhere and direct traffic to:

  • Get more customers by sending them to a web page that contains a special offer
  • Build your email list by directing them to a web page that allows them to sign up for a free report
  • View a customer service video

If you want to stay one step ahead of your competitors have a read of the Vertical Response post – it could give your business a boost.