State of Social Media

It’s no secret we operate in an era that literally evolves by the hour and social media is no different. 

In a nutshell, social media is basically a variety of activities that integrate technology and social interaction by creating images, words, videos and audio.  But do you know how to tackle social media and why you should care about it?  For starters, since 2012 social networking has been the #1 online activity, beating email, online games and major news websites.  

 The `Big 9’ Social Networking sites literally have billions of active users as of January 2014.  As you can see Facebook is still dominating with 1.23 billion active users.  To put this in a better perspective, if Facebook's active users were to form of a continent, it would be the second largest continent in the world.  That’s a whole of people!

Another note is social media sites like Facebook are not a charity or non-profit organization so they do charge for advertising and it can be a great tool to help boost posts.  But, be careful not to fall into the trap of only boosting a post here and there, if you decide to go down the paid advertisement route make sure you are still consistently and frequently publishing to keep increasing your followers.  The more followers you have, the more customers you’ll gain.

Also, you’ll want to view your insights and analytics, which show you how many people visited your site, what they looked at and interacted with.  This is also a very important part of having a website as well, always check your analytics!  But that is a conversation for another time!

So, of course, before you have insights and analytics to review you need to get your profiles, pages and websites out there!  For years now, we have been depending on SEO (search engine optimization) to get us higher rankings in the online search engines.  But at the end of 2013 Google, the foremost leading search engine (and so much more!) changed up the game up. 

  • Google has cut out keyword data, for those of you that don’t know; keyword data are the words that speak to an algorithm (an algorithm is a program that takes the words from your question and tries to find the answers you are looking for).
  •  Google’s Page Rank has also done a little disappearing act by not updating regularly and it wouldn’t be much of a surprise if it never reappears. 
  •  Goggle +, which is Google’s ‘social layer’ (as they like to call it) continues to evolve and have greater influence on Google’s search product.
  •  Google’s author rank - There are many reasons for the increased focus on authorship but mainly it aims to make anonymous content creators less relevant, while rewarding long-time and trusted sources.  So, the longer you’re publishing, the higher you will rank
  •  In-Depth Articles - This feature is a recent introduction from Google and it serves up a block of in-depth articles along with the standard results based on your search.

 So, what’s the bottom line with all these changes?....People powered results!  It’s proven time and time again that people trust people more than they are going to trust an algorithm.  It is the quality content that will get higher rankings from here on out.

 Another exciting result of this big SEO change for 2014 is we will see blogging make a comeback and it will play a huge role in content marketing strategies.  I’ll get to what is content marketing in a moment.

 So, at this point you are may be wondering what are the benefits of blogging and why is it so important for you to be doing it.

 

  • Blogs can be featured anywhere and in any format (including all your social media networks)
  • Blogs are an investment in something you truly own
  • Static websites, which are stationary websites that don’t have content change do not bring people back or attract new visitors
  • The blogging mentality helps you create content that works elsewhere
  • Blogs encourage collaboration (which extends the reach of your content)
  • Blogs can increase influence in your niche
  •  Loyal and vocal communities can be built around blogs

Now back to that phrase I used earlier…content marketing

 For 2014, content marketing will be the latest and greatest buzzword you hear.  What is content marketing you might ask. Content marketing is a marketing technique to create and distribute valuable content to attract and engage your target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.

 It will be the quality content that will get the higher rankings with Google and it won’t be long until we see the other big search engines following Google’s lead, as usual.

 So, now you have all this information and know the changes for 2014, what’s your next step?  Simply put, it’s time to bite the bullet and take the plunge into the world of social media!  It’s very important to keep in mind though; it isn’t just a matter of creating good content, and you may not achieve results in a matter of weeks, it will most likely takes months and in some cases years and then it will be an ongoing process. 

 The longer you put it off, the harder it will be in the future, especially if your competitors have already made strides in that direction.  The ultimate goal is to be a respected publisher with high levels of trust in the eyes of Google, major social media platforms and most importantly the people you engage with.

 Content marketing is still a form of marketing and as with any other marketing there is a systematic approach. We are just marketing digitally in a way that uses helpful or entertaining content rather than product advertising to achieve our marketing goals, and it does so through the 4 P’s…plan, produce, publish and promote.

 Campaigns can no longer be the sole focus, you have to have an “always on” approach to content and that is becoming more and more non-negotiable and it will only continue down this path. 

I know social media may be a vast new world for a lot of you, but I like to look at it like this.  Traditional marketing has always been a monologue put out to existing and potential customers, whereas Social Media and Content Marketing is a prime opportunity to have a dialogue with your existing and potential customers, build a relationships, gain respect and earn those people powered results!!

 The great thing is you don’t have to do it alone, contact me today about managing your Social Media networks.