Why Content Creation Is The New Link Building

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The SERPs are falling! The SERPs are falling!

No doubt you have heard the cry a lot this year and may have groaned those words yourself. It seems Google loves to screw with the thousands of people who have built their businesses on the traffic they get from the search engine. We have jumped through hoops, pushed the limits on their terms and conditions and either bought links or did what once was condoned methods to garner links and improve our SERP positions. But Google now really seems to be changing the very way they create their search results.

I have been doing this from the start – when keyword stuffing was not bad, when text the same color as the background had not been banned, when cramming keywords in to title tags was the norm, AND they all worked. But that was before search was the main way we found location-based businesses, before social networks, before Google had a plus one or a SPyW, etc etc etc.

Just like the old methods, link building as we know it has essentially gone the way of keyword stuffing. Does it still work? Yes, but now the battle is over those limited quality links within your niche and as the vast majority of SEOs chase this and the other speculations on Panda and Penguin, IN MY OPINION, they are largely wasting their time.

Unless you have great connections or get very lucky, it is not the most effective use of your time.

Google’s move here is to drive websites to create better content. They have given us all the clues – Bill Slawski – the guru of search engine patents pointed out Google had applied for a patent on ‘content entity management’ a couple of months ago. And we know Google has always been a proponent of improving the user experience which is largely about improving the quality of the content selected by the algorithm.

Forget links! Write more content – turn your site in to the ultimate source for your niche. Too many people spend time getting specific anchor text links to pages that offer little information about the link keywords. You can’t have everything answered by your home page and the days of it ranking for all are quickly disappearing.

As PJ Fusco points out “Enterprise-level organic search engine marketing is all about optimizing different bits and pieces of web content that make up a large, complex website”. It is not a simple recipe, otherwise everyone would be doing it well.

Keep writing, keep writing, keep writing. Really, it adds to the freshness issue (recently much mentioned), it reinforces what the site is about and adds to the amount of varied information and longer tail terms you can rank for. Remember 25% of all searches are unique – or so we have been told – so the more variety the better chance of ranking for these new searches.

As Mark Jackson shows in the above diagram and in his article on highly effective SEO, the vast majority of our efforts should be about the content. Not just researching keywords and competitors, but actual content.

Once you start this content creation machine, I would highly recommend building your social network. Share the pages on Twitter, Google Plus and Facebook, throw in some LinkedIn and maybe some Pinterest and people will start to know your site has the content about your niche. Bounce rates drop as the people who come find what they want and can be led to deeper pages if done right.

I have had a site with no links other than social ones rank within a week for long tail terms that are somewhat competitive and stronger terms a few weeks after that. Google knew my site was gaining subscribers – they saw people coming to it from emails and social links.

Learning how search engines rank things is an important part of any SEO’s job. But with all the changes Google has made over the past couple of years to what they show, it is time to change our approach. Their recent SPyW – Search Plus your World – is another under-the-covers move – it has gathered info about you and your associations and bundles results based on that. If you have visited a site before you are more likely to see results from that site. Get people to come and they will see more of your listings – hence importance of social, particularly Google Plus.

So while I am not suggesting forgetting about link building, I think we need to get back to the content – lots and lots of content.

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Simpler Way Google Could Deal With Penguin

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Seriously Google  when are you going to think outside the “make the website owners do all the work” box? You shoot out millions of warnings through Webmaster Tools, panicking website owners and casting doubt on SEO companies. And then sit back in your ivory monopolistic tower and laugh as everyone runs around beneath you.

Sure, those words are a little angry and antagonistic – but they are true. If the US government ever actually gets you in to court and forces a break up of the company – I would gladly help supply them with information – just like you are expecting website owners to give you all sorts of information.

You have a pile of sites sitting in limbo that have already made changes to their links. Links that many got legitimately – sorry make that by methods you approved – but decided to call over-optimized. Just a couple of months ago if I had written a great informational article and at the end said if you liked it why not link to it as ‘good marketing tips’, I would have been acting within your rules. But Larry takes over and must be getting a little sick of these SEOs that make money building links and getting clients well ranked in your search results, while your paid clicks seem to be hitting a wall.

We have all seen what happens when you make a change to your algorithm. People scramble to the area of your business that actually makes you money – paid search. You cannot deny it – when sites fall out of the top rankings most replace the traffic with paid clicks.

Hey if I am wrong then here is a simple solution you could have offered and you still would have seen a run on PPC. Why can’t we just have a page set up at Google that we can redirect the HTTP Referrer of the lining sites to – you see where they are and do what you want. Obviously this would still drop ‘over optimized’ anchor text impact.

You could also have told webmasters that they could just have no follow tags placed around these links. That way we would still get the actual traffic from the sites and help offset some of the expense of time and work we did getting them.

For some reason, I do not think this one was directly from Matt Cutts, but if it was – mate you should know better.

There will come a time when Google starts to drop in value. Online marketers help get the early evangelism out about this new company. If Facebook really gets in to search – and if the recent drops in use of their current advertising continues they well could be looking – Google will turn to online marketers and try and sell them on the value they offer. When that happens I hope they remember all the ways Google has actively pushed against them.

Facebook you need to buy an engine and connect it to your bookmarking or set an area aside where searchers can store their results and share the pages within your system – the advanced business pages, fan pages and the like – and thus create more traffic to sites that rank well in your search. Don’t let Google build up the momentum here with G+.

This was a really bad decision Google and one you can still change and take the sting out. Do the no follow and the server side redirect of incoming bad links. Website owners should not have to do all the heavy lifting – because the more they do the more you push them in to creating or just using ‘black hat’ methods because they no longer have anything to lose.

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4 Steps – How To Use Analytics Reports

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Big and small businesses spend time and money generating websites and battling to gain traffic and conversions. Most spend a lot of time clicking through their analytics overwhelmed by the sheer amount of data and how to fully interpret it. As a consultant it is often the hardest aspect of the job – working out what information should be paid attention to on a daily or weekly or monthly basis and how to do so in a timesaving manner.

Click Media Agency is developinng a series of articles to give some insights in to how to effectively generate reports that can be conveniently emailed to the appropriate people to examine and make further decisions on how to improve success. We will use Google Analytics as the example as it is the most popular platform, but our company would be happy to develop them for whatever analytics program you are using.

So to start you need to work out exactly what information you need and from there determine how often it is needed. Here the size of your site – the sheer number of visits etc. – is a determining factor. Large scale sites with hundreds of thousands or millions of pageviews generally would generate reports more often than smaller sites.

So what are you looking for? What are the main things you need to know? Here is where the fun begins. Initially try to look for the broad strokes if you are new to the online experience, there is no sense overwhelming yourself with too much information. The more established sites can drill deeper and generate more varied reports, but that is because the site owners should have more experience with the numbers and what influences conversion.

So start by looking at the basic reports Google Analytics offers and use them initially. Work out how often each analytics report is needed. How you are getting your traffic will help determine this. If you are buying paid search traffic you will want to look at the keywords and ad combinations more often than organic and other referring sources. If you are heavily invested in social or display ads then referrer numbers are crucial. If your brand is a heavy traffic generator, then organic keywords have importance.

International sites may want country numbers, while mobile heavy traffic sites need information on devices and platforms and operating systems.

Have you established goals yet? If so then these can be added to the various reports for deeper insight. There are over 80 Google Analytics basic reports – so your options are fairly broad.

Google has many video tutorials on how to use their analytics and explains their reports.

Their guidelines to interpreting reports is a good starting point that shows the best practices for analyzing data, how to analyze data trends and how to use the data visualizations in Google Analytics.

To make your report lists you should first get a feel for the main areas of data grouping inside Google Analytics.

1. Pageviews, Visits, and Visitors

This presentation explains the pageviews, visits, and visitors metrics, how they are calculated, and explains uniques, new and returning visitors.

2. Traffic Source Reports

This series of presentations show the different traffic sources, ways to identify quality traffic, how to determine revenue and conversion drivers, how to get details from keyword reports, as well as explaining how campaign attributions work.

3. Content Reports

This series shows how to interpret the Top Content, Content by Title, and how to use and interpret the Top Landing Pages report, Content Drilldown reports, the Navigation Summary report and the Entrance Paths report.

4. Analyze Traffic Sources, Content, and Navigation

Google Traffic Sources, Content, and Navigation reports are explained in this YouTube video. It details the different sources of traffic, tracking content performance and analyzing visitor navigation.

So now you have some work to do. Our other articles on this topic will give individual insights in to more aspects of Google Analytics Reports – so subscribe to the feed and let us help you with your online success.

Short URL:ClickMediaAgency http://dlvr.it/1CMy9R

Content Creation es el nuevo link building por estas razones

Las SERPs están cayendo! Las SERPs están cayendo!

Sin duda usted ha escuchado este grito mucho este año y podría haber gemido estas palabras a si mismo. Parece que Google le encanta follar con los miles de personas que han construido sus negocios en el tráfico que reciben con el motor de búsqueda. Hemos saltado a través de aros, empujado los límites de sus términos y condiciones y, o bien compramos enlaces o hicimos lo que una vez fueron métodos tolerados para reunir vínculos y mejorar nuestras posiciones SERP. Sin embargo, Google ahora realmente parece que está cambiando la manera que crean sus resultados de búsqueda.

He estado haciendo esto desde el principio – cuando rellenar palabras clave no era malo, cuando el texto del mismo color que el fondo no había sido prohibido, cuando abarrotar palabras clave en el título era la norma, y que todo funcionaba. Pero eso fue antes de que buscar era el camino principal para encontrar negocios basados en su ubicación, antes de las redes sociales, antes de que Google tuviese una clasificación one plus o un SPyW, etc etc etc

Al igual que los viejos métodos, construcción de enlace tal como la conocemos básicamente ha seguido el camino del relleno de palabras clave. ¿Todavía funciona? Sí, pero ahora la batalla es por esos enlaces de calidad limitada dentro de su nicho de mercado y como la gran mayoría de los SEO persiguen esto y las otras especulaciones de Panda y Penguin, en mi opinión, son en gran parte una pérdida de tiempo.

A menos que tenga buenas conexiones o tenga mucha suerte, éste no es el uso más eficaz de su tiempo.

La decisión de Google es conducir los sitios web a crear un mejor contenido. Ellos nos han dado todas las pistas – Bill Slawski – el gurú de las patentes del search engine Google ha solicitado una patente para “manejo de entidad de contenidos” un par de meses atrás. Y sabemos que Google siempre ha sido un defensor de la mejora de la experiencia del usuario, que es en gran parte sobre la mejora de la calidad del contenido seleccionado por el algoritmo.

Olvídese de enlaces! Escriba más contenido – convierta su sitio en la fuente última de su nicho. Demasiada gente pierde tiempo buscando enlaces específicos de texto en páginas que ofrecen poca información sobre las palabras clave de enlace. No se puede contestar todo en la página principal y los días en que era ésta clasificaba para todos están desapareciendo rápidamente.

Como PJ Fusco señala que “a nivel de empresa de marketing en buscadores es todo acerca de la optimización de diferentes pedazos y partes que comprenden un contenido web que componen un sitio web grande y complejo”. No es una receta sencilla, de lo contrario todo el mundo lo estaría haciendo bien.

Siga escribiendo, siga escribiendo, siga escribiendo. Realmente, se suma a la cuestión de frescura (recientemente muy mencionada), que refuerza de que se trata el sito y añade la cantidad de información variada y tail terms más largos para clasificar. Recuerde que el 25% de todas las búsquedas son únicas – o eso nos han dicho – lo que significa que mientras más variedad, mejor oportunidad de clasificación para estas nuevas búsquedas.

Como Mark Jackson muestra en el diagrama anterior y en su artículo sobre una altamente efectiva SEO, la gran mayoría de nuestros esfuerzos deben ser acerca del contenido. No sólo la investigación de palabras clave y de los competidores, sino el contenido real.

Una vez que inicie esta máquina de creación de contenidos, le recomiendo encarecidamente la construcción de su red social. Comparte las páginas en Twitter, Facebook y Google Plus, agregue algo a LinkedIn y tal vez algunos Pinterest y la gente empezará a reconocer que su sitio tiene contenido acerca de su nicho. Las tasas de rebote bajan cuando la gente que viene a encontrar lo que quieren y pueden ser dirigidos a páginas más profundas, si se hace correctamente.

He tenido un sitio sin vínculos excepto los sociales clasificado en una dentro semana con largos rail terms que son un poco más fuertes en términos competitivos y aún más después de unas semanas después. Google sabía que mi sitio estaba ganando suscriptores – vieron a la gente viene a él de correos electrónicos y enlaces sociales.

Aprender la clasificación de los motores de búsqueda es una parte importante del trabajo de cualquier SEO. Pero con todos los cambios que Google ha hecho en el último par de años en cuanto a los que muestran, es hora de cambiar nuestro enfoque. Su reciente SPyW – Search Plus tu mundo – es otro movimiento clandestino- que reune información sobre usted y sus asociaciones y acumula resultados basado en esa información. Si usted ha visitado un sitio anteriormente estará más propenso a ver resultados sobre ese sitio. Logre que la gente visite su sitio  y ellos verán más de sus anuncios – de ahí la importancia del desarrollo social, en particular Google Plus.

Así que aunque no estoy sugiriendo olvidarse de la construcción de vínculos, creo que tenemos que volver al contenido – montones y montones de contenido.

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Una manera más sencilla Google podría tratar con Penguin

En serio Google cuando vas a pensar fuera de la caja de “hacer que los propietarios de sitios web hagan todo el trabajo”? Disparas millones de avisos a través de las Herramientas para webmasters, poniendo presos del pánico a propietarios de sitios web y causando dudas en las empresas de SEO. Y a continuación, te sientas en tu torre monopolística de marfil y te ríes cuando todos corren en círculos debajo de tí.

Claro, esas palabras son un poco enojadas y hostíles -, pero que son verdaderas. Si el gobierno de EE.UU. nunca realmente te lleva a corte y fuerza una división de la compañía – con mucho gusto ayudo a suministrar información – al igual que estás esperando los propietarios de sitios web que te den todo tipo de información.

Tienes un montón de sitios que se sientan en el limbo que ya han hecho cambios en sus enlaces. Los enlaces que muchos habían recibido legítimamente – lo siento, digamos que los métodos que aprobaste – pero decidiste llamar sobre-optimizado. Hace sólo un par de meses, si hubiera escrito un gran artículo informativo y al final dijo que si te gustó ¿por qué no unir a ella como “buenos consejos de marketing ‘, habría estado actuando dentro de tus reglas. Pero Larry se hace cargo y debe sentirse   un poco enfermo de estas SEOs que hacen dinero con enlaces de construcción y logrando que los clientes reciban buenos  clasificados en los resultados de la búsqueda, mientras que tus clics papagayos no van a ninguna parte.

Todos hemos visto lo que sucede cuando se realiza un cambio en su algoritmo. Las personas se pelean por el área de tu negocio que en realidad hace dinero – paid search-.  No se puede negar – cuando los sitios se caen de las más altas clasificaciones, esto reemplaza el tráfico de clics pagados.

Hey si me equivoco, entonces aquí hay una solución simple que podrías haber ofrecido y todavía habría visto una corrida de PPC. ¿Por qué no podemos tener una página creada por Google donde podamos redirigir el Referente HTTP de los sitios de revestimiento- a ver dónde están y hacer lo que se quiera. Obviamente, esto todavía reduciría el ‘más optimizado ” impacto ancla de texto.

También pudiste haber dicho a los webmasters que sólo podían tener ninguna etiqueta follow colocada alrededor de estos enlaces. De esta manera seguiríamos obteniendo el tráfico real de los sitios y ayudaría a compensar parte de los gastos de tiempo y trabajo que invertimos.

Por alguna razón, no creo que este era directamente de Matt Cutts, pero si fue – mate- sabes mejor.

Llegará un momento en que Google comenzará a disminuir en valor. Los vendedores online ayudan a obtener el evangelismo temprano acerca de esta nueva compañía. Si realmente Facebook se mete para buscar – y si las recientes caídas en el uso de tu publicidad continúa, podrían estar buscando – Google  volverá a los vendedores online y tratará de venderlos en el valor que ofrecen. Cuando eso suceda espero que recuerden todas las formas que Google ha impulsado activamente contra ellos.

¡Facebook, tienes que comprar un motor y conectarlo a tu bookmarking o establecer una zona aparte donde los buscadores pueden almacenar sus resultados y compartir las páginas dentro de tu sistema – las páginas empresariales avanzadas, páginas de fans y similares – y así crear más tráfico a sitios que clasifican bien en su búsqueda. No dejes que Google construya el impulso con G+.

Esta fue una muy mala decisión, Google y una que aún puedes cambiar y evitar la picadura. Haz el no follow y el servidor de redirigir los enlaces malos. Propietarios de sitios web no debería tener que hacer todo el trabajo pesado – porque cuanto más lo hacen, más los empujas a crear o simplemente a usar “sombrero negro” métodos porque ya no tienen nada que perder.

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CEOs Who Tweet Held in High Regard

There may be new reasons for CEOs and CMOs to join the Twittersphere. According to a study by social media branding firmBRANDfog consumers and employees regard company leaders who engage on social media platforms positively.

BRANDfog survey results indicate that consumers believe C-suite engagement in social media can benefit how they view a brand and its executive leadership. The majority of survey respondents, 78%, said CEO participation in social media leads to better communication, while 71% said it leads to improved brand image and 64% said it provides more transparency.

In terms of importance, 86% of respondents rated CEO social media engagement as somewhat important, very important or mission-critical. CEO activity on social networks also appears to influence employees’ faith in their company. The study findings indicate that 82% of employee respondents trust a company more when the CEO and leadership team communicate via social media.

Likelihood of Trusting a Company Whose CEO Communicates by Social Media Channels According to Employees* Worldwide, Oct 2011 (% of total)

A company’s social media presence also trickles down and influences purchase decisions. The majority of BRANDfog survey respondents (77%) are more likely or much more likely to buy from a company whose CEO uses social media to clearly define company values and leadership principles. And 94% said C-suite social media participation enhances a brand image.

Selling social to the C-suite remains a challenge for many companies, though. According to an Accenture study of social media among B2B marketers, 31% of respondents said they need increased CEO conviction in order to make social media efforts more effective.

Changes that Need to Be Made for Their Social Media Efforts to Be More Effective According to B2B Marketing Executives in North America, May 2011 (% of respondents)

Another examination of marketer priorities, by The CMO Council, reveals that social media is a priority for engagement and buzz-building among 60% of senior marketers worldwide.

Leading Marketing Priorities for Their Agencies According to Senior Marketers Worldwide, H2 2011 (% of respondents)

CMO Council survey respondents also said speed of adoption of new web technologies by chief marketers and top-level executives was a continuing challenge.

Financial services firm ING Direct Canada is known for its tweeting CEO, Peter Aceto. Aceto told eMarketer in a February 2012 interview that using social media helps him gauge how employees and consumers view the company and its products. “We saw it as a competitive advantage for us,” Aceto said. “There was no science. There was no ROI. We just needed to get going, start to build a community and learn about how we can use it.”

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15 Must Know Tips to Rock Your New Facebook Timeline Business Page

Yup, Facebook did it to us again. This time they have added the new timeline to business pages. With it come both good and bad changes.  As I wrote in this earlier post “ Quit Blaming Facebook and Fix Your Own Marketing Problems” it’s important you don’t waste too much time complaining. Instead use that same negative energy and turn it into a positive. Use it as a lesson for not putting all of your social eggs in one basket!

The best thing you can do is stop complaining and get to work. The new Facebook business page timeline is here to stay at least until they decide to make the next round of changes. Might as well get use to it and make the most of it!

Below are some must know tips as well as loads of Facebook reference urls at the bottom to hopefully save you some time in case you get stuck or have further questions.

Note, there are more changes than what I included in this blog post. For this post I tried to keep it specifically focused on the “need to know” changes.

15 Must Know Tips to Rock Your New Facebook Timeline Business Page

1. Know the dates.

The new Facebook timeline is set to launch on all business pages March 30, 2012.  You can start playing with your new page now and see it in preview mode before actually pushing live. I encourage you to do this as soon as possible. Don’t wait until the last minute and then be stuck with a boring page that shows you were not prepared.


2. Create a new Facebook timeline cover image.  

The cover image provides amazing opportunities for branding and to visually inspire and connect with your fans. The options are endless as long as you stay within the Facebook guidelines outlined in #3 below.

Create several different timeline covers so you can provide a fresh and inspiration experience for your timeline visitors!

Image dimensions: 851 x 31

 

3. Know the Facebook cover image content guidelines (rules).

 Facebook has set pretty strict guidelines for what can and can’t be displayed and communicated on the new timeline cover image.

What you CAN do:

  • Brand the heck out of your company, book or personal brand. This include brand images, logos, photos and any other visual marks.
  • Inspire your audience with visually appealing graphics, colors and images.
  • Use simple language that will help you inspire and connect with your fans.

What you can NOT do: (Per Facebook cover guidelines)

  • Price or purchase information, such as “40% off” or “Download it at our website”
  • Contact information, such as web address, email, mailing address or other information intended for your Page’s About section
  • References to user interface elements, such as Like or Share, or any other Facebook site features
  • Calls to action, such as “Get it now” or “Tell your friends”

Basically the cover image is provided to inspire and connect with your fans. It is not meant for blatant self promotion or hard sales.

*Obviously make sure you have legal copyrights to all images and content.

4. No default landing tabs.

You can no longer set a tab as a default landing tab. Now before you go off on a wild rant about how terrible this is, remember this is a post designed to help you move forward and do good things with your new Facebook timeline.  Got it? Okay, great! Now here are a few things you CAN do:

  • Maximize use and space of cover image.
  • Use the unique urls of apps to direct people directly to the app from pages outside of Facebook as well as posts, status updates within Facebook.
  • Maximize use of the top apps shown underneath your cover photo.
  • Use the apps for call to actions and to engage your fans.
  • Use this as an excuse to get out of your box and focus on truly inspiring and connecting with your audience

 

5. Tabs are now Apps! 

Apps are the new tabs. Although you can’t set one as a default landing tab for new visitors to your Facebook page, there are still many ways you can leverage apps.

  • 4 apps are always on display underneath your Facebook cover image.
  •  You can utilize a max of 14 custom apps on your timeline.
  • Create a custom thumbnail for your app. (see #7 below)
  • Apps have a unique url that can be used to drive traffic to a specific app (see #6 below).


6.  Use a unique url in place of landing tabs. 

Although you can no longer set a default landing tab, you can still easily get around this.  Since each app has it’s own unique url you can use the unique url to direct traffic from inside or outside of traffic to a specific app.

I suggest purchasing a unique url that you can use to drive traffic to your Facebook app of choice.  For example, I purchased the domain www.pamsfanpage.com and use to use it to direct traffic directly to my default landing tab. Now I will use it to drive traffic to an app of my choice.  The best part of using a domain that you own is that no matter how many times Facebook changes the apps, tabs, timelines, pages or other, you can stick to one or two urls that you use on a regular basis.

 

7. Create custom thumbnails for apps. 

It is super easy to create a custom thumbnail image for each and every app. Note custom images can not be set for photos and likes.

a. Create an image that is 111  x  74 pixels.

b. Click on the arrow to the right of your timeline (underneath the cover image). It will show a number which represents the number of apps you are using.

c. Click on the arrow next to the image of the app you want to change.

d. Click on edit settings.

e. Click on change (for the image)

f. Upload the new image

8. Fans can now send you a private message.

You can not message your fans. The messsages are user (fan) initiated.  Messages are a good way to encourage one to one communication if you have an interest in doing such with your fans.

 

9. Milestones

You can set milestones for your business for current, or past dates. This is a great way to highlight key events such as grand opening, ribbon cuttings, launch of new products, new partnerships, business milestones and achievements.  Milestone images are 843 x 403 pixels.

a. Click Milesone in the sharing bar at the top of your page

b. Add a headline, date, location and details

c. Choose to add a photo

d. Click Save

10. Highlighted Posts. 

You can set any post to be highlighted which means it will take up both sides of the page. I know, the name “highlight” just doesn’t make sense to me either. I expected to see some type of real highlight. This feature enables you to bring special attention to a particular post within the timeline.

11. Pinned Posts.

You can set a post to be pinned to the top of the page. Pinned posts will stay on top of your timeline for up to 7 days.If possible, try not to wait the full 7 days before you change out the post unless you have a very important message to share. Chances are you have repeat visitors coming to your page throughout the week. Give them something new and fresh to check out.

12. Like button and interest lists. 

The like button will now show as “liked” for all fans who have already liked the page.

There are also new interest lists that can be accessed with a simple hover of the like / liked button.  You can create your own list as well as subscribe to lists the page owner has created.

Users can also select if they want to see your posts in their timeline right from your Facebook timeline by hovering over the same like button.

I will do more research on these feature and provide further detail in a subsequent post.

 

13. Know the required image sizes.

No need to over complicate this. Note the required image sizes and jot them down on a sticky. Stick it to your computer monitor and you won’t have to look them up or worry about forgetting them.

  • Cover photo: 851 x 315
  • Profile picture: 180 x 180
  • Thumbnail image for apps: 111 x 74
  • Highlighted & milestone images: 843 x 403
  • Images within wall posts display as 404 x 404.

14. It’s what happens after the “like” that matters most. 

Don’t get too hung up on all these changes. If you are focusing on only “likes” then you have much bigger problems than the Facebook default tab going away.

As I always say, it is what happens after the like that matters most. Check out this post I wrote in December, 2010 which still stands true today for tips to engage your audience after the like!  “What Happens After the Facebook Like? 20 Tips to Engage Your Audience After the Like!

15.  Don’t freak out. 

The worst thing you can do is go into “freak out” mode. If you are completely freaked out over these changes then you really need to do the “double think” on your online marketing strategy. Remember, you do not own Facebook. Facebook can make any changes they see fit, whenever they decide to do so. It is a free platform and although you may have put too much weight into the platform for the success of your business, use the anxiety you feel today as a positive to move at least a few eggs out of the Facebook basket. Putting all your eggs in one basket is never a good thing, particularly when it is a basket you do not own!

Your Turn!

So what are your thoughts on the new Facebook timeline? Are you ready for the changes? Have you already implemented and launched the new Facebook timeline cover on your page? What are your favorite features of the new pages? What tips do you have you can share with others who may feel stuck or need inspiration?

 

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Forget “Mad Men”–Now Is The Golden Era For Advertising

Oftentimes when people ask me what I do for a living and I tell them I work in advertising, they ask, “Don’t you wish you got to be an ad man in the golden era, like on Mad Men?” I usually smile and respond with “What makes you think the golden era was 40 years ago? We are living in the golden era right now–the most exciting and unpredictable time in marketing history.” We are witnessing a complete social transformation. The entire industry has been flipped on its head.

So what’s changed? In the ’60s, agencies controlled a brand’s message and how it was broadcast to an extremely broad target audience on a small number of platforms. Today, consumers are in control; scattered across a variety of social networks, niche online communities are very selective about what they want to consume and the mediums through which they want to consume it. It is a common industry consensus that bombarding or spamming consumers with intrusive advertising and brand messages simply no longer works, not to mention it’s incredibly expensive. So why do so many brands and agencies keep making the same mistakes?

Well, it’s mostly an organizational problem. In the post-digital age, everyone’s roles are blurred and traditional agency conventions are being challenged to keep pace with ever-changing client demands. We can no longer continue to apply old methodologies to an evolving new-media landscape. We need to get acclimated with operating in a state of chaos. The old-school bureaucracy of the suit briefing the planner, the planner briefing creative, and the creative team going away and cooking up some ideas is dead. “Agency of record” relationships are becoming increasingly rare and clients are opting to work with a variety of specialists in the areas of digital, social, mobile, and PR. As a result, agencies have had to change the way they do business, rethink the services that they offer, hire different types of people, and modify how internal teams are structured.

Those that are truly devoted to forging ahead have accepted that to compete, it is no longer adequate to just have the best creative talent; rather, you need to have the best multi-disciplinary teams. At Tribal DDB, every member of our team is creative and we believe a good idea can come from anywhere. Everyone’s a little bit of a strategist, account manager, new businessperson–yet each of us has our own specialized role based on an area of expertise. We work together, not in silos. This has positioned us well to embrace an unpredictable, albeit exciting future.

Rethinking how we work has naturally impacted the future direction of our business and the type of creative executions we craft for our clients. Increasingly, our solutions are geared around the creation and distribution of content through social, mobile, and other emerging mediums, rather than ads. We have recently made documentaries, branded content, and a feature-length film, to name a few. And we’ve been having a lot of fun doing it.

We view our approach as brand journalism: a focus on the creation of authentic content and proactive participation in the social media arena–where we help our clients be nimble, conversational, and opportunistic. We do this by uncovering the core stories at the heart of a brand, creating multiple supporting narratives, and then seeding these narratives to their intended audiences where they are most likely to encounter them. It’s an ongoing process of content creation, aggregation, distribution, and publishing.

As an agency it is our goal to make 2012 the year of great content. Content that breaks through the clutter, has context, provides information, entertainment, or utility. Content that is authentic and real and will help our clients change the conversation, because brands that get talked about are brands that get bought.

So how are we going to continue to do this? We’re going to stick to our principles. Twelve years ago, Tribal DDB was founded on the idea that to be successful for our clients, we need to leverage the talents of our Tribe to build Tribes for our clients’ brands. We believe that in order to do that, we need to focus on their consumers as people and create content and experiences for them that appeal to their emotional interests and needs. The technology of our industry must always be used in service of an idea and to form a greater connection–not with more screens, but with the person on the other side of those screens.

In 2012, agencies and clients will continue to have to work more collaboratively to better understand who their customers really are, their interests, issues, and passions and engage them through the best content possible. We truly are in a golden era, a period of unlimited creative opportunity. So make it good because consumers no longer tune you in; they decide whether or not to tune you out.

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The Curve Shows – Las Vegas and NYC

What are the “Curve Lingerie Shows” ?? Throughout the building process of my lingerie company and upon the launch of it I received several questions and still do to this day regarding how I came to determine what brands I choose to offer in my store: Pour Séduire Lingerie Company- one simple answer, “The Curve Shows”. Each season (Fall/ Winter and Spring/ Summer) for over three days countless intimate apparel and swimwear designers come together in one location and present their new and upcoming designs where retail consumers are able to purchase wholesale for their stores.

CURVENV Las Vegas and CURVENY New York are both international shows in Las Vegas and New York. Although the format is the same, the vendors may vary between New York Show and Las Vegas Show as there are specific offerings for each market. Both CURVENV Las Vegas and CURVENY New York take place during the two busiest times for order writing: New York Fashion Week (Fashion Coterie, Intermezzo, Moda, Accessories the Show) and Las Vegas Fashion Week (MAGIC, PROJECT, MRket, WWIN).  CURVExpo has a large, diverse offering that fits with today’s retail demands: the need to consistently offer the newest and most unexpected products with real content and “expertise”.Menswear stores, women’s apparel stores, gift shops, spas, resorts, accessories stores, lingerie boutiques, swimwear stores.
Fashion is a growing and steady industry and lingerie, being a small portion of the industry as a whole is even more exciting to me and ever changing. Le Mystere is one of the brands my company carries and throughout the course of the past two years, I have seen more changes and growth happen with that brand alone. I am also frequently asked about my client base and sales…. While I receive daily sales from my clothing company, Alta Moda, the majority of my lingerie company sales are seasonal. Several of my clients look forward to each new season and the new fashion color of their favorite style, such as the very popular: “Isabella All Over Lace” bra- which is becoming a staple collectible item.
In the end, growing a business is a tedious process and for me, personally, The Curve Shows are more than a place to view the new and upcoming styles and new designers but a place where I am able to be around other business owners and designers all in the same industry and learn from them that will in turn help for me to grow my business.
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Social Trends/Sightings from the Zeitgeist For London Youth, Down and Out Is Way of Life

For almost two years, Nicki Edwards has been looking for work — any type of work.

She is 19 years old, well-spoken and self-possessed. But like many young people in Britain, she could not afford to remain at her university, making it impossible to find a job. London’s youth riots last summer have closed even more doors to people like her.

“If you are not working, in training or in college, you might as well be a thief — employers just do not take you seriously,” Ms. Edwards said. “At some point, you just say, ‘I’m stuck and I will never find a job.’ ”

Perhaps the most debilitating consequence of the euro zone’s economic downturn and its debt-driven austerity crusade has been the soaring rate of youth unemployment. Spain’s jobless rate for people ages 16 to 24 is approaching 50 percent. Greece’s is 48 percent, and Portugal’s and Italy’s, 30 percent. Here in Britain, the rate is 22.3 percent, the highest since such data began being collected in 1992. (The comparable rate for Americans is 18 percent.)

The lack of opportunity is feeding a mounting alienation and anger among young people across Europe — animus that threatens to poison the aspirations of a generation and has already served as a wellspring for a number of violent protests in European cities from Athens to London. And new economic data on Wednesday, showing much of Europe in the doldrums or recession, does little to bolster hopes for a better jobs picture anytime soon.

Experts say that the majority of those who took to the streets in London last summer were young people who were unemployed, out of school and not participating in a job training program.

Classified by statisticians as NEETs (not in education, employment or training), they number about 1.3 million, or one of every five 16-to-24-year-olds in the country.

While youth unemployment has long been a chronic issue here, experts say the British government’s debt-reduction commitment to rein in social spending appears to be making the problem worse, experts say. Insufficient job training and apprenticeship programs, they argue, contribute to the large pool of permanently unemployed young people in Britain.

“It is patently wrong for young people to have such a poor start in life, when there is so much more we could be doing,” said Hilary Steedman, an economist at the London School of Economics. “Just because they did not go to university does not mean they don’t want to work.”

Many young people here spend endless months applying for technical jobs for which they do not have adequate training. In many cases, months turn into years, with people remaining on the dole indefinitely. In the most recent fiscal year, the government paid £4.2 billion ($6.6 billion) in benefits to this age group, at least some of which might be better spent on job training, some experts argue.

“A well-financed apprenticeship program is an important social investment that can enhance the competitive capacity of an economy,” said John P. Martin, an economist at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in Paris, who studies labor market issues across Europe.

Ms. Steedman, a specialist in vocational training, said that Britain lags far behind countries like Germany, Austria and the Netherlands in its use of training programs to introduce young people to permanent work.

Fewer than one in 10 employers in Britain offered apprenticeships in 2010, she said, compared with at least a quarter of employers in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. And while government financing for such programs has increased in the last few years, Ms. Steedman said that much of the money went to training existing workers 25 years and older rather than building the skills of 18-to-20-year-olds.

“It’s completely perverse,” she said, pointing out that 40 percent of the 500,000 or so apprenticeships go to people age 25 or older. “Companies are subsidizing 25-year-olds who already have jobs.”

Ms. Edwards, for her part, completed two years at Greenford College, in London, before leaving last March because she could no longer afford the cost. She had hopes of pursuing a career in mental health, but now has narrowed her ambitions to taking care of children or the elderly.

Despite her inability to find a job, she keeps trying almost daily, filling out résumés online, handing them out in person and stomaching the shame she feels in having to accept government benefits.

“I don’t want to get paid by the government,” said Ms. Edwards, who lives in West London. “But what am I supposed to do? People can’t get jobs.”

James Lawson, 18, is also desperately looking for a job. He lives in a rent-subsidized youth hostel in the Hammersmith section of West London, and barely gets by on the £103 ($163) in unemployment benefits he receives every two weeks.

With his limited education and experience Mr. Lawson sees an apprenticeship as his only hope. He recently completed an information technology training course at a local academy. But the training led nowhere, so now he is resting his hopes on securing an apprenticeship at the British military contractor BAE Systems that promises — if he can secure one of the few positions — to provide him training as an electrical engineer.

“I wake up every morning and say to myself, ‘I don’t have a job,’ ” he said. “But I have to stay positive — even if it means taking a thousand noes to get that one yes.”

Neither Mr. Lawson nor Ms. Edwards participated in last summer’s riots. They both say, however, that they understand the frustrations that pushed many of their peers to break the law.

One 19-year-old who admits he looted during the July disturbances says he has now joined a gang and taken to petty burglaries to make ends meet.

“I just don’t care anymore,” he said, declining to identify himself. “I am sick of living like rubbish.”

Even those who stayed in school are struggling to find work.

Tam Chowdhury, 25, graduated from Southbank University in London in 2010 with a criminology and law degree. Out of the 105 positions she applied for, she said, she secured just two interviews.

“Even if you have qualifications, it can be really tough,” said Ms. Chowdhury, who works at Tomorrow’s People, a charity in London that provides training and preparation for disadvantaged young people looking to enter the job market.

While the recession is clearly making it harder for the young in Britain and across Europe to find work, economists argue that without a strategic partnership between the government and the private sector that trains those who want to be trained, youth unemployment in many countries will remain high even after the economy recovers.

Mr. Martin, of the O.E.C.D., said that the European countries that supported apprenticeship programs — Germany, Austria and the Netherlands — had also managed to sustain robust manufacturing and export industries.

In other economies, the cooperation among employers, government and unions is not as strong. “In England, for example, many employers prefer to poach skilled labor,” Mr. Martin said.

None of which comes as news to Stefan Radanovic, 19, who says he has applied for hundreds of jobs in customer service or sales.

He is looking for a job in the music industry but is willing to do anything to help support himself and his single mother, with whom he lives in the Ealing district of West London.

Mr. Radanovic presents a confident and polite appearance — all he wants, he says, is a chance — although he understands why he has not yet received one.

“I don’t blame them,” he said of the countless employers who have ignored his résumé. “They just don’t want to train you.”

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How Pinterest Is Becoming the Next Big Thing in Social Media for Business

Move over Facebook, Twitter and Google+. Another social media site is stepping up as a valuable marketing tool for businesses.

Pinterest, an online bulletin board for your favorite images, launched in 2010 and is already experiencing wild growth. The site registered more than 7 million unique visitors in December, up from 1.6 million in September. And it’s driving more traffic to company websites and blogs than YouTube, Google+ and LinkedIn combined, according to a recent report from Cambridge, Mass.-based content-sharing site Shareaholic.

Why should small businesses care? To answer that, you first have to understand how consumers are using the site. Pinterest allows you to organize images — maybe pretty sunrises or wines you’ve tasted — into boards for specific categories. When you “pin” something new, your followers will see it. They can like, comment or re-pin it to their boards. Like Facebook content, your Pinterest pins can go viral.

Brides-to-be can pin pictures of different wedding dresses to review, and people shopping for a new car can pin images of their options. When I joined Pinterest I started a board to show the Major League Baseball stadiums I’ve visited. The possibilities are unlimited.

Here’s a look at why some business owners — particularly retailers — might want to seriously consider starting a business profile on Pinterest now.

How It’s Being Used
Perhaps the most powerful business application is the ability to post images of your company’s products on your Pinterest board and link them back to your website. It works as a sort of virtual store catalog.

But remember that this is social media. If you simply display images of your products without contributing other content or sharing other users’ pins, you’ll likely find that people don’t pay much attention. After all, no one likes a self-absorbed blowhard.

Related: What’s With All the Interest in Pinterest?

But savvy social media users know not to get too promotional. For example, Whole Foods Market pins pictures of delicious-looking food, food art and images of recycled or reused products to inspire customers to be environmentally responsible. Daniel Gordon, who runs Samuel Gordon Jewelers in Oklahoma City, pins pictures of his rings and watches, but he also has a board for images that make him laugh and other types of products he loves.

Driving Sales
Pinterest already is driving buyers to some websites. In the last six months, the retail deal site ideeli.com has seen a 446 percent increase in web traffic from Pinterest and sales resulting from those visits have increased five-fold.

“We continue the Pinterest conversation with [the] members by following their pins, and we love to give feedback outside of the shopping category — whether that means commenting on a great recipe or [giving] a heart next to our favorite pet pics,” says ideeli.com social media manager Sarah Conley. “We also see Pinterest as a growing resource to better understand our members and the larger retail landscape.”

Is Pinterest Right for Your Business?
The site does have some drawbacks for businesses. If your product or service isn’t particularly visual, your images may not tie directly back to your brand. Pinterest also doesn’t offer business-oriented features, and its search function prioritizes pin and board subjects ahead of “people,” the category that brands would fall into.

The best way to determine if Pinterest could attract buyers is simply to give it a shot. Set up an account and start pinning things that are relevant to your business but not too promotional.

Related: How to Use Social Media for Research and Development

If you run a lawn-care center, for instance, pin pictures of landscaping you find online or snap in your community. If you’re a brick-and-mortar store, pin shots of the interesting sites and people around your neighborhood and photos you take at community events. You also can search through Pinterest’s categories and add some inspirational, funny or beautiful images you find.

Then, follow interesting boards and individuals who post images that inspire you. Once you’ve done some pinning of other people’s content for a week or so and attracted a few followers, create a new board of your products. Add descriptions and perhaps the price to the images. Make sure they link back to your website and start tracking pinterest.com as a referral source in your website analytics.

Next, try creating an image of a special deal or coupon just for your Pinterest followers. Upload it to a new board for Deals. Perhaps offer a prize to the person who gets the most likes or comments on a re-pin of the coupon, and then see who shares it the most. Don’t fret about creating multiple boards. People who follow you will see them all.

In a month or two, see if you’re getting referral traffic or sales. Depending on the results, you may need to tweak your boards with new images and words.

One thing is clear whether you’re on Pinterest for personal or business reasons: the best images — be they funny, beautiful or thought provoking — attract the most attention and followers.

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