First Round of Updates Coming VERY Soon

News site 24-7PressRelease.com updates to website.

News distribution site, http://www.24-7pressrelease.com adds enhancements.

If you haven’t checked out the http://www.24-7pressrelease.com press release distribution site recently, you may want to do so shortly.

The first wave of significant changes is due to be implemented very shortly (possibly as early as the next 24-48hrs).

Along with a few minor visual changes (the big visual changes will be the last to come), is the ability to now upload your images that you regularly use, and keep them in an image bank.

You will also notice a lot more social media interaction and the ability to now add your Twitter and Facebook feed to all your press releases.

Looking for a no-follow on your links? No-follow is no problem.  We have added the ability to add this to a single release or all your releases.  You can now change these options within your account manager!

These are just a few things mentioned, there are actually more changes, so check the site out and take a look around!

Our Finger Is On The Pulse With What Is Happening In The Industry, Including Google’s Last Penguin 2.0 Update!

Social MediaGet SOCIAL with us and be kept up to date on marketing, social media and PR happenings.  Follow us on Google Plus! It is also a great place to be kept up to date on press release distribution coupons to save on our excellent packages!

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Find us here as well:

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Ascertaining a Capable Social Media Manager for Your Business

Hiring a Social Media Manager

Hiring a Social Media Manager

Let’s face it.  Everyone, except for those in a coma or that have passed on has heard of social media.  If you haven’t you may really want to start to take note.

Social Media is no longer a fad. It is here, and here to stay.  For most businesses, it really needs to become a part of their marketing toolkit, much like that of using a press release service, ad words and perhaps even an affiliate program.

Companies that have decided to turn a blind eye to this tool are harming themselves by not only losing potential new business, but existing business as well.

Business require a key individual that know and understand the main social media outlets (Google+, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter) to name a few.  The person they need to hire needs to both understand the technology and the business and most importantly how to effectively apply this technology to your business to make it really blossom.

I found this article at Marketing Apocalypse that delves into further details on what to look for.
http://tinyurl.com/apd7kum.

Google Plus – Are You One Of The Many That Have Heard About It But Haven’t Signed Up? Will It Help With Rankings?

Google+ logo

Google+ Image

To be blunt and to the point, Google+ is gaining traction and you better get on board.  If you don’t, you could be left behind.

I first registered a Google+ account roughly 15 months ago, however finding people that were also registered was difficult. Plus I was not crazy about the layout.  Today this is a different story.  Finding people registered on Google+ is almost as normal as finding people on LinkedIn (if you are active in the business community).  Part of this reason is because people are starting to realize the importance and advantages.

SEO appears to be going “by the wayside” in the sense of “standard practices” (directory registrations, links from link farms, Meta Data, etc.) and really appears to be making a push toward credibility from actual people, friends of those people that have credibility and Social Media.

The one item that has remained constant with Google Search, from inception is the importance of credible sources and where those sources are connected. Do you remember when Google first came into the picture and all the hype about how “Google treats your website like a University paper and looks at all your sources or references of information and where they are from?”  Although SEO fads and flavours have come and gone, this has always been a constant.

So how does Google+ play into this?  If you have not seen all the red squares and areas where you can “+1” a page or post, then you have probably had your head buried in the sand for way too long.  Have you also not noticed all the images (headshots) that are starting to appear in the search results? This is also Google+ and something called Google Authorship.

No one (except maybe Matt) knows the algorithm behind Google, but there are some ideas that just make sense. One of those is registering a Google+ account and becoming socially involved. After all, it is a Google product! Doesn’t that naturally make sense? Rumour has it, that by having a Google+ account, expanding your circles with many individuals that are also active and many in their circles, and being involved with Google Authorship can help your rankings.  Given everything mentioned here (Google Search, Google+ and Google Authoring) and how they are the same company and related, that actually calculates with me and makes sense.

There is much more to rankings and SEO than what has been mentioned here but having a Google+ account and participating socially is something that can certainly help.  Some press release sites such as 24-7PressRelease.com are now accepting Google Authorship accounts as a part of the press release process now.

Organizing Social Media for Business, While Keeping it Professional and Synchronized

Social Media Image

Organizing social media for business while keeping it professional and synchronized.

There are so many different social media outlets that it can be daunting just thinking about where to start and what to use. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ are currently the main players for business use, but how the various channels all interact can give social media newcomers a headache.

I remember searching for people about 18 months ago on Google+ and barely finding anyone that I knew with an active, used account.  That has now changed. I can see Google+ starting to build in a major way, as many people I know are now taking part.

With that being said, with all the account registrations and changing between social media platforms, do you keep your information up to date?  A significant amount of people do not. This goes for images as well.

Keeping your profile pictures and information updated and consistent across all social media platforms demonstrates that one is organized and on top of their business.  By not doing so, one could potentially be deemed as disorganized, out of touch or lazy.

I have come across many individuals with whom I have worked who don’t really know what they are doing because all their social media information that shows as “current” is completely different from one platform to the next.

It is important to keep your information up to date across all social media platforms – this includes your photographs, logos and images and your biography.  You should also ask yourself, What does my picture say about me? Is my picture appropriate for my position and for this form of social media? Are my pictures consistent from channel to channel?  I have seen professional images on LinkedIn, and then gone to another social account for the same person and seen a grainy ‘bar star’ type image as their profile picture there.

If you use social media for business and are self-employed or in a professional position, you may want to review your social media platform for inconsistencies and consider how your profile looks to others. This could include potential business prospects or even head hunters, not to mention anyone else that may be looking at your profile.

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Michael Iwasaki is a Managing Partner with press release distribution site 24-7PressRelease.com

How Often Should I Blog?

One of the most oft-asked questions when a blogger sets up their first blog is: “How often should I blog?”

The answer is the same for everyone: “Whenever you can.” Or, even, “Whenever you want.”

The truth is, more frequent blog posts are always better except when you’re blogging about nothing. Filling your blog with garbage, or uninteresting information, just because you want to have a blog post up that day, often harms your blog more than it helps it.

For many small business owners who are already wearing a dozen and one different hats, blogging once a month may be all they can manage. Any less frequently is not really advised as it wouldn’t have the chance to garner much of a following, and even once a month is a little on the sparse side. Once weekly is a great commitment if you can keep to it – and if you can’t, you can always employ the help of a blogging service to do the work for you. At least that way the post is written and – with blogging tools’ various scheduling facilities – you could line a whole month’s worth of blog posts up all at once, and not have to think about the blog again until the same time next month.

So the concern is really not with the frequency of blogging. So long as you are putting out quality content and you’re making regular updates, you should be fine. Daily posts are great in an ideal world but we rarely have something of worth to say every single day, so don’t pressure yourself. You will just burn out and not want to blog at all before long, and that won’t help your business at all.

Sharing Blog Posts

Sharing your blog posts is a surefire way to ensure the growth of your blog. It’s one thing to craft a well-written post, put it up on your blog and then sit back and wait for the comments to come flooding in but chances are,  if you are a fledgling blog, you’re going to have to put in the legwork to get those readers to your site, and the best way to do that is the golden rule of blogging: Share, share share.

Set your blog up with a Facebook page (or your company, and promote your blog posts on your company’s page). Make sure you have a Twitter account. Share your blog posts on LinkedIn. Ensure you use the opportunities social media has to offer as much as you can, as this will get you readers with very little time or financial investment. Use a tool like HootSuite and you can post your blog link to all of your social media accounts with just one click.

Another way to share blog posts is through commenting on other blogs. We talked about this in our post on Engaging with Other Blogs and Bloggers last week, and it remains one of the best ways to share your blog posts. It could just be that people will click on your link and therefore discover the latest blog post, but many comment box plugins used by bloggers actually post the title of your latest blog post under your comment, ensuring that more readers see what you’re writing about – which will ultimately grab the interest of many more readers. (For this reason, it is always a good idea to title your posts well – short, snappy titles are good but make sure they accurately describe what your post is about! It’s often all someone will see before deciding to click or not!)

Guest posting on other blogs is another great way to share your blog. Reach out to other bloggers in your area of specialty who you have connected with and ask if they would be so kind as to post a guest post you have written for their blog. If they are going on vacation or just want a break from blogging one day, they will often agree, and as long as your post is well written, it should be accepted. When guesting, be sure to spend a short introductory paragraph introducing yourself and your blog and what it is all about. Then it is usually polite to say how you know the blogger whose blog you are guesting on, and then launch into your post. The post itself should be about a topic that is of interest to the readers of the blog on which you are guesting. Hopefully these are shared interests with your own blog but sometimes that’s not the case (for example, if you are a sports blogger but tend to focus on hockey, and you are guesting on the blog of someone who predominantly talks about golf, perhaps write a golf-focused post this time). That way you ensure more people make it to the end of your post, and once they’ve completed that they may well want to read more.

It always takes an investment of time and energy when you start blogging, but it often pays off in more ways than just an increased readership. You can make worthwhile connections and form beneficial relationships, so put in the legwork and reap the rewards!

Engaging With Other Blogs and Bloggers

To start a blog – even if it’s only for ‘business’ purposes – is to join a community.

Blogging has taken off like never before. Just a year ago, it was predicted that there were approximately 173 million blogs on the Internet (source). Blogging has begun as a hobby for many and turned into a full-time career. No matter what kind of blogger you are, there are countless blogger communities waiting to welcome you.

And truthfully, if you want your blog to be a success, engaging with that community is going to be one of your best methods of exposure. Commenting on blogs is a great way of getting your own blog out there. Think of it this way: when you comment on a blog, most if not all blogs have a way for you to link your name to your own blog. Therefore your comment will appear with your name above it and a link to your blog. When readers scroll through the comments on a post of a blog they love, when they see your blog name and realize that it is similar in nature to the blog they are already reading, they will most likely click on your link to check out your blog, and see if it’s another they can add to their blogroll of daily reads.

Referrals from comments made on other bloggers’ sites often ends up being one of the biggest traffic sources for a blog, and it’s free! It costs time, truthfully, but that time is usually well rewarded because you are able to keep up with what other bloggers in your field are doing and talking about, and this information usually helps to make you a better blogger.

So what community will you join? If you are blogging strictly to boost your small business, you can seek out others who run similar businesses to you and also blog; you can look for small business bloggers, or you can abandon the business side altogether and join in with communities who are interested in what you have to offer – for example, if you run a sports shop, you could blog about current events in sports and then join in with the community of sports fan bloggers out there.

Don’t just join in by commenting on other blogs either – reach out to bloggers on Twitter, Facebook and through email. Most of them are tapped into social media as a way to promote their blogs, so they’ll be keen to connect on those channels as well.

The opportunities are endless, but engagement is a key part of growing your blog and, ultimately, growing your business.

What Should You Blog About?

Blogging for business is undoubtedly beneficial. It can get you known as an industry expert, help you to build a community around your readers and customers, encourage two-way communication between your customers (or potential customers) and your business and, of course, assist with your search engine optimization efforts.

But if you are a small – or large – business owner and you are persuaded of the benefits of blogging, the immediate question which comes to mind is usually “What do I blog about?”.

The answer to this is often the simple and obvious one, but we can put it in one phrase for you: Blog what you know.

You want to make sure that you know a lot about the topic you are going to blog about, otherwise you can end up doing more harm than good when it comes to your company’s reputation. And, for business purposes, you also want what you’re blogging about to be related to your company. It’s great if you are passionate about and knowledgeable of American football, but blogging about football won’t help your insurance company too much. It may be a great personal blog to launch, though!

You have to consider who your readers are – are you wanting to attract the attention of the everyday consumer, or professionals in your industry? That will help tailor your tone and method of writing – whether to keep it casual and free of jargon, or whether you can use more sophisticated industry speak, because you trust that your readers will be the people who would know this language well.

You also, of course, want your blog’s content to be interesting to readers, no matter who they are. In keeping with the previous example of an insurance business owner, if you’re trying to attract the everyday reader, don’t fill your blog posts with endless statistics and information about deductibles – instead, try to make your topic a bit broader. For example, do you offer travel insurance? Then blog about fun travel destinations, and tips and tricks to avoid things going wrong when on holiday. Do you offer home insurance? Talk about interior design tips or new products that caught your eye that make the home safer or more efficient. And if you offer car insurance, well – lots of people love to read about cars!

As long as you tie the topic back into your business in the final paragraph, you will have a relevant blog post. And truthfully, one which only relates back to business in the final sentence is the best kind of blog post to read – a blog post that is basically an extended advertisement will have people clicking “Close” before they’ve even finished the first sentence.

Factors to Track to Measure Your Social Media Campaign’s Effectiveness, Part 2

Earlier this week we discussed the importance of paying close attention to the performance of your social media campaign. If you don’t track the results, you won’t know which factors to maintain and which to put more or less effort into.

Klout was the tool we recommended last time to track your brand’s influence via social media. Today we encourage again getting more analytical, but this time by focusing on your website.

Signing up for Google Analytics is a simple, free way to connect your website with a comprehensive analytics tool that will reveal all you need to know about your website’s performance and the behavioural patterns of your website traffic.

Now, because we are focusing on social media, the following tips will hone in on using Google Analytics to track traffic from social media, rather than website traffic as a whole, but do ensure you are using the tools to track your general website traffic as well – that is always helpful.

Google Analytics now has a tool called Google Analytics Social Report, which tracks visits to your site from your social media channels (it can link to more than 400 various channels).

This tool can reveal:

  • visits via social referrals
  • conversions
  • social visitors flow – this helps you get an idea of which social media channels are producing the most traffic
  • social value-at-a-glance – gives you an idea of how social traffic helps drive conversions

For more on Google’s Social Report, check out this article by Social Media Examiner.