Social Media Tips and Etiquette You Need to Know and Practice

24-7 Press Release Social Media Etiquette - SMSocial media to some individuals is something that is fairly new, but to some it has been around for years and they are familiar with decent social media etiquette.

Social media involves interaction between a given group of individuals in which they create, share or exchange thoughts in a virtual community and or network. The contributions, conversations and discussions would typically be of an educated value and at a fairly high level.

Introducing social media now… A bunch of noise that requires filters like HootSuite to help navigate and sort the garbage from the intelligent conversations or pieces of information that can be of value.

One of the biggest forms of social media today is Facebook. Aside from a press release or Google AdWords, Facebook is probably one of the most recognized marketing tools currently available. Posting credible, engaging information, sharing a few high-quality and relevant stories will gradually turn it into a tool to convert customers. Your customers will come because of your knowledge and information. Sorry, it is not all about you, your business and your next launch or event. Posting the occasional “deal”, “coupon” or “company update” is alright, however you must remember to engage your customer.

Followers, followers, followers… Sure, you can “buy” followers and have bragging rights that your Google Plus account has 1,500 followers, or you have 30,000 Twitter followers, etc., but what is your end game? For most people, unless you are significantly known in your industry, you will not organically have that many people genuinely interested in your business, product or service.  We are talking quality over quantity.

Social media is not SEO. Like a press release, Google AdWords or a newsletter, it is another tool for your marketing to be used wisely and not abused. Engage. Follow people who are engaging. Post meaningful posts. Like what you truly like. Re-post if you truly find value in what you are re-posting but don’t always and only re-post. Add your viewpoint. Get involved in discussions.

Following these simple thoughts will bring naturally interested, truly organic followers and customers.

With Changes in Marketing and SEO Strategies Sure to be a Discussion Point at SXSW, Where Does That Leave Online Marketing, Traditional Press Releases and SEO?

SEO and online marketing are not dead. They are evolving.

Over the past 9-12 months, there have been some big changes within some of the major search engines.  This will no doubt be a talked-about topic at SXSW amongst marketing individuals. The fact is that the changes are supposed to be positive.

“We have had a few enquiries from individuals about sending out a press release, wondering if it is still a viable method of marketing as it used to be,” said Michael Iwasaki, managing partner of 24-7PressRelease.com. “A press release is not going away and will always be a mainstay tool for many marketers. On that note, they need to be treated with respect. We have always advised that if you send out a press release, ensure it is newsworthy, something that will attract journalists, bloggers or any other individuals that may want to follow up your story. “

He has advice regarding anchor text links, also. “If you wish to include links within your press release, do not abuse this option. Adding 8-10 keyword links (all pointing back to the same location) is not advisable.  We are not experts for search engines, but advise no more than 3 links within a press release, pointing to different locations such as your home page, WikiPedia.com, or your blog.”

Remember to include varied media in a release, too, as studies have shown that improves a release’s performance. “Including media within your release is an excellent way to gain visibility.  At www.24-7PressRelease.com, an excellent example is through our Mass Media Visibility package. We have a relationship with PR Newswire for amazing traditional media exposure and distribution, and you can also add images and video with almost all of our packages,” added Iwasaki.

In this day and age, having an array of marketing tools is recommended. A decent start could include Google AdWords, social media (LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.), blogging and of course a press release with media inclusions.

About 24-7PressRelease.com
Launched in 2004, 24-7PressRelease.com is a leader in the online press release distribution industry.

Through its multichannel distribution network, 24-7PressRelease.com helps corporations and organizations disseminate their news to consumers, editors, journalists, bloggers and websites.

24-7PressRelease supports businesses in building brand awareness and increase visibility on the web through social media and bloggers.

Earn Guest Blogging Opportunities to Promote Your Brand Online

Another fantastic blog post from the fantastic folks over at http://www.brickmarketing.com. Nick Stamoulis is the President of Brick Marketing, a Boston SEO company.  For more information please call 781-999-1222 or visit http://www.brickmarketing.com.

In order to compete online, businesses today need to have a content marketing strategy.  Without content that is published and shared online, it is difficult for prospects to find you.  Every industry is competitive online, and the businesses that come out on top are the ones that are creating quality content on a regular basis.  Content improves brand visibility, builds inbound links, generates website traffic, and supports a social media strategy.  The best places to share content are websites that target audience members visit on a regular basis, such as other industry blogs.  Guest posting is a great online marketing strategy, but it takes work to earn a guest blogging opportunity on a quality blog.  Here are some guidelines to follow to achieve guest blogging opportunities:

Keep your own blog active

The first thing a blogger will look at in order to determine whether or not to publish a guest post from you is your own blog.  Is it active?  Are the posts worth reading?  Do you have a following?  If the answer to any of these questions is, “no”, you may have a hard time convincing them to allow you to post on their blog.  Your own blog should always be your top priority.  A quality blog that is updated often will establish credibility in the industry and among other bloggers.

Find the right blogs to submit to

There are plenty of blogs out there that will accept guest submissions from just about anyone that cover a wide range of topics.  It’s best to avoid those blogs and spend some time researching the ones that are more related to your niche and have a better chance of generating traffic to your site.  It takes time to write a guest blog post, so you want it published somewhere that will matter.  To find blogs, you can start by browsing blog directories or conducting a search.  Also, take a look at websites owned by social media followers and the people that comment on your blogs.

Establish a relationship

Once you have a decent list of blogs that are worth submitting to, it’s time to establish a relationship with the blog owners.  Follow them in social media and share and re-tweet their content and write thoughtful comments on their blog posts in order to get noticed.

Inquire about guest posting opportunities

Once you’ve communicated with a blogger and established a relationship with them, create your “pitch”.  You’ll never know until you ask.  You may need to sell your writing ability or provide a proposed blog post.  Make sure that it’s good!

Follow up

After you’ve submitted a guest blog post, you’ll need to check in to see if it’s been published.  Often, guest blog posts don’t go live immediately.  Find out what the timeframe is.  If a significant amount of time goes by, feel free to follow up and ask what the status is.  If you don’t hear back or they can’t publish the post for some reason, simply submit it somewhere else.  There are plenty of opportunities for good blog posts, they won’t ever go to waste!

About the Author:

Nick Stamoulis is the President of Brick Marketing, a Boston SEO company.  For more information please call 781-999-1222 or visit http://www.brickmarketing.com.

Press Release Writing Tips To Improve SEO

We received some excellent information from Nick Stamoulis, president of Brick Marketing, an SEO Company offering content marketing services.  Please find some tips to improve SEO from http://www.brickmarketing.com

Article from Nick Stamoulis, http://www.brickmarketing.com

Press Release Writing Tips to Improve SEO

An important part of SEO is building inbound links to your website from trusted sources.  In order to achieve these links, you need to create content that other websites will want to share.  Other websites aren’t just going to link to your site for no reason.  Content that is typically shared on other sites includes guest blog posts, articles, and press releases.  Press release distribution can be a great link building tactic since the links are primarily coming in from news sources.  In addition to improving a link portfolio, a well written press release that gets picked up in news outlets can improve brand awareness and generate traffic back to your website.  To improve your press release efforts for SEO, follow these guidelines:

It must be newsworthy

The goal of a press release is to get picked up by as many news outlets as possible.  If your press release doesn’t include anything newsworthy and is just a weak attempt at getting some links, it won’t be picked up. Don’t waste your time.  If there is nothing newsworthy going on in your company, don’t write a press release.  Instead, spend your time writing a blog post or an article.

Distribute through a paid service

As they say, you get what you pay for.  If you are only submitting press releases through free services there isn’t much benefit.  A paid service will improve your exposure and allow you to do more with your press release (include links and images, choose a day and time when it will be published, etc.).  Prices vary depending on which “extras” you choose.  If the news is big, it’s worth the extra cost to get it seen by as many people as possible.

Incorporate keywords

Online press releases are indexed by the search engines and can be found in an organic search result so it’s important to incorporate keywords that searchers would use to find your products or services.  Although, you don’t want to go overboard.  Write the press release for your target audience first and then naturally incorporate a few keywords where they fit.  Keywords are especially important within the title of the release.

Add links

If you are hoping to get an SEO boost out of an online press release, it’s important to include links.  Typically the free distribution services don’t allow links which is why it’s worth spending the money on a paid service.  Include a few links throughout the release, but no more than one link per 100 words.  Use the full URL of your website and a few anchor text links.  Don’t link to the same keyword over and over.  Vary it and link to the brand name so that it appears natural.

About the Author:

Nick Stamoulis is the President of Brick Marketing, an SEO company that offers content marketing services to clients.  For more information please call 781-999-1222 or visit http://www.brickmarketing.com.

10 SEO Facts That Will Blow Your Mind – Nick Stamoulis

I was looking around the web to find some basic straight forward information on SEO that I could share with those interested.  I managed to come across a fantastic article that hit the nail on the head.  Nick has an amazing blog loaded with information.  I wanted to share the article with you, here it is:

10 SEO Facts That Will Blow Your Mind

Writing by Nick Stamoulis

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Search engine optimization is one of those things that has created many different opinions on every single effort that is associated with the practice. Over the years there have been lots of different ideas and feeling surrounding the way people conduct search engine optimization but the reality is that there is more than one way to do.

Here is a list of 10 SEO facts that could blow your mind!

1. It is not invisible: You might not be able to put your hands on it right away but there are ways to physically see and feel movement. A search engine marketing company should be able to identify exactly what it is that they are doing each month. You should be able to physically see the efforts that have been conducted. If they tell you that it is their own secret recipe I would be very wary about this because there is no secret recipe when it comes to search engine marketing.

2. It takes time:
Regardless of what you do or how much money you pour into your SEO efforts your rankings are not going to grow over night. Things take time and if you are in a competitive space things might take even longer. You will see some movement fairly soon but cold hard rankings really don’t happen right away. You need to be patient and wait your turn.

3. Trickery does not work:
Try to get the idea of performing any trickery on your website out of your head because you could end up just landing yourself a penalty in the search engines. Black hat SEO only creates short winded rankings that never really stick around for the long term.

4. PPC does not help you rankings: If you are wondering if PPC advertising helps your organic rankings at all it doesn’t in any way. Even if you received a penalty on your website you can opt in to Google Adwords and fire of a PPC account.

5. You need millions of links:
False, you need good solid one way links pointing to your website that occur naturally. The ones that occur naturally are usually telling the search engines that you are an awesome source of information and for that you will be rewarded…overtime.

6. Pagerank is everything:
Another false here. Pagerank was created by Google to give a webpage power. That power does not mean you are going to rank or be successful. All it means is that you have received a high number in your toolbar for that particular page which ultimately really doesn’t mean anything to the outside world.

7. Nobody is partnered with Google:
If anyone ever tells you over the phone that they have a direct relationship with Google they are most likely lying to get the business in through the door. Nobody has a relationship with Google and if they tell you they do I would run far away.

8. Buying links is bad: People out there still seem to think it is ok to purchase a link for their website. The search engines have come out repeatedly to let the industry know that buying a link is very frowned upon. Sometimes however you can’t avoid it. For example you want to be in the Business.com directory and that costs $299 per/year. In situations like this it is ok but going through a text broker is not good and should be avoided at all costs.

9. Google analytics gives Google too much info:
Who cares if they know how many people clicked on your site? Google doesn’t care and they only use it to strengthen their search tool. If you are worried about them spying don’t be cutting corners on your website and everything will be hunky dory.

10. SEO is one time: SEO is a journey through the valleys and over mountains through the depths of the forests! No seriously it never stops. SEO is something that is constantly moving because it is the process of marketing your business online proactively.

There are many myths and legends about search engine optimization out there but you have to understand that not all of them are true or false. Your best bet is to read through credible sources online that are trusted and educate yourself as much as possible before you enter the world of SEO.

Nicks article says it all perfectly.  The complete article and much more information may be found at: http://www.searchengineoptimizationjournal.com/2011/01/12/seo-facts-mind

Thank you Nick!

HomeSphere’s LeadPlus Technology Generates Millions in B2B Construction Leads

Industry-first digital marketing company posts record first quarter despite the still-sluggish housing market.

LAKEWOOD, CO, April 26, 2012 — Lakewood-based HomeSphere, Inc., which provides technology-driven sales and marketing solutions for the residential construction community, outpaced the industry this quarter as the company’s new B2B lead generation platform, called LeadPlus, generated millions in potential sales for its user base. Additionally, a record number of leading building product manufacturers (BPMs) joined HomeSphere’s BRI program despite current housing market conditions.

President and COO Glenn M. Renner credits two factors for the company’s growth: the launch of its customer retention and demand generation platform, LeadPlus; and a strong emphasis on digital marketing and lead generation initiatives to attract new customers.

All of HomeSphere’s building product manufacturer (BPM) customers are taking advantage of LeadPlus, the most significant feature release to its BRI 2.0 platform, launched in late 2011. LeadPlus is the only B2B lead generation platform for the residential construction industry focused on providing sales-ready leads to BPMs. The digital tool helps customers generate and track new leads through each stage of the sales cycle while also tracking conversions and revenue, ultimately improving sales force effectiveness and ROI.

In Q1 HomeSphere’s lead generation efforts created more than 200 product conversion leads for its customers’ brands, representing more than $27 million dollars in potential sales, which building product manufacturers converted to result in more than $11 million dollars in new product sales. Since launching LeadPlus, HomeSphere has generated more than 740 product conversion leads representing $125 million in potential sales for its customers.

“Just as building slowed, digital marketing and lead generation tools used in other verticals began to take hold in the residential construction industry,” said James H. Waldrop, CEO and Chairman of HomeSphere. “As housing starts begin to bounce back, smart companies are implementing digital marketing strategies combined with measurable automated lead generation tools to increase company revenues, thus ensuring they will outperform the improving market.”

Recent upgrades to BRI streamlined HomeSphere’s multiple software solutions and added new functionality designed to boost sales and lower costs for its customers — homebuilders and building product manufacturers. The unique industry-first approach to B2B customer retention and lead generation is attracting a diverse set of building product manufacturer partners. In Q1, four manufacturers signed onto the program, making eight new brands available to HomeSphere’s community of more than 1,300 mid-tier homebuilders in the United States—which in 2011 closed more than 50,000 single family homes.

New BRI partners include ClimateMaster, the world’s largest and most progressive leader in the geothermal industry; Icynene Inc., manufacturers of spray foam insulation that save energy and cut costs; Stanley Black & Decker, Inc. lockset brands including Kwikset, Baldwin, and Weiser; and Watts Water Technologies, one of the broadest lines of flow control products for homes.

“Our strong first quarter indicates that BRI 2.0 satisfies a previously unmet demand for digital marketing and lead generation tools among the residential construction industry,” said Renner. “Most importantly, we are creating value for our customer’s brands by marketing their products to our builder members which ultimately drives increases in revenue.”

About HomeSphere
Colorado-based HomeSphere connects the residential construction community to enhance the way they do business through technology-driven solutions. For more information, visit www.homesphere.com or call 1-800-274-2632.

What Exactly Is SEO & Search Engine Optimization – (For the Novice).

I find that in this day and age, there are still many individuals out there that are not familiar with either SEO, or Search Engine Optimization.  To some, they say it is a bit of a buzz word, others it is their entire livelihood.

With our press release service site (http://www.24-7pressrelease.com), we receive many inquiries as to what our “SEO package is”, more, the SEO and what is it along with how it will help them.  While I was searching on the web, I came across a great article to share with those who are just starting to find out what it is all about.  The article, is, from a very trusted source, one I am sure everyone is familiar with. WikiPedia.  Read on:

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the visibility of a website or a web page in search engines‘ “natural,” or un-paid (“organic” or “algorithmic”), search results. In general, the earlier (or higher ranked on the search results page), and more frequently a site appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine’s users. SEO may target different kinds of search, including image search, local search, video search, academic search,[1] news search and industry-specific vertical search engines.

As an Internet marketing strategy, SEO considers how search engines work, what people search for, the actual search terms or keywords typed into search engines and which search engines are preferred by their targeted audience. Optimizing a website may involve editing its content and HTML and associated coding to both increase its relevance to specific keywords and to remove barriers to the indexing activities of search engines. Promoting a site to increase the number of backlinks, or inbound links, is another SEO tactic.

The acronym “SEOs” can refer to “search engine optimizers,” a term adopted by an industry of consultants who carry out optimization projects on behalf of clients, and by employees who perform SEO services in-house. Search engine optimizers may offer SEO as a stand-alone service or as a part of a broader marketing campaign. Because effective SEO may require changes to the HTML source code of a site and site content, SEO tactics may be incorporated into website development and design. The term “search engine friendly” may be used to describe website designs, menus, content management systems, images, videos, shopping carts, and other elements that have been optimized for the purpose of search engine exposure.

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I love WikiPedia, and use them religiously for much information and research.

The complete article and further information on SEO may be found at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Search_engine_optimization

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Factors (Source SEOMoz.org)

Hey everyone.  I had previously came across this article on Search Engine Ranking Factors for 2011.  I don’t believe the 2012 one is out yet, however this article still makes sense and is worth sharing.  The article is from SEOMoz.org, a great source for tips, and information on Search Engine Optimization. Great resources.

Here is the article:

Welcome to the 2011 edition of the Search Engine Ranking Factors. For the past 6 years, SEOmoz has compiled the aggregated opinions of dozens of the world’s best and brightest search marketers into this biennial, ranking factors document. This year, for the first time, we’re presenting a second form of data – correlation-based analysis – alongside the opinions of our 132-person panel.

Over the pages of this document, you’ll see segmentation of the search ranking algorithm into various components like “page-specific, link-level features,” or “domain-level, keyword-agnostic features.” These segments represent the different elements illustrated on the pie chart to the right. In each segment, you’ll see three types of charts.

Survey Data Graph

The first, excerpted above, shows the opinions of SEOs on factors in a given segment, ranked in order from those the panel believes (on average) to be most important to least.

Correlated Data Graph

The second, also excerpted above, shows SEOmoz’s analysis of 10,271 keyword search results from Google.com (US). The numbers shown are mean Spearman’s correlation with higher rankings, meaning that a higher number indicates that websites + pages with the given feature (or more of the given feature, as in cases like “# of links”) tended to rank higher on average than those without. Remember – correlation is not causation! Just because pages/sites with a given feature tend to rank higher doesn’t necessarily mean that this particular feature is the cause of that higher ranking.

The last chart, Future of Search, is illustrated fully below and uses aggregated opinions to show the mean answers to specific questions about SEO tactics or predictions.

We hope that by opening access to this analysis (including the raw data here) to provide greater access to information about how search engines may rank documents and empower marketers to have both statistical and opinion-based data to help validate their own efforts. If you have feedback or suggestions, please leave them as comments at this blog post.

Thanks much!
Rand Fishkin, CEO, SEOmoz

The complete article and more may be found at:http://www.seomoz.org/article/search-ranking-factors

Clarity for Consumers, Inc. and the ITRC Unite to Help Consumers Fight ID Theft

The ITRC & Clarity for Consumers have positioned their efforts to provide free identity theft mitigation & credit report services for free or for minimal costs.

CLEARWATER, FL, March 16, 2012  – To further educate and offer affordable and helpful resources for non-prime consumers, the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) and Clarity for Consumers have positioned their efforts to provide free identity theft mitigation and credit report services for free or for minimal costs.

The Identity Theft Resource Center is a nationally recognized non-profit organization which provides toll-free no-cost services to consumers and identity theft victims. Almost 40,000 individuals have availed themselves of no charge ITRC services in the past five years, while millions have used the ITRC website and social networking services to educate themselves on identity theft, fraud, and scams.

“As a service agency that provides free assistance to thousands of victims each year, many of modest means, we are thrilled to partner with Clarity for Consumers in helping provide assistance to consumers nationwide,” said Rex Davis, Director of Operations at the ITRC. “We share a common interest in providing awareness, education, and support to the underserved.”

Consumers who are unable to afford fraud resolution services are able to contact the ITRC and find assistance for issues such as: identity theft, financial fraud, scams, and privacy. ITRC provides free assistance in mitigating their financial fraud case, governmental identity theft, criminal identity theft, child identity theft, and more.

“In light of the recent business transactions, like the purchase of ID Analytics, Inc. by LifeLock, Inc., it is evident that there is a need for a resource available to them to address the issues of identity theft and protection services,” said Tim Ranney, president and founder of Clarity Services, Inc. “There is a segment of the population that needs these services, but simply cannot afford them.” said Ranney.

The Clarity Credit Report, provided by Clarity Services, Inc., is available exclusively from the Clarity for Consumers website for less than a dollar. The site also provides visitors with educational materials that guide them through their report, articles on improving credit standing, and more. Non-prime consumers can learn about this credit report which is widely used in the alternative financial services market and which they need to understand the value of its contents and their credit standing.

“Our partnership with the ITRC is one more step in the right direction to providing consumers with all the tools and resources needed to understand their credit, and how the value and benefits of Clarity for Consumers and the ITRC will place them at an advantage in understanding their available credit options, and resources to assist them” stated Alice Vassel, Executive Director for Clarity for Consumers.

Both the ITRC and Clarity for Consumers strive to help non-prime individuals who may not be able to afford the valuable services necessary or control access over their personal information and credit status. Educational and resource services include fraud resolution, credit education, and access to their Clarity Credit Report.

Visit www.idtheftcenter.org for more information on the ITRC’s services and no-cost assistance and www.clarityforconsumers.com to find out more about the Clarity Credit Report and education on understanding creditworthiness.

With over 26 million unique Social Security Numbers, Clarity Services provides powerful reporting products on under banked, subprime, thin file consumers with real-time consumer data to facilitate fraud detection, risk management and more. A series of fully customizable configurations help businesses make educated decision choices to meet individual business needs and help reduce investment losses.

For more information on Clarity’s robust reporting solutions, please visit: www.clarityservices.com