Entrepreneurs and Corporations Measure the Impact of Social Media

Today 105 major corporations, more adopting everyday, have corporate blogs that engage their audience, tell their story, deliver their value, and offer a place for insight. Entrepreneurs are at the forefront of this evolution. In addition, many of these corporations are adopting social media tools like Twitter and Facebook as tools to help create audience and “evangelists” for their products and services. The following are steps provided by Peter Kim on how to measure a social media campaign.

Peter Kim is one of the most important architects of social media and a well respected new thought practitioners. Peter is considered an expert in the art and science of “the intersection of social technology and marketing strategy.” He has been quoted by the most prestigious press organizations from the Wall Street Journal to CBS Evening News.

In Peter’s article “A framework for measuring social media” he outlines four concepts that provide the framework for social media measurement or ROI:

1. Attention: “The amount of traffic to your content for a given period of time.  Similar to the standard web metrics of site visits and page/video views.”

IA: Your readership can vary in many ways and although measuring number of readers and page views is quite telling, average time per visit is a major factor. Simply put how long a person stays on your site reading your content can be indicative to your content’s value in the eyes of your readers.

2. Participation: “The extent to which users engage with your content in a channel.  Think blog comments, Facebook wall posts, YouTube ratings, or widget interactions.”

IA: Key is a users willingness to engage with other users on your site. The comment section for each blog post has the potential to become their own mini “forums.” Within these forums your readers debate your content, collaborate, and communicate freely. One of the best examples of this is on ChrisBrogan.com another social media expert.

3. Authority: “Ala Technorati, the inbound links to your content – like trackbacks and inbound links to a blog post or sites linking to a YouTube video.”

IA: Although Technorati is the most well known inbound link measurement site, it is often not as accurate as Google. Peter is right on the money here with the fact that your trackbacks and inbound links are absolutely critical in measuring your content’s effectiveness in attracting readers.

4. Influence: “The size of the user base subscribed to your content.  For blogs, feed or email subscribers; followers on Twitter or Friendfeed; or fans of your Facebook page.”

IA: Attracting subscribers means you are producing excellent content. Yet in some cases, the subscription numbers can be “infected” by misleading subscription growth trends based on inaccurate numbers.

Kidney Donor Found! Young Girl Saved Via Blogosphere & Social Media “Global Conversation”

http://thedomesticdiva.files.wordpress.com/2008/11/amazing2.jpg?w=440

Courtesy New York Presbyterian Hospital

Chicago Sun-Times newspaper published this deansguide article November 26, 2008

The evidence that we are living in one of the most amazing times in human history for communication and connectivity was again validated today. Marielle, the young girl from the Philadelphia area, who was facing certain death without an immediate kidney transplant has found a perfect donor.

Our Global Conversation

There is a global conversation being supported by bloggers, social media sites, and the many free community tools that make up our new Web 2.0 social media construct. In this case, within a 24 hour period, Marielle’s story was supported and viral spread on a world wide basis.

Events Unfolding: The Power of Citizen Journalism and Social Media

Here is a description of the events by Marielle’s mom

“It ends up friends and friends of friends posted about my search for a kidney donor to Marielle on Twitter, Facebook, web sites, and blogs–it made the news (special thanks to Courtney on Fox News!). . . and now we have more possible donors than we could have ever wished for! Thank you to EVERYONE who sent in donor forms, called, blogged, twittered, and helped spread the word. . . But WE DO NOT NEED ANY ADDITIONAL DONORS AT THIS TIME.”

“I am amazed by the power of the web and the hearts of those who helped make a difference.” –thedomesticdiva Marielle’s Mom


Lie Detector For Bloggers or Another Guesstimate: urlmetrix.com

Looney Tunes opening title from mid-1950s.

Courtesy Looney Tunes Wiki

Chicago Sun-Times published this deansguide article September 23, 2008

The challenge: finding a traffic measurement tool that will allow a person to accurately analyze a blogger’s traffic or company website’s traffic.

The reason: Bloggers and companies make outlandish, blatant, and false claims of traffic (page views and uniques) that just do not pass the smell test. When a person is attempting to control their budgetary expenses when attending networking events, one of the best methods is to perform due diligence on a blogger, SEO expert, or someone claiming to have lots of traffic.

Urlmetrix.com is a fun and handy tool, powered by Google App engine, that provides measurement for many statistics for your blog. By simply placing your url into the search box, urlmetrix.com retreives 15 site statistics that provide a blogger with information vital to their efforts.

Warning

Many of the sites in this measurement tool utilize statistics derived from toolbar downloads, extrapilated projections, and statistical sampling. No tool to my knowledge gives precise statistical information on blogs. If anyone has a set of better tools please let us know. One of the most difficult problems is verifying a sites traffic when they make claims of page views and uniques that seem far from realistic.

urlmetrix.com’s Returned Results (for my outside blog) deansguide:

1. Title: deansguide

2. Alexa Rank: 346,275

3. Compete Rank: 38

4. Quantcast Rank: 266,768

5. Technorati Rank: 433,097 Authority 16/ Google 80

6. Google Indexed: 991

7. Yahoo Indexed: 1,720

8. Google Back Links: 132

9. Yahoo Back Links: 4,100

10. delicious book marks: 2

11. Wikipedia External Links: 1

12. DMOZ Links: 0

13. Google Blog Search Links: 80

14. Technorati Blog Reactions: 72

Analysis

urlmetrix is a quick tool that gives a blogger measurement, pinpoints areas that need work, helps bloggers discover their strengths and weaknesses, and it allows bloggers to compile this information in seconds without having to download any one toolbar for access.

Brand “You” By Establishing Your Writing and Public Speaking Platforms

“People who are effective speakers come across as more comfortable with themselves, more confident, and more attractive to be around. Being able to speak effectively means you can sell anything-products, of course, but also ideas, ideologies, and worldviews.” -Dustin Wax Lifehack

Throughout your business career if you have worked for a corporation or small company you have probably “towed the company line.” That is to say you learn the products, services, and culture inside out and you are able to repeat the benefits and features of your employer to anyone interested in listening-or not.

How Do I Brand Me?

“The good news — and it is largely good news — is that everyone has a chance to stand out. Everyone has a chance to learn, improve, and build up their skills. Everyone has a chance to be a brand worthy of remark.”-Tom Peters “The Brand Called You” Fastcompany.com

1. Differentiating Factors: what is your Differentiating Factor? Do you have great experience in your niche, well known company experience, negotiating success, or any other accomplishments that help you stand out from the crowd?

What Do I Do To Brand Me?

“Politicians brand you. So do marketers-and your boss and co-workers. If you don’t take control of your brand, you’ll forever be stuck with how the world judges you.” -Diane Brady BusinessWeek

1. Writing: create a writing platform within your business. Whether you are an employee of a large firm or an agent in a brokerage begin writing.

a.) How To: write step by step guides on how to do things

b.) Lists: write top 10 lists or 5 things that will help people. . .

c.) Profiles: write about other industry professionals, your clients, or your niche

d.) Analysis: analyze your industry, a new product or service, or anything in the news about your industry

2. Vehicle to Deliver: establish a blog. This is the best method to deliver your message. If you will not write a blog then produce a weekly newsletter for email distribution as well as hard copy distribution. Trade magazines or ezines, prominent bloggers in your niche who will allow you to become a contributor

3. Public Speaking: create a public speaking-workshop platform within your business.

a.) How To: utilize your writing platform for scripts or workshop content for your speaking platform

b.) Research: your niche for effective speakers; evaluate their topics, create a list of workshops of value

4. Approach Organizations: offer your keynote or workshop for free. Speak at Rotary, Lions Clubs, industry meetings, your company, affiliates, career fairs, employment groups, schools, womens organizations, networking groups, or on a soap box in the parking lot of your local 7-11. JUST SPEAK! Get out and do it. Your practice will lead to confort and exposure

Results

1. Writing provides a constant flow of information about you, about your expertise, and it becomes your moving “living” resume. It demonstrates your ability to communicate on a level most people will appreciate. Your helpful writing give people the perception you are there to help

2. Speaking provides quick exposure and viral marketing word of mouth opportunities. Do a good job and your audience becomes your instant “commercial” to their friends and family.

Realtors Choose Your Blogging Platform By Performing Due Diligence: TopTenReviews.com

Reuters.com published this deansguide article August 3, 2008

Who is this man and how will he change your life? For the answer go to the bottom under “Recommendation”

The following is a blog services review with a rich variety of information reviewed so that you can evaluate which blogging platform is best for your blog. The review is done by TopTenreviews.com a site with massive traffic and the page views to it back up. I provide a quick Analysis and My Recommendation at the end of the article.

Top Ten Review’s Categories

1. Software

2. Electronics

3. Web Services

4. Movies

5. Music

6. Video Games

Top Ten Review’s Blogging Platform Review

Platforms: WordPress; Type Pad-Blogger; Yahoo 360; AOL Journals; Windows Live Spaces; Xanga; Live Journal; Vax; and Myspace

Reviewer Comments: In this section you can read user reviews good and bad

Rank: Gold, Silver, Bronze are awarded the top 3 Services

Block Rating System: Excellent = 4 blks; Very Good = 3 blks; Good = 2 blks; Fair = 1 blk; and Poor gets a 0

Note: The systems is similar to Consumer Reports with a matrix of features rated and benefits provided. It is very through and complete

Additional Information

As if this was not enough, Top Ten provides you with two sections to consider:

1. Why Blog?: A featured section on the benefits of blogging and why you should be doing it

2. What to Look for in a Blog Service: This is a great place to begin and is located at the bottom of the review page here

Analysis

This is one of the best formatted reviews I have seen of Blog Services aka Platforms. It addresses most everything you need to consider before establishing your blog.

Recommendation

I like WordPress and I would not use any other blog platform. I am also biased because I have utilized WordPress for nearly a year and a half. It is the simplest services to utilize in regards to the technology learning curve and it also supports rich back end traffic analytics for your blog

Question under the picture at the beginning of this article: Who is this man and how will he change your life?

Answer: WordPress creator Matt Mullenweg

Mainstream Media’s New Source For News, Opinion, And Content Is The Blogosphere

Blogburst blog contributor Daysha gets all the credit for writing a very compelling article on how the relationship between bloggers and the mainstream media is an ever changing landscape. Her fine piece “Blogger’s Influence on Print Media” was the impetus for this snapshot into the evolution of the blogosphere

Daysha’s research was based on a report by Cision billed as the “leading global provider of media monitoring, research, distribution, and evaluation services for PR professionals” released an article July 17 that “demonstrates the growing influence of blogs in the mainstream print media.”

The findings support the premise that mainstream media organizations and their writers mention and utilize blogs for their own stories and content generation. Simply put “we” are viable and important, and in many cases, more relevent than many mainstream media organizations

Discovery

1. “The Top 20 national magazines and newspapers mentioned blogs and bloggers 13,066 times in the one-year period ending June 30, 2008, according to Cision”

2. 2004 total year long mentions of “blogs” and “bloggers” totaled 795 times

3. 2005 total year long mentions of “blogs” and “bloggers” totaled 2,179 times

Mainstream Media Importance

“The stunning growth in blogger influence magnifies the importance of employing common sense when contacting bloggers”, according to Cision Executive V.P. Peter Granat

1. PR firm Brodeur Partners reported that in a January 2008 Survey the following results:

*Of 178 journalist contacted “57 percent said they read blogs at least two to three times per week”

*18% of journalist said “they spend at least one hour per day reading them (blogs)”

Ultimate EyeOpener

1. PRWeek/PR Newswire Media Survey revealed:

*40% of participating journalists employ blogs to find content topics for stories

Analysis

The mainstream media and it’s writers are recognizing the value of blogs as viable research tools, sources of new information, places to immediately measure reader opinion, and as a testing ground for their own opinions

What this means to bloggers:

1. Credibility with public and media

2. Media related exposure to mainstream media writers and editors

3. Possible mainstream media collaboration with writers

4. Recognition by public and professionals

5. Solidify Web 2.0 collaboration as the media platform for now and the future

6. Global Reach to a world wide audience

7. Instant measurability

8. Advertising monetization platform

9. Business marketing platform

10. Joint Branding opportunities

Is Your SEO “Expert” Really An SEO Expert: 3 Keys To Verify Their Substance Factor

I am no SEO expert, no marketing expert, and no blogging expert but I do have expertise in all of these categories. In my travels around the SF Bay Area I attend upwards of 10 networking meetings or keynote events per month.

The hot topic is Web 2.0 SEO aka How to drive traffic to your site.

Unfortunately time and time again when I do my due diligence on the speaker’s background, their substance factor, and how their blog or websites rank I have recently been surprised by the results. Many speakers are knowingly misrepresenting themselves in regard to their credentials. Often times these speakers are leveraging their business accomplishments in other categories, unrelated to SEO or Web 2.0, as a means to securing these speaking “gigs.”

Cost

Simply put the average networking event keynote speech here in the Bay Area runs anywhere from $30-$65 per event. That adds up quickly and is of great concern when I am choosing events to attend

3 Key Factors To Check

When an “expert” claims they are going to speak about methods to increase your site’s traffic, Google rankings, and add links to your site you MUST perform some background checking if you want to understand if the speaker can deliver on his/her claims

#1 Alexa.com: Alexa.com (free service) remains one of the easiest, most telling sites in measuring traffic (page views and unique visitors) to a site either website or blog. Go to Alexa and input the url of your “expert’s site” for instant rankings. Alexa will return Global traffic, US rankings, and a mix of page view and unique visitor numbers.

Note: If an expert claims to be able to make your traffic “explode” then they better have an Alexa ranking of UNDER 1,000,000 at the very least.

Note 2: Alexa.com like any other measurement tool can not capture all web traffic. It is best to combine other traffic measurement tools with Alexa for a solid idea of a site’s traffic. Try Quantcast too

In my last two due diligence investigations on SEO “expert” speakers the first one came back with an Alexa ranking of over 19million which equates to about 10-20 visitors per day to their site. The second guy had a ranking in the 6million range which might provide 30 visitors per day

#2 Technorati: Links are considered the measurement of a site’s Google authority and a big part of the SEO formula. If you go to technorati.com (free tool) you can input the url and check on the number of hyper links which are coming into your “experts” site. If your expert has fewer than 10 links and they are old–he probably isn’t writing a worthwhile blog or he is not writing with consistency

#3 Evaluate their site: Do they write a blog? How often do they write per week? What is the date of the last blog post? Do they have a blogroll? Do they have widgets like mybloglog directory on their sidebar? Does the platform look dated? Do you like the way their sites looks?

Hits Myth

If your “expert” begins to speak about “hits” you might just want to bail. The term hits, although that is the only traffic measurement widget offered on wordpress blogs, is out dated and misleading. Hits can refer to any visitor who arrives at your site, clicks on any pictures, articles, or other documents. Each item is tallied as a hit.

You want to understand how many page views your expert’s blog-website receives; how many UNIQUE visitors, and their over all traffic ranking

Remember

If the “expert’s” site does not measure up in these 3 critical ways then how can the expert teach others how to increase their traffic and SEO power?

Guy Kawasaki’s Hard Line: What Is Your Unfair Advantage?

One of the many nuggets of invaluable wisdom offered at last night’s Silicon Valley Association of Startup Entrepreneurs event was provided via a story about irrepresible powerhouse Guy Kawasaki. The story was told by Entrepreneur, Google and Co-Founder of Jaiku charismatic Jyri Engestrom.

As Jyri first explained he was invited to a Guy Kawasaki presentation to a group of entrepreneurs from Finland. Jyri is of Finnish heritage and acted as one of the liaisons. During one of Kawasaki’s talking points, Guy made the following statement:

“What is your unfair advantage?”

First Impressions

Jyri’s first impression of this statement was that it sounded very arrogant and confrontational until he had a moment to process. Then the statement made perfect sense and was one of the most important tips a entrepreneur could adopt.

Your Unfair Advantage

Your unfair advantage is the one powerful piece that makes your business unique, powerful, successful, and the envy of your competitors. Guy Kawasaki’s unfair advantage is the fact that he can instantly reach a huge audience due to his popularity online. When Guy says something thousands of people listen and often follow his lead

I Don’t Have an Unfair Advantage

According to Jyri, Kawasaki’s posit is simple. In the beginning, very few entrepreneurs or new businesses have an unfair advantage. They don’t have name recognition, fame, monster online audiences, or technology that is unique and ahead of the competition.

Instead most entrepreneurs and businesses begin with no unfair advantage according to Guy

The Solution

If your business does not have a unfair advantage or you the entrepreneur do not have an unfair advantage then you might consider the following:

1. Identify the unfair advantage that would make the greatest impact on your business

2. Hire the human capital, technology, or other entity that will provide you with your unfair advantage

Jyri’s Story was a simple case of recognizing a new industry trend, microblogging aka blogging platform for mobile devices (phones etc.) and chance. At a conference, Jyri met a developer he described as the #1 microblogging developer in the world. Jyri immediately accessed the opportunity and hired this man and the rest is Jaiku history.

Independent Brokers Network Meeting: SEM vs SEO-Do You Have Money Or Time?

The IBNMarin, Independent Brokers Network meeting held Tuesday June 3, hosted guest speaker Steven Schneiderman the Online Sales Manager for the San Francisco Chronicle’s website SFgate.com. MC. for IBN, the indispensable Frank Sunshine, Sunshine Realty and Marketing, did another stellar job of bringing a speaker and topic of importance to attendees.

Steven’s speech was compelling as he explained Search Engine Marketing and search from a beginner’s perspective, explained and identified the value of a SEM campaign, and he provided a solid base for people to understand how Google, Yahoo, MSN, and Ask.com are the driving forces behind today’s online search marketplace.

While bringing forward some interesting and compelling reasons why a Realtor or broker would want to adopt a pay per click program, a case can be built for establishing an organic program utilizing a blog in conjunction with a pay per click campaign.

SFGate.com

1. SFgate.com: the website for the San Francisco Chronicle in fact acts more like a blog due to the fresh content placed on the site (writers’ articles) on an everyday basis

2. SFgate.com: is ranked by Alexa.com 836 most trafficked website in the world, ranked #229 in the US, 17% of it’s traffic is global with high rankings in Uk, Canada, India, and Germany

3. Pay per click: advertising campaigns on SFgate.com will provide any Realtor in the Bay Area or any Realtor looking to do business in the Bay Area from any location in the world another piece to a well rounded marketing campaign

SEM Positives

1. Only Guaranteed Method: to top of page placement if you are willing to spend the money
2. Pay: only when your ad is clicked
3. Tracking: ability to track your activity
4. Adjust: you can adjust your spending to drive “conversions” by choosing a higher priced placement or lower your costs by choosing a lower per click cost and placement
5. Proxy Technology: Steven’s terminology for how you can identify keyword popularity, keyword activity, measure your activity and set a strategy to convert clicks to sales

Why SEM vs Blogs For A Realtor?

1. Technology: the #1 hurdle to blogging is the technology learning curve and the time it takes to understand. Realtors who do not have the commitment fail at blogging
2. Writing: Realtors that do not write well will have a difficult time producing compelling content that would attract readers
3. Time: Realtors who do not make time to write 3-5 days per week will not blog effectively
4. Social Network: The #2 reason behind successful blogs is social networking within the blogosphere. If a Realtor is unwilling to spend time commenting on other Real estate blogs and building online relationships, they will fail to blog successfully
5. Commitment: Blogging is a commitment of time, energy, innovation, and pride. If a Realtor is unwilling to make the commitment they are harming their own reputation

Realty Times: Excellent Source But Where Does Blogging Fit In?

Realty Times is a premiere source of real estate industry news, information on different real estate instruments, and top advice for the real estate professional. They have market condition information, consumer advice, agent and industry news, as well as a rich library of valuable content to anyone interested in nearly any aspect of real estate.

The reason I said nearly any aspect of real estate is the rather stunning omission of information or tools on blogging. Although Realty Times is not as archaic or dormant in their Blogging coverage as a certain large industry association we all know, I expected more from such a fine site.

Blogging

When I searched the site, utilizing their search box, inputing the phrase “blogging tips” nothing was returned. I then input “blogging” and the results were a mixed bag of information.

In 2008 only 3 article have been written that have referenced information to blogging. Of the three, the most information is contained in “Online Real Estate Marketing Is More Than Just Sharing Ideas” written by Ralph Roberts. It is a good solid informative article but Ralph only spends 2 paragraphs and a handful of bullet points on blogging. It is even more curious when you consider the following excerpt from Ralph’s blog:

“Blogging has created so many opportunities for me, from speaking engagements and consultations to defining my expertise as an authoritative figure on real estate fraud. There is no questions that blogging has greatly benefited me both professionally and personally.”

The next Realty Times blogging articles date back to August and May of 2007.

As Ralph so eloquently stated in his opinion of how blogging effected his business life and personal life, I would have to say that blogging has greatly benefited me both professionally and personally. I have carved out a niche for myself in the business world with the help of blogging and blogging has been a major focal point that I shared with my love interest when we were just beginning our relationship. You got it right on the money Ralph!