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.

Press Releases For Viral Marketing Power And Traffic: Realtors Small Business Marketing Tip #8

One of the most effective marketing professionals happens to be a nationally recognized hyper local blogger by the name of John Harper aka theharperteam.com. One of John’s strategies is to utilize Press Releases to maximize the reach and viral power of his web-blog site. John utilizes a site called I-newswire.com. The following tip provides benefits to any small business, entrepreneur, organization, non profit, charity, public relations officer, or giant corporation.

What is I-Newswire.com?

I-Newswire is press release aggregator. Simply put they allow you to write a press release on almost any subject, submit your release to their network, and then push your message out to a vast network of media websites around the globe

Note: A good press release IS NOT a sales pitch for you, a listing of a property, or something that sounds like a self serving message. Like the blogoshpere, the tone of a press release needs to be valuable, informative, relevant

What Are The Benefits?

1. I-Newswire.com: press releases are seen on hundreds of news websites such as PressRadar.com.

According to I-Newswire.com:

“We are not able to track the exact reach because most of the outlets obtain our releases automatically using our XML feed at http://www.i-newswire.com/xml.php. In addition, your press release is hosted as a webpage on our site, and will be indexed by search engines such as Google and Yahoo, giving you additional exposure.

2. Journalist and Editors: these are the people who visit I-Newswire on a daily basis looking for newsworthy information.

3. Exposure: I-newswire.com has an Alexa.com ranking of 72,434 worldwide. Similarly ranked sites have in excess of 3,000 visitors per day and 20,000 pages views per week–that’s power

4. Press Release Writers: a best of breed listing of press release writers are available if you are not confident in your ability to produce your own. To acces this go to data bank pr-firms on the site

Strategy

This strategy is all about bringing readers to your website or blog. One of the best methods to bring fresh new readership is to make news yourself, report breaking news, or report breaking news (news that happened within a day or two) with your analysis and solution

Example Scenario

You are a realtor specializing in foreclosures. Your area is full of foreclosures and a Nationally syndicated news agencies writes a story on the state of foreclosures and investors waiting in the wings.

1. Take this article and make an aggressive headline announcement. Ex- “Foreclosure Market Saving Realtor Jobs.”

2. Write a short succinct few sentences about the core message of the media article

3. Use your succinct few sentences on the media article as the lead-in to how Realtor jobs are being saved by the added business that investors represent in your market

4. Offer a free pdf or podcast that provides a market report for your city or region’s foreclosure market and describe your free giveaway as a tool for investors or Realtors from other regions

5. Point readers to your website or blog in order to receive their free pdf or podcast “bonus”

Analysis

Small business owners are discovering that they can write multiple press releases about current events that relate to their niche or speciality. They then can leverage their knowledge, free information, or bonus as a method to give readers added value while bringing awareness to their website-blog.

Understand Your Readership Tool #1: Alexa.com A Free Method To Understanding Your Marketing Power

The key to online marketing through blogging is understanding how your efforts are working to bring in new leads, sales, and effective viral awareness. One of the best tools of measurement is Alexa.com and it is free!

Alexa.com

Computes traffic rankings by analyzing the Web usage of millions of Alexa Toolbar users and data obtained from other, diverse traffic data sources. Information is sorted, sifted, anonymized, counted, and computed, in order to come up with an accurate computation of your blog or website’s traffic statistics.

Traffic Stats

1. Traffic Rank: based on 3 months of aggregated “historical” statistics it is a combined measure of page views and users (reach)

2. Reach: Reach measures the number of users. It is typically expressed as the percentage of all Internet users who visit a given site

3. Page Views: measure the number of pages viewed by your visitors. Multiple page views of the same page made by the same user on the same day are counted only once. Hits mean nothing and should not be considered accurate or even worthy of discussion

Alexa Tools

Alexa Toolbar: This tool when loaded on Firefox provides meters that measure Reach, Traffic Rank, Traffic Trend, and Related Links

Search Engine: This tool searches any input and returns numbers for any given blog or website

Traffic Graph: The most useful tool. This graphs all the stats in increments from 7days, 1month, 3months, max. It allows you to compare your site to 4 other sites traffic and then graphs it. In addition you can download a widget to your site showing your Alexa numbers.

Global Information: here if your site has accumulated enough traffic and data, Alexa will return your numbers globally and how you rank within the US.

deansguide.wordpress.com Alexa rankings as of 6/24/2008: 109,416 (up from 105k last week) in the US and 358,548 (up from 350,233 last week) overall. I receive 75.8% of my traffic from the US and the rest outside. For

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?

SEO “Keywords 2″ Module #3: Go After Competitive Keywords Set Your Benchmark High

SEO Design Solution’s Jeffrey Smith has written a clear concise uber-valuable article: “For Competitive Keywords Think Like a Big Fish.” This is simply one of the best articles on how to target your keywords and why. As Jefferey states in his intro:

“. . . thinking like a big fish is vital for breaking free of the constrictions of the traditional marketing (food chain) and skipping to the front of the line.”

Realtors if you want traffic, if you want to understand the best keywords for your target audience, and if you want to know how to go about testing your keywords for their effectiveness then this is the article for you.

Jeffrey’s Method To Identifying Powerful Keywords

1. Search: perform a search query with your keywords of choice in quotations. Example- “Realtor”, “San Francisco Realtor”

This is a quick way to assess the benchmark of exact match (how many sites are competing for the term)

2. Allinanchor Check: perform an allinanchor check at allinanchor:domainname.com. This allows you to check to see if your keyword matches up–if there is an exact match then you know that this exact match is accurate in determining the barrier to entry aka the difficulty of ranking highly for that keyword.

3. Top 3 Sites: Look for the top 3 sites and cross reference their age, back links, and number of respective pages on the topic.

Killer Traffic Analysis Tool: SEO Quake

SeoQuake provides the Alexa ranking (traffic), age of the domain, as well as links from major search engines. It is a free download to your toolbar and it gives you a beginners analysis tool for traffic. This is a must have for any aspiring blogger.

The “F Shape”: The Most Important Concept in Creating and Maintaining Blog Traffic!

Blogs, aka Web logs, are revolutionizing internet marketing especially in the real estate market. A very effective concept in creating a successful blog is the “F Shape” a common reading pattern people employ to read a blog article. Real Estate Tomato’s Chris Hotz wrote a fantastic article on the “F Shape.”

“A recent study using eye-tracking equipment demonstrates how internet users navigate their way through search engines, websites and online data. After tracking how 232 users read thousands of web pages, one common attribute became apparent, an F-shaped reading pattern. This pattern is characterized by three common attributes:”

3 Common Attributes

Attribute #1: People reading your articles will begin by reading in a horizontal left to right movement across the top of the site. This becomes the top line of the “F” pattern. Consequently this is usually the “Headline” area.

Attribute #2: People read-browse down a bit and then move left to right across the page. This pattern fills in the lower section of the “F”shape and is usually where a writer wishes to make their “Killer Opening” statements.

Attribute #3: People will browse the left side of your article in a vertical up and down pattern looking for “Keywords.”

What Does The F Shape Theory Mean?

According to Hotz, this pattern teaches bloggers that readers do not read “everything” written in an article, the first two paragraphs of an article should contain the article’s most important points, and keywords need to be employed at natural breaks ie. bullet points-new paragraphs-sub headers-bold sentences.

The goal of most bloggers is to write articles which inform, provoke thought, and create return readers to the blog. By studying the “F Shape”, bloggers will have a better understanding how to make this concept a reality.