Social Media Solutions.
Social media has changed the way people communicate with each other. We help clients reach consumers and manage their brand’s reputation through the latest social media channels.
Social media marketing (SMM), social media optimization (SMO) and word of mouth marketing (WOMM) are new forms of social interactive marketing that are increasingly taking control over brands, the marketing message and advertising away from the business owner and online marketer and putting it in the hands of the consumer.
Tools and Platforms
This new trend in marketing and advertising is a result of the now dominant use of the Internet infrastructure and increasing adoption of social media tools and platforms, such as blogs, online forums, podcasts, wiki’s, online user review sites, RSS feeds and social networking web sites such MySpace, FaceBook and LinkedIn, which have allowed consumers with similar interests to find each other online, communicate better and share information.
To deal with this new reality, online marketers and business owners must adapt to this new social media environment and find creative ways to promote their brands, products and services. This has already begun as social media tools are used by many marketers to place and spread their marketing message, and to generate large amounts of website traffic using social media tools.
Social Media Services
- Social Media Marketing
- Social Media Optimization
- Business Blog Marketing
- Online Reputation Management
Social Media Marketing (SMM)
SMM is primarily driven by off-site activities that are initiated on social media websites, such as Digg, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Flickr and others, to spread a message or content (video, images, text article, audio) on its own through the social network.
Whether the objective is increasing inbound links for more website traffic, achieve top website rankings in organic search results pages or improving brand-awareness and consumer associations, a social media marketing campaign is most effective when paired with a compelling message or unique content, and a prominent profile in the social media.
Social Media Marketing campaigns can vary from creating compelling text-based content that gets bookmarked at Del.icio.us or Furl, or achieves a listing on the home page at Digg to the creation of a video that spreads virally by placing it on YouTube and other video sharing and social networking websites.
Social Media Marketing happens online and still requires a lot of experimentation and testing. Therefore the rate of success is typically lower than for “traditional” online marketing and advertising, but the rewards can be high for relatively low cost.
Social media marketing is initiated on social media websites like Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, YouTube, Flickr, Twitter, Digg, Delicious, blogs. SMM relies on the premise that a marketing message, packaged in exceptionally good, outrageous or unique content, in the form of video, text, audio or widgets, can be virally distributed throughout the social web to invite people to interact and share it with other people.
Social media marketing is a marketing strategy based on connecting directly with target communities, engaging them and generating content or discussion online. The latter can range from submitting a How-To article or Tip sheet to Digg or bookmarking it at Delicious, putting images up on Flickr, having conversations on Twitter, uploading videos to YouTube and establishing a Fan Page at Facebook or just passing a web page on to a friend via email.
Social Media WebSites
Social media websites are increasingly complementing, and in some cases replacing, traditional search engines as a way for people to find content that is specific to what they are interested in and as major channels for website traffic. But a social media marketing campaign will be more than a link building or a low cost viral marketing campaign when it is well planned with content that is prepared for a target audience, a message that engages them and is integrated with traditional online marketing to give it the strength and acceleration it needs to spread virally throughout the social web.
Social Media Marketing Benefits
Social media marketing campaigns provide businesses with new ways of online marketing that no longer relies primarily on traditional online advertising with large budgets, such as banner ad campaigns and paid search advertising, to build brand-awareness and drive website traffic. The main benefits of a social media marketing campaign are:
- Increased Brand Awareness
A social media marketing campaign creates brand visibility and builds brand-awareness from viral messages that travel throughout the social web. Whether from content that virally travels or from active participation in the target communities, using either helps establishing a brands power of authority and online reputation.
- More Web Site Traffic and Links
Social media marketing campaigns generate links and web site traffic from profile pages at social media web sites, web widgets, social network applications and content that travels virally throughout social media news and bookmarking web sites. More links result in higher rankings of web pages in the organic search results at Google, Yahoo, Bing and others.
- Improved Customer Relationships
Social media marketing – through social networking profiles, blogs, podcasts, wiki’s, forums and other social media tools – can improve customer relationships and user engagement. They are accomplished by developing a deeper, two-way communications channel with the customer base, wherein the business can take part in the discussions, receive feedback and build trust.
Social Media Marketing Services
webRulon develops social media marketing campaigns for clients with the aim of building brand awareness, driving customer engagement, improving customer service, generating online buzz and boosting organic search engine rankings and web site traffic. Our social media marketing service helps clients with engaging directly with their customers by leveraging social media and understanding how social media relates to their business and existing online marketing campaigns.
By employing our knowledge and expertise with a large variety of online marketing tactics and leveraging our proven campaign management practices we provide our clients with an opportunity to combine social media, organic search engine optimization (SEO), PPC search and targeted online display advertising in one integrated campaign from a single digital marketing agency.
- Strategy Development
Our social media, SEO and online advertising experts will identify the clients’ goals and objectives, target audience, content and messaging and social media mix. They focus on those tactics with the greatest potential for generating website traffic and visual brand exposure and build practical campaigns with maximum user engagement at the lowest risk.
- Goals and Objectives
Setting the campaign goals and objectives is one of the most important exercises we engage the client in before a social media placement campaign can start. The campaign goals and objectives allow the client to determine the scope, budget and ROI of the campaign before execution so that campaign results can be tracked and measured when it gets underway.
- Target Audience
Knowing the target audience and how to reach them via social media is one of the most important aspects of planning a social media marketing campaign. webRulon researches the social web to find out where the clients’ target audiences and influencers are active online, where their social networks are, what kind of conversations and content they have.
- Strategic Messaging
When the target audience has been defined we create the messaging and content that has the greatest potential for social media engagement. We will work with the clients’ brand assets or develop content from scratch.
- Content Creation and Distribution
Our social media marketing and branding experts focus on creating and optimizing dynamic interactive social media campaign content and implementation of all campaign components and initiatives, which may include: Facebook Fan Page, Twitter Account, YouTube Channel, LinkedIn Profile, MySpace Page, Flickr Photostream, Facebook Connect applications, Facebook and Open Social Applications.
- Integration With Tradition Online Marketing
Regardless of the clients’ product or service, a social media campaign can and should be an integral part of the overall marketing strategy. It needs to be accelerated through traditional online marketing tactics such as search and online display advertising. As part of our full-service Internet marketing program webRulon will coordinate and integrate social media marketing campaigns with traditional online marketing.
- Campaign Monitoring, Measuring and Reporting
Monitoring, measuring and understanding the results of the social media marketing campaign initiatives requires tools that go beyond basic website analytics that measure traffic and page views. To get in-depth, comprehensive information and insight about what is happening within the clients’ social media ecosystem we use special social media marketing analytics tools that are concerned with tracking conversations, online buzz and measure the full potential and extend of the various tactics used in a social media marketing campaign.
Social Media Campaign Management and Support
Through our integrated campaign management services webRulon will manage and maintain the social media marketing effort and coordinate the activities with traditional online marketing campaigns, such as search engine marketing, email marketing and online display advertising, where we measure and analyze the results and then re-optimize to achieve maximum campaign ROI.
Ongoing management and support may include community management, the daily social network profile management tasks such as moderating comments and engaging visitors, functional and visual design updates across the various social media networks such as Facebook (Facebook Profile, Facebook Groups, Facebook Fan Page), Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, MySpace, blogger outreach and continued participation in news media and bookmarking websites in addition to the management of social media network advertising campaigns.
Social Media Consulting Services
webRulon offers expert consulting services covering social media campaign strategy, defining the optimum social media marketing mix and integration with existing traditional online marketing tactics. Our social media consultants will identify the clients’ goals and objectives, research and analyze the target audiences and provide actionable recommendations for the planning and execution of a social media marketing campaign.
Social Media Marketing Program
Our Social Media Marketing (SMM) program includes the following components:
- Goals and objectives
- Target audiences – customers and "influencers"
- Content and social media mix
- Strategic brand messaging
Campaign content creation and development
- Facebook Fan Page
- Twitter Account
- YouTube Channel
- LinkedIn Profile
- MySpace Page
- Flickr Photostream
- Blog marketing
Integration with traditional online marketing
Ongoing campaign management and support
- Ongoing campaign management and support
- Account/profile community management
- Page management – functional and visual design updates
Social media marketing consulting
Our Social Media Marketing (SMM) campaign development program offers the following benefits:
- More website traffic from social media websites and search engines
- Improved customer relationships through more intense customer engagement
- More brand visibility through viral messages that travel throughout the social web and active participation in the target communities
What is Social Media?
Social media describes the computer platforms, practices and media that people use to share their opinions, experiences and perspectives online. The platforms and applications that allow users to interact typically are blogs, message boards, audio and video podcasts, wikis, social media news sites and social networking websites, while the social media components can include text, images, audio and video. The social media one finds on social media platforms is usually a mixture of professional and user generated content that is made social through online distribution and its ability to create dialogue between people.
Social Media Optimization (SMO)
Social media optimization is a more narrowly defined activity then social media marketing. Social media optimization is often limited to making a website or blog more adaptable to social media.
The idea behind social media optimization is that by adding compelling, dynamic and fresh content on a regular basis, e.g. through Tip Sheets, How To listings, white papers, a podcast, blog post, video and integration with Social Networking sites. A website is more easily and frequently linked to and achieves top ranking and visibility in general and specialty search engines such as Technorati, BlogPulse, podcast directories and video search engines. Other examples of SMO are the implementation of links to social media websites to make tagging, sharing bookmarks (Del.icio.us), and voting for content (Digg, Propeller, Stumbleupon) by visitors easier.
Social media optimization is much like organic search engine optimization but now targeted towards achieving higher brand visibility and generating viral buzz, inbound links and more website traffic from social networking web sites.
Social media optimization is the process of implementing “share” links and other tools on websites and blogs to facilitate tagging, content voting, content sharing, data exchange and adding unique content. This makes it attractive for visitors to link the site, interact with each other and use the website as a platform to virally spread content, opinions and insights throughout the social web.
By making it easy for visitors to bookmark, vote for or discover content and pass it along with their favorite tools they can associate themselves with a company’s products and services and spread the message virally.
Social media comes in many forms, including text, images, audio and video. Social media tools include: blogs, podcasts, wiki’s, online forums, user reviews on review sites, but also community-based web properties such as social networks (Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn), micro-blogging (Twitter), content voting websites (Digg, Reddit), content discovery sites and (StumbleUpon).
Through social media optimization web content achieves a higher visibility on social media searches at specialty blog search engines such as Technorati, content voting and bookmarking websites and are more frequently included in relevant posts on blogs and podcasts.
Benefits of Social Media Optimization
Social media optimization provides the following benefits:
- Attracts many on-topic inbound links from blogs content, voting websites (Digg, Reddit), bookmarking sites (Delicious, Magnolia) and image sharing sites (Flickr), which improve rankings in the organic search results at Google, Yahoo and Bing
- Generates free organic website traffic providing an alternative traffic source to Google, Yahoo and Microsoft Bing
- Boosts brand visibility, generates viral buzz and deeper user engagement by facilitating the viral distribution of unique content throughout the social web
Social Media Optimization Implementation
Social media optimization is relatively easy to implement. The most obvious forms of social media optimization is the addition of unique and valuable content to a website, “share” links to Digg (Digg This) and Del.icio.us (Save to Del.icio.us) for posting content and saving bookmarks, RSS feed and links to the company social network profile (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn) to encourage visitors to engage through social networking.
There are many ways content can be optimized for social media distribution. Here are a number of examples:
- Content Creation
Key to successful social media optimization is the creation of new, unique content that is relevant to your target audience and that is organized in a way that it can easily be linked to, distributed, found and passed on to others on the Web.
- Content Distribution
For optimum content distribution content must be made available through RSS feeds, Send-to-a-friend link, social media links (Chicklets) or the “Share This” widget and directories (e.g. podcast and blog directories).
- Social Network Integration
Sharing of content and information between the company Twitter and LinkedIn accounts, YouTube Channel, Flickr Photostream and tight integration with Facebook Fan Pages through Facebook Connect.
- Copy Writing
Copy must be written specifically for the web. This means: short, scannable and to the point (focused). Attention-grabbing headlines that immediately peak the interest are particularly important when optimizing content for content voting websites like Digg or Reddit since many visitors will decide to vote for content based on the headlines.
- Copy Formatting
Well-established web formatting techniques such as bulleted lists, numbered steps and sub-heads must be used to improve readability and scannability.
Social Media Optimization Services
Our social media optimization and consulting program includes a detailed review of a prospective clients’ website or blog for the purpose of developing a social media optimization implementation plan.
The social media implementation plan includes the following components:
- Review of clients’ goals and objectives
- Define the target audience for viral content distribution
- Evaluation of the website or blog’s current visibility on social network websites, the capability to distribute content effectively throughout the social web and ability for visitors to engage with the company on the website or by accessing them through their social networking profiles.
- Development and execution of a social media optimization implementation plan to maximize content, linkability, engagement and distribution of content throughout the social network sites.
Social Media Optimization (SMO) Program
Our Social Media Optimization (SMO) program includes the following components:
- Review of the clients’ overall social media marketing goals and objectives
- Define the target audience
- Assessment of the website or blog’s visibility in the social media networks, linkability, content distribution capability
- Evaluate the website’s ability to engage with visitors through social network profiles
- Development and execution of a social media optimization implementation plan
What is Social Media Optimization?
Social media optimization is the process of implementing links (chicklets) and other content sharing tools on websites and blogs to facilitate tagging, content voting, content sharing and adding unique content. This makes the website link worthy, encourages visitors interact with each other and use the website as a platform to virally spread content, opinions and insights through out the social web.
Business Blog Marketing
Business blogs allow online marketers, business owners and online merchants to engage and communicate directly with their customers to build loyalty, online buzz and brand visibility. Through our Business Blog Marketing program, we offer an end-to-end service that includes business blog strategy consulting, blog design, installation and training, ongoing blog management and analytics.
Blog stands for web log – an online journal that is frequently updated and intended for general public consumption. Blogs usually consist of articles or posts listed in a reverse chronological order. They are typically updated daily using a software tool that requires no technical background and often reflect the personality of the author or the website they are related to.
A business blog is a communication tool that allows online marketers, business owners and merchants to talk directly to customers. Business blogs generate product buzz and encourage consumer loyalty, while bypassing traditional advertising and media outlets. A typical business blog focuses on a particular business subject and combines text, images, and links to other related blogs, social media websites, web pages, and media outlets that are related to its business niche.
Having a business blog will help a company in many different ways, including the following:
- Staying Connected
Maintain connections with industry peers and helps understanding the trends and buzz within that industry.
- Credibility and Reputation Building
Establishes a reputation as an expert and leader in an industry, which creates a distinct competitive advantage.
There are many marketing, branding and public relations benefits that come from promoting a business blog.
- Customer Relationships
Develops a deeper, two-way communications channel with the customer base wherein the business can take part in the discussions, receive feedback and build trust.
- Media Relations
Boosts media relationships by creating an outlet where the media can be informed about product, service or industry news.
- Market and Idea Testing
Provides a forum for new product ideas and services where instant feedback can be received from the customer base.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Benefit
Blogs are frequently indexed by search engines and can be keyword-optimized for high search engine rankings.
Business Blog Marketing and Management Service
Whether your objective is to improve brand visibility, online communications or rankings in organic search engine listings, our industry leading business blog marketing service will assist you in defining a blog marketing strategy, implementing a cost effective and visually attractive blog tool and measuring for success.
To take full advantage of the online marketing and branding opportunity that business blogs offer we have divided our services into two distinct components; Business Blog Marketing and Business Blog Management services.
Business Blog Marketing
The business blog marketing program is comprised of business blog strategy, blog design, software installation and integration.
- Business Blog Strategy Consultation
Blog strategy includes assessing the blog opportunity, reviewing the clients’ goals and objectives and determining the clients’ unique needs. Other factors that are typically decided in the Blog Strategy Consultation phase are: determining the blog type (e.g. CEO blog, product blog, aggregated news blog), branding/identity reinforcement (e.g. will the blog be integrated in an existing website and reinforce the existing company brand or will the blog be positioned as a complete new entity with its own identity), post blog topics, blog post frequency, content review process, blog resources and policies.
- Design, Installation and Integration
Our blog marketing service includes full-service blog design, installation and integration. Blog design depends on whether the blog will reinforce an existing brand and must blend seamlessly with an existing website or is positioned as an independent entity with its own unique domain name.
Business Blog Management
Researching and aggregating information to write blog posts about your industry or professional specialty, 3 to 4 times a week, while running a business, can be a daunting task. Through our blog management or “blog ghost writing” services our professional blog writers can assist you with researching information, finding blog posting opportunities, writing blog content, commenting on blog posts and linking to other blogs, news articles and social media websites. Our professional writers can write blog copy on a variety of topics or research your specific market, product or service to speak with authority. We can post directly to your blog or send the posts to you for approval prior to posting to make sure you are in consent with the content.
- Blog Monitoring
Blog activity monitoring is accomplished by searching in real-time at Technorati and through RSS data feeds from Technorate through the Google Reader. This combination of blog monitoring tactics provides us with a timely notification about link status changes, when specific client keyword search queries are performed, and up-to-the-minute results on what is happening in the clients’ blogosphere. In addition to RSS feeds some monitoring will be done via email updates from the Google Alerts service across the Google network of services, including Google Web search, news search, blog search, video search and Google Groups.
- Blog Optimization, Marketing and Promotion
Search Engine Optimization
Blogs with frequently updated and unique “themed” content are regularly “crawled” and indexed by the major search engines, which can result in an ongoing presence in the organic search results. To facilitate high rankings in the search results our blog tool includes a search engine friendly blog template, which facilitates unique page names and page titles and keyword-rich anchor text in hypertext links.
Blog Submission and Promotion
At launch time blogs are submitted to the major blog-to-blog search engines such Technorati, Bloglines, Daypop, Feedster and others. RSS syndication, through subscribe buttons and automated notification of RSS search engines and news aggregation sites, is also a major part of our business blog promotion program.
- Blog Analytics
A comprehensive, easy to use blog analytics programs for tracking blog visitors will be provided as part of our business blog marketing service.
Business Blog Marketing Services
Our Business Blog Marketing services include:
- Business Blog Strategy Consultation
- Design, Installation and Training
- Blog Management
- Blog Search Optimization, Marketing and Promotion
- Blog Monitoring
- Blog Analytics
Blog-related SEO Benefits
- A good static, keyword-rich URL structure facilitates search engine crawling of the blog entries and the content in the main website section.
- Blog entries with keyword-rich deep-linked internal links to on-topic content or product pages in the main website can boost the organic search engine rankings of those pages.
- Blogs often receive links from other blogs, which can benefit the organic search engine rankings of the entire website.
- RSS feed URL’s with the website domain name embedded in the links provides an additional source for inbound links.
- Frequent blog posts provide fresh content to a website, which encourages the search engine crawlers to crawl the entire website more frequently.
- The listing of the blog entries in blog and RSS directories provides additional visibility for the entire website.
Online Reputation Management
What consumers, customers and industry analysts are saying about your company, brand and even company employees in blogs, news groups, forums or social networking websites is quickly indexed by the search engines and retrieved by the public doing research online. By actively monitoring the buzz that is generated about your company, webRulon can capture, understand and report on product issues and opinions that consumers and customers share, and proactively participate in the conversations to defy bad publicity or repair a damaged company image.
As consumers and businesses are shifting their research for products and services to the web monitoring for bad press is becoming a growing necessity. What consumers, clients and industry analysts are publishing online about a company, brand, and even company employees, is quickly and easily indexed by search engines and retrieved by the general public that is doing research.
Today it is very easy for anyone to publish information – negative and positive – on blogs, opinion forums and review websites. Therefore companies need to be informed immediately when a negative or untrue post, article or review appears so that they can react in a proactive manner to protect their reputation, brand and revenue stream.
Monitoring and Tracking
By actively monitoring the conversations that are taking place online, companies can get a good sense of what consumers, clients and industry analysts are saying about their products, services, employees, the competition and track all other related content that is published online. Monitoring user generated content online not only informs companies on what people are saying about their brand and company and what is happening in their industry, but it also helps in gathering competitive intelligence.
Monitoring what people are saying online is crucial to protecting a company’s reputation. Search engines, especially, have become dominant reputation aggregators of online forum posts, blog posts, online user reviews and flame sites, because they often give immediate visibility to content that is created with those tools.
Tools for Monitoring and Tracking
Through online web tools, companies today have the means to capture, understand and act on the online “conversations” that are occurring about their brand, products and services. Online monitoring typically includes tracking company name, product names, brand names, employee names, competing brand names, industry terms, as well as general industry news.
There are many free web tools available that can be used to monitor the content that is generated by the general public. There are many free and paid subscription web tools available that can be used to monitor the content that is generated by the general public. Some resources cover all social media platforms such as blogs, Twitter, Facebook, forums, and video and photo sharing sites, while others are specific to the social media platform, such as just for blogs or only Twitter. Those tools can be used for:
- Blog, Podcast, Photo and Video Sharing & Website Monitoring
This typically includes monitoring of new entries and comments or changes to existing content at Technorati, Bloglines, Wikipedia, Flickr, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube and blog trend analysis. Nearly all the above social media services offer RSS feeds that alert you to a reputation threat within minutes or hours of their creation.
- Google/Yahoo/Microsoft Bing News Monitoring
Due to their massive reach, monitoring the top 10 to 20 organic search results at Google, Yahoo and Microsoft Bing News is very important. Google Alerts are extremely efficient at monitoring Google News (stories that appear on Google News), Google Search, Google Blog Search, Google Groups (Google Groups posts and replies) and Google Video for new search results that match the keywords that are tracked. Google, as well as Yahoo and Bing News, offer reporting via email alerts or RSS feeds.
- Message Board Monitoring
Forum posts at a large variety of online message boards and forums can be tracked with specific forum managing tools designed to provide relevant information quickly when important forum threads are posted.
The best course of action against negative criticism is to proactively influence what people are saying about a company and brand. It often pays off to correspond directly with the people that are talking about a brand or company online even if their comments are negative to find out where they are coming from.
Actively participating in the conversation and eliminating the negative buzz by becoming a regular contributor to industry-related blogs and online forums can be an effective way to counter bad publicity. Other actions that can be considered to proactively defy bad publicity or repair a damaged customer image are:
- Establishing a corporate sponsored online forum
- Adding related positive content to a corporate website
- Starting a corporate or business blog
- Establish personal profiles at LinkedIn, Facebook, Google and other social media networks
- Optimizing positive content for top search engine rankings through organic search engine optimization to make sure that the content comes up at the top of the search results pages at the major search engines and above that of compliant sites or blogs
Online Reputation Management Services
Online reputation management is rapidly becoming an important strategy for many organizations, but tracking and reporting on hundreds of industry blogs, search engines, review sites, news groups, online forums and social networking sites can be a challenging task for an individual or business.
webRulon’s experience and expertise in search engine marketing and optimization, online PR and social media marketing can help companies with monitoring, evaluating and responding to consumer feedback and consumer-generated media. Our Online Reputation Management Services are managed by our online marketing specialists who have years of experience in online advertising, PR and search engine marketing. A customized Online Reputation Management program typically includes:
- Consulting and client needs analysis
- A Custom Online Reputation Management Plan including:
- Current online reputation audit
- Strategy with goals and objectives
- Implementation plan development
- Corporate website content
- Organic search engine optimization (SEO), including website content development (text, video, mages), keyword optimization and link building
- Online press release distribution
- Blog marketing (blog posting and commenting)
- Social media marketing (establish profiles at Google, social network sites, social news sites, video photo sharing sites)
- Selection and installation of monitoring tools
- Data mining
- Reporting and optimizing
- Continuing online monitoring and reputation management
Online Reputation Management Program
- Reputation audit
- Determine reputation management goals and objectives
- Reputation management strategy
- Implementation of a Custom Online Reputation Management Plan
- Online content development and distribution
- Data mining and analysis
- Reporting and improving
- Reputation management maintenance to sustain a positive reputation
Benefits of Reputation Management
Frequent online monitoring not only allows companies to track what is being said about their brand, products or services, but it also evaluates general conversations, pinpoints trends and collects competitive information. The overall benefits of an online reputation management program are:
- Collect competitive intelligence information that can be used for communications and product strategy development
- Control adverse information about a company and brand
- Provides early warning systems regarding brand or product issues
- Allows companies to understand brand and product perception and reputations
- Spot early trends in an industry and get a head start on the competition
- Evaluate the online marketing reach as it pertains to online communities
- Pro-actively influence an industry segment and what people are saying about a company, its brands and employees
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