Online Marketing Tricks of the Trade

By on 8-31-2007 in Social Media, Tools

A question you may be asking yourself if you run an online business is: who exactly are my customers? Sometimes it’s shocking to think that hordes of people want your service. You get that “they love me, they really love me” moment so typified in Hollywood movies. But think about it like this, you’ve done your research, planted the seeds of your business, and are now reaping your due harvest.

You may not need to use Anywho’s reverse phone number finder to learn every possible customer detail on record, but you do want to stay knowledgeable as to who your customer base is. The reason for this is that the market is changing constantly. Social media and search engine customization is always in flux, forever waiting for the next big game-changer or the next big algorithm. Here are a few tips that will help you as you move forward with your online marketing endeavors:

Separate your personal profiles and your business profiles on social media sites.

First of all, you don’t want to harass your friends and family with every detail of your business. Yes, of course, a few times a month it’s acceptable to toot your horn and use your personal profile to discuss an element of your business. But any more than that and you risk seriously annoying your most loyal brand ambassadors.

Increase your exposure.

Configure your site for social bookmarking so that your customers can pass on news of your service to sites like Delicious, Digg, Reddit, and StumbleUpon. Also, create a Wikipedia page for your business. Contribute as much to conversation marketing as you can by taking part in relevant forum discussions and participating in Google groups.

Optimize your site.

Nothing leverages you for Internet success more than SEO. Become friendly with search engines by creating a sitemap, XML if possible, and good internal linking structures. Not only does this make search bots more likely to find you, it makes your site more structured.

If you have the budget for it, create accounts on pay per clicks networks like Google and MSN.

If you’re running a cheaper campaign, look for quality impressions on lower tier networks.

We’re just scratching the surface here. There are hundreds of tools and strategies for beefing up your online marketing endeavors. A successful campaign will require a lot of research and scouring the marketplace for the best models in your industry. No matter what field you’re in, social media etiquette, social bookmarking and SEO are going to be major components to a healthy campaign. Figure out your budget and create a game plan.

The Body is Willing, But the Mind is Weak

By on 8-31-2007 in Social Media, Tools

No, I didn’t get the saying wrong. That’s how I feel today. I’ve got a ton of energy physically speaking… got a great night’s sleep last night. But after even a short week of overloading my brain with end of month reporting, more reporting, affiliate network shopping, and more late nights at the office, my brain has decided to stage a sit in.

Actually, before about 11:30am this morning the brain was active too. However after sitting in various conference calls from then until about 2:15pm, my brain revolted from overload. First we heard all about LinkShare and their merchant platform. Then all about Widemile’s optimization services. Then talked to a couple cats at Clickbooth since we haven’t ventured into CPA marketing here at PsPrint yet.

Is it a bad thing that during our conference call I surfed over to MarketingTerms.com and had to look up CPA? I was pretty embarrassed with Anne sitting behind me… although I guess she actually didn’t notice until I mentioned it after the meeting. Oh well.

The last week I’ve been making sure our mailing services don’t break, which is nice for a change. At the end of August the mailing went crazy… it seemed like while I was on vacation everyone and their mother decided to place a mailing order. Which is great… but left me a lot of work to catch up on. We’ve been really focused on the affiliate program and it’s future. Which is great too. We’re looking at new features, better affiliate acquisition, possibly a new network, new creative, new campaigns… heck new everything. It’s an exciting time for me, especially since Anne confirmed that we’ll be attending Affiliate Summit 2008 West in Las Vegas in February. That means between my personal vacation, the National Association of Realtors show in November, and AS West I’ll be heading to Sin City three times in 6 months. Not too shabby for this California girl.

I’m also semi-addicted to del.icio.us now. Last night I imported all my bookmarks from home into it so now I can access them anywhere… and that’s half the point, right? It’s really actually pretty interesting to see how many other people have some of my favorite places bookmarked. I’m also surprised in some cases how few people have some websites bookmarked. For example, the View Askew Productions Message Board has over 10,000 registered members. But only 2 other people on del.icio.us have it bookmarked…one of which I even recognize (and promptly added to my network).

Time for my Friday ritual of trying to see the wood grain of my desk. Wish me luck.

Fussing Update

By on 8-31-2007 in Social Media, Tools

I fussed around more with del.icio.us, Digg, and Technorati. So far my thoughts…

deliciousdel.icio.us: really easy to use. I exported my bookmarks from Firefox and imported them into my bookmarks in a matter of minutes. I’ve spent probably the last half an hour cleaning up my tags since they’re so scattered and I’m a neat freak like that. But it’s a really simple interface that’s a breeze to use. I’ve head a lot about this site, so I get the feeling I’ll be using it a lot whenever I come across something particularly cool.

diggDigg: pretty easy to use, but there’s a lot there. The home page of News & Videos is cracking me up reading some of the titles. Not sure how this can be leveraged though without digging my own stories. I did try a plea on Twitter for digs, but got none. And it’s taken me hours, but I’ve figured out how to add the Digg This button you see to the right. I found out though that I have a friend already on Digg, so I can foresee messing around more with this and building more friends on this network.

technoratiTechnorati: Okay what the hell? The main function of the site, as far as I can tell, is to keep a list of your favorites. Do me a favor and look HERE. Do you see any favorites? If you don’t I’m really annoyed because I followed their instructions to export my blogs from Google Reader, saved the file correctly, imported them to Technorati, they showed up for a couple minutes and now they don’t show. So my frustration is building with this site to the point where I’m already ready to give up… which for an experienced web user like me, isn’t good at all. So I’ve decided to walk away from it for awhile, focus my efforts on the other two, and mess around with this once they’ve got this bug fixed. I already ventured into their help forums on the first day… not really a good sign, folks.

Avoiding Former CoWorkers in San Jose

By on 8-31-2007 in Social Media, Tools

 

Sometimes it’s pleasant to see an old coworker… other times, it’s best to avoid them. Which is what I did at Search Engine Strategies last week in San Jose. I’m not necessarily proud of what I did, but I successfully avoided what could have been a rather awkward situation, so it worked out for the best.

I spent the majority of the day in the Social Media track of the conference, learning more about the inner workings of Digg, Technorati, Del.icio.us, and Wikipedia than I ever thought I wanted to know. Of course, one of the first things I did when getting back to the office was apply some of this and set up a Digg profile and a Technorati profile and an account on Del.icio.us. Since PsPrint doesn’t sell it’s content, I don’t really see Wikipedia as being that huge of an opportunity for us. But the others… well I’m shocked I wasn’t on them personally for awhile.

Now, my roots in social media lie in the likes of MySpace, message boards, and chat rooms. I’m not the seasoned internet user you’ll hear speaking at trade shows that’s been online since 1997… but that’s mostly because back in ’97 I was still writing history essays and doing math homework in High School. I’ve been online since about the time I got to college, Fall of 1999. Going away to college and having to make all new friends, I immediately found chat rooms as a place to connect with like minded people. A friend introduced me to Live Journal back in ’03 and I’ve been blogging ever since. When MySpace came around big time in ’05 I jumped on that bandwagon and haven’t looked back.

Has it really been 2 years on MySpace? How time flies. But, I digress. SES was a great show for me to attend. Very informative, and my favorite part was how organized all the panelists were. Everyone had a neat & tidy Power Point presentation that will be available online this week, so I barely had to take any notes. I’ve also decided that the next time I go to one of these shows and attend the educational panels I’m going to be bringing a laptop. Since there was really no need for me to take many notes, it would have been great to be able to surf the websites that the panelists talked about while they were talking about them. I’m all about multi-tasking, so getting some work done while learning is my ideal.

This is becoming an exciting time for me. Learning more and more about the field I’m working in and exploring social media marketing is really exciting me to be moving onward here at PsPrint.