Viral Marketing

Nipping Spam Comments in the Bud

Blogging is an indispensable tool for disseminating information, cultivating multilateral communication and promoting your business. But even if you are simply blogging for fun, we all like to know that are voices are being heard, which is why getting comments on your blog is such a rewarding feeling. And while it would be nice if only well-intentioned people interested in expounding a topic commented to your blog, the fact of the matter is that the vast majority of the feedback you receive will actually be spam comments.

Any blogger knows that creating a blog and writing fresh, relevant content is a time-consuming endeavor. And, not surprisingly, there are people out there looking to take a piggyback ride on your hard work. Instead of creating their own blog, other website owners will add a comment to your site with a link back to their business page. Not only is this a bastardization of the purpose of the comments section, it also can have a negative impact on your blog. As we mentioned in our previous post on search engine algorithms, your inbound and outbound links are a crucial component in search engine algorithms. So if you have a surfeit of spam comments linking to shady sites, it doesn’t bode well for your blog’s ranking in the various search engines.

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Getting to Know Search Engine Algorithms

Anyone looking to rank highly in the search engines needs to know a little bit about algorithms. I know, this sounds like some sort of esoteric calculus equation used exclusively by astrophysicists, but it is actually the heart of all search engines. Although there is some discrepancy as to the precise definition of an algorithm, it’s basically a method for solving problems using a precise sequence of instructions. Flowcharts provide a good analogy.

When you go through a flowchart, you are asked a series of questions and eventually led to some resolution. This is essentially of microcosm of an algorithm. Each search engine uses dozens of “signals” to comprise their algorithm, including variables such as a website’s speed, content and inbound links. As you can imagine, sites like Google, Bing and Yahoo! are constantly updating, augmenting and refining the signals used in their algorithms to ensure users are presented with the most pertinent information.

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Differentiating Your Business Using Social Media

By now you are (hopefully) well aware of the immense benefits social media integration can bring to your business. But since social media is free in most cases and information is readily available, chances are that your competition is attempting to implement the same marketing and networking tactics. The question then becomes how to differentiate yourself and your business. Here are a few tips for getting your voice heard on the social networks:

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Building an Online Reputation through Social Media

On Monday we touched on the importance of establishing your small business on the various social networking sites and in the blogging community. But setting up your accounts and creating new, unique content is only half the battle. Once you have the tools in place, you must be proactive in order to grow and expand your presence on the internet.

According to a recent Nielsen study, users spend 22% of their time on the internet engrossed in social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. And remember, this isn’t just users in the United States—this is on a global scale. In addition, three out of every four people who go online will visit a social network or blog. If you take just one thing away from these statistics, it should be that people are increasingly turning to social media.

Although social media was originally viewed purely as a source of entertainment and interaction, it has morphed into a perceived source of reliable information. (more…)

Effectively Using Social Media to Market Your Small Business

Despite its unequivocal position as the latest fad in business marketing and an immense legion of business execs and media sources touting its merits, a recent study shows that small businesses aren’t capitalizing on social media. While large, well-established corporations have jumped on the social media bandwagon with unbridled abandon, small- and medium-sized businesses appear reluctant to adopt this marketing trend.

According to the 2010 Business Monitor United States report, just 24 percent of small and medium businesses have generated sales through social media, and less than 1 percent cited social media as the dominant factor in promoting their business. Instead, companies have continued to utilize somewhat antiquated means of attracting customers, including old-fashioned word of mouth, networking events and traditional advertising. This aversion is quite surprising considering the ample amount of information and resources for implementing social media advertising  currently available to business owners. (more…)

Social Media Offers Politicians a New Means to Reach Constituencies

Politicians have been devising ways to communicate with the public and reach out to their constituencies since the inception of the democratic system. And while each form of new media has given legislators more opportunities to communicate their manifold messages, the communiqué has often been filtered through reporters and the discourse has been decidedly one-sided. Social media, unlike any previous innovation, has fundamentally changed the way voters glean information about public officials. Not only do candidates now have unbridled access to the electorate, but social media also offers voters a way to voice their opinions in an open forum.

Traditionally, a candidate needed to take out ad space in order to deliver a message that wasn’t filtered through a journalist, and aside from an op-ed piece, there was little opportunity for conversation or to gauge the public response. With social media, however, there is no intermediary or barriers of communication. Politicians now have the capacity to justify why they voted for a piece of legislation, elected a certain cabinet member or any other decision in their own words—and voters have the chance to respond. (more…)

Traveling Through Time With Location Based Technologies

It’s been a slow week across the social media and search engine world.  Most of the online hype has been about the iPad, which came out over the weekend.  Other than that, nothing.

Mashable.com has been doing a great job of keeping their readers entertained with social media news with a few infographics.  Yesterday, I shared one of those with you, comparing Facebook’s American population to the actual countries population.  Today, I decided to share with you “The History of Location Technology.” (more…)

April Fools On The Web

Today is April 1, 2010, which is also known to many of us as April Fools Day.  And depending on how gullible you are today could turn into a long day.  For me, I was fooled before 6 this morning and I have a feeling I have a surprise or two more coming at me.  Even though I know not to believe anything anyone says today, I still happen to fall for it!

Today however, there are a number of sites trying to fool everyone.  I thought that we would take a look at some of the top online pranks today! (more…)

Second Annual #Twestival Underway

logos_yellow-greyAh, the power of Twitter.  We use it to share and learn about breaking news, to express our feelings, to offer and find exclusive deals, and to keep up to date with our friends.  Twitter can be so much more than that though, like making new friends and/or making a difference.

I, myself have met some of my best friends here in Seattle through Twitter.  And I always am using the site to promote things that can make an impact, like Earth Hour happening this weekend.  But wait! Wouldn’t it be a neat concept if myself and all of my Twitter friends and followers could do something to make an impact on the world.  Luckily, there is such an event. (more…)

How Many People Just Joined Foursquare?!

foursquareI’ve been talking about Foursquare a few times this year, and how both companies and consumers are taking advantage of the locationed based social network and app.   Foursquare gain popularity over the past year, and had roughly about 500,000 users last week.  A half-million users isn’t bad, but it looks like the network is growing now at rapid speed.  With the South by SouthWest festival happening right now in Austin, Texas, Foursquare has gained “100,000 users” in the past 11 days. 

The company tweeted right before their new 100,000 user saying they were almost there.  The company also says that there has been a surge of friend requests on Foursquare, so users can see where there friends are actually at.  (more…)