It is no secret that Google loves social media profiles, especially for brand-related “navigational” searches when it’s obvious that people are interested in your company. But that doesn’t mean your own profile is going to make the cut, not without some work.
Much of it comes down to competition. When you have so many reviews sites out there with your brand name in the title and a lot of people linking to them, it can be impossible for most to compete on that level. And while you may be getting mostly positive reviews on those sites, it’s not the safest strategy to let those pages rank higher than your own brand assets which you can basically control.
You have to get a bit more focused to up your clout on Google’s rank list. Luckily, there are some tried and true ways to do it.
Verify Your Social Media Accounts
A basic step not to miss, this is a very important one. Getting a verified business account on social media means that your social media presence is firmly tied to your brand, so fake and parody accounts don’t stand a chance to steal your identity.
You can also add the word “official” to your social media bios to sound even more reassuring.
Get People To Your Profiles
The first thing to do is to get people visiting and subscribing to your social profiles. The best way to do that is full social integration. You have to make it easy to get to those page. Place links on the top header of your site, and put in proper calls to action (CTAs) to subscribe to pages and share. Colorliblists a few awesome plugins to make your job easier here.
Don’t miss other opportunities to grow your social media following. Your automated emails and your newsletters should invite people to subscribe too. Emails from any members of your company, other social profiles, or marketing materials should also have these links and CTAs.
You can add some more incentive for customers by offering special offer codes on your social profile. They don’t have to be exclusive; just knowing they will be shared from time to time is often enough to get people to hit that follow button.
You can use Cyfe to effective monitor your social media following grow across multiple social media accounts. It allows for a neat one-page view of numerous metrics you choose to monitor:
To properly point Google to your brand’s social media presence use structured data markup embedded in your public website. This guide gives a basic JSON-LD template for an organization to specify several social profiles. This will populate your social media profiles in your Google knowledge graph:
You can specify these types of social profiles:
Make That Profile Drip With Branding
We all know the importance of proper branding, right? So why are so many companies failing at it on social media? Sure, we have our big names that do it right (Wendy’s on Twitter, Denny’s on Tumblr, GoPro on YouTube, Starbucks on Instagram, Threadless on Facebook, etc). But when it comes to smaller businesses making a go on the social web, branding is still a pretty lackluster category.
Each network has its own unique features for you to take advantage of. For Facebook you can create killer company highlight and description sections that really sell your brand to customers who might not know your background. There are also customizable tabs that let you add nearly any kind of content you want, including sales opportunities through checkout systems. This underlines the importance of business on that particular social network.
Twitter is not that great for that kind of thing, and neither are Instagram, Pinterest, or other visual platforms where content is image or video based. That is where tone branding is going to make a big difference in your campaigns. But even there you can use profile header images and even emojis to let your branding stand out.
Wendy’s is one of my favorite examples of tone branding on social media. If you put Wendy’s Twitter into the search you get some of their latest updates. They are not merely talking about their products or giving special offers. They are making jokes, interacting with other brands, and even insulting customers. They are appealing to a tone and image they want to cultivate, and the returns are massive.
Now we get into the more boring part of the process, and that is your basic SEO optimization. These are the quick tips that are always good to use:
Use exact-match usernames (your username should be exactly the same as your business name)
Always complete the “Full Name” field: Stick to ONE version of your full name (no occasional middle name, no occasional short names: Pick your best-known name and stick to it everywhere)
Enable custom (i.e. “Vanity“) URLs where possible (those help your profiles rank)
Always complete “Description” (“About me”) field making sure you have at least 200 words of good original content there (Unless there’s a character limit). Write a different description each time mentioning your interests, areas of expertise, accomplishments, favorite books, etc. Original content helps your public profile rank higher. Use a duplicate content checkers to make sure your social media profile descriptions are original. PlagiarismCheck.org is my preferred duplicate content checker because it’s the easiest and the fastest:
Interlink your profiles: Whenever possible, link to your other personal pages when creating a new profile; thus you both co-promote all your profile pages and give more information about yourself. This will encourage your new contacts to follow you on other social networks too!
More important considerations for higher search engine rankings of your profiles:
Use lots of images. Every social media platform is visual these days, so you should be incorporating images into your account at every available opportunity, in whatever manner they allow. These images should be branded, high quality, relevant, and possessing basic metadata such as file names and copyright to help drive results.
Update. A lot. No empty profiles will rank well in Google! I remember when social media was still in its infancy for business use, and the common advice was only to update every few days lest you annoy your followers. That is no longer how it works. Your profiles should be getting updated regularly, based on what media it is using. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and similar networks should have daily updates.
Hashtags. This one is a no-brainer, right? Hashtags are powerful tools, and you should be spending a significant amount of effort in harnessing the perfect ones.
Do you have any other tips to add to the list? Let us know in the comments below.
June 17, 2016 · Filed Under Branding, Social Media · Comments Off on How to Research Niche Questions for Better Reputation Management
Someone may be publicly asking questions about your brand at this very moment. Or someone asked it two weeks ago and got an answer (but not from you) and now this thread is ranking for your brand name.
Few people are buying from a company without trying to find the answers to their questions first… How reliable is your service? How fast is the delivery? What are the alternatives?
You should be there to answer those questions! Or better yet, all those questions should already be answered on your site for your potential customers not to have to search for the answers elsewhere.
The following research will be quite helpful in both of these scenarios:
For competitor research (For you to be aware of their problems and to be able to avoid them or offer their clients better solutions)
For your brand reputation trouble-shooting and monitoring
1. Research if Question-Related Google Features Appear for the Brand Name
Google is paying more and more attention to immediately guessing and answering users’ questions. Thus, they currently have two search features they are trying to accomplish :
Featured instant answers: A box featuring an answer to the query showing above organic search results (More on that here).
“People also ask”: Google is showing which questions users tend to type in the search box using the current query or before / after searching for that
Both features are worth looking into for competitor research and reputation management purposes.
The easiest way to do that is using SERPstat, a newer tool that has Google’s special features integrated into their keyword filters. Just type the brand name into their search field, navigate to “organic”, open the list of filters and select “Answers” and “Also ask” filters:
The search results will indicate queries triggering those chosen features with the icons:
From there, you can scroll through the brand-related search results checking the actual search featured elements to see which opportunity or challenge they pose for you or your competitor.
2. Research Which Brand-Related Questions Users Type into The Search Box
Google Suggest is your invaluable source of brand-related queries you need to be keeping an eye on:
Luckily there are tools that make finding and extracting question-related queries much easier. SERPstat does have that option too:
Another tool that makes this research huge fun by visualizing it is Answer The Public (Which I described here). Just type the brand name into their search box and the tool will find tons of questions containing that name:
Here, I am showing part of the visualization for you to easier see the beauty:
Now export these search results and start sorting them into “Create a FAQ page”, “Forward to the customer support team”, “Forward to the product development team”, etc.
Tip: There are lots of FAQ WordPress plugins which you can use to easily add a separate section covering all sorts of niche-related questions. Installing plugins is easy, so there’s nothing stopping you from moving forward with this idea immediately!
3. Monitor Brand-Related Questions on Social Media
Google queries only scratch the surface: Google and related tools record only most popular queries. User-generated content and real-time search will uncover more problems you should be handling.
Here are a few ideas:
1. Search and archive Tweets containing brand-related questions.
The search query to use:
“brand name” ? -infilter:links -http
? filters out tweets containing questions -infilter:links -http excludes tweets containing links to only keep real conversations
Cyfe is a great way to create an archive of these search results to effectively collect them and use for customer service training or content inspiration.
Cyfe will start archiving tweets once you create a widget, so the earlier you do that, the older your archive will be.
Cyfe allows an unlimited number of widgets per dashboard, so you can monitor and archive questions around your brand as well as your competitors.
2. Bookmark and monitor niche-related reviews sites
In most niches there exist partially user-generated sites collecting user reviews and ratings. Examples:
[In SaaS niche] G2Crowd and its FAQ section on the listed service page
[In hosting niche] Sitegeek and its user q&a section on the listed hosting page
[In traveling] TripAdvisor and its q&a section on the hotel or restaurant page
I cannot stress enough how important it is to monitor these sites and engage with the community. You need to be monitoring both your brand as well as your competitors!
Are you incorporating questions into your reputation management and competitor research? Please share your tips here!
Creating a blogger outreach program is as natural a part of brand marketing on the web these days as any other. An extension to social campaigning, it is a thorough and honest way to tap into a blogger’s trusted reader base, while fostering a connection and relationship with a valuable content creator.
Pitching to a blogger is simple enough — you provide a sample or trial of your product or service. The blogger writes up what they honestly think about it, and you get to share yourself with the world (or at least that sliver of cyberspace where the blogger has some authority).
Efficient, effective and free, you have nothing to lose! The only problem is finding the bloggers themselves. How do you hunt down those web gurus who have the most clout, while still relating in a significant manner to your brand?
These tools are free, simple to use, and totally awesome for anyone looking to create or expand their blogger outreach program.
Tomoson: Out of all platforms connecting brands to bloggers for mutual benefits, this one is the most straightforward yet the most flexible. It makes sure you connect to bloggers on their terms, as you are not allowed to dictate how they review your product or link to you. And that’s the best way to do blogger outreach, but keep in mind that blogs are editorial.
When running a promotion you can tell a person where they can link to IF they want to. It is not required that people link to you because it’s against Google policy. Most people will work with a business to help in any way they can (source).
Tomoson also has their own rank that measures users’ influence which works much better than Klout for me.
BlogLocal: Let’s say you realize that a blogger that is popular in your industry is a 30 minute drive away. That is the perfect opportunity to contact them through social media and request a face to face meeting to introduce them to the product or service in person, and then get them on board for a review.
It is also a simple way of connecting on a deeper level that will provide the foundation of a long term working relationship.
BlogLocal shows you blogs in your area, so you can find out who is around you in any city, or in the cities you frequently visit.
MyBlogU: MyBlogU lets you build your authority by contributing your expert opinion to a relevant article. It’s a great tool to build your brand trust.
At MyBlogU, there are a ton of active bloggers who are looking for expert snippets and comments, interview opportunities, and a chance to help one another. That makes it a rich hunting ground for bloggers that obviously know about your niche, and so would be open to working with you on whatever you need help with.
It may also be a chance for you to show your own authority and value to the community at large, and start building a repertoire with others in the industry.
Before you connect …
Long gone are the days when blogger outreach was considered a success when you got one product review and happily ran away with it. Today it’s all about building solid relationships; it’s about turning bloggers into brand ambassadors or brand evangelists.
Here are some tips for you to make the most of every connection.
Connect on Twitter. In spite of nearly everyone on the planet having some form of experience with this social media platform, not everyone knows how to best utilize it for relationship building. It is rare to find a blog that doesn’t have a Twitter. Some will have several, including those for their individual writers, editors, and founders. You can connect with them one on one, sharing their content, @tagging them, or just engaging in a valuable manner that makes them more familiar with you and your brand. I maintain separate Twitter lists for my valuable blogging contacts to keep a closer eye on them. Tools like Oktopost and Commun.it makes profiling social media contacts very fast and efficient.
Find out what projects they are involved in. You may find that other projects a blogger is maintaining may work even better for you (or compliment your future plans) or you may discover the blogger is planning to go to an event nearby. Whatever it is, spend 10-15 minutes browsing around to see how else you can work together — your research will be highly appreciated. I usually use this tool to find other sites the blogger has. I also make sure I go though their “About page” and most recent social media updates before I reach out to the blogger.
Use tools to collect more information on people you connect.Rappotive is excellent for seeing who the person behind the email is, for example. And of course, Knowem will make your job much easier finding the bloggers’ social media identities with one click.
Most bloggers are more than welcoming of the chance to try something new and blog about it. Not only does it expose them to something they may use in the future, but it gives them a chance for fresh content that attracts an audience based on a previously established brand. The key is to approach blogger outreach properly!
Blogger Outreach is an important part of any marketing strategy in this day and age. You need the right tools, and luckily there are plenty that are free and can help you. Try these out, and let us know about any others you enjoy in the comments below!
A few days ago Matt Cutts of the Google Web Search Quality Team announced that Google is going to start factoring signals from social networks such as Twitter and Facebook in their search engine rankings and results. This marks a shift from a video Cutts made in May 2010 in which he reported Google was not looking at social results. Used heavily in real time search results in the past (such as in streaming tweets which have appeared above the regular results in the past), Cutts now reports that “[Google is] studying how much sense it makes to use it a little more widely within our web search rankings.” He of course reminds us that pages which can’t be crawled, such as Twitter users which have protected their tweets or Facebook users with strict privacy settings, cannot be indexed by Google’s crawlers and of course will have no effect on rankings.
He reports that these social signals are used relatively lightly for now, but may begin to influence more heavily in the future as they gauge their effectiveness over time. Something Google also wants to look at in terms of ranking influence is not just the number of social followers or friends a user may have, but the quality of those friends. Obviously, just like they want to weed out spam and automated links to pages, Google also wants to weed out social accounts which are little more than bots or have artificially inflated their follower count.
So what does this mean to business and brand owners interested in leveraging social media for search engine rankings? Really nothing, if you’ve already developed a smart and effective social media strategy. It just means Google is finally catching up to you. If you haven’t begun to develop a social media strategy, then this should just be one more very strong reason to begin getting involved.
May 13, 2009 · Filed Under Announcements, KnowEm News · Comments Off on Raven Integrates Identity Theft Prevention Tool for Social Media
Raven SEO recently published this press release to announce that they’ve been working with us and the KnowEm API to co-brand our Premium username signup service:
The popularity of social media networks, like Facebook and Twitter, are starting to get the attention of businesses – particularly small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs). They’re attracted to it, because social media is proving to be an effective channel for creating new leads and also supporting existing customers.
With all of the promise that social media offers to businesses, there’s one downside, identity theft. Many businesses are often in shock when they find out their brand is already registered on popular social networks.
Raven Internet Marketing Tools recently tackled this issue by integrating an identity theft prevention tool called KnowEm. KnowEm was created by Barry Wise and Michael Streko to help businesses take control of their brand on social networks. It’s been featured in newspapers and on television, including the Washington Post, CNET and Fox News.
KnowEm does a real-time check for branded usernames and keywords on over one hundred popular social networks. It then returns a list of social networks where the brand is and isn’t registered.
In most cases, businesses will find that their brand is still available for registration on most social networks. While it’s good news that their brand is available, the bad news is that they still have to register it on over one hundred social media Web sites. Fortunately, Raven reduces the time and effort involved in registering their brand. For a nominal fee, Raven will register the brand on all available social networks, securing their brand identity for future use.
As social media identity theft increases, it’s important for businesses to protect their brand now. The integration of KnowEm into Raven will ensure that they can do that.
About Raven Internet Marketing Tools: Raven is used by marketers around the world to manage their search engine optimization (SEO) and social media campaigns. Raven provides a robust agency-ready suite of tools that enable Internet marketing departments to conduct research and analysis, manage link building, monitor their brand, track search engine performance, and analyze their Web site’s traffic and conversions. Learn more at http://raventools.com.
April 24, 2009 · Filed Under Announcements, KnowEm News · Comments Off on KnowEm Now Offering Bulk/Enterprise Order Discounts
Due to the real value our username signup service brings to brand name online reputation management, we’ve had quite a few customers who represent major SEO and social meda agencies contact us for bulk and enterprise-sized order discounts. Today we’re happy to announce we now offer bulk and enterprise discounts! Just fill out our form and let us know what you’re interested in and we’ll happily get back to you as soon as possible.
So what kind of deal can I get?
Well, it really depends on what kind of online reputation management campaign you are planning. Obviously, when it comes to bulk orders the greater the number of orders, the lower the pricing. Since we just launched the service this week we are open to discussing any suggestions on pricing from you, our valued customers.
So can I submit 100 orders for “BuyViagra” misspellings?
No, of course not. We still reserve the right to reject any orders which we consider spam or objectionable. Remember, we are not trying to violate any of the terms of service for these great sites, and we don’t want to devalue their community. We simply want to take some of the workload off of you for creating accounts. We will also not participate in any cyber-squatting or social media identity theft, that is exactly why we launched this service, to protect brand names.
If you’ve got any questions at all about bulk orders, please don’t hesitate to contact us.