Archive for 'Social Media'

Feel like a manic juggler?

Animation of 3 ball cascade , also known as a ...Image via WikipediaI don’t know about you but sometimes it can be a little overwhelming.  Okay…that’s a lie.  It can be incredibly overwhelming.

We’re all juggling as fast as we can and no matter how many balls we have in the air, there’s always another one being tossed into the rotation.

There’s a new project (or three) at work, a new book to read, 5,000 new blog posts in your RSS feed reader, six fresh social media tools to explore and 200+ e-mails.  Daily.

That doesn’t even take into account your family, friends and just carving out some down time.  Have a hobby?  Like to travel? Well, sleep’s optional, right?

Never before in my career have I seen a more turbulent time.  Turbulent is not necessarily a bad thing.  There’s just so much swirling around us, our customers and the work we do.  And it’s exciting.  Intoxicating.  And important to continuing to be relevant in our jobs.

So…how do you juggle it all? How do you stay sane AND productive?

Here’s my plan.  Help me spread the word that we’re looking for Sanity/Productivity tips.  Once we get a good collection here, I’ll create an free e-book that we can offer to others suffering from the same manic juggling that we are.

Come on…share a tip, idea or solution that works for you.

 

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Social Media Charity(This story has been updated with a newer idea here: A Plan for Social Media Sites (and users) to Give Back)

Digg, StumbleUpon, Reddit, Slashdot, Newsvine, NowPublic, Yahoo! Buzz.  Between these seven sites, traffic to a particular website can easily exceed 100,000, potentially much higher.

With so much power to drive people to various websites across the Internet, why are none of them greatly involved with charity?  I’m not talking about donating – I’m sure that the companies or their executives donate.  I’m talking about making a difference.  I’m talking about using their power to drive traffic and applying it to charity websites.


The reason that they don’t is that they (other than Slashdot) are strictly driven by the actions, likes, and intentions of the users.  You could argue that there is a human hand or two manipulating the system from time to time, but that’s an entirely different post. (more…)

Tip’d: A Social Media Site on the Rise

Tip'dWith so many open source variations of social media sites, there are new ones launched every day.  Most cater to a very small niche and rarely make it to 100 registered users.

Tip’d is the exception.  After its official launch last week, it has already made some amazing strides as of October 20, 2008:

  • 750+ registered users
  • 1000+ articles submitted
  • Approaching 10,000 Tips received
  • 600+ comments made

The real splash, though, is in the quality of users.  Social media powerhouses like zaibatsu, tamar, jaybol, Emit, nowsourcing, weblaunches, webaddict, 1only, coloneltribune, ritubpant, TunisianGuy, and  adrian67 have been active on the site.  Many of them came because of the endorsement of another social media powerhouse, msaleem. (more…)

Call to Compile a List of Social Media Sites

Hello friends!  I want to compile a list of social media websites.  All of them.

Social Media Master List

We all know the basics – Digg, Mixx, Reddit, Propeller, etc. – but what about the others?  There are probably three hundred trillion of them, give or take, and I would like to compile a complete list.  If you know of any, please post them here in the comments.

Thanks!

Search engines are an excellent source of high quality web traffic. They don’t send visitors who ’stumble upon’ your website or accidently clicked on an ad banner. Instead, they send you interested visitors who type in a query while fully expecting to find what they need. They are engaged right from the start and ready to buy, browse or read.

If their desire is well fulfilled by your webpage, you may end up getting a bookmark, customer or repeat reader. Added bonus: search engine traffic is consistent and usually cost-free. Ranking well for several relevant keywords or phrases could get you a steady stream of visitors everyday. That’s why some businesses choose to hire SEO firms/consultants.

There are many factors involved in the actual ranking of a site on a search engine results page, one of them being the use of keywords in the domain name. While the use of a keyword or key phrase does not alone promise a high ranking, it does seem to be a factor to some extent, partially because the domain name is often used as the anchor text for links.

Why do I talk about this? Because one way to get more search engine traffic is to build many of what I call ‘mini-funnel’ websites for specific keyword phrase/search queries. All of these slave websites could be designed as pointers to funnel traffic to your master site. Alternatively, they could be used as a stand-alone site to build exposure/accumulate leads.

Let’s do an example. I recently came across ’Is Barack Obama a Muslim‘ a one-page website created by someone to answer that one specific search query. The domain name and title tag consists of the keyword phrase (isbarackobamaamuslim) and the word ‘No’ links to the U.S democratic presidential nominee, Barack Obama’s campaign website. Screenshot:

is barack obama a muslim

Just in case the user misspells his/her query there’s also ‘Is Barack Obama Muslin‘, a one-page website created specifically for possible incorrect search terms (the usefulness of this is offset by search engine auto-correction). In any case, this page contains 3 links, one to the Wikipedia page for ‘Muslin’, one to Obama’s campaign site and the other to the site mentioned above.

is barack obama muslin

And then there’s the ‘Is Barack Obama Muslim‘ version of the site with the ‘a’ alphabet dropped. This particular one ranks the highest on both Yahoo and Google for the ‘is barack obama muslim‘ phrase, taking the no. 1 spot and even outranking Obama’s own official website. This appears to be the most established version of the three; Yahoo site explorer shows that it has 10,762 incoming links compared to the hundreds for the two other sites.

is barack obama muslim

These mini-sites were created to provide answers to a specific question, one that is rather popular because rumors of Barack Obama being a Muslim have been circulating through viral emails or blogs. The goal of these two sites is to debunk the rumors by funneling traffic to Obama’s official site, which provides a clear explanation on the topic.

So the strategy is pretty clear-cut here. Create websites to answer specific search queries or deal with specific topics. Then use them to generate leads or send traffic to your home base.

Here are some elements which I think would really make these mini-sites work:

  1. Single-issue. Deal with too many topics or questions and your webpage will lose its immediacy. It also makes sense, especially if you’re using a keyphrase domain name.

  2. Reference-friendly. People link to Wikipedia pages because they provide an overview or in-depth info on a specific topic. A way to make your site more linkable is to make sure that it covers the issue in full, through original content and external links.

  3. Novelty/Simplicity. A single-page website is easily digestible. Two or three more pages may be fine. Use up too many pages and you’ll end up losing the novelty factor and becoming a full site. You don’t have to just use black text on a white background. Clean, unique and topically relevant site designs will always help.

  4. Viral components. To make people spread the word, encourage them by providing sharing options like an email-a-friend feature or link-to-me banners. Favorite tools that marketers have used include quizzes, videos and polls. Anything interactive.

  5. Sell elsewhere. The funnel-site is not the place to make money. The injection of a commercial motive might make it less linkable, novel and appealing. Remove or obscure commercial intent by not putting up ads and selling elsewhere (email list or master site).

The Obama examples given above use the exact keyword search query as the domain name/title tag, which encourages people to link using the same words. You don’t have to stick to keyphrases; brandable non-keyword domain names are OK too, although I think its best to at least have some keywords in the title tag, since you’re going after visitors from search.

But then again, search engine algorithms can be unpredictable. Such a site might fall out of favor for some reason and lose its rankings. That’s why its important to give it a good push at the start by promoting it on social media channels to make sure that it serves its purpose as a lead generator/traffic funnel. The resulting links might also help your site develop trust.

So, what do you think of these mini-funnel websites?

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How ‘Mini-Funnel’ Websites Can Help You Increase Traffic, Generate Leads and Build Exposure

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