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Is there a way to fail at Facebook? All Facebook thinks so. They published an article outlining 5 ways you can fail at the largest social network online. In a nutshell:

  1. Don’t understand your audience
  2. Don’t be imaginative
  3. Don’t track your marketing
  4. Don’t build relationships with your fans
  5. Don’t hire social media experts

Of course, these points could apply to any type of social media marketing. But I think they are all golden.

The first step to success at any endeavor is to understand your audience. Fail to do that and you might as well not make any products.

Secondly, in this century, marketing must be innovative and imaginative. Social media marketing in particular must rely on a trigger effect: Make it interesting, keep their attention, and drive your audience to take action.

Tracking is another important aspect to any type of marketing. Many social media marketers seem to be of the mindset that tracking and analytics in social media is impossible. It isn’t. It’s also necessary.

And if you aren’t building relationships with your fans, then what are you doing on social media? Just saying.

Finally, let the experts do what they do best. You focus on your core business and let the social media experts focus on theirs. There’s no better way to succeed.

For years, leading SEO firm SEOmoz has recommended to search marketers that exact match anchor text is the way to go when building links. Yesterday, in a video and blog post, they reversed that advice and said that partial match anchor text will be important for future search marketing.

Here’s the video. Listen carefully.

Wistia

So what’s he saying? Here’s how I interpret the message.

The most important factor in the way that you build links back to your web pages is to think like a human, not a robot. In other words, what comes naturally?

If you were to link from one page on the web to another without SEO being a factor – let’s say you just wanted to build a link that encouraged readers to click it and go to your page – what phrase would you use to create that link? It’s different in every circumstance. That’s why anchor text diversity is so important.

When you consider anchor text diversity, it’s important not to get into a This vs. That mentality. The question isn’t so much about whether exact match is right or wrong or whether partial match is better than exact match, but rather that both are necessary in certain situations. Your job as a search marketer or webmaster is to determine which is most appropriate for a given link on a given page.

Did you know your tweets have a half-life of three hours? According to Bit.ly, you’ll get half the clicks on your tweets in 2.8 hours and then from there it’s all down hill. With Facebook, you have 3.2 hours.

That doesn’t mean those links are dead. It means you’ll see a gradual decline in links after that half-life has expired. The recommendation is for you to submit “second chance” links to allow other followers who didn’t see the first one an opportunity to see your links. That’s a suggestion made by Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Land.

There’s another reason you want to send out these “second chance” shares as well. You want to test another teaser message.

Remember, what you say (the reason you give for your followers needing to click a link) about a link determines to a great degree whether or not a link is clicked on. With a second chance share, you can test another teaser and capture clicks from people who saw the first link but weren’t intrigued by your teaser message.

Either way you look at it, tweeting and sharing the same information more than once is becoming a common practice. I’ve seen marketers share the same message across multiple days. The reason they do so is because they get more click-throughs.

Twitter has become all the craze. Even small business owners are getting into it and trying to figure out how to make the most of their 140 characters. Here are 12 guaranteed ways to build value into every Twitter message.

  1. Use short URLs. Bit.ly, ShortURL, TinyURL, and Is.gd are just a few of the services you can use.
  2. Optimize your tweets for keywords.
  3. Include a hashtag and make your hashtag a part of your message (for example: Why didn’t I #think of that?)
  4. Make your message sing like a news headline.
  5. Retweet your favorite Twitter users and do it often.
  6. Build relationships using the @mention feature.
  7. Tweet different items than what you would share on Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social networks. Keep your audience in mind.
  8. Don’t add more than one link per tweet.
  9. Keep your Twitter messages on topic. Don’t send out frivolous tweets about topics you are not passionate about.
  10. Don’t tweet too much. Spread your tweets out throughout the day.
  11. Shorten your messages to leave room for your shortURL link and a hashtag.

Keep these 12 tips in mind when using Twitter for your business social networking. Remember your audience and what they are following you for. Build value into every tweet.

It’s not enough that you can have your content Google+’ed. Rather, Google now wants to give webmasters an opportunity to customize their Google+ descriptions. I think this is a very good thing, both for SEO and social media marketing reasons.

As is, whenever someone Google+es your content, they get to choose the description. But if Google+ is going to be used for ranking purposes in Google’s search engine, then it makes sense to give back some of that control to webmasters so you can target the keywords that are important to you. +Snippets appears to be a tool that will allow you to do that.

Another improvement to Google+ are “inline annotations.” These will allow visitors to your web pages see which of their friends have already Google+’ed that page. Again, here’s a feature that can only help.

Whenever Bob visits your web page and sees that Sally and Lou have also +1’d it, there is a certain level of peer pressure at work. Now, Bob has an additional incentive for +1ing your content as well. He can be a part of the cool crowd that likes your web page.

If Google keeps making these kinds of improvements, they will have finally made a social network that matters. I’m hoping they keep it up.

If you’d like to get more social shares – tweets, retweets, Facebook Likes, etc. – then there’s one very simple thing you can do to make sure that happens. Cynthia Boris shares that way at the Marketing Pilgrim blog.

In a word, all you have to do is add a social sharing button to your content pages. It’s really that simple.

As the article says, with a social sharing button, you’ll get more tweets and retweets – to the tune of 7 times. That’s a pretty significant increase. Of course, just by putting that social share button on your site there is no guarantee that you’ll see the promised fruit. After all, there is no substitute for great writing.

Make sure your blog or website is full of great writing and you’ll also increase your chances at seeing it tweeted, retweeted, and Liked.

So I guess that’s two ways to get more social shares. Combine them and your chances at getting your content spread across the web increases manifold.

One more thing you can do, if your blog is a business blog, is to write and publish your content during normal business hours. If you publish your business content between the hours of 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. EST, which is normal business hours in the U.S., then you are more likely to see your social shares increase during that time as well.

When you think of social media, what do you think about in terms of benefits? Most people are wrapped up in the idea of engagement, and that certainly is a benefit. But is it the only one?

Here are 4 of the most important benefits to using social media starting with audience engagement.

  1. Audience engagement – When you participate in social media – whether it be Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or something else – audience engagement is one of the most important benefits. Done correctly, you can have your audience hang on your every word.
  2. Reputation Management – Another benefit is the increase in your social stature. Reputation management can cut both ways so you should watch you Ps and Qs.
  3. Link Building – Many social media websites are do-follow, but beyond that even you can build links through social media just by being interesting. Some people will link to your content through their blog if they like what you are doing.
  4. Traffic – Finally, traffic. If you don’t have enough traffic to your website, then engage in social media. If you are effective, you’ll see your traffic go up in great numbers.

These are just a few of the benefits to social media marketing, but they are important benefits. If you are ready to take advantage of them, get involved right now.

Are you afraid of SEO? You don’t have to be. Some SEO tasks are so easy you can accomplish them in less than 5 minutes. Here are 5 SEO tasks you can perform in 5 minutes or less and improve your website’s SEO by major proportions.

  1. Write an optimized page title – Your page title is one of the most important SEO elements on the page. Each page should have a unique page title and they should not exceed 80 characters. Keep them short and use your primary keyword for each page.
  2. Improve your headline – Write a short attention-grabbing headline with your primary keyword in it.
  3. Your meta description – Each page’s meta description should be less than 150 characters. The search engines use this as the snippet in their search results. Use your primary keyword and summarize the contents of your web page.
  4. Bookmark your web pagesSocial bookmarking can often be a good source of inbound links to your website. It only takes a few seconds to bookmark each web page.
  5. Create an internal link – Find a page on your website and link to another page using keyword anchor text that is appropriate for the linked-to page.

Each of these SEO tasks takes less than 5 minutes to complete, but each one has the potential to increase your search engine rankings considerably.

Professional Internet marketers are always on the lookout for new opportunities. But what constitutes an opportunity?

At one time, Facebook was seen as a college hangout. Then, almost all of a sudden it seems, it became a marketing powerhouse. Everyone had to do it. A similar story can be told about Twitter. It was an obscure location where only the elite geek patrol hung out and shared what they ate for lunch. Then someone figured out how to use it for marketing. Everyone had to try it.

Similar stories can be told of hundreds of other locations on the Web: Blogger, LinkedIn, MySpace (which is now a bit of a has-been), YouTube, Ning, and the list goes on. Well, now can add one more site to that list.

Tumblr.

Tumblr has languished in relative obscurity for the past four years. But, according to comScore, in the last year it grew by 218%. But the majority of that is the 12-34 year old crowd. And the majority of that is in the 18-34 year old range.

In fact, comScore mentions that Tumblr outpaces the rest of the Internet in those age brackets. That tells me that if you have a product that you can market to those ages, then Tumblr could very well be the social marketplace to be.