SEO & Social Media Is A Process

“Digital marketing is not a one night stand.” – Mitch Joel, Six Pixels of Separation

I have talked about both SEO and social media on this blog. I believe both are important for one’s online presence. After all, if you have a business website or any type of blog and you’re hoping people will find you, having your blog optimized properly gives you the opportunity to compete with the masses that might do what you do. And social media gives you the opportunity to continually drive people to your site by helping you to keep the masses informed in some fashion.

by Emanuele Tolomei

In Joel’s book, he mentions that it’s easier to connect with people online than it’s ever been before. He also says that it’s a process; very few people are going to reach everyone the first time out. That’s absolutely true. Most of us have been to blogs that talk about the same issues I mentioned above, as well as many other things. Sometimes these concepts sound so easy that they seem to lead people into believing that if they do any or all of these things that almost immediately people will be flocking to their websites and they’re going to make tons of money.

Life doesn’t work like that. Even if late night TV commercials promise you the moon, think about how long it’s been since a human has been to the moon again. Goodness, the first trip to the moon took 8 years, and landing on the moon took almost 10 years. If the analogy were taken to its next step then you realize that the moon might be attainable, but it’s not easy and it’s definitely time consuming.

I was talking to someone about this subject last week. The conversation got to how long it would take before her site really started seeing visitors and taking off. I answered that it was an unknown; it’s a question that is impossible to answer for almost everyone. There are so many factors involved that if anyone ever gives a blanket response to this one they’re lying and are going to take your money, then give you excuses later on.

This is just a quick cautionary tale. Any advice you get as far as driving traffic to your site or blog, take it for what it’s worth and just realize that it’s all going to take time, and that you’re going to have to continually work on the process. It’s definitely not a one night stand.

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Don’t Mix All Your Social Media Stuff

Last week I wrote a post saying that social media isn’t for everyone. Well, some folks have found their way into the social media world and have gone gangbusters with it. This is both good and bad; I’m here to talk about some of the bad.

Without a doubt, the big 3 of social media right now are Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. Depending on your business, embracing one of those 3 will definitely help you get a lot of visibility. Some folks new to social media, yet very enthusiastic about it at the same time, have gotten into all 3 and are really feeling it.

However, there are some downsides of it for the rest of us. Here are a few things that I believe we don’t want to encourage all that often.

1. Don’t put all your tweets on your Facebook page, and almost none of them on your LinkedIn page. I’m not going to lie; I cringe when I see all those Twitter messages showing up in my stream on Facebook at the same time. Not like there isn’t enough to go through already, right? Especially from people who tweet a lot; it just becomes overwhelming. Some tweets definitely work in both places.

The same can’t be said for LinkedIn. LinkedIn is business networking; it needs to be held to a different standard. There’s nothing saying that something you posted on Twitter might not be legitimate to post on LinkedIn as well. It’s just that the way the message is delivered needs to be different. After all, Twitter is set up for very short messages; how do you convey yourself as a business professional on LinkedIn if you’re trying to do that same type of thing?

2. Be relatively discreet if you’re going to try to drive people to one of your other social media areas. Don’t keep putting a message out on LinkedIn to join your Facebook page; it totally takes away from attracting people to just join you on LinkedIn. The same goes for Twitter. It doesn’t hurt to mention here and there that you have a Facebook business page or a LinkedIn account, but doing it over and over diminishes the business aspects of each.

3. Be really discreet in whom you’re inviting to your Facebook account. Let’s face this fact; almost no one only has business messages showing up in their Facebook stream. Unless you block your wall entirely, which one of my Facebook friends has, you’re going to end up having messages show up that you might not want everyone you’re courting for business to see. As you notice on this blog, I have that Facebook badge directing people to my business page on that site. I don’t have anyone going to my main page, although they may end up there eventually.

4. Remember that you’re presenting yourself differently in each media. Your LinkedIn profile should be different than your Facebook business profile, and certainly much different than how you present yourself on Twitter.

Your LinkedIn profile should read more like a resume of sorts. You want to highlight things you’ve done as well as your business. The idea is to get people to contact you for business, pure and simple.

Your Facebook business page, if you have one, will only talk about the business or businesses you presently have and nothing else. You will pop information in there to help lend credence to your authority and hopefully try to get people engaged. LinkedIn isn’t great for engagement unless you join a separate group of some kind.

Twitter, for a business sense, is where you get to show some personality while highlighting some business issues, specials, etc. Done properly, you’ll show a nice mix of engagement and information, and hopefully people will pick up on it and then visit you in some capacity.

In all 3 cases, they need to be “you”, or a representation of your business, yet you should set about presenting yourself differently to fit the medium.

By the way, I will say there’s one thing where you should be linking the 3 in some fashion. If you write a blog, you need to find a way to make sure your blog posts show up on all 3 sites somewhere. That’s not quite linking these 3 as much as linking to all 3, but I wanted to get it out there because I think this is an important way to drive traffic to your business.

And there you go; my thoughts on it at least. How are you using these social media outlets, and are you trying to be different, or just pumping information out to see what catches on?

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New And Unimproved

Well, you never know what will or won’t be a hit, do you?

In testing out my webcam, following up on my first post where the video was way too large for most people, I decided to create a new video. This time I was thinking about a specific topic, that being how there’s been this trend of companies changing up things we liked and “improving” them, only those things often end up seeming to be worse.

I put the video up on Facebook as a lark, and man, I can’t believe the response it got, and still continues to get. Seems it hit a nerve against many of these companies. Well, why keep it to the people on Facebook, I’m thinking. So, here’s the video, much smaller and thus it should be easier for most of y’all to view. Let me know how it works for you, and of course comments on the content are accepted as well.

Update! Of all things, it turns out I have a YouTube account that I supposedly created in 2008. I have no idea why since I didn’t have a webcam at the time. I’m not allowing the videos to be seen there unless people have the link to it specifically, but it’s allowing me to embed code here. Will wonders ever cease!

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Verify Your Home Directories

Last week I was creating a blog for one of my web clients. A quick down and dirty for informational purposes is that what you do is go into your host and create an area for your blog software to be uploaded to. If you’re domain is going to be your blog then you’re pretty much set. However, if you’re going to add your blog to your existing domain, then you need to create a subdirectory within it.

by Niels Hiedenreich

I went into her host account, which is also 1&1, and created the subdirectory. When you do this, you have to make sure you’re creating the subdirectory within the original domain as opposed to creating a subdomain outside of the main domain. No, I’m not even going to try explaining that because it looks and sounds stupid no matter how I might try to clarify it. lol

After 10 minutes I went to check and the new folder was there, all set for me to upload the software. I did all of that, using WordPress of course, and it took just over 5 minutes. I had already prepared myself by going into MySQL and creating a database for the blog, so I opened the wp.config.sample.php file and put the proper information into it, then uploaded it as wp.config.php, as you’re supposed to do.

All seemed to go fine. I went to the link for the blog, created a password, signed in and all looked pretty good; normal, I’ll say. I had gone searching for a few different templates for my client to select from, but I chose one to start with because I know she likes colors. I had to do this conversion thing to switch it from PHP 4.4.9 to PHP 5.2, and once I completed that I installed just a few plugins that I thought were important to start with.

Everything looked pretty good, but I had noticed when I was looking at one of the themes I was considering that there was some error code showing up. I had planned on sending her an email telling her about the blog, but decided to wait until the next morning.

Next morning comes and I try to find her blog; it’s not there. Neither is her website; ouch! Actually, her website was now showing up as a skeleton of what her blog would look like without any pattern or background. Nope, this wasn’t good. I thought that maybe I had done something wrong to the .htaccess file so I went in and deleted that; nothing happened. I reloaded all the blog software; nothing. As a matter of fact, I was now getting one of those Error 500 messages; things seemed to be getting worse.

I decided to delete all the blog files and start again; this was taking forever. When that was completed I tried to go to the main website and now I was getting Error 403. I wasn’t quite sure about that one so I did what I should have done in the first place. I went to the host site and then to their FAQ. I looked up Error 403 and it said that meant the site was being directed somewhere that didn’t exist as the main directory.

Suddenly it all made sense. I went into the domain settings and I had made a mistake. I had created the new directory, but inadvertently told the site that the new directory would be the new main directory instead of a subdirectory of the one already existing. Ugh! Had I checked the stupid FAQ first I’d have saved myself an hour’s worth of headaches. I went back into the domain area, told it that the original directory was the main directory, waited 5 minutes, and the website was back, proud as anything.

After that I reloaded all the blog software, et al, and the new blog is back in service, looking great, and the original website is back as well; whew!

As I look back on this I realize that I wouldn’t have found the error if I hadn’t started deleting some of the blog files. After all, I had that Error 500 thing, and I’ve seen that before. I put in all the tricks I knew of to get rid of it, the simple stuff, and none of that worked. Not a single reference I found even mentioned checking out the directory first. So, if I can save anyone a little bit of time by writing this post, then it’ll all have been worth it.

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