Infographic: How Twitter Shapes Your Business via @TwitterSmallBiz

Still learning how to best leverage Twitter for your small business? This infographic from Twitter via its Small Business group explains several details on how Twitter can drive exposure to all your online properties. The details are based on a study between Twitter and DB5, a research firm, in which over 1,00o small business were queried. Read below for the best ideas to boost your business.


Growing A Pinterest Audience – Infographic via Who Is Hosting This

This infograph from the site Who Is Hosting This takes a comprehensive look at how a Pinterest audience is developed.  Doubling followers is no simple task, and no one task will trigger a flood of followers.  But organizing the activity in managing a Pinterest account can create additional followers.

Review the tips below and see how this infographic can refine your social media strategy for long-term success.

Double Your Pinterest Followers in Just Five Minutes a Day - Via Who Is Hosting This: The Blog


Social Media Analytics: Ideas for Facebook Fanpage Engagement

Small Business Trends Facebook Pages for Small Businesses
…and it named Zimana among the 46 pages it considers a top resource for small businesses.


Like most businesses (and probably your business, too!), Zimana has a Facebook page. But managing Facebook page becomes a dice throw in gaining audience engagement activity. Some businesses try to increase their luck by posting multiple times every day.

Posting your activity every few minutes in the same manner as a Twitter account is not a great idea. Facebook runs a different algorithm than Twitter in which post comments drive visibility among page fans and, depending on profile setting, their followers. While Edgerank is no longer named Edgerank, aspects of the algorithm – including time decay and commentary – are still operational and should be treated as a factors for influencing engagement (for more, see this Zimana post)

So how does one engage fans meaningfully?  The best approach starts with planning content variety. Consider how to use the following ideas to create variety for your Facebook page:

1. Share pictures and video. Pictures, images, photo albums, and video are popular with fans. Photos can permit fans to show their interest in a product or image.

2. Share related trivia. Trivia or sharing of historical company facts can speak to fans not well acquainted with your brand.

3. Ask questions. Asking fans to share a story or point of view related to the company products or services is one of the most effective ways to increase page engagement. “Where does your Mustang take you?” is an example question that Ford uses on its page to encourage owners to share images, thoughts, and stir interest. This is particularly helpful as the new Mustang is being introduced or 2015.

Other question ideas can include “What do you think?” or “What do you say, FBF?” (FBF means Facebook Family or Fans)  An alternative is asking about topic that have a strong us-versus-them, do-or-do-not theme in it, such as “Mac or Windows?” or “ to declaw a cat or not?”

4. Use fill-in-the-blank statements. Fill in the blanks provide another way to draw fan comments and to learn fan perspective. An example of a fill-in-the-blank would be “I love social media because _____”  or “The one thing I learned from analytics is______”

5. Call to action. If you want your content shared or your posts to be liked or commented on, ask! Simple “Like [or share] this post if you agree” or “What do you think?” would do the trick. However, use it sparingly.

6. Celebrate milestones, holidays, and saying thank you to partners and fans. All these occasions offer a way to include others and acknowledge their role.  Did you reach an important milestone?    Celebrate holidays that are important to your fans as wells to your business.

7. Share quotes. Quotes are among the most popular content shared on social media platforms. They are meant to express widely held beliefs, so share quotes that represent your brand.

8. Survey Your Fans! Asking your fans can gather new ideas based on what they would like to see on the page.

9. Give A Peak Behind Closed Doors. Behind the scenes videos  posts that will give your fans exclusive inside scoop on what’s happening within your company. Short videos can be gathered in an album and shared, and they can be shared on Pinterest boards; Fans who use Pinterest frequently may have their activity show on their pages, encouraging friends to understand their usage.

10. Highlight important hashtags Like Twitter (and Instagram), Facebook adopted the hashtag function. But not every fans is on Twitter or Instagram, so those fans may not know what a hashtag is.  Offer to not only explain a hashtag, but to develop one that identifies your brand, product, or service.

After trying any of the above content tips, use Facebook Insights to see how far the content reached.  Focus on the following metrics and dimensions as a starting point.

  • Navigate to the Reach tab and examine the Total Reach metrics for any activity and the Likes, Comments, and Shares
  • For a general impression of how week a post did examine the reaclisted under the Post tab.  See how each post has achieved its reach and response.

You can use referral source reports in web analytic solutions like Adobe Analytics or Google Analytics to see if any activity lead to website arrivals or influenced conversion rates.

Finally, remember not to overpost.  Reports and studies are indicating that significant engagement occurs when posting is not excessive.  A  2 – 3 postings/day schedule gives followers time to view a post in their feed, depending on the activity in the comments, not in the amount of times a page has made a post.

SEO How-To: Avoid Black Hat Issues In Your Digital Presence

Black Hat SEO Social Media

Black hat is one of those terms that comes up with every web development discussion with a developer or designer. But what exactly is black hat, and what does it mean for a business?

Black hat is the usage of tactics meant to “cheat” a search engine by overemphasizing standard SEO tactics – examples are keyword stuffing in the webpage structure and inserting links that misdirect users to intent given in the anchor text.

But its unethical quality is less about one tactic being bad and more about extreme usage of website code and features. Thus a number of white hat tactics can become black hat when they are misused in deployment.

While black hat is associated with SEO – bad links, keyword stuffing, etc. – social media has black hat issues of its own.  So if your business  team is unsure if black hat tactics are being used, consider the following tips to keep strategy in the white.

Black Hat Issues To Watch Out For When Planning a Digital Presence

  • Avoid keyword stuffing or hidden keywords in the code. Some designers hide keywords within a website. Not only is this pointless – meta tag data is not as heavily considered in search queries as it was years ago – search engines  considered a black hat technique to be red flagged.
  • Audit links for the quality of sources connecting to your site.  Consider using disavowal links or no follow links where appropriate. Each has a different purpose, but both  indicate to search engine bots to not follow a given link.  Disavowal and no follow links are used for:
    • Links that connect to untrusted content
    • Crawl prioritization for search engines bots
    • Ignoring paid links.
  • Within social media, remove paid Facebook and Twitter follower feeds. You are paying for followers when there is no engagement over the long term.   Tweet real comments and post real FB commentary that seeks engagement.
  • Avoid generic blog replies – these are usually the result of spam and link bait tactics.  Most real commenters will have a detailed reason for why they have responded to your post, not a generic “It’s just what I was looking for” ego-boosting comment.
  • Be cautious about displaying images that misrepresent your business – Your pictures should show what your business is, not just what you aspire it to be.
  • Use Google Webmaster Tools or Bing Webmaster Tools to identify the sites that link to your site and to avoid linkbait sites
  • When planning links, landing pages, content, and paid search, think long term on what these elements should look like.  They should provide branding and functionality that will build the business.  This approach will encourage selecting the right elements that are sustainable for a white hat presence.
  • Eliminate “doorway pages” in the webpage design. Doorway pages are created specifically for search engine bots, and optimized for keywords, and yet funnel visitors to a specific page that may differ from visitor intent or purpose.

Social Media Tips: How To Increase A YouTube Audience With Pinterest

Pinterest Board With YouTube Video Embed
This Pinterest Board, featuring an embedded Google Hangout Video, is an example of what Pinterest users typically discover and how unique content can make a difference

Pinterest is widely known for sharing images, but video is fast becoming a great second option. Adding YouTube videos is at the heart of that second option. Doing so has the potential to strength a YouTube audience, building subscribers, as well as adding variety to a Pinterest account.

The steps are simple. First upload the video you intend to share in a YouTube account – the video can then be pinned to a Pinterest board. To share on Pinterest, look for the share option and click the Pin It button to share it to one of your Pinterest boards. If you have added a Pin It button in your browser, you can use that as an alternative.

One tip: ensure that the thumbnail for the video is complementary and flattering to the video subject (or even existent – many videos are uploaded willy-nilly with no consideration of what appears when a video is part of a menu). In short, select a thumbnail image for your video, since Pinterest relies heavily on imagery to capture visitor interest.

After pinning a video to a board, you can optimize the entry with the following updates:

  • Update the description to add keywords to help make it more searchable on Pinterest. Tailoring the description for your Pinterest fans is a great touch.
  • Add the word “video” to the beginning of the description. Doing so adds extra attention for Pinterest followers accustomed to images.
  • As an option, you can add the URL of the page or blog post where the video has been embedded in the pin’s description.

Once a video is pinned, you have the option to edit the link so that the pin directs to the website. Consider which metrics you are seeking to build – YouTube subscribers or analytics goals associated to the main website.

Now see how adding video impacts your metrics. For more on this, check out this Zimana post on Pinterest Analytics.