Day 10 - Social Supremacy

CCarter

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Most of you are lost a drift on the digital ocean and can't figure out why all that social traffic which everyone else seems to be getting by the boatload has completely escaped you. You are going through the motions and doing everything the gurus tell you, "Top 7 Bullshit list of nonsense", but can't get them to work. So you load up Hootsuite, which is a great product by the way, let it ride for the next 30 days and barely get a click You're ship is lost on these waters...



I'm the lighthouse on land letting you know you are about to crash head first if you keep coming at me. Here is a reality check: Your content is weak cause you are timid and scared into writing PC (politically correct) fluff nonsense.



You're scared people won't like your brand, your content, or things can go bad. Guess what? All viral content has negative pressure driving the viral aspect. You're scared to offend people, I offend all the time, people hate me, yet the fucks given are zero. People criticize me, yet they can't keep their eyes off me. Every time I do something, drop something, it'll be different than before, you drop the same drivel post after post, with the same stock photos, post after post. You're meaningless life is just an after-post, and you life's work will be gone when you decide to no longer pay the hosting bill. ("Is this a guide or am I here to get insulted?" "you are here to get insulted, and love every moment of it")



You don't have the balls to drop Taylor Swift grilling serfs in your blogpost.



Heck you probably are scared to say "fuck".

Your Social game isn't on point cause you lack flavor. Google's made you it's bitch and now you write content for robots instead of humans, let that sink in. Your perfectly SEO'ed content ain't going to get far when placed in the wild. What's the wild? Facebook (FB) is the wild, Twitter is the wild. Can your content compete and engage users enough to the point they are going to click it versus the photo of their hot former classmate from high school? "12 things SEOs need to do in 2016 too... " fuck you, I'm clicking on that hot chick.

Let's break down engagement so you understand what works and what doesn't. @stackcash guestposted for me about local businesses. Being a boss he comes in with the title that timid people rarely use "Dominate" - "How to Dominate Local Search Results", you would probably use "Maybe Get Some Clients, Perhaps If They Aren't Busy".

Lesson #1: use words that are powerful through ALL your content. Weak words get weak results. Words that can rub a person the wrong way means they are words that have emotion. Right now someone in the audience is thinking "really dominate, your guide is that good, I don't believe you" - and anger is simmering in their minds cause they want to prove me and the guide wrong. Another person is sitting there excited "Oh shit, CC said I can dominate local search, let me read this and game over!"

In both instances I invoked an emotion. Your weak title doesn't create emotion, and is more bland so you don't piss PC principal and the PC fraternity off.

Lesson #2: Let's look at your photos, you use nonsense stock images, this is your social game plan:



This is what I use:



Which one do you think is going to get more engagement?

Stock photos in social media don't work numb-nuts, Let's try this again:



^^ Your style.



^^ My style. Another:



^^ The type of images you drop when talking about marketing.



^^ The type of imagery I post when talking about marketing opportunities.

Of course my photos are going to piss a segment of society off. That right there could be a viral shitstorm - but if you've mastered both sides of the force you don't have a problem. You did master both sides of the force right? (If not we've got some lessons on how to do that later on in this crash course)

The reality is, you have to leave your timidity behind. You can't please everyone, but if you give it enough spice, people will click through, and that's the name of the game with social media. You see in the search engines there is just bullshit text links, with a bunch of bla bla words. Only recently has Google started to inject more images, tweets, and a bit of interaction within their SERP (search engine results pages) but it's still mostly words.

However with Social media, you can have great imagery to get people's attention in their feeds, yet you go with stock photos, throw them through Hootsuite, which is a great product by the way and I recommend cause they sponsor me, and then schedule your bland SEO focused content, and aim it at your audience that's bored to death and you can't figure out why there is no engagement with it. Even Facebook is tired of your tired content and has force you to pay to play cause your weak engagement can't keep your audience from falling asleep during mid-read.


(shout out to @eliquid, I steal a ton of his lines :wink:)

Lesson #3: Why is flavor important? Cause if your content is weak, if your imagery is weak people don't want to look weak and pathetic retweeting weak content or sharing that on their Facebook feed. You have to place yourself within the ego of your audience, they want to either entertain, inform, or educate their social group to belong. If you come at them with weak stock images, with a weak title, and sleep inducing content and they try to share that nonsense with their social circle they'll get laughed at or simply be thought of as being a boring dork. But if you give audience content that's got spice to it,



Maybe a bit too much spice there, but something that peaks their curiosity as well as the curiosity of their social circle, and you keep giving it to them, then they will get compliments from their social circle. Your audience will then keep posting your stuff cause it's makes them look good, stroking their vending machine, I mean ego... I said ego.



Somethings might be a bit too far, but you dunno until I try. You can try content using a troll account at first in extremely riskier stuff. What I'm here to drive home is the PC content doesn't get click and shared mates, it just doesn't. So if you want social traffic, you have to hit the fringes of your industry, cause on the fringes is where you interact with different crowds and outliers, and those people are going to push the viral aspect.

Now I know you guys know who Ryan Holiday is and his book "Trust Me, I'm Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator". I recommend you get that book. But the problem is a good chunk of you read that book and praise it, then go back to your SEO content ways without taking any action towards what you just praised. "Oh my boss/client/partner would never go for that." Or "I can't pull that off", reality is you've boxed yourself in a corner and therefore cannot think outside the box anymore. Google has scared you straight and told you to grab it's pocket and it walks around the jailhouse showing everyone you're their bitch.



Don't worry, I'll break it down for you perfectly.

 

CCarter

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First off let's look at how massive the internet truly is. Take a look at this infographic of what's going on every MINUTE of the day on the internet:



^^ Consider all that action going on, you are battling a lot of forces on the internet for the attention of your audience, so you have to be a bit more brazen and less PC if you want to get anywhere. Brazen doesn't mean go off the deep end, the above example of an infographic has more flavor than most of your blogposts, so it'll get shared a lot more by audiences.

 

CCarter

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The User's Perspective

Users join different social media platforms where they feel they will be "accepted". Social is about belonging to a group, tribe, or organization. The reasoning is part of their basic survival instincts of belonging to a tribe. The different types of social media have their own macro personality. For example most people on Facebook are people you may have been friends with in high school. Whereas Twitter as a user you'll follow people who have the same interests as you whether they be marketing, UX design, business, anime, web development, Hollywood celebrities' fans, etc. Users are generally more active on their preferred platform versus others.

A younger generation might be more active on Tumblr and not have a Facebook cause their parents are on Facebook (this falls into one of the dangers for each platform, becoming uncool - a myspace, which I discuss later on).

Users jump on their social platform usually when they are bored, and now more so addicted to the news feeds of what's going on. They want to see what their friends or people they follow are doing and talking about, being apart of the digital conversation. This is critical since if you understand WHY they are on the platform you'll have less of a headache trying to hard sell them your product when they have no interest in pulling out their credit card to make a purchase. It's a completely different approach than SEO.

With SEO, people are searching for a solution to their problem. All you have to do is have a solution then convince the search engines your option is the best option to rank the highest so you can get the most traffic and make the most sales. SEO is completely re-active since you have to wait for someone to type in a problem. Social on the other hand is more interruption marketing, so it requires more pro-active approaches AND at the same time finesse. Now if you've trained with the Traffic Leak Bootcamp with the lesson on trolling and polarizing content, you're almost on your way.



The Business's Perspective

Businesses generally jump onto social media to engage with users and interact with them at a conversational level. It used to be a one way conversation with businesses; the business would shout out their ADs on radio, TV, in magazines, newspapers, and billboards to get people's attention (interruption marketing). The consumer RARELY had a direct way to communicate with brands outside of surveys and focus groups.

With web 1.0, the internet, businesses now had an online presence where consumers could interact with a brand better, send in feedback or emails, but there was no structure, so again getting the attention of a business as a consumer was difficult.

Then web 2.0 came along, the user generated content world we see, where communication is now a two way streak. Businesses without a social or search engine presence are considered "not serious". Now if a consumer has a problem and they don't know how to get to you they tweet or go to your Facebook and send a message or post on your wall.

This new "reality" for businesses is shocking and scary, cause several businesses are now becoming aware of how shitty their services might just be if they create more problems for their customers. With this new two-way communication, consumers are more vocal about what they want, and can influence others to boycott a brand or buy so much product a business can becomes completely out of stock.

But as businesses continue their journeys they now have to become more hyper-aware of how they are suppose to fit in to gain traction and ride the social wave correctly. The key for businesses to win is understanding the platform's end goal. Just like Google when you align your content with Google's mission - to provide quality results for their users so their users will continue to use Google, businesses need to come at social platforms with the same mentality. (I know blackhat is in my blood, but let's put that down for a moment)



The Platform's Perspective

It's about survival for each platform. No one wants to become the next Myspace. So each platform is doing everything to stage off the eventual erosion happening as people get "sick" of them, which takes a lot now-a-days considering that most people are addicted. But your bland content is surely doing a great job helping speed up that erosion process, so get your shit straight, hence why you need to pay to play now.

You have to understand WHY a platform does what it does, and see the game at play behind the current moves. EdgeRank, PageRank, TwitFuck - none of those algos matter to the extent you need to decipher each individual factor. Facebook wants people to continue engaging with their platform, so they want to show their users what they each individually like. They also started working with Artificial Intelligence to do that specifically, figure out what users like, and you can bet your data is a part of it.

So when you create content that creates more user activity and engagement you are helping Facebook's mission and staying within their good graces. If you create a bunch of clickbait content that piss users off then that user may use Facebook less - understand? So knowing their end goal, are you going to waste time trying to manipulate that or play your part to keep users engage within the platform? If you are coming at this with a mentality of how do I "trick" Facebook, or "trick" Twitter, or "trick" Google, you are putting yourself in the camp which these platforms are trying to get rid of for their own platform health.

You don't have to "trick" Facebook, you can "trick" the audience, but even then, meh. Clickbait works, if it didn't people would have stopped clicking long ago. But recall that recently Facebook started making more changes to even further get rid of the 'annoying' clickbait content (Sauce: Facebook will make it easier to ignore those viral posts you hate seeing).

Keep in mind Facebook can become Myspace in a matter of weeks if not days if something better comes along or the content continues to create a declining environment. Same thing with Twitter and Google. Bill Gates and the likes had it right when they said some kids in a garage somewhere can come out of nowhere and take a big tech company by surprise and make them obsolete overnight. So besides fighting that doomsday scenario daily by fighting to stay relevant, Facebook has to worry about the Instagrams or WhatsApps that are creating channels of communication away from them. That's why they have to buy these companies since they are a danger to their existence.

So on top of all that they rather not fight with users attempting to abuse their system internally. I know, blackhatters going to blackhat, but if you are continuing to blackhat forever the next 20+ years, what chance if existence do you have? Make a boatload of money and get into a market or industry which has a higher barrier to entry. You can't blackhat your way forever, look at all those old time SEO blackhatters that continue talking about the good old days.


FB Platform

With FB it's about getting interaction/engagement from the first users to see a post in their feed/timeline. I suspect similar can be said about Twitter, but I'm still experimenting. FB sends your post to a segment of your page's audience, let's say 100 as an example. If your post has a higher engagement rate than other potential post in the users' feeds to FB that means the post is worthy content. That results in more and more people seeing that post (moving closer to 100% reach). As user interact with that content piece it also shows up in their friends feeds, and there lies the potential for a post blowing up (You moving beyond 100% reach since now people that haven't liked your page are seeing your content - exposing you to a brand new audience).

Now I recommend promoting the great piece of content early on so you can "pay to play" with that piece of content and get more exposure for it without just relying on the 100 users to interact with it. Paying to promote forces more users to see it since Facebook wants to make that money from you, and if engagement goes up the post will take off. So your post is like getting into the boxing ring with 12 other people, and you promoting your post is paying the referee to look the other way a bit on your post and give more leniency. But no matter how much the referee looks away if your fighter gets beaten then you are just wasting money. So even if you pay to play but no additional users interact cause your content was weak or bland, then you have to go back to the drawing boards.

Twitter Platform

With Twitter fresh content is the key. Favorites are good, but the reality is you want the retweets and retweets are hard, so you've really got to deliver value above and beyond so people are excited to retweet it to their own audience.





The True Purpose of Social (For Businesses)

It's all about communication. Customer Service is paramount above all else. But once the direct message are dealt with professionally you still have a blank page/profile. As a business you should utilize your social page to pursue one of several goals: Educate, Inform, Entertain, Inspire, or Persuade. That's the name of the game with online marketing. When creating content for your social page you need to have one or more of those 5 goals in mind.

Educate: This can be creating guides, talking about processes, and giving out helpful tips for your audience. But just remember to throw in a bit of entertainment in there and not go PC on your audience, otherwise you're just creating a snooze fest.

Example: Tim Cooks writes a content (really a video) about Apple that talks about the environmental friendly materials used to make their product.​

Inform (News): When news within your industry or that effects/affect whatever your target audience happens or is happening, you need to be the voice of authority and convey the meaning of what's going on so they understand. One route is to simply link to a news piece about it, and write some paragraphs about it on Facebook. Another route is to figure out what's going on and write a blogpost on your website and promote that through your social media channels, Facebook, twitter, etc, adjusting the delivery according to that audience.

Example: Tim Cooks writes a content piece about the latest new iPhone and features it includes. Video obviously is the best for this scenario.​

Inspire: People do love that good feeling inside they get with "inspiration", so if you can create a story or content about something which inspires a person to take action, hopefully with your product/service in the mix, that's a killer recipe for going viral. Think infographics that showcase stats within your industry (example: DOMO infographic for previous post above), or a story about how a business owner used your software and was able to close a client cause of a unique feature no one else has.

Example: Tim Cooks wanting some good publicity so he writes a blogpost challenging Apple's competitors to reduce their carbon emissions when creating their products.​

Persuade: Remember finesse when doing this, Creating content which showcases different users utilizing your brand to solve their problem can help persuade your audience that you are the right solution for them. Think testimonial videos that showcase actual clients how you solved their problem.

Example: Tim Cooks wants people to get excited about the new iPad Pro so he writes a blogpost about upcoming features, hyping it up. Video is probably best for this too since those keynote speeches get a ton of attention. The keynote speech talking about the newest devices would be the actual content piece, not some bland blogpost.​

Entertain: ALL the content you post on social media should have some entertainment value to them. Entertaining doesn't mean being flat out goofy, but you have to realize you will be battling them wanting to click that one hot former classmate from high school, so when you create content that does educate, inform, inspire or persuade remember to sprinkle a bit of entertainment so you can get them to click your content. Remember you have a split second to grab their attention as they scroll through their feed. The purpose is to capture and hold your audience's attention. Stories, humor, irony, and even a sad story or a inspiring story can help drive home the message.

Example: Steve Jobs wanting to introduce the iPhone to the world does a keynote speech where they showcase the power of the new iPhone by bringing the game developer of Super Monkey Ball onto the stage. They showcased their new mobile video game using the tilting feature of the iPhone and other features - making the event fun.​

^^ In the above examples you might realize Apple doesn't do blogposts though... They usually go for rich media, video when presenting new products, features, and services. Maybe, just maybe folks that's one of the ingredients of why they are so popular. When they announce things to the world it's an event. People share rich media (video and images) 4x more than text content. Yet when most other companies introduce something to the world they write a blogpost or press release about it then share it on social, and can't figure out why no one gives two flying fucks.

Mimic what the best in class brands do. If you've got a new product or feature create a rich video about it, create content like Apple does for it's iPhone page talking about the features. Great content is more likely to get shared then bland text, I hope you are getting this by now.

Remember your perfectly SEO'ed content isn't going to go far when users compare it to the rest of their newsfeed which include family, friends, Exs, and other people that have direct emotional connections to them versus your brand/business. You'll need content which is dedicated toward specifically the social crowd and IF possible the audiences of the different platforms. If you know twitter folks love infographics do infographic tuesdays for your business. If you know your Facebook audience loves videos, dropping a video every wednesday makes sense. I can't tell you what will work with what audience, you will have to test as many content types as possible and create your own schedule of what makes sense with your resources.





Understanding Reach And Engagement

Social Media, or really ALL marketing is about Reach and Engagement. If you built a website and have no channels of communicating with the outside world no one will ever know your website exists. You have no reach. That's where you have to come in and built a following. What's the best type of following, people that are interested in being customers within your niche. Having 100K pokemon lovers following you while you sell Britney Spears collectibles isn't going to do much in terms of moving the revenue dial. So how you gain the RIGHT following is crucial.

Once you have a following you'll have to send out your communication to them about your offers, services, or educational material to persuade them to come to your site. That's engagement. Reach and Engagement, that's the name of the game with ALL marketing. The reason big brands do TV ADs is simple - Reach. Get in front of as many people as possible so hopefully some will be interested. You don't have the luxury with the internet though. People can leave your site, scroll past your content, and unfollow you. So you have to give them a reason to allow you in their news feed, permission to market to them so to speak.

The platform themselves don't matter when it comes to social media. But each platform is different, but the underlying propaganda and marketing strategies from the old school still work. Reach and Engagement. If you are on tumblr you have to know tumblr's audience by studying them. I need to reiterate that you need to study a platform before attacking. Watch how people interact on that platform, and start mimicking the innocent methods. Then move in close and closer for the kill. You can't use the same method for tumblr's audience you would use for twitter or Facebook. And you definitely can't use that SEO'ed drivel for any social media.

Think long and hard about why people are even on that platform in the first place. 99% of the time it's to kill time and they are bored. Now-a-days they are addicted as well. People go to their favorite platform when they want something to do. They go to search engines when they are looking for something specific or for research. However now many more people check a business's social media presence as well for topics before search engines, so that's another reason you need a presence. One business partner told me they check Facebook for a company before they Google or call, they wanted to read reviews and look at the content posted to see if they believe the people are a right fit for them - BEFORE she calls the company.

"All things change in a dynamic environment. Your effort to remain what you are is what limits you." - Puppet Master

Don't get left behind like the yellow page advertisers who refused to jump onto the internet. You need social, but you also have to engage correctly.

Social is also becoming more then just Twitter and Facebook. Social is transforming the way people interact on the internet with things like Yelp for reviews. Social aspects of websites make them more engaging, but as we know if not done correctly they can destroy businesses.

 

CCarter

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Reach
(How many eyeballs can see your message at any given time)

Email is by far the most powerful way to get 100% reach with your audience. Your message will get to them, whether they open it or not is a different story. With FB and Twitter you are never really able to obtain 100% reach within your CURRENT audience unless your content proves itself even then 100% is rare. But the key with reach is getting over 100%, meaning getting in front of people that do not follow your account or like your page. That's achieved by Facebook shares and Twitter Retweets. Those are the golden gems.

Sidenote: if someone likes a POST of yours on Facebook it CAN also show up on friends' timeline, so likes are good too, but shares are gold. Usually a person has to be scrolling down their feed for a while to start seeing their friend's likes.



Followers

First step I recommend is watching and analyzing your competitor's followers. Monitor all your competitor's social presences and if you ever see any defectors or people complaining you can "convert them" if you are able to smarten up. Ride the competition's coattails if they are slipping on social media.

Most brands don't really interact with their followers or fans like they should be, so you can definitely come in an sweep them away. You CAN do it publicly with a direct tweet or private with a direct message.

Either way if the competition is not answering their followers or fans why not show that audience member a better way? That turns your competitors' defectors into your loyalists. We cover some of this in the Online Reputation Management section.

Enter Twitonomy.com. You can enter a twitter account of your competitor and see their activity. You can also see who they follow, who is following them, and the people they have retweeted the most of. Here is an example of SEMRush's output:



^^ As you can see you can view crazy details. Notice at the bottom they mostly tweet from Hootsuite, which is a great product by the way and I highly recommend since they sponsor me - at least in my head.

Now I like SEMRush even though they are bidding for the SERPWoo brand within PPC for retargeting people that have visited their website then googled SW. I can't get mad at them for recognizing a new budding authority.

But starting from the top first thing I notice is they do 50 tweets per day, which is way high in my opinion, but they also have 32K followers so they're tweets have great reach. They are keeping their brand in the minds of their customers which is great.

There is just so much information on this to go over, but we are after followers right? So scroll down to the left-hand user section and you see Users Most Retweeted. These are users they have retweeted tweets from the most. I'd follow them since SEMRush believe they are important enough to retweet. Who knows they may be guest-posters of the brand, or authority leaders within the industry.



Next is Users Most Replied To. Now this is interesting since you can see who SEMRush replies to the most, and follow these people to get real-time feedback of people that have constant conversations with your competitor's brand. It's about gathering intelligence. Maybe these individuals have problems and SEMRush is replying to them, and maybe your service can solve that problem. These conversations are important since you can get content ideas from your competitors based off of their user's interaction with the brand, and then start "swaying" some of their customers away from your competition.



Next up is the Users Most Mentioned. This is also juicy data since now I know users that SEMRush likes to mingle with only. You can follow these individuals to look at the competition's reasoning and start networking with these folks for guest posts, quotes, or simply interacting with them to get them familiar with you and your brand. And one day... down the line maybe they convert into a customer for you. :wink:



And one of the gold mines, The next section is Hashtags most used. Why is this important, remember in the Facebook example where you can obtain over 100% Reach by having fans share your content within their timeline? With Hashtags you can tag a tweet to so people monitoring that hashtag which are not your followers can still see your tweet. This is crucial for getting exposure outside your current following. So here I can see SEMRush concentrates on hashtags for their #semrushchat, but also goes with #seo, #socialmedia, #contentmarketing, and #content. So If I want to know what hashtags to use in my tweets, I can simply create lists based off of my competitor's tweets and then record the impression numbers from each hashtags (pulling data from twitter analytics).



As well since I'll start using hashtags my competition are targeting I'll start sending my message to the exact same audience my competitors are attempting to target with those hashtags, "butting in" on the conversation so to speak. :wink:

Next section Tweets most retweeted This is all about the type of content you can create based off of BlueHatSEO's "improving upon authority content already out there" strategy (circa 2007 so please credit the SEO God Eli correctly).



Also you can download all of the right hand side stuff about followers, following, and favorites. I prefer to follow only the people that are most influential in the eyes of my competitor's brand versus just everyone they are following.

Also it's worth noting, having more following versus followers looks weak and pathetic. Someone that looks like an authority in their field is going to have more followers versus following. Try maintaining a 5 to 1 ratio, if not at the very least a 3 to 1 for followers to following. Basically social is still about being the cool kid, so having way more following than followers makes you look desperate from people doing quick glances at your account.



Follow/Unfollow Game

You can play the follow/unfollow game where you follow people hoping to get a follow back, but that should be utilize just to get some numbers going at the beginning if at all. I do not recommend this game just because you will hurt your real reach if you are looking to have serious impact in social. I'd rather have a real follower follow my brand that's interested versus some random person. That way I know my followers are serious about my brand and when I do send out tweets I'm talking to people who are serious. It may be different if your audience is more broad and you run an online magazine. If you do play this game, try to do it on your competitor's followers.

You can also play this game until you are up to a good count then after several months unfollow everyone, and see who you retain as followers, that way your ratio is 1000 to 1, or higher, making you look like a boss. :wink:



Hashtags, Retweets, & Shares

Hashtags: Again Hashtags are going to gain you exposure to potential new followers and a new audience that isn't currently following you. Say something smart, witty, or share something golden (remember to not be bland!) - with consistency and you'll see yourself being followed by a new audience. Hashtags are CRUCIAL to obtain over 100% Reach on twitter.

I showed you one way to find hashtags, here are four more resources that will help you explore what hashtags are important for your niche/industry which you can utilize. (Taken from The Social Media Beast)


Retweets: Remember retweets are gold. To gain over 100% Reach of your current followers you can mention authorities within your industry in your content then tweet to them that you mentioned them, stroking their ego. If it's a hot topic they'll retweet to show their audience that other people validate their authority.

You can also ask for a quote about a specific topic. That's less effort than a guest-post, but engaging enough that they'll definitely retweet it to their audience if again the content is hot. However if you mix your authorities with 40 other fucking clowns alongside of them forget about it, it looks like you are just using them. I decline all that shit.

You can also ask for a reverse guest-post from authority figures for a topic to post on your website. They'll always retweet content they wrote and is posted on a site that will help enhance their own image. Now getting content from them will be a bit tricky if they are folks that don't normally go around guest-posting. I've had to pull teeth on a lot of guest-posters but they were worth it!

One way to finding people willing to guest-post is... drum roll please... YOUR COMPETITION's Blog. :wink:



Most of my competitors accept guest-post in their blogs and I know they are willing to guest-post and put in work so I can can just hit them up from the ready list my competitors have created for me. The guest-posters want more and more exposure so trying out a new brand is just adding more leverage. Some might be extreme loyalists to the competition, but most will not be. Create a list of all guest-posters on your competitors' blog, then create a column and find the amount of twitter followers they have. That's your potential reach by getting a guest-post from them.

I like starting from the bottom up to get momentum going if I'm starting out new since the people with the least exposure might be more willing to do a guest-post cause rarely anyone asks them. Plus if you fumble you want to fumble on the people on the bottom of the list rather then the mega authorities at the top, so practice.

Another way to get retweets is to get authorities to interact with you in your content piece, video interview or quotes you got from will grease the wheels to getting the retweet. You need that retweet since it will show up in their follower's feed, therefore exposing you to a brand new audience (over 100% current reach).

FB Sharing works similarly. It's more behind a login-wall though, so accessing some of these authorities is not as easy as twitter. But the strategy is exactly the same, stroke their egos, and get them to share the content they created for you to their audience. You can approach admins of large Facebook groups, admins of Facebook pages and get a quote from them or guest-post, stroking them, then give them the link so they can push it to their audience cause they want to see their audience stroke them as well. The online world is like the offline world stroking egos goes a long way.



Advanced Reach Strategies

"This is America, everything is for sale." - CCarter

Buy It: One way to expand your brand's reach is to straight up buy accounts. You can buy Fan pages, Twitter Accounts, Tumblr Accounts, Pinterest Accounts, and more. If you offer a stack of cash to someone that's got a nice following, You think they aren't going to take it? Especially if they don't have an actual website tied to their account? Most of these people do things for fun, but eventually it's time to cash out. Just make them an offer they can't refuse.

Contributor: If you can't buy the account offer to contribute and work out a ratio 20:1, 10:1, or whatever ratio with them to push your content while helping keep their audience engaged with a scheduled calendar. You can help forward important messages for them to their marketing or sales departments. You can approach them with the idea of being like an intern for them.

When you are manage other people's social media accounts and schedule news for them use a decent ratio of other content versus your stuff (I like 20 to 1) so there is more positive engagement and you aren't just raping their page. Offer to manage their fan pages for free, or at the very least become a contributor. Look for pages with good solid followers OR are narrowly niched for your industry, Or have low engagement, or a combination of the 3. The key is to have control of channels of communication. If you can't buy the channel, shit just control it by adding value for their audience. Now you've got a new level of reach. (Also you can become a contributor to Pinterest Boards as well).

Guest Post: For FB pages especially you can offer a guest-post or a series of guest-posts to add value with one or more of the five communication purposes mentioned before (educate, inform, inspire, persuade, all while entertaining).

Pay For A Post: You can also offer to pay for the page to post your content straight up. Hard cold cash is hard to say no too. Test out different FB pages to see which audience works well, then strike up a monthly deal of some sort. Cancel the deal once it no longer benefits you. Rinse and Repeat.



Faking It

Since FB and social platforms have made several changes my views on buying fake followers has changed. It will stunt your ability to increase your reach or at worse muddies your metrics and can blind your traction. Yes sometimes you'll need to weight the options of buying 1000 followers to make it look like you've got a following already so people are more willing to follow you for social proof. Sometimes it's not a good idea.

Remember our example above of you having 100 fans and getting to the reach of your fan page. Let's say out of 100 of those fans 90 of them were bought. Those bought fans don't login to FB or interact with your content in anyway, so there is no reaching them, they were simply bought for looks. So you really have 10 real fans. The problem is when you post a piece of content since you have 10 real fans several of those guys are going to need to interact with your content to get any engagement traction since you've muddied your fans with a ton of fake followers. You see the problem? What's the likelihood 100% of those 10 fans will interact with each post to get you pass whatever threshold FB has to gain viral traction? Very little.



Now imagine if you bought 1000 or 2000 fans and FB uses a good segment of those fake fans to test each content post you post before seeing whether it's worthy or not, you just killed your potential reach until you somehow grow to the point where those fake fans' non-interactions no longer matter statistically. So consider that when deciding to buy fake followers or not. You might find it easier to just pay for real fans and a lot cheaper than going down the Fiverr route. Now if you don't care and will always pay to play to promote your page then that's fine as well. But with things like social and trying to grow a brand it's best to err on the side of caution since as you can see FB changes their policies and tightens their belt all the time to stay relevant.

This is one of those warnings like I did with SEO back in the day when I said CTR matters for your titles, but no one believed me... different story now. They like to tell the story differently but I've got the conversations' copys and pastes. :wink:

 

CCarter

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Engagement

Remember when people are using Google they are looking for a solution to a problem. Social media is interruption marketing, you are placing your interest in front of them while they browse. You have to convince them what you are talking about is more interesting than that hot chick who just posted a new selfie, it's a tall order.

The goal isn't just to go viral you want to service your users with things that appeal to them on a regular basis to keep your brand in their heart and mind. That's the main reason they followed your page remember? There are several reasons a person would share a piece of content but it comes down to their ego. The content they put on their walls are a reflection of them, their personality, and their ego. Stroke that ego.

First thing you have to do is build pages which people will not be embarrassed to share with their friends. Your Hemorrhoid cream's page is probably not going to get a ton of shares. But no one said you just have to create pages just for your brand. You can create niched out pages that appeal to a narrow or broad segment of your potential audience, then feed in a 10 to 1 ratio of general discussions (10) and informative content and throw in content from your brand (1) in the mix.



You ever wonder why the news is so negative all the time? It is not that good things don't happen, but it's that people respond to bad things since there is so much emotion. Look at the top new stories right now and they are always polarizing two sides against each other. Why? Cause drama causes emotion, and emotion causes people to rant and create more content in the comments section continuing the cycle. It's for pageview folks. So more polarizing content means more advertising dollars for the pageviews. Good news doesn't cause people to get emotional. They might post that "awww." comment, but that's about it. Now that there is commenting (user generated content = UGC) everywhere, it's almost like one big one-up game.

So now your goal is to out do your competitors and your industry while creating content for those followers and fans you gained. First place to check out is obviously BuzzSumo. We talk about this one tool numerous times for a reason. It does the aggregating for you so you can see what's hot within your industry. But obviously you want me to keep pulling out my secret weapons, so here is one I utilize to watch and analyze my competition, FanPageKarma.com. Let's go ahead and use my friends at SEMRush as an example (type in the page you want to look up into the searchbox):



You can also use FanPageKarma.com to look up your competitor's twitter accounts, their Google+, their Youtube's, Instagram and Pinterest, but we will focus on Facebook for example.



I mean I'm just giving you all these hidden tricks to analyzing your competition's social game, if you can't win at social you aren't trying.

Here you can see the type of posts they utilize, mostly Pictures and Link posts (Maybe there is opportunity for you with video :wink:):



Next is the gold, you can see the "Top and Weakest Posts":



^^ They key here is to study the differences between the best and worse posts, then mimic all the best post's mannerisms. Doing a quick look it seems posts that more directly helping and benefit their fan's websites are more favorable then ones talking about themselves or other subject. So I would want to create social content that gives immediate benefit to my fans with tips, advice, or something specific like that one "psychology of colors" guide.

What I see is fans, like normal people are selfish, and if they can directly benefit immediately from learning something they are willing to share it. (Ironically I see "Top 10 SEO Tools for 2016" made is the best topic, where as I made fun of a similar made-up title early in this thread along before ever seeing this FanPageKarma data)

You can also export the posts and metrics os you can analyze offline, which is a great feature.

If you click on the tab "Times and Types", you can see the best times and interaction for this page.





^^ Interesting enough they get the most interaction on Sundays, but hardly post on Sundays, gives you something to think about on how you can do it differently :wink::

Another thing you can see are fan posts, meaning people went to this page and posted a comment or post. You can see whether the page ignored the post, deleted it, or responded. Great for analyzing whether your competition is active on their FB as they should be.



Overall from what I see with SEMRush and my own experience with our Fan page, FB is just not the place for what we do, but you should always test, maybe we both just suck at FB, who knows.

Click on that "Influencers" tab, and you can see the most active fans. You can then click on each fan and see their interaction with the page:



And scroll down a bit you can see Pages with the same active fans! This is huge, cause this tells me Neil Patel's FB fan page has an 60% of the same active fans. Maybe Neil is pushing SEMRush a lot, I don't know, but I can start networking and possible get some influence with Mr. Patel or maybe get guestpost onto his page to get exposure to 60% of the active users of SEMRush!



^^ Once you have this type of data, the possibilities are endless. Think outreaching to gain exposure, or increase your reach, asking for a guestpost from Mr. Patel in this instance, tons of opportunities you can uncover when you utilize some of my secret war chest tools.

--

Don't Go Through the Motions with social, you are better off outsourcing it or getting an intern, or approaching someone to handle your social media that loves the attention, like a person who's always on Facebook posting stuff, versus you try to post your SEO'ed content on social media and bore everyone to death. Social done right can help you retain customers, reach new potential customers, and keep you looking like the authority in your industry.

Become the brand people look forward to reading and you'll have fans and followers sharing your content for a long time. But if you keep putting out that bland shit, you might as well call it a day cause ain't nobody reading that nonsense.

 

CCarter

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On Site

Social doesn't have to start on the platform. Simply giving people the option to share the content with their audience themselves, and literally taking away as many obstacles as possible can have your content automatically getting exposure. The key is to make it as easy as possible, a simple 1 click button is easy right? That's why you want those share buttons and that code ready. Make sure you have FB Opengraph and Twittercards installed as well so their shared and tweets are Rich Media, and not just bland textboxes.

Always test folks!



^^ I like how the bottom ones are nice and big, so it'll definitely get interaction!
--

FB Share button code:

Code:
<a href="https://www.Facebook.com/sharer/sharer.php?u=https://www.serpwoo.com/blog/experts/dominate-local-search-results/" target="_blank"><button class="btn Facebook button">Share on Facebook</button></a>
---

Twitter Share button code:
Code:
<a href="http://twitter.com/share?url=https://www.serpwoo.com/blog/experts/dominate-local-search-results/&via=SERPWoo" target="_blank" class="twitter-share-button"><button class="btn twitter">Share on Twitter</button></a>
^^ replace the 'https://www.serpwoo.com/blog/experts/dominate-local-search-results/' part. Notice there is a &via=SERPWoo - that ties in the site's Twitter account to it.

Pay To Play Game



That takes us into the next lesson, Thumbnails are your friend. Pay to play is a reality since before most of the garbage getting shared was pissing FB's audience off. For FB's own survival they have to reduce your weak nonsense and if you can't get through the initial evaluation for your content you'll need to promote it as well. Things going viral aren't a coincidence. The content creator and their marketing team are pushing that content especially through paid, since when a customer converts they'll get their ROI, but they are smart enough to only promote and push content pieces that have flavor.

I can't stress enough how big of a role images play within social media. Tweets and FB posts with images get 12x more interaction then link text content posts/tweets. You have the opportunity for a huge image so why not take advantage of it? The ones that peak curiosity and touch one or more of the animal instinct within us for survival; seek food, safety, sex; fit into a particular social group; learning to adapt to changing conditions.


FB image posts should be at least 600x315 px in size, they recommend 1200x630 for high resolution displays. (sauce: https://developers.Facebook.com/docs/sharing/best-practices#images)

Twitter recommends 1024x512 px, I get away with lot less in width, test it out cause twitter talks about scaling for devices, etc) (sauce: https://support.twitter.com/articles/20156423#)

Recommended Reads:
- All Twitter image dimensions and best practices on how to use them
- Always Up-to-Date Guide to Social Media Image Sizes

Imagery is EXTREMELY Important. If you look at the content you want to post to social media and see walls of text, consider how people who are coming from social media - where they were being entertained, will perceive your wall of text? Bland or Boring? Most people don't read content, they scroll through if it looks interesting enough they'll start from the top and read. You think this thread is laden with images by mistake? Hell I bet most of you clicked on at least one of the pink horizontal ADs trying to get through, see how easy it is to distract people even when reading something they WANT to read?

Conclusion

The only thing left now is to create some Compelling Content and some Polarizing Content, then head on over to Hootsuite, which I highly recommend, or find another situation that will schedule content posting for you (Facebook allows you to schedule post by the way).

You plan to should be to MATCH and EXCEED your competitors. Exceed doesn't necessarily mean "quantity" but be interpreted as QUALITY. It's not a numbers game, it's but it's not, cause your audience might not respond well to 50 tweets a day from you brand if you are selling men's socks. But they might respond to 5-10 tweets during the week about content pieces of how to dress and fashionable items of the season. :wink:

Also ALWAYS KEEP TESTING! I can't stress how important this is. If you just set it and forget it, then you might as well really forget about it.

Just keep these two ideas in your mind, whatever you are doing on social media, you should be focusing on increasing your reach or increasing your engagement - if not both. Once you understand the underlying foundation of online marketing, and with social you can attack ANY other new platforms with the similar strategy is be successful (always test angles of course).

- Fin(ished)




Additional Day 10 Study Materials:
 

built

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I have a question, if you don't use stock photos where do you get them from? Do you just straight up take from Google and then wait till someone complains?
 

Charles Floate

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Ok, I set out just to read this post... but turned into a rather long-winded reply by the time I got to the 5th paragraph.
TL;DR:
Listen to CCarter, this shits legit.
You're scared to offend people, I offend all the time, people hate me, yet the fucks given are zero. People criticize me, yet they can't keep their eyes off me.
*cough*
This right here. It's just good marketing... You'll always get a set of people or a community that hate you, just because they aren't you, or because you're doing better than they are - You'll notice none of them ever showcase any of what you've actually done though, they fill their rants about you without references, because they can't back-up what they are saying, they're creating their own justification to hate on you.. When if they were actually making money, they wouldn't be furiously typing their rhetoric about you into an out-dated version of vBulletin.
Your Social game isn't on point cause you lack flavor. Google's made you it's bitch and now you write content for robots instead of humans, let that sink in.
Something that 99% of people don't realize when it comes to getting organic traffic, is that the content/blog post/article on your page accounts for about 4% (Not accurate what-so-ever) of how Google will rank your post. Write for the reader, optimize everything else around the page for Google.. When does crawl rate affect your bounce rate? When does a sitemap affect a user commenting on your post? When does link building determine whether or not someone shares your damn article on Twitter? It doesn't.
I'd also never heard of Twitonomy before.. Been whacking people in all day and seeing who they engage with.
Talking of gaining retweets, there was a pretty good post on Woodward's blog about cold emailing influencers via inserting quotes from them within your content -
http://www.matthewwoodward.co.uk/tutorials/how-to-craft-cold-call-emails/
Similar to what you said, except it's never seen as a 2-way engagement on Twitter, as you email them (personalized, not public) then they Tweet.
FanPage Karma is a great tool, though you do have to have a paid sub to get the best out of it, and for a small entity their base pack is 50 euros/mo, which is insanity.
Neil Patel, damnnnn... do. Must be all those interns churning out his content for him :tongue:
Surprised you didn't mention one tool that has seriously up'd my game as of recent (I used to use it, but for some reason stopped) - Buffer. Integrate the timings you get from FPK with this app, which is what I did about 2 weeks ago.. and my reach has shot through the f'ing roof.
Also, Pro Tip for Facebook - If you're sharing your content in groups, don't just paste in the link, share the post from your fanpage as you'll get:
  • Better insights of the people viewing it
  • More potential likes
  • Better "EdgeRank" yo.
P.S.
I wonder how many people have searched for HootSuite as a direct result of this post, lmao.
 

CCarter

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I have a question, if you don't use stock photos where do you get them from? Do you just straight up take from Google and then wait till someone complains?
Like I said "everything is for sale". You have no problem buying images from stock image site but never considered straight up contacting the people that take crazy photos on the internet ALL day 24/7. Instagram gets 1.7 million new likes PER MINUTE. Why not approach the accounts of some college aged kid who takes a ton of photos and offer them $20 for a particular photo. You think they'll say no for a photo they've already taken? To make them feel comfortable explain you have a website and a blog and need a photo that's not bland and the photo of theirs was hot and you want to pay them for the photo. Then follow up and tell them "hey if you are ever near a Pub or XYZ place, take a ton of photos we are looking for 'this type of activity'." Now you can start sending them requests and build a contact base of people you can go to from Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, etc that you pay directly for images.

Reference $10 is too little and a bit of a cheapstake mentality, but $20 is good money, especially for someone getting paid some minimum wage job at Starbucks or somewhere.

Let's say you are a tourism company in a college town. You can search for the latest college students around town who take a ton of photos in the location. Once you find 10 or so individuals who you like, approach them and send them your website, and explain you are a tourism company and like using locals for better imagery on the website. You'd like to use some of their photos to populate your website throughout the year. You'll pay them $20 for each photo you use from their account. Give them a link to the image you want to start out with and tell them to give you their Paypal or Facebook (cause you can send money through Facebook now). In their minds all they have to do is "say yes and get the money". Once the money arrived it's like "Bam new cashflow source" in their mind.

First you are a legitimate local company so they'll be able to walk to you at any time, so that right there gives them a sense of trust. You can even invite them over to discuss things of they want, whatever.

Like in the #2 posts' info-graphic stated, there are millions of images uploaded every single minute onto the internet. You don't think someone would be willing to get paid $20 for a photo they've already taken and become semi-famous in their local town or who knows if your posts goes viral. Approach them with "we get 1,000,000 views a month, 20,000 Facebook shares a day, etc" and now they are thinking with their ego, "oh man I can be famous for a photo I already took."

Remember to stroke people's egos to get to the top. "Yeah I loved your photo, here is money, you want to be semi-famous?" You really don't think the person that's a narcissist that takes maybe 10-20 selfies a week of themselves for likes would really say yes? You are feeding their ego, and now have some amazing unique photos. :wink:

In fact, someone in this audience has started realizing they might be able to create a service like this that links broke college students (think cam web girls style, but PG-13) with businesses that need unique photos. You can have businesses request images with "XYZ", like in a Pub, etc. And have college students, or random people that take selfies all day getting paid money now to take those same photos and maybe become semi-famous. Sort of like Fiverr, but specialized. Don't forget CCarter's 15% for that idea, I got ideas like this for days, just too busy to implement most.

Surprised you didn't mention one tool that has seriously up'd my game as of recent (I used to use it, but for some reason stopped) - Buffer. Integrate the timings you get from FPK with this app, which is what I did about 2 weeks ago.. and my reach has shot through the f'ing roof.
Good call with Buffer.
 
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Just re-read this article for, I don't know, maybe the 10th time. Lots of good stuff here. My favorite is paying social media users for content. Only problem I've encountered, though, is that a lot of people are trying to become "Influencers" and want outrageous amounts of money for even a single photo. I love photography and am not above paying fair market value (in fact, I have a 50" shot of the Miami skyline hanging above my computer right now that I bought off Instagram - shoutout to @weownthecity). But $300 for a picture of food is crazy. Anyways - any recommendations on a tool that helps search Instagram for images? Maybe something that also enables you to filter by following so you can target smaller accounts? I know you can search by Person, Tag, Place within IG... but all of those require that the photographer tagged up the photo you are looking for, right? Anyways. Asking for a friend...
 
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Steve

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Only problem I've encountered, though, is that a lot of people are trying to become "Influencers" and want outrageous amounts of money for even a single photo.
Offer them a shout out on your high follower Twitter/ intstagram/whatever account. When you don't give a fuck about engagement these are easy to make
 
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Remember our example above of you having 100 fans and getting to the reach of your fan page. Let's say out of 100 of those fans 90 of them were bought. Those bought fans don't login to FB or interact with your content in anyway, so there is no reaching them, they were simply bought for looks. So you really have 10 real fans. The problem is when you post a piece of content since you have 10 real fans several of those guys are going to need to interact with your content to get any engagement traction since you've muddied your fans with a ton of fake followers. You see the problem? What's the likelihood 100% of those 10 fans will interact with each post to get you pass whatever threshold FB has to gain viral traction? Very little.
In the middle of a social media audit of my competitors. A trend I am noticing applies to this, and probably screws up some competitors too.

2 types of social accounts that have staggering differences in engagement.

1. An account that RUNS ADS
2. An account that doesn't

Let's say each account has 10,000 followers.

The account that got those followers via running ads is just getting casual likes. They later on post "organic" posts that just don't get shit for traction or engagement considering a huge following they have.

Account #2 that didn't run ads and got 10,000 likes (the hard way) seems to get 10-100x more engagement per post.

It seems when you run ads you just get lots of likes in the process, and these likes aren't that high of quality as "true brand likes" who got to your page some other way.

If your running ads, your followers are pretty unengaged and when it is time for FB to serve your organic stuff your metrics are gonna look like crap to FB and they won't boost you much.

It *MAY* be worth it, if you're doing a lot of paid ads, to segment ad buys onto a secondary business page and let your organic one do its thing by itself.

Thoughts?