Thursday, November 19, 2009

Improve your blog’s SEO

To create an SEO-friendly blog:
• Determine blog keywords/keyword phrases (up to 10):

  1. What are the topics you plan to cover?
  2. What terms do your audiences use for these topics?
  3. What terms do your competitors use for these topics?
  4. How do people search for these topics?
  5. Does your blog complement an web section?

• Use the keywords you identified to optimize your blog

  1. Prioritize keywords to identify main theme (primary KW)
  2. Use the primary keyword in your blog URL
  3. Use the primary keyword be in your browser title tag <title> – the title that displays
  4. on a search results page (65 characters with spaces)
  5. Use the list of keywords be associated with your blog in the <meta keyword> tag
  6. (5-7, up to 10, as few as 2)
  7. Incorporate the primary keyword into your blog title <H1> if appropriate (it should
  8. be natural – don’t force it) (no character limits from an SEO perspective)
  9. Use keywords in <meta-description> tag. This displays on a search engine results
  10. page (up to 140 characters with spaces

Create SEO-worthy blog entries and use links strategically

• Write interesting keyword-oriented blog entries designed to stand out, attract attention and motivate inbound links

• Create blog entry titles that contain keywords (avoid… “I was just thinking” if you want blog entry titles to help with SEO)

• Plan to have relevant pages on the website link to blog entries and make sure the link labels are keyword-rich (contain keywords relevant to the destination)

• Link to credible, relevant blogs to build network/relationships

• Link to previous related blog entries

• Comment in credible external blogs to build relationships

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Simple Twitter best practice for new folks

When I started using twitter as a B2B marketer – different than personally, I wondered what to do. Here is my daily routine to keep it simple.

First I use HootSuite, which makes this much easier. HootSuite is a free Twitter management service. It allows you to:

  • manage multiple Twitter accounts and
  • support multiple Twitter users
  • see statistics on links in your Twitter posts which is a good proxy for how much you are being read
  • import RSS feeds to your Twitter accounts
  • create column windows for a variety things including mentions, direct messages
  • search twitter and create a column window that will show the current search when you open HootSuite.
  • schedule tweets for later delivery

Two search terms I have windows for are #BSM (for Business Service Management) and #ITIL (for IT Information Library).

First I have our blogs feed into our Twitter account using the RSS feature. As a side note, I also use the Facebook application to link my Facebook account to my Twitter account, which means a blog post turns into a tweet turns into a Facebook post a three for one.

My normal routine is:

  1. open HootSuite
  2. check the mentions window to see if I need to reply to anyone who sent a message
  3. similarly check the direct messages window
  4. check the #BSM search window, read tweets to see if anything is worth retweeting. In particular I look for ones with URLs. I review the URL to see the article.  I admit, I take the long form of the URL in the tweet and reshrink it with HootSuite’s tool. I do this because that is how HootSuite tracks –see picture of stats below.
  5. do the same for #ITIL
  6. I do all tweets twice, once early morning Pacific time (I’m in California) this cover Europe and the US east coast and again last afternoon Pacific time, this covers west coast of US and Asia Pacific. This tip comes from Tim O’Reily’s (@timoreilly) webinar on Twitter.

Of course, I do original tweets also but this process really helps when I not feeling inspired.

That’s it. I do this usually in the morning, at lunch and/or end of day – usually only one of those unless it’s a slow day.

Let me know your Twitter best practices.

HootSuite search window


HootSuite statistics window – you can also get region breakdown and per Tweet stats


Friday, September 11, 2009

The Future Of Business by Altimeter Group

Good insights into what's currently going on and future direction.

Folks in larger corporations may find some of the suggestions requiring IT not practical.

Key takeaway for me: spend more time thinking about process than technology. This fits with my experience that getting people engaged and in the habit of social media is much more difficult than the technology.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Facebook hits the big time on My Boys

People have been saying that Facebook is mainstream for a while. But what really defines mainstream. Well art imitating life has always been a good measure.

What was the main theme of the 12 May 2009 episode of My Boys staring Jordana Spiro? None other than Facebook. Of course, the show has its own Facebook page.

The show is about a 20 something woman named PJ who is sports writer and has a group of male friends. In this episode, called Facebook the Past, the gang is using Facebook to connect with old friends and classmates or to get the scoop on possible girls they want to date.

Literally, the whole show is about Facebook or comparing Facebook to the "real world". When a popular TV show is all about a topic, that topic is mainstream.

Your social media television watcher, Michael Procopio

Friday, May 8, 2009

My Best of the Web for 8 May

Additonal Posts from SNCR New Comm Forum from Marketing Mystic
Thanks to Mia Dand - @miad on twitter.

From DishyMix

Episode 94: David Szetela and the PPC 10 Cylinder Engine


This is a must listen to for pay per click advertising.

From Marketing Edge

Interview with Charlene Li at #SNCR on ROI of social media 5 mins -

Taking Brand Online

@guykawasaki, @dmscott and @chrisbrogan talk replay here

Discusses how small business should take their brand online - learns for bigger companies too. Thanks to @AngelaAtHP for Sponsoring.

Digital Body Language for Marketing and Sales, s

Great talk comparing how users move thru a web site to body language in a sales call. Good points on how to tailor what you offer to user based on the place in the sales cycle base on their movement thru your web site.



  • Basic SEO Toolkit
  • Use:

Social Networks: Facebook Takes Over Top Spot, Twitter Climbs

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

New Communication Forum - Embarq session

Social Media Implementation within a Large Enterprise

New Communications Forum 27 April 2009

They ended up with one of the most successful YouTube campaigns seen for their goals - What can you do in 48 seconds? For Embarq, 48 seconds is the time difference between loading the average web page via dial-up and their 1.5M internet service. Embarq is a provider of a variety of communications services for consumers and small/medium business with a focus on rural areas.

Their problem - a culture fearful of social media and a reputation for poor customer service from their past which was affecting their brand.

The "complaint" AKA Customer Service department and the brand folks got together to spearhead their social media plan. [Customer Service is a different than the group that does phone / email support]

The team took a very step by step approach and did not rush. Their learnings:

  • Don't rush "if we had acted before our 6 months of listening we would have done something different and it would have been wrong"
  • Involve many teams. They worked with customer support pulling in a few members to help them plan. R&D helped create how-to videos which were the long term star of the show.
  • Communicate the good and the bad up the management chain and out to other departments. They utilized newsletters, internal communications and everything they could find to get what the Customer Service department, who owned customer communication, was doing out to everyone in the company. That created pride internally, because they were having success turning customers attitudes to positive.
  • Listen first - they started with Google/Yahoo alerts, Twitter feeds, Yahoo Pipe!, DSLreports forums (this is where their users are online) etc. Then graduated to Radian6. But never gave up the previous tools. Kevin said, "…there is nothing like a set of human eyeballs looking at the [raw] data.
  • Get everyone to agree on the goals - they developed a mission statement including all the departments.
  • Seek out people in the company who are passionate and cultivate them. No matter what department they were included on period conference calls.
  • Educate - take every opportunity to train on social media, conference calls, lunch and learns etc. The team is still doing this after 15 months. Executives were educated about the business value of YouTube before the campaign proposal.
  • Make it personal - allow Twitter users to show they are human. @Embarq_Joey is a sports fan and some Tweets are about sports. They key is balance of business and personal.

Timeline and plan:

  • Dec 07 - plan approved
  • Feb 08 - start answering questions on and Twitter
  • Nov 08 - 48 Seconds YouTube brand activity
  • Currently - responsiveness on Twitter is key, their SLA is 97.5% <> 24-48 hrs [these are for issues not individual tweets]
  • Results: Customer likely to make a referal - 4Q07 no, 1Q08 likely, 3Q08 definitely
  • Current activity - we are not being contacted proactively by people who know the social media team from the Customer Service department. [there was a slide with a letter from a prospect asking Embarq_Joey questions on which service to select]. Also the moderators of DSLreports now allow Embarq to put informational material, like answers to FAQs.

Session Q and A:

  • How does the Customer Service department make their discussions known to customer support? A: They use the same CRM system and enter data the same way as if it came over the phone.
  • Who does the follow-up when a customer problem comes in via social media? A: The Customer Service team. This is the same process if a complaint comes over the phone.
  • How did you get buy-in to talk to the customers? A: The Customer Service department was already talking to customers, just not using social media. It was a small tweak to say they will talk via social media as well. And this group owns the conversation with complaining customers.
  • Weren't customers who were unhappy with results of phone support just moving to social media? A:The people we encounter were not calling support, they were just complaining online.
  • What about negative comments? A: We put up the good and the bad. If you don't put up the bad people will not believe you are being authentic. We all pass the good and bad up and out internally.
  • Have you done anything with a community? A: Yes, our high speed product team has a gated community that is invite only. They use it to show customers possible new products for feedback.
  • How did you get the word out about your YouTube channel and contest? A: Blogger outreach program and Twitter.
  • Did you get negative comments on YouTube, as that is very common? And did your fans come to your aid? A: Yes we got negative comments and yes our fans came to our aid. One best practice is have a clear comment policy on what is acceptable and what is not and stick to it. We think that solved many issues.
  • Does any of this apply to B2B? A: Yes, we did 18 videos on data security for our security products which are for businesses.
  • What marketing didn't you do because money was diverted to social media 48 seconds effort? A: This money was for our online activities. In 2007 we did a microsite, we probably would have done the same thing in 2008 if it were not this effort.
  • Who owns social media at Embarq? A: No one and everyone - that is all departments have their part, there is no central control. If there is a customer issue, it is handled by Customer Service; if there is a brand issue it is handled by the marketing team.

Tweet this!

Embarq (NYSE: EQ) is a Fortune 500 company.

Presenters, Twitter name

  • Linda O’Neill, Customer Service General Manager, @lindaoneill
  • Joey Harper, Customer Service Online Outreach Lead, @EMBARQ_Joey
  • Kevin Cobb, Interactive Brand Marketing Manager, @i_am_me
  • Zena Weist, Interactive Brand Strategy Manager, @zenaweist

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

New Communication Forum - Facebook session

Understanding the Facebook Culture and How Users Relate to Corporations Online

Dr. Mihaela Vorvoreanu, Twitter: prprof_mv


  • Based on limited focus group research of Facebook natives
  • A native is someone who was on Facebook before it was opened up to non-EDU domains
  • Facebook has multiple cultures, not just one
  • The natives will influence the rest of the Facebook users
  • Natives don't like corps on Facebook but if they make exclusive offers to them, discounts etc their views change to positive
  • Part of Facebook is self presentation, if you can do something that helps users self present you will be more successful - ex: graffiti
  • Facebook is personal, natives don't understand mixing biz and personal
  • Native love small biz on Facebook, they support them
  • Native prefer ads to intrusive messages.
  • Three ways to interact
    • Conform with norms / rules
    • Positive violation - this is better than conforming
    • Negative violation
  • Implications
    • Provide sense of exclusivity
    • Enable relationship maintenance - between others not you, give them tools to communicate w/ other - like quirky msgs
    • Enable self presentation - empower users to align with something they want to do like charity
    • Keep it personal - better to have a person's name than the corp.
    • Small business go for it
    • Respect users space, means sometimes stay out of their conversation.
    • For big corps - conform to norms