Social Media for Business – Implementation

Social Media is just one of the many marketing channels open for the promotion of a business and its products or services. As such, it’s important to ensure that it’s done in such a way that it will always reflect positively on the business, enhancing the image you want to project.

The sad truth is that most businesses that attempt to use social media do so in the worst possible way. And most of those mistakes could be avoided, if the social media campaign had been properly planned, as was discussed in the first part of this series, Social Media for Business – The Plan.

Social Media MazeIn that post, I pointed out the four basic facets of planning an effective social media campaign:

  1. saying the right thing;
  2. at the right time;
  3. to the right people;
  4. in the right fashion.

It’s not a coincidence that those are also the basic tenets of content strategy. Because, make no mistake, social media, at least in this context, is very much a part of your content strategy.

Defining your Business’ Social Media Message

Before you say anything, be very clear on what your real message is. Simply announcing a contest, giveaway or discount says absolutely nothing about your business. Every Tweet and post should support the underlying message of your company.

That may be showing that the company listens and heeds complaints or suggestions, or that it understands the problems faced by its customers. It may be a common goal, such as in the case of a non-profit or activist campaign. That’s something you and your management need to discuss and agree upon before you go any further.

Whatever predominant message your business wants to deliver, it must be consistent and constant… while being subtle. Does “constant” and “subtle” together sound difficult? You might be surprised how simple it can be, if the proper thought is put into it.

Tweet Example

In the above example, SuperCoders is subtly communicating that they have been tirelessly promoting new legislation against online bullying – there’s no shameless promotion of their web development services. But assuming that civic involvement is part of their underlying company message, they’ve done a good job of reinforcing that message without seeming to be self-promotional.

Obviously, if that can be done in less than 140 characters, what can be accomplished on their Facebook Wall is even greater. Subtlety is often the most persuasive method of building confidence in your company brand.

Picking the Time

This doesn’t refer to just picking the best day and hour to put your message out there for the greatest visibility to your target audience, although that is an important consideration. It also deals with the temporal value of your message.

Any post or tweet that is relevant to current developments needs to be of great interest when posted. If you have a large following and are in a position to be among the first to address an issue, you can get a lot of mileage out of that.

However, if your following is small to moderate, you may be better off letting interest build via those with a greater follower count, and then jump in with a new twist. Which way to go is entirely up to you and may vary a lot, depending upon the nature of the topic.

The key is to send the message at the point in time that your followers will be most receptive to your message, while offering them something they can’t find in a half dozen other places.

Identifying your audience

 Sending the perfect message at the perfect time, but to the wrong listeners isn’t going to accomplish much for your business. As you focus your message and your timing, your following will naturally develop among the type of audience that you want, but in the meantime, there are a number of things you can do to determine what sort of following you already have.

A demographic study would be ideal, but obviously, many small to medium businesses aren’t in a position to invest in such research. Still, a surprising amount of information may be available, if you know where to look. Here are a few sites that may help you out:

Alternatively, you can solicit the information directly on your website, in the form of a poll or registration form. The sort of information that might be helpful will be;

  • gender
  • age group
  • income bracket
  • marital status
  • education level
  • employment status
  • interests
  • number and age of children

and more, depending upon the nature of your business and its offering.

Choosing the Right Voice

The way you “talk” to your followers can have a huge impact on the trust and confidence they will place in you. Careful thought should be given to selecting the personality you wish to project in your social media contacts.

This will depend a great deal on the nature of your business and the typical persona to whom you’re directing your messages. It can vary greatly by culture, educational level, age, interests and many other factors. You may also find it necessary to vary your approach somewhat between different social media platforms.

While your style may vary from humorous one moment to sympathetic or even plaintive another, try to be reasonably consistent in the basic personality of the posting character. Expressing concern for an issue one day and total disdain for a similar situation the next is a sure way to create confusion and lose the confidence of your followers.

Putting your Plan into Action

Remember, your focus is to build the trust of your following, so that your messages will earn credibility. Inconsistency will quickly undermine your efforts, and you’ll find you’re getting very little engagement.

Like any marketing effort, online or off, some research and planning can be the difference between success and failure – or worse – brand embarrassment. Determining detailed goals up front will always yield better results than simply  shot-gunning information into the dark.

You may find the worksheet which I offered in my previous post on this topic helpful in managing your use of various social media accounts. You can access the free download here in either .rtf  .pdf.

Take a few minutes and read this great interview with someone who knows what they’re talking about:
Scott Stratten talks business and social media Toronto Star

Social Media for Business – The Plan

There can’t be many people left in the online world that haven’t realized how social media activity has increased, and how much can be gained by a business that does a noteworthy job of handling their social media presence. Most of us have heard some horror stories of some business that tripped over its own social feet, as well as the occasional example of turning vinegar into wine.

Social Media StaircaseWhat’s the key to handling social media accounts for business the best way possible? Planning!

Each social media platform offers a unique opportunity to interface with past, present and future customers, in a very public fashion. But in order to derive real benefit from the effort, you need to ensure that you’re saying the right thing, at the right time, to the right people. And you have to say it in the right way. Every.Single.Time.

If deep down, you simply feel obligated to register a Twitter account or build a Facebook page, only because your competition has done so, then you might as well stop reading right now. You’ll need to be committed to success in order to achieve positive results. Any less than total commitment and you’re liable to do your business more harm than good.

Still here, huh? Good for you! Let’s start at the beginning: 

1. The right thing

This is your message. Whether you’re announcing a new product, explaining your company’s policy or responding to a question, every response should be carefully considered before you hit that Enter key. No matter how fast you realize you’ve said the wrong thing, someone will see it before you can edit or delete it! And the worse the mistake, the more likely that it will come back to bite you.

Particularly important, is being clear and consistent in your company’s stated policies and values. Don’t be wishy-washy or ambiguous – if your followers aren’t sure what you mean, they’ll almost always assume the worst.

2. At the right time

It’s nearly always best to respond as quickly as possible. If visitors see a company respond within minutes of a question or complaint being posted, it shows them that the company cares enough about them to be constantly monitoring. That, alone, can count for a lot.

Ideally, you’ll be able to respond quickly and clearly to every comment, but sometimes, you’ll need to ask for more information. Don’t assume you understand the situation unless you really do. If there might be any ambiguity, couch your response in a qualified manner, such as “If I understand the situation correctly,… ” or “Assuming you have already …”. Then, at least, if you learn something new that might have affected your response, you may be able to salvage the situation.

I suggest you use this as sparingly as possible, though, because a cynical viewer may take it upon himself to comment that the company is “trying to weasel out of” what was seen as a commitment by you.

The bottom line: answer as quickly as you’re able to gather enough information to give a clear and concise response.

3. To the right people

This is where I see most companies either skip the issue entirely or make erroneous assumptions. You may not be in a position to contract a demographic study, but there are still ways to determine who your audience is. If you don’t know who your prospects are, you can’t have much hope of engaging with them effectively.

Most businesses have a blog and often use that blog to direct readers toward their Facebook page or Twitter account. Put that blog to even more use, by having a contest that requires responses to a short poll – it’s a great way to find out who your “typical” reader is. You can’t be too invasive, but there are ways to entice people to volunteer the information you need. Assure them their privacy will be respected, give them a prominent way to opt out later – use your imagination. Hey! Maybe telling them exactly what you’re doing and why you want it will be the best approach. It depends on a lot of factors.

Knowing a few basic facts like gender, basic income bracket, level of education, marital status, type of employment (blue collar/management) and age/number of children can be very helpful in tailoring your social activities in a way that may be of more interest to them.

4. In the right way

Here is where the demographic snapshot will be extremely helpful. If you know your audience is predominantly 12th grade education, blue collar, single men, 18-25, your tone will be different from what you’d want to use with an audience comprised of mostly middle-aged professional family men with two kids in high school.

You may find it prudent to adjust your tone for a number of different reasons. The nature of your business, existing climate of customer relations, even the season, can come into play, as well as cultural aspects, language barrier and economic considerations. Don’t neglect to give this aspect of your planning the attention it deserves, or you may doom your efforts to failure from the first day.

Building your Template

When you’ve analyzed all four of these aspects of your social media audience, you’ll be ready to start building your S/M personality accordingly. It’s not advisable for this to be performed by only one person. Ideally, someone with some online marketing experience can collaborate with someone that has intimate knowledge of your typical customer profile, along with someone that can define and set policies, to determine the limits of authority (for customer service issues) and the values that are “cast in concrete”.

Some other questions to be addressed are whether the account will be anonymous in nature (Mr. Acme) or a human entity (Debbie, from Customer Service). Both can have advantages and disadvantages, so each business needs to give this careful consideration.

It is of utmost importance that the personality that is constructed/selected will afford maximum credibility, and every action taken must protect and nurture that credibility.

Only after completing all of the above, should you consider registering your accounts on various social media platforms. Be consistent with facts and policies across all platforms, even if you decide to use a different persona on one or more.

In the next part of this series, we’ll get into some of the nuts and bolts of interacting with your users and encouraging them to engage in the way you want. Meanwhile, if you have any questions or ideas, feel free to share them in the comments below.

If you’re still on the fence about whether or not your business needs to be using social media, I suggest you watch this short video. You may change your mind in a hurry.

 
Download our free social media planning worksheet in .rtf or .pdf to help keep your plan organized.
 
 

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Building your Personal Brand

October 9, 2012 by +Marj Wyatt  
Filed under How to Market and Brand

When building your personal brand, it can sometimes seem like a painfully slow process, but that slow as molasses feeling is often deceiving. Don’t believe me? Try saying something stupid or callous and see how quick that spontaneous comment is etched in stone for all eternity!

Personal BrandThat’s why you should carefully consider several things before you ever begin trying to build your personal brand. The list can vary somewhat, depending upon the niche you’re branding yourself for, of course. For our purposes, we’re going to talk about someone that works in a particular field, that is trying to brand themselves as an authority in that field.

Here are some things to consider in the planning of your personal branding campaign:

Audience

Just as in any other online effort, it’s crucial to know who you’re talking to. Setting aside the obvious aspect of language, you’ll still often need to consider things like literacy level, gender, cultural background, technical comprehension of a topic and their interests. That may sound very simple, but this is probably the most critical and complex aspect of planning your branding efforts. Know your audience… demographics can be an invaluable tool.

Brand credibility

Whether you’re posting things you’ve found that you think may be of interest to your friends and followers, or making original comments and statements, you need to consider the fact that people will assign a value to you, based upon what you share.

Posting a link to an article that is offensive, politically slanted, poorly written or just plain stupid will often cause people to assume that it was okay with you, or you wouldn’t have shared it. The same holds true for original comments. Assuming the brand you’re trying to build is one of a positive nature, be very cautious about what you say online – anywhere.

If you concentrate on posting information that’s reliable, you’ll be on the right track. Making statements such as predictions can be risky, even if they eventually prove to be accurate. Such things are usually better left until after you’ve established yourself as an authority.

Hook

I use this term in a slightly different context than is normal in marketing circles. I’m referring to the memorable aspect of your brand, which can be a logo, avatar, tagline or catch-phrase. Burger King’s “Have it your way”, or GEICO’s gecko spokesman are typical examples. A hook isn’t essential for personal branding, but it can be helpful if it’s sufficiently memorable for the right reasons.

Brand voice and tone

This can vary dramatically, from niche to niche, as well as from audience to audience. The point is that your voice needs to be carefully selected and remain consistent. Striking a good balance between likable, approachable and authoritative isn’t always an easy task, but when you find that sweet-spot, it can pay big dividends.

Originality

This can sometimes be difficult, as more and more information in a given topic area is published every day. But regurgitated opinions don’t attract much interest and they certainly won’t build your brand. If you want to be seen as someone worth listening to, you’ll need to offer something of greater value than the others in your field. That may be new information or simply a different interpretation.

This can take quite a lot of initiative and innovation, as well as sound judgment of what’s really of value to your audience. Again, it’s a sweet-spot that’s well worth the effort to find.

The bottom line

As is the case with any marketing effort, it’s critical to deliver the right message to the right people in the right way at the right time. Don’t lose sight of the fact that any brand-building effort is exactly that… you’re marketing yourself to your audience. And just like any other marketing effort, it will be most effective when it’s undetectable as marketing.  Don’t oversell. When others arrive at the perception of your value of their own accord, it’s a much more durable effect.

Fulfilling all the above points should help you establish your personal brand well, but don’t expect it to happen overnight, and don’t rush it. The decision of you being seen as the brand in a niche is not yours… it belongs solely to your audience.

I’d love to hear any comments you may have on personal branding. Think I’ve missed something? Share it!

Branding – What Exactly Should it Accomplish?

October 2, 2012 by +Marj Wyatt  
Filed under How to Market and Brand

Part 1 – The Goals Branding is essentially no more than establishing an automatic recognition of your brand name and a positive identification of that brand with a particular product or service. The stronger and more widespread that recognition and association is, the more effective your marketing efforts can be. The effect has been achieved when a person immediately thinks of your brand whenever someone mentions [your offering], or conversely, when [your offering] is mentioned, they think of your brand before any other.

There are virtually unlimited means by which to accomplish this, but all involve repetitive exposure to your brand and its offering.

Your BrandBranding can be accomplished for a company brand, a particular product or service of that company, or the name of a particular individual or group. 

Of course, not all branding is positive. Repetitive associations of a negative nature can cause a sort of branding that no business or individual should desire. There are many individuals that have enjoyed a certain type of negative branding that would be nearly impossible to overcome. Charlie Sheen, Tom Cruise, O.J. Simpson and Osama bin Laden have all experienced some negative branding that has had negative impacts. But we don’t want to go there.

Positive Branding

Let’s concentrate on some examples of positive branding that has been beneficial for the targets. Just a few examples of brands that most of us associate with a particular product:

  • Xerox – copier machines
  • Crest – toothpaste
  • Ford – automobiles
  • Pepsodent – toothpaste
  • IBM – computers

Fairly obvious, right? Name recognition is immediate, for these brand names. But for instance, Crest is readily associated by most Americans with toothpaste, but not nearly as many would associate it with the company name, Proctor & Gamble. In that instance, since P&G has so many products in its portfolio, the specific branding of the toothpaste’s specific brand was ultimately more effective.

Pepsodent, on the other hand, while failing to hold a large market share after the 1960s, undertook a brilliant branding campaign, which included such things as:

  • the jingle, “You’ll wonder where the yellow went / when you brush your teeth with Pepsodent!”
  • a radio program entitled The Pepsodent Show Starring Bob Hope
  • a huge neon ad, featuring a young girl on a swing, in Times Square

Their advertising campaign was so successful at becoming a part of Americana, that their brand and slogan were incorporated into works by Rogers and Hammerstein, Cole Porter and Mad Magazine. Even those too young to have been around in Pepsodent’s heyday are still exposed to this lasting branding success.

Minnie Pearl’s hat with the price tag still in place and her iconic “Howdeeeeeee!” were other types of branding, as were Jack Benny’s deadpan side-glance, Ed Sullivan’s arm gestures and “… really big shoo” and Dean Martin’s (sometimes feigned) drunkenness.

Choosing your Path

Each and every one of these companies and individuals managed to sufficiently impress the public with some unique aspect of their presentation to become essentially synonymous with that aspect. By repetition of a memorable, attention-grabbing detail, they gradually infiltrated the culture to an extent that they were widely associated with it.

Such a detail can just as easily be a refreshing approach to customer service, such as some extraordinary examples that be seen on mental_floss. It could also be the lifetime guarantee offered by Snap-On Tools, the same-day delivery push by Amazon that is currently underway or simply an innovative USP (unique selling proposition) such as that offered by Burger King (Have it your way) or Domino Pizza (“…hot, fresh pizza in 30 minutes or less or it’s free.“).

All are obviously marketing techniques, but isn’t that exactly what you’re doing with a branding campaign – marketing your brand’s fit for a particular niche? In Part 2 of the branding series, we’ll take a look at some of today’s most effective avenues for branding and the techniques for maximizing the results.

Fearing Failure in Business

April 9, 2012 by +Marj Wyatt  
Filed under Entrepreneur Mindset, Featured

During a recent mastermind, some of us were discussing why people don’t want to succeed and I suggested that it was probably due to the fact that they might be fearing failure and did not know how to overcome their self-imposed barriers.  This got me thinking…

Fearing Failure is a Choice!

Have the courage to fail big and stick around.
Make them wonder why you’re still laughing!

~ From the film Elizabethtown

There is a lot of wisdom in that statement.  It isn’t so much that you want to prove to others that you’re strong in the face of adversity but rather, to me, it portrays an individual who understands that fearing failure is only a result of caring about the opinions of onlookers. In the vast configuration of things that really matter, what those people might think have nothing to do with your actual experience.

Children are inherently good at moving past failures because, in their youthful pursuit of life experiences, they have no idea what failure means. Like everything, children are taught that fearing failure is “normal” by some well-intentioned adult who explains the mechanics of failure and success.

Strictly speaking and in my opinion, you can only fail if you are comparing yourself to external standards that may or may not apply.  Yes, this sounds a bit like double speak but please bear with me while I explain.

When we measure our success against another person’s accomplishments and find ourselves falling short of that mark, we are doing ourselves a disservice.  What worked for them in their environment may have no bearing on what will work for you.  Have you ever noticed the small print in advertisements and sales copy that informs us that results are not typical?

fearing failure

Don’t let Fear of Failure Stop You!

I don’t mean to imply that you shouldn’t surround yourself with people whom you admire and pursue the level of success apparent in their lifestyle.  That is the premise of working with a mentor, after all.  They have traveled the road that you wish to undertake and, if they are charging fees for mentoring, they have *hopefully* learned something about the route that they can teach you.  But, if you cannot immediately mirror that level of success, please don’t let it slow you down or stop you!

In my mind’s eye, any effort to do something that one has never done before cannot ever be considered a failure.  Fearing failure has potential to stifle your creativity as you imagine ways to proceed with your plans. If things do not turn out as expected, that is not a failure either.  Remember, goals are only intended to measure progress.  If you have to regroup or reset your goals, that is NOT a failure.

Who says you have to have it all together by a certain age? In my early 50s, I threw away the success model my parents prescribed and started all over again because I discovered that what was true for them was not bearing out to be true for me.  You can read how to avoid fearing failure here.

Fail Forward, Fast
~Tom Peters

I can’t help finding analogies in the behavior of children when I think of this topic.  Children pick themselves up from a fall and keep moving after their goal.  If something hurts, they eventually learn to avoid it.  The same is true for our businesses.  Inexperience might cause a painful lesson or two along the way to your own definition of success but fearing failure can stop you from trying something new. It’s all about your attitude.

This is a link to a story about an 11-year old who understood the iterative process of succeeding. It is a pretty awesome video example.

Overcome Fear of Failure Powered by Intuition

In the video below, Brian Tracy gives some great advice for overcoming the fears that may be holding you back in your progress.

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Are You Confident or Arrogant?

January 23, 2012 by +Marj Wyatt  
Filed under Entrepreneur Mindset, Featured

There is a huge difference between being confident or arrogant.  This is a fine line that we often walk as we manage in our personal and business relationships. For the purposes of this post, I will focus on professional relationships but the information does apply personally too.

It is completely true that we must have confidence in our abilities in order to gain and keep the trust and respect of our prospects and customers.  If we become too forceful about the value that we feel we are delivering, that can be perceived as arrogance which will be off-putting to people.

your ability to be transparent shows if you are confident or arrogant

In this era of full-disclosure and social networking, whether that is through Instant Messaging or other well-known social networks, it is critical that we are above-board with regard to our accomplishments and skills.  One of the easiest ways to demonstrate your expertise is to reveal the value of the knowledge you’ve gained by sharing it openly with colleagues, where this is practical and do-able.

confident or arrogantIt isn’t enough to say to others that you are the best at what you do.  The ONLY way that your colleagues, prospects and customers will come to believe that you are an expert in your field, as you claim, is through their perception of who you are and by the  information you share openly to back up your claims.   If someone asks you why you are saying what you are saying, this does not mean that they don’t believe you or are challenging what you are sharing.   The way you handle yourself will show people if you are confident or arrogant.

I’m not suggesting that you should give away all that you know without compensation.  What will gain more respect and higher quality referrals will be to display a spirit of collaboration when you are in group settings or in pre-sales discussions.

whether confident or arrogant, remember that you are not always right

Even though you have spent years doing what you’re doing, you will be viewed as either confident or arrogant based on your willingness to accept the possibility that you still have something to learn and letting people see that this is the case.  Face it, people are inherently innovative and it is possible that someone has discovered something that can enhance your previously earned wisdom. 

The ability to hear a message without the background noise of your own filters is not easy for some folks.  When you KNOW you are the best at something and a new person inquires about the wisdom you are sharing, check your ego before responding.   The way that you respond will inform those directly involved in the conversation, as well as those looking on, as to whether you are confident or arrogant.

You can easily avoid confrontations by keeping an open mind.  If you feel that the person asking the question has less knowledge than you, do not react to their inexperience with a phrase like:

I’ve been doing this for years so I know what I’m talking about.

Kick your ego to the curb by admitting, to yourself, that nothing is static in our world.  Try to actively listen so you can learn more about their position.  You can experiment with statements such as:

I hadn’t thought of that.  Can you tell me more about it, please?

The first part of this phrasing validates the speaker by giving them credit for their idea.  The second part lets them know you are interested in what they have to say and leaves the door open for them to discuss it with you.

People will notice whether you are confident or arrogant, especially  if you have a genuine interest in learning more about them and what they have to say.  A good rule of thumb which I’ve discovered is that it is much better to be interested than it is to be interesting.  Besides, you actually might learn something new!

mean what you say!

Overly confident people rarely have the ability to truly appreciate someone else’s expertise, especially if it approaches their own.  If you are in this position and find yourself congratulating someone, make sure that your praise is sincerely offered because insincerity has potential to undermine the less experienced person with whom you are in conversation.

Always focus on building or improving your relationships by being honest.  Sarcasm or self-deprecating humor is a tactic that is sometimes used by arrogant people to draw attention away from others and to themselves, so be careful about how and when this is used.  If you can’t offer praise authentically, wait until you actually feel that emotion before dishing out your Kudos so the recipient knows whether you are being confident or arrogant when it is offered.

make yourself easy to approach

Your relationships will be enhanced and define you as being either confident or arrogant based on your ability to set aside your judgments that someone younger or having less experience automatically knows less about your subject than you do.  This will also make you seem more approachable. 

When you position yourself as an authority in your field, people will gladly follow you and have more respect for you because they want what you have.  They may not have decided yet whether you are confident or arrogant, and their decision is based on their perceptions of you.

As I used to quip:

She puts on her pantyhose one leg at a time too…  :)

When given the opportunity, provide your fans and followers with some personal information about how you arrived at your position of authority in your area of expertise.  I do not recommend being overly dramatic, as this will turn some people off.  What I’m suggesting is that it is totally OK let people know about things that bug you or mistakes you’ve made along your way. 

In the spirit of authenticity, always ensure that you are differentiating between what is your opinion and what is a fact, based on your knowledge. 

It is too much work to be perfect and it is probably an unobtainable goal anyway.  Your admirers need to know you are human in order to truly value the expertise that you have to share.

confident or arrogant?

confident or arrogantLeaders and mentors understand the responsibility of the characteristics that have attracted people to them.  Marketers sometimes appear to have problems weighing the balance between being confident or arrogant and, sadly, some do not even recognize that this is an opportunity for them to change and gain higher respect. 

It is my opinion that confidence and ego have the power to make or break your patterns of success.  As useful as it is to have an ego to propel you, that same ego will cause people to stop listening to you if you stomp on them in public or stifle their ideas by telling them they are wrong.

People will quickly spot whether you are being confident or arrogant. Truly confident people don’t have to prove that they are good at what they do for it is obvious without declarations.  Such people have a very firm BELIEF in their own capabilities, as well as a CLEAR UNDERSTANDING about their own strengths and weaknesses. 

An individual with a properly balanced ego will embrace what others feel is risky because that person believes in themself and knows that they have the ability to manage the risks and make it work.  Thus, these sorts of people will often take leaps of faith that would totally freak out a less confident professional.  But this can be inspiring to onlookers.

Having talent and being good at something is a gift.  Don’t abuse your power by diminishing those around you, no matter how much you know. 

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How to SEO Optimize WordPress Images

November 7, 2011 by +Marj Wyatt  
Filed under Featured, SEO Strategies

Have you ever wondered how to SEO Optimize WordPress images? It is commonly understood that on-page SEO can be optimized through the proper use of image attributes for placing keywords, appropriate keyword density, the use of H1 and H2 tags, and decoration of keywords within your post content.

Tip:  SEO Optimize WordPress Images Intelligently!

The alt attribute is meant to be used as an alternative text if the image is not available and it is another location search engines to read your keywords.  It is bad practice to stuff keywords, however, so use this content area wisely.

Important Image Attributes to SEO Optimize

  1. Image Name
  2. Image Title
  3. Image Alt Text
  4. Image Link Text

Uploading and inserting images into your WordPress post is very easy to do. When images are added to a post, the software creates different sized images for use on your pages automatically. The default image link is the link to the image attachment page. From an SEO perspective, this is far less desirable than having that image link to your actual post.

WordPress Image Upload Features Can Help You SEO Optimize Content

Most blog owners upload an image and insert it into their post without giving it a second thought.  Unless you have investigated the advanced options available in the popup for adding images to your WordPress posts and understand how these options help you SEO Optimize your WordPress images, you are missing opportunities for keyword placement on your posts and pages.

seo optimizeWith search engines demanding relevant content, it has become increasingly important to SEO Optimize all the elements possible in your posts and pages.  As the saying goes, a picture speaks a thousand words. Don’t overlook these words by failing to utilize the full power of WordPress and image tags.

This short video tutorial will walk you through the process of assigning a name to your image that is related to the topic of your post as well as how to use the advanced features of WordPress to SEO Optimize your newly uploaded image for better on-page SEO.

 

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Heroes and Villains

September 11, 2011 by +Marj Wyatt  
Filed under Marj Wyatt's Musings

As our nation pauses to reflect on the events that occurred a decade ago, we are reminded of the qualities that define us as humans and leaders.   Standing up in bravery during a time of utter chaos is not an uncommon.  The heart of humanity does tend to pull together time and again, so history has proven.

The tragedy of that event will never be forgotten by anyone who was alive that day.  For some, the tragedy was much more personal due to the loss of loved ones and family.  For others across the globe, the act of terrorism was celebrated, to our horror.

On Facebook, my nephew wrote this comment:

“The sadness and outrage inside me is just as much then as now. The question in my mind goes unanswered, why? I’ll never know the answer. If there’s a lesson to be learned from this it might be…don’t take life for granted, don’t just live the day like it’s any other day.”

There are no answers for acts of violence and terrorism.  In and of itself, terrorism is a cowardly act because the perpetrators hide in the shadows and congratulate themselves on a job well done while the innocent suffer the consequences and grief.  When they later take “responsibility” for their actions, it is nothing other than crowing inane justifications for their insanity.  This has been my opinion since long before the historic events of 9-11 and my feelings were galvanized on that day.

Disregarding politics, Mayor Rudy Guilani rose to the top of the list of leaders whom I observed  that day.  His intentions were pure as he motivated his constituents to help each other recover during the crisis.  Apparently, he was among those who impressed talk show host, David Letterman, during that time.

The civilians on United Flight 93, who took fate into their own hands and diverted the plane away from its intended target, acted without regard for their own lives as they protected our nation from further devastation.  We can only imagine how it felt to be forced to make that life or death decision and, God willing, none of us will ever have to confront such a choice.

On this day, and everyday, remember the lessons of 9-11, a nation unites to keep the memories of those who served and protected us by taking a stand for the greater good during a devastating tragedy.

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Are You Using Social Media Effectively?

I know I’ve been struggling with the best way to apply social media strategies to my business.  How about you?  Not only did Don Crowther deliver 5 content-packed videos with solid strategies for leveraging social media in any niche during his pre-launch, today (July 11, 2011) and Wednesday (July 13, 2011), he is over-delivering again by hosting 2 FULL DAYS (Over 12+ HOURS) of free content using LIVE streaming video.

I’m sure that thousands of people will be watching and interacting during this broadcast.  In fact, **Depending on when you are reading this, the show may already be LIVE right Now**  at this link.

Here is the line-up for Monday, June 11th, beginning at 5pm Eastern and running until 11:30pm:

Andy Jenkins
Mike Koenigs
Jeff Walker
Perry Marshall
Dan Hollings
Dan Thies
Leslie Rohde

The SPF Livecast is also going to Showcase TONS of Real-Life case-studies from people just like you and me  who are quietly (some not so quietly) leveraging Social Media in their niches to achieve their goals and profiting further by going on to become Social Media Consultants.

Here is a link to the LIVE broadcast again:
LIVE streaming Social Media Webinar Link

Since this free broadcast is LIVE Streaming video, the presenters will be taking YOUR questions, and responding to YOUR feedback LIVE as they go. Just put it on in the background if you can’t pay attention for SIX HOURS STRAIGHT.  (But we’re all masters of multi-tasking, aren’t we?  :) )

I honestly got so many great strategies for using social media more effectively from the pre-launch videos, I wouldn’t think of missing this event.  Even if those got past you, you’re bound to learn SOMETHING  from the 2 days of live streaming video that you can put to work for you immediately in your business.

I’m going to be there, for sure, and I hope you will join me.  See you at the the LiveCast!

I’m Not Really a Waitress …

April 29, 2011 by +Marj Wyatt  
Filed under Featured, Marj Wyatt's Musings

When I launched my wordpress website design business a few years ago, my enthusiasm for helping people make money online caused me to develop a business model for myself that involved a lot of personal time with my clients.  They seemed to appreciate the level of service that I offered for reasonable rates and it was fun for me to learn about the various businesses people were trying to bring online.  I’ve never had to advertise.  My business has grown solely by word-of-mouth and referrals, which is no accident.

Lately, it seems like new clients have expectations that exceed their budgets.  It remains true that my all inclusive wordpress website design and consulting services are rare and I totally understand what it feels like to not know how to do what needs to be done where skills are lacking.  Wherever possible, I extend myself to help out.  I”m recently reminded that the speed with which I isolate and resolve problems seems to be projecting the idea that , because I make it look easy, it is.

I can’t count the number of times that I’ve heard a new client tell me that they don’t want to know how something works and that is why they’ve hired me.  I also can’t count the number of times that clients have protested my resistance to continuing without additional compensation.  A handful have been presumptuous enough to question why it would take so long to do.   Excuse me?

With all due respect, if you don’t know what it takes to get something done and you don’t want to take the time to learn how to do it yourself, don’t challenge the person who does know how to do it when they tell you how long it will take to do what you need to have done!

I like living with the belief that all people are reasonable and that they are also willing to parlay a little give and take in our business agreement.  Recently, a handful of  new clients and prospects have come my way who are much happier with the “take” part of the equation, however.  These same people have had no qualms expressing their opinions about wordpress website design services that I should deliver for free or at an unreasonably low price when the simple truth is that they don’t want to pay fairly for the services they are requesting and they are upset about the fact that they are unable to convince me that I should perform those services within their limited budget because they are low on cash.

For those of you who are reading this and are feeling a twinge of guilt about making similar demands of your website services professionals, please ask yourself these questions:

  1. If you wanted to buy a luxury car and couldn’t afford it, would ranting at the salesperson change the facts?
  2. If that sales person felt sorry for you and went the extra mile to find a financial program that lowered your monthly expense, would you blame them for the fact that the payment was still out of your reach?

wordpress website designWhen I chose an entrepreneurial career, I was happy to leave my IT Executive role behind in Corporate America because I was weary of leading teams whose contributions to the company’s success were repeatedly diminished by some top-level executive who viewed IT as a necessary evil.  It would seem that I’m growing weary of explaining to new clients and prospects that the skills and knowledge that I’ve gathered throughout my professional life are worth much more than a waitress’ wage.

Yet, referrals keep coming in from my large base of previously satisfied clients.  Several times a week, new business comes in through my website at http://virtuallymarj.com.  Generally speaking, life is good and I enjoy working with the many nice people on my client roster.  I also enjoy taking on a good challenge now and then so I guess I’ll continue growing my wordpress website design business  and keeping it fun by choosing to work with clients who are willing to take advice, understand the value that I bring to their efforts and are willing to pay fairly.  :)

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