Marketing Juice: Digital + Social Strategy

John Peterson
Twitter = @JackPeterson

Over 18 years of Hi-Tech industry experience. Digital Marketing & OPS Director (current). I hold a B.A. in Economics & Marketing from UC-San Diego, and UC-Santa Cruz, respectively. I have worked with a long list of companies that include: Apple, AMD, ARCintuition, CNET, Dell, HP, Hitachi, IBM, Intel, Lenovo, Microsoft, Nvidia, Samsung, Seagate, Sony, Toshiba, VIA, ZDnet.

Disclaimer: This is my personal blog. The views expressed on these pages are mine alone and not those of my employer.
Recent Tweets @jackpeterson

RWD major challenge these days is testing your content on all Mobile browsers. The desktop side of RWD that will fit and scale inside a desktop browser is relatively easy as there are no more that 6-7 different types of browsers.

On the mobile side, its entirely a different story as there are 40 + mobile browsers out there in the wild (default + installable). What you need is a “device” plan of attack. Know which device classes you intend to support before you start to code and create content. Have both your lowest common denominator devices and your high-end device designs before you begin to code. Try to visualize a way to create both versions from one code base and Test on different mobile devices from the beginning to the end to ensure that your incremental work will display correctly in the intended devices. Its good to have a small design lab where you can set up all these mobile devices and test your content. Designing and supporting multiple mobile displays takes time and patience.

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Forward-thinking salespeople are embracing a new approach to break down old communication barriers such as Cold Calls, and Email = Social Media.

While determining the best way to connect with prospects and help coax a consumer down your sales funnel, buyers are consistently going to social networks and the Internet to research products they have an interest in purchasing. Whether you are a B2B or B2C brand, potential buyers are looking on these social media platforms for product information. As the rise of smartphones are getting bigger form factors, consumers are apt to looking, researching with these larger handheld mobile screens.

Here is a brief breakdown of Social Media as related to the Enterprise:

Business to Consumer = Facebook

Business-to-Business products (or services) = LinkedIn (if you have a first-level connection in common with the executive or buyer who will sign off on a PO)

All types of sales = Twitter

*Twitter is the best for “all kinds of sales” as it’s a very popular network (across all demographics) that doesn’t have privacy settings that keep you from high volume searches and actions.

Social Media Sales strategies

Twitter. Make sure you “add” to the conversation a little before directly engaging:

  1.     Favorite a few Tweets
  2.     ReTweet one or two Tweets
  3.     Follow them

Friend, Follow or Connect with individuals with profiles that match you or your clients. Its VERY Important to build relationships on any Social Media platform. Not only can it help to generate leads, it can also help foster relationships with current customers.

Be in expert in your space. Provide solutions or tips and feedback to your customers or potential customers if they post a question or gripe on Twitter/Facebook. Prioritize the social channels and tools your audience is already using and that you’re familiar with, then organize those by their primary function.

Listening on social media is one of the most powerful tactics in a social selling strategy. Monitor for popular hashtags and keywords that are relevant to your industry or brand to find useful insights but also see what is being said about your competitors.

Never cold pitch on Social Media platforms. It comes off as desperate and will be ignored. If there is a conversation trending within your industry and potential customers, join in to offer meaningful commentary and interact with these potential buyers. Listening for these opportunities and finding out the pain points your potential customers are having will give sales people a feel for the conversation and allow them to add value.

Social media is “networking” more than it is “advertising”. The goal is to get them to call you (or vice versa), have an open mind about your product or service, and then make your sales pitch.

When its time to engage or pitch, follow these steps:

  • Ask for their email so that you can send them some info on your services.
  • Find them on LinkedIn and add “connect” with them.
  • Send a polite email and mention a conversation you had with them on Twitter or Facebook. You can also mention a tweet or Post that you “favorite” or “liked” from them.

Good Social Sales tools in this space that keeps track of conversations and engagement include:

Hootsuite. More for individuals and small business.

Salesforce Marketing Cloud. Enterprise grade and scalable.

Its apparent that Social Media like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are not fads anymore. These platforms are now mature options to generate leads and sales online. By experimenting with different Social Media sales strategies, you can find the best way to convert them into real quantifiable results on all levels.

250 posts! Nailed it!

250 posts! Nailed it!

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  • Social Media. Set up a refresh of your Facebook page, send out product launch tweets (schedule tweets 24 hours a day), create a LinkedIn group, create a webinar (webinars are huge right now, and they are the easiest way to connect with your audience). If your in retail, use Groupon. If you have a physical location your customers frequent, utilize geolocation tools like Foursquare. Make sure your business is already discoverable on geolocation apps.
  • Website refresh. Create new product-specific landing pages, feature photos (.png’s), blog content, online collateral. Adjust and enhance your website meta tags/keywords to reflect new product information. Dont forget your social sharing buttons (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc) on all website content.
  • Review copies (product launches). Reach out to influential bloggers + online publications. Send them copies 1-2 weeks before launch with an embargo date. Make sure you have some type of “blogger relations” program at least 6 months before launch. Relationship building with bloggers is key. Get to know them, comment on their blogs, reach out to them and introduce yourself way before your launch.
  • PPC campaign. Stick to one advertising platform like Google Ads, Amazon local advertising, or Facebook ads.
  • E-mail marketing. Consider offering a pre-order for your new product, exclusive only to e-mail recipients. Or, offer a sneak peek at the new product before it’s released to the public. Use email software such as Constant Contact, MailChimp, ExactTarget, Emma Mail, AWeber, or InfusionSoft.
  • Press Release. If you have budget, use Business Wire. A cheaper alternative is PR Newswire. These PR distribution companies now are fully automated and support Social Media + mobile (iPad, smartphone) tools like analytics.
  • Work your ass off. Rather then using a ton of money, use time, energy and creativity.

After launch its crucial to measure your results. Go back and re-double efforts on which of the above techniques are working and abandon the ones that are not working.

File name becomes your image file. Pin from a variety of different sources. Add a link to your image (back to your website). Don’t advertise. Make sure you continue to comment, like, and re-pin. Variety is the name of the game. Create different boards. Always add a “follow” button to your business website!

  • Average image is 300 pixels wide
  • The maximum horizontal width of pictures is 554 pixels
  • Limit the length of your image to 5,000 pixels
  • Videos can be pinned to Pinterest from YouTube and Vimeo. Create a detailed description for your video. This will help users understand what the video is about and can also help them discover your content when searching on Pinterest. Video descriptions about 200 characters long are the most repined. Make sure you use video annotations to get people to pin your video or visit your Pinterest page.
  1. Make sure the landing page loads FAST, otherwise your Google quality score goes in the tank. Desktop Page should take no more than 6 seconds to load. I would avoid Flash as it adds to load time. Your mobile landing page should load in under 5 seconds. Speed matters for conversions. You can test your website load times at pingdom.
  2. Make it obvious which button to click to complete an action.
  3. Make sure there is white space. This improves the user experience and makes your call to action stand out. Your call to action button (link) should be 20% larger than your logo. Place button at top of page (left). Web readers tend to track through content in a rough F-shaped pattern. So format important images flush left. Display the secondary action below the primary action.
  4. Catchy headline (create a powerful hook) and few exit navigation options. Keep it simple.
  5. Make sure your images are catchy, contextual, and load FAST. Optimize your images! Descriptive image file names, ALT tags, file size, Anchor text.
  6. Privacy policy and sitemap at the bottom.
  7. Check keyword usage. DO NOT spam keywords.
  8. Remove all possible distractions. Your design layout should be very clean, crisp, and clear. Get creative. No stupid redirects. Use a single dominate image or photo.
  9. If you use WordPress and have no experience in optimization, just add a WordPress optimization plug-in.
  10. Concentrate on the upper 300 pixels of the page. Half of your visitors will not scroll “below the fold.”

Yes, but it takes a lot of creativity, ingenuity and content creation.

First off, create a constant flow of good, quality content. Update your website content everyday. Include links to outside sources and use high quality graphics (.png). New revolving content is CRUCIAL. Content is king. New content updated daily will catch the search engine’s attention. You must do one thing: provide a daily flow of content.

More traffic without SEO tips also include:

  • Search for an aggregator within your vertical and see if they will pick up your content. Contact the editor. Get a conversation going through email. If your selling something (retail), try and get a coupon aggregator to pick you up.
  • Make sure you have an RSS feed subscription. Make it easy for visitors to get your daily updates.
  • If your using a WordPress (publishing platform) site, download and install a SEO plugin at the WordPress Plugin Directory. Let the plugin do all the work. You don’t need to know a damn thing about SEO to install one of these plugins. This is easy and will help get you that low hanging traffic fruit. Good WordPress SEO plugins include: Meta SEO Pack, SEO Ultimate, SEO Tools, Platinum SEO Pack.
  • Get users to comment and engage in some sort of discussion on your site. This generates more content and more search engine juice. If your starting out and don’t have any users, create numerous dummy email accounts and post comments thru these accounts. Make sure you add/post a DIGG, Reddit, StumbleUpon, Delicious, and Tweet your website and every content post.
  • Pay for online ads (Google, Twitter, Facebook). This is good if your selling a product, but bad if your just promoting a content site that isn’t selling anything but click-through ads. SPAM tends to gravitate towards paid online ads promoting content while trying to get paid through google ads or banner advertisement clicks so be careful. Go with PPC (if your budget permits) if you have an actual product or service to sell.

HTML 5 is a MUST for multi-platform website development going forward.

A short, brief list of digital PR tips & essentials.

-PR blog posts and press releases views happen mostly on Mondays and Wednesdays. First thing in morning.
-Tuesdays are a bad day to issue a PR or a good story on your company’s blog….people tend to work and stay focus on Tuesdays.
-Fridays are bad. Fridays see very little traffic to content. Everyone is out to lunch on Fridays or gets in late to work.
-If you do send out a press release (wire), post it on your company blog as well = more traction.
-Ideal blog post length is between 1,000-2,000 words.
-Make your PR or story post link-worthy. Do not forget a great image (hi-res) or visual to your digital content like an Infographic.
-All Press Releases and PR campaign’s must contain complementary digital assets in order to get links. Links are symptomatic of good PR.
-Twitter is a PR wet dream. Use Twitter for media relations. Busy reporters & reviewers do not answer their phones and receive countless e-mails, but they do pay attention to Twitter! Twitter is a great way to link a press release or a quality company blog post. It adds traction and traffic (value-add). Twitter can also be used to Pitch. Before any
pitch has been made on Twitter to @journalist follow them for a few months. Get to know them. If you like what they are doing and reporting, retweet them or give them props! Share their stuff and links to their articles. If @journalist needs info or asks for help, reach out immediately and make it your priority. Help them out, and they will help you out. It goes both ways. Let the reporter know you’ve been driving traffic to their story. Keep the pitch respectful and short. Example: @journalist Do you accept story pitches? @journalist I just sent you an email, take a look when you get a chance. Its a good fit for your outlet.
-Facebook. Yes, @journalist use Facebook as well. @journalist will use Facebook on their own or through their publication page. Share their stories + interact with their readers. Interact with them and become visible by liking and commenting on their posts. Establish a professional relationship.
-Build a journalist / reporter list for your niche. Need to build a good list of Press for your particular product or service? Start with research. A good shortcut is to use JustReachOut. JustReachOut is a website dedicated to finding reporters who have written about your particular product or service. Just add your company’s product category in the search box, and the engine will bring up reporters interested and have written about your industry. Connect with them and reach out.

Lastly, Monitor your analytics for referral traffic. Figure out what works, and what doesn’t.