Trollishly bad practice viral campaign

How much work does going viral take?

I like being flattered as much as the next social media expert. [I’m not a guru by the way].

And responding promptly to media enquiries is best practice.

Here’s an example of a social media agency running a project which wasn’t quite what I expected. Learn from my mistakes.

Anatomy of a viral social campaign

When Claire Divas approached me the request was nicely written.

I suspect English is not her first language –  copywriting for sales success is a course she could usefully complete. That apostrophe is a killer giveaway as is the word eager – which is commonly used in Indian English. And it turns out it is not “her” site, it’s an agency business.

I’m doing an Expert’s Roundup interview on my site and I believe social media enthusiasts 
and specialists would be eager to know your answer to this question:
What Are The Effective Tips For Online Business To Get Viral On Social Media?

It looked good. On topic and the right audience of enthusiasts. Going viral with a post about going viral seemed like a nice proposition.

Turns out I’m one in 130+ people quoted

Does it betray trust to find you are hard to pick out in a crowd? Who will actually read one hundred and thirty different so-called experts advice?

So how did the campaign plan look

  1. Write to a lot of people with a simple request
  2. Set up a form to collect their answers
  3. Curate images and biography information
  4. Send chasing emails.
  5. Write a summary article with a catchy title.
  6. Tell everyone what you’ve done

So far so good. You can copy this campaign structure.

Put the reader first

The scope of the campaign structure is good – best practice.

The selection of experts is diverse. And this is where the problems start.

Think about the reader – I think that she will find it hard to get value from what’s written here. It’s too diverse, too broad and you have to trawl through a lot of content to find that one snippet of “gold” that will answer your question.

Self-evidently Trollishly [hideous name btw] want a lot of people to promote and link to their content [that’s a no-follow link].

And that will give them a ton of good SEO and incoming links and publicity as people quoted amplify their message to their audiences.

What I got wrong

What irritates me is that I didn’t ask the right questions of Trollishly and of myself at the start of the project.

  1. How many experts will be quoted?
  2. How many people in your audience are B2B
  3. Will the links be do-follow back to my website and social profiles?
  4. Will this audience become businesses prospects for me?
  5. What is the ROI on my time?
Rebecca expertise on social media

Rebecca’s advice on the shared expert post

I fell for their pitch. I didn’t qualify the opportunity well enough.

And look at what they published – the pink circled website and social media details of my business are an image – not hyperlinked at all. So going viral is not what they actually delivered for me.

I feel exploited….

P.S. I could have found much of this out with a little research. The menu items on their website include “Buy Instagram likes”. Tells me everything I need to know about the quality of their business.

education electric tariff differences

Effective social media tips for B2B

Business to Business marketing is my specialism. The key to robust B2B social media marketing return on investment is persistence, diligence and flashes of genius!

Having said that, you need more that just posting regularly to enable social media ROI. Allow me to explain.

Your customer pipeline

Building authority and demonstrating empathy are the messaging goals that will start prospects moving up the sales pipeline.

LinkedIn updates need to have a balance of product/service information combined with industry discussions.

I set up Google Alerts for key words which are triggers for my client’s industry. One is “Tax” and so we can track that against mainstream news. Here in New Zealand we just had an election and so adding “Tax + election” we can either start discussion threads about this OR answer other people’s questions.

Another is “Health & Safety” and we can look at newsworthy situations where failures happened and start a discussion about lessons and learnings.

Following hashtags can also be beneficial for niche industries.

What B2B marketers get wrong on social

The key for businesses who sell advice is not to give advice on social media.

They should ONLY demonstrate expertise.

The key for businesses who sell products is not to push their products – only to demonstrate the key features of good products (which of course they supply).

The inference is that you are experts and prospective customers should seek you out if they see relevance in what you write and it aligns with their immediate area of interest.

Is this a selling opportunity? Case Study

I posed a question on LinkedIn and garnered a lot of views and comments.

electric car electric tariff

Electricity tariffs for electric cars in NZ

Is this a selling opportunity? Yes for sure.

I got responses in public from Mercury, Meridian Energy and Our Energy Limited and in private I messaged Electric Kiwi, Power Compare and ChargeNet. So about one sixth of the local retail electricity supply industry brands.

The discussion was really interesting and a mix of industry insiders and consumer remarks, including this gem from the CEO of Our Energy Ltd – a disruptor startup in the energy supply industry.

education electric tariff differences

Comparing tariffs is only one part of the EV power story

So electricity companies are all watching, tracking and listening to customer conversations.

And you should be too.

Social selling is not a silver bullet

Many advisers will counsel using “social selling” an irritating phrase meaning sell your services on social media. This is such a problematic term for B2B because when on social, most people do not want to be sold to. They aren’t in “buying” mode on social.

Creating negative brand perceptions is to be avoided.

Having a robust, well-rounded tactical marketing and brand building programme will give you ample opportunity to sell. But only after you have built brand credibility and trust. Therefore multi-touch and multi-channel campaigns are the best route forward for B2B brands. Use with care, is my advise. Oh, yes and do ask an expert what they think about “social selling” BEFORE you hire them.

Slideshare got sold

Today’s discovery. Slideshare got sold.

scribd and slideshare

Slideshare header about Scribd

I was a very early Scribd user…. now I find they’ve bought Slideshare from LinkedIn.

This will change things for many of us who love Slideshare.

  • What happens to my slide decks shared into LinkedIn? [they stay]
  • Who still uses Slideshare [me and my clients]
  • Why is Scribd such a great platform? [sharing document images – especially long ones.]

Why I loved Slideshare

It was the first and most easy way to share decks – create embeddable and downloadable links and also do lead generation from a single place. For folks in professional services this was great if you were using education as a B2B marketing tool. I frequently recommended this strategy for my clients and it remains very effective.

What changes now?

Well, tools come and go all the time. I spend a lot of time cataloguing new marketing software and services which could be useful for me or my clients,  That’s one of the reasons why I’m often such an early adopter of these services [checkout when I joined Twitter for example].

Slides featured on my LinkedIn Profile

The functionality for slide embeds will continue to rest with Slideshare for the time being. But its utility is now altered.

Where and how expertise is shared is not the same and will continue to evolve.  And so, for now, I’m going to be looking closely at Scribd and its functionality.

And don’t forget LinkedIn – what will happen to future slide decks? Will there be alternative software for uploading them? What are the Slideshare alternatives and do they work on the LinkedIn platform?

What does Scribd do for me?

Scribd now also has functionality for reading magazines and books and audiobooks as well as slide decks.  It’s a competitor to Audible, Google Books, Kindle, Flip, Isuue and news or magazine aggregators.

All Slideshare users are automatically given a Scribd login.  Sadly they are only offering 2 months free use to Slideshare customers.

This makes me suspect that the acquisition was just to buy a user base. Sharing your slides isn’t exactly the same use case as using Scribd.

What do you think about this acquisition? Useful? Waste of Time? Who does slides today anyway?

facebook groups, facebook marketing,

FB Group tips – invite a friend

facebook groups, facebook marketing,

Invited by option for group memberships

I am a Facebook for Business group administrator and I’m delighted that they just added back an old feature.

When FB introduced the new interface for Group Admins about 9 months ago, the “Invited by….” feature was missing.

I sent my feedback that this is really useful and I wanted it…. Today it reappeared.

Why is this helpful? We have screening questions for the group and if you don’t answer them, we don’t let you in. BUT if introduced by an existing group member, that allows the applicant to bypass this step and still get accepted. Without knowing if they’d been invited or not, I couldn’t work out who to refuse or accept.

Now I wish they’d allow me to filter group applicants by “have they been invited”.

Messaging frequency in Covid19

How frequently should you message your customers during the Covid-19 lockdown?

Google my Business has a new tab with Covid19 status for your business – useful to update folks if you are open or not.

Corona virus Google businessupdate Google business covid 19 update

And the new Facebook layout seems to have relaxed flood control for messenger.

 

facebook brands tracking me

Which brands are tracking YOU?

The new “Off-Facebook Activity” tracker launched this week spits out a list of the apps and sites that share your activity with Camp Zuckerberg. The platform can see when you visit a website or open an app, or add an item to your shopping cart, just to name a few examples.

I just did a check on Facebook of all the brands who have set a tracking pixel for my website visits.

526.

Wow.  I mean, really – that’s a lot.

facebook brands tracking me

These are the most recent brands tracking me with a FB pixel

If you want to check your own, here’s how.

Navigate to your Facebook activity list  by clicking background information about “Off Facebook Activity” and on right side “What you Can Do”.  There are also informational help tabs.

Facebook activity check

Where to click to find your off Facebook brand tracking

 

Is Guest Posting Dead?

In 2014, Matt Cutts, former head of the Web Spam team at Google, wrote the following:

“Okay, I’m calling it: if you’re using guest blogging as a way to gain links in 2014, you should probably stop.”

Ever since the state of guest blogging has been debated heatedly. Indeed, guest blogs with low-quality content have truly been dead for decades.

On the other hand, high-quality blogging is an effective strategy to create backlinks, and drive traffic to your website. Even Cutts eventually published a correction, and said: “There are still many good reasons to do some guest blogging (exposure, branding, increased reach, community, etc.)”

So, the question is, how can we create quality guest blogs every time?

Here, we have outlined three easy and effective strategies to create guest posts that are sure to attract links, and bring in traffic:

The Robin Hood Technique

The Robin Hood technique, as suggested by SEO Gold Coast, is a quick and effective way to write guest posts with good quality content. This technique involves recreating great content from popular blogs and offering them to platforms with a low ranking, and less credibility and traffic.

Keep in mind, however, that this does not mean plagiarizing the content – instead, you must only take inspiration from the blog to recreate ideas for your own post.

The following steps can be undertaken for this technique:

Ahref’s Content Explorer Tool contains one billion pages and can be used to find blogs you can write a guest post for

Ahref’s Content Explorer Tool

Source: ahrefs

  1. Enter a keyword corresponding to your chosen topic to find similar articles
  2. Check the “one article per domain” box to find unique blogs related to your keyword
  3. Sort the results according to Language, Shares, Domain Rating, Organic Traffic, and Number of Words to truly find a customized blog post idea

Note the importance of Domain Rating (DR) that showcases the popularity level of a backlink, based on a scale of 1-100.

While it is tempting to only work with high DR blogs, low DR blogs are also worth investing your time and energy in, as they usually have a niche following and are bound to grow.

What’s more, low DR blogs usually receive fewer pitches and have less strict editorial standards – thereby making it easier to get featured or published.

Finally, you can move on to step 4:

4. Read the content of your chosen blog piece, and recreate it by adding a unique spin to it –  conclude by pitching it to low or high DR blogs through email outreach

Splintering Content

Another effective way of guest posting is by splintering or breaking existing blogs into shorter, but authoritative posts.

The point of splintering content is to dive deep into a topic that you have already researched before, as it is easier to recreate, revise, or rewrite.

After writing detailed individual posts, you can then pitch the pieces to online magazines and platforms that would publish it as guest posts, whilst still re-directing the reader to your original blog post – thereby creating quality backlinks.

The Perspective Technique

A small change in perspective can lead to a completely new, and unique piece of writing.

The trick here is to use a previously written blog post and turn it into multiple guest posts by simply tweaking your overall perspective.

For instance, if your previous blog post was on the “The Future of Link Building” – you can now write on a variety of topics by changing your viewpoint, such as:

  • Future of link building for small business
  • Future of link building for E-commerce
  • Future of link building for startups, and so on

Effective Guest Posting

The techniques outlined here are a good way to get you started. Keep in mind, however, that once you start pitching your guest posts, you may be faced with some problems.

For instance, editors and bloggers may routinely reject your pitch, negotiations may take months, or the link to your article may be taken down suddenly and without prior notice.

To address this concern here is what you can do:

  • Focus on creating good quality content for your blogs
  • Pitch to multiple blogs at the same time
  • Include links to your other guest posts to generate more traffic
  • Keep exploring and writing for new platforms and sites

In short, by following the techniques outlined above, you can defy Matt Cutt’s claim that guest posts are dead. Indeed, guest posts are thriving and can be used to generate traffic and brand awareness for your business in the long run.

podcast, economy watch, interest co nz, David Chaston, NZ Economy

Another Podcast launched

Today we announce the Economy Watch podcast by Interest.co.nz has launched. It’s a daily summary of the key overnight news that affects the New Zealand economy.

Short podcasts for news

In scoping the content and audience for this podcast, we decided that a short format podcast was a good choice. Listeners are on their way into work and can catch a 6-10 minute update quickly during their commute to work.

Authored by David Chaston, Editor and voiced by me (Rebecca Caroe), we are really pleased with the early listener feedback.

Please go and listen and tell me what you think. Appreciate it!

Tongue twister podcasting

Now here are the things I’ve found hard to say coherently in the episodes so far. See if you can spot them in the audio

German government bonds sold at a record low yield overnight. They sold 10-year Bunds [bund / bond]

India imposed higher retaliatory tariffs [why was retaliatory so hard?]

China’s Central government coffers [coffers was the issue here]

at the Japanese-hosted G20 summit [not sure why I can’t say summit]