Social Media & SMBs – March 2014 Tips Newsletter

There’s a saying, “You’re known by the company you keep.” When it comes to social media, that statement has never been truer. There’s tremendous interest in people who have the reputation to influence others. The Big Conversation last month was spurred by LinkedIn with their latest eBook, TheSophisticated Marketer’s Guide to LinkedIn, where they not only offered advice from marketers, but also identified 25 social media experts in the U.S. to follow. It was, by far, the most shared post published in February. You can read it under “Top Posts” in this month’s newsletter.

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This Month’s Top Online Marketing News:

LinkedIn Study Shows Social Media Marketing is Working for SMBs
marketing pilgrimLinkedIn conducted a survey of 998 SMBs in the U.S. and Canada and discovered that 81% of SMBs are using social media. They see it as a way of maintaining brand presence (90%), generating word-of-mouth (88%), delivering information about their company (89%) and generating new leads (82%).

Pinterest Launches New Mobile Website for its Growing Base of Mobile Users
marketing landWhile Pinterest’s blog post claimed the mobile redesign is the result of the site continuing to grow internationally, TechCrunch reports the primary driver of the redesign is Pinterest’s influx of mobile traffic, claiming 75 percent of all daily Pinterest traffic comes from “native mobile applications.” Their new mobile site includes an updated board page and sign-up flow, as well as now displaying recent boards in the board picker.

Yahoo Turns to Yelp to Beef Up Local Search
search engine landYahoo has recently started to introduce a new, more elaborate presentation of local business content into its search results. It’s very likely that we’ll see Yelp reviews, photos and other content integrated into Yahoo search in a way very similar to Bing. However, Yahoo will probably go further if it considers Yelp’s content a potential differentiator.

Klout Evolves Into a Content Creation Platform as it Seeks to Help You Become More Influential
the next webThe emphasis is no longer on your score, but about how you can create and share informative and relevant content in order to keep your audience engaged and influenced. Klout’s Chief Product Officer says that the redesign includes four tags that will be displayed to highlight fresh content, along with those stories that are starting to trend online: on the rise, crowd pleaser, hidden gem and hot off the presses.

Study: Marketers Begin Aligning Content With the Buyer Journey
marketing chartsRecent research has brought to light the importance of customizing content to the buyer’s journey stage, something that few B2B content marketers feel adept at doing. A new study from Oracle Eloqua and LookBookHQ, conducted among the Oracle Eloqua community, suggests that content marketers are trying to get better on this front.

Millennials’ Social Media Posts Influence Peers to Buy New Products
emarketerMillennials are significantly more likely than older generations to be influenced by their friends’ social media posts about products and services. According to January 2014 polling conducted by Harris Interactive for The Webby Awards, 68% of 18-to-34-year-old social media users surveyed were at least somewhat likely to make a purchase after seeing a friend’s post.

Top Posts From the TopRank® Online Marketing Blog:

25 Social Media Marketing Experts You Need to Know According to LinkedIn
If you’re anywhere near the B2B marketing world, social selling or recruiting, getting to know LinkedIn is essential.  This post highlighted one of TopRank’s latest collaborations, The Sophisticated Marketer’s Guide to LinkedIn eBook, containing 50 pages of advice directly from marketers within LinkedIn as well as some of the top B2B marketing pros in the business plus a list of 25 social media experts in the U.S. selected by staff at LinkedIn.

9 Tools to Discover Influencers in Your Industry
People with a strong center of influence can provide valuable context and credibility to a company seeking to connect with an audience of buyers. But, in an age of information overload and the ability for anyone anywhere to publish, finding those influential connections in your industry can prove to be a challenge. Here are 9 of many tools that can be used for the initial task of finding influencers aligned with specific areas of subject matter expertise. Several go beyond discovery and also support filtering, managing, engaging, monitoring and reporting.

Does It Still Make Sense For Companies to Blog?
The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth’s annual study of corporate blogs in 2013 recently reported the largest year-over-year increase of Fortune 500 corporate blogs (34%) since they started tracking them in 2008. From telecommunications to specialty food retailers, companies have found blogging to be an essential hub for their social media, content marketing, SEO and online public relations efforts. Discover why business blogging is more relevant than ever.

What’s the Difference Between Content Marketing and Content for Links? The Wrong Answer Could Cost You
If your company is buying content marketing purely for SEO reasons, then it’s likely that your editorial plan is driven by popular, relevant keywords and not the specific interests of your target customers.  Leading with keywords is a strategy that drives content quantity (not quality) to achieve as many “hooks in the water” as possible within search results. Essentially, it’s a model with a focus on optimizing for search engines, not customers. For brands investing in content marketing, not knowing the difference between content for SEO vs. content for customers can be risky. Learn why.

Podcasting: Storytelling for the 21st Century – Pros, Cons, Examples and Best Practices
The growth of podcast outlets and overall distribution (Apple’s iTunes app just surpassed 1 billion subscriptions for podcasts), means podcasting has become a substantial channel where buyers consume digital content. In short, podcasting represents the new platform for storytelling. Learn what marketers are saying about podcasting and listen to some fabulous examples of great podcasts.

Fun Fact

march fun fact

TopRank® in the News:

Optimize Featured as Go-To Book for SEO

Lee Odden’s book, Optimize, was recommended as a trusted source for SEO education by Practical eCommerce.

Lee Odden Makes “Most Re-Tweeted” List

Leadtail just released a report that analyzed 504 North American marketing professionals in companies that were both business and consumer focused. Out of a list of 50 people, Lee ranked #7.

Lee Odden Offers Tips on Live Blogging

Business2Community sought Lee out recently to share his experience with live blogging. “Liveblogging can create connections with speakers. There’s an expression I’ve used many times – If you want to get into the media, become the media,” he said.

Comments From Our Community Blog:

Good list — there are so many smart people to watch, and I’m glad that I figured out pretty early who some of the best are. Have been following about half on this list, including you Lee, for some time! Thanks for all the hard work and for sharing. Denise Gabbard, from 25 Social Media Marketing Experts You Need to Know According to LinkedIn

Lee, great interview, seems like the direction we’re all headed is to be highly data driven media companies. Ann Handley mentioned quality of content experiences; that is only going to become more important as the sheer volume of content noise increases. This is a fantastic read, @jcolman thanks for sharing your thought process, your tools and a bit about yourself. Seth Price, from Content Strategy Interview With Jonathon Colman

Great post and I agree. It’s still very relevant for me to gain traffic and followers on multiple niche blogs that I have. I use a lot more video today to separate myself from the competition, and I think that’s a better strategy than simply blogging personally. Combine the two however, and it’s been working great for me. Thanks for the article and insight! Dean Ethridge, from Does It Still Make Sense For Companies to Blog?

I like the idea of creating value in the print newsletter as something to hold on to in the home or workplace, due to its usefulness or sheer aesthetic appeal (or both!) That might be a good result to strive for when approaching this tactic. Sarah Bauer from, Print Newsletters as Content Marketing Tactic: Pros, Cons, Examples and Best Practices

Thanks, Lee, for a fabulous list of tools that help people really drill down and target influencers. One of the best things about knowing the big dogs in your industry is that you can not only connect with them, but learn from them. Joan Stewart, from 9 Tools to Discover Influencers in Your Industry 

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