Community members despise corporate lies or “marketing language” that paints a rosy picture even though they are being stomped on by a policy change or benefit reduction. Use transparent communication when breaking bad news to your online community. It is bad enough that you must deliver a Debby-downer to your passionate membership, but do not make matters worse by lying or using smoke and mirrors to distract them. They know exactly what is going on and their anger and disapproval will only increase if you choose to treat them like idiots.
There are many slices of Digital Marketing that can drive traffic to your website or blog. Search Engine Optimization is the best way to capture search engine referrals organically. Search Engine Marketing or paid search is the best way to funnel eyeballs to your site if you want to pay for each set of eyeballs. Social Media is the art of distributing, sharing and consuming content by users via their own online social presence. If you have a blog and a Twitter account then I suggest you take a good look at a relatively new Social Media tool; Triberr.
You have a brilliant idea for an online community and you need members in droves fast. You hatch your Social Media strategy, launch various Search Engine Marketing campaigns and implement the best SEO possible. However, there are so many communities available you want to distinguish yourself and you have chosen the incentive route to encourage massive registrations. Your first inclination is to offer the very best incentives and to tackle international fulfillment. This might be the worst decision you can possibly make.
Managing an online community can grind to a halt or can be very painful if you do not create good database rules for your registration form fields. Whether you have a brilliant new idea and you are working out of your garage or if you are an established community with dozens to hundreds of employees you must ensure your are collecting clean data. In the long run this will help your IT load, reporting and will prevent affiliate fraud to some degree.
Ever get the feeling that the search results Google displays seem to include the websites you often frequent? Ever wonder how that is possible with trillions of web pages and billions of websites? Can your special corner of the Internet and your search topics be that small? Welcome to Google Personalized Search. Think of it in similar fashion to the shopping behavioral algorithm that Amazon uses for their shopping “Recommendations” when you are logged into your account. However, there is one major difference. Google provides this feature for users that are logged into their account and users that are NOT logged into their account. Yes, Google is tracking your search activity and based upon your activity tailors the search results of future search queries.
Last week Facebook announced Skype integration allowing for video chat. This new feature will now bring far away friends or old friends together in a new medium through the Facebook community platform. This is a great new feature and one that probably had enormous scale issues to overcome given Facebook’s 700 million user base.
I recently read Jessica Northey‘s post “Feel Like You’re Going the Wrong Way Down the Social Media Road?” and she mentions one of her goals is to blog five times per week. When I started this site my goal was to publish three times per week, but I have not been consistent with that publishing rhythm. So I started thinking why I am not accomplishing that goal and came up with my reasonable excuses for not blogging.
I am a recovering attorney that made the jump into Digital Marketing when SEO was very new to the legal community. My firm was ahead of the game and retained an SEO consultant to train me and that he did over the course of two years. From there I picked up Social Media, Community management and paid search. Even though I am no longer in the courtroom or wear a suit to work I do keep in contact with my attorney friends. They in turn tap me to improve their online presence or to ask I audit the work of their current SEO or Social Media consultant.
Defining the “proper etiquette” for the use of a Social Media tool or online community is very subjective. How you use Twitter may ruffle the feathers of some and how another uses Twitter may ruffle your feathers. I tend to be blasé when it comes to Twitter use by others. I understand there are dozens of ways to leverage Twitter and that there are hundreds of motivations for being on Twitter. However, there is one use that really gets my goat. Begging people to follow you or to follow another account in a Mention is sad.