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Mark Traphagen
Works at Stone Temple Consulting
Attended Westminster Theological Seminary
Lives in Durham NC
124,831 followers|34,126,328 views
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  • Westminster Theological Seminary
    M.A.R. in Biblical Studies, 2004 - 2009
  • Liberty University
    B.A. Interdisciplinary.
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Networking, Friends
July 21
Other names
trappermark, the Foolish Sage, sagethefool
Social Media Marketing | Content Marketing | Personal Brand Authority

As Senior Director of Online Marketing for Stone Temple Consulting, I'm responsible for raising the awareness of STC's renowned services for our many Fortune 500 level clients. 

What can you expect me to talk and engage about? Social Media Consulting + Social Media Marketing + Content Marketing + Inbound MarketingInternet Marketing + Google+ Business Pages + Paid Search Advertising and anything to do with connecting on the web!

My mission is to help you get seen and heard, to get your message out and bring in people who want and need what you have to offer. My special know-how is in the intersection of social and search.

I'm the Senior Director of Online Marketing for Stone Temple Consulting, one of the leading online marketing agencies in the United States.

On Google+ you'll see me posting and sharing mostly about social media and how we can more effectively use it to collaborate and transform our world.

My Creds: 

Read and subscribe to my Flipboard Magazines. I daily curate there the best online marketing related news, tips, and articles I run across all over the web:

Available to speak at your conference! Also for press, podcast, and webinar interviews. Contact me through this profile or the email address below.

Personal Stuff

Married for over 30+ years to Karyn Louise Murphy Traphagen. Two grown-and-married daughters; six grandchildren. #nerdfighter #DFTBA!

I've competed in The Monti storytelling event (winning a StorySlam and runner-up in a GrandSlam), and joined a New Orleans-style second line band called the Bulltown Strutters.

Cover photo courtesy of Dustin W. Stout & Weal Media. Profile image by Jennifer Rich.

All posts and opinons expressed by me on Google+ are entirely my own and do not necessarily reflect those of my employer or any other organization with which I might be connected.


My home blog is at Stone Temple Consulting. I write the Social Media Marketing column for Marketing Land, I also contribute to Moz, Search Engine Land, Maximize Social Business, Social Media Today and many other top digital marketing sites.

I have spoken at numerous industry conferences, including MozCon, Pubcon, SMX (Advanced, East, West & Social Media), and SearchExchange.

I tweet at @marktraphagen

Finally, let me leave you with a benediction, courtesy of my friend Eli Fennell:

In nomine Google, et Long Tail, et spiritus AuthorRank.

Bragging rights
Old enough to have an Early Adopter Badge from Foursquare for Planet Earth | The Monti StorySlam Winner & GrandSlam Runner Up
Sr. Director of Online Marketing: Social Media Marketing - Google+ Marketing - Content Marketing - SEO - Organic Link Building
SEO, social media marketing, link building, content marketing, writing, content production, blogging, speaking
  • Stone Temple Consulting
    Senior Director of Online Marketing, 2014 - present
    Responsible for strategic planning and implementation of the online branding, promotion, and reputation of Stone Temple Consulting, as well as specialized consulting with selected Stone Temple clients.
  • Virante Inc.
    Director of Digital Outreach, 2011 - 2013
  • Virante Inc.
    Internet Marketing Analyst, 2009 - 2011
  • Westminster Bookstore
    Manager of Online Marketing
  • The Covenant School (Charlottesville VA)
    Assistant Administrator of Lower School
  • Abbot Laboratories
    IV Products Sales Representative
  • Uarco Business Forms
    Account Manager
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Durham NC
Youngstown OH - Columbus OH - Dayton OH - Muskego Lake WI - Menomonee Falls WI - Indianapolis IN - San Antonio TX - Cedar Grove NJ - Ramsey NJ - Cortland NY - Lynchburg VA - Hoolehua HI - Charlottesville VA - Glenside PA - Wyncote PA
Contact Information



Mark Traphagen

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This is my #marketing  crusade...

Brands who nurture and encourage employee personal brands,
people passionate about their business who develop their own loyal audiences,
who create content and engage on topics relevant to the company brand,
those people create unique and powerful relational connections for those brands, connections that may not have happened any other way.

Read the post below I wrote for +Moz to find out why PBRs (Personal Brand Representatives) are so powerful, and what they could do for your business.

The Ideal: The company brand is well-represented by a stable of powerful and beloved people.

+Moz is a great example in our industry: +Rand Fishkin +Cyrus Shepard +Pete Meyers +Erica McGillivray +Jennifer Sable Lopez and more.

The Reality for many brands though, is that they are not quite ready for the full-blown PBR strategy. Even launching one PBR may be difficult.

For that reason in the weeks and months ahead I'm going to be creating a content series that gives brands the incremental steps to get from Reality to the Ideal.

And BTW, not all brands need to go all the way to "Ideal." There will be actionable material for everyone in this series.

Watch this space!
Personal Brand Representatives: What They Are and Why Your Brand Needs Them
More and more brands realize their is real business value in humanizing their brand via content and social media. But far fewer have taken the next step: nurturing and supporting real in-house personal brands to represent the brand. Learn how to harness the incredible power that happens when people connect with real people associated with your brand.
Jane Rakali's profile photoBrian Jensen's profile photoN C LeGrand (Brand)'s profile photoYoung Fenton's profile photo
+Mark Traphagen  That would probably be really helpful. I notice they've changed their marketing considerably, recently. I mentioned them as an example, because they're Australia's largest telco, the company I have my internet connection with, and were formerly a public company. This is something of a challenging navigation for a company in that situation.

It is my hope that navigating the transition to social media, where consumers can and do interact directly, the company's internal culture might also benefit, since this reflects some considerable social shifts at present.

Now I wish I'd considered this conversation more carefully. But as the 21st century unfolds and business has to adapt to the shifting social circumstances, there are considerable benefits to be had by embracing social media and the feedback that can enable.
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Why DOESN'T Google use social signals directly for ranking?

I wrote this article a year ago not because I just take as Gospel anything +Matt Cutts says (I don't), but because what he had to say here makes so much sense.

The bottom line: social signals aren't the slam dunk ranking signal that people assume they are.
Neil Ferree's profile photoYuri Polchenko (tobto)'s profile photoSaul Fleischman's profile photoWalter Lim's profile photo
Value/respect come from history.
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Mark Traphagen

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What +Stephan Hovnanian shares here is SO important, and not just for email marketing. 

There is way, way too much "expert advice" about online marketing that is simply sharing formulas or best practices repeated from someone else. 

Never confuse that with strategy!

+Stephan Hovnanian I may "steal" this for an upcoming TTO podcast!

Don't confuse strategic with formulaic
I'm listening to a podcast where the host asked his guest, "Do you have a strategy for how often you send marketing emails to your list vs valuable newsletter content?"

The response was, (you're gonna love this), "I follow the 80/20 rule."

I've got news for you, the 80/20 rule is a formula not a strategy!

A strategy for how often you send marketing emails to your list involves more factors than time. You'll segment your list (sadly, the guest made zero mention of using any of the intelligence from the email marketing data). You'll develop a subscriber persona that scores and tags them based on what they interact with, and when. You'll look at external factors such as industry trends and news, for your product and that of your subscribers'.

In other words, your strategy is the steps needed to divine the optimal opportunity to send a "selly-sell" that gets opened, read, and acted upon.

Since this opportunity will be different for everyone on your list, a blanket formula of 80/20, once a quarter, Tuesdays at 2pm ET, etc., is only setting yourself up for mediocre results.

This applies to any communication channel, including social media.

Thanks for listening :)
9 comments on original post
LIAN LUTFIJA's profile photoPadraig Ó Raghaill's profile photoStephan Hovnanian's profile photoGeorges-Emanuel Hurubaru's profile photo
+Padraig Ó Raghaill you too! 
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Mark Traphagen

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People are still finding this via Google search and resharing it, so it must still be a useful tip three years after I posted it....

Google+ Tip: Grab a Link to Your Google+ Post

Did you know you can link directly to any of your public posts on Google+, and anyone can see the linked post, even if they aren't signed in to Google?

It's very easy to do, and there are two ways to do it:

1. Right click the time stamp just after the poster's name and copy the link.
2. Click the arrow in a circle to the right of the poster's name and select "link to this post."

You can then use that link anywhere else on the web (Twitter, Facebook, etc.) to link back to that post!
58 comments on original post
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A Becker from the past +Alexander Becker​
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Mark Traphagen

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Old Camp, Upper Wilson Pond, Greenville, Maine

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Architectural Gems of Old Town Philadelphia

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Have him in circles
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Mark Traphagen

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Follow My Wife's Five Month Alaskan Adventure!

In four more days I'll be bidding my dear wife Karyn adieu for her five month wilderness adventure on the Kenai Peninsula of Alaska.

She will be on staff of a wilderness resort with numerous duties (everyone does a little of everything), but her primary job is to serve as one of the wilderness guides for resort guests.

This will be our longest time apart ever, but I'm tremendously excited for this opportunity and fully support my favorite scientist! I'll join her for an extended visit in July.

If you're on Facebook, she'll be chronicling her adventures, what she learns and sees, on her Stay Curious page:

Give it a like and follow along! #plusonly  
Cultivating Curiosity
Ron Serina's profile photoWalter Lim's profile photoDavid F “SmallBizDavid” Leopold's profile photoKath Dawson's profile photo
Sounds like an amazing opportunity and and exciting time for your wife. Best wishes to her.
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Not getting an Apple Watch, so maybe I'll post a video unboxing of my new iPhone case...

#excitement   #applewatch   #goingviral   #plusonly  
MaAnna Stephenson's profile photoCharles A's profile photoMark Traphagen's profile photoJoseph Ruiz's profile photo
Me either +Mark Traphagen although I happened to be in the local Apple store for another reason and was a bit surprised how many boomers were strapping them on.
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Got 3 minutes? Of course you's Saturday!

Check out Traphagen's Takeout Order, my every-weekday 3-4 minute audio piece of my mind. 

If you like what you hear in this episode, there's a link below to all 20 recorded so far.

Thanks for giving it a listen, and do let me know what you think!
Why Branding Is Indispensable to Your SEO - Traphagen's Takeout Order

You might not think that building a great brand reputation has anything to do with SEO...but you'd be wrong! Find out why in just 3 minutes in this episode.

Click the image below to listen! (3 minutes) 

Link from this episode:
"Why SEO That Used to Work, Fails"
Also relevant: "Thinking Beyond the 10 Blue Links" Traphagen's Takeout Order is a daily audio blog.

Follow me on +SoundCloud at << Playlist of all past episodes!

Follow my podcast on Pinterest at

  #seo   #tto   #podcast   #branding   #plusonly  
Traphagen's Takeout Order
20 Why Branding Is Indispenable To Your SEO
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Adirondack Loj, Adirondack Mountain Club, near Lake Placid, NY

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Guest quarters at EPC compound in Yei, Sudan. My wife and I were here in the summer of 2005, just months after the 20 year civil war had ended, to train teachers.

Our room was the one on the far right. Electricity was only on for a few hours in the evening. The "bathroom" was a toilet that had to be flushed by filling the tank with a bucket from a 55 gallon drum of water in our room. The same drum and bucket served as our "shower."

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Mark Traphagen

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The Crags, Bailey Island, Maine

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Absolutely amazing. Some of the best French food I've had anywhere. The owner is a delight.
Public - 5 months ago
reviewed 5 months ago
I have found the dentist I've been looking for all my adult life. Not only was the entire staff friendly and highly professional, they and Dr. Gadol did everything possible to make me relaxed and for my procedures to be as pain-free and comfortable as possible. I particularly appreciate that Dr. Gadol explains everything she is doing and why. I would recommend this service to anyone I know.
Public - 6 months ago
reviewed 6 months ago
I just found my new regular dry cleaner. At 11:30 am today I found out I needed to leave early tomorrow for an event that would require my suit, which needed cleaning. I called Regency, knowing that I was way past their deadline of 10 am for same-day service. The woman who answered the phone couldn't have been nicer. She repeated their policy, but understood my plight, and found a way for them to get my suit into their schedule. With service like that, you know I will be back!
• • •
Public - 8 months ago
reviewed 8 months ago
We asked our relatives to recommend one of the best restaurants in Ithaca and they sent us to Mahogany. They called it right. We were so impressed with everything from the appetizers to the entrees to the cocktails. This is a place to be savored, so it upsets me that people took away a star because the service wasn't "fast." Try McDonalds.
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
31 reviews
If you want to experience all the charm, elegance, and nostalgia of 19th century Lancaster PA first-hand, you'll do no better than a stay at Ascot House. My wife and I stayed two nights here while attending a wedding in a nearby town. We first fell in love with the town itself. Market Street, it's main street, is like a museum of 19th century architecture. You'll see it all there, from log cabins to Federal style, Duch Colonial, etc. But staying at Ascot House makes the experience even better. Owner Wendy has done an incredible job to restore this c. 1812 townhouse while subtly including modern conveniences that made our stay enjoyable. We arrived in the afternoon and after settling in enjoyed a fabulous wine and cheese snack on the veranda overlooking the spectacular back garden that Wendy created as her first project after buying the house. Part of a good B&B experience is an interesting and gracious host, and Wendy excels in those categories. She retains most of her delightful English accent though she's lived in the US almost 30 years. And she brings a touch of British polish and charm to the Americana of Ascot House, including to her delicious breakfasts that always have a Brit touch to them. We highly recommend Ascot House, and would definitely stay there again when staying in the area.
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Public - 7 months ago
reviewed 7 months ago
The Sichuan is authentic and delicious. Be adventurous!
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
Just good home cooking. Mac & cheese like mom used to make.
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago