On May 25, 2015, Delta Airlines became the coolest airline on the internet. How, you ask? By paying homage to the internet’s most beloved characters and memes in their newest safety video. They call it, “The Internetest Safety Video on the Internet”. Before you read any further, click the link and watch the video below. Trust me, it is worth the six minutes and seven seconds.
Done? Good. While this video is extremely entertaining and engaging, it got me thinking about where we might be going with advertisements and such.
The video’s popularity can be attributed to the fact that everyone who has been a passenger with Delta Airlines since May 25th has seen it. Since then, the video has gained over 5.5 million views. To put this into perspective, I got that number after watching it three days after its release. 5.5 million views in three days. How are YOUR videos doing?
Some have dismissed the video as a lame attempt to be “hip” or “cool” with the internet. However, those individuals neglect to understand that the memes presented in the video are tremendously popular. Their viewers are no longer limited to only hip internet users aged 16-23 or whatever. Get over yourselves. Everyone (well, mostly everyone) has seen them and are familiar with them. Given this, I say it is a progressive step in a new direction for marketers.
Using such familiar material shows both a step forward and backward in social media marketing. It is a step forward because they had tried something new and different, leading to a huge success. The step backward is the most interesting to me, though.
Internet users are constantly bombarded with ads. Most of these are aiming to be fresh. New. The next big thing. It makes sense, given the rapidly-changing society that we live in today. It seems advertisers are looking to be two steps ahead of the times with their content, especially on the internet. Delta has done the opposite. They have taken a step back and used cultural phenomena that we already know. People recognize and understand it. And that is why their video is so successful.
Now, I’m not saying you should go hire Double Rainbow Guy or Doge to talk about how cool your business is. I am, however, suggesting that as business owners we can learn from this trend. What if consumers need a break from constant progression? What if our ads become more relatable? I say it is time we follow Delta’s lead and take a break from that constant change. At least for a while. Slow down and let consumers catch up. Doing so could lead to dramatically increased exposure and appreciation for your business.
By: Alec England, Columnist, Centerlyne
Google+ is done. But I don’t mean its “dead” or anything like that.
It was announced about a month ago that Google+ as we know it is being split into two separate services: Streams and photos. While the split may bring more confusion to users, it is very important as social media marketers to keep up with the change and to learn from it.
While many experts in the social media world have called this the beginning of the official end of Google+, it is important that we do not jump to conclusions just yet.
As of now, Google+ is still technically running. But it seems weird that one of the “top social media sites in the world” is suddenly failing. Why? To me, it all boils down to one key trait of Google+: strict usage guidelines.
Google+ was very insistent on many things. For example, there is no changing your username. It must always be your real, official name. There are ways around this, but who cares enough about that to make an entirely new Google account just to have a different username? In addition, there was only one method of sharing on their service. Users were only able to log in to their service’s desktop or mobile app. There was no option to share through a browser extension or social media management dashboard. Users could not share in a social manner to their social media service, though it was promoted as an all encompassing facebook-twitter-instagram.
While we have posted articles encouraging Google+ use in the past, this occurrence teaches us a lesson. Hopefully, you will have learned the same. Some experts have used the old adage, “don’t put all of your eggs in one basket”. Sure, this makes sense considering all of the marketers and users that solely used Google+. But I feel that Google+’s shortcomings can be applied to businesses using any social media service.
Google+ put restrictions on their users’ ability to customize or express themselves. It was a social media site that wasn’t very social at all. People use social media because of its convenience to communicate and express. Google+ promised that, but never really fulfilled that promise. What does your business look like on social media? Are your followers communicating with you? More importantly, are you replying? Are you giving them answers to their questions or thanking them for their kind words? I can tell you right now, nothing looks worse for a business than seeing a list of unanswered questions from their followers. It puts a separation between your business and your customers.
It seemed that most Google+ users didn’t really feel comfortable using their service. The restrictions and difficulty to use it all contributed to a declining number of users. My advice would be to apply this to your business’ presence on social media. Take the time (its not that much time at all) to make your followers feel comfortable. Appreciated. Listened to. Failure to do so would surely lead your followers to leave.
By: Alec England, Columnist, Centerlyne
You wouldn’t send in an incomplete resume to an employer. You would never put a picture of that funny thing you did at that party on your business card. You wouldn’t dream of telling an employer that you are an inexperienced, nameless, faceless, ageless, ambitionless grey cutout of a person, right? Okay, maybe I am getting a bit too specific. But what I am trying to illustrate here is that while no one in their right mind would ever do these things when looking for a job, they often do these things with their LinkedIn profiles.
Some may think that nothing can replace face-to-face interviews. This may be true, but they often forget that more and more employers are in fact turning to social media in order to gather information about potential employees before the first interview. Times are changing, and keeping up to date on your LinkedIn profile is getting more and more crucial to your career’s success by the day.
It may seem obvious what you need to do in order to keep your profile up to date- fill in the blanks and update whatever professional things you have done. But there are two key things that make success via LinkedIn much more likely.
1. Attention to Keywords
Be precise with this. LinkedIn gives you the ability to include a summary on your profile. Don’t fill it up with “I am a graduate of [college] with a degree in [major]. I am proficient at SEO and social media marketing. Recently, I have been learning to code alongside starting my own snack foods business, Krakerz Deelux. Look me up at my website or give me a call at [number] if you are interested in working with me!”
NO. First off, the tone that comes with “I am” and “I have been” is very unprofessional. Second, potential employers do not care and do not have the time to read through your essay of information. Get to the point. “[Name], [school], [degree], [location]. SEO, social media marketing, HTML and Wordpress, entrepreneur, Youtuber, blogger, marketing consultant”, etc. Doing your summary this way not only makes it easier for employers to understand what you have to offer, but it also makes it easier for search engines to index your profile whenever someone searches for a blogger who can write HTML and lives in a nearby area.
2. Keep your content interesting
I know this can be hard, especially when the atmosphere is very professional and straightforward. I am not telling you to post about the latest construction project you did with “There I was, hammer in hand, looking at the towering wall above me that I had just completed. I remembered my childhood and contemplated my future…”. This is mostly about “click bait”. How do you make someone want to click the link read more about that project you did? Make the headline interesting. Don’t title the post with something like “Recent Project” or “Finished House”. What you decide to put in your headlines is up to you, but I personally would go with something like “Splinters and Smiles: Making a House a Home”. Give it something that shows that you are enthusiastic about your work. That you are proud of it. No one wants to work with someone that hates what they do.
By: Alec England, Columnist, The Site Vamp
LinkedIn is essentially an interactive online resume. Users create a profile for free with their real name and info. Unlike most social media sites, users are not prompted to give the usual “favorite movies”, “favorite bands”, etc. Instead, LinkedIn puts an emphasis on work history, marketable skills, current job(s), professional interests, school history, and the like. Users can also upload a profile photo, resume, or any other document that they feel is worth sharing in a professional setting. It’s Facebook for professionals.
Now, hopefully you are familiar enough with LinkedIn to know how to properly use it. If not, read some past articles and try using it yourself. It really is simple. I say this because reading about their advertising options might not make sense if you are not familiar with the site.
Anyway, lets get down to business. It should first be known that LinkedIn does not supply users with as much help with advertising as, say, Tumblr. It is a purely self-service advertising solution that puts you 100% in charge of your content, placements, and payments.
Their solution consists of three basic steps- create your ad, select your target audience, and set your budget and bid. The first is pretty self-explanatory. Decide what you want your headline to be, what your ad will say, what images (if any) will be put up, and where your url goes. The example given on LinkedIn’s advertising help page looks like this:
Times are changing. They have been since social media became a thing. But they might be REALLY changing now. For years, Facebook has been synonymous with social media, often being the most favored and widely used social media service in the world. While they may have their hands in multiple other social media services, Facebook itself might soon suffer a loss in usage.
Piper Jaffray, an investment bank, released a survey last Tuesday (April 14) that showed exactly this. In the survey, individuals aged 13-17 were surveyed on their opinions of the most “important” social network.
14% of them cited Facebook as the most “important”.
Compared to other networks, this puts them in third behind Instagram (#1, 32%) and Twitter (#2, 24%). Compared to past surveys taken by the same firm regarding the same topic, preference for Facebook has fallen the sharpest (14%) since spring 2013.
While we are taking into account only one source on the topic, it still suggests that a big change has either already happened or could be happening very soon. In short, Instagram is climbing while Facebook is falling. While this can suggest many things, one thing keeps coming up in my mind.
Simplicity is key. Instagram is simple to use and simply displayed. Users can access it on their phones, while the content they see is limited to photos, a location, and comments. Nothing else. Facebook allows for much more. But that “much more” might be what is driving people away. It could be too much information or too many complications with using it. Like I have said time and time again: keep it simple. Keep your content simple, keep your promotions simple, keep your presence simple. No one uses social media with the intent of being bombarded with information. The more accessible and easy to understand your content is, the more users will gravitate towards your business.
By: Alec England, Columnist, Centerlyne
We all know what YouTube is. It doesn’t really need any explanation. Ask anyone from 7 to 107 years old and they will all tell you the same thing: watching YouTube videos is fun (people tend to grow out of their YouTube phase at 108). Not only is it fun, but it is incredibly convenient, easy to use, and it includes a ridiculously vast range of video types and topics.
But you already knew that.
What most people don’t know is how much “muscle” comes with YouTube marketing. And I am not talking about annoying paid advertisements you see before you watch a video. I am talking about raw, organic, unpaid marketing. While it might take a while to get the ball rolling with your audience, the following you build is much more likely to remain loyal and interact with you than those who find you through paid promotions. There are many reasons why consistent organic marketing is preferred among YouTube and its users, but it is their affiliation with Google that sets YouTube apart from other social media sites in terms of organic advertising.
YouTube was created in February 2005. One year and nine months later, Google bought it. Since then, YouTube has operated as a subsidiary of Google. Because of this, Google benefits from YouTube usage. And since YouTube consistently ranks among the top three most successful subsidiaries out of their 178 total, there is no reason that they would ever dream of letting YouTube go.
When people in the field of social media marketing think of Google, they think of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). The main goal behind SEO is to get a website, be it yours or a client’s, on the front page of the search results of any given search engine. This can be done in many different ways, but the way that applies here has to do with web traffic. Put simply, the more traffic your website gets, the more Google is going to want to put your website up on their front page when users search for relevant keywords.
Just like linking your Facebook posts back to your website adds to your social media presence, uploading YouTube videos adds to your search engine presence. Since Google benefits directly from YouTube searches and hits, they will put your video up when users search using similar keywords. If your video is keyworded to be relevant to what a particular user is looking for and it is linked back to your website, you can bet that that user will follow the link to your website and that your website will become that much more familiar to Google. Put this example in a real life, millions of searches scenario, and you have yourself an effective marketing campaign at no monetary cost to you.
By: Alec England, Columnist, Centerlyne
While people don’t often associate Tumblr with business, the two actually have the potential to match up really well. Though it is not as popular as, say, Twitter or Google+ in terms of numbers, the statistics of Tumblr show strong potential for effective advertising. According to Digital Market Ramblings, Tumblr consists of 214.3 million blogs with an average of 120,000 daily signups. Pretty encouraging, right? On the other side, it might discourage some knowing that those users contribute 80 million posts per day. Some may see it as rough competition for exposure and a reason not to embark on a campaign with them. But the very fact that Tumblr is such a busy website is the reason why investing in advertising with them puts you ahead of everyone else.
Every Tumblr user has a “dashboard”, which is essentially a Tumblr news feed. All of the blogs that a user is following posts content, which is automatically shown on their followers’ dashboards. Visiting Tumblr’s business page, it becomes very clear that Tumblr knows what they are doing. They provide various ad products for their users, all charged on a Cost Per Engagement basis. The most popular among these are the “Sponsored Posts”, which look just like any regular blog post, only they are promoted to more users based on location, gender, interests, and other things.
Along with the basic “sponsored post” services, users have an array of options to choose from. In a previous article, I had discussed how advertising with Adwords on Google+ gives you the opportunity to have your ad shown anywhere on the internet, with a fee. On Tumblr, you have the opportunity to have your sponsored post showcased on Yahoo! as an advertisement.
Other services include the usual- analytics, marketing blogs, case studies, and the like, but the previously mentioned services are what I feel separates Tumblr from other social media sites in terms of advertising.
So, is it worth it? Considering the numerous success stories of both small businesses and large corporations who have marketed through Tumblr, I would say definitely. Unlike the approaches that I have seen in other social media sites, Tumblr offers numerous services and advantages that just can’t go unnoticed. Their marketing team seems to have a solid plan for any business that might use their services, which is apparent by their requirement that you and one of their brand strategists work together to outline a plan before deciding which action to take. In addition, the Cost Per Engagement payment structure is highly advantageous. Other sites such as Google+ use CPE as a primary payment structure, but any social media site that offers CPE payments automatically gain my interest and approval.
Lastly, the audience of Tumblr can only work to your advantage. Tumblr users, unlike Facebook or Instagram users, follow only the blogs that interest them personally. Friends or outside influences have little to do with who they follow or ignore. Given this, those who view your advertisements and your blog are exponentially more likely to engage with your business simply because they are genuinely and personally interested in what you have to offer. I could go on for much longer about the advantages of advertising on Tumblr, but I think it would be best if you found those for yourself.
By: Alec England, Columnist, The Site Vamp
- The Site VampOwner, 11 - presentSarah absolutely loves social media. Social media is “word of mouth”, it is exciting, always new and is completely revolutionizing marketing. The way we market our companies today is like making a huge caldron of internet stew in a broth of Website, with a smidgen of Facebook, a sprinkle of Twitter, a dollop of YouTube, a dash of LinkedIn, and the continuous changing of spices and flavors as websites and social sites change. Between SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Social Networking and CMS (content management system) a company has the chance to increase their percentage of customers, their bottom line and their quality of life. The Site Vamp’s, goal is to help you climb to the top of every search engine. I pride myself in my ability to hear you, to truly listen to your desires and concerns for your website, then help you meet your goals. I watch your websites analytics, find what people are looking for in regards to your particular company then add and change pages according to your visitors desires. If needed, I adjust your website pages check their H1 tags, Alt Text, Title tags, Meta Descriptions, keywords, and social media sites so your site can be indexed easily by all search engines. If you don’t have any social media sites, I will create and add them to your website, then monitor and update them regularly. I add blogging to your website, and upload your blogs to your social media sites and your website, then help you blog at least once per week. Best of all, I won’t leave you! If you want me to maintain your website for weeks, months, or even years I will do that. If your goal is to get your website up and running properly, then take it over yourself; well then, I will show you how to do that. Can you reach me anytime? Yes – just send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org I will respond within a 24 hour period. I know social media, I know SEO, I know CMS, it’s what I do, and I do it well.
Since The Site Vamp's inception, we knew our main objective would be to help people gain more business and thus financial freedom through SEO and Social Media. We take this very seriously. The "rules" of social media marketing and SEO change daily; so we change daily. We find it increasingly important to educate ourselves about the changes made in social media and SEO each and every day, that is why we take continued education social media and SEO classes every day. We discuss the future of social media and SEO amongst each other and we apply what we have learned to each web site and social media networking site we manage. We do not take the trust of our clients lightly, their business' future depends on our knowledge, we are incredibly humbled by their acceptance and trust in us. When we receive testimonials like the ones listed below, it makes our day!Testimonials:
The Site Vamp LLC Receives 2014 Best of Hailey Award
Hailey Award Program Honors the Achievement
HAILEY September 10, 2014 -- The Site Vamp LLC has been selected for the 2014 Best of Hailey Award in the Website Designer category by the Hailey Award Program.
Each year, the Hailey Award Program identifies companies that we believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Hailey area a great place to live, work and play.
Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2014 Hailey Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Hailey Award Program and data provided by third parties.
About Hailey Award Program
The Hailey Award Program is an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the Hailey area. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value.
The Hailey Award Program was established to recognize the best of local businesses in our community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to recognize the small business community's contributions to the U.S. economy.
SOURCE: Hailey Award Program
Thank you for the awesome testimonial Kyle Pizer!
"I’ve been working with Sarah for over 5 years and she is always a pleasure to work with. Extremely polite and professional, a pleasure to work with. Sarah currently manage’s our company website and is in the process of helping us update it. I would recommend Sarah to anyone!"
"The Elephant’s Perch struggled over the years attempting to build a website, we had difficulty getting it running efficiently, and also trouble with keeping it current. Once we connected with The Site Vamps, Sarah Shepard and her team went to work on a complete rebuilding of our site. We wanted primarily a site to communicate with our customers, and to share all the things we do here at The Perch and around our community. Sarah has been a delight to work with, she keeps us up to speed, and has helped to train our staff on how we can better use our WebSite. When we need updates on the site, or links to our Facebook page, Sarah has been there to guide us through the steps, and often jumps in and gets it done for us. There is a lot more that we could do with our communications, and when we need help, we will certainly reach out to The Site Vamps."
"There is no way Ski Haus could successfully employ the constantly changing parameters of Search Engine Optimization and Social Networking without the help of Sarah and her staff at The Site Vamp. We would rather navigate by stars through dark timber on a cloudy night than try to figure out the ins and outs of SEO. Sarah and her staff are easy to work with and always very responsive and patient with our questions. We are incredibly happy with her input, our website redesign and SEO work she has provided."
Murray Selleck, Ski Haus, Steamboat Springs, Colorado
You are awesome! We have increased our hits more than 10 fold and thanks to you we are now finally in control of our business. You have done such a remarkable job for CaboPulmo.com and I want to congratulate you and "The Site Vamp" for your success in producing so much traffic to our website through all the social media outlets.
Cheers and keep up the hard work,
Cole - Owner of Cabo Pulmo Beach Resort, Baja Mexico.
“We started using The Site Vamps services in January of 2012 to help boost our online presence. Little did we know how much of a boost it would receive. Since The Site Vamp took over our web sites, we have had more business from the web sites than we had the entire eight years prior to The Site Vamps involvement.
We are extremely happy with her ability to communicate with us, her ability to facilitate our blogs, her knowledge of SEO and social media and the fact that she is easy to work with.
We highly recommend The Site Vamp for your web site and social media needs.”
Steven R. Maher - Attorney
Admitted California, Florida, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, D.C.
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