social media marketing

Linking For More Powerful Social Media Profiles

2 Comments
October 16  |  Link Building  |   Ryan Clark

We just got done working with a client who was on a 6 month contract with us to help launch and keep afloat a new business in a local market. This company went through all the good stuff, and while this is not a local SEO post by any means, we’re going to cover something that’s often overlooked and left out in an inbound marketing campaign. So what am I talking about? Well, I’m not sure if it has a proper name, but we’re going to look at building links to your second tier properties – aka your social media accounts.

I’ll start by saying I am definitely not talking about link spamming your damn near un-utilized Pinterest account so it gets 1000 blog comment links. What I am talking about is utilizing your web presence to make sure that all of your highly-used social media profiles are linked up the best they can be. This is course has two benefits:

1) Your social media accounts are there to create content and network, and that content can rank easily for highly profitable long tail keywords. Your Pinterest Pins, your Tweets, your Facebook Page Notes, your Youtube videos and more can and will get indexed, so why not make them rank? Who wouldn’t love not only to have their website in the top 10 SERPs, but 2-4 other pieces of high quality unique content spread across your social web as well?

2) Providing highly targeted, awesome content for your niche to your sites will attract more shares and followers… Duh.

Let’s Get Linking

I’m sure you’ve noticed by now that a lot of social media sites allow links to your other social media profiles, and that’s mainly what I’m talking about. I don’t care if it’s a followed, no followed or cloaked link because we want anything that will bring a visitor back to your other marketing channels. But don’t worry, a lot of the links you can snag will be followed and count towards making your other profiles that more “authoritative”.

I’m not advocating that you go and create 100 social media profiles just for the links, as that will never work… Well, not unless you’re a company with 20 social media employees that can handle actually being a part of those communities. Without a well-built social media profile, you won’t get much benefit form having a ton of empty/barely used profiles… Plus, it looks sloppy.

I’ll keep this pretty simple and straight forward, as you know how I can ramble on and on and on and… Alright, I’m shutting up. I will list a few examples just to get your minds going and let you take it from there. Just sit down and visualize social networks you are utilizing now, then make a list of the ones you have time to join and participate in.

The Usual Suspects

I’ve started to see a lot of companies push two links from their bio line and this is not a horrific idea. I’d be inclined to list your website and Facebook account… Or whatever are your most important ones. There are also a ton of web-based Twitter apps that pull your profile data – including the link – and add it in there. If you’re active enough on Twitter, a ton of those third tier profiles will stay indexed. There are also tons of websites now utilizing their user account creation through Twitter authorization, and your data will be pulled in from that as well. For example, our Inbound.org member profile links to our Twitter.

About.me:

This is the perfect example of an authoritative social media network, and while it’s mostly just a business card, it is nevertheless a place I’d want my social links on. You can build a nice little branded profile here and link to just about anything you want, and it even pulls in your other social media content via their “app system”.

Flavors.me
This is essentially the same thing as About.me, and I apologize as I don’t know which one launched first, but they are both cool. I cannot imagine Google loves this kind of site all that much, as it might be seen as “SERP Pollution”. As it stands right now, there are about a million profile pages indexed in the SERPs, so why not take advantage?


TheFancy & Pinterest: I’m a huge fan of TheFancy, even more so than Pinterest, and while it doesn’t have half the traffic as the big pin, it’s a site worth marketing on. We utilize it for our luxury marketing company, as Linkbuildr itself doesn’t need to be marketing fancy pictures of products and things. You get the option to link to the usual suspects but definitely not to your Pinterest account.

Pinterest has the same kind of setup, as you can see from our account here. These two sites are great for the right type of business and it’s a place where you definitely want to link to more than just your website. I’m not kidding when I say a lot of brands just don’t bother to link up their other profiles better, with a perfect example of that being Nordstrom’s Pinterest profile. They only link their website but you know a brand that big will be heavy on Twitter, Facebook and Youtube as well. We have ours set up (for Luxury Branded) but we’re not exactly as active as we should could be on The Fancy.

Directories: Looking back at my post Link Building Tactics in 2011, I mention these three directories that are examples of hand built links that won’t get you into trouble. There are other sites like this, but for our post here we’ll use these three for the sake of getting my point across.

Manta.com

Manta has an awesome option for linking and listing your social media profiles, and looking at SEOMoz’s profile page for our example shows what I mean. You can also add links in your bio besides your homepage, and this is just the extra benefit. Besides that, being listed on this business network will send you leads…. Hint hint!

CrunchBase

This is another great place you’re going to want to have a company listing from, as it’s something that provides a whole lot of information and services. It’s also a social place that gives you options to connect with other businesses and link to your social accounts.

Utilizing Key Areas Of Your Content

We’ll take a look at what you control that you can use easily for pushing some worthy link juice over to the right profiles. This should have been first on the list here, as you can get right to it and quickly be on your way worrying about other more important tasks. The key places I like to do myself and recommend to clients are:

Author Bios: This is so painfully obvious that I cringe having to write about it. While your blog is the go-to spot, I’m also talking about making sure the right links are located in your guest blogging bio’s as well. If you’re an avid guest blogger then this is an extra boost that will surely help, as well as bring in more followers to your most important social profiles. In the picture below I just utilize Twitter and Google+ but by the looks of it I could make it look prettier to attract more followers.

Utilizing Your Website: Besides the author bios, I like to make sure the right pages are going to be linking out like your homepage, “contact” pages (or “about us”) and the sidebar of your brand’s blog. Those are all the right spots without being intrusive to your readers. Those pages should also send a good amount of link juice over, although I know a lot of folks noindex their “about us” and “contact” pages.

Viral Campaigns Are The Best Option

A lot of companies have been utilizing Facebook and Twitter for viral marketing efforts whether that be a contest, a sweepstakes or just damn good content. So this is obviously the best method for getting links to those accounts naturally and by the boat load. Pinterest, being the latest social media all star on the block, has already seen a lot of contest action, there is even a Pinboard for contests on Pinterest.

Real World Results For SERP Domination

Ok, so to illustrate this whole picture in your head as clearly as possible, we can take a look at real SERP results to showcase just what I’m really talking about. You can literally have multiple top 10 results that all funnel back to your brand if you have the right things in place. Taking advantage of other social media networks while they’re hot and authoritative can lead to a lot more traffic, especially if you jump on keywords that are emerging and trending. The one big downside to this is if that social media site drops from its strong position with Google, your content marketing efforts will now be lost. But don’t worry, there will be another social network rock star coming out next month.

So sticking to Pinterest here as an example, we can look at the search term 2012 Halloween Contest and this is what I get at no 1:


While not the most exciting of results, lets take a look at how the retail world can benefit from unique and/or cool content powered by social networks. I find that Pinboards rank better than the pins themselves, mainly because of the constant action changing on these boards, as well as the amount of internal links. You’ll find Pinterest pins will rank much better if they’ve hit the front page and have had a lot of activity. I am going to totally pick keywords at random here, and hopefully they serve the purpose needed. I recently got a luxury cat bed hot on Pinterest and TheFancy for fun, so let’s see what we have in the SERPs.

This is a great example of how a pin board can rank well albeit, this is not the most competitive of keywords. As for user experience, who wouldn’t want to shop for their cat’s luxury bed by browsing that pinboard? Ok, so I’ve talked enough about Pinterest and I’ll let you explore it more, so let’s talk about ranking Videos, Tweets and Facebook Page Notes.

Youtube Is A Marketing Weapon

Don’t be afraid to use it, and please for the love of spaghetti monster, don’t make a picture slideshow video. I’m a watch guy and say I was in the market for a 2012 model from Breitling. I’m most definitely going to hit the videos first as I’m going to want to see reviews in motion from professionals in the industry. Naturally you’re going to find videos ranking for these terms, and if not you’re at an advantage being a shop that sells them.

Taking something more current and of the times, we can look at a keyword that is going to bring in a lot of organic search traffic over the next few months. The Samsung Galaxy S3 phone is something that’s crazy popular and the folks at PhoneArena.com did a 25 minute long video review of it. On a side note, check out their text based review as it’s a shining example of how to do amazing content.

This video gets people talking, links to their review on the site, and in the end this video will go to over 1 million views come Christmas… Easy! Oh, and how did I find it? It ranks high for the search term “samsung galaxy siii review” on Google, although you can find them in the top 10 on Bing as well!

Tweets CAN Rank

I’ve been noticing tweets showing up more and more in the long tail lately and if you have an authoritative account, this can be used to your advantage. From what I can tell, the reason they can rank quite well is because A) you’re getting a lot of reTweets on that update and B) a lot of Twitter apps pull your tweets and display them on their app site, which is really linking back to your original Tweet. I imagine that it will have to be a very specific type of search query to be able to rank well, so take notice of when, where and why they show up in your searches.

Just to give you an idea of how Tweets can rank, as well lead to other Twitter powered apps to rank the content, let’s take just one thing @GuyKawasaki tweeted about in the past month and see what we come up with in Google.

Keep Your Eyes Peeled

I don’t really have much else to say other than take notice as to what ranks within your vertical for all types of search queries that will bring in revenue for your business. Keep your content unique and high quality when playing around with this tactic as you’ll be rewarded in the long run. I know that sounds lame and perhaps it’s been over-stated, but if you’re building a brand for the long haul, don’t skimp.

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Building Social Media Profiles For Fun & Profit

3 Comments
September 19  |  Brand Building  |   Ryan Clark

Building a targeted social media follower base is no easy task. However, there are certain ways to speed things up and get a quick ROI for your time spent. It’s really hard to see the value when you’re starting out, especially when trying to get upper management to put good money and manpower towards the cause. It’s one of the toughest areas we have with our clients as they hate waiting for results, and really they should only be using an outside company to send them in the right direction.

What we want in the end are real people hitting that “follow” button so you have a real target audience that’s truly interested in your brand. The one other aspect that’s extremely important in my mind is the fact that you get to build a level of trust with consumers. If they can see you interacting with other customers, sharing new media and seeing others engaged with your brand, you’ll see an uptick in sales…without a doubt! The cream on top comes with the value in spreading content once you have a large following. If you have a truly creative content team, they’re going to have a lot more success spreading the right media because customers will actually want to share your content.

#Protip – Using a profile picture of a good looking bloke or lady from your company is going to get more follows thanks to good old “sex appeal”.

What I’m going to go over today will help get a big boost to your follower base that should be decently targeted to your brand. We will also identify your key social influencers which will be really important down the road. The world of business becomes a lot easier when you have the right connections, so make sure you know who the key players are. These relationships can lead to getting links, making new social friends, and getting help sharing your content. Just make sure you play nice and be social!

Let’s Talk About Pinterest

This site is perhaps the most fun to work on as of late, and while it’s not for business, it is a social network not to be slept on. Pinterest has a large female following (with the guys finally catching on) and while the referral traffic might be on par with StumbleUpon (aka not that sticky), this social network has other uses. You do get links on your profile, but the best marketing aspect yet? You pins can rank easily for long tail keywords and thus become a major traffic driver in and of themselves. This of course will only last as long as Google inflates their rankings like they are now, so definitely take advantage of this (and for any other social media site of the moment).

Pinterest follows will mainly come from you having good content, just like any other marketing angle you usually would be working. If you’re selling a product that’s the same across other websites and it’s already pinned, it’s time to take some custom photos for the occasion. Pinterest will send you insane amounts of traffic if done right, but don’t expect to magically go viral anymore, even with amazing content. Nevertheless, having the right audience already in place will make your life so much easier!

First up, get your staff (or yourself if flying solo) to populate your account, make sure you have your links set up, and create a dozen of your own pin boards. Fill the default ones up first and work on those amazing pictures for your custom pin boards before heading off to make friends.

Play Nice With Others…

Spend a few hours hunting down similar users by hand based on what you like and see. That’s always a great way to make sure you have future pins you’ll actually be interested in re-pinning on a bi-weekly basis. Not only that, but hopefully they’ll be something your followers will be interested in as well; chances are good that you’ll earn some like-minded followers back. By now, I’m sure you’re thinking “I’ve already done this with Twitter”… Sadly, it won’t be the last time you feel that sensation either, as I’m sure the next big social media site is just about to pounce.

Trending & Influencers

Once you’ve worked on the above task, it’s time to start utilizing the mashup sites that provide a wealth of useful information. In came Repinly and let me tell you, this is the most handy Pinterest marketing resource you’re going to see, hands down.

Here you can easily find the top influencers and pins in your vertical. Since using this site, we’ve managed to help build clients’ Pinterest follower levels over the 100k mark. You can also keep your eye out for pin boards that allow other contributors which opens you up to a world of power sharing.

There are a couple of other Pinterest mashups worth mentioning, and although I hate to favor one over the other, Repinly has really outdone themselves. You can also check out:

Pinauthority.com – tracks statistics for Pinterest users including pin stats and follower gains/losses.

PinPuff.com – This is kind of like Klout, but for just Pinterest… I don’t think I could have summed it up any better.

Don’t Skip Out On TheFancy.com

This is my personal favorite social site of the “pin kind”. TheFancy.com has been growing rapidly, although it’s not quite near the traffic levels of its arch-nemesis. We also run a luxury blog and luxury marketing company which is in the upstart stages, and that’s more so what this site is geared towards. The cooler and more fancy it is, the better luck you’ll have spreading it on this site. The bonus as well is that you can directly partner with TheFancy and they can send you sales/leads for your products. I’ve also found that the site’s posts also rank quite well in the long tail and can be another addition to that specific strategy. Here’s a shot of my profile:

To me, the overall experience of this site is way better than its competitors and I spend way too much time on it. I’ve also found the traffic is a lot more sticky and productive that Pinterest (which usually has a time on site of less than 10 seconds). There are no stats and trending tools for TheFancy, but you can use Topsy to see some hot items which I find is great for my link bait writing. Gaining followers here requires a lot of hard work and while I’ve had my items front page featured a lot, I’m still not that influential.

Instagram Is Too Useful To Ignore

Instagram is quite fun, and bringing it into the work place can be a positive work task if done correctly. It can be used to showcase your products, your team and even score some natural links in the process. Creating content is good, and that’s what it’s all about these days! Gaining target followers here is the same as in any other place: follow, like/comment and hopefully get followed back. As I’m sure you’re aware, #hashtags play a key role with Instagram as well, so don’t forget to utilize them.

Instagram is a great marketing tool because:

  • You can showcase behind-the-scenes at your company on the fly.
  • You can use it to feed content to your Facebook and Twitter accounts.
  • You can repurpose the pictures into galleries or use them on your company blog.
  • You can push Instagram followers to subscribe to your other social media accounts.
  • You can take part in trending topics with your own content.

Getting Stats and Trending Data for Instagram

Statigr.am

Since viewing anything on Instagram from the web is a complete pain in the arse, in came Statigram which makes life easier and prettier. You can get stats, view pictures and comment on images as well – all from their beautiful interface, which I think is what Instagram should have been like from the get-go. Take advantage of the search feature and go hit up your favorite #hashtag to find users to follow and discover who your influencers are.


Pinstagram

If you’re looking for another way to attract more followers and showcase your content in a purrdy way, then don’t miss out on using Pinstagram. It’s a breeze to use on your mobile phone or tablet and the whole interface is just so well done. Another perk of the 10-second sign up process is of course a link that will add a natural site/brand named link to your profile.


 

Google+ IS Worth The Effort

I’m finding that the Google+ effort by most webmasters, especially myself (shamefully), and even clients these days, is still quite minimal. I’ve been reading and researching what’s working well for other mass-followed individuals across a few verticals, and have come up with the following tactics to try out to see how well it builds an audience. Some of it is just obvious and I cannot believe how we’ve been sleeping on it all this time. If you have any tips I missed, leave them in the comments below and I’ll include it in here with a reference back to you!

Another reason I think the new social media network on the block is worth the effort is simply because of its integration. We spend so much time marketing to all of the other “Google streams” and now that they’re all flowing into the same lake, we have no choice. I definitely see it as an opportunity to take hold of as many followers as you can while the getting is good. I think it will play a crucial part in allowing any sort of top 10 ranking in whatever is left of the Google first page results in the coming years. Rand Fishkin has already covered this and several more reasons to get in on it sooner rather than later.

 
Badges & Reaching Out

This is the easiest part as there are many Google+ buttons you can get and try out on your audience, and while we use Sharebar for our social shares, I think it’s time we tried something else. We’re just not getting the desired amount of G+ shares on our content, so we’ll see what we can do for the last half of the year. You can find different badges for free all over the web (just use Google…), plus you could and should experiment with your own creative options to get that follow.

I would also highly recommend letting your social followers elsewhere know that you’re now on Google+, and/or share your brand/company community url there. This also means sending out a newsletter as well… Not many people remember to do this and that’s a big mistake. Newsletter followers are usually a high valued follower and syncing them up is going to be very well worth it. Remember that the Google “tentacles” reach out everywhere and that also means into the Gmail inbox location!

I’ve also seen the majority of shares on our end come from my blogging author bio both on our site and especially when I guest blog. Besides that, you should list it on other social media site bios(when you have the room) such as:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • About.me
  • About Us Pages
  • Scribd
  • Slideshare presentations
  • Youtube videos
  • Pinterest etc
  • Linkedin

Google+ Hangouts

This is where things get the most interesting in my opinion. Video conferencing is a very handy tool and it will most likely outpace audio only communication in the coming years. While texting is still widely popular, I think in the business world in particular the trend of video conferencing will be quite well received. This is the area I myself and the Linkbuildr team will be focusing on the most because there are a couple of unique uses for this free service.

Use 1) Google+ Hangout Air

Google has been testing Hangout Air quite a bit over the past year, and it is basically live streaming to your audience for whatever reason you may have. There are already tens of thousands of celebrities, sports teams, brands and leaders making good use of it. You can instantly save it to Youtube for marketing purposes later, or just go live to your audience. Right now you can broadcast up to 10 people, which is great for collaboration or for interacting with many people from a client’s company.

Use 2) Handle Customer Service

We’re a small team and a small company, so keeping costs down is always a plus! I know Geoff couldn’t agree with me more there as I give him and our accountant enough headaches as is. With Google+ Direct Connect, you can connect your website/brand to everything properly so Google can index your content accordingly. This can work great for communicating with clients on-the-fly, and will be a serious threat to Skype and other services like it.

I can take a video call from a client and pull in Geoff, Simon or Curtis at any time to consult on something they’re working on specifically. We’re also going to test this out with our month end reports and let each person report to the client what’s going on in their work. Most of our communication is through email still, so it will be interesting to see how this works in improving how we get to know our clients and improve the working environment.

 
Don’t forget about Google+ Local

For anyone servicing a specific location, Google+ Local is an absolute must so I really shouldn’t be listing it here in this post. As I’m sure you’re aware, the local listings are placed highly on local search results and thus give you quite the advantage. This makes up for the majority of all local leads within Google, so make sure you’re open to reviews and providing customers something to look at.

You can feed in Youtube videos, product/company images, and your Zagat rating and actual testimonials from other Google+ users here which will greatly improve your ranking amongst all others. This is extremely helpful in showcasing that you’re an active and legit brand, something a lot more companies need to work on. I want to feel as if I can trust a website I’m buying from and will often peek at your social media activities to see who’s behind the code. I highly recommend reading David Mihm’s crowd sourced mega article on ranking factors for local SEO, as it goes into great detail on just about everything you’ll need to know.

Youtube & Vimeo

I won’t – nor do I need to – go into great detail on why and how you should be using video in your marketing efforts. I will, however, quickly cover why I think these two are the only video sites worth putting a lot of effort into in the immediate future. It’s no secret that videos from these two sites can rank extremely high up in the SERPs if done correctly, and it all comes down to great content and your user base.

Vimeo.com

Vimeo is a place for high quality content, so sticking to that idea, I definitely recommend only using it for a certain type of video. I would certainly not recommend putting up boring product commercials or anything not edited well by a professional. Don’t get discouraged though; even though it’s more of a place for video art, you can by all means utilize it as a sales driving force. To give you an idea, just take a look at how GoPro has used it to sell their product and launch viral video content.

Kick ass content that lets the product do the selling without having to shove any tom foolery in a customers face. After seeing just one of their videos, you’ll want one.

Youtube

Youtube is great for all video, including artsy high end HD productions. I tend to recommend that clients heavily upload product reviews, funny videos, and pretty much anything else here. Youtube videos rank well, and if you can make your video authoritative enough, you will dominate the search results. A well ranked video comes from a number of areas such as view count, ratings, comments, and social share data, so having a well built social following can make a fast and significant impact to those rankings. I picked the random Google search query “San Jose mortgage broker” off the top of my head and sure enough, I got two video listings right at the top!

That’s why I love utilizing video, although we mainly do it for clients and not enough for ourselves. Just make sure you’re producing useful content, as it will lead to real social follows and that’s what you’re going after here. Video also lets your customers peer into your brand a little more intimately, which in turn leads to more brand trust.

A Couple More Examples

Manhattan creative agency

How to make money online

Need I say more?


Read Part 2: Build And Engage

 


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ViralHeat Now Tracks Pinterest Analytics

2 Comments
August 14  |  Social Media Sites  |   Ryan Clark

 
I know a lot of you businesses out there are playing with Pinterest a lot lately and thought you may find this of interest. ViralHeat is one of my favorite web apps for tracking social media use around our clients and my own brands. Take a look at what they’ve got going on now and I really urge you to try out their free service to see if it fits your marketing needs.

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Nike Continues Branding Dominance with #MakeItCount and @NikeFuel

7 Comments
January 21  |  Brand Building  |   Simon

Nike and their long-time agency Wieden+Kennedy have never missed a game, lost a round, missed a shot or any other winning sports analogy you can think of when it comes to branding and marketing. W+K was actually formed as a result of Dan Wieden and David Kennedy taking Nike as their first client, after they left mega-agency McCann Erickson in the early 80s. Since then, Nike and W+K have had only victories in their ilustrious track record together and have never failed to impress both customers and marketers.  And they definitely didn’t lose their stride with the recent achievement with a viral and social media-powered campaign to brand a new product. And I promise that’s the last (intentional) sports analogy.

W+K came up with Nike’s “Just Do It”, which is probably the most well known slogan ever. Since its inception, it has stood as the ultimate motivational phrase. I recently watched the documentary “Art and Copy” that had interviews with people on the impact of “Just Do It” and their responses went far beyond sports or fitness goals. Check out the clip:

 

The new #MakeItCount slogan is a modern social media take on the same simple concept of their original “Just Do It” slogan.  The #MakeItCount campaign combined traditional marketing elements, such as print, commercials and brand ambassadors, combined with smart social media and viral marketing efforts. They fully leveraged all this through positive customer engagement and, in a sense, customer crowd-sourcing to promote their campaign.

Nike #MakeItCount poster

The #MakeItCount hashtag started up just before Christmas, acting like a new year’s resolution for physical fitness, was all a buildup for a mystery product launch yesterday morning. Nike encouraged its fans to tweet what they wanted to accomplish in 2012. Building a positive and motivational hashtag at the perfect time of year, to lead up to a mystery product launch.

This campaign was so successful that not only was the hype clearly seen through social media, but also in the stock market. Nike Inc. shares hit an all-time high Wednesday, breaking the $100 mark, just in anticipation of the mystery product launch, the day before it was actually revealed.

Nike #MakeItCount marketing campaign

Twitter was an important element leading into this new product launch, was the long-overdue launch of the official @Nike account. They already had a range of Nike Twitter accounts for their various sports and divisions, but were seemingly holding out on @Nike to coincide with the #MakeItCount campaign. Nike’s real-life clout transferred with ease into Klout on Twitter, with all of Nike’s big name athletes following the first day, including Lance Armstrong, Tiger Woods, Steve Nash, the NBA and of course Nike’s strong existing Twitter accounts.

#MakeItCount tweet by Kevin Durant @KDTREY5

Tweet by NBA star Kevin Durant turned into a poster.

Launched on Dec. 29th, @Nike was able to surpass rival @Adidas within 24 hours, gaining around 14,000 followers. after 23 days, @Nike has over 227,000 followers. Over the last few weeks, Nike had their wide range of celebrity athletes, through all sports, countries and cultures, tweet and Instagram their goals for 2012 and #MakeItCount, encouraging fans to do the same. Topsy.com recorded 24,387 mentions on Dec 31st alone. Combined with Instagram, Nike has created a dynamic #MakeItCount page to showcase their fans motivational #MakeItCount tweets, along with their celebrity athlete ambassadors. The current tweet total is showing at over 59,000.

Here is the Youtube commercial released to coincide on Dec.31, which received around 62,000 views that day alone:

 

Nike was founded on the genuine goal to encourage sports and fitness, along with all the positive side effects they have. And by selling the products that help people to reach this goal, their marketing and products a honest combination that has always been well received by the public. With their ongoing #MakeItCount campaign, Nike has already received an obvious high-level of engagement with their huge fan base and effectively crowd-sourced them to hype their upcoming product.

Nike FuelBand - #MakeItCount

And Thursday morning, the Nike FuelBand was released to plenty of hype, praise and criticism, that you most likely caught some of by now. Even the @NikeFuel Twitter account that was launched yesterday morning has topped @Adidas’ follower count, with over 10,000 after around 36 hours.

Here is the Youtube video that also coinsided with the release, which has seen over 478,000 view in 3 days:

 

The huge press conference to finally reveal the mystery product involved out plenty of stars (and their Twitter followers). Pictured here at the event is Kevin Dudrant, Carmelita Jeter, Lance Armstrong and host Jimmy Fallon. With coverage hitting every major news source, blog and social media platform as a rusult, Nike has seen instant exposure for their FuelBand that few companies outside of Apple rarely see.

Nike FuelBand press announcement event

Photo courtesy of CNET

For a better explanation of what the FuelBand does, check out the video below:

 

From  a marketing perspective, the desktop and mobile app are important mentions. They lets you track and monitor your progress, using elements of gamification to keep you engaged with the product.  The social aspects come in here, letting you share your goals and progress with friends through social media, either to motivate, brag or compete with each other.

Now the Nike FuelBand, retailing for $150, isn’t a new concept,with comparable products already existing, such as Motorola’s MOTOACTIV (with costs $250, but with a music player and GPS) and the cheaper JawBone UP at $100. But like the world of gadget brands being divided by Apple and non-Apple, no fitness brands can touch the Nike brand.

Nike was eager to get people testing the FuelBand, with most reviews saying it’s does what it promises too. But when it comes down to it, this product can be seen two ways: Either a great motivational tool for fitness or a unnecessary gimmick that doesn’t technically improve your fitness. With the social elements of sharing with friends and the gamification element of gaining points, beating records and tracking progress, it can be a great tool for some. Or you could just do all those activities without the $150 wristband.

Nike Make It Count Poster

Every Karate Kid-style crane kick counts too.

One thing is for sure, Nike has branded a fitness tracking product like no other company could ever do. They excelled in all areas, from traditional, viral and social media marketing efforts, to leveraging their athlete brand ambassadors to engaging and crowd-sourcing their fans.

And to keep these $150 FuelBands selling, Nike has no plans to let #MakeItCount and @NikeFuel stop trending. First by using their athletes’ continued promotion and and massive combined Twitter following they’ve easily built up. Secondly, with their fans’ utilization of the social sharing and gamification aspects to keep each other engaged and active. Has Nike started a new era in fitness? Or have they just started a big pile of barely used $150 wristbands? We’ll have to wait and see.

Here is Nike’s pop culture/sports/movie montage to promote the FuelBand and #MakeItCount that’s racked up over 1.3 million views in 3 days. Another stellar commercial by W+K that’s imagery resonates with its audience, conveys what the product is about and is just fun to watch, check it out:

 

Follow me on Twitter:@S_Gerard and for another recent viral and social media success by Nike, check out my post on: Marty McFly’s Nike Sneakers are Finally Back From The Future.

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Hotel Marketing Benefits With Foursquare

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October 29  |  Social Media Sites  |   Ryan Clark

 
For those hotels still wanting to get marketing on Foursquare, or those unsure if it’s worth it should quickly watch this short video. Taken at SMX West recently, Bhawna Sharma talks with Foursquare’s own Tristan Walker about the specific benefits. As you know, we do a lot of hotel marketing and Foursquare is a gold mine for regular business use, driving into their API for advance use or coming up with unique link bait that works from their platform. At the very least, get your hotel in their system and build that venue page because you’ll at least get a nice link and the attention of current users.

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Tracking Social Media With Radian6

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October 12  |  Brand Building  |   Ryan Clark

We recently helped a hotel chain put together a 6-12 month link building + social media plan and do some training with the staff. I ended up getting a little training myself when they let me loose on their Radian6 account. If you’re unfamilair with this social media toolset then I recommend you jump on over to their website after checking out this video. We’re going to be doing a lot of social media based contests in the coming year, as well heavily tracking what’s being said. I’ve only had a few hours in there but it was really a delight and I think I’ll be recommending this to a few clients.

The data it presents makes tracking your efforts the best I’ve seen and if your brand is deep in the social media game, then check out Radian6!

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When Consumers Do Your Marketing: A Look At Kimpton Hotels

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October 4  |  Brand Building  |   Ryan Clark

I’m an avid Reddit user, 5 year club but who’s bragging? There are plenty of awesome examples of social media doing great things for a brand without them trying. The other day I came across this highly up-voted post about something one of the Kimpton Hotel’s did in response to a customer. With over 1250 comments so far and a few thousand votes, you know this is going to be seen by tens of thousands of people. I hope the person who replied from the Kimpton Hotel gets a little extra bonus next month because you just can’t ask for a better “strategy”.

 

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Social Media Marketing For Affiliates

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May 18  |  Social Networks  |   Ryan Clark

Here’s a goody but oldie from an Affiliate Summit back in 2009 that I just had to put up regardless of how late I am. Affiliate marketing is moving at a rapid pace throughout the social mediasphere and sometimes can be difficult to do it without being a spammer. I really enjoyed watching this keynote and it has a few gems of wisdom for affiliate marketer’s out there in the wild. You can also find the slideshare of this presentation here, and of course check out the next Affiliate Summit to get in on the latest action.

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