Did Trump Spam Infiltrate Your Google Analytics?

I was a little surprised to log into my Google Analytics account, look at the demographics and see this in the language section:

ga-lang-spam

I wasn’t too pleased.

If you’ve been hit as well, don’t worry, but also don’t click the link in GA or you’ll apparently end up down some spammy internet worm hole.

But there is a solution!

You can filter out this result easily, or if you want to see it “gone” for good from your historical data, you can create a custom segment. I went ahead and did it, so I’m sharing the template with you. Just click on this link – I swear, I’m not spamming you! – and import the segment. It’s that easy. You’re welcome.

 

 

Are You Going to Social Media Marketing World 2017?

Join 180+ Social Media Experts at Largest Social Media Marketing Conference
See more HERE.


Social Media Marketing World 2017 is a conference designed to help you master social media marketing and content creation (brought to you by Social Media Examiner).

Join Guy Kawasaki (author, The Art of Social Media), Mari Smith (co-author, Facebook Marketing: An Hour a Day), Jay Baer (author, Youtility), Ann Handley (author, Everybody Writes), Michael Stelzner (author, Launch), Michael Hyatt (author, Platform), Amy Porterfield(co-author, Facebook Marketing All-In-One for Dummies), Chris Brogan (co-author, The Impact Equation), Mark Schaefer (author, Social Media Explained), Scott Monty, Kim Garst, Tim Schmoyer, Darren Rowse, Gini Dietrich, Shaun McBride, Joel Comm, Viveka von Rosen, Zach King, Marcus Sheridan, Amy Schmittauer, Pat Flynn, Joe Pulizzi, Cliff Ravenscraft, Christopher Penn, Ian Cleary, Madalyn Sklar, John Lee Dumas, Lou Mongello, Sue B. Zimmerman, Carlos Gil, Derral Eaves, Peg Fitzpatrick,Steve Dotto, Bryan Kramer, Andy Crestodina, Lee Odden, Leslie Samuel, Holly Homer, Brian Fanzo, Donna Moritz, Neal Schaffer, John Jantsch, Dan Miller, Ray Edwards and experts from more than a dozen top brands as they reveal proven social media marketing tactics and content creation tips at Social Media Marketing World 2017.

Watch the highlights!

Go here to learn more. See you there!

Social Media – You’re Doing It Wrong

This isn’t a How-To Guide – unless you want to see how to do things wrong.

The examples I have aren’t necessarily from people who don’t understand the platforms they’re using (though that can certainly play a part). The biggest faux pas is people forgetting the person viewing on the other end – often the customer. If what you are posting doesn’t help them or answer a question they might have, then it’s pretty much useless. It’s wasted space and you’re just talking to yourself, and that’s totally not what social media is about!

So without further ado, don’t do these things!

public_private_twitter_convo_July112016

I don’t think Tracey was able to have a very relaxing vacation, what with a private convo being made public. Oops!

social media wrong2

This is a wonderful post, except that Purell and GOJO are obviously the same company and no one there thought about the fact that maybe their followers might follow both accounts. Ok, so you’re out of post ideas, fine, I get it. Then don’t schedule them to go out at the SAME TIME! Com’on now, get a little creative! Clean up your act, Purell! (See what I did there?)

hashtag_attack

Wtf is this?? I can’t. Just no.

social media wrong

Guess what? That link didn’t work either. It took me to their blog with ALL their recipes. Dude, I just wanted the almond cups recipe. Don’t send me to your almond butter page. What am I supposed to do with that? Don’t send me to your whole blog either. BRING ME TO THE CORRECT PAGE! Again, ain’t nobody got time for this!

Got some more social media faux pas examples you can show me?

Social media shouldn’t be this hard. It’s Easy! Get Noticed! 

 

How To Use Instagram Hashtags

Like everything in social media, change happens often and quickly. Instagram has changed quite a bit in a short time – and changed hands as well. But some change is good and when it comes to social media, I’m all about keeping up with the Joneses.

You may have noticed that instead of people just throwing down a hashtag omelette of ugliness right in their post captions, now they’re putting them in a comment. I am all for this!

First off, let’s look at what hashtags are actually useful for.

Hashtags are only useful for searching. But the great thing is we don’t need to see it for it to work, only bots do. Hashtags in a photo caption are going the way of keyword stuffing at the footer of obsolete webpages (back in my day, kids! You won’t remember this, luckily!) – it’s a dead practice. Don’t do it. Instagram is really about beautiful images, so don’t spoil it with a mess of hashtag diarrhea.

Instead, use the caption space for short form story-telling. Describe your image. Talk about what it means for you today and your motivation for capturing/sharing it.
And for goodness sake’s, USE THE SPACE. Don’t leave it blank! Don’t waste a perfectly good opportunity to show people your brand and personality.

You can still use hashtags, but Instagram is limiting people to 30 hashtags per post, so choose wisely. Please don’t put random tags about things that are not in your image. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

So how do we make hashtags pretty again? We hide them from humans, but keep them visible to bots. Best way to do that is in the comments – yes, you have to comment on your own post. Since Instagram does have a certain amount of navel-gazing, this shouldn’t be a problem for most. Only thing is you’re going to comment in such a way that most people don’t realize you’re commenting. You have to make space using periods.

It’s going to come out like this:

PHOTO
caption caption caption caption yay more captions

Comment: .
.
.
.
.
.
#hashtag #hashtag #hashtag #hashtag

Which looks like this on Instagram:

instagram_screenshot

This my friends, is how we make Instagram beautiful again.

It’s that easy! Get noticed!

And feel free to follow me on Instagram.

How Much Does SEO Cost?

It’s a common question from small businesses especially: “how much do SEO services cost?”

Well, this is a big question! It’s kind of like asking, “how much does a car cost?”
A really nice luxury car is going to cost you more than a run of the mill family sedan. It’s all about what you’re looking for and what’s important to you.

An important factor to consider with SEO or SEM services, however, is you shouldn’t be trying for the lowest cost at all costs. I’d also be wary of going with an individual or business that sends you unsolicited emails or phone calls. Ever notice how those calls increase after you’ve bought or renewed your domain? Unfortunately, everyone and their mom claims to be an SEO expert.

However, the SEOs who are working in the trenches and doing this daily, we don’t have time to call or bother anyone. Honest, we love what we do and most of us do it round the clock. Our businesses flourish by word of mouth. If there’s one rule you can live by, don’t bother with the people calling you out of the blue making all sorts of promises. The real SEOs don’t usually have to hustle for business and are picky about the clients they choose to take on.

How much it costs to hire a freelancer or SEO agency varies by the type of payment contract you sign up for. Typically people pay by one of a few ways:

– Monthly Retainer ($750-$5000)
This is often chosen because it can often be the most cost effective. Usually it means you get an SEO devoted to you/your company at a set price, whether you use them or not. Sometimes a maximum of hours is set, others are completely open. Personally, I don’t like 3am phone calls, so I make myself available during normal business hours.
This is only cost effective if you know it’s important to be devoting a certain amount of time to working on your site every month. Otherwise, you might find it better to go with an hourly rate.

-Hourly ($100-$300)
Agencies typically charge more than individuals, but that’s a good ball park. (Note: I often charge less than this per hour because I have a day job. It doesn’t mean I’m not worth it, it just means I don’t need the money to eat and I truly do enjoy working with small businesses who could really use the help. Maybe they’ll remember me when they get big.)

-Project (varies)
This could be anything. If you notice, I like to work by package rates. I find it neat and tidy and I do it enough that I know how long it takes me to do the work. It’s the easiest way for me to work, not necessarily for the client though. As the client, you get to decide!

In the end, like buying a car – you can get a used rust bucket or you can get a new SUV, but unlike cars, you need to think about the long term investment in your business and what it’s worth to you. SEO is not a quick fix, but it often can be an easy fix (for a specialist), and your investment will often be peanuts compared to your increased sales.

Caveat emptor and enjoy!

Why Every Blogger Needs Triberr

What is Triberr? It’s essentially an online tribe you join. People create tribes based on certain topics. Bloggers of that topic join and share each other’s posts. While your RSS feed automatically loads new posts into the Triberr tribe, each tribe member gets to decide whether or not they will share that individual post, so the system gives you both content and control.

The maximum number of any tribe is 30 – this is pretty reasonable, as it means you can realistically expect to be able to engage and build relationships with other tribe members (you can message other tribe members within Triberr), while still providing you with a very respectable reach. While not all tribes are filled to capacity, you can still expect to have your posts shared by at least 15-20 people on a regular basis, often providing you with a potential reach of 200k.

The above alone should sum it up for you: there are not too many other platforms I can think of that are both free and provide you with such a reach.

Of course, as a blogger, connecting with people who blog about the same topic as you is probably one of the best things. Anyone who has ever attended a blogger conference can attest to the amazing friendships built around a love of a common topic. These relationships can also provide opportunities for guest posts, blog hops or really any sort of collaboration.

In addition to that, Triberr spreads out the sharing of content so that not all posts are coming out at once. I only log into Triberr weekly, select the posts I want to share on my Twitter feed, and the Triberr scheduler does the rest. It means I have an active and populated Twitter feed without me doing much thinking or effort. Anything I do around those posts to engage in conversation is bonus.

For tips on how to really effectively use Triberr, check out Ryan’s post.

You can find me on Triberr here.

5 Must Have Apps For Social Media Specialists

People have been asking me a lot about what I use and what I think the best apps are for social media. To some extent, what you want to use will always be based on your needs and your clients’ needs, but I’m going to share what I think are the best to use pretty much no matter what.

My primary goal is to save time – automate or schedule what you can – and save the rest of your time for authentic engagement with followers.

You have nothing to lose by trying them out – all of them are either free or have free options.

Also, full disclaimer: I have nothing to gain from this post. No one paid me (unfortunately!) and my only potential bias is I am Hootsuite certified. 

1) Hootsuite: I love Hootsuite. Why? It’s easy to use and intuitive. It also connects to EVERYTHING. I use the paid version and have five accounts hooked up to everything from YouTube to Facebook. I also love their new publisher option, where they suggest content for you based on your current content. Hootsuite blows Buffer out of the water with this. I’m sure the two are in competition right now, but in this case, Hootsuite still has the upper hand.

2) Buffer: Buffer is like Triberr, but without the community and super-relevant content suggestions. In the case of their scheduler, it’s superior to Hootsuite – I simply prefer the suggested times Buffer uses. Hootsuite had Tweets for a client of mine going out in the middle of the night, which is not conducive to being able to be present for authentic engagement. (Unless you’re a night owl, hoot hoot!) Also, yes I know I could have changed the automated times, but I hadn’t looked at that since I sort of just thought the times would be reasonable. Oops, my mistake.

What I also like about Buffer is their superior image posting capabilities. You get a nice preview of how your post will look and can easily set it for multiple platforms at once.

What I don’t like about Buffer is the suggested content is really general. It’s quality stuff, but very non-offensive, middle ground sort of content. It’s great if you just want to populate your feed. It’s not great if you are looking for content to really align with your brand/image/message.

3) IFTTT: IFTTT stands for If This Then That and it’s my new toy. So much potential here and so much fun to use. Their slogan is “put the internet to work for you,” but I think it should be “own the Internet like a Boss.” You can connect it to pretty much anything digital or on the Internet. I’m not going to give away all its amazing secrets (go play with it and come back!) but I will say one way I use it is to take my Instagram posts, which are posted to Facebook, and post them native on Twitter. SO AWESOME!
Of course, I can post directly from Instagram to Twitter, but then it’s just a link and that is so last year!

I also use IFTTT to scour the web for relevant keywords, so technically one could use it for brand reputation management – sort of like Google Trends or a less-powerful, but free version of Trackr.

4) Instagram: I can think of few brands/products/services that wouldn’t be successful on Instagram. I think it’s rather underused as a marketing device and my only guess as to why people don’t use it to its full potential is they don’t get it.

Actually, the other annoying bit about it is how you can’t post from the web with it and can’t really manage more than one account on one device (not without a workaround like Instwogram).

Otherwise, my post about why I think every business/brand should have a well-managed Instagram account will have to wait for another day.

5) Periscope: Periscope is only available for Apple iOS, but let’s hope they fix that soon. I haven’t used it tons, but I see a lot of potential. I know there’s the whole Periscope vs Meerkat debate, but I’m sticking with Periscope for now because it’s a safe bet. You probably won’t have to worry about APIs getting revoked!

So there you have it, the top five I use in combination. When used well and to their full potential, they give you a solid base for social media management with good results.

Let me know what you think in the comments or Tweet me @KBronJohn