Wednesday, April 10, 2013

How to Get Testimonials For Your Product or Service Using Social Media

TestimonialsUnderstanding just how your customers and followers feel about your services or products is the cornerstone of good business and marketing strategies. In past decades, brick and mortar entities could more freely interact with their customers whenever they were in the store, and could directly request feedback and reviews. These days that personal interaction has shifted due to the dynamic of online shopping and social media, but testimonials remain just as valuable as ever. The following article will outline strategies you can use on select social media sites to elicit testimonials from your network and demonstrate the value of your brand.
Undoubtedly the largest social media platform in the world, Facebook is the best place to find willing users who are ready to review and vouch for your brand – assuming you already have a Facebook social media presence and are pinging your blog or site, of course. Be sure to have your own Facebook page and enter in any and all data relating to your product or service – telephone number and physical location, especially. Another great way for your plea for testimonials to gain more exposure is to pin a post promoting it at the top of your page. You can unpin this at any time, but leaving it there for continuous periods will dramatically increase the number of people who will see it.
A Twitter constituency will need a different approach than that of Facebook. One big advantage when it comes to testimonial promotion through Twitter is that individuals will be encouraged to leave brief responses due to the character limit. This allows customers and readers to boil down their impressions into its base form and submit it to you for consideration. You can also use Twitter to promote an off-site testimonial page for more detailed reviews, but we find that the former approach works best in regards to redistributing the commentary and it having a viral effect among those who are interested in your brand.
Universal Tactics
In many cases, it may be a good idea to entice your customers and followers to leave testimonials through a promotion. Seeing the inherent value in having real testimonials, you can offer coupons, discounts or freebies to those who are willing to dedicate a little bit of their time to giving you better insight into your brand and thus being able to showcase its positive attributes in a personal fashion. You could even consider an affiliate program of sorts, giving each individual who provides a testimonial a custom URL that is highlighting their thoughts while pinging your blog to promote it to their friends and acquaintances – with the one receiving the most traffic winning an even bigger prize.
Social media is great for obtaining responses from your followers. If you are just a tad creative about it while also providing incentive to your customers, you can harness those opinions via Facebook and Twitter, and proceed to use it as a platform to further your viral reach and overall content marketing strategies.

Do Google+1′s Really Affect Your SEO?

Google 1The hype around Google Plus has been fostered mainly by the implementation and integration of its “+1” feature into virtually all aspects of Google. It is very comparable to Facebook’s “Like” feature, but differs in some regards. Until recently, many people did not understand the purpose of this action, as it does not directly share or spread content whenever a user engages in a +1. Recent algorithm changes in Google have given the impression that +1s can in fact affect your search engine optimization process, and this has left many people asking the question: do Google Plus 1s really affect SEO?
Social Impacts
The primary benefit to having a solid performance when it comes to +1s is the boost you will receive in social searches. Whenever a friend has +1′d your page, for instance, their friends and anyone in their circles will be more likely to see that result whenever they search for a similar topic or interest. Google has increasingly placed an added amount of value on search preferences from friends and acquaintances whenever you search for a given query, giving you even more reason to be constantly pinging the servers of Google with new updates.
Effects on Broader Search Results
Many may be asking: how does this impact regular search results? The correlation seems to be clear: items that are +1′d more often have both a higher click through rate and a higher percentage chance of being shared with others. This leads to more traffic, and ultimately, a more positive association between select search results and your website by Google. Upon understanding this, it makes sense to have both a strong social media presence and a website that fully integrates concepts like Google Plus sharing directly into each piece of content. Failure to do so will lead to a loss of potential traffic – and your loss is someone else’s gain.
Other Considerations
Most of the benefits you will gain via +1s are indirect in nature, but will provide a good barometer of your site’s current health. If you suddenly see an increase in the content being shared via Google, then you can take some comfort in the fact that your content is being well-received and is pinging the servers of Google and other major search engines. It can also be reassuring to know that any social media strategy that is accompanied with your regular content marketing is having a positive effect.
The summary of analysing Google Plus suggests that there is a correlation between improved SEO and the increased use of +1s by readers and fans. As Google continues to move more and more toward a social search strategy in order to keep up with tactics used by search engines like Bing, these social indicators will become more and more powerful in driving your site to the top. For now, though, you can expect the biggest gains in this approach via the social network itself – sharing and +1′ing select content through Google will at least gain you more prominent featuring in search results for those using the social platform.