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The psychology of social proof gives marketers an incredible tool for increasing the reach of their content.
We are influenced and we influence others based on the groups we identify with and the content we share online.
Digital marketing can tap into that mentality to increase inbound traffic and drive conversions; Social Influence Marketing.
The theory of social influence is excellently explained by Victor Yocco for Smashing Magazine in his article 'Social Influence: Incorporating Social Identity Theory Into Design'.
I recommend reading Victor's post first to understand the theory behind social identity and then come back to find out more about how you can apply it to your own site.
Victor sees great opportunity for designers to enhance websites and products by using social identity theory in the way that Nike has built an entire network around Nike+.
You don't have to build your own social network from scratch to take advantage of social identity theory. It can be as simple as adding sharing buttons to your site.
Social Influence Marketing is simply the use of social signals to increase online reach and improve conversion rates.
Not sure where to start with social media? Create your own effective strategy with Social Media training, part of our comprehensive Digital Marketing training package. It will really help you to improve your outreach skills so that you can start working on social influence marketing!
I believe there are three main social signals to identify; everyone, friends and celebrities.
Twitter cards are an easy and effective way to make your tweets stand out in your followers' feeds.
Don't be limited by 140 characters, add enhanced links, product descriptions, media and more - all without affecting that character count!
You can start using Twitter cards by adding a few lines of HTML to your pages which will then generate the card when someone tweets that link - this is a quick setup that should have a huge impact on your visibility on Twitter and help drive engagement.
They also have the added bonus of unlocking Twitter Analytics (Twitter advertisers will already have access).
Twitter Card Types
- Summary Card: A card for links including title, description, thumbnail image and author/publisher @ handle
- Summary Card with Large Image: Same as summary card but with larger image and small description
- Photo Card: Card with one photo
- Gallery Card: Collection of up to 4 photos
- App Card: Highlights a mobile app with a download link
- Player Card: A card that allows embedded audio & video
- Product Card: Details product information
Each card type requires a different set of meta tags which will you will need to add to your page. Once you've added the tags, you need to validate the page before Twitter approves your cards and they start showing in Tweets.
As mentioned, Twitter cards give you access to analytics to check the performance of your Tweets. It's a great way to monitor the effectiveness of different types of card and establish your top influencers.
Not getting the results you desire? Find out where you're going wrong with our 2 day Social Media workshops and learn how to start growing your network.
Is it possible to increase search visibility without building links?
At BrightonSEO in April Semantic Search was a popular topic that featured in many talks and I also had the pleasure of taking part in a Semantic Search Roundtable discussion, sponsored by Intelligent Positioning.
It is also worth reading Krystian Szastok's follow up post 'I Became an Entity: How I'm on the Knowledge Graph' which gives further evidence of becoming an entity with some additional tips.
Andrew and Krystian's posts are both excellent reads, but they focus on individuals and the knowledge graph.
I also want to focus on businesses.
How can businesses get themselves into the knowledge graph, and also take advantage of the other features of semantic search?
First, a bit of theory about why this is so important.
We always look forward to the panel debates at BrightonSEO as the discussion is more open. It's even better when they involve ex-members of the Google Search Quality team (and a "former" spammer).
- You cannot recover from a penalty with just a disavow file, you have to do link removal
- Google is using the disavow tool to crowdsource bad links/domains
- A bad link is any link "made for SEO"
- Link building is fine, as long as you build for traffic
- Google can tell if a link is getting clicked or not
- Negative SEO is far less common that it is talked about, it is usually a spam attack or result of miscommunication
- Sites hit by negative SEO are never clean to start with
- There are hundreds of reasons that your site might drop in Google, not always a penalty, so do discovery on your own site, don't look for answers on the internet
- Google focus on users, not SEOs/webmasters, so there is always going to be collateral damage
- You can't recover from a penalty and then delete your disavow file, Google keeps track of everything and will find out
- Second penalties are much harder to recover from that first ones
Get hands on with Webmaster Tools on our brand new Advanced SEO Strategy Training course - the most up to date course on the market.
Google Webmaster Tools is an incredible tool for running health checks, monitoring your site's progress or uncovering the source of a problem. It's also an essential SEO tool.
If you're not familiar with Webmaster Tools or you haven't been keeping up with the latest changes & additions then we are here to help.
Learn about every feature of Google WMT and find out how you can use it for quick and long term SEO wins.
If you want to get hands on with Webmaster Tools then come down to Brighton for our 2-day SEO course which will give you hands on experience using WMT for SEO. We are always updating our SEO courses with the latest trends and best practices. If you're more interested in the analytics side of Webmaster Tools then we also recommend our 1 day Google Analytics or Advanced Google Analytics course.
I've thrown in a lot of tips along the way based on our experiences at Silicon Beach so you will have some good ideas to use Webmaster Tools to improve your site's performance.
Let's start from the top...