If you’re a business entity and trying to build a brand and an online presence, you’re probably bombarded by offers from all kinds of new marketing “schemes” , and some at very exorbitant prices for something you either don’t need, probably because it’s outdated, or something you or any high school student could do for a fraction of the cost.

I’m always amused at the businesses and corporations that advertise something to the effect, “200,000 likes on Facebook can’t be wrong”.  Then when you go to their website, if they even have an updated site, you find crap for content.  So it makes you wonder, what exactly is “liked”?

The truth is that there are a bunch of organizations out there that will let you “buy likes” and at a hefty price.  They claim that these “likes” are legitimate because they target a specific market.  Even if that’s true, your page can be “unliked” just as quickly.  Facebook “Likes” are only one measure, and the more integrated the social networks become, the less significant the number of “likes”.

What I recommend to many of my clients is to check the Klout score for organizations they want to work with.  Klout is continually refining its algorithm as the social networks adjust their’s, which is not always made public.  (For example, did you know that Google redefined its search indexing lately?   You’ll soon see subtle but significant changes to how your website is ranked in the search engine.) Based on the individual or business activity on every social network, Klout compiles a score on a scale of 1-100, the higher, the “better”, kind of like school with one exception . . . ANYTHING over 50 is considered good to excellent.

The majority of the signals used to calculate the Klout Score are derived from combinations of attributes, such as the ratio of reactions you generate compared to the amount of content you share.  (Klout website)

Here’s an example of what you find under your Klout score:

I have said this before and I’ll say it again:  THERE ARE NO EXPERTS IN ONLINE MARKETING!!

Online marketing changes almost on a daily basis, and the most successful promoters are the ones who take the time to watch, learn, and make intelligent and informed decisions of where they advertise and what strategy to use.  They learn how to adapt their strategies quickly and NEVER put all their “eggs in one basket” –such as “Facebook likes”.

What has not changed in marketing is the value of content.  Now more than ever, because this is the age of information, people want quality content.  Jeff Bullas, in his marketing blog, refers to “liquid content” :

The  ”ultimate marketing goal” is to make content or ” ideas” so contagious that they cannot be controlled.
Read more at http://www.jeffbullas.com/2012/01/10/10-reasons-why-liquid-content-should-be-included-in-your-social-media-marketing/#GrfxBk2fW9lZ2QhL.99

He goes on to describe that the strategy is no longer limited to business-to-business marketing, and refers to a shift in strategy from creative excellence to content excellence.

The secret behind content marketing that is published and promoted on social networks including blogs, Facebook and Twitter and other social media channels is attracting loyal tribes of readers, viewers and ultimately customers.
Read more at http://www.jeffbullas.com/2012/01/10/10-reasons-why-liquid-content-should-be-included-in-your-social-media-marketing/#GrfxBk2fW9lZ2QhL.99

Content is still “king.”

Remember the story about the hare and the tortoise?  The same holds true in marketing.  think about all the videos that went viral overnight, with guest appearances on the Today Show, etc.  The fame and recognition vanished just as virally.  Why?  Because of a lack of substance in content.  How many times can you watch a dad shoot holes through his daughter’s laptop before getting bored?

I started a magazine two months ago: VIVAcini! and housed it on its own website, www.vivacini.com, where I post excerpts from each issue as well as advertising information for our sponsors.  Two weeks after the launch of VIVAcini, I set up its own Facebook page.  So the magazine is only two months old and the Facebook page even younger.  The Facebook “likes” are low (less than 100), but the reach is very high ( more than 100,00) because all of Vivacini’s posts are shared on my photography page, which has a high reach as well as more than 500 likes.  I’ve already been contacted by companies like “10,000 Likes”, “Double Your Likes”, etc.  But I prefer to be the tortoise.  I’m interested in attracting an audience that is intelligently optimistic and inquisitive.  Those will stay with us as long as we keep our content fresh and engaging.  When I look at the stats for all of my sites, I look at how consistent the growth is, not how fast.  Vivacini is built on content and everyone who follows on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+, or subscribes to our list, does so because the magazine has top notch content and is so visually compelling.

So if I’m a business looking to ride the coattails of someone’s marketing success, I’m going to look for one that understands ALL the social media networks, and one that pursues content excellence.

At both OHK Photography and VIVAcini (an online magazine that focuses on an intelligently optimistic lifestyle) we’re going for “liquid content!”


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