According to the recent NFPA Communications Survey, creating and maintaining a social media presence is becoming more and more critical to our member company's overall operations. Beginning with this issue of the Reporter Kari-Lynn will share social media news and updates as well as helpful "tools of the trade" to assist members in navigating the online world.


By Kari-Lynn O'Neil, Social Marketing + Engagement Manager
www.linkedin.com/in/karilynnoneil

On August 30th 2013, Google quietly rolled out their new search engine platform “Humming Bird.” Unlike the typical algorithm updates like Panda and Penguin, this is a major change in the way internet users receive results from their Google searches in two very important ways:
  1. Google will do a better job of serving results based on natural language.
  2. Google now added the methodology for processing social signals.
If you want to win with the new search platform, it will be important to create a content strategy based on Humming Bird. B2B and supply chain marketers have found it challenging to enter the social marketing space. Cost, time, and understanding what platform their audience is on, are a few of the reasons typically given. By simply adjusting the way you approach your marketing, you’ll be more successful driving traffic and creating awareness for your brand this year.

First, create useful content for your audience—not marketing content. The content should be something your target market will want to share; within their company, with their peers, on LinkedIn, with Twitter followers, and so on. You don’t necessarily have to maintain these platforms. Google rewards happen when your audience uses share link buttons on your page.(ROI/KPI lovers: you can now measure this with analytics.)

Second, be awesome. Some of the most shared content are inspirational stories. The more places and the more formats those inspirational stories are shared, the bigger your win. To illustrate we will use the Fluid Power Challenge program:


ABC company hosts a Fluid Power Challenge locally. Content Strategy for this program works like this:

Social: Leverage social channels during planning, networking for new contacts, and organizing the event. Then use to promote. Use to get media coverage. Post event, use to link to PR, your web site and link to video to share the success of the event.

Video: YouTube is the second most powerful search engine! Optimizing video with your company name can help you “own keyword results.”  Take video of the event and post on YouTube and optimize  it for your brand with links back to your site. It doesn’t have to be super professional. Part of the charm and like-ability is that it doesn’t feel corporate. Use the link on your web site, any social site, and in press releases. Share on LinkedIn.

Images: The higher you go up in the executive ladder, the more visually people search. Studies show that many internet searchers immediately skip the “web” tab and click on image or video to narrow their results. Take pictures and optimize them with keywords people would type in the search bar. Use them in Press Releases, on your web site, and on social.

Press Releases: are also online. Many online sources are starved for original content. Use Ping services to improve your chances of getting your content published. Also, drop the standard press release format and just write a great, easy to read, and visually driven article and post it as a blog to submit. People want to read stories, not corporate press releases.

Web site: If you don’t have a blog, start one. The more you update your content, the more your site gets crawled. Having a blog with content that provides great information for your top audiences will create a loyal following. It also provides an opportunity to keep adding those search terms your target audience is typing in the search bar. You’ll have a place to add that sharable content, optimized images and videos.

You can use this content strategy to promote any of your initiatives.  If you have questions about the new search engine platform, developing a content strategy or social media in general contact me at koneil@nfpa.com, or (414) 778-3356.

NFPA is experimenting with these techniques in a number of formats including Power2Move.com and theIEOC.com.  Check them out!