The Social Media Brandsphere [Infographic], via @davidmerzel’s BLOG

The Social Media Brandsphere is a handy tool that breaks down the division of media opportunities for marketing professionals.

The infographic goes beyond the standard opportunities of Paid, Owned, and Earned Media (P.O.E.M.) and includes the more recent strategies of Promoted and Shared to create a complete picture of the opportunities available to engage audiences.

In any given network, brands can invest in digital assets that span five media landscapes:

1. Paid: Digital advertising, banners, adwords, overlays

2. Owned: Created assets, custom content

3. Earned: Brand-related conversations and user-generated content

4: Promoted: in-stream or social paid promotions vehicles (e.g. Twitter’s Promoted products and Facebook’s Sponsored Stories)

5. Shared: Open platforms or communities where customers co-create and collaborate with brands. (e.g. Dell’s IdeaStorm and Starbuck’s MyStarbucksIdea.)

Any combination of the five media strategies defines a new Brandsphere where organizations can capture attention, steer online experiences, spark conversations and word of mouth can help customers address challenges or create new opportunities.

To visualize the model that reflects the state of new media, Brian Solis partnered with JESS3.

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Facebook & Skype “Get Married” Delivering Video Chatting [video], via @davidmerzel’s BLOG

Facebook has announced a partnership with Skype to add video chat to the social networking site.

This is not the first time Facebook and Skype have teamed up – they already share some instant messaging tools.

Skype is in the process of being bought by Microsoft, which is a major shareholder in Facebook.

The new video-call service was launched by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, who also revealed that the site now had more than 750 million users.

However, he said that the total number of active users was no longer a useful measure of the site’s success.

Instead, the amount of sharing – of photographs, videos and web links – was a better indication of how people engaged with the site, explained Mr Zuckerberg.

Mr Zuckerberg said that it was likely that other “premium” Skype functions would be added in future.

Industry analysts welcomed the announcement.

“Advertisers love anything that keeps users on Facebook for longer and that is something Facebook has been brilliant at – keeping people engaged with the platform for increasingly longer periods of time,” Susan Etlinger of the Altimeter Group told BBC News.

“It stands to reason that the longer you are on Facebook, the happier advertisers will be.”

In California, Skype chief executive Tony Bates welcomed the partnership, calling it a “long-term relationship” that could benefit both companies.

“The two companies built these products separately and independently over a number of months but they will be compared directly,” said Ben Parr, editor-at-large of social media blog

“They are going to be in more heated competition in the next year or so and you are going to hear a lot about who is going to win the social networking war – how does Google catch up, how does Facebook respond. This story isn’t going away.”

5 Scientifically Proven Ways to Get More Followers [Infographic], via @davidmerzel’s BLOG

Interesting tips on how to get more followers.


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1. Show Us Who You Are

When you sign up for Twitter, you’re asked to provide 3 pieces of personal information: a bio, a homepage link and a picture. So show us who you are.

2. Stop Talking About Yourself

Imagine meeting someone at a cocktail party who did nothing but talk about themselves all night long. Would you want to listen to them for very long? Want more followers ? Stop talking about yourself.

3. Don’t Just Converse

When you look at the average reply percentage of folks with over 1,000 followers and compare it to the reply percentage of users with less than 1,000 followers what you find is interesting. Users with lots of followers respond much less frequently. The effect is the same when you compare users with more than 1,000,000 followers with those that have less.

4. Identify Yourself Authoritatively

Twitter accounts that use the word “guru” tend to have 100 more followers than the average Twitter account.

Now, I don’t think the takeaway here should be to call yourself a guru at every opportunity, but if you look at the rest of the words on the list, you should realize that you need to identify yourself authoritatively

5. Don’t be a Debbie Downer

Negative remarks include things like sadness, aggression, negative emotions and feelings, and morbid comments. If you want more followers, cheer up!

7 Ways to Improve Your Blog SEO, via @davidmerzel’s BLOG

Interesting reading “7 Ways to Improve Your Blog SEO with Inbound Links”

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Here-below, key outcome.


For a website to really take off in the search engine rankings, it needs to generate incoming links from relevant and reputable websites. And you have little control of incoming links.

To increase the likelihood of obtaining high-quality incoming links, here are seven things you can do:

#1: Create Content Others Will Want to Share

All search engine optimization (SEO) starts with content. The first step to generating incoming links is to create content that others will want to share. Blog posts that solve problems, provide a valuable resource, entertain, demonstrate innovation or even create controversy can all generate incoming links. It needs to be outstanding.

Don’t forget to make your content easy to share by including TweetMeme, Digg, Facebook or other buttons that are easy to find and use.

#2: Distribute Online Press Releases

Press releases are a great way to generate incoming links. A good press release can be directly published by any of a number of highly trafficked news organizations. Again, the key is to provide content that is of value to others.

When writing a press release, think like a reporter. What “news” is important to the reporter’s readers? Write it as if you were the reporter writing a story. Make the reporter’s or editor’s job easy and your press release has a much better chance of getting published.

Although there are a number of free press release sites available, paid distribution sites such as are often monitored by reporters and feed directly to Yahoo! News and other large websites. If you have the resources, a good press release on a premium distribution site can quickly pay for itself.

Distribution sites such as PR Newswire, Business Wire, PrimeZone or Market Wire distribute press releases to Yahoo! News and others.

#3: Write Guest Posts

Writing guest posts (like I’m doing here) on highly ranked, highly trafficked websites can also generate powerful incoming links.

Writers often will offer to write free posts in exchange for a link back to their own website. If the publisher will allow it, a link or two in the body of the post anchored to related keywords (deep links) can be even more valuable than the link in an author bio. Don’t believe me? How many of you clicked on the “tips for writing press releases” link above?

If you’re a good writer and have something to say, landing a guest spot isn’t all that difficult. The key thing is to pitch the website owner (or appropriate editor) an article that will be of value to his or her readers. Pitch the idea, not the entire article. Prior relationships don’t hurt either. If there’s a blog you’d like to write for, constructive comments and active participation can go a long way.


#4: Link to Others

Don’t be afraid to link to other blogs or publications. Linking to content of value not only provides a service for your readers but the incoming link will show up in the other blog’s analytics. Many blogs even display incoming links along with the comments. These links are one way to direct other bloggers back to your site. If they see something they like, they might return the favor.


#5: Share Content With Relevant Websites

Look for websites and blogs that offer content that’s complimentary to yours and let them know you’re there. For example, a lawyer who specializes in waterfront issues and riparian rights might share an article with a realtor who specializes in waterfront homes.

This can be as simple as an email letting the blogger know you enjoy his blog and a link to an article of interest to his readers. If you can directly tie it into something the blogger is currently writing about, even better.


#6: Create a Link Network

The feed reader in the sidebar also notifies fellow bloggers and their readers of my most recent posts. I’ll often write headlines aimed at other blogs in the feed knowing that it may generate a response or at least drive traffic from other sites. This technique can often trigger a response from other blogs generating even more traffic for both of us.

Transfer this technique to a business blog and you could create a very powerful network. If you’re worried about competition, look for bloggers outside of your geographic region or closely related but not in direct competition with your business. Realize though that the benefits of the incoming link juice far outweigh the concerns of a few readers visiting another blog. Besides, if your content is good enough, they’ll find their way back to your site.

#7: Don’t Forget Internal Links

If you have a blog post that has achieved a good Google page rank on its own, use it to build in a couple of links to other pages within your site. The link will still hold search engine value even though it’s coming from within the same site.

Link-building takes time and should be an ongoing process. It’s also a world in which the rich get richer. As a website moves to the top of the search returns, lazy researcher syndrome kicks in. Reporters and bloggers will often click on the top returns just because they’re the first to pop up on the page. The upper positions on the search returns also bring perceived credibility just because of their position. As you work your way to the top positions, incoming links will start to develop on their own.