As more and more of our lives revolve around the Internet, it is becoming increasingly difficult to appropriately target, communicate, and entice our audience via Search Engine Marketing (SEM), Search Engine Optimization (SEO), or social media marketing. If you share this dilemma, then Rich Brooks is the guy to follow.
Rich is the founder and CEO of Flyte, a web design and Internet marketing company located in Portland, Maine, which launched in 1997. You might know his name as a regular contributor to the Social Media Examiner, an Expert Blogger at FastCompany.com, and co-founder of Social Media FTW, an organization that puts on conferences about social media marketing.
One of the questions he is most often asked is, “How do I get more Twitter followers?” In response Rich wrote a blog post and made a video detailing how to use Paper.li to gain targeted quality followers. That is just one aspect of his work, which revolves around the web marketing model he has created and fine-tuned: Holistic Web Marketing.
What is Holistic Web Marketing?
Holistic Web Marketing is a model we came up with to help explain our integrated approach to web marketing. There are four components:
- Attraction: How do you attract or drive qualified traffic to your site? SEO, social media, blogging, online video, and traditional advertising to name a few. Here’s a great example: I really liked that Paper.li added an Editor’s note so that I could promote a ticket giveaway to the Agents of Change Digital Marketing Conference.
- Retention: People will only spend a brief amount of time on your site before moving on. How do you keep the lines of communication open while they’re away? Email marketing has been one method, and maybe someone out there has added a Paper.li subscription form to their site. I haven’t tried that yet. These days, social media can also be used for retention. Sites ask us to like, follow and subscribe right from the home page.
- Conversion: This is all about getting someone to buy now or move further down the sales channel. It’s about improving the quality of the traffic going to your site, and creating a sales funnel that’s impossible to resist.
- Measurement: Or, “is any of this stuff even working?” I use a combination of Google Analytics for my site and blog, as well as Facebook Insights, YouTube analytics and some of the Grader tools from Hubspot that are out there.
How do you think social media has changed the way marketing works? Is it just another marketing channel, or will it become the channel?
I’m sure it feels like soon there will only be social media, in the same way that TV was supposed to replace radio. However, I feel that it is just another channel for people and companies to connect. Yes, it’s more vibrant and engaging than in some of the previous channels, but I think most companies will need to determine their own optimal mix of social, search, mobile and traditional marketing and advertising.
While I love social media on a personal level, as a small business owner I also need to look at the ROI (Return on Investment) and determine where my limited resources should be best spent.
What’s the value of a Twitter follower? Can the value of a follower be quantified?
I don’t think there’s a “one value fits all” for a Twitter follower. Anyone who can find fiverr.com can buy hundreds of irrelevant followers. There’s no value in that. My goal is to get in front of small business owners looking to grow their business online and generate more leads. For me, there’s value in that type of following. However, I’ve never gotten down to the minutiae of one follower is worth $7.56, or $75.60 for that matter.
That being said, I do see from my Google Analytics that we drive a good amount of traffic from Twitter to our website, and people who fill out our contact form (moving further down the sales funnel) often cite Twitter as “how they heard of us”.
What makes paper.li a great way to gain more Twitter followers?
I like Paper.li to get more relevant followers because people like seeing their name in “print”, and thus they’re more likely to share your tweet with others, increasing your reach and visibility. Plus, if you’ve curated a good Paper.li edition, that will encourage people to follow you and subscribe to your paper.
While many people engage in online activities like #FF (“Follow Friday”), where you suggest people to follow via Twitter, I’m not sure that it’s very effective. To put it bluntly, most people do #FF horribly. If you do engage in #FF, give me one person I should follow and why. Cramming twelve handles into a tweet won’t get me to follow any of them, and doing that 20 times on Friday is a sure way to get me to unfollow you!
What do you think is the key to creating a good Paper.li?
I think the key is focus. You create a better quality Paper.li if you focus on an industry, idea or geographic location (like my Maineiacs Daily.) That will attract users looking for curated content and get them to share.
You need to turn on the Twitter notifications for sure. In addition, you may want to promote it through other channels, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, G+ and an email newsletter. I think you’d get better buy-in (subscriptions) by focusing the content on something that’s of interest to your target audience as opposed to yourself. You can also make the call to action in the editor’s note about subscribing via email, which would greatly increase the paper’s visibility.
For more advice from Rich Brooks or Flyte blog, here are some of his most popular articles: