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How not to do Social Media

Is it a publicity stunt or a poorly thought out social media strategy? These are the questions being asked surrounding the backlash Qantas Airways is receiving on Twitter following their latest social media campaign.

Qantas initiated a competition for their Twitter followers to describe their “dream luxury inflight experience” using the hash tag ‘#QantasLuxury’ for a chance to win a luxury package of toiletries and pyjamas. Hash tags are often used in social media campaigns to monitor success, create online trends or to promote a company’s content.

The #QantasLuxury discussion soon went viral but not in the way Qantas had intended. Within 24 hours, thousands of Tweeters have used the hash tag to express their lack of faith in Qantas and badmouth the airline. With genuine entries few and far between, the social media team at Qantas are left scratching their heads on what approach to take next.

Examples of the hash tag hijack include:

“#QantasLuxury is more than 3mins notice that the whole airline is on strike” while another user said “#QantasLuxury = choose Singapore Air luxury instead.”

The main problem with this campaign was the lack of understanding of their audience. This competition has come just weeks after Qantas grounded their planes in strike and disrupted the lives of people worldwide.

Described as the “Hindenburg of social media strategies”, this case will go down in history for people interested in social media and general public relation campaigns. It does raise the age old question though – Is any publicity good publicity? You decide.

You can view the QantasLuxury stream in real time here, which has become a top trending topic all over the web in the last 24 hours.


Combining SEO and Social Media

While many are still focusing SEO efforts on websites, there are now many other ways to increase rankings, especially since results are now comprised of all kinds of content – including videos, images, maps, business listings, tweets and even Facebook posts.

So how do you expand your efforts without breaking the bank? To boost SEO, try creating a YouTube channel. Every video you post to your channel can be tagged and indexed, increasing the odds your brand name will appear in natural searches for keywords associated with your business.

Creating your own channel is pretty simple – here are four easy steps to kick things off right.

1. Choose Your Topic

You might be thinking “Who would want to watch a video about what I sell?” Well, the answer is probably a lot of people, but they won’t want to watch you selling your products on YouTube. Instead, people will appreciate informative or entertaining videos about your products that illustrate how to choose the ones for their needs, how to use or fix them, and what special features are available.

But don’t stop there. Consider what other expertise you can offer beyond your products. Whatever business you’re in, you’re probably an expert at what you do, so share your knowledge. For example:

  • If you sell women’s clothing, record videos showing how you choose your merchandise, interview local designers or even create how-to videos on coordinating outfits.
  • If you sell specialty cookies, record a few different videos about where you source your ingredients, how you bake your cookies, and how you package them for shipping.
  • If you sell wine, record videos of yourself opening, tasting and critiquing the different products you sell. Or, help viewers pair featured wines with seasonal meals.

With a bit of creative thinking, you can come up with some really interesting ideas that would be a perfect fit for a regular or even semi-regular video series.

2. Record

Once you come up with ideas, you’re ready to record. You can use any camera, and you don’t need to hire a professional videographer. In fact, it’s great if your videos look “home made,” as that just increases the viral appeal and makes them look less like commercials.

Before you record your video, make a bullet list of 5-10 points you’ll talk about and keep the edited recording under two minutes. At both the start and end of the video, it’s OK to plug your website or business. Make sure to always include a link to your website in the video, which will deliver viewers from YouTube to your product pages.

3. Video SEO (‘VSEO’)

Google SEO Image

After you’ve uploaded your video to YouTube, you’ll be asked to enter a title, description and tags. This is where Video SEO or “VSEO” begins.

Let’s say your company sells shoes and you just recorded and uploaded a video about “casual sneakers.” You want to use the phrase in the title twice to maximize SEO impact –- once at the front and once at the end, like this: “Casual Sneakers — How to Choose Casual Sneakers”

Next up is the description. Always include a link at the front of the description back to your website, followed by a carefully crafted paragraph around your key phrase, like this:

“http://www.casual-sneakers.com — In this video, Casual Sneakers 101 coach Jim Smith explains how to choose casual sneakers that best suit your needs. Casual sneakers, when chosen correctly, will make it easier to jog and play low-impact sports. Jim gives clear advice in choosing casual sneakers for men of all ages.”

The video description is shown in the search results on Google and is also used to determine which keywords or phrases your video should show for. Lastly, remember to use a lot of supporting words that give context to your video. Words such as “jog,” “sports” and “men” help Google figure out exactly what the video is about.

Finally, for tags, repeat your key phrase and common variants. Similar to website SEO, stick to 10-15 phrases. For phrases with more than one word, make sure you enclose them in double quotes, like this:

“casual sneakers,” sneakers, shoes, “jogging shoes,” “walking shoes,” “men’s shoes,” casual-sneakers.

4. Build a Base of Viewers

There are a few creative ways you can begin to “seed” your video beyond posting links on Facebook and Twitter.

One idea is to post your content as a “video reply” to other related videos. This gives YouTube context as to what your video is about and starts a steady flow of traffic. To do this, search YouTube for the exact phrase you want to rank for (in this example, “casual sneakers”). Click on each video that comes up and post your new video as a “video reply” to those.

Next, start building links back to your video. The more websites that link back to your video on YouTube, the more relevant that video will appear in searches. The best way to do this is simply to find out who is linking back to the most popular videos in your category, searching for that URL in Google to see where it appears, and then reaching out to these sites to ask them to link to your videos.

Once your video has had a few hundred views (which doesn’t take all that long), it should start appearing on Google for your key phrase.

Credit to Mashable.com and YouTube.com