Larry BraunerWhile building my online presence and working on small client projects over a three year period, I devised, tested and evaluated a wide variety of web-based marketing, branding and communication strategies and techniques, and discussed them on Online Social Networking.

In November 2010, I seized an opportunity that arose to join a major luxury goods company and test my strategies and techniques in a competitive real-world environment. The results were outstanding. Not only was enormous buzz created, the business was able to dramatically increase its authority and credibility within the trade and with the media.

I credit just five very simple ideas with our success:

  1. Building a core group of websites around which the company’s entire web presence was built.
  2. Fully aligning web content with the company’s mission and message.
  3. Creating a great quantity of top quality, expertly edited and search engine optimized content.
  4. Using plenty of images and videos to enhance our written content.
  5. Leveraging numerous online and offline sources, such as SEO, social networking sites, social bookmarking sites, email, print ads and word-of-mouth, to generate a flood of targeted traffic to the company’s web content.

Of course the details of implementation were far from trivial. They needed to be worked out along the way, and yours will too.

I shall elaborate on these five web strategies in future articles.

Please subscribe and join me on my Facebook page.

You may also leave me a comment. :-)

Did you enjoy this article? Subscribe to my RSS feed or by e-mail. Visit my About, Services, Media Buzz and Connect pages to learn about Building Your Audience and Brand on the Web. See also my Disclosure Policy regarding affiliations and compensation.
Dofollow Blogs Online Social Networking Home Online Social Networking Sitemap About Larry Brauner
Sharing is Caring! Use the handy SHARE widget.

Bookmark and Share


Tags: , , , , , , , , ,


Larry BraunerPlease prepare yourself for a small dose of cynicism. Last week, a Facebook sales rep tried to persuade me to buy ads to drive traffic to the Gevril page, in order to increase its number of fans. Neither the rep’s rational nor the outcome of our talk are important for now. However, I do wish to look at the implications of this one aspect of the Facebook business.

The Dark Side of Facebook Ads

FacebookYou pay Facebook to drive people from unspecified Facebook pages to your fan page, hoping that once there, they’ll “like” your Facebook page. You also hope that you’ll benefit from building a Facebook fan base.

When a member clicks on your ad link and then clicks your “like” button, that activity is called engagement. Naturally, the more Facebook engagement, the more lively and profitable the Facebook site is for its owner.

Consider this: When you advertise your fan page using Facebook ads, you’re paying for the privilege of increasing Facebook activity. You’ll even bid against other advertisers for that privilege. Is that totally ingenious or what?

Is it any wonder that Facebook makes it so challenging for us to use our personal profiles to conduct business or to organically grow our business pages?

What do you think?

Did you enjoy this article? Subscribe to my RSS feed or by e-mail. Visit my About, Services, Media Buzz and Connect pages to learn about Building Your Audience and Brand on the Web. See also my Disclosure Policy regarding affiliations and compensation.
Dofollow Blogs Online Social Networking Home Online Social Networking Sitemap About Larry Brauner
Sharing is Caring! Use the handy SHARE widget.

Bookmark and Share

Tags: , , ,

Mastering social media one bite at a time the past few years was an effective strategy for me, as the needs of my small number of clients were modest enough.

That’s changing, as I’ve been engaged as social media and web strategist by the Gevril Group in Valley Cottage, NY, luxury watch distributor, a forward-thinking business with ambitious marketing goals.

A one-bite-at-a-time social media marketing approach for Gevril would be way too laid-back and totally unrealistic.

Gevril’s Social Media and Web Marketing Plan

Gevril Group Luxury WatchesI’ve crafted for Gevril a multi-faceted web marketing plan that matches the company’s far-reaching objectives.

All parts of my plan are to be managed and executed concurrently:

  • Community and List Building - Developing a community and building a subscriber base are impacted by nearly all social media and web marketing functions.
  • Content Creation - The story of each Gevril Group brand needs to be told, and articles, newsletters and press releases need to be written, as well.
  • Web Sites - Ivo Jackson and I are designing GevrilGroup.com. The Gevril Group website will be the hub of the Gevril web presence and a key resource for contact list building.
  • Blogging - Blogs will be used to post fresh content, such as news and product information. We’ve launched several Gevril Group blogs: Watch Brands and Luxury Watches and Men’s Watches.
  • Search Engine Optimization - SEO and social media complement each other very nicely. About 50% of my blog’s traffic comes from searches. Whenever new content is created, SEO needs to be applied. The free Google Keyword Tool is my favorite SEO resource.
  • Email Marketing - We’ll email press releases, and news about products and events to our email marketing lists.
  • Facebook - I’ve set up a facebook.com/GevrilGroup on Facebook, a social networking site I’m quite comfortable with. I hope to build an active community of watch enthusiasts around Gevril’s Facebook page.
  • Twitter - I’ve set up @GevrilGroup on Twitter and will use Tweet Adder to manage the Gevril account and build a targeted following.
  • LinkedIn - While still working on a strategy for LinkedIn, I’ve already joined many relevant LinkedIn groups. I will next create a Gevril company page.
  • Social Bookmarking Sites - I’ve lately received a lot of quality blog traffic from Business Exchange, so I created a Business Exchange topic for the watch industry. I’ll also use Digg, StumbleUpon and other social bookmarking sites.
  • Niche Social Networks - Social networking sites and forums catering to watches or luxury will help Gevril connect with watch enthusiasts.
  • Group Buying - I’ve ruled out Groupon and similar sites as potential marketing channels, but very much like GroupGain, a new website with a new group buying concept that has yet to launch.

Gevril Men's 5101 Rose Gold Avenue of Americas Automatic Date WatchThe ultimate goal of Gevril’s marketing initiatives is to increase sales by enlisting vendors and by creating more consumer demand.

Therefore, every aspect of Gevril’s social media and web marketing plan must contribute directly or indirectly to an increase in Gevril’s sales.

Please visit and follow the Gevril Group on Facebook and Twitter. I hope to see you there. ;-)

Did you enjoy this article? Subscribe to my RSS feed or by e-mail. Visit my About, Services, Media Buzz and Connect pages to learn about Building Your Audience and Brand on the Web. See also my Disclosure Policy regarding affiliations and compensation.

Dofollow Blogs Online Social Networking Home Online Social Networking Sitemap About Larry Brauner
Sharing is Caring! Use the handy SHARE widget.

Bookmark and Share

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Larry BraunerYou want to market on the web and take advantage of the vast potential of social media. You start your blog, create your Twitter account, launch your Facebook fan page, and you’re ready to go.

Or are you? Have you missed any crucial first steps?

Sandy Abrams, begins her new book, Your Idea, Inc., with words that have been attributed to Mark Twain:

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking down your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.”

This quotation presents three problems, which I believe ought to have troubled Samuel Clemens:

  1. Isn’t “breaking down your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks” itself a step in the process?
  2. Aren’t understanding your needs and clearly defining your objectives vital preparatory steps as well?
  3. How do we determine the optimal sequence in which to execute all the small manageable tasks?

Neglected Stepchild of Social Media MarketingThese are three aspects of planning.

Planning is not popular, which explains the all too common lack of direction and focus in social media work.

Lack of direction and focus impedes progress and can cause frustration.

Your Social Media Plan

Before you jump into social media, devise your social media marketing and PR plan. Here are 16 key areas that might factor into your social media plan:

  1. Understand your business and objectives.
  2. Think about your products and services, what makes each special and their respective market segments.
  3. Develop positioning strategies for each market or program.
  4. Compile a list of your online competitors for each market.
  5. Identify suitable social media, such as social networking sites and social bookmarking sites, for both your vertical and horizontal campaigns.
  6. Identify desirable directories and other sites that might link to your content.
  7. Research and evaluate the extent and quality of industry-specific online content.
  8. Devise strategies and techniques for developing and promoting your content.
  9. Define a policy for governing your employees’ interactions with the public through social media.
  10. Study the online methodology of competitors and identify their search engine keywords.
  11. Analyze and critique your existing web presence.
  12. Gauge your competitors’ online success based upon their standing in search engines, the number and quality of links to their site, and estimated traffic.
  13. Identify opportunities to outmaneuver your competitors.
  14. Use a process called keyword discovery to develop a potentially useful vocabulary that will attract targeted search engine traffic to your content through SEO.
  15. Analyze keywords to determine which ones ought to be emphasized, based on the frequency of search and the amount of competition for each keyword phrase.
  16. Create a lexicon as an output of your keyword research and as an aid to your content development.

Action is Everything

You need not be concerned about every one of these areas. Use your judgment, since these are more suggestions than requirements. Certainly, do not use the length of my list as an excuse not to take action.

Action is everything. However, action begins with planning.

What are your thoughts?

Did you enjoy this article? Subscribe to my RSS feed or by e-mail. Visit my About, Services, Media Buzz and Connect pages to learn about Building Your Audience and Brand on the Web. See also my Disclosure Policy regarding affiliations and compensation.

Dofollow Blogs Online Social Networking Home Online Social Networking Sitemap About Larry Brauner
Sharing is Caring!
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Larry BraunerAs the year and the decade draw to an end, success is a topic on most people’s minds.

In 1,000 True Fans, Kevin Kelly develops a marketing paradigm for artists of all types, including musicians.

A True Fan is defined as someone who will purchase anything and everything you produce. They will drive 200 miles to see you sing. They will buy the super deluxe re-issued hi-res box set of your stuff even though they have the low-res version.

Focus on connecting with people. Convert 1,000 lesser fans into true fans, which is all you need to earn a living.

In First, organize 1,000, Seth Godin generalizes the model and applies it to politics and business, “1,000 people voting as a bloc can change local politics forever. 1,000 people willing to try a new restaurant you find for them gives you the ability to make an entrepreneur successful and change the landscape of your town.”

Again, the focus is on connecting with people, “You don’t find customers for your products. You find products for your customers.”

Connecting with People through Social Media

What I really love about social media, in particular, blogging and social networking sites such as Facebook, is the facility with which they enable me to connect with people.

I can write an article or post a link that sparks a public conversation. Some remarks can then lead to private discussions via direct messages, email or telephone. If I help somebody or solve a problem, I now have a true fan.

Why 1,000 True Fans?

Don’t attach importance to one thousand. 1,000 is a round number, chosen arbitrarily, to take the number of fans or customers needed to earn a good living — which is fairly abstract — and make it more concrete.

Unfortunately, the emphasis on 1,000 true fans might lead us to “see the forest for the trees” but to lose sight of each individual tree. However, each individual we touch is, somewhat paradoxically, as important as the overall group.

Impact the life of even one true fan, and you have achieved a measure of success.

Real Social Media Success

The changes made possible by technology and social media in the ways we communicate and conduct business have been phenomenal. How glorious it would be if we could witness corresponding improvements in the human condition.

Sadly, the opposite is true. Technology and social media are used for evil as well as good, and our world and its peoples continue to have little respite from their fear, pain and suffering.

Planet EarthOur world is made up of individuals. We, as individuals, must seek ways to bridge our differences, to heal our conflicts, and to ameliorate our Planet Earth. We, as individuals, must connect with other individuals, through our businesses and otherwise, and help them improve their lives.

It would be super if, in our businesses, we could look beyond the bottom line and use social media to make the globe not only smaller, but kinder, saner and safer as well.

That would be real social media success.

May we all achieve success in 2010. Have a happy new year!

Did you enjoy this article? Subscribe to my RSS feed or by e-mail. Visit my About, Services, Media Buzz and Connect pages to learn about Building Your Audience and Brand on the Web. See also my Disclosure Policy regarding affiliations and compensation.

Dofollow Blogs Online Social Networking Home Online Social Networking Sitemap About Larry Brauner
Sharing is Caring!
Tags: , , , , ,

Larry BraunerIvana Taylor, consultant and author of the marketing blog, Strategy Stew, presented 10 Must-Do Marketing Tips for 2010 in the OPEN Forum Idea Hub for Innovation.

Reading through Ivana’s tips, I stopped at “Productize Your Services: It’s much easier to understand and purchase something that looks like a product.” This task has been on my list for a while, but now I feel compelled to tackle it sooner rather than later.

Team Collaboration TechniquesDuring 2009, I focused on researching, analyzing and blogging about social networking sites and social media paradigms. However, I’ve already formulated some key objectives for 2010, which include closer collaboration with peers.

Here are ten of the many ways we might be able to collaborate in the year to come:

  1. Brainstorming - Teaching each other and working together to find creative solutions to problems. I currently brainstorm a lot with close friends.
  2. Masterminding - Forming mastermind groups to help each other reach our goals by overcoming obstacles and remaining accountable.
  3. Networking - Sharing contacts, either directly, through new social networking sites or via other business networking groups.
  4. Lead Sharing - Providing each other with business or job leads.
  5. Blogging - Group blogging is a proven concept.
  6. Strategic Alliances - Combining our skills and resources to create synergies.
  7. Team Projects - Pure team collaboration, i.e., working together on projects together as a group.
  8. Blog Promotion - Using our influence to promote each other’s blogs and other content.
  9. Fan Page Promotion - Inviting our Facebook friends to join each other’s Facebook fan pages.
  10. Content Promotion - Bookmarking, linking to, commenting on, and retweeting each other’s content.

I can envision collaboration strategies such as these benefiting teams in a corporate setting as well.

Please share your ideas below before you go.

If you’d like to collaborate, send an email with “Collaborate” in the subject to collaborate at braunersolutions dot com. I look forward to hearing from you.

Did you enjoy this article? Subscribe to my RSS feed or by e-mail. Visit my About, Services, Media Buzz and Connect pages to learn about Building Your Audience and Brand on the Web. See also my Disclosure Policy regarding affiliations and compensation.

Dofollow Blogs Online Social Networking Home Online Social Networking Sitemap About Larry Brauner
Sharing is Caring!
Tags: , , , , ,

Larry Brauner

This is an article about how to get more web site traffic. Unlike most articles discussing how to get more website traffic, this article focuses on optimizing sources of website traffic rather than optimizing links or keywords.

I’ve had some success getting web site traffic. Admittedly, I may never catch up to Seth Godin whose blog currently ranks 6,028 in Alexa for traffic. However, my blog did recently pass 50,000 in Alexa after a couple of years blogging.

Get More Web Site TrafficFriends wonder what I’m doing that they’re not, and whether they’re looking for website traffic in the wrong places.

Hard work and consistency are certainly key success factors, and I am hard working and consistent. I’m also very hard thinking, and I’ve concluded that there aren’t right and wrong places to look for traffic, and that diversifying traffic sources is a critical strategy for achieving long-term success. Most web site owners don’t diversify enough.

Rationale for Diversification of Traffic Sources

It’s true that some website traffic sources deliver greater, higher quality and better targeted website traffic than others. It’s also true that some traffic sources are less time consuming and easier to use than others. Nevertheless, 80/20 rule notwithstanding, to rely only upon your best website traffic sources is a questionable strategy for at least seven reasons:

  1. Quantity - Obviously, using more website traffic sources tends to generate more web site traffic. While some website traffic sources aren’t as efficient to use as others, their website traffic is no less valuable.
  2. Stability - Using more website traffic sources reduces risk and increases stability. Putting all your social media eggs in one basket is risky, since social media is in a constant state of change. We often see social networking sites rise and fall in popularity and even disappear completely. Search engines are also unpredictable. They can revise algorithms or remove web sites at their discretion. My strategy has allowed me to adapt gradually to changes over time.
  3. Opportunity - Testing to uncover the best approaches is a widely accepted marketing concept. Using more website traffic sources, you find opportunities you would otherwise miss. You also increase your chance of getting lucky.
  4. Diversity - Using multiple traffic sources, you can reach audiences that are more diverse and richer from a marketing perspective.
  5. Frequency - Using many website traffic sources, you tend to reach people more often which helps you build your relationships with them more effectively and reinforces your messages.
  6. Synergy -Some website traffic sources complement each other and create synergy.
  7. Latency - Some website traffic sources require persistent usage before they yield results (e.g. search engines) or the source itself may not have matured (e.g. Twitter).

Places I Look to Get More Website Traffic

Without going into detail, a partial list of sources that have recently helped me get more we site traffic are: search engines (Google, Bing, etc.) Entrecard, Twitter, Ning sites, Facebook profile, Facebook page, Facebook NetworkedBlogs, LinkedIn, StumbleUpon, BlogCatalog, Google Friend Connect, and other blogs.

While you can use my partial list of website traffic sources for starters, you’ll need to develop your own long list of sources that’s geared to your audience and your marketing strategy.

I’ve intentionally excluded video websites such as YouTube from my list for now, but in all likelihood it will be on yours. Furthermore, I don’t generally buy website traffic, but it might make sense for you to do so.

Okay. We’ve reached the point in the post where you usually comment. Please share your favorite traffic sources and ways you like to get more web site traffic. :-)

Did you enjoy this article? Subscribe to my RSS feed or by e-mail. Visit my About, Services, Media Buzz and Connect pages to learn about Building Your Audience and Brand on the Web. See also my Disclosure Policy regarding affiliations and compensation.

Dofollow Blogs Online Social Networking Home Online Social Networking Sitemap About Larry Brauner
Sharing is Caring! Please use the SHARE widget.

Bookmark and Share

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Larry Brauner
Connecting on social networking sites with family and friends requires little forethought or planning. The most popular social networks are easy enough to figure out, even without instruction manuals.

Most of us would agree that social networking sites are easy to use for casual networking.

On the other hand, reaching out to your target audience on social networking sites requires both planning and an appreciation of the fine points of each site. Social networking sites are not easy to use when it comes to marketing.

Facebook in particular is one social networking site that even experienced marketers struggle with, especially using profiles, pages, groups and apps in an appropriate and effective manner.

She Purged All of Her Friends on Facebook

Recently, I was contacted by a Facebook connection who happens to be some kind of celebrity. She was migrating her thousands of friends from her profile to her fan page, so that she could remove them from her profile.

At first glance, this is the Facebook equivalent of unfollowing all your friends on Twitter. However, you realize that it’s even more extreme once you think about it.

Removing her friends on Facebook, she gave up her access to their profile information and status updates. Either she was desperate for privacy :-P or hadn’t adequately considered the consequences or didn’t care much about connecting with the fans who were following her.

Separating Business from Personal on Facebook

Yesterday, a marketing friend informed me that he was trying to separate “business from personal” on Facebook. He had set up a fan page and asked me to send people there rather than to his profile.

He also informed me that he was “trying to get to 100 members, so I could get a vanity URL” and asked if I had any suggestions.

This same friend is working on attracting his target audience to his Ning social networking site which may partially justify his separating business from personal on Facebook. Nevertheless, connecting as Facebook friends offers so many excellent networking opportunities that one can’t fully justify passing it up.

Furthermore, his difficulty reaching 100 fans for his page is a sign to me that perhaps he’d be better off starting by building a base of Facebook friends from which he could later draw members for his page.

In Conclusion

A feature on one of the social networking sites may attract you, such as the ability to have an unlimited number of fan page members on Facebook, but it’s critical to carefully weigh the pros and cons of each strategy and tactic.

With Facebook groups for example, you can only have 5,000 members, but you can send group messages directly to the inboxes of all those members. That capability may be more useful to you that having unlimited members.

A modest investment of time speaking with an online social networking or social  marketing expert could dramatically increase the value of the subsequent time you spend marketing on social networking sites. ;-)

Did you enjoy this article? Subscribe to my RSS feed or by e-mail. Also, visit my About, Services, Media Buzz and Connect pages to learn about Building Your Audience and Brand on the Web.

You Comment I Follow Online Social Networking Home Online Social Networking Sitemap About Larry Brauner
Sharing is Caring!
Tags: , , , , ,

Larry BraunerIn Social Marketing Leverage, I stated that the Internet gives us the ability to transfer information with relative ease and enables a great variety of online tools to provide us with a virtual type of leverage.

In this article, I discuss another physical phenomenon, that of momentum, as it applies to the non-physical social marketing process.

MomentumMomentum is the impetus of an object or a process, its tendency to remain in motion. If you’ve ever skated or cross-country skied, you’ve enjoyed momentum or gliding. :-)

When riding in a car or bus that stopped short, you were thwarted by momentum as the vehicle stopped, but you kept going. :-(

Most of the time, we don’t want to lose momentum. We’ve worked up some speed, or we’re highly productive — and we want it to continue.

Losing Physical Momentum

In the physical world, these factors can cause us to lose our momentum:

  • Collision - Its outcome is generally hard to predict and is often catastrophic.
  • Friction  - Air, water and even our own brakes slow us down or stop us completely.
  • Turning - To avoid collision, negotiate speed bumps or alter our final destination, we must brake partially or completely to change our direction.

Losing Social Media Momentum

In our non-physical social marketing work, the same factors contribute to our loss of momentum and productivity:

  • Collision - Hitting the proverbial brick wall. A major plan is flawed, we accidentally delete all of our Twitter followers, or our Facebook account is phished. My advice in Social Marketing Leverage to “develop good contingency plans for when Murphy’s Law does strike” applies here and to all aspects of our lives.
  • Friction - Indecision, multitasking, working at home while the kids are seeking attention, working at the office while a co-worker in the next cubicle is blabbing, slow social networking sites, associates who don’t keep their word, etc. These all tend to slow us down.
  • Turning - This is huge. Abandoning a blog, changing our branding strategy midstream and other false starts lead to directional changes that slow us down and cost both time and money.

Social Marketing Prescription

What is my prescription for preserving social marketing momentum?

Planning, focus and consistency.

Did you enjoy this article? Subscribe to my RSS feed or by e-mail. Also, visit my About, Services, Media Buzz and Connect pages to learn about Building Your Audience and Brand on the Web.

You Comment I Follow Online Social Networking Home Online Social Networking Sitemap About Larry Brauner
Sharing is Caring!
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Larry BraunerA lever gives us the ability or leverage to move heavy objects with relative ease. Metaphorically speaking, the same is true of any tool that can empower us to perform a function more effectively.

The Internet gives us the ability to transfer information with relative ease, and it is also enables a great variety of online tools to provide us with virtual leverage.

Web-Based Tools

Here are six web-based tools that we’ve come to rely upon to save us time or money or to help us be more effective:

  1. Internet-based mail - e-mail, autoresponders and PDF Files
  2. Live communication - VOIP phone, chat and webinars
  3. Digital media - websites, blogs and micro-blogging sites such as Twitter
  4. Social networking sites - Facebook, Ning, LinkedIn, etc.
  5. Content sharing sites - YouTube, Flickr, StumbleUpon, Digg, Delicious, etc.
  6. Search engines - Google, Bing, etc.

I wouldn’t be surprised if you’ve had some experience with each of them, and this is a very partial list.

What Can Go Wrong

I probably don’t have to tell you that things don’t always go right. Here are the three obstacles that can most easily sidetrack you:

  1. Using the wrong tool - Download a large file using dial-up Internet, and by the time it finishes downloading, you’ll forget why to wanted it in the first place. Use a shabby autoresponder, and most of your e-mails will end up in recipients’ spam folders.
  2. Using the tool wrong - Social media tools and search engines have steep learning curves, and learning how to use them properly is typically a big undertaking. Misunderstand or misuse social media or SEO techniques, and your work can be set back by months.
  3. The tool breaks - Your Internet connection goes down for a week, your Facebook gets phished, or your blog gets corrupted. You’ll be pulling out your hair, unless of course you’re fortunate enough to be bald.

Many marketers contact me for help because they’ve been using the wrong tool or using the tool wrong.

An Ounce of Prevention

So — choose the right tools, learn to use your tools properly, and develop good contingency plans for when Murphy’s Law does strike — because it most certainly will, and at the worst possible moment.

What do you think?

Did you enjoy this article? Subscribe to my RSS feed or by e-mail. Also, visit my About, Services, Media Buzz and Connect pages to learn about Building Your Audience and Brand on the Web.

You Comment I Follow Online Social Networking Home Online Social Networking Sitemap About Larry Brauner
Sharing is Caring!
Tags: , , , , ,

Next Page →