You hear people in the interactive industry say all the time "well are you optimizing your site?" Just what does that mean for a blogger or a business? Well, let's put it into other terms, that of a car. Think of optimization as putting your prototype in the wind tunnel.
- Are their improvements to the form that can avoid drag and make it more efficient?
- Can you adjust tire pressure and sway controllers for better ride and handling?
- Taking into account what you adjusted to the body of the car, how did that change the experience for the driver within the car?
All that being said, you need to progressively jab at your marketing with a stick until it does exactly what you want it to do. The double-edged sword here is simply that the entrepreneurial spirit will never let us be completely satisfied and therefor your interactive work, traffic, fan growth, brand message and customer satisfaction will be a constantly evolving process. Live by the words of Yoda when it comes to business: "Do or do not... there is no try."
So as always, I am looking to expand the traffic and reach of my social graph and get more people to view my blog. This too is tricky, as everyone is coming for a different reason. Some to learn, some to laugh, some to explore and others simply thought I might be a cute African American girl - which at this point I am not. At least not in public.
So much to my surprise was seeing a recent spike to my traffic a few days ago and I tried to put my finger on where it came from. It was something simple and therefore unexpected.
Many of you know that I'm a photographer, it is both a professional and personal passion of mine (you can find my portfolio here). And I'm a ravenously addicted Instagram photo-sharing community fan. A few days ago, I changed my first name on my profile to my URL at justicemitchell.com. After such time I posted a great many shots from a recent vacation trip where I spent too much time making my wife wait while I took shots of metal textures and landscapes.
This one "tweak" made a spike. Nothing really noteworthy, though in the social media game we're all our own worst critic, especially when it comes to the work that we do for ourselves. The core point of this post is that you must continue to address and rethink the way you already use the tools you use. A screwdriver can ram a hole in a soda can as easily as it can put in screws, just don't hold the soda can at the same time - safety first.
Different thoughts on tweaking your social media:
- Try linking to your own posts more to support your tweet messages.
- Try video tweeting something once a day.
- Break the mold on your blog and do a series of posts outside of your regular subject matter (still maintaining your same voice and brand directive).
- Try working with some third-party Facebook applications to drive awareness (see: involver, wildfireapps, buddymedia).
- Engage a new social network, try a new application or website community, or join a forum of like-minded discussions.
What other techniques have you seen help with your online traffic (outside of conventional SEO)? Give me a shout!
I'm not sure what I find more amusing, that Flickr, Snapfish or Picasa didn't figure this out faster, or that this is such a simple and in genius way to share photos it can't help but become popular. It's always been said there are no new ideas only ideas that are made better, so has Instagram accomplished with this fun, free, social iphone application.
It's dreadfully simple. Download it, profile yourself (and it has a admirably longer listing of social networks beyond twitter and facebook, yes there are others) and start shooting. Additionally the application gives you a wonder myriad of presets filters you can instantly make your photo look like something crappy from the 70's that would have made your father bitch out the guy at the Fotomat. Yes, I said Fotomat. I still find it amusing with all the cool tools we have to make your consumer photography look like a million bucks that we're all still infatuated with the look and feel or a bygone ear.
Instagram makes it simple as you import and add friends to your social photobook and it expands with the shots from your posse. You can "Like" and comment on pics too. It's no wonder that it's flying off the charts as far as recent downloads. You can also:
- Post as many photos as you want for free
- Assign location information to your photo like a "checkin" (Including Foursquare)
- View the most popular instagram photos from around the world
Give it a try, if you like it please find me and let's start shooting!