Social Media, Marketing and Advertising in Deaf Community!
What better way to start a new blog with a bang! We’ll have an exclusive interview of a good friend I know from college, Neil DuPaul has some pretty cool stuff that he wants to share with you.
DSM: Tell us a bit about yourself and your role at Veracode.
Neil: I’m your average guy. I was born hearing, became profoundly deaf at 4 years, had 2 hearing aids for 20 years, attended RIT/NTID and was implanted at 24 with a cochlear. I currently use just one cochlear and I both speak and sign. At Veracode I’m an SEO and Social Media Analyst. My job hinges around 3 main responsibilities; running their blog on a daily basis – writing posts and soliciting people from within the company to write for it as well. Improving the website SEO presence overall which includes a variety of optimization tactics, creating targeted content pages and link building. And lastly running their social media presence, I handle all posting across every social network we are on and I also research and implement campaigns to grow our social followers on those networks.
DSM: Why did you pursue SEO as a career?
Neil: SEO is something I fell into. When I got home from college our economy was in the dumps and I didn’t feel like running out and applying to a bunch of places that weren’t hiring. My older brother had a company he wanted to start and needed a website so since I didn’t have anything else to do with my time started building one for him. At the time I only had a couple html/css driven courses and some moderate skills with Adobe Photoshop and Fireworks in my toolkit. Well I finished that website, then redesigned it and redesigned it again and before I knew it we were asking the question of “Okay so how do we get people onto this site?” This was when I first started learning about SEO and I’ve been fascinated with it from day one, maybe it was because I knew the market of web designers and developers was full of people and I had never heard of someone that did SEO for a living or maybe it was because I’ve found that there are cooler feelings than seeing your web traffic grow and conversions aka business start coming in the door from something you’ve built from scratch. That website spawned a side business that nets my brother an additional 5 figures a year, when I saw the success of that I knew I found something that I could do and be passionate about. I learned 95% of what I know about internet marketing from the internet, there’s a wealth of knowledge out there if you’re willing to look for it.
DSM: What does SEO mean in the context of social media?
Neil: It’s no secret that search and social are increasingly becoming a mixed duo as time goes on. Google’s algorithm has slowly been taking into account more and more social signals and I’ve read from a variety of sources lately that those social signals are carrying more weight than a lot of the older more traditionally understood signals. Basically you can’t have an SEO plan without including social anymore, if you do you’re setting up yourself for failure down the road.
DSM: How do you increase your search rank using social media?
Neil: Engagement and social sharing. You could be on every social site you can leverage, don’t stop at Facebook or Twitter. Google+, Pinterest, StumpleUpon, Digg, Delicious, LinkedIn, they all play a role. And it’s not just being on these sites and sharing your content, it’s about making it easier for your readers to share your content on these sites. That and of course creating the type of content people want to share in the first place.
DSM: The two most frequently asked questions: How do you measure ROI? How do you measure engagement?
Neil: ROI is still difficult with Social Media. It’s best done from very high level, you need to benchmark before you begin a social campaign. Understand what you presently have and what it is you want. Ultimately we all want sales but with social media you often don’t have a way of tracking fans to sales, so you need to get creative and set other goals that you believe will lead to these sales. Your goal can be anything from follower counts, to social mentions, to email subscribers or traffic numbers. These are real measurable goals that do improve your chances of sales. You also need to be careful not to spend too much time in social media, it can be a huge timesuck in a variety of ways. Once again this can be handled by having clear objectives and drive towards those objectives in clearly defined ways. Don’t try to do 5 things at once, do one at a time, measure, learn and start over with a new objective. Engagement is easier, on Twitter it’s mentions, followers, retweets and your stuff being shared. On Facebook it’s likes, comments and shares and on G+ and Linkedin it’s similar methods as well. The big thing about engagement I’ve found is making it fun, it’s not about sales it’s about investing in a community of people because you believe sales ultimately will come from them. Get them to talk to you and like you, then think about converting them into customers.
DSM: Hackathon was pretty cool.
Neil: -thanks :] it was fun
Neil DuPaul is an SEO and Social Media Analyst at Veracode, an application security company. He is also a freelance internet marketer in the SEO and affiliate marketing worlds. You can follow him on Twitter @Neostrategos.