15 Important Lessons I Learned as an SEO Start-up

It’s almost 2 years since I officially started SEO Hacker. I can honestly say it’s one of the best things I’ve ever attempted to do in life. It’s also one of the most painful, stressful and frustrating things I’ve ever done in my life. So here’s the short list of what I’ve learned as its first director, CEO and consultant. Always be Ready to Evangelize Stories, case studies, experiences, results – those  are the stuffs of the future. There are tons of theories, tons of how-to’s, tons of sales talk in our day and age. Stories hold huge weight in pinning down a prospective client to a sale. Outside of a sales perspective, story-telling in your circle of friends can make a huge impact in rippling out your business to others. My first huge client (which is still my client to date) came from a short chat while riding the train on my way to my then day job. I bumped into one of my college-mates there. We weren’t really close. I told him that I was into SEO and he said that he would refer me. Turns out that he did. I got to close the deal. SEO Hacker had its first big win. After that lesson, I never stopped evangelizing. Give Free Consultations Yes I know, you want to get paid per hour. While it may be true that what you know is worth every penny to what you’re charging, free consultations build trust. More often than not, it has helped me get the whole business. Yes clients may call me late at night or early in the morning, but giving free consultations to prospective clients has exceptionally increased closing rate on sales. Clients appreciate the little things. They also feel more secure when you give them more information about what they’re getting in to and what they want to know about other aspects of online marketing. You can leverage on giving them what they desire to know instead of telling them vague generalities about the industry. I have a client now that signed up with us for their main product’s SEO and signed up with another SEO company for their new product’s SEO. They wanted to see who’s the better SEO services provider. While I’m easily 60% more expensive in my monthly retainer than the other SEO company, I gave out free consultations to the owner. “Call me anytime if you need anything – except for money.” , I said. And he did. He called up to wake me up often times (I sleep and wake up late while he’s an early bird). But it was all worth it. The whole business is now awarded to us and we’re just waiting for the contract of the other (much cheaper) SEO company to expire. I do not know if they are doing a good job or not. What I do know is that I gave out free, anytime consultation -and it worked! It’s one of my trump cards on client acquisition. Don’t be Afraid to Jack up your Price You have to understand that SEO especially here in the Philippines is still considered ‘new’ by most companies. The dominant (and effective) form of marketing here is still TV. That leaves us with a ‘free market’ and a free market means that the price range is crazy. There are companies offering SEO for as low as $300 a month. And yes, they claim that it’s white hat – with all the linkbuilding tricks you can ever imagine. If I tried to pull that stunt, I’d be out of business in a month’s time. When I read Seth Godin’s Linchpin , I understood the importance of pricing. Louis Vutton can afford to charge that much because they are all for quality and exclusivity. I want to be a company like that. That’s one reason why we give client exclusivity for their niche/industry. And we also charge premium for it. Companies can butt-heads on lowering prices. It can be the weapon of choice for most SEO companies. It’s also a vicious, downward spiral. The clients win and the SEO industry loses. My weapon of choice is increasing the quality of our services and building a brand. That way, pricing is secondary and I’m very happy with the few really good clients I have. Think like Louis Vutton. Win. Always build your branding Lots of SEO companies neglect what they should really be building on because they’re focusing on the new clients they’ve acquired. While it’s true that it’s difficult to balance brand-building and client work, it affects your company in a holistic level. Not building your brand (or neglecting to build it) leaves you where you’re at. At the very core, we are a marketing firm. It’s supposed to be what we’re best at. We show people who we are, what we’re made of, what we can do for them. Building your brand in terms of design, content, case studies, showcasing your team , telling stories about your history – those things will create really good leverage when clients drop by in your website. I cannot stress enough how important brand building is to prospective clients. Often, they would go to a competitor’s website and compare it with what we have at SEO Hacker. Most of the time it doesn’t even come close. I’ve won a handful of clients this way. I don’t even need to point out the difference. They can see it for themselves. How a smart client thinks: “How well you’re taking care of your own website is how you will take care of mine.” Right there and then, we’ve got a huge advantage. Especially because there are very few other SEO companies here that take care of their online branding. Innovate Often when a business reaches a point in time where it’s raking in a good amount of profit, it cruises. Cruising is when a business just milks the cow for what it’s worth and maintains the status quo. Everything’s going great anyway – why fix it when it’s not broken? Right? Wrong. In this day and age, things happen and change fast. Cruising used to be awesome. It used to last for long. Now if you cruise, it’s risky. Competitors are everywhere. They spring up like weeds. One of them will overtake you. So what do you need to do? Innovate. Don’t stop where you’re at. Don’t milk the cow and drink it all up. Invest it in something else. A remarkable product. A Purple Cow that only you can make. SEO Hacker is going 2 years now as an SEO services company . I’ve hired another director to take the lead in accounts management and operations efficiency. I didn’t cruise. I invested in a new product. I started SEO School . It’s an online school that empowers you to learn SEO through Powerpoint lessons and videos. You can try it out for free here . I had to hire 5 people to help me out with the school. A good margin of the profits our SEO services make go to the school. I’ve invested quite a lot of time, effort and money in this product. Right now it looks awesome and we’re preparing to launch it officially and spend more on advertising and direct marketing. Cruising is risky. Innovate. Speak Out What you Know SEO is a new industry where I’m from. It’s a fresh and free market. We need to let people know what it is – the good and bad side of it. It’s our job as industry leaders to educate people about it. Giving talks and seminars are an awesome way to do this. I’ve given talks and seminars about SEO for free in the hopes that the attendees will spread the news to their peers and create an awareness. They would say that there’s good and bad SEO that dictates the extreme variation of pricing and we all need to be aware of it. People who don’t know the good and bad side of SEO thinks that it’s all the same banana and they could simply hire the cheapest provider with the most promises. While this is a sad truth that’s happening today, we can do something about it. Create awareness in your circle of influence. As a young industry, it’s up to us to build the perceptive DNA for what SEO is to prospective clients. Give Free Talks to your Existing Clients and to Prospective Clients There are connectors, mavens and salesmen in our world. Connectors are people who are simply awesome in socializing. They know everyone. Mavens are people who are databanks. They are the insiders of a niche. They share what they know to unselfishly help other people. Then there are the salesmen. Salesmen are people who have the natural knack for persuasion. They have charm. They have enthusiasm. Energy. All that and the ability to influence you in an empathetical way. In every client’s company, there are people who are one or the other. So what I’d do is I offer to give free speaking engagements to my clients. They are my clients after all. And you know what? 100% of the time, they are happy about it! They want their marketing team to grow after all. What I’m doing is training them for the next best thing to TV – internet marketing. Note : 90% of SEO Hacker’s clients are established brands/companies. They have their own conference rooms with projectors so they can afford to hold a talk or a seminar in their office building. It’s a win-win wherein I educate and create awareness in their marketing team, at the same time, I get to build my authority to sophisticated people in their marketing and (sometimes) management team. I get referrals for sister companies and, of course, more contracts. It’s easier to win a sister company of a client because technically you’re already ‘sold’. Don’t be Afraid to Lower your Price There came a time when we had clients that paid us a $4,000 monthly retainer fee. Sweet, right? The thing is, we got used to it. We set our pricing standards too high and we lost a few good prospective clients along the way. We learned our lesson that the market is very unstable. There are companies who can really afford to pay your worth, and there are those who really can’t. For those who can’t, count the intangibles. Does this company have a good brand? Can I benefit from a relationship with this company if I put them in my portfolio? Do they have a sophisticated team who can spread the word about our work? Not everything is about money and profits. Count the intangibles if the prospective client falls a little short of what you’re charging. Lower your price. Don’t try to Steal Another SEO Company’s Clients SEO Hacker is primarily an SEO company. We rarely take on web development work even if we have web developers/designers for optimization purposes. I vividly remember there is this other SEO company (let’s name them SEO Company T) that my long-time client hired to do their website revamp. SEO Company T is a predecessor and is a company that I respect – and I still do to some extent. However after the revamp, when the site was launched and I was monitoring the code, I noticed that SEO Company T left links back to their site in each page of my client’s website. This is a big client with a big brand here in the Philippines. I was upset and disappointed. I took out that piece of code only to find out that they put it back. I reported this to the client. It was resolved. Everything is back to normal. Or so I thought. That same client launched digital efforts for another huge product line. Again, SEO Company T did the site. To my surprise, SEO Company T was asking my long-time client to shift the SEO efforts to them instead of us. Good thing I’ve built a lot of trust, rapport and results for my client. And because of that, they simply shrugged off the SEO Company T’s offer. The sad thing about it is, the SEO companies here in the Philippines are just a handful. Most of the SEOs here are freelancers. It’s a small circle. Don’t try to steal a competitor’s current client. It gives you a bad name. The world is big enough for all of us. Invest in your Team  In a services type of business, your people is your best asset. I have an awesome God-given team. It’s my job to take care of them and see how they’re doing with their work and with other teammates. Unfortunately, there are times when work and other tasks get piled up for me since I’m also the main point person of SEO Hacker when it comes to technical, financial, legal, and other matters. We are still a sole proprietor type of business, after all. Being busy with the business has cost me a lot with my relationship with my team. Sure, I was busy being productive but people are emotional beings. We don’t just care about productivity. We care about ourselves and our relationships. I once made a mistake in my way of reprimanding the team of taking care of my stuff in the office and maintaining office cleanliness. Turns out that I got a mole in the team. This person, there is no other way to put it – slandered me incessantly while the wounds are still fresh. It festered terribly. I never knew this until it was too late. And because I did not have close ties with my teammates, they have been enticed away to think negatively of me. Even the good things I’ve done for the team was taken for granted. Even worse, the team justified things they’ve done wrong – leveraging on the slanderous things that were said against me. They agreed with the mole because that person maintained good ties and alliances within my own team. When you invest in your people, don’t simply invest in equipping them and giving them a great working environment. Invest time, effort, emotions, trust, and love in them. This will go a long way. Remember, your team is your best asset. Fire People Not all people are sure whether they are the right fit in being an SEO. Sometimes they’re simply experimenting. There will be times when you hire the wrong guy. It happens. Take Basketball for example: A point guard who is excellent in dribbling the ball but doesn’t know how to pass the ball shouldn’t be playing that position or shouldn’t be in the team at all. He will not only be unproductive, but he will cause the whole team to lose. Rule of thumb in being a great leader: know who to fire, when to fire, and how to fire him. If you don’t, the rest of your team will suffer and you will lose respect. Have your Own Inner Circle I  have 16 people in my team. For me, that’s already a lot. This is the most people I’ve ever managed in my life! It’s a lot to take in. Managing 16 relationships to keep close to you is tough. So create an inner circle. People you keep close to you. They are your connectors to the rest of the team. They will know who you are, why you do things and they will always believe the best in you. Always have a few good men around you. These are the people most loyal to you as a leader. At the same time, identify moles. People who are poisonous and who can infect the rest of your team. Take them out. I failed in identifying a mole once. It cost me. Don’t make the same mistake. Invest in Design I love how Neil Patel puts it in his article “ How Saving On Design Could Cost You More In The Long Term” . When you pay your designer, don’t think of it as an expense. Think of it as an investment. Design has a lot to do with stickyness, first impressions and likeability. One that would immediately speak “I love my clients and visitors” to the recipients of your design. People who go to your site have to be caught in a trap. They have to fall in love with what you’ve got. Design plays a huge part in fulfilling that. SEO Hacker used to look like this (November 2011):   Then it became this (Oct 2011): And now here we are: Your website’s design speaks about your brand and how much you care about the quality of your visitors’ stay in your website. Your reports templates’ design speaks about how much you care about your client to make your reports look clean and classy. Your proposal templates speaks to prospective clients about how much you want to win them over and serve them. Invest in graphic designers and front-end developers. You are not gonna regret it. Follow-ups can Mean Huge Money I’m not really good in following up. My fiancee knows this. My team knows this. I’m more of a visionary type of leader than a project manager. There have been times early in my position as director that proposals have been pushed out of the pipeline to the prospective client – and forgotten. Big mistake. Big bucks lost. And all because I failed to follow-up. The root cause? Forgetfulness and busy-ness. Follow-ups are a huge part of your success. If you’re not the best person in follow-ups then hire someone who is. Or implement a system that will help you to always be reminded to follow-up. I use Google calendar’s SMS feature to remind myself of follow-ups I need to send out. Since I always have my mobile phone with me, I always get reminded via an SMS from Google calendar on the things I need to follow-up on. Keep Reading, Keep Writing Starting a business has its way of taking you out of your playing field and onto legal matters. I had to take care of tax, business registration, accounting, study labor laws, and all things that make business seem like a lot of work. I found myself having less and less time to read and write. Big mistake! One of the best pieces of advise I can give you is to just hire people to do these things for you. Focus on what you’re great at! Share! Be a Maven and make content marketing your stage. Don’t waste your time on things you’re not good at. There are people for those tasks. Here we are Now I can honestly say that I’ve been through highs and lows in starting out SEO Hacker. I’ve learned tons and tons of lessons that I can only learn in the height of success and in the depth of failure. These are some of the most valuable insights I carry with me. I pass it on now to you. Make the right choices.

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15 Important Lessons I Learned as an SEO Start-up

Assembling Booby-Trap Content for your Audience

Let’s face it, your content will not always attract leads. Meaning it’s just that – content. It does not have any other purpose than to just educate people. You don’t want that. You want content that lures people in, snaps and traps their attention, transform them into leads – then finally get them to convert as a customer. This entry is part of our Breaking Down Content Marketing Series Sometimes Content is just Content When you don’t purpose your content to do anything else than just to be read by your visitors, that’s what it’s going to be. Content Marketing starts with great content but does not end there. Great Content Marketing gets to hit the company’s goals – leads, sales, branding, etc through content. It’s not ‘just content’ . How do you do this? Start with going through the first three of our Content Marketing Series: How to Write Powerful Outlines and Why you should give a Fluff How to Integrate Low-Hanging Keywords from the Global Market Writing for a World of 36-hours-a-day readers Then go through our Content Strategy Series: Why is Content Strategy Important? Establishing your Content Identity Developing a User Centric Content Strategy Training your Content to Look for Users Using “Yes” Content for Effective Emotional Content Strategy and SEO Action-Focused Always keep in mind that every content should have a goal – something useful to you and to your readers. Usually this comes in the form of email subscription where both parties benefit. Your readers get more stuff from you and you get to increase your email list. It’s a win-win that is sure to work. Here’s a great example of action-focused content from Copyblogger (from their Email Marketing ebook page ): Email Marketing strikes many as old-fashioned. More fashionable venues like social media and mobile marketing get all the attention, and some people will even try to tell you that email marketing is dead. Unfortunately, reality doesn’t agree. In fact, with a strong content marketing approach, email is more powerful than ever thanks to social media. Why? Because it moves the conversation about your business to a more personal environment — the in-box. Email provides you the most direct line of communication for conversion to sales … which is why the most savvy online marketers have no intention of giving it up any time soon. It’s also amazingly cost-effective. With an ROI of around 4,300% (according to the Direct Marketing Association), email practically pays for itself … and saves a tree or two. It’s what you use when you want to move from “conversation to commerce.” What makes email content work? All of us are far too familiar with email newsletters that waste our time, pitches that annoy us, and downright spam. Those don’t work. What works is a value exchange — your valuable information for your prospect’s valued time. Your subscribers need to know they can trust you … that you’re not a soulless self-promoting spam-bot. Good email content deepens your relationship with your audience through effective subject line writing (getting your messages opened), your distinctive voice (getting those messages read), and delivering quality, niche specific content your prospect needs and shares with others (inspiring referrals and word-of-mouth). Story (and) Context A Booby-Trap Content does not work without a great Story and Context behind it. Brian Clark, the owner and founder of Copyblogger writes this copy on email marketing and furnishes it with data, commonality and authority to make way for the crown. Data – Writing a context without data is like sun without heat. It’s like clouds without rain. It’s like tornado without…. You get the point. Data makes your context powerful. It makes it more believable.  It makes it concrete. Commonality – You are not writing for yourself. You’re writing for your readers. As such, you need to touch base with them. To tell them that “we both know” or in this case, Brian uses the phrase “All of us are too familiar…” Authority – Let them in a little on what they’re going to get when they perform the action you want them to take. Show them a little of what you know. Brian gives you a hint of his authority when he writes: “…effective subject line writing (getting your messages opened), your distinctive voice (getting those messages read), and delivering quality…” Then they crown that copy of content with this: Let’s break it down, shall we? Headline I just can’t stress the importance of headlines enough. Take a look at how Copyblogger uses the headline: Very simple, short and concise on what the ebook does for you. It is a one-liner on the benefit that you’ll get when you download their ebook. It’s an attention-grabber that takes you no more than 2 seconds to read. Benefits You may not realize it on first glance but the 8 chapters of the ebook that is outlined here is meant to increase its value and justify your opt-in to their email list as you download this free ebook. It’s not directly telling you “DOWNLOAD ME” , rather it’s telling you, “Don’t you want this? And this? And this?” and you nod your head and look for the button that will lead you to the candy. Call to Action This is where you clinch the deal. A little push and all the context and story of your booby-trap content will have worked wonders. Scroll down a little and you’ll see how Brian Clark inches you on to click on the exact button he wants you to click: See that “Register Today!” Button over there? It stands out, it’s loud and it’s very, very enticing. Go ahead and click on it why don’t you? People Power Another Example of an action-driven page is our very own 8 Actionable On Site Optimization Techniques ebook page . It has a limited copy but it deals with one more principle: Testimonies – Believe it or not, testimonies on action-driven pages are powerful. They are ‘the crowd’ and they speak for you. If you can get happy readers to give you a testimonial or two, it creates a world of difference for people to take your action. Content Marketing for SEO Purposes Creating great content for SEO is well and good and it’s where the SEO should be founded on. However, why stop there when you can purpose it to do much more? Copyblogger has a massive email list because of the way they convert their readers to leads. From those leads, they have met a good level of success in converting those leads to customers. Booby-Trap content is all about copywriting. There is an art and science beneath copywriting. Triggering the right emotions using the right words . Building up action through story and context. It’s a whole new different world. Action Words However cliche it may seem, action words are still a powerful way in driving your readers to doing what you want them to do. Here’s a list of action words that are meant to help you out in your Booby-Trap Content from Authoritydomains : Free Cut Quick New Ultimate Easy Sale Best Buy Buy Genuine Final Powerful Buy-today Last Don’t Save Vital Lowest Download Free Trial Last Chance Most Sale Ends Tomorrow Money Off Now is Your Chance Buy Today and Save __% Marked Down You Should Offer Ends Soon Price Cut Discover Your Potential Hurry Complimentary Make Money Now Reduce Potent Faster Discover Cut Make __ Per Week Retire Show Wider Variety Improve Change Discount Boost Great Most Comprehensive Enhance Decrease Lowest Price Increase Best Free Sample Avoid The Best __Made me __ Uncover Buy and Get Buy Now Eliminate _% Off Beat Prevent Care Get Cheap Learn Certified Sale Lower Prices Smash Limited Time Prime Tell Say Raw Try Gain Seize Want Provide Refinance Develop Leverage Donate Create Extend Cash Score Achieve Guarantee Find Accelerate Take Advantage Drive Build Generate Join Obtain Profit   Critical Note: Action words’ effectivity is minimized if you don’t build it up through the story and context. Booby-Trap Content is an awesome way to draw in leads. SEO is just collateral damage. Start setting up your booby-trap content NOW! Can’t get enough of our Content Marketing Series? Subscribe to us now! Over 1,700 Smart People Access the latest SEO news, tips and tricks straight in their email inbox. Now it’s YOUR TURN! Subscribe for Free! Name: Email: PS: We will never give your email address away

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Assembling Booby-Trap Content for your Audience

Creativity, Serendipity, and Championing B2B: An Interview with Adriel Sanchez

Posted by Erica McGillivray I sat down to talk with Adriel Sanchez, Sr. Director of Demand Generation at SAP. Every day, he digs into how he can help B2B businesses and their marketers with database marketing, telemarketing, digital marketing, and campaign management services. Adriel currently leads a demand generation hub of 70+ people to support SAP’s Latin America business. You can find him on Twitter @Adriel_S or blogging at Marketing…pfft! What’s inspired you lately? Recently, I had the privilege of joining 60 other top marketing execs from Fortune 500 companies for a 1.5 day private event in NYC. If you can’t get inspired with that many smart people in a room, you’re either in the wrong business, or you’re a zombie. We touched on a lot of topics, but all centered around driving a culture of creativity and innovation. Some key takeaways for me? Too many people and resource can actually stifle creativity, and when innovating, think rapid prototyping and make failure an option. You need a lot of bad ideas to get to a good one. As a champion of B2B, you often rally against the notion that B2B is “boring” compared to B2C. What are some of your favorite B2B companies doing great inbound marketing out there? Our CMO at SAP, Jonathan Becher, likes to say that “Big glass buildings don’t buy software. People do…” Tragically, there aren’t a heck of a lot of B2B marketing examples out there that break the ‘B to Boring’ stigma. B2B marketers need to ‘bring the sexy back.’ (Though I’m not sure we ever had it.) That said, I love Adobe’s Metrics Not Myths campaign. Another classic example (though by a brand that’s not in existence anymore) is EDS’ building planes in the sky ad . It also broke out of that B2B creative mold. SAP is doing quite a bit around sports and entertainment these days that is anything, but ‘boring.’ We recently launched NBA.com/stats . You wrote recently about humanizing your brand through kindness. What’s a humanizing experience you’ve had with a brand or noticed from the outside? I love what the current White House administration has done with their brand. Regardless of your political leanings, you can’t deny that the administration focuses hard on managing that brand, from the President on down. Their response to the We The People’s petition to build a Death Star was brilliant. And best of all, their approach is backed by data. The amount of testing that went into the 2012 campaign’s email marketing program was unprecedented in any organization, public or private. You moved in your career from being a direct marketer to a social media marketer. What do you want to bring from direct marketing into social media? First, I wouldn’t describe myself as a ‘social media marketer.’ Any successful marketer today needs to understand social and its impact on how people engage with each other and the companies they buy from. But my biggest lesson from direct marketing was how to align my activities to business outcomes. In a world where only 3-5% of the people you contact actually buy something, you will lose a lot of money FAST unless you’re laser-focused on business outcomes. I feel like some self-described ‘digital’ or ‘social’ marketers today lose sight of those business drivers. Conversely, what direct marketing habit did you have to break to dive into social? The majority of core direct marketing tenets remain true. That said, there are three areas where I’ve had to evolve as a marketer: First, the 40/40/20 rule of list, offer creative now needs to include context . A perfectly good offer to a targeted audience may fail if it’s presented in a way that breaks accepted norms for a particular channel. Second, I’ve had to embrace Einstein’s quote, “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.” This one isn’t easy for any direct marketer, but social media permeates everything . Try to quantify its cost or how much money it’s bringing in as a stand-alone activity and you’ll wind up with an incomplete picture at best. Lastly, while we know negative option offers will almost always outperform positive option in the short-term, in today’s world we need to err on the side of explicit customer permission. What’s your favorite social media medium to engage in? Definitely blogging. Writing thoughts 140 characters at a time is fun, but it just doesn’t satisfy my appetite for writing. My favorite part about blogging is actually introspection. It helps me crystallize my point of view on a particular topic. When you’re brainstorming for great content ideas, what are some of your favorite research or creative flow sources? Definitely non-traditional sources. Whether I’m watching a video on a cool new gadget or reading about a groundbreaking medical development, I’m always trying to tie it back to my day-to-day challenges. Creativity is often serendipitous. If you put yourself in an environment and mindset where creativity can flourish, you’ll notice great ideas coming from the most unexpected places. Whether it’s Grumpy Cat or the Harlem Shake, crazy social trends have caught our eye, even in the B2B space. (Heck, at SEOmoz, we did our own Harlem Shake video .) But what’s something you were shocked never caught on? I love Axe body spray’s “Nothing beats an astronaut” campaign and am pretty surprised the spoofs haven’t come in droves. Would it kill someone to create a “Nothing beats a marketing executive” version? What are some innovative ways that you’ve seen people get their entire staff involved in their social media efforts and content creation? Finding people interested in social is the easy part. What’s difficult is achieving a sustained commitment to contribute in a way that adds real value to the community. This stuff takes time. The “what’s in for me” principle is alive and well. Invest the time, and “I’ll make ya famous.” There’s a company called EveryoneSocial with some interesting technology to help empower your entire workforce to be social media ambassadors. If you’re hiring for a social media manager, what are qualities that you’d look for? Editorial background, above all else. I’d rather hire a someone with a journalism degree for this than an MBA in marketing. Find someone who can write, with a ‘punchy’ attitude, and has their finger on the pulse of current trends, news, etc., and you have a winner. Social media best practices and the ins and outs of your company’s products are easier to teach than these other core skills. A lot of people want more metrics from social media. What are three of your favorite analytics tools and what do you use them for? We use Netbase for social monitoring and listening. It’s got excellent natural language processing that takes sentiment analysis beyond the basics. It also has really good multi-language capabilities that continue improving. Then there’s a great solution offered by NextPrinciples that allows us to audit our hundreds of social media accounts across the globe against key reach and engagement metrics. It’s critical to controlling the proliferation of accounts that plagues most large companies. Lastly, social media objectives must tie to your business KPIs. We use our own CRM to track leads and opportunities that flow from social. If you could change one thing about the way we use social media, what would it be? I recently heard a story about a client of a major consulting company that reviewed the Facebook profiles of the consultants being assigned to his business before approving them. The client asked that a few be replaced because of photos posted on their walls. This isn’t just an anecdote anymore. What we share in social media is public by default. Every picture, post, point of view, opinion, indiscretion. You have to work really hard to keep what’s private private. I think it’s time to consider whether private by default is the better option. Google+ goes is headed in that direction. Thank you so much, Adriel, for a look into your world. If you’re interested in hearing more from him, he’ll be talking at the upcoming SES NY conference on the Building the B2B Social Media Machine panel. Sign up for The Moz Top 10 , a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!

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Creativity, Serendipity, and Championing B2B: An Interview with Adriel Sanchez