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How Sticky are You?

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Naked Woman covered in chocolate holding a strawberry

Is your website just sticky or does it have audience loyalty? Social media builds trust.

Have you seen the recent study was showing that SEO was better at building sticky traffic than social media?. I believe this. When you go to Google and search for a site, you intend to spend time on that site. You are looking for it, and the search engine helps you find it. Boom…sticky.

Social media is not a tool for click-throughs, though you will get them.  It is not a tool for sales, though you will make them. It is not a tool to drive traffic, though you will do that.  Social media is a tool to build relationships with your audience.

This is more than click-throughs and short-term sales. This is more than singular traffic.

When you build a relationship with your audience you are creating:

  • Brand recognition
  • Loyalty
  • Positive customer service
  • Authority
  • Lifetime traffic
  • Trust

“The best part of relationships is they are protectable assets. When someone likes you, trusts you or finds you credible, it’s very hard to take that away.” –Why Social Media Matters

Relationships take time, and this is where studies that look at traffic sources and declare that SEO is more effective fail. They are looking at the one time click.  They are not looking at the lifetime business relationship.

Relationships are based on multiple experiences. They are built from a history of experiences and exposure. The formula is simple; the more you interact the deeper the relationship. And because the company view is built off this relationship, one bad review or blog post is not going to be able to sully that reputation.  Because your reputation is built from interpersonal relationships, it will not be tarnished by anonymous slander.

Yes, SEO is a wonderful tool that everyone should use. However, you are not comparing apples to apples when you compare SEO to social media.  SEO looks at searches. Social media looks at relationships. And let’s face it, when you really like a brand because you tweet and Facebook with them, you don’t need to search for their website because you already know their domain (and studies can’t identify how much direct traffic came from social media followers…yet).

 

How Adult Compares in Social Marketing

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The old spice man

Old Spice was one of the most successful social media campaigns ever. It had sex, nudity and humor and was everywhere.

Social media integrates traditional marketing strategy with the social component.  It has become the powerhouse for marketing campaigns.

The Social Media Examiner recently released their Social Media Marketing Industry Report. The top findings show that social media is growing in its influence. Most marketers are increasing their social media efforts across the board. Though the report did not feature an adult section, most of the findings are reflected in the Adult Industry.

Here is a list of the top findings:

Marketers place high value on social media: A significant 90% of marketers indicate that social media is important for their business.
Marketers want to know how to monitor and measure ROI and integrate those results into their strategy.
Social media marketing takes a lot of time: Most marketers are spending a minimum of 6 hours a week.
Video marketing is on the rise: 77% of marketers plan to increase YouTube and video integration into their social marketing plans.
Facebook and Blogging are the two social media platforms marketers want to learn more about.
The top benefits of social media marketing: Social media marketing is generating more business exposure (72%) and improved SEO (62%).
The top social media tools: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and blogs are the top social media tools used by marketers, in that order.
Social media outsourcing is underutilized: Only 28% of businesses are outsourcing some portion of their social media marketing.

The adult industry is no stranger to the power of social media marketing.  Twitter is the playground for porn stars. It is an excellent way to grow networks, keep up with industry happenings and promote content.  But adult has not turned its back on any of the social media networks. Despite ongoing issues with Facebook, many stars continue to rock the Fan Page.

An interesting finding in the report was that video content is generally dominated by large companies.  The time commitment and tech requirements of video are often prohibitive to a lot of small businesses and solopreneurs. Video is one of the best forms of marketable content; it is far more likely to go viral and be shared across Internet platforms (ie. retweeted, posted in blogs, on Facebook, shared via email, etc.). Adult is actually ahead of the curve on the use of video in social marketing. This is not surprising since video is a cornerstone of the industry, but even un-produced content, like video blogs and behind the scenes shots from camera phones, are being actively used in marketing strategy.

Blogs have come in as the number one growth area for social marketing. 75% of marketers say they want to increase their blogging efforts.  Adult blogs are starting to emerge but finding good content has been a struggle.  Most adult sites do not know what to blog about, and the blogs end up focusing on product or site promotion. However, blogging is a great tool for driving traffic to your site. It will even allow adult sites to post content on Facebook, or other sites that frown upon adult content, as long as you keep your blog free of adult images and video.

The biggest inhibitor is the time factor.  When most people get into social media they worry about the time commitment.  Though there is a high percentage of people in Adult who invest their primary marketing efforts in social marketing and spend a lot of time with it, this concern is reflected in the Adult Industry. The Social Media Marketing Industry Report shows that marketers who invest more time into their social marketing found more success.  The great thing, though, was that even people who spent 6 hours a week still gained significant business results:

6 hours per week

  • 58% use social media for a minimum of 6 hours per week. 
  • 65% showed an improvement in their SEO
  • 78% showed an increase in their web traffic.
  • 81% said that social media helped increase their exposure

Less than a Year

  • 45% reported new partnerships
  • 52% had new sales lead generation

More than a Year

  • 73% reported improvement in their SEO

More than 3 years

  • 47% spent 16 hours or more per week on social media
  • 72% reported that social media helps close sales
  • 72% strongly agree that social media increases business exposure
  • 91% report increased traffic to websites

Facebook leads the pack, followed closely by Twitter. If this report were done specifically for Adult, I believe the result would have been reversed.  Twitter is still the social powerhouse.

Social media has become the most effective long-term marketing strategy. It drives traffic, creates business partnerships, facilitates alliances, increases exposure, generates sales leads and improves brand reputation.

I Tweet Naked

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As you know, I take part in a variety of social media platforms.  Primarily, I live on the big three: Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.  Besides doing my own marketing, I spend a lot of time on these sites looking at what other people are doing.  I like to point out, and often blog about, companies or people who are doing good jobs.  Every so often I come across a piece of communication that is SO far from good I have to share it as a “What NOT to do”.

Most of the time these come in the form of Spam or auto-DM’s. This one is a little different.

On LinkedIn you join groups to talk to people in your industry, grow your connections and perhaps even make some business deals.  It is a great resource, but not a particularly sexy place.  It is not a place to go see naked photos (though you will find some in certain groups), or a place to meet a date (though sometimes this does happen).  LinkedIn is primarily a place for business.

One of the greatest values are the connections.  If you share a group with someone, you know you have a conversation-starter and a reason to add them to your network of business connections.  Once you are networked with that person, you can send them a message (unless you have the paid version of LinkedIn, in which case you do not have to be in their network).

I belong to a lot of groups and many people network with me.  If we share a group, you have a 99% chance of me saying yes.

So recently I received a LinkedIn email message from a photographer that simply said:

“you might have better luck if you were more pleasing to the eyes or dressed sluttier.”

So first off – Holy Inappropriate, Batman! I mean really, in what world is this considered an acceptable communication for a business platform (or any platform)?

Secondly, what did this guy think he was going to accomplish? Was I immediately supposed to be in awe of his amazing insight and start sending him naked photos? Then hire him to help me to be a more attractive slut?

And third, I am not unpleasant to look at. And luck has nothing to do with it. As a business professional, consultant and strategist it is not my goal to appear in any way other than how / who I am, and my expertise is the engine of my success.

Even if some business professionals prefer to tweet in the nude (and if I do, how will you know?)!

So here’s the lesson: don’t insult your audience.  If you are emailing, make sure there is some relevant purpose and intent behind it. You never know who your message is going to. You might just be burning a bridge you will later need.

paper.li is your porn spam daily

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paper.li porn spam dailypaper.li made a big splash on Twitter last fall. By December, paper.lis were becoming a frequent visitor to the Twitter timeline.  I did a review on the good, the bad and the ugly of paper.li.  As I saw more of them being posted, I also began to wonder about a few things:

  • Are people actually reading them?
  • Do they have any effect on SEO?
  • Would they actually drive traffic to my site?
  • Do the people posting even realize they are posting?
  • How much more spam does the adult industry need?

I gave it a try, and one question was answered right away. No, I did not know when they were posting. I would see the occasional retweet and then would realize that my paper.li went out. They were also pulling from stories I would not necessarily choose. Because I did not know the post was going out, I did not see the paper before it was created. So no content approval.

The traffic question did not take long to answer. As more of my stories were caught in the paper.li generator, I watched my traffic sources to see how many billions of people were coming to my site because of this “paper”. Well, the answer was zero billions. In fact, I was not receiving any traffic from the tweets. At most I was getting the occasional retweet, which also generated no traffic.

So then I began to wonder if anyone was actually reading them. I don’t. When I see them, they just filter through my newsfeed like other auto-posting spam. The only time I open them up is when I see my name mentioned. Then I check the story and re-tweet. Even then, I don’t usually look at the other stories. About 1 in a 100 times I see another story in the paper where I actually click the link. I decided that if I am not reading them, the likelihood that other people were reading them was pretty slim.

The other issue is the idea of auto-content generation. paper.li automatically pulls content from specified users or keywords and then puts it together in the form of original content. The author credits are not always right, and if they are wrong there is nothing you can do about it. Once created they are posted to your account, jamming up the timeline with paper.li posts. Usually we call posts that jam up the timeline with content that we ignore spam,;why is this any different? Oh wait, it isn’t! At least the spam that jams up my news feed has boobies and man candy in it.

I like the idea of aggregating your favorite content into a single page and then sharing it with your followers. But this is more like phoning in your news aggregation. You have little control and it is just junking up the timeline. In fact, people are starting to block paper.li from their timelines. Which makes it officially what? SPAM!

Hold on to your pantyhose, it’s time to rebrand!

Dita von Teese wearing stockingsHold on to your pantyhose, it’s time to rebrand! That sense of panic when you realize that you probably need to consider rebranding can be paralyzing. But this is a serious issue.  For many of us, when we get started online we think we have our thumb on the pulse of our niche. We think we have found a terrific topic and a great name and are creating a super brand.  Well, maybe you have and maybe you haven’t.  Really, the only way to tell is to give it  time.

I have found that our initial efforts are not necessarily wrong, but what ends up being the goal of those efforts changes over time. Maybe you thought that your blog was just going to be a good source of information on your site. But over time you realize that you have started focusing on your blog and want to use that to be your primary traffic driver. Maybe it is time to spin off your blog and rebrand it to work in tandem with your site.

Maybe you thought that videos were going to be your cash cow but your unique brand of photography is pulling in more people.  Is it time to change your focus and use video to support your photography rather than the other way around?

One of the biggest shifts people currently make is from company branding to personal branding.  Many times we start off branding ourselves with our company or studio.  We are one piece of the whole.  If your popularity gets big enough, then personal branding might be the shift you need.  Look at Jesse Jane, she is one of Digital Playground’s hottest stars. She is branded there as one of their girls. But she has also created her own branded empire.  When you think of Jesse you think of her first and Digital Playground second.  But that would not have happened if she did not brand herself.

As I am sure Digital Playground would attest, Jesse’s branding feeds into Digital Playground’s branding.  The two are not mutually exclusive.  The more successful Jesse’s branding, the more traffic and business Digital Playground will get.

Over time you will see the reality of what is working for you, what is driving traffic, what is driving sales, what is most popular and what you want your focus to be.  This is often divergent from what we started with.  Don’t be afraid to shift gears. Rebranding is not easy, but the payoff can be more than worth the effort.

Are you in her box? The new Facebook Email

woman wearing a sexy mailmans outfit

If I send you an email right now, I know that it goes to your inbox.  Worst case scenario, it might go to your junk mail box.   The new Facebook email might change that.  If I am not on your “preferred” list then I might not be getting into your box.

Are you sure you are getting in her box?

Here’s what is new and different, good and bad about the new Facebook email:

What will my email address be?

Anyone who wants it will get the @facebook.com email address. You can sign up for the email address here. Your email address will be your Facebook username@facebook.com.  Not sure what your user name is? Not sure if you have one?  Go here to set up your user name.

Good: Easy branding.
Bad: Most people can guess your email address.

Who can email me?

Everyone.  You do not have to have facebook, or facebook email to email someone with an @facebook.com email address.  Now when you send an email you can reach any email address as opposed to only being able to message fellow facebookers.

Good: Everyone can email you.
Bad: Everyone can email you
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Social Inbox

The biggest change in email management is the social inbox.  This gives you 2 boxes inside your email. 1 is the preferred email and the other is, well, “other”. The preferred inbox is where emails from people you want to read will go.  Facebook decides this though social mapping. They base this on who you interact with on Facebook.  You can add or subtract people from this inbox. So, even with the social inbox you can still control who is in your “preferred” list.

The “other” box is literally a catch-all for everything else. It is meant to contain emails you still need to read but don’t want to prioritize, like bills and newsletters.  However, since there is no spam folder, this is also where all your spam will go.

The other interesting feature about organizing your emails by “preferred” and “other” is that you will receive notifications any time you receive an email in your preferred box.  Depending on how you have these set up, the notifications can go to your phone, SMS & Text, facebook notification, and even to your chat window if you are logged into Facebook.

Good: You can easily read the email you want to read before anything else.
Bad: You might miss important emails because they are not in your preferred box.

Will there be spam?  oh yes.

The new email address makes it easy to figure out email addresses.  They are crawlable by bots, so the spam bots will be able to collect them. So it is possible that you will be flooded with spam.  Since there is no junk mail box, all your spam will go into your “other” folder. The biggest problem with this is that you will have emails that you want to read in your “other” folder and they might get lost in all the spam.

Good: Got nothing for this one.
Bad: Lots of spam.

Sex and Facebook Ads

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scantily clad girl in a christian singles ad on facebookIf you thought having an adult Facebook page was hard to accomplish, try running an adult ad. It is almost impossible. Even running content that is considered family friendly can be really hard to maintain due to the strict rules set forth by Facebook.

To run a successful ad campaign on Facebook you have to start with the content of your page. Your content has to be deemed acceptable, and Facebook has some pretty strict guidelines. Many of these seem pretty simple and straightforward. But the reality is, when you are on the network and doing your thing, it can be pretty hard to color within the lines.

Facebook Rules for Advertising:

General Rules:

  1. Ads must directly relate to the content on the landing page.
  2. Ads must clearly represent the company, product or brand that is being advertised. Products or services promoted in the ad must be directly available on the landing page.
  3. Ads cannot insult, harass or threaten a user.

Translation:

  1. You cannot have an ad that is advertising something different than the page it is linked to.
  2. You cannot pretend you are a different company or a different person than you actually are.
  3. You cannot tease or taunt people in your ad to get them to click on the ad.

Landing Pages:

  1. Ads that contain a URL or domain in the body must link to that same URL or domain.
  2. Landing pages cannot generate a pop-up (including “pop-overs” and “pop-unders”) when a user enters or leaves the page.

Translation:

  1. If you show a web address in your ad, the ad must link to that web address. So you cannot have a web address but have the link go somewhere else.
  2. When you click on the ad it cannot take you to a page that has pop-up ads or pop-up pages.

Targeting:

  1. Any targeting of ads based on a user attribute, such as age, gender, location or interest must be directly relevant to the offer, and cannot be done by a method inconsistent with privacy and data policies.
  2. Ads with adult themes, including contraception, sex education and health conditions must be targeted to individuals at least 18 years old. Platform ads should do this via Demographic Restrictions, not by obtaining user data.

Translation:

  1. When you target an ad to your audience, it has to be directly related to the content you are advertising. So if you are advertising a dating site, it has to be directed to singles.
  2. Any ad with adult content can only be directed to people 18 and older.

Prohibited Content:

  1. Adult content, including nudity, sexual terms and/or images of people in positions or activities that are excessively suggestive or sexual, or provocative images in violation of community standards;
  2. Adult friend finders or dating sites with a sexual emphasis;
  3. Adult toys, videos or other adult products;
  4. Ads must not be false, misleading, fraudulent, or deceptive.
  5. Ads will not be permitted in cases where a business model or practice is deemed unacceptable or contrary to Facebook’s overall advertising philosophy.

Translation:

  1. Porn. Naked pictures. Sexual pictures. Naughty words. Violence…in a nut shell. Nope, probably no nut-shells either.
  2. Dildos, vibrators, strap-ons, lube, and pretty much anything you would find in a sex shop.
  3. You cannot lie in your ad.
  4. You can’t go against the code of ethics in the Facebook Terms of Service.

Most people in the adult industry will find advertising on Facebook pretty difficult. Some of you will be able to do it, depending on what your website or content is, some might not. Learning the rules are the only way to know if you can.

Stay tuned for the next post on porn stars advertising on Facebook and learn some tips and trick on how to run a Facebook ad if you are in porn.

Hypocrisy & Sex in Advertising, more from Blogworld

Hypocrisy riddles advertising when it comes to sex. Some interesting dichotomies were discussed at Blogworld Expo 2010 such as the portrayal of acceptable sex in the media. The delineating line in advertising being romantic sex is ok to use for sales but sex for the sake of sex is not. For example, KY Jelly ads always portrays married couples having sex. The message being, recreational sex is OK if you are married.

Of course this is not a new message or a new issue.  In the United States married sex is truly the only kind of sex that is OK to promote, whether it be recreational or procreational.  Sex between unmarried people for pure pleasure is frowned upon, at least in advertising.

Now outright sex might be frowned upon but implied sex, ie. provocative imagery, is not.  At least it is not frowned on for everyone.

The ability to utilize provocative imagery in advertising is inherently tied to the purveyor of the imagery. The brand is the ambassador not their image. So if the brand is respectable then sexually provocative imagery will be accepted, but if the brand is not considered mainstream acceptable then even conservatively provocative imagery will be viewed as innappropriate. This of course is a generalization. We do see backlash when even respectable brands push the envelope too far.  But they can still push the envelope much farther than so-called not respectable brands.

picture of a highway billboard for Adultcon

The image to the left is a Calvin Klein ad that is featured in mainstream magazines. Similar ads are on billboards in major cities, off highways and scattered across the country. The image to the left is a billboard for Adultcon, an adult entertainment convention. The Adultcon billboard was asked to be taken down because of its proximity to a school despite there being nothing provocative about the billboard. The only questionable thing it says is “Adult” and that word is not that questionable, though many would consider the inferred industry to be questionable.

Interestingly though, if you search “Porn Billboard Ad” in Google images, the first image you see is not some big breasted heaving porn star.  Nope Jenna Jameson was the third image! An ad by Calvin Klein is the first.