Friday Night Links: Relationships Matter

Maybe it's just this week's release of Gary Vaynerchuk's The Thank You Economy, but we're focusing on customers today. We have one article reiterating the importance of “relationship marketing” (focus on the “relationship” part first, not the “marketing” part!). Another post keeps the conversation going about Google's “Farmer” update, and how it's based on the experiences of focus groups. What would focus groups have to say about your site?

We would also like to bring your attention to a brand-new, not-open-to-the-public-yet social media platform called Stellar. Beta users can sign up now, but Jason Kottke is letting people in “reeeeally sloooowly.” But slow and steady is the way to go these days – building relationships before making sales. We just don't have analytics software that keeps up with our pace, claims today's last article. But don't just take my word for it!

Guide to Cultivating Relationships in Social Media (via Search Engine Journal)

A great primer on “relationship marketing” – the idea that it's okay not to send everyone to a squeeze page right away trying to wring money out of them. If you build a relationship, the money will come in time. The benefits of brand recognition and the increase of loyal followers are wonderful byproducts of building relationships with people online.

Google's Panda/Farmer Update – What To Do About It (via Distilled)

This post does a great job of finding out what exactly Google did to figure out how people decided which websites were quality, authoritative websites – they ran focus groups and asked users questions about their experiences. Use some of these questions (“Would you be comfortable giving this site your credit card? Would you be comfortable giving medicine prescribed by this site to your kids?”) to think about your site and how your users are viewing it.

Introducing Stellar (via kottke.org)

What is Stellar? Not much, so far. What will it be? Another social media network. How important will it be? You never know, but it might be worth keeping an eye on. So far, what you can see is lists of people's “faves,” posted in a Twitter/Facebook news feed style – looks like it mostly takes content from Flickr and Twitter, but it's hard to say what's next for it. See the post for more info and a place to sign up to be a beta tester.

Slow and steady only wins if you can measure it (via Lifecycle Marketing blog)

A good reflection on the need to have analytics that reward the long view. After all, how do we measure the numerous ways that a customer might interact with our brand before they take the plunge and make a purchase? And after that? Something to think about, but there aren't great ways to measure this right now.

This week on Single Grain

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A collection of evergreen content about how businesses can best use Twitter. Dig out your reading glasses!

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11 SEO Tips for Press Releases

Press releases are a powerful tool, even if you don't feel like you have anything newsworthy going on in your organization. Check out ideas on how to figure out a story that people would want to hear, and then how to get the story to them!

Optimize Your Facebook Page

Creating your Facebook fan page isn't the only thing your business needs to do on Facebook. Once it's up, you need to use it, and build links to it. And don't forget to encourage others to use it as well!

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