The reader profile is a regular series where I attempt to give something back to one of my readers. It typically includes some information about his/her online projects as well as a mini interview.
Today we’re featuring Maria Reyes-McDavis from WebSuccessDiva.com. Maria offers a variety of services to help online entrepreneurs achieve greater success with their business. Her site of course covers all of the details about her services, plus she also posts to her blog. Some noteworthy posts that you should check out: Blog Design and Layout – Keep it Simple! (video post), Is Your Blog Ready for Your Social Media Marketing Strategies?, and Your Social Media Marketing Audience is Different, Treat Them Accordingly.
Now you can get to know more about Maria through this mini interview.
1. You provide consulting services to clients, including social media marketing. Can you tell us a little bit about what you do as a consultant and how you’re able to help website owners?
My clients typically come to me burned out from what I call the “chase-the-gurus-tail” syndrome. They’ve typically spent a ton of money on the latest “it” thing in online marketing, they’ve likely been to all the seminars, they’ve read a ton of blogs, and now they are just exhausted from chaos of it all. My job, in a nut shell, is to help my clients learn to navigate and leverage what works for their business objectives and market. Every social media tactic has a purpose and we set them out on a plan that gets them results. From online business automation (auto-responders, etc) to branding and visibility, to the bigger goal of increased ROI and revenues. Social media is a huge chunk of what we integrate into each custom plan for our clients. We either manage the entire process, it’s like outsourcing your entire online marketing department, because we do it all — or, we provide training and mentoring for the ambitious do-it-yourself’er.
We use social media (including social networking, viral marketing, blogging, social media optimization, micro-blogging, and anything else you can find in this category), as leverage – because it brings benefits across all other areas of marketing. Social media, when used appropriately, has a tremendous power to increase the ROI on all major marketing areas (it benefits SEO, SEM, online branding, etc) and ultimately increase revenues (for too many reasons to list). At the end of the day, our job is to make our clients money, social media has been a huge part of our success.
2. How have you been able to use social media to promote yourself?
As far as marketing my company, social media is the only tool we use online, and we currently have a standing wait list of clients. Social media has enabled my team to manage every aspect of our online reputation; build strategic relationships across the world; research and draw information directly from our audience to better serve them; and a host of other benefits — which ultimately benefit our bottom line.
We’ve been able to auto-communicate and synchronize a ton of technical tasks by simply getting creative with the technology. Connecting our Twitter to the blog, to the Facebook, and with a little custom scripting to our entire network of websites, has allowed us to blast out content/marketing across a much bigger potential audience than before. We’ve been able to use social media for search engine optimization – like using Squidoo, our Twitter tweets, and more – to get excellent rankings we couldn’t have reached before. We’ve been able to create systems, that over time have given us huge jumps in rankings, traffic, and profits.
And most importantly, we’ve been able to really connect with our market – at their level, in their comfort zone – socially. This gives us valuable marketing information, preferences knowledge, and ease into sales opportunities. Simply engaging in social media, at a meaningful, consistent level – has helped us grow faster in 3 years than ever before.
3. You have links in your sidebar to your profile on many different social media sites. Which ones do you use most actively and which ones do you enjoy the most?
Facebook and Twitter are our key tools used for branding, visibility, and networking. Twitter, in particular, is great. Twitter tweets come up in search engines, you can use it to “feed” content to various places, and it’s a great way to build a good rapport with my market. Recently, I’ve found another use for Twitter is to get instant feedback – once you tweet a question you can get a tremendous response.
We also love social media sites like Squidoo and HubPages. Both are great avenues for pushing optimized content in the search engines. For our purposes, search engines are still one of the largest sources of traffic we target. We’re also big on using sites like Flickr, YouTube, and Udderz for pushing optimized multimedia into the search engine mix.