Posted by Aran Smithson
This post was originally in YouMoz, and was promoted to the main blog because it provides great value and interest to our community. The author’s views are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of SEOmoz, Inc.
I’m the e-commerce manager for an online retailer specialising in Coat Hangers, yeah you heard right, coat hangers; and you thought your niche was tough?
We don’t have thousands of inbound links from a myriad of high PR sites, yet we are catching up to the big players in our niche. In December we were no where to be found on the majority of our search terms. Our traffic mainly came from brand searches, which we liked as we pride ourselves on our superb levels of customer service (honestly when I joined I was astonished we could turn a profit with the amount of customer service going on), thus we get a lot of returning customers.
Producing link worthy content for the site has been an uphill struggle, gaining ground in the social sphere is like chewing through leather and guest posting and the like are tough. No one is interested in Clothes Hangers. Granted we have produced guest posts on a few blogs relating to fashion, clothing and even a few ‘moms blogs’. However we quickly exhausted that avenue and needed to look somewhere new.
A meme, a meme, my kingdom for a meme
One day I had a rush of inspiration whilst reading a SEOmoz article on producing an infographic to generate inbound links. There aren’t many interesting stats and facts relating to hangers, thus I decided to go down the meme route.
I jumped on the “Keep Calm and Don’t Panic” band wagon that’s been rolling through the UK/USA in recent months. It’s a saying from a Public Safety poster campaign from the UK in WW2. It sprung a meme with lots of alternative sayings (I’m sure your have seen them for yourself).
My unique twist was to change the saying to “Keep Calm and Hang On”. I also replaced the crown on the poster with an outline of a hanger. See what I did? (see right)
You simply cannot teach that kind of wit. “Hang on”, we sell hangers! (wow tough crowd).
I began my social campaign which involved the following steps;
- Pinned to Pinterest with a solid description, tweeted the pin to my twitter followers.
- Shared the graphic with my 20 or so Facebook friends, of whom 10 shared it with their friends.
- Waited several hours then tweeted the link to my blog page and asked for an RT. Also hash tagged with some relevant tags.
- Posted the image to our Tumbler blog.
- Added it to our Flickr gallery, and several related Flickr groups.
- Posted to reddit, stumble etc.
- I also ensured that our blog had the means for users to social bookmark and share the page themselves.
It’s been almost a week since I posted the blog entry and shared it with my social sphere and I’m happy with the results.
- My website had circa an additional 300 visitors over the week, not a great deal but around about 5% of my weekly traffic for nothing!
- Out of my additional visitors I found that 9 had actually bought something (3% conversion rate from a random untargeted graphic!!)
- My Tumblr post was re-tagged 7 times. (that’s like 7 do follow links!)
- My tweet was retweeted 4 times.
- My Pinterest pin was re-pinned once (so far)
- I got 2 Facebook likes and a few shares
- Very little activity came from Flickr, but still I made sure I added a link in the image description.
Not a great amount of social coverage and certainly not viral, but all this literally took me 30 mins. If I make 1 hour a week to do something cool like this, over the weeks I’m building up plenty of natural links, no spam and no black hat in sight.
The lasting effect from this is I gained;
- A few extra customers (whom I hope will come back and shop again)
- 300 extra website visitors who may return one day
- My brand was exposed to many many more people.
- 7 links from relatively good Tumblr pages.
- 6 links from Pinterest
- A little bit of Facebook love and 3 links
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