Social Media Marketing Essentials

Oct 16, 2007 • 10:02 am | comments (0) by twitter | Filed Under Search Marketing Expo 2007 New York
 

Tuesday, October 16, 2007 SMX Social Media, NYC 9:00am-10:20am

Customers interacting with brands -- that’s marketing in the 21st century. And SMM is key to fostering brand/customer conversations. This session will orient you to the world of social media. You'll learn the leading sites, the functionality they provide, and best practices for interacting in these virtual places.

More coverage from Vanessa Fox at Search Engine Land: Live Blogging: SMX Social Media - Social Media Marketing Essentials, also at Search Engine Journal and aimClear Blog.

Moderator: Danny Sullivan, Editor-in-Chief, Search Engine Land

Speakers: Rand Fishkin, CEO & Co-founder, SEOmoz Neil Patel, CTO, Advantage Consulting Services

Intro: Welcome to SMX Social Media. I woke up at 6:30 am to get ready and catch a cab with Matt Mcgee to get to the Metropolian, where the conference is being held. Once we arrived, registered, found the speaker/press room and began munching on free breakfast, we realized we're in rooms at the Affinia, right next to each other. Matt (www.smallbusinesssem.com) is sitting to my left and Marty Weintraub (www.aimclearblog.com) is to my right. The breakfast layout is awesome. Free coffee, juice, fruit, bagels, banana bread, etc. Rand Fishkin (www.seomoz.org) and Danny Sullivan have showed up. Neil Patel, (www.pronetadvertising.com) who is also speaking in this first panel, joined us while grabbing breakfast. Michal Gray (aka Graywolf, www.wolf-howl.com/) came over and chatted for awhile with Matt and I as well. These little gatherings first thing in the morning are good for getting the brain going. I'm splitting session coverage today and tomorrow the Tamar (of SERoundtable/Rustybrick). She is far better at catching every single word than I. I'll do my best to record my sessions and fill you in as we go along here.

The room is just about full. The music is blaring, at least for me, since I'm sitting right next to a speaker in the front row. We have wireless access here in the conference room, which is nice because the press room is close by and I can push this out without having to log back in again. For this conference, I'm using a new laptop, with Vista. Already, Marty is showing me tricks and shortcuts to make this job easier with Vista.

Danny is launching into the conference. He's explaining to everyone how to access the wireless internet access. His intro was preceded by a song that was turned up and Matt and I were starting to rock out. Funny thing, at this hour. Danny is asking folks if they visit Sphinn. June 3/4 is a SMX in Seattle. NY again Oct 6-8. Website Magazine is a sponsor for SMX. A rep (Dante Monteverde) is allotted 3 minutes to give a brief promo before the session begins. Basically, he holds up the magazine and is describing it to the audience. (I get the magazine and enjoy it.) They want industry experts writing articles for them. They also have a web site and an affiliate program. They archive their content on their website. Replaceatree.org, is a green program they're involved in, being a print magazine.

Danny introduces Rand Fishkin of SEOMoz. He'll be touching on aspects of the conference to come.

Rand:

I think social is something he's passionate about. He'll show us why it exists, how to use it, what it is. He wants to give an overview of what we'll hear in the conference. The first thing people ask, what is social media marketing? Why are we in this space. It's web site traffic, conversions, sales. Page views, ad revenue, it helps grow brand awareness. Create a postive brand impression. Shows the MAC/PC commercial guys. Business dev and networking. Uses something like Linkedin as an ex. SM really can deliver. How? There's interacting with communities on the web. You can connect with millions of people. Create viral content. You take some piece of viral content and submit to Digg, for ex. Shows a map where there are more single women and men. There's single women in NYC. Someone scanned it, posted it to sm site, and got tons of traffic for showing this map. (Search for National Geog. Singles map to find it). Reaching key influencers. References the Tipping Point to understand connectors and how this works.

Why is SM valuable? Supports and brand and mind share goals. Supports search engine marketing goals. The entire domain receives some ranking benefit. The page gains rankings. SM helps with traffic and conversion goals. Branding is one way. In the social world, positive promo is something people identify with. Apple does it. ThinkGeek toys and games. Why now? Why is SM so cool now?

Shows a graph with stats from different SM sites like blogging, sm sites, forums, video, podcasts, wikis. These are kinds you can use. SM usage is still small but growing fast. June 2007Businessweek study he references. Very few users are actually creating the content. Yahoo study: Brand advocates: Have emerged as primary infuencers. They're better connected. SM is the key. Brand advocates are taking full advantage of the tools. Search for Yahoo Passionistas Report Sept 2007. User generated content is photos, blogs, videos. Shows a graph for how fast blogsophere has grown. Fast. Posting volume will spike based on social events.

Shows a graph that shows people who blog. Stats from emarketer. Shows demographics. Wealthy consumers are heavily engaged in the blogosphere. Shows a graph of what countries read blogs. The US is not #1. Japan is, with South Korea, China and the US, and UK following. Belgium is #10. 91% from Japan and 34% influencers from USA. These are people who take action after reading a blog.

How do they locate the blogs? Links on other blogs 67%. (Emarketer stats.) Recommendations, search engines, blog search engines and other. Quality of reading is the #1 reason for reading a blog. Credibility is still quality of writing. Topical focus is another. Popularity is the least noted reason for visiting a blog.

Video is an exciting space for online marketers. By 2011 86.6% of Americans will be watching online video. News is top reason. Comedy, education, music. Adult sites are the least common reason. (People giggle). How do users engage with online video? You get link from a friend. Via links, send links to other, watch with others, rate video, post comments, post video links online and pay for video.

In the early days, we had SE's that weren't too smart. Shows a slide of Alta Vista. In the beginning it was keyword focused and it was easy to spam them. Engines came up with page rank to measure popularity. SE's began to determine credibility and trust in the content. Links equal votes, if the link really reflects an editorial recommendation of one page to another. Dead a link farms, reciprocal link exchanges, directory link building, forums sig, blog comment spam and paid link networks. Links should come from valued and trusted domains. These are government and educational links, major media websites, broad and niche authority sites like National Geographic, popular blogs, high quality SM sites. On one side people will provide editorial links vs sites that require links to rank well. SM becomes a solution, in a way. Who are responsible for creating links on the web ("linkeroti"). Reddit, blogger, hobby sites, researchers, customers.

Customers don't link to your site. We must reach these people. They email their friends. SM sites. Social news portals, forums, groups, newsnet, word of mouth, links on their own sites, podcast, mainstream media and video. These are ways they can be influencers. He shows a graphic of qualities people use to want to link. Stunning design, ad free content, non commercial content, good graphics, good writing, high accessibility, authority, clear navigation are all things people like to see. No Flash, poor IA, hard to read text, forcing registration, splitting articles on separate pages, bad site search, unprofessional design, long URLs, obtrusive ads. These are things that people will not be impressed with.

Where to conduct SMM:

Social news aggregation portals - user generated content, users influence visibility, comment features, ratings. Reddit, Digg, Propeller (was Netscape), Sphinn, Meneame (spanish) (Rand says SEOMoz gets good traffic from there), Techmeme, Newsvine (was sold to MSNBC). Users link together. They provide events, public announcements, external applications. Facebook is an example. MySpace. Facebook is an "influencer" more than MySpace because demographics are younger. Linkedin, for professional networking. These are sites where users can submit content with some editorial review on some of them. YouTube provides user generated content. Wikipeida has very visible content. Flicker, for image sharing. Yahoo! Answers has more than 3.5 million users in the last year. Yelp is a local portal for business owners. Popular blogs are ready by several thousand daily readers. Comments and content are accessible. True participatory community. Bloggers can be reached directly. TechCrunch is an example of a large blog. Boing Boing is another. Gizmodo, The Huffington Post for politics. Life Hacker for news and advice. Gawker is a celebrity blog. Mighty Goods for shopping.

Social Bookmarking sites:

You can tag content and share it with friends, the more who bookmark it, the more it rises to the top. Stumbleupon is one. Del.iciou.us is one of the most popular ones. (Someone says they're going to change the name.) Ma.gnolia is another one shows up in search results well. Yahoo! My Web.

Niche and topical participartory sites. Slashdot is one. Fark (not safe for work surfing, nice long tail.) Truemors is gaining in pop. NowPublic has a tech focus. Upcoming.org for events (Yahoo! owns it.) The long tail of blogs, forums and groups reach smaller, niche communities. Mainstream media portals. Large, well known brands. Enable participation or influencing. They note most talked about sites. News.Google.com lists most popular news sources. SearchEngineLand is a source for News.google.com. NYTimes (which now allows user comments. Some people don't like this.) San Francisco Chronicle. CNN (allows comments). Wired is connected to Reddit. Wired will link to blog content. MSNBC is another one.

Conference will cover techniques to succeed in SMM. Ideas for vital content that can help your site gain traffic. Which social communities are valuable for your business? SM is still cutting edge, which means you have the advantage over your peers or competitors who aren't into it. (He's showing screen shots with Simpson characters.)

(Note: Spelling errors exist. We traditionally type and post. Blogged by Kim Krause Berg for SERoundtable.)

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