Effectively Leveraging Social Networking

Oct 17, 2007 • 10:01 am | comments (0) by twitter | Filed Under Search Marketing Expo 2007 New York
 

SMX Social Media, Wednesday 17, 2007

9:00am-10:20am

Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Twitter and others allow people to connect with others and foster networks of friends or colleagues. Participate appropriately, and your company will find "friends" interested in what you have to say (and sell). Cross the line and the mob may turn on you and reject your message. In this session you'll learn to network and participate in an acceptable and effective manner.

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

Speakers: Cindy Krum, Senior SEO Analyst, Blue Moon Works Dave McClure, Entrepeneur & Startup Advisor, 500Hats Helen M. Overland, Director, Search Engine Marketing, non-linear creations

Good morning! After an interesting evening of networking and later, dinner at Uncle Jack's Steak house, that we walked to, rather than taking a cab...I'm here, awake and ready to deliver you another day of sessions from SMX SM. The schedule for SERoundtable today calls for Tamar and I to share the sessions, with me starting off. She's here though. She's only person I know of (so far) who can make a NY cabbie crack up. I've made friends with the guys at the sound desk, so that every time "Eminence Front" by Pete Townsend comes up, they turn up the volume. Feel that power? The room is full again. The highlight of this morning, first thing, is that Danny followed through with the complaints about the "butt numbing" chairs, and they've been replaced by a room of white ones with a bit of better cushion and stronger back support. Free breakfast again. Incidently, lunch was covered yesterday, as well as free drinks at The Elmo, for the networking event. (How do you network in a dark bar with blasting music?)

Notes: I had the wrong date in yesterday's posts. I figured this out veryyyy late last night, but a reader comment prompted Barry to repair this boo boo. I also neglected to link to Matt Mcgee yesterday (now fixed), and 345 other people. Tamar has the list and we can fix this too. Bandages for my fingers and pain killers for my back are welcome gifts.

Ah! Danny's here. Time to start.

"Second day is casual day. Hope that's okay," he says. Tells us the chairs are the lunch chairs. He's disappointed that nobody has "Stumbled" Vanessa's live blogging for SELand. No del.ico.us traffic either. He's teasing the audience that they're learning how to use SM but nobody has applied their lessons to promote the conference.

Within SM, there are categories or "silos". People use them to make friends, make a date, network with business folks. He just signed up for "Hatebook". Other people who hate you can sign up."It's gonna be big." He's introducing Dave McCLure. He'll talk about Facebook.

Dave:

Gauges the room to see how many people use Facebook and how often. He's showing a page from Facebook. He's showing the "Status" and how its used to market by inserting URLs into it. The Newsfeed shows all the shared activity that you and your friends are doing. You can see videos, comments on walls, applications your friends are using. The real trick is setting up your network appropriately. Tag your content. You can reach people this way, via people who are logged into Facebook.

Tags: Shows people who are tagged in videos, under "My Videos". Your friends will see this, if friends of those who are tagged. "My Photos" does the same thing. You can change photos to logos. Some people change their photos very often in their profiles. However, he was playing with it and can insert logos there too. If you tag someone (he demos how), the person tagged will be notified they've been tagged. This can be shared through the messaging system in Facebook. He's doing this "live", to show how tagging is carried through. There's the "mini-feed", which are your actions. These appear on your profile and show the history of your actions. Your friends can also see this, if they visit your profile. Some "very powerful" people are in Facebook. You want to connect to them, tag them. This gets you or your company out there...noticed. You can "push" content by sharing it via Facebook. "Seven Steps to Graphing your Facebook Strategy" in Techcrunch is an article he wrote. Follow up if you wish. (article date Oct 3). You can share pages using the "Share" function in Facebook.

You can create "Groups", for people you share interests with. People can join, you can add and invite people. It's visible to all the people in your friends network. You can add videos, links, photos and messages there. The feeds will pick up on all this and fan out to your network. You can create moderators and admins for Groups. A member of the audience is asking questions about Groups set up. In the background, Danny is demo'ing a Group, in which he set up a SELand profile. This is a company account, rather than a personal account. Non-profits also do this. Facebook is not encouraging this but it is being done. A company profile would have its own profile, status, history, etc.

Next up...

Helen:

Marketing on LinkedIn...asks audience who uses it for recruiting, updating profiles. It's a professional network site. Connect with friends and coworkers. You can reach 15 million professionals. Ave income 140k. Do you want volume of contacts or trusted contacts? Trusted is better. It's not like Facebook. You want to reach who you can sell your product or service to. You can have both volume and trusted contacts. "Linkedin Open Networkers" are trying to get a lot of contacts. Pick a few of them, and connect and you get their first levels of contacts. This instantly increases your contacts. Use Linkedin to:

Increase branding and visibility Generate sales Traffic and support SEO

Linkedin Answers - answer questions there. This increases your brand visibility. Display your expertise. This starts a conversation. Announce your web site or service by looking for feedback on something, or asking for referrals for certain things. You can drive people to your blog post if you answered a question there. You can get your service recommended by getting recommendations.

Barack Obama asked a question there and got almost 1500 answers.

For sales, use search to find contacts or potential partners. You can respond to service requests in "Answers". Say "I can help you out" or get someone to refer you. Get your service recommended. No "nofollow" at Linkedin. Links are indexed. Your can drive traffic to your website from there. You can create a vanity URL in your profile and add keywords to profile your URL. Have employees link back to your website. She shows an example of someone who asked a question needing help with an artice he was working on. Case study of "organic" marketing. People from Linkedin spent more time on sites they visit from links from there. You can reach your target market.

Cindy:

MySpace Whoas and Woes...MySpace has been getting bad press but it still reaches certain demographics.

Whoas - Flying Dog Brewery is example. They sell beer. Demographics are skiers, snowboarders, drinkers. They created a profile to create sales and traffic to their company. Establishes voice and personality for company. Creates a community about their brand. Notifies users to events and news via feed. They send out flyers. Change your profile picture by putting in a logo or in their case, a copy of the flyer. They put up images of their beer. Shows the labels. "Edgy". Helps people relate to the brand via the visuals. The have photo albums too. Album full of logos. One is of party pictures at the brewery. One is about founders and employees of the company. One is a cool stuff section, acting like an online catalog. They have travel pictures. They have an events listing. Searchable via zip code. Shows maps, costs, times, comments, rsvp. Can see if your friends are going. People can blog about the event. They use their blog to send out bulletins to all their friends. They notify of contests. They have a "Weekly Treat". They offer discounts to Facebook friends. They show a company video of employees having fun. Their profile out ranks Wikipedia because they're using MySpace so well to market their brand.

True is another company. Online dating site. Younger demographic. Snazzy profile page. They're trying to create a relationship with their people. Creates brand awareness. They offer tools and games. Lots of visuals."Sexploration Test" can be shared with friends. Some of the icons used are funny (we're laughing). These icons encourage you to interact with "potential mates". They have fortune cookies you can open up, send, create, copy and paste and share with friends. To keep people on their MySpace page, they create things to do. They have games. "Create a date" game. "Date-a-Rama" engine is another. It recommends times and places for dates based on criteria you enter. It has a sense of humor in the results. "Heartbeats" mixer. You can input data, on what you're looking for. Takes users to the True website.

Woes - Westwood College is the ex. Private college. They wanted to leverage MySpace. They wanted to create community online. They created a profile to communicate with students. It wasn't a quick setup. It takes CSS. MySpace has a tool to help with layouts. Cool Profiles have to be updated frequently. Profiles can't be static. Have to create meaningful content and reasons to come. Some people who friended them were not what the college desired or who they wanted to target. This was a real learning experience for them.

You have to manage friends. Some are not the most "savory" characters. Some clients are particular about which friends to accept. Only students? Anyone? What if pictures aren't acceptable? How does what we put up affect our brand as a college? They chose non-offensive content. They learned profile pictures can be changed. One "Friend" had to be banned because he changed his picture to something offensive after joining with a non-offensive picture. If Friends change, you may have to notify them. What blog communication is appropriate? Who is going to respond to all the email? What happens if you make a mistake? Who handles chats? What are appropriate topics? You can leverage groups. Do you participate in groups? What if someone says your company sucks? How to handle?

AutoEurope is a rental car broker. Another client. They wanted to use Facebook to help with linking, targeting world travelers. MySpace encodes links, profiles groups, forums and classified. She shows example of text vs html links. Link to a page within MySpace,not encoded. Blog posts, no. No news articles. No for events. So links within Myspace are fine (not encoded). Use Flash verison 9 and action script 3.0 only. Links in Flash files just won't work. MySpace cvoncerts HTML into preferred Object Format before saving. This can cause problems for creating widgets. Widget development for social networks is more complicated. May not work in MySpace/IE AND MySpace/Firefox.

MySpace might launch a new dev platform...rumor. Will allow widgets better network interaction. Ability for 3rd parties to market their widgets.

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