Understanding The Complex Social Marketing Playing Field

Nov 11, 2008 • 1:54 pm | comments (0) by twitter | Filed Under WebmasterWorld PubCon 2008 Las Vegas
 

This panel of SMO promotion experts will take you from mid-level to advanced in short order. Do your homework before you hit this session though. Study the basics of Reddit, Netscape, Delicious, Digg, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Remember, PubCon starts where other conferences end.

Moderator: Joe Laratro Speakers: Cameron Olthuis, CEO, Factive Media Neil Patel, CTO, Advantage Consulting Services, Inc. Michael Gray, President, Atlas Web Service Rand Fishkin, CEO, SEOMoz

Rand is up first. He's wearing a suit and his shoes aren't yellow. He's going to do a social media verticals walkthrough - it's not a comprehensive list but it covers most of the big ones.

Democratized social news sites: digg, reddit, mename, propeller, mixx, newsvine, hacker news, care2news, nowpublic, folkd What to do: Create profiles, connect with other users, vote on content, comment, submit your own content It's high quality from a link building perspective - people own blogs, have forums, and bookmark. They spread content on the web.

Editor-powered social news sites: yahoo buzz, fark, metafilter, techmeme/memorandum What to do: learn what editors like/use, submit relevant content, connect with other users, vote on content, comment * Highest traffic day of DailyKos was from Yahoo Buzz feature. Potentially millions of visits.

Social networking sites: linkedin, facebook, myspace, incbiznet What to do: create profiles, connect with other users, share links/news/photos/info, build a big network to grow your megaphone

Microblogging sites: twitter, plurk, friendfeed What to do: create profiles, connect with other users, publish interesting stuff in <140 characters, build an instant megaphone - You can follow the president elect on Twitter!

Social bookmarking sites: StumbleUpon, delicious, blinklist, clickmarks What to do: create profiles, tag content/URLs, find out what others are tagging/sharing, encourage users to tag to drive traffic and links.

Social content sharing: youtube, flickr, yelp, metacafe, last.fm, deviantart What to do: create profiles, create/upload content, build your brand's messaging, reach new and relevant audiences

Wikis: wikipedia, knol, wikihow What to do: create profiles, create and edit content, reach wiki audiences, manipulate search results!

Social Q&A: yahoo answers, wikianswers, askville What to do: Create profiles, ask and answer questions, gain reputation and authority, grow your brand megaphone

Niche social sites: why Rand likes them - they are lower but have a more relevant audience. * easier to have an impact with less effort * less wariness for marketers/SEOs * many have live links * great for data mining and market intelligence

Cameron Olthuis is up next. He shows 10 steps to social media success.

1. Use and understand social media. Don't jump in the pool before swimming. - Which tools to use? All of them! Connect to your audience as often as possible. 2. Network and be social. It's called "social" for a reason. 3. Be genuine, authentic, and on target. 4. Turn down the marketing message. Social media is a two-way communication unlike traditional media. Let people participate. 5. Provide value to the community. 6. Remarkable content. e.g. Hershey had this party when they launched this Bliss chocolate. They just wanted people to share their pictures - and they got all this candy. 15,000 bloggers wrote about it and most said positive things about the chocolate. 7. Let people act naturally. Don't shove things down their throat. 8. Hustle. Work hard. It takes time to foster the connections. 9. Be flexible and experimental. Social media is always changing. e.g. Dell did Ideastorm - it's like Digg but it's specific to what people want from Dell. Dell then puts that into action. 10. Listen and respond. e.g. comcastcares on Twitter immediately responds to people's concerns.

Michael Gray talks about planning a social media campaign.

Background research: Find out where your audience hangs out. What are they reading and submitting? What don't they like? Identify key players and key bloggers in your niche. Find thought leaders.

Community engagement: build your presence in the community. Start building a trusted profile or power account. Cultivate a reputation of trust, quality, and authority.

Brainstorm: figure out what works and what doesn't. Use them as a jumping off point. Don't be a copycat.

But you need to keep building that profile. Don't expect to become a power user overnight or to ignore afterwards.

Idea research: Sometimes good ideas won't work. Look for ways to adapt. Don't force a bad idea.

Story production and formatting: Viral content is different than regular content. Use pictures and videos where appropriate. Don't use your sales oriented web template.

You are still working on your community during this time, right?

Schedule and launch: Know what the good times are for the audience. Use the calendar, holidays, and current events to your advantage. Beware of news, as it can affect you.

Outreach and management: Take advantage of that community building. Reach out to your friends for help. Reach out to the bloggers in this space. Don't stick out with unusual voting patterns. Monitor comments.

Analysis: Did your story work out better or worse than expected, and why? Use page tracking overlays (crazyegg, clicktracks, and google). Be aware that social media traffic effects overall site statistics.

Lather, rinse, and repeat: Don't approach social media like a one shot deal. Small to moderate success can add up over time. Target different sites each time. Find a promotion frequency that works for you.

Up last is Neil Patel who talks about the dark side of social media.

1. Screwing people over. Submit content from your competition's website to a social site. Use adult related words within the submission text. Repeat 4-5 times. 2. Social media rings: the bigger the ring, the better. Join multiple rings. Don't vote right away. Don't vote on everything. Don't abuse the ring. Use hxxp instead of http. 3. Social media applications: Tube Increaser for YouTube, Twitter FriendAdder, Add my Buddies for MySpace, and Plaxo for email scrapers 4. Force actions: iframe votes 5. Blog links. Hack the blogs!

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