Is Social Media & Search a Love Story or a War Story?

Nov 11, 2008 - 6:04 pm 3 by
Filed Under PubCon 2008

Is Social Media & Search a Love Story or a War Story? Location: Salon C

Is the intersection of search and social media a train wreck waiting to happen or is it the "not search" based traffic we have long been seeking? This session will explore that intersection from the webmaster, site owner and publisher points of view.

Moderator: Lawrence Coburn Speakers: David Wallace, CEO, SearchRank Chris Winfield, President, 10e20, LLC Liana Evans, Director of Internet Marketing, KeyRelevance Bill Hartzer, Search Engine Optimization Manager, Vizion Interactive

David Wallace is up first.

Excuses for not doing it: 1. Lack of control - within social media environments, people are afraid that people will talk about them or to them. It used to be one-way communication with no interaction. But they're already talking about you, so join in! 2. No one to monitor: having social media profiles is like having little websites that need constant monitoring. It's not an excuse: hire people! 3. No money: unless you're going to do a customized theme or develop a widget, it costs NOTHING to set up and get involved in social media. 4. Corporate red tape: when every decision requires multiple processes, it's no wonder why some people are slow. 5. Blogging excuses: * we cannot afford to install a blog. There are thousands of templates so it's not costly. There are a lot of free blogging platforms. * we have no one to write for us. There are a lot of writers out there that you can outsource to and you can get people doing things for $25/post (or even less). * we have nothing to say. What can you say? Cover news in your specific industry, write opinionated posts related to news and events, announce new products and special offers, write indepth product reviews, highlight customer testimonials and praise, do a Q&A style of posts, and publish company news (the more personal, the better) Benefits: 1. Branding opportunities - in the same manner that it is important for companies to make sure they have all the various domain names that relate to their brand, it is now equally important to make sure they secure their brand on social media sites. 2. Build link popularity: link bakc to your original website within original social sites, and once the profiles are indexed, they will count as inbound links to your main site. 3. Attracting traffic - depending on the industry, you may be able to get traffic. examples: entertianment industry on MySpace, Will It Blend series on YouTube 4. Interaction with the public: some people fear transitioning from "talking to" clients to interacting with customers, but this is a great opportunity to get into that. 5. Networking opportunities: trying to be the lone ranger of your industry is not always the most productive way of running your business. 6. Control the SERPs for your brand and product names: utilize your own web sites, social media properties, and blogs to literally control the first 3 pages of search results for your brand and product names.

Bottom line: don't let fear of the unknown keep you from being active. If you have a website, you should have a blog. If you don't see the benefits of link building/networking/branding/etc, at least get your brand before somebody else does.

Up next is Chris Winfield. His presentation is about Google and Digg. Google is the leading search engine and Digg is the leading social site. 62.9% of searches are done via Google. Digg says that they have about 27 million uniques and 250m pageviews per month.

How do they work from a marketer's perspective? - For Google, you choose keywords, optimize your site, get incoming links, rank #1, and it can take days to years. - For Digg, you create viral content, submit it to Digg, get it on Digg's homepage, and it can take about 24 hours.

Algorithms: both sites have algorithms - For Google, it's on-page factors, age/history of domain, inbound links - For Digg, it's the submitter (power user vs. new user), voting pattern, buries, history of domain

Traffic: - For Google, it depends on what you're ranking for, sustained traffic (you'll get traffic as long as you rank) - For Digg, you can get between 10k and 50k visitors within a 24 hour period, and the first few hours are best (Digg effect)

Blogs: Google: - Sustained traffic - people who are interested in what you have written about - Capturing attention - Aaron Wall Digg: - Get your content out to thousands of people quickly and will build out a following.

Commercial sites: Google: - Just in time marketing - Get your products in fornt of people looking for them Digg: - (Caveat: It's hard to get it out there.) - Get thousands of new people exposted to your brand the way they want to consume it.

Magazines: Google: - Hundreds of thousands of paes and opportunities for visitors - Stronger trust and authority, easier to rank Digg - Traffic = pageviews= ad impressions - First mover advantage - Bloggers look at Digg. People read blogs. They share. It gets a lot of eyeballs. - Create as many touchpoints as possible - let many people access your content from a variety of places. In conclusion: - Use a multipronged approach. - View these sites as complmentary - not replacements of one another - Don't forget to go niche

Li Evans is up next.

She shows the rise of social media in an image. It's a good image. I can't tell where it's from but it's creative commons licensed. Social media used to be one-way communication and many wonder why they should care.

Here's what social media isn't: quick fix for marketing plans, substitute for SEO or PPC, silver bullet for failing strategies. It shouldn't be taken lightly. It shouldn't be done by interns.

Social media is huge. You can't hold it in your hand. You need to know where people are.

Another image is shown: video sharing is huge. Then you have social networks (linkedin, facebook, myspace), photo sharing, blogs, wikis, rating sites, and forums and message boards are still part of this picture.

Know who is in your audience and where they are. She shows a graph of what people are doing: how many people are watching and listening - it's increasing. She says that you should read Charlene Li's Groundswell. She shows another graph: - Creators - bloggers - Critics - people that comment - Collectors - Digg, delicious users - Joiners - facebook and myspace users - Spectators - feed reader users - Inactives - they're on the Internet but aren't involved in social media What people are doing: they're sharing videos and they're participating in forums. Forums are not dead!

How do I know if this social stuff really works? Fortune 1000 companies plan to invest in social media in 2009. 50% of those will be considered failures. Why? Goals aren't established. Establish and define goals!

She says that Barack Obama used social media to get the votes: he understood everyone - the women, independent voter, blue collar people, the young voters, etc. He held a conversation on He had YouTube - 19 million channel views, 133,000 subscribers, 1800 videos. He utilized video like nobody else could. It inspired a video - "Yes we can". He even has a LinkedIn profile! He had 3million friends on Facebook. He used BlackPlanet to reach out to others. Results: we know he won but what else - he got 56 females voting and 43% males. The African American community overwhelmingly voted for him (BlackPlanet, remember?). The young voters - 66% voted. He got the independent vote - 52%. He got 55% of the blue collar vote.

Takeaways: know your audience, goals, start a conversation and don't try to control it, encourage sharing, and be social

Last up is Bill Hartzer who will talk about marrying your organic results with social media.

Old style SEO versus new style SEO: Old style - we created content on our site, did onsite optimization, got links from directories and reciprocal links, bought links for Google PageRank and to advertise. We wrote articles and submitted them to directories, and we created linkbait articles. The problem was that the link bait wasn't being noticed. Now we're in the age of "new social media SEO." New style - create content on site, on page optimization, links = authority directories, but now we write articles on our own site. We can create unique articles on industry authorities. Linkbait is on our own site. We use social media to get noticed. Success in social media = getting noticed in search.

Keys to successful social media: regular participation, voting and commenting often, adding friends, putting your site in your profile, understanding that there are niche sites and submitting to the appropriate ones, using social media to get noticed and to get a market share of links.

Market share of links - as you get noticed, that will give you an organic boost. How do you get them? Example: news in your industry - watch for newsworthy content in your industry, react quickly/post or add content to site, quickly submit to sicial media for links, go back and edit/update as necessary

RSS feed promotion: promot the RSS feeds that will help in organic results. Take advantage of the RSS feed of your site, your social media submissions, and the feed of those who link to you. Promote sites, RSS feeds, articles of those who link to you. Remember: a link to you is more powerful if the page that link is on has more links.

Social Media and search: more social media gives you more opportunities to be found.


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