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12 Nov 2009

Pubcon Las Vegas Day 2: Social Media Sessions

November 12, 2009Social Media

Today in Pubcon’s social media sessions broader topics were discussed. Day 1 at Pubcon seemed to focus on Twitter, and today each of the sessions broadened the scope to help the attendees see the use of a variety of social media sites as the real way to address your social media marketing plan. Below you’ll find a summary of the information received at the sessions I attended. Don’t forget to check out my tweets during the session for more real time information. Follow me: @cliquekaila on Twitter.

How Do Social Media and Search Intersect? with Lee Oden, Bill Hartzer, Tony Adam, and David Wallace.

This session focused on the true benefit social media provides in regards to search, and how the two overlap in many different ways. Lee Oden, from TopSearchBlog.com, started off the session discussing how small business can really benefit from social media, and Twitter in general. "60% of marketers plan to take money away from traditional marketing and spend it on interactive ads instead". He stresses that marketers realize there is a need for social media because, SEO=increased conversions. He suggests optimizing social media for search. Grow your social network via search, help people find your network using search, and advises combining your search and social objectives.

Bill Hartzer, a presenter in a few of the social media sessions at Pubcon, discussed his opinions of how search and social intersect. Starting off he discusses the old style SEO and the new style SEO, which involves content creation, on-page optimization, and utilization of social media to get noticed. He makes a direct correlation between social and search stating that "success in social media = getting noticed in search". How?

  • Participate on a regular basis
  • Vote and comment often
  • Utilize social media niches
  • Use digg, delicious, reddit, facebook, etc…to get the market share of links- being first with market share of links gives you the advantage. You do this by making news/repeating news in your industry, and promoting your content.

Tony Adam was up next, and explained the ‘visibility factor’. You should stand out from the crowd, create content people want to share, and don’t use social media as a replacement for search but rather as a visibility option.

David Wallace, from SearchRank.com, wraps up this session. He states that there is an obvious reluctance to embrace social media, and many excuses: 1) blogging: don’t know where to start…which isn’t a valid excuse, there are a multitude of things to discuss. 2) Gossip: leary of what people might say, but guess what? They are already saying it! You might as well get in on the convo. 3) Oversight: businesses don’t want to manage social media, but Wallace states: they just have to get over that, its apart of business and marketing these days.

Understanding the Complex Social Media Marketing Playing Field with Jennifer Laycock, Dan Zarrella, and Rand Fishkin (presenting due to the absence by Ben Huh from Pet Holdings, Inc.)

This session, about the complex web equation: brand management, discusses how traditional media, blogs, forums, groups and even chat can leave you vulnerable. Jennifer Evans Lavcock is up first and gives a great way to think about your social media strategy in order to address the vulnerability: as a dating relationship. 1) listen to your partner/public, 2) learn how to be ‘romantic’ to coax and encourage your demographic, 3) Don’t expect ‘sex’ on the 1st date: you aren’t going to get the full ‘value’ out of your social media marketing plan if you try to make it ‘happen’ on the first try, 4) don’t pretend to be someone else, just like in dating embrace who you are, 5) make yourself available and open, find a way to interact with your customers, 6) Seek out the right match, and find the right person to connect with by understanding how to be objective, 7) value the long term relationship, its far cheaper to keep a customer than it is to find a new one!

Dan Zarrella, from Hubspot, follows Jennifer with "Twitter by the Numbers: The Complex Playing Field of Microblogging". A few key points here: 

  • Put a bio in your profile! Out of 5.5 million Twitter users indexed, 70% of the accounts don’t have a bio specified, and surprisingly 6x as many people follow those with a bio than those without one!
  • Keywords to put in your bio: "official" is highly regarded, just make sure you don’t use "guru" or "author".
  • Don’t forget to put a link in your profile: A link equals 5x as many followers as those without a link.
  • Also worth noting: the more tweets with links you tweet the lower the CTR.

Finally Rand Fishkin fills in for missing session panelist Ben Huh. Gotta give Rand props, he pulled this session out of thin air with little time to spare! The session focuses on user generated content. He advises the following: 

  • Incentivize visitors to create content (user generated content) that you can then exploit by giving them an ego boost for starters! Having users feel like they are getting something out of your site will give them a reason to link to you.
  • Give your readers/visitors a vibrant community: a profile worth sharing like SEOMoz’s profile system with points for comments/views/etc.
  • Use old/outdated domains and URLs that have old pieces of content that use to rank high for your keywords. Use these pages for new content that will get indexed for keywords agian!
  • Don’t forget to measure link value of content and iterate, learn from the examples of others.

Going For the Gold: Optimizing for the Social Media Payday with David Snyder, Jay Berkowitz, Rebecca Kelley and Reem Aeidoh

Rebecca Kelley started off with "How to Make Money with Social Media Marketing". She stresses a few key points: traffic, links, and a relevant consumer base are key to being successful online. Proving ROI is a bit hard but with sites like: reddit, digg, delicious, stumbleupon, Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin provide you as variety of items: links, traffic, mindshare, subscribers, a sense of community, brand loyalty, and great for promotions.

Reem Abedoah, up next, addresses how best to approach social media. A brand can’t dominate the conversation but rather encourage the conversation to occur. Have a larger share of voice by having a holistic approach.

Put social before money suggests Dave Snyder. Customer service (retention) links (SEO rankings) and traffic = conversions. Building a sites equity is important and often involves building a home for a community for your site visitors. Make them feel at home, turn a friend into a customer, create incentives which encourage conversions AND evangelism, and finally collect data and revise your social media plan. Don’t just start spamming but rather focus on communication and engagement.

Finally Jay Berkowitz discusses Going for Gold. This can be acheived by: 1) Crowd sourcing, 2) Getting more friends 3) Utilizing linkedin and Youtube, surprisingly many people use search functions on these sites, and 4) Take all the video and audio you do and throw it up on your site via a transcription.

Lastly I attended a site review session, which focused on volunteers requesting advice for their sites in regards to their social media interactions. A bankruptcy site, education site, and social media advocate site were evaluated. The panelists suggested the following:

  • Blogger outreach: this was reiterated time and time again. Look to guest post on others blog, which can help you, with many different benefits: SEO, publicity, and branding!
  • Optimize your efforts: blog titles, Youtube video titles, keyword centered bios, and local search optimization.
  • Create a blog, and don’t forget to create a community on your site for your users to go back to. While it is great to go to a third party hosted site, its advisable to look at an onsite solution.
  • Continue to be responsive, and interact with your fans/followers.
  • Don’t forget about the real world: sometimes there are people who just aren’t on social pages, so make sure to interact/comment on your own blog.

Today’s sessions at Pubcon provided quite a bit of information about social media.

What did you find interesting in our Pubcon Las Vegas Day 2 summary?