Community-built web sites, the popular Wikipedia and new sites allowing content being shared through "tagging" can be a great way to tap into links and search-driven traffic. This session looks at some social media services and strategies to tap into them in an appropriate manner.
Moderator: Anne Kennedy, Manager, Managing Partner, Beyond Ink
Speakers: Todd Parsons, Co-Founder and CPO, BuzzLogic, Adam Lavelle, Chief Strategy Officer, iCrossing, Jennifer Laycock, Editor-in-Chief, Search Engine Guide, Steven E. Marder, CEO & Co-Founder, Eurekster, Inc.,Tamera Kremer, Founder, Wildfire Strategic Marketing
Todd is the first to emerge on the dais, he says that blogging is very popular in the and quotes some figures 65 Million Americans read blogs, out of which 60% people read blogs to get opinions on issues. The importance of the blogs is further underscored by the fact that 65% of "online power shopper" reads user generated content, and at least spend 10 mins before a purchase. An astounding 3.5 Billion brand-related chats happen in a day. He illustrates with an example of the Toyota Prius that could not pass the state of Georgia emissions testing and people were discussing it.
He then moves on to the topic of linking and suggests that "gets a bit of a bad rap these days." And thinks that its not all right, then he talks about the acquired links and editorial links, and that the editorial links are trustworthy. About the paid links he says that search engines are getting better at identifying manipulation. According to him pay per post linking devalues outbound links. He cites social media tools such as voting, comments, reviews, etc. promoted Seo by reliable means. And that with the improvements in technology finding out linking hubs is a lot easier.
Adam Lavelle now makes an entry, he's short of time. He then moves the audience through the slide show, which convey that humans are social animals and build relations and connect with each other, its all the more natural. The content is the glue that binds people together, and we have created softwares to create and distribute content, e.g. Contact list in outlook.
In the coming 3 years 70% of all the online content would be user generated. He illustrates with the quote from Clive Thompson who claims that Google is more of a reputed management system than a search engine. A search for "using post it notes" comes up with UG content. And emphasizes that great opportunities exists in the social media.
He goes on further to explain a tool created by iCrossing and it maps links and sites together which discuss 3M. This eg shows the ownership of all the talking about 3M by the company. Other examples show other sites that talk about brands, of which YouTube is in the lead. He gives credit to Symantec, which has been successful in tracking such data.
Jennifer Laycock is the next presenter, she cites Flickr and says illustrates how a simple text can be made more lively with pictures. She has a quote from Walt Disney which tells how important they are. A Yahoo! Image search comes up with Flickr on top.
She says Flickr also allows social networking where people can share pictures and also discuss them, she illustrates with "Edible Gardening" and with the link at the bottom that allows users to "Discuss." Not only that Flickr also allows for linking directly as well as indirectly. With the "Bento Yum" eg she's able to move traffic to the Bento Yum blog, suggests using the 80/20 rule. Advises that if you use Flickr this way then learn as much as you can about , finding and joining communities, tagging and adding notes, geo-tagging images, subs cribbing, RSS, Creative Commons Licenses etc.
Next up comes Tamera Kremer, she discusses Del.icio.us and says it's one of the most popular social bookmarking tools around, on it you can share stuff and vote on topics' popularity, you can tag articles in different ways such as wishlist, etc., you can view other tags by keywords, share links with others, the best part about the "folksonomy" is that you can comments and write descriptions.
She has a case study about a B2B client, they didn't catch up fast as people had trouble using it, and "quick start guide" strategy for client's employees was used and it resulted in enormous participation. As there was a realization that keywords are limited, and its difficult for members of a company to keep pace. Del.icio.us gets all the info in one area.
Steven Marder comes next, he discusses social media and search 2.0 which is (algo + humans (publishers and users). Suggests you can build brand and participate with social media as that's what's it's about. It's also about developing a tool or application to make it interesting.
He goes on to describe A Swicki which is a social media widget, emphasizes the syndication opportunities. He has slides of clients as as 100 K of the Swickis have been made up to now, custom search portals too have been created for another 25000, the best part a Swicki is free as Anne says that it has the ability to make your money even.
Then Anne questions the panel about most important issues in this area, Jennifer responds that if people have a plan when they go to the market it's not gonna work, you need to figure out your goals and how long the project would last. Tamera says that's true as people can pick out the spammers very well. Adam adds that you've to fit it into your framework. Tod says time needs to be invested, and stresses more on authenticity. Steven recommends respect for the customer.