SMO: Social Media Optimization: SES, San Jose 2007

Aug 24, 2007 | 4,473 views | by Navneet Kaushal
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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:

  • Detlev Johnson, VP, Director of Consulting, Position Technologies

Speakers:

  • Neil Patel, Co-founder, ACS
  • Rand Fishkin, CEO, SEOMoz
  • Todd Malicoat, Independent Search Engine Marketing Consultant, stuntdubl

First up is Todd Mailcoat who quotes Kid Rock, “Do something that people feel.” point being, to sell social media one needs to use a human voice. Mailcoat says that link baiting and marketing will be better understood via Hook, which he says are:

Hooks:

  • attack
  • humor
  • contrarian (contrary opinion)
  • news
  • resource
  • ego
  • picture/movie

Content should be written with the motive to attract readers.

Top Titles

  • Think of your title second
  • Copy blogger
  • over promise and deliver
  • action words
  • alliteration
  • social proof
  • cliched titles work for a reason

Todd's Tips:

  • Come up with 10 titles based on the type of hook.
  • At least one keyword for good anchor text.
  • Make sure content is focused, make it pretty (bullet points, short paragraphs), make it "magazine good."
  • Link out generously, Link out to a variety of areas. Be prepared for failure. Some linkbait will bomb.
  • Prepare launch date for your piece that you want to market.
  • Use a trusted account. Digg is a 24 hour period.
  • Cram all promo efforts into a short window. Don't always submit to the same sites. Digg, Netscape, Stumbleupon, Reddit, etc. as examples.
  • You can ask people for links to your SM article. This is one area where emailing friends for links does work.
  • Cache your content, host images on alt host, search diggslashdot effect.
  • You can get 30-40,000 "nearly worthless" visits, lots of scrapers, tons of backlinks.
  • What you really want is trusted links from high profile industry sites. You may only 10 of them out of the thousands of junk links.
  • Track your links. You won't sell to social media. It's not adSense. You want to establish your "flagship" content. Global links. Increased link pop and trust. RSS subscribers.

Second to speak is Rand Fishkin. He says the only reason people first heard of SEOmoz is because of social media marketing and not advertising or marketing.

What is SMM?

  • Social media marketing.
  • Creating web 2.0 profiles on web 2.0 sites.

Why?

  • Goal is to build friends and relationships in the blogosphere and online social sites. Not same demographic as customers.

Rand says social media marketing is different from what you would do to customers. However, your market can be maintained by being a part of conversations (discussion boards etc).

  • You can go and participate and correct information if you wish to. Some people don't expect the response.
  • Reputation management and link building is done via SM.
  • You can control your brand better in Google and Yahoo better.
  • You get mindshare and branding.
  • You need to play in social media sites where people will see your brand.

Where to conduct SMM?

  • YouTube
  • Stumbleupon is the 2nd driver of traffic for SEOMoz.
  • Wikipedia
  • Yahoo Answers (3.5 million users).
  • Digg.
  • Yelp -for local business reviews
  • Reddit is good for linkbaiting -It's more "Serious" than Digg.
  • Linkedin for business networking.
  • Flicker can expose image content if you brand it well.
  • Netscape, same as Digg and Reddit.
  • Del.icio.us is a bookmarking site. People share their links there.
  • Facebook and MySpace. Craigslist has forums and "best of" Craiglist is popular.
  • Amazon, is where you can leave comments and if you provide content like a book they have a blog in Amazon.
  • Technorati is for if you have a blog. Get people to "favorite you".
  • Newsvine is serious, newsy, you can submit stores, top of the vine.
  • Sphinn
  • City Search
  • Helium has good editorial quality
  • Wikihow for some good quality content
  • SecondLife is at the bottom of the list for a reason. It's a game. But the fad is ending.
  • Twitter can be useful to help communicate that you have something they can link to.

Neil Patel from ACS laid most emphasis on Digg and StumbleUpon. Neil reminds that the audience is young. He shows an example of what works. 4525 diggs for "Pictures of the craziest urinals from around the world".

Important factors of SMM are:

  • Number of votes
  • time
  • voters
  • submitter
  • friends – these are Power submitters do better than random submitter.

Remember that you can be banned for having too many friends. Stick to a few thousand.

Things to avoid:

Do not self promote.

Add biased.

Pay for votes.

Break community rules.

SPAM. This stuff can ruin your reputation and you will banned for good.

If you get caught paying for votes, can be banned. (He experimented with submitting with his own site, created 30 accounts on the same IP and he paid for votes. It got pulled and banned.)

Tips:

  • Add tons of friends
  • Participate in communities – same interests; before submitting you want to help the community grow before leveraging it for yourself
  • Use great titles and descriptions
  • Become a top user – Do this by submitting to quality stories
  • Submit during the right time – submit when people are on the web and not sleeping.

The session ended with a Q & A, some of which are:

  • Q – Someone wanted examples of using the SM sites and how it relates to business.
  • Rand gave a lot of detailed examples, using different sites and methods. The possibilities are endless. The method has to fit your business. Every situation needs its own plan.
  • Q – What are tags?
  • Tagging is used to identify content or images. There are no guidelines for using spaces or dashes. Everybody does tagging and entering the differently. You can tag your own stuff. Readers who post your content can tag it when they submit it. Todd suggests mixing broad and specific tags. Detlev says user generated tags can be helpful and instructive. Be aware that words have different meanings.
  • Q – How does SM effect search results/behavior (ie. Universal Search)?
  • High ranked video and podcasts are getting more click thrus than text results.

SOURCE: SEARCH ENGINE ROUND TABLE

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Navneet Kaushal

Navneet Kaushal is the founder and CEO of PageTraffic, an SEO Agency in India with offices in Chicago, Mumbai and London. A leading search strategist, Navneet helps clients maintain an edge in search engines and the online media. Navneet's expertise has established PageTraffic as one of the most awarded and successful search marketing agencies.
4.thumbnail SMO: Social Media Optimization: SES, San Jose 2007
4.thumbnail SMO: Social Media Optimization: SES, San Jose 2007